Summary: The weaver stops by the temple for a room and gets dragged into something more sinister
NOTE: This is a very rough draft with no editing at all (per National Novel Wiriting Month rules) and is presented for amusement value only. Think of it as a periscope into my writing process rather than a coherent story!
There will most likely be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, contradictions/retcons, uneven characterization and pacing. These snippits are also posted out of order, so please refer to the story page to figure out where it’s supposed to fit.
Weaver Temple (hallway)
She’s almost out of money, but there is a chance she’ll be able to restock while she is in town. The temple will at least give her the basic traveling staples and if she is lucky there will be some small tasks she can do in exchange for traveling money for later. Her string of mink hides was already traded in earlier in the year, but there is a chance with the larger town that there is a jeweler that would be willing to work with her. Beadwork isn’t something that many of the weavers do, so most likely she won’t have to compete with other weavers for income.
She makes notes to ask the mother superior later, but for now she hunts down the headmistress in order to get a room. She is easy enough to find, the world web leads her down the hallways and rooms without fail. The headmistress is actually a much younger girl with an older spider. Probably an accident that caused her to lose a spider and one of the older spiders took pity on her. The spider is too large to ride in her eye, so it sitting on her shoulder.
“A room?” The headmistress is folding liens with her back to the door, but looks up as soon as the weaver nears.
“For how long?”
That makes the weaver pause, the temples very rarely care how long anyone is staying unless the rooms are filling up. With the empty nature of the temple she hadn’t expected to be asked that question. “I’m not sure.”
The headmistress turns, having set her work down. “If you could stay, it would be a weight off my mind.” She sounds much older than she is and the weaver wonders what happened. “There may be trouble brewing.”
“The plague?” Because there is no hint of it on the world web, but older spiders can sense things that aren’t always apparent yet.
“No, something more mundane I’m afraid.” She looks to the little sister, who chitters something that the headmistress apparently understands. Curioser and curioser. “There has been unrest here, much as you’ve heard in the capital, but things are bit more serious.”
The weaver felt the world web again, but felt nothing tugging at the web that would suggest the imminent threat of violence. “But I don’t–”
“It’s not apparent, they’ve made sure of that.” The headmistress frowned. “They know us, they know our sisters, and they are very careful to do nothing but talk and talk about talking.”
“Then what’s the harm?”
“Not all revolutions are bloody.” The headmistress gave her a stern look. “Think of what it would mean if they simply stopped helping us. Not fighting us, harming us, but simply a lack of aid.”
“Like the spiders do us.” Which wasn’t bitter, quite, but the inequality of it all did rub her the wrong way some times. Little Sister traced grumpy lines on her face and the weaver sighed. “But we don’t really need their help, do we? As long as they don’t actively help the wasps, what harm can it do?”
“And if there are no more weavers?”
The weaver paused. “But, they wouldn’t do that, they need us.”
“They do, but I’m not sure they realize that anymore.” She rolled her shoulders, and the older spider shifted carefully to stay in place. “There is some thought that we should retreat from things for a while, just simply disappear into the forests until things settle down. In the temples we’re much too visible a target.”
The weaver frowned, so much of her life had been spent in the woods, but the loss of the temples seemed like a retreat of sorts. Giving into the pressures of the human inhabitants seemed the wrong move. “But won’t that just make them angrier? Think of how many people could die if we simply vanished. They might not want us back at any price at that point.”
“That would be the other side of the argument.” The headmistress sighed, “But we must do something, even if it is simply making sure that no one goes out alone.”
There didn’t seem to be an easy answer. If they left the humans would hate them, but they would be safe. If they stayed the humans wouldn’t hate them, but they would be an easy target for those who did.