From: crhutchinson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun 11 Jun 1995 - 18:56:12 EEST
To me, the Digest has been somewhat dull lately; thouhgt I'd humbly attempt to liven it up a bit with two things:
CHERACID (Polycimex pseudoaranae)
Habitat: Genertelan Wastes; rough terrain
Exactly what sort of arthropod the cheracid is frustrates those scholars lucky enough to examine one of thses rare creatures. So is the question of whether it represents one polymorphic or two separate species - if two, then there must be a symbiotic relationship between them. The description that follows uses the former point of view, which is prevalent among the handful of sages aware of their existence.
The forms which are apparently the males of the species appear spider-like, with a bulbous abdomen, eight jointed legs, six clustered eyes, and a heavily armored, bristly carapace. However, their double set of chelicerae / mandibles are grotesquely enlarged compared to most arachnids, serving as lethal slicing mechanisms rather than the usual combined grab-and bite function. Also unlike normal arachnids, the 'males' lack any venom sacs or spinnerets. Their ecological role seems to be that of a sit-and-wait predator by day, occassionaly roaming short distances from their burrows to hunt at night. The males are obsessed with collecting severed limbs to make their elaborate nests with which they seem to attract and feed mates. They are highly predatory and stealthy; preferring medium-sized prey of any sort.
The 'females' are similar to their counterparts, having the eight legs and similar coloration (usually mottled amber to tan, matching their surroundings), but bear more overall resemblance morphologically to a solpugid (see Trollpak: Book of Uz), with the blunt grasping palps and agile body. Their carapace is lighter and their jaws are reduced to a feeble condition. However, their abdomen is elongated and tapers into a horrid stinger-like ovipositor with which these parasitoids inject eggs into their hosts. Their stinger bears venom glands which secrete a non-lethal paralytic poison to render their larvae's food helpless.
Cheracids are found in isolated hilly eregions, canyons, dried river beds, etc. in the Wastes - especially the Vulture Country and beyond. They are usuallly found together in single pairs, living in burrows dug by the femnale in soft ground or more solid abandoned holes. Most nomads aware of cheracids despise them except for their eggs and larvae, which are a delicacy but not easy to obtain. Few healers know how to counteract their poison or safely remove their eggs or larvae. Comatose prey are buried in a thin layer of soil and the burrow is vacated and sealed.
Oh what the heck, I'll print the stats even if I'm taking up too much space. As far as I see it, any more Glorantha is more MGF.
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