The Hunt for the Master
a drow druid on the run from her past
Ilivarra was born to a low-class family with little in the ways of religion (although they ostensibly followed Lolth, they were never devout), gold, food, or compassion. Left mostly to raise herself, she developed a fondness for nature and the creatures of the Underdark, following them into deep passages and learning their secrets through forbidden books. In one of these childish adventures, she stumbled upon a meeting of true believers in Lolth, who surprised her with their fervor and devotion to a goddess she knew only broad strokes of.
When she was inevitably discovered by Lolth’s priestess, she found religion in a loud and desperate way, so terrified of being killed that she immediately proclaimed her allegiance to the spider goddess, and — perhaps seeing something of power in her, or perhaps merely finding her amusing — the priestess declared that Ilivarra would make a fine servant of Lolth, and took her under her black wing.
In the cult of Lolth, Ilivarra found a family, stronger than her own, and support, the likes of which she had never known; once becoming a junior priestess, neither she nor her family ever went hungry again, and their status became elevated, in keeping with her own rising within the ranks. And for a time, a full belly and companionship was enough.
But the creatures of the Underdark still spoke to her — of cruelty, and a world where any weakness is punishable by death. They spoke to her of Lolth’s history, her war with other gods, and they implored her to speak with Lolth’s daughter Eiliastraee. But Ilivarra, drunk on the cult’s poison, refused for years to listen.
Until the day when the priestess discovered her speaking with a mole, and commanded her to kill her small friend, because, “You are too far above these worthless creatures to bear the shame of their conversation.”
Ilivarra, to her great chagrin, complied.
The priestess was mollified, but the moles — when Ilivarra brought the body of their brother to them and tried to perform a proper burial — refused to hear her. For the first time in as long as she could remember, the creatures of the Underdark were no longer with her, no longer giving her advice she could ignore, no longer comforting her when she was sad or praising her for her accomplishments. And only when the animals had turned from her did she realize how empty her relationships with her fellow drow truly were: the priestess who considered herself Ilivarra’s mentor and savior was merely a puppet of a spider, and a thoughtlessly cruel one at that; her allies and friends within the cult would slit her throat the moment they believed they could take her place; her own family would cast her out if they knew she might be considering turning away from the cult which had granted them status and power.
It was in this frame of mind that she decided to seek out Eiliastraee, who the mole had begged her to speak to, who would — they believed — save her.
But asking about Eiliastraee, even with apparent innocent intent, turned out to be an unspeakable crime among the followers of Lolth, although she did not realize it at the time. It was only when another mole either took pity on her or else realized her remorse, and warned her that they were coming for her, that she even knew she had broken a sacred law.
Ilivarra was thus forced to escape, with little more than the clothes on her back and a paltry handful of gold to her name, to the bright world above all she had ever known, lest she be brought to trial for treason against the goddess.
She has been running ever since.