Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Location: The Netherlands (GMT+1)
|Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:15 am Post subject: Drow in Annakolia
|Drow in Annakolia
After a number of talks with Barry and Charissa we've come up with the following writeup on drow in Annakolia. This is in no way everything, but it will give players a pretty good idea about drow and how they are viewed by the general population in Annakolia. Drow were introduced into Annakolia with the game module "Into The Depths of the Earth". Drow in this module were the basis for the current Faerun drow but do have a number of significant differences. Annakolia Drow are much like the drow as described in Into the Depths of the Earth, yet may be different at some points.
Most importantly: Annakolia drow are NOT faerun drow.
Description (from “TSR - Into The Depths Of The Earth, Gary Gygax”):
Drow are black skinned and pale haired. They are slight of build and have delicate fingers and toes. Their features are somewhat sharp and ears are pointed and large, but this does not make them unhandsome. Their eyes are very large, being all iris and pupil. Male drow are of thin build, about 5' tall, have dead black skin and dead white hair, and the irises of their eyes are orange to orange-yellow. Females are slender and shapely, about 5'6” tall, and have glossy black skin and shining silvery hair. The eyes of female Drow are amber, though a few are said to possess irises of lambent violet.
History as written in the chronicles of ages past:
Long ago, while the elven and fey were but new upon the face of Galandar the elves waged a huge war among themselves. The war was fuelled by discord and moral standing, the good elves of the woods fought valiantly against their own kin, the dark elves. Why exactly they were referred to as Dark is unknown, some claim it was due to their skin colouration, others claim it was due to their dark minds.
The Dark Elves were driven from the elven community by their good kinsmen. But the wars continued relentlessly, at times they seemed unending. Yet as time passed the good elves won the battles more and more, driving the evil Dark Elves, who were given the name of Drow away. They were driven off of the face of Galandar even, and sought their refuge in the dark bowels of the earth. Twisting and dangerous caverns slowly led deeper and deeper into the darkness. And so did the Drow, slowly descending further away from the sun and stars.
Deep in the bowls of the earth the Drow found refuge and comfort.
Slowly they started to regain their strength and slowly but surely the Drow started to find their twist in the dark bowels of the earth. They once again started to school themselves in the arts of the divine and the arcane and started to build great cities in the dark depths. Their cities started to thrive, and as time passed they no longer wished to rule the surface world.
Now they will generally not wander outside of the caves, or into the sunlight. Only rarely is one seen wandering the surface. At times certain factions of the Drow strive to extract revenge upon the surface dwellers, working with other forces like giants. Hatred for the surface dwellers, and especially their elven kin burns strong in them still.
Drow society as a whole is hard to describe, as human or elven society as a whole would also be hard to describe. There are many cities, and their governmental structures and main focus varies. Some are lead by a council, others are led by a single person, much like in any society such structures differ, and there is not one perfect structure. Some cities are more trade orientated, while others tend to focus more on warfare and still others may be more interested in collecting knowledge, or on farming Deep Rothes for instance.
One thing however flows through all Drow settlements and societies, the worship of the Queen of the Demonweb Pits, the Spider Queen herself, Lloth. In every Drow city, no matter how insignificant Lloth holds a temple. In next to every household, Lloth is worshipped on a daily basis. And of course, whichever ruling body a city may have, one can expect that one of the priestesses of Lloth has a place of importance in it. At times they may be the supreme ruler, yet they may also be but a member of a council or an advisor. Regardless, their opinions weigh heavy, as they are the opinions of Lloth herself.
And this in essence could be seen as the basis of Drow society, united not by goals, but united by faith. This does not mean all Drow get along, or warfare never ensues between two cities. It merely means that there is very often a connection between Drow, if only on the basis of their faith.
Drow on the Surface
Drow on the surface are rare, and their existence and general mindset is not common knowledge. As such to most they would be nothing more then a black skinned elf. Some may be aware of the old chronicles, but all who do would have the wisdom to keep in mind that they were written a long time ago, and things may have changed over time.
The reaction to a Drow on the surface would vary between persons. People will often react differently to Drow because their appearance is different from what people know. Compare it with the reactions that a blue skinned, green haired human walking down the street would get. Some may be curious, others scared, or wary or even on occasion unfriendly. It all depends on the person.
Drow and Evil
In most DnD settings Drow have been described as an almost carnal evil. Much like demons there is no good in them; they are evil to the core, born evil. This however is something that has developed throughout later DnD rulings, and is not originally implied in “Into the Depths of the Earth” the game module in which Drow first appear.
As such Drow in Annakolia are NOT born evil, they are simply born, as every Human, Hobbit, Elf and so on is born. Their culture may be evil, and as such it would also turn those living and surviving in it evil. However, that does not mean that they are evil indefinitely or genetically evil.
It is even so if we look at it purely scientifically that even if there was something like an evil gene, it would be impossible to keep this present in all Drow. It would eventually always change through natural mutations, and the only way to keep the evil in would be through manual selection. So that means you would have to select individuals with the evil gene and breed them with others with the evil gene. It would also mean that if an individual doesn’t have the evil gene they shouldn’t breed. Now of course such a selection would prove impossible in a culture that even vaguely resembles a human one. And then we’re not even going into the difficulty of determining whether or not an individual has that evil gene.
So to make a long story short, Drow can be evil, just as any other elf can be evil, as any human can be evil. If they are evil however that is due to their culture and upbringing, and not “cause it’s a Drow and all Drow are evil cause… they’re Drow”.
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