We were introduced to Marros, the barbarian Goliath ~18 at this time (50 in goliath years), who works for the palace guard due to paying for an offense he made when he was a younger man. Marros works for the Erif castle guard as a soldier. In a skirmish, he broke his falchion. Therefore he went to Grainger’s Weapons Emporium to buy a new one. He examines a rage blade that helps channels his emotions whenever a crash resounded from the back of the room.
Grainger and Marros go to investigate, and turns out it is Grainger’s son on the floor, in a dead sleep, units of shelving fallen off the walls. Grainger also mysteriously falls into a deep sleep mid-sentence. Marros decides to pay 50 gold pieces (versus 600) for the falchion and leaves the shop, to run into Captain Rolf of the guard who invited him to a meeting with the palace war council, which was unusual as normal foot soldiers weren’t invited to those. As he enters the room, the earl is discussing des Poins to the north (the elves) who seem to be preparing an attack over the Hye and Lo Woods. Warchast Conkle is already asleep, but sleeps into the mysterious deep sleep, Rolf follows suit. The Earl says, as he is beginning to fall uncontrollably asleep, that the Lo Woods have the answers to all the questions to save them.
Marros goes back to the weapons store before he leaves, noticing how everyone has fallen asleep, and takes back his 50 gold. He makes his way out of the stronghold and into the Lo woods, noticing the trader’s route and a secondary side-path. He takes the sidepath, noticing the unearthly stillness of the surrounding area. He hears the snapping of twigs behind him and he calls the thing to show itself, out come to adolescent monstrous spiders and one slightly larger looking spider, who leaves almost immediately to summon the largest spider he’s ever seen in his life. The two small ones keep attacking Marros, who is unable to hit them (despite his brute strength) because of their agility. The largest spider spins a web and sits on it, beginning to start the process of eating her mate. After the two adolescents die, she summons a swarm of abnormally large house spiders. Marros deftly deals with them and proceeds to charge the big spider, blooding her in one blow. To his astonishment, the spider starts to molt and a naked woman steps out, introducing herself as the Black Widow. She says the eternal sleep faced by Erif was merely payback for what they did to her people. Marros asks why he hadn’t been affected, and she gives him a kiss and tells him he already had. Marros slowly falls into a deep eternal sleep in the middle of the Lo woods…to be continued.