Feared and reviled throughout the Lands Above, the drow (or dark elves) are perhaps the most numerous, powerful, and wide-spread of the Underdark's native peoples. The majority of the elves live in city-states ruled by various noble Houses. Each House commands its own small army of fearless drow soldiers, cunning wizards, and zealous priestesses, as well as large contingents of slave soldiers, such as bugbears, ogres, and minotaurs. In fact, half to two-thirds of any drow city's population consists of humanoid slaves and rabble, all of whom are subject to the cruelty and whims of any passing dark elf.
Dark elf city-states lie below dozens of surface realms, often unbeknownst to the upperworlders who live above them. The rulers of some drow cities prefer to leave the surface races alone and turn their attention toward gaining power through the endless scheming and feuding of the noble houses. Others, however, view the surface lands as theirs to pillage and plunder whenever they choose.
- 1 Drow Racial Traits
- 2 Personality
- 3 Physical Description
- 4 Relations
- 5 Alignment
- 6 Religion
- 7 Languages
- 8 Adventurers
- 9 Drow in Eberron
Drow Racial Traits[edit | edit source]
- +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma, -2 Constitution.
- Medium Size
- A drow's base land speed is 30 feet. Darkvision out to 120 feet.
- Immunity to sleep spells, +2 racial bonus on will saves against spells, spell-like abilities, and enchantment effects of other sorts.
- Spell resistance equal to 11+class level
- Weapon proficiency: A drow is automatically proficient with the hand crossbow, the rapier, and the short sword.
- +2 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks. A drow who merely passes within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door is entitled to a search check to notice it as if she were actively looking for it.
- Automatic Languages: Common, Elven, Undercommon. Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Aquan, Draconic, Drow Sign Language, Gnome, Goblin, giant
- Light Blindness: Abrupt exposure to bright light, such as sunlight or a daylight spell, blinds the drow for 1D4 rounds. In addition, they take a -1 circumstance penalty on attack rolls, saves, and checks when in bright light.
- Favored Class: Wizard (male) or Cleric (female) or warlock (gender non-binary)
- Level adjustment +2
- Challenge Rating: Drow with levels in NPC classes have a CR equal to their character level. Drow with levels in PC classes have a CR equal to their character level +1.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Most drow are cruel, arrogant, and hedonistic. Their eternal game of advancement at the expense of others, which is encouraged by the spider goddess herself, has transformed the dark elves into a race of scheming backstabbers eager to increase their own stations by pulling down those ahead of them and crushing their inferiors underfoot. Drow trust no one and nothing, and most are incapable of compassion, kindness, or love. Many dark elves are actively murderous and delight in the giving of pain.
While dark elves neither honor their promises nor maintain personal loyalties once it becomes inconvenient to do so, their pride lends them a certain sense of style and an appreciation of subtlety.. Drow can be courteous and urbane, even to deadly rivals. They enjoy surrounding themselves with things of beauty, giving hardly a thought to the cost. Any drow city features breathtaking architecture and elegant revels marked by dark and delicious entertainments, but only a fool would lower his guard in such an environment.
Physical Description[edit | edit source]
The skin of a drow can be any shade from dark gray to polished obsidian. His hair can be pale yellow, silver, or white, and his eyes can be almost any color, including blood red.
Drow are short and slender compared to other elves, but they are strong for their size. Most dark elves--especially nobles--are strikingly handsome individuals; Lolth does not favor meek, plain, or unassuming worshipers.
Relations[edit | edit source]
Drow regard all other races as inferior. Some they view as potential slaves, others as deadly vermin to be exterminated. None, however are considered truly equal to the dark elves. Drow maintain a grudging respect for duergar and mind flayers, since the gray dwarves and illithids also build powerful cities and have demonstrated the strength to stand up to repeated assaults from the dark elves. Though they despise humans and all other surface folk as weak creatures, the drow save their true venom for surface elves, particularly high elves. The dark elves hate their kinfolk with a blind passion and seize any chance to strike at their ancient enemies.
Alignment[edit | edit source]
The great majority of drow are evil through and through, and most tend toward the chaotic end of the lawful-chaotic spectrum. In general, drow believe in dowing what they want to do, when they want to do it. Dark elves who turn to good are few and far between, but such can become powerful champions against tyranny and cruelty.
Religion[edit | edit source]
Most drow cities are dominated by priestesses of Lolth, the Spider Queen. As the special patron and protector of the dark elves, Lolth demands abject obedience and unflinching ruthlessness from her followers.
Drow who have turned away from the Spider Queen are rare, but they do exist. Good-aligned drow often worship Eilistraee, the Dancing Maiden. Evil drow who choose not to subject themselves to Lolth's tyranny may worship one of the other deities of the drow pantheon, such as Vhaeraun or Ghaunadaur.
Languages[edit | edit source]
Drow speak Undercommon and a Dialect of elven that features many words and constructions borrowed from the languages of their Underdark neighbors. They also have a unique sign language (Drow Sign) that permits silent communication at a range of up to 120 feet. Drow Sign is not an automatic language for drow; a dark elf character must learn it by either designating it as one of his bonus languages or by acquiring it normally via the Speak Language skill.
Names[edit | edit source]
Drow names often feature double letters and are usually rather pleasing to the ear.
Male Names: Belgos, Bjintel, Elkantar, Houndaer, Kelnozz, Malaggar, Ryltar, Szordrin, Vorn
Female Names: Alauniira, Charinida, Drisiml, Faeryl, Ilivarra, Irae, Myrymma, Pellanistra, Xune, Zarra.
Surnames: Dhuunyl, Filifar, Lhalabar, Pharn, Tlin'orzza, Xarann, Yvarragh,
Adventurers[edit | edit source]
The vicissitudes of House fortunes make adventuring an attractive profession for many drow. Some drow adventurers forswear their race's cruel ways and see to do good in the world. Others remain evil, using adventuring as a means of accumulating the power and magic necessary to avenge themselves upon the rivals who brought them low
Drow in Eberron[edit | edit source]
The drow carve a deadly existence out of the ruined continent of Xen'Drik, The dark-skinned elves believe it is they, not the rebels who fled to Aerenal, who truly preserve the dignity and valor of the elf race. Allied with monstrous scorpions, the drow battle the fallen race of giants over the ruins of the mysterious continent.
As the most civilized inhabitants of the ruined Xen'drik, the drow are the heirs to both the lingering might of giant notions and the ancient elven spellcraft once learned at the feet of dragons. The homeland of the drow is a contradiction of sorts--an ancient ruin that nonetheless holds magical treasures of almost unimaginable might. As Siberys shards fall on the broken landscapes and jungles, explorers from other continents brave sahuagin-filed waters to crowd the port city of Stormreach
Lands[edit | edit source]
The jungles of Xen'drik are a harsh and unforgiving land; the drow dwell in the underground realm of Khyber as often as they haunt the ruins of aboveground Xen'drik. Covered by thick jungles and the ruined cities of the ancient giant kingdoms, the continent houses too many dangers for the drow to establish large and stable cities such as those on Khorvaire. The largest drow settlements are underground
Settlements[edit | edit source]
Drow settlements are small, temporary affairs. Occasionally a relatively large and powerful tribe might stay for some time in the ruins of a giant city, but such occupations are short lived. The drow stay only long enough to plunder what artifacts they can.
Power Groups[edit | edit source]
Drow have few of the political struggles and rivalries that the other races have. Family groups are simply too small and scattered to have anything other than sporadic contact. This intermittent contact is fraught with peril, though, as larger and more powerful family groups seek to absorb smaller groups of drow.
Beliefs[edit | edit source]
The drow in Eberron differ from those in other D&D campaigns in that they worship a scorpion-god named Vulkoor instead of the spider-goddess Lolth. Vulkoor is often envisioned as a giant scorpion or as a hybrid with the head, arms, and upper torso of a strong male drow and the lower body of a scorpion. Many drow believe that Vulkoor and the Mockery (one of the group of evil deities known as the Dark Six) are one in the same. The drow also revere scorpions, considering other arachnids to be lesser servitors of Vulkoor. Xin'drik drow ritually scar themselves using scorpion venom, leaving white tattoos on their black skin.
Language[edit | edit source]
Drow speech is related to elven in many ways, but the two races have been separate for such a long period that even their languages have grown apart.
Relations[edit | edit source]
Most drow have little interaction with members of other races; they fight the giants and monsters that roam their savage continent, and even avoid other drow family groups when possible. Drow are very suspicious of outsiders and the few who interact with other races do so through the port of Stormreach. When dealing with outsiders, drow reveal nothing of themselves or their family groups whenever possible, always attempting to use the outsider for their own ends without exposing the secrets of Xen'drik. For this reason, members of other races often find the drow to be a suspicious and sinister group.
Drow Characters in Eberron[edit | edit source]
Powerful, deadly, and shrouded in mystery, the drow make exotic and interesting characters. Althouh they seldom left the desolate continent that they call home, they sometimes join groups of adventurers setting out from Stormreach--mostly to use the outsiders to further some ends of their own.
Adventuring Drow[edit | edit source]
Most drow adventure out of necessity--the dangers of their homeland constantly push them toward that life. Exploring the ruins of giant cities is one of few ways for most drow to improve their lives; finding the treasures of the ancients can ensure the welfare of an entire family group, not just a single drow.
Drow greatly desire personal power, and many take up the mantle of adventurer seeking to satisfy this urge. Whether this is simple greed or a reaction to the brutal continent on which the drow make their home is a question best left to the drow themselves. Although the drow are relatively few in number, the dangers of Xen'drik encourage a higher than normal percentage of the population to learn the skills of the adventurer. They fight for their coexistence daily amid dangerous jungles and ruined cities; adventurers powerful enough to face down giants and other foes are thus essential to a drow family's survival.
Character Development[edit | edit source]
Drow characters have many powerful innate abilities, but they pay a price in the form of a costly level adjustment. Because they will have fewer hit dice and fewer hitpoints than other characters of their level, drow are often better off when they can deal with their foes from a distance. With their longer darkrange vision, the drow are at their best when fighting underground, and they can sometimes remain out of their foes' vision entirely when fighting. Even considering their level adjustment, drow make powerful and dangerous spellcasters, especially when they choose classes that rely on Intelligence or Charisma for spellcasting.
Character Names[edit | edit source]
Drow typically have only two names, a personal name and a family name. Drow are very careful about sharing their family names, and it is considered an insult in drow society to ask about a family name. Among drow, sharing a family name is sometimes a sign of trust and friendship, but more often it is a sign of submission to a more powerful individual. Drow guard their family names so carefully not because of any danger or need, but because family is the ultimate source of loyalty for any drow; a drow never wants to give away any information that might weaken the family. Drow proper and family names feature multiple syllables, glottal stops (represented by apostrophes), and hard consonants.
Male Names: Ek'ann, Kaxxar, Xen'kar
Female Names: Curra, Kas'asar, Kirris, Xen'va
Family Names: Gen'thac, Torkak, Xar'cha