AutoMedon – A mechanical poet of renown not for his vast catalog of poetry, but for his complete lack of anything written or spoken, having had no output in his programmed profession. His creator is unknown or at least unaccredited, and there are those in great number in the artistic world who wonder and marvel at his inability to produce poetry, crediting that flaw to his creator who is unknown or at least un-credited. There is also a small faction of scholars who believe that when he finally, finally speaks, it will be the most beautiful or sorrowful verse ever spoke or will ever be spoken. Whether his creator is among either group or dead is unknown. AutoMedon sits alone under a tin roofed enclosure, upon a stone chair, with his gaze off in the distant as if thinking.
“It’s strange to look at this mechanical man and think what thoughts are working through its’ workings or even if the damn thing is” – Aralis of Qurim, poet and pottery salesman
These rare, fist-sized spiders do not make webs, but rather excrete secretions which harden upon contact with air. These "droppings" resemble barley-sized spider eggs, or even lustrous pearls, once the slime coating them, dries up. In fact, dried Pearl Spider "drops" are indistinguishable from the marine varieties produced by mollusks, and hence of identical value on the open market!
Several centuries ago, they were studied by naturalists, and several observations were made. Firstly, was that these spiders "lay" these pearls for no apparent or discernible "natural" reason, and secondly, the naturalists had discovered that the more these spiders ate or were fed--and they were true omnivores--the larger the spider pearls came out.
A cottage industry began. Enterprising merchants hunted and collected these creatures across the lands, erecting spider-farms for the manufacture of Spider Pearls. It wasn't long before someone got the idea to force-feed the spiders, ala foie gras geese, and soon, the fattened spiders began pooping out pearls of great size! (relatively speaking). The regular pearl market came to disarray, and prices and value fluctuated wildly.
[b]Plothook[/b] The Mermen Mercantile Alliance hires the party to eradicate all terrestrial Pearl Spider Farms!