Sloe Eyes; Spider Queen; Temptation's Whisper; Witch Bitch

Symbol: A black widow spider with a beautiful woman's head
Home Plane: The Abyss
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Cleric Alignments: Chaotic Neutral, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Treachery, darkness, betrayal, jealousy, arachnids
Worshipers: Dark elves, traitors, the jealous, evil arachnid-based races, shapechangers
Domains: Charm (Lust), Darkness, Evil, Luck (Curse), Trickery (Deception)
Favored Weapon: Dagger or whip (cleric chooses one)

Physical Description:
Bellakadina manifests herself to mortals in a variety of forms, changing shapes to suit her mood and her needs, much as a spoiled courtesan changes clothes. However, she is known to favor the appearance of a beautiful black-skinned woman, who may be of any race though usually a drow, dressed in clothing so revealing that they are more provocative than if she went naked. When she is in the throes of especially strong emotions, or intends violent action, Bellakadina often takes on the form of a humanoid arachnid, or an arachnid with humanoid characteristics, such as a drow's head or a a drow's body, or some permutation thereof.

Description of Nature, Personality, and Dogma:
A harsh mistress, Bellakadina expects her people to be in a state of constant barely-controlled turmoil, with each of her followers looking for opportunities to seduce, beguile, and finally betray others in swift, decisive attacks on the weakest parts of a chosen target. In drow society, this results in a situation where the only thing keeping their society together is the active efforts of Bellakadina herself to keep them from being constantly at each others' throats. This practice of continual subterfuge coupled with sudden, precise strikes is said by Bellakadina to make her worshipers strong, culling out the weak and gullible from her ranks, but largely she encourages this practice because it ensures that her people are far too busy on the mortal plane to ever think of turning against her, and it also ensures that her people will never trust anyone else, having grown up in a society where trust is a liability rather than a strength.

As to Bellakadina herself, she is a scheming, manipulative, vain creature, utterly devoted to corruption and villainy as far as it advances herself in power and prestige and position. There are only two reasons she has not become one of the Forbidden Gods. One is because she is smart enough not to rebel against the tenets of creation themselves, though if she ever got enough power and thought she might actually profit from such an action, she might attempt this as well. The other is because Bellakadina recognizes that if she were to take such a strong stance, she would lose most of her power, since a major part of deception is lulling others into a sense of security, and if they were in their guard immediately because she was a Forbidden deity, then she wouldn't be nearly as successful as she has been.

Pragmatic as well as ruthless and wicked, Bellakadina encourages her followers to devote themselves to physical beauty and all the attractions of the flesh, so that they can all the better play the role of seducers. She regards males as a lesser creature, easily manipulated by simple, animal means, and encourages her followers to act accordingly, using and discarding males and any offspring that might result from their coupling as it suits their needs and whims. Whatever grants a follower of Bellakadina more power and influence is perfectly acceptable, just as long as one doesn't get caught. Getting caught is one of the few sins to a follower of Bellakadina, and it is often an unforgivable one, resulting in fatality among societies utterly devoted to her, such as the drow. Another sin to Bellakadina is to become so vain and proud as to think one is better than Bellakadina. Those who fall into this trap very frequently find their plots exposed, and among the drow, they typically end up as driders, living testaments to what happens to those who go too far in emulating their goddess.

Clergy, Places of Worship, Important Rituals, and Servitor Races:
The clergy of Bellakadina are entirely female, and are chosen from the most powerful, dominating, and cunning of her female followers. Usually this means the heads of drow houses and other important female nobles, though it can also include ambitious and talented females of any race that are willing to devote their souls to Bellakadina for her power. All of Bellakadina's clergy must undergo a final testing ritual, in which they lie naked upon an altar and allow a highly poisonous arachnid to crawl along their bodies. If the arachnid simply walks off, leaving the acolyte untouched, then that is a sign that Bellakadina might accept the acolyte later, but does not want her yet. If the arachnid stings or bites the acolyte, then she has chosen the acolyte to be a cleric. For several days after the bite, the acolytes writhe in the midst of horrific hallucinations, during which they commune directly with their goddess. If they are able to pass this final test of their worthiness, they will recover and have access to divine magic. Those who are not worthy die in great agony, or else are transformed into driders, depending on how hardy they are physically.

Bellakadina expects all of her worshipers to have an ornate house shrine in their homes, complete with a statue of a deadly arachnid native to an area, preferably the most poisonous spider available. This shrine may be small, but it must be reasonably expensive in nature, or else Bellakadina will be insulted. Bellakadina's temples, on the other hand, must be large, ornate, and gaudy, with exquisite statuary and decorations. Failure to provide Bellakadina with an appropriately baroque place of worship will result in drawing her ire, and this can be highly fatal to her worshipers that have failed to please her in this fashion.

When the moon is darkened out, either by heavy cloud cover or by eclipse or both, then Bellakadina's followers are expected to engage in an elfhunt. While this is called an elfhunt, any surface dwellers will do, as Bellakadina's worshipers stalk and attempt to bring down and kill any surface dwellers that they can, then bring them back to their homes or lairs as grisly trophies. Even more desirable is to bring back prisoners alive from an elfhunt for eventual sacrifice to Bellakadina, though they may be kept as slaves for a time to amuse their captors.

The demons known as yochlol (see Monsters of Faerun) are Bellakadina's special servitors. She also is known to mark creatures with a red hourglass on their bodies which grants them her divine favor (see the Lolth-touched in Monster Manual 4 for details).

History and Relations:
Originally, Bellakadina was one of the primal deities of Therafim before the dragons descended from their divine home to take control. In those days, the arthropodal races ruled the planet, and Bellakadina was one of their deities, under the supervision of Tiamat, ruling over the arachnids that were so powerful in that time, one of a race of lesser gods that were only slightly more powerful than the titans that would come later. Most of the gods of the arthropods fell in those days along with the races that worshiped them, but two, Bellakadina and Swarm, survived and adapted to the changing world. For her part, Bellakadina took on more pleasing forms to the gods of the dragons and, later, to the titans, and in this way gradually developed a small but steadfast following, which included luring many dragons into the Underdark, where they were changed by and soon adapted to the energies of the lower reaches, becoming the first deep dragons. Bellakadina's greatest moment of triumph, and the source of most of her present worshipers, came when she seduced Velos, the principle god worshiped by the elves, and then used her closeness to the Great Stag to seduce a great many of the elves. These dark elves, or drow as they came to be known, attempted to overthrow the other elves of the surface, to enforce Bellakadina's rule over them all. They were defeated, however, and when Bellakadina attempted to poison Velos before he realized what was happening, Velos realized her treachery in time and faced the Spider Queen in combat, gravely injuring her and soon driving her and her dark elven worshipers from the field and into the Underdark, where they have dwelt to this day, cursed to never taste the light of the sun again.

Naturally, Velos and all his friends and allies are the mortal enemies of Bellakadina, and Bellakadina regularly works to tempt elves of the surface to the sins of vanity and pride, which she knows will eventually lead them into her power. Tiamat is an ally of Bellakadina, and while neither of these two goddesses trusts the other, they have a working relationship, and are occasional lovers. Another lover of Bellakadina is Lugscar, who she regularly manipulates into causing carnage where she wishes. Since Lugscar has no objections to senseless violence, and greatly enjoys Bellakadina's favors, they get along just fine so long as Bellakadina is not too obvious about her manipulation. Sin and Bellakadina are bitter rivals, each hating the other with an intense passion that results in regular machinations of each goddess against the other to varying degrees of subtlety, as well as occasional divine catfights which Tiamat herself is occasionally forced to break up so as to not spoil her many ongoing plans that involve one, the other, or both of these wicked deities.

Favored Offerings and Justifications for Direct Intervention:
Bellakadina requires her worshipers to lavish expensive gifts upon her altars, which she soon transports to herself for her personal use. These gifts take the form of furs, perfumes, exquisitely-crafted clothing, jewelry, and similar objects of wealth, comfort, and ostentation. She is also fond of flattering statuary, though she considers all of her forms to be equally beautiful, and likes all of them to be displayed in her temples. Most of all, Bellakadina enjoys the sacrifice of warm-blooded creatures, especially sentient creatures, and most especially elves, upon her altars.

Since she has many enemies among the gods, Bellakadina is forced to take more subtle methods of direct intervention, when she can be convinced that such a thing is needed at all. This is highly unlikely, since Sloe Eyes much prefers her worshipers to fend for themselves and lavish her with praise and devotion without troubling her for annoying favors. Still, if a large gathering of Bellakadina's worshipers are in danger of being completely overrun and wiped out, she can be convinced to step in and lend some assistance. Also, if a particular task amuses her, Bellakadina may become involved, such as in the creation of driders and similar abominations from traitors and failures among her followers, especially those who stray from the faith - it is a most interesting thing, but Bellakadina is a goddess of both jealousy as well as treachery. Thus, if you get away with treachery, even against Bellakadina herself, you are rewarded, but if you get caught, then the penalty is most harsh indeed.