Rise of the Drow
Over time and several generations, the people of Lolth stabilized into a more uniform state, and the race of Drow Elves was born. They were like Elves, but black of skin and white of hair, with red eyes adapted to their subterranean existence. With Lolth as their foremother, they were gifted with many strange powers of natural magic. Their arachnid heritage has put a heavy influence on their culture as well – males are second-class citizens, to be used for breeding and to defend the colony, and little else.
Early on, most of Lolth’s power derived from her devout following of female clerics. But there was a time when the living goddess desired to impart her knowledge of wizardry to her people, in order to strengthen them against outside threats (of which the Underdark holds many). She had a male consort, Erbrazz, who proved exceptionally intelligent, and had a knack for arcane magic. So she instructed him in the arcane arts, and he grew great in power, and began to pass his knowledge to many of his friends among the male caste of Drow society, which at the time was swiftly getting sick of their status as an oppressed slave-class. Interest in arcane magic grew to fever-pitch amongst male Drow.
At the time, the Dark Elves were engaged in building a great city at Lolth’s behest, in which to live in security while they increased their power and knowledge. The growing ranks of Drow wizards showed their newfound power by conjuring great walls and mighty towers on their island stronghold, doing the work of decades in minutes. They were always careful to dedicate their works to the Spider-Queen, and Lolth, in her arrogance, believed and basked in these claims.
She became so arrogant, so careless of her new corps of male wizards, that she did not suspect for a moment Erbrazz’s treachery. He planned to topple the Spider-Queen once he gained enough of a power-base, and set Drow society on its head, placing the males on top – with himself at the pinnacle, of course. Erbrazz slew his former lover one night as she lay asleep, and Lolth was no more the living god of the Drow. Chaos erupted amongst the Drow in the aftermath, as the priestesses of Lolth found their power temporarily useless. Erbrazz ruled as a tyrant for more than a year, and he institutionalized the study of magic among males, who proved to have much greater aptitude for the arcane arts on average than females.
But Lolth returned, now an ascended Goddess, and the priestesses’ powers returned. They staged a counter-coup, and Lolth herself defeated Erbrazz and cursed him, reverting him back into one of the loathsome creatures from which the Drow are descended – a Drider. She did the same to most of his followers, and cast them out into the wilds of the Underdark, where they lurk to this day, at bitter feud with the Drow. The threat of such a curse hangs over the Drow to this day – most especially the males, specifically those who study magic, as a warning to never again attempt defiance against the Spider-Queen.