Yet another entry from the Vein compendium featuring another of the creatures found within the Meridian. Enjoy!
Airweaver-Perhaps the most beautiful and simultaneously the most dangerous creature found in the Meridian, the airweaver is an unusual sight to behold.
The airweaver possesses the overall appearance of a jellyfish, composed of two primary components: a large body measuring anywhere from one to three paces (three to nine feet) wide, and a thick curtain of dangling tentacles as thin and fine as hair measuring anywhere from four to seven paces (twelve to twenty-one feet) long, although unverified reports have claimed to see airweavers with tentacles estimated to be ten paces (thirty feet) long or even longer. Adorning the creature’s body is a set of protrusions that have been given various descriptions, such as “resembling a flower petal” and “wavy, beautiful rings akin to the celestial equatorial rings which encircle planetary bodies in the heavens.” The variety of these protrusions suggests diversity within the species; however, regardless of the specific physical shape, these protrusions seem to have the same function, as they “weave” in and out of each other, shifting colors as they move. Such behavior, therefore, renders it impossible to designate airweavers by particular color, as the creatures seem to prefer no particular primary color. The protrusions also have the effect of hiding the creature’s center, making it impossible to distinguish any other features about the creature.
Airweavers are generally found near rivers, lakes, and other large bodies of water, particularly at the bottoms of canyons, where they are often seen trolling for food, although they have been spotted in other locations such as caves and forests on occasion. Their ability to float through the air allows for them to hover over waters while luring fish and other aquatic creatures toward the tip of their tentacles. They attract their prey through the use of their bodies, as the rippling motion of their “petals” produces a hypnotic effect, drawing any fish that look upon the swirling, colorful ambience toward them. Once within reach, the airweavers then snag the fish via its tentacles, which then secrete an enzyme that functions as an acidic adhesive, which has the effect of “gluing” the victim to the tentacles while dissolving flesh and transporting the liquefied nourishment upward and into the main body. This enzyme immediately bonds to other tentacles upon contact, which means that the more a victim struggles, the more entangled it becomes in the tentacles, and the more quickly the airweavers will consume their prey.
The behavior of an airweaver during its capture and ingestion of prey is largely dependent upon the size of the victim. Whenever possible, an airweaver will pull its victim up and into the air by inflating its air bladder to maximum expansion, thus hindering the victim in its escape. If a “snagged” creature is too large for an airweaver to hoist, it will behave in the opposite manner and “sit” upon the victim in an attempt to smother the victim with more tentacles and enzyme, thus speeding up the digestion process. Although the first course of action is the favored course for airweavers, they have no trouble with resorting to the second, thus giving testament to the patience of these hovering hunters.
An airweaver is generally considered to be a relatively slow creature. Its movement through the air is likened to the lazy drift of a cloud, and even though they can and do move against air currents (though how this is accomplished is unknown), they retain a slow and measured speed in their general demeanor. However, if an airweaver feels threatened or is attacked, it can react with unnatural and unexpected speed. An airweaver can dodge in a manner similar to the duck and bob of a boxer’s head, carrying its body away from any incoming attack in a sudden, reflexive evasion. Again, the exact manner by which it can perform such an acrobatic aerial move is unknown.
This previous trait combined with the ability to hypnotize makes airweavers a formidable predator to deal with upon confrontation. The mesmerizing flow of color in the airweaver body affects not only aquatic life but many forms of land-based life as well, including Beings (although ha-bears are a notable exception to this). Some survivors of airweaver attacks have reported looking upon the creatures and falling into (as one survivor put it) “a calm, tranquil numbness from which I did not want to emerge.” Others have reported falling into visions consisting of pleasant memories from moments in their past. Victims of the hypnosis seem to be paralyzed, or even so seduced that they walk forward and into the tentacles with outstretched arms, ignorant of what is happening to them until it is too late. In addition to this, the reflexive evasion of the airweaver combined with its altitude make it extremely difficult for a Sect member to take out the airborne creature with a scythe surge, and often the only hope is to take the creature out through a surge sent via wall in a narrow passage which would prevent the airweaver from successfully dodging the attack. Surges which contact tentacles bring about a nasty shock to the airweavers but do not incapacitate them; only a surge able to connect with the creature’s body will render it unconscious.