© Copyright 2007 - Wrapper's Delight and Red-Dreamer - Used by permission
Storycodes: Solo-F; Drider/f; capture; wrap; cocoon; susp; majick; transform; mc; reluct/nc; X
“Alys Z'aelya, you have betrayed the trust that we Drow Elders have bestowed upon you," the ebony-skinned elder boomed, pointing down from his ornately carved desk. "You were forbidden from gathering medicines from our fungus forests and selling them to the surface."
The dark elf Elder stoked the long white beard that framed his ebony face, then looked back and forth at the eight other elders who sat with him. They nodded sternly in agreement.
Alys grew impatient as she waited for the Elders' sentence. She had grown tired of the droning lecture she was receiving for her minor infraction of the Drow rules. Seated on the bench in front of the panel of judges, she brazenly adjusted a strap on the thigh of one of her shiny black boots, then pushed a strand of long, silvery white hair from her face.
"As a result of your indiscretion--" began the bearded Elder
Before the man had finished his sentence, Alys sprang from her seat and spat in his face. Then, she turned and ran for the doors, bursting through them with two-handed shove. She spun around and bit her thumb at the group of judges.
"I have no need for your rules and regulations," she shouted, shaking her jet-black fist at the Elders. "The Drow way is not to bow and scrape before senile rulers and adhere to outmoded codes. You lot are betraying the ancient ways of our people."
“SUCH BLATANT DISRESPECT FOR US AND OUR KIND SHALL NEVER GO UNPUNISHED, YOU ACCURSED DOG!” shouted the elders in an eerie harmony.
Alys pulled the doors shut and darted to the exit of the Hall of Elders. As she left the building, she stealthily hid in the shadows to avoid a pair of Drider guards impassively patrolling the front steps with their large iron spears.
The Driders, the Elders' elite guards, were once normal Drow according to legend, but they had been magically conjoined with giant poisonous spiders so their upper torsos were those of a dark elf while the rest of their bodies were that of a black arachnid.
As she quietly moved past the Driders, Alys felt a chill in the small of her back. The creatures had always made her uneasy -- they were powerful and deadly warriors but seemed to be grotesque abominations. They followed the Elders' orders unquestioningly and were forbidden from owning property, mingling with ordinary Drow or even speaking.
Their upper bodies were always buckled into uncomfortable-looking armor of black leather and metal. For all its crisscrossing straps and buckles, Alys thought the armor looked like a torture device. Perhaps symbolizing their sentence of silence, the pathetic creatures wore leather war helmets that fastened their mouths shut with a series of severe-looking straps. Legend had it that they couldn't even eat solid food and subsisted on the blood of those they killed.
After she passed safely from the Driders' view, Alys broke into a run, letting her black and tautly muscled legs carry her quickly as she could to the outskirts of the great underground city of Za'Arleth. Vendors and shopkeepers stared as she ran past, a young Drow wearing the regal silver and black armor of the race's scout caste.
With the purple stone gates of Za'Arleth well behind her, Alys collapsed panting into a rocky hollow a few yards from the road. She looked in the direction of the city and saw no guards had followed her. Despite her outburst at the Elders, her violation of the rules had been minor enough that there was probably no point in them sending troops to chase her down. Or was there?
Alys slid herself onto a giant mushroom jutting from the rocks, stretched her limbs and continued to carefully look around.
It's so nice to have freedom from those senile fools, she thought as she checked the scabbard at her slim hip. I’m free, yet I have disrespected the elders. I will have to keep moving in case they eventually send someone, or something, out to collect me.
Then, storms in the distance spoke in their monstrous tones, making the fungus forest about Alys shake with every boom and crack. Even though the Drow's homeland was far underground, bizarre magical storms occasionally formed in the upper reaches of the caverns overhead.
As lightning flashed through the enormous underground world, Alys jumped from her mushroom roost and began scouting for a cave or rock overhang that wasn’t occupied by some dreary creature. Eerie blue lightning broadcasted odd flickers of light along the cavern walls.
Seconds before the downpour started, Alys' eyes flashed to a large, dry-looking cave that seemed like it could have been the home of some sort of humanoid creature. She drew her slim sword and broke for the cave, ready to take it from any tenant not willing to share until the storm passed.
Alys entered the cave, careful to keep her silver blade between she and any potential enemy. But, alas, she found none. There was a battered brass lantern hanging from a jagged rock and the ashen remnants of a cooking fire, but both seemed as if they had been left there by a long-gone visitor. Could this be the luck of the Gods? she wondered.
With a bit of further exploration, Alys found a cozy spot to wait out the storm. She lowered herself onto a soft patch of moss and began unbuckling her boots and breastplate. Drow armor was durable and impressive looking, but it wasn't especially comfortable. She carefully slid off her tight-fitting silver breastplate, revealing a leather half-shirt that laced up each side, form-fitting her torso. It was as black and sleek as her body.
With a little more effort, she stripped off her short chain-mail skirt, revealing the black leather thong she wore beneath it.
"Ahhh," she said to herself. "That feels much better. And with that storm pounding outside, no one will be looking for me for a while."
As Alys slid into sleep, tired from her run from the city and relaxed by the sound of rain outside, little did she know that a squad of Driders was forging its way through the subterranean storm and would soon be outside her resting place.
Alys awoke the next morning as the violet light of the phosphorescent cavern walls seeped into the cave. She could tell by the influx of light and the eeries stillness in the air that the storm had passed. She could also tell from her rumbling and empty belly that she had been asleep for quite some time.
The lithe Drow carefully stood up, stretched and headed toward the cave's maw. She would need to find something to eat soon since she had fled the city with nothing but her sword and armor. As she surveyed the rocky landscape around her, she saw a large glistening pool several dozen yards away. Ahhh! There is a place for me to wash the road dust from my skin, she thought as she looked at the clean spring water that trickled down blue chrystaline rocks into the pool.
Grabbing her sword, but leaving her armor and boots on the cave floor, Alys strolled to the pool's edge and tested the water with a toe. Nice and cool, she thought to her self, kneeling. This should be refreshing.
She looked down and saw her jet-black face and smoldering violet eyes reflected back in the surface of the water. She could make out every detail in the shimmering reflection, from her high cheekbones and pointed ears to the full and regal lips that betrayed her upper-caste ancestry.
Alys stood and began shedding her black leather garb. She pulled loose one of the laces holding her form-fitting shirt in place, allowing it to fall away from her bosom. Her supple breasts dropped free from their leather restraint. Then she slowly slid her hands down her sides, following her curves, until she hooked her thumbs into the straps of her leather thong. She slid it down, revealing a narrow stripe of silver hair between her legs.
A squad of six Driders silently spied on their prey from a cluster of rocks in the distance, careful to stay hidden in the shadow. Impassive purple eyes watched from behind their leather helmets as the young Drow woman stripped and jumped into the cool water. They continued to linger as she splashed water on herself and did a few lazy backstrokes then climbed onto the rocks to let herself dry.
Alys used the back of her hand to wipe water away from her body, grabbed her sword and undergarments and strolled peacefully through the outcroppings of fungus and rock as she headed back to the cave.
Seeing her leave, the Driders made their way through the massive toadstools that separated their hiding place from the cave. They moved silently, using the pillars of fungus as cover. Their training made them nearly impossible to see in the dull light of the underground -- even for a trained Drow scout like Alys.
As Alys drew close to the cave, two of the armor-clad Driders lunged from the thicket of fungus and directly into her path. She let out a small gasp as the fearful creatures came into view, dropping her clothes so she could unleash her sword from its scabbard. As fast as Alys was with her weapon, she was no match for the Driders that had appeared behind her. One sprayed a stream of sticky silk from its underside, latching onto the sword and tearing from her hand as if the strand of web was a the tentacle of some angry beast.
The naked Drow shrieked as the sword flew from her hand, and she whirled to see her assailant. She could see four more Driders had circled her from behind.
"What business do you have with me?" she demanded, worried that her fear was showing in her voice. "I am a Drow of the scout caste on official business of the Elders!"
The Driders, their upper bodies bound in carapaces of leather, said nothing. They slowly edged forward. Sensing that her only option was to flee, Alys turned to run into the mushroom forest nearby. She made a single step before six separate strands of web lashed out at her body, wrapping around her limbs, waist and neck. She lost her balance and fell as the sticky grey fibers began winding their way around her.
Alys thrashed about, hoping to break the silken strands that were enveloping her body. They were impossible to break, and within a matter of seconds, enough and been secreted that they she could barely twitch each of her limbs.
The Driders began to methodically wrap the Drow in their strong silk, spinning her body between themselves and causing the fibers to tighten against every curve of her body. The kicks and thrashes that Alys had made earlier became nothing more than squirms as the silk tightly secured her hands to her sides and wrapped her legs together into a single unit.
Alys started to plead, tears rolling down her cheeks.
“Why are you doing this to me?! I have done nothing to you or your kind!” she sobbed as the silk continued to envelop her body.
The Driders predictably said nothing, spinning their webs further up her shoulders and covering her breast in a layer of silk that made them into a single hill of white wrappings.
Alys tried again to plead for her release, but by this time, the silky wrappings had made their way up her chin and had crisscrossed her mouth, pulling it shut. The Driders were careful to keep Alys' eyes uncovered in the process of wrapping the rest of her body, covering it in layer after layer of silk and making any movement meaningless.
“MMMMMMMMPH!” was all the frightened Drow manage to say as her captors continued to wrap her. At this point, she could no longer move a muscle, making the additional layers of wrapping seem almost pointless. Her eyes blurred as tears welled in them. She tried to scream, but her mouth was covered under so many layers of silk that only a muffled whimper emerged.
Alys felt herself hoisted onto the back of one of the Driders, and see could see through the narrow opening in her thick and hardening cocoon that the squad was moving now. She bumped along on the Drider's back, silent and unable even to squirm as they carried her back to Za'Arleth, where she would face the next part of her fate.
From her resting place on the Drider's back, Alys could see the scenery slowly pass by. She knew she was being returned to the city, probably to face the elders. She tried to steel herself for whatever punishment she would receive.
No doubt it will be something harsh, she thought. Perhaps 10 years of hard labor in the mines. The work would be backbreaking, but she knew she could handle it. Her scout training had left her in good shape and willing to take on difficult work.
Finally, Alys could see familiar terrain as she and the silent Driders got closer to the city walls, but instead of entering the city, the squad instead turned toward a particularly foreboding cluster of sharp stones formed around a cave opening like a dragon's teeth. Alys tried to move her head to get a better view of where they were going, but she couldn't budge.
Within a few seconds, though, her question was answered, and she could tell the Driders had taken her up the embankment and into the rocky cluster. She could see that they were heading toward the cave opening. She felt panic set in. What if she wasn't being returned to the Elders? Perhaps the Driders planned to drain her blood the way a spider does a fly.
She shuddered at the thought of the leather-masked Driders wordlessly slurping up her life force, their hairy spider legs holding her down.
As the Drider squad entered the cave, Alys' senses were overwhelmed. She heard the low moans of winds blowing through underground passages and smelled the dank odor of wet stone. She squinted to try to accustom her eyes to the almost total blackness here. Even her Drow infrared vision needed some light to work.
Finally, the party of Driders came to a rest, and Alys could feel her mummified body being lifted. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw one of the Driders squirting webs onto the ceiling of the cave, leaving a long, thick strand dangling. Another of the creatures carried her immobilized body closer to the strand. She could feel another begin incorporating the hanging strand into her tight, immobilizing cocoon.
Two of the Driders stepped away, leaving Alys' silk-enshrouded body hanging from the thick cord. A third sprayed a stream of silk that created a thick rope connecting from her feet to the floor a good two feet below, serving as an anchor. Alys could feel her body pulled slightly taut as the second silk cord connected her to the rock.
She shut her eyes and breathed in deeply, trying to calm herself. Her fate, she thought, would most likely be the death of a small insect caught in a spider's web -- a quick one, she hoped.
But for some reason, the Driders seemed to be in no hurry to dispatch her. She watched as they scurried off, leaving her dangling. A few minutes passed before a solitary female Drider returned. Alys watched with tension as the creature's spider legs whisked it along the cave floor and its leather-enclosed face came within a foot or so of hers.
Alys could see the Drider's large violet eyes peering out at her. Somehow they seemed to be slightly reassuring. Just being able to gaze into them and see how they resembled the eyes of other Drow made the freakish creature slightly less scary. It made no attempt to talk, although Alys doubted it could, since its snugly-fitting helmet was wrapped so tightly in straps and buckles that there was no way it could open its mouth. She wondered if the Drider was trying to tell her something with the look, reassure her that she wasn't about to be killed.
The Drider reached down to a belt pouch at her waist and withdrew a smooth black stone with a red hourglass shape on it. Alys' eyes followed the stone as the strange being lifted it, worried that her plan was to use it as some kind of bludgeon.
Instead, the Drider held it a few inches from Alys' forehead, and the stone emitted a reddish glow. Alys tried to wriggle from her silk prison, tried to scream. She could do neither as the glowing stone emitted a beam of light that hit her forehead and washed over her entire body.
Alys again attempted to struggle as she felt the energy from the stone course through her body. It wasn't painful, but she could feel something strange happening, as if invisible fingers were tickling every inch of her body. She tried to writhe in the cocoon but couldn't move an inch. The energy burst lasted just a few seconds, but it was such a strange sensation that she could tell that it done something profound to her body.
The Drider nonchalantly lowered the stone and sealed it back in her pouch. Then she made eye contact with Alys again.
Alys watched the creature's eyes squint slightly as if she was trying to smile behind her bizarre helmet. The Drider then pointed at Alys, then back at herself, motioning to own face, then her spider appendages. The strange being then touched her hand to her leather-obscured mouth, then to Alys' silk covered mouth as if transferring a kiss.
Then, quickly, the creature scuttled away, descending down the hall from whence she had come.
What could that have possibly meant, Alys thought to herself. What was that stone? What was the Drider trying to say? The energy from the stone didn't cause me any pain, but I could feel it affect my body in a strange way.
Then it hit Alys. She felt her stomach drop. The Drider had pointed at Alys, then back at herself. Then at her spider body.
Tears began forming in the corners of Alys' eyes. She wanted to throw up. No, she wanted to die.
The Drider had pointed at me because she had used to stone to cast a spell, Alys thought, feeling bile rise in her throat. A spell that will turn me into one of those... those... those hideous monsters!
I do not know how much time has passed, for in this dark chasm it is impossible to tell. Time, it seems, has lost its old meaning as I hang here in my utter stillness.
I can't mark the passage of time in days, weeks or months, but I can mark it in the transformations I feel happening in my body. I cannot move my head to look down at the altered shape held inside my cocoon, but I can feel that my body is not the same that I was born with. I can sense my new body's extra limbs -- and their needs.
I feel stronger, I feel more… alive. I feel that for the first time I soon will be part of something important, something much more important than what I had been doing in my old life.
I am no longer Drow, but a fledgling Drider. I will be part of the elite group that serves the Elders -- those same Elders I once mocked. Perhaps those Elders now mock me as I transform into one of their servants.
As my body has changed, I too have acquired the group thoughts of my new species. I know what my duties will be. I know what my commands are. I will no longer communicate with ordinary Drow, for I haven’t the need to.
I remember that I once feared the armor I soon will wear. That was foolish too. I now feel pangs of anticipation as I think of it being strapped onto my body, in having myself permanently bound in customary Drider garb. I now know too that a Drider shall never remove her armor. I long to hear the buckles snap into place and lock there as my suit becomes a permanent part of my body, as straps engulf my torso, my arms. My face.
I can feel it now that in a matter of hours I will be ready to leave behind this cocoon for a new life. I know my captain, the fine Drider who used the Spider Stone to start my transformation, soon will arrive with the Blade of Release and cut away this blessed shell to place me in my next one, my Drider armor suit.
I can feel it now: in a matter of hours, the rest of my life will be dedicated to the silent, selfless service of the Elders.