Voyage into Oblivion
Drows emigrated from the continent of Iosco (more specifically, the country of Raghnall, located south of Zusamul) into the largely unexplored land of Arenac many centuries ago. Their tribes were able to hold off the hordes of undead and their masters with magic. When the Church of Unity started to gain popularity, however, the drow realized their way of life was in danger and left en masse. Over time, they have developed an elaborate oral history that has been perpetuated by the many elders that have lived for hundreds of years.
With the history of their people in mind, many of the drow have resisted Iosco’s attempts to populate Arenac. Ships bearing supplies have been sunk just off the shore, settlements have been burned down, and some settlers have simply disappeared into the wild. Other drow have welcomed the new settlers with open arms, though, as can be seen by the large drow population in Newport. These drow act as guides to the new settlers, warning them of dangers in Arenac and trading furs and other goods.
Mountain drow, in particular, have been extremely distrustful of outsiders. Many traders with visions of gold and profits have started mining near mountains that drow inhabit, much to the drow’s chagrin. Though some of these settlements have been allowed to exist, some of them have strange problems with equipment disappearing, large quantities of food suddenly being spoiled, or tragic mining accidents that wipe out large portions of the miners.
About half of the drow are nomadic, living in small bands and roaming Arenac. The other half reside under the mountains and mine precious metals such as mithril. They begrudgingly welcome their nomadic cousins and trade forged weapons and tools for food and animal hides. Mountain drow find nomadic drow to be too flighty and scatterbrained. Frequently, tribes of nomadic drow will winter in the mountains of the mining drow. Non-nomadic drow place a smaller emphasis on oral history, preferring instead to carve their stories into their mountain halls. Statues of past drow leaders and heroes line their cavernous mountain realms.
Playing a Drow:
Drow, like the traditional fantasy race, have black skin that is tinted slightly blue, white hair, and light eyes. Unlike traditional drow, most drow in Arenac have a deep connection to the forests, plains, or mountains they live in. As such, there are a large number of them that are druids. Also, many are sorcerers, drawing their magical powers from the elements of the forest around them and the knowledge of their ancestors. Bards are very important in nomadic drow society. Bards pass down the stories of the oldest drows along with important mythological tales of the gods that shaped the earth long ago.
For mountain drow, mages are still very important because their magic carves precious metals from the earth. Their attitude differs greatly from the flighty nomadic drow. Though a mountain drow will listen to the tales of adventure their nomadic cousins bring, they do not put much store in them. A mountain drow’s mindset is similar to a dwarf’s: constancy is key. Thus, if your character is a mountain drow, why did they leave the mountain? A thirst for knowledge of the outside world? Perhaps they were intrigued by the stories brought from their nomadic cousins.
Drow can live for hundreds of years. Some of the oldest drow elders boast to be over a thousand years old. Most drow are hunter-gatherers and live in relatively small roaming tribes of around fifty members.