|Type|| Magical beast|
Source: Bestiary 2, pg(s). 30
In its natural form, an aranea resembles a bloated, humpbacked spider a little bigger than a human, weighing about 150 pounds, but with a gleam of intelligence in its multiple eyes. The hump on its back houses the aranea's brain. All araneas have a single alternative form as well—this alternative form is that of a small or medium humanoid. Although an aranea can assume a spider-hybrid variant of this form, it cannot use its shapechanging ability to assume multiple humanoid forms—this additional shape is locked into one unique appearance. Like spiders, araneas have a strength-sapping venomous bite.
Habitat and ecology
Araneas typically gather in small colonies of two to six individuals, making webbed nests high in trees. These colonies work together to research magic, and may change membership many times over as individuals leave to pursue their own studies and are replaced by newer members. A single aranea may take on humanoid form and live for years in a humanoid community, never revealing its true nature. Though araneas generally prefer to be left alone, they often prove quite knowledgeable about the ways of magic, and if approached peacefully may be willing to share their expertise for the right price (typically a magic item or some service).
Skilled spellcasters, araneas try to avoid physical combat and use their webs and spells when they can. Rather than kill their enemies, araneas often subdue opponents and hold them for ransom.
Although araneas are most commonly found in the warmer jungles near Golarion's equator, they have been spotted living in colder climes as well from time to time. This includes the small town of Ravenmoor in Varisia.
An aranea named Amitrie Leth and her sisters are also among the known residents of the Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga, where they have lived for a period significantly in excess of normal aranea lifespans.