The Cult of the She Spider

Overview

The Cult of the She Spider was once a religious cult of personality centred around a mysterious but charismatic individual living in Thay. Religious strife among its followers has caused it to devolve into a criminal gang that has a hand in various illicit activities in Mulhorand, Thay, and southern Unther.

History

The Cult of the She Spider has its origins in the Segmented City of Undrek’Thoz, when an outcast from that city arrived in Thay amid the warring factions before the beginning of the Zulkirate. The chaos of this time allowed the unconventional female drow mage-assassin to thrive by taking contracts from rival wizards on all sides. The “Shadow Spider”, as she became known, was so successful that many thought this darkly exotic beauty was the love child of some goddess (some whisper Shar, others Lolth).

Over time, the Cult of the She Spider attracted a number of drow outcasts from Undrek’Thoz, and naïve humans that sought to benefit from the power of the Shadow Spider. The Cult evolved to take advantage of connections to the drow of Undrek’Thoz by trading slaves from Thay for exotic substances from the Underdark (many of them drugs and poisons), while the membership similarly evolved over the decades to include a growing number of half drow that could operate equally well on the surface and in the Underdark.

After the Shadow Spider vanished mysteriously over 50 years ago, the cult became little more than a criminal gang without its patron, but by this time it had spread its operations to far away Mulhorand and Unther where there were more slaving markets to exploit. The followers and faithful of Lolth and Shar have abandoned the cult, but it survives.

Organisation

In Mulhorand the largest concentration of members is located in Jhalhoran and Klondor, where the mostly half-drow membership impersonate turami slaves and citizens while meeting with contacts and customers among the mulan.

Dogma / Motivation / Goals

Never having strayed far from its roots, the Cult of the She Spider still maintains a significant interest in slaving and drug running to generate the majority of its income. The cultists meet customers in slave farms outside Jhalhoran and Klondor and discuss deals which they fulfil through contacts and Underdark routes in Thay.

In secret the Cult of the She Spider and its majority half drow membership are working towards securing a place for themselves where they can live without fear of attack (the mulan of Thay, Mulhorand and Unther would slay or enslave a half drow, and the drow of Undrek’Thoz would treat them far worse). They have established breeding colonies in and under the Dragonsword Mountains where they breed with slaves being moved between Thay and Mulhorand.

In Thay, the Cult of the She Spider runs an underground network that offers freedom to slave for a high price. Those who pay are most often transported to Mulhorand through the Underdark and sold to Mulhorandi buyers (mostly priests of Anhur who do not want slaves sourced from Thay). The Cult of the She Spider does sometimes provide freedom to the slaves as breeding stock in the half drow colonies hidden in the mountains of Mulhorand.

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