"These maps are terrible" Cain complains. "I'm not even sure I'm holding it the right way up at this point"
"It should be just over that rise, if we read the map right." Misha shrugs "Time to get ready."
Cain brings out his Golems, sending the shield bearing greater Golems out in the lead and surrounding the two of them with the lesser Golems. The top of the rise brings a distinct change in scenery, the trees turn blackened and cobwebs are everywhere, giving the woods a very creepy vibe.
"Looks like that's the spot. The spell book is supposed to drop from an elite spider queen, and we get the quest reward for the pincers."
They move forward at a crawl, on the lookout for whatever bad all these webs. It's not long before their caution pays off, an incoming web attack being thwarted by the lesser Golems before a half dozen black spiders charge towards them.
Cain replaces the small Golems, who were all trapped anyhow and begins firing arrows into the fast moving arachnids, a task that's proving harder than expected. The lesser Golems size is proving a benefit here though, as it makes it much easier to hit the small spiders in short range. The greater Golems have resorted to trying to crush them with feet and the bottom of their shields.
Once they've been caught by the Golems, they become much easier to hit and the group is cleared in just a few more seconds.
The elite spider for the quest is supposed to live in the valley at the very center of these woods, so onwards they press, every few minutes being attacked by small spiders.
Things don't really get better when larger ones replace the little web throwers. These have Poisoned pincers and are doing quite a lot of damage to the Golems. No wonder everyone said you needed cure poison to get cure poison. They're much easier to hit though, Cain's arrows hitting home over and over.
Unfortunately, they're immune to poison, which doesn't bode well for the upcoming elite fight. One breaks through the ranks, headed for Misha and Cain draws his sword to intercept. The spider's fighting technique is quite skilful, a combination of its heavy front legs and sharp mandible putting Cain on the defensive for a while before a crushing blow from a greater golem to its back ends the beast.
"Aren't these things going to be mad when we kill their queen?" Misha asks worried. Those pincers did not look like something she'd care to experience again.
"If they're like real spiders they'll scatter and we will get a bit of time to flee once the elite is down. If we make good time, we should get out of the valley before they stop panicking." Cain tries to assure her, but who knows how these monsters are going to react.
They're nearing the center of the valley now, and the spiders are getting less frequent, replaced by more webs and large cocoons.
"I think something is moving in there" Misha whispers and Cain frowns.
"Let's not disturb those for now, try to get to the boss monster without making a scene." Cain whispers back. If those are the spiders targets they could be anything from monsters to other adventurers though. "Wait, doesn't that seem human sized though? Maybe I should try cutting it free, see what we can find." Misha nods her agreement, staff at the ready
There's five total that are wriggling right now, making both think this might be a trapped party come to do the quest. So Cain carefully cuts loose the smallest of the cocoons first, freeing a bedraggled and injured female Elven mage.
"If you're done with women throwing themselves at you, go open the others" Misha laughs softly, casting a heal over time effect on the small woman now clinging to Cain's leg. Moving proves impractical, so the small golems are sent to free the others, revealing three warriors and a shaman.
All receive healing, their closing wounds dislodging spider eggs that are quickly crushed underfoot.
"Everyone accounted for and all from the same group?" Cain asks and they nod, looking relieved to have been freed from their nightmare.
"I'm not sure if my party is still up for it", the shaman says "but we're here to do the cure poison quest. We seem to have come in the wrong way, from the south, and gotten trapped by web throwers."
"They're all over the east side too." Misha informs him. "We used the Golems to block and then just summoned them back when too many got trapped."
According to the map, one of those two directions should have been a clear path. But so much for that.
"We're almost at the center of the valley, care to finish the quest with us?" Cain asks, more than happy to get reinforcements.
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"It's better than trying to flee empty handed," their tank shrugs. "There's going to be spiders either way."
The expanded group creeps forward, looking for any sign of the elite spider queen, eventually finding her in a nest of webbing atop a pile of skulls.
"That's not ominous at all." the Elven mage quips sarcastically. "Do we try fire first or arrows to lure it down from there?"
"Kill it with fire." the rest answer in unison.
And fire certainly brings it down, but the surrounding webbing proves to be highly flammable. The whole area is on fire, burning strings falling from the trees and sticking to the groups, Misha casting long duration heals on everyone to get them through.
They can hear the spiders running away, the sound of bodies crashing through the forest slowly fading as the greater Golems engage the huge spider queen and the warriors move around behind it for better access.
Cain has decided it's best to keep the little Golems on defense, in case anything comes for the ranged members, a tactic that proves beyond wise when a number of the burning cocoons burst, dislodging wounded and angry monsters all over the area.
Two are busy with a boar monster they rescued the shaman from, the grateful man setting down a defensive totem soon after, bathing the area in mana for them to use. The shaman mostly uses a lightning attack to hit the spider, and with that totem out they're doing fairly well.
[Poison Arrow] also leaves no poison debuff on the spider queen, so Cain is throwing out multi shots as fast as he can, the totem keeping his mana full.
"That's some serious casting cost reduction you have there golem man." the shaman cheers. "Not many can spam multi shot."
"It's only 10 mana a use, your totem grants 5 a second, I get 5 a second." Cain shrugs, firing another volley into the giant spider. Its health bar has moved from orange to red now, and it's missing two legs. This fight will soon be over.
"Only 10? It should be 20. I wonder if your class gets it cheaper, like the ranger does? They use archery abilities at half cost." The mage ponders out loud, sending an exploding fireball into a group of small monsters just freed from cocoons.
Whatever the answer, it's done is job and the monsters are almost cleared out. Anything that didn't escape burned.
[Misha Has Received Grade B Spellbook]
[Greater Cure Poison] has dropped
[Greater Cure Poison]? She must have got the rare drop from the boss.
The queen is finally dead and the requirement for the quest item shows filled, so Misha must have gotten it as well.
"Okay, we got our quest item. Now North, straight back to town. It's pretty well burnt now, so we should be able to get out before anything returns." All seven, plus the Golems, are at a full sprint until they're clear of the burned woods and into the open ground near the town.
"You know, that was much shorter than the way in. Those maps are terrible." The shaman laughs.
"We owe you our lives. If you need anything just contact us." The mage adds.
[Incoming Friend Request From Mythryll]
[Friend Request Accepted]
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