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"I failed the Spider Queen once. Never again."
— Pellanistra the Drider

Pellanistra, originally Commander Pellanistra, was a high-ranking female drow fighter of the House of Noquar.[1] After failing the Test of Lolth, she was transformed into a monstrous drider and made outcast.[2]

Publication history[]

AD&D 1st edition[]

Commander Pellanistra appears in D3 Vault of the Drow (1978) and GDQ1-7 Queen of the Spiders (1986), p.92, where she is a commander of troops. She lives in exquisitely lavish surroundings and possesses a ring which makes her immune to poison. She is originally of House Noquar, and is hostile to the rival House Eilservs.[1]

AD&D 2nd edition[]

The name Pellanistra appears in FOR2 The Drow of the Underdark (2e) (1991), p.96 in a long list of female drow names, certainly in homage to the commander . The name is later given to Pellanistra Ousstyl, a drow priestess of Lolth in Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark (1999), p.49.

D&D 3rd edition[]

The name Pellanistra appears in Underdark (3e) (2003), p.11, and City of the Spider Queen (2002), p.3, as an example female drow name for drow player characters.

The 2003 novel Dissolution by R.A. Salvatore features a female drow named Pellanistra, who works at a brothel called the Jewel Box.

According to Drow of the Underdark (3e) (2007), p.38-39, the name Pellanistra roughly translates to "Terrifying Wall-Scribe".

D&D 4th edition[]

Pellanistra appears in Forgotten Realms Player's Guide (2008), p.9 and Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms (2010), p.251, as one of the example female drow names for drow player characters.

D&D 5th edition[]

In the Monster Manual (5e) (2014), p.120, Pellanistra is quoted as a drider, a creature into which drow are transformed as punishment for having failed Lolth.

Given that Commander Pellanistra's House Noquar did worship Lolth, and that the Monster Manual frequently quotes characters appearing in AD&D 1st edition modules, it is most likely that Commander Pellanistra is the same character as Pellanistra the Drider, and this article assumes this to be the case. However, the name Pellanistra could feasibly also refer to Pellanistra Ousstyl, who would lose her house name Ousstyle upon becoming a drider.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 GDQ1-7 Queen of the Spiders (1986), p.92.
  2. Monster Manual (5e) (2014), p.120.
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