Webcomic profile: Arachnid Goddess 2
Arachnid Goddess 2
Strange mature journeys in the world of Xibalba
Last update: 13th Aug 2021, 5:25 AM
Violent Content Occasional Frontal Nudity Sexual Situations Occasional Strong Language
Webcomic avatar

Webcomic description

A young Australian witch lives a life of unchanging isolation before meeting with a free spirited barbarian woman from beyond the border. She soon finds the world is a fascinating yet deadly place, as she comes to terms with how little she understands both it and herself.

A sequel to the original Arachnid Goddess webcomic, set in the future of that world after the adventures of Ahab, with new and old faces. Done in a story based format, beginning with black and white before transitioning to color. Doesn't require knowledge of the first webcomic. (The story follows below the illustrations so that readers of another language may use a translation service to follow along.)

Authors

Chernobog
Chernobog
I'm kind of a writer who draws, rather than an artist who writes. I have a love of design, horror, and storytelling. I love webcomics as a medium, but I personally only work within it as a casual hobby.

You may have noticed my comics have a gaudy inconsistent coloring. Part of this is because I experiment with what works best on my time frame and the other part is due to my rather lousy sight. I have pronounced red/green color blindness and some colors can change back and forth when I look at things. Due to this, I tend to go towards stark coloring contrasts, monotones, or work within variations of grey to compensate. Additionally, I don't register subtle shading very well and everything seems to have a muddied duller tone for me, than what other people are apparently seeing.



Like the content I make? Come check out my novel on Amazon!
Desperate By Dusk

Peaches and the Pooka


Most recent comments left on Arachnid Goddess 2

Chernobog
It never had enough appeal to be monetized as it is, so I never compiled it into a sellable graphic novel format. The closest thing I've ever considered to that, would be rewriting the first AG into a novel.
When can I buy either AG 1 or AG 2 as books?
Chernobog
Alright...

So for right now, my scanner 'works' and sometimes it doesn't. It's fickle at best. At this time, I don't really have the finances to spare for a new one.

Further, this unintended pause has given me time to think on things. Despite only updating once a week, a lot of my free time goes into this. Not simply making illustrations, but new designs, and other little backgroundy things. Simply put, I don't have the ability to keep doing this these days. I've come to the conclusion that I mainly just enjoy writing. And while I like illustrating too, I prefer it not to be on a tread mill, but something done when and if I feel like it.

I like webcomics as a medium for storytelling, but it's a bit too sloggish in production for me to keep doing, especially for one lightly drawn page a week. At this time, I really want to get back to focusing on my book writing. As much as I enjoy the story I've made here, I don't really edit these very much text-wise, and I feel that reflects poorly on my passion. Again, time concerns.

I also think one of the biggest problems I had here was AG2 was an experiment in a format change that did not work out. I originally set out to try doing this in the style of a young adult story, like the kind I read growing up. They were mainly text based, with the occasional picture to guide the reader's imagination. I don't really see them around anymore, but I was fond of it, nonetheless; it wasn't quite a graphic novel nor a regular novel, but something in between. The idea here was to basically do splash pages to summarize the events and just stream out the story like this, which I thought would also make for easier auto translations in people's browsers. Regardless, I didn't stick to it. I keep leaning back on quasi-sequential panel formats, then splash pages, and so on. No consistency. Long story short- it was intended to speed the process up for me. It did the opposite. The original AG was up to 2-3 pages a week. I couldn't do that with this. It also likely wasn't much fun for the reader to see splash pages where the characters only did talking.

I also think I started getting too much into world building- there's so much I could tell you about the history of Xibalba and the Xibalbans, how all the Laws of Shadows work, and what Ahab from the first story really is. But that would be like writing/reading the Silmarillion or a wiki- this medium (at least, as far as my command of it can go) is not a great place for exposition like that. When I made the Compendium, I was lightly touching upon that idea, but even that became a mish-mash of eros content, AG art, and character profiles.

And for all the thought into the behind the scenes I have for the world of Xibalba over the past decade, let's be fair... this is not even a remotely popular work and it never had the content or style to be otherwise. I never minded this much, as it was a passion project, but it was hard to shake knowing that I had about one fifth the audience here that I did during whatever passed for my hey days at Drunk Duck where AG started. That's not a slap to anyone here or to any reader. But it's a reminder to me that I can't necessarily get the same community involvement I had there, even if I work harder at things. When you're at a low following and bots make up much of your views, you tend to feel a certain sting I suppose, when one of your few actual readers leave because they decided it ran too long or the content didn't please them anymore.

For what was left here, I'd guess there was another 80-120ish pages to go, but that's only an estimate. I never intended AG2 to go as long as AG1. The story at this point was in the third arc, if I recall, and I had about one more to go. It would have tied up the loose ends as follows;
*Where Siouxsie was actually going and why she was so guilt ridden.
*What was actually waiting for everyone at Uluru.
*Who Ishmael's parents were.
*What Karolina would have done, now that her confidence and understanding of her origins had been gathered.

I mentioned this on the forum not too long ago, but it's also worth noting that the Arachnid Goddess series, as it is, has a running theme. It's about being introverted. Ahab and Karolina express it differently, however. In that, there's a specific sub theme for the second story... it was a tale about people who are awkward. I wrote, "In AG2, a lot of the characters aren't quite as personable for the most part, compared to the first AG story. Karolina is confused, inept, and anxiety ridden. Tulsan is an emotionally distant taciturn grouch. Rottkap tries to figure out who she wants to be. Siouxsie is dense as a brick." I could go on. Beltresz was elitist, Metis was just a rotten individual, etc.
All of them, at least at first, didn't mesh well as a team. This was a tale about overcoming that and seeing commonality in others. I don't know if anyone noticed it, but it was always there.

I admit, I had a bit of a laugh when everyone thought the story was over when Bali-la left the cast. She was posed as almost the main character because she took direction and knew what to do, while Karolina had mainly been a mere follower in her wake. And I think readers might have assumed Bali was the MC since she had some passing traits to AG1's MC. But don't forget, the story opened with Karolina...

Bali and Ishmael were more intended as confident people, but you rarely get to know what made them that way. We only get bits and pieces of Bali's story over the journey, but she left a mark on everyone even after she was gone. Ishmael was somewhat similar, but not experienced to the degree Bali was. Rather, she was more portrayed as a more complete centered person who contrasted with a team of people trying to find their place with each other and themselves. For all she didn't outright explain, she was perfectly honest with Karolina and Rottkap during their dealings.

What else? I can also tell you that Brand was not Bagman from the first story, although they have history of a sort. Brand's name was a play on Bagman's ultra capitalistic personality- he was the 'off brand' of the real thing, perfectly serviceable in his role, but not the heavy weight he resembles.

Anyway, I'm rambling and I just wanted to get this off my chest. I don't know if I'm going to come back or not as a webcomic creator- I find working in certainties is something of a mistake. If I had an artist, I'd probably keep going now, but hiring one isn't feasible and I need to focus things elsewhere. I'll still be lurking around on this website and working my next self published book on Amazon, but for now, this is where I sign off. I sincerely apologize for ending things like this. Sometimes it's better to cut off the hand than to risk the arm becoming leprous.

To quote Mr Gone, "Au revoir... it's been swell."

-Chern
Author Note
Chernobog
(Please see my post that follows this update. -Chern)

Shortly after Metis pounced and assassinated the unaware dinosaur, she scanned the lower strata as the group walked and found faint moving gray shapes flanking the party. "Ahh... as predicted."

*Kara, there are two... no, three humanoids stalking behind you. There is a rock formation closest to Ishmael where they are lurking.*

Karolina took a deep breath, not turning about just yet to maintain a pretense of still being unaware. *Xibalbans?*

*Mmm, no. Ghouls, I believe. Grey bodied and weirdly shaped bodies are their give away.*

*I'm not familiar. Undead, I'm guessing. Are they like Siouxsie?*

*Passably, yes. But more cannibalistic. Ghouls traditionally have little else on their mind ever, even if they are full. They are a cowardly lot, however. Hmm. You might be able to fight them, but it might be easier to simply intimidate them away. It would not be out of the question to be jumped here, even if we did win. Other predators and monsters might attempt to attack you if you get injured. Try to discreetly alert Ishmael... She is worldly and I believe she has the experience to know what to do in this situation.*

*Understood. I'll do just that, Metis. Thank you.*

The familiar felt a tinge of pride and appreciation, cracking a smile high atop her perch.

The witch quickly whispered to Ishmael the information as they slowed their stroll. The Death Clan woman nodded and smiled. "Gotcha. I'll hang back."

Karolina didn't know what exactly Ishmael had planned, but her expression of confidence made it easy to trust her. She one day hoped to have that 'something' that she and Bali often exuded.

Letting Rottkap and the witch continue on, Ishmael grinned and then spun about on her heel, beelining right for the hiding ghouls. "Come out come out come out..." she said, her visible eye becoming red as she adopted a wide-open pose with her finger claws out. Metis watched from above, a mix of intrigued and amused.

The ghouls, which were not amazing at hiding entirely, but simply hadn't been noticed with their grey skull caps and eyes peering above the rocks, shook in surprise. How had they been detected so suddenly? It made no sense. And this one lone Xibalban approached them gingerly, with a look of violence in her face, as she intentionally left her guard wide open. Something was wrong...

"Come now, I know there's three of you back there. Don't you want to play with me? I could make a nice necklace from your teeth and claws," she rasped, looking evil.

One of the ghouls, an obese thing with skinny legs, grimaced at the others, one of which was like a baby and the other was hydrocephalic. They were ill-suited for straightforward fights and only desired a quick likely kill. Somehow, they botched this entire ambush and it made no sense. Fortunately, they were unaware of Metis some hundred feet up.

"N-no..." one groaned. "Not want fight... leave be," another croaked. Although undead, they had a sense of self-preservation and desperation that a zombie-like Siouxsie lacked. It was one of their subtle differences as lesser undead.

"Are you sure?" Ishmael inquired, teasing. "I really think you do, because you haven't left my sight yet. What are we going to do about that, I wonder?"

Wincing, the ghouls rescinded into the darkness cautiously, intimidated. Ishmael watched them for a time and then even a few moments longer once she couldn't see them anymore. Because they didn't know that. Smiling, she returned to Karolina with a knowing nod.

Karolina smiled, not having been able to fully see what happened, but having heard some of it. She didn't quite understand it, but the end result surprised her.

Above, Metis smiled and continued along her scouting path. She explained to Karolina telepathically about how there was more than one way to get by in Xibalba. As an example, while raw strength and force mattered, in a fight someone could project their determination to keep going against a superior enemy. There were times when a stronger opponent would realize victory would be costly and that it wasn't worth it, or that they would have a tougher time in a long fight against someone they seemed to be winning against. It was hard to fake, but those with a sense of confidence and defiance could sometimes pull it off. It was just one of those things some people and even animals could sense, and that once she was more experienced, she could potentially drive off potential fights from even happening by sheer force of will and display. Ishmael was exactly the person to do that in this situation.

By approaching alone, directly, and leaving her guard open as she challenged them, she appeared much tougher than normal, especially since ghouls were naturally cowardly undead. It sold them a convincing story and it was not out of the question for Xibalbans like her to fight greater odds and come out on top.

Karolina took this lesson in tactics to heart, although she wasn't sure she was completely ready to do it herself, to say nothing else, there was no guarantee it would always work. But she thought back to Bali's dancing fighting against the geists and how nothing could even touch her. And then there was how gung ho Beltresz was against the Karahydra. Savagery was its own weapon. Whether a mage could use such a thing or not remained to be seen.

But then she realized, she had done a similar thing in the dreamscape of her soul against her devilish original incarnation. It felt different inside. It was almost like divine anger within her then. And that Kara had made some mention of Karolina's will to succeed. She didn't feel it now and she wasn't sure how to bring it out, but she felt a little closer to this strange world she lived in.
Author Note
Chernobog
Metis readily did as she was asked, but it took little convincing. Even with her understanding alongside Karolina, she was still a dark predatory beast at heart; just reigned in a little. She knew where she stood and had some degree of autonomy, particularly as Karolina had agreed to ask her to do tasks, rather than command. But that was their personal relationship as master and servant. As an Alpha, Metis understood Karolina could have commanded her to do almost anything, but the witch wasn't that type of person. As such, there were the rules of magic to which she was bound and the social rules of hierarchy within a team, observed by almost everyone in Xibalba. Metis would be no different on either front. Things had reached a relatively comfortable point.

Still! While she climbed a stony spire to scout ahead, it was still in her nature not to simply report, but to potentially assault whatever was there. Unless, of course, Karolina insisted otherwise. But this would be a good opportunity to let out some of that need to hunt other creatures, Metis reasoned. Get the crazy out before the crazy gets you, as someone once said.

Spying a creature atop a nearby stone pillar, Metis maneuvered to climb up to it without being in eyesight. Moving silently was no problem- she was very practiced as stalking. In her wicked heart, she hoped it was some kind of humanoid, her traditional favorite target. Subhumanoids, Xibalbans, actual humans, whatever... there was something primally delightful about running down the more civilized beings of the world, hearing their screams of fear and panic, estranged from the savagery of the world. Metis never really knew why she preferred this kind of quarry. It was almost a compulsion and perhaps one that could simply be defined as her being a type of evil spirit. But it was personally satisfying.

In no story would Metis ever be the heroine. She knew this and made little attempt to do otherwise. She killed, defiled, and violated humans in the age of man. In little uncertain terms, she was basically an animalistic serial killer. There was rarely ever a plan or motive beyond the hunt. Agendas meant nothing to her typically. They were distractions for others. Weaknesses. Everything she did was for a shallow yet satisfying need to hunt and destroy. Had she actual motives in the old days, she could have been a real terror instead of a barely recognized boogeyman. It seemed limited, and she knew that, but the civilized people of the world were too caught up in their own nonsense to feel the primal lust for preying that made up her world. To her, it was honest, simple, and direct, in its own weird way.

Working with Karolina and to a degree, the others in the pack, was an odd experience. But she was growing to at least find it bemusing. This whole journey about Uluru and Bali and... whatever. All just something to move the scenery to her and put new prey in her direction. Answering to Karolina had taken some time and adjustment, but she felt the young woman proved herself and their magical bond was unique, at least. Karolina wasn't evil like her counterpart had been. But then again, her counterpart was a power-tripping complete jackass who had no real interest in even acknowledging Metis.

Good riddance.

Up top, Metis spied upon a 'dinosaur', one of the many background creatures in Xibalba since the Herald Event. It was a modestly sized pterosaur. Supposedly these things weren't real dinosaurs, but she cared very little about human-based categorizations of science. She frowned for a moment. It was completely oblivious to her and would stand little chance against being pounced by her, she concluded. It was little else than an animal, not even something on her level, but probably some threat to the girls below.

There was no challenge in this. Pounce, sever the neck vertebrae with her jaw, and stay below that weirdly shaped conical head. Maybe there was no return to how things used to be and this was the compromise. It wouldn't yell as a pinned human would, but it would scream briefly at least. And she would at least fulfill her role here as a scout, especially if she removed ambushers like this. Shame that there probably wasn't time to eat it too. Things really had changed since the old days.

But that was her situation and not necessarily anyone or anything else's here...

(No update next week, going on a family vacation in Mexico. -Chern)
Author Note