Comic Fury Webcomic Hosting - Webcomic profile

You are not logged in. Log in, Register, More info
Webcomic profile: Arachnid Goddess 2
Arachnid Goddess 2
Strange mature journeys in the world of Xibalba
Webcomic avatar
Profile
Content flags: Violent ContentSexual ContentNudity
Language: English
Genre: Fantasy
Activity status: Active
Archive url: Visit archive
Statistics
Last update: 5 days ago, 8:15 AM
Number of comics: 126
Number of subscribers: 14
Visitors: 18031 visitors (62384 pages viewed)
Rating: 5 (50 votes)

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.

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
5 days ago
Chernobog
Happy to see me (and I was happy to see her too, although I was still adapting to the new 'Sue'), she trampled past the protective circle I had set up around me to give me a hug. She definitely seemed more intact than I had previously known her to be and for what it was worth, she looked more alive than she used to. Still, the empty spaced out eyes was going to take some getting used to it. I honestly found that more distracting than her old body's exposed joints had been.

Yet, I couldn't help but focus primarily on the other visitor. It was a woman, I thought with some uncertainty. The creature was entirely jet and pitch in color, except for her four mask-like faces, all of which had eyes to follow me. I couldn't quite explain it easily, but her form made little sense. It always seemed to be facing me, regardless of any other movement. And while Siouxsie seemed comfortable with her, I had no idea what I was dealing with at all.

*Greetings unto you, witch.* I did a double take. It was a deep voice, almost mechanical sounding. It came from no source that I could determine, but in my head I could hear it all the same. I was quickly left to assume this entity was contacting me, because it didn't sound a lick like Siouxsie in tone or grammar.

"Telepathy?" I asked aloud, after taking a moment to adjust.

Our throat does not speak well,* responded the dark form. *We speak to you through the essence of shadow you possess. Respond in turn and We will know it.*

So, I had to think back at her. That was new. *Like... this?*

*Correct. Know that for now, only you will hear Us.*

*Alright... so, who or what are you, if I can ask?*

*We are Atacama. We are shadow itself.*

Shadow itself? It suddenly ringed in my head, and I shivered. I knew what she was. The weird dark form, the white mask-like face... I'd heard of these. Everyone did. Shadow People were said to exist within the land and could show up anywhere. Most people could barely even see a glance of them, as they'd supposedly slip right out of view if you did. And none of them talked. They were also supposedly deadly to the touch.

*Do not suffer fear of Us. We are not here to harm you.* Her expression was unyielding yet calm. Intense, even.

*That's good... but, why are you here?*

*We of Shadowholme have become aware of you. You have been lost to us in the past, a missing babe in the forest of gloom. And long have you been gone. Only by the recalled presence of the one you call Siouxsie, have We found you. We find you within the dream of all shadows, that is, alive. Here, you have worked magick in an unexpected way and have done which has never been fathomed by Us.*

I shook my head, confused. What? *I'm sorry, but I don't understand quite what you're saying.*

Atacama tilted her heads to the side and drew closer, as her body remained forever transfixed at the same angle. *You have done what was impossible. You, child of shadow, have brought complete physical form to a mere skull of a corpse. You, who once bore the corruption of an entity, were the one who created the mockeries known as geists. Never has either task been done before by Our understanding. You, who are born of life and death itself. Your existence is an exception to rules thought to be inviolate.*

I focused on what she said, starting to get some of it. *Ah... are you saying it was impressive that Siouxsie came out like this? And that I made geists...?* She seemed to know a great deal about me. That said, I didn't fully grasp the meaning of all that she had communicated so far.

*Succinct. Although we are not friends of the geists, we recognize what you've done. Witch, you give form where there has been none. All through your command of shadow. As you put it, 'impressive'. In retrospect, however, it makes sense. You are born of three worlds in a way that no other has been.*

*Three worlds?*

*Know you of your birth, witch?*

I thought on the subject. What did I know of that? I was only aware of what Bali had mentioned through her time with Ruukunda. But that's when it clicked.

*I was... stillborn,* I recalled from the account. *But my aunt performed some spell, at personal cost, and I survived.*

*Correct. Although it would be brief in the summary of all things, you existed with Us in the world of shadow and death. Only through perverse magick were you returned to life. And since then, you have lived more than one life, have you not?*

She was speaking, of course, about my earlier existence as the one who allied with Outer Hell, murdered for no reason, cursed Bali-la, and created geists, as well as who I was now. It was not a topic I enjoyed by any means. *Yes... but what's this three worlds thing?*

*In the land of dead things, you were as We. A shadow. However brief, you were as Us. You were never expected to return to life as you have, let alone ever. You are the only one to have ever existed as you do. That is why the shadow essence within you is overwhelming. You can feel it, can you not? Within your magick? Your very being?*

I gasped. It was starting to make a kind of sense now! How I was unconsciously able to unwittingly destroy Adelaide as I had! Why Outer Hell was so innately interested in me! How I needed to use magic to keep the shadow essence from overflowing from within me. I was... like Atacama?

*You are a threat to all that live around you. But you are one of Ours. So, We have come bearing a gift that only you could command.*

She took off her four point hat and placed it upon my head. It looked almost intangible as she was, black as pitch. It felt cool to the touch as it rested upon my hair and seemed to fit perfectly, although it was certainly a bit bigger before, between her many apparent heads.

*All practitioners of witchcraft make use of 'focuses', one known as Karolina. May this cap serve you in that capacity. Know it as a bond of your kinship with us and realize that it can be wielded to adorn yourself in shadow matter as well. Your own essence will fuel it.*

I remembered how Ruukunda gave me my first hat before I lost it in the Longtooth's village. The hat and my shovel, were the main focuses she told me about when she mentored me. Yet, this one was different. I could feel it resonate to my will when I thought about it. I wasn't sure how I knew it suddenly, but I felt like I could shape it just by sheer will, if I tried. It was interesting to consider, and something I wanted to experiment with later.

*Thank you for this gift. And... for telling me what you did. I'm not sure how to take the idea of having been a shadow person when I was just born, but I can't say I feel like I'm forgetting something integral about me either. Hmm. Maybe my older, worse self, might have known.*

*You are welcome, child of gloom.*

*So... where do we go from here?* I had the feeling there was more to this.

Atacama stood straighter. She seemed fluid, as if having no consistent height or width. Currently, she was much taller than I was standing.

*Progress in your studies. We believe it is possible you will bridge a gap between you and Us one day, through Chernobog's mark or your own wiles. It is a dream of many shadow-kind to be closer to life. As for your legacy, you are right to seek a way to defeat the geists your older self spawned. We fear they will evolve to the point where all others will be overrun one day, thus fulfilling the distant dead will of the entity known as Outer Hell. We shadows are part of the world, as are Xibalbans, humans, and many others. But the geists are corruptions of the soul and must not be permitted to continue.*

*Lastly, know that the way of all shadows is cursed. Remember this. You, We, and all marked by it. It is a path of doom and despairing, but one walked by many before you with different shoes. It can yet be traversed. That you have gotten this far is proof enough.*

*You will awaken soon. Remember who you are from before and decide on whom you will become, shovel witch. Your growth, as many in the darkness of Xibalba, has great potential yet to be ventured. For now, you should work with the one called Tulsan. You will learn why if you make there.*

*And when you're ready, perhaps you will know what the spell you cast was really for.*

*May we meet again, child of gloom. Farewell.*

"..."

Not a word had crossed my lips when I found myself laying in my blankets back in the cabin, with a black shadowy hat by side, Siouxsie nearby, and my companions cautiously approaching. When did I even pass out? How did I get in here?

Whatever the truth, Atacama and the concealing mists were gone and I was left with much to consider.
Left on 122. The Threefold Stillborn's Dream
Chernobog
10 days ago
Chernobog
Following the familiar voice, I knew it to be that of Siouxsie, for all of the few times she ever spoke. I didn't know her to speak beyond a simple slurring of words, but when I looked up, expecting her, I only saw something that passably resembled some scant details of her. Black lips, crooked sharp teeth, and perhaps a vacant stare. And the nostalgia of an old friend ended there.

This being, who spoke with Siouxsie's tongue, did not look much like her at all. Her hair was a black long mane, maybe more like Bali's, but draping over her chest and folded arms, bearing clutched claws. The eyes were completely empty, just barren sockets, and were wider and spaced out further than I recalled of the zombie. A black collar marking wrapped around her neck and she possessed an off colored fleshy form instead of Siouxsie's rotten old body, which had exposed gaps of bone joints and fingers. Yet, looking at this creature, I could still somehow place the voice and slightly hunched posture as hers. She seemed morbidly happy to see me, staring into my soul with dead sockets and a fish-like toothy grin.

I didn't understand. I recoiled, holding my hand in front of me defensively, only vaguely noticing the black shadowy fire and discoloration was rapidly fading away. What I did become aware of, however, was the growing darker-than-before mist gathering around us. That and that everything else around us had grown quiet. No wind, crickets, or anything. I felt like I was suddenly in a private chamber.

Then emerged the ghostly silhouette of something that made even less sense to me, from just behind where the apparent new Siouxsie stood.

I couldn't fully make it out, as if trying to focus on a detail within a hazy dream, but it was like a specter dressed all in unyielding black dress and shawl, wearing a wide brimmed four point hat, and four masks, each of which was a white face with an imperious gaze fixated on me. Where did this thing even come from?? I wanted to scream, as I was quite freaked out, but I couldn't get the noise to come forth. I glanced about rapidly, looking for my friends, but I could neither see nor hear them. I was alone and naked, made to deal with this on my own.

"Where is... spider?" then spoke what seemed to be Siouxsie. Suddenly, I was much more content to focus on her dead gaze than the silent still phantom behind her, which merely remained in place.

"Uh... you mean, Bali?" I swallowed hard. "She's, ah, no longer with us anymore."

Siouxsie tilted her head from side to side like a curious dog, her happy insane expression fixed. "Spider friend die?"

How could I even answer such a thing for her? The truth was a bit complicated. But, in a sense, wasn't 'death' sort of what occurred? She had left the world as far as I understood it, called to some great beyond in the DreamTime.

Thankfully, Siouxsie didn't wait for me to riddle out a way to simplify a response for her.
"Can bring... spider friend back? Like Siouxsie?"

I felt a cold chill run down my back suddenly. I wasn't sure why. "Oh. Um, no. I don't think I can." The thought was... uncomfortable.

"H-how are you?" I stammered out, trying to change gears and feel out the situation.

She looked at herself. "Siouxsie happy. See shovel friend again."

"Oh! That's good. I'm happy to see you too," I said shakily. For whatever happened, I was fairly certain this was actually Siouxsie, just in some new body. It must have been some quirk of the magic, since I only had her head to revive before. I don't know what I expected. But maybe this was a bit of a success. She seemed more physically put together, in all truth.

"Siouxsie happy too," she repeated. I remembered her mindset was extremely simple, so I had to keep things basic with her. Still, I was curious. Who or what was that thing behind her?

"Hey, who is your... friend? The one behind you?"

Siouxsie glanced over her shoulder, idling with a casual observation. She then turned to see me again and tilted her head.

"Friend from the darkness."
Left on 121. The Shadows
Chernobog
24th Oct 2019
Chernobog
With all my concentration, I focused upon the ritual I so infamously botched the first time. Despite my better grasp of it and the fundamentals of witch magick that Tom advised me about, it still seemed 'off', but I couldn't figure out what I was missing. There was perhaps a subtlety that I wasn't experienced enough to get, but I decided to press on, spinning the wheel of fate. Maybe I figured I was due for something halfway decent for once- law of averages, and all that.

Surprisingly, the spell felt more natural to me than I would have assumed. Maybe because I simply let myself 'flow' and pour myself into the task? If that was the case, it wasn't too different from the zoning state of mind I'd get from digging for hours. Yet, this was certainly more dynamic and risky. Excavating a plot for burial really wasn't that complicated, comparatively.

However, before I was even half done, my arms burst into black flames, thankfully harmless to me and without real heat. I was too focused to notice them immediately, but it scared me less than perhaps it should have. It was the same kind of shadowy fire that erupted forth when I fought the Longtooths. I wasn't sure how it happened then, nor how it did now. But I recalled how it made it easier to cast spells when it occurred that one time. And the energies flowing through me felt ever stronger. Regardless, it was too late to stop things now... Siouxsie's head began to levitate and tremble with a glow from her eyes. I was doubling down on whatever was going to happen.

Suddenly, the head exploded with a loud burst! I gasped, as her remaining flesh, teeth, and hair ejected in all directions, leaving only a foul mess of dead flesh and my own quick-to-realize shame.

I remained kneeled, transfixed, and horrified. This was not supposed to happen!

Yet again, I did this. I ignored Tom's warning- surely, this was a spell misfire because I'm a damn novice. And Siouxsie's remains were defiled by such a crude effort. There was almost nothing left of her.

I couldn't help it as my eyes teared up, wracking my mind what specifically went wrong, but I knew it was because I wasn't skilled enough at this. I was a child, trying to act tough, playing a dangerous game of consequences that I was terribly inept at. It seemed there would be not even a small victory for more today, for-

Without my expectation, I saw faint movement from beyond the circle I cast the ritual from. I paused, only then to hear something distorted.

"Where is... friend?" was all I could make out.

It was mechanical sounding, distant and yet close. The voice sounded hollow, quiet, almost alien. But the phrasing was uniquely hers. Siouxsie...

"What the...? I couldn't help but mutter.

What came forth from the darkness of the swampy terrain made my knees unsteady. This time, I had really done it. And what that was, I wasn't even certain, only that I was unequivocally responsible for what transpired, as my heart beat in terror within my chest. I had toyed with something I truly did not understand.
Left on 120. Miscibility
Chernobog
16th Oct 2019
Chernobog
Outside, I began to dig up Siouxsie's head as I noticed Rottkap explaining the situation to Beltresz and Tulsan. I couldn't make out their reaction precisely, but I'm sure they were uneasy with the idea. Everyone had reason to be.

Although I often looked at it as a chore, given all the years of burials I conducted in Adelaide, I found the act of digging to be somewhat calming in this time. Tom was probably right. I had no damn idea what I was doing and the chances of this backfiring seemed pretty substantial. I mean... they were, weren't they? I started to wonder how I got through this the first time. Was Siouxsie the one punished due to the spell being cast wrong? It seemed like it- I'm not sure what could have been directed to me. But then again, my aunt Ruukunda had chicken feet-like hands from what she did, so...

Holy crap, I really don't know what I'm doing, do I? And yet, I'm still adamant about doing this. Why? Am I doubling down on a lost cause to make a last minute turn around? Is it for Siouxsie's sake or more my own?

I don't know. I barely understand this world. I'm a novice even at life. Even this talking hand knows more than me. My head is mixed up and jumbled on so many things, it feels hard to focus. Hrm. That's not a good thing... but that's when I noticed Brand's little familiar nearby again, probably watching to see how well I might muck this up.

"You're really going to do this, huh?" he squeaked out. "I mean... you know you have a lot of shadow essence. And we've been practicing for a few days, but spell misfires are just asking for it, Karolina. If I knew you were going to do this, we could have tried having you practice the intonations of the runes, at least..."

"Yes Tom, you've made your point clear. And you're not wrong. But let's deal with the situation at hand. If you have any advice you can give me, I'd love to hear it now. For the record, I'm going to incorporate that thing you told me about getting a mark of Chernobog to finesse this a bit more. Chernobog's symbol is a hand with an eye on it, so what if I use some mud to paint that on my palms. Would that work?"

"Um... yes, I suppose it might, as long as they don't get smudged," he said.

"Good. Now, you said this was unlikely to work. That implied there was a chance it could, however. Soooo... is there a way I could hedge the odds in my favor?"

"Well..." the hand began thoughtfully. "I like the idea of not being blown up inadvertently, so... sure. Okay then. Now, as a witch type of spellcaster, you have focuses, right? You remember that much?"

"Yes. The wand, which is my shovel. And uh, a witch's cap, right?" These were basic things Ruukunda taught me, thank goodness.

"Yes. You have the spade, so where's the hat?"

"That's... somewhere in Longtooth territory, I think. They didn't exactly leave me with much."

"Lovely. Well, that's half the battle, I guess. Okay, next... you need to clear your mind. Concentration is key. Take your time, cast deliberately, and don't distract yourself. That's basic enough. But as a witch, your focus should also come from a focused state of passion."

I blinked. I had no idea what that meant. "Come again? I don't follow."

He sighed. "Okay, think of it like this. Your strength of magic, in this case your natural shadow essence, is raw furious energy- in fact, imagine it as a storm you want to control. Your tools and sense of focus are a jar you're going to keep it in until you need it. Now, a state of focused passion are your hands on the top and bottom of that jar, holding the whole thing in place as it shakes about violently, trying to erupt without direction. You're trying to bottle the storm in a jar and your determination keeps the lid in place. Does that make sense?"

I nodded after a moment. "Kind of. I think I see what you're saying. But what is focused passion? I've never heard of that."

"There's proper terms for it, but just take the phrase contextually. Regardless, ask yourself why are you casting this spell? Why are you focusing these energies? You need to put yourself into your magick. It's your blood. Your shadow. It's you. Funnel those thoughts into a zoned state of mind to a single purpose. Become one with the magick. Look at it as an extension of yourself and not a tool. It's as close to you as your hand. Drive it with your will. Become the magick!"

Become the magick? I never thought of something like that. It always seemed so abstract and alien. But maybe he was right. After all, the spells and rituals in a spellbook are unique to the owner. It's... it's like a poem one creates, I think. Everyone else can hear the end result, but it has the most meaning to the one who wrote it. A spell... is similar, perhaps.

And as for passion, I've usually been anxious. Particularly in the last however many days it's been since I left Adelaide for the first time. But when I was angry at the Longtooths that one time, I found my spell formulas were strangely easier to recite and cast. It was focused, right? But wait... when I cast this ritual the first time, I was trying to bring back the dead... and...

I was thinking of my parents laying in the bones of so many others. Oh... oh, I get it now! I understand what the focused passion concept means! I have to put myself into whatever pursuit I'm using the magick towards. And my motivation can help with that.

"I think I understand, Tom. Wow. That's great advice!" I offered, procuring Siouxsie's head from the soil.

He grinned as he ever did. "Great. Now, there's realistically one more technique I can suggest. As a witch, your connection to the world is literally through you and all over you. So, anything that gets in the way can cause more static to the flow of your connection to that magic, even if everything else checks out. Technically speaking, even in the past, many witches would open themselves up to the ambient magick both around and within them by, shall we say, removing as many barriers between them and the world itself. It's called going 'skyclad'."

"Huh." Weird. I never heard Ruukunda mention anything like this. "How does it work?"

"Uhhhh... simply put, you go without clothes. Or at least, as much as possible."

It took me a moment. "What."

"Don't look at me like that, Kara, I'm just a walking talking hand. I don't have a frickin' libido, okay? But I'm not bullshitting you either. If you want the maximize the magical dweomers around you, you might want to get down to your skivvies or whatever. Or don't. It's your call and your obligation to try raising a zombie more than once. But hey! What does the talking hand who is literally a familiar know?" he bellyached in a passive aggressive tone.

I didn't think he was lying to me, but it felt a bit odd. That said, he knew magical theory and I really didn't whatsoever. I guess I wasn't prepared to hear it. And maybe Ruukunda didn't tell me since she was my aunt. Or that it might have come off as odd if I strolled around in Adelaide nude, casting spells. Yeah, I can see mom and dad just loving that concept.

But, what was I so skittish about? I thought back to the sand cave with Bali. I felt so comfortable around her that I didn't think twice on it then when it came time to call it a night. And she was rather comfortable in her own skin, wasn't she? She wasn't a mage and she barely wore anything. And then there was the Longtooths too. No clothes there, really. And Tulsan doesn't even seem to own a shirt. I could even say the same for Saiya when she was with us, now that I think about it.

I guess Xibalba doesn't care much about modesty. Especially not with all this heat. Well... alright. If skyclad is a legitimate thing, I can't afford to not take advantage of whatever magical dweomers are. Tom hasn't steered me wrong yet. And I feel like I've learned a lot more in a few minutes than I have since forever, frankly.

Deciding to bit the bullet, I prepared a pentacle circle on the ground as the spell required, stripped down, and decorated my hands to resemble Chernobog's symbol. Alone, I focused upon Siouxsie's head, which I placed on a nearby tree stump, and began to chant. I felt a little ridiculous, but at the same time, like I was getting into magick for the first time. In any event, here goes...
Left on 119. Hedge Maging the Odds
Chernobog
8th Oct 2019
Chernobog
(Okay, a color page once more. It was just a small one.)

For a time, Rottkap consoled Karolina while the cousins reconnected outside along the water front. The little mushroom girl didn't know exactly what to say, as she observed Karolina weeping into an old blue blanket. Sometimes, however, it was best just to be there, so she patted Karolina and spoke in soft tones that 'things would be all right'. Rottkap didn't know such a thing for certain, but sometimes problems and downfalls had a way of casting a bigger shadow against a wall than what composed them. Maybe it was best simply to envision an unhappiness that way, she thought. What was the old world human saying? 'This too, shall pass.'

After a time, Karolina calmed herself and rubbed her eyes. She looked at the mushroom girl with a somber but appreciative smile, and Rottkap knew it had not been in vain.

"So, we'll go tomorrow. But, it occurs to me that that leaves a loose end, now doesn't it?" the shovel witch said, as she grabbed her nearby spell book, flipping it open. By now, Tom Thumb appeared quietly, having slunk out of whatever corner he had been hiding in.

"A loose end?" Rottkap asked curiously.

"Yes," Karolina affirmed. "Among things, I need to stop being such a goddamned cry baby. I need to get things done. There is something I've meant to do, but this moves the time frame up."

"Which is?"

"There's literally a buried head just outside the cabin here. I've put this on the back burner far too long. I want to try resurrecting her again- give her another chance at things without stupid alligator thugs around."

She looked to Tom. "Question."

"Answer," he said with a cheery shrug. It seemed his magical expertise was being called upon.

"Is it possible to raise a zombie twice? Particularly with just a head?"

Tom blinked with his weird little empty eyes, maintaining his frozen grin. "It's hard to say. Each spell a person knows is technically unique, even if it's similar to those possessed by others. Typically, a spell that raises a corpse just animates the existing components. Not to say Brand has a lot of experience on this front, but from what we know, a zombie might not necessarily arise twice from the same spell twice. Perhaps because the body is it's own expendable magical component. And sometimes a body is just too broken down to make use of, as I understand it."

Karolina flipped through her book, listening. "So then... what about a spell that I didn't understand completely but tried anyway? Because that's what made her rise the first time. And even then, I was attempting to restore life rather than a zombie. I might understand it differently this time. It's been a while, after all."

"Wait. You tried casting a spell you didn't know? That's the kind of thing that opens up a caster to being cursed, Karolina. I can't recommend it. There's no telling what would happen."

"Exactly. There's no telling. Maybe it won't do anything. Maybe it'll be spectacular. At the very least, it won't be the same spell expression again, most likely," she said, sounding uncharacteristically bold. "So that gets around one potential problem."

"While making another," warned Tom. "Karolina, curses are often very hard to remove, and even Brand can't do much on that front. You are gambling on poor odds here."

"I have to try. I can't just leave her," the witch reinforced. "Ah, here it is... yeah, I have very little idea how I even did this the first time. This is definitely more advanced than the other ones I know. Rott, can you let the others know that I'm going to attempt to cast a complicated spell to revive Siouxsie? They might want to get a bit of distance from this."

"Okay... please be careful, this sounds really dangerous, Karolina."

"I know, but... hrm."

"What?" asked Tom.

"I think... I think I have a better idea of how this spell actually works this time. It's complex, but it doesn't seem as overwhelming now."

"Karolina..."

"I know, I know. This is an enormous risk for what seems like little return. For someone you guys probably think I should just leave in peace. And with some shoddy spell theory. But I can't. I'm responsible for Siouxsie. I wasn't who I needed to be for Bali or for Siouxsie. And now they're both gone. Besides... Siouxsie called us friend. No, I've made up my mind. It's time to take a risk, Tom. I need to make things right again."
Left on 118. Cram Session