The drow were once denizens of Upperworld, sharing the realm with their elven brethren without consequence.
Thousands of years have passed since those mythical times, and the drow have fallen far from their original state. The drow live far beneath the surface of known lands, deep in the Underworld, in large cities dedicated to Naraneus, the Queen of Venom.
Drow societies are matriarchal, and females hold almost every position of power within a city, their priesthoods always led by women of potent ability and foresight. Cold, cunning and manipulative, the drow live to obtain power over those around them.
Their entire race is inherently evil but there are rare occasions—when the moon is full and Naraneus’ attentions are devoted elsewhere—that a good-aligned dark elf is born. Children born during these periods are generally sacrificed to Naranaeus without a second thought, but mothers with a strong parenting instinct who are unwilling to make the sacrifice give birth in secret, sneaking away and passing the child to an upperworlder or asking an underworlder of another race to care for the newborn. They may follow their offspring, secretly assisting from afar to see that their child grows and adapts to life amongst the other races.
Any drow of a good alignment will have been raised by one of the good-aligned races of the Underworld, or— rarely—by humanoids of Upperworld. Evil drow PCs hail from the subterranean metropolises of the Underworld, and a rare few are connected to Hivaka or Leahcim, the lone good and neutral drow deities.
Drow are tall and slender like their elven counterparts, with graceful and pleasant features that belie their evil nature. Their hair color can range from brunette to gray or white. They are quick in both body and mind, their slightly enlarged and pointed ears keen to hear the slightest scuffle in the Underworld.
The drow are matriarchal and exist entirely to do the whim of the Matron Mother of their home settlement.
Women are valued far more highly than men; most of the latter are little better than smart dogs—fit to serve as guards but easily worth a few gold pieces as a youth.
They are uniformly slavers, and even the lesser houses of nobility can count dozens of indentured servants to their estate. While they all answer to the Matron Mother of the first house, all drow vie for power and prestige; they will (and many times have) slaughter their own parents without a second thought if it means the acquisition of greater influence.
Cunning to the last, dark elves are sly, subtle and resourceful individuals. They rarely expose themselves until they’ve assumed a considerable upper hand, and by then, few who’ve survived what follows managed to escape to tell of it. Ruthless, efficient and capable of mindless savagery the drow are, at best, extremely dangerous allies (to both those they profess to aid and their perceived enemies).
Alignment and Religion
Drow are of the Evil alignment, be they chaotic, neutral or lawful. Most of the former are quickly beaten into submitting to the latter or sacrificed to appease Naraneus, who only truly blesses a few of her female subjects and even fewer of her male devotees.
Dark elven adventurers can be of many different mindsets, but most are dissatisfied with drow life for one reason or another. Women born into lower castes seethe with jealousy for their high born peers, and males from any house literally live at the whim of their female counterparts, a dangerous proposition that they would be keen to escape should the opportunity to safely do so arise.
Females may be of any role, although they specifically seem to excel as clerics. Men are rarely clerics (and if so, only have one or two levels of the class) and chiefly master the art of mundane combat, with perhaps some dabbling in the graceful arts of the rogue or, in the event they’ve a talent for it, pursuing the arcane workings of the wizard.
Male Names: Diun, Gal, Gylor, Ieot, Quanot, Slior
Female Names: Aranreae, Haermadia, Lilith, Maethon, Maeronea, Slienaia
Age Some dark elves enjoy lifespans that far surpass their peers. These wizened wizards, elder priests, devious warlocks and treasured oracles see their longevity extended by hundreds of years either by their deity or through deftly sustained arcane magics.
Raised to rule, dark elven women have deft tongues and cunning wits but lack the grace and natural instincts of their ancestral counterparts on the surface. Female drow receive skill proficiency in their choice of two of either Wisdom (Insight), Charisma (Deception), Charisma (Intimidation) or Charisma (Persuasion).
Dark elven society subjugates males, reducing their roles into defenders of their settlements and little else. They are trained from birth to hone their keen senses, agility and ability to remain unseen and unheard, but their lack of social commitments leave them less able to maneuver in conversation as their female counterparts. Male drow receive skill proficiency in their choice of two of either Strength (Athletics), Dexterity (Acrobatics), Dexterity (Stealth), or Charisma (Deception).
Drow use the standard race traits for drow.
Underworld Races and Classes © 2017 AAW Games LLC; Designers: Thilo Graf and Mike Myler