Lolth (pronounced LOALTH ), sometimes Lloth in the Drow dialect,[note 1] the Queen of Spiders or Queen of the Demonweb Pits, was a goddess of the drow, a chaotic evil deity who reveled in chaos. She patterned her life and the lives of her worshipers on a regimen of chaotic acts and the veneration of spiders. The way that new-born spider broods tore each other apart to survive especially appealed to her. She promoted this by encouraging her worshipers to kill their rivals, thus ensuring that they were the strongest of the "brood". Her love of chaos often made her appear mad but the wise saw her as a calculating individual who was always several steps ahead of those who believed that they could anticipate her. She was cruel and domineering, forcing her will upon her followers and her enemies, a will that instructed the strong to crush the weak in the most torturous way imaginable.
Lolth's clerics had no set uniform, but spider motifs and darker clothes were the norm. Some rites required the worshiper to wear no clothing at all. Her sacred animals were arachnids. Lolth was worshiped almost exclusively by drow, though other sentient races venerated the Lady of Spiders as well. Her clergy sacrificed the living and treasure to her glory.
- Militant Myrlochar, Order of Soul Spiders
- The Militant Myrlochar, sometimes known as the Order of Soul Spiders, was an elite fighting organization comprised exclusively of crusader males and found in the dark elven cities where Lolth was worshiped and males were allowed entrance into her priesthood. The Militant Myrlochar directly served the reigning Matron Mothers of the city, as workers of irrepressible chaos.
- Handmaidens of the Spider Queen
- The Handmaidens of the Spider Queen were an order of female crusaders with no permanent ties to any individual city. Also known as the "Daughters of the Yochlol", the Handmaidens served as instruments of Lolth's will in times when the Spider Queen needed to bring an entire city into line. At least three times in recorded history the Handmaidens of the Spider Queen assaulted and destroyed an entire dark elven city that threatened to drift from Lolth's web of chaos. When not assembled into an army of chaos and vengeance, the Handmaidens worked in small companies scattered throughout the Underdark, harassing merchant trains that looked to other deities for protection and conducting hit-and-run raids on cities ruled by the clergy of other deities.
RelationshipsEditLolth was a fervent enemy of the Seldarine, especially Corellon Larethian, Sehanine Moonbow, and Fenmarel Mestarine, for the parts they played in foiling her scheme to overthrow the Seldarine. She was also an enemy of both her children Vhaeraun and Eilistraee (who knew her as "the Tyrant Poisoner"), though she appreciated all the effort her son put into his plans to get rid of her. It was in accordance with her views on the chaotic nature of the drow.Gruumsh was a former ally, later her enemy. He blamed her for the failed attack on his arch-nemesis Corellon.
Lolth had tentative alliances with Loviatar, Malar, and several tanar'ri lords, including Errtu, who was the caretaker of Menzoberranzan, her favorite city, during the Time of Troubles. The only alliance she ever had that could possibly be described as solid would be the one she had with Selvetarm. He was her consort and, although he was not hugely enamored of that fact, he guarded her vigilantly. In 1375 DR, however, Selvetarm was slain by a worshiper of Eilistraee wielding the Crescent Blade (with the help of the transformed Halisstra Melarn), leaving her alone to fend off external threats.
AraushneeEditLolth was formerly Araushnee, elven goddess of destiny, artisans, and dark elves. She was the lover of Corellon and had him completely smitten by her grace and beauty, but she grew power-hungry and a sense of never-before-seen greed and cruelty entered into her mind. She began to aid Corellon's enemies. In a fight with his nemesis Gruumsh, Araushnee aided the orc god and Corellon had to flee. She then sent her new ally Malar to hunt her weakened lover but, through sheer skill of arms, Corellon, with the help of Sehanine Moonbow, managed to defeat the Beastlord.
Corellon still had no idea that his beautiful consort was behind the attacks but Sehanine Moonbow found out the truth after discovering that Araushnee had started an affair with Fenmarel Mestarine in an effort to have him aid her in an upcoming rebellion. Although at first entranced by her advances, he eventually spurned her. Sehanine confronted Araushnee and was imprisoned as a result. With her subtle plans failed, she instead organized an attack on the entire Seldarine with her "Anti-Seldarine" consisting of Vhaeraun, Malar, Ghaunadaur, Gruumsh, Auril, and a host of other gods of goblinoids, orcs, giants, and kobolds, as well as Eilistraee, who was only an unwitting participant in her schemes. Sehanine escaped from her imprisonment and warned Corellon of the impending attack. Despite their force of numbers, the anti-Seldarine were defeated. While her allies fled, Araushnee directly confronted her former lover but then Sehanine, Hanali Celanil, and Aerdrie Faenya came to the rescue, merging their powers together to become a single deity, Angharradh. Araushnee was defeated and cast into the Abyss along with both of her children (despite the fact that Corellon knew Eilistraee had been tricked). Araushnee's banishment also involved Corellon turning her into a bloated spider demon so that he could not be persuaded by her beauty to reconsider his decision.
LolthEditAraushnee took the name "Lolth" and turned the 66th layer of the Abyss into her new home. Without another home, Vhaeraun, Eilistraee, and Ghaunadaur took up small residences there, though Vhaeraun and Eilistraee rarely visited them, preferring to wander in the Plane of Shadow and Arvandor respectively. Ghaunadaur took the opportunity of living in the same realm as Lolth to announce his love for her but Lolth prized physical beauty, an attribute Ghaunadaur did not have and rejected his advances. The drow demi-power Kiaransalee created a tower of bones in the realm and was thusly subjugated by Lolth's will into becoming her reluctant vassal. Lolth also learned of the demon prince Zanassu, who claimed divine dominion over spiders. Considering her new body, she thought it was her sole right to own such a portfolio and angrily tricked Selvetarm into attacking the demon prince, killing him. She gained a divine portfolio and a new consort. She used her regained divinity to turn the 66th layer into the Demonweb Pits, morphing it into a giant funnel-shaped web to fit her spidery appearance.
Some time afterward, the moon elf Kethryllia Amarillis intruded into the demonweb, reminding Lolth of a way to regain more of her divinity by having the surface elves worship her once more.
She began corrupting the surface elves, especially the dark-skinned and warlike Illythiri of whom she used to be the sole patron. It was her actions during the Second Crown War that ended up causing the Illythiri to turn to darkness when she sent the balor lord Wendonai and other demonic servants to offer corrupting power to the dark elves. Just before the Illythiri were turned into drow, they had begun openly worshiping Lolth.
Although she attempted to inspire a couple of invasions of Evermeet, Lolth seemed to have been content to sit and watch her worshipers killing each other in the Underdark, at least until the Time of Troubles. She spent most of her time as an avatar tracking down the new drow demi-power in the realms, Zinzerena. She killed Zinzerena easily and became more chaotic in nature as a result, actually spreading the faith of Zinzerena (who wanted to rebel against Lolth) in Menzoberranzan, and granted spells in her name seemingly just for the sheer irony. When the Time of Troubles ended, Lolth also began granting spells to the followers of Moander after he was killed by Finder Wyvernspur.
Silence of LolthEditThe Silence of Lolth came in 1372 DR. Clerics suddenly could not receive spells, throwing the entire theocratic drow society into turmoil. Two great drow cities were destroyed, while others were taken over by Vhaeraunites. A band of drow led by Quenthel Baenre, the Mistress of Arach-Tinilith in Menzoberranzan, attempted to discover what had happened to their goddess. They sought the help of Tzirik Jaelre, a high priest of Vhaeraun. Through communion with his god, Tzirik discovered that Lolth was denying contact to everybody but did find that she was still alive, simply sealed in the Demonweb Pits. The group felt they had been summoned to the Demonweb Pits and so they traveled there with Tzirik via astral projection. They found Lolth's black temple but were unable to enter or provoke a response. Tzirik opened a gate for Vhaeraun, who attempted to destroy Lolth. However, Selvetarm, the champion of Lolth, appeared. They fought and fell from Lolth's temple as the group escaped the plane by killing Tzirik.
Lolth eventually re-emerged. She had moved the Demonweb Pits from the Abyss to its own separate plane, where spiders destroyed each other every day and Lolth weeded out the weak, even from among her dead as they had to traverse the plane's barren, mad spider-infested lands to get to the Demonweb itself.
Lolth had taken the soul of a drow, Danifae Yauntyrr, and added her as the eighth aspect of her divinity. Whether this was a replacement or addition to Lolth's combined mind was not clear.
Several key events occurred that led up to Lolth holding her undisputed place and status as queen of the drow:
- Eilistraee defeated and subsumed her brother Vhaeraun, in a botched attempt to slay her.
- An uncooperative, joint effort between Lolth and her daughter destroyed Kiaransalee (represented in a cosmic game resembling the drow game of sava).
- Ghaunadaur retreated from the Demonweb Pits to the Dismal Caverns.
- During Flamerule, 1379 DR, Eilistraee, while inhabiting the body of Qilué Veladorn, was killed by the mad demi-power, the Lady Penitent (aka Halisstra Melarn) using the Crescent Blade.
However, just after Eilistraee's death, Lolth discovered too late that her daughter had managed to redeem about 20% of the entire drow race, and that Q'arlynd Melarn's High Magic ritual managed to turn those drow back to their dark elven status. Corellon Larethian took those elves under his protection, allowing them into Arvandor.
At some point in the years leading up to 1479 DR, Lolth ordered her servants to begin collecting blue fire items and relics important to Mystra. Her ultimate goal was to become the new goddess of magic.
After the event known as the Sundering, Lolth was no longer unrivaled as the goddess of the drow (even if she still retained her position of dominance). Eilistraee and Vhaeraun, her two children, were alive again: they personally appeared to their followers through avatars and manifestations, and their cults began to practice once again. Kiaransalee and Selvetarm were also restored during the Sundering, and their faiths saw a resurgence as well.
Like all religions, the worship of Lolth involved a number of rituals and rites. Many of them included sacrifice. The following was a secret sacrificial prayer in Abyssal known only to high priestesses: "Great Goddess, Mother of the Dark, grant me the blood of my enemies for drink and their living hearts for meat. Grant me the screams of their young for song, grant me the helplessness of their males for my satisfaction, grant me the wealth of their houses for my bed. By this unworthy sacrifice I honor you, Queen of Spiders, and beseech of you the strength to destroy my foes."
- ↑ The name "Lloth" was mentioned in The Dark Elf Trilogy, when Jarlaxle was talking to one of the svirfneblin.
- Evermeet: Island of Elves
- Starlight & Shadows trilogy
- War of the Spider Queen series
- The Lady Penitent trilogy
- ↑ Richard Lee Byers (August 2003). Dissolution. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 214. ISBN 0-7869-2944-8.
- ↑ Richard Lee Byers (August 2003). Dissolution. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 200. ISBN 0-7869-2944-8.
- ↑ Elaine Cunningham (March 2003). Tangled Webs. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-2959-6.
- ↑ Logan Bonner (August, 2009). “Domains in Eberron and the Forgotten Realms”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #378 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 32.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 245. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood (2004). Silverfall. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 66. ISBN 0-7869-3572-3.
- ↑ Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 52. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
- ↑ Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0786932023.
- ↑ Lisa Smedman (June 2008). Ascendancy of the Last. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 19. ISBN 978-0-7869-4864-2.
- ↑ Lisa Smedman (June 2008). Ascendancy of the Last. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 292. ISBN 978-0-7869-4864-2.
- ↑ Lisa Smedman (June 2008). Ascendancy of the Last. (Wizards of the Coast), p. Epilogue. ISBN 978-0-7869-4864-2.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell (June 2012). Sword of the Gods: Spinner of Lies Kindle Edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 2765. ISBN B005C5QS90.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell (June 2012). Sword of the Gods: Spinner of Lies Kindle Edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 3549. ISBN B005C5QS90.
- ↑ Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 108. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 The Hooded One (2015-04-17). Questions for Ed Greenwood (2015). Candlekeep Forum.
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 23, 108. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- ↑ Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 237. ISBN 0786932023.
- Ed Greenwood (July 1991). The Drow of the Underdark. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-56076-132-6.
- Ari Marmell, Anthony Pryor, Robert J. Schwalb, Greg A. Vaughan (May 2007). Drow of the Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-4151-3.
- Elaine Cunningham (1999). Evermeet: Island of Elves. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1354-1.
- Anne Gray McCready et al. (March 1994). Elves of Evermeet. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-5607-6829-0.
- Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
|Deities of the Era of Upheaval|
|Ao the Overgod|
|Greater Deities of Faerûn|
|Angharradh | Bane | Chauntea | Corellon Larethian | Cyric | Garl Glittergold | Gruumsh | Horus-Re | Kelemvor | Lathander | Moradin | Mystra | Oghma | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talos | Tempus | Tyr | Yondalla|
|Intermediate Deities of Faerûn|
|Abbathor | Arvoreen | Baervan Wildwanderer | Berronar Truesilver | Beshaba | Callarduran Smoothhands | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Cyrrollalee | Deep Duerra | Deep Sashelas | Dumathoin | Erevan Ilesere | Flandal Steelskin | Gond | Hanali Celanil | Helm | Ilmater | Isis | Labelas Enoreth | Laduguer | Lolth | Mask | Mielikki | Nephthys | Osiris | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Segojan Earthcaller | Selûne | Set | Sharindlar | Sheela Peryroyl | Solonor Thelandira | Thoth | |Tymora | Umberlee | Urdlen | Vergadain|
|Deities of the Age of Humanity|
|Ao the Overgod|
|Major Deities of Faerûn|
|Angharradh | Bane | Bhaal | Chauntea | Corellon Larethian | Garl Glittergold | Gruumsh | Horus-Re | Lathander | Moradin | Myrkul | Mystra | Oghma | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talos | Tempus | Tyr | Yondalla|
|Other Deities of Faerûn|
|Auppenser | Abbathor | Arvoreen | Auril | Baervan Wildwanderer | Berronar Truesilver | Beshaba | Callarduran Smoothhands | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Cyrrollalee | Deep Duerra | Deep Sashelas | Dumathoin | Erevan Ilesere | Flandal Steelskin | Gond | Hanali Celanil | Helm | Ilmater | Isis | Labelas Enoreth | Laduguer | Lolth | Mask | Mielikki | Nephthys | Osiris | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Segojan Earthcaller | Selûne | Set | Sharindlar | Sheela Peryroyl | Solonor Thelandira | Thoth | Tymora | Umberlee | Urdlen | Vergadain|