Nux Vomica
Nux Vomica

Nux Vomica

Nux Vomica

Planar ettercap [she/her] / NG

“My name is Nux. I am an ettercap. No, please don’t leave…”

[Sniff] “You hate and fear me, don’t you? No, don’t deny it; I can see it in your eyes. You have heard the stories that people weave about my kind, and you paint me with the same brush of loathing. Well, you’re wrong to do that.

“I do no harm here in my little Tower of Spiders in Sigil. I am just a simple creature, perhaps, but that is no sin. I live here with my arachnid companions and I weave my webs, and make my traps, and milk my own poison. Perhaps others sometimes come to harm from these things which I sell, but you do not blame the blacksmith for wars. He is not the one who wields the sword in anger.

“Perhaps my kin on the Prime and in Arborea do cause evil and harm others, but that is their way. I once was like them, dwelling near Lolth’s Grove in Arvandor, snaring woodland creatures and elves who happened near my traps. When a gang of angry elvenkind burned down my home and trapped me, I lost everything. They taunted me and insulted me, telling me I did not belong in their place of goodness and light, and I should return to the Abyss where I was spawned. I tried to tell them they did not understand, that I and my ancestors were all born of Arborea, but they would not listen.

“That night when they were drunk celebrating my capture I escaped, and fled from that plane, my home, where I was not welcome because of what I was. I came to Sigil, partly because all things pass through here, but also because I thought I would gain acceptance. I have not.” [Sniff]

“True enough, I have a new webbed tower to call my home, and I have found some companions to call my friends. I have three friends. That is not many, my customers tell me before they leave, but for me it is a lot. The first is Lathly Dim, a bartender from that bolthole of fiends, the Styx Oarsman. I like him; we tell stories of our lives and share condolence at the cruelty of the world. He has a quality of innocence about him, though he appears far from innocent on the surface. I know about first impressions and judging by the outer shell.

“My second friend is the bariaur alchemist Wooly Cupgrass. He buys my poison from me, and is not afraid of my sting like so many others. He says he has drunk poison of my race before, and this surprises me, for most who I sting die. But alas he visits only rarely these days, for it seems I have lost my novelty to him. That is the way of Sensates.

“My last friend is the one who I value most but trust perhaps least. He is the quesar Savoire. It might sound strange to you that I do not trust a fellow creature of good, but then you are not looking beyond the surface. I have found that fiends, who are not scared of my venom as it can not harm their kind, treat me better than celestials, who fear me. So when this Savoire was kind to me despite what I am, I wondered why. I still do not know, but he tells me he saw an inner goodness inside me, underneath my hairy flesh and sharp teeth. (It is a shame he did not see the same in Lathly Dim, because the two hate each other, and my friends now visit me less in case they meet.)

“I did not think this goodness was there when he told me, but since I met Savoire I have changed. I now feel happiness when I am gentle, and pleasure when I am kind. My spiders know my moods are better; I do not pull off their legs when I am cross now. I talk with the quesar for many hours at a time, about what it means to be good, and what rewards await me when I leave this mortal shell.”

[Sniff] “So even though my customers, wizards, priests and planewalkers, still look at my body and assume that I must be evil of heart, I am not. I only wish that they would open their eyes and their minds, talk with me a while rather than running away, and they would see…Do you still fear me now?”

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Source: Jon Winter-Holt,

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