Arachnos (City of Heroes)

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Publication information
Publisher NC Soft
First appearance City of Heroes # 1 (2004)
Created by Sean Michael Fish
In-story information
Base(s) Spider City, Grandville, Rogue Islands
Member(s) Lord Recluse
Ghost Widow
Black Scorpion
Captain Mako
Silver Mantis
Various Followers
The Weaver
Red Widow

In the backstory for the games City of Heroes and City of Villains, Arachnos is a criminal group formed in Italy on early 20th century. It is ruled by City of Heroes universe's most notorious villain: Lord Recluse.[1]


Arachnos were officially mentioned for the first time in an August 2005 press release by NCsoft. The announcement showed the City of Villains pre-order version would include an Arachnos costume piece and a limited edition "Lord Recluse versus Statesman" poster amongst other things.[2]

With the first issue of Top Cow Productions's series of City of Heroes comics, Arachnos appeared in a publication for the first time.[3]

Fictional organization history[edit]

In the universe of City of Heroes Arachnos was formed in the early part of the 20th century in Italy by a man known as The Weaver. Later, a villain called Lord Recluse took over the global network of Arachnos though betrayal; murder surely played a role. After taking over, Recluse subtly shifted Arachnos’s priorities and interests to better suit his own ideological goals.[1]

Arachnos' leader, Lord Recluse, went underground to weave his web of deceit before eventually emerging as the "legitimate" leader of the Rogue Isles, the nation shown in City of Villains. Now Arachnos controls the Isles and Lord Recluse is, technically at least, considered a political figure —though he privately relishes the rare times he's able to get blood on his hands. Ruling a nation has allowed Lord Recluse to create armed forces, purchase military hardware, and even research alien technology, increasing this way Arachnos' power. Now, Arachnos fights to capture Paragon City, the city where City of Heroes takes place, which is the juicy fly wiggling at the fringe of Lord Recluse's web who will not rest until he has wrested Paragon from Statesman, City of Heroes most important hero.[1]


Arachnos is ruled by Lord Recluse with an iron fist demanding blind loyalty and unswerving devotion from those who survive long enough to serve him. Under his guidance, Arachnos has become a multi-faceted and deadly group. They are skilled in information control, blackmail, espionage, and assassination, made up of both mortals and super-beings. They boast a potent military force and employ—overtly and covertly—numerous supers in a wide variety of roles.[1]

Wolf Spiders[edit]

Arachnos' basic troopers, the official government enforcers of the Rogue Isles. For the most part, they ignore petty crimes unless they have been hired to protect or watch over a particular client's interests. Considered little more than legalized thugs, they are commonly seen in low level zones as guards or cannon fodder, and are only rarely encountered past level 29. Lord Recluse recruits legions of desperate souls to fill their ranks, then puts them through a rigorous training program that emphasizes loyalty, brutality, and discipline, in that order.[1] They are generally equipped with pistols, sub-machineguns, Arachnos power maces, and shotguns.[4] These soldiers take their namesake from a spider of the same name.


Arachnobots, as their name implies, are spider-like robots that provide combat support to other Arachnos soldiers. Easily manufactured, these machines are generally considered expendable, and are armed primarily with SMGs and their own claws. Larger Arachnobots tend to pack stronger and more advanced weaponry.[4]


Also known as Black Widows,[5] Fortunatas are the psychic foot soldiers of Arachnos. A female only group,[6] the Fortunatas are full-blown mystics, gifted with psychic powers[1] that not even super-types can resist.[6] Their Lieutenants, the Seers, are capable of peering into the future, which allows them to improve the defenses of the troops they lead.[7] The leaders of the Fortunatas are the Mistresses; they are those who have mastered the largest quantity of psychic abilities.[5]


Widows are trained in the arts of stealth, infiltration, and disguise. They spend most of their time in civilian clothes and assumed identities, ferreting out secrets or blackmailing business leaders into cooperating with Arachnos's designs. On missions that involve combat, Night Widows, Widows' highest ranking warriors, have discretion to form a strike team composed of other Arachnos forces. They are led by Ghost Widow.[8] Blood Widow assassins are deadly opponents in melee combat.[4]

Mu Mystics[edit]

A bizarre and powerful group led by Scirocco,[9] the mystics of Arachnos are Mu descendants who serve to combat magic powered threats, such as the Circle of Thorns and magic-based heroes.[10] Mu Mystics have a distinctively odd appearance; their legs, feet and arms are inexplicably bound, thus they move about only by flight. Mu mystics wield powerful crimson lightning abilities to assail their foes.[4] Mu Adepts, the Mu Lieutenants, are the Mu Strikers who are given the secrets which allow them to unlock all of their power.[11] Highest-ranked Mu, the Guardians, are those who have read unholy books and performed dark sacrifices to master the mystic arts.[12]

Arachnos drones[edit]

Arachnos' drones are hovering support robots armed primarily with energy cannons. The most powerful of the Arachnos drones is an Arbiter Drone, which will just simply vaporize its target in one hit.


Arachnos Tarantulas are eight-legged, spider-like mechs that consist of a surgically altered pilot integrated with the armor itself. Tarantulas are armed with a wide variety of abilities based on their type. Aside from the standard type, there are Fire and Toxic types. Arachnos Fortunatas will occasionally volunteer to undergo the process to become a Tarantula, creating the psychic-wielding Tarantula Mistresses and Queens. Tarantulas are named after a spider of the same name.[4]

Crab Spiders[edit]

Crab Spiders form what could be considered the Arachnos version of a SWAT team.[1] and are employed to deal high level threats such as super-types. They're equipped with full body armor, larger weapons, and a set of mechanical spider arms.[13] The said spider legs mount bladed claws and an SMG or energy cannon based on the type of Crab Spider that is wielding them. The Crab Spiders are led by Captain Mako.[4]

Bane Spiders[edit]

Armed exclusively with Arachnos power maces, Bane Spiders are opponents for high level player characters.[4] They are taken from the ranks of the Wolf Spiders and are given different types of training.[14][15] The basic Bane Spider troops, the Commandos, receive special assault training to become vicious masters of combat.[14] Their Lieutenants, the Scouts, are prepared for covert operations to make them be elite spies for Lord Recluse.[15] Lord Recluse's guardsmen are those who lead the Bane Spiders, the Executioners; to become one of them it is necessary to be an efficient and ruthless agent.[16]

Rogue Arachnos[edit]

With issue 6 of City of Heroes a new zone available for both City of Heroes and City of Villains players, Warburg, was added.[17] This zone features a group of renegade Arachnos known as the Rogue Arachnos. Their forces feature "rogue" versions of most Arachnos units. They share description and appearance, except for the Rogue Fortunatas, with their counterparts but not the name; all members of the rogue faction have the word "Rogue" in them.[4][18]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "City of Villains Game Info: Enemies - Arachnos". Retrieved Sep 26, 2007. 
  2. ^ "NCsoft’s City of Villains pre-order offer busts into North American retail outlets". NCsoft. August 15, 2005. Archived from the original on September 19, 2008. Retrieved Oct 21, 2008. 
  3. ^ Kaio, Nakayama, Basaldua, Oback (2004). "City of Heroes 1" (PDF). Top Cow Productions. Retrieved Oct 21, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Cryptic Studios. City of Villains. Retrieved on Mar. 15, 2008
  5. ^ a b Cryptic Studios. City of Villains. Fortunata Mistress description. "The most powerful of the Fortunatas are the mistresses. These rare few have mastered numerous psychic abilities and risen to the top of Lord Recluse's beautiful Black Widows.". Retrieved on Mar. 15, 2008
  6. ^ a b Cryptic Studios. City of Villains. Fortunata description. "Fortunatas are female Arachnos agents gifted with psychic powers. Those with aggressive abilities are tasked with taking down super-types-who often have little resistance to their deadly abilities.". Retrieved on Mar. 15, 2008
  7. ^ Cryptic Studios. City of Villains. Fortunata Seer description. "Fortunata Seers can glimpse moments into the future. They use this ability to increase the defenses of the more mundane troops they slavishly lead into combat.". Retrieved on Mar. 15, 2008
  8. ^ "City of Villains Game Info: Villains - Ghost Widow". Retrieved Sep 26, 2007. 
  9. ^ "City of Villains Game Info: Villains - Scirocco". Archived from the original on November 6, 2007. Retrieved Oct 27, 2007. 
  10. ^ Cryptic Studios. City of Villains. Mu Striker description. "Strikers are descendents of the long-lost Mu, drafted into Arachnos service to fight both mystic heroes and the troublesome Circle of Thorns". Retrieved on Oct. 27, 2007
  11. ^ Cryptic Studios. City of Villains. Mu Adept description. "The most gifted Mu Strikers are given far more than promotions and new uniforms-they are given eldritch secrets to unlock their inner powers. As long as they use them in Arachnos' service, of course". Retrieved on Oct. 27, 2007
  12. ^ Cryptic Studios. City of Villains. Mu Guardian description. "Mu Guardians pulse with the blood of their slaughtered ancestors in their veins. They have read unholy tomes, visited other planes of existence and performed dark sacrifices too terrible to mention to become the masters of the mystic arts". Retrieved on Oct. 27, 2007
  13. ^ Cryptic Studios. City of Villains. Crab Spider description. "Crab Spiders function much like SWAT teams in other cities, and are dispatched to deal with high-level threaths (sic) like super-types. They're equipped with full body armor, larger weapons, and a set of mechanical spider arms that turn them into death-dealing machines and also are one of the most strongist playable charectors in city of villins.". Retrieved on Mar. 15, 2008
  14. ^ a b Cryptic Studios. City of Villains. Bane Spider Commando description. "Taken from the ranks of the Wolf Spiders, Bane Spider Commandos are given specialized assault training. They are vicious masters of combat that relish engaging the enemies of Arachnos". Retrieved on Oct. 27, 2007
  15. ^ a b Cryptic Studios. City of Villains. Bane Spider Scout description. "Taken from the ranks of the Wolf Spiders, Bane Spider Scouts are given covert operations training. They are elite spies used by Lord Recluse to monitor activities both on the Rogue Isles and beyond". Retrieved on Oct. 27, 2007
  16. ^ Cryptic Studios. City of Villains. Bane Spider Executioner description. "Only the most trusted Arachnos agents are allowed to lead the Bane Spiders. An agent must be ruthless and efficient to become one of Lord Recluse's personal guardsmen. It is a great a great honor to be promoted to the position of a Bane Spider Executioner". Retrieved on Oct. 27, 2007
  17. ^ "Game Updates - Issue 6: "Along Came a Spider"". Archived from the original on April 10, 2008. Retrieved Mar 15, 2008. 
  18. ^ "City of Villains: Villains - Rogue Arachnos". Retrieved Mar 15, 2008. [dead link]