The Underdark. Deepearth. The Realms Below. The Night Below. The Lightless Lands.
These and many more names are given to the vast, lawless world that lies beneath the surface. To those who live beneath the rays of the Fiery Orb; it is a land of Horror and nightmares. Twisting labyrinthine passages filled with a dreadful silence broken only by the screams of fierce predators. Eerie Caverns with darkness reaching higher than sight allows, or smaller than a man. One could walk for days only to find your path blocked by ten tons of rock, and your steps tracked by creatures from your most horrible fears. Few have ever reached to the depths of Deepearth and returned to tell their tale.
And yet, it is also a place that many call home. Races who carve a life from the living stone, or claw their way to the top of the predators through guile and strength. The sly and retiring Svirfneblin; living for their craft and the stone they love. The Driven and ambitious Duergar; Taskmasters and traders who will ply their goods to whomever will look. The monstrous Kobolds, Orogs, Goblins and Gnolls, striving to carve a home for themselves and their kin amidst all the turmoil of the Caverns of the lightless lands. Races which have banded together for survival, and worked together in the creation of Urblexis Grond. Urblexis Grond is the frontier town of the Realms Below, the sanctuary of the outcast and home to ambitions deep beneath the sun.
And then there are the Drow. The stuff of legend and the name used to strike fear into unruly children. The Drow rule the subterranean realms with an evil smile and a barbed whip; seeking to quench their unholy desires and grasping for power within their stronghold of Udos Dro'Xun. Arcane masters, vicious warriors, and twisted Priestesses of Lolth, their Demon Spider-Queen, who seek to crush the goodly races beneath their heel in the name of their Goddess.
This is the Underdark. Welcome home.
When translated means "We Survive", an appropriate name for the capital city of the Dark Elves. Udos Dro'Xun has survived several incursions of surface raiders, demonic entities, and illithid attacks, thriving and even growing in the process. Today it is the largest settlement in the Arelith Underdark and home to the largest organized military beneath the ground. The might and force of Udos Dro'Xun cannot be ignored, even by those on the surface who are blissfully unaware of its existence.
When creating a new Drow character, you will start in The Spider's Web, a Drow tavern located within Udos Dro'Xun. How you got there is your own story, but you'll quickly be advised to meet with Commander Vhaeshess of the City Militia. It is unwise to disappoint her, so make sure that you listen to her advice, along with that of the other Drow that you will meet. Playing a Drow can be a difficult yet rewarding prospect, and the following information should help both new and regular players get a feel for how Drow society functions.
"We are the Ilythiiri, the Drow, the Horror within your soul. We are the scourge of the Blighted lands, And the ravagers of the night. We call Demons friend and Bring to heel The nightmares of the Lightless Lands. We are the Masters of the Deep Dark. We are the nameless fear that grips you When the moon is hidden by Cloud. The terror that strikes your heart When the candle's flame is snuffed by the wind. Fear the Darkness"
"Those most powerful in Udos Dro'Xun spend their days watching over their shoulders, defending against the daggers that would find their backs. Their deaths usually come from the front."
When equivalent ranks meet, the higher noble house deserves deference, this is not a matter of seniority or clear outranking; but more a "Protect your house by deferring to the higher house" feel, it is not absolute, nor mandatory; but if your matron gets smacked by the higher matron because you were rude to a noble; you'll likely feel it. When all other things are equal; Nobility wins the day... If a commoner and a noble meet; the Nobility Deserves deference regardless of rank; plain and simple.
Whether the ranks are Noble Sargtlin and commoner Faern or the other way around; Nobility earns deference by virtue of being nobility. This is a Truism that has existed throughout the ages; "Nobles rule." Once again; being a Noble Sargtlin and telling the Commoner Sutrinos who just gave you an order to get bent would be pretty bad for your health, but Noble blood does earn respect outside rank. Nobility is marked by the wearing of gold trim on a person's clothing. If you are not noble; you probably should avoid gold clothing.
If it is female, show it some respect... Regardless of rank or temple status; if you are male and the person you are greeting is female; show it a tad more respect than just a *nods*. If you know their rank great; just be polite and courteous as any female deserves, unless said female forces you to actually pull rank on her. Remember this simple rule: If your matron were watching you greet this person; how would she react to your greeting? and you'll probably come out alive.
General Keys to the Ranks Position = Descending order of rank. If a rank is listed above another rank; it always outranks the ones below it; at least in theory. A M'elzar always outranks a Yath Abban in theory... In practice other things must be considered. Is the M'elzar a commoner? Is the Yath Abban noble? A Prime example of this below is The "Ul" ranks outrank a Yath Tallar, but showing disrespect to a Yath Tallar will most likely Draw the Full Evil of the temple upon you.
Number = Relative rank. Anything with the same number means it is generally at the same rank as anything else with that number, and anything with a higher number generally will outrank those below it. Deference would go to the higher position (as above arrow states) but Variations also apply due to below System (+/-). +/- = Adjust accordingly due to nobility; house, etc. A 5++ will deserve deference from a 5+ which will deserve the same from a 5. However, a 5++ will usually not outrank a 6; though nobility and temple status play a part... the Ul'Saress outranks a Yath Tallar; yet a Yath Tallar has temple status and so is accorded deference (7 opposed to a 7+) Tier Status is absolute No matter any other influences involved; the Tier status may be considered as equal to the Caste system of Medieval society. If you are in tier 3 and you greet someone in Tier two; Tier two Will Outrank You. Once more; A tier Two commoner greeting a Tier Three noble should show deference to nobility; but they still do outrank the noble... NOTE: Ranks that are automatically noble by virtue of the position they hold are marked with a * All others, noble status will play a part in position and deference as explained earlier.
Tier 1: City Leaders
Tier 2: Academy Masters
Tier 3: Confirmed Ranks
Tier 4: All Others
"Fear is as strong as steel, while love and respect are soft, useless feelings none may lean on. All Drow who do not worship Lloth must be converted or destroyed. All weak and rebellious Drow must die. All who impugn the Faith must perish. Anyone who harms a spider must perish. So sayeth Lloth". All Yath must enforce these laws, or face trial by the Temple. Lloth Tlu Malla!
Yath'abban (Temple agent) Rank: 2
Common skills: Magery, meditation, healing, anatomy, evaluating intelligence, poisoning, resisting spells, inscription, animal taming, animal lore.
Yath'abban responsibilities: Yath'abban are required to bow to members of all ranks that are above them and refer to their superiors by their title. The Yath'abban must obey all orders given by Drow of higher ranks. The directives of ranking members of the Temple may supersede the orders given by other ranking members if the ordering member of the Temple is at equal or higher rank than the other member. Yath'abban are required to assist the Yathrin with rituals, and are expected to have a working knowledge of the tenants of Lolth. Yath'abban should pursue knowledge and understanding in the teachings of Lolth, presenting any findings, discoveries, or writings to a Yathrin for review and possible inclusion into the Temple archives.
Yath'abban are Drow, who have at one point in their development, begun to serve the Temple instead of pursuing the more mundane vocations. Temple Agents are sent on low-importance missions for the Yathrin or Yathtallar in order to test their skills and devotion to Lolth and the House. Especially talented or devout Yath'abban can be chosen by a Yathrin to be a personal assistant. Yath'abban can expect to run errands, undertake missions, and sometimes fight for the temple. They should complete these things with vigor and determination.
Yathrin (Priestess) Rank: 4
Yath'rin responsibilities: The Yathrin are required to bow to the Yathtallar and the Ilharess and refer to their superiors by title. The Yathrin must obey the orders of the Yathtallar and the Ilharess, and are urged to obey the orders of the Qu'el'jabbuken (The house masters). They are not required to obey the orders of equal ranking members, and often are allowed to speak out against a unfavorable action. They are urged to obey the Qu'el'jabbuken, as a Priestess who abuses her power to the harm of the Qu'ellar, will face punishment at the hands of the Ilharess or Yathtallar. The Priestesses serve the Spider Queen first and foremost. Undertakings performed in her name take precedence over any orders. The Yathrinen are encouraged to teach the various skills of the Priestess, to the Yath'abban. Torture, prayer, and worshipping the Spider Queen are all skills that need to be passed on. It is the Yathrinen's job to help ensure that all Yath'abban learn the skills of the Temple.
Yathrinen are deeply devout, should be intimate with our religion, and must instruct other members in the teachings of Lolth. The Yathrin should regularly develop, prepare, and perform ceremonies honoring Lolth. They must ask for blessings, guidance, as well as spread the faith. The Yathrin is a priestess of Lolth, committed to upholding the tenants of the faith. Priestesses, through their ceremonies and other activities, assist in teaching the newer members the rules and expectations. The backbone of Drow society, the Priestesses are sometimes among the most demanding to play, but allow for a greater control over much of the House's internal affairs. The Yathrin must constantly seek to interpret the whims of the Spider Queen and act to fulfill those expectations. Yathrin are also responsible for maintaining order and adherence to the old ways, being constantly alert to the possibility of corruption by heretics, and advancing the will of Lolth. Yathrin should make efforts to research and document the Way of Lolth and document several rituals for future reference.
Faerz'un'arr (Seeress) Rank: 5
Faerz'un'arr responsibilities: The Faerz'un'arr are required to bow to the Yathtallar and the Ilharess and refer to them by their titles. The Faerz'un'arr must obey the orders of the Yathtallar and the Ilharess, and are urged to consider the orders of the Qu'el'jabbuken. The Faerz'un'arr serve the Spider Queen first and foremost. Undertakings performed in her name take precedence over any orders.
The Faerz'un'arr are deeply devout, should be intimate with our religion, and must instruct other members in the teachings of Lolth. The Faerz'un'arr should regularly develop, prepare, and perform ceremonies honoring Lolth. They must ask for blessings, guidance, as well as spread the faith. The Faerz'un'arr are responsible for looking over the Sorcere and the males of the Drow. Their main priority is to make sure the males do not achieve a higher level of power over the Yath. They do this by watching over the Sorcere to make sure males are not given too much magical might.
The Faerz'un'arr serve the Yathtallar and Ilharess as a powerful Priestess, whose main duty is to ensure that the House is run to the directives of the Spider Queen. They are helpful in running the Yath, but their main focus is that the other castes do not gain more power than the Yath itself. The Qu'el'jabbuken are often called upon by the Faerz'un'arr to make regular reports on the current runnings of the House and their castes. The Sorcere is one of the main focuses of the Faerz'un'arr, and they strive to maintain that males do not achieve too much power.
Yath'tallar (High priestess) Rank: 6
Yath'tallar responsibilities: The Yath'tallar is responsible for running the Yath, and she has considerable say in the day-to-day operations of the house. The High priestess and the Ilharess are the ultimate authority on all religious policy in-game. The High priestess of Lolth serves the Spider Queen first and foremost, and undertakings in her name take precedence over any other matters. The Yathtallar is encouraged too keep a close eye on the Yath and the training of the Priestesses. The Yathtallar is deeply devout, should be intimate with our religion, and should instruct other members of the House in the teachings of Lolth. The Yathtallar should regularly develop, prepare, and perform ceremonies dedicated to Lolth.
The Yathtallar is a very, very powerful Drow. The dictates of Lolth are delivered via proxy through the Yathtallar, and these dictates, in the rare cases where it is necessary, can override the orders of the Ilharess. The Yathtallar is the High Priestess of the House, and her main duty is to ensure that the Will of Lolth has been properly discerned and maintained.
Cleric is the most important class for a Priestess of Lloth, though we will address possibilities later. To even Role Play as a priestess in any way, a female PC must possess a minimum of three levels of the Cleric class, thereby assigning her the title of Yath Abban.
In order to advance beyond Yath Abban, a Priestess must be able to demonstrate the ability to raise the Dead (level 9 cleric) to reach Yathrin, and the ability to Summon a powerful Demon (Level 17 Cleric, OR another. See below) to attain the rank of Yath Tallar. Inability to complete these tasks will be guarantees of failure in promotion attempts. Domains are a vital choice for a priestess, and so the following is provided.
Evil: Provides the ability to turn outsiders as well as undead; and grants extra spells in the negative energy field (Negative energy ray, Negative energy burst, and Enervation.)
Destruction: Provides the ability to turn Constructs as well as undead; and grants extra spells that are highly damaging (Stinking Cloud, Acid Fog.)
Trickery: Grants the Cleric the Divine Trickery Feat: This feat provides a bonus to hide, persuade, search, disable trap, move silently, open lock, and pick pocket checks equal to 1 per 2 caster levels. This effect lasts for 5 turns + the cleric's Charisma modifier. This Domain also grants the cleric some powerful spells useful in stealth and spying (Invisibility, Invisibility Sphere, and Improved Invisibility.) Very useful for cleric Rogues.
Strength: Lloth Rewards the strong, and subjugates and destroys the weak, so naturally her priestesses should be strong of both mind and body. A Combat oriented clerical build, perhaps incorporating some fighter levels, would be ideal for the Strength domain. It provides the Cleric the Divine Strength feat; which grants the cleric a bonus to Strength equal to 2 + 1 per 3 class levels (Max 11 STR bonus if you incorporate 3 fighter levels in the build). This has a duration of 5 rounds + the clerics Charisma modifier. this Domain also grants the cleric earlier use of the spell Divine Power (Level 3 vice level 4) and use of the Spell Stoneskin.
Death: The Priestesses of Lloth are literally avatars of death for the enemies of the Spider Queen. As such, it is not a difficult stretch to incorporate this Domain into Priestess RP. this domain grants the cleric a Negative Plane Avatar; A shadow plane summon that gains in power as the cleric advances.
Multi-classing Options for Priestesses
Rogue Priestesses of Lloth are sly, sneaky, evil women who constantly spy on their enemies trying to gain the upper hand. As such, some levels in the rogue class provide excellent opportunities to improve skills some Priestesses would need.
Fighter Priestesses of Lloth are expected to be combat capable, and are in fact taught combat techniques during their training. As such, taking some levels of the Fighter class will allow a priestess to gain much needed combat feats, and represent better her training in the field. Priestesses planning to be focuses directly on combat may utilize even more levels to represent the devotion.
Blackguard Priestesses of Lloth, Especially dedicated and fanatical priestesses are often rewarded by Lloth with increased power and abilities. Utilizing the Blackguard class to enhance your Priestess would be representative of this fanaticism. Blackguard boosts both combat and defensive abilities; and as such is a prime path for Priestesses to choose.
The Academy of Mages is the second most powerful caste, right behind the Yath. A wizard is one of the most prestigious positions a male can ever hope to achieve. However, the Yath covet their power and strict sanctions are imposed on the inner workings of the Sorcere. Drow wizards horde their secrets and often experiment and practice in secret, away from the eyes of the Temple. Drow wizards are among the most powerful in the realms. They practice necromancy and command dark magics that rival the most ancient of Liches.
The Archmage of Sorcere is the most powerful position a male may ever Aspire to among the Drow. There are two Archmagi, one of Wizards and one of Sorcerers. Never are there more. Their position is one of admiration and fear. Their magical abilities are only bested by the most powerful of the Priestesses. Few can best the Archmage in magical combat. They know ancient secrets and have access to all of the lore of the Sorcere, and often call upon the Sorcere to undergo tasks to aid the Archmage in uncovering some ancient magical secret.
Zhaunin (Apprentice) Rank:2
Common skills: Magery, evaluating intelligence, meditation, resisting spells, wrestling, fencing, tactics, inscription
Zhaunin responsibilities: Zhaunin are required to bow before all Drow that hold higher ranks, and are required to refer to them by title. Zhaunin must obey orders by any members who is above them in rank. Zhaunin are expected to participate in battle squads and groups as healers and long range attackers. The apprentice should work with his mentor to learn more about the arts of spellcraft and its supporting skills to better serve the house. An apprentice is sometimes called to aid his mentor in magical rituals. A Zhaunin will spend a brief amount of time under the Melee-Magthere, the Academy of Warriors, so to learn the combat strategies of the Drow, and how to better lead a offensive raid.
The Zhaunin, upon reaching the M'elzar rank, is no longer officially in the apprenticeship of the M'elzar. However, the two will often continue this relationship to the gain of both parties. The Zhaunin is a mage in training the lowest rank in the Sorcere vocation. Females who show apptitude in magic are normally recruited into the Yath, so most mages are male. A Zhaunin must find a M'elzar as their master who is willing to teach the young mage so that the two can work together as a team. They are eager students, whose chief tasks are to perform rituals, do experiments, and otherwise continue their learning. They are capable of casting powerful magical spells and with this power comes great respect. With this respect, however, comes suspicion from the Yath.
M'elzar (Mage) Rank: 3
M'elzar responsibilities: M'elzar are required to bow before members of ranks above them and refer to their superiors by title. M'elzar must obey the orders of members with ranks above them. M'elzar are expected to participate in raiding parties and battle groups as healers and providers of magical support. The M'elzar continues to work with their mentor to complete magical rituals and experiments to benefit the house. The M'elzar should take an active approach when working with the younger Zhaunin. The M'elzar, to become a Faern, must take an apprenticeship with a younger Zhaunin. The two must be active in their work to be acceptable for the promotion.
M'elzar are Zhaunin which have completed most of their training with their master. A M'elzar will soon have to prepare a apprentice of their own to perform experiments and rituals with. A M'elzar should be able to cast powerful magical spells and able to hold their own in combat. M'elzar should regularly work with their Faern or by themselves to perform experiments and do research.
Faern (Wizard) Rank: 4
Faern responsibilities: Faern are required to bow before all members whose rank is above theirs and refer to their superiors by title. Faern are required to obey all orders given by a higher ranking member. Faern are expected to regularly participate in battle squads and raiding parties as healers and providers of magical support. Faern may be called upon by the Yath to aid in the performance of rituals. A Faern may call upon a Sut'rinos to gather a force for a raiding party, in which the Faern will lead with the Sut'rinos working alongside as a aid. The Faern, in this case, would take responsibility for a failed mission. Faern are expected to take an apprentice, who they aid in their training of the magical arts. Faern are regularly expected to do experiments and research to benefit the house.
Secretive and devious, Faern serve as the Houses heavy ranged damagers and combat healers. Faern are almost exclusively male. The long hours of a Faern's research pays dividends in the ability to cast the most powerful of magical spells. Faerns should work to weave roleplaying plots and goals for the Sorcere vocation as a whole, and work with other Faern to uphold the rule of the Ilharess. The Faerz'un'arr of the Yath are very wary of the Faern and their powers. This uneasyness often leads the Faern into trouble.
Qu'el'faeruk (House wizard) Rank: 5
Qu'el'faeruk responsibilties: They are required to bow before all members which hold a higher rank, and refer to them by title. They are required to obey all orders given by higher ranking members. They are expected to evaluate members of their vocation to determine promotions, demotions, and recognition. Final say always lies with the Ilharess. They should stay active in guild activities and work to promote the rule of the Ilharess. The functions of the Sorcere are the responsibility of the Qu'el'faeruk. All members of the Sorcere caste are expected to be trained and helped by the House Wizard. The House Wizard is encouraged to run events and work to weave roleplaying plots and goals for the Sorcere vocation as a whole.
Qu'el'faeruk are the House Wizard and the leader of the Sorcere vocation. They are normally called on to help perform rituals with the Yath. They keep close ties with all the Faern to aid them in administrating the Sorcere. They often work with the Faerz'un'arr to promote the goals of the Temple and the House. This is a very prominent position among the Drow. The Qu'el'jabbuken are responsible for maintaining their castes for the Ilharess of the Qu'ellar.
Ul'Faeruk (Wizard Archmage); E'spdon (Sorcerer Archmage) Rank: 6
Ul'Faeruk/E'spdon responsibilities: The Archmage is required to bow in front of the Ilharess and Yathtallar, and must refer to them by title. The Archmage is required to obey the word of the Ilharess and Yathtallar. The Archmage is not required to follow the word of the Ilharn. The Archmage may be called upon by the Yath to aid in the performance of rituals. The Archmage often is very secretive and stays out of the Limelight, prefering the needs of sorcere and their own agendas to the gloryseekers. The Archmage should promote the goals of the Sorcere and Lolth. The Archmage is encouraged to run events and work to weave roleplaying plots and goals for the Sorcere as a whole.
The Academy of Warriors. The Drow's constant warfare on the surface and throughout the Underdark has bred a fierce race of elves. The warriors are among the finest bladesmasters in all the realms. Drow warriors favor fast and light weapons which can be coated with poison. They also train in the use of bow and crossbows. Maces are seen as sluggish and useless in battle. No self respecting warrior would train in them.
The complex tactics in battle are carefully studied and practiced among the Melee-Magthere, and all warriors must learn how to effectively lead in combat. Without the Sargtlin of the House to fight the Matron's battles, there would be no foundation for power. The warriors form the main body of the Drow army. The Drow are true friends to none, and the list of enemies of a house grows quickly. There are times when an unseen dagger or a particular incantation is preferred, but when subtlety is no longer an issue, the troops are sent forth to make an empathic statement.
Sargtlin (Warrior) Rank: 2
Common skills: Anatomy, swordmanship, fencing, archery, parrying, tactics, healing, resisting spells.
Sargtlin responsibilities: Sargtlin are required to bow to members of all ranks that are above them and refer to their superiors by title. Sargtlin always salute their superiors that are in the Sargtlin vocation. A sargtlin must obey the orders of any member of the House who is above them in rank. The warrior should strive to better themselves in the arts of war, and to train with their sargtlin peers and under the guidance of their commander to learn battle tactics. Sargtlin must be ready to fight for the house in a moments notice. Sargtlin will learn, unlike many Drow, they are judged more often on discipline, obedience, and reliability then on the success or failure of an attack. If a plan failed, it is more likely that the Qu'el'saruk or the Draada'quarthin will feel the lash for it. Small comfort this is, as the Sargtlin's very job is to meet death in its face. Drow warriors tend to favor light armor, as well as light weapons.
Drada'quarthin (Lieutenant) Rank: 3
Drada'quarthin responsibilities: Drada' are required to salute the Qu'el'saruk and the Sut'rinos, and bow to all members of higher rank than themselves, and refer to their superiors by title. Drada' must obey the orders of any member who is above them in rank. The Drada' are allowed to organize and lead small raiding parties, and they are accountable for the actions of these parties. The Drada' should consult with their Qu'el'saruk before planning any raid as to know the extent of their enemy. Minor raids should not need consultation, although the Drada' takes full responsibility for the actions of their raiding party. Drada' are encouraged to train and work with the Sargtlin to train and teach combat tactics. The Drada' are the lieutenants, and are called upon to lead small units in battle and raiding parties. This senior rank in the Sargtlin vocation is one earned by distinction in battle, demonstration of prowess in raid planning, and commitment to the execution of the Qu'el'saruk's orders. The Lieutenants work with the Commanders and Qu'el'saruk to punish the enemies of the House, and destroy those the Matron wills. Their skill at leading battles should be considerable.
Sut'rinos (Commander) Rank: 4
Sut'rinos responsibilities: Sut'rinos are required to salute the Qu'el'saruk, bow to all members of higher rank than themselves, and refer to their superiors by title. Sut'rinos must obey the orders of any member who is above them in rank. The Sut'rinos are encouraged to organize and lead small raiding parties, and they are accountable for the actions of these parties. Sut'rinos are encouraged to train and work with the Sargtlin to train and teach combat tactics. The Sut'rinos work closely with the Qu'el'saruk to keep the Melee-Magthere in order and to ensure that all Sargtlin are being properly trained. The Sut'rinos can form larger raiding parties, and they are accountable for the actions of these parties. They can encourage similar ranking members to be a part of their party. The Sut'rinos works closely with the Qu'el'saruk as personal assistants and are the finest Drow blademasters in the realms. The Sut'rinos hold a good deal of sway within their position. They are able to call raids on enemies of the House, and have the ear of the Qu'el'saruk. They also influence their caste through daily training and teaching of the Sargtlin.
Qu'el'saruk (House weapons master) Rank: 5
Qu'el'saruk responsibilties: The Qu'el'saruk is required to bow to all ranks above him and refer to his superiors by title. The Qu'el'saruk must obey the orders and directives of all members of the House who are above them in rank. The Qu'e'saruk evaluates the member of the Sargtlin vocation to determine promotions, demotions, and recognition. The house weapons master must arrange for the training and recruitment of wanre who show aptitude or interest in the Sargtlin vocation. The actual training, however, is possibly given to a lower ranking member. The Qu'el'saruk must uphold any rules set forth by the Ilharess to the best of his abilities. The weapons master is also urged to hold and run raids on enemies, as well as work to promote the goals of the Ilharess. The Qu'el'saruk is the highest ranking member of the Sargtlin vocation, and lower ranking Sargtlin who have issues should bring their concerns to the weapons master, instead of burdening the Ilharess. The Qu'el'saruk is expected to pass on information to the Ilharess regarding these issues. The Qu'el'saruk is responsible for organizing the tests for promotion to the deserving sargtlin. They are also responsible for passing on information from the Ilharess regarding inter-guild policy, special assignments, and objectives. Upholding the rules as well as the Ilharess' rule is another of their duties. The House Weapons master is the finest Drow warrior in the House. Their skills are honed after decades of testing their skill in battle. Few wish to meet the Qu'el'saruk in battle.
Melee-Magthere Battle Commands
The Drow in battle use many commands to organize our attacks against our enemies. It is the job of the Melee-Magthere to ensure that all Drow have learned these battle commands. Sargtlin should be able to teach these commands readily and be experts on their use in battle.
Thrityh - "Attack". This command speaks for itself. When it is called out, you rush to do battle with your foes. In combat, however, pay attention to the words of your Qu'el'saruk and other high ranking members; they may issue further commands during the battle.
Mri'kul - A defensive formation formed around the highest ranking member present. All wounded drow should be healed with this command. It is often called when the group is scattered and many are wounded.
Wund l'cress - "Into the web" This command calls for the group of warriors and participating drow to head into battle and trap their enemies within their formation. A successful Wund l'cress would consist of the opponent trapped on all sides by drow. It is often called to trap and kill an enemy that is particularly difficult to capture.
Ulu l'veldrin - "To the shadows" This command calls for the drow to disperse immediately when called, fleeing in all directions and hiding at the best possible chance. From here, they are to escape to a predetermined location, or reorganize in another location. When the Ulu l'veldrin is called, and a sudden dissapearance of the drow in all directions, can cause enemies to be confused and this limits their target capacity.
Rei rath - A simple command for a full retreat. Your means of escape is your own doing, unless you wish to rely on someone else to provide a moongate. If this is the fact, you Mri'kul around the person summoning the gate and proceed through, based on rank. Formation commands A warrior, along with the battle commands, must learn and master the formation commands. These are commands having to deal with the rank and structure of how the warriors manuever themselves in combat.
Bautha Z'hin The bautha z'hin style, which means "dodge and walk," relies on the natural agility and light armor the dark elves favor. The drow surround their foes and attack foes from all sides, and they use this style particularly against strange monsters with many attacks and a long reach. The style emphasizes dodging blows and high maneuverability, and practitioners of this style often learn the early elements of the orb alur style, bragging that they never are touched in a fight. Warriors of this style are usually paired with those using the z'ress a'thalak style, especially since the latter act as an anchor and the former position themselves to flank the enemy. This style is favored by drow rogues and fighter/rogues, as well as clerics of Eilistraee and Vhaeraun.
Feats: Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack.
Draa Velve Only a few dark elves in each city practice the draa velve style because the natural ability needed for this style is very rare. The name means "two sword," and it involves an amazing balance of control between the two hands. Followers of this style fight with a weapon in each hand and use one of the weapons to parry as well as attack, which means the parrying weapon also acts much like a shield. Some dark elves without perfect balance in both hands study the basics of this style, hoping to eventually master it through intense training or magic. Drizzt Do'Urden is a master of this style since he has the natural talent and also because he received training by a house weapon master.
Feats: Ambidexterity, Twin Sword Style, Two-Weapon Fighting.
Jivvin Golhyrr Similar in some ways to the kyorlin plynn style, the jivvin golhyrr style is a defensive style that relies on weaknesses in the enemy's performance to cause them to stumble and fall, making them more vulnerable to later attacks and emulating a position of weakness. The name means "amusing trick" and comes from the cruel drow's appreciation for placing another in the humiliating position of a slave or other subservient being. Very skilled drow like to humble their enemies before making the killing stroke, and clerics of Lolth are fond of this style for that reason. Students of the jivvin golhyrr often study the kyorlin plynn, and vice versa.
Feats: Expertise, Knockdown.
Kyone Veldrin All dark elves have the ability to create darkness as a spell-like ability and while all of them learn how to use it to surprise, annoy, and separate foes, few of them study the style kyone veldrin, which means "alert in the shadows." Students of this style can pinpoint the location of enemies in the middle of absolute darkness and strike them with amazing accuracy despite their effective blindness. Normally teams of specialists from this style and the luth alur style group together to form special attack teams, with the kyone veldrin fighting within the globes of darkness and the luth alur shooting to death any enemies that leave the darkness.
Feats: Alertness, Blind-Fight.
Kyorlin Plynn Conservative dark elf fighters and those who either need to capture opponents alive (usually for interrogation) or just enjoy humiliating their opponents use the kyorlin plynn style, which means "watch and take." The style uses defensive tactics and efficient methods of disarming to delay opponents and negate their ability to fight effectively. Many drow fighting groups have at least one kyorlin plynn practitioner on hand to deal with the most powerful member of an enemy team; that drow keeps the tough opponent busy until his allies have dealt with the rest of the enemy forces and can then team up to defeat the difficult opponent. Many priestesses of Lolth learn this style because they like taking captives for torture and sacrifice.
Feats: Expertise, Improved Disarm.
Luth Alur Dark elves are as frail as surface elves, and some prefer to stay out of immediate danger when there is fighting. The luth alur style, which means "superior shooting," is perfect for them since it allows them to strike down foes with deadly accuracy without ever being in harm's way themselves. This style requires a sharp eye and steady hands. The rare drow that use a conventional bow sometimes even learn to fire more rapidly than normal, but since such a trick is very difficult with the standard dark elf ranged weapon (a hand crossbow) that such feats are rarely seen. Most dark elf war parties have at least two luth alur warriors, and in full-scale wars there are entire squadrons of warriors using this style. These warriors usually attack enemy forces from ambush.
Feats: Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Weapon focus (ranged)
Orb Alur The orb alur style combines the best elements of bautha z'hin and kyorlin plynn, and it takes a long time to master. Called the "superior spider," the style emphasizes great sweeping maneuvers that allow its practitioners to strike many opponents with minimal effort. Normally they tumble or leap their way into the middle of a group of enemies and (if successful) cut them all down with a single stroke. This has a debilitating effect on enemy morale and often leads to retreats by enemy forces; as such, practitioners of the orb alur are greatly valued by drow noble houses and receive many privileges.
Feats: Dodge, Expertise, Mobility, Whirlwind Attack.
Phindar Streeaka The phindar streeaka style is not technically a combat style, but it's more of a mindset when entering combat. It means "mindless recklessness," and it is the name that dark elves give to the rare drow berserkers. Because it lacks finesse and exposes the underlying chaos in drow society for all to see, it is an unpopular style. Normally only smaller and more primitive colonies of drow or those who worship the strange dark elf god Ghaunadaur, master of oozes and slimes, use it. The phindar streeaka cannot use abilities that require intellect over brute force, and so many of them use the techniques common in the z'ress a'thalak style, although to say they study that style is a misnomer.
Feats: None (see z'ress a'thalak style).
Sargh'elgg The sargh'elgg style has simple elements but requires extensive training to master. It is used with light weapons or the traditional drow rapier, and it is designed to get the most out of these weapons and the naturally superior dark elf dexterity. The name means "valor in slaying," which is an overly-inflated title created to give some measure of confidence to those whose poor skills leave this as their only choice. Some martially-minded sorcerers and wizards learn the basics of this style, and because Kiaransalee, Lolth, and Vhaeraun all have favored weapons suitable for the sargh'elgg, it is practiced by many clerics as well. This is the most common fighting style used by a typical low-rank drow guard. (Essentially, that's anyone with no more than the standard amount of training given to a dark elf common soldier.)
Feats: Improved Critical, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus.
Ust Sreen The simple combat style called ust sreen, which means "first danger," emphasizes fast reactions to the appearance of enemies. Because vigilance is a constant state in drow society, this is normally a basic series of lessons taught at drow academies and is usually combined with another style, since fast reflexes aren't terribly useful when not backed up by other skills. Normally at least one drow trained in this style is present in any scouting group and carries a hand crossbow loaded with sleep poison to eliminate one opponent early before the drow's allies can react.
Feats: Improved Initiative, Quick Draw
Z'har Thalack The z'har thalack style, which means "riding war," was developed for the mounted dark elf patrols and deals with the difficulties and opportunities of fighting while mounted. As drow normally ride wall-crawling lizards, special tricks available to those who can maneuver in a three-dimensional manner through the Underdark put the mounted soldiers at an advantage compared to grounded troops. Berg'inyon Baenre, head of the lizard riders of house Baenre, fights with this style, which makes his death lance (a long lance crafted with powerful death magic) even more lethal.
Feats: Mounted Archery, Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge
Z'ress A'thalak The z'ress a'thalak style, which means "force of war," is uncommon among dark elves because few have the physical strength needed to learn all of the necessary maneuvers. Students of this style sacrifice accuracy for power and learn how to cut through the body of a falling foe to strike another enemy, or even shatter enemy weapons with a single blow. Menzoberranzan's Uthegental Del'Armgo, weapon master of house Del'Armgo, was a practitioner of this style. Drow that fight this way normally prefer heavier weapons such as longswords, hammers, and axes to the lighter weapons (such as rapiers) used by most drow. Devout worshipers of Selvetarm (a male drow deity of combat worshipped only in cities that worship Lolth; he is completely overshadowed by the Spider Queen) commonly use this style.
Feats: Cleave, Power Attack
Urblexis Grond is where most monstrous races call home. Located deep under the surface, this sprawling settlement houses all manner of races, including Duergar, Kobolds, Goblins, Orogs and Svirfneblin. Under the rulership of The Tyrant of Grond, these races coexist with the sole intention of survival in the inhospitable Underdark.
When you create a Duergar, Kobold, Goblin or Svirfneblin character you will start in the city of Urblexis Grond. Seek out the leader of your race and listen to what they have to say to you. You are an outcast champion with an opportunity to carve your own destiny out of the unforgiving depths of the darkness. Life as an outcast can be very difficult and brutal, but you may just enjoy playing from the perspective of a vile monster...
Within the caverns of Urblexis Grond the monstrous races make their home. Most races keep to themselves, living in loosely organized tribes, fighting for territory and resources until they must all band together to protect their lands from the devious and power-hungry Drow.
It is a dangerous and feral existence, but it is not without it's rewards. In their own way, heroes and leaders emerge among the beasts and the war drums beat out a steady tune to their glory.
Those who dare to reach deep into the most animalistic parts of their imaginations come here to challenge themselves and their fellow players in a unique environment.
For information on the monstrous Underdark races, and the requirements to play them check the 'Races' page here.