The night passed uneventfully and we continued on.
As we walked I noticed that the forest on one side of the road was of significantly different character than the forest on the other side. One side had significantly more leafy plants than the other. I don’t know why or what that would mean. The Evil Oppressors never made me do any gardening back in my slave days and it was a hobby I had never really had time to get into since. I was vaguely aware that new plants came from seeds but not really sure about the mechanics or why certain seeds would stay on one side of the road.
That’s when the bad stuff happened.
Holg and Tim, who were walking in front of me, both gave a yelp and disappeared into a pit that opened up beneath their feet. I heard Holg yelling some things that I’m sure he wouldn’t want to repeat in front of his mother so I assumed he was okay for the moment. Before anyone could react we were covered in spider webs. That’s when I panicked.
I don’t like cages, or nets, or, as it turns out, giant spider webs. I immediately started thrashing madly about trying to get free. I failed. Web after web rained down on our group. Giant spiders started dropping out of the trees and attacking the horses.
I can’t really explain my reasoning for what happened next, so just bear in mind that I really don’t like being confined. I ran off the road and smashed one of my pouches between me and the nearest tree. The pouch where I keep the alchemist’s fire that I never got around to finding a safer way to carry.
One of the vials broke and I went up like a torch, which succeeded in getting rid of the webs covering me. Within seconds I had been webbed up again by the nearest spider, but by then i had managed to get a hold of my knives and I cut my way free without difficulty. At about this same time the Boss managed to squirm her way free of the webs covering her and Holg, trailing broken strands of web, climbed out of the pit and drew his sword.
Another pair of giant spiders dropped out of the trees, one next to Holg and one next to the Boss. Holg did his thing to the spider next to him and the Boss started punching hers in the face. I flipped behind the one the Boss was fighting and put my knife in its soft underbelly. It spasmed briefly and then collapsed.
Then there was a gods-awful screaming sound and this big spidery humanoid thing dropped out of the trees wailing about how we killed its pet. Xavier took control of the situation and told the spidery thing that we would kill it, kill its pets, and track down its lair and kill its family if it didn’t lead us to Loch Tavish. It was pretty dark for a cleric of Pelor, but I guess he felt the same way about being webbed as I did. The spider-thing agreed and after fishing Tim from the pit we were on our way once again.
Dusk was near as we arrived at Loch Tavish, so we just gave the place a quick look before making camp. The town had been destroyed. Rubble everywhere, scorch marks and ashes, not a single building left completely intact. Tim found a piece of armor near the main gate bearing the symbol of the elven house that once claimed to be my owners. Suggestive, that.