C.O.T.W Chapter 88: Caught in a Spider's Web

  • When Tigress arrive in the main room, she, along with the elf and the two Argonians gazed up at the ceiling and expected to see a

    storm raging, but they saw nothing. Everyone was quick to have their opinion heard but soon found themselves talking over one



    Hasir started offering the best course of action but could not be heard over the multitude of voices. Tigress got up and called for


    "Hey! I think we all deserve to hear what the Argonian has to say, quiet down please." Even her call for quiet was drowned out by

    the excitement that the storm had finally lifted.


    She yelled over the noise so as to get her point across,

    "Hey! Morons, Hasir is trying to speak. Can't we at least be civil and listen?" 


    Everyone stopped talking and stared at her as if they were shocked by her abrupt change in volume. Tigress nodded for Hasir to


    "Right, now everyone, the, er, storm has finally lifted and as you may, or may not, be able to see behind me, the machine shutoff

    that caused the storm to cease has also caused the stairs that lead up to the upper room to appear." He said, authoritatively

    Hasir led the way up the stairs with his companions following, passed through the door one at a time until they all found themselves

    in a large, cirular room with tons of bronze dwarven pips depending from the ceiling. Hasir stared wide eyed at a puddle of black goo

    centered in the middle of the room with the four spriggans he had thought died by his hands as well as those of his friends, standing

    around it, tranfering their energy to the formless black mass.


    Hasir's lip curled as a snarled of pure hatred escaped his scaly lips as he saw the black puddle take on a feline shape,

    "Doomstrider... why the fuck are you here? Shouldn't you be terrorizing people eslewhere?" He said


    The black khajiit finished sucking the energy from the spriggans, making them crumble like fallen twigs in a forest, and walked over

    to the far side of the room; talking to someone... or something that Hasir and his companions couldn't see.


    A modified version of a dwarven spider scuttled out of the darkness. It had to arm fixed with claws where a normal spider automaton

    would have none. It also had a gear on the top of its 'head with a blue gem of sorts sitting in the middle of it. The Doomstrider

    snapped his fingers while glaring evilly at the lizard and his companions,

    "Go my pet, bring me their hides after you''ve finished with them."


    The huge dwarven spider advanced on them while a flame cloak blossomed around its body. When it was about an inch from the trio,

    the blue gem activated. Everyone in the room-minus the Doomstrider- had no idea wht the activated crystal would do; they would

    soon find out however as the gem started to pulse as it drew energy from the room like a giant vaccuum. 


    Hasir knew immediately what the rapidly increasing blinking meant. He gritted his teeth and summoned the flame whip, ran toward

    the dwemer automaton and swung the whip in an arch through the air; it collided with the cold metal but didn't leave a dent. Hasir

    summoned his obsidian shield as the dwarven spider started moving towards him. Seeing the coast was clear, and having suffer no

    backlash from the flames hitting the shield, he lowered the shield.


    He raised his eyebrow to Tigress who shook her head; signaling she did not have a clue how to damage it either. Ceralyne rushed

    forward and unsheathed her bow, nocking an arrow. She dodged rolled just as a laser singed the ground close to here. She looked at

    the argonian and the elf; bewildered, 

    "This bastard can shoot lasers, how can this be? All dwemer automatans I encountered, not many, mind you, only shot steam not

    lasers!" A deep growl escaped her throat as she said some words in Akaviri. The elf looked on in shock as a massive stream of flame

    akin to that of a flame shout, flipped vertically, her paws formed together like an open dragon's maw, and shot it directly at the

    dwarven monstrosity.


    The dwarven creature withstood the intense flames, much like a tree would survive a mild wildfire. Ceralyne came from behind the

    creature, summoned a wall of frost and flung it at the creature. Both Tigress and Hasir stared in shock as the gigantic dwarven

    spider's momentum slowed dramatically.


    Ceralyne yelled at the argonian and Ka'po'tun tto cast any frost spells they could think of. Hasir and Tigress nodded, conjured

    whatever frost spell popped into their mind and flung them at the dwarven spider. The dwarven mechanics that dictacted its

    movements slowed and then stopped altogether.


    All three cheered. That was shortlived, however, as the automaton's inner mechanisms roared to life as it got to its many legs. Ice

    blossomed around its midsection and it started flinging ice spikes at Hasir and his companions. The argonian, elf and Ka'po'tun

    knew what to do as flame spells leapt to life in their hands; Hasir conjured his trusty flame whip. They all ran at the dwarven

    automaton, dodging the barrage of ice spikes, and started peppering it with fire spells or swipes from Hasir's whip. 

    Within several minutes of unrelenting fire spells and whip attacks, the creature fell, but as before, it rose but instead of frost

    encircling its midsection, a blue aura encircled its midsection that had cracking electric emanating from it. The creature advancing at

    the companions who shrank into the shadows; all except for Tigress.


    She stood her ground, knowing exactly how to deal with this. She muttered some words in akaviri, just as she had done with the

    failed fire spell, and called forth a gigantic water dragon. It flew straight at the dwemer automaton and electrocuted the metal spider

    as the dragon came in contact with its electric blue aura.


    The black khajiit walked over to the dwarven spider and swore,

    "You think you have come away victorious, well, think again," He turned toward the fallen dwemer automaton near one of the

    dwemer pipes on the right side of the room. Hasir gasped as the Doomstrider began infusing it with shadow magic. The dwemer

    automaton turned fromthe color of most other dwemer automaton one would encouter in a dwarven ruin to a purple the shade of a

    poisonous swamp, compelete with blue accents on its body and legs. The gem in the gear on its 'head' vanished and was replaced by

    a giant red orb that filled the spoace where the blue gem had been.


    The doomstrider smirked coldly regarding the look of mixed revulsion and terror etched in the Argonian's face as well as the faces of

    his companions,

    "May I introduce you... to the Doom Orchestrator."


     The doomstrider ordered the blackened spider to kill all but Hasir as Molag Bal wanted Hasir alive. The newly form machine scuttled

    towared the argonian and his companions with surprising quickness. Hasirr barked his oreders to Tigress and Ceralyne,

    "Spread out; the Doom Orchestrator can't take on all of us if it doesn't know which direction an attack is coming from!"


    Tigress and Ceralyne did as he ordered, mmoving to the far eastern and southern corners of the room respectively. The doomstrider

    saw this 'diversion,' conjured a sword and shield molded from the shadows, turn and ran at the elf. Ceralyne unsheathed her own

    sword and met the  Doomstrider's attack. She dodged each one of the Doomstrider's attack as he attempted to land the perfect

    killing blow. Ceralyne responded in kind, only to be disheartened as none of her strikes were going through as the khajiit's shield

    blocked every one of her attempts.


    As Ceralyne was busy dueling the black khajiit, both sets of eyes narrowed in determination, Tigress's paw lit up with a strange

    yellow light and it pierced the Doomstrider like a knife would butter. The khajiit's eyes went wide as the he could feel his hold on

    Inigo began to weaken. Tigress intensified the spell and the spirit retreated to a far corner of the room. 


    Inigo opened his eyes, seeing things clearly for the first time; not hindered by a vast viel of darkness,

    "My frind, thank you for saving me from that monster, my mind could not take anymore stress." He said, looking up at Ceralyne and

    smilimg, "I would huge you but I do not want to get you covered in fleas."


    Ceralyne shook her head and smiled at Inigo,

    "I glad to have your back too Inigo, but now is not the time for hugs." She gestured to the far corner, where the Doomstrider just

    stepped out of, and the giant spider imbued with shadow magic that were rapidly closing in. Well, the spider was anyway, the

    Doomstrider conjured a white portal and stepped into it, told the Doom Orchestrator to finish them off for him and vanished.


    Hasir turned to the sopt where the black khajiit vanished,

    "Come back and fight you coward. You made this piece of Oblivionish machinery." He wanted to find out where the Doomstrider had

    gone but was stopped by a blue hand on his shoulder, "Not now my friend. Let us deal with this monstrosity first!" He said while

    unsheathing his bow. Hasir, Ceralyne and Tigress unsheathed their weapons as well. 


    Hasir looked oved to find the muddy brown Argonian entering the room; Hasir stared at him so intensely that the Argonian's brain

    could've started boiling,

    "Well, nice of you to show up," He said scathingly, "Where in Oblivion have you been?" Mere-Glim opened his mouth to answer but

    was promptly cut off by the blue-eyed Argonian, "Never mind... I... don't want to know. I would have been nice for you to be here, if

    you had been here moments before," He gestured to the spot where the portal was, "Then we could've killed the Doomstrider and

    stopped Molag Bal a lot quicker." He yelled, eyes nearly bulging out of his head in his rage.


    Mere-Glim quickly crossed the room until he was mmuzzle to muzzle with Hasir,

    "Even if I had stopped the Doomstrider, that would've killed Inigo and we would've lost him forever."


    Hasir huffed in anger, narrowed his eyes and pointed a shaky a finger threateningly at the smirking Argonian,

    "Don't you fucking dare! How dare you suggest you are the only one who cares for Inigo. By Oblivion, I knew Inigo far longer than

    you have; you've only just met him."


    Inigo strode over to Hasir and Glim,

    "Erm... Inigo can hear you." He said in a concerned voice, "My friend, take deep calming breath, this fight-"


    Hasir turned and a wolfish growl escaped his thorat. and Inigo did not shrink from the Argonian's burning blue eyes,

    "Stay out of this!" He pointed to the entrance near the bronze dwarven pipes, "You were stuck as the Doomstrider and Ceralyne

    saved you. If he," The Argonian pointed to the brown eyed Argonian mere inched from his face, "If he finished whatever the fuck he

    was doing in the ruins or better yet, ignored it and went with us to the room at the top of the stairs, than he would've been killed

    and all this would be avoided." He stared at Mere-Glim with the same intense stare he gave Inigo while he conjured his flame whip,

    "It... is... all... his... fault." He said through gritted teeth.


    He raised the flame whip, meaning to attack Glim for his stupity, or maybe it was just because Hasir was so lost in his rage. Inigo

    saw Glim's terrified face as the whip came so close that the Argonian could feel the heat coming from it. Upon instinct, Inigo leapt in

    front of Glim, shielding him from Hasir's attack. The whip lashed against Inigo's chest,.


    Seeing this, Hasir's rage vanished as did his whip. he ran over to the fallen khajiit side and placed his hands on the khajiit's chest

    where a diagonal burn what etched in the bluish-purple fur as if branded. Haisr focused all his might on the healing spell, but it was

    no good. He knew he needed help; he called the elf and Ka'po'tun over. Together they put their hand and paws on the khajiit's chest

    as their hands and paws glowed in unison, healing the deep burn.

    Looking down at his chest and saw the burn mark slowly shrinking until there was no sign of it having been there at all. Smiling,

    Inigo thanked everyone who had saved him, including Hasir, who had caused the burn in the first place,

    "Thanks." he said beaming at them all. He looked at Hasir and scowled, "My friend, why did you attack me?"


    Hasir nervously scatched his neck and thought of the first response that leaped into his mind,

    "I-i'm sorry Inigo, I didn't mean to harm you. I was aiming for Glim, only you got in the way and... well, I guess you ccan see how

    that worked out." He finished lamely. Inigo got up and was about to berate Hasir further when a loud rumbling noise erupted from

    behind them.


    Slowly, they all turned around to see the doom orchestrator right behind Mere-Glim who was oblivious to the whole thing and again

    drew energy from around it. The gem in the small vertical circle atop the automaton's head started pulsing like a star; exceept that

    the pulsing grew steady faster and faster. Hasir and his companions expected it to shoot a transluscent blue laser like it did before, it

    didn't. What came out of the blue pulsating gem was what looked like a giant black beam of light; except instead of light it shot pure



    It peppered the floor around itself along with most of the room with a checkboard pattern of purple squares which, if an unfortunate

    soull were to step on one, they would soon find themselves instantly soultrapped.  The spider's midsection blossomed with neither

    one or the other of the previous auras, a clear aura with the sound of a million deceased spirits.


    The automaton seemed to phaze out of space and time as it began teleporting all over the room at dizzying speed,

    "How in Oblivion can a thing as big as a damn tree move quickly across a room like that? Aslo why is it not soultraping itself when it

    lands on one of the purple sqaures?" Hasir inquired


    Inigo began to speak but was cut off by Ceralyne

    "It's quite simple really, based on the laws of Quantam transference, the automaton's mass intantly becomes zero where he fades

    into time, which then supercharges his molecules. Thus, when the molecules piece together again, all that stored potentiality cause

    their energy to bounce rapidly off of the molecules to a neighboring molecule." Hasin and his companions looked dumbstruck by this

    explanation, "Think of it as Inigo running so fast that he finally catches his tail." Ceralyne screwed up her face in thought and

    assumed for a minute that everyone had graduted the college of the Synod or advanced through the Psijiics guild, "When the

    molecules are moving fast enough, they release the stored energy and turns it into kinetic energy, thus, why the doom orchestator

    moves as fast and effortlessly as he does." She strode over to the blue-eyed Argonian, "It has nothing to do with how big something

    is." She said, flicking him on the muzzle.

    Hasir shrugged this off and readied his iron sword. The automaton was now moving so fast that he had trouble keeping track of the

    thing. It grabbed at him with one of its pincers. Seeing this, Hasir rolled underneath the arm, slashing at it with his sword. His sword

    made no dent in the metal; it just bounced off of it like the sword was made of rubber.


    He dodged just in time as the dwemer automaton fired anoth black laser, much like the last, straight at him. Hasir conjured his

    obsidian shield just in time as the laser hit the side of the hardened shell, leaving Hasir completely unharmed. He heard a twang of a

    bow string and did not now who loosed the arrow until the shield dissolved. He saw Inigo aiming his bow directly at the Doom

    Orchestrator's blue gem.


    He turned around to see that the gem was cracked and oozing black goo. Inigo sheathed his bow and ran at the automaton, ebony

    sword raised in the air. Inigo was flung backwards; colliding with the rear wall while his ebony sword flew out of his hand. Inigo's

    head turned in Ceralyne's direction and told her to watch out for the wind cloak as he saw the elf rush past him, elven sword and

    shield in hand. She too was flung backwards, her sword and shield blasted out of her hand.


    Inigo turned to her and smiled at her as if to say 'told you so.' Ceralyne thought a while beffore acting on a new tactic. She called

    green magic in one had and sky blue magic in the other. A bolt of green light shot from her hand as if her hand was some sort of

    spell container. The spell hit its mark, shutting down the ocular systems of the spider. Now blind, the dwarven spider scratched at it

    'eye' with its pincers, trying to rid itself of the blinding green light.


    Ceralyne smirked and saw a dwemer pipe structure to her left, shot a spell at the structure and ripped the structure out of the its

    housing and flung it at the disoriented automaton. Inigo and the two Argonians heard the defeaning 'clang of metal on metal as

    metal collided against metal. 


    Ceralyne, the khajiit and the two Argonian saw their chance when the cloak spell started to fail. They ran at the giant dwemer spider,

    weapons drawn and wailed on the automaton like there was no tomorrow, Inigo saw this was not working and retreated a saw

    distance away before loosing arrow after arrow at the already oozing ge. Six precise shots later, the gem cracked further and wwent


    Inigo smiled to himself as the automaton as he sheathed his ebony bow and watched the gigantic purple monstrosity stumbled

    blindly across the room crashing into the pipes near where Inigo stood. The pipe burst and boiled hot steam spewed all over the

    spider's body, shutting down all of its system altogether. 


    They all drew a collective sigh; Glim sniggered, breaking the silence,

    "Well, I guess the Doomstrider corrupting it caused it to be weak aginst its core makeup


    Hasir looked at himm, eyebrow raised,

    "Which means... what exactly?


    Glim groaned as he looked to Ceralyne and Inigo for clarification,

    "Boy you are thick... Hsss!" Hasir was taken aback but the rude exchange of words, Glim cleared his throat, "These," He said,

    gesturing to the pipes, "are made of the same materiaal that the dead spider is made of and now, corrupted by the Doomstrider who

    siphoned some of his energy to make it like this means that he made the creature weak against what was once of no concern to it."  


    Hasir nodded and looked, eyebrow raised, at the other companions as if wordlessly asking what there next move would be. They all

    looked from one to the other expecting someone to offer a suggestion. At long last, Glim perked up,

    "I, er, have a friend that came here looking for passage to Hammerfell. He seeks a new telvanni master for his, er, alchemy

    research. He is currently in a khajiit camp just north of Whiterun. We could, er, ask for his help." He shrugged, "if all else falls, we

    can... always go to Jorrvaskr and ask the companions for their aid in our journey." 


    He left the room, followed by his companions and worked his way back through the dwemer ruins and to the cavern entrance. 

    Hasir gazed all around him and saw nothing but emtpy fields far as the eye could see. He turned to his companions,

    "Listen up, I think we'll get to the khajiit camp faster if we follow this stream to the northeast, we should reach a town where we

    can ask if they had seen this Argonian," He gestured northeast with his clawed finger. "Of course, I am just grasping at loose

    scales.He said, uncertainly. He glanced up and saw the sun was already beginng to set behind the velothi mounts. Just how much

    time did pass when they were in that cave? 


    They followed the river northeast until a town came into view. Inigo stopped causing the whole company to stop and look at him


    "Inigo, why did you stop?" Hasir asked, "We are almost there. We can admire the view later. Right now, we have an Argonian to



    Inigo gazed up at him; like a kitten looks to his owner for guidance and comfort,

    "Yes, I know but... my friend, don't you recall me telling you I know for a fact where the Argonian is?" He looked at the small

    settlement ahead of him, "If I am correct, which I am, you can even ask my fleas. Erm... the point I am trying to get at, my friend

    is, er, why are we going there if we already know where he is?" 


    Hasir chuckled at this,

    "Inigo, we are just stopping in this ttown for a warm bed and a bite to eat." He turned to Inigo and smiled, "I'm sure you are tired

    after all that time we spent in the cave, not to mention that giant spider boss we fought, I really exhausted me. I can sure use a rest

    and I am hungry, so hungry in fact that I feel like I can eat a mammoth. Don't tell me you're not hungry after all that?" 


    Inigo sighed and curse himself for his short-sightedness,

    "I am sorry my friend, lead on."

    Hasir's companions passed under the stone entrance, Inigo followed suite. As Hasir walked past one of the guards on either side of

    the city gate, one of them turned to the Argonian inquiring whether he had seen a dog venture here from Falkreath,

    "I'm sorry," the Argonian said, "We, that is, my companions and I, are just here for some food and a little rest. We are not here to

    chase a dog." The guard scratched his head. This was almost everyone's reaction when as that very question. The second guard

    creased his forehead and asked Hasir to reconsider as a nord named Lod had lost the dog and really wants him back.


    He grew tired of people constantly asking him for favors he had no time for. Hasir's temper rose like a rising lava flow,

    "Look, I have no time to find a fiucking dog, alright." He said, snarling at the guard. The guard recoiled against the stone wall as the

    Argonian showed the guard his many rows of sharp fangs, "So, will you let me go peacefully or will I have to leave a trail of bodies to

    show my displeasure with your words?" 


    The guard glanced over to his partner who immediately shook his head to deter him from doing anything he might regret,

    "OK," Said the guard, defeated, "You may pass, but if I ever see your face again, if you even look at me the wrong way, I will

    have your ass locked up faster than you can saw 'dragon,' do we understand each other?" Hasir nodded, "Good, now if you are

    looking for an inn, I would reccomend that place." He pointed to a tavern with a sign reading 'frostfruit inn' hanging over the

    door. Hasir thanked him, found the inn that the guard spoke of and entered; he was sure his companions would be waiting for him.