The Spider-Kin Ethnicity in Enthion | World Anvil
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The Spider-Kin

No species has flourished the way the spider-kin have flourished, particularly given the extremely hazardous swamps and forests they have long called home.

The they now prefer to be called, and in many cases, they demand it, as they are in a position to do so...the spider-kin were once known only as the swamp elves, a term still used frequently to describe them. It should be noted that this is not considered derogatory to the spider-kin, as it accurately describes the place they made their home, but it is not as accurate as spider-kin. "Swamp elf" does nothing to hint at the spider bonding which is so important to the species, but more importantly, "swamp elf" tends to leave people thinking that all elves who go by that moniker live in the swamps, and that has not been the case for hundreds of years.

Even further back, thousands of years ago in an age shrouded in myth, it is believed that the spider-kin were once taiga elves, light elves who populated the cold north and spread south to warmer mountains and forests where they formed the massive Red Lotus clan. A splinter faction from the Red Lotus clan included some powerful beings who formed the Blue Lotus clan and offered shelter to exiles and defectors. In time, the Blue Lotus elves were the most powerful faction alive, and the Red Lotus had to be content with holding some of the old cities of the north. But some of the most powerful Blue Lotus elders were deemed too expansionist and, after years of struggle and disagreement with the clanlord, they were exiled to Sionan Swamp and left for dead. But they had learned to offer shelter to others in order to gain strength, and they took in exiles and defectors from both of the lotus clans. They became known as the swamp elves of the Mosswood, the place they made their first home, east across Sionan Swamp in the relative safety of its green canopy. At least one is said to have been there for both exiles, having become an undead creature of legendary power in-between.

The elves, still the swamp elves at the time, had been expected to take shelter among the certilians or the q'tari, or to ask for a plot of land and refugee status, though others among the Blue Lotus liked to think that the swamp elves would just try to take a small piece of land back, stubbornly, provoking a fight they would lose. But they did what no one could have expected and what seemed certain death. They headed east, into the vast, uncharted, inland swamps at the base of the mountains they had so long called home. Into the Sionan Swamp in particular, one of the most dangerous places on the continent, and out the other side to the marshy Mosswood.

And they thrived. Their story is the stuff of legend, though much of it is known only to them. It is now widely known that there were two primary factors that contributed to their successes. One was the bonding with the great spiders of the swamp...wise if dangerous beings who saw the potential in the elves in addition to seeing a way to extend their influence beyond the swamps. The other was the creation of the arcologies, self-contained towns that concealed how many elves lived in a given region while providing safety in a single, concentrated zone kept clear of immediate threats, camouflaged on the outside and replete with comforts within. The exiles became the swamp elves, and the swamp elves became the spider-kin--and they were a happy, safe, and proud people. And they flourished. Eventually, they sought revenge, and their aggression propelled them beyond the swamps and affects world politics to this day. Under Queen D'Neve, they are now the Empire of the Spider-Kin.

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Cover image: Castle by jameschg


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