I’m not cool with the typical dark-skinned, evil matriarch drow society. Just like I did with Lovecraft some time ago, rather than abandon it, I thought I’d build something that I really liked instead. This icon and the description of the drow/spider elves that follow are my attempt to do that.
This represents an alt-history 13th Age, where the Silver Folk don’t exist and the Elf Queen no longer rules all elves. The source of elve’s long life is also made a touch creepier.
I hope you enjoy it!
A bone-white elf with eight long limbs, Lolth is rarely seen, and heard only in the whispers she grants to her progeny. The courts of the high elves record her as being exiled from the lands of Fey, but her followers, insist that Lolth was simply an elf who rejected the corrupt pacts that elves unwittingly live in.
To high elves, Lolth is anathema. She represents the negation of all that is sacred and cherished in elvish culture.
To the spider elves who worship her name and live deep underground, Lolth represents choice, and freedom. She is life and family, the mother of all broods.
No one knows Lolth’s true motives.
“I am evil? But it is you who’ve come here to kill my brood on some insane crusade. Even if I let you, would our destruction make you any less corrupt?”
Lolth is rarely seen, as she spends most of her time in a pocket dimension that is one giant web. Most refer to this as the Hellweb, but Lolth and the spider elves refer to it as the Lifeweb. It is from her that Lolth typically connects and plants her whispers in every elf she can reach.
What most know of Lolth is her patronage of the Drow. She influences the matriarchal society occasionally through telepathic whispers. Interpretation of her will is varied and often contradictory. Many broods claim to speak her true word, but such claims and truths are owned by those with the most power.
It is said that Lolth has the ability to enter any sentient beings mind to converse. The Spider Queen is very persuasive.
Adventurers and the Icon
Though many fear her influence, Lolth can only mindspeak to elves. It is to these adventurers that she might ask for a favor or make a bargain with. She can grant little in the way of divine might, but she can often unlock insights and offer wondrous goods to help an elf pursue her goals.
Lolth delights in getting elves to reject their gods. If she builds rapport with an elf, she will certainly tell the tale of what is wrong with elvish society. She will give example after example of why the elven gods actually serve another power who secretly maneuver elvenkind to fulfill their insidious agenda. Every inconsistency or injustice commited by the elven society finds its way into conversation.
Whether Lolth lies or is truthful, there is enough truth in her words to cause doubt. And where there is doubt…
The Elf Queen will not even hear Lolth’s name spoken. Consorting with drow is punishable with exile or death. Some say the Elf Queen hates Lolth, but just as many say the Elf Queen fears the Spider Queen.
No other icons trusts the Spider Queen, but all of them have worked with her on occasion.
Lolth was once a high elf. Her relentless curiosity fueled a rapid rise through the ranks of her Houses’ magicians. Lolth’s specialty was portals which allowed her to sate her curiosity by jaunting around the planes of existence. One planar excursion revealed to her a truth about her society. The gods she worshiped actually served another set of masters. She could not look upon their plane for longer than a fraction without risking her sanity, but she knew then that she must find a new path for her people. Frantically searching for answers, she discovered a the Lifeweb, a plane capable of nourishing and feeding elven immortality while reducing their dependence on these strange, cold gods.
Lolth told others. First her peers mocked her. Then they began to fear her. Her once-promising career in shambles, and at the verge of being exiled, Lolth retreated with a few faithful to a place where no star could reach. From the Underworld the Spider Queen began to build an alternative for elves. She built a society of elves free from the alien influences of the Star Gods she glimpsed.
Almost no living being knows this story.
The True Danger
The world will know fear when Lolth reveals the true masters of the elven gods. The world will change forever when Lolth’s true master makes itself known.