Tsuchigumo a large, arachnid beings. They trace their lineage directly to the elemental weave, a pantheon of spider deities, who created them in their own image at the dawn of the spheres. This connection manifest in a strong bond to the elemental forces and a great skill in creation. Tsuchigumo are craftsmen by birth. They have an innate gift for seeing how something can be made real and with their silk, they never run out of supplies. Their homes are graceful sanctuaries and their weapons are lethality incarnate. Tsuchigumo embrace their predatory nature and see nothing inherently wrong in preying upon others. Many a colony have absolutely no scruples about consuming sapient beings that blunder into their traps, seeing no reason why such beings should be considered removed from the food chain. In turn, tsuchigumo are also accepting of the fact that some species, like dragons, might prey on them. To them, it's nature taking its course. Other colonies are less overtly predatory and make a point of distinguishing between allies and dinners. They often trade their silk and constructions to nearby settlements and let anyone who isn't an enemy go from their webs, usually accompanied by a comment on their relative deliciousness. In combat, most tsuchigumo prefer to be on the offensive, attack prey while it's trapped or unaware. Tsuchigumo will often have redundant traps they seek to lure enemies into to further their advantage and attack with any number of fiendish devices. In direct combat, their exoskeleton and divine nature offers them good protection and they can go toe to toe with most ordinary foes as a result.
The tsuchigumo body is divided into their cephalothorax and their abdomen. From their thorax spreads eight, long legs that gives them a very stable stance and allows them to climb just about any surface in any direction. Their body is covered in exoskeleton, with their cephalothorax and legs being covered in the thickest layer. A pair of mandibles gives them some fine manipulative skills. Behind the pedipalps are the chelicera, at the end of which are their venomous fangs. Their venom is known to be quite potent, being blessed by their pantheon, and such can sometimes get around protection against it. Tsuchigumo have six to twelve eyes, widely set to give them broad, almost completely all around vision. They are unlidded and tsuchigumo dislikes bright light as a result. They produce webbing, which is excreted from several spinnerets at the end of their abdomen. The joins of the tsuchigumo are incredibly flexible and they can fold themselves into surprisingly small spaces. Being created by the pantheon of the Elemental Weave, Tsuchigumo are inherently protected from the elements. They are also gifted with a natural resistance to poisons and venoms, meaning only the strongest substances will affect them. Their bodies are also incredibly adaptable, subtly adjusting to fit whatever terrain they spend time in.
Genetics and Reproduction
Tsuchigumo propagate through sexual intercourse. Shortly after impregnation, the female lays three to five eggs and usually weaves them into a cocoon for safety. They take two to three seasons to hatch,
Growth Rate & Stages
Tsuchigumo spiderlings are small and soft, and thus very vulnerable. They are cared for by their parents for the first five to six years of their life. At this point, their exoskeleton has fully developed and they'd have grown to around three-fourths of their adult size. Many move out and make a nearby den, close enough to get help from their family but far enough away to give them a chance to be independent. Tsuchigumo are fully grown by their fourteenth year.
Ecology and Habitats
Tsuchigumo can adapt to a wide variety of environments. Within the first decacycle, their bodies goes through minute changes that increases the tsuchigumo's ability to survive.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Tsuchigumo are primarily carnivores with a liquid diet requirement. Prey is usually caught in web traps or ambushed, then injected with venom. This substance not only kills the prey, it also liquifies their body, allowing the tsuchigumo to slurp it up. They also sometimes add fruit juice or diluted honey to their diet.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
Tsuchigumo silk is tough and durable. It is therefore often woven into robes or clothing. Many tsuchigumo colonies devote part of their silk to trade, which earns them a tidy profit.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Tsuchigumo are a common species and found in many spheres
Tsuchigumo are sapient. They have a keen mind, with a talent for practical design and fitting things together. This makes them excel at construction and terrifying trapmakers. Their personalities often range towards cold, pragmatic and predatory, expecially in the eyes of non-tsuchigumo who often feel unnerved by the large arachnids.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
The many eyes of the tsuchigumo makes them unlikely to miss anything as is capable of seeing even in the dark. Long hairs cover their exoskeletons and lends them a sense of touch.
Civilization and Culture
Tsuchigumo names often have a hissing, clicking sound to them, though they are also sometimes given more grand names, in honor of their deities.
Common Myths and Legends
It is said that during the dawn of the spheres, when the tsuchigumo had first been created, they hunted the other races for food. In particular, tsuchigumo came to find elves to be delicious and being as well-adjusted to life in the forest as them, preyed on them mercilessly. The elves, facing extinction, cried out for aid. The god Garnemedia heard that woes and stepped forth, driving the spiders back. The tsuchigumo called out for aid in defending themselves from the god's vengeance and Od the Earthweaver came forth to protect them. The two deities clashed in a cataclysmic battle. In the end, Od burnt out Garnemedia's eye with acid, but the god gravely wounded him in return with a divine arrow, forcing the arachnid to retreat and guaranteeing the survival of the elves.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Elves: Many elves know of the legend of Garnemedia and Odd. And they distrust tsuchigumo as a result. Tsuchigumo, for their part, still think elves are delicious, which doesn't help.
Tsuchigumo are tough and fast, but tend to rely on trickery over brute force.
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