Random Encounters
Spider, Spider, Burning Bright ...
By Ramon Arjona

The drow are famous for their affinity for spiders of all kinds. Sacred to Lolth, the Queen of the Demonweb Pits, the spider is respected throughout drow culture and viewed with mystic reverence by the matriarchal clerics that hold power over drow society. Small spiders are frequently pets or familiars, while giant spiders often serve as steeds or guards. The spider motif influences all drow art and fashion, appearing everywhere from jewelry to decorative architecture. The spider is also the vehicle of Lolth's punishment: drow spells and rituals can cause spiders to well up from living flesh and devour their victim from the inside out or transform a victim into an arachnid mockery of their former self.

In this month's random encounters, we'll see some of the forms in which the spider appears in drow culture.

Derrin Norellen, Fang of Lolth

Meet Derrin Norellen, the hapless thief who has been transformed into a Fang of Lolth for trying to activate the wrong magic item.

Naradna, Drider

Meet a drow cleric who displeased the Spider Queen, was transformed into a drider, and is now doomed to wander the Underdark, seeking vengeance and death.

The Sword of Selvetarm

Examine the Sword of Selvetarm, a minor artifact created by the drow god of war to enable the children of Lolth to better combat her foes.

The Courtyard of Spiders

Based on some of the integration thoughts in earlier random encounters for this series, we introduce a fleshed-out encounter to use while the PCs journey through the Underdark or as a part of a larger adventure that the PCs have undertaken.

About the Author

Ramon Arjona is originally from Hawaii. He now lives in Washington State with his wife and two cats. His work has appeared in the Hawai'i Review, the Absinthe Literary Review, and Strange Horizons. He plans to become an 18th-level software developer so he can get the bonus feats.

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