ancient temple with spider guardian, and a strange act of pity


I was dungeon exploring. There was a hill that appeared to be the ruins of an ancient city. At the top was a well-preserved temple surrounded by orchards of trees. The top floor of the temple had no walls, but did have a ceiling, and was filled with all kinds of moving panels, rotating pillars, and all kinds of other stone contraptions. Some may have been traps or puzzles for the dungeon diver to figure out, but others seemed to serve no clear purpose, and may have simply served the temple’s religious functions (which makes a lot more sense than installing traps and puzzle rooms).

When I ventured deeper to the underground levels of the dungeon, I found a varied network of halls and rooms lit by torches. In one room there was a raised walkway that passed over a large door, with stairways leading down. I went down the stairway to find that the door was open and led to tunnel going even deeper, to the secret depths of the temple that I sought. It was guarded by a giant spider, a strange gleaming disc shaped one that was kinda beautiful (but also frightening). It began chasing me away from this entranceway, but I was smarter – I ran up the stairs, and then when it followed, I leapt down to the floor below and ran through the entrance that it had inadvertently abandoned.

The tunnel went on forever, and twisted this way and that. It would sometimes branch into different directions, or feature side chambers. Nothing down here appeared as ruined as above. There were areas that looked like laboratories, showers and changerooms, offices, etc, and then less mundane things like treasure chambers. I don’t know what went on down here, but I was getting closer to my goal. The spider was chasing me, and I heard it skittering through the tunnels behind me. I could keep a reasonable distance ahead, but it was impossible to tell exactly how close the spider was. I was afraid it would corner me, or suddenly emerge from around a corner and attack me unprepared.

In the end, I don’t know what my goal was. I assume it was some sort of treasure, magic item, or whatever. I don’t remember acquiring it, but I do remember leaving the temple. On my way out, I had to fight the spider. I managed to severely injur it, sever its limbs, and almost killed it. I felt pity for it, though, and it spoke to me in a female voice, asking me to spare it. Demanding, more like. I dragged it outside and put it near it’s food. It said it ate cats and/or some sort of large tree mammals, rats or squirrels or something, but odd ones. They hatched from cocoons and/or egg sacks in trees. I put the spider in a nice patch of shade under the trees, near some water. I saw the egg sacks of the tree rodents highlighted in white when I activated my infra red predator vision. I wasn’t sure how she would reach them, but I had done my part. If she was a survivor, she would survive. I may also have attempted to re-attach some of her limbs I’d cut or pulled off.

Later I had to re-visit the temple. The experience was different. For one, I was more prepared. I donned my magic sneak shoes and my magic invisibility ring, and dashed through the city ruins that had all kinds of jaguars and other creatures that hunted me previously. Each roared as I passed through its territory. They were still aware of my presence, because they could smell me, but they could neither hear nor see me, and that was protection enough.

(This dream is apparently heavily influenced by videogames. Many a game has the player navigating the ruins of a temple or somesuch that is loaded with traps and boss creatures. A specific game that comes to mind for the bit where the unseen spider chases me through underground tunnels was the original Alone in the Dark, which IIRC had a bit where, when navigating an underground cave, I ran around a rather large spider to avoid fighting it only to learn that it had continued to follow me down the tunnel several screens later when I got careless and stood still for a while.)


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