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222 Dont Fear The Spider

 "Get us outta here, Spike!" Dave shouted frantically.

Spike leapt away just before the arachnid queen landed on the ground where he was standing. Her massive bulk shook the earth even through the cushioning of the webs and the detritus of the forest floor.

The queen dwarfed even Spike's considerable size. Her matte-black exoskeleton absorbed light, making her difficult to see clearly in the dim shadows cast by the phosphorescent eggs.

She hissed like an angry steam locomotive. Her eight eyes glared at them hatefully from her repulsively alien visage and numerous scythe-like mandibles around her mouth cycled inward, like the spinning blades of an industrial wood-chipper.

***

Man-Eating Spider (Queen)

Level: 550

Tier: Mythic

Danger Level: ☠ ☠ ☠

Base damage: 300,000-350,000

HP: 550,000

DN: 120,000

MA: 30,000

Skills:

[Royal Dominance] all arachnids in the vicinity of the Deep Wilds are bound in servitude to the Queen. If the queen's HP drops below 20% a call will go out and players have five (5) minutes to kill the queen before every spider within 20 miles comes to her aid.

[Late Night snack] the queen consumes one of its children to recover HP (1% of the queen's total HP for each adult spider and 0.5% for each spiderling).

[World Wide Web] the queen sprays sticky masses of web that snare enemies in an area. Can cover areas up to a 50 meter radius. The sticky webbing lasts for 20 seconds, all snared enemies receive 50% more damage and their movement speed is reduced by 30%.

Bestiary:

Man-eating spiders are a matriarchal species. The queen arachnid will not allow another females to grow and threaten her authority, she kills and eats all female spiders as they hatch.

***

The queen was a wily old monster, she'd ruled the arachnids of the Wilds for many ages. She had no need to hurry things along, the prey-meat were in her nest now, caught in her 'web.' The best food is seasoned with terror and suffering. Her venom would paralyze and slowly digest the prey-meat from the inside, while they still lived, unable to move or even scream from the pain. She would sip the slurry that dripped from their hanging bodies for many long days to come. But before she did that, she was going to play with the weak meat-sacks, show them her power and intensify their terror, sweetening their flesh for her palate.

"What're we gonna do now, man? That thing's too high level for us, even Spike isn't strong enough to beat it, man," Flanker was about to panic again.

"Shut up and let me think!"

Dave knew fighting the queen would be suicide. He looked around the enclosed area they were trapped in. The entrance was blocked by a mob of adult spiders, but for some reason they weren't entering the clearing, they simply gathered at the entrance pushing against each other but not crossing into the boss area. Maybe they were afraid of the queen.

"Goddamn spiders, I wish I had a fucking flamethrower," Human Fortress shivered, his eyes moving around ceaselessly.

"Flame thrower..." Dave mumbled, "Good thought. Spike, this is risky, but it's our only chance. Run under the spider, don't get hit!"

The fiend tossed his antlered head in agreement then shot between the spider's legs, dodging the stabbing of the chitinous limbs with ease.

"What are you trying to pull Skelly?" Perfect asked. He was looking behind him, the enormous spider queen slowly turned chasing them.

"I have a skill that needs open ground to activate, I just need to get to the entrance and I should be able to use it."

Spike came to a stop near the entrance to the boss area. Adult spiders swarmed the opening cutting off any hope of retreating through it. Dave checked his HUD. He had enough open space to use the Skill now, the icon was no longer greyed-out.

Dave spread his arms wide and brought his hands together in thunderous clap.

"It's done. Spike get us as far from the entrance as you can."

"What did you do?" Flanker asked.

"You'll see soon enough. You're a priest, pray this works. It's the only way out of this fubar," Dave said.

The spider had gotten dangerously close, it lunged at them with mandibles wide, but Spike dodged with a twist and a leap, evading the queen again. They had been lucky so far, the forest prong fiend had managed to avoid the queen's attacks, though he could not continue to do so indefinitely. Spike was incredibly agile, but there was not enough space within the enclosure for him to reach his best running speed.

"Run, Spike, run!" Dave excitedly shouted.

The enclosure had gotten noticeably brighter, reddish-orange light penetrated from above the tree canopy over the queen's nesting area.

Perfect was curious, "What did you do, man?"

"Give it a sec."

"Nighttime just started, that can't be the sun"

"That's not the sun, that's a meteor. Hold tight, it's gonna get bumpy!"

It was one of his strongest skills [Call of Chaos], summoning a meteor that slammed into the Boss Room entrance, destroying it and killing countless numbers of spiders in the process.

The meteor hit and the shockwave slammed into the spider queen, sending her tumbling across the enclosure like a beach ball. She slammed through the piles of eggs, turning the majority of them to shapeless mush before coming to a stop against the rear of the nest. Half of the enclosure where the meteor had struck was simply gone, trees and spiders utterly destroyed.

Spike leapt forward and detoured around the queen then dashed toward the impact site of the meteor. He leapt out into the open forest, through the burning remains of trees and spider parts.

Dave screamed in victory as they escaped, galloping through the forest away from the queen's nest. The trees around the enclosure were on fire, the webs withering and flaming away as the flames spread and climbed to the tops of the trees, smoke and soot rising and spreading above the spider domain. The party left the burning area behind them, galloping at increasing speed through the spider forest, hanging webs whipped at them as the trees rushed past.

"What a rush! I didn't think we'd get out of that alive," Flanker yelled jubilantly.

***

You have immolated thousands of spiders. You are Hated by an entire species and are now considered a Nemesis by all arachnids in Wilds.

***

"It's not like we were ever friendly with the spiders anyway," Dave shrugged.

"Yeah, fuck 'em!" Fortress agreed.

Flanker had turned around, he was sitting backwards on Spike, holding on with one hand while waving the other arm wildly like a bull rider at a rodeo.

"HA! That's right, who's your daddy? Game over for YOU, bitch! You can kiss my lily-white ass!" So saying, Flanker turned back to sit rightways and slapped the aforementioned part of his anatomy.

There was a shocked pregnant pause, then a deafening uproar rose from the burning debris behind them.

Looking back, the players hearts turned to ice when they saw the arachnid queen emerge from the conflagration. She smashed through the burning trees in her way and trampled her own spiders as she began to pursue them, accelerating at a frightful rate. There was an implacable relentless quality to her movements, as if she was determined to pursue them to her dying breath.

Flanker gulped, "We're gonna make it, Spike is faster...right?"

The queen emitted a ululating screech and all around them hundreds of spiders emerged, crawling down the web-covered tree trunks and scuttling across the ground to block Spike's escape and hem him in on the sides.

"You just had to open your big fat mouth and jinx us!" Fortress railed at Flanker.

Spike stopped as the spiders closed a broad ring around them, unable to jump across the still increasing horde that gathered around them, though arachnid that ventured too close got a taste of the fiend's hooves of course. Dave looked around then opened his mouth wide and activated [Ray of Flames].

Infernal flames shot out in a geyser of destruction, frying spiders and melting the ground. The spiders fled, scuttling away from the inferno. Spike jumped across the molten area and kept going, running from the pursuing queen again. They soon left all the smaller spiders behind

"I don't see any webs in these trees," Perfect said in a hopeful voice.

"The young spiders aren't chasing us anymore," Dave tried not to let his expectations rise.

"Don't congratulate yourselves yet. The queen is still back there," Fortress said.

"Hey, she stopped!" Flanker said.

Dave glanced back, he saw the spider crouching, body flat against the ground, limbs adjusting as if in preparation...Dave turned white and faced front quickly.

"She's not stopping, she's gonna jump!" he shouted as he slapped Spike's flanks for more speed.

The queen leapt, launching herself hundreds of meters into the air. She slammed down in front of the players and their mount, her limbs flexing like shock absorbers to take the force of her landing. Venom dripped from her scythe-like mandibles.

There was no way out.

The queen was done playing around, these prey-things had damaged her powerbase and wounded her pride. She lifted her two front limbs, preparing for an attack. Sharpened edges of chitin gleamed as the two needle-points angled toward the players. Suddenly, the queen froze, lifted her head, and froze again. Then she trembled and emitted a fearful, pitiable wailing sound.

Abruptly the spider queen turned and scuttled into the trees, they could hear her moving away through the forest.

"What the fuck is going on?" Flanker said.

Dave got a notification.

***

The most dangerous creature in the Wilds saw the [Call of Chaos] Skill that was recently used. The creature recognized it was connected to the theft of something very important to it.

It is coming for you.

***

"Ohhhh...shit." Dave already knew what the 'creature' was. He wasn't sure why the system didn't just come out and say 'dragon,' he'd already inspected it the last time he was in the Wilds.

In the far distance, an enraged roar sounded.

Dave dug his heels into the forest fiend's flanks. Spike responded with a grunt of effort and accelerated desperately, he seemed to know what was coming for them.

Dave yelled in a high pitched voice: "Run bitch, runnnnn!"

==============================================================

Chapter Skill List:

[Call of Chaos] (Legendary)

Calls upon the power of chaos to summon a meteor strike that damages a 50 meter radius area.

Does 50,000 Flat AOE damage.

Cooldown: 72 hours.

Damage increases with INT at a ratio of 10% for every 100 INT

Must be outdoors in an open area to use.

***

[Ray of Flames]

Fires a continuous concentrated ray of fire in a straight line.

Damage: 20,000 Flat fire damage + 20% of base weapon damage.

Ray of Flames will melting terrain to magma that cools back to hardened stone after 10 seconds.

Magma does 5,000 HP flat fire damage per second.

Inflicts Burning Effect.

Cooldown: One (1) Hour