Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Apollyon: The Hanging City of Spiders

Woe unto he who stumbles into the Hanging City, invited or by chance, for suspended among the twisted trees of the Nazharrow Wood is the Thrice Damned City of Spiders, Apollyon. The abominable masters of this nightmarish city are the intelligent and telepathic Giant Spiders of Apollyon, most of which are as competent at spell-casting as any human or elf. The city itself is only rarely open to visitation, and then by invitation only; but of those bold or fool-hearty enough to enter, great treasures and seldom seen horror soaked splendors await.

It is said the Spiders have the souls of artists being lead by madly twisted and screaming muses, and without a doubt, their architecture, completely spun from their swollen night-shaded bodies, reflects this interpretation. Up and down are relative terms when describing a simple tavern setting, for all sides of the room are utilized, including the bar, which serves up the finest fermented elfsblood in silk-spun capsules. For those poor visitors unable to climb in such an establishment, there is almost certain to be a hospitably willing octi-legged patron willing to assist – either up close and personal or by way of hoisting the hapless guest up with her spinnerets …

Apollyon's biggest export is, as one might imagine, fine silks. Nearly all silk products, from ropes to robes, in the Northwind region may trace their origin to the Hanging City. Their closest ally and strongest trading partners are of the city of Carnage (KAR-naj,) home of the Soft Ones, a mysterious and otherworldly race of beings, mute, magical, and telepathic, not unlike the Spiders themselves. The Soft Ones are known throughout the region as vaguely humanoid public relations and mercantile representatives of the Spiders and their wares (They are also known for their practice of 'sporcery,' a fusion of chaos magics and alchemy not widely understood, but that is another days topic …) The Soft Ones supposedly have an arrangement with the Spiders trading live souls for silks, but these rumors are only founded upon the Soft Ones very public embrace of slavery and the worst fears of the unknowable.

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