When we left our weary travelers, they were just about to be attacked in a dark room! Such a versatile world, D&D encompasses.
“Did eight infants just fall from the sky?” Andy asked. The noise had pretty much spooked the hell out of him, and knowing that a despicable elf with the body of a wire hanger and an old snake were his only allies, he was not anxious to engage in a physical battle.
“I didn’t hear anything,” Layla breathed… though she had heard everything. In the darkness, she alone had spotted the giant spiders dropping from above, and as she slowly, stealthily, drew her war hatchet from her side, a raging intensity began to grow within her, sprouting branches of hate and dismemberment.
Mike was, of course, clueless to the whole scene. He was stuck under a rock and wriggling his snake body wildly. “Damn it, somebody help me!”
“Well, whatever it was, it can’t be that big,” Andy announced, not even facing the same direction of the threat.
The swift turning of the three spiders’ attention to Andy’s position meant they found his voice the most delicious-sounding.
Although, Layla thought, his voice indicates a cavernous stomach. The spiders started a collective scurry toward Andy’s unprotected back. These spiders aren’t hungry. They’re looking for a place to lay their eggs.
“Okay, Layla, there’s no treasure in here, let’s free Mike and get a move on--”
Andy turned around. A red splash of spider blood whipped across his face as Layla’s hatchet found the arachnid skull at just the right second. After a moment, Andy grabbed his horn and blew into it without mercy, an action that was set upon more out of sheer confusion and surprise then need for aid.
"YOUR SPIDER FLESH WILL SCREAM AT THE SOUND OF MY SHRIEKS!"
Whatever lock kept Layla’s more wrathful character traits at bay had been hacked off with a shovel. She climbed expertly up the side of the wall and scrambled across the ceiling, almost as adept as her adversaries had. In one deft motion, she unsheathed her ankle rapier and landed on another spider’s back, filling its brain with the rusty blade.
“FUCK YOU!” she screamed in a fountain of blood, her insults not making a stop to pick up subtlety.
Andy remained somewhat shell-shocked regarding the events that unfolded in front of him. The third spider had taken a few steps back, recognizing the bizarre threat caused by the skinny elf, a puzzled look almost recognizable on its insectoid face.
Four more of the disgusting creatures scuttled out of nearby holes.
“Cut and run, crew!” Andy called, grabbing Mike out from under his rock.
But Layla didn’t respond. The spider had regained his confidence at the sight of his back up, and Layla, seeing his desire to attack and impregnate her, smiled, breathing heavily, and dropped her blade, almost pleased.
She leapt across the room in a single jump and landed on its face, clawing wildly and taking an enormous bite out of a part of the spider that seemed to be keeping him alive. The four others advanced without mercy and Layla fired a look across the chamber at Andy.
“I’M GETTING MY HATCHET BACK.”
Andy wasn’t entirely sure on the particulars that such an endeavor would entail, so, with Mike dangling from his right hand, he kicked down the tower’s weak wall and jumped, landing a short ways down on solid ground. From above, he couldn’t tell whether Layla’s screams were of pain or ecstasy. Probably both. Her feeble frame would not be capable of retaining much spider poison before she succumbed to it and the spiders had a suitable place to spawn some offspring.
“What is it? What’s GoINg OrrRNnNRnNnnNN?!”
Andy looked down. Mike was in the middle of transforming from a snake into his wererabbit form, a concerned look on whatever was supposed to be his face at the moment.
“Jesus,” Andy replied, looking away from the monstrosity. “I think… I think Layla’s dead.”
“I wAS JuST abouT TO heeelllrrllPPP!” Mike exclaimed.
“Will you just finished shapeshifting?!” Andy asked. “This is upsetting enough!”
“Maybe we should wait,” Mike suggested, finally reaching the wererabbit form he had been seeking, not that it was much more appealing to the eyes.
A nod from Andy suggested his agreement. They both knew that Layla’s personality issues more than warranted her a horrible death; however, they also were both aware of how much safer they were traveling with her.
The screams had continued, nonstop, since Andy had first heard them. Without a doubt, something awful was happening up there. Andy turned to Mike; his decision was made.
“We’ll give her an hour.”
15 hours later, Layla’s screams were still heard, with a noticeably hoarser tone. They had decided to call it quits after much debate regarding a 16th hour. Mike was getting hungry, and in all likelihood, the screams they were now hearing were simply the giant spiders inadvertently breathing through Layla’s exposed wind pipe and voice box as they fed.
“So how much gold do we have left?” Andy asked as he and Mike approached the town’s gates. It was not quite nightfall, and the torches were in the midst of being lit.
“I could really use a drink,” he added dreamily.
Mike rolled his eyes. This was usually the last phrase uttered before an evening of debaucherized retardation and bets on who in the bar was capable of murder. Sometimes this was followed by a murder.
Mike looked around. His train of thought had led him away for a moment, and Andy had taken that moment to both discover a tavern and knock several people over on his way to it.
“Can we make a party promise?” Mike asked, catching up with Andy in the tavern’s rustic entryway. “Let’s say we don’t get drunk enough to rip a housewife in half tonight.”
This was a thinly-veiled request regarding Andy’s raging alcoholism, and he was probably going to see right through it. But Mike was prepared to stand by his statement, and readied himself to be shielded from Andy’s most assuredly violent response.
But there was no response. Andy continued to stand in the doorway, looking in. His eyes were wide in surprise, which was a strange place for a man who traveled with a drooling, freakish wererabbit to find himself. Mike leaned in the doorway to see what had Andy so transfixed.
About a hundred pirates were singing, drinking, puking, and pillaging throughout the tavern. Though the behavior was hardly out of the ordinary for pirates, there was an even harsher tone to their tomfoolery than normal. Someone had already cut the bartender’s head off, and by the smell, the crew wasn’t even that drunk.
“These pirates lack the order brought on by a leader,” Andy mentioned, finally turning to look up at his companion. “As if maybe he was killed a few days back.”
Mike nodded. “By a shriveled elf with a dragon’s head, perhaps.”