Feldard lay immobile, unable to move, despite the clerics healing. ‘A lot of good that did me!’ the dwarf silently fumed. The paralysis would eventually wear off—Feldard was certain of that.. but “when?” was the question eating away at him. Being hauled around by his companions like a sack of ore was not appealing to the dwarven warrior. But it seemed he had little choice in the matter.
Then the dwarf had a humorous revelation. Most likely the others would debate what to do at such length that the poison would fade before they even made up their minds. That notion while mollifying in someways was actually quite troublesome to the warrior in Feldard.
Hernane, lay silent waiting for the effects of the spiders venom to wear off, having been in this position before, she knew it would take a bit of time and there was nothing she could do to hurry up the process.
She thought that as soon as she could she would set things straight with Feldard and then hopefully stay with the group until she could safely make her own way back to Rockhome. In the meantime, she had gathered from conversations that the beast was still alive, injured and lurking somewhere nearby. She hoped the group would move in the opposite direction to where ever the spider had last be seen. She hoped that Feldard was ok, and could only inwardly smile at the frustration he must be feeling at his predicament.
Stephan felt the healing waves of Havlav through the works of his faithful servant, Maruc. “Halav be praised,” the gratitude was clear on the fighter’s face.
Considering the predicament, Stephan offered, “We leave the spider snacks here. Except for Hernane and Tekaryon, of course. I say we head out the only way we know. The spider is wounded and won’t seek a fight. And….”, Stephan was speaking as the thoughts came to him. “…we bring the lightest of the spider snacks,” he gestured to the still webbed humanoids, “to use as bait. It may be that the spider will be satisfied to get one back and we can make our retreat while it’s tidying up its food.”
He looked over the dead, web-tattooed orcs for any items they may have had to control the spider.
Stephan took a second look at Maruc. “Maruc, you are gravely wounded! Would that I could channel the healing power of Havlav to you, his trusted servant I see you’ve at least bound your own wounds. Don’t carry that, I can do if for you.”
The group was so diverse, with so many differing ideas on what to do and how to do it; they truly needed leader that would be acceptable to all. A person to make these decisions swiftly – keeping their goals in sight. Of course as Feldard lay unmoving, listening to the discussion unfold, he envisioned himself in such a role.
Stephan looked to Prince Hasan, who seemed to possess the rights of leadership in this group he’d joined. Perhaps this elf would see the logic of his suggestion to proceed out by the only known path. He hoped Hasan would lead them all.
Staring at the stricken Feldard for a moment, he could see a scowl fixed upon the dwarf’s face. ‘He’ll live,’ thought Stephan. But he’ll surely die one day with a scowl on his face. In the short time he’d known the dwarf, he had already started to dislike the low-stature humanoid. Not being one to find fault and pick fights, Stephan couldn’t quite identify what it was about the dwarf that irritated so much. He was glad, strangely, to see him immobile. Especially his mouth. ‘I’m sure he’d have something bitter and impatient to say if he could,’ thought Stephan.
Stephan, upon seeing not much decisiveness in Hasan, looked to Miklos. The mage’s obvious intelligence was magnetic. Surely he would see the wisdom in Stephan’s suggestion and have the sway to lead them out.
Hasan shivered at the human cleric’s warm, healing touch. There was no doubt this man had a strange bridge to the divine. He arose and flexed his arm. Already, the shoulder felt as limber as it had been before.
“Though I would return to see from whence these orcs have come, for now I would go toward the spider as well, Stephen. Fighting one is better than many, no matter how ominous that one may be. But I don’t think we can go anywhere before the dwarfs can move. So in the meantime, let’s enjoy the quiet,” the elf observed. He gathered up one of the lightstones, pulled out his spellbook, and flipped through the familiar pages. “Miklos, have you considered the implications of the creation of a missile from the vacuum? Do you think the energy and mass are substitutes?”
Miklos came over, quickly forgetting his surroundings. The two magicians were quickly knee deep in a discussion of physical theory. Tekaryon joined the conversation, but the mages soon tired of his excited shouting about an exponential relationship between energy and mass. They gave the gnome a lightstone, hammer, dagger and storm lantern, and the gnome happily wandered away, chatting all the while to Stephen, to Maruc, and to nobody in particular, about light refraction and color.
Tekaryon came back, 30 minutes later, from his wanderings. He had plunged the dagger into the lantern and wrapped it in the omnipresent, now luminous webbings of the great spider. The lantern cast a baleful green light, instead of the cool white tones the stone showed before. The gnome grinned at his colleagues, shifted the blade subtly, and cheery yellow sunlight burst forth. The gnome squealed with glee.
The two dwarves were once again able to move, only a bit at first, but it wasn’t long before they were back on their feet.