Duskizen The Shadow Weaver Picture

Duskizen, the Shadow Weaver

During the time of the great trails, the mighty battle that decided who of Gaia’s proud children would take the mantle of guardian over the forces of nature, was waged across the entire planet. Much was at stake and many would be guardians were defeated, providing foot falls for the survivors as they raced toward the inevitable final test against the then three Apocalypse Bringers who had long held their vigil over Gaia and her work. Among the rampaging titans there was one that did not reveal itself openly. Carefully, with great care, caution and subtlety did he climb the arduous mountain that was survival; crawling among the endless swarms of vermin and gradually growing nearly equal to his competition. There was a name, a hunter that struck from the pitch black of shadow and disappeared into the glimmer of light. A nightmare that held no grudge, only a mechanical resolve that revolved around primal execution. This entity’s name was uttered in hush whispers and sent crawling shivers across the skin for none knew where or when he was watching and thus assumed he did both simultaneously and at all times. This entity was known as Duskizen, the Shadow Weaver.

An ancient arachnid, black as soot with the most fearsome traits of wasp, ant, spider and scorpion, Duskizen was a hunter in the dark from the day he punctured his cocoon and devoured his siblings. For there could be only one representative in their bid for guardianship and through his kindred’s sacrifice did Duskizen come to be. Soon larger prey fell to his patience and tactics. The gifts of his siblings manifested through his mandibles, his claws, piercing hairs along his carapace and his venom; as he stalked stronger prey to assure his place in the trails. As he hunted Duskizen grew in both size and power. The meager animals he had hunted before no longer sustained him one at a time. He was forced to adapt to his changing conditions, seeking larger volumes of small prey and larger sizes of single prey. But this new circumstance brought with it a heightened danger of discovery and his competition was just as gifted in their own way as he was and by nature of bones being within the muscle, were a sturdy breed foreign to Duskizen’s own sense of fortitude. But Duskizen was patient and he was cunning, the quick were not always vigilant, the strong not always so, and the powerful not always awake. His notoriety spread like a wave of fear, his competition seeing the silhouette of his branching limbs around every corner and his chittering breath on the wind. The crags and cliffs were a liability to them now, for in such uneven terrain Duskizen had every advantage and their fear only made them predictable.

Duskizen soon found himself against seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The first was Beelzebub who while in his larva stage was now a behemoth of pure gluttonous hunger that did not sleep and was impossible to approach. Try as Duskizen might, Beelzebub was too strong to subdue in his webbing, it’s rubbery hide was ten times as thick as its own head and it responded to Duskizen’s ominous approach with little more than a massive belch before attempting to eat him as well. Duskizen lost a leg for his effort, retreating with knowledge that for now, Beelzebub was too great an obstacle. Frustrated but sensible, Duskizen continued to seek out less ‘bizarre’ prey. The second was something less base but all the more infuriating as it introduced itself by depriving Duskizen of the available prey that would help him heal. This second obstacle was another titan; a competitor that combined the most pretentious traits of wolf, dinosaur and horse. To modern day observers one could say it was something of a furred, winged and disturbingly equine dragon…if one were to replace all reptilian traits with those of mammals. Though it’s appearance could have been considered ‘regal’ it’s behavior was anything but. It killed because it could; it ate more than it had to and took a disturbing amount of pleasure in playing with and crippling its prey behind recognition before eating it alive. It’s breath was a noxious chilling vapor that left horrific chemical burns on anything it touched. It too had tasted the sting of defeat in its own encounter with Beelzebub who had inhaled the dragon-horse-wolf’s breath weapon and ‘returned fire’. The stench was so horrific that it was visible from over a mile away and the titan’s screams of nasal agony could be likewise heard from the same distance. Thus the titan had attempted to assuage its wounded pride by brutally massacring everything that looked even remotely weaker then it. This left Duskizen with really nothing to hunt but the titan itself. Despite being down a fully formed leg, and only barely sustaining itself by pillaging the ‘mess’ the titan left behind, Duskizen stalked the titan for several days, learning it’s terrible habits and rather moronic quirk of looking overly long at its own reflection as it cleaned itself. It was during one such beauty session that Duskizen finally struck, sinking seven of his eight legs, stinger, fang and mandibles into the titan’s flesh. However, underneath all the fur was iron hard scales and venom harmlessly soaked into the fur rather than its blood stream. The titan recovered and a brawl soon shook the area. Once the titan had a good look at his attacker, he became mortified not out of fear but out of the sheer revulsion that something so UGLY had touched HIM. Duskizen was merely irritated at not having waited long enough to see the titan fight another kaiju and reveal this defense to him earlier. The two rampaged all through the tree line in a surprisingly dead even heat until the titan released its breath weapon and brought Duskizen’s agility to a crawl. The titan then took its time brutally breaking the spider kaiju’s limbs and was about to smush Duskizen’s head in when Duskizen suddenly sunk into the earth. The spider shaped dark patch of earth then seemed to hobble away into the depths of a canyon and disappear. Sniffing disdainfully at the retreat of such a ‘vulgar’ enemy, the draconic terror continued seeking out things to entertain itself.

In a moment of desperation, Duskizen’s innate mana fueled abilities saved him from certain death and took him into the realm between light and darkness. This surreal and inverted realm of monotone gave Duskizen time to heal and by experimenting, Duskizen was able to draw prey into the realm and feed on them in their confusion. Eventually, Duskizen molted one last time, achieving a size befitting a true monstrous spider. After spending another week honing his control over light and shadow, Duskizen emerged from the canyon with a score to settle. It didn’t take long to pick up the trail of carnage and track down the dragon-horse-wolf who was in the middle of tormenting one of the few families of mega fauna left in the area. Duskizen waited until the eve of sunrise to attack, when the shadows would be at their longest. The titan became confused as the shadows began to take eerie shapes and his own glorious shadow seemed to be sprouting some disturbingly familiar legs. The creature’s confidence turned to frustration as he could not find the spider and eventually fear as piston like kicks struck him from every conceivable angle. He thought he was safe as he entered a clearing away from the shadows of the clearing. It’s damnably smug expression turned to horror as twin tendril like whips lashed a thick strand of ink like thread across his neck and began dragging him back into the tree line. The pale shining eyes staring at him from the void within the darkness made the titan go wild with fear as it flapped it’s wings desperately and began spraying its breath weapon frantically. The thread was dissolved and Duskizen sank back into the shadow realm as the titan literally wasted its breath obliterating the forest around it. Exhausted, the titan trotted off toward the one place it was sure it was safe, it’s lair atop a snow capped mountain. Surely the disgusting bug couldn’t follow him THERE right? He barely got a few minutes of rest before the sound of clicking legs from the ceiling told him how wrong he was. The titan frantically bounded out of his lair and into the air, weaving his way raggedly through the peaks. All according to Duskizen’s plan as the titan flew head long into a titanic web. The more he struggled the more he became trapped in the sticky threads. Duskizen soon emerged from the depths of the icy crags and began using his specialized claws to tear open the armor on the titan’s back like a can opener. Chunks of fur and armor were clipped off to reveal spongy flesh and muscle. To the titan’s relief the spider did not sink his fangs into his flesh but stepped away from the web and snipped the top two supports. The titan began to fall, desperately flapping it’s web gummed wings to become airborne again and managing a partial success. As the titan made its way out of the crevasse, he found himself weighted down and looked below to see Duskizen skiing through the snow while holding the remaining lower threads of the web still attached to him. This was an affront to the titan’s ‘noble, free, magnificent and special’ spirit and the titan attempted to drag Duskizen over the mountains in an effort to smash him to death. Duskizen however proved far more agile and equipped to travel the steep surfaces at great speed then the titan anticipated and with powerful yanks on the thread, caused the titan to fly where the spider wanted him to. To the titan’s dismay, the spider was driving HIM not the other way around and his fear and rage kept him from putting too much thought into where the spider was kiting him. After several minutes of humiliation, Duskizen suddenly spun the two threads together into a taunt rope and with a spinning twist, whipped the titan out of the sky and down a mountain side; rolling into a monolith dotted valley. The titan was a broken mangled heap at this point. It’s luxurious wings were torn and snapped like twigs, it’s fur was dark with shattered rock powder and blood, it’s back was a seeping and angry red patch of collapsed muscle and brokenly protruding spine and it had lost several dozen teeth. Duskizen began to creep over, emerging over the hill in the last rays of daylight as the sun began to set. The titan was still defiant, assured that no matter how brutalized it became it would still be leagues ahead of the grossly inflated vermin before it. Duskizen had far simpler thoughts. The spider’s eyes and lower abdomen began to glow, causing a surreal displacement effect that entranced the titan as Duskizen crept slowly closer. The titan’s weakness for shiny things proved to be its undoing as like a deer in the head lights it revealed it’s vulnerable throat and Duskizen struck with every ounce of fury he had. The titan toppled over as the spider punctured it’s fluffy underbelly like a berserk sewing machine from hell. Duskizen’s mandibles found the titan’s throat and dug into the part the spider saw inflate during every breath attack, causing the vile fluid to seep into the rest of the neck and erode its larynx. Pieces of flesh were torn free and swallowed whole at random as Duskizen snapped vindictively at the titan’s flailing legs and weeping entrails. Venom dribbled and splashed about as Duskizen bit deep into the ribs, snapping them like a hedge trimmer. Just as quickly as it started, the fight ended and the titan’s eyes feverishly rolled back from behind its upper eye lids to see Duskizen weave the shadows and its own thread into a binding net all around the titan, effectively pinning it to the ground. The colossal arachnid then simply did an about face and began to walk off. The titan was in utter bafflement, it’s nemesis was not even going to finish it off! It attempted to give a ‘furious howl of mighty vengeance’ and only managed a haggard wheeze. The spider merely gestured off handedly with his back leg toward the top of the hill and continued on his way. The titan could barely look up, bound with web and envenomed nerves afire to see the hills were alive with the mega fauna families he had victimized. As Duskizen disappeared over the horizon, the sounds of snapping bone and chewed flesh reverberated in the spider’s brain chassis…and Duskizen spared not a single moment of reflection upon the fate he had dealt his enemy.

Invigorated by the mana rich flesh of his previous foe, Duskizen somehow felt…a purpose…in feeding from predators more at odds with the world then himself. For some reason it was just felt more satisfying and leaving them alive afterward for some strange reason also became a habit as gradually becoming what would later be classified as a ‘rank four kaiju’ his metabolism no longer needed massive quantities of food all the time. If they were alive, they’d just heal and he would probably get to feed on them again later. But Duskizen knew he had a competition to win and left his latest conquests as broken heaps that Shimaku would inevitably find and euthanize. When the time came for the last test, Duskizen was in the group that was to fight Beelzebub. To Duskizen’s surprise, instead of the bloated maggot he had faced before, Beelzebub was now a white fly now smaller than Duskizen. Not to be caught off guard a second time, Duskizen sunk into the shadows and watched. Oakenrack, the Forest Warden and Dawnaria the Pyre of Progress immediately engaged the Lord of the Flies and as Duskizen predicted, found themselves bewildered and humiliated as the white trickster wrecked havoc while staying one step ahead them both, playing their powers off of each other to his own advantage. Beelzebub knew Duskizen was hiding somewhere and began humming out terribly offensive puns in hopes of drawing him out. Duskizen refused to be goaded. Eventually Beelzebub used his greatest power to gain control of Dawnaria and use her against Oakenrack, aiming to use her fire to cripple the stag and tire her out enough for him to blast them both with enough chemical gas to depopulate the then unfounded Rhode Island. In order to use this power however, Beelzebub had to land and thus create a shadow. Duskizen saw his chance at last and thick threads soon latched onto Beelzebub’s abdomen from the abyss. Realizing his slight error in judgment with a comical buzz that sounded somewhat akin to ‘oh nooo~’ Beelzebub canceled his mind control and took flight, dragging Duskizen out of the shadow realm into the sky. The fly lord thrummed in amusement watching the arachnid flail about helplessly in midair. Unable to connect to shadows on the ground, Duskizen was almost useless as he was dragged by the surprisingly powerful fly in loop-de-loops through the sky. Fed up with the game, Duskizen hooked his threads and yanked Beelzebub toward him. Beelzebub gave a high pitched ‘vrrrm’ as he went along with the motion and shot into Duskizen’s thorax like a bullet. The two grappled and snapped at each other viciously before the fly lord used his powerful back legs to kick off of Duskizen and yank him back into the sky again before both crashed into the ground. Using the momentum himself, Duskizen got into range to use his whip stingers and lash the fly as he flew past. Taken by surprise, Beelzebub droned with ill intent before aiming his own abdomen and firing his stingers at the large spider. Duskizen did his best to weave himself out of the line of fire but his carapace still rattled with stray stingers that pinged and clipped large chunks of shell. Beelzebub dragged the spider as high as he could before rocketing back down and latching onto Duskizen’s back. The waft of acid could be smelt as Beelzebub prepared a deadly payload and Duskizen knew what was coming. Duskizen used whip stingers to grab hold of Beelzebub’s back leg and drag him across the back of the spider’s abdomen, earning the fly lord a face full of stinging hairs that sent insect spiraling in mid air as if he had been smote with pepper spray. Beelzebub spat his digestive acid blindly and while it failed to hit the spider, it whizzed through the thread and severed it. Both kaiju hit the ground with a crash. While Duskizen managed to roll somewhat, Beelzebub comically buzzed his misfortune with each impact as he bounced sporadically along the ground until he finally stopped; the green light of his hair stung eyes spinning in lazy circles. As Beelzebub tried to scrub the hairs from his eyes, Duskizen recovered and at last having access to solid ground again, piled on as many threads as he could to tie Beelzebub to the ground. Beelzebub would have escaped if a massive wall of fire and a rushing wave of briar thorns didn’t hem him in. Tied down and finally exhausted, Beelzebub had to admit defeat. The three kaiju had passed the test in the most fittingly unorthodox of ways. Duskizen was seriously considering taking a bite out the fly lord but Beelzebub would have the last laugh of the day. As soon as Duskizen ambled over, Beelzebub cut loose a horrendous cloud of green gas, dissolving the threads and buzzing off into the sky, humming out a cackle like drone as all three of the ‘winners’ rolled around in agony trying to clear the nauseating chemical from their senses. From that day forward, Beelzebub and Duskizen have been rivals and arch nemesis to one another. Beelzebub being the one kaiju Duskizen cannot fully plan for with Duskizen being one of the few kaiju that can reign in Beelzebub’s endlessly ambitious expansionism and frequent bouts of mass collateral damage inducing pranks, largely because he will not bend or break to Beelzebub’s whims.

Duskizen was given charge of light and shadow and thus all creatures of the night are primarily his domain. This is represented by the strange ‘ankh’ pattern on his abdomen which is the source of such symbolism among the civilizations of man. It is the symbol of the sun’s light and the shadow that it casts and the endless renewal of both with the passage of time. As long as his children and light and shadow play across the surface of the world, he will remain a constant force of both. His primary concerns are the balance of Diurnal and Nocturnal species and the balance of light and darkness around the globe. His power is at its peak during a solar eclipse and much planning goes toward arranging matters of importance around such times. His travels have taken him to many places all over the world where he is known by many names; Anansi and Iktomi being among the most common as he has spent a large amount of time in Africa and North America. He has an odd relationship with humanity, watching and sometimes interacting with them from the shadows. He has been the inspiration for many tools and skills based on his webs. On one hand he admires humanity’s penchant for planning, determination and connectivity. The creation of the World Wide Web actually caught his interest as since data relies on flashes of light and shadow to function, he can interact with it to a degree and it was through the internet he came in contact with the one who would become his current KCELL, Francine Aldridge. Unlike what many would expect, Duskizen has had quite a few KCELLs over the ages which have given rise to a variety of myths such as the Tsuchigumo and Jorogumo of Japan, ‘Aunt Nancy’ of Africa and Arachne of Greek mythology. She was among his first KCELLs and died rather tragically. Humanity’s fear of him and his kindred is an expected but no less ‘annoying’ issue he has had to deal with as it frequently paints him as a force of evil when he’s really just fulfilling his purpose. He is thus underneath the chilling black carapace and stoic hunter of the criminally predatory…quite lonely. Strangely the Moche People of ancient Peru often depicted his children in their art and Islamic tradition offers him at least respect for building a web over the cave holding their late prophet to save him from pursuers…something he did simply out of boredom to see what would happen. Thus he oddly enough is not utterly despised in such regions. He has several nests across the Equator that connects within the shadow realm. His primary one is located in the depths of the Congo and it is here that he often hibernates for hundreds of years, only occasionally venturing forth to scare the crap out of would be explorers and lost tribesmen. While he normally doesn’t resort to such petty measures of retribution, Duskizen’s children occasionally take it upon themselves to dick around with humanity when they feel their patron has been wronged. Stories of spiders appearing in toilets, swarms of spiders infesting houses and camel spiders eating faces in one’s sleep are evidence of Duskizen’s somewhat dry but disturbingly vindictive sense of humor as while he doesn’t ask for such measures…he doesn’t prevent them either. Duskizen is no stranger to karma as he’s been on the receiving and giving end of it since he became a Nature Guardian. This usually is the result of his various battles with Beelzebub who insists on one upping him in feats of physical parody and trickery whenever the two meet. The escalating ‘con war’ between the two is only interrupted during the times both are hibernating and when Beelzebub is in his larva stage as because during that time his sole motivation is surviving and stuffing his face and Duskizen would not lower himself to attacking him while he is still small and vulnerable unless it was to tie him up for awhile in order to briefly give him more time to plan and get his gambits in order; before Beelzebub once again regains his jester wit upon returning to his fly stage.

In comparison his relationship with the other Nature Guardians is more formal though he does share a certain dynamic of allegiance and a measure of comradery with Oakenrack and Dawanria whose influence supplies and supports his children and his abilities. He sees Hydrune as wastefully irrational and Rainsha as too much flash for too little substance. He does however respect Rainsha’s inner perseverance and dedication to the protection of all life and thus accepts her leadership though believes she is a bit naïve where humanity is concerned. He has something of a stoic respect for Shimaku as they think on similar wave lengths and Duskizen respects the Death Coil’s power. He see’s Shimaku’s struggle to understand humanity as both a blessing and curse as on one hand Shimaku has been blind to humanity’s virtues and on the other Duskizen would not blame him for culling them like mice if they stepped beyond their boundaries; something Duskizen knows will inevitably happen sooner or later. Duskizen is flat out flabbergasted by Dryton as the shark kaiju represents a primal force far older then Duskizen and is simply so alien to the arachnid that it would be like planning for a natural disaster. Marez however is an amusingly simple creature and Duskizen has toyed with Marez more than once. He doesn’t take the allegations of ‘being a dirty spineless coward’ seriously because so far Marez has been far too predictable for Duskizen to really care. Marez’s very slight resemblance to the titan Duskizen destroyed eons ago isn’t helping Marez’s case any though with time and experience Marez might just surprise Duskizen yet…something Duskizen already has contingencies for. The Blood General’s knack for creating mass chaos and the total collapse of civilization is not lost on Duskizen and so he keeps his manipulations to a minimum where the crimson canine is concerned. Currently the Shadow Weaver is biding his time and waiting for his opportunity to play with the threads of fate once again. Until then, the internet will do.


Critique on the design is welcome. Thus marks the second official Nature Guardian and hints at a few others in the planning stages.

Continue Reading: Ages of Man