Realms Personalities : Naradna, Drider

By Ramon Arjona (Web)

The Spider Goddess is cruelest to her own children. From them she demands unquestioning sacrifice and endless bloodshed. The drow priestesses enforce the core tenet of their faith, "We are all Lolth's food," with the steady stream of sacrifices meant to appease their goddess. The harsh Queen of the Demonweb likewise enforces this maxim, by confronting her children with evidence of her malice and caprice at every opportunity, punishing the most insignificant failure with the most unspeakable suffering.

Throughout their lives, the drow are faced with an unending battery of challenges designed to test their self-confidence, their cruelty, and their strength. The more powerful drow are faced with more strenuous testing, perhaps because Lolth realizes that their greater abilities must be honed by overcoming still greater obstacles, or perhaps because the Spider Goddess grows jealous of the greatest among her followers. Should a drow fail a test, one of the punishments the Spider Goddess sometimes gives is a transformation into a drider, which a hideous blending of drow and spider. Doomed to exile from their home and fated to be forever hunted by their former brethren, the driders dwell alone in the Underdark and are sustained only by their undying hatred of the drow who shun them.

The cleric Naradna was once such drow: beautiful, strong, ruthless and talented in the art of magic. What she lacked, however, was the favor of the Spider Goddess. Lolth made the young woman's test especially difficult, so she was all but doomed to failure from the outset. It is a testament to the young drow's tenacity that she nearly succeeded in her test, despite the difficult circumstances, forcing Lolth to intervene with a well-timed curse.

Thus deprived of victory by the Queen of the Demonweb herself, Naradna was subjected to the painful and humiliating punishment. Transformed into a drider, she fled into the deepest recesses of the Underdark to plot her vengeance.

Naradna lurks, waiting for the appropriate moment to strike. Perhaps, she reasons, if she can appease the Spider Goddess properly, Lolth will restore her to her previous form. Lolth, she knows, can be placated with sacrifices. She also knows Lolth prefers drow over any other kind of sacrifice. Therefore, to regain the Spider Queen's favor, she intends to sacrifice the entire drow race. This genocidal plan is ambitious, but Naradna is the being who can do it, if any can. She has already laid in a stockpile of magic items and formed key partnerships with other powerful denizens of the Underdark, waiting patiently for the right moment to begin her holy war against her former kin.

Naradna: Female drider Clr13 (6 as drider plus 7 additional cleric levels); CR 14; Large aberration; HD 6d8+6 plus 7d8+7; hp 113; Init +0; Spd 30 ft., climb 15 ft.; AC 15, touch 9, flat-footed 15; Atk +9 melee (1d4+1, bite), or +9/+4 melee (1d6+1/19-20, short sword) and +4 melee (1d4, bite), or +8/+3 ranged (1d6/x3, shortbow); Face/Reach 10 ft. by 10 ft./5 ft.; SA poison, rebuke undead 2/day, spell-like abilities; SQ darkvision 60 ft., SR 14; AL CE; SV Fort +8, Ref +4, Will +13; Str 13, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 17, Cha 9.

Skills and Feats: Climb +13, Concentration +17, Hide +6, Knowledge (religion) +8, Listen +5, Move Silently +4, Spellcraft +17, Spot +5; Combat Casting, Empower Spell, Enlarge Spell, Extend Spell.

Poison (Ex): Naradna delivers her poison (Fortitude save DC 14) with each successful bite attack. The initial and secondary damage are the same (1d6 Strength damage).

Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day -- clairaudience/clairvoyance, dancing lights, darkness, detect chaos, detect evil, detect good, detect law, detect magic, discern lies, dispel magic, faerie fire, levitate, suggestion. Caster level 6th; save DC 9 + spell level.

Cleric Spells Prepared (6/6+1/6+1/5+1/4+1/3+1/2+1/1+1; save DC 13 + spell level): 0 -- detect magic (2), guidance (2), resistance (2); 1st -- cause fear (3), detect undead, doom, protection from good*, summon monster I; 2nd -- aid (2), desecrate*, enthrall (2), lesser restoration, silence; 3rd -- animate dead (3), magic circle against good*, prayer (2); 4th -- giant vermin, restoration (2), summon monster IV, unholy blight*; 5th -- circle of doom*, healing circle, slay living (2); 6th -- greater dispelling, harm*, summon monster VI; 7th -- blasphemy*, word of chaos.

*Domain spell. Deity: Lolth. Domains: Destruction (smite 1/day), Evil (cast evil spells at +1 caster level).

Possessions: Spider rod**, unholy symbol.

**From Magic of Faerûn.

Notes on Using the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting: Substitute the Drow and Spider domains for the Destruction and Evil domains, and add the Lightning Reflexes feat. You can also swap out the spells detect undead, slay living, and harm for cloak of dark power, spiderform, and spider curse respectively.

Introducing Naradna to Your Campaign

Bringing the Parts Together

You could tie Derrin's activities into those of Naradna or simply make him a cohort of Naradna. Perhaps Derrin leads the PCs into a trap Naradna has set up to gather more resources for her long-term plans.

Realm's Personalities