Draegloth

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Draegloth-5e.jpg

Draegloths are a species of drow half-fiends most associated with the Forgotten Realms setting of Dungeons & Dragons. Said to be the result of dark rituals wherein newly anointed priestesses of Lolth are made to have sex with glabrezu demons, the result is a bestial, vaguely spider-featured many-limbed half-fiend that serves its mother as a dedicated servant. Whilst mostly characterized as monsters, they did have a PC writeup in "Champions of Ruin" for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition.

Champions of Ruin Fluff[edit]

Draegloths are half-fiend terrors that are ritually created by drow priestesses who test their devotion to Lolth by mating with summoned demons. Only once in a great while does this coupling produce a child, and the birth of a draegloth is seen as an omen of the goddess's favor, often sparking wars, assassinations, and other intrigues. Draegloths are genderless, sexless creatures incapable of procreation. Most draegloths are incredibly loyal to the priestess that bore them, serving them as enforcers, bodyguards, and occasionally lovers. When a draegloth's mother dies or the house it serves is destroyed, it is often left to wander the Underdark, becoming a scourge wherever it goes.

Draegloths are cruel creatures known for their great strength and stealth. They hunt the tunnels of the Underdark for food and the opportunity to spread evil. A lone draegloth can terrorize an entire village of deep gnomes or grimlocks, and it will usually move on before a concerted effort to slay it can be put together. Draegloths rarely venture out of the Underdark, knowing that their natural advantages would be neutralized in the world above, and that their unique ancestry would make them targets for heroes and villains alike.

Racial History: The point of origin of the draegloth race is unknown. Many of the historically dominant drow houses have their own legends, each of which claims that the house was the first to receive Lolth's blessing. Of course, the veracity of such claims is questionable at best, and they have been responsible for more than one conflict between matron mothers. Draegloths have been around long enough that no one can say that any of these claims are invalid, but House Baenre of Menzoberranzan was likely the first beneficiary of a draegloth servant. This theory probably holds more truth than others; a draegloth loyal to House Baenre is known to have sheltered its leaders during the strife that eventually made them the undisputed rulers of Menzoberranzan.

For thousands of years, draegloths were extremely rare, appearing infrequently in a few drow enclaves across the Underdark. Starting around two thousand years ago, draegloth sightings became more and more frequent, even being reported far from the nearest drow enclave. Such reports were often dismissed as the frightened ramblings of Underdark travelers, but it was true - a small number of draegloths had broken free of their dependence on the drow, who were, of course, unconcerned by this development. After all, free-roaming draegloths had been present in their cities for some time, having been set loose as wars and internal conflicts saw their matron mothers and houses destroyed. This oversight would prove to be costly to the drow enclave of Ir'Sylin.

The drow of Ir'Sylin thought nothing of rumors that a draegloth had been terrorizing a nearby settlement of duergar. Refugees from the dwarf enclave told of a rampaging, four-armed demon that dragged bodies away to be eaten. When this lone draegloth appeared at the edge of Ir'Sylin, the lizard riders guarding the city greeted it with a cautious deference, for even a free draegloth is Lolth's child. The draegloth did not attack immediately, instead biding its time until the enclave's ruling matron mother demanded an audience. There, the draegloth sprung his trap; within seconds, the matron's elite guard had been torn apart, and the rogue draegloth's slavering jaws were inches from her throat. A teleport contingency saved her life and preserved the tale of Ir'Sylin; all the other members of the enclave were either slaughtered in their homes or hunted down in the following weeks.

Since that time, the drow have attempted to maintain tighter controls on draegloths who are without a house. They are not allowed to live in drow cities without a house affiliation or the sponsorship of a powerful noble. Rogue draegloths find themselves watched at all times - even if they do have a sponsorship - and some seek out new matron mothers to pledge themselves to in order to avoid this suspicion. There has been at least one case of falsifying the birth of a draegloth in order to legitimize a house's claim to Lolth's blessing. Such deceptions were considered blasphemous before Lolth's disappearance, but now they have an almost cultlike effect on those who wish to believe that the Spider Queen has returned to their house.

Since their goddess's disappearance, draegloths have become more independent, many no longer serving the matron mothers without demanding equal status. More and more have gone wandering the Underdark in search of adventure and a means to either restore Lolth to her former glory, or, barring that, to increase their demonic sires' power on the Material Plane. As a result, demon cults have found themselves with unexpected allies, and draegloths are starting to form their own cults to elevate their fathers' names. Draegloths rarely work together, but they are not above working with others to achieve their goals. This is especially true for the younger members of the race, in whom Lolth's grip never firmly took hold.

Outlook: Draegloths are sly and cunning creatures with a penchant for wild rages that end in the deaths of those around them. They are excellent advisors, because their minds are seemingly created for understanding the many threads of drow intrigues, and their innate savagery allows for a plethora of options in dealing with any enemies. They can be patient listeners when around those they respect, and Lolth has given them the ability to meditate and pray for hours while searching for a solution. Their unique combination of patience, cunning, and ruthlessness makes them among the most feared hunters in the Underdark.

Draegloths see all creatures in the world other than drow and other Lolth-blessed beings as cattle or puppets. They have no problem with killing other sentient beings for food or pleasure. This does not mean that they cannot respect another being for her status or power, and draegloths make excellent companions and servants to the matron mothers who bore them. But outside of this well-defined religious and social role, selfless acts on behalf of another are outside the draegloths' realm of comprehension.

The only thing that outshines a draegloth's loathing for other creatures is its faith. Worship of Lolth (or more recently Vhaeraun) drives a draegloth's existence, and many become clerics devoted to her. They act as bodyguards and advisors to the matron mothers out of respect for Lolth, and even now that she has disappeared, most draegloths continue to worship her with their customary fervor.

However, some draegloths have lost faith in the Spider Queen and now look to their demonic sires for guidance. For other denizens of the Underdark, these are the most dangerous draegloths, because while their faithful cousins war with the drow and search for signs of Lolth, those who have left her are organizing demon-worshiping humanoids around them. Such draegloths have started interacting with more weak-minded humanoids recently, rather than hunting them as they once would have, in order to gain power and reach for their new organizations. Grimlocks are their favorite recruits, thanks to those creatures' barbaric ferocity and willingness to follow a strong leader in exchange for the ability to thrive in the dangerous Underdark environment.

Personality: Draegloths are possibly the most purely evil race in all of Toril. They are born from the confluence of two great evils into a world where vileness is normal and goodness is as absent as the light of the sun. Members of this race enjoy inflicting great cruelty on others, and they learn how to do so from their mothers, who nurture this trait with great relish and care. Draegloths are known for their lack of appreciation of beauty. Unlike most other races, they do not have any aesthetic sense, they do not appreciate art in any form, and they are not swayed by attractive members of their own race or others. It is whispered that the only time a draegloth feels peace is when it is committing acts of evil and depravity.

Physical Description: Draegloths resemble impressively large drow, with black skin, a long white mane, and glowering red eyes. They stand between 7-1/2 and 8 feet tall and weigh between 300 and 375 pounds. Their legs have two joints, making them extremely quick and agile, and their bodies are framed with thick, powerful muscles. A draegloth's face is elongated and skeletal. It has four arms, two of which are normal-looking drow arms that appear undersized compared to its body and are often used for spellcasting. The other two arms are long and powerful extremities, ending in wicked claws and with hands hanging low, much like an ape's. Draegloths do not feel the need to wear clothing, since each individual's body is covered with a fine coat of white fur. Draegloths are born fully developed and live to be about 300 years old, although the savage life of the Underdark robs most of their full lifespan.

Relations: Most draegloths spend their lives around drow, who either revere them, fear them, or both. For their part, the half-demons enjoy their special place in the drow community, and might act arrogantly toward what they often see as the lesser half of their lineage. They regard the rest of the Underdark races as little more than animals, there only to please them or provide them with food and treasure. The draegloths have exhibited a particularly strong antipathy toward gloamings, who return the emotion with equal intensity. Some arcanists who are familiar with both races have suggested that the feud originates amongst the demons who spawned the races, but to date no one has corroborated such claims.

On the rare occasion that a draegloth leaves its Underdark habitat, it finds none of the surface races to be palatable companions. These draegloths often live in surface caverns, only leaving at night, while others find drow communities such as those in the forest of Cormanthor in which to live.

Alignment: Draegloths are creatures of pure evil, no matter which side of the family each individual favors; they desire to be nothing more than they are. They favor the chaotic alignment of both parents as well, although their devotion to their mothers often drives them to orderly behavior in their service. Draegloths who remain without the guiding force of a matron mother for a long period of time are likely to abandon their house and wander the Underdark alone.

Draegloth Lands: Draegloths are found primarily in the drow cities scattered throughout the Underdark. They tend to stick close to their creators unless their house is destroyed or weakened so badly that it becomes dangerous to remain. At that point, they venture off to find new areas to exploit and new victims for their depraved minds. Some of these draegloths might remain in the city, having built up their own independent power bases while serving their matrons.

While some displaced draegloths are content to wander the dark tunnels beneath the surface of Faerûn, others decide to see what lies above. Some are drawn by rumors of drow encampments on the surface, while others leave in order to avoid being hunted by their numerous enemies.

Religion: Draegloths are very devoted to Lolth, the deity whose blessing brings them into existence. They have been as distraught as the matron mothers over Lolth's recent disappearance, and the vast majority of draegloths remain devoted to her cause. Some draegloths have wavered in their faith, however, and find themselves drawn to one of the other deities of the Dark Seldarine; Vhaeraun has gained a few powerful followers this way, and he is actively recruiting them into his forces. Selvetarm accepts draegloths into his worship, but only temporarily, since he plans to return them to Lolth should she ever regain her power. The recruitment of the draegloths into Vhaeraun's service is said to have been a warning to Selvetarm that the Masked Lord was actively working to supplant Lolth's rule of the drow gods.

Language: Draegloths speak the languages of the Underdark drow, as well as the Abyssal tongue of their sires.

Adventurers: Draegloth adventurers are most often on a mission directed by their matron mothers, or have been turned loose to wreak havoc on their house rivals. Individual draegloths adventure to find a way to get closer to their demonic sires, or to cause misery and destruction to anyone who comes across them. Their chaotic nature makes it difficult for them to stay in one place without a clear goal, and they enjoy taking the treasure and lives of others more than they care about enriching themselves.

PC Stats[edit]

+12 Strength, +4 Dexterity, +4 Constitution, +2 Intelligence.
Outsider (Native): Draegloths are outsiders who are native to the Material Plane. Unlike true outsiders, native outsiders need to eat and sleep.
Large: As Large creatures, draegloths take a -1 penalty to Armor Class and a -1 penalty on all attack rolls. They also have a reach of 10 feet.
Draegloth base land speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision out to 60 feet.
Draegloths are immune to poison and magic sleep spells and effects.
+2 racial bonus on saves against enchantment spells and effects.
Spell-Like Abilities: 4/day - darkness; 1/day - dancing lights, desecrate, faerie fire, and unholy blight. A draegloth can use these spell-like abilities as a 6th-level sorcerer.
Resistances (Ex): Draegloths have acid, cold, electricity, and fire resistance 10.
Natural Attacks: A Draegloth can attack with 2 claws and a bite. The claws deal 1d6 points of damage plus Strength bonus, and the bite is a secondary attack (-5 penalty on the attack roll, and half Strength bonus on the damage roll) that deals 1d8 points of damage. A draegloth can attack with a weapon at his normal attack bonus, and make a bite and two claw attacks as secondary attacks.
Multiple Limbs: Draegloths have four arms, and thus can take the Multiweapon Fighting feat instead of the Two-Weapon Fighting feat. Draegloths can also take the Multiattack feat. (These are not bonus feats.)
Racial Hit Dice: A draegloth begins with six levels of outsider, which provide 6d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +6, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +5, Ref +5, and Will +5.
Racial Skills: A draegloth's outsider levels give it skill points equal to 9 × (8 + Int modifier). Its class skills are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Search (Int), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), and Survival (Wis).
Racial Feats: A draegloth's outsider levels give it three feats.
Draegloths have +5 natural armor due to their tough, thick skin.
Automatic Languages: Abyssal, Elven, Undercommon. Bonus Languages: Aquan, Common, Draconic, Drow Sign Language, Gnome, Goblin, Kuo-toan.
Favored Class: Cleric. A multiclass draegloth's cleric class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty.
Level Adjustment: +4.

4th Edition[edit]

Yeah, she takes after mom's side of the family, don't she?

Draegloths in Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition are tweaked slightly, mostly by losing the "genderless but masculine looking" thing they had going on in 3e. The iconic draegloth is the most common, and represents the male of the species, but on rare occasions, a drow will give birth to her glabrezu lover's half-fiend daughter instead. Known as "Favored Ones", these draegloths favor their mother's heritage, looking like Large-sized, four-armed female drow with a vaguely lupine cast to their features as well as claws on their fingers and toes. Whilst male draegloths are deeply religious bruisers who are kept as armed muscle for the Cult of Lolth, Favored Ones are actively adopted into her priesthood and raised to become highly respected priestesses of Lolth.

...Which raises the question of why there's not a Glabrezu/Drow specific breed of Tiefling, since they have not one but two Half-Dragon strains unique to them.

In addition, 4th edition added a third draegloth variant, in the form of the Draegloth Abomination. Take a wild guess where these come from. Here's a hint: driders went from sterile outcasts to fertile and favored members of the cult of Lolth. That's right, the Abomination is a draegloth born to a drider mother. We don't know if these draegloths visually differ from their cousins, but mention is made of "spidery legs" in their writeup, so there's definitely an element of spider to them beyond their ability to spit webbing. Abominations are savage, feral and destructive brutes even by the standards of draegloth. No, seriously; they're too batshit murder-crazy for the drow to put up with! As a result, after abominations are born, their mothers "offer them up to Lolth" and boot them through a portal to the Demonweb Pits, where they're out of mortals hair and Lolth can put up with them.

The standard Draegloth and the Draegloth Favored One debuted in the 4e Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. The Draegloth Abomination debuted in the 4e Monster Manual 3.