From the Annals of the Paragon Society

Web of the Spider Cult: Chapter Three

Creepy Crawlies...

The captain and crew take one launch and head back to Merida, while the team heads further up the river. They come to a stone dock, and leave the boat. They travel in a bit, and come to vine covered stone buildings. Buck says that this is a good place to camp for the night, so they set up camp and Helen tries to read the images on the buildings. They all can see captives with a huge spider hanging over them. The next morning they start off and sees three paths, each covered in a large spider web. Buck sets the middle web on fire, and a spider the size of a small dog drops from the trees. Pandora shoots it, exploding it in a shower of ichor. They turn back to the trail, and see they all rejoin. Helen hears the sounds of many spiders running towards them. The swarm attacks Pandora, climbing all over her. She grabs the torch from Buck and lights some of the nearby trees to spread the smoke around. Buck twirls his guns and shoots both of the large spiders. Helen grabs her shotgun but it jams. Pandora keeps stomping the swarm on her, while Helen shoots one of the swarms. Buck holsters his guns, grabs his flask and takes a swig, blowing the whiskey towards the swarm, setting it on fire from the torch. Helen yells, “Run!” and takes off down the path, with the other two following close behind. Pandora speeds ahead, and reaches the cliff first. She sees a rope bridge, then realizes it is made of spider silk. Buck pauses to shoot the two giant spiders following the team, exploding them, as the ladies begin to cross the swaying bridge. Three giant spiders begin to climb on to the bridge, and Buck shoots to two closest to him, and starts running on the bridge.

Suddenly a flock of birds swoops down and eats one of the swarms. Pandora shoots a spider that pops up in front of her, as Helen makes it to the other side. She turns and shoots the swarm, killing it off. Buck shoots the last giant spiders, killing it. The team looks around, and realizes they have to climb up the cliff. As they start up, a giant spider starts down from the top. Buck pauses to shoot it, and the team continues upward. Another comes over the top, and the team each takes a shot and misses as they continue climbing. The reach the top, and see the trail continues across the plateau.

They eventually come to the end of the valley, with low, three-tiered step pyramid with several warriors guarding each path up. On the top tier are two warriors, a high priest, the chieftain, and a woman struggling. The High Priest – Quenunga – waves his arms, and phantasmal spider arms appear around him. The chieftain – Achelotl – has a firm grip on the woman.Aztec warrior at nku

Helen yells in Aztec, “Release her!” and runs forward, shooting one of the guards. Buck follows, killing two of them. Quenunga waves and shoots a spectral wave of spiders at Helen. She shoots back, hitting him twice. The warriors all begin to converge on the team. Buck runs up with Pandora, and she shoots Achelotl, killing him and causing his cape to turn into a swarm of spiders. Helen and Buck continue shooting while Pandora appeals to the warriors, causing them to pause. One group tips a brazier over, sending flaming oil over Buck and Helen. Helen knocks Buck in to the waterway. Pandora runs up and shoots Quenunga, who shoots a missile of spiders back at her. The warriors converge on Pandora and Helen, as Buck shoots into the crowd. The spider swarm envelopes Pandora and Helen…

To Be Concluded…

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