Cassandra leads the way along a long narrow corridor which expands into a circular room with a robed and hooded figure standing on (?) an oval stone table.
The figure pulls back their hood to reveal (drum roll, please) Foxglove!
Now I know why she was standing on the table – she always wanted to look down on me. (heh). Before she says anything, I have to assume that she was either lying at the start of Book 6 about her torture in the Rift, or otherwise that she is not here voluntarily.
Called it! Foxglove states that the Black Widow cast a ‘blood curse’ upon her which compelled a return to the Rift. She addresses me and states that ‘together’ we can escape.
A bit presumptuous wouldn’t you say?
Oh, by the way, she also threatens / predicts Cassandra will die for mistreating Foxglove.
Well, I’m all for the ‘Cassandra dying’ thing, although ‘mistreating Foxglove’ wasn’t exactly in the top 100 crimes of Cassandra that might have sprung to mind.
Cassandra pleads her case, stating that this ‘thing’ serves the Black Widow and will betray me if I help her. Well, the future betrayal thing was always just sort of assumed – its a staple of the femme fatale character. Foxglove then rebuts witha comment about how Cassandra was responsible for Glaivas being imprisoned. (I’m still thinking that Glaivas’ rank stupidity earns him a little part of the blame in this regard)
While its undoubtedly satisfying to observe these two women fighting for my support, it does provide me with something of a dilemma. The choices are :
- Attack Foxglove;
- Attack Cassandra;
- Stand by and ‘let nature take its course’;
- Missing fourth option : Start the bidding for my assistance at a reserve price of $50,000.00
Interestingly, I am asked whether I possess the ‘Shin-Ren’ (heartreading) skill, so I assume that would have (for a change) come in handy.
I really don’t see why I ‘need’ either of these women. Sure, they may have knowledge of the lower parts of the Rift, but this has to be balanced against the healthy chance of receiving a knife blade between the shoulders at the first sign of trouble. I elect to remain above the dispute between the two of them.
Cassandra curses me for a fool (awww – I’m heartbroken) and charges towards Foxglove, who casts a spell shooting webbing from her hands (Marvel comics might have a trademark issue here).
More importantly, the white moss-like substance on the back wall of the room is revealed to be thousands of spiders (!) which swarm across the floor towards me.
Well, that escalated quickly.
Foxglove is jostled, and it is revealed that some kind of parasitic spider is lodged on the back of her head. As it ‘exerts control’ over Foxglove, her eyes turn white and her skin grows pallid. I know this is a meant to be a seriously unnerving moment, but I must admit I am reminded of nothing so much as the brain slugs from Futurama.
Meanwhile, the thousands of tiny spiders are beginning to command a large percentage of my attention. I can reason with Foxglove (not an option, even before the whole spider-mind-possession thing) smash my Scepter into the spider / brainslug, or kick Foxglove, presumably IN THE FACE.
I’d rather not make physical contact with this abomination (the spider, not Foxglove) so I go with my trusty Scepter.
I need a 5 or more on two dice to success, and with and 8 easily succeed. The spider is smashed into a pile of goo, and Cassandra and I manage to leverage ourselves up to the chimney-esque shaft in the ceiling of this room
The thousands of spiders presumably each shake several of their arms in the air in frustration at my (our) escape.
Stats : Endurance : 16, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +1, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 3