Chapter XVI

By: Hensbane

"Sooo, the pale one has returned." The queen of all spiders hissed from the stygian blackness of her cave located near the Nymph's Pool in the Talos Valley. A sound like old parchment crumbling followed the deep resonant voice as the spider queen moved down her massive web toward the floor of her lair.

The spider queen, her body bloated with eggs, moved toward the daylight glittering at the entrance to her cave, her eight legs deftly moving around the hundreds of bones littering the floor. "I think it is time for the children to clean our home in preparations for guests." The queen chuckled more to herself than anyone who might have been listening. Vespoisona's mind was already reflecting on a memory of a time long ago when she was but a mortal woman in love with a wandering scribe.

In Vespoisona's mind she once more envisioned the tall, slender, well muscled man who had charmed his way into her bed. Odan, with eyes bluer than a summer's sky, a mouth as soft and warm as the sweetest honey. Odan's voice, so deep it sent shivers down to her toes when he whispered his words of passion, his hair as black as the Raven's wings and the feeling of liquid fire she felt inside when she ran her fingers down his well muscled back and legs. She had loved him more than life itself, and then he had betrayed her and left her alone and pregnant with twin babies. Her first two children to be born as crossbreeds of the spider kingdom and human world, one favored her in her hatred of humans the other favored her father in her love of the human world.

Vespoisona had been filled with a black hatred when Odan had abandoned her to travel the world carrying his crystals to report on the history of mankind and the Phantom Realm. It was during her travails of that first pregnancy that she met the black wizard, Karnak. He too had whispered honeyed words in her ears, but his were not of love but revenge. He promised her power over the males of the human world if she would but give him one night of love.

Vespoisona still shivered in revulsion as she remembered that night of foul coupling with the black wizard, his body stinking of flesh long gone dead, his breath a sour as a polluted swamp. She had had to work on his flaccid male member for more than three hours to achieve enough erectness to enact a coupling between them. After all the work Vespoisona had performed on Karnak it only took the foul wizard less than a minute to eject his gism into her pregnant womb. His spew had felt icy as it entered her, and she felt her unborn children twist in pain inside her and they were changed forever as his sperm touched their swollen capsule inside her body. When the coupling had been accomplished Karnak made her drink a brew laced with a blood red wine. "With this brew shall you live forever and you will enact the revenge your black heart craves." Karnak had chuckled as he watched the angry woman gulp down his special drink.

Vespoisona had felt nothing at first, and then her world spun out of control as her body twisted in exquisite pain as the brew took hold of her very soul. She knew nothing more until the morning sun began filtering through the tall trees where she lay near the Nymph's Pool. She tried to rise as a human woman, but nothing seemed to work right for her. After a time she managed to gain her feet and with a stumbling motion, she managed to make it to the edge of the pool. It was what she saw reflected in the icy waters of the pool that terrified her at first; a giant spider stared back at her. The spider's body glistened and shone as the morning sunlight reflected off the surface of the ebony flesh, then the spider rose on her back four legs and a blood-red hourglass was exposed. It took Vespoisona a few more minutes to realize that the spider was in fact herself, and she danced around on her eight graceful legs as she admired her visage in the mirror-like surface of the Nymph's Pool.

"The old one did indeed fulfill his promise to me, I shall enjoy this new form." Vespoisona's voice, now deepened from her change, echoed off the stones of the Firestorm Mountains where they touched the earth at the back of the pool. The giant spider then noticed a cave opening near where she now stood and proceeded to move in that direction to explore the possibilities of a new home.

That time had been eons ago and Vespoisona and her children had enjoyed the blood of thousands of unwary travelers who had used the pool to camp beside and were never seen again. Vespoisona had happily discovered that she could, at her own will, assume the form of a voluptuous female for short periods of time to seduce males into her lair.

Her first two children, Archnia and Whisper, had also been able to shift forms. Vespoisona favored her mother in her quest for human blood, but Whisper favored her father, Odan, in her love for the human world and would only drink the blood of mammals that she caught drinking from the icy pool.

Vespoisona's thoughts were drawn back the present time and she could feel the life force that was Odan coming closer to her lair. It was later that she would shake with an uncontrolled rage when she found that that very essence had escaped her grasp when it had escaped from the ancient caves located beneath the pool's depths. The only comfort she could manage was that the man once known as Odan was once more in her world and close by. Vespoisona filled her mind with thoughts of the perfect revenge as she returned her attention to her duties as the spider queen.

She had waited eons for this time to come, she could be patient for a while longer.