What is loyalty? I thought I knew at one point. However, time and time again proved me wrong.
I grew up in the temples of the Spider Queen, Lolth. As every other drow in the Underdark she was my purpose in life. Everything I did was to appease her and rise in ranks within our society. Within my temple lived 2 others, Rah my fellow pupil and our temple’s speaker Lok. Rah and I were like sisters. She did not have the same ambitions as I did to our queen however. I would often be up all hours of the night reading over our goddess’s tales, branding them to memory, while Rah was often hunting the streets for a new prey to feed her cruel sense of humor. Lok always bragged upon my studies and assured me that I would go far in the eyes of Lolth.
The time came for one of us to leave the temple to start a new place of worship and do what we can to appease our queen. The other was to stay with Lok as her apprentice till she passes the torch to her temple. I was ready. I had exceeded my teacher’s expectations time and time again, lived only for Lolth even if it opposed my own desires. As Lok beckoned us to reveal her decision, I noticed a shared twisted smile between Lok and Rah. Thinking it was just another one of Rah’s acts of sarcasm I ignored it. There we stood, side by side, anxiously waiting even though I knew what our teacher would say. “Nix”, Lock spoke in a serious tone, “after much thought I have decided to send Rah to serve Lolth outside these walls. I will ask you to remain here with me to help with upkeep of our beloved temple”. I was paralyzed. How could this be? I was the one who sacrificed day in and day out. Was this a punishment from my queen? How could I of displeased her so! As Lok turned away heading back to her quarters, Rah turned to me and with that same sick smile came close and whispered, “Jal khaless zhah waela” (All trust is foolish). Those words sent a cold chill down my spine. How could she? All the years together, I considered her family in an otherwise frigid civilization. Even at the realization of her betrayal I couldn’t utter a sound. Rah laughed as she returned to her room.
To this day I still do not know how Rah pulled out my path from underneath me. Knowing her it was some sort of bribery or blackmail, but who knows how low that bitch would go. Not knowing what else to do I turned to Lolth. I prayed for direction, the strength to wreak revenge on those who took away what was mine. In that moment, unsure if Lolth spoke to me or it was my own thirst for revenge, I concocted a plan. Following in the darkness of Lolth not only taught me stories of old, but also spells to “persuade” others to do my bidding. Sneaking into Lok’s room I found her already asleep. Her peaceful demeanor was soon disrupted as a combination of charm and suggestion spells played tricks on her vulnerable mind. I would like to think that she thought it was all a dream and that she was filled with hate for whom she sought behind Rah’s door. I stood in shadows just feet away while Lok unsheathed her blade from her hip and slashed it down Rah’s torso. It would be a matter of minutes before she would bleed out. I crept from the darkness next to Lok as she stood silently still. I swore I could feel the fire from Rah’s stare, knowing I was to have the last laugh. Just as emotionless as Lok sank her knife into Rah, she ran it across her own throat and collapsed on the floor. Hate turned to fear in Rah’s eyes as any hope of salvation had evaporated. My first taste of power was intoxicating.
Years passed and I continued to praise Lolth in the very temple I killed to leave. The pull I had over others behind the mask of the temple was too much to toss aside. The masses would come and I felt as they worshiped me as I granted them hopes and promises that they sought from the spider queen herself. The control and dominance I obtained was a high that I yearned for day after day. The hunger never being satisfied, always wanting more. Looking in a mirror, I soon began to wonder why one so powerful as myself was worshiping another. The hordes came to honor my word, my praise! Does our queen grace us with her presence? No! I hear their pleas and give them guidance! Non dare to oppose my word! “I AM THEIR QUEEN!” my voice rang out. No sooner had the phrase left my lips I felt a sense of dread come over me. “How dare one of my own question where they stand! You shall suffer my wrath and serve me till the end of your days filth” screeched a voice in my head. I knew the mistake I had made and my queen’s threat shook me to my core. Feeling as if being watched I spun around in my seat. There upon the bed lay an enchanting looking box. Nothing inside could be good, but my hands urged me towards the box as if possessed by curiosity. Cautiously peering inside revealed a dagger. The web engraved on its edge gave away who it was from. As I grab the hilt I could feel its thirst and longing for souls to feed on. The eerie green glow on its etchings shot fear through my own essence. The daggers hunger reminded me of my own. Forever stuck under Lolth’s thumb didn’t sit well in my stomach. What choice did I have?
Again that raw feeling of betrayal gnawed at the back of my mind. Sentenced to a life of servitude for striving to be as the one I worshiped. Curse or no curse, I will pry my way out of Lolth’s grasp and she will regret stifling my pursuit of power.