Miklos clapped with delight. “I see, I see. An interesting argument you pose, Hasan. And worthy of study. But for now…ahh Master Feldard is moving at last. Good. Good. Well I think its time we went our way eh? Excellent, Hernane are you well? Good.”
Maruc turned to Stephan. “Aye, it is pointless and foolish to venture further into the caves with no knowledge of what lies beyond and with no hope of a safe and swift exit. As I believe I have mentioned whilst we investigated the dungeons of Sevastian and Hasan’s Temple. Never leave an enemy behind you. Well that’s my opinion, and stop fussing old chap I’m not about to collapse!”
Miklos collected the lightstones that the Gnome hadn’t used. “Very well we must exit and brave the spider. Maruc is quite right, we must look to our own safety first and investigate second. This is going to sound a touch mercenary, but there may be some value in searching the tunnels later. We cannot live off nothing and Vlaak can wait half a day at least whilst we discover if the mighty spider has any treasure. Because I have no doubt we shall meet it soon.”
It was a relief finally be able to move once more. Feldard’s muscles were stiff and slow to respond at first but after a few good stretches and a bit of time, he was ready to continue on.
While the dwarven warrior wanted to delve deeper into the cavern tunnels following where the orcs had come from, he had Hernane to think of. “I agree with our priest, we should turn back. Head to High Forge and rethink our strategy. Chasing after the goblins hasn’t brought us nearer to solving this mystery. And Hernane and Tekaryon must be brought to safety before we continue.” Did he really just say that? It was a surprise to even himself that he would wish to continue on with this madness of a quest even though he’d just found his betrothed.
Hernane, with her muscles finally reponding slowly gathered herself together. She looked over at Feldard as she searched amongst the Orcs disgared equipment for some adhoc armour and weapons arming herself as best she could. She was not happy about returning to where the beasts was last seen and would rather continue on however she knew Feldards mind was already made up and knew he would not shift his view because of her. Observing that Feldard was relatively unhurt, she approached him “Feldard we need to talk, about us—our future. You deserve to know the truth, I have decided that I will not marry you, for my heart belongs to another. You have risked much and placed yourself in danger too many times for me to stay silent. My heart belongs to Grofnar and it is him that I will marry. I am sorry that your duty has placed in you in this position—I would wish it otherwise. Upon reaching safety, I will return to Rockhome—alone to meet with your family and mine. I release you from this arranged marridge”.
Everyone was uncomfortable at Hernane’s words to Feldard. Stephan watched the male dwarf for his reaction but decided to not let the strange feelings linger.
“Well, I’m glad we’re all on our feet now. I believe this is the way out. But perhaps, Feldard, you can take lead? You’re better in this realm of dark rock. That is only if you can move well enough after those webs. Since we know that spider is ahead, I can follow you up. Hasan, let me know if you’d like me to take over dragging that thing. We should still watch our back too.”
Feldard stood ominously quiet as Hernane shamed both of them with her open admission. His brother, Grofnar!? How long had this been going on? He ached to bellow out his fury at her but this was a family matter and was should not have been brought up in front of others.
He was grateful for the timely intervention by Stephan. Feldard brusquely nodded, grabbed up his axe and strode off to take the lead, without a word said to Hernane.
Hernane quickly wiped away some ‘grit’ in her eyes and then went over to check on Tekaryon to see if he was ok. She looked about the chamber for a weapon more his size, but could not find one amongst the orcs discards.
Hasan had bound the orcs to the spider cave’s teeth. There was nothing to do but leave them behind. He wasn’t happy doing it, as it seemed a likely death sentence, but who in this wilderness could guard a prisoner? Better to leave the orc here, where at least some small chance of rescue by his tribe remains, than to drag it kicking and screaming into the forest, where it would surely perish. The goblin was smaller, weaker, and more willing to be led out of the spider cave, however.
Stephan shone his lightstone about the chambre one last time to be sure they were taking all needed items. And that nothing untoward sought to trail them…Hasan looped the rope around the filthy bonds of the last orc and followed the party out the room.
The group carefully plotted their course back out of the mine. Apparently between the damage inflicted upon the spider and the casualties amassed by the orcs, the Black Web clan decided to leave them well enough alone. Still, there was the matter of the spider. As they navigated through the passages, their eyes darted around, looking for the glowing eyes of the shroud spider.
When they came to the spot where the route had been blocked, just before the exit, they found the thing trying to get through the hole. Cornered and wounded, it immediately turned to the group, squirting out a web.
Feldard short stature was of benefit to him, for he was able to duck out of the way. Unfortunately for Stephan, he caught the stream of webs full on, dropping him to the ground