Arachne was probably born no later than 1,000 B.C., although her exact age is never stated. Her homeland and family origins are also unknown, although she most likely grew up in either Greece or what is now Turkey. Arachne proved artistically gifted, and by the time she was a teenager, she had developed an unparalleled set of weaving skills. Arachne's talent came to the notice of Minerva, an immortal, whose jealousy led her to challenge Arachne to a weaving contest. Minerva cast a complicated set of spells to rig the contest in her own favor. The loser of the contest would die. Arachne did not want to participate, but Minerva was more powerful and left her no choice. Almost immediately, Minerva used magic to destroy Arachne's loom, so that Arachne would have no chance of defeating her.
Arachne's prayers for survival were answered when spiders suddenly came to her and spun silk according to her instructions. Arachne used them to weave a fabric that not only was superior to what Minerva wove, but included a curse of Arachne's own against evil immortals like Minerva. As a result, Arachne won the contest and Minerva died, a victim of her own scheming. However, Arachne's victory put her in continued danger. Her gifts proved as much of a problem as a benefit, because people knew about the contest's outcome and wanted Arachne to weave for them. Arachne's spider silk could provide protection, healing, or strength, and warriors and adventurers found it extremely useful. While they could not threaten her life--the interaction of Minerva's spells and the supernatural means of Arachne's rescue had turned Arachne into a transmortal--they could kill her spiders. Odysseus used exactly that tactic to force Arachne to create a cloak that would increase his intelligence and protect him from death. Arachne tried to prevent others from manipulating her gifts--for instance, she added negative qualities to the Odyssean Cloak that would come into play when it was removed. (John Smith learned about these qualities too late and had to ask Arachne to weave a small piece of the cloak into his skin to allow him to function normally.) Unfortunately, such attempts only limited the damage that some of her creations caused, and she spent centuries attempting to hide from people who would make her weave against her will. Eventually, however, someone always discovered her and forced her to work for them.
Arachne experienced her treaty with the Order of Brendan as a relief. She was banned from spinning fabrics with supernatural properties, such as the Odyssean Cloak, and the ban made other people less likely to hunt her down. She also could count on the Order's protection--instead of finding her own, short-lived hiding places, she could flee to one of the Order's Estates if she was in danger.
Although Arachne had friendly relationships with most other transmortals, including Gilgamesh, she sided with Rupert Greeves and the Smiths when the Ordo Draconis began to regain influence among the transmortals. She had supported John Smith's initial attempts to stop the Draculs and Radu Bey, and she did not want Radu Bey to return to power. Arachne used her natural--and, after the voiding of the transmortal treaties, supernatural--abilities to prepare Cyrus and Antigone for the fight against Phoenix and the Ordo. She traveled with their group when they fled Ashtown.
When the group split up--Rupert and Cyrus to return to Ashtown, and Antigone to search William Skelton's Empire of Bones for weapons and information with most of the group's other members--Arachne remained at their old camp with John Smith and Gilgamesh. She stayed in contact with the others using the Smiths' Quick Water and, from a distance, convinced Nolan to sort through a stockpile of Dragon's Tooth-forged weapons to identify which ones were safe to use, despite his initial reluctance to do so. She returned to Ashtown during the battle, which was doubly devastating for Arachne, as Gilgamesh betrayed her trust and returned to the opposing side.
Arachne is small, retaining the appearance of the teenager she had been when she became a transmortal. She has long, curly black hair and ice blue eyes. Generally she wears at least some black clothing.
Arachne, like Nolan, is one of the few transmortals whose change did not come of their own volition. She shares Nolan's concerns about the character of most transmortals, but she maintains a more optimistic outlook and a greater willingness to trust. She disapproves of Nolan's negativity and tries to empathize with other people, regardless of their past behavior. Her attitude helps her make friends with other transmortals and hold some level of influence over their actions. Such friendships, however, make her more vulnerable to betrayal. While her desire to see the good in Gilgamesh makes him willing to cooperate with her on some occasions, he repeatedly works against her when it suits him. Arachne seems to consider the risk of such disloyalty to be worth the rewards of maintaining warm relationships with others. Risk or no, her outlook does enable to endure several thousand years' worth of difficulty with a remarkably healthy emotional life.
|Protagonists||Alan Livingstone • Antigone Smith • Arachne • Cyrus Smith • Daniel Smith • Dennis • Diana Boone • George • Gunner • Horace • Jax • Jeb • John Smith • Katie Smith • Lawrence Smith • Mrs. Eldridge • Niffy • Nolan • Robert Boone • Rupert Greeves • Silas • William Skelton|
|Antagonists||Anann • Babd Catha • Cecil Rhodes • Dr. Phoenix • Maxi • Radu Bey • Tamerlane • Vlad II • Vlad III • Vlad IV|
|Neutral||Ben Sterling • Gilgamesh|