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Dream Spider

This child-sized spider’s blue-and-yellow-striped abdomen shimmers as it scuttles along its gossamer web. A drop of thick purple venom drips from its mandibles.

Dream Spider CR 1/2

Source Pathfinder #7: Edge of Anarchy pg. 82, Curse of the Crimson Throne (PFRPG) pg. 477
N Small vermin
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft.; Listen +1, Spot +5

Defense

AC 13, touch 12, flat-footed 11 (+2 Dex, +1 size)
hp 5 (1d8+1)
Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +1
Immune mind-affecting effects

Offense

Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +3 (1d3 plus poison)
Special Attacks dream web

Statistics

Str 10, Dex 15, Con 12, Int —, Wis 12, Cha 11
Base Atk +0; Grapple -4
Feats Weapon FinesseB
Skills Climb +10, Hide +10, Spot +5; Racial Modifiers +4 Hide (in webs), +4 Spot

Ecology

Environment tropical forest or any urban
Organization solitary, pair, or nest (3-8)
Treasure special (see below)
Advancement 2-4 HD (Small), 5-8 HD (Medium)

Special Abilities

Dream Web (Ex) A dream spider can spin webs just like a monstrous spider of the same size (MM 288) but its webs carry an iridescent hue, making them easy to notice (Spot DC 15). Any animal, humanoid, giant, or monstrous humanoid that comes in contact with these webs experiences strange hallucinations, taking 1 point of Wisdom damage per round of contact. A DC 11 Fortitude save negates this damage. If the webs of a dream spider are burned, they create a spread of poisonous gas in a 10-foot radius. This gas deals 1d4 points of Wisdom damage to all creatures in the area (not just to those susceptible to contact with webs as listed above). A DC 11 Fortitude save halves this damage. The cloud of colorful vapor remains for only a single round before dissipating harmlessly. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Poison (Ex) Injury, Fortitude DC 11, initial and secondary damage 1d4 Wis. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Description

Native to the fecund jungles of the Mwangi Expanse, dream spiders are among the many wondrous and terrifying creatures to stalk the thick tropical forests of Garund. Their name among the people native to the region, Jalkara Kal, is the name of the mythic Prince of Dreams revered by many tribes of river people. The Sutra of the Ancients tells of Jalkara Kal’s transformation into a spider after Mevenga the Leopard, Prince of Ravages, convinced the All-King that Jalkara was a traitor. The All-King later learned of Mevenga’s treachery, but had employed powers so rancorous against Jalkara that the punitive transformation could never be undone. The best the All-King could do was to return Jalkara’s power over dreams and visions to him in his new arachnid form.

The dream spiders are Jalkara’s brood, and depending on which tribe you ask, they have menaced or blessed the peoples of the jungle since time immemorial. The power of their venom, to gift the bitten with visions, is widely valued, but many fear the poisonous boon, believing the visions to be of some future doom. Some tribes hunt the Jalkara Kal viciously, driving the creatures from their lands.

Foreigners find the narcotic bliss that accompanies a dream spider’s bite irresistible, and trappers both native and foreign now sell the strange monsters for three times their weight in gold to traders who bring the venomous beasts to Cheliax, Absalom, Varisia, and other cosmopolitan and decadent ports of call. Some are even rumored to spin their iridescent webs, which carry a similar poison, into an intoxicating silk cloth.

Treasure

Dream spiders are a treasure unto themselves. A live specimen is worth 50 gp, while a typical egg cluster is worth 100 gp (young dream spiders are difficult to raise in captivity, though). Dream spider webbing is worth 50 gp per nest, although care must be taken in handling the stuff. Silk spun from dream spider webs is particularly valued in the crafting of clothing intended to bear illusion magic.

The primary value of a dream spider, though, is to an alchemist who has mastered the craft of brewing shiver from dream spider venom. A single dose of shiver is worth 10 gp, although actual street value can sometimes exceed five times that amount in areas where drug trades are tightly controlled or illegal. In Korvosa, a dose of shiver typically sells for 25 gp—enough that a life of petty theft can just barely keep an addict in ready supply.

Shiver

Enigmatic and eerily beautiful, dream spiders are now a hot commodity on the streets of Korvosa, where it’s said their venom shows some the future.

Venom milked directly from a dream spider is potent, but not particularly habit-forming. When the venom is boiled in a mixture of water, alcohol, and webbing gathered from dream spider nests, the result is an addictive drug called “shiver.” The process of creating the drug is complex, requiring a DC 22 Craft (alchemy) check to produce a single dose.

Shiver is taken by mouth, and its effects are swift. The drinker must make a DC 10 Fortitude save to resist taking 1 point of Wisdom damage. A minute later, he must save again or lapse into a comatose state for 1d4 hours, during which he experiences vivid, bizarre dreams. Each additional dose of shiver taken within 24 hours increases the DC to resist by +1 and the duration of the coma by 1d4 hours.

Shiver is extremely habit-forming. Each time a creature takes the drug, he can resist addiction with a DC 10 Fortitude check. An addicted character must make a DC 15 Fortitude save each week he doesn’t use shiver to avoid taking 1d10 points of Wisdom damage. A character who makes two of these saving throws in a row recovers from his addiction.

Variants

Several sub-species of Jalkara Kal are known to exist—the specimen described above is merely the most populous breed, and the easiest to catch.

Perhaps the next most common variant is the deatheye dancer. These mottled black and purple dream spiders are usually bulkier than the common breed, and their fangs are noticeably larger as well (bite damage 1d6). The bite of a death-eye dancer also causes a victim to shuffle and spasm wildly, almost as if dancing—this venom deals 1d4 points of Dexterity damage in addition to the normal Wisdom damage.

Rarer are the much larger and more dangerous nightmare spiders—Medium-sized dream spiders with black and red markings whose venom causes three times the amount of Wisdom damage on the initial save and paralysis for 2d6 hours if the secondary save is failed.