Estea: The Shadows Lengthen
Dark Elves are also known as Drow. They live in the sunless realm of the Underdark — in great caverns shaped by magic and master crafters into strange and twisted cities.
These elves are the ancestors of those who sided with Llolth against Correlon and Selhaine in ancient times. They have nursed their hatred for elves and those of the lands above for many centuries and occasionally emerge by night to raid the surface world.
They have dark skin of a black-blue hue – white, silver, or pale blonde hair – and eyes that are often red, lavender, or pale blue.
Drow: Lolth’s Chosen
The drow are creatures of evil and darkness, exiles banished to the subterranean realms of the Underdark. Their ties to the forests and valleys of nature are cut, and they live by cruelty and domination, no longer in harmony with the beasts of the wild.
The drow build their cities deep underground, their slender spires and feylit towers echoing or mocking the graceful eladrin cities of the Feywild. Their society is a study in paradox. Within a drow city, various families or houses hold power. A drow without a connection to one of these houses is an outcast, and members of other races are rarely anything but slaves to these houses. The drow are inclined to build empires, unlike their cousins, and the well-ordered houses would perhaps conquer both the Underdark and the surface world were it not for Lolth and her priests.
Lolth is a god of treachery and chaos, and at her urging, her priests lead the house matrons in constant battles for dominance. Even when a single house manages to cling to power for an extended time, it must be constantly vigilant against the threat of a lesser house trying to claim its position, and struggles among the lesser houses prevent the city from acting in anything like a concerted effort toward conquest.
Drow share the agility of their cousins, which they often put to use in stealth and trickery. Although they are no taller than eladrins, they have a presence that often makes members of other races feel smaller and on edge—a fury seems to be at constant boil behind their blank white eyes, ready to explode at the slightest provocation. Like the elves, their moods can change in an instant, most often transforming into blind, murderous rage.
The drow remain Lolth’s own, and they tolerate the worship of no other god. The names of Corellon and Sehanine are blasphemy to a drow’s ears, and even a euphemistic reference to either god is accompanied by spitting on the ground. The drow revere spiders because Lolth chose them as her symbol, and they traffic with demons because Lolth has made some demons her servants. The priests of Lolth hold political as well as spiritual power, serving as advisers to the house matrons if not actually filling that position themselves. Drow society revolves around Lolth, though it means a constant state of civil upheaval.
While elves and eladrin are inclined to view the gods as simply a greater form of their own lords and elders, the drow give Lolth their unquestioning devotion. Far more drow follow divine paths to become clerics or paladins than either elves or eladrin do—perhaps in part because of the temporal authority that comes with service to Lolth but also for the opportunity to commune more closely with their god and savor her power flowing through them. They have not forgotten their heritage of arcane study, however, and produce many mighty wizards and warlocks. While religion and politics are primarily the arena of women among the drow, the arcane masters of the race are mostly men.
The more high-minded elves and eladrin sometimes take a compassionate view of the drow, perhaps believing that the three races might one day be reunited. The drow, on the other hand, permit no such weakness of thought, as they see it. Whatever their short-term plans of conquest or rebellion, the drow long for the day when they will exterminate their kindred, obliterating the stain of elves and eladrin from the world and the Feywild. Only occasionally do these dreams manifest in any kind of action, but drow have been seen fighting alongside fomorians in the Feywild.
Without a doubt, the aspirations of the drow echo the dreams and schemes of Lolth, the Spider Queen. In her Abyssal domain of the Demonweb Pits, she sits and waits, plotting the day when she can snare her sister and Corellon in her webs and finish the work she started at the dawn of time.
And then the three races will be only one.