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The Spider-kult (also spelled “Spider Cult”[1b]) is the umbrella term for groups who worship the god of spiders, known as the Feaster from Beyond.[4b][6]


Members of the kult venerate the largest spiders as minor forest gods[1b] alongside the traditional Greenskin deities Gork & Mork, but hold the Spider-god supreme over all.[2][6] There are various rituals and rites performed by tribes of Forest Goblins, such as offering sacrificial gifts to the deity and its children and performing sacred dances.[3c][4] In exchange for this devotion the Feaster speaks to its followers,[3d] answers prayers,[5] bestows powers,[3e] blesses items,[2] and will even miraculously heal wounded worshippers.[4c] Though respecting large spider species is part of the religion’s beliefs, there is no prohibition on killing, eating, riding, or otherwise using spiders of any size.[1a][4b][4c]


Spiders are, unsurprisingly, the foremost symbols of the Spider-kult. Worshippers commonly decorate shields, banners, buckles, pole tops, and weapons with the design, and many tribal totems feature Gork, Mork, and daemonic spider faces.[1b][6]


When Human tribesmen of what would become the Empire first cut their way into forests they unwittingly began the bitter War of the Drakwald, which pushed Goblin tribes deep into the dense thickets of the Warhammer world’s forests.[3d] There they encountered many terrors, from Beastmen herds to predators like Giant Spiders. Over time they learned how to coexist with their new environment, even partnering with the latter to hunt the former.[1a][3a][4a] A variety of spiders came to serve as pets and war mounts, were farmed for food,[1a] weapons, armour, and trade goods,[3d][4b] and the largest worshipped as gods.[1b]

Contact with the entity later known as the Spider-god first occurred when the hallucinogenic venom of the Purple Skullback spider was discovered by Goblin Shamans.[3b] Inspired by the ravings of these shamans, who claimed to have discovered a new god, the tribes came to revere it.[4b] Since only shamans in the throes of poison fugues could approach the largest spiders without being attacked,[3b] and the Forest Goblins had not been able to overcome them with violence, the Spider-kult quickly took on both spiritual and practical roles in Forest Goblin life.[3c]


Further information: Forest Goblin Shaman

Forest Goblin Shamans commune with[3b] and act as addled priests of the Feaster from Beyond, leading their tribes in worship.[1b][3c][6] They weave the spider dance, shriek ululating battle cries, offer sacrificial gifts to the deity and its children, collect eggs for raising, and summon them to war.[3c][4b]

As part of their devotion they encourage small, colorful, poisonous spiders to live in and under their robes, skittering across their bodies and nesting in the crannies, such as in ears, between toes and teeth, and inside of noses.[3b][4a][4b] Many of these small spiders are Purple Skullbacks, named for their rich, plum-colored bodies and white abdominal markings resembling a skull.[3c][4b] A single bite can cause fever dreams, blurred eyesight, agony, induced visions, and even facilitate second sight, but is generally not fatal.[4b]

When exposed to enough poison, either through frequent bites or directly eating the spiders,[3c] the effects are greatly magnified. Shamans purposefully saturate their bodies, disfiguring themselves with swollen tongues turned shades of purple or blue;[1b] those who do not die twitching, horrifying deaths[3c] are rendered immune to the deadliest aspects of the toxins, bodies left almost completely numb to pain.[1a][6] The venom stimulates the part of their brains responsible for their magical abilities, rendering them utterly mad but tremendously amplifying their powers.[1a][1b]

While their bodies lurch around, eyes wide and tongues out, their minds are cast into the dream-like spirit world of the Great Green. In this twisted vision of reality shamans can commune with Gork & Mork and meet each other or their ancient predecessors. Shamans of the Forest Goblins, who know the place as “the Great Webbed Void,” are also likely to encounter shadowy eight-legged daemons and the looming presence of the Feaster Beyond the World.[1a][3f]


Further information: Black Pit

Spider holes are holy ground for members. The most secret, sacred site for Forest Goblin tribes of the Spider-kult, the grim hollow called the Black Pit is fiercely guarded from intruders. Even the defenders rarely enter, doing so only to sacrifice to the Feaster from Beyond, rouse its children to war, or trade with the Pit’s Night Goblins inhabitants.[3d] Bones and refuse scattered about the surface mark this as the “black heart of spiderdom”, for many of the pits house nests of the largest Arachnarok Spiders found anywhere in the Warhammer world. The creatures are drawn here to breed from across the Old World and beyond, moved to do so by the cycles of Morrslieb & Mannslieb.[3a][3d]