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The Dark Seldarine is the name given to the fallen, mostly evil deities of the subterranean drow in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. They are not truly a pantheon in the same way the Seldarine are, though, as they do not co-operate. The Dark Seldarine are led by Lolth, whose power sometimes forces the others into obeying her. Their planes are various layers of the Abyss in 2nd Edition D&D and is the Demonweb Pits in the Third Edition cosmology.
The Dark Seldarine consists of:
- Eilistraee, Lolth's daughter and patron deity of good drow (more closely associated with the Seldarine). Exclusive to the Forgotten Realms.
- Ghaunadaur, an elemental deity adopted into the drow pantheon. Exclusive to the Forgotten Realms.
- Kiaransalee, patron deity of undead drow.
- Lolth, formerly Araushnee of the Seldarine, primary deity of the drow.
- Selvetarm, Lolth's grandson and Champion. Exclusive to the Forgotten Realms.
- Vhaeraun, Lolth's son and patron deity of disaffected male drow.
- Zinzerena, a demipower of assassins killed and absorbed as an aspect of Lolth during the Forgotten Realms' Time of Troubles.
|Title(s)||That Which Lurks
The Elder Eye
|Home plane||Demonweb Pits|
|Portfolio||Abominations, Oozes, Slimes, Jellies, Outcasts, Ropers, Rebels|
Ghaunadaur (gone-ah-dowr) is also known as That Which Lurks and The Elder Eye. Although officially considered a member of the drow pantheon, its followers include oozes, slimes, jellies, outcasts, and rebels. Most of its followers are lowly drow outcasts[who?].
Ghaunadaur is considered to be highly unpredictable by any standards. It is not always necessary to worship it; sometimes, simply paying lip service is enough to earn a boon from the god. However, this is not often done, as it's equally likely that it will consume or maim the penitent without warning.
"That Which Lurks" usually appears as a reddish-purple giant slug, though it can alter its form at will. Its symbol is a purple eye on purple, violet, and black circles. Priests of the Elder Eye are required to make daily sacrifices, preferably willing sacrifices. If a priest falls behind in their sacrifices, they are required to say a prayer while coating their hand in magical oil and lighting it on fire. If the prayer is good, the priest may keep the hand. If not, then the hand will be consumed by the Elder Eye[original research?].
It is generally discouraged for priests of Ghaunadaur to be friendly with other priests; however, the Underdark is full of strange things[who?]. More information on Ghaunadaur can be found in "The Drow of the Underdark," the TSR AD&D 2nd edition rulebook.
Ghaunadaur is a very ancient deity, rumored to have emerged from the primordial ooze itself. In that age it was worshipped by the largest of slimes and other crawling creatures, many of which contained an alien intelligence. In a fit of fury due to Lolth spurning his romantic interests, Ghaunadaur struck most of them mad and took their intellects. As an unforeseen result, many of these worshipers ceased to exist, which caused The Elder Eye's power to collapse. Only in recent millennia have some evil beings turned back to Ghaunadaur, looking for an alternative to the established deities. Ghaunadaur is only a member of the drow pantheon because of the worship of drow that became disaffected with Lolth. in 1379 DR Ghaunadaur, finally fed up with Lolth, left the Demonweb Pits and created a new realm in the Deep Caverns.
|Title(s)||The Spider that Waits,
|Portfolio||Battle Prowess, Bloodlust|
Selvetarm, known also as The Spider that Waits or Lolth's Champion, is worshipped by few drow in the Underdark. The place where his worshippers are most common is the city of Eryndlyn. He is the patron of unequaled battle prowess and bloodlust. He cares only for battle and destruction everywhere, and he has a great hatred for all things living, although that is nothing compared to the hatred he has for his mistress Lolth.
Selvetarm is a Chaotic Evil Demigod. His home plane is the Demonweb Pits, which in normal Dungeons & Dragons cosmology is the 66th layer of the Abyss, but in the revised D&D 3e Forgotten Realms cosmology is a plane to itself. His symbol is a crossed sword and mace over a spider, and his Third Edition D&D domains are Chaos, Drow, Evil, Spider, and War.
The church of Selvetarm usually acts over the manifestation of soul spiders, and also common spiders. He manifests his pleasure by the discovery of stones, dried bark or webstone, and his anger by making pieces of weapon or armor break upon contact. All of the Selvertargtlin are trained in the sword in addition to the clerical skills. Although the church is mostly males, a handful of females worship Lolth's Champion.
In the Forgotten Realms setting there is a worshiper above Selvetarm's regular clerics known as a Judicator, who is revered and feared as a master of the blade as well as for his (for they are exclusively male) clerical and/or arcane powers. Only one, known as Dhairn, has ever been mentioned, and he met his end at the hands of the Chosen of both Eilistraee and Mystra, Qilue Veladorn.
When sending his avatar, the spider that waits appears as a large spider some of the time with the head of a drow male. He is known to wield a sword and mace in his front arms, and he can call upon the spells of all spheres.
The spider that waits rarely manifests himself in the realms, he prefers to either send his avatar or simply ignore the petitions of his supplicants, although he will manifest when his avatar is busy elsewhere. On those rare occasions, he manifests himself as a tiny sphere of utter darkness.
Selvetarm was born from the brief union between Vhaeraun and Zandilar the Dancer (a demipower worshipped by elves in Yuirwood and later absorbed by Bast who would become Sharess), which was part of an elaborate plan to help Zandilar's followers against the attacks of Lolth's.
Selvetarm was alone for a time, until he was befriended by Eilistraee who showed him the ways of good, but all this would be short-lived as a result of the trickery of Lolth. The Spider Queen was enraged by the existence of a demonic lesser lord of the Abyss, who professed himself as having power over spiders, and whose name was Zanassu. Around this time the spider demon Zanassu had been weakened by a conflict in the Prime Material Plane, and so Lolth tricked Selvetarm into destroying the Abyssal lord and absorbing his divine power, under the false pretences of winning Eilistraee's gratitude. But in his actions Selvetarm also absorbed enough of Zanassu's malevolence to overcome his acquired goodness. Lolth used this to her advantage and entrapped Selvetarm's will, binding her grandson to her service.
Selvetarm is allied only with Lolth (grudgingly), and Garagos due to the similarity of their personalities and portfolios. He fiercely opposes his father Vhaeraun's machinations.
Vhaeraun (// vay-RAWN), also known as the Masked Lord and the Masked God of Night, is the drow god of thievery, drow males, and evil activity on the surface world in many Dungeons & Dragons campaign settings. His worshipers include assassins, male drow and half-drow, poisoners, shadowdancers, rogues, and thieves.
Zinzerena is the drow deity of chaos and assassins. Her symbol is a shortsword draped in a black cloak, symbolizing her hidden menace. In the Forgotten Realms cosmology, she has been killed or banished by Lolth.
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (February 2008)|
- Baker, Rich, James Jacobs, and Steve Winter. Lords of Madness (Wizards of the Coast, 2005).
- Boyd, Eric L. Demihuman Deities (TSR, 1998).
- Greenwood, Ed. The Drow of the Underdark (TSR, 1991).
- Athans, Philip. Annihilation (Wizards of the Coast, 2004).
- Baker, Richard. Condemnation (Wizards of the Coast, 2003).
- Boyd, Eric L and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
- Byer, Richard Lee. Dissolution (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
- Greenwood, Ed. The Drow of the Underdark (TSR, 1991).
- Kemp, Paul S. Resurrection (Wizards of the Coast, 2005).
- McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996).
- Reid, Thomas M. Insurrection (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
- Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992).
- Smedman, Lisa. Extinction (Wizards of the Coast, 2004).
- Conforti, Steven, ed. Living Greyhawk Official Listing of Deities for Use in the Campaign, version 2.0. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2005. Available online:
- Marmell, Ari, Anthony Pryor, Robert J. Schwalb, and Greg A. Vaughan. Drow of the Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast, 2007).
- Weining, Frederick. "The Vault of the Drow." Dragon Magazine #298. (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
- "Citadel of the Mask Lord" — contains tons of information on Vhaeraun and his clergy and churches, weapons, and orders and dogma.
- Living Greyhawk deities