One of the more rarely-seen inhabitants of the Demiplane of Time, the vortex spider can by quite the danger for the unwary. These massive arachnids make their homes amongst the fibers and vortices of time, spinning their webs out of the very substance of the plane.
Vortex spiders have been a long-standing occupant of Temporal Prime for some time now (as much as that means), but they are known to have once descended from the Ethereal species of phase spiders, a branch species likely first formed when some colony of phase spiders was caught in an ether cyclone, timestorm, or other similar natural phenomenon.
As befitting its name, vortex spiders most often make their lairs along the walls of a vortex, in much the same manner as a funnel spider, waiting for any of its various prey to come near and pulling them into their hollow to feed - anything from temporal dogs to wayward travelers passing along the vortex's length. At times, they may craft their webs amongst the timelines, causing slight disruptions as a result; some have chalked up the phenomenon of synchronicity to false connections formed by a vortex spider's webs. Much as phase spiders, however, their webs are crafted not of an extruded substance, but rather from the native material of the plane; here, the dust of time. As a result, their webs tend to be near-indistinguishable from a distance, and even from nearby can be hard to spot against the dirt-strewn winds of the plane.
Though hardly geniuses, these creatures are far from mindless, and take good advantage both of their natural abilities and of their knowledge of prey. Oftentimes they'll use the near-undetectability of their webs to their advantage, waiting until their prey has wandered well through it before striking; they're well suited to such a strategy, for one because rather than being adhesive, the webbing's temporal nature instead merely slows the progression through time of one in contact with it, and for another given that they possess the natural ability to alter their coloration, much as a flounder. They'll even go so far as to keep the possessions of past victims and use them as bait to lure in further travelers to feed.
Little is known about the life-cycle of the vortex spider, given the odd nature of time and aging on their home plane. While young have been encountered, egg sacs have yet not, leading some to theorize that the spiders have in fact spread non-linearly through the plane since their original deposition, and rather than a branch of phase spiders they're merely an earlier form.
When not camouflaged, vortex spiders appear quite similar to phase spiders; massive beasts reaching nearly 8 feet across at the largest; long, three-segmented legs ending in sharp talons; eight eyes arranged linearly across their heads, two primary and six secondary. Unlike the bright coloration of the phase spider, however, a vortex spider in its natural state instead bears a dull bluish-grey hue dotted with patches of a waxier shade.
- Chronomancer, pg.96