E is for Everleigh the Ettercap

imageA downtrodden village has found great new prosperity; so much so that folks have become suspicious. Their exports of fine fabrics and embroidery have become famous throughout the land. Few know that their fortune comes at the cost of a pact with a Spider Shepherd.

No one knows where Everleigh came from, nor why he’s so reasonable. As long as folks stay away from his part of the forest (near the giant oak) they are safe from his beloved Giant Spiders.

Background

Everleigh was born in a typical poor hamlet. He was a strange human child who had a profound affinity with spiders. Eventually his parents feared the worst as he began to gradually grow into a monster: distended belly, long arms and, most horribly, extra eyes. They abandoned him in the woods near the statues if the ancient spider deities, thinking that he was rightfully theirs. Well, also because they feared the wrath of witch hunters.

Everleight found a home among the giant arachnids of those woods, growing up to become their caretaker. He had a very happy life and easily forgot his human family.

However, his giant spider family began to become the prey of giant parasitic moths. Everleigh’s new family were dying.

Out of desperation, and with some difficulty, he managed to make a deal with the farmers and wise women of a nearby village (which, it turned out, was originally his). They provided herbs and spells that would kill the parasites in exchange for the spiders’ silk.

The village is thriving with a silk industry and the forests thrive with giant spiders. The villagers benefit in another way: Everleigh’s giant spiders ward off any other dangerous monsters or raiders, such as orcs or gnolls.

Using this NPC

Everleigh is of Neutral alignment and he is not interested in anything except for the safety of his flock and that of the village. Any number of problems could arise that might get him involved:

– the village has troubles that interfere with his delicate bargain: raiders, a zealous witch hunter, a famine, plague or other calamnity

– Everleigh gets wounded, sick or even killed. The giant spiders get out of control and the village suffers.

– Everleigh falls in love with one of the villagers, risking everything. To complicate matters even more, this person reciprocates the feelings but she’s the daughter of someone important, like the mayor, a priest or someone equally wary of scandal.

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