Drow Species in Golarion | World Anvil


Cruel and cunning, drow are a dark reflection of the elven race. Also called dark elves, they dwell deep underground in elaborate cities shaped from the rock of cyclopean caverns. Drow seldom make themselves known to surface folk, preferring to remain legends while advancing their sinister agendas through proxies and agents. Drow have no love for anyone but themselves and are adept at manipulating other creatures. While they are not born evil, malignancy is deep-rooted in their culture and society, and nonconformists rarely survive for long.   The first drow were elves who fled into the depths of the world from devastating cataclysm thousands of years ago. In their journey below, they fell to bickering and in-fighting, drawing the attention of sinister intelligence beyond their own. Whether it was the influence of a specific demon lord, the Rough Beast Rovagug or some other fell force is unknown. Still, the elves transformed spiritually and physically in that time, tainting their hearts with desires for cruelty, sadism, and violence. The hues of their eyes became red or bleached white, and their flesh adopted an unearthly lavender sheen that made the drow instantly recognizable. The drow also developed potent magical abilities and resistances that further empowered them, if at the cost of their souls.   Over the centuries, the drow developed into a powerful, if violently dysfunctional, society influenced by the worship of demon lords and focused on providing power and glory to a relatively small collection of noble houses. Many of these noble houses are matriarchal, and all hold allegiance to a specific demon lord patron—but traditions of worship, warfare, and wizardry help to bind the oft-bickering houses together enough that drow society doesn’t simply consume itself from within. Fear of earning the wrath of one’s superior—be it a teacher, a parent, a commander, or the demon one worships—is the real bond holding drow society together, and this system is held in esteem by the lowliest drow servant and by the most powerful drow priestess alike.   The drow are infamous worldwide, but until recently, most assumed stories of demon-worshipping, underground-dwelling elves were spooky legends crafted to share around a campfire. Today, the existence of drow is an understood truth, and their presence in the dark caverns deep below is unsettling.   The drow and elves have been in a civil war over the centuries. The drow see the elves as cowards who abandoned Golarion when Earthfall struck. The elves see the drows as a tainted version of themselves, resulting from their chaotic nature taken to the extreme.   Drow and serpentfolk also clash in the Darklands, both fighting for dominance. Serpentfolk ruled the Darkland long before Earthfall, but over time the Drow were able to carve out their own piece of the land below the land.
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