Collected from journals, sensory stones, and mimirs, what follows are various accounts of planar life that will be provided by myself and anyone else willing:
The Spider Feeder
They need food, they're their version of pregnant.
The light boys, touts, and general urchin populace have gathered them for her, the newly dead left by the Dustmen carts. They are gathered in napkins, sacks, and cases meant for now pawned jewelery. She knows not all of them were found corpses, some were pushed along. She doesn't mind, if anything it speaks to the ingenuity of Sigil's children - some of the clever ones might make it out of the Cage. She loved every living thing, so much so that sometimes her heart would swell at the cry of mating cats.
But living things eat living things, and the spiders needed their food.
She opens all the containers, one by one, with wrinkled chestnut hands sporting wisps of hair whose silver is dulling to grey. Arthritis pains her, but it also slows her, giving her the excuse to study every find in the waning flame of a cheap, lopsided candle. Even her father, who demanded efficiency, would have to give allowance on account of her withered ligaments.
This is her favorite part, her chance to marvel at blue bottles hit by sling shots and ants trapped in congealed blobs of honey. There are some that cannot be used - too dried out - but she feels most of those are honest mistakes. Though some of the children have gotten into the habit of delivering arthropods of poor quality, taking advantage of her charity. She tallies the count of their sins in her mind. She'll pray for both things, for justice and for mercy.
But she doesn't worry about the lost money, not at all, as she has been left so much of it. The inheritance won by her father, not by sword or spell or even cleverness. But well earned regardless, as the gold was given for manners and discretion.
There are things one might see when working the night shift, coming home as the first light follows anti-peak. The same things a young girl might see when waiting for her father to return from places so terrible even a youngling knows they exceed nightmares. But her father had been an important man - the City, after all, needed its meat.
She lays out the tiny insects and crustaceans, spreading them in a distribution upon the floor because just like children some spiders can be selfish and unruly. Well not exactly selfish, she admonishes herself with gentle humor as they scurry out from cracks and spaces between floorboards. Eggs on their backs, glistening in the candle light. They are mothers eating for their young. When had she stopped being disgusted by them? When her children left her here, running off into whatever the portals offered? When her husband - whose hard discipline was something she endured easily but could not pass on to their brood - had finally fallen while leading some company through the places her father had also braved. Places that she now had names for - Hell, Abyss, Tarterus.
She had never seen those places, though they troubled her little. Evil needed to feed just like Everything Else did. She had a honeymoon on the shore of Paradise, a son who made a name for himself in Tradegate. She could have left the house, but this is where her family had rebuilt after fleeing, this is where her father had made a name for himself. This is where her father had brought her family when the dragons had swept over their world. How many had seen dragons the way she had, looking over her mother's shoulder as they swept down spitting flames over the livestock?
How many had seen dabus make love above the ground, symbols intertwining into a new language?
The dead lose their color as the spiders suck the juices.
That intimacy blew a wind on the dying embers of her own passion, something no memory of her own experiences could do.
Many would have bragged, or tried to record the story to the Sensorium. Her father had walked passed discretely, then chided her for staring at things she was too young to see.
How soon after that had their fortunes turned for the better? When had the coins begun to be delivered?
The spiders begin crawling away, back into their secret hideaways. She can feel them beneath the floor, behind the walls, but she has never tried to root them out, and even has repairs made to keep the light off of their homes. She feels they deserve their privacy.