The Dungeandar Drow were a drow culture from the north-west of Aels, living in the underworld of Kazrrad.
They are divided in countless cities, being the largest and more powerful of them Manzarraza, which for the time of the Middle Human Age had a population of 20.000, while the whole dungeandar drows where about 425.000.
the Dungeandar Drow are taught from an early age to trust no one, forging alliances only when they are confident that they can outmatch their ally if he/she decides to turn on them. The inherent pride in their own abilities quite often leads to such alliances being forged, though they almost always end badly when one party decides said alliance is no longer convenient. Even drow who escape the cruelties of the Dungeandar caverns of Kazrrad find it more difficult to form long-term friendships than most drow of other races do.
Most dungeandar drow share a hatred of all other races, especially surface races but hate most of all the surface elves(“Darthiir” in Dungeandar Drow). It is the only thing that unites all of the dungeandar drows, leading them to yearn for a return to the surface that will defeat the surface elves.
Dungeandar drow have an admiration for stealth and guile, and works of great skill. They are encouraged to become warriors or arcanists, if male, and wielders of divine powers, if female. Drow scouts are also valuable for the early warnings of threats they can provide in the tunnels of the underworld of Kazrrad. An assassin is prestigious in dungeandar drow culture. the Dungeandars are also known for their allure, which can be seductive but is more likely used as a tool of fear.
All dungeandar drow enjoy surrounding themselves with things of beauty, being their cities always spectacles of breathtaking architecture, and often partake of lavish revels, indulging in the most pleasurable of activities, including long nights of dinner and massages. Some dungeandar drow were fond of dances, including competitive dances or formal dances sometimes involving costumes.
Dungeandar Drow society is matriarchal, militaristic, and heavily influenced by religion. Their city-states are formed in huge underground caverns but frequently at war with one another. These cities are ruled by the most powerful of the families (or houses) and although the power of the many families changes often, the top few usually remain stable. Males who hope to find any place of power in society often resort to ends as treacherous as the women that rule the dungeandar, hoping to perhaps win a coveted place as the Mate of a powerful matron mother.
It can be easy to imagine that dungeandar drow females, by comparison, have it much easier but this is an illusion and their prestigious position within society comes at a high cost. In fact, the teachings of Lolh, matron goddess of the Dungenadar drow, and drive to gain more power over others makes competition between female dungeandar drow, particularly those who belong to powerful houses, violently competitive in a way that males do not have to cope with. Matters are even worse for those who seek power through venues outside of Lolh’s church, where the females have to compete not only with one another but with resentful and oppressed males.
Self Absorbed CrueltyEdit
Dungeandar Drow are described to be arrogant, ambitious, sadistic, treacherous and hedonistic. From birth, dungeandar drow are taught they are superior to other races and should crush those beneath them. Children who resist and show kindness or love are brutally punished, so as to drive the instinct of cruelty into them. They value advancement over their peers more than anything else, pulling down their superiors and crushing their inferiors. This doesn't mean they treat all of their peers with disdain, however. Dungeandar Drow are not barbaric and appreciate a sense of subtlety and thus dungeandar drow are typically courteous and urbane, even to their most hated rivals.
The Great HousesEdit
Cities are structured around the most powerful families taking the best areas, leaving the other drow to take whatever land they can. The focus of a city is often the temple of Lolh and this is often in the grounds of the ruling family, and often they use magic fires to light and adorne city buildings as signs of prosperity. Outside the city, the garrison and some of the slaves are kept, as well as farms of cattle animals -either surface animals addapted, or underworld animals half domesticated-
Interactions with other RacesEdit
Often Dungeandar cities seeked to forge an alliance with a powerful creatures of the Underworld, like dragons or demons so they can gain extra protection.
Although many dungeandar drow seek to regain the surface world that they feel was taken from them unjustly, some have become so used to life in the Underworld that they would prefer to make the best of this realm and have no interest in the surface.
The dungeandar drow who do choose to live on the surface do not form any kind of organized society and instead live as hermits and outcasts. They will interact with other societies when they need to, but not through choice.
The Dungeandar drow liked to eat animals that were still living because they believed the meat had a better flavor.
Poisons and toxins are favored by the dungeandar drow, especially a powerful knockout poison made from a slippery black fungus growing in certain Underworld caverns, but other poisons can be made from worms, scorpions, and spiders.
Armor and WeaponsEdit
Dungeandar Drow favor chain armor when it is available, but will always wear non-restrictive armors that will not hamper their natural dexterity. They also favor fast weapons like rapiers, and will choose hand crossbows when possible, to deliver their poisons from a distance. The most popular poison on the dungeandar drow hand crossbow is the drow slumber potion which puts the target to sleep.
Lolh and various dietiesEdit
Dungeandar Drow primarily worship the dark pantheon. They generally worship the goddess Lolh although those on the surface often worship other gods. A small number of dungeandar drow on the surface worship other non-drow pantheon deities. Generally an entire city worships a single deity. Also, because dungeandar drow males are banned from the priesthood, males who become adept in divine magic tend to worship the champion of Lolh.
Worship vs. Social StratificationEdit
Though religion plays a large part in dungeandar society, the caste system and other seemingly-lawful aspects of the culture clash with the teachings and directives of the matron goddess Lolh, as a chaotic goddess. As a result, much of the tension between the clergy of Lolh and more secular drow comes from this very different perspective.
Relationships with other racesEdit
Dungeandar Drow see all other races as inferior, even those to whom they are allied, and will attempt to enslave any enemies they capture, usually never willingly releasing them. Drow commonly enslave hobgoblins, ogres, goblins and orcs but also other humanoids.
Antipathy for other elvesEdit
Above all else, dungeandar drow save their hostilities for surface elves, most especially Rossnes elves. They are willing to forge temporary alliances with anyone that will help them inflict pain or suffering on the surface elves, for whom they know no mercy at all. They blame other elves for their exile and hang onto that hatred with religious zeal.
A common drow ally (and foe) are the Illithids, or mind flayers.
Pets and slaveryEdit
Slavery plays a large part in dungeandar drow society and drow households usually have two or more slaves for each member. All unskilled labor in dungeandar drow cities is carried out by slaves. One slave from each household is usually kept as a “pet” by the household, and this is often a spider, since it is the symbol of the deity Lolh. Spiders roam the streets in dungeandar drow cities, acting as pest controllers, and larger ones are used to guard houses or as mounts for transportation. These spiders are often specially bred for the purpose and are more intelligent than their regular counterparts.
Other types of working creatures include riding lizards Kazaaks and also spider-like creatures.
The vast majority of dungeandar drow live in the Underworld of Kazrrad, in the cave system of Dungeandar, where their ancestors settled after the fall of the Empire of Drow, which in the northwest of Aels was destroyed by the light elves.
Here, dungeandar drow city-states are spread throughout the northwest of Aels, bastions of demonic dealings sanctioned by their goddess, the Spider Queen. The most famous Dungeandar bastion of all is Manzarraza, one of the dark centers of Lolh’s worship.
Some of the most important dungeandar drow cities:Edit
Some Dungeandar cities and their populations during the Middle Human Age:
- Manzarraza, ~over 60.000 inhabitants -20.000 free drow, over 40.000 slaves (drow and non-drow)-.
- Eryldrin, ~60.000 inhabitants -15.000 free drow, less than 45.000 slaves (largely goblins)-.
- Ssmath, ~25.000 inhabitants -12.000 free drow, 13.000 slaves (drow and non-drow)-.
- T'lineth, ~20.000 inhabitants. -11.000 free drow, 9.000 slaves (drow and non-drow)-.
- Gallidurth, ~16.000 inhabitants. -11.000 free drow, 5.000 slaves (mostly drow)-.
- Schindlryn, ~15.000 inhabitants. -10.000 free drow, 5.000 slaves (drow and non-drow)-.
- Dion G'enn, ~14.000 inhabitants. -7.000 free drow, 7.000 slaves (largelly non-drow).-
- Haulssin, ~11.000 -7.000 free drow, 4.000 slaves (drow and non-drow)-.
- Maerimdra, ~11.000 inhabitants. - 6.000 free drow, 5.000 slaves (drow and non-drow).-
- Usnatah, ~10.000 inhabitants. - 6.000 free drow, 4.000 slaves (drow and non-drow).-
- Un'Thay, ~60.000 inhabitants -21.000 free drow, ~39.000 slaves (drow and non-drow). Though Un'Thay is really a confederation of twelve minor drow cities-.
The native language of the dungeandar drow is dungeandi. Each isolated community has its own variant of the language with a distinct accent. Most drow speak Drow as well as Kazrradi, a trade language wisely used in the north of Kazrrad, and a language suitable for the region in which they live, such as low polforian demonic, draakonic or Goblin. It is common for the Dungeandar Drow to learn the language spoken on the surface beneath which they live, having a high literacy rate.