Curator's Note: These doctrines are made publicly available in House Freth, in Andunor's Devil's Table district. Or, more precisely, in the publicly accessible vaults of their doomsday bunker - where a propaganda-strewn annal of their rise from Lowerdark Exiles to Founding House lies, and is of little use to a scholar. Unlike Exalted Claddath, the other of Andunor's founding houses, Vaunted Freth have been less secretive about their beliefs, but this makes them no less fearsome. The machinations of their Matron-Reclusiarch are inscrutable, their true forces and influences impossible to divine. Whether you encounter them on a rare stroll in the Deep City's streets, an Infernal Concourse, or elsewhere through the Realms, be forearmed against their peculiar heresies by reading on.
In summary, House Freth (honoured as Vaunted Freth; id est Exalted Claddath) is one of the most powerful houses of the drow (ilythiiri, in their tongue) known to be influential in the Arelith under-region. Once cast into exile for unorthodox beliefs, they seized their chance during the City's establishment to seize a metaphorical seat at the Table. Their beliefs, in brief, are much the same as any drow: matriarchy, drow supremacy, and the glories of their spider goddess, Lolth (Lloth, to them).
It could be easy to mistake one for any other drow without care. But where the homicidal masquerade of most drow is a barely concealed veneer of civility over the chaos their goddess favours, House Freth instead seize their urges oppressively, mastering them and stratifying them. If drow society's labyrinthine ranks and strata seem hypocritical to outsiders, the Freth approach could appear to be the more logical one. They do not stop there, however. This philosophical shift stems from a fundamental schism in dogma: Lolth, a Lord of the Abyss and Deity both, revels with and is served by demons of every foul sort. Vaunted Freth, however, claim that their Queen was imprisoned in the Abyss as part of her ancient punishment for her sins against the Seldarine, and Corellon. Spurned by goodly powers and still revering their Queen, they looked around for help and to their left, they found it:
Natural enemy of Arvandor and the Infinite Pit both, the Baatezu of Baator have proven ever-eager to respond to their emissaries, summons, demands, and requisitions. Over the centuries, this unlikely partnership has resulted in the Vaunted Freth we know today: bound devils in their legions serve their whim, syncretic rites and pacts mix the spider's web with cloying brimstone. And so, their philosophy has shifted to an iron-fisted simulacrum of orthodox Lolth worship, all in the bizarre belief that she is in need of rescuing. But who dares to correct them? The devils certainly aren't complaining, and they're always too eager to aid House Freth...
Lloth, as told by House Freth
Queen of Spiders, Our Liberated Queen
Symbol: A perfectly symmetrical spiderweb with nine anchor points
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Portfolio: Assassins, order, darkness, drow, evil, spiders
Worshipers: Drow, depraved elves, sentient spiders
Aspects: War & Destruction, Trickery & Deceit
Cleric alignment: Lawful Evil
Unlike other heresies IG, it is selected just the same as a regular deity - the Gift of Devotion isn't necessary due to the religion's prevalence in Andunor.
"Synergy" deities are listed here for reference; these are faiths whose altars may be prayed at by a heretic for full piety increase, and can also have a heresy trait added to it (and removed by a faithful) for piety costs. These faiths are Lolth, Gargauth, Bel, Dispater, Mammon, Fierna/Belial, Levistus, Glasya, Baalzebul, Mephistopheles, Asmodeus.
Also, it should go without saying that you should have an understanding of what the word "heresy" means. You're still worshipping Lolth, and should be convinced that everyone else is wrong. If someone were to call themselves a "Freth heretic" IC it'd be very bizarre indeed.
Click here for a guide I wrote about the differences in terminology. "Heretic" is almost always an accusation levelled at someone else.
Should devastation come to call, know your doctrines, one and all.
The Doctrines of Lloth
There is naught that keeps Our People, the ilythiiri, from the bleak and barren Abyss, but the vigilance of Our Queen’s Servants. The void of the infinite planes are unknowably vast and teeming with all manner of perilous spirits and forces, most of which are opposed to our very existence. Remember your past, remember your blessings, and Our Queen will see you through whatever calamity shall befall you.
The Doctrines of Lloth are based upon our Queen’s composition; All of Her Eight Legs are equally crucial, depicting our cultural annals, but it is the Mind of our Queen that provides us with our most necessary admonition. Were we lesser creatures, we would require different gods to represent each facet of our civilization – as we are inherently greater, we require only One.
In the cradle of our home that is the Darkness, thousands of years ago we were cast here by the foul surface elves. That their malice for us continues today is merely a symbol of Our lifework. They created us as their adversaries, their phantoms. Grown men upon the surface hear our name and grow sickly pale, like the underbellies of our anemic fish. They stare into the shadows and their faces contort in resentment and fear at the idea that we might be there. Our Queen sacrificed everything for us to become fearsome to all, and we shall serve our purpose with glee.
As the spider creates a web, so must we. To create is to strengthen Our People and Our Queen. Those who create are Blessed, for those who produce make more that we might utilize, that we might thrive, that Our Queen might consume. Through the power of creation, we attain the perfection She knows we are able to. To not construct is to permit the threads of Our Peoples’ webs to come undone, to pull and fray, to destroy the tapestry of our work. Those who destroy the works of Our People are those who destroy Our People, and they are truly the most heinous of the reviled, akin to those of the surface.
The handiwork of the craftsman are not simply left to molder and rot. It must be harvested, it must be consumed. The works of Our People are the condensed breath of Lloth – our entirety a baptismal fluid! Know this and be honored, but honor Our Queen in ceremony by surviving, by utilizing – be it information, experience, or wealth, gather what you can in your name, knowing that in turn, you make our Goddess richer.
To consort is much more than the myriad pleasures of meat. While it is a useful tool, it is much too specific to use to its utmost potential – this is why Our People sow ourselves amongst inferiors. What information they have, we shall reap a generous harvest by simply placing a few seeds of good-will and waiting. In this, time and sweet words are our allies, which Our People have in excess. Information is a valuable substance, and one of our Gifts is to glean it.
To reap influence and favor constantly is to invite doom. As Our Queen’s children, we must accept that while we are in Her image, we cannot achieve Her awe-inspiring and terrible drive. What we see within the quiet times known as Reverie may unsettle, but in this trance you shall know the quietude that Lloth can offer you. The visions you find within Reverie will cut away your fear, every weak part of your emotional anatomy. What you long for will come into focus when you lull, and we must strive to accept every gift She offers us.
To deceive is divine. Our Queen deceived the odious and presumptuous Host of the elves above who deemed themselves her peers. In this skill, we can find our independence from those Lessers. All ilythiiri are different, have their own goals, but we are all united within the affront delivered unto us from the surface. In this calling, we find our survival in the trap they have attempted to keep us within. We make promises, we whisper. We lie. Even those who are clever can always be deceived – and most times, it is not even with a lie. Information cannot be stopped once it is in motion, and the momentum of words are swift.
Our People are the vessels for our Goddess to walk the face of this wretched earth. We are Her mouths, Her medium. Her struggle. We compete and we survive, and through this, we nourish our Queen, that She might proliferate. We will find ourselves pained. We will be ravaged. We will hunch in maligned, twisted anguish, and all of our suffering will fuel Our work. With every slight we sharpen our own suffering into a razor poignancy, a weapon, and pass it onto our children. Generations upon generations of pain build up and with each era, we remember and become more fatal to our enemies.
To survive is to plan. To decipher the plans of others is to add needful information to our own. There are levels of panache that the overlooked races can only dream of, and our Goddess’ gift to us is that we have the time and the eloquence to play the Game correctly. The dance stays the same as ever, but those who wish to pay respect to our most Holy Queen dance well. The struggles, the politics, all of it is a rehearsal for when we turn our gaze above to the Lesser Host.
The head of Lloth deems that we restrain our roving intensity. To reach beyond your well-made web is to invite calamity, for some fleeting thing that easily catches our fancy can vanish or turn against you. Desires are neverending, and we are not swift to spot illusion. Those who are not vigilant are like a corrupt mirror, deforming Lloth’s blessings to ugliness by rejecting Her truth. Rather, we must secure ourselves to that which is immaculate and true, and through it, recognize the blasphemous testaments of those who would tear Our People down.