Solifugid, Rhagodessa

The rhagodessa is a monstrous arachnid native to tropical climes. A type of solifugid, or “sun spider”, the rhagodessa lacks venom but makes up for it with its massive, shearing jaws.

A rhagodessa is roughly the size of a small pony, and nearly a third of its weight is taken up by its enormous hooked mandibles. These arachnids possess five pairs of legs, the foremost pair being adapted into a pair of grabbing pedipalps that allow it to secure its prey. The common rhagodessa is dark brown with yellow stripes, its body covered in patches of bristly fur.

Rhagodessas are nocturnal hunting predators that favor rocky hills where they can rest during the day. After sunset, they venture out into the lowlands below in search of prey. Rhagodessas tend to stake out a specific hunting ground, rarely traveling more than a few miles from their lairs. Some hobgoblin tribes in Sargava’s Bandu Hills have taken advantage of these creatures, building strongholds near a rhagodessa’s nest and using it as a guardian.

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Image © S.J. Miller. Accessed @sjmillerart here

[Unlike most of the monsters posted here, I have actually used a psoglav in game!  My players really hate it when monsters have ranged capacity.]

Crouching in the shadows is a twisted giant, its hands tipped with iron claws and its legs in iron hooves. Its head is that of a snarling wolf, a single eye glaring balefully from over its muzzle. The stink of rotting meat wafts off of the creature.

Psoglavs are monstrous predators native to the Plane of Shadow. Psoglavs have an affinity for the undead, treating smaller and weaker undead as snacks and minions and kowtowing to more powerful creatures such as liches or nightshades.  They delight in spreading panic and will terrorize a community for days before striking, digging up graves in order to consume corpses and loot burial goods. Avaricious creatures, they hoard gemstones with fervor and will take foolish risks in order to obtain especially fine specimens.

A psoglav is a cunning adversary and rarely fights fair. They use their natural abilities to weaken and harass opponents before closing in for the kill. Most psoglavs do not hesitate to flee if the battle turns against them, and may attempt to abduct a weakened adversary and whisk them away to the Plane of Shadow as a parting insult. Psoglavs are not especially cooperative creatures, and combats with multiple psoglavs often turn into competitions between the monsters to slay more opponents. A psoglav stands 12 feet tall and weighs about 1000 pounds.

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The drow of the Darklands are rightly feared for their vile fleshwarping practices, unholy rituals that twist humanoid victims into hideous aberrations such as driders, but just as horrible are the failures of such experiments. The chwidencha, or spiderleg horror, is one such abomination.

When drow subject their own kind to fleshwarping, the result is a drider, a half-drow, half-spider monstrosity that retains its cunning and malice. Whenever a drider is created, however, there is a chance that the fleshwarping process goes wrong and the doomed victim is mutated into a chwidencha, a near-mindless predator resembling dozens of giant spider legs fused to a tiny central mass. Drow sometimes use chwidenchas as guard creatures or waste disposal, but more often throw the creatures out to haunt the fringes of their underground cities.

Chwidenchas possess only enough intelligence to know that their existence is profoundly wrong, and their self-loathing causes them to lash out at all creatures within reach. Spiderleg horrors are ambush predators that use their tremorsense to locate prey. They impale victims with their skittering legs, then lap up the blood and viscera with the tiny sphincter-like mouth at the bottom of their central mass. Chwidenchas can grow to roughly twice their original size (becoming Huge creatures with 24 Hit Dice) before splitting in half into two separate creatures. It takes decades for a chwidencha to reach this size, keeping the creatures’ reproduction rate low.

Most drow abhor chwidenchas, especially the clergy of Haagenti, the demon lord who taught the dark elves the secret of fleshwarping. However, a few drow cultists of Mazmezz, the demon lord of vermin, revere chwidenchas for their resemblance to their Creeping Queen, and encourage the creatures to inhabit their dark temples and devour live sacrifices.

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