“Mayong’s Cruelty: the Drachnids”
From the diary of Najena, Tier’Dal sorceress.
It was in the beginning of the apex of my career of sorcery when I accomplished what I still believe to be my prized achievement. They were beautiful beasts with carapaces that gleamed so black they seemed to be cut of obsidian, multi-faceted eyes that could not even begin to comprehend, and they were many hundreds, possibly thousands, of times the size of their much smaller cousins: the black widow spider.
They were beautiful, deadly, and my creations.
Once I had discovered the secret of raising these magnificent beasts, I sent some as gifts to those I admired. Among these individuals was Mayong Mistmoore. Seeking to curry his favor, and to let him know exactly how capable of a sorceress I was, I sent him one as a gift.
Imagine my surprise when he sent it back, irrevocably changed. And my poor emissary, L’Dalt, butchered for his experiment.
What had left as two different beasts returned as one. He had grafted the head and torso of L’Dalt onto the body of the spider, and the two walked as one. L’Dalt’s personality and memories seemed to have been lost in the shift, but his cunning and magical powers were still there – capable of being carried to and utilized wherever the body of that spider could take him. It was a truly formidable combination.
I couldn’t help but feel a hint of amazment and respect for Mayong’s ingenuity. At the same time, however, he had stolen my design and used it to his own ends. The thank you note he sent, “Thank you for supplying Mistmoore with suitable raw ingredients for true servants”, mocked me. I vowed to learn all I could of these creatures and create something better.
I studied these creatures, which came to be known as Drachnids, after Mayong began to release them into Norrath in packs.
They settled into small, neatly organized colonies. The young males spun the webs, and the young females caught food for the nests. The business of the mature males was always elusive. They seemed to be carrying out orders, possibly of Mayong’s, but to what ends? I could never tell. The mature females fought for dominance in the position of nest matriarch. These Widows fiercely protected their station and killed the younger females that might challenge them. It all had a beautifully simple design to it. Mayong was truly a genius.
My studies ended when I was discovered. Trapped in their webbing for days, I nearly went mad from hunger and thirst and finally, out of a purely desperate attempt to live, I managed to use my magics to get free. I evaded all who pursued me, though I know I am truly only alive today because I never had to contend with any mature Drachnids, and hid beyond their borders.
Before I was to truly escape, however, I confronted Mayong. He seemed to be waiting for me, on the edge of their territory, and his face was without pity, or humor as I approached. I outlined what had happened, expecting, well, I am not sure what, but something from him. He, however, only coldly acknowledged that his creations seemed to be establishing themselves well and learning to act together.
When I told him exactly how offended I was that he cared not for what had nearly happened tome, he merely stared at me and informed me that the only reason he had called off the mature Drachnids was because I had played a small role in their creation. I felt foolish then, incredibly so, for imagining he would be angry at his creations for capturing me. If anything, it was a testament to their prowess, and had doubtless pleased him. He told me then that my boon had been expended, and that I should not lurk around their nests anymore. Next time I would not likely find so fortuitous a path to safety. Nearly every hour of every day, I think of something I should have done or said to prove to him that he had crossed the wrong sorceress, though the truth was that I said nothing to him. I only ran away in a wash of emotions I do not care to admit to having felt.
Once back within my own dominion, however, I began to plot.
I designed newer, more ferocious creatures to match and surpass his own. He, I vowed, would feel that same fear and humiliation I had, and I would not rest until he had been shamed.
I am still striving. I have created creatures from all manners and pitches of nightmares, but none seem to have quite such deadly perfection as those beasts.
I will find one though. It is only a matter of time, and then Mayong Mistmoore will regret what he did to me, and regret having ever made the Drachnids.
By my blood,
Sorceress of the Teir’Dal