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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[]

Appearance[]

Lolth, the Spider Queen

Lolth's true form, by CoupleOfKooks and Cris Peter from The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #2.[art 3]

In the icons and idols of dark elf society she 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.

In her realm in the Abyss, the Dreadnest, she 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]

Personality[]

Lolth is extremely cruel and manipulative, being willing to hurt anyone if that helps her cause. She is easily offended, especially when her worshipers reject her, and holds grudges indefinitely, even towards other Betrayer Gods like Tharizdun.

Although the Spider Queen is capable of acting nonchalantly and going along with her mortal followers' plans, whether out of interest or curiosity, she ultimately prioritizes her own interests and safety, going to desperate measures to show that she is still in control if she feels threatened.[3]

Worship[]

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.[4]

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.[5]

Notable followers of Lolth[]

It is said that Lolth can see through the eyes of all spiders.[9]

Commandments of the Spider Queen[]

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!

Biography[]

Before the Divergence[]

The Demonweb - Cha Cha Rae

Fan art of the Demonweb, by Cha Cha Rae.[art 4]

The Spider Queen is among the Betrayer Gods who betrayed the ideals of the Founding, were banished to their 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.

In the Age of Arcanum, incorporating the life force of a yochlol named Sinnafex, Lolth forged a sentient rapier from spider silk. This sword, called Silken Spite, is 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.[11]

Another powerful artifact created during the Age of Arcanum—one of the Vestiges of Divergence—is associated with Lolth: the Circlet of Barbed Vision twists the appearance of its wearer to amuse the Spider Queen.[12]

Jourrael - Hierothraxs

Fan art of Jourrael, by @hierothraxs.[art 5]

Some sources claim that Lolth created the drow late in the Founding or early in the Age of Arcanum.[13] At any rate, leading up to the Calamity, Lolth had seduced the leaders of the increasingly decadent, cruel drow society;[14] for centuries before the Divergence, the drow primarily worshiped her.[15] Created by a union,[16] or exalted through an arrangement, with Asmodeus during a brief era of unified interests, the apparent drow Jourrael became Lolth's chosen assassin.[17] When the war between the gods began, the drow allied with her against Corellon and their elf followers.[14] However, before the drow soldiers even saw battle, Kord impaled Lolth against a cliffside with one heave of his thunderspear,[18] and Lolth was again banished to the Abyss.[15] The suddenly leaderless drow were driven from the surface world,[18] and Lolth's silvery blood pooled in the dark caverns beneath the surface of the world.

Drider - Monster Manual

Depiction of a drider, from D&D: Monster Manual, page 120.[art 6]

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.[19]

Jourrael continued to participate in the Calamity; she could not be completely destroyed unless the contract between Lolth and Asmodeus was destroyed. 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.[20]

Post-Divergence[]

Following the Divergence, Lolth's children could feel the lessening of their banished god's influence.[15] The drow of Xhorhas mostly abandoned their centuries-long worship of Lolth, turning instead to the Luxon, who is inscrutable to the Spider Queen.[21] 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[22] and in turn plotted to undermine the Children of Malice.[5] 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.[23]

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.[24]

Exandria Unlimited[]

Lolth and Dorian - @tshortik

Fan art of Lolth speaking to Dorian, by @tshortik.[art 7]

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.[25] Lolth began telepathically speaking to members of the party, trying to tempt them to evil.[26][27] The party named themselves the Crown Keepers[28] because of their desire to keep the circlet away from others who would use it for evil.

In a desperate moment during the battle against Myr'atta Niselor, Opal donned the Circlet of Barbed Vision, which restored her health and spell slots, allowing Opal to finish off Myr'atta and free her sister's spirit from Myr'atta's domination.

During the events of Exandria Unlimited: Kymal, Lolth appeared to Opal in a dream and urged her to seek out the Children of Malice in Kymal. Opal ignored this and instead attempted to discuss rehabilitating Lolth's image by associating her more with good, or at least neutral deeds. Lolth admitted to Opal that she likes to be worshipped even if she is remembered as a Betrayer God, and even then she also admitted that she feels the "Betrayer" part of that title is suboptimal. She seemed to be touched enough by Opal's idea to offer her the chance to become her Champion. While Lolth gave Opal the ability to change her appearance as part of the deal, Opal decided to keep it.

Opal in the Spider Queen's web - Pyromeekorai

Fan art of Opal in the Spider Queen's web, by Pyromeekorai.[art 8]

Weeks later, however, the influence of Lolth and her vestige started affecting both Opal and Ted, and with the arrival of the apogee solstice, the looming threat of Predathos made the goddess lose her patience. She took control of Opal, releasing a wave of energy with spiderwebs and gemstones appearing around Opal's body as the Betrayer God started demanding Opal become her devoted champion and focus on her cause instead of her friends or their peculiar project of rehabilitating her image. Lolth forced the warlock to attack the rest of the Crown Keepers, forcing Ted out of her sister's body to defend her. The Spider Queen also had spiders destroy the gemstones on the battlefield, each one containing an aspect of Opal's personality or emotional connections.[29]

Lolth and Opal by Elaine Tipping

Fan art of Lolth arguing with Opal, by Elaine Tipping.[art 9]

The adventurers tried to deal with their friend while Lolth tried to manipulate her and harm them, while insisting she wouldn't die to the Red End. After using one of the memory gems to scare Dariax, the Spider Queen insisted that she would only spare the other adventurers if her champion gave herself completely to her cause. Dariax and Dorian received fearful visions of the corruption and transformation of the combatants, and Opal's physical body changed to become taller and sprout a second and third pair of arms while her eyes and mouth poured dark ichor. Lolth continued trying to force Opal to submit, negotiating with her and showing her visions of Predathos; she gave Opal one last chance to make her friends leave. When instead Opal irritated her, she had one of her spiders kill Cyrus Wyvernwind and tried to make Opal feel as if she had murdered him herself. However, Opal eventually persuaded Morrighan to flee and used Mass Suggestion to send Dariax and Dorian away. Dorian, angered after losing his brother, cast Geas on a demonfeed spider Lolth had summoned, making its mission for the following year to find and try to kill the goddess. Lolth spoke in the bard's mind and admitted that she had lost control of that spider because of him, but she also taunted him, reminding him that he had been her original choice for a champion, and that if he had accepted Cyrus wouldn't have died. Dorian, however, didn't acknowledge the Betrayer God's words, which surprised her. Fy'ra Rai, the last member of the Crown Keepers near Opal, spoke to Lolth directly, saying that as a divine champion herself, she would protect Opal and work with them against Predathos. Lolth eventually agreed (although irritated about the possibility of interacting with Melora more often), and both champions were allowed to leave together as allies.[30]

Relationships[]

Relationships with other deities

  • Lolth holds a searing grudge against Kord, the Stormlord, after he impaled her against a cliffside early in the Calamity.[1]
  • 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]
  • She finds both The Lawbearer and The Wildmother irritating, and sees the latter's preferred form of communication (through sensations and nature-themed symbolism) as annoying.[34]
  • 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.[35]

Relationship to mortals

  • Lolth seems to have grown fond of Opal enough to offer her the chance to become her champion, and she seems to be genuinely touched when Opal tells her that considers her a good friend and "a good being who just gotten a bad rap for the last hundred years". The Spider Queen seems to be responsible for giving the warlock several blessings, including access to her new familiar, Ted 2.[36][37] Despite this fondness, the goddess is ultimately interested in her own goals and survival, and sees Opal's bonds with other mortals as a liability, which is the reason why she wants her to be alone and without distractions, so that she focuses entirely on Lolth's wishes.[38]

Appearances and mentions[]

Quotations[]

  • (to Opal, after hurting her friends) "Who needs who?"[40]

Trivia[]

  • Outside of Critical Role canon Lolth is seen as the former wife of Corellon, who betrayed them and tried to kill them. Although in Exandria both deities do loathe each other, a romantic relationship between them has never been mentioned.
  • As a goddess of shadows, it is possible her portfolio was at some point connected to that of Ethedok. However, that deity was a god of darkness specifically, which is a position now held by Zehir.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 27.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 See The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #2.
  3. See "Bittersweet Reunions" (3x93) at 1:47:17.  Same moment for the quote down below, when Opal notices Lolth's voice is shaking a bit.
  4. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 75.
  5. 5.0 5.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 138.
  6. 6.0 6.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 47.
  7. 7.0 7.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 48.
  8. See "Between the Lines" (2x78) from 3:01:47 through 3:02:38.
  9. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 20.
  10. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 36.
  11. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 30. See also p. 278.
  12. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 112.
  13. See "Between the Lines" (2x78) at 2:49:14.
  14. 14.0 14.1 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 23.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 46.
  16. See "Punishment and Politics" (2x87) at 40:33.
  17. See "Between the Lines" (2x78) from 3:01:47 through 3:02:38.
  18. 18.0 18.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, pp. 27–28.
  19. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 122.
  20. See "Between the Lines" (2x78) from 3:01:47 through 3:02:38.
  21. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 19. See also p. 28.
  22. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 46. Also see pp. 141–142.
  23. See "Punishment and Politics" (2x87) at 1:21:09.
  24. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 122–123.
  25. See "The Oh No Plateau" (E1x02) at 1:05:22.  See also 1:23:42.
  26. See "A Test of Worth" (E1x05) at 35:47.
  27. See "Beyond the Heart City" (E1x07) at 2:40:11.
  28. See "What Comes Next" (E1x08) at 3:26:09.
  29. See "Broken Roads" (3x92).
  30. See "Bittersweet Reunions" (3x93).
  31. 31.0 31.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 28.
  32. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 14.
  33. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 19.
  34. See "Bittersweet Reunions" (3x93) at 2:32:50.
  35. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 21.
  36. See "Exandria Unlimited: Kymal, Part 1" (E2x01) at 3:43:30.
  37. See "Exandria Unlimited: Kymal, Part 2" (E2x02) at 1:44:20.
  38. See Aabria's comments about the Spider Queen.
  39. See "The Oh No Plateau" (E1x02) at 1:05:55.
  40. See "Bittersweet Reunions" (3x93) at 1:47:17.

Art:

  1. Symbol of Lolth from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting.
  2. Symbol of Lolth from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount by Claudio Pozas. (source)
  3. 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.
  4. Fan art of the Demonweb, by Cha Cha Rae (source). Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of Jourrael, by @hierothraxs (source). Used with permission.
  6. DDB 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.
  7. Fan art of Lolth speaking to Dorian, by @tshortik (source). Used with permission.
  8. Fan art of Opal in the Spider Queen's web, by Pyromeekorai (source). Used with permission.
  9. Fan art of Lolth arguing with Opal, by Elaine Tipping (source). Used with permission.
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