On the Great Spiders of Khorum’s Blight with Digression to the Sun-touched lands of Amrun and Revian
Written and illustrated by the Baroness Gabrielle d’Kayn, with commentary by His Lordship, Peddar, King’s Warden of Amrun
Most of the Great Spiders of Amrun and Revian and the lands betwixt are descended in nature from the Hunting Spiders of the Fallen Empire of Endless Night. Many of them will still instinctively obey the calls of the ancient elfish hunting horns as was most recently demonstrated by Eregnethelin before King Feddor
the Spear of the North the Cursed, the First of His Name.
The relationship between the Great Spiders and the petty Goblins of the Blight-touched lands is one of mutual benefit, in the oddest forms. Most breed of Great Spider seem to take an uncanny and, one could almost be excused of the worst anthropomorphism, purposeful delight in preying upon goblinkin. Lord Peddar has reported that in his youth, he tracked a mixed party of Stoneback and Shardshield goblins into the Westhills and encountered a pack of Great Spiders also hunting the goblins. He maintains to this day that the spiders cut half-a-dozen goblins from the band and left them for him; the rest were taken by the Spiders.
On the other extreme, the goblins of the Banded-Leg tribe seem to have domesticated a breed of Great Spider and ride them into battle or upon the hunt. It is a good thing that the Banded-Leg territory seems to lie deep within the darkness of the Blight, for Lord Peddar reports that the largest of their battle-spiders can carry upwards of 30 goblins— we shudder to imagine spiders of this size scaling the walls of our Kaynfort with the ease that a garden spider scales the wall of our bower.
Yellowleg These web-spinning spiders tend to grow to the size of a small horse, though the female can be much larger. Both male and female have a small front body section with silver hairs on it. The large back section is egg-shaped with black and yellow coloring. Legs of these spiders are black with red or yellow bands. Each leg has three claws on the end. Yellowlegs like the sun, and thus they are very rarely found in the Blight, but are a bigger threat in the wilds of the March. They typically prefer to spin their webs in an orb shape, and will pass the day settled in the centre of the web, or very near to it. In addition to their claws, these spiders will typically spit a web upon their prey, dragging their victims into a sunlit place to suck the juices from them.
Diamond Back There are two Great Spider breeds that have been given the appellation of Diamond Back. In this work we shall treat them as Lesser and True.
The Lesser Daimond Back is a hunting spider descended from the ancients. It is black in coloring, with thick silver hairs covering both front and rear body sections. Upon its back will be found a pair of diamond shaped red marks that cover a pair of glands that can produce a dim-reddish light when the spider is threatened, but are usually dark when it hunts. The male of this species can grow to the size of a small man, with the female slightly smaller. These spiders do not spin webs, but do have the ability to spit a burning poison from the red-glands of their backs, in addition to their natural venomous bite. The burning poison will ignite into flame when in contact with water and must be smothered to extinguish. Lord Peddar reports that if a Lesser Diamond Back’s red gland is removed undamaged, it can provide light equal to a torch for up to 5 days before fading, and will produce warmth to provide comfort when camped in the dark. These creatures roam widely over the Blight and the lands which touch it, even up to the walls of our Kaynfort; in my father’s time, two diamond backs had entered the town and needed to be slain by my father’s own hand.