Human Circle of the Moon Hermit, The Spider Druid
TL;DR Legs paralyzed, abandoned at birth, raised by giant spiders then brought to an orphanage, made money braiding spidersilk lace, got legs fixed, now splits time between civilized society and nature protecting both worlds from each other.
I am pale, tall, and gaunt, with brown eyes and brown hair that I always gather into an intricate braid.
I was born with my legs paralyzed to poor and simple parents who saw my broken form as a curse, a bad omen. In the dead of night they brought me swathed in blankets several miles outside their tiny settlement in the Last Forest and left me.
My cries attracted a giant spider matriarch, heavily pregnant, who devised a mutually beneficial plan: she laid her eggs in the folds of my blankets for my body heat to protect them from the elements, and in return brought me berries and insects candied in web. She suspended me in a great web high above the ground, away from predators, which would become my first home. When my brothers and sisters hatched, she sang her lullabies to us all and taught us how to spin strong and beautiful webs like the one we lived in. I learned to climb webs with my two hands as ably as my siblings and catch insects and even small birds and mammals that we all shared.
One day in my adolescence, a band of hunters got lost in our maze of webs. Instead of trapping and killing them, Mother hissed to me, “go,” and lowered me down to show the stunned men the way back towards Wood’s Reach. They dropped me off at an orphanage where I spent several painful years trying to learn human life. I was scolded and struck by matrons often, and the other children called me names for speaking poorly and maneuvering the decrepit house using my arms. My little cousins heard my cries at night, and visited my room to ease my pain with those familiar arachnid lullabies. Soon everybody believed I was truly cursed – for I was broken and wherever I went, spiders would follow – and I was once again cast out of the house.
I spent two nights sleeping in the gutter, curled in blankets, before the wife of a renowned tailor saw me absent mindedly braiding spidersilk into lace, as I always do (habit). “What a beautiful collar that would make,” she said and offered me a silver piece for the braid. The next day she came back with her husband and a proposition: I would make spidersilk lace for them exclusively in exchange for some money and a place to stay. I took up residence in their old barn where my kin could always visit me and braided lace that the tailor adorned onto dresses and coats. Within a couple years I had enough money saved to pay a cleric to fix my legs. Fully mobile, I began to split my time between Wood’s Reach and my first home in the webs, deeper in the forest, where the giant spiders dwell. I find pure joy in running free and jumping between branches and webs, I would do anything not to lose that again (fear).
I have seen nature do horrible things to humans, and humans do horrible things to nature. I act as a warden between worlds (motivation). While I know nature’s vicious cycle of life and death, and accept tragedy and sacrifice as necessary, I don’t see my own abandonment as necessary, for there was still a place for me in human society, I still had worth. Therefore I believe human nature is inherently ugly and capable of abhorrent things, I will never trust it (opinion). Humans don’t live like the spiders do, they hoard what’s theirs, they fear and loathe what they don’t understand. I try to counter humanity’s ugliness little by little, doing anything I can to help people who are broken and neglected like I was (compulsion).
Lately I’ve felt less sure about the life I live – are my small acts of help really enough to create true harmony? Is harmony between worlds even possible given their treacherous natures? I have grown tired of standing with one foot in society and the other in the woods – my two half lives do not make one whole life. I have decided to leave in search of answers to my questions. Perhaps one day I will find a true home, and companionship with people like me.