To Lorekeeper Matteo,
I hope my report finds you well. Our expedition has arrived safely at the gates of Assena in Sehdegere Steppes and the men you assigned to me are in good spirits. The journey was uneventful, encumbered only by a bit of rain.
I am happy to report that finding more information about these mysterious “raknar” creatures should prove to be no great challenge. Already several samples have been acquired from the locals. They do not leave the remains whole, however, preferring to break them down into usable parts rather quickly.
The rumors we have heard in the north of “giant spiders” have proven to be only partially accurate. While these creatures are the size of a large bull and most certainly in the arachnid family, they are not technically spiders. Both have eight obvious limbs, but unlike true spiders, these raknar do not have the smaller pedipalp limbs that spiders use for capturing and holding their prey. Instead their frontal leg pair has evolved to a larger size than the rest of their limbs with an incredibly dense chitin grown over the terminus into rather vicious points. I can theorize that these are used as tools for their hunting and perhaps for mating or dominance displays. Speaking of the limbs, these creatures seem to lack the seventh leg segment that spiders possess. Unfortunately, I cannot hypothesize which segment is missing without an intact specimen.
The raknar also differ from spiders in that their cephalothorax is proportionally smaller in relation to their abdomen. Truly in this regard they are more akin to opiliones, ricinulei and scorpions. Their bodies are also encased in more of the heavy chitin that covers their frontal limbs. The chitin plate that covers their vulnerable abdomen is especially popular here with the locals, who have fashioned them into a variety of goods.
Tomorrow, I hope to recover an intact corpse to dissect, so that I might learn more about these magnificent creatures. I will send you my next report as soon as possible.
Your Faithful Servant,
Keeper Bartal Talmason