Drow

 

The dark elves (also known as Drow or Mai'annori) are evil cousins of the other elves.  Driven beneath the surface long ago by the light-loving Azelyth, these sinister beings have made a home for themselves in Renosia, particularly the Legar Sector.  They have becomes the masters and mistresses of darkness, and any intelligent creature approaches them with extreme caution.

Originally the drow were simply elves who held more with the tenets of 'might makes right'; they believed that the elves should re-take the world, before the 'lesser' races like humans overpopulated it.  An evil and terrible demon named Kulak, the Soul Devourer, came to them and offered them the power they craved.  Their bodies transformed, reflecting the darkness in their hearts.  They called themselves the Mai'annori (or Children of Death).

A great war broke out between the elves of darkness and the elves of light.  Kulak roamed the land then, leading the army of drow and other fierce creatures.  Azedeth, God of Light, took avatar form and led the army of good.  This was known as the Malinar War (elven for "Sibling War.")  In the end, using a powerful weapon called the Soulstaff, Kulak was driven back to the Abyss and the drow were scattered.  Many migrated to Renosia, and some say they took a piece of their god with them--the Heart of Kulak, that is believed to radiate pure evil and corrupt all those around it.

The Drow were also gifted with special magical mirrors known as Night Mirrors that collect the dark energy of the Heart of Kulak (known often to laymen as "Dark Mist"), amplify it, and directly transfer it into their bodies.  This process is considered horribly painful, but ultimately makes the drow stronger.  However, the massive amounts of dark energy they intake cause their souls to corrupt and degrade, which explains why Drow are often so overwhelmingly evil.

The Drow are considered one of the cruelest and vicious of all mortal creatures.  It is said even demons fear their power to some extent.  The Drow hate all other elves and creatures of good, as they blame them for their lot in life.  They are skilled warriors, thieves, assassins and wizards.  Surely such a powerful and ambitious race could rule all of the Five Kingdoms, if only for their one weakness--the bane of their existence--the hated sun.

The drow are all divided up into Houses. These houses are ranked in importance and dedicated to a single goal. They are a lot like the Hindu caste system. You can usually identify what house a drow is from by the signet they wear of an animal.

The houses are as follows:

House of the Rat: The lowest house, these are the merchants and clerks of the drow. They are also the ones most likely to be encountered on the surface, as their profession often forces them to mingle with the lesser races. (Although considered the lowest house, it should be noted that even drow from the House of the Rat are considered of higher status than humans and other demi-humans).

House of the Serpent: This house is primarily made up of assassins, thieves, and rogues. Nobody has ever seen one in action, though, because they are experts at stealth and quick kills. And they tend not to leave witnesses.

House of the Spider: This is the house of wizards, sorcerers, and warlocks.  Please note that while most drow are associated with spider in common AD&D lore, only the wizards are on Amtar. No Lloth at all.

House of the Bat: This is the house dedicated to priests and the worship of Kulak, the patron of all Drow. Members are also considered to be the most testy...by which I mean, they get pissed off really easily. (And angry drow leads to lots of death. Lots and lots of death.)

House of the Scorpion: The warrior caste. They also are the ones that forge the secret metal known as Orichalcum (also called dark steel or nightstone). Orichalcum is so full of magical power, that it's actually possible to cast spells while wearing armor of the substance. Nobody really knows where the metal comes from or how it works. However, if exposed to direct sunlight for even a few minutes, it is completely drained of all magical power.

House of the Dragon: This is the highest house, and it holds the most influential and powerful drow. Think of it, if you will, as the 'noble' house. The Overlord comes from this House, and usually is the only member of the House of Dragon any surface dweller will ever see.



Stats



Height - 50/55 inches + 1d10
Weight - 80/95 pounds + 3d10

(The first number is for male, the second for female, since males tend to be shorter and lighter than females.)

Infravision - 120 feet
(Drow infravision is so intense that their eyes actually radiate heat; someone viewing a drow through infravision sees two burning eyes atop a normally glowing torso.)

Aging:
Childhood = 1-49
Adolescence = 50-79
Adulthood = 80-139
Middle Age = 140-189
Old Age = 190-224
Venerable Age = 225+
Maximum Age = 225 + 3d100

Starting Age:
70 + 5d6

Ability Score Adjustments:
+2 to Dexterity, +1 to Intelligence, -2 Charisma, -1 Constitution

Ability Scores:
STR 3-18
DEX 8-20
CON 7-17
INT 9-19
WIS 3-18
CHA 6-16

Classes Allowed:
Fighter
Mage
Diviner
Enchanter
Priest of Kulak
Thief
Fighter/Mage
Fighter/Thief
Mage/Thief
Fighter/Mage/Thief

Special Abilities:
1.)  Once per day, all drow can use the spells Dancing Lights, Faerie Fire, and Darkness.  They achieve this through force of will, rather than spell components.
2.)  A 4th-level drow can cast Levitate, Know Alignment, and Detect Magic once per day.  In addition, a drow noble can cast Clairvoyance, Detect Lie, Suggestion, and Dispel Magic once a day.
3.)  At the start, drow are 50% magic resistant, and every level they rise increases the resistance by 2% (to a maximum of 80%).  Multi-classed drow use the higher level to determine this bonus.
4.)  In addition to their high magic resistance, drow also receive a +2 bonus on all saves involving magic.  This includes those devices that emit magical effects or are powered by magic.  This magic resistance does not hamper their ability to use magic themselves, however.
5.)  Drow cannot see in bright light.  Any light greater than that of torches (including bright sunlight) will blind them and severely affect their ability to fight.  Wan light, like that of a light spell, does not trigger this disadvantage.  Bright light causes the drow to suffer, temporarily, -2 to Dexterity.  Attack rolls are made at a -2 penalty, and opponents gain a +2 save against drow spells if they are within the light.  When a drow is in darkness and his opponents are in light, he retains his Dexterity and surprise advantages, but still suffers a penalty on attack rolls.
6.)  Drow must 'embrace the darkness.'  Where as other elves go through a purifying ritual to cleanse the Dark Mist from their souls, Drow must absorb the mist in great quantities in order to maintain their power.  This is done by returning to a temple of Kulak in Legar and being immersed in dark power.  If a drow goes more than two weeks without this ritual, their powers fade at the rate of one power a day.  This starts from the most powerful innate spellcasting and works down to the least powerful.  Thus, a drow noble would first lose Dispel Magic, followed by Suggestion, Clairvoyance, and Detect Lie.  Drow magic resistance is lost at a rate of 10% per day.  This process can be halted and the powers regained if the drow engages in the ritual and is immersed in dark power for one day for each week he went without it.
7.)  Drow require an additional 20% experience points to level up.


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