I saw the possibilities in the mist. I saw them in my husband’s eyes when he summoned the shaodws, creating a barrier that protected his private, magical realm, his Place of Power.
Power was all he craved, nor was he willing to share it. I experienced this when he shattered my dreams, forcing himself upon me on the banks of waterfall. Too many men share this lust and a need to take it out on women’s flesh. I saw this in the trembling hands and tear-filled eyes of many girls, too many girls who’d had their romantic illusions shattered by false princes, the lovers they’d trusted.
Hands reveal vulnerability, but you can accomplish a lot with many. Eyes are windows to the soul, but how many souls can you read? Too many men are incapable of sharing theirs or their emotions. Other men will mock him for it.
What if he was cut off from the mocking society of other men who goaded him into rapine, to “have a little fun” at the expense of a woman’s self-esteem? What if he was divided from those who’d encourage him to crush a girl’s pride and scar her soul?
What if a man never became a man? What if a woman could drink his soul, offering him ecstacy beyond any fleeting, forced encouter, and keep what’s best of him inside her forever?
It could be an intimacy like nothing else, that one moment.
These thoughts swam in my mind when I made a contract with the Spider. Arachne offered me a chance to make all these things possible while creating a haven for women in Mystere, the very realm which Stefan Ashelocke made his own.
There was a price which Arachne demanded in return. To be save from male monsters, we women had to become monsters. We would be compelled to suck the life, the very essence out of our brothers, our sons, and nephews, every male that we loved. Yes, loved. You see that’s part of the sacrifice Arachne demands. She won’t accept a victim unless he’s truly precious to us. Oh, we can drain the life out of anyone, but it won’t increase our power. The Spider claims a portion of the essence we drain to maintain our strength and the barriers around our realm. She drinks deep of ecstacy and despair of a bride experiencing her Marriage Feast along with the bridegroom, her victim. Afterwards the bride becomes less human. She grows an extra pair of arms, with which to cast spells and pleasure future bridegrooms. She opens an additional pair of eyes, reflecting the soul, essence, and power of her victim.
Thus the arachnocracy of Mystere was born.