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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 58: Hastings 205
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Previous chapter: Beam 74
They had not traveled more than a quarter of an hour beyond the spiders when the line came to a somewhat awkward stop in a rather tight corridor. Being in the back, Lauren could not see much of what was happening, but it seemed that Coronelle had moved to the front. She wondered if that meant more spiders.
It was perhaps another quarter hour before the line again started moving, although it seemed to be moving a bit more slowly than before, and it had a feeling of anticipation, almost dread, as if the formation itself was aware of impending danger and held them back.
Gradually word came back, not entirely coherently, but the notion was that Coronelle knew where they were and was now leading them by paths she remembered from years before, watching for traps and guard posts as they approached the underground city of her people.
The corridor began to widen, and discipline began to fail as the tension caused people in the rear to widen the lines to get a better view forward. It was thus more a disorderly mob than an ordered file that came into the large dimly-lit cavern in which there were apparently many houses of some sort.
Lauren did not pay much attention to the background, though, because in the foreground she could see a terrifying abomination, a perversion of the idea of a centaur. It had the arms, head, and torso of not exactly a man, but a male member of Coronelle’s race, a drow. This replaced the head on the body of a giant spider. It was armed with several spears, one held in its elfin left hand, two more held by spare legs of the spider body.
And there was at least a score of them guarding the entry.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #373: Nervous Characters. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: