General Malphigian watche...
General Malphigian watched as “he” stood in the center of the white spider silk altar, in the center of the great open air temple of the Mother, “his” hands raised to the sky, invoking the Mother’s grace upon the Delvo. At that exact moment General Malphigian felt a tug on his face as if an unseen web had settled on his cheek. He started and wiped his face. General Malphigian continued to watch the ceremony as it reach a crescendo. As “he” spoke the final words of the spell “he” implored the Mother to give her blessing for “him” to lead the Delvo to victory against the toad cult of Bobugbubilz. “Disgusting” thought the General. As the last words were spoken, spiders swarmed in from all directions and gathered around “him” crawling on, around or under “him” in their thousands. General Malphigian looked around at the crowd, they were enraptured. “Bah” thought General Malphigian, “nothing but a wizard’s mummery, the fools”. In the crowd, soldiers began to slide their armored forearms together to signal their approval. Being that Delvo armor was made of spider chitin, it made a distinctive low screech. The rest of the crowd quietly, but persistently shuffled their feet, the sound it made, like an arachnid rushing upon its prey. General Malphigian rolled his eyes and shifted weight from side to side while hitching up his sword belt. “A month of these useless ceremonies, will this never end” he thought. The ceremony over, the spiders wandered around the altar while “he” seemed entranced with something in his hand. It was too small to see from General Malphigian’s vantage. To one side stood “his” companions; a Devlo, a human, a dwarf and a wolf. General Malphigian turned to his aid, Chelicer, who looked at the ground and did not meet the General’s gaze “Now that the circus sideshow is over, we can do something useful”. “Yes, General” said Chelicer averting his eyes. Both turned and made their way out of the crowd, with General Malphigian’s Audax guard pushing the crowd aside to make room for the General to pass.

Soldier’s snapped to attention as General Malphigian arrived at his headquarters a short time later. He stormed through the staff offices and into his office, turned abruptly and shouted “Chelicer, summon my colony commanders at once”. “Yes, General” shouted Chelicer from the staff offices. General Malphigian removed his black spider silk cloak, hung it on a peg in his office. As he hung it on the peg he paused for moment in thought. That had been his father’s cloak. He had taken it from the body of his nemesis, whom he had killed in battle with his bare hands. His family had held sway in this kingdom for over 1000 years. He would make sure they ruled 1000 more. With a last look at the cloak General Malphigian turned and left his office. He headed back into the staff offices and then into the war room. The room was without occupants. A massive ironwood table dominated the middle of the room, surrounded with chairs and covered with maps of the Delvo Kingdom of Tetragnatha. Cob webs drifted from the ceiling in wisps. He studied the maps, lost in his own thoughts for a long while, as his commanders filed into the room and quietly took their seat without disturbing the General. Chelicer entered the room and hesitantly cleared his throat, averted his eyes and said “they’re all here General”. “Good, we have no time to waste” said General Malphigian, looking up from his maps. “The time has come to put our plan into action”. His commanders lean forward in their chairs. “We cannot wait one more day while this imposter weaves his spells over this kingdom. We must take action. We must save our people. You have all been part of the planning for this operation. You know the stakes. Let us go over the plan one last time…”

Several hours later General Malphigian leaned back in his chair “That is the plan, are there any questions? None? Good. You know what to do. To your colonies”, he rose and gestured for them to leave. As the commanders filed out of the war room, Chelicer approached carrying the General’s helmet. It was a glistening adamantine dome, sculpted with a swarm of spiders scuttling around his head, neck and his cheeks. Chelicer handed the General his helmet while averting his eyes “your helmet, General”. The general shook his head as he admired the helmet. Each spider was cleverly sculpted and was unique. If you stared at it long enough the spiders almost seemed to move. “The next few days will be hard days for our people, but I will not allow an outsider to destroy my family or my position” he said more to himself than Chelicer. “He must die” said General Malphigian as he raised his helmet with both hands to slide it on his head. As he slid the helmet on his head he felt a tug on his face as if an unseen web had settled on his cheek. General Malphigian started and said “Curse you Chelicer you have not…”. “I’m sorry general” interrupted Chelicer, meeting the general’s gaze with his. General Malphigian felt a tiny bite on the back of his neck. Instantly, his entire body burned and he lost his breath. Futilely, General Malphigian gasped for breath once, twice, three times. “I’ll be taking command now, general…” said Chelicer.
Session: Ath Halloween Special I - Wednesday, Oct 23 2013 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Viewable by: Public