With the immediate threat past, those in the portcullis passage begin to get organized for a retreat. Strom is still very beat up and weak from poison. Ohwatoo, however edges toward the portcullis. "What are you doing?" he hisses at Ingvild and Raúguey.
"I'm going to see if I can finish off that last spider whispers the thief as he pulls out a handful of sling stones and douses them in burning ichor. "Watch my back."
"I'll check that door," says Raúguey, pointing to the double doors the three weird not-spiders disappeared through.
"I watch here," says Mordikarr as he finishes unwinding Suren from his webby cocoon, and pulls his bow.
"Madness," mutters Ohwatoo. He turns and tells the others what Ingvild is going to do, then takes a position just past the portcullis.
Raúguey checks the double doors, which give a bit, then refuse to move further. The fighter holds up his freshly lit lantern and peers through the narrow crack. Something gray blocks his vision of what lies beyond. "They webbed it shut!" he calls.
"Shh!" warns Ohwatoo.
There is a flicker of light beyond the southeast door as a sling stone suddenly sputters into burning blue flame, illuminating a narrow hallway heading southeast. Blue flames are quickly joined by yellowish-red hues as the webs that crisscross the hallway catch fire. Smoke billows forth and those nearest the doorway can see the flames are spreading back along the hall!
"See anything moving?" asks Raúguey.
"Not yet," says Ingvild, who has moved to the doorway. He waits for the flames to die down so he can see into the blackened passage.
"Oy! Who's cookin' chow in there?" calls Strom. He and the others are gathered outside the entrance, waiting for the last four to leave.
"Ingvild is burning out the webs in that little hall. Let's see what results," answers Ohwatoo.
The flames die out after a minute, and Ingvild nods, takes a sip of his potion, and disappears. "Be right back," he whispers.
Almost immediately there's motion just beyond the doorway, followed by a cry from Ingvild, then a chuckle.
"What happen?" calls Mordikarr.
A glimmering silver arrow appears from the hall, landing at Ohwatoo's feet. "That spider must have been lurking over the door. It was caught in the fire. It fell right on top of me."
There are a few minute's silence, then more smoke begins to trickle out of the hallway. There's a slight scuffling noise, then Ingvild's voice sounds from the doorway. "Don't shoot. Let's get out of here!"
"What happened?" asks Raúguey.
"The corridor splits. I heard something moving, so I tossed the other stones into the webs in a couple directions. It'll either kill a couple more, or make them really mad. I don't want to stick around and find out which."
The four stragglers head out to find that the others are already at the tree line.
"What about the portcullis?" asks Raúguey.
"Leave it. Us messing with that would give them a perfect opportunity to attack. We'll see what happens when we return," says Maro.
Raúguey eyes the portcullis, kicks the beam holding it up,which doesn't shift. At all. "I suppose. I'm kind of hungry anyhow."
"Drink this," says Durego, holding out the last dose of kettle brew.
The group falls back into marching order, and heads for camp. Along the way they try to hide their tracks as best they can, but it's difficult to hide the trail of so many shod feet. It is nearly noon by the time you return to camp.
Closing the portcullis is going to take everyone and it didn't seem like people were all that interested.
The beam is firmly stuck in position. It won't be moving until the grate is raised.
Attempts to gather up the webs were mostly unsuccessful. When you scrape up the stuff it just sticks to itself, forming sticky wads and knots.
Raúguey carries no torches.
Rawon has his silver arrow back.
Dagmarten casts his last cure on Strom [6 healed] before leaving the Hill Hole.
End Date: November 19, year of the Badger, noonish
End Status: Home again
End Location: Camp southeast of Hill Hole
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