Combat with the scorpion-man was heated, with more spiders joining the fight continuously. Sprays of acid and poison filled the room as spiders spat and the scorpion released his toxins upon the group. Yet the advantage of mobility was theirs. The scorpion was held in place after getting surrounded by Silk, Mark, Byron and Waricorn. With nowhere to move, it stung wildly at its flankers. Elsewhere in the room, Aegon, Salvador and Catullus fought clusters of spiders at range. The keen tactics of Aegon, setting up fire traps around the room to limit the spiders’ mobility, worked greatly to the team’s advantage. The arena had swung heavily in their favour.
After taking a beating, the metal scorpion seemed to tense up and his strange blood hardened along his wounds. At the same time, the temperature in the room was rapidly dropping. He seemed to be slowly freezing as he took damage. When he was at the end of his rope, the scorpion made one last stab at Byron with his poison-laden stinger. The poison drained from inside the scorpion’s back and into Byron’s left arm. Despite the resistance conferred by Byron’s unicorn blood, something was taking hold along his arm, slowly necrotizing his flesh. Strong-willed paladin that he was, he would wait for an appropriate time to share this issue with the group. Only moments later, Mark plunged his longsword into the scorpion’s head. His blade was withdrawn as the creature’s body completely froze in place.
As the scorpion died, the activity of the metal spiders ratched up to a new level. Their behavior became more erratic but their crawling and burrowing speed noticeably increased. Within seconds, the corridor at the other end of the room was crawling with the creatures and the walls were bursting open to pour them out in the dozens. This was the group’s cue to get the hell out.
Everyone fled through the hole from which the scorpion appeared and ran up the inclined tunnel on the other side. Just as a light appeared on the other side, the sound of crawling metal drones came from between the group and their only way out. They were surrounded.
When all hope seemed lost, Salvador remembered the arrow that King Ixthion had given him and that Aegon determined to be of nearly incalculable power. Notching the arrow, he took aim at a spot 200 ft ahead, in the middle of the swarm. Then he fired. The Firestorm arrow cut through the air like a shooting star, lighting up the entire tunnel, then struck inside the swarm. For a split second, the cavern was pitch black. This was cut short by the emergence of a light within the cave that was as bright as the Sun. Its fires engulfed the swarm, vaporizing the spiders into nothing but a warm, metallic flavour in the air. The other swarm behind the group paused. Its members seemed reluctant to continue their pursuit. With the path cleared, the group left the tunnel and found themselves back in the temperate forests around the hive.