Third Time is The Charm, Right?

(7 Fashanos 5115: The Landing)

The Spider Temple. Ugh, what a place. I thought it looked like an appropriate place to hunt, and research showed that the acolytes were not supposed to be as dangerous as the priests and priestesses. So I struck out on the adventure. Alone.

 

The First Trip

I told Miss Gingie where I was going and left town on my own up to the trail off of Old Mine Road. Entering the temple, I tip-toed through the turning passageways to get to the wing of acolytes. And wandered back and forth in there, finding nothing at all. I wondered what I was doing there when an acolyte walked in.

I sang the lullabye – prepared to run if it did not work, because sometimes it only seems to work on things that are weaker than me. But he succumbed entirely to it. The confidence of the song’s success filled me and I set my sword to work at him. The first blow was a stun … and I did not let up. The sorry thing was sent back to Arachne, and I had not even a scratch to show for it. It seemed to take longer to dispatch him than my old hunting grounds, the warcats, so I figured people’s suggestions were right. Maybe this was a good place for me.

I started wandering the halls again when I noticed a man who passed by. After I saw him pass by me a few more times, he stopped. We exchanged introductions, his name was Tyaht, and he was searching for a lost child.

“What a fell place for a child to be alone!” I was concerned for the poor little thing.

Now suddenly the residents of the temple discovered we were there, and while the first one or two were taken down with a lullabye just like I had earlier, suddenly we were outnumbered, and in a blink of an eye, I was suddenly caught in a sticky web.

Tyaht handily dispatched the opponents until I could move again, saving my life. I thanked him profusely and took it for a sign that maybe I should not have come. I went back to the Landing. I hope Mister Tyaht was able to rescue the lost child, as well as he had rescued me. He seemed well equipped to do the job, that is for sure. I looked for a healer, still trembling from the experience.

 

The Second Trip

The next day I was retelling the tale of my first sorry trip into the Spider Temple to my friend.

“The Spider Temple might be a good place for you …” he started, after hearing my tale of failure.

I was dismayed. But I trust him, and so, I listened to him as he laid out a calm, rational plan. With his coaching, I should be able to learn the techniques to hunt there. I felt encouraged. He had answers to all my questions.

As we approached the entry into the Spider Temple proper, my hands started tremble. I drew a deep breath, and listened to his instructions for survival. Concentrating on what he said calmed my fears.

  1. Run from the mammoth arachnid.
  2. Peer into the next room before stepping into it – they have some spell that will muck up the entire room and catch you if you walk into it! Also, mammoth arachnids (see point 1) – and who knew you could peer into the doorway to the next room?!
  3. Do not go into the onyx door, that is where the mammoth arachnids live. In fact, close the door, maybe it will keep what is in there … from roaming out. (see point 1)
  4. The acolytes are going to be more difficult to kill because they have better armor/weapons than the priests and the priestesses. (Wow, that was a surprise!) So try to not hunt past the marble door where they (mostly) stay.
  5. Stick with the priests and priestesses for now.
  6. Drop your opponent fast with a lullabye, and kill them quickly. (Oh, that my sword was on this same page with him…)
  7. Do not let them cast a spell. (see point 5)
  8. Running away is always an option if you get surrounded or overwhelmed. (but remember point 2)
  9. There was something about the exact spells, and their names and nature, and I guess I still cannot remember them… (alas)

He followed me, patiently; I made fairly slow progress through the temple, trying to keep track of all the things he explained. He’d offer advice as I made missteps, told me when to watch, hold – even retreat.  Somewhere in the middle of the acolyte wing, I got surrounded, overwhelmed, wounded, stunned, and badly rattled by it all. He kept the servants of Arachne from finishing me off, and I was so thankful for him. Because he was there, I was able to walk back to the Landing (leaving a lovely trail of fresh blood….) to find healing.

I did not feel like going back there again that night. By that time, I was just done with it and wanted to retreat into the safety of music and friends.

 

The Third Trip

Sometimes I feel like I have something to prove, and after a night’s sleep and some reflection on that second trip to the Spider Temple, I thought I had learned most of the right things, and was more prepared to handle them. So this time, it was me that approached the subject of going back.

I carefully rehearsed to him the things I remembered from the trip the night before (see points 1-8, above) and confessed to point number 9. (There was more I could have confessed to, but did not.) He nodded with each of my points, sometimes clarifying and further explaining. After a brief interlude when a friend came to speak to him, it was time.

“Well, do I look like I have a brave face forward?” I asked him, drawing a deep breath and standing up a little extra taller, ready to go back out again. I felt confident that I could do this. He nodded. I took that as encouragement and we set off for the Spider Temple again.

Once again, I slowly made my way through the spider temple, peering ahead with each step, peeking into every door. I saw nasty spiders in several rooms, and closed the doors, and walked the other way. The encounters with the priests and priestesses pretty much went according to plan. I found myself holding my breath more than I even want to admit. The acolytes … well, they were a stubborn and hardy duo who kept walking in and out as if they could not see us. They were both wounded, maybe their eyesight was affected, who knows. Suddenly I had to juggle a priestess and two acolytes, with not a lot of success. By the time this priestess was dead, my mind was muddled, and my nerves were far worse than muddled. I made a couple mistakes, luckily not fatal ones. That did not help my frayed nerves, either.

“Breathe, Luxie, breathe,” I told myself.

I think I managed to finally kill one of the half-injured, roaming acolytes … but I was done for. I (carefully) made my way out of the Spider Temple and was about to explain to him that I completely frazzled and was going to head back to town before I made a mistake that there was no recovering from.

 

The third time is the charm, right?

Not.

 

{...and then, literally, the doorbell rang. An unexpected guest truncated the explanation, but I promise you there was nothing that could have been said to the bardess at that point to get her back in there right then, regardless of any real life interruption…}

GSBardess

Author: GSBardess

A young bardess named Luxelle is currently learning her trade and hoping to one day make a name for her songs in GemStone IV. Follow along with her adventures in life and song.

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