On Fri, 19 Feb 1999, Pieter A de Jong wrote:

> Daniel, I really don't think you have much experience with forest fires.
> Even accidental lightning strike fires consume thousands of acres. With
> human encouraging the fires, rather than fighting them, the whole forest
> is going to go up. Spiders die in fires like that, just like everything
> else does. Second, how many spider do you think that there are within
> crawling distance. It's not like they move very fast. Three, dig a
> trench around your camp and fill it with water. Not to many spiders
> swim
> that well.

This would be true in fairly dry areas, such as in temperate or
mediterranean climates, but tropical and subtropical forests burn much
less readily. Which is why slash-and-burn agriculture is a viable option:
you can set the fire and not have to worry too much about it turning
around and burning you, your family and the next four villages. So perhaps
the Spiderfell is more of a rainforest. And don't forget that rainforests
CAN occur in temperate climes--the Olympic Penninsula in Washington State,
USA, is one example. Usually this occurs on the windward slopes of
mountains by coasts, which doesn't really apply here, but there could be
something magical going on. Come to think of it, doesn't the Medoere PS
book mention that Medoere get much more rain and fog than you would really
expect? Maybe the reason for this is that the Spider has found a way of
keeping his realm well-watered. After all, if WE can think of a way to
take out the Spider, no doubt SOMEONE in Anuire would have thought of it
in the last 1000 years and tried it. And if someone tried it, no doubt the
Spider has at least a handful of strategies for combatting it. I don't
know about anyone else, but I've always played the Spider as loopy as a
drunken monkey unless he's being challenged tactically, and then the old
(and brilliant) Goblin warleader comes to the fore, and he is (mostly)
icily efficient and canny. Kind of the old Sherlock Holmes thing--only
happy when he's facing a challenge, but he's so good not very many people
can challenge him, so he spends most of his time drooling and gibbering in

Mark VanderMeulen