Walking in the Sand: A Case Study in Desert Spiders


(This Journal has several entries within it, complete with illustrations and charts. It seems to focus on the study of large spiders within the Desert of Ro.)

The Desert Spiders
A Study in Large Therephosids
Oran M’zal, Erudin Academy

Desert Spiderling
Appearance:
Very small (about the size of a small dog).
Light Brown with darker brown spots on their legs.

Ecology:
There were the smallest of the theraphosids I was able to find. They are called “desert” spiderlings, but are actually found closer to the city, and within the small grassy patches found on the edge of the desert itself. They are terrestrial hunters, and feed on small snakes and animals. Not generally regarded as threatening creature, they largely keep to themselves.

Dune Spiderling
Appearance:
Small, although larger than the desert spiderlings. Brown, with darker brown stripes on their legs – can be easily mistaken for their smaller cousins at a distance.

Ecology:
These are larger than the desert spiderlings, and are considered more dangerous (debatable, but they are certainly more aggressive). They hunt many of the same prey, but are found mostly out in the deserts themselves, as opposed to being closer to the city. The “desert” and “dune” theraphosids are certainly different species, and the “spiderlings” appear to be immature versions of their order.

Desert Tarantula
Appearance:
Their body is approximately the size of a large dog. With their legs included, they are about the size of a larger sized dinner table. As with the spiderlings, they are light brown with dark brown stripes on their legs and abdomen. Eyes are more pronounces, and reflect a light red color.

Ecology:
Again, the “desert” moniker tends to be a bit misleading – they are found on the outskirts of the grassy areas near the desert more often then actually inside the desert itself (although there are members out there). These creatures feed on the larger snakes and coyotes that cross its path, but seems to ear infrequently – this would make sense, given how infrequently food can become available out here.

Dune Tarantula
Appearance: Very large. While still similar in appearance to the smaller theraphosids in the Desert of Ro, they are notable for being far larger.

Ecology:
Most often found in the deeper parts of Northern Desert of Ro, these creatures feed on most anything that is smaller than themselves. They are far more aggressive than the other theraphosids, and are considered a dangerous nuisance, since they will readily attack caravan pack animals making their way through the desert.

Unknown Creature
Description:
In my search for more theraphosids in the southern Desert of Ro, I’ve come across what looks like tracks in the sand. I am aghast at the size of the tracks, and if my measurements are correct, this would be a spider of massive size. Something I wouldn’t have conceived would even exist.

Update:
I’ve talked to some of the travelers who have come through this area, and they’ve told me a story of something called the “Terrorantula”. I believe this might be the creature they are speaking of.

Terrorantula
Description:
Massive. It looks similar to the other theraphosids in this area, but many, many times larger.

Ecology:
I can’t begin to describe the size of this creature. I found it some days ago and have followed its movements, and I’m awed by how incredibly huge it is. I can’t be sure what its diet is, unless it is feeding off the other giants of the area. Many of us have heard stories of caravans that go missing in the desert and things of that nature… perhaps this beast has something to do with it.

Terrorantula
Update:
I’ve found what I think might be this creature’s lair. I have not yet entered it, but I believe that it might go much further back than it initially appears. Although it might be risky, I am going to attempt to enter the cavern, and see how deep it might go. Surely a creature of this size couldn’t simply have sprung up from no where… perhaps there are more of these beasts. I must know…

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