Contest of Wills
Queen of Spiders
Lolth (pronounced LOALTH), sometimes Lloth in the Drow dialect, the Queen of Spiders or Queen of the Demonweb Pits, was the 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 which 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, also known as the Order of Soul Spiders, was an elite military order composed solely of male crusaders and found in the few dark elven cities where Lolth was revered and males are permitted to enter her priesthood. The Militant Myrlochar directly served the ruling Matron Mothers of the city in which they were based as agents of uncontrolled destruction, tirelessly hunting any creature designated as their quarry or who interfered with their pursuit and wreaking havoc until recalled, which rarely happened, or destroyed, their most common fate.
Handmaidens of the Spider Queen
The Handmaidens of the Spider Queen was 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.
Lolth 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 shared an enmity with Ghaunadaur, another former ally who went mad with rage when she refused his romantic interests. She also opposed every non-drow Underdark deity.
Lolth did have 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.
Lolth 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 by aiding 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 had found out the truth after discovering that Araushnee had started an affair with Fenmarel Mestarine in an effort to make 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 to reconsider his decision due to her beauty.
Araushnee 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. Also, Lolth 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 has 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.