Iridescent Purple Bird Eating Tarantulas

A year or so ago, I picked up a Pamphobeteus Antinuous to mount.  A what?  An iridescent purple haired bird eating tarantula.  I think it is pretty inspiring but not nearly as cool as the cobalt tarantula featured in the image above.  Too often, as fantasy/sci-fi authors, we describe and imagine creatures that are as frightening as our imaginations will allow.  I suppose this is all too natural and we have plenty of precedence for this in real life – just look at some of those nasty angler fish lurking about in the bottoms of the ocean or take a good look at some pretty terrifying creatures on BBC’s documentaries and there is plenty of inspiration for scary creatures.  But what inspires me about these tarantulas is precisely the opposite – they are very beautiful creatures!  Okay – I know from personal experience with Pamphobeteus Antinuous that some of the more gentle gender will take issue with that statement but I venture to argue that if they had hair as beautiful as the hairs on these tarantulas, they might change their tune a little!

So what does this matter?  What if the protagonist in a story actually struggled in his duty to kill a creature because it was beautiful?  Because it was so entrancing that it seemed a shame or morally abhorrent to exterminate it?  I suppose you could argue that this has been done in a few stories – Wolverine kills the Phoenix, sirens drown sailors until some heartless pirate does away with the buxom beauty – but these all have the extra element of romance or sexual intrigue.  But what if en epic fantasy included a hero mage who struggled to kill an iridescent dragon or some other breathtakingly beautiful beast?  This happens in Mage Reborn, which probably won’t be released until 2021 but it is only a relatively small event.  It seems like it might be interesting to expand upon that idea …

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