Taking my spear I cut down many smaller branches from the nearby trees, there are plenty of dead sticks lying around but the resiliency of the fresh-cut wood is what I really need.
I use the pitted dagger nearby to shave them into spikes and place them into bundles in my inventory. I have around 10 wolves that I hunted but have yet to skin that I also take out, using the skinning knife to ready them for sale, I’ll need to stop by the general store for supplies to complete my preparations.
After an hour of resting while creating the spikes my health recovers to full, I had ended up disastrously low on hp after my last encounter with the antlions, even losing use of my left arm for the entire duration of my recovery due to a dramatic injury.
I head to town and sell off the wolves and 20 of the hides that I had been saving. I receive a substantial amount of silver for my work, but that being said it should just barely cover the cost of materials for my plan.
Walking into the general store I see a wizened old lady in a pink straw hat. I greet her as I open the door, a bell tolling to announce my entry simultaneously. She smiles, nodding to me while she continues reading a book. The inside of the shop is enormous for a town this small, easily the size of a small house, and packed with all sorts of supplies. There is a large assortment of bottles and vials, filled with potions and medicines dominating Right now I only need one item however, rope. And a lot of it. Walking to the counter I place 20 silver down with a loud clink. Mara, the shopkeeper, puts her book down and looks at me with an interested expression.
“What is it you need?”
” I need 400 feet of rope, the tougher the better.” Mara nods and rises from behind the counter. She is surprisingly short, there must be a stool behind the counter.
“For that price I’d suggest you use braided cotton. Not the strongest, but it’s cheap and plentiful. I have over a thousand feet here of various different thicknesses on hand. The samples are hanging from that back wall.” I walk over to where she indicated, passing by various razors, knives, and hammers. On the wall are samples of rope ranging from a fine 1/8″ to a hefty 2 inches thick.
“How much 1″ and 1 1/4″ thick rope do you have?”
“About 300 feet and and 175 feet rope respectively. What are you using all that rope for anyway?”
“I’m using it for a trap. I’ll take all of the 1 1/4″ rope, and the rest in 1 inch.”
“A trap?” Her eyebrow raises in incredulity. “With 400 feet of rope?”
I smile. “It’s a big trap.” Shaking her head she beckons me to follow her. We head behind her counter and down some steps hidden beneath her stool and rug.
“My old bones are too weak to carry up that sort of order on my own. So you’ll have to do it. The rope is right here.” She reaches the end of the stairs and we end up in a narrow hallway. We head past the first set of doors but she pauses before the second set to rummage through her pockets. “Ah here it is!” The door on the left slowly opens as she pushes it after disengaging a deadbolt. Inside are many bricks, stones, and ropes. She points to a pile on the left, “Your rope is there.” I gather my rope and prepare to leave.
As i do i hear a loud sound of someone clearing their throat. Turning around I see Mara smiling next to a pile of bricks and stones. “Would you be a dear and help me carry this up?” Sighing I pick up the pile and slowly add it to my inventory as well.
As I leave the shop I admire the new adventurers pack I had gotten from Mara as thanks for hauling all of the building materials up. With this I shouldn’t have to come to town as often when hunting. Whistling I head off to start building my trap.
It takes a large portion of the day to finish but in the end i get two 75 foot wide stretches of wooden spikes, lashed together with rope. The joints where the spikes join together are very loosely bound while flat but when the spikes are laid out in an X shape they tighten. The end result is a mediocre hold, but it’s ability to lay flat is key to the element of surprise here. I leave them about 30 and 60 feet past the river respectively, with a long low hanging trip line set up on the side facing the river.
Heading back to the tree where I had last encountered the antlions I picked up four rocks, and threw them at the nest, each rock successively closer. By the third rock the antlions burst forth, surrounding an empty trap. Before they can process their mistake the antlion closest to me takes several deep stabs from my spear as I savagely aim for the area where the acid sack had been. It squeals in pain and attempts to turn around, but I strike gold before it can finish the motion, and falls to the ground spasming as it’s own acid eats it apart.
This took place during a span of mere seconds, it was quick and efficient, however it was also wasteful. The acid sack, carapace, and meat were all ruined, and no longer salvageable. I begin to run south toward the river and my traps. The antlions doggedly pursue me through the thick brush, and even begin to gain on me as I ran too carefully, mindful of anything that could cause even a couple points of damage. Sprinting past my first trap I leap over the trip cable, and watch in glee as the first antlion crashes through it, dragging my spike trap into position. An antlion following too closely is unable to stop and impales itself on the trap. It begins to struggle to free itself as the other antlions circle around past the barricade.
I face off against the antlion who made it through and triggered my trap, we trade blows, with each of mine meaning far more as they are decisive aimed blows. After three stabs to the neck it finally stops moving, and I stab it again, attempting to pry the head off.
I lack the time however as the remaining 3 finally finish circling around and charge straight for me.
I immediately make a break for the next trap. This time, while they do get seperated, none end up getting impaled. I furiously dodge the antlions bites, thankful for the armor I crafted which gives me the courage to ignore it’s slashes. Taking a deep breath I step back, focusing my strength in my left foot. Pushing off with it I speed forward, burying my spear deep within it’s eye. I teleport a half foot back, freeing my spear. I launch a dizzying assault of slashes and thrusts which reduces the antlion to nothing quickly. I do get bitten however, as it latches onto my leg. It doesn’t break, but I do receive 30 points of damage, reducing my life by a quarter in an instant.
I flee closer to the river. The two remaining antlions pursue me doggedly, ignoring the nearby river this time. With my back to the water I face off against the last two antlions. Remembering my dagger I thrust it into the ground in front of me, activating [Last Resort]. I meet the charging monsters with my spear, push forward and toward the ground with all my strength, pinning one there. I teleport sideways to avoid the other antlion’s attack and race to my dagger, picking it up. I spin, slashing out at the pursuing antlion, while ducking underneath its attack. I swiftly stab a half dozen times while sticking close. Within a few more strikes the antlion dies and I move on toward the pinned beast. Thrusting the dagger into it’s neck I begin twisting and cutting as it dies, eventually claiming it’s head. Gasping for air I rub my eyes and let the tension drain from me.