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December 9- Spider

Snowman Kulanthula

Kulanthulas are well-known to children and adventurers alike, their smallest members found chasing pigeons in every city and their larger wilderness cousins devouring many a starting explorer who underestimated them. It is no surprise that the north has its own breeds, the largest and fiercest being the snowman kulanthula.

Kulanthulas are known for not making webs, either attacking from the trees or underground. The snowman kulanthula does the former during the summer. They hide among pine trees, dropping on passing animals. Roughly dog-sized, they fill a similar niche to bishop owls, but are more common in the deeper forested areas. However, during the winter, their color goes white and they move out onto the snowy tundra. There, they lie in wait, resembling little more than a mound in the snow. The first thing to come close gets pounced upon.

Kulanthulas prefer prey smaller than themselves, but will sometimes attack large herd animals, relying on larger doses of venom to kill them. Smaller prey is often killed through stabbing trauma via the kulanthula’s fangs. Kulanthulas, like most spiders, inject this prey with digestive fluids, then drink up the results through their true mouth. Due to their ambush-based style and slow metabolisms, they can survive for quite some time on a single meal, tying it to their favorite tree for later consumption.

Like other kulanthulas, the females are significantly larger than the males and eat them after mating. They breed only once in their life, in the last fall of their life (usually they live five years, although some exceptionally large females live up to 7). The males, as mentioned, die after mating, but the females survive to lay up to 3 dozen eggs. They hang them up in their home tree, defending them the entire winter until they hatch in the spring, taking no time off to eat or drink. Shortly after their children are born and scatter to find their first meals, she will die.

All the races of the region find much use in their silk, often making clothing or at least threads from it, and witches see use of their venom in some potions. Some goblin clans, such as the Webways and the Chattermonks, attempt regularly to tame and adopt these great spiders, with limited success, and a few deep-forest ogres take on their traits and potentially even worship them.

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2 Comments

  1. Just looking at the picture, I figured they’d melt in the summer. Or at least the adults would while leaving eggs that hatched come winter. As it stands though… You mention they turn white during winter, but I don’t see what their color is during other season.

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