The pass of Cirith Ungol. A way into Mordor, that is guarded by one of its most loathsome denizens. A truely monstrous spider, or perhaps some demon in spider form, a descendant of the brood of Ungoliant; an evil Maiar form the First Age, in alliance with Morgoth?
She feeds on what she can, that try to pass her way. Mostly stray or unlucky orcs, and any other poor unfortunate creatures that stumble upon her lair.
Gollum has come across her in his travels as he searched to find the Ring for himself.
Now that he is the guide of Frodo and Sam, on their way into Mordor, he hatches a cunning plan. Let Shelob deal with the hobbits, and once they are consumed, the Ring will easily be taken from their corpses.
But not everything goes Gollums way. Frodo manages to escape the trap, initially but is later taken by surprise by the foul creature Shelob. Sam manages to follow his master, having been previously dismissed by a confused, misled, and way-worn Frodo, and like a true hero, Sam comes to the rescue, and fights the beast, forcing her to back off. Sadly Sam runs out of time as Orcs from the Tower of Cirith Ungol come to investigate. He takes the sword Sting and the Ring, believing Frodo slain, and the quest now solely left to him to complete...
The model is a metal kit requiring assembly and is accompanied by a model of Frodo bound in web, and Sam holding forth the Phial of Galadriel; "May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out".
I haven't got round to painting the webbed Frodo, or Sam models yet, so I show you Shelob as she tries to pounce on Frodo as he is lost in her dark tunnels...
In the game, Shelob is quite a fearsome beast as a single monster in the skirmish game, with pounce attacks and venom. However she is limited by the fact that she is a hunter who is used to surprising her prey. If she gets into a fight and take wounds, she must take a courage test or flee!
In the War of the Ring game, she is an independent monster model, that is a foe terrible to behold!