“Drow” is the common word used to describe the city-dwelling elves found throughout Tharanthios. In old elvish the word is a rough approximation of the common word “changed”. Drow are those who were outcast from society and ostracized because they underwent the “change”, a physical transformation that an elf undergoes when they stop seeking the song or become unable to hear it. Commonly called “dark elves” by the more plebian peoples of Tharanthios, Drow are at once members of their communities and forever outsiders. Different culturally then both their elf cousins and the humans whose cities drow are often found in, they have developed a resilient character and biting sense of self-deprecating humor and style. In the most general sense, Drow in Tharanthios and Seren are largely made to feel unwelcome, and occasionally run out of town, but generally accepted members of the population (in some cases more begrudgingly then others). Drow communities are frequently made the scapegoats of other communities problems, which leads to occasional strife between drow and their neighbors.
Physical Description: Drow are shorter and a bit more slender than their elven kin, but they are otherwise physically similar. Drow have dark skin, ranging from black to a hazy purple hue. Most drow have white or silver hair and white or red eyes, but other colors are not unheard of. Green eyes are in particular seen as a sign of greatness, and children born with green eyes in drow society are made to feel from a young age that they are special and better then other drow.
Society: Drow society tends to revolve around a tightly knit community looking to one another for mutual support. Due to the drow preference for wearing little or no clothing, and their very lose view of marital vows, Drow have accumulated a reputation for debauchery that tends to both fascinate and alienate non-drow. While the rumors are more or less untrue, it doesn’t help that drow culture is so insulated. Consequently most drow societies tend to exist in “enclaves”, walled of sub areas of larget cities where the drow live in their own way. Drow encountered outside the enclaves tend to be conciliatory and subservient, ever watchful for aggression on the part of the other races (or especially large “moral” groups like some religions that tend to view drow societal norms as “deviant”).
Relations: Drow typically get along well enough in larger cities where the population is more educated and progressive. Drow get along surprisingly well with dwarves, as it was the dwarves who outlawed many of the old racial prejudices others held towards the drow and allowed them to integrate more closely into mainstream society. Drow and humans, despite often living in close proximity to one another, have at best cordial relations. Drow prostitutes are in high demand in most human cities for despite their societal differences many humans would quietly admit to finding drow just as hauntingly beautiful as others find other fey creatures. Gnomes and Halflings tend to be very non judgemental, and thus treat each drow encountered as an individual rather then apply some stereotype. The only race drow absolutely don’t get along with is their elven cousins, who harbor a deep enmity to their changed brethren. It is not uncommon for deadly street fights to break out between drow and elves, and as such many towns and cities have established rules prohibiting elves and drow from being in the same place without supervision from the constabulary.
Alignment and Religion: Drow tend to be self-serving and slightly greedy, usually looking for an angle or scheme to advance their fortunes or social standing. As such they tend to shy away from lawful alignments. Having abandoned the song (or being a descendant of someone who did) and gowing up in human lands, drow tend to worship human dieties, occasionally giving them a drow appearance. The only diety unique to the drow is the “veiled lady”. According to oral traditions passed down for centuries the veiled lady was drow hero who accompanied the legendary mage Sahara in ancient times, and who ascended to divinity after Sahara’s death. The Veiled Lady is prayed to for matters concerning the family and community, and is seen as the protector of the drow people.
Adventurers: Ambition alone drives countless drow, and for many, adventuring serves as a means to an end, whether it be wealth, acclaim, social status, or arcane knowledge. A few pursue adventuring careers simply for the thrill of danger. Drow hail from myriad regions and backgrounds, and as such can fill any role within an adventuring party.
- +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, –2 Constitution: Drow are nimble and manipulative.
- Medium: Drow are Medium creatures, and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Normal Speed: Drow have a base speed of 30 feet.
- Low-light vision: Drow can see in starlight, torchlight, or other dimly lit conditions out to 120ft.
- Drow Resistances: Drow have sonic resistance 5 and gain a +5 bonus to resist any effect which would inflict blindness or paralysis.
- Keen Senses: Drow receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
- Spell Resistance: Drow are resistent to arcane magic and count as having spell resistance of 6+ their total class levels against all arcane magic. A drow can suppress or activate this ability at will (for example, to receive a beneficial spell) as a standard action requiring concentration.
- Weapon Familiarity: Drow often arm themselves to defend against the predations of those who disapprove of their presence. As such most drow are proficient with at least one weapon. New drow characters may choose a single non restricted weapon and gain proficiency with it at level 1.
- Languages: Drow begin play speaking Drow and Common. Drow with high Intelligence can choose bonus languages from the following: Draconic, Drow Sign Language, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, or Goblin.
- Creature Type: Drow are considered humanoids with the subtype of fey. Like elves drow are descendants of a much older race of fey from the first world, and as such are considered fey for all intents and purposes.