I can see how to trick peasants and other simpletons into believing in a warped version of Selune, but I’m not sure how to transition that faith smoothly in a darker direction. It’ll need to be gradual, but the longer it goes on the harder it might be to shift and more fragmented the followers may become.
Depending on how many followers (potentially several enclaves) different individuals or groups could be in different steps on the path to Lolth. Having them interact with each other outside my control could be a serious problem. Likewise, some followers might be ready to follow Lolth right away. Maybe unlikely for surface dweller rats. It seems like they’ll need more coaxing. I need to plan carefully.
I know Lolth values ambition over loyalty, so I don’t need to worry about the betrayal of creating pseudo followers of Selune as long as I’m eventually successful in bringing more followers under her name. Failure would mean death, or worse. Being discovered by other Drow while my work is only half complete could give them the wrong impression. But surely they’ll see my genius and bend to my will, furthering my goals. But if not, they must be destroyed. And certainly cannot be allowed to reveal my true intentions to my flies, or reveal my temporary subversion of Lolth.
Sacrifices are of course the most valued acts in Lolth’s name, the more valuable, vigorous, and pious the better. Perhaps I need not worry about the most faithful revealing my plans to the other flies, when they have accepted Lolth, they can be sacrificed in her name. And silenced as a result for free.
There’s some perfect imagery to transition followers from light to dark with the moon itself. The moon phase can act as rank for the sheep; that can be publicly known. New followers begin on the full moon and work their way towards the new moon, while accepting the darkness. Only in further darkness is the “dark side of Selune”, the lies of light, and the truth revealed.
Full Moon - Initiation and Surface Worship
Lunar Imagery: Emphasize the full moon in art and icons, representing clarity, enlightenment, and the revealed truth.
Colors of the Night Sky: Use garments and decorations in soft silvers, blues, and whites, embodying the light of the full moon.
Moonlight Gatherings: Host ceremonies in the open under the full moon, focusing on the themes of illumination and community.
Reflection and Meditation: Encourage practices that reflect on the visible, illuminated aspects of life, akin to the brightness of the full moon.
Embracing the Light: Teachings focus on understanding and embracing the light within oneself and the world, promoting a message of peace and enlightenment.
I must be wary of skepticism from surface dwellers. Introducing myself as a Drow priestess of Selûne might draw suspicion. Convincing skeptics and those knowledgeable about lunar deities of my authenticity is a delicate task. An existing cult of Selune would make my work much more difficult.
As always, there's the risk of my true identity being exposed. I should gauge the impressions of the people on Drow before revealing myself. I’ll soon have the ability to disguise myself. This plan must start after that if the flies have had poor encounters with Drow before.
Waning Moon - Discovery in Growing Darkness
Crescent Moon Imagery: Highlight the crescent moon, symbolizing growth, potential, and the journey ahead.
Transition Colors: Begin introducing hints of darker colors, like deep blues and purples, to signify the deepening of knowledge.
Stories of the Moon's Phases: Share tales and parables that explore the cycle of growth and the ebb and flow of light and darkness.
Crescent Moon Rites: Perform rituals that celebrate personal growth and the quest for deeper understanding.
Seeking Knowledge: Emphasize the importance of seeking knowledge, both of the light and of the shadows that it casts.
New Moon - Total Darkness, Rejection of the Surface Light
Spider Motifs: Introduce subtle spider motifs, indicating the presence of a hidden, deeper power. Self determination and demand for respect from the lesser.
Dark Colors: Adopt predominantly dark colors, especially blacks and deep reds, representing the embrace of the unknown and the darkness.
Shadow Plays: Perform storytelling sessions that glorify cunning, ambition, and strength found in darkness, traits of Lolth.
Silent Prayers in Darkness: Conduct meditations and prayers in complete darkness, symbolizing communion with a deeper, hidden power.
True rituals to Lolth are done in the nude, which might cause cultural problems depending on the flies. That might need to wait for the final phase.
Reverence of the Hidden Power: Teach the highest truths of Lolth, masked as deeper, esoteric teachings of Selûne, emphasizing the power and wisdom found in darkness and deception.
- I should prepare for accusations of heresy. Devout followers of Selûne and other deities might view these changes as blasphemous, potentially attracting dangerous attention from religious authorities.
Waxing Moon - Lolth, Revealed
The truth revealed, everything they now believe and hold dear is embodied in Lolth, the Spider Queen. Those that accept Her will progress to join me in progressing my work. Others will be sacrificed, which will please Lolth since they must have believed in her to have gotten this far. Belief in deception, their betrayal punished with their sacrifice. Perfection.
The revelation of worshiping Lolth carries significant backlash risks, leading to possible rebellion or open conflict. I’ll need allies to support me.
Betrayed followers may seek vengeance. Those who feel deceived by the revelation might pose a direct threat to me and my mission.
Exposing my allegiance to Lolth could attract numerous enemies, mostly from the surface but also potentially from the Underdark. This phase is where I must be most cautious, as I will have manipulated both realms.