The Rise of the Warlords Book Three: An unofficial Minecrafter’s adventure.
The Wither King, Krael, helped the zombie and skeleton warlords to both rise up and try to take over the Far Lands; now Krael is doing the same with the spiders.
The witches of the Far Lands of Minecraft are missing . . . all of them! When a young village girl is badly injured, and only a witch can help her, Watcher and his friends quickly discover their absence and the involvement of the spiders. They must follow a trail of clues leading them through jungles and forests, all the way to the doorstep of the spiders’ lair.
But when they reach their goal, Watcher and his friends quickly realize there is more at stake than just missing witches. The monsters, led by the spider-warlord, Shakaar, has ancient, magical weapons, given to her by the Wither King. With these weapons, the spider horde will be able to cause great destruction, perhaps even wiping out all villages from across the Far Lands.
Watcher and his friends must stop this spidery attack, but at the same time uncover the Wither King’s plan so both can be stopped before it is too late, and all is destroyed.
Excerpt from Into the Spider’s Lair
They slowed to a walk, everyone including Watcher tired from the chase. Moving next to Planter, he looked down at the black and white bunny she held in her hands.
“Have you been carrying that all this time?” Watcher asked.
She looked at him with her bright green eyes. Planter said something, but Watcher wasn’t paying attention; he was lost in those emerald pools.
“What?” He shook his head.
“I said no, I just found this one and picked her up.” She smiled as she scratchy the fluffy animal’s ears. “Aren’t they fantastic?”
“It’s just a rabbit.” Cutter’s voice boomed through the forest, always louder than necessary.
Planter scowled at the big warrior, but he didn’t notice. He was adjusting his armor. Watcher smiled.
“I didn’t know rabbits were part of the mega taiga biome,” she said.
“Yep, there are lots of animals in this forest.” Mapper paused to catch his breath, then continued. “Let’s see, there are chickens and sheep and wolves and–”
“Wolves?” A concerned expression came across Planter’s face. “Don’t wolves eat rabbits?”
“Wolves eat just about whatever they want to eat,” Cutter added. The big warrior moved between Planter and Watcher, feigning interest in the tiny animal in her arms. His armor clanked as he walked, scaring the little rabbit. It squirmed in Planters arms, then jumped to the ground and scurried away. “I love wolves. They’re a ferocious animal that know how to fight and won’t just run away when attacked. Wolves are a creature to be respected.”
“Sometimes standing your ground isn’t always the right thing to do,” Watcher said.
Cutter remained silent.
“Mapper, you have any idea where these spiders are heading?” Planter asked as she stopped walking and pulled out a loaf of bread, then took a huge bite.
“I’m not quite sure,” the old man replied. “I saw some ancient structures made by the wizards on the map, but the spiders don’t seem to be heading toward them. It’s almost as if they just want us to follow them . . . strange.”
Just then, a sound, like distant thunder, floated through the forest. The noise was almost imperceptible, but was still detected by Watcher’s sensitive ears.
“Did any of you hear that?” The boy scanned the forest, looking for threats.
“Hear what?” Cutter moved to his side, his diamond sword drawn and ready.
“I thought I heard something like thunder, but look up . . . there are no clouds overhead.” Watcher glanced up and could easily see the sparkling stars overhead, the occasional cloud drifting by.
“I didn’t hear anything.” The big warrior surveyed their surroundings one more time, then put away his sword. “I think it was nothing, maybe something from that famous imagination I’ve heard so much about.”
Watcher blushed when Planter giggled, then put away his bow.
“It’s okay Watcher, sometimes I hear things too,” Mapper said in a soothing voice.
“But I felt something in the ground rumble as well, like a very faint tremor.” Watcher lowered his voice and whispered to the old man. “Something’s coming toward us . . . I can feel it.”
“Just keep it to yourself until you know what it is for sure,” the old man said. “We don’t want to panic everyone for no reason.”
“Right.” Watcher nodded, but he knew his face showed what he was feeling . . . fear.
Er-Lan moved next to Watcher and grabbed his arm. “This is the forest.”
“From my vision,” the zombie said. “The black rain . . . it draws near.”
Glancing to the sky, Watcher checked for storm clouds. “I can see the stars, Er-Lan. There aren’t any clouds up there. I think you’re mistaken about the black rain.”
“Visions are never mistaken.” Er-Lan glanced around, fear covering his scarred face. “All must be careful . . . the black rain comes.”
Watcher nodded and patted his friend on the back, then focused his attention on the surroundings. They continued through the mega taiga, the massive spruce trees looming high overhead, the treetops barely visible in the darkness. The path before them was difficult to see, the few rays of moonlight piercing the leafy canopy were not very bright. Only Watcher’s keen eyes could still discern the trail scratched into the podzol ground by the spiders.
Suddenly, a clicking sound seemed to filter down through the branches and leaves ahead. Watcher skidded to a stop and peered into the forest. The moon lit the forest with its silvery light, struggling to push back the night. It allowed Watcher to see the forest around him, but sections further away were completely masked in darkness; anything could be out there, including that rumbling something.
Just then, a huge cluster of clouds floated across the moon’s pockmarked face, masking its lunar glow. Darkness enveloped the forest like a black velvety curtain. More things clicked in the treetops.
“Everyone look around.” Watcher’s voice was barely a whisper.
“I don’t see anything,” Cutter boomed.
“Shhhh.” Planter took out her enchanted shield and golden axe. An iridescent glow surrounded the girl, the purple radiance pushing back on the gloom.
With his bow in his hand and a sparkling fire arrow notched to the string, Watcher closed his eyes and allowed his ear to direct his attention. He listened to the strange clicking, then finally recognized it.
“Spiders . . .” his voice was barely a whisper, “in the trees.”
He drew back the bow string and aimed at the clicking noise. Stilling his body and his mind, he released. The arrow burst into life as it streaked through the air. A magical halo of fire surrounded the shaft as it zipped through the air, shining a radiant glow on the treetops.
Planter gasped. “Spiders . . . in the trees.”
Watcher’s arrow sliced through the air and embedded itself onto the thick trunk of a towering spruce. The flicking glow of the burning shaft revealed countless spiders, all descending from the forest roof on the end of a thing strand of spider’s silk.
“Fire at the spiders!” Watcher launched his fire arrows at the treetops, lighting the green canopy so the others could see.
The others pulled out bows and launched arrows at the monsters descending from the treetops like a deadly, dark rain. Pointed shafts streaked through the air, striking the dark, fuzzy bodies. The spiders screeched in pain, clicking their mandibles together rapidly. One of them disappeared, their glowing balls of XP falling to the ground like rainbow hail.
“Work in pairs.” Watcher shot another spider with his flaming arrow. “Fire at the same spider!”
Moving next to Planter, he pointed at a monster, then fired. Their arrows flew in parallel, both hitting the creature in the side. After another volley, the monster disappeared, adding more sparkling XP to the ground. They fired as fast as they could, but there were so many spiders. The monsters slowly descended down the thin strands of web, their eyes glowing like hot, angry embers.
“They’re all around us.” Planters fired at a nearby monster, cutting through its web. The monster fell to the ground screaming, then became silent.
Watcher turned, taking in everything around him. There were just too many of them; their arrows weren’t slowing the mob at all. Some were close by and easier to hit, but others were far away, the gossamer thread from which they hung invisible in the distance.
“I don’t like this.” Mapper fired his bow as fast as he could, but everyone knew he was a terrible shot. “When they reach the ground, they’ll charge and overwhelm us.”
“Just keep shooting.” Blaster shot at the monsters nearest to the ground, his shafts hitting with deadly accuracy. When the first of the spiders touched down, he took out his dual curved knives and charged at them.
“Blaster . . . wait!” Watcher yelled, but the boy ignored him.
The spiders clicked their mandibles together excitedly. Blaster streaked toward the monsters, his dark armor making him nearly invisible. He slashed at the creatures as he darted by, tearing into their HP. Some, who had been wounded by his arrows, disappeared under the first knife thrust, while others lingered a bit before the boy destroyed them.
“Blaster, get back here,” Cutter boomed. “More spiders are landing on the ground. We need to stick together.”
The monsters settled noiselessly on the ground, forming a thick, angry circle of claws and fangs around the villagers. Blaster dashed back to his friends and stood between Cutter and Mapper. The companions held their weapons at the ready as hundreds of angry red eyes glared at them from the darkness.
“We’re surrounded,” Watcher moaned, the taste of defeat heavy on his soul. “Everyone get back to back, form a circle.”
The villagers pressed their backs together with Mapper at the center. The old man fumbled with potions, but he had nothing that would harm the monsters. They launched their pointed shafts at the black, fuzzy creatures, but there were so many of them, their scant few arrows had negligible effect. With eyes glowing bright with hatred, the spiders moved forward, slowly closing their trap.
Watcher slowly lowered his bow. We’re trapped . . . it’s over. He glanced at Planter and a sadness such as he’d never experienced washed over him.
“Keep firing,” Cutter yelled, but Watcher was numb to everything, the feeling of despair overwhelming his mind.
The ground shook again, as it did before, but this time, the thunder boomed from the darkness, as if the storm was about to descend upon them. But it didn’t matter . . . he’d failed, and now all of his friends would be destroyed as well.
Planter, I failed you the most, he thought. You relied on me to keep you safe, and I foolishly thought I could do it, but my courage was just a lie. Drawing another arrow, he shot at one of the closest spiders, but knew the situation was hopeless.
“Maybe that storm will just wash us all away and end this nightmare.” Watcher fired as fast as he could, hitting spider after spider as their circle of claws drew tighter around the defenders, getting ready for the final charge.
This was the end.