Dark Elf Portals
By Ramon Arjona
The Portal of the Demonweb Pits
Sometimes -- far too frequently for the taste of many drow -- the clerics of Lolth are summoned to the goddess' home plane. This journey can take place for a variety of reasons: because the Spider Queen wants to reward one of her clerics for some especially great service, because she wants to punish one of her followers for some particularly dismal failure or, as is most often the case, she wants to test the loyalty and ability of one of her clerics.
This portal was created to transport drow clerics from the city of Menzoberranzan directly to the Demonweb Pits. It can be activated by any drow female. The portal can also be activated by a yochlol, or by the whim of the Spider Queen herself. Once the portal is opened, it remains open for 1 round. Afterward, the portal reseals itself.
This portal is particularly dangerous because it does not open consistently at a single place in the Demonweb Pits. Lolth's realm is vast, and the webs that make up her domain frequently shift. A character entering the portal may be transported into a far corner of the Demonweb, or directly into the presence of Lolth herself. The result is completely random, though Lolth can, should it suit her, cause the user to emerge at a point of her choosing. This is usually worst of all for the user, as Lolth's caprice frequently places a hapless cleric in some terrible danger meant to test her abilities and devotion. Rarely do any clerics survive such tests. Those that do survive are changed forever, since their contact with yochlol and darker things can make them the hardest and most evil among the drow. The cruelest matron mothers are said to be survivors of these tests.
On rare occasions, drow and nondrow captives are sacrificed to Lolth by being pushed through the portal. None know the fate of these wretched beings for none who have been sent through the portal this way have ever been seen again.
How to Incorporate the Portal of the Demonweb Pits Into Your Campaign
- The PCs, while adventuring in the Underdark, are captured and held in Menzoberranzan. They are to be part of a massive sacrifice to Lolth and will be thrown through the portal along with several other sentient beings. The PCs either have to escape from the clutches of the clerics of Lolth or take their chances in the Demonweb against whatever lies in wait for them there.
- A powerful wizard requires an extraordinarily rare spell component: a piece of spider web spun by the Spider Queen herself. The PCs must travel to the Demonweb and return with a segment of Lolth's web. They may choose to enter the Demonweb through this portal. Or, when they get into dire straits, they may be forced to use this portal to escape.