Theopondrid are in simplest terms, giant spiders. Native to the gothic crevices of Athanagild, these creatures are aggressive and intelligent. They use both their size and their pseudowits to their advantage to hunt prey. Even more terrifyingly, Theopondrids live in massive colonial “societies”. In which they will scuttle across the ruined ceilings of Athanagild’s decrepit and putrid architecture.
The name “Theopondrid” is as ancient as these creatures. These creatures have terrorized the small and ancient settlements of Athanagild seemingly since the dawn of time. The exact definition of the word “Theopondrid” has been lost to history, as the word is versatile and poetic in its origin. “Theo” could mean fear, agony, masochism, sadism, or suffering. While “Pondrid” translates roughly to “deliverer“. Which means that the name “Theopondrid” translates roughly to “Deliverer of Pain/Agony/etc,”. A truly poetic and fitting name for these terror-inducing critters.
Theopondrid are not true spiders, as they have twelve legs and far exceed the size of any known arthropod. In fact, these creatures have internal systems similar to that of standard vertebrates.
Theopondrid are an ancient species, mentions and depictions of these creatures have been widespread in both ancient texts and structures around Athanagild. Skawlgrim Church was purportedly made in honor of these creatures, for unknown reasons. Various indigenous tribes domesticated and enslaved these creatures to use in battle and in cuisine.
The population of the Theopondrid species is still as vast as it was aeons ago. The species continues to inhabit abandoned ruins such as Skawlgrim Church. The art of taming and farming these creatures has been lost, and the Theopondrid ravage small cities and consume anyone that does not keep an eye on the architecture above.