The Spellweavers of Toril are part of an ancient race of magic users who once created an empire that spanned the planets and planes of the Multiverse, connected by Nodes and portal networks that linked all the different colonies of the empire together in one massive hive.
Millennia ago, the Spellweavers had colonies all over Toril; including the lands that would one day become Anauroch, the Moonsea North, and Mulhorand. Over time these colonies fell to some mysterious disease that afflicted all Spellweavers across the Multiverse and prompted the experiment known as the Disjunction which ultimately decimated the remains of their race.
Now only scattered individuals of the Spellweaver are left, those that have escaped or not yet succumbed to the disease, and those that were away from the Nodes when the Disjunction was performed.
The complete history of the Spellweaver Empire is lost in the history of the Multiverse. Indeed most Spellweavers believed the Disjunction was a failed attempt to gather together and manipulate a secret language borne from a time and place before the Multiverse came into existence, the fact that they are even aware of the primordial Universe suggests their race may have originated from it as well.
On Toril, the Spellweavers setup a Node in the Old Empires region and a number of colonies elsewhere across the planet all linked by a gigantic portal network that ultimately connected to the Node and from there to other Nodes across the Multiverse.
The Spellweavers of E.I.L1 (all Nodes are given a complex planar, spheric, geographic, and numeric notation that indicates it’s location) encountered the sarrukh of Okoth after a millennia alone on Toril. As is typical for Spellweaver interactions, the Spellweavers attempted to enslave the sarrukh for menial labour (and failed), then they attempted to bring about the downfall of the sarrukh by seeding their civilisation with powerful magic (allowing them to alter shape and form). The end result was the creation of an apex magical race known as the phaerimm and the splintering of Okoth and scattering of the sarrukh, but not before most of the Spellweavers witnessed their own demise from a strange disease they termed “the Darkness”.
The Darkness was a strange malady that interrupted the natural death and rebirth cycle of the Spellweavers, so that when the Spellweavers entered their cocoons to die and be reborn those afflicted were transformed into star shaped gems as black as midnight. The disease showed no obvious signs of infection nor any obvious method of transmission, the Spellweavers of E.I.L.1 were so badly afflicted that their numbers dwindled to the point that their civilisation began to collapse. If not for their servitor golems, the Spellweavers would have been defenceless.
The Spellweavers that survived abandoned E.I.L.1 to magical servitors and retreated to colonies elsewhere in Toril (in an effort to limit the disease and stop it spreading to other Nodes). It wasn’t long before the sarrukh of Okoth claimed the Node for themselves, and the sarrukh abandoned it sometime after when their civilisation was torn apart by civil strife brought about by the Spellweaver’s interference.
It would be a thousand years before the Spellweavers would encounter the sarrukh again, this time after the Spellweavers of the colony of E.ril discovered the sarrukh of Isstosseffifil on the shores of the Narrow Sea. The Spellweavers attempted to destroy the sarrukh from within by sending magically transformed Spellweavers among them to form a secret society known as the Ba’etith. The Ba’etith helped the sarrukh craft a series of magical artefacts known today as the Nether Scrolls. These artefacts provided a source of magic that was far safer and more easily accessible than the abundant raw magic that Toril was overflowing with.
The Nether Scrolls attracted the phaerimm once more to the sarrukh and the two races warred incessantly for control of this new source of magic. In an effort to destroy the phaerimm, the sarrukh redirected the Narrow Sea and inadvertently destroyed E.ril and it’s inhabitants as well as locking away the phaerimm from this region of Toril for many thousands of years.
The few survivors of E.ril were those transformed into sarrukh, many of whom were now anchors for the Weave itself and part of the Nether Scrolls they had created. The most famous survivor was known as Ssr’nak’tu to the sarrukh, but his truename was Jergal. He fled and travelled the world to escape his pursuing sarrukh and phaerimm, to get vengeance upon the sarrukh, and to try and locate his remaining kin on Toril, ultimately he failed and was trapped in stasis for centuries while the Spellweaver Empire destroyed itself performing a ritual known as the Disjunction.
The Disjunction destroyed all Nodes in a cataclysmic magical backlash that saw all the magical furnaces powering the Nodes go into meltdown, leaving large craters upon the land, and all the Spellweavers at the Nodes were slain (which included 95% of the entire population). The few remaining Spellweavers left alive on Toril are those that survived the disease known as the Darkness, and the destruction of E.ril at the hands of the sarrukh, and the destruction of E.I.L.1 during the Disjunction.
Life and Society
There is little evidence of Spellweaver society left on Toril, most cultural practices disappeared along with the bulk of the Spellweaver population, and any remaining documented evidence was destroyed along with E.I.L.1 and E.ril.
A few things can be inferred from the few surviving Spellweavers and their descendants. Firstly is that Spellweavers communicated entirely using an advanced form of telepathy that few other races exhibit, and while Spellweavers possess the physiology to speak it appears to be taboo among their race.
Spellweavers appear to have little to no societal structure in the few settlements that remain, roles and responsibilities are incredibly fluid depending upon need and ability, although this may not be representative of the past Spellweaver civilisation.
All Spellweavers are obsessed with collecting magic and language, the magic is required for the rebirth cycle of Spellweavers and is consumed as part of this process. The Spellweavers appear to believe that the languages of the Multiverse each contains a piece of a code from a language of power that created the original Universe. By piecing together this code they believe they can reorder reality and rebuild what once existed before.
Spellweavers have an ingrained disdain of the divine and deities. Spellweavers have never been known to worship a divine being and only one Spellweaver has been known to share their power with lesser beings through pacts in the manner employed by deities.
Lastly, Spellweavers prefer to let others perform the manual labour required to build and maintain their civilisations. In the past the Spellweavers enslaved many lesser beings to do the menial tasks, for warfare and when slaves were in short supply the Spellweavers created colossal golems that were capable of immeasurable feats of strength and endurance.
The Rebirth Cycle: A Spellweaver lives for several centuries, most averaging six centuries, although some long lived specimens have attained ages beyond a millennium. When a Spellweaver feels his time at hand he crafts a cocoon using the magical energy from a hundred items or more and retreats into it while the magical energies rejuvenate his body. Most Spellweavers perform this Rebirth Cycle six times, although there are rumours of some continuing to perform this cycle many more times.
Whenever a Spellweaver feels the need to reproduce (what may have been decided upon by the settlement as a whole), a cocoon is again constructed from magical items but requiring a much greater number. After a lengthy period of rejuvenation the Spellweaver becomes 6 juvenile Spellweavers who each retain the memories of the parent.
If the Rebirth Cycle is not performed or is performed incorrectly (usually interrupted by someone opening the cocoon or the magic running out if not enough items were gathered), then the Spellweaver is transformed into a seething mass of flesh eating beetles that are today known as scarabs and plague the Old Empires region, hiding in ancient pyramids and other cool, dry environments.
The Darkness is the only malady ever known to have afflicted the Spellweavers, it attacked the Spellweavers during their most vulnerable time, the Rebirth Cycle, and for reasons unknown to Spellweavers even today, transformed the rejuvenating Spellweaver into one or more star shaped gems that were unnaturally attuned to magic and could be enspelled with ease compared to any other items (although releasing the enspelled magic required the destruction of the gem). The Spellweavers never discovered much about this disease because to investigate it would require the interruption of the Rebirth Cycle and mean the death of the Spellweaver involved.
An adult Spellweaver is of humanoid shape with 6 arms (6 is a recurring and important part of the Spellweaver existence), and a vaguely insectoid face and general appearance including chitinous skin. In general they average 5 feet in height with long spindly limbs and neck, their skin colouration is usually grey tinged with blue or green with the occasional coloured patch on their abdomen. Juvenile Spellweavers look even more insectlike than adults, with their elongated limbs even more exaggerated against their shortened bodies.