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Codex entry: Poison Spider

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Codex text

The dawning of our understanding was violent and terrifying, made all the more so because of the mistaken awe and glory it replaced. We had walked into the cavern on the word of the shaman, and we were not disappointed. Row upon row, an army of dusty figures: men and women, pack animals, and what appeared to be staged tableaus of scavengers, as though silent commentary. We imagined it the toy battalion of a mad king, funded by mountains of gold. Or the subjects of some cruel empress, sealed away with her upon her death. It was, to all of us, a wondrous sight, and yet another example of how we mortals are pretenders to creation and immortality.

And then we asked ourselves, why are they all looking upward? And the answer was upon us.

A sound from above, and then legs, fangs, and poison. I do not know the number—less than my nightmares bear, but still too many. Only quick fires from our Circle apprentice allowed us to retreat. But not all. Several of our number were paralyzed in the instant, as must have been the case for so many before. When I close my eyes, I see them—new recruits to that silent army, frozen in "praise" of a moving ceiling, waiting to be hollowed.

—Excerpted from We Need Not Demons: Our Dangerous World, a collection of natural horrors and wonders, edited by Philliam, a Bard!

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