These creatures operated in hive minds and delighted in setting things aflame. When set loose in an area they would focus their attention on the most combustible of objects.
Any combustible material that made contact with a fire spider would be set aflame, including living creatures, thus fire spiders could easily cause rapidly spreading conflagrations. Their fangs were also venomous.
As befitting their fiery nature, fire spiders were very vulnerable to cold. Some believed they were even vulnerable to water or other nonflammable liquids. And due to operating as a hive mind, swarms of them were very suspectible to mind-affecting spells and abilities.
Multiple swarms of these creatures would work in concert with one another, isolating their prey by encircling them with rings of fire.
In −2439 DR, fire spiders arrived on the Prime Material plane for the first time when a group of Maerimydran drow spellcasters based in the Twisted Tower of Ashaba summoned them to set large parts of the southern Rystall Woods on fire, separating it from its northern reaches, an area that would later become known as the Border Forest. In later centuries, drow would continue to occasionally summon fire spiders in order to set things aflame.
In the Year of Risen Elfkin, 1375 DR, during the Zhentarim invasion of Shadowdale, a drow named Xullrae Dhuurniv summoned a swarm of these spiders on to the Prime Material plane in an effort to set the forest of Cormanthor aflame.
Though they originated in the Conflagratum, fire spiders later spread to many other fiery regions of the Abyss. And following their summoning to the Prime Material in -2439 DR, reports suggested that they could occasionally be encountered within the Deep Wastes.
On the Prime Material plane, fire spiders rarely survived or propagated outside of areas in temperate regions that were rich with prey and combustible material, such as forests.
- Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land
- Richard Baker, Eric L. Boyd, Thomas M. Reid (July 2007). Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 155–156. ISBN 07-8694-039-5.
- Sean K. Reynolds, Duane Maxwell, Angel McCoy (August 2001). Magic of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 94. ISBN 0-7869-1964-7.
- Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 34. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
- Richard Baker, Eric L. Boyd, Thomas M. Reid (July 2007). Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 82. ISBN 07-8694-039-5.
Magical spiders: Bloodsilk • Electric • Glass • Gaze • Goblin • Pet of Kalistes • Spellgaunt • Steeder
Planar spiders: Demonweb terror • Fire • Myrlochar • Phase • Shadow • Tomb • Vortex
Constructs: Arachnar • Bone spider • Jade spider • Retriever • Spiderwalker • Stone spider
Outsiders: Bebilith • Darkweaver • Greelox • Inferno spider • Red widow • Yochlol
Creations of Lolth: Abyssal widow • Chwidencha • Drider (Vampire) • Shunned
Humanoids: Aranea • Chitine • Choldrith • Ettercap • Werespider
Miscellaneous: Kitthix • Neogi • Rhylfang • Susurrus
Undead spiders: Wraith spider