Axra cut through the web in a single stroke and carefully moved inside. There were more dried up centipede corpses within the chambre. The walls and ceiling were all covered in webs.
“Do you see the spider?” Twila asked.
“No,” Axra answered.
“That’s odd,” Twila said. “They usually stay pretty close to their webs.”
“Maybe it scurried away because it doesn’t wanna deal with the hassle,” Velvet suggested.
Velvet’s dogs stopped outside of the doorway and started growling. He motioned for them to guard the door and went inside with the others.
“What’s wrong with them?” Twila asked.
“They smell something,” Lilly said. “Something threatening. They… they’re terrified. I… I think we should go.”
“It won’t do any good to run away,” Twila said. “Especially not when we’re on the verge of a great discovery. Wherever the spider is, I’m sure we can handle it if we keep our wits about us.”
Axra caught some movement out of the corner of her eye. She turned towards the spot. Webs, covering the wall. Completely empty. Was she seeing things?
“Keep a watch out for me,” Twila said. “I’m going to cast a fire spell to clear this web. Hopefully, I won’t damage anything it’s covering.”
“No problem,” Axra said. “We’ve got you.”
“S… sure,” Lilly said.
Axra thought she saw movement again. But there was no sign of any living thing. What could have… Wait.
“Lilly, Velvet,” Axra said. “I think I just saw that web move.” She pointed to the general area.
“It looks pretty still to me,” Velvet said.
“Wind?” Lilly asked. “N… not that there’s any here, but maybe there’s a draft we aren’t seeing.”
“Something spooked the dogs,” Axra said. “Lilly, can you fire an arrow into it?”
“Oh… yes. No problem,” Lilly said. “But, you know, if it’s okay with you, maybe Velvet should take point.”
“Velvet should stay back and guard Twila,” Axra said. “I’ll take point.”
“Oh… Um… sure,” Lilly said. She quickly fired an arrow into the indicated patch of web.
A gargantuan spider leapt out. It was almost five feet tall with a shiny black carapace that featured a bright red hourglass on the back. It lunged towards Axra without hesitation. Lilly tackled Axra out of the way, firing a couple arrows as they went tumbling out of sight. Twila turned her spell on the spider and Fang flew towards it, evading its deadly fangs and breathing fire on it.
“Lilly, Axra, are you okay?” Twila asked. She hurriedly completed a lightning spell, but the arachnid seemed to be shielded against magic. It turned towards Twila and scrambled after her.
Velvet grabbed its fangs in mid-lunge, holding them apart with his bare hands.
“What a drag,” he muttered. “but orders and all that.” He pulled the spider’s fangs right out of its head and tossed them to the side. Then he crushed its head with a quick punch.
“Are you okay?” Twila asked. “Did its fangs cut you?”
“A little,” Velvet admitted. “But no worries. I’m part dwarf. We use this kind of toxin as flavouring for our ale.”
“I thought that was a myth,” Twila said. “But if you’re sure you’ll be okay… Did you see where Lilly and Axra went?”
“They were over there a minute ago,” Velvet said.
Twila examined the area. There was an area where the dust had visibly been disturbed but it led right to the wall. “I don’t see them,” Twila muttered. “Could they have fallen through some kind of trap door?”
“I hate trap doors,” Velvet stated. “Finding them is such a pain.”
“Well, get looking,” Twila ordered. “They could be in trouble. I’ll clear the webs to make it easier.”