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There are many creatures whom the drow associate with (or more appropriately, creatures that serve the drow), as well as creatures associated with the drow (meaning that the drow created them). This page discusses the relations of such creatures with the drow, as well as detailing various specific creatures and templates that the drow are accredited with. Golems whose creation have also been attributed to the drow are also listed here, although such things could just as easily fall under the purview of drow magic.

©2004 Marta Dahlig
Xull'rae Zauviir commissioned artwork. Do NOT take, permission NOT granted!

While drow prefer pets that can fully comprehend the scope of their reliance and dependence on their masters (pets meaning slaves in this context), they do keep some animals and creatures around that can be viewed as pets in the sense that a human would relate to. Many of these creatures also have more utilitarian uses, serving as mounts, guardians, or familiars.

  • Bat
    Drow enjoy the company of bats of all kinds, whether carnivorous or herbivorous. In drow society they are used as pets, messengers (in the manner of carrier pigeons used by some surface cultures), fighting animals, or as spies. Some kinds of bats have adapted to eating Underdark fungi instead of fruit, while others cannot survive without fruits imported from the surface and thus are limited to the most affluent and well-connected drow. The carnivorous bats eat insects and small strange flying creatures, but those that eat spiders are exterminated in areas controlled by followers of Lolth. Because of their ability to navigate with sound, bats function extremely well underground, although most owners use their faerie fire ability to call the trained bats back home. The smallest varieties of bats are often kept in cages by small drow children, and the larger ones are kept in small rooms in drow mansions. (Slaves frequently clean these rooms to prevent odors.) Drow pet bats are often killed by relatives or rivals, either for needless cruelty or to teach the child a lesson -- typically "sentimental attachments to other creatures are a foolish weakness." Bats are described in the Monster Manual.

  • Cavvekan
    [ Races of Faerun p.175 ]
    Also known as bat-faced dogs, these Underdark natives superficially resemble the dogs of the surface world, except instead of fur they have black, velvet-smooth skin. Their ears are upright and pointed and their noses have leaflike projections similar to those of certain surface bats. They have sensitive whiskers, small eyes, and a slender build. Cavvekans are nearsighted and can see in the dark or light only to a range of 10 feet. Like drow, they are temporarily blinded by bright light. Their extremely sensitive hearing makes up for their poor eyesight, and they can detect creatures within 120 feet of themselves. Because their senses are superior even to the dark elves, drow use cavvekans as guard and hunting animals, for the creatures can track by scent almost as well as a bloodhound. Because of their rarity near dangerous drow cities, cavvekans are rarely taken as pets and are used mainly as work animals. In the wild they are cautious scavengers, but they fight as a pack to bring down larger weakened creatures, including humanoids.

  • Dire Bat
    [ Monster Manual v3.5 p.62-3 ]
    These large fliers are sometimes bred to fight each other, either in the air or crippled and forced to walk in a crude arena. These ghoulish fights are the source of many wagers. A few drow communities utilize trained dire bats as flying steeds, although such flights are dangerous and it's usually commoners or even drow children (always commoners) forced to ride the bats; that way, if the bats and riders are slain, it is no great loss to the community. These flying pairs are used only for scouting or to annoy enemies with poisoned crossbow bolts. Training for the bats consists of learning how to be steered with a bit and bridle, and training for the rider is a matter of learning how to hold onto the bat's harness to prevent falls.

  • Flying Spider
    This mutant creature was first discovered in Undermountain but has spread to other areas under the care of the dark elves. It looks like a normal spider with a body about the size of a human hand, except it has a pair of translucent gossamer wings that allow it to fly clumsily at about the speed of a dwarf's walk. These flying spiders are as poisonous as their landbound cousins and appear to be originally of hunting spider stock, for they are adept at jumping into the air to catch prey and use webs only to secure captured food in their lairs. The existence of these creatures has started rumors about a degenerate crossbreed between avariel (the rare winged surface elves) and the drow. These auvathyrri (as self-proclaimed scholars have named them) are reputed to have scraggly birdlike wings or black insect wings and keep flying spiders in preference to all other pets. That nobody has ever seen such an elf only lends power to the rumor that they exist and that they slay any who encounter them.

  • Night Hunter
    The evil batlike creatures called night hunters have 7-foot wingspans and sharp triangular tails. They can see in the dark at a greater distance even than drow, and instead of using sound to navigate in the dark, their eerie screams are used to strike fear into prey. They are sometimes domesticated and make aggressive pets, and both surface dwellers and drow have taken them as familiars. They are sometimes called dragazars in honor of Dragazar, the first adventurer who was known to have tamed one. They fight with a bite and follow up with slashes with the tail. Night hunters are described in Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerūn.

  • Riding Lizard
    These horse-sized lizards are built low to the ground with legs splayed wide. Their steady gait, sense of balance, and ability to walk on walls and ceilings make them ideal mounts for patrolling dark elves. Most noble houses have at least a handful of the valuable lizards, and the larger houses have entire squadrons of lizard cavalry. Rather than charging into battle like human knights, drow cavalry stealthily creeps unnoticed across the ceiling to pepper enemies with poisoned crossbow bolts; by the time the targets realize the attack isn't coming from the ground, most of them are asleep and are easy prey for support troops. Although they cannot see in the dark, riding lizards have a keen sense of smell and are trained to follow the silent directions of their rider, allowing them to navigate the blackest tunnels with only a slight decrease in speed. Larger, slower breeds of lizards are used by the drow as pack animals. Riding lizards and pack lizards are described in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.

  • Shrieker
    Some especially warped drow societies worship strange gods or demons, and some of them favor particularly bizarre creatures as pets. Among these unusual pets are the shriekers, which are noisy fungi that grow in dungeons and in many parts of the Underdark. While adult shriekers are as big as a human man, young ones range from the size of a thumb to that of a rabbit. Easy to care for, they can be trained even to recognize certain creatures, making them good alarms for drow families wanting to avoid intruders in certain parts of the house. Different varieties of shriekers have different calls (resembling different Underdark animals or humanoids), allowing the drow to choose one of a particular tone. Since they are edible, if they grow too large, noisy, or unruly, they can be eaten by their host family. Some make a sport of raising shriekers and eating them live, savoring the screams as if they were those of a tortured surface elf.

  • Sinister
    The weird mantalike levitating creatures called sinisters have a 9-foot wingspan. Although they are not evil, sinisters are sometimes captured and enslaved with magic and forced to serve the dark elves. Drow wizards have devised a spell that can tune in to the sinister's natural telepathy and use them as an early warning system in their towers. They have a strong bite, possess the ability to freeze enemies in place with hold monster, and are protected by a natural force field that deflects ranged attacks, making them greatly desired as bodyguards by particularly cowardly drow spellcasters. Sinisters are described in Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerūn.

  • Slave
    Drow live in a slaving society, and it is not unusual for younger members of a house to adopt a slave as a "pet," particularly if that slave is a small creature (such as a kobold) or not particularly intelligent (such as a goblin). Compared to other slaves, these pets live a pampered life but are still treated as little more than animals and are often kept chained up in a small room when the children don't want to play. Like all slaves, their lives are forfeit at any time, and many slave pets have been tortured to death when its child owner tires of it. Others die of neglect, such as by being banished to a high tower for an infraction and then forgotten for weeks. In the eyes of the drow, such pets are easily replaceable.

  • Snake
    Just as some clerics of Lolth carry snake-headed whips, living snakes are common companions of the dark elves. Although they cannot see in the dark, snakes have a keen sense of smell and can locate enemies and recognize familiar creatures even when their eyes are useless. Drow raise both constrictors and venomous snakes, and drow torturers like to extract poison from their pets in order to increase the agony of their victims. Young drow -- especially priestesses-in-training -- may have small constrictor snake pets and often "train" them by feeding them flesh carved from live slaves. The dark elves like keeping spitting snakes in cages on high shelves so they can spit their venom into the eyes of drow-sized invaders. Snakes are favored by Lolth-worshipers because they are venomous creatures, just like the sacred spider, although clearly secondary to arachnids. Favored snakes slain protecting the Spider Queen's temple or priestesses are often made into the dreaded snake-headed whips. Snakes are described in the Monster Manual.

  • Spider
    Unsurprisingly, spiders are a common pet of the dark elves. Whether tiny ones small enough to crawl through a buttonhole and kept in elaborate lairs of metal and glass by drow children, hand-size creatures able to kill mice and are the favorite of drow wizards, or the horse-sized monstrosities used as steeds by some cities, spiders have a special place in dark elf society -- at least that large part that pays homage to Lolth. Dog-size spiders are also used as guards in Lolth's temples, and arachnids of all sizes are allowed to run free in her cities -- in Lolthian society, killing a spider is punishable by torture and death. Sometimes a venerable temple spider is revitalized by binding the spirit of a spider-demon into its body, giving it increased vigor and a foul disposition. Spiders are described in the Monster Manual.
    • Steeder
      [ City of the Spider Queen p.177-78 ]
      Created by the duergar through centuries of eldritch cross-breeding, steeders resemble monstrous spiders, but they are hardly mindless vermin. They are utilized as mounts by a variety of Underdark races, a function which they perform admirably.

  • Spitting Crawler
    The Underdark lizards called spitting crawlers grow to 2 feet long including tail. Slim, with froglike toes and a gray-green complexion, they resemble skinks. They can easily climb walls and ceilings and tend to freeze in place for extended periods if they have been spotted. They attack prey and repel predators by spitting acid, which they can do three times per day. This potent acid attacks flesh and metal, and it has been known to destroy an entire metal shield. Their flexible bodies allow them to leap more than 10 feet and survive 30-foot falls unharmed. Because of their abilities, they are a favorite pet or familiar of male drow forced to live in a matriarchal spider-worshiping society. Because their acid is dangerous and extremely irritating even on a slight exposure, they are unsuitable pets for children or the very vain. Spitting crawlers are described in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.

The drow have utilized vile magics to create many foul creatures throughout the millennia. Many are twisted renditions of more common creatures, and though exceptions do exist, most creatures created by the drow have a distinct spiderlike theme in some form or another.

Spiderkind is a term those delving into the drow should familiarize themselves with. The term includes all varieties of normal spiders, plus all of the following creatures found in various D&D sourcebooks. Some of these creatures, namely those created by the drow, are detailed further in the section below.

  • Arachnoid Creature
  • Aranea
  • Chitine
  • Choldrith
  • Drider
  • Drider Vampire
  • Demon, Bebilith
  • Demon, Retriever
  • Ettercap
  • Jade Spider
  • Monstrous Spider
  • Myrlochar
  • Phase Spider
  • Subterranean Spider, Hairy
  • Subterranean Spider, Sword
  • Wraith Spider
  • Yochlol

  • Abyssal Ghoul
    [ City of the Spider Queen p.115-16 ]
    Vile minions of Kiaransalee, abyssal ghouls are twisted undead creatures with fiendish characteristics. Their abyssal connections make them far more formidable opponents than common ghouls.

  • Arachnoid Creature [ Template ]
    [ Underdark p.80-1 ]
    Arachnoid creatures are unholy crossbreeds of spiders and other creatures. Arachnoid creatures are characterized by thick, black hair growing in rough clumps on their hides, multifaceted eyes, and mandibles dripping with poison.

  • Drider
    [ Monster Manual v3.5 p.89-90 ]
    Driders are bloodthirsty creatures created by Lolth that lurk in the depths of the earth, seeking warm-blooded prey of any kind.

  • Drider Vampire
    [ City of the Spider Queen p.118-20 ]
    These undead abominations are creatures of pure hatred and malice, filled with loathing for everything that lives. Though a drider vampire drinks blood and has other abilities that resemble those of a common humanoid vampire, the two are actually quite different creatures.

  • Golem, Spiderstone
    [ City of the Spider Queen p.120-21 ]
    A spiderstone golem is an obsidian construct with the combat prowess of a trained fighter. Animated by a demonic spirit from the Demonweb Pits, this creature is both more evil and more unpredictable than most other kinds of golems.

  • Jade Spider
    [ City of the Spider Queen p.121-22 ]
    Jade Spiders are stone constructs created as guardians for drow edifices. Their name derives from the magically treated jade that studs their sharp mandibles and saw-edged legs.

  • Quth-Maren
    [ City of the Spider Queen p.123 ]
    A quth-maren is a revolting undead creature created by clerics of Kiaransalee. These clerics enjoy flaying their enemies--removing every scrap of skin--and then animating them in this hideous form. Unlike zombies, to which they bear a certain resemblance, quth-maren are neither mindless nor prone to decomposition.

  • Wraith Spider
    [ City of the Spider Queen p.124-25 ]
    Wraith spiders are undead creatures formed from the chitinous husks of monstrous spiders but animated by evil spirits from the realm of Kiaransalee.

Page Last Updated March 5th, 2006


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