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The Helm of Spiders was a unique and powerful helmet, of three unique parts, which was created in Menzoberranzan. The helmet itself would bestow so much power upon the wielder that the goddess Lolth utterly destroyed the helm's owner, along with the entirety of her House.[1]

The three unique parts to the Helm of Spiders were:

  • The Helm: A unique helm, which by itself would grant the wearer magical protection.
  • The Spider Crest: A beautifully crafted jade spider that could magically enhance the power of the helm.
  • The Gem of Lolth: A rare gem of infravision that depicted Lolth, lost to the ages.[1]

Powers[]

When the Gem of Lolth is placed upon the crest, and the crest upon the helmet, the entire device might give one House power over all others.

The Helm of Spiders, when complete, would imbue the wearer with magical protection and allow them to cast multiple offensive spells. The helmet itself had three stages, each of which would increase its power considerably. Its full potential could only be awakened by a high priestess of Lolth.[1]

Helmet
Magical protection for the wearer.[1]
Helmet and crest
Ability to cast lightning bolts.[1]
Full helmet
Ability to cast powerful gusts of wind, and unknown abilities when wielded by a high priestess of Lolth.[1]

History[]

Origin[]

The Helm of Spiders was created in Menzoberranzan long before the mid–14th century DR. It was created by a high priestess of unknown name and House. The priestess hoped to use the power of the legendary helmet to unite the drow under her House and lead assaults on both the Underdark and the surface world. The goddess Lolth, being a chaotic deity, despised such terrible ambition under the pretext of unity. Thus, she ordered the destruction of the creator, and the creator's House. The Queen of Spiders also erased the memory of those who were aware of the helm's existence.[1]

Under orders of their goddess, the drow engaged in a raging battle with the unknown House, which was crushed. As a result, the mysterious helmet was split into its three components, and lost in time.[1]

Recovery of Pieces[]

Aeons later, parts of the artifact were recovered. The base of the helmet was recovered by an innkeeper from Icewind Dale. Matron Baenre, upon finding out about this discovery, instructed the innkeeper to transport it to Menzoberranzan. He, however, had different ideas, and passed the item to a group of adventurers, heading to Menzoberranzan to rescue prisoners of their village. The group believed it to be an ordinary magical helmet, a gift to them from the innkeeper, for their efforts in fighting off a drow raid.[1]

The adventuring group then, before heading into the Underdark, sought out a wise gem enchanter called Vermulean. He informed them that a trade caravan carrying gems had mysteriously gone missing to the east. The party found four of these rare gems in a cavern of leucrottas. The druid then enchanted the gems to allow the party to see in the Underdark. Unbeknown to the party and the druid, one of these gems was actually the Gem of Lolth.[1]

After they made their way to the myconid caverns, the party were able to find the crest of the Helm, in the form of a spider carved of jade.[1]

Distribution of Pieces[]

When the party finally reached Menzoberranzan, still unaware of the properties of the helmet, they entered the bazaar to trade. Galentha, a well-known drow merchant, offered the party a mystical healing music box, and a pair of magic candles. In need of healing after their strenuous journey, the party accepted the trade.[1]

The group of adventurers later found a merchant, called Ssar Tarell, who specialized in the trade of information. Desperate to find the captive villagers, the party promised to free the soul of her beloved Maznafein from the drider's curse, kept in the throne of Matron Baenre. Ssar Tarell sent them to Jalynfein, who had further information and a scroll to allow them to both access House Baenre and to undo the drider curse.[1]

If I must send agents of my own House to retrieve it, then you shall pay the cost of their efforts with your blood.
— Matron Baenre[1]

Upon arrival at the throne of Matron Baenre, the curse was undone, and the party witnessed a meeting that took place between the innkeeper (from their village in Icewind Dale) and the matron mother. She reprimanded the innkeeper for not transporting it to her himself, and was about to execute the man. He, however, noticed the party he had given the helm to, and told Matron Baenre. The party informed the matron mother that they traded it already, and she angrily demanded for them to retrieve it, or they would be slain.[1]

Acquisition of Helm & Crest by House Do'Urden[]

The party returned to Galentha, who they found struck by an assassin. The assassin then levitated to House Do'Urden. The adventurers returned to Ssar Tarell, who was joined by her love, now freed of the drider's curse. He told the party that House Do'Urden, not only had the helmet, but was also keeping the prisoners of the adventurers' village.[1]

The crest and the helmet may already be in Do'Urden's hands. Lolth cannot allow them to gain the gem as well—and if she will not, I will not.
— Grumsnzar Fey-Branche[1]

For the final part of her information, Galentha told the companions to seek out the House Fey-Branche wizard, Grumsznar, who largely opposed House Do'Urden. He told the party to seek out Rizzen Do'Urden, a spy who secretly worked for House Fey-Branche. Before they left, the wizard transformed each of the party members into drow elves, to disguise them as a returning patrol. He also gave them the code word, sanctuary, to let Rizzen know who had sent them.[1]

Vermulean the druid identifies the Gem of Lolth.

For the final time, the adventurers stopped by Ssar Tarell to gain information on the gem that Grumsnzar had mentioned. She opened up a portal between the party and Vermulean, who identified one of the gems the party carried as the Gem of Lolth, the final part of the Helm of Spiders.[1]

After they found Rizzen Do'Urden in Carpathian's Tavern, he provided them with a map of House Do'Urden, and a passphrase to get by the house guards. He told them that the final missing piece was a House Do'Urden insignia, and the mercenary Jarlaxle could help them.[1]

In exchange for a house insignia, the mercenary made an offer to the party. He asked them to retrieve a rare golden necklace from the mantle caverns, a dangerous cavern filled with umber hulks and night hunters. Upon returning the necklace, Jarlaxle somewhat met his promise, not giving them the insignia, but telling them where it could be found.[1]

From Jarlaxle's directions, the party came across a patrol full of young Do'Urden nobles. The companions slew the group, picked up their insignia, and assumed their identities.[1]

Recreation of the Helm of Spiders[]

The adventurers from the surface were now equipped to enter House Do'Urden. After getting past the house guards, the party made its way to the nobles' area. The party searched the upper part of the house extensively, and finally found the helmet with the crest attached. The companions attached the gem to the helm and crest, forming the full Helm of Spiders.[1]

Upon acquisition of the full helm, the party was ambushed by Rizzen Do'Urden, who had used the party as his pawns all along. Along with a high priestess and a group of drow fighters, they challenged the adventurers. However, with the full Helm of Spiders at their disposal, the adventurers' beat down Rizzen's force.[1]

Eager to free the captives, the party of adventurers entered Matron Malice's sacrificial chamber. Malice angrily stopped the ritual and sent her yochlol to defeat the party. Again, with the unique artifact, the adventurers slew the handmaiden of Lolth, and retrieved the prison key.[1]

Before they moved on, it was clear that a rival house was invading House Do'Urden, and the party sought to escape. Here, they were confronted by high priestesses of House Fey-Branche, who congratulated them on opening the way to the destruction of House Do'Urden. The adventurers killed the priestesses, and met up with Drizzt Do'Urden. The renegade drow elf lead the party to the prison where the captives were held, and the villagers were freed. Using Drizzt's extensive knowledge of the Underdark, the villagers and party made their way to the surface, with the Helm of Spiders in their possession.[1]

Appendix[]

See also[]

  • Menzoberranzan - the video game which revolves around the Helm of Spiders.

Appearances[]

Computer games

References[]

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