There are a large number of named spiders in DDO. A glance at the DDOWiki shows at least 100 different types of spiders documented in DDO, with a large number of them being uniquely named boss monsters. Some of the more well known spiders in the game include Whisperdoom (even though she is also a magical beast), Redfang, Miasma, Blood-drinker, and Venom. However, another boss spider caught my eye when I was taking Erdrique (now a Level 5 Bard) through his rogue heroic past life and working through his first epic reincarnation. That spider is Shev’aal. Shev’aal is an Astral Harrower, a type of spider currently only located in the Forgotten Realms half of DDO. Shev’aal is an orange named mini-boss in the quest, The Portal Opens, which is the capstone quest to the arc known as the City of Portals.
As I was taking Erdrique through the quest, back in the first half of the year, I wondered how this particular spider became a favorite for Hekta Szind, the end boss for The Portal Opens. We really don’t know all that much for how Hekta Szind rose to her current position of high priestess to merciless goddes Lolth, but I’m going to go under the assumption that she brought Shev’aal with her when she rose up into the ranks. Seeing a drow priestess of Lolth associated with a powerful spider isn’t unusual at all, but how did Hekta and Shev’aal get aligned together?
Erdrique coming across Shev’aal in The Portal Opens.
I’m going to assume that Hekta went on a personal mission to find a potential guardian or body guard and to do that she visited a nest of Astral Harrower spiders. These spiders were probably located in some type of hallowed ground or sacred area. Using some type of elimination process, she chose Shev’aal as her companion and protector to be. Shev’aal probably showed some of those vicious qualities that the drow priestess favor. Shev’aal very possibly was a larger spawn in the nest and I could easily see him (her?) tormenting and dominating the other younglings in the nest. This power, greed, and determination was probably some of the attributes Hekta was looking for.
After selecting Shev’aal, I could then easily see Hekta giving the spider its name as well as enhancing its abilities with spells and powers granted from Lolth. In this fashion, Shev’aal became a very powerful and dangerous protector and whom Hekta rewarded by feeding him a mix match of various slaves that the drow houses collected over time, therefore being given the title of “slave devourer.”
In any case, Shev’aal is a potent enemy and I can see him easily being able to put a large amount of fear into unwelcome, heroic adventurers. What do others thing? Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!