|“||The Spider Queen has been asleep for a long time, leaving the Underdark to suffer war and ruin. But if she finally returns, will things get better... or worse?||”|
|“||The plot was scripted by the Lady of Chaos, and that was the most perplexing and tantalizing of all. For any road paved by Lolth would not run straight, nor to any expected destination. That was the beauty. The spiders knew it. The time was approaching. The spiders knew it. Eight legs eight clattered on the stones, ticking, ticking, tapping, tapping, patience twisted, stretched and torn asunder. Eight legs, eight.||”|
Quenthel, her strength and faith apparently fully restored, continues to move towards Lolth, fully under the belief that she is the Yor'thae. With her are Pharaun Mizzrym, Jeggred Baenre, and Danifae Yauntyrr. Jeggred is now fully devoted to Danifae, while Pharaun's allegiance leans towards Quenthel, though no trust is held between them. Meanwhile, Halisstra Melarn, having joined up with fellow priestesses of Eilistraee, Uluyara and Feliane, continues on her journey to kill Lolth, but determines that she must first kill the Yor'thae. Halisstra believes that person to be Quenthel Baenre.
Quenthel's and Halisstra's groups meet at the Pass of the Soulreaver, a mysterious place located by the Soulreaver beast and individual trials that the faithful must pass to reach Lolth. Before entering the pass, Halisstra and her fellow priestesses attack Quenthel, relying on Danifae's aid. However, Danifae betrays them; Feliane and Uluyara are killed and Halisstra is fatally wounded by Danifae. Cursing the betrayal, and lack of intervention by Eilistraee, she renounces her faith yet again, returning to the darkness of Lolth. She manages a healing spell, saving herself from death, and she follows Danifae, Quenthel, Jeggred and Pharaun into the Path of the Soulreaver. In order to pass over to Lolth's realm, the females who enter the pass undergo tests of faith, including viewing themselves in the future having been rejected as the Yor'thae.
In Menzoberranzan, the duergar invasion has been squashed, and House Xorlarrin lays siege to the traitor House Agrach Dyrr on orders from Matron Mother Triel Baenre. The phylactery of the Lichdrow Dyrr is hidden away within the house, and Gromph Baenre undergoes a mission to breach the wards placed around the house and destroy it. Using scrying techniques, he discovers the phylactery is hidden within the house's temple, and disguises himself to gain entry. Once inside, he engages in a battle with an obsidian golem, the protector of the phylactery. He defeats the golem in the form of Larikal Dyrr. Once he passes the wards on the phylactery, he cleaves it with an enchanted axe, trapping the Lichdrow's soul within the axe. Upon the destruction of the phylactery, the master ward is activated, causing the complete destruction of the temple and damage to the rest of the Agrach Dyrr complex. However, Gromph teleports out just in time due to a contingency evasion spell.
Back in the Demonweb Pits, the Quenthel and company come upon the Plains of Soulfire and encounter the Black Horn Regiment led by Inthracis of Corpsehaven, a yugoloth ordered by the god Vhaeraun to kill the Yor'thae. Quenthel summons a great demon to assist their fight, while Danifae calls upon Lolth to send millions of spiders to their aid. Pharaun takes on Inthracis himself, and eventually defeats the yugoloth. However, in the process he essentially petrifies himself, although he is able use his magical ring to fly back to Quenthel for aid. Quenthel, however, takes his ring and leaves him to be devoured by hordes of black spiders; only his finger (later retrieved up by Aliisza) remains.
With the battle raging, Halisstra joins the others on the Planes of Soulfire. The three priestesses make their way to Lolth's tabernacle. Once inside, Danifae is consumed by the eighth of Lolth's eight spider manifestations. Suddenly the other seven manifestations attack the eighth, and from the carnage steps Danifae Yauntyrr, transformed into half-drow and half-spider, the Yor'thae and the new face of Lolth. Quenthel is ordered to go back to Menzoberranzan and be restored as the Mistress of Arach-Tinilith. Halisstra, however, is punished for her unforgivable acts of disloyalty and sacrilege, and is ordered to serve as Lolth's Lady Penitent. Upon her exit from the tabernacle, Quenthel sacrifices Jeggred to the new incarnation of Lolth, allowing spiders to feed on his flesh.
Thus ends the War of the Spider Queen.
- Gromph Baenre, Archmage of Menzoberranzan
- Danifae Yauntyrr, candidate for Yor'thae
- Halisstra Melarn, candidate for Yor'thae
- Quenthel Baenre, candidate for Yor'thae
- Anival Dyrr, First Ddaughter of House Agrach Dyrr
- Feliane, priestess of Eilistraee
- Inthracis, yugoloth lord
- Geremis Dyrr, wizard and apprentice to the Lichdrow
- Jeggred Baenre, draegloth
- Larikal Dyrr, Third Daughter of House Agrach Dyrr
- Lolth, goddess
- Pharaun Mizzrym, master of Sorcere
- Uluyara, priestess of Eilistraee
- Vhaeraun, god
- Aliisza, alu-fiend consort to Kaanyr Vhok
- Esvena Dyrr, fourth daughter of House Agrach Dyrr
- Horgar Steelshadow, Crown Prince of Gracklstugh
- Kaanyr Vhok, cambion master of the Scourged Legion
- Lichdrow Dyrr (mentioned)
- Mauzzkyl, Patron Grandfather of the Jaezred Chaulssin
- Nauzhror Baenre, wizard
- Nimor Imphraezl, member of the Jaezred Chaulssin
- Nisviim, arcanaloth lieutenant of Inthracis
- Prath Baenre, wizard apprentice
- Tomphael, Patron Father of the Jaezred Chaulssin
- Triel Baenre, matron mother of House Baenre
- Valas Hune, member of Bregan D'aerthe
- Vakuul, a large chasme summoned by Danifae Yauntyrr
- Yasraena Dyrr, matron mother of House Agrach Dyrr
- Zerevimeel, a nalfeshnee summoned by Quenthel Baenre