The Spiderfell, located between the Heartlands and the Southern Coast, contains no individual provinces. This monstrous domain is one of the darkest forests this side of Vosgaard, both physically and spiritually. The locals rightly fear this area, where the very land and climate grow warped under the creature's dreadful might.
Life and Society
The Spider controls the dank forest know as the Spiderfell, in the midst of the Anuirean powers. It is a testament to the Spider's cunning and subtlety that it has survived this long trapped between so many hostile realms.
The land is also filled with goblins and gnolls and even a few orogs, all scurrying to do the Spider's bidding. Centuries have passed since any of them tried to usurp the Spider's position; tales of that last fool are still told around the campfires at night.
A heavy gray cloud hangs perpetually over the Spiderfell, causing occasional rain, but mostly confining itself to threatening rumbles. Little light penetrates the canopy of leaves, leaving normal underbrush to wither and die. Strains of shrubs that aren't entirely normal or natural have taken their place, and their corpse-white leaves provide some phosphorescent illumination in pale pastel shades of purple and blue. Even on the darkest night, the forest glows faintly with eerie illumination. The berries that grow on these bushes prove poisonous, so lethal that a single one can kill a man.
As befits its name, this domain crawls with spiders. They range from about the size of a child's fingernail, to that of a small pony, and all of them are venomous. The most dangerous of all are the head sized albino spiders, who prey on humans.
In addition to its denizens, anyone fool enough to travel in the Spiderfell would best beware the hazards inherent in the terrain itself. The Spiderfell is one of the most noisome forests in Anuire. Deadfalls await in the high places and quicksand in the low, and thorn trees can block even the game trails. The forest is filled with pitfalls and traps, natural and otherwise. What appear to be game trails lead into bogs and cairns of dead goblins. Web's are strung between trunks like walls, and hang from low branches like drifting gossamer to ensnare the unwary.
Despite these dangers and the ever-present threat of the Spider himself, the Spiderfell is an excellent source of timber. In fact, its lumber is prized across Anuire by artisans and craftsmen. Of those who brave the Spiderfell in search of the wood, not everyone makes it back.
The Spiderfell was claimed in ancient times by a wise and cunning goblin lord by the name of Tal-Qazar, who was known as the spiderlord. He fought many wars against the elves, winning most of his campaigns. He joined with the forces of Azrai at Deismaar, and his goblin host was almost completely destroyed by the blast which killed the gods.
When he returned home to the Spiderfell, he discovered that he had absorbed some of the power of the gods, and began to use it to maintain his hold on his lands, his people, and to enrich both. But as the power grew inside him, he began to change, and mutate into a monstrous spider centaur. In a few short decades, the Spiderlord was merely the Spider.
Goblins and gnolls and humanoids of all types are welcome in the Spiderfell, and should they be willing to swear loyalty to the Spider, are even exempt from the common spider attacks. The Spider sends raiding parties out into the lands around the Spiderfell with almost whimsical intent, and no pattern that anyone can determine. Wise rulers keep a small well armed garrison on the border of the Spiderfell to counter these intrusions.
The Spider's armies are greatly feared by nearby kingdoms, for they raid without provocation and without warning. Regents who have sought to tame the Spiderfell with massive armies have always emerged from the forest with fewer than than half their men and a promise never to enter that wood again.
The Spider commands not only armies of goblins and gnolls, but also has developed a strange control over natural spiders. No one knows the extent of this power, but one unfortunate soul has claimed to have seen the lesser spiders pumping their venom into the Spider himself. Others claim that the spider can see and hear through each and every one of his arachnid minions, and that the Spider can project his consciousness into the body of any spider anywhere in the Spiderfell at will.
- Lieutenants: If the Spider has any advisers or aides, they're unknown at this time. Humanoids have been promised haven in the Spiderfell if they agree to work for the Spider, so gnolls and goblins serve the abomination willingly, scurrying through the dimly lit depths of the forest to carry out the Spider's bidding. Sometimes even these minions run afoul of the wood's arachnid inhabitants.
Domain Holding Table
|The Spiderfell (0/7)||Sp (??)||- (0)||- (0)||Ca (??)|
|Abbreviations: Sp=the Spider; Ca=Caine.|
- See Also: Spider Raiders (ShadowMoon)