Dusting off the Cobwebs

This is the first part of some creative writing pieces that I have done that are set in Gielinor/Runescape.

This original story is based on a wealth of ideas from the Halloween quest 'Web of shadows' and is set, pre-wilderness change (for experienced players). However, I have written it for a fresh audience and hopefully minimum 'gaming' experience of Runescape is necessary to understand it all.

It follows the plight of a mother who's son has suspiciously disappeared near one of the most feared parts of all of Gielinor. What new evil has returned in the North?

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6. Descent

As I awoke I kept my eyes closed, my vision was black. I slowly opened my eyes, but still couldn’t see a thing. Realising where I was, I frantically scrambled to find my tinderbox and lantern.  A high pitch squeal echoed throughout the tunnel followed by the light patter of movement. I anxiously sparked the tinderbox repeatedly, “Come on ... Come on!” I shouted, urging the fire start. I quickly glanced up; the light from the spark briefly illuminated the corridor of darkness. I could see four spiders scampering along the sides and roof of the tunnel bearing directly towards me. The tinderbox sparked and fizzed; I promptly lit the lantern and positioned it to face down the tunnel. The foremost spider pounced off the roof towards me, screeching as it sailed through the air. I un-sheathed my long sword and rammed the tip of the blade into the mouth of the pouncing spider, catching it mid-flight. It twitched and jerked on my blade, which had pierced all the way through its body. I swung my sword around, tossing the spider away and hid behind my shield, ready for the next attack. The remaining spiders scuttled along the floor in a seemingly intelligent, triangular formation. I thrust my weapon through the body of the most prominent spider, which dispersed the other two, making them easy to quickly dispatch. Transparent spider hemolymph trickled down my blade; I causally wiped it off and then curiously studied my surroundings. The tunnel itself had an unnaturally circular structure, as though it had been burrowed by something significantly larger than the spiders I had slain, or any spider I had ever seen before. “Made by moles perhaps?” I queried myself. I turned back to where I had fell, judging from the dust that had settled around where I had awoken, it appeared like I had been unconscious for some time. “Where am I?” I asked myself, puzzled and still dazed from the drop. An epiphany instantly struck my memory and I glared up at the entrance to which I fell down. “Wow ... what a hole... that must have been about thirty feet!” I exclaimed. I felt my back crack and snap when I looked up. It felt like every muscle in my body was aching. I considered how beneficial my armour was at breaking the fall, even though it had left me feeling like I had fallen off the zip line in Morytania several times. Satisfied that it was worth bringing it, I returned to my possessions and rummaged around in my rucksack for metallic grapple hook. “Aha!” I declared happily as I noticed it hiding in the bottom of the bag. Impetuously, I swung the grapple around and attempted to throw it out of the tunnel entrance. My determination was gradually defeated, even though I managed to get the grapple out of the tunnel entrance, it helplessly bore through the weak soil and plunged back down into the abyss that I was standing in. “Looks like I’m stuck down here...” I disappointingly explained to myself, whilst gazing around for a possible exit. I aimed my lantern down the tunnel, it seemed to be endless darkness, and I had to resist shouting down the tunnel to hear the echo, being aware that it would alert everything to my presence. I felt defeated already, but I knew I had to press on and explore the hidden depths of the tunnel; re-invigorated, I hurled my rucksack onto my back, gripped my lantern tightly in one hand and held my shield in the other, then began walking down the tunnel.

It seemed to stretch forever; I didn’t know much of the landscape above, so I couldn’t judge where I actually was in comparison to the surface. Scrutinising the walls of the tunnel didn’t help either; there were no clues or hints to what had actually made the tunnel. The fact that it was completely vacant made me feel uneasy and the infrequent occurrence of a strange, blackened liquid oozing down the walls made me feel even more uncomfortable. Normally I would be more inquisitive; however I was disgusted by the sight of it and felt compelled to leave it.  The tunnel continued to delve deeper into the Earth, the air became warmer and I could hear faint sounds of the volcano relentlessly erupting.  I was relieved to have an idea of where I was; however I grew more worried for my own safety knowing that the walls could easily collapse, allowing lava to gush in and flood the tunnel. Suddenly, I was startled by a shouting voice, resonating along the tunnel, I couldn’t understand it, but it was the stimulation I needed to cast caution into the wind. I began to thoughtlessly sprint down the tunnel, the light from my lantern danced and flashed across the soil-like roof, casting strange and peculiar shadows off the hanging stalagmites and fallen rocks. I froze; examining a specific part of the tunnel. I noticed several suspicious looking holes around the walls of the tunnel. A fissure directly in my vision jerked and shuddered with movement; I tentatively walked closer to its opening noticing it had cobwebs dangling inside of it. Vigilantly, I moved back, ensuring I maintained the aiming of my lantern at the holes mouth. The light reflected a collection of multicoloured eyes gazing straight at me, and with a deafening screech the spider launched out of its nest. I reacted by dropping my lantern on the ground, evading the spiders as they launched themselves towards me. I snatched my lantern again and retreated back, placing the lantern on the ground in front of me. It revealed more spiders floundering out of their dens. I instantly, recognised these spiders from my travels, their unique shade of florescent orange exposed what they were. “Fever Spiders!” I gasped, “Duradel, never mentioned encountering them here to me!” I exclaimed. This specific type of spider had a notoriously diseased bite, which if inflicted, caused its helpless victim to rapidly develop fever-like symptoms. These bites would eventually cause the body to stop functioning altogether. Remembering my training and realising my hands were bare, I impulsively attempted to glove them; I set the blade of my sword into the ground and tightly wrenched a single glove on. The spiders sharply organised themselves into a cluster, counting eight in number, I primed myself, watching them scampering across the floor. I didn’t have enough time; I clutched my shield with my bare hand and set myself for a rare bout of weapon-less, melee combat.  Engaging the cluster, I parried the leading spider, knocking it through the remainder of them like skittles. A single spider sneakily, crawled under my shield and nibbled on my sturdy runite boots. “It’s gonna take a lot more than your bite to pierce these boots!” I barked at the spider as I kicked it aside, executing it under the sole of the same boot. I rolled backwards and slammed my shield through the body of another spider, decapitating it. They screeched and screamed as they attempted to flank; however I could tell they were intimidated by me. Slowly, I slaughtered them one at a time until only two remained. Defeated, they attempted to withdraw, however their attempts were futile, I reclaimed my sword and pursued them, ensuring none survived. I swiftly gathered my things together and continued to dash down through the tunnel.

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