The Spidress' Order - I

Written and Illustrated by Benjamin Andrew Fouché

Curiously strewn among the sylvan hillocks and mountainsides of the lush New England region, one may find the various ruins of walls and subterranean chambers.  The root-bare and leaf-blanketed floors of the forested landscape will mostly conceal the ancient, limestone masonry of these deliberately constructed cavities and barriers.  Many of the tunnels have been relentlessly claimed by the inevitable erosion of time.  However, many are still accessible, if meticulously excavated by those who dare to conjecture their forsaken mysteries.  Sadly, no one can truly discern—nor conceive of—the inexplicable civilization and morose secrets that these crumbling structures stand testament to.  But perhaps it is best that such knowledge regarding the past of these underground chambers and lurching walls is never entirely ascertained by the ignorant temporal mind of humankind.  The truth of the matter is foreboding, grisly, and stained in blood.

Indeed, the astronomical alignments of the moss-blemished stonework demonstrates precisely how superior the intellects of the constructors were for the period of their existence—a time in which very little scientific understanding was available.  This extinct race would have ultimately been the conqueror of the mortal realm, had the Night of Deceit not befallen them.  These archaic ruins should remind any ponderous soul that the material world should never make contact with the dominion of the preternatural; both realities are incompatible, and the consequences will leave an indelible horror upon the invoker.  A shadow of doubt and dread still lingers over the corroded structures.  Intermittingly, a draught of deathly air will whisper of the woeful and agonizing cries which once pierced the stillness of the woodlands—these imploring shrieks were the result of a forbidden desire.

But this desire could not possibly dwell within the psyche of mankind; not even those with the most morbid temperament.  No, this yearning could only develop within the mind of a creature not even remotely correlated to the nature of humankind—both physically and spiritually.  This enigmatic race came from beyond the stars—their cratered boulder struck the earth, and from it, they were borne.  Their transfiguration over the countless eons daunted humankind, and thus, the living developed a fear of night and darkness; and a fear of the unfathomably dismaying beings that may conceivably reside within.  The most accurate way in which one may attempt to visualize this race is by observing a mere arachnid; explicitly, the spider.  For this race relished impenetrable blackness; for they were without clemency.  This race of spiders’ ultimate longing was to dominate the meager empires and civilizations that man had erected.

However, their struggle to establish their supreme order over the inferior race of humankind would prove to be strenuous, and at times, seemingly impossible, for their stood a critical hindrance in their path; the syndrome of were (wâr).  When the sun ruled over the lands, they were nothing more than miniscule, eight-legged animals.  When the moon reigned and the shadows danced, they were fearless hunters whose domain stood soundlessly, underneath the shades of the forest.  And all who entered their demesne became lost and were inexorably stalked—unto a gruesome feasting.  The spider race reveled in the misery of others, but it was simply of their unworldly nature.  Nevertheless, it must be remembered that although they held animalistic behavior, this spider race was exceedingly intelligent. For they built their Empire so that their presence was seemingly invisible to the other sentient beings that inhabited the earth.

This outlandish race of spiders would have to summon and harness a force far beyond their control if they were to dominate and subjugate their human opponents.  This would take millenniums to fulfil, but fortunately, patience was a merit which they possessed—and with this required virtue, they would carry forth their grave rites throughout the ages.  The spider race so yearningly dreamed of the evening from which The Spidress’ Order would descend upon the earth.  And indeed, it was she, The Spidress, whom ordered the advancement of their race.  The Spidress was Queen; an Empress.  She reigned over all, and commanded those beneath her to undertake their responsibilities.  Below her position were the four commandants; Meinrad, Volker, Wolfrick, and Nikolaus.  Meinrad was The Spidress’ leading adviser—Volker raised the younglings and transmuted them into hunters—Wolfrick organized the various packs of hunters—and Nikolaus gave orders to the most elite of the hunters.

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