So, for the flintlock fantasy story setting I'm developing, I have a race that I'm presently calling "Spiderlings." I'm open to suggestions on alternative names, since I'm not sure I like this one. I have a basic concept for Spiderlings, but I'd like some feedback to see if I'm on the right track or if there are some details that need to be tweaked. Obviously, if you have issues with spiders, this might not be the thread for you, especially since I will be using a few reference images. Anyway, let's begin. First off, what are my sources of inspiration? Well, the Drider from D&D is obviously what most people would conclude was my main source of inspiration, and while it is partly responsible for the idea of Spiderlings, the Jorogumo of Japanese folklore (pictured below) is another primary source of inspiration. The myth of Arachne being transformed into a spider is another obvious source of inspiration. The core idea of Spiderlings is a race of people whose ancestors were originally humanoid in terms of physiology. However, the main theme of the Spiderlings is that while they appear to be monstrous, they are, like most real spiders, allies to people far more than enemies. They’re actually largely gentle creatures who are more fearful than fearsome. And, in some ways, I want them to also have a certain level of cuteness to them, at least in terms of their behavior if not their appearance. So, with all that established, let’s look at the origins of the Spiderlings. Origins of the Spiderlings In my story setting, there were nine original races, or Core Races, as I'm currently calling them. During a period known as the Divine War, when the gods directly fought one another, some groups of people within these nine races were transformed in various races, often with animal features being spliced into their bodies. This is how races like Centaurs, Harpies, Naga, Satyrs, etc., came to be. Spiderlings are another example of people being radically changed by the clashing wills of the gods during the Divine War. I'm thinking the Spiderlings were originally Elves for several reasons. Firstly, they were the race who were the most specialized in creating various types of thread for fabric, weaving textiles, and making clothes, so I feel like they are the best candidates, as a bit of a nod to the mythological origin of spiders. Secondly, Elven cultures tend to involve a lot of "weaving" together webs of political plots and intrigues, so becoming creatures that spin literal webs seems thematically appropriate. Thirdly, spiders, at least the kind that spin webs or that are ambush predators, display both cunning and patience, which is another attribute that Elves have in no small amount. The only other race I have that would be an alternative origin for the Spiderlings would be the Draconians, but they didn't specialize in textiles during the time of the Divine War the way that Elves did, so they're not as good an alternative. Regardless, the first Spiderlings were actually horrified by their transformations and pleaded with the gods responsible for the changes to be restored. However, undoing the changes required that all the gods involved be involved in the process, and the ones that were evil naturally refused to do anything of the sort (at least not for a very steep price.) The gods that were willing to restore the Spiderlings to their original forms could therefore only make some modifications to the first Spiderlings so their bodies functioned better and were easier to use. In other words, the best they could do was make their new bodies more bearable. For most of the Spiderlings, this was not enough to remove the shame they felt over their new appearances. To this day, most Spiderling cultures have strict standards of modesty regarding keeping certain parts of their bodies covered as a result. While they do not necessarily hate their own appearances, they do recognize that they do look frightening to most other races and try to be considerate of the discomfort their bodies can cause others. However, while they are a bit sensitive about their looks, Spiderlings have come to accept their existences in most other ways and have actually developed productive societies that have fostered positive trade relations with other races. It's been a long, uphill battle to do so, but presently, most other races recognize them as a civilized people, not as monstrosities.