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In Elysium there are 2 primary sentient spider races:
- Spiders, or Drow.
Spiders, also known as Drow, are a sentient race not to be confused with wild spiders (mobs). They have the appearance and skills of a spider, but also the ability to switch into humanoid form, which resembles a dark skinned elf. Arachnae are half-spider half-human, and are only humanoid in appearance. Both species are distantly related, but their origins are different.
Spiders (Drow) Edit
Dahar was a spider born in the Second Age, its birth is mingled with that of the development of Wood Elves. When Nithral was created, he was made as the perfect being, to fight the Darkness and defeat it. He was the first Elf. His creator created many elves to follow him, and he served as their king in the city of Val Khar Von. Alas, the Darkness - also known as the elf-eater - swept through, killing elves and destroying their armies. One elf, who served as Nithral's general, saw the Darkness making carnage, and realized that all the elves were going to be slaughtered. So he ran from his post, gathered elven men women and children, and led them deep into the forest away from the Darkness.
Only 20 elves were spared from the destruction, and the general taught them to fend for themselves in the forest and guided them into becoming a new society. So they became the first Wood Elves. But many of them resented him, for he had fled from battle instead of fighting the Darkness, and believed him an unsuitable leader. Eventually the arguments became too much for him, and he decided to retreat from the world.
He was given a new name 'Abelaslan' 'the regretful one'. He retreated from the angry Wood Elves and from the threat of the Darkness into a deep sleep which the elves call 'Uthenara' - the forgetful rest. He lay in the Void in the state of Uthenara for thousands of years. What he did not know, was that when he entered the void to rest, he had brought someone with him. . .
. . .Dahar, 'little fear', a tiny spider, lived in the Void waiting for him to awake, and return them both to Elysium. All those years in the Void worked upon the tiny creature until it began to develop unexpected powers. When Abelaslan awoke he discovered the spider had the power to grow and shrink in size, and communicate intelligently with him, even though it was unable to use speech.
Ixjblikl the Spider-Mother Edit
During Abelas's return he discovered that the Darkness had escaped from captivity and was destroying Elysium once more. He began to gather together the bloods of different races to augment his own Ancient Elven blood. Mixing with his own the blood of demons, and vampires, werewolves and dragons... he began to grow in strength and power.. During his gathering of blood, he encountered a creature with unnatural white serum in the place of blood. Dahar, acting as his familiar, bit the creature to immobilize it.
An unexpected transformation began to occur after the serum was consumed.. Dahar the spider was able to change into humanoid form whenever it pleased. From that point onwards, she became the great Spider Mother, the first of the Drow race, and the largest spider to ever walk the realm. With powerful venom in her fangs and the ability to grow to horrifying size, she struck terror into those who opposed her people.
In her own tongue, Dahar was known as Ixjblikl, but until she was able to shift into humanoid form, she was unable to speak, communicating only through action or crude spelling using provided pages from a book, so she was known by the various names given her by the races she encountered. For Elves she was known as Dahar, with humans Hollow, and with dwarves Attercop.
While the earliest drow-spiders had vast instinctive intelligence, coming from their spider genes, compared to other humanoid races they had very limited abstract abilities. Having a mental age of approximately a 3 year old child, they could speak mostly in bursts of individual words, of few syllables, and had difficulty with basic sentence structure. From breeding with other humanoid races and themselves their intelligence increased but their capacity to use powers similar to that of the Spider-Mother decreased.
In the void, Abelas trained Ixjblikl to identify its own reflection in a mirror, and communicate basic words such as 'help', 'food', and 'why', using illuminated manuscript pages torn from one of his books. Other beings she encountered taught her the ability to use her web to convey images or letters, and understand and follow gestures and commands from others. Drow in their spider form continued to have these abilities, and also those that came from their spider origins, exhibiting all the intelligence of a portia spider, able to stalk prey, including other spiders, deft enough to walk along another spider's web without disturbing it, and leap considerable distances from standing. From their time in the Void, some, but not all, of the drow are able to enter and exit the Void at will, and can also dwell in the Void while sending out an image of themselves from there, while their physical body remains in the Void. For Ixjblikl this process could be reversed, dwelling in Elysium while sending an image of itself back into the Void to communicate there. As the image is a projection and not physical, it has difficulty interacting with objects other than floors and will pass through anything it touches.
Drow spiders are mostly dark-skinned, with a base hue ranging from evergreen to a deep, fierce blood-red, except for the rare albino spider, who is often revered as a god, most err towards the blue-green end of the spectrum in skin. In humanoid form most spiders have black or white hair, with hints of hues that match their skin, but contrasting combinations have been found, and spiders with bright red, green, or bright blue hair have been encountered. Drow are capable of breeding with other spiders, their own species, or other humanoid races, however due to the changes that their species underwent, many ordinary spiders view the drow with instinctive hostility and will attack on sight, this may possibly be partially due to the fact the drow are descended from a species of spider that hunted other spiders as prey.
Drow have considerable hunting abilities and are able to avoid damage by shrinking in size in anticipation of the blow to a size that would simply be carried along by the force rather than penetrated by it. Due to their high instinctive intelligence they can do this faster than most other species can respond to danger, however if for some reason they are unable to dodge a blow they are very easily injured, their hide, at its toughest in their largest size - about the size of a rhino - is still penetrable and provides only limited protection in the way of armor.
Seeking to emulate the superior skills of the early drow-spiders, but augment it with increased humanoid abilities, an unknown mage combined the blood of spiders, and possibly drow, with that of a human. His experiments had varying success, but from them emerged another race of spider-based creature known as the Arachnae. Arachnae revere the spider-mother and consider her an ancestor of their own initial parent, although it is unknown whether they have any actual descent from her as the details of the Mage's experiments were not kept for posterity.
Initially Arachnae had a far superior humanoid intelligence to the basic communication abilities of the drow, but over many years wherein the drow's abilities grew, they are now almost indistinguishable in intelligence, although their physical appearance and attributes are markedly different, to the point where they are easily identifiable as one species or another. Arachnae build statues to both the spider-mother and the product of the mage's experiments, and members of other races have been known to revere one or the other of these great originators of the spider races as well.
Though humanoid in appearance if threatened or under long duration of stress more spiderlike features appear in the Arachnae race. This can be slight changes such as the darkening of the eyes and skin to more noticeable alterations such as the growth of additional arms and legs, though Arachnae are not able by nature to stop this transformation they do have the ability of temporarily turning wild; meaning they are almost indistinguishable from the wild spider but seem to be stronger physically and they still maintain their intellectual level from their human form but loose their ability to speak. The wild form does not last for very long and takes a lot of energy to maintain usually resulting in the Arachnae to fall unconscious.