Darkweaver


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Darkweavers, originally natives of the Plane of Shadow alone, have long since expanded from that one realm, making further homes today in the shadowed regions of the Lower Chaotic Planes; they can be found lurking throughout the Abyss, Pandemonium, and Carceri, and even occasionally in some parts of Limbo. Some have even made homes in isolated areas of Yggdrasil, keeping quiet lives away from the tree's guardians to feed on the occasional visitor.

Personality

Darkweavers are exclusively solitary creatures, with no significant relationships even amongst their own kind. As such, they have no tolerance for any within their domains, nor any appreciation for mercy or sympathy. And they keep wide domains indeed; their webs, insubstantial structures literally formed out of strands of pure shadow, can stretch across hundreds of yards, impeding any progress out while entirely allowing progress towards the center, where the weaver itself lairs. They're intelligent enough to ignore those truly dangerous enough to cause them risk, allowing the more powerful natives near to their domains to pass unharmed and focusing on the lesser natives or passersby to sustain themselves. At times, they'll even try to draw in prey with promises of power, knowledge, or favors in the future for those too intelligent to become entrapped in their webs, but no claim by a weaver of the dark can ever be trusted; they enjoy indulging in trickery and subterfuge too much to ever bother with honesty with those they would feed upon.

Ecology

A weaver of the dark is exclusively carnivorous, feeding on any sort of beast or being that gets stuck in their shadowy webs, intelligent or no. When feeding on entrapped prey, they first inject their proboscises into the held victim, injecting a venom that, much as with true spiders, slowly kills them while simultaneously treating their flesh so as to make it more palatable to the darkweaver. After the prey's death, the darkweaver then begins to feed; unlike true spiders, the victim is still solid, but naturally tenderized by the weaver's fluids.

When a darkweaver nears the end of its natural lifespan, after close to 140 years, they reproduce; darkweaver reproduction is wholly asexual, an even division of a single weaver into two smaller weavers each of half the size and strength, each with all the memories and knowledge of the original. Following division, there's a brief contest of dominance, with the loser forced out of the pre-existing domain, forced to claim a new domain elsewhere.

Appearance

Few ever actually spy the darkweaver, shrouded in shadow as it most often keeps itself. When actually observed in the light, it at first glance resembles a massive spider, its skin oily and rubbery. The more one looks upon it, though, the more one sees how wrong this description is; rather than legs, each of its limbs is a long, writhing tentacle, wiry and quick. In place of mandibles, it bears short proboscises, thick probes that surround a mouth lines with razor-sharp fangs. Its body consists of two spherical segments, an abdomen and a head, and the only sensory organs a person can see are the dozens of pitch-dark orbs that dot its front without rhyme or reason, glimmering in the light before it extinguishes it once more.

References

  • Fiend Folio (3e), pp.39-40
  • Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II, pp.20-21
  • Planes of Conflict - Liber Benevolentiae, pg.6
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