Appearance:When in humanoid forms Spider Efferii can be identified with ease. Their skin is literally white; it so clear that blue lines can be seen beneath it when blood rushes through their veins. The color of their hair and eyes are usually white, silver, or a very pale blonde.They have slender frames with long limbs and delicate thin fingers crowned with long glass nails. More than any other Efferii, they are extremely lightweight with frail bone structures that could easily shatter with strong blows. They move with swift precision and grace, something quite elegant to behold.
While many have considered the humanoid form of the Spider Efferii the epitome of dark beauty, their animal form is a terror to most. The length of a recently matured male is about that of a grown human, while at the same age the females can be thrice as big. As both get older they grow larger, some females being able reach the height of an elephant. When in their full spider form, their skin is covered by a glossy and thick black armor. It is of such strength that when they fight they use their eight legs as spears to impale their prey. Their weak spots are their tiny four pairs of eyes and the bright red hourglass symbol under their abdomen.
Spiders are feared by many, and with good reason. They are extremely deadly hunters and notorious for being ruthless. The black armor that covers their spider forms makes them hard to wound and allows them to use their legs as piercing weapons. Imagine a giant black widow that can jump extremely high, hang from high ceilings, and run on walls. Dreadful things! They can produce a silky web that is ten times as strong steel and use it in many clever ways. Spiders have sharp fangs with an acid poison that decomposes their victim from within and turns them into a delicious smoothie drink, at least for their taste.
A Spider uses its senses in a different way than the other Efferii. They have subtle sensors that enable them to notice even the faintest vibrations such as a change in the wind currents. Furthermore, their sense of smell enables them to detect many things, such as the race of their victim, their position, and even if they are scared or not. However, their eyesight is not very good and flashes of light tend to blind them with ease. It takes them more time than any other race to focus and see things clearly.
In their humanoid forms Spiders retain some of their abilities to a lesser degree. They can still climb walls and ceilings due to the microscopic scopulae that emerge from their hands and feet. Their glasslike nails serve as claws, and poison remains on their retractable fangs that allow them to feed even when not in their Spider forms. The eyesight remains less keen than that of the average human. As it is to be expected, they are very flexible, agile, and quick.
It is very important to note that due to their different bone structure, Spider Efferii are much more skilled at transfiguration than all other kinds of Efferii. Therefore, it wouldn’t be strange to see an eight-legged spider with an upper human body, or perhaps an eight-eyed humanoid creature. They transfigure their bodies in the manner they please best with great ease. This however comes with a down side, because it is nearly impossible for them to learn any animal form that is not from the insect kingdom, just as it is equally difficult for an Efferii of a different tribe to know how to turn into an insect.
Given that their digestive system was not made to consume solids, Spiders’ diet consists of liquids. They always mix their poison with their food, whether it is an apple or a man, so that its acid breaks down the compounds into a nutritious and edible fluid. Even when they cook their melted meals, enough poison has to be added in proportion to the amount of other ingredients. There are three modus operandi when it comes to preparing food:
- Home Cooking: This is when they take the ingredients, mash them, and brew them on a large pot.
- Fresh Eating: In certain situations and for certain foods, Spiders simply bite their food to inject them with their poison and then they suck the fluid out
- Mellowed Storing: Very often Spiders will wrap their food within a cocoon made of their web. Inside they would inject their poison and then store the cocoon until they are hungry.
While a Spider’s meal is just poison to most races, there is actually a whole art behind it. There are great cooks and awful cooks amongst them. Ingredients are important yes, but equally important is the poison, which is the seasoning of all meals. A good Spider Chef must not only play with the amount of poison on his/her meals but also to which poison they use, because the poison of each Spider tastes different.
An interesting fact is that the Spider’s favorite meal is Undead. They wrap their corpses in a cocoon, inject poison, and then wait for it to mellow like good old wines. Would you like to taste?
Patient, cold and calculating would be the best words to describe a Spider’s behaviour. They do not talk much and neither do they enjoy loud people. In their humanoid forms they are unbelievably hard to read because their expressions never betray them; they could warmly smile at you while scheming to destroy you. Ironically, they are quite skilled at reading other people’s intentions, so be wary around them. Personal space is extremely important in their culture, so make sure you keep your distance unless you want to offend them. They do not like large crowds.
Habitat & Architecture:Near the Blightrise Peaks, where the delicious Undead are abundant, there is a vast region called the Hallow Lands. Here the terrain is extremely irregular with cliffs, hills, holes and tunnels. Those who have walked the Hallow Lands know that there seems to be “natural floors” that can be seen through the holes, but it is in your best interest to keep to the surface because the lower levels are much more dangerous.
The Spider Tribe builds its homes deep within the underground caverns of the Hollow Lands with an architectural style unique in the world. With stunning mastery they weave their homes with the white spider silk firmly held against the ceilings and walls of the caves. Their style is similar to the curvilinear art nouveau, but much more delicate and eerie due to its organic component. Thin bridges connect different complexes to each other, and one goes up and down the levels with strings not ladders. Although there are hand-operated elevators, these are used to carry goods and not really people. The few outsiders allowed have a hard time moving around.
Spiders are organized by large family groups called Webs. These are composed of members related by blood and ruled by the Widow, the head of the house. Although there is a Queen of all Spiders, the Webs have much autonomy and politically settle their own affairs. Like with most other Efferii Tribes, there is a main city called Aracht where the Queen dwells. Its public area where the market is found and many social activities are conducted is called the Queen’s Parlour, commonly known as the Parlour. The royal palace is called the Queen’s Lair, and it is located on the furthest and deepest end of the Parlour.
Since resources are limited, it is the Queen’s main duty to ensure that the population does not increase beyond the capabilities of the environment. It is for that reason that she is the one to approve and pronounce the Widow Marriages. To explain it briefly, Spiders have two ways of procreating. They either do it in their spider forms or in their human forms. Should they have sex in their humanoid forms, the mother may give birth to a single child. This form of marriage can be approved and pronounced by the Widow. The mortality rate with this form is quite high; the probability of the mother dying while giving birth due to the child’s poison is 50%. In the Widow Marriage however, the parents copulate in their Spider forms and after they are finished, the mother eats the father. This is so that she can gain immunity to the father’s poison and thus to that of her future spiderlings’. There is only one Widow per Web, and she can lay hundreds of eggs for each Widow Marriage.
As it is to be expected, Webs are composed of hundreds of siblings and family members. The regent Widow determines the line of succession for the future Widows, and she is also the one to handpick the Anansi. The Anansi are the male Spiders that the Widow offers to another Web to arrange a Widow Marriage. Anansi are treated like princes for not only are they the best of their Webs, but they are also the ones who, if chosen by another Widow, sacrifice themselves to procreate hundreds of children. This ensures that the bloodline remains strong.
To single handedly raise such a high number of Spiderlings is practically impossible, so each time a Widow gives birth, she chooses a couple of her children to keep and gives the others away to her siblings. It is thus more common for Spiders to be raising the children of a Widow than giving birth to children of their own, as the risk of death is too high.
Family is the main value of the Spiders. Each generation must do its best to maintain the honour of their Web or increase it.
Given that each Web is self sufficient, all professions can be found within each of them. Children usually learn the profession of those who raise them, such as hunting, weaving, cooking, writing and building. However, those who show potential for certain roles are nurtured in it for the greater good of Web. Either way, most Spiders learn to do more than one job as they are put to work wherever help is needed. Knowledge is spread and accessible to all members of the Web, but each Web has its own secrets and skills that bring pride to their household. As a result of the competition between the Webs, the practices of the Spider Tribe are frighteningly well developed and efficient.
Culture & Arts:
The Spider Tribe has a disturbing interest in the anatomy of nearly every being that exists. They are known far and wide for their dabbling in alchemy, producing all kinds of potions, most of which can only be speculated upon by the outside world. They do not have much appreciation for music, paintings or literature. Instead, they concern themselves with more practical things such as building the most sturdy, symmetric, and perfect dwellings, creating secret trapdoors with silk that blend with walls and soils, dissecting all kinds of creatures, brewing, weaving, and playing games such as who-can-be-first-to-catch-the-intruder or who-can-be-still-for-the-longest -time. Amongst Efferii, the spiders are often looked upon as the strangest and most twisted.
Names tend to use the sounds of “s”, “sh” and “v”, such as Sineav, Shelagh, Shaylav, Svoane, Saxen, Vishra and Vrom.
Spiders have an isolated society that trades little with outsiders. They do however produce silky fabrics that are highly valued in foreign cities not only for their elegance but also for their properties: light, rare, and very strong. Their rare poisons, potions, and the technology they steal from their Undead meals are also items of trade. Merchants go outside and return to trade in the Palor, where the market of the Webs can found.
The Spiders are very secretive. Most of their history concerns the political games that have made Webs rise and fall, but why would they share it with the likes of you?-- Royal Seal 03:09, July 18, 2013 (UTC)