Southwatch: Vigilant Tavern
- The Vigilant Tavern is squat and capacious, built to house crowds of rivermen and Blades within its sod-and-stone confines. The first building in Southwatch Town, it is famously open night and day. It's rumoured to have closed only for one night in the last five hundred years, and that was during the Storming of 321 when the city was invaded by shadowed creatures from over the wall.
- Rough wooden tables and benches fill the room to nearly overflowing, though these compete for space with the high bar along one wall. All the furniture is worn smooth and shiny from long use, save where a few pieces have been recently replaced and are still splintery-rough.
Ester searches out a table and heads for one that sits against the wall. She looks to the woman as she pulls out a chair, "What are you doing down here anyway, Ash? Don't think you ever said."
Ashlynn shrugs as she takes a seat next to her, motioning for a serving maid when she catches sight of one at the far end of the room. "Just wanted to check on you."
Ester raises a brow, "So you came for me. I.." She smiles a little, "That's nice." The maid makes her way over and stands poised at the table. "Stew and some mead please," Ester orders and looks to Ashlynn.
"Just the stew and some water instead," Ashlynn orders in turn before she snorts and remarks innocently with a sidelong smirk, "It is not as if I had anything better to do, after all. It seems like a nice way to pass the time."
Looking fairly more comfortable to be out of all that metal, Duhnen reenters the main room. After a moment spent locating the two women, he moves to approach, and draws a seat.
Ester nods at Duhnen as he sits then asks Ashlynn, "What about that news I heard about some big thing falling from the sky near the Aegis? It's cause for concern yes?" She glances at Duhnen, "I'm sure we'd be lookign into it but...well you can see that we have to deal with this."
Ashlynn nods to Duhnen as well before she spreads her hands helplessly to Ester's query. "I do not know that there is anything more you can be doing where that is concerned anyway. There were huge, carved rocks that fell out of the sky. Rather like the gargoyles of before, though these have remained just rocks. Even so, I do believe that your input would be sought for regardless, as soon as your business here is finished," she directs in aside to the surrector. "And speaking of unfinished business...this may not be the best place for it, but I did not manage to get the details from you earlier on the attempted assassination of Oren Nillu," she notes in a quieter tone and a frown toward Ester. "Perhaps later, you could remind me to do so?"
A small group of men file into the tavern, fishermen or rivermen, by the smell of them. They congregate across three tables, talking boisterously amidst themselves.
Duhnen lowers his voice suitably. "I already explained it to Talus," he explains, shrugging. "But there's not much to tell, really." He glances briefly to the new additions to the tavern.
Ester looks over at the men as they enter, but is soon ditracted by the return of the serving maid who carries two steaming bowls of stew. "'ere yah go," she mutters and plunks them down on the table, "Back in a sec with the mead." She turns and shimmys back towards the bar counter.
Ashlynn glances toward the newest entrants, a corner of her mouth quirking at some private humor, before she too nods to the serving maid in thanks and accepts her portion.
Duhnen nods his head to the server, before smiling slightly to Ester. "We'll be back soon enough."
Ales are ordered, and the group of fisherpeople begin to settle down a bit, with only the occasional outburst of laughter or yelling.
Ester stirs the stew with her spoon and muses, "So...Duhnen. The plan." She glances around the tavern a bit skeptically, "Just want to start asking around?"
"You call that a plan?" Ashlynn teases lightly as she picks up her own bowl, picking one chunky piece out of the stew and eyeing it dubiously for a moment before venturing a bite - her expression lighting up with surprise at the edibility of the bit.
"I don't know any better way to go about it," Duhnen shrugs, sighing. "Though we should probably start soon. You two eat your stew."
"Aye, aye sir," Ester replies and smirks dryly. She spoons a piece of meat and cast a glance at the woman beside her, "Bunch of brilliant strategists here." She sighs, "We'll track him down and go from there."
"Heh, well, I suppose the only reason why there are established techniques is because they are tried and true," Ashlynn ammends, beginning to consume the rest of her stew with more relish than she had evince before.
"True enough..." Duhnen mutters, rising to his feet and making his way over to the barman, of whom he starts questioning quietly. "I don't suppose you know of a man named Trahl who lives about here, do you?" the Surrector asks.
It's not long before the fisherpeople have had their fill, and one by one, find their way to the exit, calling their goodbyes to each other as they disperse into the night.
The 'tender shrugs his shoulders. "Trahl Meadow? Not much of a drinker. See him every once in a while, I guess. Lives with his son in the Candles and Honey."
Ester watches Duhnen get up and walk to the bartender, takes a couple of more bites and starts watching the fisherman start leaving. "Man," she murmurs to herself and casts another glance back at Duhnen looking hesitent as if she is about to stand.
Ashlynn's gaze absently follows the flow of people out of the tavern while she is scraping at the bottom of her bowl, before Ester's motion has her glancing toward the woman and then the surrector and curiosity, waiting for the results of the questioning.
Duhnen nods his head slightly in response, giving a smile to the man before turning about and returning to the table. "Let's go, Ester. Need to check out the wax shop."
Ester nods and quickly eats the last few bites of her stew before she stands. "You coming Ash?" she asks the courier.
"If I am welcome, I would like to go," Ashlynn says with a glance between the two as she stands. "I would not wish to impose upon your business, though." Duhnen considers that for a moment, looking at Ashlynn carefully. "Perhaps it would be helpful." He gestures for her to join them and turns to head to the door.
Ester follows and as they head out into the street she asks, "So what did you find out?"
Ashlynn nods in thanks to Duhnen as she rounds the table to follow them out, letting the conversation remain between the two of them.
"Just that he lives with his son," Duhnen explains, moving out into the night with the pair. He looks thoughtfully to some individuals they pass, though moves in the general direction of the Chandler's.
"So," Ester returns as she walks along beside him, "You're gonna do most of the talking then? Are we gonna play some good constable, bad constable or play it by ear?"
Ashlynn is unable to resist a soft, amused sound at Ester's proposal before looking innocently away, taking in their surroundings as she trails behind them.
"Not trying to scare anyone," Duhnen reminds with a small twitch of his mouth. He knocks politely on the door to the shop before entering.
Ester looks annoyed for a moment and mutters something under her breath just before she follows Duhnen into the shop.
Sobering as they enter the shop, Ashlynn remains a silent and unassuming presence behind them, closing the door gently behind her while she takes in the tidy store's warm interior.
"Who is it? We're closed!" comes a low, warbled masculine tone.
"Master Meadow?" Duhnen calls, glancing to Ester and Ashlynn briefly. "Pardon the interupption."
Ester remains silent and clasps her hands behind her back as she waits for the answer.
A wispy-haired old man emerges from the back room, clothed in a ragged cotton robe, a red-faced child in one arm. "What do you want? Like I said, we're closed."
"Trahl Meadow?" Duhnen clarifies, considering the man for a moment. "We need to speak. Privately?"
Ester smiles politely at the old man and dips her chin in greeting. "Light's greetings," she adds after Duhnen's query.
"Yes, I'm Trahl. Who are you? What are you doing here? Are you with some gang?" He squints. "I can yell, and I'll have three Blades over here in a few seconds. Don't pull anything."
Ashlynn dips her head as well in polite greeting, though she maintains her position as simply observer from the back.
"We're not a gang," Duhnen lifts an eyebrow, looking down at himself. "Do we look it?" Shaking his head, he continues. "It's about Brunhilde. Is anyone else home?"
Ester nervously glances at the child in Trahl's arm as Duhnen states the name. She leans over as a speaks quietly into his ear, "The child...no names."
"Come in barging in at all times of night, why wouldn't you be a gang?" the man says with a scowl. "Everyone is home. It's nighttime. That's when we all sleep. Not prowl around." He stares for a moment, drawing out the next two words. "Like you." He shakes his head, moving back towards the door, the child moving placidly in his arm. "I don't know any Brunhilde. Neither should you."
Ashlynn's lips thin sympathetically at the old man's unease, her own weight shifting uncomfortably as her eyes flick toward Duhnen for his response.
"Lots of things that shouldn't be, are," Duhnen answers. "Please. Put your child to bed, and come with us. Just to talk."
Ester's expression tightens and she stares at the man as she considers him. "I apologise Master Meadow, but we will not be leaving until we do so."
Scowling broadly, the man moves back towards the door. "Fine. But only for a moment. Remember, I call, and three Blades will be here."
Ashlynn bites her lip against the irony of calling Blades against the surrector, but holds her tongue and simply shows her support of the decision with a nod.
Duhnen nods his head and opens the door, holding it for the man. "You know a private place?"
"Thank you Master Meadow, "Ester intones when the man finally agrees. "It is appreciated."
The man disappears behind the door for a moment, and some quiet talking can be heard for a moment, and then the man emerges, sans-child. "There's nowhere in this town that's private. Everybody knows each other, and everything's so close together." He stares intently at the group for a moment, nodding sadly. "You're with Brunhilde, then." He looks at Ashlynn. "Except for you. I won't speak in such mixed company about this. I've told that woman once that I wasn't coming back, and I'll tell her again. I won't answer to neophytes the likes of you." He sneers, and walks quickly towards the outside door.
"I suppose that answers that, then," Ashlynn notes mildly with a crooked smile to the other two. "Master Meadow, I wish you a pleasant eve," she says with a nod toward the old man before she waves to surrector and deputy while she departs for the tavern. "You know where to find me after. Good luck."
Duhnen ignores the neophyte crack as he follows the man outside. "Perhaps you should go tell that to her face, if you'd like to tell her again," he murmurs, voice quiet. "If you can find a face for a long enough period of time, that is. Not like she'd hear you, anyway." He nods to Ashlynn in response to her farewell.
Ester sucks in a small breath at the man's remarks and clamps her lips together in a tight line. She nods once at Ashlynn as she takes her leave and turns her attention back to the two men. "Things have changed Master Meadow. I don't know of the situation that you experienced, but it is now *very* different," she adds in a quiet voice.
The man shakes a dismissive hand at Duhnen, his eyes wild. "I will, then! She has some nerve, disturbing me in my sleep when she knows shade well how I feel! Is this how she repays me? Is this how I'm repaid?" He turns to Ester, shaking his head. "It's all the same. Responsibility. Sometimes we have responsibility to more important things!" He runs quickly towards a dark alley, the shadows swallowing him whole until he seems to disappear. A moment later, a cavebat squeaks above the group's head, then disappearing into the night.
Duhnen's eyebrows lift high on his head as he watches the bat fly away, and he can only stare for a few long moments. "Well..." he finally breathes. "We'd best return to the vault."
Ashlynn cannot help but glance over her shoulder apprehensively at the high, tense pitch of the man's voice as she is walking off, and she unconsciously halts as he runs into the alley, her brows arched high...only to draw up even higher at the bat's exit. She swallows thickly, looking toward Duhnen and Ester, before resolutely turning her back and continuing her interrupted path toward the tavern.
-=-=-=-A Short While Later, in the Vault-=-=-=-
Little is left of the furnishings of the cavern, save the broken-up pieces making up the arachnoid's cage. Only a cot remains in the center of the cavern, with an elderly woman and an elderly man peering over the cot's resident. All look stern. The arachnoid seems jittery in its cage, and every so often will hiss, provoking a quick glare from the two older people.
Duhnen comes tromping back into the cavern, a set of clothes folded over his arm. "Is he here?" he asks before he gets a chance to look about, sounding slightly nervous. "Trahl?"
Ester looks out of breath as she follows Duhnen into the cavern. She leans forward, hands on knees as she catches her breath.
"This is her own shaded fault, you know," the old man calls out to the two in a cranky tone. "If she wouldn't keep up her forms so long, her Light shaded body wouldn't think it needed to put on airs, and all that shit. Always had something to hide." He makes a sweeping motion towards Brunhilde. "Look where it got you, woman!"
Duhnen frowns slightly and moves forward, getting another look at the twisting form. "Do you have any idea how to get her to stop this?" he asks, offering the clothes absently.
Ester adds a, "Yes. Can you help?" looking hopeful as she walks to stand at the end of the cot.
The old man takes the proferred clothes, slipping them on over the distinctly old-ladylike long tunic he wears, his joints creaking in protest. "What do you think I can do? She's the most powerful shapeshifter I've ever known. If that shaded Acarit had bit me, I'd be looking just like I am, except either very dead, or hung up in her web, waiting for seconds."
"Acarit?" Duhnen asks, glancing to the caged creature briefly. He loses interest soon enough, however, with the sight of Brunhilde in front of him. "I was hoping for anything, really. We don't know what else to do for her."
Ester looks to the spider creature as well, her expression darkening. "You know what it is?" she queries after Duhnen's question, seemingly quite interested. "Where did it come from? This is because of a bite? Poison?"
The spiderish creature bangs against the cage, hissing, the cage groaning with the pressure. Trahl takes a step away, instinctively, then looks back to Ester. "It doesn't add, it takes away. I've never actually seen one, but my uncle used to tell me stories of them, from his grandfather, who was exiled beyond the Aegis. They sounded a lot bigger in the stories, but it has the same glowing blue eyes. Stories say it sucks the Shadow right out of you, makes you clean again." He looks down to the shifting form. "Looks like it didn't finish the job. That, or the stories were wrong."
Duhnen lifts an eyebrow at that, looking back to the spider with new interest. "Sucks it out and leaves you dead, I imagine. Want me to take a leg off of it? That may make it sit a bit more still."
Ester looks from the spider to the woman on the cot and back again and lets out a frustrated sigh, "I don't suppose any of these stories spoke about ways to fix this or why these creature would do this."
Trahl shakes his head gravely. "There were two stories. One about a guy who used one to make himself un-Touched, and found a way back into the Aegis, and led a normal life. I'd imagine that's a common fantasy out there, though, poor bastards. The other punished a lady who somehow had the Shadowed ability to twist people to whatever her desires were. The story ends with the heros throwing her to an Acarit, who sucks the magic out of her, then strings her up in its web, waiting for her magic to come back so it could start the process all again, into eternity. Well, I guess until she starves, but it never said that." He scratches his head. "But feel free to take a leg offa it. Might calm the bugger down. Shade, take 'em all off. Kill it too, while yer at it. It scares the shit outta me."
"It may be only temporary?" Duhnen replies, moving cautiously over to the cage and drawing his sword. "If this thing can spit, I'm going to be steamed," he adds in a mutter.
Ester looks pained as Trahl explains and shakes her head with disbelief. As Duhnen moves she holds up her hand, "Wait Duhnen," and looks to Bula and Trahl. "Why then do you think this is happening to Hilde then? And yes do you think it's tempory or are you sure she dying?"
"I'm talking in fairy tales, and you're taking me seriously? Light, I don't know the first thing about this! I just know that Brunhilde is messed up, and there's a creature outta nightmares sitting over there that probably did it. Why is it even here, anyways?" Trahl says. "It may be temporary, if the second story is any help. Then again, Brunhilde is an entirely different breed."
"Just taking a few legs. I'm not going to kill it, in case we figure out some way it can be of use," Duhnen responds, considering the creature before it for a moment. "Not sure why it's here...but I'll be making a better cage for it."
Ester narrows her eyes at Trahl, "I'm asking for an opinion because it's all we have to go on. That's all." She looks to the creature, "And it's here because it was found with Hilde and we didn't know what it was." She looks concerned and uneasy as she eyes the sword, "Duhnen...be really careful. If that thing gets out..." She looks to everyone in the room, "Maybe we should just kill it Duhnen. It puts us all in danger."
Duhnen's mouth twists a bit as he watches the spider-creature, shifting his weight. "Maybe you should just put a few arrows in it, Ester," he finally comments, reaching the blade of the weapon to tap it against the edge of the cage.
"I'll go get them," Ester states with a nod, turns and jogs out of the cavern.
The creature rears back at the sight of Duhnen's blade, and sure enough, fires several volleys of olive green spit at Duhnen. Trahl drops to the ground, grunting in pain at the sudden movement.
"Shades!" Duhnen shouts, throwing himself to the side as the spit comes flying at him. He hits the cave floor heavily, grunting at the impact, and works to scramble to his feet. "Ester?" he shouts, before muttering under his breath, "Shadow take..."
The acarit bangs against the cage with furor now, and while it doesn't seem to be breaking, the cage is shifting on the ground as the creature bangs against it in one direction, then another. Legs are stretched as far as they'll go in a vain attempt to bring Duhnen closer. Trahl just shakes his head. "Have any big stones? Uh...maybe just wall it off?" He shrugs, wincing as his hand goes to his knee.
Duhnen returns to his feet and backs off rather rapidly, returning to the cot and Trahl's side. "Wait till Ester gets back. We'll just shoot it." A glance is given to the man's knee, and he grimaces. "And she can maybe look at your knee. Or Bula can."
Ester jogs back into the cavern, obsidian bow in hand and her quiver now strapped on her back. She stops at the entrance her brow furrowing at the now agitated creature. "Bloody frig," she mutters and looks to the two men as she reaches back and quickly grabs three arrows out of the quiver. Two are set on the ground as drops to her knee and the other notches as she prepares to take aim.
As Duhnen backs off, the creature slows its movements, eventually stopping, its glowing blue orbs staring at him for a moment before turning to regard the quick movements of the Huntress. "Mmfine," Trahl grunts, raising to his feet. "Just an old man, who decided a while ago not to deal with shit like this."
"I'm sure all of us would be happy to not deal with this," Duhnen answers, letting the tip of the sword rest on the stone floor. He watches Ester and waits.
The bow rises to position. Ester's expression goes blank as she takes careful aim at the creature between the slats of the cage. The arrow is drawn back slowly and set loose, flying through the air towards its mark. As soon as it's gone Ester reaches for the next arrow preparing for another shot.
The creature reels as it sees the shot go off, but there's no hope of maneuvering in a cage. The arrow *snukts* meatily into its side, and a high-pitched scream erupts as ichor begins to flow. It smacks against the cage harder and harder, the bars beginning to splinter with the force put upon them.
Duhnen grits his teeth as the cage begins to break. "Another, Ester," he unneedingly urges, lifting the blade again and holding it ready.
"Frig," Ester shouts, "Duhnen prepare..." The next arrow is readied, bow drawn one more and once more the projectile flies towards the cage.
The creature is ready this time. It quickly ducks the projectile, blue eyes flaring with an inner light. In a burst of speed, the acarit slams against the cage, and the cage is simply no more. Reeling against the impact, the arachnoid begins charging towards Ester at amazing speed.
"There," Duhnen grunts as he begins to lift his sword, before his eyes bulge and, with a mighty hack, horks forth a nice gop of olive green spit in the direction of the creature.
Ester grunts as the creature breaks free, her eyes widening with fear as it charges her. She fumbles momentarlit with the third arrow as it is hurriedly notched and loosed on the approaching form.
The creature is smacked on one of its legs with a glob of olive, but its attention seems to be elsewhere. Springing into the air, Ester's arrow passes under it as the creature slams towards the huntmistress with amazing force for its size.
Duhnen gasps for breath as he spins about, trying to keep the creature in view. The near direct hit on his friend spurs him back into action, and he sets off to magically pursue the skidding spider, swiping his sword at it as he appears by its side.
At the last second Ester, eyes wide with fear chucks herself to the side and rolls out of the way as the creature misses and skids by. The bow clatters to the floor and several arrows fly out of the quiver as she uses the momentum to rise back on her feet. She fumbles for the hilt of the knife at her side and draws a gleaming katar.
The acarit slides across the cavern, bright blue eyes flaring as it flies over its target. It picks itself up, and just as it is about to make a second charge, Duhnen appears, and a sword's swing doesn't fall far behind. The creature shrinks back in confusion, and begins sprinting towards the Crystal Garden.
"Crap Duhnen," Ester shouts, looking paniced. "Don't let it get away." She lunges for the bow as she starts running after it. The katar flies out of her hand as she reaches behind to the quiver and grabs an arrow.
Duhnen, meanwhile, is staggering from the unpracticed sword maneuver. "Maybe it'd be best to let it go," he states, though apparently his conscience gets the better of him. Once he's regained his balance, he sets off to pursue magically.
The arachnoid flees at breakneck speed towards the Garden, only slightly slowing down when it sees Duhnen appear ahead. It spits several times in his direction, edging to the side.
Ester screams as Duhnen disappears, "Block the main entrance. Don't let it out of here." The arrow is notched and bow rises as she searches for her mark. When it's found she plants her feet in one place, steadies her hand and lets the arrow fly.
Duhnen continues blinking, trying to set himself up to block the exit of the cave. The fact that he's getting spit at, and that there are arrows flying in his direction, only gives him more reason for it.
An arrow buries itself in the creature's abdomen, and it hisses loudly, head cocking up at an odd angle, its blue eyes in flame with anger. Seeing Duhnen blocking its way to the Garden, it focuses that rage on him, attempting to ram into him with its truly awesome speed.
Duhnen's read up on boar hunting a bit, apparently. The man doesn't try to move out of the way, as restricted as his movement is already from the spit that hit him. He turns himself partly, tucks the sword securely under his arm, and points the blade in the direction of the charging creature, attempting to have it impale itself under it's own force.
Ester forces herself to remain steady and awith practiced motion quickly grabs another arrow as soon as the last is set loose. "Don't hit Duhnen..." she murmurs to herself as again she shoots at the creature as it flies at him.
The creature is, in fact, impaled on Duhnen's sword as it smacks into him, with Ester's arrow flying over both their heads. The arachnoid screams in pain, twisting for a moment before a set of legs unfold from just under the wound, wrapping its legs as tightly as it can around the Surrector as it pulls the underside's legs out as far as it can. Eyes wild and jittery, it shakes as it gushes ichor, needlelike claws folding out as it prepares to strike.
Duhnen groans from the impact as he falls backwards onto the stone floor, unable to do much as the spider wraps itself about him. Regardless, the man closes his eyes, and attempts to phase away from the incoming strike.
"Duhnen!" Ester screams as she is fumbling for yet another arrow. "Frig, frig, fig," she mutters as casts a brief glance at the knife that lays on the floor, hesitating with a split second of indecision before again taking aim at the creatures back. *Twang* and the arrow flies.
A meaty *pluck* is heard as the two needles plunge into Duhnen's shoulders. It's less than a second before his shoulders are glowing blue, the sky color rushing across his body. Another *pluck* is heard, just as meaty, as Ester's arrow plunges entirely through the arachnoid, and unfortunately, lodging itself in Duhnen's breastbone. A loud, piercing shriek eminates from the aranit before the light goes out of its eyes, and it stops moving. While the glow doesn't continue to spread, it doesn't seem to disappate, either.
Duhnen's eyes widen as he's pierced in three seperate spots. The first two were expected, somewhat, but the third surprised him somewhat. Regardless, he gasps in pain, trying to shove the creature away, though most likely not accomplishing much, considering it's pinned to him by an arrow.
It takes a moment or so for the results of her shot and the current situation to sink in. Ester's eyes widen and mouth drops open in soundless scream as she runs at them. Her bow clatters to the stone ground and she grabs at the creature and starts trying to pull it off of the man.
"The arrow," Duhnen gasps again at all the jostling. "Get the arrow out." He squeezes his eyes closed and abandons his attempts with the spider, instead reaching to rip the claws out of his shoulders.
Even in death, the creature is an annoyance. With its legs wrapped somewhat around Duhnen, two of the legs stabbing into him, and the shishkabobbing arrow keeping them tight together, they don't seem to budge apart very easily.
Ester stops tugging, grimaces and steps back for just a moment to assess the situtation. "Shades...frig" she curses as she tries to figure out what to do. Suddenly she spins on her heel, runs back to grab the knife. "Hold on Duhnen...hold on.." she urges as she starts sawing at the leg joints of the legs that are in his neck.
"Light, this hurts," Duhnen breathes, going a bit pale. At least he would, if he wasn't illuminated by a pretty blue color. "Remind me to never take my armor off. Ever."
The joints badly hacked to bits, the stabbing arms are freed from the arachnoid's body, and fall to the floor besides Duhnen, glowing a perky sky blue to match Duhnen's torso.
"I'm sorry Duhnen...so sorry," Ester mutters with another grimace as she moves to work on the rest of the legs that are holding onto Duhnen. "Lucky you have me here huh? Be able to fix yah up right good," she murmurs as the blade slices at the next joint.
All the pain causing movement is causing Duhnen to work up a nice hot sweat, though he does seem a bit relieved to have the claws out of his shoulders. "I'm very lucky," he agrees, blinking up to her. "We always get into the worst situations, huh? Lot more serious than tripping over a log. I'd be dead a few times over if it wasn't for you, Ester."
Slowly but surely, all the joints are hacked off, the legs lying in piles to each side of Duhnen, only leaving the arrow in the middle as the sole joiner of the two.
Ester smiles faintly at Duhnen after looking at the end of the shaft thats sticking out of the creatures back. "Yeah...though you may not be to happy with me in a minute." She stands and rather reluctantly reaches for the shaft clutching it with both hands. "I'm so sorry Duhnen, but I really..." before she finsishes the sentence she grips as tight as she can and pulls sharply upwards.
Duhnen cries out, tilting his head back in response to the yanking of the arrow, hands gripping the soft body of the spider and shoving away.