Spider Silk (SS) is the protein fiber created by spiders for the purposes of crafting webs, immobilizing prey and protecting egg sacs. One of the strongest naturally occurring materials known to man, this product is used frequently as a reagent in Britannian and Serpent Islander magic.
History and Uses
Spider silk lends properties of binding to spells which incorporate it, although in order for it to act as a magical component, a full ounce of the material is necessary. Originally this reagent was harvested only from the albino ghoul spider, although later years it appears that other species were employed, and caches of webbing could often be found in the nests of common giant spiders.
In addition to serving as a magical catalyst, the webbing of giant spiders may also be employed as thread or fish line, and communities living in areas where other fibers are hard to access, such as Sir Cabirus's Abyssal Colony, have often used spider silk to such ends.
Erstam reports that some mages, seeking to overcome the difficulty of finding sufficient naturally occurring quantities of the reagent for magical practice, had taken to raising giant spiders domestically on farms, that their silk might be harvests. No evidence of such operations, however, were found during the Avatar's journey to the Serpent Isle, and similar endeavors have failed on Earth, given the propensity captive spiders have for cannibalism.
|| pider Silk - The miracle of Spider Silk lies in its tensile strength. Imagine, if you will, a grown man relying on a strand of catgut to hold his weight all the days of his life. A spider relies on the finest of threads to do just that, and its silk never fails it. We should praise the first wizardling who realized the mystic secret of Spider Silk, for it is to him or her that we owe the knowledge of binding and restraining spells. The silk of the deadly Albino ghoul spider - both the miniature and the giant varieties - has been used by adepts through the years in rites of magic. The spider farms of the south produce perhaps a hundred pounds of the substance each year and sell it to the merchants of magic, where it is made available to all you ply our trade. It is said that each year we one worker dies the horrible death incurred by the bite of the Albino Ghoul spider to ensure the potency of the silk, although never has this deliberately been made to happen.|
|| The magical product of the garden spider and its relatives has no peer in its ability to bind. As a reagent mixed for magic, spider silk magnifies its binding power many times over.|
|| It takes many spider webs to make a full ounce of spider's silk, but the binding power it adds to spells makes the effort well worthwhile. Though the web of any spider will do, one can reduce collecting time by scraping off the fine silken hairs that cover the webs of giant spiders. Rumors have been heard of a cave where spider silk can be found in abundance.|
|| While this is a common reagent, it can be very difficult to gather any significant quantity of it from any single source. Mages have been known to frequent caves and crypts and even run their own personal spider farms in order to maintain an abundant supply of spider’s silk. It usually takes at least an ounce of silk to cast a spell.|
|| Although the strands from any spider's web will suffice, it is very trying to find enough silk from any one web. Many mages raise their own spiders, hoping to gather the webs the way a farmer squeezes milk from a cow. However, I have noticed the Isle of Crypts, filled with the dead, is home to more spiders than I could ever have possibly imagined, with plenty of accompanying webs.|
|| Little in the natural world has the tensile strength of a spider's webbing. An ounce of this predator's trap, prepared by a mage, can bind spells of holding and binding. Use spider's silk that has been prepared under proper standards. Though you may find natural samples in your travels, a magic shop knows your intents better than the spider that spun it.|
A two and a half pound real world tapestry made of spider silk, good for approximately forty-one incantations of In Zu
- According to the group responsible for producing the world's only known extant textile made of spider silk, it takes over fourteen thousand spiders to produce a single ounce of silk, making the presence of giant spiders in Ultima's setting rather serendipitous. The real world tapestry, woven from the silk of over a million golden orb spiders, weighed over 2.6 pounds.
- ↑ "Spider Silk". Wikipedia. Retrieved 2011-03-25.
- ↑ Leggett, Hadley. "1 Million Spiders Make Golden Silk for Rare Cloth". Wired. September 23, 2009. Retrieved 2011-03-25.