HWETsuchi-Gumo Picture

Name: Tsuchi-Gumo

Alias: Yatsukahagi, Ogumo

Alignment: Neutral Evil - True Neutral

Rank: 1-2 Kaijin/Megafauna

Size:

Length- 8 -25 ft long

Weight- 2850 lbs on average at full size

Width- 17- 50 ft. long

Powers:

Terra Sense- Tsuchi-Gumo are Yokai of the land. They can feel the approach of anything that sets foot in their territory or general vicinity of a mile or two. It can also traverse any organic or earth born surface with ease.

Venomous Maneater - These giant spiders have a potent venom that weakens those struck with it into a state of crippling feebleness. It can also act as a gradual weakening agent if ingested. The venom also have the unique propriety of stunting the natural healing of people, Yokai and Kaiju alike. This is to make the efforts of a Tsuchi-Gumo less redundant and allow them to steadily track their prey should they escape with grievous or debilitating injuries.

Ferocious and Cunning - Tsuchi-Gumo are canny creatures with a voracious appetite. Unlike their sisters the Juro-Gumo, Tsuchi-Gumo relish more active forms of stalking and ambushing prey. Preferring strong prey that has been weakened or handicapped in some way over already feeble prey or overwhelmingly strong adversaries. When it is directly confronted, the Tsuchi-Gumo is a strong creature even for its size, able to toss objects as heavy as cars with a single kick of their piston like legs. They can usually overpower anything smaller than them.

Webs of Deceit- These spider Yokai are well versed in the art of illusion. They often take the form of small boys, the elderly or some other seemingly helpless or harmless person to get a target's guard down. They can also try the reverse and make themselves look like intimidating warriors or generals if they wish to bluff something into leaving them alone. Nearly any humanoid is a feasible disguise for an experienced Tsuchi-Gumo who can weave illusions of entire armies into being, using their smaller children and kin to play the part. They cannot take the form of anything but humanoids however.

Sticky Threads- while not as strong as the threads woven by their sisters, the Tsuchi-Gumo weave webs that are adhesive and slimy. These filmy curtains can slow or entrap struggling or fleeing prey while allowing the Tsuchi-Gumo to skitter about, their hairy bodies sweeping along unaffected. They are also more creative in how they are used, setting up elaborate traps and weaving it into tools for them to use.

Weaknesses:

Strong but Lazy - Tsuchi-Gumo prefer to let prey tire themselves out or fall prone from their venom before going in for the kill. If their trickery is discovered they prefer to flee and try again rather than stay and fight. Even if it is fighting for its life, a Tsuchi-Gumo focuses more on escaping than defending itself unless it sees an opportunity to turn the situation around. A wise and determined foe is a Tsuchi-Gumo's worst enemy.

Fire- Everything about a Tsuchi-Gumo is flammable. They fear it's use against them as it scorches their bodies and melts their webs. This only applies to actual fire, not spiritual flames often employed by other Yokai.

Sting of Steel - Tuschi-Gumo and their webs can also be cut by significantly sharp or masterwork blades, such as a Katana.

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*After Jorogumo*

"Land Spider?" Ruki asked. "I'm guessing these things get bigger."

"Yes, Tsuchigumo grow quite large though nowhere near the size of an Ushi-Oni. They are nonetheless strong and swift...when they wish to be."

"What do you mean 'wish to be'? Do they prefer to sit and wait like Jorogumo?"

"Tsuchigumo are much like any predator and especially spiders in regards to conserving energy. They are actually quite lazy and if their first attempt fails they will often flee instead of chasing after its prey. Often to try again later or seek less aware prey. Even if it is fighting for its own survival, a Tsuchigumo prefers to flee unless the situation provides a strong enough incentive for it to stay. Sometimes its appetite can get the better of it and at that point it is truly something to be feared."

"It has most of the weaknesses of its 'sisters' right? So it would have to wait a bit before feeding."

"While Tsuchigumo come in a variety of forms, many of them have powerful jaws that can keep up with their demands for fresh meat. Unlike the Jorogumo who tempts and teases every last drop of fluid from a victim, Tsuchigumo are ravenous and range far and wide across the wilderness in search of prey. Unlike Jorogumo they are not picky and will consume anything they can catch with one minor exception."

"Wow...so the really BIG spiders like to travel a lot. And an exception?"

"Tsuchigumo generally prefer devouring 'strong' prey that has been weakened and handicapped by either their venom or their traps. The makings of which tend to be quite creative and they can even fashion primitive tools and structures from it."

"Does it sap strength like a Jorogumos?"

"Thankfully a Tsuchigumo lacks the enigma laden strength in its webbing that a Jorogumo has. However, their webbing is especially sticky and slimy. It's power is in its volume which compounded and layered is an entangling and greasy mess that in some ways is worse than the webbing of Jorogumo as it makes navigation of the lair or a Tsuchigumo's trap frustrating and perilous. The Tsuchigumo meanwhile traverses these traps and filmy mucus like sheets with a grace that belies its size, its unique hairs keeping the material from impeding them in the slightest."

"Sounds like something boys would do..." Ruki grimaced in slight embarrassment. "Can you cut it?"

"Yes, with similar blades. But an Enigma enhanced item will not be any more effective than normally would be. To truly get a Tsuchigumo on the defensive, you need FIRE."

"So you can burn the webs! And I'm guessing the Tsuchigumo too."

"Every aspect of a Tsuchigumo is flammable. Though it should be stated that it must be a material flame that lights them. Supernatural flames or spiritual flames often used by Yokai are useless on it. However it is not the webs of a Tsuchigumo you should be most worried about."

"Let me guess, they inherited the really nasty poison."

"Yes. Tsuchigumo have a venom that saps the strength of those afflicted. It can make an Olympian feel like a feeble old man with a single bite. Being the cunning creatures they are, Tsuchigumo sometimes try to trick victims into ingesting the venom, allowing them to gradually weaken them over time. And that it saps strength is not its worst quality." Kaitheros shuddered, as if remembering its effects personally.

"Does it make you age backwards or something?

"No but there have been things that affected a human's lifespan directly such as the Ningyo. Tsuchigumo venom however is 'special' in that it is a retardant on natural healing. Wounds simply do not mend and even a Kaiju's regenerative powers are slowed considerably should enough of them decide to bite you. For a human, this means that there is little hope of escaping a Tsuchigumo with a major injury before it finds you, if it has bitten you first."

"I guess it would just eat you then...creepy. But they are probably too hungry to just drag it out for weeks right?"

"For the most part. Tsuchigumo put forth the effort to actively stalk prey if they can either ambush them with little chance of escape or have already bitten them. In which case they simply steadily follow their prey, taunting them into giving up all the while, as their venom does most of the work for them. Once it's prey can no longer move, the Tsuchigumo walks over and proceeds to devour them. Though they tend to leave the skull intact when they can."

"Oh great, they do something really gross with it don't they." Ruki flinched, her skin crawling.

"While I don't know how Jorogumo breed, Tsuchigumo do have a mostly understood albeit rather disgusting idea of reproduction. Tsuchigumo devour their prey head first, taking the first bite at the neck and several more after for the rest of the body, leaving the skull intact. The skulls collect in their abdomen and upon devouring enough Enigma the skulls become surrogate eggs for their offspring. The Tsuchigumo, upon getting a full brood, swollen with skull backed hatchlings, proceeds to vomit them into a pit or trap system layered with webbing. It will then leave them to fight and eat each other until only the strongest and most cunning make their way out. Often prepped ahead of time with victims the Tsuchigumo has caught."

"Uuuugh~ that is so creeepy!" Ruki shook, flapping her arms as to dislodge any bugs hiding in them. "So how did you find out about Tsuchigumo?"

"Well, a particular hunt of a Tsuchigumo resulted in the creature being mortally wounded before it could vomit it's payload of offspring. When it was tracked to its lair and had its abdomen cut open, thousands of voracious hatchlings swarmed out of the wound. Thankfully the group had torches and fire blowers to keep the skittering mass from escaping and over running the area."

"Eww. So what was it doing that got it caught?"

"Surprisingly it had taken the form of a female warrior leading an army of Yokai. The slayers were undaunted and struck at the female general first. The Tsuchigumo's illusion was broken and it's 'army' became nothing but an assortment of common spiders."

"So they turn into beautiful women too? I thought these were the 'brothers' so to speak?"

"Tsuchigumo have a more varied list of things they can make themselves look like. Being more active hunters they have a need for more variety in their disguises and illusions. As such they can appear as any humaniod of any age or gender. They prefer appearing as targets that get their victims to lower their guard. Such as small boys or the elderly. Other times they take forms like the female general to intimidate and dissuade confrontation. That the Tsuchigumo was bloated with young would explain why it took on such a form, to try and scare off attacks on it while it was vulnerable. Tsuchigumo much prefer guerilla tactics to direct confrontation but if one is sucked into a Tsuchigumo's pace, you are often eaten quite quickly."

"And I can see through these disguises with your eye as well."

"Yes, though one should also be on the lookout for stray bits of webbing on a person as well, as that is often the sign of Tsuchigumo at work."

"So for a Tsuchigumo I have to look for suspicious people with webbing on them, carry a blade or hit it with fire...those last two sound pretty extreme for a something that is just hungry. Can't I pelt it with ofuda to make it stop?"

"Child...Tsuchigumo are a larger class of beast. You would need something a great deal more extensive than a rain of ofuda and talismans to put down a Tsuchigumo. A much stronger 'seal' for starters. Being closer to what amounts to an animal, Tsuchigumo do not share the same sort of demonic ode that an Ushi-Oni would. Most Yokai are simply up to no good and the Tsuchigumo has an appetite that can leave an area it hunts in decline. Especially since it has a preference for strong and humaniod prey. Especially during the fall when it stocks up on food and skulls for a later birthing during the spring. That makes it a threat to a non Yokai laden ecosystem and humanity as well."

"So they are like a whole race of Shelobs and they turn everything into Mordor. Wonderful." Ruki sighed, hopes dashed.

"For what it's worth, if they bred somewhat normally they might even be tolerable." Kaitheros half apologized.

"At least they don't steal already dead bodies and eat those skulls. I mean, most dead stuff turns into Yokai if left alone or disturbed right? What kind of Yokai would do that?"

"You'd be surprised..." Kaitheros grinned. "There are actually a number of Yokai, all in the same family, that have a very casual disregard for the sanctity of the dead. And not all dead are in the come from humans or existing Yokai."

"What horrible creature would stoop that low, with the threat of ghosts and Onryo and who knows what else?" Ruki insisted, a touch defiant.

"Cats."

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Continue Reading: Ages of Man