The face-leaping spider is a rare variety of common spider that has recently appeared in the caves, near Formello and Dharmon. Although not dangerous, it is known for its bizarre tendency to leap onto the face of anyone who discovers it before scurrying off.
The giant spider is believed to originate in the lower caves, where they are the natural enemy of the giant insects known as the chitrachs. Only recently, according to several researchers, have they migrated to the surface, where they dwell mostly in shady forests. This theory is founded on unreliable conversations with semi-sentient cave spiders, as well as the long-standing attitude of the Empire towards magical or dangerous animals in the past. If the spiders had come to the surface much sooner, they would almost certainly have been hunted down and exterminated long ago.
cave widows, mindreaper spiders, static spiders, spitting pit spiders,
Giant Intelligent Friendly Talking Spiders
The Giant Intelligent Spider, or GIFTS, is a subspecies of the Giant Spider family, and often believed to be closely related to the Aranea due to their shared level of sentience. Their looks seem to support this fact: In appearance, they may be slightly different from the non-sentient Giant Spider, sporting thick brown fur as opposed to the nearly hairless purple skin of their lesser cousins, but they match very closely the outward appearance of the Aranea, especially the Elders.
Unlike the Aranea, the GIFTS is able to fluently converse in the speech of the humans in a high-pitched voice, showing the level of intelligence and maturity of a human child of approximately five years. GIFTS favor the use of words like "silly" and "cute," and talk endlessly about basic concerns like food, mating, and protecting their young.
According to other sources, the psychology of the GIFTSs, while being on an infantile levels, shows some remarkable aspects. For example, even though the spiders seem to be individualistic, they insist on calling themselves all by the same name, 'Spider'. It is a marvel how they tell each other apart; the only viable explanation would be that they have no real need for such a human thing as names, and seem to regard them as unnecessary appendages to their identity. Maybe that is what causes them to err on the human interpretation of names, as they regard the name's only purpose as identifying the species of its carrier. It is quite certain that they do not have any separate languages; the few people who had been in contact with them maintained that they conversed among themselves in the human tongue even when there were no humans in the immediate vicinity, which would imply imitation to a limited extent.
While the Aranea have, some to a greater and some to a lesser extent, the ability to perform magic, no such capacity has been observed in the Friendly Spiders.
The Friendly Spiders have a community-oriented social structure under the leadership of a single Chief Spider. They appear to be religious, often worshipping the Spider Goddess.
History of the Great Journey
"We were in caves. Then Spider led us here. Now we have more bugs. Yay! We ate a lot of bugs and they were good. Then we had babies and ate more bugs and they ate bugs. Yayyy! Thus endeth the history." â€” Spider
The evolution of the Aranea is a miracle to all: For how could the arachnid species, which is for the most part unsentient and even incapable of speech, be the origin of a breed of magically highly capable beasts? Even the sentience of the GIFTSs does not explain this, for truly, the intelligence of the Semi-Sentient Spider is on the level of a human infant; incapable of serious interaction, or rational thought, let alone the studying of the arcane lore: The aranea, on the other hand, have mastered this lore to an astonishing degree, able to cast most of the basic combat spells and some even of a medium level, besting an apprentice up to his third or fourth year.
The aranea, as far as explorers have been able to determine, are governed by a form of a council, composed of Elder Aranea. These Spiders are distinguishable from the others by their fur, their size, and their greater cunning. The Elder Aranea also possess more powerful arcane skills than their lesser brethren; a group of two to three of the beasts can be a match even for an experienced wizard.