Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links



In my campaign, on one of the smaller islands, the second Easternmost island in the Thanegioth Archipelago, there is an interesting culture. Based rather on H.G. Wells classic novel "The Time Machine". Here's an introduction, more if anyone cares.

Arachne, Island of Spiders

by Colin Davidson

A race of spiders very like the aranea have built a long lasting society that has remained in place at least since the establishment of the Thyatian empire. The spiders, a race named the Taranteans, are larger than aranea, having an average span of 8', and they are mute, communicating through vibrations created by drumming their legs on the ground. They are masters of the island, although another race, the phanaton, is also common there. However, the phanaton of this island are totally unlike those of the Isle of Dread; countless generations of servitude have turned them into near mindless drones, they passively allow themselves to be fed, protected, and preyed upon by the Taranteans.

The main settlement of the Taranteans, named in the Tarantean language Hearts (population 1100), reveals a little more about the origin of their race. The remains of a former civilisation, with architecture reminiscent of the Great Wall on the Isle of Dread, are to be found here. There was a great (human?) city, with architectural motifs and temples devoted to a forgotten immortal, an immortal whose symbol was an eye, with the many eyes of spiders being a common theme among the homes and temples. However, to even find these remains one would have to travel through countless layers of the web-homes of the Taranteans. In amongst the older homes, buried closer to the ruins, there are rumblings of things that even the mighty spiders fear...

The city itself is a dark, foreboding place, with all of the walkways and streets being entirely contained within the mass of webs produced over the years. The webs of Taranteans are somewhat different to those of other spiders in that they are not flammable, and they only remain sticky for a short while after being spun, making them an ideal structural material.

The phanaton live mainly in the surrounding jungle, which provides amply for their own means and those of the Taranteans. Few other predators are found on the island; the occasional Shark Kin incursion is put down brutally by the Taranteans and flying monsters are dealt with by being lured into massive webs.

While the population and organisation of the island seem odd enough, the history of the island and the reality of Tarantean society are more bizarre and chilling than any outside observers could possibly imagine...