Alternative: change, darkness
Grandmother Spider, also known as Nana Anadi, is a mythical figure in the Mwangi Expanse who is venerated as both the goddess of stories and a trickster of deific proportions. Once contented as a weaver for the fates of other gods, her indignation at their treatment of her as a lackey or tool spurred her to craft unique humiliations against deities such as Sarenrae and Asmodeus that still resonate in divine memory. The trickster goddess favors those of a rebellious nature, empowering those who would rise above their station or fight for freedom.1
Originally, Grandmother Spider had served the other deities of Golarion as a servant of fate who wove their legends into existence. She enjoyed this role, as this allowed her to craft the grandest of tales. However, as she tirelessly wove story after story at the whims of the other gods, they failed to pay the respect due for the one who brought their awe-inspiring legends to life. Incensed by the overinflated egos of her patrons, the Weaver set about a series of specially tailored mischiefs and misdirections that made fools of each of the gods. Among her antics, she stole and copied Asmodeus' keys, unbalanced Abadar's scales for a century, and plundered a portion of Sarenrae's holy fire. Upon finishing her spree of trickery, she manipulated the strands of fate to prevent any retribution for her actions and wove her own divinity into being.1 To this day, worship of Grandmother Spider is virtually unknown in Avistan by decree of Asmodeus, who forbids her veneration so long as she holds her counterfeit of his keys.2 Legends say these keys even include the key to Rovagug's cage.3
A tale about her is associated with bags of holding. The legend tells of a young man given a bag by Grandmother Spider in exchange for him using it to collect every animal in the jungle and bringing them to her web. He instead left with the bag, which the legend claims is the reason why spiders of the Expanse are so hostile to humans.4
Many of the gods of Golarion are wary of confronting Grandmother Spider. Even alone, she is undoubtedly dangerous due to her mastery over fate and secrets. It is however her elder brother, Achaekek, the Red Mantis, that commands the fear of gods. While he may return her pleas for rebellion against the gods with indifference, his retribution against those who have harmful intentions towards the Weaver is inordinate and exacting.1
Some of the more prideful gods, such as Abadar and Asmodeus, still hold their grudges against Nana Anadi.2
Worship of Grandmother Spider finds its home in Garund and among the arachnid anadi people. Few temples are dedicated to Nana Anadi; her places of worship instead find themselves within schools and roadside shrines, which often sport icons in the form of spider figurines, woven objects, or a loom. Her image, diamond-shaped patterns woven in homage to Grandmother Spider's divine symbol, can be found tucked away within the temples of other deities as a cameo. These are found especially in the shrines of the Ascended, deities who rose to godhood as mortals.1
Freedom fighters and others who are forced to fight for their freedom in secrecy are some of the primary worshippers of Nana Anadi, who view spiders as an omen of good fortune and believe that the Weaver will still tell their stories of defiance long after they have passed.2
- Old Woman Makes the Stars
- Written by the anadi cleric Raindrops-Sing-Her-Name Secha between the 2nd and 4th centuries AR, this epic poem features the opening line shared among all of the many stories of Grandmother Spider: "This I have heard, and heard once more, and so I think it true."5
- First Rain
- Celebrated on the first rainy day of each summer—because of Grandmother Spider's renowned hatred of rain—followers of Grandmother Spider celebrate indoors to entertain each other for hours.5
- The long, dark night of Nurvatcha's winter solstice is celebrated as a day of freedom, in part thanks to Grandmother Spider lengthening their cover of darkness in their escape.5
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- “Gods of the Inner Sea” in Gods & Magic, 60. Paizo Inc., 2020 .
- “Religion” in The Mwangi Expanse, 136. Paizo Inc., 2021 .
- “Worst of All Possible Worlds” in Worst of All Possible Worlds, 25. Paizo Inc., 2023 .
- “Bag of Holding” in Classic Treasures Revisited, 8. Paizo Inc., 2010 .
- “Grandmother Spider” in Faiths of Golarion, 14. Paizo Inc., 2018 .