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©2004 Lance W. Card

Lolth is a fickle and cruel goddess, believing that the drow race is best served by constantly struggling against each other. To this end, she tests some of her more exceptional followers to determine if they are worthy of her patronage -- and worthy of their lives. This test, known as the Test of Lolth, is given to any Lolth-worshiping drow upon reaching 6th level, although sometimes she waits until the subject is 7th or even 8th level.

Part of the test is about Loyalty. Usually Lolth plants thoughts in the mind of a friend, family member, or ally of the subject, leading him to believe he has been chosen for a special favor from the Spider Queen. (If the subject of the Test has no suitable friend, family member, or ally, Lolth chooses a cleric that has shown insufficient zeal.) In return, he must destroy one of "Lolth's enemies" (the drow actually being tested). Lolth instructs the dupe to ambush the target, slaying the enemy of the Spider Queen. When the target is attacked, she hears whispers from Lolth that she is being tested and the outcome of the battle determines whether she succeeds or fails. It is a test of loyalty whether or not the subject is willing to kill an ally if the Spider Queen tells her to do so.

The rest of the test is about power and resourcefulness -- whether or not the subject is strong and clever enough to defeat a powerful foe. For NPCs, the dupe in the test is always of creature with the same CR as the subject of the test. For PCs (because they are stronger than an NPC of the same level), the dupe is always a creature with a CR three higher than the test subject's character level. The fight is usually difficult and the test subject often has to expend all her resources to survive and vanquish her foe (who must be slain in order to satisfy Lolth).

If the subject passes the test, she gains a +2 morale bonus on attacks, saves, and checks for one month. She may claim any items she wants from her fallen enemy.

If the test subject is killed, Lolth sucks her soul dry.

If the test subject fails to defeat her opponent, refuses to fight, or is defeated but left alive, she is turned into a Drider and usually departs her home in shame. Other drow are used to these disappearances and those that fail are rarely spoken of again.

If the dupe of the test wins, Lolth may reward him (with the moral bonus for passing the test), wipe his mind of the events, or even expose him for his attack on another drow (while drow society is used to these interpersonal conflicts, the rule is to not get caught, so someone discovered in this manner is usually executed for incompetence).

Page Last Updated August 30th, 2005


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