several depictions of drow.
5th Edition Statistics
|Drow Elite Warrior||5|
|Drow Priestess of Lolth||8|
|Drow House Captain||9|
|Drow Favored Consort||18|
|Drow Matron Mother||20|
4th Edition Statistics
3rd Edition Statistics
Usually neutral evil
2nd Edition Statistics
1st Edition Statistics
Up to 750 years
Common, Drow Sign Language Elven (the drow dialect ), Undercommon
Black, dark blue, gray
Red, lavender, blue, purple, amber
Pointed ears, slim but athletic build, beautiful, affinity to darkness, able to enter fully aware sleep state
|Average height||4′7″‒5′5″ (140‒170 cm)|
|Average weight||82‒152 lb (37‒68.9 kg)|
|Average height||4′7″‒5′5″ (140‒170 cm)|
|Average weight||87‒157 lb (39‒71.2 kg)|
Dark elves from Norse mythology; trow from Scottish folklore Drow ( sing & pl ; pronounced : / vitamin d radius aʊ / drow [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ 14 ] or : / vitamin d gas constant oʊ / dro [ 12 ] [ note 1 ] ), besides known as dark elves, [ 6 ] [ 15 ] deep elves, [ 16 ] night elves, [ 14 ] and the Dark Ones among orcs, [ 17 ] were a dark-skinned sub-race of elves that predominantly lived in the Underdark. [ 18 ] They were hated and feared due to their cruelty, [ 19 ] though some non-evil and an even smaller number of full drow existed. [ 18 ] [ 20 ]
station : In all the universe of the drow, there is no more crucial word. It is the calling of their—of our—religion, the ceaseless pull of hungering heartstrings. Ambition overrides good sense and compassion is thrown away in its grimace, all in the name of Lloth, the Spider Queen .
In many ways, the drow resembled early elves [ 22 ] or eladrin. [ 23 ] Their bodies were wiry and athletic, [ 22 ] while their faces were chiseled and attractive, [ 23 ] though they were shorter and thinner than other elven sub-races. [ 9 ] [ 24 ] [ 10 ] Due to a process of selective education that lasted for several generations, [ 9 ] the drow ( particularly nobles ) [ 24 ] looked attractive [ 23 ] even in comparison to other elven subraces. [ 25 ] Though their alluring appearance could be used for seduction, it was more often use to instill fear. [ 23 ] According to the goblin Nojheim, the beauty standards of the open races made them prone to turn a blind eye to the deeds of the drow, showing them greater lenience and acceptance. [ 26 ] Reports varied on the physical differences between the drow sexual activity. Some purported that females were broadly bigger and stronger than males, [ 22 ] while others claimed the males had superscript potency. [ 27 ] Both sexes varied in altitude from 4 feet and 7 inches to 5 feet and 5 inches ( 140 to 170 centimeters ), averaging at 5 feet ( 150 centimeters ). Males weighed between 87 to 157 pounds ( 39 to 71.2 kilograms ), averaging 109.5 pounds ( 49.67 kilograms ), while females were a sting light, weighing between 82 to 152 pounds ( 37 to 68.9 kilograms ) and averaging 104.5 pounds ( 47.4 kilograms ). [ 10 ]
Drow skin tones ranged from blue grey, [ 28 ] coal-black, [ 22 ] and obsidian, [ 15 ] ( with respective shades of blue ), [ 9 ] [ 24 ] [ 23 ] the albino drow known as the Szarkai being an exception. [ 22 ] Drow had ashen, black, or purple teeth, while their gums, tongues, and throats could be red, pink, or purple. [ 22 ] Drow eyes could be of any color, [ 28 ] with brilliantly crimson being the most common. [ 22 ] Pale shades [ 15 ] that appeared about white of blue, lilac, pink, or eloquent were besides frequent. [ 9 ] [ 24 ] Drow with green, brown, black, amber, or rose-hued eyes existed, but they were rare. Purple or blue sky eyes indicated surface elves and/or human lineage. [ 22 ] The color of a drow ‘s eyes could besides be indicative of their stream mental or physical country ; drow eyes reddened when they were angry, and turned yellow when they were disgusted, poisoned, or under some negative charming determine. [ 22 ]
Drow hair could be blunt white, [ 22 ] [ 15 ] pale yellow [ 9 ] [ 24 ] and, more rarely, silver or copper in coloring material. [ 22 ] [ 28 ] It thinned and changed color with old age, turning picket yellow for women, and silver or grey for men. [ 22 ] Due to the Eilistraeen ritual of The Run, drow of early faiths would frequently say that silver hair’s-breadth was a signboard of mental disable. [ 29 ] Drow by and large kept their hair retentive, and decorated it with pins and webbing made of precious metals. [ 23 ] They were incapable of growing proper beards, but some males managed to grow long sideburns or tied tufts of dim haircloth on the boldness or kuki. [ 30 ]
The majority of drow wore a piwafwi, a fire-retardant, protective cloak, footwear that functioned as boots of elvenkind, and a drow house insignia. The latter showed the House or merchant kin to which a drow belonged, be it as a member or servant. however, with the exception of the First House, insignia were n’t openly displayed except when inside the House territory or the kin ‘s base. [ 31 ] [ 31 ] noble drow wore clothes and equipment of superscript choice ( except, of course, when they did n’t want to attract attention ). [ 32 ] For exercise, a baronial ‘s house insignia did n’t barely show house commitment but besides carried magic that could be used on command. [ 31 ] Web choker s ‘ were considered fashionable by drow priestesses, [ 33 ] who besides often used powdered Ormu, an Underdark-moss, as eye tail. [ 34 ]
Compared to other sentient beings, drow were notably intelligent, as having an analytic mentality and being law-abiding at all times was needed to survive in their club. [ 22 ] Intellect, along with force of personality, were mental traits that had been ruthlessly selected for in their socially darwinian civilization over several generations. [ 9 ] however, a life of being indoctrinated with Lolth ‘s dogma, combined with their upbringing giving them limited reach with other beings, surroundings, and option ways of life, made them close-minded, and left them with short wordly have. [ 22 ]
The drow ( appropriately for the night perversions of the elves they were ) were decadent [ 23 ] and hedonic beings with a love for what they considered beautiful and a desire to surround themselves with it, broadly without paying attention to the cost of acquiring it. [ 28 ] For case, they were often lecherous, with a leaning to take lovers at their leisure and discard them at their notion. [ 35 ] however, the drow were able to ( or at least try to ) hide some of their more flagitious traits behind a veneer of sophistication. [ 36 ] [ 23 ]
The moral code of the average drow was informed by the teachings of Lolth. [ 23 ] From birth, the drow were taught that they were ranking to other races, and as such they believed themselves to be the ultimate beings. [ 37 ] [ 30 ] This mentality created an arrogance thus strong that drow could be incapable of viewing early creatures as their equals, [ 30 ] including members of their own kind ; about every drow believed themselves to be the epitome of their superior species. [ 38 ] The treatment reserved for non-drow ran the entire gamut from pets, [ 39 ] to slaves, to grudgingly respected partners if they proved themselves a military catch for them, though never equals. [ 28 ] As one might expect, this air of utter condescension meant that most drow broadly felt entitled to do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted to do it. [ 28 ] If a drow was not where they believed they should be, their pride demanded they blame person else ( sometimes everyone else ) for their faulty place. [ 40 ] They were besides taught that they should crush those beneath them, [ 37 ] for cruelty was seen as a method acting of self-validation. If person could not defend themselves, as the logic went, they deserved to have cruelty inflicted on them, which would prove the superiority of the drow performing the agony. [ 41 ] They were a revengeful people by necessity, as not answering to slights with punishment was easily perceived as weakness by other drow, and was basically the same as inviting exploitation, misuse, or even death. [ 35 ] Most drow seek to rise in membership, [ 36 ] desiring the baron over others that a higher station would provide. [ 35 ] Ironically for a raceway that put such a concenter on individual deserve, personal accomplishment and ability carried thus small weight in their minds they had about no notion of its worth. military genius, battle art, charming capability, the ability to create, and all early skills had no intrinsic value to the dark elves. The idea of love for one ‘s career, and of an activity having worth in and of itself was stranger ; abilities and resources, whether obtained by training or granted by birth, only mattered insofar as it increased a drow ‘s ability to advance in station, thus granting them more world power over others. [ 21 ] [ 42 ] Given the scarcity of resources in the Underdark and the limited chances for progress within their company, most drow had to be aggressively competitive. [ 43 ] They had a proclivity for violence, which was their front-runner, even natural, form of conflict resolving power, and they managed to fight this recommend when waiting for a more propitious meter to strike. [ 38 ]
As a general govern, drow life within a Lolthite society could n’t afford to show emotions like compassion or love, for they were slowly to exploit [ 30 ] and drow often prefer emotional cruelty over causing physical injury. [ 41 ] The strife they constantly endured led them to be paranoid, with a reverence of everyone and everything, from the likely loss of personal place, Lolth ‘s prefer, the loyalty ( or even the menace of outright rebellion ) of their inferiors, to punishment by their own superiors ‘ hands. [ 38 ] The conclusion solution of being raised in this environment was that the drow were leery sadists with a constant readiness to stab others in the back, both in the figurative and literal sense. [ 28 ] They were an emotionally stunt people [ 32 ] with a flimsy grok on sanity ( a trait they placed less importance on than cunning and crookedness ) and marred minds, among which relatively undamaged individuals were considered abnormal. [ 44 ] [ 45 ] Most were incapable of trusting early creatures, no count their race, [ 46 ] and were taught from an early age not to do indeed, as they were expected to advance at the expenses of others by any means, including treachery and even outright murder ( although not overtly ). [ 47 ] [ 28 ] even in moments of safety or easiness, they were always alert and constantly expecting attacks of any kind, and were rarely surprised when such attacks did come. [ 22 ] While the drow understood the advantage of forging bonds with others, [ 30 ] they did not see the value in honesty. [ 28 ] Forming relations with others was therefore a dangerous endeavor, and largely irregular, since any alliance or liqueur relationship could end in perfidy. Drow normally went into engagements of this kind expecting the worst, [ 30 ] and alliances were always under scrutiny for signs of treachery, much ending violently. They were broadly formed when the supposed ally was susceptible to blackmail, considered unaccented enough to not be a serious terror, or when cooperation was forced by the universe of a common enemy. [ 48 ] In fact, the mere trouble of maintaining the bond could be a reason to end it. [ 28 ]
For a raceway indeed chaotic in a company focused on individual advancement at the expense of others, the majority of drow queerly lean towards being achromatic evil in alignment. The drow were, in many room, contradictory in mentality, cooperating to some degree about in hurt of their very nature. They simultaneously encouraged personal ambition and innovative problem resolution ( creativity being needed to get ahead of the older elites ) while paradoxically placing the effective of the many over the good of the individual and reinforcing steadfast traditionalism. [ 42 ] To achieve their individual desires required their society to retain at least some grade of stability, and they were held tightly to tradition even if that code was n’t actually codified into jurisprudence. In fact, the drow responded ill to social norms being turned into written rules, obeying them chiefly out of reverence and sociable coerce ( but obeying them however ). This lead to the phenomenon where a lone drow would drift towards chaos, whereas a drow community would be forced to work together against one another, setting up rules to stabilize the ability each individual wanted for themselves and allowing for cooperation beyond what chaos could typically create. [ 42 ]
- Good Drow
Unlike creatures such as orcs, [ 49 ] drow had no unconditioned tendency towards evil, with their morality having been colored by their company. [ 45 ] [ 50 ] “ good drow ” made up about 15 % of the entire race, although most of them were n’t actually of the good alliance, being merely chaotic neutral or lawful neutral. Within Lolthite societies, even drow with a disposition towards what was considered commodity by and large had problems developing a impregnable personal sense of ethical motive. They by and large behaved the lapp way as evil drow due to social imperativeness, as being soft in any manner was lethal in drow society and much resulted in the death of such drow. [ 50 ] only rightfully exceptional “ good drow ”, such as Drizzt Do’Urden, were capable of freeing themselves from a Lolthite society. [ 50 ] The majority were found out and sacrificed to Lolth, and those who managed to leave their settlements would frequently die in the dangerous wilderness of the Underdark. [ 51 ] Furthermore, even those who escaped the cruelties of the Underdark found it more unmanageable to form long-run friendships than most races did [ 23 ] and had to constantly be on the lookout for pursuers who could kill them. [ 52 ]
Drow were more agile than most android races, [ 23 ] which, much like their higher intellects and force out of personality, was a solution of selective reproduction over respective generations. [ 9 ] Similarly, drow had a higher than convention tolerance for poison due to exposure over the course of countless generations. They had lesser resistance, in descending regulate, to the take after kinds of toxins : non-drow sleep poisons, drugs, insect malice, and interject poisons. They had no limited tolerance for contact poisons or to poison gases. [ 53 ] Drow had frightful resistance to magic, with adults overcoming magic trick around half the time. [ 9 ] [ 8 ] During infancy it fluctuated between about non-existent and youth-level ( resisting around two fifths of the time ), stabilizing as they grew up. [ 54 ] It increased again when they reached adulthood, and could be trained even further, [ 54 ] but even if a drow ‘s charming resistance was overcome, they could handle charming attacks quite well and had a better luck than other races at resisting them, [ 54 ] particularly spells that attempted to bend their will. [ 9 ] Drow besides had a natural aptitude for audible apery, the integral rush possessing the capacity to easily imitate the strait and tone of another person in a credible manner, specially if frequently exposed to the lyric they were using. [ 55 ] .
- Base Powers
Base powers were abilities that the drow could cast without any schooling, needing only simple practice. They varied slightly from person to person due to diverse reasons, including but not limited to genetics, personal talent, and divine party favor. Drow charming abilities [ 56 ] were somehow tied to the faerzress, [ 57 ] the radiotherapy of the Underdark, and its volume in the birthplace of a drow could influence their base powers. [ 58 ] These abilities could besides vary in the same person temporarily, depending on their personal ( mental and physical ) health situation, senesce, and degree of coach. For example, a dying drow could double the effectiveness of the own unconditioned powers by super-charging them with her or his own life force. [ 58 ] The drow could use their base powers once every day and, once employed, they could end the spell, move it approximately at their notion, or downsize it. Spells like dispel magic could end a base ability ‘s effect. normally, a drow could not continue using these abilities when they started using another one, or started to cast a spell. [ 58 ] A park or untrained drow could neither use nor maintain their congenital abilities under the effect of light that was a undimmed as, or brighter than, sunlight, as it impeded their concentration. [ 54 ] A drow ‘s congenital dancing lights spell-like ability [ 9 ] [ 8 ] [ 59 ] [ 15 ] could create a larger count of light motes than the convention spell, and provided better control as the world power of the caster increased ; for example, the light spheres could be moved far away from each other than convention. [ 58 ] Reports varied if it could besides be cast once per day, as with the other base powers, or at will. [ 58 ] [ 59 ] In addition to the normal effects of a darkness spell, [ 9 ] [ 8 ] [ 59 ] [ 15 ] which created an area that was impervious to convention view and infravision, a drow ‘s spell-like version could besides create a globe that could be moved around and grew in radius with the strength of the caster. [ 58 ] They could foster enhance the spell-like ability to cast it more frequently, and learn to deepen it then that a daylight spell could not overpower it any more. [ 60 ] Unlike the normal version of faerie fire, a drow ‘s spell-like adaptation could create a glow field that grew wider with the forte of the caster. [ 9 ] [ 8 ] [ 59 ] [ 15 ] [ 58 ] It could come in blue, green, or purple, [ 61 ] but while a drow could change these colors, they always manifested a certain one if they made no option. [ 62 ] According to Seldszar Elpragh, a drow ‘s faerie fire worked by channeling faerzress. [ 62 ]
- Mature Powers
Upon reaching a sufficient degree of expertness, the drow gained their so called “ fledged powers ”. These included the spell-like abilities detect magic, know alignment, and levitate. [ 58 ] [ 15 ] Particularly intelligent and brawny drow could maintain two congenital abilities, or one connatural ability and one normal enchantment, simultaneously, using levitate and darkness at the same time for exercise. [ 54 ] Like with al-qaeda powers, it was normally impossible to cast mature powers in the bearing of intense light. [ 54 ]
- Noble Powers
Some drow were born with more charming might than convention, allowing them early on access to their mature powers. [ 63 ] [ 64 ] such drow made up the noble class of their society, and among them this was a dominant trait. [ 32 ] not entirely could nobles use both basal and fledged powers more than once per day, but every ten they gained another day by day habit, with centuries erstwhile nobility having about outright uses. Unlike commoners, they could attempt to cast their connatural abilities even in the presence of unaccented, but they could only maintain one of their spells in this condition flush when normally able to do more. [ 54 ]
- Light Weakness
Before the 1360s DR, the drow would gradually lose their base and mature powers, american samoa well as their defenses against magic, if exposed to sunlight. [ 65 ] however, during the 1360s DR, Liriel Baenre, guided by Eilistraee, [ 66 ] carved her rune in the Child of the Yggdrasil with the captive of preserving her own drow magic away from the Underdark, [ 67 ] but the dissemble ended up allowing all drow to keep their powers on the surface. [ 68 ] Despite Eilistraee guiding Liriel, speculations were that Lolth besides had a pass in the matter. [ 68 ]
Lolthtouched powers, the solution of Lolth ‘s blessing, were possibly the most classifiable abilities of the drow. [ 23 ] [ 69 ] Lolth ‘s touch gave her a bear over the entire drow race, and overcoming it was entirely possible by becoming a redeem drow who besides managed to judged worthy by Corellon. [ 70 ]
Lolthtouched drow manifested abilities like cloud of darkness, which would enshroud the given drow in shadow that was impossible for anyone but the caster to see through, and darkfire, which made other creatures an easier target by surrounding them in harmless purple flames. Lolthtouched powers were apparently fueled by the same source, and the manipulation of such abilities were tiring for the drow, with entirely more experience and well-trained drow able to cast both abilities individually. [ 71 ] Through discipline, drow could manifest the alleged webs of darkness that both slowed and impeded a foe, while besides limiting their vision. Curseborn drow could unlock even more Lolthtouched powers, including improvements of the aforesaid cloud of darkness and darkfire abilities. other ways to improve these abilities included train to cast the cloud of darkness faster in response to harm, or to turn the darkfire into a flicker protective sheet that made the beneficiary hard to hit. [ 72 ]
Drow were adenine frail as any other elves, [ 73 ] and had a fascination with stealth and subtlety. [ 28 ] They had a inclination to ambush their enemies with range weaponry, choosing hand crossbows when possible, to deliver their poisons from afar. They besides favored abstemious and quick weapons like rapiers in melee but normally retreated if close fight was the only remaining option. [ 73 ] [ 74 ] particular educate was available for their rogues, [ 28 ] which included lessons on how to blend in with the heat hues and patterns of their surroundings, similarly to how other races could hide in the shadows of light sources. [ 75 ] Their celebrated ( or ill-famed ) assassin schools doubled as assassins ‘ guilds. [ 76 ] Male drow were normally competent fighters, [ 36 ] and rangers were besides valued as scouts. [ 48 ] apart from its obvious use as a light reservoir, drow used their ability to create dancing lights to surprise the foe with the sudden appearance of a glow calculate or will-o’-wisp -like light balls. Teaming up with actual will-o’-wisps to make this more effective was a know technique, however, this was viewed as corrupt behavior. [ 73 ] Besides the obvious utility of cancelling alight sources, the drow ability to creaste darkness was an built-in contribution of their fight strategy, as it could be used to limit view or otherwise hamper their enemies. [ 77 ] Since charming darkness looked like black rock when looked at with darkvision, there were many creative uses of the spell form a tactical point of view. For model, a drow could hide behind the “ total darkness rock ” and ambush their enemies from behind the shroud, or use it to cover up a pit. [ 73 ] Like dancing lights, fairy open fire could be used as a diversion, but the ability to change the colors of the lights allowed for the creation of color signals for the purpose of long distance communication. [ 73 ]
- Lolthtouched Combat
Lolthtouched drow sometimes trained to slip into the cover of their create darkness, [ 72 ] or determine to hit the targets of darkfire not just more accurately, but besides hard, similarly to how drow wanderers did. [ 78 ]
- Fighting Styles
The drow had a number of fight styles :
- Bautha z’hin: A style based on evasion, and on flanking and surrounding a single enemy (usually a monster) with superior numbers and agility, favored by rogues and clerics of Eilistraee and Vhaeraun.
- Draa velve: Involving the use of two swords, this style could only be mastered by those with talent and luxury to enjoy formal education. It was used by Drizzt Do’Urden.
- Jivvin golhyrr: A style used to force enemies into humiliating positions, favored by priestesses of Lolth.
- Kyone veldrin: A style that emphasized the use of the darkness ability.
- Kyorlin plynn: Used to capture opponents alive, this style was favored by conservative fighters and priestesses of Lolth alike, but for completely different reasons.
- Luth alur: A ranged combat style.
- Orb alur: This style focused on striking many opponents with one strike. Its users were valued and granted special privileges.
- Phindar streeaka: This wasn’t a style at all, but a catch-all term for mindless violence used for battle. It was “used” by drow berserkers and followers of Ghaunadaur.
- Sargh’elgg: A style that focused on making use of the drow race’s natural agility, and on the use of one single light weapon. This was the only style open for the poor who lacked education options, but was also used by clerics of Kiaransalee, Lolth and Vhaeraun.
- Ust sreen: A style about striking first and quickly reacting at the opening of a fight.
- Z’har thalack: A mounted combat style, used by the cavalry.
- Z’ress a’thalak: A style that put emphasis on physical strength over accuracy. Favored by followers of Selvetarm.
- Armors and Weapons
Drow weapons and armor were made out of a substance called adamantine, an admixture of adamantite, and then turned into drowcraft items. such equipment could not withstand sunlight, [ 79 ] but was brassy and easy to produce. [ 80 ] Before the 1370s DR, every drow warrior, down to the lowest rank, was equipped with a drowcraft chain mail and ( in most cases ) shield as well. [ 81 ] At some point during the early 1370s, these items fell out of favor [ 82 ] and the drow started to wear mithral armor when it was low-cost, but they kept using armor that would n’t hamper their natural dexterity. [ 74 ] celebrated weapons included the bolts of power, death lance, whip of fangs, [ 83 ] drow mission blade, hand spinneret, and the queen’s scourge. A long-familiar drow-made man of gear was the death armor, fabled in the Underdark. [ 84 ] The drow created some weapons with the specific determination to fight their own kind, namely the flash globes and light pellets. [ 85 ]
Among the Underdark races, the drow were the most skilled in the consumption of poisons and toxins. [ 74 ] [ 86 ] Especially celebrated was the potent drow knockout poison, made from a slippery black fungus that grew in certain Underdark caverns, and normally applied to crossbow bolts to easily put enemies to sleep. [ 74 ] other popular poisons were those extracted from purple worms, scorpions, and spiders, [ 74 ] the alleged calling, the eyeburn spread, and the skullrot. about every drow put some person feat into strengthening their tolerance to poisons as partially of their train. This was done by ingesting ever-larger doses of drow sleep poison and of spider venom, granting them further resistance to such toxins. [ 53 ] Their massive use of poisons led the drow to developed the virulent weapon enchantment to enhance the effects of any toxin applied to their weapons. [ 87 ] naturally, the drow had some countermeasures against poison, like the ring of antivenom. [ 88 ]
The priestesses of drow socieities formally occupied the positions of military leadership, but in commit it was the male commanders that actually led such forces. The priestesses much hid away in the confront of danger, while resorting to the use of bodily threats and charming domination to ensure commitment. [ 32 ] A military police squad formally led by a male drow, was either a streeakh, a suicide police squad, or a dobluth, a group of outcasts. [ 36 ]
When drow nobles warred against each other, the attacking side had to eradicate the entire foe family in a single attack. If flush one extremity of the defending syndicate survived, they could apply for “ justice ”, and the entire city would turn on the attackers. Alliances were not allowed in these kinds of attacks, and there was a minimum interim time ( one class ) between attacks on an individual house, giving them time to recuperate. [ 89 ] Prolonged screen war between two houses, by means like assassination, were not precisely forbidden, but it was lone tolerated for a fourth dimension counted in years, after which the drow city ‘s predominate council forced the two houses to enter open war. [ 90 ] This was the rationality why drow society was in a ageless express of very small-scale battle of underhandedness, alternatively of a series of bloody facade battles. [ 91 ] Making matters worse for the drow, in war situations, the noble Houses schemed against each other so that their rivals would take the heaviest losses, or carry the province for any failure, meaning that they were incapable of forming a sincerely unite front against their enemies. [ 92 ] War in the Underdark was far different from conflicts fought on the airfoil. The cramp space of the subterranean environemnt made it hard or ineffective to amass giant armies, and most battles were actually skirmishes between modest units or patrols. [ 93 ] The drow avoided big sieges and lurch battles, in favor of focusing on skirmishes, a well as hit-and-run tactics and harrying strikes. [ 94 ] Underground warfare heavily involved the use of the natural environment as a weapon through the initiation of tunnels to flank enemies, cause cave-ins, change the hang of magma, and so on. [ 93 ] The drow used ambush tactics that exploited existing dangers like loose rocks, and were skilled in using traps, such as intentionally placed phycomids or glasses full of ascomoid -spores, to gain an advantage in fight. [ 95 ] The drow besides had a bent for responding to their enemies ‘ actions, including spellcasting. [ 95 ] The members of a patrol coordinated by using infravision and counting what they called “ handfades ”, a unit of time based on how long it took a rock ‘n’ roll to lose all inflame after being touched by a hand. [ 34 ] however, they were aggressive, if not outright impatient, and one way to gain an advantage on them was to taunt their warriors farseeing adequate for them to make a fatal mistake. [ 94 ] Their method acting of war, particularly considering their enlistment of slaves and allies, could drag on for years. [ 93 ]
- Military Composition
While the accurate equipment and size of drow warbands varied from topographic point to set, it was possible to make some cosmopolitan assumptions about the composing. A drow patrol normally consisted of seven to twelve soldiers headed by a patrol drawing card and oversee by a air force officer, the latter of which normally had a utmost of three early individuals, either acolytes and apprentices or bodyguards, in tow. ordinary drow patrols contained a maximum of around six individuals with basic train, the pillow being elite warriors. These warbands normally included a mix of both male and female drow, with a homogeneous patrol likely indicate that the tension between the sexes in their city was reaching a critical distributor point. [ 96 ] patrol leaders were normally male drow with superior fighting skills or clerics trained in the use of weapons. [ 93 ] Larger patrols were broadly led by female drow, who normally had one or two brawny warriors as lieutenants. [ 94 ] An elect patrol was normally led by a female cleric with female bodyguards, and her “ acolytes ” were besides female clerics of the same church. These patrols were limited, for they had an extra cleric with healing duties who besides worked as a spy for the church service of Lolth. [ 94 ] A “ pincer ” was the appoint for a solicitation of several patrols ( two to four ) led by one air force officer, normally some kind of spellcaster called an “ overleader ” or “ battle-captain ”, who had up to four lieutenants called “ webmasters ”. [ 94 ] Ranking higher than battle-captains were “ battle-lords ” or “ warmistresses ” which had an entire patrol force as their bodyguards and to carry their magic items. Each House had a standing army of drow soldiers, priestesses, and wizards, which included contingents consisting entirely of non-drow slaves, normally bugbears, ogres, and minotaurs. [ 28 ] Around three out of every ten drow patrols included somewhere between one to eight non-drow, such as bugbears, goblins, or orcs as “ allied forces ”. Mind flayers were never a part of such groups, except when being escorted to a finish. [ 96 ] When a drow died in conflict, they were sometimes reanimated as a zombi if the lower one-half of the body was still functional. This was done to prevent the cadaver from getting plundered, to provide the corpses a method of self-transportation, to provide the hurt and immobile all in bodies with transportation, and to gain useful shock troops to use in battle. [ 75 ]
All warriors in a patrol normally equipped with short swords, daggers, astir to three javelins ( with an atlatl to extend their strive ), a hand crossbow with ten poisoned darts, and a shield for protection. [ 93 ] Patrol leaders were equipped with a hand crossbow, javelins with an atlatl, and a reasonably capture mace to indicate their agency. [ 93 ] : During wartime, the patrols doubled their numbers of poison darts, and every warrior was equipped with up to three potions of healing in steel vials that did n’t rust. [ 94 ] Patrols were outfitted with a scroll of protection from earth and stone to guard against cave-ins, while surface raiders or underground backstair attackers used an orb of duo-dimension to allow furtive attacks. [ 97 ]
Lolthite, drow company had had two nominal goals, called “ the First and Second Part of the Destiny of the People ”. The former was about forcing all other races of the Underdark into subservience, while the latter was about driving the stallion elven population into extinction, seizing their lands and holdings in the process. [ 46 ] Lolth claimed that, in order to achieve such goals, the drow had to be in a state of ceaseless infighting and fierce contest, the constant coach serving to make them stronger and smarter while breeding out indolence and other weaknesses. however, the extreme point, self-destructive degree to which the darwinian attitude of the drow was taken prevented them from achieving either of their purposes, barring possibilities for significant growth. [ 98 ] In truth, despite her rhetoric, Lolth had no intention of having the drow devote themselves to reaching their supposed goal. She found their in-fighting far excessively enjoyable to focus their attention of taking the come on. [ 99 ] On a personal flat, each drow tried to gain and maintain the favor of Lolth, amass substantial goods ( like wealth and slaves ), and profit status inside their society. [ 30 ] Depending on the place of a drow, there was a remainder in the kind of plans they supported and executed. Drow of higher stand supported endeavors to boost their own prestige by increasing their own people ‘s power and influence. Drow of lower place supported plans that dragged everybody down, for exercise by causing strife and violence within their communities. [ 46 ] Drow communities were known as city-states, although they were n’t actually organized as “ states ”, american samoa much as clusters of drow lead by oppressive, theocratic nobility. Cities were normally independent and not part of a larger drow state, and though some had trade wind agreements, most frequently fell to war with one another. [ 76 ] Cities normally included farmlands, where slaves worked to produce and harvest meat and crops. [ 76 ] Those lands were normally found inside the chief cavern but sometimes, normally due to space limits, they could be found outside angstrom well. [ 100 ]
Drow architecture, like typical elven works of construction, [ 101 ] put an vehemence on smasher and was considered a wonder to behold. [ 102 ] [ 28 ] The drow were the best architects when it came to shaping and hollowing out stalactites, stalagmites, and cave columns. They were besides known for their rock bridge, balcony, and buttress designs, a well as their intricate spiral tunnels. suspension bridges were the norm, for they could withstand earthquakes, and cave fishers were trained for the function of slinging their lines. [ 103 ] The drow used the very environment of the Underdark as material for their architecture, and could make use of growing sedimentary structures to shape their buildings. [ 104 ] They were particularly interested in the magimorphic clear black stone, because creatures with darkvision could see through it. [ 105 ] In some cities, clay was used by the poor, similarly to how to was used in Kara-Tur and the Shaar, to create dwellings. The lapp craft was used by the deep to create irregular furniture and sculptures for their parties, which were then decorated with gems, glowing fungi, and alike substantial. [ 106 ] adenine far as dwellings went, noble drow normally lived in their mansions while the commoners lived in either belittled caves or walled, circular houses with dug-out cellars and adobe-like construction, both designed to be american samoa beautiful as possible. [ 31 ] Despite their excellent craft, drow cities tended to be a chaotic and messy sight because of the miss of a undifferentiated architectural style. [ 76 ] Common features in drow cities were the presence of spider web in passages and layouts of buildings, [ 31 ] and patronize obsidian-cast spider motifs as decorations. [ 105 ] Lighting was created both through magic trick and mundane means, with the former being far more common, [ 75 ] and the continual faerie fire spell normally adorned particularly impressive structures, the borders and landmarks of a given city state, buildings belonging to the affluent, equally well as the work places for slaves outside of the city. [ 75 ] [ 107 ] [ 76 ] Magic in general was a key element in drow architecture, with all-important structures often supported by spells preferably than being cautiously built to stand on their own ( which could cause them to collapse when the magic wore off ). In the event of collapse, debris was cleaned out by slaves, only for the drow to use magic like stone shape and the barest minimum sum of handicraft for reconstruction. It was this haphazard approach to their computer architecture that meant that instability issues in drow cities had a leaning to persist. [ 102 ]
The drow were largely met in the Upperdark, but the majority of their cities were found in the Middledark as a protective covering against aggressions from the airfoil. In fact, traveling all the distance down to the Middledark with an army from the open was n’t a feasible undertaking. [ 98 ] The gates of a drow city, equally well as its significant buildings, normally had jade spider guardians. [ 108 ] The places in the Underdark where drow built their city-states had to meet sevaral criteria. The caverns had to be huge, [ 28 ] allowing a horizontal layout of the city, [ 109 ] big amounts of iron, adamantite, and gems needed to be nearby, and the magnetic storm and the faerzress needed to be particularly intense, [ 110 ] both for hardheaded reasons and, according to Qilué Veladorn, because the drow had a mental compulsion to be near the radiation and were drawn to it. [ 111 ] Whatever the cause, when the faerzress disappeared, the drow-city normally collapsed excessively. [ 109 ] The faerzress radiotherapy near most drow cities provided protective covering from charming spying via divination, and besides made it unmanageable, or even dangerous, to teleport within the area. [ 112 ] Furthermore, the faerzress allowed cheap and comfortable creation of magic, drowcraft items, [ 80 ] and the radiation had respective defensive purposes. [ 98 ] For exercise, drow often used shriekers, a type of fungus that grew in faerzress-rich places, to warn them of incoming danger. [ 110 ] however, the drow ‘s relationship with faerazress could be deoxyadenosine monophosphate much a weakness as it was a force. Their over-reliance on it meant that drow settlements were frequently stationary, leaving them relatively easy to locate and vulnerable to attack by versatile the forces of the Underdark. [ 79 ] The radiation was besides uniquely capable of causing mutations in other creatures ; a flying roper, for example, could be born in a faerazress-rich environment. If the merchandise of such mutations was powerful, drow tried to avoid fighting it and keep it within a certain area so that manque invaders would have to face it alternatively, turning it into an ignorant lookout. If the animal had a spider-like appearance, the drow would praise it as the work of Lolth and occasionally feed it with captives or entice adventurers. [ 110 ]
A forte of the drow was their ability to cut and shape stone, both with charming and mundane methods, to produce smooth-flowing buildings, and waterworks were a product of drow craft that received cosmopolitan acclaim. Systems of elaborately curved pipes that bore through solid rock candy, fitted with shut-off valves, side-channels, and pumps, collected and amused water for diverse purposes, from dietary, to industrial, to waste disposal. [ 113 ] The valves were big, empty rock spheres with two react holes, close fitted into a washbasin, which had both intake and mercantile establishment channels. They were attached to a large, counter-weighted lever that, when turned, lined up the intake and release channels with the holes of the valve to let water come through. The hang was regulated by opening a slide panel, which turned the sector in such a commission that merely the book of body of water that filled it could pass through and be diverted towards a side-channel. The aforesaid pumps had two varieties : a corkscrew-type, that worked by water pressure, and a piston character, worked by slaves. constant lotion of charming was needed to make the water seals function absolutely. [ 113 ]
Most members of a Lolthite drow company lived under oppression, in a state of ceaseless desperation and poverty. [ 76 ] Commoners normally learned a craft or entered military educate, while talented individuals could hope to enter one of the magic schools. Ironically, commoners had a greater number of multi-generation households, since their relatives had less to gain from their death, resulting in families who had many survive generations of members. There besides was n’t much to be gained from killing an elder ( at least one that was n’t feeble ), as they represented a valuable source of historical and general cognition with naturalistic approachability, [ 32 ] although they aged would be eaten if the city was faced with overpopulation. [ 46 ] Commoners who gained adequate expertness in a certain area, like Zaknafein Do’Urden as a warrior, might be adopted into a noble family. [ 32 ] From time to time, artists were adopted by one of the Houses for their skill. [ 114 ] Commoners could besides rise to a higher social station by becoming the consort of a lord, gaining the latter ‘s last name for the duration of the marriage. [ 115 ] Consort bonds were generally of impermanent nature, however, due to accidental breeches of etiquette, the lord ‘s disinterest, or because they were merely being used as a pawn in the political games of Lolthite club. The result was either a irritating death or expulsion—usually the former. [ 32 ] In cosmopolitan, rising through the ranks besides promptly was dangerous for any drow, as the common reaction was the constitution of irregular alliances among those who believed they wronged to take the nouveau-riche depressed and such alliances were much successful. [ 43 ] Nonetheless, noble drow valued commoners more than slaves, and normally sacrificed them entirely if a slave was not at pass. [ 32 ]
See also: List of drow houses Drow were ruled by their gentry, the drow Houses, made up by the families that had the persuasiveness and incredible influence to occupy the best lands, [ 32 ] [ 23 ] with most Houses frequently being located in cheeseparing proximity to each other. While the nobles hoarded the best territory and resources, the rest of the population was forced to fend for themselves. These priestesses of Lolth that normally reigned over drow societies were poor rulers who tossed their cities into a haphazard organization. [ 76 ] lord Houses constantly fought each early [ 8 ] but were besides characterized by internal strife, [ 109 ] as expected in a company that followed the Way of Lolth. [ 28 ] Though the office of the many Houses changed frequently, the few at the top normally remained stable. [ 76 ] A full indicator of a drow House ‘s power was the nobility of their knowledge domain, with the biggest, grandest villa belonging the the greatest Houses, [ 101 ] and a populace synagogue to Lolth frequently being built within the strongest family ‘s territory. [ 76 ] not alone did the infighting of drow Houses paralyze the increase of their own cities, [ 98 ] but they actively undermined opportunities and chances for any form of growth in regulate to ensure that those below them did n’t gain baron ( and with it, the option to turn away from Lolth ). [ 116 ] Drow Houses were founded by mighty drow individuals with especial powers, whose traits would be passed to their offspring ( see under lord Powers ), and further augmented with charming items. Within a family, lord drow parents viewed their children as vehicles for their own promotion, a mentality which included sacrificing them for some likely gain. noble drow families banded together for common security and not out of affection. lord drow stayed with their kin as children to protect themselves from outside ferocity, and as adults because Houses proved to be good tools for social advancement. [ 32 ]
Matron mother is a strange championship for a barbarous tyrant, but given what drow consider to be a goddess, possibly we should n’t be surprised .
Mordenkainen The head of a baronial House was a matron mother, a powerful priestess of Lolth. Below her, in descending order of influence, were the female members of the House, who were besides priestesses. [ 109 ] After them came male officers, including the weapon master, House ace, and patron ( the matron ‘s run ), although these positions could be combined. then came the other male members of the House ( war-leaders, who answered to the weapon master, and House mages, implemental to the House ace ). Below the non-officer males ( who were normally of the House ‘s pedigree ) were servants and slaves. Positions were normally sorted by age but were ultimately not set in stone, and could be changed at the matron mother ‘s whims [ 90 ] Females had absolute power within their family, and owned all the governmental and militaristic world power within the city, although they held no authority until after puberty. Males never held any authority unless they managed to become an officer. In most cases, a matron merely lost her position if murdered by her eldest daughter. This normally marked a new direction for the House, and sometimes even its destruction, because the murder of a matron was seen as a augury of disfavor from Lolth. [ 36 ] [ 90 ]
Of naturally, there are rules of behavior ; every club must boast of these. To openly commit murder or wage war invites the pretense of justice, and penalties exacted in the name of drow justice are merciless. To stick a dagger in the back of a equal during the chaos of a larger battle or in the calm shadows of an bowling alley, however, is quite acceptable—even applauded. Investigation is not the forte of drow judge. No one cares enough to bother.
Read more : Top 4 consultants mới nhất năm 2022
Drizzt Do’Urden explaining drow justice. A Lolthite drow society was a theocracy with ultimate, absolute power invested in the govern priestesses, peculiarly the matron mothers. technically the only rule was “ might makes right ”, [ 119 ] and the priestesses were evaluator, jury, and executioner ( or whatever other punishment they saw fit to enact ). There were no concepts like “ guilt until prove innocent ” or “ testify beyond a reasonable doubt ”. [ 120 ] [ 119 ] The priestesses saw it as their right to arrest and punish people for assumed offenses via methods they made up on the blemish, and the only means to lessen a punishment was for the presume criminal to have connections to those that the punishing priestess or priestesses considered a threat. [ 120 ] [ 119 ] however, as the priestesses had power invested in them by the Spider Queen, the actual basis of drow club law was the Way of Lolth. [ 109 ] The priestesses of the Spider Queen forced others to comply with Lolth ‘s dogma, which in turn became the main jurisprudence. [ 120 ] Fittingly, one of the chief tenets ( the first gear one, in fact ) was that Lolth was the only true goddess, and that anyone worshiping another deity or practicing a unlike religion was to be sacrificed to Lolth. Ritual worship by non-drow was punished with a fleshy fine and temp expatriate from the city with second offenses carrying the death punishment, along with first-time offenses by drow. To even utter another god ‘s name was frowned upon, although not a actual lawsuit for punishment. [ 119 ] [ 89 ]
Justice ? Justice had never been more than a facade and a means of keeping the pretense of order in chaotic Menzoberranzan .
 — Matron SiNafay Hun’ett, admitting angstrom a lot. While violence and property crime was punished in drow company, it was n’t because such acts were believed to be morally wrong. A drow vandal, petit larceny thief, or burglar would face charges, but the steal goods would not be hunted toss off since, in drow eyes, the fact that the previous owner could n’t defend it meant that they did n’t deserve to keep it. Similarly street patrols violently punished anyone active, but the victim of the attack was expected to defend themselves against their assailants. even drow Houses were punished for the open murder of their enemies, just as they would if their character assassination was exposed, but this was because public active was considered boorish. [ 119 ] [ 89 ] In truth, drow law was nothing more than a formal excuse for cruelty, an ironic parody of order made only to disguise the chaotic, pitiless, homicidal ambition of the drow and their infighting. For the most part, there was no order criteria for how justice was to be performed, and punishments could very easily be wildly disproportionate to the crime. “ Justice ” was a otiose and arbitrary institution with no due process or appeals system ( unless one counted leveraging their connections ) capriciously enforced at the barbarous caprice of the rule tyrants. Though certain acts did carry penalties, the only actual crime ( the part they were sincerely being punished for ) was getting catch. [ 119 ] [ 89 ]
It was considered a misdemeanor of the Way of Lolth to defy the hierarchy of their club in any way. This included but was not limited to killing spiders ( which was possibly not an actual dominion, but could be considered taboo ), a slave disobeying their owners in any way, a coarse refusing the orders of a priestess ( an exception being if the common belonged to another theater, although even then the hurt priestess was often allowed to flog them ), and a student refusing the “ woo ” of a matron or female teacher. [ 119 ] [ 89 ] Drow club besides had a stern fashion code ( which included rules about hairstyles ) meant to allow easy designation of a drow ‘s social place and House ( if any ). Any drow who committed designation litigations by wearing the improper hair manner, clothes, and/or drow house insignia was considered a criminal unless the House authorized the use of their discolor or insignia or if the matron mother expressedly permitted a drow to change their hair and attire to appear as a different rank. It was besides illegal for non-drow to disguise themselves as a specific drow, a noble drow, or a member of a House outside of the one they belonged to. [ 119 ] [ 89 ] Failing to wholly exterminate the drow baronial line of another House in a single assail, more than one House teaming up to attack another ( one of the few offenses that had to be proven ) or attacking a drow House within a year of the last attack against them were all offenses. [ 119 ] [ 89 ]
Given the wickedly capricious nature of drow law, punishment for many of the above offenses ( particularly refusing one ‘s superiors ) could range from immediate execution, death by anguish, torture without death, mutilation, castration, captivity, exile, forced labor, whisk, and exorbitant fines ( which the priestess could keep ). Whipping and distortion were the most common penalties since the priestesses enjoyed punishments that could be inflicted multiple times. irreverence of the fashion code, disregarding exceptions due to authority by the allow individuals, was constantly punished by death. [ 119 ] [ 89 ] Failing to amply obliterate another House or allying with another to do so was a crime punished by all early Houses destroying the offenders. While attacking a House in brusque succession was n’t technically punished by police, the offending Houses ‘s priestesses would lose Lolth ‘s privilege and be unable to cast spells until they performed a bang-up deed to regain it. This practically assured a House ‘s destruction as they were forced to fall bet on on diplomatic and physical methods of defensive structure, with all other Houses able to attack them with impunity. [ 119 ] [ 89 ]
Gender Roles and Family
Under Lolth ‘s dogma, female drow were recognized as being more valuable than males, who were considered worthless. This gave female drow absolute power over males, [ 109 ] and mean they were less probably to be sacrificed. [ 32 ] It would be easy to imagine, therefore, that drow females, had it much easier compared to males, but this was merely an magic trick. In drow company, where rank was power and power was everything, a prestigious put came at a high cost. Drow ambition combined with the other teachings of Lolth think of that the competition between female drow, particularly those who belonged to herculean houses, was violent, aggressive, and deadly in a direction that males did n’t have to deal with. It was even worse for those women who sought power outside of Lolth ‘s church, for they had to compete both with other females and oppressed and resentful men. [ 122 ] still, males who hoped to find any space of ability frequently resorted to ends equally treacherous as the women that ruled the drow. Men generally tried currying favors with women, attempting to advance their post by attaching themselves to them. For exercise, some tried to gain high officer positions or win a covet target as the run of a brawny matron mother. [ 37 ] Drow “ courting ” was the knowledge domain of women in Lolthite society, and for a male to try initiate a relationship was a form of insubordination and a rationality for execution by torture and sacrifice. In general, drow women chose their partners as animals would be chosen for breeding purposes, with males expected not to resist the other ‘s affections. Males had no luck on when the relationship would start or end, while females could do so at their leisure, at least in hypothesis. [ 32 ] When a drow male was desired by more than one female, the latter would compete over him. This was by no means a positivist circumstance for the male, as a female who lost might decide that if she could n’t have them then no matchless would. More than once a female would “ give up ” on a male before flaying him and leaving his cadaver in a rival ‘s bedchambers, [ 32 ] and a cast-off male would more likely end up dead than left alone. Among common drow and in non-Lolthite socieites, matters were n’t therefore extreme. The concept of marriage existed, but was not as permanent, with contracts lasting for a decade or thus at longest with the potential for renewal. merchant clans followed alike rules, but marrying into a kin mean being separate of it for life, and trying to leave could be the like as inviting end. [ 115 ] A work long-run relationship between drow was probable not the result of love, but due to real reasons, like complementary color careers, political charm, attraction, or the male having a history of fathering many female offspring. Any actual affection was normally the consequence of the male being attractive, servile, and never embarrassing the female. The best “ normal ” romantic kinship between two drow was alike to the one between a itch bratwurst and her well trained, obedient dog, with the owner having the right to put the pawl down for any rationality. [ 32 ]
Arcane magic was a route for might for male drow, though open only to a few. While they were hush socially deficient to female drow, they weren ’ thyroxine in real danger of being killed by a priestess, while evening accomplished male war commanders were in danger of being executed for perceive insults. [ 32 ] other ways of gaining station as a male were to become an arcane fan ( but it did n’t grant any extra base hit ), or an arachnomancer, taking advantage of the reverence of spiders that came with the worship of Lolth. [ 123 ] male clerics existed among the drow, but in Lolth -dominated cities, they were targets of her female followers, and Lolth barred them from achieving office beyond a certain threshold. They served in low-ranking positions under deadly risks, [ 124 ] and though capable of becoming cleric disciples, it much caused the priestesses to kill them. [ 123 ] other drow deities had different approaches to gender. Ghaunadaur had no sex restrictions, [ 32 ] while Vhaeraun ‘s religion had a sex barrier that made it harder for women to become his clerics. [ 125 ] Eilistraee accepted clergy of all genders and races, although before the 1370s DR, her actual clerics could only be female. [ 126 ] This was less due to any supposed inferiority of males, but because becoming one required a greater sympathy and sensitivity of the “ life of the early gender ”. For lack of better terminology, one merely could n’t truly feel the Divine Dance of Eilistraee “ by rights ” except as a female, and sol her rare and close male priests had to spend some time as a female, not precisely for the duration of a ritual called the Changedance, but in everyday ways. however, during the 1370s DR, Eilistraee started working towards opening up to male priesthood : for a time, males still had a hard time becoming clerics ( see besides here ), [ 27 ] but after the Second Sundering, Eilistraee ‘s clergy could be accessed by people of any gender with equal facilitate. [ 127 ]
Given the necessitate to compete for limited resources and promotion opportunities in their club, drow had an concern kinship with children. On some level drow recognized that the children were the future of their race, the vulnerability of young drow to magic for case having led to the development of the potion of magic resistance. [ 54 ] [ 46 ] however, an honest chemical bond of beloved between parent and child in drow club was even rarer than one between lovers. rather, the relationship between drow and their children was frequently one of reciprocal exploitation, each using the other as a creature only so hanker as they still needed them. [ 32 ] A child born with physical malformations or imperfections, due to the drow obsession with beauty, was killed shortly after birth. [ 115 ] ascribable to their competitive company, drow tried to instill the ideals of doggedness, cruelty, ambition, [ 43 ] autonomy, and independence in their children. [ 115 ] Since traits like forgivingness or compassion were considered dangerous and exploitable, [ 30 ] children who showed such helplessness were punished. punishment ranged from beatings to neglect, such as withholding food, with the goal of the abusive treatment being to prepare the child for the cruelty of their future lives. These punishments could prove deadly, and the inevitable child deaths were justified as “ saving ” the child from an flush worse destine as an adult. Drow children learned cruelty and bloodthirst both as a survival mechanism, and as a defensive mechanism to escape punishment, and these lessons by and large scarred a drow and stick with them for biography. [ 43 ] [ 30 ] This was when a drow ‘s parents were actually in the drow ‘s biography. noble drow were n’t raised by their parents, whom they merely rarely saw a few times a class, but by elder siblings and private caretakers before being sent to the city ‘s priesthood, military, or charming academy depending on gender and dip. In effect, each was a kind of boarding school for children over ten years honest-to-god, which normally lone allowed them to return home once per class for important family or religious meetings. [ 32 ] Merchant clans [ 115 ] and commoners ( who lacked the resources to hire tutors ) considered raising children the stallion kin ‘s duty, before they learned the parent ‘s craft, enrolled in the military, or joined a ace or cleric academy. Whether baronial or common, children generally lacked any strong parental bonds, being both physically and emotionally distant to their absentee parents, thus limiting the emotional growth they could achieve in a more normal ( by surface standards ) home environment. [ 32 ]
The drow held some respect towards races capable of resisting their aggressions, [ 28 ] and could perceive certain races as at least possible equals ( though never superiors ) with whom they had common addition or non-aggression pacts. however, contracts with “ lesser races ” were not seen as actually binding, and were promptly broken american samoa soon as they stopped being beneficial to the drow party. As a solution, the other races learned to anticipate betrayal and always had counters to the perfidy prepared. [ 46 ] Normally the drow had poor opinions of even their once allies, and viewed other races, at good, as merely absurd or contemptible. [ 74 ]
The drow ‘s ultimately viewed other races as somewhere between targets of extinction and electric potential slaves, [ 28 ] foes to be either dominated or, if they were a terror driven to extinction. As such, drow had an extremist mentality when meeting with them, their beginning thought being to engage war on the newfangled neighbors in decree to subjugate or eradicate them. Prisoners of such violent activities were the source of slaves in their cities. [ 74 ] Normally somewhere between half and two-thirds of a given drow settlement ‘s population consisted of slaves or other non-drow without rights, [ 28 ] although merely Houses amuck significant amounts of slaves. In some cases the count was rarely above the House ‘s drow population [ 128 ] and in others the slaves outnumbered them either two or three to one. [ 74 ] As a general rule, the inhabitants of Toril ‘s open knew identical little about the drow. To the average person, the drow were such a distant problem that they were considered more like myth than reality. [ 43 ] Given that they could n’t do anything effectively in bright lighter, drow were inactive on the surface during the sidereal day. [ 73 ] As a govern of flick, only 5 % of surface inhabitants had the superficial cognition that the drow were “ inhabitants of the Underdark who conducted raids on the coat ”, not including elves and eladrin, who had close diachronic connections. This made it easier for individual drow to enter surface communities without meeting hostility adenine long as they did n’t do or say something that could catch attention and lead people who had real cognition about the drow to cleanse their residential district of the threat the drow represented. [ 43 ] tied sol, come on cities by and large did n’t allow drow into their cities because of their reputation, [ 73 ] though followers of Eilistraee sometimes managed to gain a invest within surface communities. [ 129 ] [ 130 ] Their alone appearance combined with their minus public image made it practically impossible for them to efficaciously replenish their resources on the open. [ 73 ] Intelligent creatures on closely every airplane in being know of, and maintained at least a deference for, the drow. [ 121 ] R.A. Salvatore ( March 2006 ). Exile. ( Wizards of the Coast ). ISBN 0-7869-3983-4 .
- The drow regularly came into contact with the aboleths and their allies, meetings that normally resulted in war between the two groups. Unlike other races, which the dark elves could at least intuit the desires and determine the utility of, the aboleths thoughts followed alien patterns, and their environment was one the dark elves had no ability or interest in inhabiting. The drow would simply ignore the aboleths if not for the fact that the aquatic aberrations took their slaves and minions from both dark elves and their victims.
- Moreover, the drow were somewhat terrified of the aboleths, who had the power to strip free will and turn them into mindless slaves, and whose minions were immune to the intimidation the drow were accustomed to using. As such, the drow normally used brutal hit-and-run tactics against the aboleths, but only if they couldn’t agree to stay out of each other’s way. However, an increasing number of both aboleths and drow found a strangely comfortable commonality in their veneration of Ghaunadaur. The majority of both races considered his worship heretical at best and treasonous at worst, so the two outcasts of the incredibly different species frequently joined to create cities difficult to assail by land or sea.
- Araneas were viewed by the drow as traitors to Lolth according to their mythology. Some stories portrayed them as drider-like beings, punished with arachnid shape for failing Lolth, while others held them to be Lolth’s first attempt at creating life before she perfected it with the drow, although either way they were seen as feeble-minded for not following the Spider Queen. Powerful drow sought to use them as slaves while others swallowed their pride and either hired or cooperated with them to achieve a specific goal (frequently harboring plans to betray them later).
- Unusually for beings of regular passivity, the aranea had a burning hatred for the drow, resenting their narcissism and tendency to enslave or slaughter them, normally when the former option proved ineffective. Still, if offered fair enough gains, araneas would cooperate with drow as readily as any other race.
- Beholders were often sought out by the drow as allies for the extra protection these aberrations could offer to their communities, encouraging them to make their lairs outside their settlements.
- Bi-nou were said to have been created by the dark elves, and had been known to ally with them when drow numbers could prove a threat to their clan. They acted as sentries for outposts and communities, devouring even drow that did not belong to the area they protected, and some even acted as bodyguards for specific drow, moving through the caverns and attacking any threats.
- Chitines were created by the drow of Ched Nasad as part of their breeding experiments using elven and/or dwarven stock through a combination of arcane, divine, and pact magic, rituals. A population of chitines managed to escape into the Underdark, and though the drow still created chitines if needed (since they could still be useful servants), but most independent chitines absolutely refused to work with the drow unless planning a nasty surprise for their former slavemasters. The two groups often killed each other on sight, and though Lolth still favored the drow, she sometimes actively pitted both groups against each other to punish the dark elves for their past insubordination.
- Choldriths were occasionally created by the chitine transformation ritual, although originally perceived as a positive (since they could lay eggs to increase the chitine population) they were actually spawned due to Lolth’s displeasure. The choldriths were fully devoted to Lolth in body and soul and convinced the chitines to rebel against their would-be drow masters. If the chitine creation ritual resulted in a choldrith, it would be killed immediately.
- Deep dragons
- Deep dragons, like beholders, were often sought out by drow as allies, but the dark elves were just as easily their greatest enemies. They were usually encountered in the Upperdark and Middledark, particularly near drow cities, and frequently worked with the drow as guardians in exchange for regular food (which normally took the form of captives, criminals, and slaves). At the dragons’ whims however, they could just as easily maintain an arrogant and malicious distance.
- The deep dragons ultimately saw the drow as useful tools, as well as excellent providers of “trinkets” (magic items), but recognized they could prove dangerous. Though it would disrupt their food and magic supply, the deep dragons were generally pleased when the drow were faced with heavy infighting, as by weakening themselves, they ensured they would not dominate the Underdark, freeing the deep dragons of fears about a dark elf hedgemony.
- Demons had an odd relationship with the drow. The drow didn’t fear demons the same way most mortals did (as their own goddess was a denizen of the Abyss), respecting their power and reveling in their god’s link to their home. Drow called demons from the Abyss when they wanted something, and demons answered their call when they wanted something in return. Drow sought the demon’s service to increase their prestige or gain leverage against their foes while the demon either wanted to spread death, enact a devious scheme, or curry the favor of Lolth. As long as both sides got what they wanted, these arrangements concluded without incident.
- Demons were the greatest kind of slave a noble House could possess, and there were few things more effective for displaying the owner’s powers and terrifying their enemies than to see one in shackles. Demons were also desired as house guests, their attendance at a major sacrifice, lavish banquet, or dedication of a newborn daughter to Lolth giving the event greater significance. In addition, a “peaceful” gathering of drow and demons had the potential to become a riot of degenerate debauchery. Aside from hedonistic and relatively routine orgies, one of the most perverse drow fetishes was the ritualized mating of demons and dark elves, usually as part of Lolthite ceremony or other important event (such as graduation from the Academy in Menzoberranzan), which could sometimes result in such horrific demonic half-breeds as the draegloths.
- Despite relatively benign relations, one could not forget that the demons of the Abyss were not to be casually toyed with, and every so often, a drow’s demon summoning attempt went wrong. Whether due to inadequate precautions, a clever fiendish ploy, or simply because the demon managed to overpower the summoner, the end result was a demon on the lose. To fail to control one’s summoned demon was a captial offense in drow society, as it often doomed not only the caster, but the entire house along with them.
- Disir, a race of subterranean, corpse-like scavengers, had a fanatical hatred of anything that could be considered their neighbors and, rather than create their own, more often appropriated the homes of others, making them a scourge among tunneling races. The drow were a potential threat to the survival of the disir, for if they ever reached unity, the resulting power gap would ensure their extinction.
- Driders were feared and shunned by drow as outcasts even lower than slaves. After failing of defying the Spider Queen in some way, drow were transformed into drider and stripped of all status, relationships, and worldly possessions. Though initially driven from their cities, their presence was tolerated if they ever came back as a living example of what happens to thse that failed Lolth. Drow were also known to confine them in certain areas where they could serve as a line of defense against intruders.
- Driders hated the drow and their greatest joy came in slaying them. Sometimes outcast drow or whole communities would come to a drider or two, giving them a task in exchange for some reward, but the drow were infamously treacherous and could have impossible expectations, and under normal circumstances the drider would usually end up dead. An unexpected number of drider prepared for this and had contingencies to take as many drow down with them.
- Duergar were dark reflections of the dwarves just as the drow were to the elves. Their domains were just as strong, wealthy, and cruel, as those of the drow and they were almost as widespread and numerous as them, yet just like the dwarves and elves, the two were opposites in many ways. The duergar were grim and sullen, showing an adamant industriousness and pragmatic harshness unseen in the drow. The decadent dark elves used their cities to glorify the nobility, using slaves in spectacles or torment and horror, whereas the foundry-fortresses of the gray dwarves existed only to for ceaseless work and production. While the gray dwarves would enslave anything they got their hands on, they were more insular and relatively better neighbors, less likely to actively seek out slaves or victims and instead simply working the captives they did have to death.
- As with many of their relationships, the duergar were simultaneously one of the drow’s biggest allies and most frequent rivals. The duergar had a “might makes right” attitude, just as the drow did, and received their grudging respect for being able to build powerful cities and withstand their repeated attacks. As one of the races regarded by dark elves as being close to their equals, they were dealt with through a combination of armed truces, subtle threats, hard bargaining, mutually beneficial deals, and magic. The duergar were particularly good allies since they created excellent weapons and sold them from their caravans all throughout the Underdark.
- That said, the duergar were almost never trusted by the drow, and for good reason. Though willing to trade with them, the gray dwarves harbored a longstanding hatred of their underground neighbors, regularly pitting them against each other and willing to raid their caravans for slaves and treasure (like the dark elves, lacking pity for those incapable of protecting their own property). War between the two was relatively common since they frequently competed for the same territory, and both sides were relatively equal in military endeavors (the drow pulling ahead by only the slimmest of margins).
- Personally, the duergar couldn’t stand the drow, likely because they could detect the mockery behind their condescending courtesy. They viewed them as intrusive, undisciplined, and mercurial just as the drow thought of them as slow, unimaginative, and weak-willed, and the gray dwarves would sooner kill the uncontrollable creatures than take them as slaves.
- Dwarves were among the traditional enemies of the drow, the shared enmity between the two having begun as soon as the drow descended below the surface. To establish Underdark territories, they immediately launched a series of wars to seize dwarven magic items before using them against their previous owners. Drow craftwork paled in comparison to dwarven constructions, not due to any inherently inferior ability to create, but rather because of the style-over-substance, short-sightedness of the dark elves. When presented with similar situations, dwarves would create a reliable structure able to last for eons where the drow would create something aesthetically pleasing but vulnerable and potentially dangerous to the occupants.
- Both drow and dwarves were similar in that neither had high birthrates, both were often rich, and both were territorial, but their similarities were more a source of conflict and competition that common ground. Both competed for the same riches, veins and lodes of pure metallic ore and gemstones, and each party was willing to steal from the other. Drow preferred to leave the difficult and dirty mining to the dwarves (including duergar) before arriving on the scene taking the land, while dwarven raiding parties were known to “liberate” mineral deposits unearthed by drow magic. Persistent drow attacks met against the stubborn fury of the Stout Folk, with armed skirmishes being frequent and all-out wars going on for years. Both sides enlisted various allies (including mercenaries using their vast wealth), developed new magic, and tried to manipulate the earth to best defeat the ancient foe.
- While most drow shared a hatred of all other races, especially surface races, the object of their deepest hatred was the Seldarine and the surface elves, (especially moon and sun elves) referred to as the “faeries” or the “Darthiir” in Drow language, which also meant “traitors”. From the very day a drow child could understand words, they were taught that whatever problems or injustices they faced, the elves of the surface world were ultimately to blame. Hatred for their surface-kin was not simply a taught lesson, but a conditioned response, their name instinctively cursed and used as a litany when a dark elf was faced with pain and hardship.
- Drow legends varied on how exactly it happened, but the drow believed themselves to have been unjustly punished by the elven gods, especially by Corellon Larethian, banished to the Underdark unfairly. In some of the most brutal retellings of these events, the surface elves were portrayed as living embodiments of deception and malice, merciless killers that responded to the requests for peace of their innocent and naieve kin with ceaseless violence, and that massacred children and the elderly alike in an insane quest to take a horrid and painful surface world for themselves. Vile beyond even the imaginings of the drow, these fabricated surface elves were told to be utterly worthless wretches, hateful in the extreme, even towards each other.
- Most drow had a personal preference for versions of the story that had them willingly descend into the Underdark and had their transformation come as a gift from Lolth, as it went to satisfy their pride. Ironically however, as the only sensible theory went, the Church of Lolth had a tendency to suppress myths of the drow’s descent that cast them as the superior party in the engagement. By doing so, they maintained the populace’s hatred of the surface elves, fueling their sense of persecution and giving them a vile ambition to strive for in finally besting them. Even in tales where they were winning the conflict, they were subject to the punishment of the Seldarine, who coddled the losing surface elves and exiled the drow for their success.
- The existence of surface elves united the drow in mutual hate, and their mainstream culture had the annihilation of the surface elves’ as one of its goals. Despite many drow thinking this way, some had become so used to life in the Underdark that they would prefer to make the best of it, and had no interest in returning to the surface. Still, the drow quickly seized upon any chance to bring pain and death to all elves (even those that shared a similar view with them) with blind passion, and they conducted some surface raids for the expressed purpose of killing and enslaving them.
- For the elves part, they reciprocated the hatred of their deep-dwelling cousins with a loathing bordering on obsession. The elven stories of Lolth’s betrayal and the horrid raids of her children were their own centuries’ worth of indoctrination, and perhaps no race hated the drow more than the elves of the surface. Even the most open-minded elf would have trouble tolerating a drow, even one whose goodness could be objectively proven by magic, since even that could be cheated. This applied especially to the sun elves, for if there was one race they held in absolute contempt, it would be their dark cousins. They commonly saw them as abominations, the very existence of their hated enemies an insult to the Seldarine, and they often attacked them on sight.
- Gloamings, a planetouched race of the Shadowfell, were incredibly individualstic, but nearly all had a similar opinion of the drow. They almost all harbored a deep racial hatred towards them, with one legend claiming that the drow cloak of dark power spell commonly used by all drow faiths, was learned only through the capture, experimentation, and torture of many gloamings.
- Grimlocks were intensely distrustful and incredibly xenophobic, a somewhat justified outlook given the depravities they had suffered at the hands of other races of the Underdark. One of those atrocities was enslavement by the drow’s hand, and their raiding parties favored targets with large slave populations, the drow being a prime example.
- Half-drow were mostly spurned by their arrogant, full-blooded kin, dismissed as inferior due to their diluted heritage. The half-blooded drow held a bitter-resentment towards normal dark elves because of this, knowing that they were considered to be second-class citizens.
- Humans were among the drow’s traditional enemies, but one the drow lacked a unified stance on, finding them the only species as unpredictable as themselves. While their short lifespans and lack of innate abilities would incline the drow to view them as weak, the drow also had to recognize that they had greater adaptability to other environments and circumstances compared to other humanoids. Their dedication to their causes and gods (perhaps due to their short lives) could rival that of the most fervent Lolthite, but some could be easily swayed by wealth and power (the drow naturally preferring to work with the latter).
- Humans could be dangerous when they possessed martial or magical skill, and the drow considered them a young race, which meant the potential to become old. They feared what humans could accomplish if given the time and experience of longer-lived races, and their solution to this problem was to destroy or enslave them before such a future could come upon them.
- Jermlaine, a race of subterranean gremlins, had a hateful need to hurt “normal” sized humanoids rooted in a deep dense of inferiority. They carefully avoided direct conflict with beings such as the drow, (if the drow race were to unify they would be too weak to survive) and the drow had little desire to enslave the pesky creatures, although the jermlaine would happily prey on the victims of their neighbors and scavenge from their battles.
- Kuo-toa were once wholly enemies of the drow, their first meeting resulting in the dark elves killing the gogglers on sight. This seemingly changed long ago after a drow-hating ruled faction in Sorath-Nu-Sum, a center of kuo-toa politics, overthrew the ruling council and slaughtered every drow trader in its streets. This resulted in quick and deadly retribution when drow mercenaries and aquatic spiders completely rid the city of all kuo-toa, staying there only to ensure they never came back.
- Sometime after this event, the various kuo-toa clergies declared all drow to be honorary kuo-toa, and welcomed them into their settlements, the only forbidden areas being their churches and spawning pools. Servitors, slaves, and allies of the kuo-toa had the same access, and since then the drow and kuo-toa established mutually beneficial trading agreements and relatively friendly relations with mixed settlements not being uncommon. Drow were virtually the only people the kuo-toa didn’t attack on sight with neither they or their servants being sacrificed to Blibdoolpoolp, and the drow avoided openly enslaving the kuo-toa, or at least taking too many of them captive.
- Despite these practices, relations between the kuo-toa and drow were strictly professional. The fish-men feared and hated the drow, working with them because they produced useful goods and services, and the drow looked down on the kuo-toa, viewing their weeding out of the weak as something that helped them to avoid the decadence and laziness that plagued the gogglers. Blibdoolpoolp herself punished those non-kuo-toa that came to her realm without proper tribute by making them either bring a desired amount or having them kill a number of drow. A lone member of either race had to be wary amongst the company of other, particularly if their disappearance was unlikely to be noticed.
- The only reason that many kuo-toa communities were intact was because the drow rarely put their all into their attacks due to their infighting. However, this wasn’t to say the kuo-toa weren’t a threat to the drow. The cautious peace covered a sinister animosity between the two races, a cold war fueled by mutual enmity leading to many minor skirmishes, subtle undermining, frequent kidnappings, and attempts to outcolonize ancient sites on both sides that had gone on for centuries. Astute scholars speculated that a three-way conflict existed between the drow, kuo-toa, and mind flayers, and that this was part of the reason why none of them could dominate the surface realm.
- Mind flayers
- Illithids and drow were both powerful forces in the Underdark, and though neither race would ever admit the other was superior, both regarded the other as a threat. The drow viewed illithids as an inferior race, although one, like the duergar, to be respected for their powerful cities and military might, and they acknowledged the threat an illithid community could pose. This respect was colored by fear that matched that the drow felt towards the aboleths, for the humanoid aberrations were almost as alien, consumed brains, and could threaten the drow with the most horrific of fate: the loss of self. Even an enslaved drow could advance their station through guile, but a drow thrall was little more than a shell, likely an inevitable meal, that could do nothing to save itself, and most drow would prefer to die before entering such a position.
- For their part, the mind flayers were willing to treat the drow respectfully (never deferentially) if needed, and news of the dark elves’ schemes was among the topics they were most interested in. Illithids weren’t afraid of the drow, but were aware that they weren’t invincible and, like the drow themselves, didn’t desire an all-out war. The drow were heavily resistant to the illithid’s mental powers, and even if they didn’t succeed in destroying the elder brain, a drow raiding party (or an unleashed horde of demons) could decimate a colony.
- The mind flayers, again like the duergar, were simultaneously one the drow’s biggest rivals and best allies, and they worked with them much the same way. On various occasions, the illithids and drow managed to find reasons and methods to cooperate. While the illithids sometimes gave the drow advice, read enemy minds, and used their powers to keep unruly drow slaves under control, the drow crafted the illithids items and gave the mind flayers slave they no longer needed for them to feed upon. Some drow Houses had established close ties with illithids, using them to promote their causes both in the Underdark and on the surface.
- However, the arrangements between drow and illithids were shaky, as both had an intense distrust for the other and alliances could prove dangerous ( House Noquar for example, suffered for its cooperation with illithids). The drow came into contact with the mind flayers more so than the aboleths because the two competed for territory, resulting in a rivalry that resulted in raids and skirmishes. Both sides ultimately saw the other as a stepping stone to greater power. The drow saw all other Underdark dwellers as nuisances that competed for power and resources with them, and the mind flayers didn’t see the drow as that much more valuable than any non-illithid; they would be enslaved and consumed in the end, but were prepared to leave them for last.
- Deep gnomes, out of all their varied and horrible foes in the Underdark, were considered by the drow to be their most worst enemies, coming only before the surface elves in terms of hated status and perceived wickedness. In drow teachings, the svirfnebli were portrayed with personalities similar to the common perceptions of beings like kobolds or goblins, as vicious slavers that captured their enemies and tortured them for their own malevolent amusement. The drow didn’t take them lightly either, believing them to be stupid but powerful (the latter opinion not being unjustified given their ability to summon earth elementals).
Well—get on with it. I ‘m a deep gnome, you ‘re a drow. You helped me, now you plan to enslave me .
 — Barcus Wroot
- In all the Underdark, no being was as satisfyingly to slay for the drow as a deep gnome. It was a hatred they shared with the kuo-toa, leading the two of them to band together to hunt the sverfnebli, and the drow offered the captured gnomes to the kuo-toa for sacrifices. Conversely, deep gnomes feared and despised the murderous, demon-worshiping drow more than any other foe in the Underdark, and never truly allied with them. They considered them, along with the duergar, to be thorns in their side whose unrepentant evil had led those of the surface to draw similar conclusions about the deep-dwelling cousins of the gnomes.
- Even so, both deep gnomes and drow were willing to trade with one another despite their moral differences (drow offered not only information but had extensive trade routes which the deep gnomes found particularly valuable). The drow would destroy any trading partner if needed without compunction and the deep gnomes had no trust in the dark elves, putting a lot of effort into hiding their settlements from all their sworn enemies. Unlike the more stalwart dwarves, deep gnomes would withdraw when faced with persistent and powerful drow attacks.
The drow did n’t often keep animals as pets, preferring to keep creatures that could wholly comprehend their dependence on their owners. rather, many drow took a prefer slave as a personal servant or thrall, slaves that were treated as short more than pets. They did however, domesticate a number of animals for versatile purposes, and were known to take advanage of molds, fungi, and oozes by using them as traps and for sanitation. [ 74 ]
- The drow were fond of bats of all kinds (including both carnivore or herbivore varieties), and commonly kept them as pets. Drow enjoy the company of bats of all kinds, whether carnivorous or herbivorous. The carnivorous bats would eat insects and the small, flying creatures of the Underdark (but spider-eating species would be exterminated) while the herbivorous bats either had adapted to subsist on Underdark fungi or had to have fruit imported from the surface, meaning they were limited to only the richest and influential drow.
- Bats of all sizes and breeds were used by the drow for various purposes, including as spies, scouts, alarms, fighting animals, and messengers (like carrier pigeons). Their ability to navigate using sound meant they functioned extremely well in the Underdark, although most drow owners still used faerie fire to call their trained backs home. They were also used as pets, with the smallest varieties often kept in cages by small drow children. They were capable of forming genuine attachments to their bats, and therefore these pets were often killed by relatives or rivals, with reasoning ranging from teaching children that this was a foolish flaw, to simply being cruel. Drow wizards often used various bat verities (including giant, deep, and mobats) as familiars.
- Larger bats were kept in small rooms within drow mansions and frequently cleaned by slaves to remove the smell. Dire bats were sometimes bred to battle each other (either in the air or in crude arenas after being crippled) in horrid dogfights that were the source of many drow wagers. A few communities used them as flying mounts, although doing so was dangerous and normally it was commoners (even commoner children) who were forced to do so, ensuring that it would be no great loss if either rider or steed died. The dire bats were trained in how to be steered using a bit and bridle while the rider was trained how to hold onto the harness and not fall off. Normally these riders only scouted or harassed enemies with poisoned crossbow bolts.
- While they didn’t serve as familiars, the whimsical azmyth could befriend drow and serve them as companions as easily as they could bedevil them.
- Cavvekans, also known as cavedogs, had learned to coexist with beings like the drow. They were rare near dangerous drow cities, and thus were rarely taken as pets, instead being used as work animals Because their senses were superior to dark elves, the drow used them as guards (which could be done if they were captured as pups) or as hunting dogs, their ability to track by scent reaching the level of bloodhounds.
- Subterranean lizards of various types had uses among the drow, and such creatures were the animals they most often domesticated. Some were even bred for specific purposes; the sticky pads of those used as mounts or pack animals were selected traits. The larger and slower breeds were used as beasts of burden, pack lizards being a key example.
- The steady gait, balance, and wall-walking abilities of riding lizards made them ideal mounts for drow patrols. Notable individuals, like particularly capable warriors or nobles, as well as mercenaries, used them as steeds. Most Houses had at least a handful and the larger ones had entire squadrons of lizard cavalry, although unlike human knights, they crept unnoticed across the ceilings of caves to pepper the enemy with crossbow bolts rather than valiantly charge into battle. By the time the enemy realized what was happenening, most had been rendered unconscious. They also had a keen sense of smell and were trained to follow silent directions, mitigating their inability to see in the dark, and could move without leaving obvious and readable heat prints.
- The slimy, skink-like spitting crawlers were favorites among male drow living in a typical Lolthite society, highly prized and commonly used by wizards as familiars and otherwise used as pets. Given that their acid was incredibly potent and extremely irritating even if only slightly exposed, they were unsuitable for children or very vain drow.
- Night hunters
- Night hunters, evil creatures able to see even further into the dark than the drow, were sometimes domesticated by the dark elves and used as aggressive pets or familiars.
- Rothe, more precisely the smaller deep rothe, were also commonly domesticated by the drow. They were a common food source and a beast of burden for merchants and farmers wherever they were found.
- Shriekers, despite being fungi rather than animals, were kept as pets by unusual drow communities that worshiped demons or strange gods. They were also used as a warning system for certain areas within noble Houses. There were a plethora of shrieker varieties, each giving off different sounds, and they were both easy to care for and could be trained to recognize certain creatures. They could also be eaten if they grew too big or became too unruly, and some drow delighted in eating them live, savoring the screams like they were those of a surface elf.
- Like shriekers, slaves were not technically animals, but it was not uncommon for young nobles to adopt them as “pets”. It was also common for drow in general to pick a favored slave that was nothing short of a pet. Trolls were examples of creatures treated as such, and children were particularly likely to pick a pet if the being was physically small or perceived to be stupid (such as most goblins and kobolds).
- Though their lives of child slaves were comparatively pampered compared to ordinary servitors, they were still treated as little more than animals, their lives always forfeit. They were often chained in small rooms when the child didn’t want to play, and many were neglected and forgotten for weeks on end (perhaps if they misbehaved in some way) or just tortured to death when the child tired of them. Such pets were easily replaceable.
- Snakes were common drow companions, including both constrictors and poisonous serpents. Drow torturers enjoyed extracting the venom of their pets to increase the agony of their victims. Younger drow, particularly priestesses-in-training, sometimes had small consrictors as pets, and often fed them flesh carved from living slaves to “train” them. Spitting snakes were placed in cages on high shelves so that they could spew venom at intruders. Both poisonous and spitting snakes were also used as familiars by drow wizards.
- Snakes, being generally venemous, were favored creautres to Lolthites, occupying a clear second-place position in sanctity next to arcachnids, and individuals that died in Lolth’s disfavor were said to reincarnate as either. Favored ones that died while protecting a temple to Lolth were used to create the whips of fangs.
- Spiders, being the symbol of Lolth, were the animals most closely associated with the drow, and they had a variety of roles in a drow community depending on their size. Very small ones were kept as pets by children in lairs made of metal and glass, while those big enough to kill mice served as familiars or roamed the streets acting as pest controllers. Those of dog-size sometimes served as temple guards (and were occassionally resurrected and bound to spider-demon upon their death), while those of horse-size were used as steeds.
- Due to the difficulty of training unintelligent vermin, spiders in drow communities were often specifically bred for their purpose. The sword spider, was an excellent example brought to the Underdark from the surface and often commanded by the priestesses of Lolth. Spider-like outsiders such as bebiliths, myrlochar, and retrievers were also a common sight in Lolth’s temples.
- Drow cities weren’t full of spiders solely because of the faith. The drow had an affinity for spiders and they in turn were attracted to the drow, leading to large concentrations of spiders even in communities that didn’t worship Lolth. Lolthite dogma forbade the act of hurting spiders, and such an act was punished with torture and death.
- However, other sources claimed that rather than revering spiders, it would be more accurate to say that the drow emulated them, meaning they ruthlessly preyed upon even their own kin. Hurting spiders was still somewhat taboo, as the act could be used against a drow by their superiors, but it was possible their attitude was less reverence and more indifference until it became inconvenient. Some drow families even ceremoniously ate spiders before a meal to give thanks to the Spider Queen.
- Main article: Drow language
Barring the most archaic among them, the drow were a literate race. [ 76 ] As was park for elves, drow language was quite eloquent and their speech was about musical. [ 55 ] Most drow merely knew two languages, namely trench Drow and the Sign terminology, since they normally stayed in their cities and consequently had limited photograph to or need to learn other tongues. however, drow adventurers, outcasts, and slave-traders frequently learned more languages, [ 55 ] as did their warriors. [ 76 ] Drow were known to use their ability to read insidious markings in rock to leave privy messages. [ 75 ] Drow names often included double letters and were designed to be pleasant to the ear. [ 8 ] They believed that having first identify similar to those of the Dark Seldarine guaranteed misfortune, and name similar to that of their patron was considered blasphemy. [ 191 ] Nobles had a strong tendency to avoid giving names that were alike in heavy to the common spit of Deep Drow. [ 191 ] Drow stopping point names never started with the “ L ” -sound like that of “ Lolth ”, “ Lloth ”, or “ Loethe ”, as this was reserved for the Spider Queen ‘s embodiment. Holding a final name, in general, meant that the holder was either hold into a noble kin, or had a rank and function ( like weapon headmaster ) in a family. Drow that did n’t meet those criteria were n’t allowed to have a surname. [ 192 ]
- Deep Drow
- The everyday language of the drow was commonly called “Deep Drow”, as well as “Low Drow” or “Drowic”. It was an elven dialect similar in structure to Common and Undercommon, with a lot of borrowed words from other languages like the orcish, dwarven, and human tongues.
- Drow Sign language
- The Sign language was also commonly known among drow. It could convey information as well as any spoken language within range of 120 feet (37 meters) and had no written form. The language was not part of the drow’s compulsory education, but they had an easy time learning it.
- High Drow
- High Drow was an archaic dialect which priestesses of Lolth learned in order to be able to speak without fear of others understanding them. It conveyed information through both spoken word and certain gestures.
- It was quite common for drow to be proficient in the trade language of Undercommon.
- Other languages
- Drow with the time or inclination, such as warriors, had a tendency to learn the languages of creatures that lived physically close to their communities, such as Abyssal, Common, Draconic, and Goblin, as well as those languages that were spoken in the nearest surface area.
The drow had a issue of customs and gestures. For exercise, it was a normally accepted gesture to drop held weapons and fall on a knee as a gestural of surrender. There were many rituals ampere well, like the gradation ceremony for the graduates of the mage, priest, and warrior schools. [ 193 ] When participating in a meet, due to their helplessness to light, the creation of an intense alight source was seen as a hostile act by the drow, that led them to attack. [ 54 ] Some known drow rituals and customs included :
- The Blooding: A coming of age event that consisted of killing a dangerous or sentient surface creature.
- Illiyitrii: A formal dance, which sometimes served as a platform for displaying wealth and power, for example, through costumes.
- Nedeirra: A dancing competition where those who mistepped were marked with harmless faerie fire.
- The Running: An annual ritual where the drow went out to commit a massacre against a surface community. It was only held where the surface was easily accessible.
- The Test and the Test of Lolth: Rites of passage and tests of loyalty for those Lolthite drow (especially wizards) who reached a certain degree of power and knowledge. When a priestess passed, she gained a promotion. Those who failed were turned into driders.
- spider Hunting: A game of hide-and-seek played by young drow as a kind of courting ritual during festivals.
due to the dark elf love of beauty, the demand for art and skilled craft, particularly finely forged weapons, was high. [ 115 ] Good artisans, specially advanced ones ( which made up about 0.1-0.4 % of the population ), were highly sought after by the noble Houses. Families that did n’t produce aesthetic endowment on their own acquired it from the outside ( be it by dim-witted hire, emphatic compulsion, or the rare borrowing into the kin ). [ 198 ] Noble households much had their own single sculptors and gemcutters. [ 199 ] About a fifth of the stallion drow subspecies was able of complex works, while alone about one-tenth could create items fine adequate to be enchanted or turned into drowcraft through the assimilation of faerzress. flush though capable artisans were n’t few among the drow, there was a great deficit of such talents compared to the demand, and both nobles and merchant clans tried to have at least six on their payroll. overall, artisans were among the most intrigant and paranoid drow. They used catchy devices like clothes with built-in items, gas-powered needle-throwers, extensile mechanical hands, wire-saws, and similar devices to defend themselves and break out of cages and prisons. [ 198 ] artwork and craftwork of the drow were much made out of materials like metallic and fabric. They frequently included spider motifs, such as the curtains positioned to emulate spider web that frequently adorned baronial Houses. [ 199 ] An art class singular to the drow was the use of continual faerie fire to create murals or to highlight temples. [ 107 ]
- Variant Drow Cultures
about all drow were born into typical drow culture, and were known as Udadrow. These were by far the most coarse type of drow, and the only type known to most. [ 200 ] [ 201 ] Drow that remained loyal to Lolth were known as Lolth-sworn drow. [ 202 ] not all Udadrow became a part of the crimson mainstream culture that most of the subspecies were forced to endure. Those few who escaped the animation of the Underdark could break away wholly from their dark past, while some fortunate drow were actually born and raised outside of the world under. Some drow found merit within themselves in cattiness of all the terrors they witnessed ( or possibly because of it ). Others turned to better ways either out of guilt or just because they were nobelium longer forced to obey Lolth ‘s dogma. still others were perilously insane, broken by the horrors that shook their psyches. [ 45 ] The drow who chose to live on the airfoil, outside of the churches of Eilistraee and Vhaeraun, did not form any kind of organized society and alternatively lived as hermits and outcasts. They would interact with early societies when needed, but not out of choice. [ 76 ] Drow who wandered the surface in an try to settle their conflict with Lolth and each other were known as Seldarine drow. [ 202 ]
Though many drow followed the way of Lolth and became Udadrow, some rejected her. A mysterious band of drow headed to the army for the liberation of rwanda north and were apparently never hear of again. This outgrowth of drow became starlight elves, Aevendrow, who were skilled mages and lived in a a lot more free club. They were incredibly close in nature and virtually strange, even by the oldest elves of Toril, living in their frigid home of Callidae. [ 200 ] [ 201 ]
similarly to the Aevendrow, the greenshadow elves, or Lorendrow, were a much unheard of group of drow that rejected Lolth ‘s teachings. This group headed south to a tropical jungle environment and drew ability from the environment itself. such drow were very wise and sought to live harmoniously with nature in their forest city of Saekolath. [ 200 ] [ 201 ]
- Main article: Dark Seldarine
The majority of all drow worshiped a group of divine entities they jointly referred to as the Dark Seldarine, a name intended to mock the original Seldarine. [ 203 ] Though having a group identify might suggest some sort of alliance, the Dark Seldarine was a pantheon merely in mention. The entirely thing that technically united them all, outside of a few ephemeral alliances, was that each was a deity revered by a fraction of the drow. [ 204 ] With few exceptions, every entity within the Dark Seldarine demanded absolute allegiance from its adherents. [ 204 ] The Way of Lolth, for example, made clear that Lolth was the only true divine being, and to follow any early faith would bring down a series of awed punishments on the perpetrator, including death. [ 205 ] Unlike the elves, who often venerated one extremity of their pantheon above the others while hush paying court to each of their deities, [ 206 ] the drow would choose one, sometimes two, gods or goddesses from their pantheon and ignore the rest. [ 204 ] [ 207 ] As a resultant role, while deities like Bane, Cyric, and Shar had millions of worshipers [ 208 ] but only 135,000, 250,000, and 100,000 dedicated church members respectively, [ 209 ] the number of worshipers of a Dark Seladrine extremity was about equal to the size of their church. [ 204 ] The kinship between the drow and their gods was one of reciprocal exploitation ( with the exception of the one beneficial -aligned penis, Eilistraee ). Most were not worshiped out of any common sense of true piety or devotion, but out of fear, respect, and/or personal ambition. Likewise, most drow gods were well involved in the lives of their followers, but not because they authentically cared about them ; each demanded total, exclusive obedience, and did not care what happened to them outside of how it affected their personal power. [ 204 ]
- Major Faiths
There were two major faiths among the drow : [ 74 ]
- The church of Lolth was the primary drow faith. Its goal was to strengthen Lolth and her authority by bringing all drow under the church’s wing, while killing those who were in any way a challenge to the authority of the Spider Queen and her clergy.
- Though religion played a large part in drow society, the caste system and other seemingly lawful aspects of the culture clashed with Lolth’s intent and directives as a chaotic evil goddess. As a result, much of the tension between the clergy of Lolth and more secular drow came from this very different perspective.
- The faith of Vhaeraun was the biggest among surface drow, and the second biggest overall among the whole race. Its goal was to re-elevate the Ilythiiri to the position of power they once held, in a society where equality between the sexes reigned. They intended to gain a foothold on the surface, crush Lolth’s version of society, stop the infighting, and unify their people for dominion.
- The Masked Lord was primarily worshiped by male drow, because of his goal of gender equality, and by those people who dealt in the acquisition of wealth by illegal means, because as the god of thieves, he approved of greed. Vhaeraun was also a god of arrogance, and reinforced the race’s sense of superiority.
- Vhaeraun’s faith was exempt from the ordinary rules regarding drow religion. Lolth’s clergy considered the Vhaerun’s to be a serious enemy, and the followers of the Masked Lord were outright called to be destroyed by Lolth’s established order. Those suspected to be worshiping the god were to be apprehended and questioned with magic (this being a crime that actually needed proof before punishment) and those found guilty were immediately executed. There were also specialty priests of Vhaeraun called masked traitors, spies whom Lolth believed to be her clerics.
- However, since the Second Sundering, there were three ways to openly pray Vhaeraun in a Lolthite society. First, invoking the god of thieves when embarking on raids was a normal, accepted practice. Second, in the 1490s DR, the majority of the church of Vhaeraun were not revolutionaries, but simply people who wanted to improve their lot in life and worked towards that end. This was tacitly tolerated by the matriarchy but such people still hid their identities, for they passively resisted the established order and that remained dangerous. Third, there were true Lolth-loyalists who believed a legend that painted the Masked God of Night as a god who hid the scars that his mother inflicted him under a mask, and who lost his tongue to her. These loyalists scarred and silenced themselves, and acted as bodyguards for the matron mothers.
- Minor Faiths
The drow as a whole hold to many different religions outside of those accepted by most of their society. It was believed that the “ good drow ” jointly worshiped Eilistraee, [ 149 ] drow goddess of freedom, [ 217 ] although in truth the more morally achromatic of the “ commodity drow ” were split between the idolize of Ghaunadaur, Selvetarm, Lolth, and Vhaeraun. [ 218 ] Some drow exist in Waterdeep besides followed the gods of the Seldarine. [ 54 ] The following faiths were of minor importance : [ 74 ]
- The church of Eilistraee, drow goddess of beauty, song, and freedom, strove to release the drow from Lolth’s web and build a place for their people on the surface world. In the Underdark they tried to reach their kin, while on the surface they offered help to the needy and nurtured arts, working to build peaceful relationships with the other races.
- Most drow weren’t aware of Eilistraee, as the matron mothers suppressed all records about her, and what little information existed painted her as a surface elf deity aiming to drive the drow into extinction. Due to the nature of their goal, except when performing missions to bring other drow away from the Lolthite society, the faith was mainly active on the surface and had little presence in the Underdark.
- Some followers of Eilistraee lived within Lolthite settlements, either because they were trapped, in which case they looked to escape with their families (presuming they had any), or because they were infiltrators helping the other drow escape. These drow were known as “Secret Moondancers”, but no good drow had ever managed to create even minor change in a drow city’s policies or customs.
- The church of Ghaunadaur believed that everybody capable of strength was allowed to wield power, an idea that actually devolved into an extreme form of “might makes right”. The Ghaunadans’ goal was to promote the faith of their deity and to ensure that he was fed with sacrifices, by killing followers of other deities and pillaging their temples.
- Every drow had used to be more or less aware of That Which Lurks, but after the Spellplague, knowledge about the Elder Eye was forgotten by the drow due to suppression from Lolth’s clergy. Even so, worship of Ghaundadaur was widespread in the Underdark after the Second Sundering.
- church of Kiaransalee
- The church of Kiaransalee was a fatalistic cult that concerned itself with vengeance and necromancy. They believed that, through loyal service to the Revenancer, they would be reborn as undead and live forever. Said service consisted of killing and re-animating people, while at the same time avenging every slight. Given the cultural weight of taking revenge in drow society, Kiaransalee had significant appeal.
- Kiaransalee was a rather unknown goddess, and most of those who knew about her thought her to be a delusional lich who saw herself as a deity. However, during the Silence of Lolth, the church grew enough in size to allow the deity to become a lesser power, rather than a demigoddess.
- church service of Selvetarm
- The church of Selvetarm, god of drow warriors, consisted mostly of guards and others who constantly honed their fighting skills and reveled in battle. Due to its emphasis on individual battle prowess rather than strategy, adhering to this faith blocked a drow from obtaining high positions in the military. Calling out to the Spider That Waits was mostly done by lower-class drow.
- Selvetarm wasn’t recognized as a god by most of his followers, who worshiped him as a powerful servant of Lolth (the only form of veneration of this deity that was accepted in the mainstream drow society). Venerating him as an individual deity wasn’t tolerated within Lolthite settlements.
The charming of the drow was on equality with that line up on the surface. [ 231 ]
There was a number of spells associated with the drow, but not all had been developed by them. While they were known for the ability to create spells, and some of the magic known on the surface had besides independently been developed by the drow, they besides stole quite a lot of arcane cognition from the surface by kidnapping casters during their raids. [ 232 ] For case, the vipergout spell was primitively developed by the scalykind, [ 233 ] but was still considered drow. [ 234 ] The drow had besides created a number of spells that summoned or imitate spiders and their web, like giant spider, spidereyes, summon spider, passweb, spellweb, death spider, spider bite, and spider climb. [ 235 ]
Drow were not barely avid inventors of magic items, [ 231 ] but besides the chief crafters of magic items in the Underdark. [ 236 ] similarly to spells, while some items were associated with the drow, not all had been developed by them, as they were known to steal charming items and related cognition from the surface during their raids. however, sealed items had been developed by the drow, or based on magic from before the Descent, [ 231 ] and most of those items were created to be entirely available by drow, due to their paranoia. [ 76 ] The drow loved charming items of any kind, and all potent families gave some enchant items to those who served them. The piwafwi was a ill-famed exercise, although insignia were besides crucial to the drow houses and granted special powers like, sometimes, levitation. [ 76 ]
Drow had an aptitude for rune charming, [ 76 ] elegantly limning runes in black paste, ink, or inlay. There were three categories of drow runes and glyph : the house defense glyph, used by the most herculean drow to defend their houses and treasures, the way-marker runes, used to guard places with drow traffic but no permanent wave population, and the hallowed glyph, only found in consecrated sites of Lolth. [ 76 ] Runes could be enchanted with a glyph of warding while, [ 237 ] and drow runecasters could create singular ones for locations of importance. [ 76 ]
Drow priestesses and wizards often created charming scrolls to give their warriors an boundary during their patrols. Overall, the drow used scrolls more often than surface races and were besides known to create unique ones. [ 88 ]
Drow practitioners of path magic organized their spells in the alleged Path of the Drow, besides known as Lolth ‘s Road, or the Spider Road. It was considered a lost path, i.e. generally stranger to other races. [ 238 ]
While the drow misconstrue psionics and distrusted its practioners, as in most societies, the dark elves were unlike in that their extensive dealings with duergar and illithids made them more familiar and reasonably more demur of it. Though their leaders were disbelieving of it, working to ensure it did n’t threaten them, they frequently saw it as a useful and unexpected tool in their arsenal. [ 239 ] ;
Like any other civilization, the drow had craftsmen, farmers, and businesses but these were undercut by the priestesses of Lolth and the nature of their club. not merely did Lolth ‘s chosen purposefully cave opportunities for increase to retain their grip on power ( besides much change excessively promptly risked giving the lower class a dangerous taste of freedom ), but while purportedly expected to do so, they had the authority to take items from businesses without paying. If a priestess particularly liked the products, this could cause a commercial enterprise to go bankrupt despite the owners ‘ efforts, leaving the barren workers with no choice but to enter a shrink that basically made them slaves to the priestess. [ 116 ] [ 32 ] In general, drow society didn ’ thymine have unemployment or homelessness issues, as those who fell in either or both categories were naturally dealt with. This could mean that they suffered indiscriminate violence, were used in homicidal sport by drow nobles, or were merely put to work as slaves. many drow signed up into the military because the risk of a violent end there was lower than as an unemployed or homeless individual. The ceaseless demand for soldiers, no topic the level of skill, allowed such course of action. [ 32 ]
- Merchant Clans
The second greatest world power group inside a given drow city were the merchant clans, [ 240 ] whose success was crucial for the survival of the drow subspecies. [ 90 ] The clans were among the primary mercantile organizations in the Underdark, and their presence was common along its trade routes. [ 100 ] Contrary to the Houses, merchant clans were run by male drow, since females considered interaction with outsiders to be excessively demeaning and dangerous for them. Outside the environment of the drow cities, merchant clans and noble Houses openly fight each other. [ 240 ] merchant clans had some variation, but frequently had a few rules in coarse. The lowest rate members, about entirely non-drow, were called “ assets ”, and made up the labor and military coerce of the organization. Male drow of merchant clans broadly had no inhibitions when it came to interacting with early races, including surface-dwellers, because they knew that there was no luck of advancement within their club for them. In fact, many of the “ second closed chain ”, as the managers of a merchant clans were called, were non-drow. A council of male wizards, called an “ inside ring ”, ruled over the kin. [ 240 ] only the most have and worldly drow of the merchant clans were capable of forming genuine friendships with the alleged lesser races, including mind flayers or duergars. [ 146 ]
In typical drow society, where the the concept of implicit in respect of life did not exist, bondage was an crucial practice. [ 28 ], [ 30 ] All unskilled parturiency in drow cities was carried out by slaves, and for that argue the slave barter was a boom clientele. Slaves were not merely captured but besides bred, [ 74 ] or bought from sellers like the humans of Calimshan, Thay, and the Plain of Horses, and the orcs from the North. [ 146 ] The drow did n’t see slaves as a valuable commodity, but as a stingily and well replaceable tool that they were allowed to treat cruelly and exploit at will. [ 146 ] Slaves, in general, were not allowed to look into the eyes of a drow or to carry weapons without permission ( a rule that was largely enforced when the slave was a prizefighter of some kind ). [ 146 ] Given that all incompetent department of labor in drow cities was carried out by slaves, and that surface dwellers were considered to be the best for that function, surface raids were full of life for the maintenance of the economy. [ 128 ] No matter the size, these attacks had the basal objective to capture people, with loot considered a matter of secondary importance. [ 128 ] large raid parties, consisting of hundreds of members that sacked entire cities, were rare. Most raids only involved humble bands, and started with scouting operations, followed by either open bloodshed or by infiltration to kidnap electric potential slaves. sometimes both methods were combined ; one drow group could catch the attention of the residents, for model through arson, while another pull fulfilled the actual objective of kidnapping people undisturbed. due to the drow ‘s weakness to sunlight, the attacks normally happened at night and ended before dawn. [ 128 ] To take advantage of even the smallest cracks that constituted an opening to the surface, orbs of duo-dimension were used in these assaults. [ 241 ]
- Bugbears: Bugbears were common slavestock in drow cities and common part of noble families’ slave soldiers.
- Demons: Having demonic slaves was a sign of prestige for the drow that demonstrated the master’s power and intimidated their enemies.
- Drow: Drow could also become slaves in their society, either because of an unpaid debt, or due to being nobles who were captured in battle but whose ransom wasn’t paid. In some cities, such people were executed rather than enslaved.
- Dwarves: Dwarves were among the most desired slaves by the drow, but they were also considered stubborn and intractable, to be enslaved if possible, but with execution being preferred.
- Duergar: The rigid thinking and physical stamina as of the gray dwarves made them favored as slaves.
- Elves: Elves were among the most desired slaves by the drow.
- Giants: Giants, including trolls, were not considered good slaves due to their large bodies and fearsome strength.
- Goblins: Goblins were one of the races from which the drow commonly acquired their slaves.
- Hobgoblins: Like goblins, hobgoblins were a frequent source of slave labor.
- Humans: Humans were valuable and treasured slaves, unless they had combat abilities, be they mundane or magical, in which case they were considered dangerous. Human artisans were especially valued, but they couldn’t survive long in the Underdark environment and under such cruel masters.
- Kobolds: Kobolds weren’t valued as slaves as they were agile, independent, and too physically weak to make decent workers, but they were sometimes taken as entertainers and messengers.
- Jermlaine: Like kobolds, Jermlaine were too quick and independent to make decent slaves.
- Minotaur: Minotaurs were common among the noble House slave soldiers, but were not particularly numerous.
- Ogres: Ogres were common slaves among drow and often part of noble families’ slave soldiers.
- Orc: Orcs were one of the races from which the drow commonly acquired their slaves, valuable soldiers and manual laborers due to their strength, relative stupidity, and capability to live underground.
- Quaggoths: Quaggoths were often slaves in drow cities.
- Sinisters: Sinisters were sometimes magically enslaved by the drow to serve as alarms due to their telepathic abilities. Their protective and offensive powers, including the hold person spell-like ability, made them particularly desired as bodyguards by fearful drow spellcasters.
It was park for hurt drow to make use of a prosthesis, as craft in artificial limb was gain and well available. They were made from adamant, worked vitamin a well as the original limbs, and could besides be situationally weaponized or equipped with parts functioning as specialize tools. For example, exchanging a hand with a claw or sword for battle was possible. From prison term to prison term, non-injured drow used this technology for their body-extensions, like toe-claws to kick-stab their enemies. [ 243 ]
- Storage technology
The drow were particularly technical in designing ways to move and store goods, from trade-containers to harnesses for beasts of effect and mounts. This technology was born out of a high demand for goods that had to be carried to drow cities from distant places, like crab or fish found in the Underdark, which their patrols carried in alleged “ wet basins ” made of clay, or fruits and other surface-only goods, which they obtained by means of trade and raid. [ 106 ] The drow besides developed magic trick items that helped transportation system of both people and goods, like the driftdisc, the floatchest, and the walking chest. [ 244 ]
As a general rule, drow had a predilection for smooth or cabochon cut gems over faceted ones, and prefer black, blue, and crimson to other colors. Gems of silver hues were used as contrast when it could n’t be provided by metal. Gems were normally worked in rings, wristlets, gorgets, belts, pendants, or collars. [ 245 ] Drow of average wealth wear banded agate, blue quartz, crown of argent, center agate, hematite, malachite, obsidian, jasper, moonstone, onyx, rock quartz glass, smoky quartz, zircon, aquamarine, garnet, jade, k, bone, spinel, and tourmaline. Nobles, powerful wizards, officers, and priestesses wore early, more prize stones like amethyst, beljuril, black opal, total darkness sapphire, baseball diamond, emerald, fire opal, hyacinth, opal, oriental amethyst, orl, ravenar, bolshevik bust, ruby, azure, star ruby, ace sapphire, water opal, and zendalure. When it came to the priestesses, the come, curio, and kind of gems that they wore was on a higher level than all other drow. other kinds of gems were much used as currentness for barter with non-drow. [ 245 ]
Drow were the most wide-spread and numerous among the Underdark races. [ 28 ] They lived in about forty city state scattered around the Upperdark and Middledark, [ 109 ] [ 118 ] chiefly in the latter. Drow were normally only send in the Lowerdark as scouting parties, or as some kind of punishment for angering a matron. [ 246 ] Drow preferred to live in areas that fulfilled sealed criteria. As a consequence, most of their settlements were found under the Moonsea, north and west of Iltkazar, from the metro of Calimshan to the one of Icewind Dale. Their sphere of determine, however, was much larger. [ 109 ] Some luminary drow cities were :
- Chaulssin: Chualssin stood out among the drow cities, as it primarily served as the headquarters for the Jaezred Chaulssin.
- Ched Nasad: Also called the City of Shimmering Webs, the city was built on magically calcified webs.
- Eryndlyn: Eryndlyn stood out among the drow cities because it was split among three faiths: Ghaunadaur, Lolth, and Vhaeraun.
- Maerimydra: The drow of Maerimydra were responsible for the construction of the Twisted Tower.
- Menzoberranzan: While not particularly large, Menzoberranzan was the archetypal drow city.
- Sschindylryn: Sschindylryn was a city where merchant clans took over after the constant infighting caused the matriarchy to fall from power.
- Sshamath: In the city of Dark Weavings, wizards managed to wrestle power from the priestesses of Lolth. Various faiths could be found in Sshamath, both belonging to the Dark Seldarine and not.
The term “ airfoil drow ” referred to all individuals who spent less than four consecutive days below the surface in their regular life. [ 50 ] Surface drow had no love for bright light, unfold flip, and forte noises, and a preference for iniquity. [ 50 ] Most surface drow were followers of Vhaeraun, not Lolth, [ 211 ] and the huge majority of Eilistraee ‘s followers were besides on the surface. [ 109 ] Among the coat, drow was not a huge problem like in the Underdark. [ 211 ] A number of them embraced a sincerely different morality than most of their brethren, either because born on the surface, or because of a decision to abandon the direction of Lolth. Some of those who came to the surface from the Underdark had already formed a unlike morality before leaving, while others had used to live under the Lolthite dogma. Among the latter, certain individuals were haunted by their past deeds, sometimes to the item of being broken by the weight of their atrocious actions ( even becoming a danger due to their mental instability ), while others were rightfully unapologetic about their behavior in the Underdark, and pushed all province on the necessity of it. [ 45 ] many drow on the surface were actually spies even loyal to Lolth, sent to infiltrate the enemy and gather information for their matrons. however, the more time a drow spend among its enemies, the higher the risk that drow would defect in some way. In some cases this was to undermine a rival house by perpetuating false information, while others began sympathizing with their foes, even to the point of believing they were undeserving of the hate they received and the ferocity their kin would inflict on them. [ 252 ] Surface drow, while ignored by others, were attractive to the merchant clans, for they represented a contact to the surface for trade. For exemplar, some surface drow managed to become traders who traded with Calimshan, Chessenta, Mulhorand, Waterdeep, or Zhentil Keep. [ 50 ] That said, the majority of coat drow lived as hermits or found employment in rather distasteful areas of expertness where their heritage was an actual advantage, like adventurer companies or assassins ‘ guilds. [ 253 ]
- Drow-run organizations
- The Dark Dagger was a group active around the Sea of Fallen Stars. They tried to infiltrate and eventually take over the criminal milieu there.
- The Horizon Syndicate was merchant conglomerate that organized trade between Underdark communities and surface ones.
- The Jaezred Chaulssin was an assassins’ guild with the objective to restructure drow society and free the drow from Lolth’s tyranny. They believed that drow society was so far beyond help that it needed to be destroyed and rebuilt from the ground up.
- Organizations with strong drow membership
- The affiliated merchants of the Underdark were a protection racket that targeted merchants in the Underdark and demanded money for protection from harm that originated from them. It was run by the drow Sofra by 1372 DR.
- The Guild of Underdark guides was, as the name suggested, a group of guides in the Underdark. Neutral and good drow with no interest in the surface made up a meaningful part of the membership.
- The Underdark anarchists ‘ company was on the front of a protest movement against general Underdark society. Its true objective was the abolition of slavery in the Underdark. An important part of its membership were chaotic and evil drow who used the organization as a platform for protest against the establishment.
initial exposure to sunlight was dangerous for a drow and causal agent of heavy sunburns. even after getting used to the sunlight, drow had a solid leaning to cover their skin and head when exposed. [ 260 ]
Drow eyes were sensitive to heat, possessing infravision up to a range of 120 feet ( 37 meters ). courtly education or much practice was needed to “ read ” heat hues, as the drow had no congenital ability to discern the meaning of the assorted patterns from birth. cold objects appeared grey, while heat was seen, in ascending ordering of intensity, as blue, imperial, loss, and warm yellow. [ 75 ] They besides had darkvision up to the lapp scope, but not the low-light vision characteristic of other elves. [ 9 ] It took a drow about ten years of exposure for them to get used to the sunlight and to use their infravision and normal vision simultaneously. [ 260 ] Drow had excellent hearing, a trait developed by necessity given the overriding importance of foreseeing rock shifts, collapses, and early hazards in the Underdark. It was besides the primary means by which they found water, by listening to the dripping good it made. They had long, slender fingers and a keen haptic sense, to the point of being able to read elusive markings on stone as if they were Braille. On the other handwriting, drow had a homo -like sense of olfactory property, far less acute than in the other Underdark races and than their other senses. Smells were dulled in the Underdark, and the omnipresent smell of muffle rocks and the fungi-riddled air of their natural environment, combined with the strong incenses and the scent of slaves in the drow cities, made it unmanageable to develop a keen olfactory feel. [ 75 ] In contrast to creatures such as dwarves or deep gnomes, who had a deep, intutive sense of stone and subterranean conditions, the drow race ‘s forte lay in the sculpting of stone, the cut and formative of rock ‘n’ roll into smooth-flowing forms. About 70 % of drow had an intuitive understand of how fortifications or waterworks were constructed, operated, circumvented, and controlled, an natural “ feel ” that extended to works made by other races. [ 114 ] They could recognize drowcraft items by holding them, [ 114 ] and if given a piece of Underdark-metal, or a cut or wear gem, drow could typically identify it. Upon finding a vein, like dwarves or abstruse gnomes, they had a common sense of its management, impressiveness, and dimensions. [ 261 ]
Drow liked to eat exist animals because they believed the kernel had a better relish. [ 262 ]
Like all elves, drow required no sleep, rather entering a brooding trance while retaining entire awareness of their surroundings. The capture lasted around four hours, and provided the same benefits as a member of any other slipstream having a full time period of rest. [ 23 ] [ 59 ] however, while elves relived parts of their memories, including those of past lives, during their trances, drow normally know nothing, save for the periodic dream ( which they tried to interpret by looking for signs from Lolth ). The fact that drow did n’t relive memories of past lives during their trances was viewed as an indication that, unlike the elves, their souls did n’t reincarnate. [ 203 ]
The drow were believed to be more fecund than other elves, [ 263 ] though in accuracy, they simply had a higher readiness to birth as many children as possible during their life. [ 32 ] For example, in the modal Lolthite society, a female drow with an active career under her belt out gave birth to approximately ten children before she lost the ability to birth more. [ 115 ]
Drow lifespans were comparable to the rest of the elven race ( and consequently far surpassed those of humans ), [ 23 ] but the constant strife of their club kept their numbers low, [ 263 ] dropping their actual rate of population growth to dwarf -like levels. [ 96 ] Provided they did not meet a previous and violent goal, a drow ‘s natural life was about 750 years. [ 10 ] They started to show signs of aging at around 600 years, [ 264 ] and rarely lived past their seventh century, with about 94 % of natural deaths occurring before 800 years of long time. [ 265 ] Drow who could afford a life style that spared them hardships, like matron mothers, could live more than 1000 years ( though, by that orient, they would be withered by long time ). Lolth ‘s charming could maintain a matron ‘s life for thousands of years, and this was considered a clear sign of prefer from the goddess. [ 265 ]
- Blood-Related Races
There were a number of races and creatures that were in some ways related to the drow .
- Drow were a subrace of the elves. Their ancestors, the Ilythiiri, or dark elves, were an offshoot of the green elves, also known as wild elves.
- When different sub-races of elves intermarried, there was an equal chance for the child to inherit either of the parents’ traits. However, children born of the union between a drow and elf were far more likely to inherit the drow traits, and were more likely to parent a drow themselves. Dark elves possessed this traits too.
- The half-elf born from a drow-human couple was a half-drow.
- As a general rule, half-drow had no different abilities than other half-elves. However, some half-drow could gain certain powers through their parentage. Regarding reproduction, the “2-generation-rule” applied to half-drow just like it did to all half-elves.
- The Szarkai were pale-skinned drow. They were called albino drow, but had no more weaknesses to the sun than the rest of their kin. This genetic anomaly was more often found among nobles than commoners.
- The Draegloth were a type of half-fiend that was born as a product of a ritualistic coupling between a drow and a glabrezu.
- The Draa’zekyl, also called drow-dragon, were a type of half-shadow dragon drow that managed to split their heritage in two, and thus gained the ability to change their form from dragon to drow, and vice-versa.
- A Zar’ithra was a type of shadow draconic drow with a talent for sorcery.
- Related Races by Transformation
Some races were not related to the drow because they were born from them but because they were transformed from drow .
- Chwidencha originated from drow who failed one of Lolth’s tests.
- A shunned originated from a female drow who failed Lolth, losing her favor.
- A vhaerath was a type of drow petitioner of Vhaeraun.
- Main article: History of the Drow
- Drow manipulation of history
The history of the drow is filled with confusion and uncertainties. many fanatic drow told lies and fabrications about their own history to serve the ends of the noble Houses and of the faiths. [ 284 ] At times, pieces of history were wholly deleted from the records. It happened to fallen noble Houses, as all information about them was erased, [ 284 ] to deities, as the matron mothers tried to hide all records of Eilistraee ‘s being, [ 216 ] and tied to individual drow. For exercise, when a cloaked double-crosser, a peculiarity priest of Vhaeraun who served as a spy in Lolth ‘s church, was found out, any data about the double-crosser was literally extinguished from historic records, as if that person never existed in the foremost place, [ 285 ] and by four generations the fabrication was accepted as “ fact ”. [ 284 ]
- View on historical heritage
The drow descended from the dark elves of Ilythiir, the foremost and one of the most herculean elven nations, and, in minor part, from the survivors of Miyeritar. [ 9 ] [ 286 ] [ 267 ] [ 48 ] [ 287 ] One might imagine that the drow would constantly boast about this inheritance, but the accuracy was that they did n’t appreciate being reminded of their origins, for it besides reminded them of their deep fall from power. [ 286 ] An exception was the church of Vhaeraun, whose goal was to elevate the Ilythiiri to their former aura. [ 124 ]
Read more : Dungeons & Dragons Lore Wiki
On the other hand, the drow remembered their origins because their feud with the elves was based on history. They believed to have been punished by the Seldarine for their triumph in the Fourth Crown War, and used this as a justification for their entitlement to exact vengeance on the other elves and their gods. [ 18 ]
- Dark Warrior Rising: A Novel of Niflheim, Although this alternative pronunciation given in Dragon 93 was never explicitly deemed faulty, a later Official FAQ omits this detail pronunciation while leaving alternative forms of other words from the original article unaltered. This suggests that the second pronunciation of “ drow ” is no long considered acceptable by Wizards of the Coast. In the afterword of the non-Realms fresh Ed Greenwood additionally states that drow “ rhymes with ‘cow ‘ and not ‘show ‘. ”
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the postdate links do not necessarily represent the views of the editors of this wiki, nor does any lore presented necessarily stand by to established canon.