Eight pointed star with a web motif, or a spider
|Aliases||Araushnee, Lloth, Lotha, Dark Mother, Mother of Lusts, Queen of the Demonweb Pits, Queen of Spiders|
|Divine Rank||Lesser Goddess|
|Portfolio||Drow, Spiders, Darkness|
|Domains||3E: Chaos, Darkness, Destruction, Drow, Evil, Spider, Trickery
4E: Darkness, Poison, Strife
5E: Trickery, War
|Home Plane||Demonweb Pits (Abyss)|
|Worshippers||Drow, Driders, Chitines|
|Favoured Weapon||Spider (Dagger)|
Lolth is the Chaotic Evil patron goddess of the drow in Dungeons & Dragons - and actually called Lloth in the original drow novels. She is sometimes called the "Spider Queen" or "Mistress of the Demonweb Pits", since she and the drow have a major spider theme, and before she got the promotion to be a full deity, she was originally a Demon Princess with dominion over spiders -- her biggest rival left from those days is Zuggtmoy, Demon Queen of Fungi. Lolth doesn't even bother returning her calls now.
In the before times, Lolth was Araushnee, who was married to the Corellon Larethian, head of the elvish pantheon who spilled blood became all the elves. Depending on the edition, she always tried some power-hungry scheme from convincing the elves to give up their inherited shapeshifting for limited forms or numerous schemes to usurp her husband's place at the pantheon's head. Corellon became furious, divorcing her by transforming her into a spider and banishing her children and supporters from Arvandor.
It could be said that her every action since then is not only to further expand her control on the multiverse but also to drive that dagger deeper into Corellon as often as possible, corrupting and killing everything he holds dear. To this end, she has repeatedly singled out a group of elves, turning them into drow or corrupting pre-existing drow groups, taking her revenge on Corellon by turning some of his children into brainwashed cultists devout in the pursuit of fratricide.
Lolth has a social Darwinist streak a mile wide -- her rules for the drow are basically:
- The strong should rule over the weak.
- Don't get caught by anyone besides Lolth.
- There are no other rules.
...There are actually plenty of other 'rules', but Lolth tends to overlook transgressions, so long as the transgressor is not caught and revealed by someone other than Lolth. Such a rule-breaker will be swiftly and mercilessly punished, for being stupid enough to be caught and too weak to kill or otherwise silence the spotter.
A fiendishly clever back-stabbing is a good way to earn her favor, though getting stabbed in the back by someone else is a good way to lose it just as quickly. Lolth demands results, and she is not fond of failure. Despite this there is at least one instance when she helped out someone who got stabbed in the back. This was Jaggedra Thul, a half dragon who was slain by her vampire mate for a powerful magic item. It is also worth noting that if a drow or group of drow are destructive enough to drow society, probably through the very behavior she encourages, she engineers said group's (or individual's) fall (be it death, eliminated by the priesthood, transformation into a drider, etc...). Lolth is usually kind enough to send a cease and desist visions to the culprit and gives him/her a chance to stop first, but sometimes she isn't in the mood to. It is this obsessive micromanaging that has explicitly prevented drow society from obliterating itself within a handful of generations (See Silence of Lolth.)
As sacrifices go she "prefers sentient creatures over non-sentient ones, humanoids over non humanoids, elves over other humanoids, and drow over elves. She prefers more powerful (higher level) sacrifices to weaker ones, and her own priestesses over all others." Drow without influence who displease the priesthood easily find themselves on the sacrificial altar.
Lolth "tests" her followers who achieve power, and she tests her priestesses and powerful matriarchs quite regularly. Failing such a test results in death or being turned into a drider (and thus seen as weak and being preyed upon by other drow, in older editions drow kill driders). The drow call these tests punishments, because success is only rewarded by being spared the fate of those who fail. One who is being tested by Lolth is called a "Zwy'il". Outside interference in such tests are forbidden, but of course Lolth generally only takes action against those that interfere if the interfering individual(s) (who are typically sabotaging the Zwy'il) gets caught by someone other than Lolth herself. Such tests may be (but aren't limited to):
- The Test of Loyalty: The Zwy'il is betrayed by a former ally (whose betrayal is engineered by Lolth) and now must slay said ally. Showing mercy is a sign of weakness and results in failure.
- The Test of Strength: Probably the least creative of Lolth's test. The tested subject must defeat a foe (be it rival drow or a monster) of equal or greater strength than the subject.
- The Test of Mettle: Covering the Zwy'il in venomous spiders while in an enclosed space (in this test the Zwy'il must escape without harming said spiders).
- The Test of Doubt: Taking away hard-earned power (such as removing spell casting abilities, giving negative levels, and even transformation into a drider or another creature). The Zwy'il must endure this for a period of time, sometimes weeks, sometimes less, and sometimes even more. And the subject must not only survive, but thrive, while maintaining faith in Lolth.
Needless to day, three out of four tests go against the very Drow culture she cultivates, making her an absolutely fucking worthless Goddess, textbook case of a psychologically abusive parent who as zero interest in having more followers to shower her with belief, ending up killing 90% of her own flock through intra-societal violence and ending up stuck to Underdark regarding dominions because she raises her kids to do one thing then openly punishes them for acting true to their upbringing. Reminds me of my mother.
Unsurprisingly, such an evil total bitch that she is hated by everyone, even her own priestesses. It has a lot to do with actually enforcing Stupid Evil in her worshipers. Because of her the drow spend three-quarters of their energy fighting each other instead of defending themselves, which is a really bad idea since they live in an underground city under constant threat of being assaulted by Illithids and Beholders. In fact, when things get really bad she literally has to tell them to stop for a short period of time.
The drow of the world of Exandria at least have largely gotten fed-up with the Spider Queen's shenanigans and have decided maybe they shouldn't be listening to Lolth anymore. Their enclaves in the Underdark are being ravaged by monsters, and many drow have turned to the worship of Tharizdun or have become aberrations themselves. One drow civilization, the Kryn Dynasty, turned against their former patron and everything she stands for so utterly that Lolth's few remaining drow priestesses rely primarily on goblinoid converts.
Really, the only race that actually likes Lolth is the Chitines, and that's only because A: they were created by her magic, and B: she set them free from their drow slave-masters. They rather studiously ignore the fact she only did so because she felt the drow hadn't shown her the proper respect by dedicating the newly-made chitines to her in the first place, and that she has since chosen to ignore them.
The bitch-queen of the Underdark.
|The Demon Princes of Dungeons & Dragons|
|Tanar'ri||Baphomet • Demogorgon • Doresain • Eltab • Fraz-Urb'luu • Graz'zt • Juiblex • Kostchtchie • Lolth • Malcanthet • Miska the Wolf-Spider • Orcus • Sess'innek • Shaktari • Turaglas • Yeenoghu • Zuggtmoy|
|Obyrith||Dagon • Obox-ob • Pale Night • Pazuzu • The Queen of Chaos • Sertrous|
|The Deities of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition|
|Good||Bahamut • Haramathur • Moradin||Amoth • Lakal • Nusemnee • Pelor||Avandra • Corellon • Sehanine|
|Neutral||Erathis • Raven Queen • Sagawehn||Aurom • Io • Ioun • Melora||Gorellik • Kord • Laeris|
|Evil||Asmodeus • Bane • Tiamat||Nerull • Torog • Vecna||Gruumsh • Khala • Lolth • Tharizdun • Zehir|
|The Deities of Exandria|
|Good||Bahamut • Moradin • Xalicas||Naviask • Pelor • Raei||Avandra • Corellon • Sehanine|
|Neutral||Erathis • Raven Queen||Ioun • The Luxon • Melora||Ceratos • Kord • Quajath • The Traveler|
|Evil||Asmodeus • Bane • Desirat • Tiamat||Arms of the Betrayers • The Hag Mother • Torog • Uk'otoa • Vecna • Vesh||Gruumsh • Lolth • Tharizdun • Zehir|