House of the Rising Phoenix - The Arkati Volumes

Arachne and the Huntress

A Tale of Betryal and Vengence

The Huntress, still in her mortal human form, saves the life of the King, not once, but three times through her heroic actions, putting her own life in peril to save his. In gratitude for her deeds, her sovereign bestows upon her his guardianship, and as she kneels before the King in acceptance of the honor, the Queen and her bodyguard Arachne, a cocky smirk upon her face watch jealously from deep within the shadows, whispering condescendingly about her and plotting their revenge against the Huntress.

During the evening, the Queen stealthily slips a strong potion into the Huntress's drink, sending her into a deep, unknowing sleep. The Queen's accomplice, Arachne plants a dagger in the sleeping Huntress's hand. Arachne and the Queen then raise the alarm throughout the castle, accusing the Huntress of attempting to murder the King, and the Huntress is arrested and thrown into the dungeons to await trial.

The time of the her trial having come, the wrongly accused Huntress stands in chains, with the Queen and Arachne testifying strongly against her. The King is moved to belief by their treacherous speeches. Only one single person is willing to stand up for the Huntress, a lone guardsman, but his honest efforts on her behalf are to no avail. She is banished to the barren wastelands of the desert, clad in a black death-shroud.

Stumbling through the desert, exhausted and parched, having exhausted her meager two day's supply or water, the Huntress discovers a cool, dark cave hidden in an outcropping of rocks and wearily enters to await her fate. To her horror, she finds inside not quiet solitude in which to rest, but a terrifying hoarde of gigantic spiders. Valiantly fighting off the swarm of grotesque arachnids, her very existence at stake, she manages to kills them. To ease her painful thirst, she then drinks their blood. But the blood is poison, and finally her agonies ended, she slips into the silent, cold realm of death. Inspired by her gallant heroism, the spiders build an altar for her, laying her still, pale body upon it.

Her soul slips the bonds of the moral realm, escaping into the heavens, where she counsels with the gods, stating her wronged plight to them, and swearing her revenge. She vows to repay in kind those who wronged her. Ultimately, she awakens immortal and seeks out the arachnids to share her story. Stirred still by her valor, they vow to help her seek her revenge. The Huntress silently makes her way back into the city, her face set in grim determination.

Stealing into the city, she finds that a militia of citizens has been formed to protect the town. The Huntress, not wishing shed the blood of innocents, steals a scythe and creeps secretly into the castle. Acting swiftly, she slays kills the King's eight sons, and finally the King himself. The guards, having discovered the slaughter, set upon her, forcing her to retreat into the depths dungeons once again. To her surprise, the Huntress discovers that the same guardsman who tried to defend her from her accusers at her first trial has been locked within the dungeons since then, as well as Arachne for her knowledge of the truth.

The kind-hearted guardsman tends to the her wounds, while Arachne pleads with the Huntress for forgiveness. Thus another plot of vengeance is undertaken. Together, Arachne and the Huntress go to slay the Queen. The Huntress kills her, but the treacherous Arachne stabs the Huntress and also the guard. Enraged by her betrayal the guardsman stabs Arachne, and both all fall to the floor, mortally wounded. fighting to preserve her life, and not willing to face death, Arachne stoops to drink the spilled immortal blood of the Huntress. In a bizarre twist, as she drinks, Arachne is bitten upon the lip by a black widow spider.

Her oath of vengeance complete and her divinity assured, the Huntress ascends into the heavens to take her place among the stars, followed by the faithful guardsman, his duty to ever protect her in the night sky.

Meanwhile, the venom of the black widow spider which bit Arachne works within the immortal blood she swallowed, twisting her now-immortal form into that of a giant spider, forming for eternity the rivalry between the Goddess of Betrayal and the Goddess of Vengeance which rages across the lands.

by Evialla Violetskye Khyree