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Shield Spiders are one of the most dangerous monsters found in the Floodplains, but also in other places of Izril.

Appearance Edit

Shield Spiders are large spiders that have a black and silver pattern on their carapace which gives them an appearance of being armored, hence the name. This armor doesn't cover only the back, but also their legs.[1] The abdomen carapace is weaker.

Being monsters, Shield Spiders can grow to any proportions given enough time, so that there is no "usual" or "normal" size for them. While a three feet tall mature Shield Spider can be called a "large" specimen, individual spiders can grow to the size of two wagons,[2] or twice the size of considerable buildings.[3]

Shield Spider blood is a pale blue ichor.[4]

Reproduction Edit

Shield spiders lay eggs in eggs sacs, the size of each sac depending on the mother's age: In average, a spider lays a few hundred eggs in one sac, older spiders may produce thousands. After having filled on sac, they produce the next.[2]

Their eggs are white and small, a baby spider not much larger than a spider on Earth. However, they are as dangerous as adult ones, if they come in numbers.[1]

Shield spiders are active all around the year, even in winter,[5][6] but the season when they spawn excessively is spring.[2]

Nests Edit

Nests of Shield Spiders, also called Pits are covered with a camouflaged layer. Inside of a the nest, there is usually a whole population of spider generations waiting for prey to fall into the trap, with these spiders having all kinds of sizes, from tiny hatchlings to several foot sized specimens. Often, there is one dominant, large spider which might be called the matriarch[2] of her nest. Normally, they come in nests of at least fifty, or as many as three hundred.[6]

The shield spider pits can be hidden in different surroundings, usually held together by their sticky spiderweb[7]: Within the floodplains, the spiders camouflage the pit with a layer of dirt, dead grass and sticks that collapses when the prey walks over the nest.[1] Prey includes Rats, Rabbits, Corusdeer, Fortress Beavers and travellers.[2]

Eggs laid in the late season of the year are providing a problem in the Floodplains in early spring, when they hatch.

Shield spiders can be territorial and kill conspecifics from rivaling nests.[8]

Powers/Abilities Edit

Shield Spiders are notorious for tracking and killing their prey across thousands of leagues, making it almost pointless to run from them. What is worse, single mature Shield Spiders are hunting outside of their nest. They prefer to herd fleeing prey straight into the pits. If the net collapses, the inhabitating spiders are swarming all over it, both to protect the eggs and to find the prey.[1]

They are considered to be a Silver-rank threat, while a nest of them might even lead to the notification of a Gold-rank team. Their carapace is extremely tough and can resist acid and steel blades, while there bite is so poisonous that not even a Healing Potion could cure it.[1]

Rags' tribe could clear out smaller spider pits with few casualties even before she migrated out of the area of Liscor, provided that there were at least two Hobgoblins and enough goblins present.[9]

Weaknesses Edit

They can be burnt, especially their dry, webbed pits are vulnerable to fire.[1]

Blunt force or piercing through the carapace is the strategy that experienced warriors employ,[2] but this is the brute force approach for which enormous strength is required.[10]

Acid works rather slow against their thick armor, although it can corrode the joints once it gets into there.[1]

While spiders are not known for being noisy, Shield Spiders scream when they die[1] or when they are provoked.[11]

Habitat around Liscor Edit

Shield Spiders are can be found in the Floodplains, where they are a major danger most of the year. Other parts of Izril where they occur are the Gnoll Plains.[12]

They are growing to be a pest in the muddy valleys around Liscor shortly after the flood period ends, and are exterminated each year in an event that is referred to as the annual spring culling. The backbone of that spider hunt are Liscor's adventurers and the City Guard, but Antinium soldiers or the military may also compete in this event.[2][13] While the culling in the first year of Painted Antinium participation was especially successful, the Spider Mating was also greatly enhanced after various events that provided enough prey for them.[14]

However, forays against Shield Spiders can be done all around the year; Ilvriss for example went out to clear out a few spider pits before the season started, when he was bored.[15]

Usage Edit

The solid carapace is a base material for crafting,[16] including even armor[17]. Shield Spider Armor is a trade secret of the Armored Antinium [18]

The Adventurers Guild of Liscor has a bounty on them of an average of eleven pieces of silver per Shield Spider slain and will pay more for their bodies...[16] That is, unbroken carapaces, broken or burnt ones are worth much less.[19]

Selys Shivertail and probably other Adventurers know how to drain the venum of a dead Shield Spider, indicating that this is another usage for their bodies.[20]

Erin has expressed her intention to make a meal out of Shield Spiders, but has not followed through since.[21] Garry the Antinium cook has however already gone there and done that, having presented a Stuffed Shield Spider abdomen with lentils and fried eggs to his Queen.[22]

As Pets Edit

Shield spiders can't be tamed unless by a very experienced [Beastmaster].[1] One Goblin tribe under the command of the [Goblin Lord], namely their chieftain Blacktide, had taken to use living tamed Shield Spiders as mounts.[23] That particular tribe was last prominently seen during the Battle of Invrisil.[24]

[Necromancers] can try and use dead shield spiders. Pisces is known to employ tiny undead shield spiders as spies[25]; while Reiss used a very large undead Shield Spider as his mount,[26] after Zel Shivertail killed it.[4]

Revi the [Summoner] has captured the spirit of a Shield Spider as a tool to fight for her.[27]

Trivia Edit

  • The Antinium hate spiders; even the dead ones make the Workers very agitated.[16] This may have to do with the fact that the Antinium nutrition sludge includes Shield Spiders[2], but also that the Antinium regularly battle the spiders underground.
  • After she cleared out a nest early in her career as an [Innkeeper], Erin lost respect of Shield Spiders as a serious threat.[28]
  • Liscor's Dungeon has a large pit (a mile-deep vertical drop) with hundred's of thousands of enormous Shield Spiders - that is one of the (as currently assumed: five) main monster caverns (or monster silos).[3] Another one held Face-Eater Moths. The Shield Spider Cavern was sealed from the Dungeon proper by the Halfseekers and Griffon Hunt with a magically-raised wall.[29]
  • Shield Spiders will instinctual abandon their prey when faced with the threat of Crelers and even fight together with other species against this threat.[11]
  • Erin wouldn't believe that Toren pushed Lyonette into shield spider nests to terrorize her. Which he did.[30]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Chapter 1.29
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Chapter 6.30
  3. 3.0 3.1 Chapter 5.28
  4. 4.0 4.1 Chapter 4.49
  5. Chapter 2.01 T
  6. 6.0 6.1 Chapter 3.22 L
  7. Chapter 5.05 mentions glue crafted from webs
  8. Chapter 6.48 T
  9. Chapter 2.02 G
  10. Chapter 4.13 L
  11. 11.0 11.1 Chapter 5.06 M
  12. Chapter 2.28
  13. Interlude Numbtongue Pt. 1
  14. Chapter 6.29
  15. Chapter 4.36 O
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Chapter 1.30
  17. The Wandering Inn Glossary
  18. [1]
  19. Chapter 1.32, Chapter 5.27
  20. Chapter 2.19
  21. Chapter 6.13 K
  22. Chapter 5.33 B
  23. Chapter 3.20 T, Chapter 4.38 B, Chapter 4.46
  24. Chapter 4.48
  25. Chapter 4.10, Chapter 4.37 O, Chapter 5.26 L
  26. Chapter 5.30 G, Chapter 5.51 G
  27. Chapter 6.16
  28. Chapter 2.35
  29. Chapter 5.29
  30. Chapter 2.21
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