In Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic, Arachne is a member of the mysterious Order of the Spider (this is what her spider tattoo means, although a cursory examination does not reveal this fact to every drow). This impresses Wolf so much that he would rather renounce being prince consort than go against Arachne. Yet Arachne does not have such a high standing with Lolth.

What is the Order of the Spider? Who are the members? What do they do?

(I don't doubt that part of the answer lies solely in the mind of the author, but I'm sure there are clues I've missed in >2000 strips.)

Oh, warning, to those who mind: there are drawings of naked people. Also, giant spiders and other critter.

  • I don't think there is any in-universe explanation yet. The Order of the Spider is not an order of clerics (when Arachne goes out to the elf meeting, she has a cleric with her). – Jonas Apr 12 '12 at 14:13

This is mostly speculation, as you appear to be at least as familiar with the strip as I am. Lolth, based on the standard D&D body of info, is a chaotic evil deity, and thus, she might not want her works to take place exclusively through an organized hierarchy of priestesses. Arachne played a pivotol role in allowing Lolth to manifest in the material plane, and at some point earned enough trust and esteem that Lolth even rooms with her sometimes. When Lolth saves Arachne in the link you posted, her stated reasons for doing so don't imply that Lolth views Arachne poorly - quite the reverse, that the priestesses and the queen can't succeed in their work without Arachne's help. I think that Arachne may be something like an Agent of the Crown - a resourceful and clever person who is trusted to act in Lolth's best interest outside of any organization, and the tattoo of the Order of the Spider is a symbol of that standing that is hidden in plain sight. And in a chaotic evil way, they're kind of bros.

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It seems we have the answer, and it only took 7 years!

yafgc 2726 panels 1–2

That tattoo sure looks like Arachne's. Even though Drow society is very conflict-prone, keeping Ranna in check is something that Lolth cares a lot about, so it makes sense that she would create or foster an organization to this effect (however little she might care about individuals in this organization, such as Arachne) and that this organization would have considerable political power.

The directly-relevant part of the story arc starts at stip 2722. Lewstrom and Ata's backstory (which is irrelevant to the Order of the Spider) starts at strip 748.

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  • Just came here to post the answer as well :) – Jonas Mar 14 '15 at 12:23

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