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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 8:34 AM 

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HRM Chicken I of Amia

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Common to Drow

This one is weird. It's not comparable to any Drow-Common translator I can find and contains a lot of Arabic. Use this list instead:

Translator: http://www.eilistraee.com/chosen/language.php
List: http://www.eilistraee.com/chosen/langua ... age=common

I'll update the book as well, I doubt anyone is using it ingame anyway as it is a list as long as Methusalem's beard.

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 8:34 AM 

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Drow To Common

See above.

List: http://www.eilistraee.com/chosen/language.php?page=drow

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 8:34 AM 

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HRM Chicken I of Amia

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Drow Culture

The key to understanding drow society is the nature of the Drow pantheon which utterly dominates Drow life. The head of the pantheon is Lolth - a cruel, capricious goddess, thought by many to be insane. She delights in setting her worshipers at each other's throats, so that the strongest, most devious and most cruel survive to serve her. Chaos and destruction are meat and drink to Lolth and the other members of the Drow pantheon. Weakness is despised by the deities, and murderous treachery is the ideal . There is no place for love, compassion or trust in drow-vocabulary, what friendships do exist are based on mutual benefit and common cause, never on trust.

Six major principles can be identified in the drow way of life.
Firstly, Drow society is based on groups and caste. Nobles form houses, and merchants form clans. Despite their chaotic evil nature, the society of the drow is rigidly structured and divided. Social strata and classifications are virtually immutable. A drow can advance in her caste, certainly, but cannot advance beyond it. Drow constantly seek to improve their position in society and in Lolth's eyes. If it comes at the expense of another's life, so much the better that makes one less drow to challenge the newcomer, and it ensures greater security in the new position.

Secondly, Lolth is the dominant member of the Drow pantheon, and in almost all Drow cities her worship is paramount. She is the hungriest of all the Drow deities, hungry for sacrifice, murder, chaos and strife.

Thirdly, it is a fiercely competitive and hierarchical society. Competition for position within these groups is often based on murder. Competition between groups may also based on destruction. For a noble house to move up the hierarchy it must destroy the rival house by murdering all its nobles, leaving no witness alive to testify against them. Although many Drow will watch and enjoy such a battle, only noble members of the House that was attacked can give such testimony.
Individual Drow constantly seek to improve their position in society and in Lolth's eyes. The preistesses seek to advance both within their House and within their church. If it comes at the expense of another's life, so much the better that makes one less drow to challenge the newcomer, and it ensures greater security in the new position. Many Drow hire bards to celebrate their deeds, and to gain extra prestige from each murder. Performing a sacrifice in an unusual and "artistic" manner that maximises the suffering of the victim and the enjoyment of the spectators is also another way to gain prestige. However Lolth frowns on Drow acting in an manner to bring destruction to their own house, city or nation.

Fourthly, It is a matriarchal society where females are considered to be completely superior to males, holding the majority of power. The lowliest female ranks above the highest male. Male drow are entrusted with the relatively unimportant jobs of swordplay and some sorcery. Females, on the other hand, command the important positions in drow society. They are the priestesses, usually of the dark goddess Lolth, Queen of the Spiders.
These females wield their tremendous goddess-given power mercilessly. Using the threat of intense punishment, they keep the males cowed and submissive. They are the top of the social hierarchy in the Underdark; they jealously guard their power against lowly males who might try to take that power away.
Since drow females have greater power than males and are physically stronger and more intelligent as well, the drow have a difficult time believing that males can hold power in other societies. Thus, they do not believe that any threat mustered by males could seriously threaten the drow.

Fifthly, Like many other societies based on evil and mistrust, the Drow culture prevents sadistic aggression from totally destroying their society by focusing their anger and hatred on an outside enemy. Drow teach their offspring to have an abiding hatred of all things aboveground, but most especially the good elves. The surface elves are blamed for all the ills and all the setbacks that the Drow experience. Should a young Drow feel pain or suffer defeat she is taught to blame the surface elves. The drow take any chance they can to destroy other elves they encounter. Even the few evil elves aboveground are seen as enemies, and the drow do not hesitate to betray such a one when he or she has served a purpose.

Sixthly, All other races are inferior and are merely tools to be used or destroyed. The Drow may form alliances with other evil races, but these alliances will only hold good as long as the Drow gain benefit. They have no qualms about turning on an ally. Slavery is a fundamental part of Drow society. Slaves perform most of the mundane tasks of feeding and maintaining the city, and are seen as totally expendable. In most cities the of slaves outnumber the Drow, sometimes many times over.

SACRIFICES:

Of all the Drow deities Lolth places the highest demands for sacrifice on her followers. Since the vast majority of Drow live under her rule, this has a huge effect on Drow society. Lolth demands a sacrifice a week for every 100 adults living in a community. The sacrifice has to be a sentient being; a sacrifice that is unaware of what is happening cannot offer the terror and suffering the Spider Queen demands. The sacrifices are usually captives, but Drow can be brought to the alters when captives are not available, or when the displeasure of Lolth falls upon a house or individual. A Drow priestess may sacrifice a rival in order to eliminate her, or she may do so as a patron to eliminate a protégé's competition. Becoming too successful carries its own dangers the eye of Lolth is drawn to power and success, and the knives of rivals lie in wait.

Lolth values Drow sacrifices more than non Drow, and those of higher position are most pleasing. Adult sacrifices are better than child, humanoids are better than non humanoid, the healthy are more pleasing than the sick, and those of lawful and good hearts are more pleasing than an evil victim.

OCCUPATIONS:

The priestesses of Lolth (or whichever deity is dominant in the city) have the highest rank of all adult Drow. Priestesses of any rival deities rank slightly lower. Ranger hunters, who are almost always male, rank just below the priestesses. These hunters not only provide food and keep the neighbouring tunnels free of dangerous monsters, they act as scouts in spying out the defences of other Drow cities. They bring in the majority of the sacrifices, and thus ensure the deity's favour. Males may also achieve high rank by becoming a weapons master.

Bards rank higher than most occupations. Most bards are also assassins. The noble Drow know this but still allow them freedom of movement and entry into all the Houses. Barring a Bard brings a serious loss of prestige. However just because a bard is allowed to enter a house does not mean they are left unwatched. Bards are especially valued for making ballads to celebrate the deeds of a patron. The more horrendous and evil the deed, the more popular the ballad will be.

The Drow have an affinity for magic, like the other elven races. Many males become wizards, and these can gain considerable respect.

Other valued members of Drow community include artists, craftspeople, knowledgeable sages, and skilled torturers.

COMBAT:

There are four key themes that govern the Drow's style of combat.

The first is that they are fully aware that they are much smaller and frailer than most of their foes. They prefer to attack in overwhelming numbers, and will avoid melee if at all possible. If they do engage in melee, they prefer an attack and dodge style of fighting that makes the best use of their nimble hands and fast feet, while minimising the risk to them.

The second theme is that each individual Drow will be trained in one of several fighting styles, that most suits their strengths and weaknesses. Despite what some surfacers think only a very few Drow are trained in a dual weapon style, and a truly ambidextrous fighter like Drizzt is very, very rare. Drow use a variety of differing weapons maces, scimitars, swords, whips, halberds and more.

Thirdly magic plays an important part. Priestesses are skilled in spells of both defence and attack, and Drow wizards are skilled in battle. As well as this individual Drow fighters have a variety of tricks that use their innate ability to produce darkness, flames and dancing lights.

Lastly combat is probably the one activity where Drow work as a true team. A Drow party will be made up of those trained in several fighting styles that complement each other, and work well with the skills of the party's magic users. During a combat each member of the team knows exactly what the role is, and will trust the other members to perform their roles well, trust as far as any Drow ever trusts another. Even in the danger of a battle Drow may seize the chance for a dagger in the back of a rival.

Many Drow carry light crossbows. On first glance the bolts from these weapons may only cause minor damage but they are frequently coated with poison. Other weapons may also have a lethal coating of poison. Sometimes the poisons are used to incapacitate a foe rather than to kill - thus providing captives for sacrifice and/or slavery.

SURFACE DWELLING DROW:

The numbers of Drow living on the surface are steadily rising. They have moved into abandoned Elven strongholds like the old Elven Court at Cormanthyr and the forests of Mir. These Drow include individual hunters, groups of raiders and entire families all fleeing the chaotic strife of the Underdark for the rich lands of the surface.

There are some groups who have abandoned the typical Drow view of the other races as lesser beings to be preyed upon especially the followers of Vhaerun and the Auzkovyn clan of Cormanthor. Their observations of the surface races simply do not tally with what they have been told. In fact more surface Drow follow Vhaerun than Lolth, and often find the followers of Lolth to be more of an enemy that any other race.

Purely military organisations are led by a powerful individual, usually a spell caster or a cleric. Family groups are usually led by a charismatic drow who uses persuasion scheming and manipulation to hold her position. Like Underdark Drow, they frequently assassinate their rivals, so the leadership can change rapidly.

The 8,000 strong House Jaelre is the largest and most powerful group of surface dwelling Drow. This House aims to take many of the abandoned elven cities, retrieve their artefacts and study their magic. They have used carefully planned raids to divert eyes away from their activities in the ancient Elven Court.

The most famous drow residing on the surface is none other than Drizzt Do'Urden of legend and tale. Shindia Darkeyes is a half-drow who serves Xanathar, the Beholder Crime-Lord of Waterdeep. Amryyr of Skullport is a male drow trader and Vhaeraun-worshipper with alliance with 'Nal' Xalyth. Malakuth Tabuirr, a scheming drow merchant who worships Vhaeraun, smuggles poisons, deepwine, drow armor, weaponry, and magical items to Skullport in returns for beautiful human and elven female slaves.

NON-EVIL DROW:

The most famous of all the surface dwelling Dark Elves is of course Drizzt. However, he is by no means the only Dark Elf to leave UnderDark. Most of the surface dwelling Drow are evil, but there are small groups of drow living on the surface who are not of evil alignment, and the occasional dark elf in the Underdark. Most of these are followers of Eilistraee, but some worship Lothlonglathe.
Eilistraee has remained allied to both the Seldarine and the Drow pantheon in hopes that she can return the Dark elves to the surface, and back fromn the worship of evil. Ever since the Drow were banished to their dark caverns there have been small numbers who have shunned the worship of evil gods, and as followers of Eilistraee they have returned to the surface, in small communities around temples to the good goddess. These communities are almost always small and sadly mostly short lived. Exceptions to this are the city of Thal'kathact in the Drow forest, and the city of Winterstone.

There are major temples to Lothlonglathe' in both these cites, and the paladin order of holy knights who uphold Lothlonglathe's priciples of justice can be found here.

The house of T'sarran was one of the original twelve founding families of the city of Thal'katkhact in the Drow forest.Since the beginning several thousand years ago it has always been the strongest. Unlike houses of the Underdark or houses who worship the evil Lloth, the house T'sarran follows Eiliestraee and Lothlonglathe' and it is ruled by either a house mother or Father, depending on birth order, as males and females are equal. The T'sarran family is the high royal family of Thal'katkhact and rule as King or Queen. The house is presently run by King Tindomiel Singcallo and his wife Shyleesa. Princesses of the house include Shatalla(sn is the same) and Tristree T'sarran(sn xbabesisx). The house seeks harmony for all drow, and to re-establish the drows brotherhood with other elven kind, and as such are constantly at war with the Underdark cousins. Strong allies of the house are House Eveningsky and House Sweetkiller. Enemies of the house include House Baenre, house Ujaxibale, and the evil order of paladins led by The unholy knight Valas.
The evil Drow hate these surface dark elves with an overwhelming passion and will destroy their communities if at all possible. The Drow surface stronghold The Twisted Tower was originally a temple to Eilestraee overun and destroyed by Drow.

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 8:34 AM 

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HRM Chicken I of Amia

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Lil Ilythiiri (The Drow)

"Oloth zhah tuth abbil lueth ogglin."

"Darkness is both friend and enemy" - a famous Drow quote.

Darkness, that is the world in which we live. We are the Drow, the masters of the Underdark. Eons ago, we once danced under the light of the sun and moon. We were once surfacers, once elves. A faction of Lolth worshiping elves were banished to the depths of the earth by their surface cousins. There in the lightless caverns they grew and taught themselves magic. Their skin was turned black as night and there hair white as spider silk as a reminder for the treachery they had commited. They grew and became strong. Although they could easily defeat there old time foes and reclaim the surface world, they no longer desired to walk among the trees. Their home was the Underdark, countless miles of caverns and tunnels deep in the earth. Ruled by powerful Matron mothers the Drow grew and made countless raids on the surface world.

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 8:34 AM 

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Lolth Drow Roleplay Tips - Volume 1

"Khaless nau uss mzild taga dosstan."

"Trust no one more than yourself" - a famous Drow quote.

Drow hate the sunlight, it hurts their eyes. Drow would never cast light spells on themselves. As a Drow stays longer and longer on the surface, he becomes more and more resistant to the poisonous sun, some even have the capability to ignore its harmful rays.

Drow hate most surface races, you should never be seen actively hunting or adventuring with humans, elves, halflings, etc.

A Drow of higher rank should be respected out of fear; the elder Drow would possibly kill the disrespecting lesser. Disrespecting an elder or someone higher in rank than you is generally punishable either by strenuous torture, which usually brings death upon the offender or by outright slaying. However, there are far more clever and imaginative punishments for crimes or offenses. It is very drow to make use of them.

The perfect deed is a perfect assassination or crime. If no one sees you do a deed, it is as if you achieved all of its rewards without any of its penalties.

Deceit is one of the Drow virtues. As long as you can get away with lying (In character of course) you can and should. Although there are times when it is better to speak the truth, such as when dealing with higher ranking Drow.

If you are the same rank as someone else the stronger one would hold more status or the one in a more prestigious house.

Poison is almost always used by Drow, as Honor in battle is a pathetic human trait. Drow will always fight un-fair to gain an advantage.

Assassination is an acceptable way of removing your enemies.

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 8:34 AM 

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Melee-Magthere Battle Tactics

Thrityh - "Attack". This command speaks for itself. When it is called out, you rush to do battle with your foes. In combat, however, pay attention to the words of your Qu'el'saruk and other high ranking members; they may issue further commands during the battle.

Mri'kul - A defensive formation formed around the highest ranking member present. All wounded drow should be healed with this command. It is often called when the group is scattered and many are wounded. Or, when the Ilharess does not wish to die in battle.

Wund l'cress - "Into the web" This command calls for the group of warriors and participating drow too head into battle and trap their enemies within their formation. A successful Wund l'cress would consist of the opponent trapped on all sides by drow. It is often called too trap and kill an enemy that is particularly difficult too capture.

Ulu l'veldrin - "To the shadows" This command calls for the drow to disperse immediately when called, fleeing in all directions and hiding at the best possible chance. From here, they are to escape to a predetermined location, or reorganize in another location. When the Ulu l'veldrin is called, and a sudden dissapearance of the drow in all directions, can cause enemies too be confused and this limits their target capacity.

Rei rath - A simple command for a full retreat. Your means of escape is your own doing, unless you wish to rely on someone else too provide a portal. If this is the fact, you Mri'kul around the person summoning the gate and proceed through, based on rank.

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 8:34 AM 

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Order of Ranks and Titles

Order of Ranks in a Lolth Drow Society:

No rank should be considered permanent. In Drow society, a member may hold a rank for centuries but then fall to the knife of a rival or the inexplicable 'Will of Lolth'. There is no IC reason to assume that your title will be yours for the life of your character. Most ascension to power will require the approval of matrons and other high ranking drow. Demotions may come suddenly and from apparently nowhere.

The order in which females are considered of the highest rank and honor are as follows:

Matron Mother of the First House

First Daughter of the First House

Daughters in order of birth of the First House

Mistress of Arach-Tinilith of the First House

High Priestess of the First House

Priestess of the First House

Training Priestess of the First House

The same order, starting for the Second House, and every order of Houses following to the n-th. (The first n Houses' Matron Mothers sit on a ruling council that tends to plot, scheme and govern in order to sway the happenings of the city.)

The order in which males are considered of the highest rank and honor are as follows:

Archmage of their given city

Master of Sorcere/Master of Melee-Magthere

Elderboy of the First House

Secondboy of the First House

House Mage/House Weapons Master of the First House

Student of Sorcere/Student of Melee-Magthere

Few ranks allow a male to stand out in the drow's female-dominant society.
A female rank will always be higher than the highest male rank. While the rank of Archmage is the highest, most honored rank for a male, he must always pay respect to the females of his race.

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 8:34 AM 

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Ranks and Titles in Drow Society

No rank or title should be considered permanent. In Drow society, a member may hold a rank for centuries but then fall to the knife of a rival or the inexplicable 'Will of Lolth'. There is no IC reason to assume that your title will be yours for the life of your character. Most ascension to power will require the approval of matrons and other high ranking drow. Demotions may come suddenly and from apparently nowhere.

Beldrin - Artisan
Bregan D'aerthe - Mercenary Band of rogue Drow
C'rintri - Noble Drow (C'rintrin nobles)
Dalharil - Daughter
Dalharuk - Son
Dobluth - Outcast
Drada'quarthin - Lieutentant
Faern - Mage
Faerz'un'arr - Seeress
Ilharess - Matron
Ilharn - Patron
Jabbress - Mistress (female in charge of some task or office)
Jabbuk - Master (male in charge of some task or office)
Malla - honored (a term of respect preceding a title)
M'elzar - Mage
Olplyn - Thief (lowest rank of Velkyn)
Qu'abban - House Agent (sometimes used for non-House agent)
Qu'el'faeruk - House Wizard
Qu'el'saruk - House Weapons Master
Qu'el'velguk - House Assassin
Rothe - Slave
Sargtlin - Drow Warrior
Shebali - Rogue, Citizen (non-noble drow)
Ssins d'Aerth - Professional Entertainer (prostitute)
Sut'rinos - Commander
Ulathtallar - Arch Priestess of Arach-Tinilith
Ulfaerz'un'arr - Arch Seeress of Sorcere
Ul'Saruk - Warlord of the Melee-Magthere
Ul'Veldriss - Arch Shadow Mistress of the VDVM
Valuk - male monarch (reference for non-Drow races)
Valsharess - Queen
Veldriss/Veldruk - Shadow Mistress/Master (obtained only by training at the VDVM)
Velg'larn - Assassin
Wanre- Commoner
Yath'Abban - Temple Agent (sometimes used for non-TOT agent)
Yath'kyorl - Temple Guardian
Yathrin - Priestess of Lolth
Yath'sargtlin - Holy Warrior
Yathtallar - High Priestess of Lolth
Zhaunin - Apprentice

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 9:03 AM 

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The Drow

This book gives many details about drow to aid with drow role-play.

NOTE: Amia drow are "Toril Drow" since Amia is within the world of Abeir-Toril.

APPEARANCE:

Non Toril Drow

They have jet black skin and pale hair with white being common. They tend to be smaller and thinner than other elves and their eyes are usually a vivid red. They are often exquisitely beautiful with a fascinating but deadly elegance and grace.

Drow are typically shorter than other elves, and they retain the Dexterity common to elves. In all other respects, save their height and coloring, drow resemble their aboveground cousins. Drow females are stronger and larger than males.

The Drow of Toril

These differ from their non Toril cousins in two respects. Firstly The drow of the Forgotten Realms can have pale yellow hair as well as silver or white. Secondly their eyes only appear to be red when light shines directly into them (like those of some Earth cats). They have pale eyes, in shades of lilac, silver, pink and blue.

Although Toril elves are considerably taller than those of other worlds, the Drow of Faerun are the same height and weight as Drow elsewhere. They vary between 4'6" and 5'6", and weigh 85 t0 135 lb. Toril females are also stronger and larger than the males.


PERSONALITY:

The personality of the Drow is a product of both nature and nurture. Since the Drow were banished to the Underdark and embarked on a fiercely and lethally competitive life style thousands of years and countless generations of Drow have passed. Those Drow who were most ruthless and aggressive survived to have children, and to pass on these traits.

The vicious nature of the Drow is partly a result of this selective breeding. The vast majority of Drow no longer have the capacity to empathise with other people, and are totally unable to form what surfacers would call a conscience. They truly do not care about anyone but themselves. Their brains are physically different; they have not inherited the brain paths and patterns that allow this to happen. Those few children who are born with this ability rarely survive to adulthood, and if they reach adulthood they almost always face being sacrificed on the bloodstained alters of Lolth or fleeing to live alone. Either way, they do not pass their abilities to a new generation.

The lethal competitiveness and utter lack of love or care in a Drow's upbringing adds to this lack of empathy. Those who show signs of "weakness": - those who reject treachery and ruthless ambition, who show affection or caring for others, or who question the dogma of success at any price are rapidly weeded out. A Drow's entire childhood and adolescence is a training in treachery, and ambition. They are taught to feel pleasure in the pain of others.

Drow are supremely arrogant, highly ambitious and utterly ruthless. Almost all of them delight in inflicting pain and suffering for its own sake and also as a means to further their ambitions. Others find them detached and cold, or they are less fortunate and experience the strong sadistic streak in a Drow's vicious heart.
Those few drow who have fled to the surface may have turned their back on the chaos and destructiveness of the Drow way of life. However they still remain Drow, with all the competitive drives and ambitions that entails. It is exceedingly rare to find any sign of altruism or conscience even within these Drow.

Despite their dark nature, or perhaps because of it, Drow have a compelling mien. The gracefulness of their movements and the sheer force of their will power can make them powerful leaders who are at one and the same time attractive and terrifying, and above all difficult to refuse.

MENTAL AND PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES:

Like the surface elves, Drow are a people who are extremely dextrous they move through the dark like sure footed and graceful cats. They also have the acute hearing of a surface elf. Drow also have the frail frame of the elves, but this can be deceptive. A slightly built drow that only reaches the shoulder of her human foe can have a surprising amount of strength. Drow heal well from their many scars and you seldom see one with a permanent impairment or a disfiguring scar. However this may be simply because such "damaged" drow are weeded out as weak.

Many aeons in the dark have changed their eyes. Being able to see long distances in the clear light of the sun or the lesser light of the moon and stars gave no benefit to dwellers of the Underdark where the light is even dimmer than that of the surface night. Those who could see well in the dark survived when those whose eyes were more suited to bright light succumbed to the ever present dangers of the Underdark. This dark vision carries its own penalty. It is ideally suited to the underground but means that exposure to bright light is painful and exposure to full sunlight can be devastating. Those elves born and bred in the surface communities have eyes that are less adapted to the dark, and less sensitive to light.

The fierce competition to survive and kill your rivals by mundane or magical means has had great effect on the drow. Not only do Drow have the innate elven ability to resist spells of enchantment or sleep, and to spot a magically hidden door, they also have a much stronger resistance to all forms of magic and great determination and will power.

All Drow children are taught simple cantrips and low level spells. Dark elves are able to cast a dense globe of darkness around a foe, and can also create illusions of light and flame to panic a foe, or simply to admire their beauty. As the young Drow gain age and experience the power of these spells grows.

Drow do not usually sleep. For around 4 hours every day they slip into reverie, a trance state during which they review their memories. Their eyes may be wide open but they are oblivious to the surrounding world, just as though they were asleep. It seems that Drow are able to sleep and dream in the manner of other races, but only when they choose to do so.

Those few good hearted Drow who were born in the chaotic evil of the Drow's cities and have since fled the Underdark choose to sleep rather than drift into reverie. Perhaps this is part of their rejection of the Drow way of life, or perhaps it is because their memories are so disturbing they truly do not wish to revisit them.

PREGNANCY AND BIRTH:

Unlike the other elves Drow are as fertile as humans or orcs. They can have up to ten times the number of births as females from the other elven races. Multiple pregnancies of two three or even more common, but actual multiple births are very rare. The strongest of the foetus eliminates the others. It is not clear if this is a bizarre twist on the phenomena seen rarely in humans. Sometimes in humans the strongest twin takes all the placental nourishment and the other withers or if the unborn actually attack each other. The losing fetuses are absorbed into the mother's body so they cannot be examined to establish what actually happens. Another phenomena seen in humans is that a stronger twin can move about a lot more than a weaker one, and cause the second twins umbilical cord to become blocked.

When a fetus succeeds in eliminating a rival the mother experiences an intense rush of euphoria known as chad-zak. This is also unclear. It may be purely hormonal, or perhaps a warped form of the bonding other elven mothers experience with their unborn children.

The birth process is painful, but not very dangerous for the mother. However, she does not experience the usual rush of pleasurable hormones when the child is delivered, or the close bonding most mothers experience when the newborn infant is placed to their chest.

INFANCY AND EARLY CHILDHOOD:

Drow children have instinctive homicidal impulses from before they can walk. Infants from noble family may be handed over to an older family member to be raised, but it is more common for very young Drow to be kept in a communal crèche. This arrangement is not to care for the young; it merely makes it easier together to weed out weaklings. The babies are encouraged to compete for food and space, and violence is rewarded. Only the strongest and the cleverest survive, weaker ones are killed, merciful ones sacrificed. Female Drow feel no maternal affection, and it would never occur to them to visit their infants. The occasional male Drow can be seen visiting his child, but this is seen as an indication of weakness in both father and child.

CHILDHOOD:

By the time a Drow child reaches the age of 8 (or maybe that should be if they reach 8) they can walk, and speak fluently. This is very young compared to the other elves. Between the ages of 8 - 19 the child is sent for schooling in the care of junior priestesses. The child's life is now ruled by a very harsh regime, enforced with severe physical punishment which are often totally unrelated to anything the child may or may not have done. This does not have as much effect as it could have - only bullies, the crafty and the strong have survived this long anyway. This punishment can cause sever pain, and leave scars but it is never fatal. Children are a potential asset to a House and should not be squandered in a fit of rage. Even if an infringement indicates a truly weak and unsuitable child the house gains more benefit from sending them to the sacrificial alters.

The teaching mainly consists of religious doctrine but it also covers combat manoeuvres and other fighting skills, literacy, mathematics, alchemy, natural history, artisan skills. Fierce competition is encouraged, especially in the combat related disciplines. 1 in 3 children are killed by their classmates, and this is more often due to a dagger in the dark than a lethal accident in combat.

Those children with a high affinity for magic are given to wizards as apprentices.

ADOLESCENCE:

Drow between the ages of 20 and 80 are considered to be adolescence. The extreme competitiveness of earlier years drops back a little. The emphasis is more on a Drow finding a role, so her usefulness alive outweighs her potential usefulness as a sacrifice. The young Drow must find a mentor to teach them, much as Zaknafein taught Drizzt. A mentor has life and death power over her pupil, but so do all adult Drow. Even if the Drow is attending an organised school or academy, they are still apprenticed to a mentor to provide extra tuition and discipline.
As the adolescent gains skill and experience and builds up a network of contacts they move closer to the point where they are no longer a student, but can be independent. At this point the adolescent waits for something terrible to happen to the master, or even arranges this something terrible so they can take over her position in the Drow city. As this time draws closer once again there is strong rivalry between apprentices, and with others who have a claim on the master.

In most cities it is a crime for a parent to mentor their child. This is partly due to the fact Lolth wants to create even stronger competition over the master's place, apprentices vying with offspring. It may also be partly as a result of the disastrous result of Zaknafein teaching Drizzt.

ADULTHOOD:

Only 1 in 20 adult Drow are considered to be noble. The rest are commoners, and in many ways these are the lucky ones. Although they may be mere soldiers, servants and playthings of Drow with higher status the terrible eye of the Spider Queen does not fall on them as often, or as strongly. Commoners are unlikely to face the tasks and trials Lolth puts before the nobles, but they know they could die at anytime as a result of the incessant strife between rivals. Lolth will consume them utterly when they die, so they pack their lives with as much hedonistic pleasure as they can.

DEATH:

In theory Drow can live into their 500s. In practice very few Drow survive past the age of 400, and it is almost unheard of to see a Drow face marked with signs of aging. The Drow culture has no room for venerating and respecting the dead. They are merely rivals who have been removed.

Dying of old age or disease a sign Lolth has withdrawn her favour, both from the late Drow and their family. If this does happen the corpse is usually left to rot in ignominy. If the priestesses wish to make an especial example of the offending dead Drow and family the corpse is tied up with spider silk and hung up above the door where the stench and the falling body parts serve as a potent reminder.

To die in battle or to be murdered is very different from this. Such Drow are blessed by Lolth. Their bodies are prepared the flesh is removed from the bones while the rest of the body is dissolved in acid. The cured flesh is used to decorate garments or to make ritual bowls.

ADULTHOOD AND THE TESTS OF LOLTH:

The adulthood of those who are followers of Lolth is marked by a series of tests or punishments. Those following other deities are not subject to these tests. They are, however, targets for the Spider Queen and may end up as the subject of a lethal task.

The first test comes as part of leaving adolescence, the trial of skill and self confidence described above. More tests can occur marking each stage of an adult's life. Each test is different for each individual and at each stage of their life most are arduous, difficult or life threatening.

All Drow are tested, but some show signs that they are to be subjected to a special more intense testing known as Llothtanchwi, the Punishments of Lolth. These tests are known as punishments for the toll even the survivors pay in suffering, fear and pain. The signs include hyper-keen senses; possibly visions, and a terror of an impending event. Those showing these signs are called zwy'il or candidates. Throughout their lives zwy'il will be subjected to a series of tests at regular intervals. The tests have no intrinsic benefit or gain other than survival. However passing such a test leads to a step up the hierarchy in whichever walk of life the zwy'il follows. All priestesses of Lolth are zwy'il.

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 9:10 AM 

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Drow for dummies, part 1

Common facts:
-Sphere of darkness is not some innate ability that is cast on instinct, a junior priestess or father figure teaches it.

-Drow CAN sleep but usually they dont. They usually "Reverie" for four hours a day instead which is like sleeping but they just review memories.

-Good drow usually DON'T Reverie.

-There are two types of drow hand sign. One is house only, the other is Underdark drow. surfacers can not learn this, and even surfacer drow won't be able to understand it completely. (think of someone from england hearing american english spoken really fast...it makes it hard to understand due to accent but it's both the same language)

-Individiualism is bad. people who are odd, look different (too tall, too light skinned, green eyes, etc etc.) usually are bullied and killed at a young age, or freakishly defective are sacrificed

Drow society:
-Drow are VERY religious be them good, evil, or neutral. It's a way of life.

-Drow society is based on social castes, you are either a] part of a noble house, or b] part of a merchant CLAN (There are no such things as merchant houses)

-The first thing that drow are taught is that if anything bad happens it MUST be the surfacer's fault (especially the elves)...which can't be stressed to rp this enough. We're talking even the littlest things of "Ow, I tripped and fell...well maybe I wouldn't of hurt myself on the cave floor if those damn dirty elves didn't force us underground."

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 9:11 AM 

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Drow for dummies, part 2 : Drow society

For your OOC information on drow, to keep the roleplay as best as possible.

[copyrights Wizards of the Coast]

Drow society is strongly matriarchal, with females holding all positions of power and responsibility in government, the military, and in the home. Males are effective fighters, and can become priests and wizards of minor power. Outside drow communities, they are rarely encountered without female commanders.

Male-commanded drow groups are generally either streeakh, "suicide squads", or am dobluth (outcasts) who have rejected the traditional authority-structure of the drow.

Social station is the most important thing in the world of the drow. Ascension to greater power is the ultimate goal in drow society. Assassination is the preferred tool in this job. It must be used discreetly in the city setting, for to openly murder or wage war (on a rival House) bangs down the merciless might of drow justice (not because of the act Itself, simply as punishment for the boorish act of fighting in public).

Noble Houses are led by a matron mother, the senior female priestess. In Lolth-worshipping drow communities, her rule is absolute, enforced by the priestesses beneath her (usually her daughters). All females of the mother's blood, in order of their age, follow in rank, although they wield no authority until they are trained and of age (past puberty).

Below the daughters come the male officers of the House: The weapons master (leader of the fighters), (chief) House wizard, and the patron (current consort of the matron mother). These ranks may be combined, and even held by the traditional next rank down in the hierarchy: the male heirs of the House.

Male heirs are also ranked by age: elderboy. secondboy, thirdboy, and so on. They are not allowed to look at the faces of other drow, or speak unless spoken to or bidden. This treatment teaches them their subordinate place in drow society.

Below them come the "war-leaders" of the House (veteran warriors, who lead House patrols, attack squads, and guards, under the command of the weapons master), and We House mages (under the command of the House wizard).

Beneath these "blood" members and officials of the House rank Its common warriors, its craftspeople, its servants, and its slaves. All ranks are decreed, and can be changed at the whim of, the matron mother. Her position changes at death - often at the hands of her eldest daughter.

In a Lolth-worshipping drow community, it is a deadly thing to slay a matron mother who holds Lolth's favor, so mothers may reign for hundreds and even thousands of years, kept alive by the magic of Lolth and the diligent service they perform to get and keep it. The assassination of a matron mother is often a punishment for losing Lolth's good will, and marks either a new direction for the House, or-if it is weak, and has strong rivals-the beginning of its extinction.

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 9:14 AM 

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Drow for dummies, part 3 : The Black Album

//Anybody got this book?

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 9:16 AM 

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Drow for dummies, part 4: Drow psyche

For OOC information and RP help. Copyrights Wizards of the Coast


The drow psyche is both similar to and vastly different from that of other intelligent beings. Adrift in darkness and treachery, drow have developed a tortured psychology as a survival mechanism. Before you can understand their culture and history, you must understand the strange forces and emotions that drive them.


GREED
Drow hunger for wealth and power, but this hunger is greater than simple avarice. They see wealth as a means to power, and power as a means of control. Drow need control. They need to feel like they are the manipulators rather than the manipulated. Throughout their lives, drow are trapped in a web of falsehood and treachery where each step could be their last. The strong rule over the weak and use or kill them at a whim. In such a turbulent and abusive environment, drow see power and control as security. This is illusion, though, perpetuated by the fact that even those who have gained some measure of control are insecure but dare not admit it--and with good reason: Fear is viewed as weakness, and showing it turns erstwhile allies into deadly foes and servants into power-hungry murderers.
Security is forever out of reach so long as drow culture does not change.

HATE
All drow hate all other drow. This hatred stems in many cases from envy. A drow who sees someone more powerful, more intelligent, or more secure sees an enemy. Each believes that he should be the most important and powerful--in effect, every drow desires godhood. But each fears that others with prove to be better. A drow's level of insecurity is roughly related to his place in society. When a drow's sefl-hatred and self-doubt outweigh his hatred of others, he fails to take risks and can no longer seize what should be his.


GLUTTONY
There are very few obese drow (though note that some do exist). This is not to say that drow do not engage in binge eating. They do so with great frequency, often holding or being privvy to grand parties (at least the nobles). But being overweight or too obsessed with food is a weakness, and weakness is deadly. The same is true of alcohol consumption: It's simply too dangerous. This problem is skirted around by practices such as self-induced vomiting and various drugs or herbs to waylay the effects of alcohol consumption. Those few drow who blatantly live life as obese are in positions of great authority and power, which manages to keep most predators at bay, at least for a time.

SLOTH
Drow must constantly struggle and forever be on their guard. Laziness often results in defeat. At the same time, they tire of always being watchful. The desire for power is also a desire for the opportunity to rest. Although all drow meditate and most participate in leisure pursuits, few understand what it means to truly relax. Even so, some do become slothful and listless. These drow usually fall by the wayside as their fellows gain power.

WRATH
Anger is a drow's constant companion. The emotion is considered both normal and inevitable, but a drow's reaction to it falls in one of two camps. Some believe that anger itself is a tool: red-hot rage gives you strength to persevere over your foes. Others believe that anger should be cool and calculating: Hiding it will give you more opportunities to take vengeance. Most drow borrow from both schools of thought as the situation demands, but none would argue about the outcome: revenge.
Revenge is an art form among drow. It comes quickly or takes centuries. It can be long and excruciatingly painful, or painless and deadly swift. All drow appreciate a well-executed vengeance, even when they are the targets. There are as many flavors of revenge as there are drow. Each drow establishes a preferred style at an early age, using this as a kind of signature and warning to others. Some prefer to use the techniques of their enemies in order to place the blame on others, but this in turn becomes their own style, and drow learn to look through such deceits to find the responsible party.

PRIDE
Pride is the same as self-confidence among the drow. A truly humble drow is destined to remain on the lowest rungs of the social ladder. Most drow are like bullies. They put up a haughty front, intimidating and degrading all whom they can to hide their own doubts and fears. Anything that shakes a drow's sense of pride is likely to result in a fit of pique. Pique breeds petty paybacks, small actions meant to harm without giving cause for full-blown, deadly revenge.

DECEIT
Deceit is integral to the nature of drow. They deceive others to protect themselves, and they deceive themselves to protect their egos. Lying is second nature to most drow, and telling lies well is a skill fostered from childhood.

BETRAYAL
Betrayal is a virtual art form amongst drow, held as an ideal of the highest factor, a fact which continues to lead to the eventual downfall of the race as a whole. It shouldn't be surprising, taking this into account, that most drow tend to be paranoid. A certain amount of suspicion is a survival mechanism; even through a foe might not be acting against you now, one is certain to do so in the near future. Yet drow who become too defensive lost their edge, becoming victims of their own fear.

LUST
Given their tense and deadly society, it is surprising that lust plays any part in drow's lives, but lust and sex (consensual or not) are huge factors in drow psychology. Sex plays many roles. It is a release of tension, a moment of closeness, and it staves off fear of inevitable death. Despite their long life spans, few drow can expect to die of old age, so procreation is a way to establish a kind of life beyond death. Sex is also one of the rare times when drow can express a minor degree of tenderness for one another. It is not always tender, of course, but it offers pleasure in being weak or strong, and drow involved in consensual sex often reverse their normal roles in society. Slaves can be masters, and masters, slaves. In this physical release, drow come as close to happiness as most of them will ever get. Drow have no real understanding of monogamy or marriage. They have children to further their bloodline and House, and sometimes parents make an effort to protect a child, but both parents will likely have many partners and form no lasting relationship as the child grows to maturity.

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 9:18 AM 

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Drow Names

Drow names follow the familiar pattern of an individual name first, and then a family or House name second. Even though most Drow are not part of a noble house, they still have a family name. Some members of a Noble House have both a House name and a family name. In very rare cases some drow might have what we refer to as a middle name.

Drow never have names that are the same as any deity, especially not Lolth. Drow nobles never have a name that is an actual word in the drow language. Using a drow word as a name is something a commoner would do.

Since female and male drow names are often very different, many table entries list a female name fragment and then the male equivalent. Although the names might not seem particularly gender specific to an outsider, any drow will be able to tell the difference immediately. Rarely, a female drow might take part of a purely masculine name. However, any male who uses a solely feminine name fragment would be considered a rogue or a troublemaker.


Keep in mind that drow names frequently sound odd to human ears and might be difficult for humans to pronounce. If you really don't like a particular combination, try adding one or more letters or an apostrophe between the name fragments. Although not every combination of prefixes and suffixes will sound right, usually only a minor change is called for. If you can't make particular name work, try one with a similar meaning. Don't worry about two names sharing the same meaning or having two definitions for one name. Two names might sound the same to a human, but a drow would know the difference.

Although some drow have a surname that denotes what family they descended from or to which guilds they owe loyalty, noble drow and titled commoners can use the name of their house, clan, or trading house as a last name.

Sometimes when drow come of age they rename themselves or are renamed by a matron or mentor. Often this is in conjunction with certain ceremonies such as the celebration of a drow's first kill.

Drow Names:

Prefixes (Female/Male) Meanings

Akor/Alak Beloved, best, first Alaun/Alton Lightning, powerful
Aly/Kel Legendary, singing, song
Ang/Adin Beast, monstrous, savage
Ardul/Amal Blessed, divine, godly
Aun/Ant Crypt, dead, deadly, death
Bae/Bar Fate, fated, luck, lucky
Bal/Bel Burned, burning, fire, flame
Belar/Bruh Arrow, lance, pierced
Briz/Berg Graceful, fluid, water, wet
Bur/Bhin Craft, crafty, sly
Chal/Chasz Earth, stable
Char/Kron Sick, venom, venomed
Chess/Cal Noble, lady/lord
Dhaun Infested, plague
Dil/Dur Cold, ice, still
Dirz/Div Dream, dreaming, fantasy
Dris/Riz Ash, dawn, east, eastern
Eclav/Elk Chaos, mad, madness
Elvan/Kalan Elf, elven, far, lost
Elv/Elaug Drow, mage, power
Erel/Rhyl Eye, moon, spy
Ethe/Erth Mithril, resolute
Faer/Selds Oath, sworn, vow
Felyn/Fil Pale, thin, weak, white
Filf/Phar Dwarf, dwarven, treacherous
Gauss/Orgoll Dread, fear, feared, vile
G'eld Friend, spider
Ghuan Accursed, curse, unlucky
Gin/Din Berserk, berserker, orc, wild
Grey/Gul Ghost, pale, unliving
Hael/Hatch Marked, trail, way
Hal/Sol Deft, nimble, spider
Houn/Rik Magic, ring, staff
Iiv/Dip Liege, war, warrior
Iim Life, living, spirit, soul
Illiam/Im Devoted, heart, love
In/Sorn Enchanted, spell
Ilph Emerald, green, lush, tree
Irae/Ilzt Arcane, mystic, wizard
In/Izz Hidden, mask, masked
Iym/Ist Endless, immortal
Jan/Duag Shield, warded
Jhael/Gel Ambitious, clan, kin, family
Jhul/Jar Charmed, rune, symbol
Jys/Driz Hard, steel, unyielding
Lael/Llt Iron, west, western
Lar/Les Binding, bound, law, lawful
LiNeer/Mourn Legend, legendary, mythical
Lird/Ryld Brand, branded, owned, slave
Lua/Lyme Bright, crystal, light
Mal/Malag Mystery, secret
May/Mas Beautiful, beauty, silver
Micar Lost, poison, widow
Min/Ran Lesser, minor, second
Mol/Go Blue, storm, thunder, wind
Myr/Nym Lost, skeleton, skull
Nath/Mer Doom, doomed, fate
Ned/Nad Cunning, genius, mind, thought
Nhil/Nal Fear, horrible, horror, outraged
Neer Core, root, strong
Null/Nil Sad, tear, weeping
Olor/Omar Skin, tattoo, tattooed
Pellan/Relon North, platinum, wind
Phaer/Vorn Honor, honored
Phyr/Phyx Bless, blessed, blessing
Qualn/Quil Mighty, ocean, sea
Quar Aged, eternal, time
Quav/Quev Charmed, docile, friend
Qil/Quil Foe, goblin, slave
Rauv/Welv Cave, rock, stone
Ril/Ryl Foretold, omen
Sbat/Szor Amber, yellow
Sab/Tsab Abyss, empty, void
Shi'n/Kren Fool, foolish, young
Shri/Ssz Silk, silent
Shur/Shar Dagger, edge, stiletto
Shynt Invisible, skilled, unseen
Sin/Szin Festival, joy, pleasure
Ssap/That Blue, midnight, nigh
Susp/Spir Learned, skilled, wise
Talab/Tluth Burn, burning, fire
Tal/Tar Love, pain, wound, wounded
Triel/Taz Bat, winged
T'riss/Teb Blade, sharp, sword
Ulvir/Uhls Gold, golden, treasure
Umrae/Hurz Faith, faithful, true
Vas/Vesz Blood, body, flesh
Vic Abyss, deep, profound
Vier/Val Black, dark, darkness
Vlon/Wod Bold, hero, heroic
Waer/Wehl Deep, hidden, south, southern
Wuyon/Wruz Humble, third, trivial
Xull/Url Blooded, crimson, ruby
Xun Demon, fiend, fiendish
Yas/Yaz Riddle, spinning, thread, web
Zar/Zakn Dusk, haunted, shadow
Zebey/Zek Dragon, lithe, rage, wyrm
Zes/Zsz Ancient, elder, respected
Zilv/Vuz Forgotten, old, unknown


Suffix (Female/Male) Meaning

a/agh Breaker, destruction, end, omega
ace/as Savant, scholar, wizard
ae/aun Dance, dancer, life, player
aer/d Blood, blood of, heir
afae/afein Bane, executioner, slayer
afay/aufein Eyes, eyes of, seeress/seer
ala/launim Healer, priestess/priest
anna/erin Advisor, counselor to
arra/atar Queen/prince, queen of /prince of
aste Bearer, keeper, slaver
avin/aonar Guardian, guard, shield
ayne/al Lunatic, maniac, manic, rage
baste/gloth Path, walker
breena/antar Matriarch/patriarch, ruler
bryn/lyn Agent, assassin, killer
cice/roos Born of, child, young
cyrl/axle Ally, companion, friend
da/daer Illusionist, trickster
dia/drin Rogue, stealer
diira/diirn Initiate, sister/brother
dra/zar Lover, match, mate
driira/driirn Mother/father, teacher
dril/dorl Knight, sword, warrior
e Servant, slave, vassal
eari/erd Giver, god, patron
eyl Archer, arrow, flight, flyer
ffyn/fein Minstrel, singer, song
fryn Champion, victor, weapon, weapon of
iara/ica Baron, duke, lady/lord
ice/eth Obsession, taker, taken
idil/imar Alpha, beginning, creator of, maker
iira/inid Harbinger, herald
inidia Secret, wall, warder
inil/in Lady/lord, rider, steed
intra Envoy, messenger, prophet
isstra/atlab Acolyte, apprentice, student
ithra/irahc Dragon, serpent, wyrm
jra/gos Beast, biter, stinger
jss Scout, stalker
kacha/kah Beauty, hair, style
kiira/raen Apostle, disciple
lay/dyn Flight, flyer, wing, wings
lara/aghar Cynic, death, end, victim
lin Arm, armor, commander
lochar Messenger, spider
mice/myr Bone, bones, necromancer, witch
mur'ss Shadow, spy, witness
na/nar Adept, ghost, spirit
nilee/olil Corpse, disease, ravager
niss/nozz Chance, gambler, game
nitra/net Kicker, returned, risen
nolu Art, artist, expert, treasure
olin Ascension, love, lover, lust
onia/onim Rod, staff, token, wand
oyss/oomph Binder, judge, law, prison
qualyn Ally, caller, kin
quarra/net Horde, host, legion
quiri/oj Aura, cloak, hide, skin
ra/or Fool, game, prey, quarry
rae/rar Secret, seeker, quest
raema/orvir Crafter, fist, hand
raena/olvir Center, haven, home
riia/rak Chaos, storm, tempest
ril Bandit, enemy, raider, outlaw
riina/ree Enchanter, mage, spellcaster
ryna/oyn Follower, hired, mercenary
ryne/ryn Blooded, elder, experienced
shalee/ral Abjurer, gaze, watch, watcher
ssysn/rysn Artifact, dweomer, sorcerer, spell
stin/trin Clan, house, merchant,
of the house
stra/tran Spider, spinner, weaver
tana/ton Darkness, lurker, prowler
thara/tar Glyph, marker, rune
thrae/olg Charmer, leader, seducer
tree/tel Exile, loner, outcast, pariah
tyrr Dagger, poison, poisoner, scorpion
ual/dan Speed, strider
ue/dor Arm, artisan, fingers
uit/dar Breath, voice, word
une/diin Diviner, fate, future, oracle
uque Cavern, digger, mole, tunnel
urra/dax Nomad, renegade, wanderer
va/ven Comrade, honor, honored
vayas Forge, forger, hammer, smith
vyll Punishment, scourge, whip, zealot
vyrae/vyr Mistress/master, overseer
wae/hrae Heir, inheritor, princess
wiira/hriir Seneschal of, steward
wyss/hrys Best, creator, starter
xae/zaer Orb, rank, ruler, scepter
xena/zen Cutter, gem, jewel, jeweler
xyra/zyr Sage, teller
yl Drow, woman/man
ylene/yln Handmaiden/squire, maiden/youth
ymma/inyon Drider, feet, foot, runner
ynda/yrd Captain, custodian, marshal, ranger
ynrae/yraen Heretic, rebel, riot, void
vrae Architect, founder, mason
yrr Protector, rival, wielder
zyne/zt Finder, hunter


Drow House or Family names:

Prefix Meaning

Alean The noble line of
Ale Traders in
Arab Daughters of
Arken Mages of
Auvry Blood of the
Baen Blessed by
Barri Spawn of
Cladd Warriors from
Desp Victors of
De Champions of
Do' Walkers in
Eils Lands of
Everh The caverns of
Fre Friends to
Gode Clan of
Helvi Those above
Hla Seers of
Hun' The sisterhood of
Ken Sworn to
Kil People of
Mae Raiders from
Mel Mothers of
My Honored of
Noqu Sacred to
Orly Guild of
Ouss Heirs to
Rilyn House of
Teken' Delvers in
Tor Mistresses of
Zau Children of


Suffix Meaning

afin The web
ana The night
ani The widow
ar Poison
arn Fire
ate The way
ath The dragons
duis The whip
ervs The depths
ep The Underdark
ett Magic
ghym The forgotten ways
iryn History
lyl The blade
mtor The abyss
ndar Black hearts
neld The arcane
rae Fell powers
rahel The gods
rret The void
sek Adamantite
th Challenges
tlar Mysteries
t'tar Victory
tyl The pits
und The spider's kiss
urden The darkness
val Silken weaver
viir Dominance
zynge The ruins

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 9:21 AM 

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The Origins of the Dark Elves (OOC info)

The Origins of the Dark Elves (Drow, Ilythiiri):

Like the other elves, Dark Elves are not native to Aber Toril, but came as immigrants some twenty five millennia ago. The Ssri-Tel-Quessir who were the ancestors of the Drow formed part of the second wave of elven immigration, which signalled the end of the Time of the Dragons. The names and whereabouts of the original elven home worlds have long since been lost in the mists of time. Using portals the Dark elves passed through various realms of the Fey, but they mainly populated the tropical jungles of Southern Faerun, in what is now the Shaar. The Dark Elves were a powerful people and quickly established large empires. The most famous (or infamous) of these was Ilythiir. We are told this mighty nation became increasingly ambitious and cruel, and mercilessly attacked the other nations of Southern Faerun with . These traits are said to have sparked off the first Crown War, but as in much of elven history nobody really knows the truth of the matter.


The Descent of the Drow:

The elven legends of the past are many and varied. There are many different stories telling how how the Dark Ones came to dwell in the Underdark, and how they came to follow the fierce Spider Queen - Lolth. This is but one version of the many tales told.

As far back as -17800 (Dale Reckoning) the rift between the dark elves and the other elves was showing. Dark elven Ilythiiri spies and assassins provoked the War of the Three Leaves, but it was many centuries before this came to light.

Around -12000 the long and bloody Crown Wars began and Ilythiiri took the opportunity to attack the other elven nations. The Spider Queen Lolth gained a foothold in the hearts of many Elves. They used her to gain greater power and influence, and her evil ways led them even further astray. These Elves practiced dark magic and forbidden lore to make themselves mighty, and they turned from the light they had loved so much.
During the long and bloody Crown Wars the Ilythiiri are said to have focussed much of their aggression on the realms of the Green Elves. Some histories have it that the Dark Elves utterly shattered these nations, and forced the Green elves into their isolated and barbaric existence.

In -10450, at the beginning of the Fourth Crown War, for the first time they openly used the corrupt powers of their dark and evil gods. High mages and priests beseeched Corellon for help, but it took many years fervent prayer before their prayers were answere.


The tension grew unbearable. The Elves who had embraced the teachings of Lolth marched into the cities and slaughtered their brethren. The first attack came under cover of darkness, and the other Elves could not mount a defense. But they had seen the dark time to come, and they had readied themselves for war.

The Elfwar raged for decades, neither side gaining victory. Thousands of Elves perished on both sides, and the number of wounded grew ever higher. The dark elves of Ilythiir gained a new name of "dhaeraow" from an ancient elven language Tethir, meaning "face of shadow, heart of night, traitor".

In -10000 the Drow massed for the final battle, and Lolth covered the land in loathsome clouds of black to strike fear in the hearts of mortal Elves. With the aid of Lolth they struck a mighty blow against Miyetar, the nation of the green elves - decimating that race and driving the survivors into a reclusive and barbarian existence deep within the forests of Faerun. The Drow were prepared to win but then the gods themselves intervened.

Corellon Larethian and his companions struck deep into the heart of Drow territory. Long and hard they fought, seeking the evil in that land. Finally, Corellon Larethian came upon the dread Spider Queen, and he attacked. Magic flared and spat; blood merged in rivulets. Then Corellon struck Lolth a telling blow, driving her deep into the earth. With her defeat, the haze over the battlefield lifted, allowing the bright light of the sun to bathe the land in its healing rays.

Corellon's magic, as directed through his priests and High Mages, transformed the dark elves, whether the corrupt Ilythiiri or others. The Drow turned their faces away from the sun's purification, preferring instead their fallen goddess. They consciously chose the shadows over light. Some tales (especially those told by Drow on other worlds) tell us that Corellon decreed that such treachery would forever show upon their faces, and is for this reason that the skin of the Drow is dark. Others tell us that the followers of Lolth always had a black heart and a black skin. Just as Lolth was driven through a deep rift into the Abyss, so the Drow were driven deep underground.

Legend tells us that during the first crown war the dark elves of Ilythiir gained a new name of "dhaeraow" from the ancient elvish, meaning "face of shadow, heart of night, traitor" and other sundry comparisons. Over the aeons this has been corrupted to "Drow"

After the Descent:

The warlike drow nature did not change when they escaped their surface foes during The Descent. In fact, they immediately launched a series of wars to establish territories in the Underdark. They began by stealing and seizing dwarven magical items, and using them against the dwarves - establishing an enmity that is still strong today.

The drow then fought among themselves, noble against noble, priest against priestess, for rule of their new realm. This all-out war ended amid great magical explosions that brought down the roof of the largest dwarven cavern they had seized, great Bhaerynden. The ceiling collapsed entirely, burying many drow and the shattered dwarven cities. The cavern, now open to the sky, became known as The Great Rift. The surviving drow nobles gathered what people, slaves, and equipment they could seize, and fled into the Underdark in search of places to dwell. "The Scattering" brought about the many rival, self-interested cities where most drow live today.

The history of the Drow this point on follows four themes. The first is strife and division within themselves. Rivalry within and between houses dominate the cities. Intense rivalry between the cities means that if one becomes to powerful the others quickly bring it back down to a more subservient role. It goes without saying the Drow's own written records and songs of these episodes bear scant relation to what really happened.

Secondly there is a long standing pattern of isolated and usually relatively small raids mounted against other residents of the Underdark. Less frequently similar raids are mounted against surface dwellers, most especially elves. These raids only cause small amounts of damage and loss of life. Raids such as this only make it into the histories if they are repeated and more frequent than usual.

Thirdly it is true that very occasionally the Drow unite to mount a full campaign against their most hated enemies. Drow from different cities will band together to oust dwarves from what they see as Drow territory. They will also unite to wipe out the greatest foe of all Drow who have abandoned their evil gods to follow Eilistraee.

Lastly, as the Elven Retreat continued Drow raiders who hunting surface elves to kill soon noticed the drop in numbers of these elves. The Drow also became aware that many surface elven strongholds had been abandoned. Disaffected noble houses, hunters and raiders saw the richness of the surface lands food and water in plentiful supply, and an abundance of sentient prey to feed the sacrificial alters. in recent years increasing numbers have taken to living above ground all the time, and have trained themselves to tolerate bright sunlight. Others have taken up residence in the lower levels of the abandoned strongholds or nearby tunnels, and use these as a launching point for raids. The numbers of Drow dwelling on the surface or close to it are steadily rising, and pose a steadily increasing threat to surfacers. Although many of these Drow have turned away from the worship of Lolth and have turned their backs on the chaos and incessant strife of the Underdark Drow they still have a powerful drive to conquer and enslave those of "lesser" races.

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 9:22 AM 

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Way of the Draada

(Levels 10-19)

-Drada' are required to salute the Qu'el'saruk and the Sut'rinos, and bow to all members of higher rank then themselves, and refer to their superiors by title.

-Drada' must obey the orders of any member who is above them in rank.

-The Drada' are allowed to organize and lead small raiding parties, and they are accountable for the actions of these parties.

-The Drada' should consult with their Qu'el'saruk before planning any raid as to know the extent of their enemy. Minor raids should not need consultation, although the Drada' takes full responsibility for the actions of their raiding party.

-Drada' are encouraged to train and work with the Sargtlin to train and teach combat tactics.

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 9:23 AM 

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Way of the Faern

(Levels 20+)

-Faern are required to bow before all members who's rank is above them, and refer to their superiors by title.

-Faern are required to obey all orders given by a higher ranking member.

-Faern are expected to regularly participate in battle squads and raiding parties as healers and providers of magical support.

-Faern may be called upon by the Yath to aid in the performance of rituals.

-A Faern may call upon a Sut'rinos to gather a force for a raiding party, in which the Faern will lead with the Sut'rinos working alongside as a aid. The Faern, in this case, would take responsibility for a failed mission.

-Faern are expected to take a apprentice, which they aid in their training of the magical arts.

-Faern are regularly expected to do experiments and research to benefit the house

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 9:23 AM 

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Way of the M'elzar

(Levels 10-19)

-M'elzar are required to bow before members of ranks above them, and refer to their superiors by title.

-M'elzar must obey the orders of members with ranks above them.

-M'elzar are expected to participate in raiding parties and battle groups as healers and providers of magical support.

-The M'elzar continues to work with their mentor to complete magical rituals and experiments to benefit the house.

-The M'elzar should take an active approach when working with the younger Zhaunin.

-The M'elzar, too become a Faern, must take a apprenticeship with a younger Zhaunin. The two must be active in their work to be acceptable for the promotion.

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 9:23 AM 

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Way of the Sargtlin

(Levels 1-9)

-Sargtlin are required to bow to members of all ranks that are above them and refer to their superiors by title.

-Sargtlin always salute their superiors that are in the Sargtlin vocation.

-A sargtlin must obey the orders of any member of the House who is above them in rank.

-The warrior should strive to better themselves in the arts of war, and to train with their sargtlin peers and under the guidance of their commander to learn battle tactics.

-Sargtlin must be ready to fight for the house in a moments notice.

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 9:24 AM 

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Way of the Sut'rinos

(Levels 20+)

-Sut'rinos are required to salute the Qu'el'saruk, and bow to all members of higher rank then themselves, and refer to their superiors by title.

-Sut'rinos must obey the orders of any member who is above them in rank.

-The Sut'rinos are encouraged to organize and lead small raiding parties, and they are accountable for the actions of these parties.

-Sut'rinos are encouraged to train and work with the Sargtlin to train and teach combat tactics.

-The Sut'rinos work close with the Qu'el'saruk to keep the Melee-Magthere in order and too ensure that all Sargtlin are being properly trained.

-The Sut'rinos can form larger raiding parties, and they are accountable for the actions of these parties. They can encourage similar ranking members to be a part of their party.

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 9:24 AM 

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Way of the Zhaunin

(Levels 1-9)

-Zhaunin are required to bow before all Drow that hold higher ranks, and are required to refer to them by title.

-Zhaunin must obey orders by any members who is above them in rank.

-Zhaunin are expected to participate in battle squads and groups as healers and long range attackers.

-The apprentice should work with his mentor to learn more about the arts of spellcraft and its supporting skills to better serve the house.

-An apprentice is sometimes called to aid his mentor in magical rituals.

-A Zhaunin will spend a brief amount of time under the Melee-Magthere, the Academy of Warriors, so to learn the combat strategies of the Drow, and how to better lead a offensive raid.

-The Zhaunin, upon reaching the M'elzar rank, is no longer officially in the apprenticeship of the M'elzar. However, the two will often continue this relationship to the gain of both parties.

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PostPosted: Sat, May 15 2010, 9:26 AM 

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Introduction to Melee Magthere

The Drow's constant warfare on the surface and throughout the Underdark has bred a fierce race of elves. The warriors are among the finest bladesmasters in all the realms. Drow warriors favor fast and light weapons, that can be coated with poison. Crossbows and bows are also trained in. Maces are seen as sluggish and useless in battle. No self respecting warrior would train in them.

The complex tactics in battle are carefully studied and practiced among the Melee-Magthere, and all warriors must learn how to effectively lead in combat. Without the Sargtlin of the House to fight the Matron's battles, there would be no foundation for power.

The warriors form the main body of the Drow army. The Drow are true friends to none, and the list of enemies of a house grows quickly. There are times when a unseen dagger or a particular incantion is preferred, but when subtlety is no longer an issue, the troops are sent forth to make an empathic statement.

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PostPosted: Sun, Jun 27 2010, 20:00 PM 

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Drow Cities

Sshamath: City of Dark Weavings
Largest drow city ever, about 75% inhabitants are drow, 5% are Drow that come and go (Travelers), and the remaining percentile is slaves and traders (this includes summoned creatures, undead slaves, and demons)
The city is a city of Lolth, but there are more males than females, and male mages have a position of power.
Clerics of other drow dieties are also allowed to have positions but nothing big.

Menzoberranzan
Traditional and stereotypical drow city, about 40% are Drow, the other 60% is slaves, and they collect some weird slaves...goblins, ogres, minotaurs, undead, drider, sometimes duergar.
The cavern that the city is in used to be a HUGE spider lair, (which a map on the internet isn't too hard to find but I'm too lazy)
This city is run by a council of matrons (meaning that the matron of the first house really runs it and the others just cower and agree)

Ched Nasad: The City of Shimmering Webs
This city was started by drow that were kicked out of Menzoberranzan, so there are rivalries between the two cities. Ched Nasad has about 30% Drow and the 70% is slaves and such. The reason this city is so well known was because it was actually built on spider webs. The Third house, a Vhaerunian house tried to take over the city and smuggled hundreds of duergar into the city to attack the first and second house, the duergar fire barrels burned the webs and it collapsed, destroying every drow house. This city had an usual amount of Vhaeruan and Shar worshippers and was also directly under a surfacer city that vhaerunian worshippers found a passage way to.
House Teh'Kinrellz works to rebuild Ched Nasad currently.

Lesser known cities:(only listing the cities that have some sort of importance, as there are a billion drow cities)

Buiyrandyn
A drow city that is rumored to of 'vanished'. Of course the Whore dancers are to blame! yes. *eyes narrow to slits*

Cloibbra
South of Menzo, Lolthite city destroyed by dwarves (NOT Duergar)

Chaulssin
An interesting Drow city that part of it exists in the plane of shadow. Home of a house of master assassins called the Jaezred Chaulssin (Who didn't actually live there which is later found out in the books. they just met up there from time to time) The Jaezred Chaulssin were kicked out of Ched Nasad after being found out to be Vhaerunian. No ruling diety is ever mentioned, but it's safe to assume Vhaeraun

Dallnothax
Surfacer drow city, worships Vhaeraun.

Dusklyngh
An unimportant and boring Lolthite city that has no importance in the books, pnp game, or anything else whatsoever.

Eryndlyn
A trade city where Lolth, Ghaunadar, and Vhaeraun are all known to be worshipped there, but no one knows really who worships who they just know that each other exist there.

Guallidurth
A Lolthite city that actually has the majority of priestesses worshipping Kierianasalee *gasp* They worship Lolth -through- Kianransalee *nod,nod*

Llurth Dreier
A MASSIVE Drow city (think Tokyo, Japan) dominated by the Drow god Ghaunadar, the city is rumored to be protected by Ghaunadar's avatar and in the books it is described as being 'dreary' 'miserable' and in a state of decline due to it being covered with moss...mold.

Maerimydra
A Drow city that belongs to Keirianasalee. If your character resides in this Drow city you are either one of the three things 1. Dead. 2. Undead. 3. Pledged to Keirianasalee and dying currently while becomming undead.

T'lindeth
A drow city that is known for three things:
1. Some Drow are becoming interested in worshipping Loviatar.
2. There is a settlement of drider that apparently are able to cast divine spells with the help of Lloth (that's right, she's giving driders spells)
3. Drow of this city seem to fail tests of Lolth at an alarming and absurd rate. (That's why there's so many Drider) One in every four Drow fails a test to Lolth and becomes a Drider...infact there are so many Drider, that these Drider are more mentally capable than other Drider because they're not lonely and they have an alliance with the Chitines. creatures.

Udos Dru'Xon
The city in which most of the inhabitants of Ultrinnan came from, this city strongly followed the ways of Llolth and was run entirely by the matron of the first house. Less than 1% of the population were slaves, 5% were travelers, and the remaining 94% were entirely Drow.

Ultrinnan
After Udos Dru'Xon was destroyed, Ultrinnan was constructed deeper into the Underdark. Most of the residents in this city were survivors from Udos Dru'Xon. This city still serves Llolth without question and the city is now run by a council, similar to Menzoberranzan instead of ruled by one individual.

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PostPosted: Sun, Jun 27 2010, 20:10 PM 

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Eilistraee

Titles: The Dark Maiden, Lady of the Dance.
Status: Lesser Deity
Gender: Female
Symbol: Nude long haired female drow dancing with a silver bastard sword in front of a full moon
Home Plane: Arvandor (also the Demonweb Pits)
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Portfolio: Song, beauty, dance, swordwork, hunting, moonlight
Worshipers: Good aligned drow, hunters, surface-dwelling elves
Cleric Alignments: CG, CN, NG
Domains: Chaos, Charm, Drow, Elf, Good, Moon, Portal
Favored Weapon:The Moonsword (bastard sword)

Relationships: Daughter of Corellon Larethian and Araushnee (Lolth), sister of Vhaeraun

Allies: The Seldarine, Mystra, Selûne, and the good deities of the Underdark races

Enemies: Evil deities of the Underdark, especially the rest of the drow pantheon

Eilistraee is the goddess of the good drow. She is the Matron goddess of all the drow that wish to return to the surface. Eilistraee did not actively rebel against Correlon, but was deceived into becoming involved. One of her arrows fired at the enemy Her arrow was magically deflected by Lolth to injure Corellon. Eilistraee was not automatically exiled from Arvandor, but volunteered to leave as she believed she would be needed. She still harbours hope that some if not all of the Dark Elves will turn their back on evil.

Her trademarks are song and beauty. Not much is known about Eilistraee except that she is quick to anger over the evil that most drow do. Eilistraee will more likely lend aid to a creature she favours instead of appear personally. She will grant favours, small ones, which give the most practical answers. If the situation warrants her appearance she usually will appear as a tall drow female with long glowing hair down to her ankles. The clergy of Eilistraee are female from any race. These priestesses much further the cause of beauty and song. They must always carry one of their goddess's favoured instruments, the horn, flute, or harp. Their lot in life is to persuade drow to return to the surface world and work to improve surface relations.

Clerics of the Dark Maiden pray for spells at night, after Moonrise, singing them whenever possible. Their rituals revolve around a hunt followed by a feast, dancing (wearing as little clothing as possible), and a Circle of Song. This last is held preferably in a wooden glade on a moonlit night, in which the worshipers sit and dance by turns in a circle, each one leading a song. Worshipers of Eilistraee try to let out all the gathered emotions of the day with an evensong. This is a personal thing, often wordless, and done in private. Clerics of the Dark Maiden who have the coin to do so are expected to hire any strange minstrel or bard they meet for a song or two; lay worshipers are encouraged but not required to do so.

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PostPosted: Sun, Jun 27 2010, 20:13 PM 

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Ghaunadaur

Titles: That Which Lurks, the Elder Eye
Status: Lesser Drow Deity
Gender: Male (it seems)
Symbol: Purplish eye on purple, violet, and black circles
Home Plane: Demonweb Pits
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Oozes, slimes, jellies, outcasts, ropers, rebels
Worshipers: Aboleths, drow, fighters, oozes, outcasts, ropers
Cleric Alignments: CE, CN, NE
Domains: Cavern, Chaos, Drow, Evil, Hatred, Slime
Favored Weapon: An amorphous tentacle (warhammer)

Relationships: unknown

Allies: None

Enemies: All non-drow deities with a presence in the Underdark, the Seldarine, Malar

Ghaunaduar is even less known than Eilistraee. His nickname is That Which Lurks. He is unpredictable. When he appears he is seen as purplish ooze with tentacles. His "followers" are mostly drow that have fallen from the grace of Lloth or sub intelligent monsters. He has been known to aid followers that just talk highly of his eminence. The chances of his coming, when called, rise if blood has recently been spilled. All that is required of his priesthood is a steady supply of sacrifices. Aid given by Ghaunaduar is usually in the form of combat effectiveness and regenerative healing of harms.
Clerics of Ghaunadaur pray for their spells once per day at a time of imagined significance to the local cult. Ghaunadaur expects such prayers of adulation and praise to be accompanied by a sacrifice. If live sacrifices cannot be procured that often, the Elder Eye accepts offerings of bones and food, burned in oil, as braziers of perfumed incense are also burned. If the worshiper is unable to procure such offerings, he must pray while holding one hand in an open flame (without magical protection). In any place of worship to Ghaunadaur, all cloth furnishings and garments worn by the faithful are to be of hues pleasing to Ghaunadaur's eye, such as shades of purple, red, black, and metallic colors. Many clerics multiclass as enchanters or fighters.

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PostPosted: Sun, Jun 27 2010, 20:15 PM 

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Kiaransalee

Titles: The Lady of the Dead, the Revenancer, the Vengeful Banshee
Status: Drow Demigod
Gender: Female
Symbol: Female drow hand wearing silver rings
Home Plane: Demonweb Pits
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Undead, vengeance
Worshipers: Drow, necromancers, undead
Cleric Alignments: CE, CN, NE
Domains: Chaos, Drow, Evil, Retribution, Undeath
Favored Weapon: Cold Heart (dagger)

Relationships: rebellious vassal of Lolth

Allies: Hoar, Velsharoon, Malar, Vhaeraun

Enemies: Deep Duerra, Dumathoin, Eilistraee, Kelemvor, Laduguer, Jergal

Overlord of the undead and all of Thanatos, Swords & Sorcery. Originally the drow god of vengeance, Kiaransalee plotted and slayed Orcus, the Abyssial Lord of the Dead. The Lady of the Dead may have slain Orcus but she could not eradicate all memory of the fallen god. It is always possible he will return, and Kiaransalee remains ever watchful. She chafes at the rule of Lolth and seeks to rival Lolth in power and ultimately reign as the supreme drow goddess over Tenebrous, Lolth, and Eilistraee.

Clerics of Kiaransalee pray for their spells at midnight, when the spirits are most restless in their graves. While each cleric performs a handful of minor devotions to Kiaransalee every month, they venerate her on a single annual holy day, the Graverending, celebrated each Midwinter Eve. The Graverending is celebrated individually, with each cleric animating as many undead creatures as she can. All such undead known as the Vengeance Hunters are consumed with thoughts of revenge against their killers and unerringly seek them out over the next 24 hours. If destroyed, a Vengeance Hunter does not rise again. Vengeance Hunters return to their grave, if possible, once 24 hours have passed since their animation or once they have exacted their revenge. Many clerics multiclass as necromancers (an a few have joined the Cult of the Dragon and become wearers of purple) and most eventually transform themselves into undead.

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PostPosted: Sun, Jun 27 2010, 20:17 PM 

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Lolth

Titles: The Spider Queen, Queen of Spiders, Queen of the Demonweb Pits, Demon Queen of Spiders, Demon Queen of the Abyss, Weaver of Chaos, the Hunted the Mother of Lusts, Dark Mother of All Drow, Lady of Spiders
Status: Intermediate Deity
Gender: Female
Symbol: Black Spider with female drow head hanging from a spider web
Home Plane: Demonweb Pits
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Assassins, chaos, darkness, drow, evil, spiders
Worshipers: Drow and depraved elves, sentient spiders
Cleric Alignments: CE, CN, NE
Domains: Chaos, Drow, Evil, Darkness, Destruction, Spider, Trickery
Favored Weapon: A spider (dagger)

Relationships: Once mate of Corellon Larethian (then called Araushnee), Mother of Eilistraee and Vhaeraun, she masquerades as Moander, an ancient deity of rot, corruption and decay

Allies: The Drow Pantheon (excluding Eilistraee), Malar, Loviatar

Enemies: The Seldarine, Ghaunadaur, Eilistraee, Non-drow Underdark deities, Gruumsh

Lolth, the Spider Queen, is cruel and malicious. The only person in her world is herself. She is constantly plotting to keep her loyal minions in a state of turmoil. This way she can find the strongest and most cunning of her followers to serve her. Drow, being brought up under this religion, are all but perfectly suited to this arrangement. With the Drow's instinctive distrust and wit, all but the wiliest of opponents will be thrown into disarray. Seeing that Lolth is the goddess of chaos, it is very fitting. The main object of affection among Lolth worshippers is the spider. It is an offence punishable by death to kill or even maim a spider. Lolth gives unto her most loyal henchmen a poisonous spider to aid, guard, but also to watch in their furtherance of the religion. Followers have been known to be killed by the so gracious gift from Lolth. Lolth is most frequently found in the form of giant black widow spider. This form can be changed to an extremely beautiful drow female. These two forms can also be combined to produce a giant spider with a lovely female drow head. In any form Lolth is a presence to be feared. Instead of using her material form Lolth will more likely just show that she is watching by having a pair of smirking female lips appear on the nearest spider seen. If her help is needed more directly then she will imbue a follower with great fighting prowess like: always hitting first, weapons never breaking, and an improvement in armor protection. These followers are almost always surrounded by flickering black mauve edged radiance.

The vast majority clergy of Lolth are all women. The Spider Queen favors those of her own gender and she encourages her followers to view males as lesser beings. The priestesses of Lloth are the only subjects of Lolth to hold any real power in drow society. If a priestess of any rank says to do something there better not be any hesitation. Punishment for disobedience is usually swift and destructive. A priestess is judge, jury and executioner of the society at their feet, and the power given to her by Lolth is justification for any action that she may take. A priestess' sole purpose in life is to weed out the weak and sanctify the strong.

Clerics of Lolth pray for spells after waking from trance or before retiring to trance. They are always female. Lolth requires regular homage from her clerics: submission in prayer, plus offerings. Lolth's aid requires sacrifices, traditionally the blood of drow faithful or captured foes, spilled with a black spider-shaped knife whose eight descending legs are blades. Ceremonies sacrificing surface elves are performed monthly during nights of the full moon as deliberate affronts to the Seldarine, Lolth's hated rival. Rituals customarily take place among women only, in sacred room or area, but those requiring extraordinary power or a public display may be celebrated in the open and in mixed company. The most powerful ceremonies defy description and are seldom seen by non-drow.

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PostPosted: Sun, Jun 27 2010, 20:19 PM 

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Selvetarm

Titles: Champion of Lolth, the Spider That Waits
Status: Drow Demigod
Gender: Male
Symbol: Spider on a crossed sword and mace
Home Plane: Demonweb Pits
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Drow warriors
Worshipers: Barbarians, drow, fighters, those who like to kill, warriors
Cleric Alignments: CE, CN, NE
Domains: Chaos, Drow, Evil, Spider, War
Favored Weapon: Venommace (heavy mace)

Relationships: Son of Vhaeraun and Zandilar (now an aspect of Sharess), he was almost good and consumed Zanassu, a demon lord with a fondness for spiders and was overwhelmed by his evil.

Allies: Lolth and Garagos

Enemies: All other deities

Selvetarm is the embodiment of the drow passion for prowess in fighting, and the champion of Lolth. He is cruel and malicious by nature, and cares only for battle and destruction. The Champion of Lolth harbours a deep hatred for all living things, including his dominating mistress, and the only beauty he can appreciate is a well-honed and deadly fighting style. Selvetarm can exhibit a great deal of patience while waiting for prey to fall into an ambush he has set, but he prefers the wild abandon of battle frenzy to a careful and deliberate attack. He is the result of a short lived union between Vhaerun and Zandlar the Dancer. For a time he wandered alone and then became drawn to his aunt, Eilistraee. However this exploration of good ended when Lolth drew him into her evil plots.
Clerics of Selvetarm pray for their spells immediately after the first battle of the day, or after military practice if there is no actual battle. Selvetarm's faithful are expected to observe the rituals of Lolth, as directed by her clerics. Selvetarm does expect all who take up arms in his name to cry out his name in the bloodlust of battle as they deliver the killing blow to a foe. Since there is always the chance that any attack will be a fatal one, the Selvetargtlinen tend to constantly scream out their deity's name during a battle. Many clerics multiclass as fighters or barbarians.

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PostPosted: Sun, Jun 27 2010, 20:20 PM 

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Vhaeraun

Titles: The Masked Lord, the Masked God of Night
Status: Lesser Drow Deity
Gender: Male
Symbol: A pair of black glass lenses that form a mask
Home Plane: Demonweb Pits
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Thievery, drow males, evil activity on the surface
Worshipers: Assassins, male drow and half drow, poisoners, shadowdancers, rogues, thieves
Cleric Alignments: CE, CN, NE
Domains: Chaos, Drow, Evil, Travel, Trickery
Favored Weapon: Shadowflash (short sword)

Relationships: Son of Corellon Larethian and Araushnee (who became Lolth), brother of Eilistraee. His feud with Lolth is subtle, as he lacks the power to oppose her directly.

Allies: Mask, Shar, Talona
Enemies: opposes all the Underdark gods, including his sister.

Vhaeraun is the god of thievery and the furthering of drow power on the surface world. He is also the patron deity of drow males, teaching a heresy (according to Lloth) that drow males are the equals of drow females. Vhaeraun is haughty and proud, like all drow deities. He favours underhanded means and treachery to achieve his goals. His priesthood is exclusively male, and priests usually hide their true vocation in drow communities. Vhaeraun has hair and eyes that change colour with his emotional state (red when angry, blue when amused, gold when triumphant, etc.) Vhaeraun is passively opposed to Lloth. He knows he is not powerful enough to oppose her directly... Yet. Vhaeraun wishes to re-unite the elven people. He considers all elves to be superior to all other races, however, and wishes only to have elves dominate all other races. Vhaeraun's loyalty is to all elves, but primarily the drow race. He would like to see the surface elves serving as the enforcers of the "true masters", the drow, who would rule from the depths of the earth.
Clerics of Vhaeraun pray for their spells at dusk, before skulking into the shadows. The most important attacks, negotiations and other activities of the clergy must occur at night. Clerics of Vhaeraun utter prayers to the Masked God of Night whenever they accomplish something to further his aims. Offerings of the wealth and weapons of those they vanquish (enemies of the drow, or regalia of female drow clerics) are to be melted in black, bowl-shaped altars. Offerings of magic and wealth are made regularly. The more value, the more Vhaeraun is pleased, though he favors daily diligence more than rare, huge hauls. Midwinter Night, known to Vhaeraun's followers as the Masked Lord's Embrace, is the most sacred time of the year to the followers of the Masked Lord. This annual holy day is celebrated by the Masked Lord's followers with daylong introspective rituals of total sensory deprivation. Each worshiper is expected to cloak themselves in a region of magical darkness and sit or stand at the middle of the effect for a full 24 hours while contemplating Vhaeraun's teachings and dreaming up schemes to advance the Masked Lord's goals in the coming year. All followers of Vhaeraun who wish to perform this ritual are granted the ability to employ their darkness spell-like ability with the necessary extended duration. In the Night Above, nights of the new moon are considered sacred to his followers. Such occasions are observed with midnight stag hunts that range over miles of shadowy woodlands. Packs of Vhaeraun worshipers, mounted on riding lizards brought up from the Underdark, run down a stag and then sacrifice its rack of antlers and still-beating heart to the Masked Lord in dark rites that pervert the ancient ways of the surface elves. Many clerics multiclass as assassins, divine seekers, shadowdancers or rogues.

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PostPosted: Sun, Jun 27 2010, 20:24 PM 

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HRM Chicken I of Amia

Joined: 02 Jun 2005
Location: Amsterdam

[b]Introduction to Playing Drow Characters[/b]

[color=#FFFF00]This guide is meant to serve as a crash course for people with very little background knowledge about drow. Having a reputation as being one of the hardest races to roleplay, drow can be fairly intimidating to the uninitiated.[/color]

Contradictory by nature and generally unseen by those who live on the surface, much about drow lifestyles and customs remain a mystery. Even to those rare humans who know a bit about them, drow are mysterious entities, offering little reason for their actions.

Breaking into the Underdark can be tricky, even for those who feel they have a good grasp on what the drow are all about. It's easy to stereotype drow, after all, they run around in the dark with glowing red eyes and they generally enjoy a good human (or elven) slaughter. But... one of the first and most important things for anyone to learn about the drow is this:

Drow are not evil.

It's not as simple as just lurking in the shadows snickering to yourself or roaming about shouting "Die, human scum!" Drow are much more complex, defying short definitions. They are religious zealots, racists, and lust constantly for power. Their actions are almost always motivated by one of those three characteristics so they often (violently) interfere with the surfacers' way of life and are thus labeled as being evil. However, the drow see themselves as heroes. In their minds, they are saviors of a world that's gone to rot. They are holy warriors sent to cleanse the impurities that threaten their existence, who are favored above all other races by the will of Lolth. Drow are bound as much by duty and honor as those who dwell on the surface. They simply define things differently. To a drow, backstabbing and deceit are acceptable ways of advancing one's self.

Ranking

Social status is everything to the drow. The higher your status, the more freedom you have, the less punishment you must endure, and the more power you can obtain. Females will always hold more power than males, even if they share a rank. Drow, as a whole, are very matriarchal. This isn't to say that males can't achieve great amounts of power, in fact, it could be argued that there have been times where a male had greater sway over the society than the Yathtallar herself. Males simply have to remain secretive in their affairs, networking and making deals for power rather than relying on rank alone.

As a sign of respect, Ilharessen and Yathtallaren (Matrons and High Priestesses) should never be called by their given names. It's considered proper etiquette to use their titles when referring to other drow who are higher rank than you.

It can be assumed that at each rank, you have the power to give orders to those of lower ranking. While those in the lower ranks might not always be able to force someone to follow their orders, the drow of the highest rank is the one in charge. If everyone present is of the same rank, then drow tend to revert to an orc-like system: If they can kill you with ease, you'd better follow their lead.

Because you are of a lower rank that does not mean that you are inferior. Your character is inferior in the eyes of the drow, of course, but the player behind the other screen knows that you're there to have fun too. Take any abuse with a grain of salt and keep in mind that it's a game and we're roleplaying. Many out-of-character problems that drow players have could be avoided if people would remember to think like a drow while they are in-game, instead of taking things that happen personally.

If you think someone is abusing their power or rank in-character, the best way to deal with it is out-of-character. Privately tell a DM or a reliable player what's going on and they will put a stop to it. Or, if the problem is small enough or you're comfortable doing so, OOCly mention it to the player in question yourself. Just remember, they're probably not deliberately trying to ruin your fun so be polite. Sometimes people just need a reminder that while being a cranky jerk can be fun for them, it's not always so for the other players. In general, just know that when in-character, Drow do things very differently than the everyone-as-equals surface races. You will likely be yelled at or punished for something (whether you knew it was against rules or not) at some point of playing your drow. That doesn't mean you can't roleplay through it and have some fun!

Language

A lot of people are intimidated by the fact that drow have a roleplayed language. It's pretty simple to pick up on it, though. There are only a handful of words to remember that drow use all of the time. For the rest, most of us rely on external translators. The longer you play a drow character, the more words you will pick up along the way. The only words that complete newbies are expected to learn through gameplay are as follows:

Xas - Yes
Nau - No
Vendui' - Hello
Aluve' - Goodbye
Bel'la Dos - Thank You
Harl'il'cik - Kneel
Jabbress - Mistress
Jabbuk - Master
Ilharess - Matron
Yathrin - Priestess of Lolth

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PostPosted: Sun, Jun 27 2010, 20:26 PM 

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Life as a Lolth Drow

Ulu z'hin maglust dal Qu'ellar lueth Valsharess zhah ulu z'hin wund lil phalar."

"To walk apart from House and Queen is to walk into the grave" - A famous Drow quote.


Drow Life:

Drow are very aware and inquisitive creatures simply because of their cruel and unforgiving society. Most Drow have high intellectual aptitude thus they have a mental advantage over other creatures. Drow also have greater dexterity than most other creatures and use this to overcome their lack of endurance during combat situations.

Male Drow, when they are born, have the chance of not living at all. This is due to the fact that every third boy-child is given to Lloth via sacrifice. If they are chosen to live they are typically forced down one of two paths. The first, they become a warrior and are trained from the moment they can hold a weapon. The second, they become a mage and are trained from the moment they can make coherent speech. Which path male drow follow is almost never their choice. Typically the matron makes the decision for them.

Female children, on the other hand, are given at least a little choice. Many are destined from birth to serve Lloth as a priestess and are sent to learn to communicate her will. If the child is not seen fit to serve Lloth, then she is given some choice in what she will become.

Station is the most important thing in Drow life. It is the hierarchy by which power is distributed. Each person from the matron mother of the first house to the lowly asset in the last merchant house has a certain amount of station. We would call it in our world, authority. The main goal in Drow life is to gain station. The primary tool to gain station is assassination. Brothers will try to kill each other as long as a higher station is achieved in the process.

Drow Society:

There are two major groupings among the Drow. These are the relatively unimportant (according to the priestesses of Lloth). Merchant clans and the staid, monolithic Noble houses. In truth, both establishments are vital to the survival of the Drow.

Merchant Houses:

Merchant clans vary in organization. They are usually headed by an "inner ring" or council of the most experienced and/or wealthy merchant members, and hence are usually led by males. (The "demeaning" and often dangerous occupation of trading with outsiders is an almost exclusively a male one.)

The membership of Merchant clans primarily consists of male wizards. Removed as they are from Drow society at large, the Merchant clans have no compunction about dealing with the surface world. In fact, a great number of the "second ring", or managers, are non-Drow of various races. The lowest ranks in a Merchant clan, the "assets", are nearly all non-Drow. These are the laborers and soldiery of the Merchant house. Together, the Merchant clans form the trade links with the outside world that enable the Noble houses to survive.

Noble Houses of the Underdark:

Noble Houses are led by a matron mother, the senior priestess of Lloth. In Lloth-worshipping communities, her rule is absolute, enforced by the priestesses beneath her (usually her daughters). All females of the mothers blood, in order of age, follow in rank, although they wield no authority until they are trained and of age (past puberty). Below the daughters come the male officers of the house; the weapons master (leader of the fighters), (chief) House wizard, and the patron (current consort of the matron mother).

Beneath these 'blood' members and officials of the House rank its common warriors, craftspeople, its servants, and slaves. All ranks are decreed and can be changed on the whim of the matron mother. Her position changes at death- often at the hands of her eldest daughter.

Slaves:

Drow hold and take slaves from among the various surface races as well as the races that dwell in the Underdark. These slaves are rarely treated well, considered nothing more then a pair of hands to be exploited and if it dies there are thousands more to replace it. Slaves must give way to Drow, and are not allowed to look any noble Drow in the face. Slaves may only bear weapons when a Drow noble allows them to, usually only in gladiatorial games or in the defense of their house. Human craftsman are the most valued slaves, but seldom thrive for long in the dark, cruel Drow settlements.

Slaves are any number of the various surface races captured by the Drow. Slaves are the lowest members of the Drow caste, filling all menial tasks from cleaning or manual labor to fighting in the gladiator pits. Slaves can almost never advance in rank and any Drow can order or command a slave, within reason. Slaves should always be extremely humble before their Drow masters.

Examples: Speak when spoken to. Answer promptly and to the point. Wait till you have a chance to speak, and speak briefly.

A slave should not be killed unless they are repeatedly openly disobeying commands.

Playing a Slave:

A slave can never harm a Drow.

A slave cannot wield weapons, unless ordered to or in the defense of itself against one of the many Drow enemies.

Magic is not available to Slaves.

Playing a slave is tough, and should be done only if you truly accept it. Sometimes you will get angry because you are seemingly treated like dirt; well, you are role-playing a slave, remember that.

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