Having been victorious over the self-styled mite king, our heroes ventured ever onward. Weapons at the ready, they headed farther down the Crow.
They entered a room, surprising even more mites and spiders. Nigel immediately took a shot at the creatures, as one of the mites muttered a spell towards Thark, who was suddenly overcome with unwarranted fear. Kenzo entered the fray behind the cowering half-orc, and crushed the skull of one of the spiders as Lester loosed an arrow towards one of the mites. The mite fell, gurgling at the arrow protruding from its throat.
Recovered from his sudden cowardice, Thark bellowed and splattered a second mite into the ground. Keeping to back of the party, Knarra loaded up an acid dart. Taking careful aim through the fray, she let it fly, critically injuring another mite.
Filled with the bloodlust born of the crushing of skulls, Kenzo attacked in a flurry of blows. He overbalanced as he flailed towards a spider, tripped, and fell to the ground. Sensing an opportunity, the remaining mite attempted to flee atop one of the spiders. As they rushed past, Kevin snapped off one of the spider’s heads. The mite screeched at the remaining spider before he dashed down a narrow hall and out of sight. The spider turned back towards the party, sinking its mandibles into Kenzo, leaving him poisoned and woozy. Knarra launched another acid dart at the pathetic creature, and it collapsed with barely a sound.
Determined to hunt down the remaining mite, the party rushed down the hallway that it had taken. The passage branched. The avenue to their side was full of webbing, and Queck could tell they were recent. The spiders, and most likely their mite masters, spent considerable time there. They proceeded more slowly through the webs, and very soon the passage opened into a giant cavern filled with even more webs, as well as a few dead albino crickets. They spotted another spider through the gloom and readied their weapons. Was there no end to these vermin? And where was the mite?
Nigel loosed a bolt towards the spider, but missed. The clatter of the arrow drew other spiders from the webs. Kevin rushed towards them, but timed her strike poorly. As Queck skirted the fray, Lester launched into song. It was another of his filthy ditties (did the lad know nothing else?), but the party felt strengthened. With renewed vigor, they continued to attack the blasted arachnids.
Knarra laid one low with a masterful color spray, and Nigel managed to hit one with another arrow. Kenzo shouted and punched through a spider’s carapace, howling with glee as he felt its exoskeleton give beneath his fists. Lester and Knarra loosed more arrows as Nigel unholstered his trident. He and Kenzo made quick work of another of the spiders. Only one remained, now, but it was no match for Thark’s Bludgeoner.
Surveying the damage, the party suddenly realized how exhausted they were. They agreed that hunting the final mite in their current condition might not end well, as they knew little of what lay before them, and what they did know suggested it would be more battles and bugs. They returned to the cavern where they’d slain the king mite to camp for the night and replenish their spells. Lester used his wand of Cure Light Wounds to take care of some of the damage from the day’s fights, and, finally, they slept.
They woke, not exactly refreshed, but at least rested. Time to continue the hunt for the mite and shard.
They returned below to where the passage branched, and took the un-webbed turn this time. Eventually, it led to what looked like a row of prison cells, opening to the left and the right. The party turned towards the right hand row of cells. Materializing as if from the cavern wall itself were more spiders. Where did they keep coming from, the blasted creatures?
Upon seeing the intruders, the spiders rushed forward. One got a lucky bite on Kenzo, who staggered, poisoned. Another sank a mandible into Thark who roared in pain and annoyance. While the others took the brunt of the attack, Knarra summoned a dire rat to even the odds.
Kenzo, running to the aid of his companions, aimed a blow at a spider. He failed to notice an uneven bit of stone and caught his foot just as he let fly with his punch. His fist took Queck in the back of the head. Stars exploded in front of her eyes. That goddamned monk could punch, though it would be even better if he could aim.
Shaking her head to clear the pain, Queck took out her rage on the nearest spider, aiming her sickle at its creepy eyes. Lester and Kevin teamed up, taking out another of the spiders.
Then Thark re-entered the battle. Still pissed at being bitten, he laid about with his club and tusks, smashing and biting and roaring. Nigel took a bite on his leg as Knarra missed a shot with her crossbow.
Kenzo, having recovered his balance, smashed the final spider into dust.