Malar didn't like any of them, and he certainly didn't trust trust them. The Dark Seldarine were possibly the most deceptive beings, outside of Cyric, that he had ever encountered. And all, save the newly 'reformed' Selvetarm, were represented in this hidden glade within his domain, The Land of The Hunt. It was hoped they could escape Lolth's gaze here, something Malar doubted. Ghaunadaur's avatar stood in the shadows, sullen and silent, he hadn't spoken at all during the planning of this ambitious conspiracy. Vhaeraun's avatar, on the other hand, seemed confident of success. Zinzerena was both enthused and amused by the idea, and Kiaransalee glared suspiciously at the other assembled avatars, doubt clearly etched in her craggy, skull-like face. Malar noted the presence of a sixth deity, after a fashion. A large rat sat on its haunches in the shadows, a throbbing, luminescent green vein visible within its exposed brain. A cranium rat, a spy of The Tentacled Lord, but even Malar knew better than attack one of the eyes of Ilsensine. The Illithid God Brain had no love for Lolth either, and it probably knew the entire plot already, anyway.
"How do we know it will even recognize that thing as an elf?" Kiaransalee rasped, "She surely doesn't look like one."
Ilsensine calculated a 72% chance that Ityak-Ortheel would not recognize Lolth as an elf, but that hardly mattered, considering the sheer destructive power of the beast. It was a brash and dangerous move on the part of The Dark Seldarine, Lolth was a powerful entity, even now, in her weakened state, and her wrath was terrible to behold. Ityak-Ortheel was a mindless force of destruction. Malar could summon The Elf Eater, but not even The Beastlord could control it. The best he could do was place it amongst his enemies and allow it to act according to its vicious nature. It was also a 100% certainty that, should the plot succeed, the assembled deities would turn upon each other. Ilsensine was content to observe, let the vultures tear themselves apart, then glide in to clean up the mess. At the very least, this would be a fascinating spectacle.
Zinzerina laughed, "It will certainly recognize Keptolo as an elf!" She had a personal, mutual grudge with The Willing Consort. She had manipulated him and stolen a portion of his divinity. If this plan worked, she might very well steal his life itself. Though Malar would greatly enjoy the sight of The Elf Eater rampaging throughout The Demonweb Pits, hunting The Spider Queen, he also recognized what a cunning and powerful enemy they were facing. "The Elf Eater is a massive being," Malar argued, "If she retreats to her web, it may not be able to follow. Or, she could simply Portal away. . ."
Vhaeraun smiled, his handsome face half-concealed by a crimson mask, "She will have no choice. Faced with the destruction of her realm, she will have to intervene."
"And if we fail?"
"We wont." Vhaeraun said confidently.
Ilsensine found The Masked Lord's reasoning somewhat flawed. Lolth could attack the Elf Eater from the safety of her web, and lure it over the edge, into the Abyss. Unless it attacked while she was away from the safety of The Crawling Fortress. And she was not above fleeing, allowing the beast to destroy her realm and returning once it had left. Unless something hindered her escape. . .
Summoning Ityak-Ortheel required the assistance of Malar, as only he knew the location of Elvengrave, The Elf Eater's realm. Vhaeraun distrusted the Beastlord, but he didn't have any other choice. The fact that Malar had often sent Ityak-Ortheel to devour the haughty elves of Faerun worked in his favor, and it was clear that he desired Lolth's demise as much as they did. The question was whether or not he coveted her realm as well. As soon as the spell was cast Malar vanished, having no desire to face Lolth should the plan fail. It was unimportant, he was no longer needed. Vhaeraun quickly opened a Portal, he had to reach The Crawling Citadel before the others could claim his mother's power.
The Midwife of Lolth had been left to guard the Portal to The Demonweb Pits from all save those Lolth personally called to her. But she was unprepared for the thirty-foot monstrosity that appeared before her. The demoness refused to flee, however, she was loyal to her mistress, regardless of the cost to herself. She attacked The Elf Eater, her blade digging deep into a leg the size of a small tower, "By Lolth's command, you shall not pass!" She shrieked. The wound vanished, and a massive, elephantine foot smashed her into a slick stain of ichor before the beast stumbled through the Portal and into The Demonweb Pits in search of delicious elven souls.
Lolth's web shook. It was more than the minor tremor of some stray demon treading upon her realm, it was the pounding of a titan. And it was moving in her direction. The shrieks that reached Lolth's ears were different than those agonized screamed of the damned that she so enjoyed. They were screams, not of pain, but of mortal terror. And mingled with the cries of the damned were the screams of their demonic tormentors. Something was attacking her realm!
Ityak-Ortheel plodded mindlessly through Lolth's realm, crushing beneath its feet any demons too slow to escape. It resembled an enormous mushroom perched atop three thick legs. Its forty tentacles, each over a hundred feet long, thrashed about blindly, occasionally grabbing some screaming soul and dragging it into its toothless maw. The drow Petitioners of Lolth were its target, the massive spiders and demons were merely annoyances standing in the way of the Elf Eater and the tasty dark elf souls.
Lolth stopped dead in her tracks and gaped in horror as the monstrosity ravaged her realm. She knew of the Elf Eater, but it had always attacked the Tel'quessir, never the Ilythiiri. And certainly never her! She knew instantly what had happened, only Malar had access to Ityak-Ortheel, only he held its leash. And he had turned his beast upon her. She cursed The Beastlord with blasphemies that would have made even Asmodeus cringe, and reached for her bow. She wished that Selvetarm were here, her Champion would have stood no chance against the thing, of course, but he would have delayed it long enough for her to formulate a plan of attack. She drew her bow and began shooting off arrows covered in her own virulent poison.
Keptolo stood stunned upon a cliff overlooking the devastation. He could never hope to match a creature born of the blood of two mighty gods. And, apparently, neither could Lolth. He stopped only to snatch away his portfolio before opening a Portal, and fleeing with his petitioners into the Abyss. He would return when, or if, it was safe. Vhaeraun watched the god flee, then stepped from the shadows and teleported into The Crawling Fortress, laughing.
Lolth's arrows bounced off the being's hard carapace like pebbles against chainmail. Her attacks upon its legs were similarly useless, it seemed immune to her poison. It continued to devour shrieking souls and crush the demonic hordes she sent against it, seeming unaware of their very presence. An army of spiders of all shapes and sizes swarmed the beast, crawling up its limbs, covering every inch of its surface until it looked like a titanic, walking mass of crawling spiders, but the Elf Eater seemed unaffected by their poison. Brushing some away with its tentacles, it crushed bebiliths and spiders beneath its massive hoofs and writhing tentacles. It turned in her general direction, and she fled, the thundering beast hot on her heels, crushing all in its path. Even her most powerful minions were being smashed or devoured by the brute. Her Handmaidens and Midwives were helpless. A long tentacle snagged a yochlol, dragging the Handmaiden screaming into its bloody maw. Lolth hurriedly cast a Portal spell, but nothing happened. Her spells were being blocked! But who could do such a thing?
The cranium rat skittered up the cliff, dodging spiders and seeking a better view of the carnage. A large spider lashed out at it, only to fall stunned by its Mind Blast. When it found a good vantage point, it sat back to watch the show.
Ghaunadaur stood in the shadows, unconcerned with the spiders and demons, they were far to busy fleeing for their lives or rushing to their deaths. That Which Lurks calmly slithered across the web to enter The Crawling Fortress. Two divine portfolios lay within, the abandoned portfolio of Selvetarm and Lolth's own. He was not surprised to see Vhaeraun already there. The Masked Lord whipped out his enchanted daggers even as a pseudopod struck him square in the chest, impaling him upon a solid stake of slime. Ghaunadaur did not spare the dying avatar a second glance as he gathered up Lolth and Selvetarm's portfolios, and slithered away.
As he reformed on the other side of the web, the Portfolios crumbled into a fine dust. Ghaunadaur howled in rage, he had been duped!
She slashed at the beast's probing tentacles, severing one, it was a futile act, the stump began to regrow as swiftly as it had been cut. She had happily watched the elves battle in vain with Ityak-Ortheel, laughing as weapons mundane, magical and divine, failed to halt the accursed thing. The only thing the elves could do was flee, preferably by Portal to another continent. Even the Seldarine could not save its people from the ravages of The Elf Eater. She knew she was in grave danger. Yet, she had one slim hope. The creature was so heavy that it could not possibly track her into her web above the Abyss, all she had to do was reach the web and watch the mindless behemoth fall. That was easier said than done. Lolth shrieked in agony as a long tentacle snagged her right forth leg, snapping it off. The web came into view, her only hope was that it wouldn't. . . A thick tentacle snagged her around the thorax, then another. Ityak-Ortheel had captured its prey, but its momentum was too great. The Elf Eater reached Lolth's web even as it drew her screaming toward its maw. Unable to stop, it fell into the web, but the strands, woven from the screaming, twisted, tortured souls of the damned, were not strong enough to hold its weight. Ityak-Ortheel plunged headlong into the infinite darkness of the Abyss, carrying the shrieking Spider Queen with it. The Crawling Fortress stumbled, falling after its mistress, dragging the last traces of her torn, tattered web with it into the Abyss.
In The Chapel of Lolth in Menzoberranzan, Sos'Umptu Baenre fell dead as the great, illusory image of Lolth faded into nothingness.
Zinzerena Laughed as she thought of the fake Portfolios she had left inside The Crawling Fortress, even as she clutched the true ones to her chest. Vhaeraun had doubtless found them by now, she wondered what his smug face looked like as they crumbled into dust. As she moved to open the Portal, a violet light filled the area around her. She didn't even have time to scream before she fell, her mind void, wiped clean. The Ulitharid knelt beside the fallen avatar, a slender, mauve hand taking the prize from her grasp. Soon, this would all be property of The Tentacled Lord, and he would bring Order to Chaos. . .
He never saw the blow coming.
Selvetarm stood over the unconscious Ulitharid. It was a dangerous thing to anger Ilsensine, but he could not allow the powers in those Portfolios to fall into the God-Brain's tentacles.
He knew exactly what to do.
On the 181st layer of The Abyss, The Rotting Plane, dwells Laogzed, that gluttonous deity that devours and destroys everything that passes into its gaping maw. Selvetarm stood before the sluggish, bloated toad-lizard, mired down in thick, stinking slime. Laogzed, if he noticed him at all, made no indication of it. Ignoring the river of weeping, damned souls being herded around him and into the god's open, cavernous mouth, Selvetarm flung the portfolios into that ravenous abyss of absolute destruction.
Laogzed let out a loud, foul-smelling belch.
Selvetarm returned to Arvandor for a hot bath.
There certainly are a lot of damned souls about, aren't there? Can a Divine Portfolio be destroyed? Yes! My story, my rules!
Ityak-Ortheel, The Elf Eater was born from the mingled blood of Corellon Larethian, head of the Seldarine, and Gruumsh, leader of the orc pantheon. For some reason it hates elves and destroys them whenever possible. It can only truly die on it's home plane, Elvengrave, so the elves shouldn't celebrate too much. It may seem cowardly of them to use a mindless monster to fight Lolth for them, but, hey, they're evil, she's powerful, and Ityak-Ortheel is immune to most attacks, both mortal and divine.
The Crawling Fortress is a spider-shaped iron machine/palace in which dwell Lolth and, (presumably), Keptolo. I don't think it's officially named, but I call it The Crawling Fortress. Why could the web bear its weight and not Ityak-Ortheel's? He fell onto a weak section of the web, and the combined weight was too great to bear. Besides, I wrote it that way!
I have no idea what exactly a Midwife of Lolth is, but it is apparently a very powerful type of demon in her service.
The Eater of Souls
Rank - Demipower
Alignment - Chaotic Evil
Realm - The Rotting Plane, 181st Layer of The Abyss
The troglodyte god of gluttony, slime, hunger and destruction.
Laogzed is a lazy, gluttonous, slimy toad-lizard who simply sits there as demons herd damned souls into his open maw, (he'll eat the demons too, if they get too close). Other powers use him as a living garbage disposal, feeding him things they want to get rid of.
Why didn't Keptolo steal Lolth and Selvetarm's portfolios? He figured that if he did, and Lolth survived, she'd kill him, even with the power they would have granted him. He's a little coward at heart. I have a bit more sympathy for him now, he's a pathetic little bitch, but he's surviving the only way he can. He'll probably attach himself to some other goddess for protection. Probably he'll pick Sharess, goddess of hedonism and sensual pleasure, (An aspect of Sharess, Zandilar the Dancer, was Selvetarm's mother, in fact). Since Keptolo is the a god of sexual prowess, drinking, flattery and deception, they'd probably make a good fit. Two deities of sex and intoxication walk into a tavern. . . I doubt the Chaotic Good Sharess would let a little thing like the fact he's Chaotic Evil get in the way of a relationship.
Asmodeus is the Archdevil, Ruler of The Nine Hells, and a really, really bad person. Not as evil as Lolth, but evil.