Chapter 18; 19 and 20

Chronicles of Mace

Mace reflects on his change of circumstances, with him attacking rather than being attacked.  The sounds of fighting still surround him, as he decides to take the initiative and follows the two Rangers to the smaller entrance.  Just before he makes the sprint for the entrance he casts the spell BLUR on him, which will last two minutes, and will make him seem blurred to any attackers, reducing the effectiveness of any attacks on him.


Dodging behind a tree, the two Rangers and Mace make the dash across the open area, and enter a small cave, which turns out to be a tunnel.  Mace shows some arrogance by saluting one or two other Rangers fighting on the edge of the clearing, but isn’t sure whether he is seen or not.


The Cave is full of large sticky cobwebs, and the two lead Rangers push a path through the strands with their hands and Swords.  At least nobody has been through this Cave for some time, and who knows where it may lead!  Perhaps it is a secret passage way.  Mace follows a few feet behind the two Rangers, looking all about him.  There isn’t much to see though as the thick web strands obscure most detail.  At the end of the Cave a tunnel does lead off to the East, which the two Rangers are keen to follow.  As they move through the Webs they hear a slight clicking noise, but as soon as the three of them stand still and listen the clicking stops.  A few feet up the tunnel a choice faces the three brave attackers.  There is a strand filled tunnel leading off to the North, and another leading off to the South after a corner in the tunnel.


One of the Rangers holds a torch up high, the crackling of the web on torch fills the air with noise.  Wisps of smoke come of the torch flame as the web is destroyed.  The Ranger waves the torch a little, clearing a small area of web.  They both turn to each other, then look at Mace as if to ask, “Where now?”


Mace waits for inspiration to come to him, as to what action they should take now….the clicking noise has unnerved him a little as he wonders what the cause of the noise could be…


The Blur spell ends, and Mace is now back to normal.


Chapter 19


Mace crouches down then stands, looking all about him, as the Ranger continues to burn the web with the torch he holds.  Mace looks at the other Ranger and says, “You know, if you ask for a wild guess right now, I’d say we’ve been foolish enough to walk into a Spiders lair.  It’s just a guess but the cobwebs and clicking noise tends to be a subtle hint, it might be advisable to be careful, also I doubt very much this cave was missed by the Kobolds when they came here yet they’ve left it alone, maybe we should to!”


The Rangers show little reaction to maces words, and he quickly follows up his initial comments by adding, “just an idea, didn’t really mean it, we must move on to investigate, err how about northwards.”  The Two Rangers nod that they agree, and position themselves to move up the North passage.


As they slowly move Mace indicates that one Ranger should take the lead with the Sword and Torch, with the other Ranger second, and Mace bringing up the rear.  The second Ranger will have his Bow at the ready.


They move slowly, with the lead Ranger waving the torch above his head to clear the webs, which frizzle and fill the tunnel with smoke and a burning smell.  Mace watches the walls for holes, and of course keeps a close eye behind him to make sure nothing comes up quickly from the rear.  There are a few rocks and boulders on the floor, but Mace does manage to gather together some web and odd bits of twig and leaves that have been there for some time.  These make small piles of combustible material which may aid their escape be deterring low level creatures from venturing near to the flames.


The tunnel takes a sharp left, which the small party follow, keeping the tunnel wall on their left.  The webs begin to thin as the tunnel begins to open in to a large cavern.  The air feels warm in here, and a tension fills the air.  Mace feels uneasy about this new cavern area, especially with his suspicions of Spiders being around.  The lead Rangers move in to the cavern area, and clear an area by waving the torch ahead of him.  As they move forward slightly the truth begins to dawn on the area they are in.


On the wall opposite, 6 large cocoons hang from the ceiling. They range between 5ft long and 6ft, and look to be in a human shape.  Further along the wall resting on the floor is a small pile of what looks like eggs.  Odd pieces of brush, leaves, grass cover the area, almost as if this was a nesting area.  More cocoons line the wall opposite these eggs.  There is however something else nearby, and a far more sinister object.  There to the groups left, slowly moving towards the lead Ranger, a small head with bulbous red eyes, on top of a huge bulbous body…a Giant Spider.


The Spider crocks one leg over the top of the eggs it seems to be protecting.  Its head moves from side to side as it weighs up what or who these new arrivals are.


The Spider suddenly springs forward, attacking the lead ranger with its large pincers.  The size of the Spider becomes obvious as its bulbous body must be about 6ft long.  The Ranger tries to dodge the attack, but the Spider is a well honed fighting machine and its pincers catch the arm of the unfortunate Ranger.  The Shield arm is rendered useless from the attack.  The tendons are ripped, and the arm drops down by the side of the Ranger.  Horror shows across the lead Rangers face, as the second Ranger swipes his Sword across the front of the Spider but misses, ripping a tear through the webs at the side of the cavern.  Mace can’t get near enough to attack at the moment, because of the restricted space.  He grips a stone tightly, ready to hurl it at the Spider.  The injured Ranger drops to his knees badly injured.


Mace sees that he has an easy escape route, back down the tunnel, but then glances at the pained expression of the Rangers face, and he is torn between helping this man or saving his own neck.  The clicking sound brings his attention back to the Spider, which wobbles its head from side to side, preparing to attack the next Range.  Mace has little time to react, before becoming the target for the Spider…….


Chapter 20


Mace sees that he is in for a fight, and mentally swears to give the Spider as good as he can give.  He casts the spell “Blur” to make his defence that little bit better.  He quickly moves towards the cocoons and turns to face the Spider.  Mace hopes that by splitting up, the Spider will only be able to attack one person at a time, possibly exposing parts of itself for attack.


The wounded Ranger begins to back of as best he can, although his arm looks in a very bad way, and is obviously losing a lot of blood.  It looks doubtful that the wounded Ranger could give any help at all.  The Spiders head moves from side to side, detecting all of this movement, and its long hairy legs shuffling from side to side as it readies itself to attack again.


The unwounded Ranger moves forward first, seeing a chance to hit the bulbous body of the Spider.  The Spider moves quickly backwards away from the attack and the Rangers Longsword misses by some distance.  The Spider makes to attack the Ranger, giving Mace a chance to strike, but mace pulls his swipe short of the target hitting the wall as he does.  The Spider strikes with tremendous speed, hitting the Ranger a very solid blow on the head.  The Rangers head jerks backwards striking the wall behind him.  His body collapses to the floor as his neck breaks and skull collapses under the impact, causing massive brain damage.  His Longsword falls to the floor.  The Spiders clicking seems to get louder as it swivels its head to where mace presses himself against the wall near to the cocoons.


The body of the Spider moves in to the centre of the cave, as Mace attacks again, but misses.  The Spider strikes at Mace, but the Blurred body seems to fool the Spider and its attack misses.


Mace attacks again, this time lower, trying to hit the Spiders legs with his Longsword.  The Spider lifts its leg high very quickly avoiding the blow.  Another of the Spiders legs flashes out quickly catching Mace on the body.  Mace lets out the wind in his lungs from the impact and steps backwards.  The blow has stunned Mace, and all he can do is parry the Spiders next attack, which he does successfully.


He thrusts one of the Spiders legs to one side, and then stabs with the Longsword, hitting the Spider and causing it a small wound (8 hits).  The wound seems to surprise the Spider and its next attack on Mace is a poor one and misses by a long way.  Mace takes the opportunity to weigh the situation up.  The wounded Ranger has made it to the passage, and the other Ranger is obviously dead and beyond help, slumped against the wall.


\Mace attacks again, and this time strokes deep in to the Spiders body causing a major wound.  A fluid leaks from the Spiders body as it moves away from Mace, stunned by the wound and pain it feels (22 E Critical + 6 hits).  Mace advances now to push home the advantage, but the Spider shows a lot of combat ability by dodging two Mace attacks one after another.  The Spiders next attack is weak, and Mace parries it with his Longsword easily.  Mace is a little over eager and lunges a fraction too quickly missing the Spiders head by inches.


The Spiders head darts forward aiming for Maces face.  The blurred state of Maces body makes the Spider miss the face, but its pincers grab Maces ear instead.  Pain courses through Maces body as he feels his ear, or lack of it. Most of it has been ripped away from his head by the Spider.  Mace screams from the pain, and he takes his next move to step backwards, his hand going up to his ear to feel the damage.  Blood seeps from the open wound, covering his hand in seconds.  A flap of skin is all that is left where his ear had once been.  The area above his ear lobe is now missing.  A panic begins to sweep over his body as the Spider seems to waggle its torso from side to side preparing for the kill.


Mace is feeling weak from the pain (-30 to all actions), but holds his Longsword in front of him, trying to ward the Spider off.  It shuffles forward, seeming to sense that Mace is an easy kill now.


Mace must decide now whether the continue fighting, fight a withdrawal, run like the wind leaving the Rangers behind, try and rescue the wounded Ranger, or some other tactic…………………