What is the point of an arachnocracy if we ladies do not share the power generated by our additional limbs amongst us? Why make the Gardens of Arachne, or the entire land of Mystere vulneration by concentrating all of the energy to controls to enchanted mists into the hands of a single Ashelocke? Even if Duessa has eight eyes watching us, and eight arms to block our enemies, we could have more than eight, if we utilized them. If only Damian would yield to me in a Marriage Feast, giving up his power, why, I could help maintain the mists which befuddle invaders. I’m younger, sharper than Duessa. I’m not a pervert like her or her daughter. They waste their precious energy in their diversions, their twisted eccentricities. They risk all that we’ve built in the Gardens with their wanton lust. Melyssa betrayed all of us by walking out without consuming a single Marriage Feast. She might as well be a human woman, the way she acts. Well, she can choke on her principles and preferences. I don’t care. I refuse to miss her or the obscene way she looked at me. I can’t help it if she sometimes crawls into my dreams, whispering her doubts, her depravities. No, we’re better off without her. I’m the only Ashelocke Duessa needs, not that she appreciates me or the very order she created. How often has she told us to let go of our brothers, our sons, our nephews, to respect their sacrifices for the sake of our haven? How could she say such things with the weight of conviction, yet let Damian leave? I would have consumed his power, his energy, leaving him beautiful and eternal. What does she think Damian, a mere boy, is going to do with all the energy churning within him? Paint? How could she have denied him to me? I suspect a truly perverse passion lying behind her motivations. Enough. Duessa may have created the Garden of Arachne to be eternal and unchanging, a haven for its ladies and their beautiful boys, but she’s endangering all of that. Things have to change. It’s time for a younger, fresher Ashelocke of firm principles to hold sway over us all. I won’t let myself be distracted by my appetites as Duessa does. I shall serve the Spider as She was meant to served in Her temple. I shall save us all. I just need to find Damian and consume his life as it was always meant to be consumed. Once I do, I’ll be strong enough to take Duessa. Once I’ve consumed her, yes, I’m going to listen to some of Melyssa’s advice, twisted as it may be, for the greater good, I will rule over the Gardens of Arachne and Mystere. I won’t let all we’ve sacrificed, all that Dyvian and Christopher sacrificed be in vain. I will save us all, no matter who tries to stop me.