(33 Shorka 358 SV: 5 of 19)
There is much to discuss in this entry; for those who have been waiting for such information, I will describe my encounters with the Wolfspider of Therengia Province. Yes, I have met my first creature on the Quest and in facing it gained victory. Though I have full realization that not all such encounters will end with me alive, I pray to the Thirteen that I will continue to be so lucky. My thanks goes to Ammara for being the wise guide this night.
The Wolfspider inhabits the deepest recesses of the Baron of Therenborough castle. The Breech Tunnels of long ago sieges have allowed access to the inner halls of abandoned store rooms and dusty basements. Would-be looters of the castle”s over exaggerated riches should be weary of not only the Wolfspider but of the maze-like quality of these tunnels. I can assure you that this maze has been intentionally set up: a flip of a switch by either defender or a careless hunter could cause one”s progress to be stymied and escape route vanished. I was also shown that there is at least one still working arrow trap designed to slow down and bleed intruders of their will to explore further.
Mind you that the barren nature of the breech tunnels means that those of a sneakier nature will find little places to hide and stalk. Of course this works for the hunter”s favor as the Wolfspider will not be able to attack from ambush either.
The most dangerous portions of the underground routes are those areas where the roof has sunk from erosion. Be prepared to polish your greaves as it will be necessary to crawl through these areas. If you do not believe me, ask and I will show you the bruises upon my noggin. If low ceilings are part of the Quest, I come from that particular battle the worse for wear. If you come across a Wolfspider in such an ignoble position, the tide of battle begins in it”s favor as your balance will be hard to manage. Retreat, if that is a viable choice, would be impossible as well.
Another danger of the surroundings cannot be avoided. The Wolfspiders lay invisible threads across hallways and rooms and these webs can catch even the most perceptive of hunters unaware. I am told that escaping them is more a matter of experience and skill than of luck. Wolfspiders are fortunately not known for their patience, and once they set their sticky trap they do not often stay around to see who it catches.
The first thought that came to my mind when I saw one of these arachnid”s advancing on me that they were not furry as their name implies. It does, however, aptly describe the ferocity of their attack. The body of the Wolfspider is about the size of a halfling or large gnome, and it travels on only four of its eight legs. The other four are tipped with vicious claws that are used to attack in tandem with its fangs. Unlike many other spiders, I did not see evidence of poison nor did I hear tales of Wolfspiders being dangerous for this.
The first one I faced came upon me while I was upon my knees making my way deeper into the tunnels from the Castle”s dungeon. Damaria was the first to spy it as I was busy rubbing my brow for having bumped it for the fifth time. The Wolfspider advanced quickly as I moved to guard the healer. There was little need to do so for the spider seemed to only have eyes for my tin-shelled body.
It took three quick swings with it”s claws as I readied my axe and I felt my balance turn sour at once. Despite its speed, the attacks simply scraped along my armor ineffectively. Because of my awkward position I had to grab a hold of the ceiling with one arm and slice across my body with my axe. The blow slipped though one of its forelegs with little opposition. The spider was stunned long enough for me to get both hands upon the ash-handle of the axe. My next swing struck solid upon its abdomen and pinned it to the earthen wall.
I closed my eyes and gave thanks to the Thirteen for this first step upon the Quest. I think at least one heard me for I managed to pull a bloody trophy from the Wolfspider”s body: one of its eight eyes. I will sell this upon the morning and give the proceeds to the tithe box or any pour soul I find in need.