This massive flying insect buzzes through the air on four bat-like wings. Its bloated abdomen brandishes a razor-sharp stinger dripping with venom.
Spider Eater CR 5
Constant—freedom of movement
Str 21, Dex 14, Con 19, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +5; CMB +11; CMD 24
Feats Alertness, Dodge, Improved Initiative
Skills Fly +8, Perception +11, Sense Motive +3, Stealth +2; Racial Modifier +4 Perception
Female spider eaters lay their eggs inside paralyzed creatures of Medium size or larger. The hatched larva emerge six weeks later, devouring the host from the inside, and killing the implanted creature. A remove disease cast on the implanted creature within the six-week gestation will kill the larva.
Environment temperate forests
Organization solitary or pair
Sages theorize the spider eater results from an ancient civilization’s attempt to control the local arachnid population. (This is based solely on the spider eater’s freedom of movement ability which renders it immune to the webs of giant spiders.) While these same sages do not know how this civilization fared against the spiders, they gauge the experiment a partial success, as spider eaters are now a numerous and wide-ranging species. Though the creatures prefer to lay their eggs in spiders, any living creature will do.
Although only females lay eggs, males search for creatures to paralyze so their mates may have a suitable host. In combat, spider eaters sting and then back away, hovering just out of reach until a foe is paralyzed. The spider eater then carries the downed victim to a remote spot so it is not eaten by other animals before the spider eater’s eggs can hatch.
Despite their name, spider eaters do not eat spiders. Except for when it burrows out of a host, a spider eater consumes only plant matter.
Some races use spider eaters as mounts. Ironically, one such race is the drow. A male-dominated dark-elf cult known as the Q’Darath have broken away from the ways of the Spider Queen and employ spider eaters as mounts in surface raids and in attacks against their spider-worshiping sisters.
Training a spider eater requires a DC 25 Handle Animal check after six weeks of work. Riding a spider eater requires an exotic saddle. Spider eater eggs and young fetch as much as 2,000 gp and 3,000 gp respectively on the open market. A trainer charges 3,000 gp to teach a spider eater to bear a rider. The spider eater’s freedom of movement ability does not extend to its rider.
A spider eater weighs 4,000 pounds and has a wingspan of 20 feet.
Forgotten Foes © 2010 Tricky Owlbear Publishing, Inc.; Authors Mark Gedak and Stefen Styrsky.