Lolth

Lolth
Betrayer God
Symbols of Lolth.[art 2][art 3]
Deity information
Other namesThe Spider Queen[1]
Pronounsshe/her
ProvinceDeceit, Spiders[1]
SymbolJeweled Spider[1]
AlignmentChaotic Evil[1]
Home planeAbyss[1]
RealmThe Demonweb,[1] (or the Dreadnest)[2]
Worship
Worshipers
Cleric domains
Vestiges of DivergenceCirclet of Barbed Vision
Arm of the BetrayersSilken Spite
Appearances
First seen
Last seenStream:
"Bittersweet Reunions" (3x93)
Stream
ComicsThe Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen

Lolth, the Spider Queen is the evil goddess of deceit, shadows, and spiders. She is known for weaving a complicated web of schemes and treachery through her worshipers, deceiving allies and enemies alike to gain power. Her worship is entwined with the drow society across much of Exandria, and her more diverse followers in Xhorhas seek to punish the drow who turned their back on her in favor of the Luxon.

Description[edit | edit source]

In her realm in the Abyss, the Dreadnest, Lolth presents herself as a drider-like entity, with four arms, multiple legs and spine appendages, long white hair, spider-like face and several red eyes in her body.[2]

It is said that Lolth can see through the eyes of all spiders.[3]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Pre-Divergence[edit | edit source]

The Spider Queen is among the Betrayer Gods who were against the ideals of the Founding, and were banished by the gods, who called themselves Prime Deities, to Betrayers' own prison-like planes (Lolth's realm is the Demonweb, also called the Dreadnest,[2] tethered to the Abyss), and were released by Vespin Chloras.

Some sources claim that Lolth created the drow late in the Founding or early in the Age of Arcanum.[4] At any rate, leading up to the Calamity, Lolth had seduced the leaders of the increasingly decadent, cruel drow society;[5] for centuries before the Divergence, the drow primarily worshiped her.[6] During a brief era of unified interests between the Betrayers, a union of Lolth and Asmodeus created[7] or exalted through Jourrael who became the Spider Queen's chosen assassin.[8]

When the war between the gods began, the drow allied with her against Corellon and their elf followers.[5] However, before the drow soldiers even saw battle, Kord impaled Lolth against a cliffside with one heave of his thunderspear,[9] and Lolth was again banished to the Abyss.[6] The suddenly leaderless drow were driven from the surface world,[9] and Lolth's silvery blood pooled in the dark caverns beneath the surface of the world.

Depiction of a drider, from D&D: Monster Manual, page 120.[art 4]

In the years that followed, her most devoted drow servants discovered the blood and drank of it deeply, granting them power and gradually twisting themselves into half-spider hybrids called driders. The driders grew in number, but eventually the blood began to run out, tormenting the driders and causing them to wander the Underdark seeking hidden pools of the blood.[10]

Jourrael continued to participate in the Calamity; she would survive so long as the contract between Lolth and Asmodeus remained intact. In the bloodshed at the end of the Calamity, this contract could not be sussed out, so the body of Jourrael was simply sundered and sealed apart in secret.[8]

Post-Divergence[edit | edit source]

Following the Divergence, Lolth's children could feel the lessening of their banished god's influence.[6] The drow of Xhorhas mostly abandoned their centuries-long worship of Lolth, turning instead to the Luxon, who is inscrutable to the Spider Queen.[11] Feeling the abrupt shift in her influence, the Spider Queen sought vengeance against those who turned their backs on her, and in addition to finding drow who felt alienated by the Dens of the Kryn Dynasty, she began seducing and empowering even non-drow minds in the Xhorhasian wastes, including beastfolk and goblinoids; she gave the scattered hobgoblins of Dumaran dominion over the spiders of the web-infested Vermaloc Wildwood. By 836 PD a network of Lolthite spies, assassins, and raiders had formed hidden cabals on the fringes of Xhorhasian society (including the villages of Igrathad) and infiltrated the highest echelons of the Dynasty. The extent of the infiltration was alarming to the Dynasty faithful, who began to uncover the infiltration[12] and in turn plotted to undermine the Children of Malice.[13] Around the same time, Jourrael was reassembled by Obann and, after a brief period of domination by him, set free when the Mighty Nein killed Obann.[14]

The dark elves of Tal'Dorei faced a different fate after the Divergence, as carving out a new life underground exposed them to new dangers: as Lolth's influence waned, Tharizdun began whispering to the drow nobility, and their servitors found themselves surrounded by shapechanging and mind-manipulating aberrations, causing mass paranoia. By 812 PD, the underground drow of Tal'Dorei were on the verge of collapse, and some drow nobility had given themselves over utterly to Lolth, willingly seeking out the Blood of the Spider Queen to transform themselves into driders.[15]

Exandria Unlimited[edit | edit source]

A few decades later in 842 PD, the Circlet of Barbed Vision turned up in Emon and was intercepted by a rookie adventuring party, who in the circlet's presence began to hear the skittering of spiders and have visions of spiders, including one particularly massive spider leg.[16] Lolth began telepathically speaking to members of the party, trying to tempt them to evil.[17][18] The party named themselves the Crown Keepers[19] because of their desire to keep the circlet away from others who would use it for evil.

After Opal put on the circlet, Lolth began to talk to her, and after a discussion in Kymal made her her champion,[20] and granted her the boon of a familiar, Ted 2.[21] When Opal tried to contact the Spider Queen with regards to the bust of the Matron of Ravens Morrighan was trying to destroy, she did not respond.[22]

Campaign 3: Bells Hells[edit | edit source]

While the Crown Keepers were traveling, following their escape from Kymal, Lolth took control of Opal's body and made her attack the others in order to make her into a more loyal champion.[23] She told Opal that either the party would have to leave her of their own volition, or she would make her kill them.[24] Opal, now physically transformed by the influence of the Spider Queen, tried to negotiate with her regarding the conditions as her champion. The Spider Queen showed her a vision of Predathos, and told her the gods feared it. She promised let the Crown Keepers go free without issue, if Opal killed two of them.[25] Most of the Crown Keepers safely left, but Fy'ra Rai stayed. Fy'ra grabbed the crown and found out that she could pull it free, if she wanted, but realized it would kill Opal. They realized that, as the Wildmother and the Spider Queen were both on the same side in the upcoming fight against Predathos, they could remain together for now. The Spider Queen tried to get Fy'ra to leave, pointing out she needed to find her sister Fy'ra Kai, but Fy'ra and Opal refused, and eventually, the Spider Queen agreed to let them travel together.[25]

The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen[edit | edit source]

Between 836 and 855 PD, the Spider Queen's forces found a Luxon beacon, which she corrupted and used it as bait to attract and capture the Dusk Captain Quana Kryn in the Ghostlands, where her forces were slaughtered by a group of draegloths, and Quana was abducted and brought to the Dreadnest.[26]

Caelestis in her monstrous form, by CoupleOfKooks and Cris Peter from The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #4.[art 5]

The dunamantic echo of Leylas Kryn was transported to the Dreadnest, using the heart of the Stormlord. She climbed the top of a massive pillar of decomposed flesh, where she saw a Luxon beacon and Quana. They take the beacon and flee from Lolth and the approaching driders. Just before Quana used the heart to return home and bring the beacon to its rightful place, the echo of Leylas was impaled by Lolth and dissipated.[27] Although Leylas never physically visited the Dreadnest, she was haunted by visions of Lolth feeling as if the part of her never left the Dreadnest.[28]

One day, while Caelestis Kryn was playing in the courtyard under the watch of a caretaker, a black portal opened. She was drawn into walking through it and appeared in the vault of the beacons. She approached the newly-retrieved glowing beacon, speaking for the beacon to come to them. The beacon corrupted and turned her into a drider.[29]

Relationship to other gods[edit | edit source]

  • Lolth holds a searing grudge against Kord, the Stormlord, after he impaled her against a cliffside early in the Calamity.[30]
  • The Spider Queen and Gruumsh have similar hatred for Corellon, who she blames for driving her followers underground; she often manipulates the Ruiner's followers into attacking her enemies so her drow can remain safe.[31] Followers of the Archeart loathe the Spider Queen for leading the drow elves astray.[32]
  • Following the Calamity, servants of Lolth hunted Zehir's few surviving followers for sport.[33]
  • Though Lolth cannot sense the will or power of the Luxon, she is entirely bent on destroying the Luxon's followers and their memory.[31]
  • The only being the Spider Queen truly fears is the Chained Oblivion, and she is furious over what Tharizdun and its aberrations are doing to her children.[34]

Worship[edit | edit source]

Commandments of the Spider Queen
  • It is better to be loved than feared, but you may certainly try to be both.
  • Misdirection, slander, and shadowed steps have more function than direct conflict.
  • Death to the elves who live under the sun, and death to all their allies!

— from the Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn[35]

In Tal'Dorei, worship of Lolth is most prominent among the dark elves of Ruhn-Shak, including druids called Pit Witches. However, that society has been frayed badly by the maddening influence of Tharizdun and its aberrations.[36]

In Wildemount, a Lolthite network of spies, assassins, and raiders called the Children of Malice plots to undermine the Kryn Dynasty; the place of most concentrated worship of Lolth on the continent is the hobgoblin fortress of Dumaran in the Penumbra Range.[13]

Symbols and artifacts[edit | edit source]

In the icons and idols of dark elf society Lolth is depicted as a darkly alluring woman of dark purple skin and silver hair, with a lower body of a terrifying monstrous spider. A common symbol for her is that of a jeweled spider.[30]

Before the Calamity, incorporating the life force of a yochlol named Sinnafex, Lolth forged a sentient rapier from spider silk. This sword, called Silken Spite, a one of the Arms of the Betrayers, ranking among the lesser idols that would be lost in the Calamity and left behind in Exandria after the creation of the Divine Gate. It is unclear whether Silken Spite is among the Arms that have been recovered and drawn a following of mortal worshipers, but it would whisper to its wielder to trust no one.[37]

Circlet of Barbed Vision is another powerful artifact created during the Calamity in the Age of Arcanum. One of the Vestiges of Divergence, it associated with Lolth and twists the appearance of its wearer to amuse the Spider Queen.[38]

Appearances and mentions[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", p. 27.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 See The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #2.
  3. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 20.
  4. "Between the Lines" (2x78) at 2:49:14.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 23.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 46.
  7. "Punishment and Politics" (2x87) at 40:33.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Between the Lines" (2x78) from 3:01:47 through 3:02:38.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", pp. 27–28.
  10. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 122.
  11. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", p. 19. See also p. 28.
  12. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 46. Also see pp. 141–142.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", p. 138.
  14. "Punishment and Politics" (2x87) at 1:21:09.
  15. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 122–123.
  16. "The Oh No Plateau" (E1x02) at 1:05:22. See also 1:23:42.
  17. "A Test of Worth" (E1x05) at 35:47.
  18. "Beyond the Heart City" (E1x07) at 2:40:11.
  19. "What Comes Next" (E1x08) at 3:26:09.
  20. "Exandria Unlimited: Kymal, Part 2" (E2x02) at 1:12:16.
  21. "Exandria Unlimited: Kymal, Part 2" (E2x02) at 1:43:50.
  22. "Exandria Unlimited: Kymal, Part 2" (E2x02) at 3:43:43.
  23. "Broken Roads" (3x92) at 2:10:41.
  24. "Broken Roads" (3x92) at 4:15:46.
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Bittersweet Reunions" (3x93).
  26. The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #1.
  27. The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #2.
  28. The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #3.
  29. The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen.
  30. 30.0 30.1 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", p. 27.
  31. 31.0 31.1 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", p. 28.
  32. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 14.
  33. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 19.
  34. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 21.
  35. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 2: "Allegiances of Tal'Dorei", p. 36.
  36. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 75.
  37. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", p. 30. See also p. 278.
  38. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 112.
  39. "The Oh No Plateau" (E1x02) at 1:05:55.

Art:

  1. Lolth's true form, by CoupleOfKooks and Cris Peter from The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #2. This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  2. Symbol of Lolth from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting.
  3. Symbol of Lolth from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount by Claudio Pozas. (source)
  4. Drider on D&D Beyond. This file is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
  5. Caelestis in her monstrous form, by CoupleOfKooks and Cris Peter from The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #4. This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.