October 25, 2015 by M Grant
Are you afraid of snakes? Spiders? Reasonable! Snakes and spiders are dangerous! This week, we combine the worst of both worlds in an original monster, the arachnophidian– sort of the opposite of the spider-tailed horned viper (a real Earth monster).
Art by Leigh at Pawfulgood
Eight heads probe the darkness with flickering tongues. Twenty-four beady black eyes all focus at once. Despite its bloated abdomen, glides silently over the floor on sinuous muscles with a pulsing rhythm. As it courses towards you, you feel something in your hair…
Alien Grace. Some say that even cruel nature could not invent a creature as horrible as the arachnophidian. Others argue that no wizard could be mad enough. It is a spider roughly the size of a dog, with serpents where there should be legs. Despite the creature’s many heads and, presumably, nine separate brains, its limbs cooperate with surprising efficiency, roiling over one another in a slow but deadly tide. Some are furred spiders like a tarantula, others have a slick black chitin that melds into dark diamond scale patterns, but all have dripping fangs and twitching spinnerets.
Ambush Hunter. The arachnophidian’s webbing is too large to trap prey, and its powerful venom means it often disables prey very quickly. For this reason, it attempts to isolate and surprise its prey, giving it time to feed after the kill. In a failed attack, it may be too slow to escape.