|This page is a RACE page.
It contains important info about this race.
|Unofficial Races||Official Races|
Races of Hollow
|Good Races of Hollow:||Centaur; Dwarf; Dryad; Elf; Feline; Minotaur|
|Neutral/Non-Aligned Races of Hollow:||Avian; Draconian; Dragon; Giant; Gnome; Half Elf; Hobbit; Human; Pixie; Troll|
|Evil Races of Hollow:||Drow; Fermin; Lycanthrope; Naga; Ogre; Orc; Preklek; Shadow Gnome; Undead; Vampire|
|Life Expectancy:||700 - 2300|
|Homeland:||Trist'oth - The Underdark|
|Average Height:||4'6" (137.2 cm) - 5'6" (167.6 cm)|
|Average Weight:||85 lbs. (38.5 kg) - 130 lbs. (59 kg) (calculator)|
|Preferred Classes:||Mage (Male Only), Priestess (Female Only), Assassin|
|Allowed Classes:||Ranger, Mage, Priest, Assassin, Thief, Spell Blade, Necromancer, Illusionist, Druid|
|Alignment:||Lawful Evil, Chaotic Evil|
|Preferred Weapons:||Sword, dagger (male) / Whip (female), Poison|
|Aggression Level:||Extremely Aggressive|
|Intelligence Level:||Superb Intellect|
|Strength Rating:||Moderate (This is compensated for with speed)|
|Weak Against:||Psychological Attack, Light|
|Strong Against:||Poison, Dark Magic|
|Enemy Races:||Elf, Dwarf|
Relatively short, all Drow have dark skin and white hair; though they tend to be short when compared to humans, Drow make up for their lack of height and strength with uncanny speed, dexterity, and cunning. Drow males tend to be slightly shorter and weaker than their female counterparts on average. Though Drow are technically capable of living over 2,000 years, this is an exceedingly rare event considering the deadly nature of Drow society; a well trained Drow living within the Underdark will generally live no more than 700 years. The normal eye color for Drow is red, to have yellow would denote some illness or poison; blue, violet, or green eyes would denote some sort of anomaly or heritage that is not of pure Drow. In darkness, Drow see with the use of Infravision (Vision in Infrared), this heightened sensitivity, while necessary in the light-void Underdark, offers one of the Drow's biggest weaknesses; sunlight, or any flash of significant magnitude, will cause great pain and temporarily blindness to the eyes of any deep dwelling Drow. For this reason, many Drow train in the techniques of blind-fighting, and very few Drow choose to leave the Underdark. All full-blooded Drow are born with innate magical abilities which allow them to cast faerie fire (A green, blue, or violet nonburning magical fire used mostly in combat to outline their opponent with a soft glow, thus rending hiding in shadows or other forms of concealment nearly impossible), dancing lights (A series of small lights which move upon the caster's will, used for distraction and confusion), and darkness (An orb of magical darkness, impermeable by even their infravision; only a few magical lenses, or the sight of an extra-planar being can penetrate the darkness. This is used both defensively and offensively by most Drow fighters. The orb's size is dependent on the Drow's practice and natural magical ability.) Drow of Noble birth, or adopted commoners with particularly powerful House Insignia can also levitate at will; duration, speed, and rate of usage depend again on the Drow's practice and natural abilities.
The Drow's psyche is cruel, sick, and twisted in nature. They tend to have an insatiable lust for battle often seeking to kill, maim, or torture surface dweller as a form of entertainment. Also, it is not rare to see Drow females show off her body by way of removing her clothes; this behavior, from the Drow perspective, is merely a display of dominance by proudly displaying the fact that she is a woman, the gender which held most, if not all, of the power for hundreds of centuries. Although cruel and twisted, the Drow can occasionally develop affection, given certain and extenuating circumstances (e.g. living on the surface). More often than not, emotions are played off as lust, so as not to display an appearance of weakness. Rarely is true is affection seen coming from a Drow, though when it is displayed, the behavior is most likely a result of favoritism, which is played out to gain power. For example, the Matron's favorite (her Patron) is often the strongest male in the house, or the Weapon's Master. Drow think in a very twisted, self-centered manner; they do not act unless there is a plot within a plot within another plot. These multi-layered plans are found frequently within Drow society, and are a necessary trait of those who wish to attain or maintain any semblance of power.
For millennia, Drow society was famed for its matriarchal nature, in Drow society the mother matrons reigned supreme and men were viewed as second-class citizens. Drow society is steeped in customs that have existed for aeons; however, one tenet seems to rule all else, “Survival of the Fittest”. Drow are naturally cruel and vicious beings and only strong Drow survive, the strongest of all the Drow being the Matrons and Patrons the sadistic and twisted houses. The Matrons generally spend nearly all their time and energy attempting to gain or maintain favor with the Spider Queen The Spider Goddess, from whom they derive their power. The few Patrons who lead Drow Houses generally rule by means of powerful magical ability or significant martial training. Drow males are never allowed to be a priest or cleric to the Spider Queen, but are often servants of the priestess of The Spider Goddess who are the highest order if the Underdark.
Almost all Drow live in the Underdark under the control of the Matrons or Patrons who lead their respective houses as either a Noble, house brother or sister, or as an owned slave of that house. There is little, if any, exception to this. Drow society survives through raiding, conquest, and intelligent use of these ill gotten gains.
Another important facet of Drow society is the intense hatred for their fair skinned kin who live upon the surface and the half-blood Drow who’ve chosen to mate with these creatures. Many rituals and celebrations verbally bash their kin and revel in any victory over their fellow elves. The treatment of half-breeds on the other hand is delivered only in two ways: Death or exile. Regardless of that half-breeds abilities or any feature, those two sentences are carried out without question. Drow tend only to trade amongst themselves being a very xenophobic race, many of the Drow who venture out of Trist’oth are outcasts or are carrying out missions for their matron mother, many males who do this are known as “The Rievers” and their cruel and calculating methods are feared by the surface races and much celebrated below amongst the Drow who secretly desire their dark skill.
And last, but not least, there is an order of houses in the Underdark, one that is generally accepted by all Drow and that is the House Ranking System. The most powerful house is known as First House, and rules over all the Drow and other Noble Houses. They are the envy of every house, and as such, must constantly watch both allies and enemies for plots against them. All Drow secretly wish to usurp the First House and gain the favor which comes along with membership in it.
Drow House System
Drow society is based on the gain of status and the knowledge that only the strong survive in the world of the Underdark.
Families of nobility (the ranking class) are grouped into Houses, the strongest 5 Houses form the Drow Council which makes decisions regarding larger matters that could potentially affect all of the Houses or the security of Trist'oth from outside sources.
Traditional House Rankings
A traditional Matriarchal House consists of, in the order of rank, as follows:
- A ruling Matron Mother.
- The Matron’s first daughter.
- Any daughters in birth order that are in training to become priestesses, or are priestesses.
- Any daughters in birth order not in training.
- Any priestesses not of the same family.
- The Elderboy, oldest living son of the Matron.
- The Secondboy, second oldest living son of the Matron. The third born son is sacrificed to the Spider Goddess at birth, unless one of the first two sons die before he is born.
- The Patron, the Matron’s current lover.
- The House Wizard, if none of the sons has taken the position.
- The Weapons Master, Also a position that can be taken by a son.
- House Mages
- Workers and slaves
Non-Traditional House Rankings
Most non traditional Houses are not ranked according to birth order and gender, but rather in positions earned by proving ones worth. Most non-traditional Houses still have at least the following positions but could have less or more.
- Ruling Patron or Matron
- House Wizard
- Weapon’s Master
- House Mages
- House Warriors
- Workers and Slaves
Drow & Religion
Drow religion is primarily monotheistic with the only allowed goddess being The Spider Goddess the spider goddess of chaos and survival. The Spider Goddess’s teachings fit the Drow way of life perfectly and almost all Drow worship her in one way or another. Virtually all of the house leaders of Trist’oth and the Underdark known as “The Matron Mothers” have been, or still are High Priestess’s of The Spider Goddess’s various religious orders. The orders of The Spider Goddess are easily the highest order of any Drow religion and give members especially the priestess hood tremendous social standing and influence. The Cult of The Spider Goddess is focused on her temple in Trist’oth and at the top of the pyramid like structure bloody and oft times cruel sacrificed are mad to the Goddess of all chaos. Occasionally some Drow Necromancers form death cults to worship Vakarash but these tend to be male dominated sects are therefore of less social standing. Drow rarely if ever allows other races to partake in their religious ceremonies with the exception of sacrifices.The most important ceremony is “The Night of The Bloody Moon”, every sixth full moon the clerics of The Spider Goddess open a sacred channel fashioned from marble, which sends a stream of moonlight down into Underdark. The light travels through a pane of thick red glass and lands on a white marble circle within the temple, when this process is complete, sacrifices are brought to the circle in multiples of six and stabbed numerous times with curved blades, their blood flowing outward from the bloody moon circle like ominous sanguine rivers. This ceremony recreates their bloody pact with the spider goddess and empowers the priestesses of The Spider Goddess with powerful magic.
Many chroniclers of Hollow history have debated whether or not the Drow, or Dark Elves as they are sometimes known, are one of the elder races such as The Dragons, Dwarves and other Elves. All that can be certain is there is some connection between the Drow and other elves that neither side wish to discuss. A popular fairytale is that the Elf race was as one at the start of the golden age and by he end some terrible schism that split not only the Elf people but their very core, after that time many tribes of Elf departed the sacred groves of Sage and forged their own destiny as the Sea Elves of Rynvale did. It is quite possible a tribe of Elves left Sage and became the race now known as Drow but what transformed them into the dark skinned, white haired, wicked and sadistic race they have become is a mystery. Some among the elven races claim the Drow have sold their souls to dark powers and their dark skin and snow white hair mark them out for doing so.
A major exception to the Drow's isolation took place just before the time of the Dark Immortals, when the Drow allied with the shadow gnomes in a private war against their elven cousins and their pixie allies; ultimately though, their above ground brethren won out, this may be the reason for their isolation during this period up until the Drow resurgence after the grand cataclysm.
During most of Hollow’s history the Drow have remained secluded in the Underdark, with only a few left to explore the surface world. It was only after the cataclysm that lead to Cenril having to be rebuilt and that saw the decline in the power of the Dread Lords Kaizer and Solaris that the Drow became known as a race to be reckoned with. Raiding out from the virtually impregnable Underdark, the Drow were poised to become a major threat to every surface race, especially the elves of Sage for which they hold a bestial animosity which borders on insanity. However, when the Dark Immortals, Elazul and Khasad, returned to reclaim Hollow once again, this time they invaded the Underdark, killing many Drow in Trist’oth in their campaign to free the Dragon Lord Karueborn from his enchanted prison. Many Drow joined the armies of Elazul and attacked the surface of Hollow, but a small sect set up a secret base under Gualon, becoming separate from the Matron Mother's rule.
After the disappearance of the dark immortals, the hordes of the Underdark slowly returned to their subterranean lair, but with no rest to be offered. An invasion by the Archmosian Empire into the Underdark soon followed, once again bringing war to Trist'oth. Vuryal's forces overcame the recovering city of Trist'oth and inserted its own leadership; the Provisional Governor ruling with an iron fist until the eventual fall of the Archmosian Empire some time later. After the Empire's fall, and with the Matriarchy's numbers and support weakened significantly by the subsequent two invasions, their attempt at retaking Trist'oth was only moderately successful. The Spider Queen Astrala had long since been vacant from gracing her Temple's chambers, further lending to the Matrons' problems. Upon seeing this as their only chance to strike a meaningful blow, the remaining rogues who'd taken up residence within Gualon, as well as House D'Artes, were led by Keter into war with supporters of the 'old ways'. He challenged all those who wished to retain the traditional ways of female control and male servitude, defeating all Drow who stepped forward to defend the Matriarchy. House D'Artes eventually took control as First House of Trist'oth, and though most houses remain under a traditional hierarchy, none have challenged the rogue House's position; thus paving the way for all Drow males of sufficient power to rise against their proprietors.
All Drow who belong to a noble family are directed on a specific path very early in life, their official structured training generally begins at or near the age of 25. Commoners will rarely have these opportunities unless they catch the eye of a noble through uncanny skill in a particular area.
Magthere d'Malarin (The Warrior's Academy)
- Overseen by General Shavv under guidance of the Drow Council.
All Drow males of noble houses will start their training at Magthere d'Malarin. Their aptitude is judged over a period of five years after which they are sent to be further tested at the Wizard's Academy. Most will return to continue their development here, as only the most promising students are chosen to stay in the Mage's training. Their training will consist of various melee weapons, poison use, stealth, vital points, and utilization of their spell-like abilities in battle. Adept students will also receive training in blind fighting and two handed fighting techniques, both skills of great importance to traditional Drow combat. The warrior's training is mostly intended to enable the males to properly defend their House. Females are almost never sent to the Warrior's Academy, as nearly all noble houses direct their females to the Priestess Temple to gain favor with The Spider Goddess. While a female attending the Warrior's Academy is not impossible, it is exceedingly rare, even more so than wizard training.
Arcania (The Wizard's Academy)
- Overseen by Master Trivacea under guidance of the Drow Council.
All Drow males of a noble house attend Arcania for a period of at least five years after their stint in the Warrior’s Academy to: 1) Hone their natural Drow abilities and 2) Gauge their prowess in the arcane arts. Depending on their performance at the Wizard's Academy, and the will of their House leadership, they will either stay in the Wizard's Academy, or return to the Warrior's Academy for further training in the melee fighting styles. The most elite of candidates will be allowed to remain, training in various schools of magic for the next thirty years. They will focus greatly on precision of their magical strikes, as the confined tunnels of the Underdark would prove most deadly to one's own forces should a mage not fully control a spell's area of effect. Highly skilled students will eventually graduate and be given positions as House Mages, with a very select few rising all the way to House Wizard. Those who have excelled as House Wizard among the most powerful of Drow Houses may be asked back to the Wizards Academy to instruct students in the arcane arts. Females are generally not sent to the Wizard's Academy, as nearly all noble houses direct their females to the Priestess Temple, in order to gain The Spider Goddess's favor. Much like the Warrior’s Academy, a female attending the Wizard’s Academy is not impossible, though it is exceedingly rare.
Spider Queen's Temple (Priestess Academy)
- Currently sealed off both physically and magically. The currently holder of the Temple's key is unknown since the death of its former holder, the necromancer Ginger.
Traditional Drow Houses gain the majority of their power through favor with the Spider Queen. They will do most anything to please The Spider Goddess, and thus, most noble females are sent to be Priestesses of The Spider Goddess. Those particularly cruel, savvy, and most of all, loyal to The Spider Goddess, will gain the Spider Goddess's favor, thus increasing the station of their House. Males are never allowed into the Temple, unless as a sacrifice.
Drow Magical Items
The unique culture, environment, and religion of the Drow has led to the creation of a number of magical items crafted only by these denizens of the Underdark utilizing the bizarre magical force inherent within the cavern walls known as Faerzress. Nearly all Drow magical items deteriorate rather quickly in the sunlight due to their dependence on this energy, becoming completely useless after a period of about two weeks. Most items can survive trips to the surface, though this is predicated on, at most, fleeting contact with the sun and a rapid return to the Underdark for extended exposure to the native force. Here are some of the items you'd be likely to see, should you spend any significant time within a Drow city.
- House Insignia
- The magical insignia which denotes one's membership of a particular noble House. Not all insignia of one House are exactly the same, though they are at least recognizable as being representative of that individual House. The insignia is generally worn in a pouch about the neck, and is most often enchanted with any number of useful arcane spells to aid the wearer in battle.
- A magically imbued cloak, enabling the wearer an uncanny ability to hide effortlessly in shadows. The garment, made of ensorcelled spider silk, hides one's heat signature, therefore rending detection by a Drow's natural infravision much more difficult, thus further enabling their stealthy maneuvers. Some rarer piwafwis are also enchanted with a high level of fire resistance.
- Very similar in construction to the storied Elven-chain, this enchanted armor is even more lightweight and can, in some cases, be even stronger. The unique Drow armor resembles a dull black tunic, crafted from a secret alloy of adamantite and mithril. It's enchantment is most effective while in the confines of the Underdark, as this powerful mail deteriorates rather quickly with exposure to the sun.
- A levitating disk, usually of a soft azure glow, on which Matron's float as a sort of mobile throne. Anyone seen on one of these items is obviously of a very high station, its use is most often seen in glory parades after a victorious battle or when traveling on historic conquests.
- Light Pellets
- Light Pellets are simply small pieces of glass, rock crystal, or igneous rock which are ensorcelled with a "Daylight" spell and subsequently coated with grease and covered with clay, then baked until hard. When thrown, a Light Pellet shatters on impact and activates the spell, releasing a blinding light which will temporarily blind any light sensitive creature, or serve as distraction against a typical surface denizen.
- Assassin bow
- The Drow assassin's bow is a most odious magical implement, shrouding each bolt cast from the bow with a dark arcane force, the result of which causes a type creeping paralysis upon contact, similar in effect to the infamous Drow poison. Such effects will spill little blood, and allow the target to be killed in any method of choice, and the body to be disposed at the assassin's leisure.
- Matron's scourge
- An ominous whip with multiple viper-headed falls, each writhing and striking independently, following the wielder's will. These whips are carried by priestesses of The Spider Goddess, the number of vipers upon the scourge often denoting the priestesses rank.
See Famous Drow Page
Current Drow Houses
- Fuer'yonii d'Aphyon
- House Me'Qui'Undos
- House Rilyn'Ath
- House Dev'Karin
- House Ist'Ro - destroyed
- House Tyr'Anea - Disbanded