Elves - Drow

Of the various elven subraces, none are more notorious than the drow.

Descended from the original dark-skinned elven subrace called the Ssri-tel-quessir, the drow were cursed into their present appearance by the good elven deities for following the goddess Lolth down the path to evil and corruption.

Though divided by endless feuds and schisms, the drow are united in one terrible desire: they seethe with a hatred for the surface elves. By their way of reckoning, they proved themselves the superior race in the Fourth Crown War, and the fact that the Seldarine (and Corellon in particular) punished them for their success is a poison that churns in their hearts and minds eternally. They burn with hatred for the Seldarine and their coddled children, and want nothing more than to return to the surface and bring to the elves there suffering a thousand times greater than that which the drow have been forced to endure over the past ten thousand years.

In the beginning, the Ssri-tel-quessir were the most successful of the elven colonists to the new world of Faerûn. The nation of Ilythiir quickly became one of the most powerful of the early elven nations. But the Ssri-tel-quessir were not only the most successful of the elves of their time, they were also the most cruel and jealous.

Despite their own accomplishments, they envied those of their neighbors all the same. While the First Crown War raged to the north, the dark elves waged their own war against their neighbors, seeking to dominate the elven realms of southern Faerûn.

Unsuccessful in three attempts to subjugate the neighboring realms, the dark elves of Ilythiir turned to a new and secret patron at the opening of the Fourth Crown War. The dark elves pledged their loyalties to the outcast Seldarine of the Demonweb Pits, and to Lolth in particular. The Spider Queen and her fellow exiles (with the notable exception of Eilistraee) granted the dark elves of Ilythiir great magical powers, fiendish allies, and support in return for their allegiance, and the Ilythiiri wreaked great havoc among the other elven realms.

But their success and victory were short-lived, for Corellon was shocked and deeply enraged by the traitorous acts of the dark elves. By his decree, the Ilythiiri elves were cursed, transformed into drow and banished from the surface world into the Underdark. They became known as the dhaeraow (the elven word for traitor), and over the centuries this word has since given them the name by which they are known: drow.

After their exile below ground, the drow lived as nomads, scavengers, and feral beasts. Eventually, through the guidance of Lolth, they drew themselves together as a race and began to make the best of their situation, colonizing large portions of the Underdark.

The first underground drow civilizations were established in southern Faerûn around –9600 DR. In –9000 DR, the drow seized the great cavern of Bhaerynden from the gold dwarves and established the first great drow kingdom, Telantiwar. Unfortunately, the drow of Telantiwar quickly fell into terrible civil wars, the eventual result of which were several massive magical explosions that collapsed the caverns of their nation and formed the Great Rift in southern Faerûn.

The few drow survivors of this cataclysm scattered throughout the Underdark, slowly settling regions farther and farther away from their original homelands in the South. In time, the drow built dozens of magnificent, terrifying cities deep underground, quite an achievement for a people so predisposed toward treachery, infighting, and civil war.

Sshamath, the City of Dark Weavings, was founded beneath the Far Hills in –4973 DR.

Menzoberra the Kinless, a high priestess of Lolth, established the city of Menzoberranzan in –3917 DR. House Nasadra, exiled from Menzoberranzan, founded Ched Nasad in –3843 DR. 

Many other cities lie beneath other parts of Faerûn, sometimes exerting their baleful influence on the lands above, such as the conquest of the human realm of Dambrath by the drow of T’lindhet in 804 DR, or the centuries-long rule of Maerimydra over Shadowdale hundreds of years ago.


Folt natha zhas, raeh'li aterruce.

Phuul dos jal nauxxizzna atsus?  Jal nauxxizzna atsus.. waela marrana?

Folt natha rath'arghne, waela marrana..  folt natha lassrinnus, numl marrana..  vel'bol zhal doera del natha aterruce esaph ilta?

Brou ilta, brou ilta, whol il zhal neitar ul'plyr ilta imail, lueth ilta alti'uin zhal neitar mir ilta pholor lil su'aco…

Il zhahus folt natha zhas, raeh'li murrpau.  D'anthe siltrin, dos h'ros thir'ku jalbol!

(Dos fridj sut ussa, lueth usstan orn jous dos!)

Dos phuul jal nauxxizzna atsus.  Jal nauxxizzna atsus.. waela marrana.

Brou ilta, brou ilta, whol ilta alti'uin zhal neitar mir ilta phor.