Conversations with myself.

Corbin left the tent briskly, pulling his hood up and over his head to protect him from the cold drizzle that this afternoon had brought. He pulled the sides of his coat closer to him, cursing the lack of waterproofing on the sides of the thing. It was his own fault, after all, there should be plenty of beeswax from Linette. He just had gotten too busy with other things to actually mix it with the oils and then apply it to his cloak. The thickness would keep him warm until the drizzle soaked it through. Once soaked through, any semblance of warmth it provided would fade, and it would only be a hindrance. He had maybe a couple of hours before that happened so he quickly made his way under the canopy of the forest.

“You have questions?” a small squeaky voice chirps inquisitively in his ear. The sudden surprise of it makes Corbin nearly jump out of his skin in panic. But really, it’s not something that should have come as a surprise in the first place: The spiders had been talking to him for months now. Ever since the emissary arrived at the gathering in the woods that night.

“Y..Yes. About the Knight.” He hated spiders. They were creepy little crawly things that tended to get everywhere and he could never tell which ones were going to bite and which ones were not. They were creepy and skittery, and generally just made him uncomfortable whenever one was around. Sure, it wasn’t their fault they were creepy. Spiders played a vital and important part in the health of the forest by keeping the more dangerous insects at bay. He just wished they would do their jobs…. over…there.

“The darkness is good, it hides us.” the voice responds while Corbin represses yet another shiver from running down his spine. He had sorta walked into that one. Of course, the spirit wouldn’t immediately know what a Knight was, at least without more specificity and context.

“N..No. One of the Cruzemore’s men, one of their soldiers, their knights. P..people say he started acting weird once the spiders got into his head. Made him do some really bad things. Can you tell me about that?” Corbin didn’t really want to know if the spiders had driven the man to torture and kill people. He didn’t want to be involved in this discussion at all, but someone had to. Someone who would be able and willing to speak to the spirits and hear what they say needs to be involved in the discussions. If this spider queen really was a Vacatran Crone, the circle needed her. His people needed to help her, and any other members of the faith who might still yet live in her lands.

The silence stretched on for much longer than Corbin felt comfortable with. Not that there was anything even remotely comfortable about the situation, to begin with. He had almost convinced himself that the little messenger had taken his request and left, possibly to go get the answers he sought. His heart had even just started to calm down when the tiny voice spoke again, making him flinch a second time.

“We did what was necessary to guide them through the Mists. It took all we had to do this.”

A perfectly appropriate answer from a spirit. Not a ‘yes’, not a ‘no’, and something each side could interpret to support their original arguments.So pretty much no help at all. If it were a person he could accuse them of dodging the question or being obtuse, but spirits were just like that sometimes. Expecting a depth of understanding of the complicated social nuance of intent and evil was a lot to ask of a little spider whose whole world was about weaving webs and trapping insects for lunch.

“Umm… Thanks” he says finally. “I will leave some of my next hunt at the house in the grove for you.” Just because the information wasn’t particularly useful didn’t absolve the need for payment. That was a lesson hard to learn long ago. Silence followed, and Corbin lied to himself that he was probably alone again. In truth, he knew deep down that he was never really alone anymore, but admitting to that was not something he was ready to do just yet.  

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