Best to kill it with fire. Lots of fire.Galen Rost, Selenian Sentinel
Also Known as: Kungomi (Muj.), Morsgult (Vic.), Hikaiho (Lux.), Seriauceps (Oss.), Taschespinne (Tol.)
Habitat: Ruins, Forests, Jungles
Hazard Level: Moderate
Nith are enormous psuedo-arthropods that lurk in forests, jungles, and ruins across Aeldos. These massive creatures share features with both spider and scorpion, including a dozen segmented limbs covered in urticating bristles, eight of which are tipped with black hooks and four with grasping claws. The creatures fore-body is a sagging orb with a needle filled mouth surrounded by a dozen black eyes, and its abdomen ends with a long segmented tail that terminates in a vicious looking pair of barbs. Though they are distressing to look upon, and despite their significant size, Nith are not an apex predator and instead act as prey for a variety of species which use their young as food including Yeligwi, Urpan, Brogs, and Skalrot.
Elder Nith can grow up to 4 meters in height and 7 meters in length, and weigh up to 100kg, but few specimens reach this size due to their numerous predators.
Despite common lore to the contrary, Nith are not actually spiders or scorpions and most lorekeepers consider them aberrant or engineered wildlife. They justify this by pointing at the wide range of unnatural features Nith possess including a mixture of endo and exoskeleton, a singular bodily orifice with distinct mouth parts, considerable temperature tolerance, seemingly symbiotic biology with certain plants and fungi, and other assorted biological oddities.
Nith are most dangerous when defending a nesting area and tend to avoid direct combat, preferring instead to rely on traps and slow acting poison to kill most prey. Despite this preference they can cause considerable damage with their limbs, tail, and ability to disgorge gobs of extremely sticky silk via their singular orifice.
Nith are enormous and viscerally unsettling pseudo-arthropods with long limbs, bulbous bodies, bristling hair, and a horrifying mouth. There is little to distinguish individual specimens to most humans beyond colouration which is typically black or pale, with contrasting stripes along the back and legs.
Nith have a unique mixture of endo and exoskeleton that enables them to reach their significant size and differentiates them from all other arthropods. The species also possess only a single orifice through which they feed, defecate, breed, and produce silk, making them similar in some ways to the Gluthor.
This circular orifice, situated at the front and bottom of a sagging sac-like body, is ringed on the inside with sharp and retractable teeth and on the outside by a dozen flat black eyes. Despite their numerous visual receptors, the Nith’s dominant mechanism of perception is the sensitive bristles across their body which can detect minute vibrations.
Nith have a surprisingly primitive nervous system with several dense clusters but no central brain. As a result they demonstrate limited but functional intelligence. They are typically cautious predators, utilizing traps and ambushes against prey, and preferring to avoid direct conflict.
For reasons which remain unclear, the bodies of some Nith are welcoming habitats for certain symbiotic flowers and fungi. The Nith and their growths seem to gain mutual benefit from this relationship, with the flora feeding off the Nith’s fluids and tissues and in turn converting light and heat into sugars that fuel the repair of these tissues. As a side benefit, some flora also produce hallucinogenic or disorienting spores and odours that can aid the Nith in its predation.
When hunting, Nith utilize gobs of extremely sticky silk to create traps for prey before stinging them with their venomous tails. This venom can paralyze most animals and, given time, soften and liquefy bones, allowing the Nith to easily consume their prey more easily. If forced into confrontation the adult Nith utilizes its hooked limbs, irritating bristles, and rasping mouth to rake and brutalize prey until they can trap them in silk or inject them with venom. This basic combination of techniques is used regardless of the size of the Nith, with smaller juveniles using the same methods on rodents, other Vermin and Grots as larger adults use on ungulates such as Daedon, and primates such as Bacoon, and Urpan.
Nith lifecycles are complex and obscure and seems to differ significantly between males and females. What little is known suggests the species is born from translucent egg sacs and are only a few inches in size. It takes several decades for a Nith to reach its full size, which it does so through a combination of gorging on successively larger prey, then molting into a larger form. Though the species produce egg clutches of hundreds, few Nith survive beyond a few years, becoming prey for other species. Males who do reach full size are rarer than females as the Nith female consumes the male after fertilization.
Nith thrive in a wide range of climates but prefer areas filled with dense vertical structures such as jungles, forests, and ruins to lay their nests and create hunting grounds. Here they are better able to set up traps and descend on prey from above, granting them considerable advantages. The species rarely migrates, even when more dangerous predators enter their territory, preferring to wait out their competitors rather than attempt to reestablish their complex nests.
Nith are the target of specialist hunters who seek them out for the rare flora and fungi that grow upon them, their potent venom, or, most importantly, the substance Eitre that can be distilled from their circulatory fluid.