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by Jamie Baty

Small Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 1d10+1 (6 hp)
Initiative: +2 (+2 Dex)
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), climb 25 ft. (5 squares)
Armour Class: 13 (+1 size, +2 Dex), touch 13, flat-footed 11
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-4
Attack: Bite +4 melee (1d2 -1 plus poison)
Full Attack: Bite +4 melee (1d2 -1 plus poison)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks: Poison, web
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60ft., low-light vision, tremorsense
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +1
Abilities: Str 8, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 7, Wis 12, Cha 5
Skills: Climb +10, Hide +11 (+15*), Listen +2, Move Silently +3 (+11*), Spot +2
Feats: Dodge, Weapon finesse (B)
Environment: Any forests
Organisation: Solitary, or Brood (2-5 plus 1 aranea)
Challenge Rating: 1/2
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 2 HD (Small); 3 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment: -

Spider-spies are enchanted spiders of large size, developed by the Herathian mages. The spider-spies are one of the more successful Herathian biological design endeavours. Unlike a regular spider, the webs of a spider-spy are usually large, gossamer-thin web-lines rather than thick, sprawling affairs. The lines are only slightly thicker than a human hair and can cover up to one square mile per hit point of the spider.
These webs are not used to trap prey, but to relay messages to the spider-spy and then to the aranea controlling the spy. Any creature touching the web alerts the spy. The spider-spy can tell a remarkable amount about the creature in that single moment. For example, the spider-spy can identify the creature's exact location, approximate size, mental state (anxious, despondent, gloating, etc.), general alignment (evil, good, or neutral), magical abilities, race, sex, and approximate age. It can also determine whether the creature has Legacies. In some cases, the spider-spy also gets an indication of the creature's surface thoughts. The Herathians train the spider spies to filter out "noise" contacts, such as when one of their webs gets broken by a bird, cat, forest ray, etc.
Spider-spies are found in small groups, always with an aranea controller nearby. Each group of 2 to 5 spider spies runs one web network (up to nine square miles). One spy sits at the centre of the web and gathers information. The other spy(s) travels around the web, repairing breaks and occasionally checking in with the aranea controller. They rotate positions frequently.
The spider-spies are not naturally occurring creatures, and their breeding is carefully controlled. Spider spies feed on a diet of small warm-blooded creatures and large insects.
Spider-spy controllers are highly trained and valued individuals in aranean society. Communicating with the spider-spies is a difficult art. Spider-spies communicate with their keepers via a soft chittering language, using sounds produced through their mouths and spinnerets, complemented by signs made with their legs.

Spider-spies are trained to flee from combat if at all possible. The spider-spies are too valuable to be risked in combat.
If attacked, spider-spies will immediately chitter to alert their caretakers. A spider-spy is usually linked to its controller via an ultra-thin web strand, so it can also send a silent distress call through this strand.
If forced into combat, spider-spies will bite.

Poison (Ex): The bite of the spider-spy is poisonous. Any creature bitten must make a Fortitude save vs. DC 11 (Con based) or suffer 1d3 Con damage for both initial and secondary damage.

Web (Ex): Spider-spies spin a very thin, ultra-strong web. Spider-spy webs can cover up to 1 square mile per hp the spider-spy possesses. Any creature in contact with the web reveals its approximate location, size, mental state, magical abilities, general alignment, race, sex, and age to the spider-spy. If the victim fails a Will save vs. DC 10, the spider-spy may also read the victim's thoughts for as long as the victim is in contact with the web.
These webs are very difficult to detect, requiring a Spot check vs. DC 20 to detect them before coming into contact with them. Even when in contact, they are hard to spot- if in contact, they still require a DC 15 Spot skill check to identify.

Tremorsense (Ex): A spider-spy can detect and pinpoint any creature or object within 60 feet in contact with the ground, or within any range in contact with the spider-spy's webs.

Skills: Spider-spies have a +4 racial bonus on Hide and Spot checks and a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks. A spider-spy can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened. Spider-spies use either their Strength or Dexterity modifier for Climb checks, whichever is higher. *Spider-spies have a +8 racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks when using their webs.

The Red Curse
Spider spies acquire Legacies and require cinnabryl. Their aranean masters usually supply this metal for them.