There is a species of Elf, allegedly a degenerate species, knows as Drow. These are nothing like Night Elves, but contrary to public opinion Drow are not “degenerate” or “goblinoids”. The word “Drow” originates from a slang word derived from Dhoriva which is a alcoholic beverage brewed from a subterrean mushroom. Dhoriva has hallucinogenic properties, and can be poisonous, so the word Drow was also used to connotate “treachery”, “unpredictability”, “lying”, “deceit”, or “poison”. Hence, Drow are named after an ancient second-rate licquor that tastes foul and bitter, and makes you go crazy. Drow themselves call themselves Szarios but nobody calls them that in the Kingdom except for some etymologists. As a rule – Drow are not liked, at all, and many Fiefdoms bar their passage even on The King’s Road. Not all Drow that travel the kingdom are sinister, psychopathic, criminals or insane, but most are. By and large Drow are dangerous.
Drow are naturally either deep nocturnal, subbterrean living or photophobic. It is not widely known by commoners, but roughly from a kilometer down in most areas under the Kingdom are extensive populations of degenerate elven beings known as Drow. Drow rarely receive Citizenship, or are counted as Civilians in The King’s Census, so most are granted only vagabond’s rights and protections, which isn’t much. The general estimate there are less than a hundred Citizen Drow in the Kingdom, less than a few hundred Civilian Drow, and about 25 thousand irregular nomads, bandits, gypsies, vagabonds, mercenaries and rogues of assorted allotment wandering about. Underground the general estimate there are about 50 million Drow living between the west of the Huaral, east of the The Valley of Amazons, south of The Darkwoods and north of The Southern Sea.
On closer inspection, a typical healthy drow specimen looks like an elf with an obsidian black skin. Their demeanor may be stooped, photophobic, skulking and sinister, hence accusations of being Goblinoid. The typical female Drow stands as tall as a healthy human, say about 175 centimeters, whereas the typical male Drow (encountered more infrequently) about 170 centimeters.
The Dragon Wars
It is said aeons ago, by and large estimated some 20 thousand to about 12 thousand Rinyldissen years ago, Dragons ruled a geographic area much wider than the current Kingdom and surrounding lands. These Dragons were by and large the elemental Dragons known today, and these in turn were allegedly fashioned by The Old Gods by manipulating ‘the bedrock metaphysical qualities’ of the land itself, as to always yield Dragons of that kind. Then 12 thousand years ago the Dragons were locked into existential conflict with the Titans, and lands were torn to shreds, mountains swept aside, seas parted. Elves either died, fled or were enslaved by Dragons, and a subsection of Drow sheltered ever deeper underground. Eventually these Drow degenerated over ten thousand years to become what they are today. Theirs was a truly miserable age of unspeakable atrocity and deprivation and as a result they grew hard and bitter. Back then latterday humans didn’t exist, or were primitive, savage and ape-like. These elves survived amid creatures so dangerous they had to resort to closing alliances with demons, to wars of terrorism and assassination, hitting both Dragons as well as Titans from the below. Then these elves inadvertently caused the death of some unnamed Ancient Imperial Red Dragon, and all of Dragonkind hunted them, and hated them from that day onwards. Dragons still have deep suspicions towards these Drow and in turn the Drow became bitter and twisted and evil. A typical Red Dragon will attack Drow on sight.
== The historical Drow Some 500 years ago by the measure of the Kingdom, there was great strife in all the Dreamlands. The forces of Kothlothl, Tsathoggua as well as Yog Sothoth, were ascendant throughout the distant Dream. A force of fascist inclined supernaturals aligned themselves against these Primordial forces and conquered the Kingdom, as a bridgehead against these forces. After The Great War the archetypical diabolical Dragon Daimion was destroyed, and the manifestations of the Primordial purged. This happened at great cost to the Kingdom. In the century right after The Great War, what was left of the Kingdom was tormented greatly by brigants and slavers from the Underrealms. The central Kingdom was once frequently and mercilessly attacked and looted by Drow brigands. A previous King had enough of this and retaliated with all his military might.
== The Underrealm Conquest 500 Rinyldissen years ago, there was The Great War. After the Great War the Kingdom blossomed to unexpected heights of power and started settling the underground with successive legionary expeditions. The first significant invasion occurred with The King’s Legions about 350 years ago. The combination of levitating vessels, unbroken logistical supply lines from the abundance of the surface world, with an overwhelmning military power allowed the King to colonize a significant part of the Underrealms just below the central Kingdom, and start a methodical campaign of exterminating irreconcileable and implaccable enemies of humanity, such as Aboleth, Illithid, Beholders, and many others. There are now dozens of interlocking Fortresses in the underrealms that represent an unbroken colonial presence. The hold of the King over the Underrealms may be still tenous, “by some definitions”, but the impact has been undeniable. The law of the King now governs there, and a large contingent of Drow have aligned themselves with the King of mankind.
== Onduwaneysee or “Lodestone”. In the underrealms roughly several kilometers below the central Kingdom is a titanic vault that stretches kilometers. In this vault is a city. The vault itself is known as Onduwaneysee, and the city as well as the vault are known colloquially as Onduwaneysee or “Lodestone”. The name Onduwaneysee is a crude bastardization of the old name. Travel from Rissen in the Underworld leads through stairs, sinkholes, titanic cavers, warrens and tunnels to a giant kilometers long mammoth Vaults. In the Underrealm are all manner of unspeakable and horrid creatures, many deeply hostile and malignant. The Drow however greatly prospered from the alliance with The King, and cast great political and military power hence. The caves of Onduwaneysee are a place dimly lit by sprawling forests of vine, mushrooms and fungus. Lodestone used to be a place of systemic human sacrifice, slavery, constant territorial warfare and unspeakable evil. The King put Lodestone in order, and even while it is still a total mess of a place, it’s nowhere near the charnel slaughterhouse it used to be. In the distant past Drow became relatively powerful by practicizing magic, and by closing pacts with Demonkind. The King greatly benefits from Drow expertise in these realms. Drow have skirted closed to Apocalypse for aeons and those that come out on top over and this expertise over should definitely be taken seriously.
== Populations of Lodestone It is said over a hundred thousand “people” there are now censused citizens of the Kingdom, most of which are Drow. Of all Drow there 75 are pureblooded Drow. Of these several hundred are now formally “nobility”, maybe a thousand count as proper Civilians, several thousand are recognized as Citizens. Being pureblooded is more or less a prerequisite to being counted in the sensus of the King. As lodestone is home for many nonhuman freaks such as Yuan Ti, Fomori, Gnoll, Vampire, Tiefling, Bugbear, Slaadi and the Gods know what else. The Drow there have it easy these days with the support of the King.
It is widely claimed Drow are matriarchal in culture. This is not entirely correct. Before the King conquered Lodestone, the region just happened to have been under the spell of a Matriarchal Theocratic Fascist elite for a few thousand years. Far to the North in these Underrealms, Drow exist that are not governed by Matriarch Tyrants. In bygone ages in Lodestone the Matriarchy was associated with the worship of a now defunct Demon Goddess Lolth. A few hundred years of human presence has changed Lodestone Drow culture more than tens of thousands of years of constantly brushfire terror wars with Aboleths and Illithids. The current Queen of Lodestone is a very very shrewd Drow woman, and she is truly terrifying in her political cunning. Now the vault and lands surrounding the city are by Underrealm standards overpopulated and dominate the surrounding underrealms by brite force of numbers.
Drow greatly crave fruits and vitaminous food and the default state of all humanoid beings in the underrealms used to be emaciated starvation. But most of all the might of the Drow now depends on owning flying ships. In the underrealms flying ships rule absolutely, in terms of offering imports as well as a military means. These resources ferried to Hr’ll’Hru have increased Drow health, size and muscle weight from anemic, famine levels to a more robust physical fitness, and the previous gaunt, anorexic Drow of Hr’ll’Hru are now looking more like gaunt bodybuilding enthusiasts, with prominent yet sinewy muscleture.
Drow are by and large amazing specimens – proud, thin and wiry muscled elves with invariably obsidian black skins, mostly snow white hair, attractive and the females having voluptuous and sexually explicit features, assuming ine favors that kind of exhibitionist sadomasochistic volloptuosity. A female Drow stands almost as tall as a human. He or she is invariably slender framed, with features and built one would associate with Somalians or Ethiopians. Their skin is black – not negroid – just pitch black and at best dark grey. Judged casually they are an attractive race, with high cheekbones, slanting eyes, white hair. Mostly their eyes are clearly violet or amber, but red is not uncommon. The hair is almost always a snowy pale white – but many paint their hair and/or weave it in dreads. The women in Hr’ll’Hru have bred a small bit taller than the men and have a more acrobatic built. They are shaped like long distance runners. Tattoos are common. In the city of Lodestone or Hr’ll’Hru, the only underdark city in any meaningful contact with the Kingdom, the overly exhibitionist culture of the locals has been curtailed, the really malignant specimen of Drow were kicked out or exterminated and now the most crack Legionairs walk shoulder to shoulder with Drow Irregulars. This policy direction allowed pureblood families to go up from the usual 75% to 90%, as the freaks left town or went extinct. The new Queen of Drow (they elect a new one every ten years) is practical and pays a fairly sincere level of homage to the King’s standards of what should constitute goodness. Still, Drow in the city of Hr’ll’Hru are still nominally matriarchal, females are an average of 174 centimeters, males on overage 169 centimeters. Close up they are not entirely unappealing, and the females can be very attractive by any standard. From a distance their stooped movement and tendencty to skulk in shadows makes them appear sneaky, gnarly and repugnant. But up close they should be described as Regal.
Above ground Drow
There are some populations of Drow living aboveground that have had limited contact with the Lodestone Drow for over a century. Drow communities left aboveground have been viciously persecuted, almost driven into extinction. Drow from the Underdark are either from Hr’ll’Hru and hence sarcastic, cold, cruel, methodical, machiavellan and icily patient. Other Drow are invariably significantly more psychopathic and those found above ground, eradicated like vermin by humans and Aureannu alike. The King of Aureannu is not overly delighted the King of Mankind has closed alliances with Drow. outinely all surface Drow are regarded by humans with distrust, antipathy or general alienation. Human culture has overflown the last decades with regalia of just how horrible Drow are, or were, and consequently human waifs have a habit of fainting when they spot a Drow. Drow extended family communities in Rissen are generally living in shallow underground burrows, acting in unclean professions, fairly impoverished, fairly criminal, fairly resentful, gravitating towards matriarchal, paranoid and overly cautious. The average farmer in the outer Kingdom typically hasn’t even seen Drow ever. As indicated, all underground Drow are frightful creatures, the Drow in Hr’ll’Hru are just nominally less so. Above ground Drow tend to be desperate and borderline criminal, and as such not much better than a typical Orc. As said in the proverb “in the underdark Drow don’t slouch”, meaning they have an ego problem down there. Left to their own terms, Drow ooze arrogance like a virtue. Drow culture is very well honed for survival and they have become damn good at it in terms of political science, the dark arts, lateral warfare, technology, psychops, weaponizing, etc. The reasons these deep underground Drow haven’t overrun the whole underdark and underworld realms is because they are fractitious, pathologically arrogant and selfrighteous, vain and hedonistic. They waste resources on religious fervor and personality cults and mere supersititions. They are routinely addicted to narcotic substances. Drow above and underground society used to thrive on slavery. Drow will act lazy when given half a chance. As such Drow are phenomenal in motivating slaves.
The typical Drow street (or city scene) is filled with a plethora of lizzard humanoid, insect, spider or crustacean beasts of burden. The overused cliche of spiders in Hr’ll’Hru (depicted in some paintings in the Capital city and often quoted) is just an example; Drow Cavalry will charge into battle equally likely on giant scorpions, barghuests, albinoid flightless birds, monstrous caterpillars, “cold one” giant lizzards, albinoid velociraptors, animate eels and serpents, mammoths or less easily described monstrosities – and they have been doing that for millenia, so they have become frightfully good at it. And the shock troops they drive in battle is an even more outrageous topic for drow personal statements.
It should be mentioned that a Drow is biologically immortal. If kept alive they will seek challenges; it is inborn in them to challenge the limits of their environment. The only thing they can’t stand and retreat from is bright daylight. But other than that they cannot abide by any restriction or limitation or taboo. Conceit is within their genes. Their vulnerability to sunlight in the surface world makes them incapable of competing equitably with almost anyone there but this is no restriction on their gluttony underground. This conceit is what makes Drow very mortal.