|Home:||An other planet|
|Habitat:||The Great Forest|
|Abilities:||Excrete a solution that causes positiv hallucinations|
|Average height:||25 feet|
|Extremities:||Four till eight legs|
Encyclopedia of Marvels, Life Forms and Other Phenomena of Zamonia and its Environs
by Professor Abdullah Nightingale
Spiderwitch, The. The Common Spiderwitch or Witch Spider (Tarantula valkyria) belongs to the family of four-lunged megaspiders, e.g. the bird-eating spider, but attains a considerably larger size. Its predatory techniques have never been fully investigated because no researcher has ever got near enough and lived to report his findings. The Spiderwitch is classified among those Zamonian life forms which employ unfair methods of luring their quarry, e.g. →Carnivorous Oyster, The, →Gourmetica insularis, The, and the venomous →Frog Prince. The Spiderwitch is usually black, with dense, shaggy, reddish brown or fox-red hair and coppery fur on the flattened extremities of its legs and palps. It is held in low esteem by other creatures because of its bad manners and malicious natured, one exception being the Tarantula Tick, a parasite that lives in its fur. Its bite (depending on the victim's size) can be innocuous, injurious to health, or absolutely fatal. An adult Bollogg, for example, will scarcely notice its bite, whereas a 200-foot-long water snail can suffer for several weeks from inflammation of the jaw area accompanied by dizzy spells and breathlessness. In creatures less than 50 feet long the bite is not only lethal but inevitably causes the victim to dissolve entirely into a viscous, readily digestible liquid, similar in appearance to white of egg, which the Spiderwitch sucks up with its mandibles. It can attain a height of 25 feet,has four to eight legs depending on its age (it is born with four legs and acquires another pair every hundred years), twelve eyes, four beaklike mouths, and, on top of it's head, a funnel-shaped, sharply tapering horn which vaguely resembles a witch's hat and has given it its name. It probably uses this horn to skewer its victims ands transport them to its storage net. The Spiderwitch can excrete a sticky solution that induces delusions of a wish-fulfilling kind; in other words, hallucinations that conjure up a vision of what the victim most ardently desires. The Spiderwitch coats its webs in this secretion. Because it cannot be fitted into any evolutionary pattern, the creature is assumed to have Zamonia by way of a comet strike or a dimensional hiatus. It nests exclusively in the Great Forest. That is why the reader is her advised, most strongly, to give the place a wide berth.
Spiderwitch, The [cont.]. Once the Spiderwitch has spun a web it leaves it and goes off to spin more webs in other places. Thereafter the creature checks its skilfully constructed traps for prey at regular intervals. It may be days or weeks before it returns to a web, but return it will, on that you may safely stake your last cent, your sanity, and the health of your entire family.
It is doubtful if there is a more horrible way to die than in the mandibles of a Spiderwitch. It very carefully coats its victim in an acidic, nauseating fluid that begins by eating away the skin and then, with excruciating lentitude, turns the flesh into porridgelike, readily digestible sludge. The victim experiences unendurably as his bones are...
Once a living creature has become entangle in a Spiderwitch's web, only the spider itself can free it. This it does by means of the liquefactive process described in detail above. Where research into the relevant field is concerned, the Spiderwitch's secretion is considered to be the undisputed king of liquid adhesives. There is no chemical, vegetable or other compound that can dissolve said secretion.
Except by water. Remarkably enough, only ordinary spring, rain or tap water is capable of neutralising the adhesive properties of the Spiderwitch's secretion.