Leg of the Spider
The "Leg of the Spider" is a title reserved for high ranking members of the City-State of Negeémiliel. There are actually two separate systems at work where members are called "Leg of the Spider", that are not necessarily exclusive to each other. The title is perhaps growing archaic, and is perhaps slipping into an honorific as opposed to being the functional title of a position as meant to be. Still, the holders of the title have great power.
Description of the Two SystemsEdit
The two systems are the military, and the Negeémi High Council.
The acolyte army is divided into eight divisions, with about 1200 - 1800 acolytes each, depending on reorganizations and reinforcements, with reserves, mercenary units and levies often being assigned to each division, or "Leg" for a long duration. Hence, the term "Leg of the Spider" can also apply to an acolyte division.
Usually it refers to the commander of the Division, holding the rank of general, or perhaps as low as a colonel. The title may be switched around quite often as active command of each division may be given and taken from individual high commanders. A division of eight is largely necessary, as the Negeémi army has a great deal of territory to cover, many long tunnels and caverns in kazrrad to traverse, in an intercontinental way. Nonetheless, there are many times when the army must pull multiple divisions together to face off against larger armies of enemies. The division commanders probably still hold direct control over their units, but become subject to the overall commander, who might be one of the other "Legs of the Spider" appointed as the commanding general.
The executive branch of the Negeémi government is called the High Council. It is composed of politicians who are either retired or active senior acolytes from the army. The High Council is divided by the roles the acolytes played in the army. There are three generals, three priestesses, and three sorceresses. They may be active or retired, but are generally retired from active service before they are appointed to the role within the High Council. Even if they are active, their usual duties would most likely be suspended due to the importance of their new duties.
The three generals, the three sorceresses, and two of the priestesses are referred to as "Legs of the Spider". The remaining priestess is referred to as the "Head of the Spider" and serves as the head of the council and perhaps the nominal head of the government, although in practice, the position seems to be a 'First among equals'.
The high council often debates and directs military and industrial strategy and the generals might well take direct command of a division or a multi division part of the army, much as the Leg of the Spider Danieh'le Dahl'Arak did in 2428 a.a.H. to counter and destroy the Hebonnor mountain elf army.
Origin and HistoryEdit
Very little is known definitively of the history or even functions of the High Council, or even of specifics regarding the divisions of the acolyte army. The City-State of Negeémiliel has reduced Lolh to a secondary goddess, yet there is still considerable cultural veneration of spiders in the society and art. Not the least of which in that spider silk has always been an important industry for the drow in general.
Speculation: It does seem quite likely that despite the independence achieved by the previously subservient Negeémal drow in 480 a.a.H., that many aspects of the previously elite and aristocratic Erehel drow may have remained in effect. It is likely that the title of "Leg of the Spider" goes back to the time of Erehel domination of the city, which was still a colony city of the venerable city of Erehel-Sinu.
It is known that governments have changed, with one political party overthrowing another. Negeémiliel has many political parties, and sub-parties that exist as wings within the two primary parties of the Negeémi Senatorial Party, and the Negeémi Populist Party. When this happens, some of the various holders of the "Leg of the Spider" in the military and High Council may be removed from command or seats, one way or another. It should be noted that Negeémiliel is endemically divided between its Senatorial and Populist factions, the military mirroring their society, with commanders of divisions appointed due to political considerations as much as skill. Indeed, whole units and perhaps even divisions, and sections of the Academy might identify themselves as being "Senatorial" or "Populist".
known individuals holding the title of "Leg of the Spider"Edit
Khariel Baener High Sorceress of the Negeémi Senatorial Party
Illegally ordered the deaths of all inhabitants of a Jabharil temple. She was assassinated in response by the loranor assassin Jamal, at the behest of the High Priestess Ma'az, of the Cult of the Flower. It is likely that this was approved by Ma'az's political backers in the Negeémi Populist Party.
Danieh'le Dahl'Arak General of the Negeémi Senatorial Party
A close personal friend of Khariel's, probably was aided in her rising to the High Council with Khariel's help. Currently has won the war against the Hebonnor Mountain Elves in the Battle of Cilfach, and surreptitiously plotted a counter Coup d'état against the plots of the Negeémi Populist Party. She was successful in 'saving' the government, but effectively became the dictator of the city-state.
Selene Paen'Dhirra High Sorceress of the Negeémi Populist Party
Probable plotter in the assassination of her seat's predecessor. A leader of the Populist Party, and mistress-mind of the Populist plot. Currently removed from her positions and imprisoned.