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The Drow

Discussion in 'Dungeons & Dragons + Other RPGs' started by Beren, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I will always love the Drow as villians, but there's something about the Drow that I never really understood. Their Ability score modifiers as in relation to their rulership. Take 3rd edition for example. They receive +2 to Dex, Int and Cha, -2 to Con. Ok, so good so far. But then the leaders/rulers of the communities are Wisdom based Clerics? Their magics shouldn't effect the others as much as they all have MR. How did they gain power over the others of the race in the 1st place? If the clerics are so powerful, I would think their attributes would reflect it. But that doesn't necessarily need to be the case. Many Orc Shamans rule the roost to and Strength is their outstanding attribute, but the Shamans power ussually resides in Strength and destruction, so it fits. Thoughts?
     
  2. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG] Every third son is sacrificed and every first daughter is put forward to be trained to become a cleric of Lolth.

    While Wisdom is not enhanced by their race they are devout through fear if not true belief. When they were forced into the Underdark it was Araushnee who declared they should follow none but her and ordered her clerics to lead the cities and the males to be cast down into the dirt.

    The Drow are mentally and physically swift, they have to be able to think carefully and move quickly as their environment and society leads to more fragile bodies, they are shorter and more compact than surface elves.

    The Drow bonus to intelligence highlights their placement of importance in arcane magic, the only way a male may truly gain power in their society is through arcane study, magic items are prized and whole houses have been murdered to simply acquire a trinket.

    Drow who develop innate magical abilities from prolonged exposure are often highly sought after as mates to empower future generations.

    Drow who make pitiful clerics are not suffered to live, so the overall Wisdom of the clerics will most likely be higher than say, the collection of human clerics (who also do not get a wisdom bonus, as neither do most races - doesn't make them less likely to place importance in religion)

    There are also Favoured Souls where the most important statistic is Charisma, they are the equivalent of divine sorcerers. Overall though, the favoured class is generally a nature versus nurture thing. Some races have favoued classes depending on the rigidity of their social mores while some are more primal in their favoured class is from their natural calling, where their abilities lie best.

    A simple test is to look at how 'civilised' a race is, how much focus on leadership, does everyone have a place - a hierarchy? A Bugbear has Rogue as a favoured class, as of all the goblinoids, they're the bullies - they focus more on looking out for themselves and bullying others around, as such while brute force comes to them naturally, they have many, many, many others they can push about for that, a more skilled leader who can bash heads AND arrange a variety of other things whilst abusing tactical advantages is more valued and beneficial to the group. On the reversal Planetouched have callings based on their unearthly heritage as their social upbringing is usually one trapped in a feeling of a lack of belonging and drawing them to their more instinctual aspect. Finding belonging in the group which suits them most - not adapting to the society that utilises them the most.
     
  3. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I know the history of the followers of Aurushnee that were persecuted by Corellon and the Seldarine, but that was long, long ago. At the current state of the campaign, say DR1371 for the realms, when Drizzt is active in the Savage North/Silver Marches area, why are they still this way after thousands of years? Don't get me wrong, I know it's just a storyline a writer came up with and is plausible for game play I guess, but..... I was always looking for something more on the why.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  4. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG] Elves are slow on the revolutionary frony :D

    Pretty much because it would cause more hassle trying to overthrow the matriarchy than it would to shut up and put up.

    There is a city where the birth rate of men increased dramatically (supposedly pure chance) and when that generation matured they took over and it is now male dominated where clerics are persecuted and wizards lord over everyone.

    It is, pretty much "The way things are" if you look at it from a more aged perspective of say, old age for a Drow is probably around 300, that's pretty much coffin dodging age (Drow age faster than other elves) and for a human in the realms it's usually around 60 the kids make sure the will is all written and legally documented.

    Theorhetically society in a Drow city should evolve at a fifth of the rate it would in a human settlement. As human settlements are relatively constant within the realms, it stands to reason elven settlements of every creed are entering stagnation rather than revolution.
     
  5. Rawgrim Gems: 21/31
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    Actually...concering Drizzt. It just struck me. He has faced Entreri countless times, and each time it ends in kind of a draw. And now, as 4th ed came out, Entreri is dead. They pushed the timeline 200 years forwards. So any non-elf, or non-dwarf, are now dead. Hows that for an anti-climatic end to an ongoing nemesis fight? Kind of ruins the entire series of book, in a way.
     
  6. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    I agree to a certain extent but I remember one of the main characters making this remark about Entreri, i.e. that he would grow old and/or die whereas Drizzt would remain at the peak pf his physical prowess. The fact that the scales are tipped in favour of the Drow has been a major element in Entreri's characterization. No matter how hard he trained and fought, Artemis Entreri can't win against Drizzt. That's sad, really. :(
     
  7. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The path of books that spawned off of Drizzt with Entreri and Jarlaxe were fun reads though. The Dwarf Athrogate with his 2 magical flails was a pretty awesome character and very entertaining. Evil bastard that he was. And well Jarlaxle, we all know how awesome he is!:)

    I haven't read the last book, but I will soon buy it used. Too many others to catch up on currently.

    I liked Entreri's character far better than Drizzits in the books. He was a man who was the at top of his profession, Assassinations, but didn't care after he met Drizzit. It was about becoming the overall best killing machine. Though I can think of a few other characters in the Realms that would of gave him a run for his money though. Azoun for one, as his arsenal was supposed to be massive. Peregrin Paladinson would be another.
     
  8. Scythesong Immortal Gems: 19/31
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    I once read that Entreri received shade-like abilities from a cursed weapon he was using. These allowed him to extend his lifespan beyond that of any human, probably to the extent of being elf-like.

    I heard elves reached sexual maturity later than other races, and that females have longer pregnancy periods. Now Drow females are almost always busy and are very picky of their partners, and I rarely read or hear mention of pregnant Drow females (except before a sacrifice). What with all the infighting and sacrificing and "killing of each other for greater good of our race" one wonders where all that Drow we're fighting in CRPG's is coming from. You'd think Drow females were giving birth to litters via Project Pregnant Image/Simulacrum spells.
     
  9. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG] Matrons of houses rarely leave their homes unless necessary ;) all the Drow you see in games are probably very lowly house members sent on errands at a REALLY bad time :lol:
     
  10. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Yes, the orcs were corrupted elves, but forcefully corrupted. Tolkien also had an actual group he called the dark elves in the Silmarillion. It was just one family, and I think only a few generations, but they were isolationist, untrusting, and mean, and lived deep in the Dark Woods (thus why they were called the Dark Elves). I don't think they had dark skin, though.
     
  11. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    A lot depends on which sources you take into account. One thing is for sure, the Dark Elf in Middle-Earth didn't have dark skin. As a sidenote, Elves in Tolkien's writings did not have pointed ears (contrary to Hobbits).

    According to the Silmarillion, the Dark Elf was Eöl, one of the greatest smiths among the Elves. He forged the sword Túrin used to kill the Great Worm Glaurung. Eöl was very close to the Dwarves and he was known as the Dark Elf because of the dark forest over which he ruled. He wasn't "mean" but he did trap Turgon's sister when she wandered in his forest and he married her without her family's consent (she did not resist him that much however). From this union Maeglin was born. Eöl refused to submit to Turgon and Maeglin turned his back on him. Eöl cursed his son before he died.

    Later, Maeglin who was living in Gondolin, grew jealous of Tuor because he had married Turgon's daughter (who was Maeglin's cousin and loved Tuor -not to mention the fact that an union between first cousins was considered incestuous). Incidentally Tuor was Túrin's cousin and also Eärendil's father which makes him Elrond's grandfather.

    Eöl was proud (a feature he shared with that other great Elven smith, Fëanor) and his actions were misguided but he wasn't evil. His son Maeglin, however, was directly responsible for the Fall of Gondolin and betrayed the Elves by siding with Morgoth.
     
  12. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Eol and Maeglin. There skin had a "dark hue cast to it" is what I'm remembering and the Sunlight bothered them, hence the Mother of Maeglin fled Eol's abode, while Eol was abroad trading with the dwarves, with Maeglin when the sun came up.
     
  13. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Blades, could you please post an actual quote from the text? I couldn't find your quote anywhere. I've checked the Silmarillion and especially chapter 16 ("Of Maeglin") and here is what I found regarding Eöl's description:

    "But Eöl, though stooped by his smithwork, was no Dwarf, but a tall Elf of a high kin of the Teleri, noble though grim of face; and his eyes could see deep into shadows and dark places."

    A dark skin tone would have been a significant element to include in the description and there is nothing to say that his appearance could be compared to the ebony skinned Drow from DnD.

    Regarding the Teleri, let me quote once again the Silmarillion:

    "Their own name for themselves was Lindar, the Singers; the name Teleri; the Last-comers, the Hindmost, was given to them by those before them on the march. Many of the Teleri did not leave Middle-earth; the Sindar and the Nandor were Telerin Elves in origin."

    Thingol was a Teleri leader and there is nothing to indicate that he had a dark hue. This whole "Dark Elf" thing only refers to Eöl according to the Silmarillion (if you look for other sources, different drafts and unfinished stories there may be conflicting references on more than one level).

    One last thing, the Sindar or Grey Elves were not ashen or grey either, they just didn't set foot on Valinor but they still were counted among the Eldar. Legolas was of Sindarin descent and there was nothing dark or grey about him although I should probably remark that most Sindarin Elves had dark hair. Still, according to Bilbo the Hobbit Thranduil had golden hair but there is no definite information regarding Legolas' hair in The Lord of the Rings whereas we're constantly reminded of Glorfindel's golden hair (a Noldor by the way; it gets confusing when considering that an Elf named Glorfindel was a hero of Gondolin and died defeating a Balrog after Maeglin betrayed Turgon).
     
  14. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I will have to check when at home. I remember the description of Dark skin from on one of the other writings, I'm thinking Lost Tales 1 but I'm not 100% on that, definitely not the Silmarillion though. Again, I will have to check later tonight.
     
  15. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    I was under the impression that all elves that did not leave with the Valar (who became the high elves, or Eldarin) and did not see the Trees of Telperion, were known as "dark" elves. According to the LotR wiki, all their tribes, and the Avari in particular, were sometimes referred to as the Moriquendi, elves of darkness. In a way, this would make all, or at least many, of the Silvan elves "dark".
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  16. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    I think you mean Grey Elves and Elves of Twilight or Elves of Darkness... rather than "Dark" Elves. There is a difference. The term Dark Elf refers to Eöl, not the Moriquendi. ;)
     
  17. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Elves of "Darkness" was the reference to all of the Elves that did not reach the shores of the Blessed Realm. Instead, they were affected by the "Darkness" that Melkor brought to the world, with Darkness meaning both evil, strife, scary times, etc... and by the Darkness that followed Melkor. Those Elves were not Dark themselves. Eol was another matter altogether.
     
  18. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Maybe they were just tan.
     
  19. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    True although he was still one of them. But he wasn't dark skinned either (I couldn't find anything that could mean that in the Silmarillion, let me know if you find anything). In other words he didn't look like a Drow so the comparison ends at that point.

    By the way these Elves in Middle-earth were in no way "evil" like the Drow so there isn't much ground to compare them anyway. Not going to the Undying Lands didn't corrupt them, it mostly separated them from the other (see the Sundering of the Elves).

    Tolkien often uses the word "fair" to describe the skin tone and "dark" to describe the hair so in such a context it can be misleading.
     
  20. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    So the dark elves dyed their hair? If they bleached they're hair would they still be dark? Or would it require being a "natural blond"?
     
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