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The Aranea is an intelligent, shapechanging spider with sorcerous powers. It lives in temperate forests and is sometimes encountered in the Underdark.
The Aranea's natural form resembles a big spider with a humpbacked body that is a little bigger than a human torso. It has mandibles and eight legs like a normal spider, though it also sports two small arms. Both arms are about 2 feet long and lie below the mandibles. Each arm has a hand with four many-jointed fingers and a double-jointed thumb. The Aranea weighs about 150 pounds and can be between 6 (young) and 10 (adult) feet tall. The enormous hump on its back houses the Aranea's brain.
The Aranea tries to avoid physical contact, because of the vulnerability of it's brain and because it does not have some sort of natural armor. Because of this it will attack from a distance, using webs and spells.
Once fighting it will focus his attention first on the most aggressive and dangerous attacker after which the lesser attackers are either easily killed or flee because of their leader being killed.
It is not uncommon for an Aranea that knows that it's going to die to suggest some sort of ransom for its own life.
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