I really didn't like the spider explanation, but it works. I love the idea of skulls floating in a blizzard, and, as Echo said "Eating people and scaring puppies."
Good work, and I also really liked the intro story. I didn't find it hard to read and it did more for my than the details of a spider larvae.
Interesting monster. I even like the less mysterious solution.
My suggestion would be to put this as one of a possible group of solutions. So instead of the spiders being the 'correct' answer, they are one, as is the spirits of the dead (perhaps those lost in storms, or punished by the gods for their wanton cruelty or 'coldness' if you prefer), living storms who's motivations are completely alien, etc.
Just my 2.8341923478 cents worth
I like this!
Don't let the others curtail your creative flare, the intro is good.
As the others above have pointed out, I think you should portray the spiders as an equally plausible solution rather than the correct explanation.
A metaphysical malevolent creature always seems to go down a treat on these pages; and the first explanation is rather interesting, perhaps that's why the spider explanation (though clever) doesn't have the same impact when it comes after the living storm idea.
Keep up the good work.
Those are some of the most interesting spiders that I've ever come across -- cold loving, communal and (to some extent) nurturing are not qualities normally associated with arachnids. I will second Echo, though, and say that the intro is a tad long. Good for flavor, but it doesn't disseminate the pertinent bits quickly enough for my tastes. Don't get me wrong; it is definitely well-written, but could be condensed, perhaps.
Very nice! The idea itself is useful and fun, but the presentation takes it over the bar. I enjoyed reading this doddering old fool's analysis of a pair of increasingly interesting gloves. Partway through, I could hear the wizard proclaiming "I've discovered exercise!" in the back of my mind, but it was not as cheasy as that in the submission, thankfully.
As I pondered the final notes, I thought of other items that could increase physical or mental abilities. Then I thought, what if they were all gloves? I like the Gauntlets of Strength spin, but what about Agility or even Intelligence. I would like to see gloves that can do that!