Sunday, October 26, 2014

Drow in Generica

“Now our Syrinx’s gone to rest.
Down below. Down below.
Now his consorts have their jest.
Hear them crow. Hear them crow.
Collared gowns and dark perfume.
Broke their vow. Broke their vow.
Lock them up inside his tomb.
Call them drow. Call them drow.”
-Folk rhyme learned from Figaro slaves, recovered by Saul Spidermin

“You clerics talk of baptisms; fancy rituals you use to bless babies and soldiers in the name of your ridiculous gods. Oils and rosewater and prayer and blood. Drow have no use for such a thing, but us dark elves understand. First time I see the sun, my skin chars and blisters. My underdark clothes vaporize, so I’m exposed. My skin burns and blackens. You can’t imagine the pain. All over. Any time you see a dark elf on the surface, you know she’s felt the same burning. We’re all baptized by your sun” -Remlian surface drow

Drow in Remlia

In terms of appearance, drow are very similar to elves. Pointed ears, heightened senses, longer lifespans. However, they stand out like a sore thumb with their charcoal coloured skin and their shock white hair. They’re also the most iconoclastic race of surface people in Remlia.

Each one is an individual among individuals; a special snowflake holding fast to her/his new ideals, rejecting the beliefs of their ancestors. Emerging from the strange “below places” of Generica marks them (physically and emotionally) as outsiders to civilized people above and below. This could be why drow take to an adventurer’s life so easily.

Lemme Go I Blister in the Sun

It has been observed that there is a distinct difference between surface drow (commonly just called dark elves) and their subterranean kin. Drow do not have dark obsidian coloured skin naturally. In their natural lightless habitat, drow skin is translucent and white, not unlike that of a pale grub.

The dark skin that drow have come from an allergic reaction to Generica’s yellow sun. Upon coming in contact with sunlight, underdark clothing evaporates from the radiation, and drow skin blisters and turns black. Pigment floods their skin in tremendous amounts in order to cope with sunlight. Surface drow are literally sunburned black.

It is said that underdark drow also appear dark skinned, but with a strange white glow about them. In actuality, this is because their darker organs are visible through their translucent flesh; pulsating and pumping strange green fluids through them.
Underdark drow vorpriestess.
Drow "History"

Few elves or drow will admit it, but drow are a sub-race of elfkind. Their origin is thought to date back to over a thousand years ago to the betrayal and death of the Elven god-magician Syrinx. His final words “...and the meek shall inherit the earth” were thought to be a warning against weakness.

As was deemed a fitting send off, Syrinx’s 107 concubines and consorts were buried alive with him. While recorded history states they were entombed with him in order to ‘pleasure his god-soul into a new greater form’, many escaped elven slaves believe that these concubines were buried with his body as punishment for his suspected murder. No one knows for sure.

Still, these elves were buried hundreds of feet underground in the subterranean underdark. They managed to eke out a miserable living underground, exploring and propagating and expanding. They cursed Syrinx and his bureaucratic priests, renouncing his name and eventually his dwindling magic.

It is thought that this is when they turned to Lolth, and became the first drow.
One of Lolth's many guises. 
Demon Queen Lolth

Lolth is a demon spider goddess. She is often depicted as an eight-armed drow or elf with the lower body of a spider. She is considered the patron deity of underdark drow, and her influence and magic is what has kept the isolated drow alive and viciously strong through the centuries.

The following is known about Lolth’s commandments, worship, and domains:

  • Lolth embodies the Life and Trickery domains equally.
  • Lolth is viewed by many monsters as a patron of fertility, secrets, and spiders.
  • Lolth’s commandments are few. She seeks the propagation of spiders throughout the material plane. Male drow are often made “egg carriers”, their bodies bloated with the egg sacs of demon spiders. This process makes them completely servile. 
  • Lolth prizes cleverness, self-importance, and decadence above all else. A life not lived for one’s self indulgence is a life to be killed off.
  • Lolth regularly demands blood and life sacrifices (often fed to spiders). She is also appeased by bizarre and intricate displays of bondage.
  • Each one of Lolth’s eight hands represents a different aspect of her desires. Lolth worshippers likewise have eight schools of worship, producing different kinds of clerics, paladins, cultists, and servants. These eight schools don’t get along with each other.

Surface drow are hesitant to speak of their native lands and cultures, fearing reprisal or punishment from seemingly invisible foes. What is known is that underdark drow society is intensely religiously hierarchical and dictatorial; where speaking out against Lolth’s webbed design or the selfish commands of her priestesses is suicide.

Some surface drow have let slip that almost none of their people actually believe in Lolth. None except the highest ruling caste. They typically are just looking to get enough to eat.
Shrines to Lolth are often cocooned driders, webbed to the walls of temples. For the price of a soul, a Lolth Shrine will tell you 1d4 valuable secrets. 
Egg Carrier. While painful looking, these Underdark butlers are often polite and well versed in royal etiquette.
Table of Random Generica Drow Facts (d12):

  1. Drow royalty is notoriously inbred, as one of Lolth’s hands posits that incest strengthens Lolth’s influence over her chosen people.
  2. Drow have a taste for spicy and sweet foreign foods. It is said a drow matron will send hundreds of drow raiding parties (many of whom go to their death) to the surface just to secure a shipment of sugar and spice.
  3. A drow’s favourite food is curried crab and its favourite drink is Cherry Dr. Pepper.
  4. A drow’s favourite wuss rock band is Smashing Pumpkins, but he/she also likes Fall Out Boy despite saying he/she hates them all the time.
  5. Underdark drow dinner parties are decadent affairs said to last weeks at the dining table. Any drow that vomits from overeating is promptly cooked alive and served ala mode to the remaining guests.
  6. Driders are a myth made up to scare drow children and do not actually exist. The Gran Remiel Taratologist guild still has a tremendous bounty on drider remains, tripled if captured alive.
  7. Surface drow are often caught monologuing to themselves as they stare into the sunrise. Calling them out on this embarasses them to no end.
  8. An underdark drow’s favourite Disney song is “Mother Knows Best” from Tangled. Surface drow are all into early Ralph Bakshi films and think Disney is shit.
  9. Surface drow are thought to carry all kinds of plagues, and are kept from entering most human run establishments in Remlia. They are oddly welcomed at dwarven tables in the Praxis Territories, however.
  10. Figaro elven nobles will often pay out the pointed ear for vintage drow pornography. There’s a 15% chance of finding a crude drow ‘Tijuana Bible’ in the spellbooks of elven wizards.
  11. Underdark drow set up wards against purple worms, and are known to sabotage similar wards set up by underground dwarves and gnomes.
  12. Drow blood is green and silvery, and is a highly sought after spell component of necromancers and dragon cultists.

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