Giant Spiders

One believes that the origin of the Giant Spiders is in the Agalloch Forest. In its darkest places, there is a gigantic cavern, inhabited by Great-Mother Spideress. She is stuck there for thousands of years, whispering spells, which will help her survive the next thousands. This creature has unusual intelligence, insight, and she’s in the estimation of those who were able to meet her. Her kingdom, eternally bathed in the darkness, is a network of great tunnels, cobweb landings, and paths, through which her subjects are wandering. Giant Spiders leave this place, setting off to the distant lands, forests, and even wastelands. They live in the cities, just nearby villages or other areas that can provide them with food. They can eat virtually every living creature, but their favourite food is Hobgoblins.

Although they are loners, one can be sure that meeting one Giant Spider, somewhere near there can be more, hiding. They will calmly wait until their victim feels safe and enters their cobweb. It is difficult to determine if these beasts are intelligent, but they have instincts that allow them to survive in different locations. The sewermen often report that they have seen these enormous creatures in the canals. It happens that, in the night, a few guards standing high on the walls go missing without a trace. For a Giant Spider, almost no terrain is an obstacle, and the more its victim doesn’t predict the danger, the bigger chance the beast will come back with a prize. Although it’s a grand creature, it’s not willing to risk if not needed, and, if the situation is uncertain, it will be pleased with a stray dog or even a Spawn of Magic.

The most surprising trait of Giant Spiders is their ability to learn. Due to this, sometimes one may encounter them in the circuses, mounted by smaller races, or as companions of the ventures of travellers who are desperate enough to wander next to the Giant Spider. One who does so should take care of its food and understand the instincts that drive this beast. Of course, a pretty large amount of time is necessary to make such a Giant Spider feel a stronger desire to walk with their companions than to eat them. Even if they fulfil these requirements, one can never be sure that the beast, after many years of united wanderings and adventures, won’t, in the best-case scenario, leave its party or, in the worst one, devour its owner.

Giant Spiders are famous for taking part in the great battles when they were mounted. They had a significant influence on the armies’ mobility. In the times of pirate wars, there was a siege of the Gatteo city in the southern Istania, during which the goblin mercenaries made a great assault, using a Giant Spider. A dwarven steward of Erengnet, when he was preparing for the incursion of the Sea Elves, received a gift from the king of Slythia – a Giant Spider called Sizir. When a battle leviathan of the Thargomind Dwarves came into contact with a side of the fleet-footed warship of Captain Minerwin, the steward entered the enemy’s deck on Sizir, sowing fear among Sea Elves. In the brutal fight, Minerwin died from the Giant Spider’s venom. It put an end to the attacks of Sea Elves on Thargomind for many following years.

Mages and those who know these creatures well noticed that when the Giant Spider’s abdomen becomes fawn, and its moves start to be much slower, it sets off on the last journey to its homeland. It wanders through the mountains, fields and meadows as if called by the Great-Mother’s voice. Many Giant Spiders never reach Agalloch, killed or taken into slavery, where they spend the rest of their bleak life. However, the lucky ones come to their mother who gave them life and rest by her side for many days. Then, the Great-Mother, in a fit of mercy, or some instinct hard to understand, devours her child, absorbing its energy and spirit.