Completed Where There's One...

There's Bound to Be More

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

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Where There's One...

Postby Vladislov on August 23rd, 2016, 12:02 am

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41st of Summer, 516
9th Bell


Vladislov growled to himself. He had put in all of the work to identifying the woman as having a secret and then the painfully slow work to locate the key. Had she not been a light sleeper, the woman might still be alive but that bought the Symenestra a few days for which he was grateful. The headaches had returned and Vlad was beginning to feel his mask slip away. One of his greatest tools for survival was the ability to cover his nature with ignorance and timidity. There were some days when this was harder than others. The thief’s agitation at missing the big score was compounded by his curse. Idly and without a conscious thought, the black claws of his right hand dug at the discolored veins along the back of his left hand. Valdislov took a deep breath while tugging the cloak of his sleeve down over the crimson lines as best he could. This action was quickly lost due to a shiver of pain. A clutching pain gripped his chest and sent ripples through the rest of his body. The slave doubled over in pain as the sensation repeated two more times. Fortunately, he was a dozen yards away from camp.

His master had sent him to gather wood for the evening fires. Vlad despised doing chores but he knew that if he was ever to reach Ravok that such things were necessary. There was a fundamental problem, though. The thief knew next to nothing about what makes good firewood. Vlad’s eyes scanned the sticks and trees trying to discern what looked like the piles of kindling he had seen in the past. Sadly, his headache was interrupting the memory recall. The gangly youth outstretched his right hand and propped himself against a decent sized tree. Its leaves rustled in the wind and for a moment, the cool breeze seemed to sate the crumbling for a few ticks. The black eyes closed in the relief. It was in this silent stillness that the Symenestra felt a very faint tickle along his right hand.

The black eyes popped open and took in the form of a long, shaggy spider that had lighted upon his hand. The spiderkin studied this new creature with the curiosity of a child and the questioning mind of a scientist. While being not much larger than a Miza, the spider's body had a lot to say. It was oblong but even and the legs were evenly dispersed along each side. The shagginess was due to long, extra fine red hairs on the creature’s legs. Its overall color was a soft brown. In the center of the bean-shaped thorax was a line of three orange dots; each one slightly bigger than the last with the biggest being near the head. The head was flat and wide. The brown shell color made the luminescent red eyes pop into the observer’s attention. Vlad lifted his hand to examine the insect further. Once even with his black eyes, the arachnid turned as if to look at the large humanoid. Then, as if to say he was not afraid of the larger being, the spider bit Vlad on his middle finger.

Vlad winced. The bite hurt enough to make his hand tingle. The poisoner used the index and thumb claws on his left hand to pinch the spider and lift it from its position of offense. He turned the spider over to expose an almost white underbelly. He made to open up the insect and find its venom sac when his eyes closed in a tight expression of pain. The headache had returned as had the tightness in his chest. This stage was hard to breathe through and it made his hands shake a bit. Vlad forced his eyes open and refocused upon his task. He bit his lip which opened the wound left behind by a red-haired goddess. Valdislov regularly chewed on this spot. He chased the memory of that feeling almost constantly. He also found it helped to distract from the affects that Krysus’ touch had left upon his body.

His hands ceased their quivering and Vlad worked quickly to make a slight, straight incision into the underbelly of the spider. The kicking of her eight legs let him know that she wasn’t happy with the arrangement but the thief told himself that she should be happy that she bit him. At least the thing didn’t go down without a fight. He chuckled to himself then coughed and had to pause while the after affects racked his body in the form of slight convulsions. After a few ticks they passed and Vlad went back to work. He used the tip of his claw to open the spider’s tiny body and pushed the innards back and forth. There was a small drop-shaped sac that caught Vlad’s attention. It was near the head and had a black appearance but was striped with red. It didn’t look like the insides he had found in other bugs so he assumed it was home to the spider’s poison. Very carefully, he drew it out to examine it further while the youth contemplated a way to test his new find.
Last edited by Vladislov on October 13th, 2016, 12:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Where There's One...

Postby Vladislov on September 18th, 2016, 3:19 pm

Vlad discarded the spider’s body with a simple flick of his wrist. He quickly realized the folly in this and scoured the ground for a moment. There, against the tree’s root, was the lifeless shell of the arachnid. He slipped it into an inner pocket. Now that he had a journal, he would sketch it later. His black eyes stared at the tiny bubble he held between his claws. A wave of pain cut through his vision like a hot knife through butter. The Symenestra winced, shut his eyes and trembled for a moment as he waited for it to pass. His breathing had become shallow but he wasn’t exactly doing anything so it was more of a discomfort at this point. The young poisoner had two options as far as he could tell. He could test the full weight of the spider’s venom on himself. This was the easiest since he could literally do it right away and decide if these bugs were worth exploring further. The other option was to lure away one of the camp dogs.

Before he could truly make a decision, Vlad felt as if he were being watch. The empty obsidian stare glanced every which way but found no one. It was then that he decided to look up. He shuddered a bit and fell back on his rump. The impact knocked the wind from his strained lungs and sent him into a coughing fit which lasted for several ticks. When the thief had regained himself, he opened his gaze to find the same chilling site. Fascinating and terrifying, the tiny spider had been part of some kind of colony or perhaps they were babies which meant a much larger one was close by. The tree where he had leaned, the one that led the spider to bite the poisoner’s hand, was not crawling with dozens or perhaps hundreds of the species. A domino fell and set off a chain reaction of thoughts which brought a malicious smile to the face of the vexed. Headache aside, Vlad swung his hand wildly at the tree trunk swiping four lines into the bark, some of which lodged beneath his claws. This vibration seemed to stir the nest of insects further and they descended to the site of disturbance.

The Symenestra enjoyed the feeling that the swing had given him and decided to take another but this one was not wild. It bore focused intent as he tried to duplicate the marks. He drew his right hand back and then snapped it forward in a quick arc. He made four more marks in the tree which crossed the previous set at a very acute angle. Several of the spiders fell victim to the blow as evidence from the wet smears along the gouges. Vlad looked closely at the tips of his claws and could see beads of fluid and bits of arachnid caught in the same mess as some of the bark. One a whim, he licked the insect pieces off and smashed them against the roof of his mouth. His head suddenly pounded, though not unusual, the coincidence was not lost. A moment later, the youth’s tongue went numb and flopped about uselessly.

Perfect. Vlad’s mind began to torture him while the curse continued to wreak havoc on his body. His temples throbbed and his chest tightened more than it had previously. Frail and a bit disoriented, Vlad retreated back several feet from the tree and sank down to the ground. He did not wish to be a meal for the spiders but he was starting to work out a plan that would treat his need and fill the menu for his little friends.
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Where There's One...

Postby Vladislov on September 18th, 2016, 6:14 pm

After a few moments, Vlad found himself back in control of his body. The headache was still there as was the shortness of breath but the strange tingling in his mouth and the lightheaded feeling it had caused were long gone. With slow and deliberate movements, Vlad forced his muscles to move against the achiness was beginning to set in. If he didn’t find a way to feed his craving, things would get much worse. The lanky fellow rose and reached his full height with a slight groan. The early rays of Syna bled through the trees despite thick foliage and an occasional beam would pierce the black orbs in what has become a painful side effect of leaving the cavernous city of Kalinor. Vlad trudged back towards the tree full of spiders despite these things. He knelt down and found that most had retreated back up into the canopy. He placed his right hand over the claw marks he had left previously and found that the dead spiders had been carried away.

He found it interesting and encouraging but he also found that he wanted to slash the tree again. Taking a step back, Vlad rolled his head around as a bit of a stretch. The cursed being placed his focus upon utilizing the short breaths to build up energy in his arms. The thief lifted his hands up just below his shoulders and bore his eyes into the scars left behind from his previous strikes. These were his targets. In a flash, he swung his left and immediately followed with his right hand. Each blow landed though his left hand only made three marks. His right hand laid a track of four slashes through the bark. The fresh group was somewhere between the first two, an improvement but not something Vlad was happy about at present. He took a step back and gazed up awaiting the arrival of his little friends.

It was in this final action that he was bumped into from behind. Whirling around, the Symenestra caught sight of a human in simple garb. The smaller person stared at the pale-skinned youth with daggers of hate. Vladislov recognized the man also; it was Bannik, an indentured servant of one of the travel masters. Often tasked towards the same things, the two had become rivals of sorts but neither ever really had an edge.

“Tree call ya’ ugly, freak?” Bannik spat. He laughed rather crudely at his own joke. The shorter but stockier human had an armload of small sticks and branches for kindling. “I can see you’re being useless again…I’m surprised you’re not dead.” The man shoved past Vlad and knelt next to the tree with the scratches. He picked up a few small, dead sticks and set them onto the pile tucked in his arm.

Vlad was always unhappy around this one. He would like to hurl insults and call the puny human what he is; food. However, in a human convoy, Vlad had to be careful of his words, actions and glances. There were those who were eager to be rid of the white-haired villain. A faint sound caught Vlad’s attention. His ear twitched as his heartbeat thumped against the backs of his eyes. The black stare lifted to see the rustling leaves opening up and dozens of the little spiders climbed down or sailed down along strands of silk towards the disturbed area of their home tree.
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Where There's One...

Postby Vladislov on September 18th, 2016, 8:20 pm

Vlad debated a few courses of action but the nagging, burning sensation boiling along the veins of his left hand made other plans. While Bennik was adjusting his pile of sticks, Vladislov reached down and slashed at the man’s lower back in the exact way as he had hit the tree; the left then right each swinging outside in. The black claws bit down through Bennik’s shirt fabric on the first swing. The man was shocked but unharmed. He dropped his armload and went to stand but the second blow caught him clean. Four deep slices ran horizontally across his lower back. The red vein brand on Vlad’s white skin glowed as if it were smoldering embers.

Bennik buckled forward against the tree like he had been split open as opposed to the scratch he truly felt. He screamed out in rage but fortunately for the Symenestra, the bark of the tree muffled it before it could travel back to their camp. Vladislov pounced on the man, literally. Having no formal training, the thief leapt onto Bennik’s back and wrapped his left fingers into the man’s curly brown hair. He shoved forward and locked out his elbow which put enough pressure on the man to keep his face pressed against the tree bark. The spiders were beginning descend upon the flesh of the man. Vlad’s right hand deftly found Bennik’s right hand as he reached for one of his twigs to fight off his attacker.

The Syenestra felt the tightness in his chest begin to subside so he took a deep breath and clamped his claws into the man’s forearm. The fiend felt the human’s warm blood well up against his claws and squeezed harder with his ultimate goal to make a fist around the bone. Bennik wailed and twitched beneath the grip but the pain he felt was mounting to a point beyond what was reasonable for a servant to bear. The bugs were all over the man’s face by now and he’d been bitten dozens of times. Vlad tightened his fingers into Bennik’s flesh which were now almost concealing his claws entirely. The human was quivering and fighting back but his center of gravity was beyond his base and further burdened by a second body. When the amplified pain is factored in with the misery of multiple bug bites, Bennik had no options.

Vladislov gave a shoulder shove with his left which smooshed Bennik against the tree even more and may have killed a spider or five. Then he took a step back with his left foot and peeled the man backwards by his hair and refused to release his hold on Bennik’s arm. Vlad tossed the man down on his rump while squeezing deeper until his claws completely disappeared. Bennik batted at the hand tearing his flesh but then went to swatting at the spiders as they chewed on his face neck and started moving down his shirt. The man was obviously in pain but it was coming from so many different places that he seemed disoriented. This intrigued Vlad as did the several dozen red marks from the spiders.

Vlad twisted the arm back and lifted up and caused his victim to bark a hoarse cry of pain. It was loud but brief and Vlad was not worried that anyone would hear or care. His left hand now free, the poisoner plucked one of the small spiders with the trio of orange dots from Bennik’s face. Vlad placed the spider on the man’s forearm and applied pressure so the head of the arachnid touched flesh. As expected, it bit the man. Vlad held it there for a moment before letting it go off to his left. He watched as the area swelled around the bite. Vlad poked it with his left index finger. The man didn’t seem to react even though the skin was already enflamed. So the spider’s venom was something of a numbing agent. Only a more condensed content test will reveal if it has paralytic properties.
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Where There's One...

Postby Vladislov on September 18th, 2016, 9:38 pm

Vlad had what he needed and now he could take what he wanted. Vlad drug Bennik by his arm, the Symenestra squeezing his hand as hard as he could. The jostling of being bounced along the forest floor made the human want to fight more than he had been previously. It was like the added pain unaffected by the powers of Krysus was enough to rouse him from the stupor that Vlad’s blitz attack had created. He began to curse loudly at the slave and Vlad’s anger exploded.

The poisoner yanked his hand from the human’s arm and leapt on top of Bennik before he could react to being free. The long, lean form of the Symenestra straddled and sank down over the servant and began to slash him alternately with both hands in a flurry of blows that began to rip the man apart. In ticks, Vlad had opened up the human corpse like one shredding a head of lettuce. The fight was torn from the man within a chime and Vlad relaxed feeling the peace of his sated curse touch him like a cool rain that washes away the dirt and grime of a hard life.

Vlad allowed himself to catch his breath and rose to his feet. He dragged the body down towards a low point in the woods that was even farther away from the camp. His arms burned and legs ached from the strain of moving dead weight. The villain flexed and used his mental will to drive his physical form. Vlad was not a very strong man and hoped that over time he would get stronger but for now, the halfway mark was cause for a breather. Twenty or so ticks went by and the killer pulled his victim along, sweat building upon the pale brow and grunts escaping his throat as he forced his body to complete the task.

Once they had reached the edge of the tiny rise, Vlad bent down and bit Bennik’s body on the arm allowing his own venom to soak into the flesh. Since he was already dead, the enzyme would not travel through the whole body but Vladislov had a plan to account for that. While the Symenestra poison did its thing, the thief went back to cover his tracks.

Vlad went back to his tree and found the tree with blood upon it as well as blood scattered upon the ground. This was going to be a tricky cover-up. The thief took several chimes to put a plan together. The first thing was to deal with the blood. Vlad looked at his hand and paused. His right hand was red, so like any true connoisseur, the pale man lifted his long finger to his mouth and ran his tongue along the bloody trails several times. A smile spread over his face and revealed his fangs. Vlad took several sticks and began to stir up the earth and churn the soil making the blood slowly disappear. Fortunately, there were plenty of leaves, twigs and other kinds of debris that could be used to help mask the crime scene.

The poisoner paused his task as his work caused problems for the spiders. Some of them came up from around the roots and seemed to stare at him. It was a curious thing for Vlad to see and he couldn’t resist but to pluck one of the little guys up. Quickly and like before, the Symenestra flayed the bug open and took his little venom sac. He tucked it into his pocket with the other one from before. With so many specimens about, Vlad was wondering about trying to keep a glass jar on him in the future. In the meantime, he went through this process with six more spiders taking their strange looking bags of venom (he hoped). Just for his own posterity, Vlad also pocketed other pieces including legs, a head and the husk of the thorax with all three of the orange dots.
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Where There's One...

Postby Vladislov on September 21st, 2016, 8:45 pm

Lost in his own world for a moment, Vladislov had forgotten about his mess. He ran back to check on the body and his racial venom had turned the arm into a sack of goo. Hungrily, he swept down into the little crevice and delicately lifted the decayed limb up while bringing his lips down to meet it. He used his fangs to tear through the flesh, warm vitae; a soup of muscle tissue, blood, fat, tendons, and even bone all liquefied together rushed into his mouth. The Symenestra drank for almost a chime then tossed the arm against the body. He climbed up out of the miniature valley and stared down wondering how best to cover this up. Dogs could track this body easily so he had to adjust for a different method of thinking. Sometimes, ideas fall like the first few drops of rain. They scare you when they hit you on the forehead.

Vladislov ran back to the bloodied trunk and pile of sticks. The thief took hold of the tree and pressed his forehead just above his scalpline to the bark. He wrapped his long fingers into the tree’s skin and dug in his claws. The mark and the curse were one in the same. It gave him the ability to inflict pain upon others that was otherworldly but there was something else. Vlad had never felt the touch of the divine and even though the pain was excruciating, the fiend craved pain. Ever since that day, he had found small ways to vainly chase that sensation. He pulled with his arms feeling the burn in his muscles from the strain. The harder he pulled, the further his skin pressed against the rough bark. He applied more pressure by stiffening the muscles and tendons in his neck. When this failed to generate results, Vlad did not give up. Instead, he began to twist his forehead against the tree all the while increasing the pressure between himself and the rooted trunk. Finally, in a moment of seemingly insignificant bliss, the pale skin tore from the abuse and blood began to flow down the bridge of his nose.

The success of creating a wound did not satisfy Vlad. He continued to grind his face against the tree. Bark granules found their way into his gash and peeled the delicate layer of skin away even more. The salty and slightly metallic taste of his blood caressed his lips in several drops which spread from corner to corner. Here is when he paused. Vlad flicked his tongue like a serpent to catch the taste of his life force. He leaned back and examined the fresh blood as it trickled down over the old. No one would be able to tell.

The thief looked next to his hands. The bark had rubbed off quite a bit of dried blood but there was still more. The Symenestra spit into his palms and used the saliva to soften the crispy deep crimson stains. As the substance became malleable, Vlad used his cloak to wipe it away. For a show of good measure, he took his right hand and smeared some of his fresh blood upon it. He then gathered the pile of sticks and hunched face down against the tree. He groaned and moaned then he called out for help. It wasn’t long before several men came running from camp with a fierce looking hound of mixed breeds in tow. Vlad took a deep breath and stirred in his place. There was no denying the rush of deceit but he knew patience was needed to sell his tale.
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Where There's One...

Postby Vladislov on October 1st, 2016, 12:39 am

The party of investigators arrived near the Symenestra and they all gave looks of distaste. Several even turned and went back to camp. To say Vladislov was not a popular person would classify as an understatement. The thief’s master was among the remaining few and he threw his hands up in the air with a slew of frustrated curses.

“Well, look at that!” He big man turned on his boot and kicked some leaves and twigs. The big leather shoe sent the debris flying into a nearby trunk. The slave owner turned back and hovered over his property to examine the wound. “Heh! You’re a useless shyke! Probly a liar, too but tell me what happened!” He balled up a big fist and waved it in Vlad’s face. The pale young man cringed and retreated away as any victim would. “So help me, if you’re clumsiness is the reason you’re damaged, I’ll kill ya right here and now!” The look in his eyes certainly conveyed that he was serious.

Vlad took a couple of quivering breaths. The motion felt strange as the bubbles of air soaked into his lungs. The small surprise nearly caused him to break character but the angry stares and bored looks brought his focus back into line. Though he spoke Common very well, he had to remind himself that these folks only knew him as a beastly creature; part of which involved a horrid pattern of speech. With a soft tone, one that shook in false fear, Vladislov explained his present situation. “Vlad gather sticks for m-m-mmaster.” His long fingers and black claws pointed at the pile next to his slumped form. The prying eyes of scrutiny all turned their attention to the tangle of twigs then back to the villain. “Bennik hit me.” Vlad rubbed his head. The game was now in its final stage. Bennik’s owner was standing near and reacted rather poorly to this allegation.

“That’s ridiculous! Bennik would never waste his time like that!!” The man moved towards Vladislov but the fiend’s owner made a swift action that placed his burley form between the two. The two merchants stood face to face for a few ticks in silence. Vlad did his best to act hurt and scared. It was easier than he thought to shiver. The adrenaline that coursed inside of him just needed to be harnessed so a little bit of focus turned his fear of being caught into an impressive stage act of fear.

“Don’t touch my property, worm!”

“Your property is lying, ya big oaf!”

“Petch on ya!” The giant of a man turned to Vlad and narrowed his eyes. “Why would Bennik attack you, scum?”

Vlad had been thinking about this and so he was able to respond without delay in his scared, dim-witted voice. “Bennik run away. He say he free and I not stop him.” The black eyes of the pale youth remained wide as if pleading for his master to believe him. “H-he he say c-cr… crr… crazy lady not stop him either.”

The men looked at each other and at this point a third man stepped up, this one was the owner of the mangy dog that growled at Vladislov. “Hold on there, rodent. You mean Bennik killed Nuvania?” He leaned in waiting his answer. Vlad shrunk down even further against the tree, blood still flowing from his face and head.

“Y-y-yessir. I not know lady name til now.” Vlad’s body was on fire with stress but since no one ever bothered to really study the facial expressions of a slave, he probably just appeared to be afraid.

The Symenestra’s owner piped into the conversation with an air of authority. “That makes sense!” He turned and pointed a chubby digit at Bennik’s owner. “Your slave killed that gypsy bitch and ran off but not before he damaged my property.” The fat entrepreneur immediately turned to the man with the dog. “Hey boss, I think I’m owed something for the damages to my worker here.” Vlad almost smiled but covered it with his hand then pretended to hold his head and gave a groan.

The man with the dog surveyed everything once more. He was a very racist human but he knew to maintain this caravan he must maintain fairness and order. He turned and started to walk away but not before imparting a brief and final order. “See to your…um, man then come see me in my wagon. Landin, we must discuss Bennik’s actions.” One by one the people left until it was just Vlad and his owner. The big man looked at the tree, the blood and his slave. He looked to be in deep contemplation for several chimes and then looked around before speaking in a hushed tone.

“Not bad for a petchin’ thief.” The fat face opened into a grin. “I don’t know what ya did with the body and I don’t care but if you get caught I’ll kill ya myself.” He stood up and looked around again. “If I can get three Mizas out of this, I’ll even share a poultice to heal that horrid mug o’ yorn.” He chuckled to himself then kicked Vlad’s boot. “Get them sticks back to the wagon and stow yourself away for a while. I need to play up how badly Bennik whopped ya.” The big man’s boots crunched and crushed everything in their path as he headed back to the temporary campsite. Vlad waited several chimes before relinquishing the mask he had donned to sell the story.

Thinking himself alone, the black eyes narrowed at the edges and his pale lips parted in a fanged smile of success and relief. Torturing and killing Bennik had eased the pains and headaches. The peace he felt made him feel whole even though he knew it to be fleeting. What he didn’t know was that a pair of eyes watched him from afar. Her gaze was shrouded in shadows but this was not the first time she had observed this creature nor would it be the last.
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Where There's One...

Postby Sayana on December 29th, 2016, 9:21 pm

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Don't forget to edit/delete your grade request. If there's anything I may have missed, please PM me and I'll be happy to look into it.


 
Vlad
Skills
  • Endurance: 5
  • Observation: 4
  • Poison: 4
  • Unarmed Combat: 4
  • Body building: 1
  • Planning: 3
  • Subterfuge: 3
  • Acting: 1
  • Storytelling: 1
Lores
  • Endurance: Ignoring the familiar headaches from the mark
  • Poison: Removal of spider venom sack
  • Orange speckled spider: Numbing poison
  • Poison: Testing new poison on self and others
  • Unarmed Combat: Basic clawed slashes
  • Bennik: Rival human slave
  • Unarmed Combat: Pouncing upon enemy
  • Subterfuge: Hiding blood and a body in the forest
  • Where there's one spider, there's bound to be more
  • Endurance: Self-inflicted shallow wounds causing bleeding
  • Acting: Playing the role of the victim
Miscellaneous
    Orange Speckled Spider Poison (3 doses): Unrefined, causes numbness for five minutes to an area that is one inch in diameter. Refined (through basic philtering and poisoncrafting), effects are increased by 3 times in both duration and area. Effects caused through injury.
Additional Comments
Could you either update your ledger or make it clear that by being enslaved you don't need to pay seasonal expenses? It's not entirely clear.

Comments: I much enjoyed the effects of Krysus's mark and how Vlad acted to endure them. The spiders were an interesting addition and I'm not surprised that he got a bunch of bites. Since he wasn't actively trying to avoid bites or tame the spiders, I did not award any animal husbandry. However, in future Vlad would need it to avoid the bites of more dangerous spiders. Also, don't forget to use existing Mizahar poisons such as: Lilyweb, Corona and Silk Streak.

One science/biology comment... Spiders are not insects. They are arachnids. I know you mentioned that they are arachnids, but at the beginning you were using insect and arachnid interchangeably, thus also calling them insects. (/nerd rant)

Your Grader,

Sayana
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I'll be away at a family cottage from Aug 10th through Aug 14th inclusive. Usually I can get some but minimal internet there.

Need some help getting started? A quick CS review? Ideas for your first thread and tips to find good thread partners?
I'm more than happy to act as a Mizahar Mentor to get you settled in.
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