Dark Wizard, Cursed Part Eight

Chapter 7: Webs of Ice

When consciousness returned to Leshac and Quil they found themselves to be in a frozen cave. Leshac took stock of their surroundings, there was a great many icy tunnels all leading to different directions, but what Leshac most took notice of was what looked like huge webs made of ice. Leshac mentioned that the mountain equipment really hadn’t lasted long, not that they had to pay for it mind you, but still, he didn’t think he had ever gone so quickly from acquisition to loss before.

Quil for her part, was lost in consideration of what had just happened, something didn’t seem quite right, why had the Dark Wizard’s spear transported them here, rather than killing them outright? But then, the whole situation was strange on multiple levels, why just curse Leshac? Quil had no further time to think of this, as at that moment, she and Leshac heard a ghastly skittering and chattering. Emerging from the tunnels were several giant frost spiders!

There are many creatures called monsters in Kigan, some merely dangerous creatures, others were brought about by elemental mischance or by meddling of mages or alchemists. Giant spiders, are a monstrous creature that seems torn from the minds of the living, fast deadly and cunning, there is even many that hold poisons. Now, such a monster is already a deadly existence, but there are many that have other stranger abilities. Giant frost spiders are an oddity, normally these massive spiders cannot live in Nortrieln, but the frost ones are different, whether it was by feasting on a magical something or another attuned to cold, or by the active manipulation of the foolish, these spiders are one with the cold.

Their webs are at once both silk and ice, a strange kind of sticky binding ice, as materials go, it has much use as a reagent. The issue is harvest. A frost spider can shoot shards of web-ice from its’ spinnerets like bolts from a ballista, not only this, but a bite from one of these monsters is fatal, gradually freezing both body and flesh. Fire of course is just as, if not more effective on these spiders as it is on regular members of the monstrous spider family.

Which is why they’ll almost always attack the warmest being they sense. Leshac, being half transformed into a tinuach was very warm. Leshac cloaked himself in a nearby shadow as several frosty bolts whooshed towards him. The bolts sunk into the shadow as if entering a pool of water, and then, one of the spiders cried out as the bolts rose from its own shadow, making it more like a pin cushion than a spider.

Furiously clacking its mandibles, a spider leapt from a tunnel, before Leshac could react, and it was on top of him. Quil however, sang a song of flame, and drew upon the tinuach flame that rested in Leshac’s body, thus enchanting his claws with a burning brand. With a fiery swipe the spider was tossed off, screeching. Another spider tried to sink its’ mandibles into Leshac, Quil was however having none of that, and with a glowing hand made a sigil of fault, and thus cursed the spider with misfortune, it tripped over its legs all eight of them.

Leshac then smote it a mighty blow, sundering its head. The spiders were more wary now, and they sensed the magic of Quil’s enchantments. So, going this way and that, keeping their distance from Leshac, they suddenly fired shards of silken ice at Quil!. Leshac was a whirl of fire, burning the shards before they could reach Quil, then one of the spiders got too close, and Leshac grabbed the shadow of its’ leg, and pulling on the shadow, threw it with great force into the cave wall. It burst into flame from the enchantment on Leshac’s claws.

The spiders then went for an all out attack, hoping to kill this highly magical meal with numbers.

Quil rose up, green eyes blazing with light, while muttering all kinds of strange words. Then, everything stopped for a moment, Leshac found he could not move, and the spiders were suspended mid leap. She splayed her butterfly-like wings out, the blue eye-patterns on them flowed and pulsed faintly, then seemed to lift off from her wings, glaring at the spiders.

Confusion and Discord!” She commanded, voice echoing with power as she wove her beguiling spell.

Her wings shone with azure and green light,which struck several of the spiders. Their eyes turning green and an ethereal blue eye appeared over the head of each one. Then, everything moved again and several things happened at once. The enchanted spiders turned upon their unmagicked kin and began to fight them, Quil, herself, light sputtering out from her once shining eyes, fainted, even as the azure eye-pattens seemed to repaint themselves on her wings. She fell from the air, but Leshac caught her.

The spider’s fight continued away from Leshac and Quil down one of the tunnels. Leshac said not a word as he stowed the slumbering Quil in a crook in his cloak.

Ehhh, how do ya like my ultimate spell ya oversized vermin” Quil giggled in her sleep.

He looked at the burnt and crushed remains of the giant frost spiders, and decided, that all things considered, some natural immunity to cold would be advantageous, and would help in eluding any other frost spiders that may still lurk further in the tunnels.

Creepy Leshac, if you have no mouth, how are you talking” Quil muttered, still sleeping.

Eating with the tinuach trunk was indeed a tricky and painful task. As Leshac grew new spidery mouth pieces complete with mandibles, his arms and hands split into spindly limbs, and his legs likewise. Not a trace of the flame sac remained. Leshac hissed in annoyance as his spinnerets failed to form properly. This curse was truly vexing. He clicked his mandibles, at least these ones weren’t uncomfortable.

On the whole, Leshac was quite divided on the issue of mandibles, on one side of it, having what basically can amount to an extra pair of limbs on your face could be very useful, on the other, sometimes they were quite fiddly appendages. Looking about the cave, Leshac considered sliding into Awarth, to better evade the dwellers of this place, and make speed from it, but decided against it. Quil was sleeping and bringing beings that are asleep into Awarth can have strange effects, that and her shadow was likely to be awake in Awarth, he didn’t want to deal with that. There was the possibility of running afoul of some monstrous denizen of Awarth. Any sleeping spiders would have awake shadows too, and Leshac disliked the idea of having to fight awakened spider shadows.

So, holding up his dragon waycharm, Leshac followed the direction that made it glow, worryingly the charm was glowing dimmer and sometimes flickering out. Leshac scuttled through the tunnels. As he made his way to what he hoped was an exit, Quil whispered stuff in her sleep.

Master says pixies usually don’t make for great enchanters, what with ’em tending towards radiance and heart elements, but he said my wings are special, a birth quirk that aligns me with phantasm, and lots of enchanting is all bout phantasm, muh special wings…”

Leshac almost considered trying to wake her, that way he’d not have to listen to her babbling, then again, it was probably better she rest, and there was no guarantees she wouldn’t babble while awake.

Still, she had been quite helpful during the battle, and Leshac had to admit that they were a nice pair of wings.

He was halted in his thoughts though. Leshac had noticed a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing was that he had found an exit from the cave. The bad thing was there was a suit of frosted armour guarding the way out, and it glared at Leshac with baleful white eyes.

Author: SnowyMystic