Jaroo asked Wolfbang and his friend Chrono, another initiate to take a trip to the southlands and to the Buiyab forest. This was a region known for enormous spiders, spiders that discouraged human settlement near the forest and thus allowed the wilderness to remain wild. Unfortunately (from a druidic perspective) there was a man who seemed likely to significantly alter the natural order. This man was attempting to domesticate the giant spiders, and had achieved considerable success in his unnatural endeavor, having quickly established a “farm.” Wolfgang and Chrono were to investigate and find a non-lethal way to encourage the spider farmer to find another way to make a living.
Traveling with their animal companions, Wolfgang and Chrono enjoyed their journey to the southlands and located the spider farm. They instructed the animals to remain in the woods while they approached the farm as labor-seeking travelers.
As they entered the compound, they saw other laborers struggling to drag a goat to what turned out to be the spider pen—a large trench in the ground covered with a thick lattice and with a gate at each end. The laborers were not welcoming to the newcomers, so Wolfbang and Chrono sought out the low building where they found the owner of the farm, a man named Ulayah. He was a confident and enthusiastic man, eager to dispel the arachnophobia he presumed in his visitors. Wolfbang and Chrono surprised him by asserting that they knew spiders to be as intelligent as humans, claiming to have come from another land across the sea where they had learned the spiders’ language. Ulayah was visibly torn by competing desires to dismiss and embrace these outlandish claims, but his daughter Heri, who seemed more enchanted by these men from “across the sea” than anything they knew about spiders, prevailed upon her father that they should be invited to stay for a meal and to demonstrate their abilities.
On their way to Ulayah’s living quarters, they passed the spiders’ trench where the laborers were still struggling with a goat. Wolfbang and Chrono, reluctant to use their druidic powers to befriend an animal they intended to feed to spiders, tried to wrestle the goat to the ground. While unsuccessful, their embarrassment seemed to give the laborers’ new zeal for the task. One seized the goat in both arms while the other flung open the gate. The goat was cast into the pit and the gate closed. The terrified bleating was soon silenced and all except Ulayah shivered at the successive clicking and sucking sounds of the feeding spiders. Wolfbang found that, with his druid magic, he could indeed talk to one of the spiders. It was still hungry and wanted more food. Ulayah looked particularly juicy, though the “fat sweet one” (presumably Heri) would also suit him. Chrono relayed this to Ulayah who shrugged cavalierly. “Of course, that’s why we keep them in the cages.”
Lunch, in a room festooned with all colors of silk, was agreeably bland and consisted mainly of fried vegetables. Ulayah quizzed the newcomers about their knowledge of spiders, and having satisfied himself that he knew more than them, offered them work. Wolfbang was eager to accept, but Chrono answered with cryptic insults that soon became not very cryptic. “Perhaps you’re tired,” Ulayah suggested, offering them his guest room. Wolfbang and Chrono slept until night. Wolfbang, thinking that his associate might forget the “non-lethal” part of Jaroo’s instructions, suggested that they slip away into the forest and return to Hommelet.