Creation[edit | edit source]
Lolth was created by Gary Gygax for the World of Greyhawk campaign setting, later appeared in the Forgotten Realms setting, becoming a member of the default drow pantheon. In those various settings, the drow pantheon of gods consists of the leader Lolth, as well as Kiaransalee, Vhaeraun, and Zinzerena among others.
Lolth's role in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting was first detailed in Ed Greenwood's second edition AD&D sourcebook, Drow of the Underdark (1991). Lolth was detailed as a deity in the book Monster Mythology (1992), including details about her priesthood. Her role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996). Lolth received a very detailed description of her role in the Forgotten Realms in Demihuman Deities (1998).
History[edit | edit source]
Lolth, also called the "Queen of Spiders" or "Queen of the Demonweb Pits" is a major deity of the Drow pantheon, being a chaotic evil goddess of darkness, destruction, drow, evil, spiders and trickery.
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 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, god of beasts, 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 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 to become a single deity, Angharradh.
Araushnee was defeated and cast into the Abyss along with both of her children, being transformed into a spider demon, where she adopted the name Lolth, becoming a cruel and rigid goddess, demanding absolute obedience form her followers.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Lolth usually appears in two forms: drow and arachnid. In drow form, the Spider Queen appears as an "exquisitely beautiful" female dark elf, sometimes covered in clinging spiders. In her arachnid form, Lolth takes the appearance of a giant black widow spider with the head of a female drow or human peering from between the eight spider-eyes. Sometimes, the two foremost pair of her spider-legs are actually humanoid arms. In some occasions she is portrayed with her arachnid form taking more of a drider-like appearance, due to the events of the "War of the Spider Queen" novel series.
Worshippers[edit | edit source]
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 usually sacrifices the living and treasure to her glory.
One of the most iconic cleric of Lolth was the female drow Viconia DeVir, from the Baldur's Gate series. She was a prominent cleric who questioned her faith, abandoning Lolth in favor of Shar, goddess of the dark and loss.