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Dalharil d'lil Yochlol - Daughter of the Yochlol

Daughter of Yochlol

 This Prestige Class is a attempted conversion of both, the AD&D specialty priest class of the Arachne (Lolth) and the AD&D crusader class as presented in Faiths & Avatars. Taking the martial arm of Lolth's clergy, the crusader order known as the Handmaidens of the Spider Queen a.k.a. Daughters of the Yochlol (in Drow: Dalharilen d'lil Yochlol) as a basis, this prestige class has it's emphasis laid upon divine spellcasting and martial prowess. Thus, it is suited best for clerics, fighter/clerics or the like. Dalharilen should only be used for or encountered within the crusader orders of Lolth, not as part of any House or Clan, as once they have joined the order, their loyalties switch entirely to it. Furthermore, the Dalharilen d'lil Yochlol work independently from any city or House and only according to the will and commands of Lolth.

Every Dalharil (i.e. any character who has acquired this prestige class) is considered a High Priestess of Lolth and may also be called Yathtallar ("High Priestess") or Streea'Valsharess ("Black Widow").

Most of the crusaders are female Drow, but ever eager Yochlol or Half -Yochlol (as presented on Sean K. Reynolds' web page) have also been spotted, some of them to keep a watchful eye on their fellow Dalharilen.

It should be noted that there are not just clergy members within the orders, but also lay fighters, arcane spellcasters, rogues (scouts, assassins) and the like. They are all referred to as Handmaidens or the like, even though they have not gained any divine or Dalharil class levels. The total numbers of crusaders are not known, but there are no more than a few dozen true Dalharilen d'lil Yochlol active on Faerun.


The clerics of Lolth in general rank among the most battle-hardened within the Realms and the skills, skill points and weapon use reflect this. Thus, fighting these clerics and this PrC in particular should always be a tough challenge for any PC or PC group, especially, as all members of the order, whether Dalharilen or not, may be of higher level than the usual Drow encountered in the Underdark.

The Dalharilen are the martial arm the clergy of Lolth and only serve the Spider Queen's will. They show the utmost dedication to the faith and a special love for the spiders Lolth favors. Thus, they are blessed with special gifts and powers from the Spider Queen and claim high ranks in the hierarchy of Lolth's clergy.


The bulk of the Dalharilen (prestige class) is made up of former clerics (any class or prestige class combination suitable for Drow), blackguards, rangers or other class who allow access to divine spells, apart from the druid.

(see role-playing notes)


Hit Die: d10



To qualify to become a Dalharil, a character must fulfil all the following criteria.


Race: Drow, Yochlol, Half-Yochlol, Deep Dragons

Gender: Female

Patron Deity: Lolth


Alignment: Chaotic Evil, rarely Neutral evil

Skills: Diplomacy 5 ranks, Intimidate 3 ranks, Handle Animal (spiders) 3 ranks, Knowledge (Religion) 4 ranks.

Feat: Spell Penetration, Weapon Focus (dagger or whip)

Domain: Must have access to the Spider domain.

Spellcasting ability: Ability to cast 3rd level divine spells.

Special: Must have passed the Test of Lolth (as described in Faiths & Pantheons, for example) and agreed to the Codex of the Order (see below)



The Dalharil's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Alchemy (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (spiders) (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Scry (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int)


Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier



All the following are class features of the Dalharil d'lil Yochlol prestige class.


Weapon and Armor Proficiency:

Lolth' crusaders are proficient with all simple weapons, hand and light crossbows, short swords and rapiers.* During their time in the academies and temples, all clerics of Lolth receive an extensive training in warfare and tactics. Thus they may know how to use many other weapons. Most commonly taught among the Drow are axes (hand and thrown), bastard swords (exotic), longswords, picks (any), scimitars, scourges, short bows (any), two bladed swords, whips and whip-daggers.

Thus, these priestesses will be well equipped for any surrounding they may venture into, but will usually have either Drow-made or Duergar-made masterwork and magical weaponry available.

All Dalharilen are considered High Priestesses of Lolth and may well be encountered having Whip of Fangs ready. Whether they use these in melee combat is another matter though.

They are proficient with any sort of armor and shield.

(See role-playing notes for more details)

*(Note: The crossbows, the short sword and the rapier mentioned above are race related weapon proficiencies, according to the FRCS errata.)


Spells per day:

The training and life of these priestesses focuses on spellcasting and fighting. At 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th level gained as Dalharil, the character gains new spells per day as if she had gained a level as cleric. She does not gain any other feature a cleric would get, such as improved chances of commanding or rebuking undead.

Class Lvl BAB Fort. Ref. Will. Special Spellcaster level
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Gift of Lolth, Symbol of Faith + 1 as cleric
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Spidercloak Armor, Smite Infidel  
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Backlash, Summon Yochlol + 1 as cleric
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Companion  
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Greater Spell Penetration + 1 as cleric
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Spidercloak Armor (+4) + 1 as cleric
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Spider Summoning + 1 as cleric
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Spider Form  
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 True Seeing + 1 as cleric
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Spidercloak Armor (+5), Domination  


Gift of Lolth

Due to their extensive training as well as affinity to spiders, Lolth grants these priestesses the ability to speak with all spiders as well as being immune to any sort of spider poison. Spiders, on the other hand, don't harm these priestesses in any way, except if desired by Lolth.


Symbol of the Faith

Upon initiation to the order, the new Dalharil receives a Symbol of her faith, status and rank and more often than not, it is also her weapon of choice. Those Symbols are adamantine light maces which act as Spider Rods (as described in Magic of Faerun). Though a Dalharil may own a Whip of Fangs, in combat they will usually use the "Symbol", as whips have considerable drawbacks in close-combat fighting.

The Symbols are atoned to its wielders during the initiation ritual and only work as adamantine light maces in the hands of any other wielder. Non-Drow as well as non-evil wielders of such a Symbol lose one point of Constitution if they don't succeed a Fortitude save DC 15 per day. The DC increases by one for every two days the Symbol is carried and if the character dies, it's life essence is absorbed by the Symbol and transferred to Lolth's Realm. Only a Wish spell may restore a person killed in this way.

Sometimes, if a Dalharil has done exceptionally well, Lolth transforms these Symbols into even more powerful weapons, known afterwards as Rods of the Yochlol. Both weapons are considered sacred by any priestess of Lolth and are the faith's equivalent of a Paladin's holy sword.


Smite Infidel (Su)

Exacting the will of Lolth is one of the prime tasks of the members of this class and they may use this ability to do so against anyone who oppose them or show disrespect to Lolth. Once per day, the Dalharil may add her Charisma bonus to her attack roll and deals 1 point of extra damage per prestige class level.


Spidercloak Armor (Su)

Once per day a Dalharil may invoke this special ability which changes her skin to a hardened chitin armor of a spider, increasing her natural armor bonus by +3. The longer the priestess stays in the service, the more the armor improves. The bonus becomes +4 at level 6 of the prestige class, +5 at level 10.

This bonus works much as the Barkskin spell and stays for 1 minute per level of this PrC.


Backlash (Sp)

Developed by Drow mages long ago, the crusaders have learned of a similar spell and gained the ability to use it once per day, mainly against unruly mages.

(spell detailed in Magic of Faerun, DC adjusted for wisdom)


Summon Yochlol (Sp)

In a special ceremony, a priestess may summon a Yochlol to ask for advice or help, in rare cases for assistance in a task. This spell is only cast within the compounds of a sanctuary of Lolth and may be used only once per month. Casting this spell is a strenuous affair, lasting at least an hour as well as taking it's tall on the spellcasting powers of any priestess. Summoning the Yochlol uses up all fourth level spells the Dalharil can prepare for the day in addition to the Summon Yochlol spell. The more spells are available, the more valuable the assistance or help of the summoned tanar'ri will be. If the priestess decides to put in more effort, i.e. sacrifices fifth or higher level spells as well, the information given by the Yochlol may be more accurate, the outsider as such more powerful (add one HD for any fifth or higher level spell used in the casting, up to 12 HD) and be more willing to stay.

Apart from what was said above, the spell works like Summon Monsters, but either Lolth or the Yochlol herself decides how long it remains on the prime material plane. In any case, it is always the Spider Queen who allows the Yochlol to answer the summoning, thus a priestess' attempts may be in vain, if she lacks Lolth's favour at the time. While the spell use has certainly some considerable back-draws, the information or even fighting power gained may outweigh this several times, not least because the tanar'ri has hundreds of years of experience to dwell upon.



Upon reaching 4th level as a Dalharil, Lolth hands a familiar-like creature to her priestess. These are always some sort of spiders, mainly sword spiders on Faerun (as detailed in Monsters of Faerun). Appearing as Amber Amulets of Vermin to the onlooker, they can transform once per day into a specific spider and stay for one hour to assist the Dalharil in whatever the crusader demands, usually fighting, spying or the like. While they are in spider form, the companions behave according to the standard familiar rules. They don't refer any special ability on the Dalharil, but always have maximum hit points when summoned.


Greater Spell Penetration

Having thrown spells against drow or other creatures protected by spell resistance all their life, the Dalharilen have learned and are trained to break it more easily than other spellcasters.


Spider Summoning (Sp)

This spell calls 1d4 large size fiendish monstrous spiders (detailed in the MONSTER MANUAL tome) + 1 for every level the Dalharil has gained beyond the 7th in the prestige class to serve her (1d4+3 at level 10). Only true arachnids are summoned by this spell, not similar insect creatures or beings using magic to take arachnid form (such as Lolth or a wizard using spider shape). They appear within 100 feet of the caster on the round of the spell's casting and obey the caster's command on the round thereafter. They have their natural maximum hit points and poison reserves and fight to the death for the caster with utter loyalty, following the caster's silent mental urgings as to targets, direction to move, and tasks to do. The caster can cast other spells without ending this spell's control. When the spell expires, any surviving spiders disappear, returning whence they came.

(Note: The spiders may be substituted with Sword Spiders detailed in Monsters of Faerun.)


Spiderform (Sp)

Once per day a Dalharil can cast the Spiderform spell (detailed in FRCS)


True Seeing (Sp)

Once per day a Dalharil can use the True Seeing spell.


Domination (Sp)

Once per day, the Dalharil can cast a Dominate Person spell. Male Drow save against this spell with a - 4 penalty, while Elves and Half-Elves gain no save bonus against it.



Codex of the Order (might be expanded)

Upon initiation to the order, all new members have to swear an oath of loyalty to it. The organisation of the Dalharilen differs from any other known to the culture of the drow. While there are several high ranking priests and crusaders among their ranks, only one of them is the person in charge, even if she is of lower rank and station than others. (Power does not need to stem from class and character levels only, but experience and knowledge as well.) Adopted from the Yochlol's way of treating each other, there is almost no in-fighting among the Dalharilen, no betrayals or internal feuds. The true ruler remains the Spider Queen herself and her will is passed onto the Daughters via an omnipresent Yochlol. If Lolth accepts the way chosen by the female who is in command, no answer is given to those who question it. Leaders of the sub-groups are chosen according to the work at hand, but the word of a Dalharil or an Arachne still carries great weight in decision-making.


A sample Crusader Order sub-group: Dalninilen d'lil Olath Velve

The Dalninilen d'lil Olath Velve (Sisters of the Dark Blade) are a fighting order dedicated to the Queen of Spiders. Only capable female and a few male drow will be accepted amongst their ranks. Therefore any Dalninilen encountered are well seasoned and trained fighters, priests, crusaders, mages and thieves. All are battle-hardened by continually fighting the enemies of Lolth both on the surface world and in the Underdark. Hence all Sisters met are of no less than 5th level, though they are usually few in number. Most of the fighters are specialised in fighting style and/or weapons, spellcasters are well-equipped with magical items while thieves are usually scouts or assassins. Most of the priests are multi classed (clerics/standard classes & clerics / prestige classes) and quite a few of them carry a specific weapon known as the Yochlol's Rod. Males are only accepted as either fighters, thieves or arcane spellcasters, though they are very few in number. It should be noted that most of the groups (any size) might well be accompanied by a disguised Yochlol or two, who serves them in any of the classes mentioned above apart from thieves.

The Dalninilen have the finest and best armour and weaponry available and while they don't carry much treasure individually, some of their strongholds have treasures of any form aplenty. No Underdark merchant who has got all his senses together and values his life more than his goods will dare to deny a Dalninil an item if she demands it anyway.

Whilst in combat the groups work closely together and try to exploit not only any advantage they may gain from the territory they are fighting in, but they also look out for opponent's weaknesses, e.g. a Paladin's code of honour. Fighters and crusaders will be in the forefront of any attack, arcane spellcasters and thieves will use their special forms of combat while priests either join in full-scale melee or cast protective, combat or healing spells. They are not suicidal in battle, but as ruthless as they are fearless. Many of the Dalninilen have got training in the Abyss, especially the priestesses, and therefore they all fear little apart from her goddess.


Whatever duties other bands of the "Handmaidens of the Spider Queen" have, the Dalninilen are charged with the extermination of the clergy of any Elven deity that remains in the Realms, especially that of Shevarash, the Black Archer. It is for this reason that Lolth has ordered the Dalninilen to find the ruins of Golothaer and build a stronghold as a base for future raids on the surface. The powerful equipment used by the Drow-hating clergy of Shevarash as well as the occasional appearance of the god' avatar has forced the Dalninilen to muster several non-drow fighters and magic-users as front-line troops. Those include mostly humans, but also half-elves of non-drow heritage. Their most powerful ally against the Elves and their god is a renegade marilith, who has taken refuge amongst the ruins of Golothaer, along with her entourage of three alu-fiends, two succubi and seven tieflings.

(Thanks to Shannistryn for a short description of her order.)


Role-playing notes:

Female drow clerics of Lolth are evil down to the core. Yet, they are clever, resourceful and intelligent beings, always capable of a devious surprise or two. Playing a Drow cleric or this even more martial PrC is a challenge one should really think about before taking it up.

Druids are not part of the Lolth's clergy, thus, they cannot become Dalharilen d'lil Yochlol. There might be other divine spellcasters though, who qualify for this prestige class late in their careers , e.g. an Temple Raider of Olidammara adapted for the Realms. Most of the multi-class combinations will have a distinct martial colour, fighters, blackguards, templars or weapon masters are common choices, but arcane spellcasting levels are also possible.

Having waged war over hundreds of years against enemies of various races, the (NPC) Dalharilen may be equipped with any weaponry and magical items the DM deems appropriate. Many of them have multi-classed during their time at the academies, temples or later on and are well versed fighters as well.


Dalharil - Daughter

Dalharilen - Daughters


© P.Basedau & The Tyrmi 2002


Excerpt from Demihuman Deities:

"The Handmaidens of the Spider Queen is an order of female crusaders with no permanent ties to any individual city. Also known as the Daughters of the Yochlol, the Handmaidens serve as instruments of Lolth's will in times when the Spider Queen needs to bring an entire city into line. At least three times in recorded history the

Handmaidens of the Spider Queen have assaulted and destroyed an entire dark elven city that threatened to drift from Lolth's web of chaos. When not assembled into an army of chaos and vengeance, the Handmaidens work in small companies scattered throughout the Underdark, harassing merchant trains that look to Vhaeraun for protection and conducting hit-and-run raids on cities ruled by clergy of the Masked Lord or That Which Lurks."

(p. 30)

© P.Basedau & The Tyrmi