lolth_symbol.jpg
Queen of Spiders, Queen of the Demonweb Pits
Pantheon Drow
Realm Demonweb Pits
Portfolio Assassins, chaos, darkness, drow, evil, spiders
Worshippers Drow and depraved elves, sentient spiders
Domains Chaos, Drow, Evil, Darkness, Destruction, Spider, Trickery
Favored Weapon A spider (dagger)

Lolth

Cruel and capricious, Lolth embodies the absolute evil of the drow. She is malicious in her dealings with others and coldly vicious in a fight, coveting the power of deities worshiped by the surface races. She patterns her life and the lives of her worshipers on a regimen of chaotic acts and the veneration of spiders; new-born spider broods tearing each other apart to survive especially appeals to her. She is cruel and domineering, forcing her will upon her followers and her enemies, a will which instructs the strong to crush the weak in the most torturous way imaginable.

Fear is as strong as steel, while love and respect are soft and useless. Convert or destroy nonbeliever drow. Weed out the weak and the rebellious. Destroy impugners of the faith. Sacrifice males, slaves, and those of other races who ignore the commands of Lolth or her clerics. Raise children to praise and fear Lolth; each family should produce at least one cleric to serve her. Questioning Lolth's motives or wisdom is a sin, as is aiding nondrow against the drow, or ignoring Lolth's commands for the sake of a lover. Revere arachnids of all kinds; those who kill or mistreat a spider must die.

Lolth was once known as Araushnee, the Weaver of Destiny, and consort of Corellon Larethian, and the mother of Corellon's children Eilistraee and Vhaeraun.

According to legend, Araushnee attempted to use her children and a complicated plot of deceit, kidnapping, and assassination to oust Corellon as the rule of Arvandor and take his place. In alliance with a host of evil powers, she invaded Arvandor after sending her son, Vhaeraun, to remove or distract the other elven gods from the realm. When an arrow launched by Eilistraee at an onrushing ogrish god was subtly warped by the magic of the treacherous Araushnee and felled Corellon instead, Aerdrie Faenya struck her down and the Seldarine collectively blamed Eilistraee, as Araushnee intended. Sehanine Moonbow's timely escape from Vhaeraun's prison allowed her to expose Araushnee's crimes and the Masked Lord's complicity, but Araushnee defiantly rejected the collective authority of the assembled Seldarine to convene a council to investigate her actions. Corellon was healed by the collective efforts of several elven goddesses, and Araushnee was cast out from the Seldarine and cursed into the Demonweb pits for her crimes and was stripped of her name - now known as Lolth.

Over the millennia that followed, she tempted the Ilythiiri and other dark elven tribes and kingdoms into committing terrible atrocities against other elves during the Crown Wars, until at last the dark elves were cast out from the lands of light into the Underdark. She now rules as the divine patron of the dark elves - drow as they are now called - and schemes incessantly.

The Spider Queen is the subject of terrifying legend among most surface dwellers and seen as virtually synonymous with the greatly feared drow. In the Underdark, she is a well-known evil, hated for the cruel power of her priests by dwarves, svirfneblin, and other races. Few elves are even willing to discuss their deep-dwelling kin, let alone the dark goddess who is blamed in large part for their depravity and for leading them into evil. Only the dark elven priests of Eilistraee are even willing to discuss the Spider Queen, and their fury at her enslavement of their kin exceeds even that of the other elven subraces. Lolth is hated and feared even by her most devout priests; they venerate her for the power she provides, not out of any sense of affection or loyalty or principles. Dark elves who venerate other evil gods as well all male drow who pay her homage revile both the Spider Queen and her priests for the power they possess, not that they would not seize such power for themselves if they could.

Priests

Lolth's priests are the rulers, police forces, judges, juries, and executioners of drow society. They wield power daily, and most do so in a manner in keeping with the cruel and capricious nature of Lolth herself. Priests of Lolth strive to act as Lolth wishes and to manipulate (often by brutal force) their fellow drow to do so too. The ultimate aim of every priest is to achieve and keep the Favor of Lolth. The spirits of priests who die in her favor are believed to go to the Abyss, where they become yochlol and other servant creatures. Those who die in Lolth's disfavor are thought to pass into torment on another plane somewhere, perhaps to someday return to the Realms as a snake or spider. (Drow beliefs are confused on such matters, and often change with time and location.) The duties of a good priest, then, are to do whatever is necessary to gain and to keep the Spider Queen's favor. Although treachery and cruelty are often rewarded, Lolth does not look kindly on those who let personal grudges and revenge-taking bring defeat or shame to their House, clan, city, or band.

Priestly Vestments

When participating in rituals, priests of Lolth work unclad or wear robes (black, trimmed with dark red and purple-or, for lesser or novitiate priests, dark purple or red trimmed with black). In some cities ornate helms carved to resemble writhing spiders are worn by Lolth's clergy, while in others heads are always left uncovered. Jewelry worn by the Spider Queen's priests consists of spider medallions and other spider designs, all made of platinum. The holy symbol of the faith is a platinum disk at least 3 inches in diameter with an embossed depiction on both its obverse and reverse in jet black enaml of a black widow spider or a platinum spider figurine on a platinum or mithral chain necklace.

As the original patron of the dark elves, the Queen of Spiders has established herself as the unchallenged ruler of the drow pantheon. Lolth finds it convenient to ally herself on occasion with Loviatar and Malar, and her foes include the whole of the Seldarine, Ghaunadaur, Eilistraee, nondrow Underdark deities, and Gruumsh.

  • deities/lolth.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/01/13 06:46
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