Thursday, 8 March 2012
The Drow, or 'Dark Elves' are the combination of two classic fantasy tropes: the sexy lady warrior race and the implausibly evil, sacrifice-happy race. I guess it's also an attempt by Wizards to make a race of D&D elves who aren't dainty, serene and all-around perfect.
The drow are a race of black-skinned, white-haired, subtarranean, innately magical elves, who build their cities in the cavernous bowels of the earth (the Underdark). Their society is matriarchical to the cruelest extreme of the word and patterns a spider motif inspired by their goddess the Spider Queen Lolth. They're a race of schemers and false courtesies that somehow hasn't backstabbed itself into extinction (probably thanks to the divine intervention of their goddess).
(Not that she tries really hard, since in demanding sacrifices she "prefers sentient creatures over non-sentient, humanoids over non-humanoids, elves over other humanoids, drow over other elves, powerful drow over weaker ones, and her priestesses most of all". She is actively demanding the sacrifice of the ruling classes and clergy just because she likes to eat powerful things. But she totally wants to keep this society running.)
It's an extremely popular race (with some expected backlash) for the uniqueness of its setting, its innate angst and darkness, its cruelty and its absurd cheesecake factor. And also several series of popular books starring the most famous repentant drow Drizzt Do'Urden by R.A. Salvatore (causing countless my character is seriously not copying Drizzt you guys what are you talking about). I've only read two of the trilogies: the Dark Elf trilogy and the Ice Wind Dale trilogy. I've got to say I prefer the Dark Elf trilogy a lot more, and then the first book out of that, since you actually get to see the Underdark and their bizarre social customs.