Giant Drow Spider
|Giant Drow Spider|
|Official Name||Giant Drow Spider|
While the Giant Spider of Fendarfelle may inspire terror in the average adventurer, the Giant Drow Spider is a terror of an entirely different sort. The result of direct intervention from the Archdemon, the Giant Drow Spider is a twisted variant of its Fendarfelle cousin. While not as common as some of the other corrupted fauna of Drowda, this is rarely viewed as a problem - a Giant Drow Spider is certainly not something you would want to go searching for.
Similar to the Giant Spider, the Giant Drow Spider first began developing its defining characteristics around the time of the Cataclysm. While it had existed on the continent before its corruption, the real difference came about due to direct influence from the Archdemon, which warped it into the creature it currently is. Early scholars were perplexed by its existence, and were only able to classify it as its own creature after deciding that the corruption had warped it into an entirely separate species. What began as slight corruption remained, and even grew, through interbreeding of the species, and created a defining set of characteristics that were unique to the Giant Drow Spider. Due to the highly limited number of specimens scholars have had the chance to study, many details are yet unknown, and few are willing to venture to Drowda to make any attempt to change.
While the Giant Spider resembles a very large tarantula, the Giant Drow Spider is more akin to a Black Widow. They have angular bodies whose coloration has been altered from brown to shades of purple. Their limbs are long and dextrous, but brittle. They can reach heights of ten to twelve feet tall, and anywhere from twelve to fifteen feet long. The layout of their internal organs is very similar to that of the Giant Spider, with the abdomen housing those necessary for reproduction and defense. Among the defense organs are spinnerets and acid glands which work in unison to produce their unique brand of acidic webbing. Their small but sharp-jawed mouths are also acidic in a sense, containing a faint neurotoxin that is most effective at paralyzing other animal life. The cephalothorax contains the brain, which is much smaller than that of their Fendarfalle counterparts, and other necessary functional organs. Their heads have ten asymmetrical eyes as well as two sets of fangs and poison glands. Their legs are segmented into five parts and possess preternatural strength despite being very brittle.
Though in the early days of their species, there existed some difference between male and female spiders, now they are identical and hermaphroditic. The only real diversity that exists in the Giant Drow Spider is its coloration. More hostile spiders appear as brighter shades of purple, even getting into a darker shade of magenta. Scholars theorize this is a warning system, similar to what is used by some amphibians, to ward off any potential threats.
Life Span and Development
The gestation period for a Giant Drow spider is roughly a month, and they are born into sacs that consist of anywhere from ten to twelve eggs. Giant Drow Spiders have been know to reproduce only once a year, usually in the early days of Spring. Groups of spiders lay their eggs in large clutches, which can contain anywhere from five to ten egg sacs. The egg sacs are very sturdy, and have been known to be almost impenetrable by even the sharpest of weapons. The parent spiders will abandon their egg sacs days after they have been fertilized, and the easiest way to kill a Giant Drow Spider is right after it is born. They develop quickly, and are classified as adults after roughly three months. Though they are capable of living up to twenty years, they often are either cannibalized or killed before then.
Giant Drow Spiders are incredibly aggressive, and seem to sport a kind of faux-hivemind that is self contained within their clots. While their combined intelligence is crafty and capable of complex actions, they often become anxious and even more aggressive when on their own. It is theorized that much of their original intelligence was lost after their corruption, and that because they travel in packs, individual intellect has been dropped in favor of a collective intelligence. Their aggression seems to be manic, and they rarely act with any semblance of order. Unlike their Fendarfelle counterparts, they will attack and hunt their prey in a wild manner some have likened to Skagger Berserkers. Contrary to the normal Giant Spider, the Giant Drow Spider is a creature that acts solely on animalistic tendencies and their actions aren’t beholden to higher intellectual capabilities when alone, but can be when in larger groupings.
Territory and Groupings
After a cluster of eggs has hatched, they will often split into groups of ten called clots. This is usually because any more than ten spiders would require them to have to fight over the results of their hunts. Giant Drow Spiders are very territorial, and will often kill and cannibalize other rival clots who trespass into their territory. Giant Drow Spiders don’t favor forests or living in nets like their cousins and are nomadic creatures that sleep in dense groups, and will often use their webs purely offensively or to mark territory. Giant Drow Spiders establish no set homes for themselves.
- Despite attempts by deviant smugglers, Giant Drow Spiders are not capable of existing outside of Drowda. This is due to their reliance on living in a clot - when alone, they will often resort to self-cannibalism, inevitably causing their deaths.
- Clots of Giant Drow Spiders rarely make themselves visible, and are eerily quiet. They make hardly any noise, and some scholars even purport that they communicate through excretion of pheromones.
- Divide and conquer is the most common and most effective method of hunting Giant Drow Spiders, as they have trouble hunting individually.