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Drow

From StarfinderWiki
Drow
Villyth Zeizerer, a drow.
(Creature)
Type Humanoid
(elf)
CR By character class
Environment Any (Apostae)
Alignment
Adjective drow
Images of drow

Source: Alien Archive, pg(s). 42-43
PFW compass rose 150.png

This article might have further canon details available on PathfinderWiki.

Drow[1] are the dominant humanoid race on Apostae. Purple-skinned cousins to the elves, they reject their kindred, worship demons and formerly lived on Golarion.[2][3]

History

Drow trace their origins to Golarion. By the end of the Gap, numerous drow houses already controlled the city of Nightarch and many small holdings on and just under Apostae's surface. How and why they came there is unknown, but most agree that their demon lord patrons led them there shortly before Golarion disappeared. Even after many centuries living on Apostae, their influence on the surface is limited to the city of Nightarch, and they control only a very small part of Apostae's interior.[2][4]

Drow mature at the age of 100 and can live up to 750 years.[5]

Ecology

Some drow, known as drow nobles, are born with greater magical power than most of their kind. They are usually children of other drow nobles with the aid of genetic selection controlled by powerful ruling houses, but can also be born to common parents. Such drow nobles typically take advantage of their power to quickly rise in society and become recognised, even if some common drow unfortunately vanish during their path to power.[6]

Society

Apostae is controlled by various drow houses, each operating at least one legal business to cover up clandestine operation. Drow houses primarily deal in arms, especially new technology derived from items salvaged from Apostae. This economic power allowed them to claim Apostae as their homeworld and became signatories to the Absalom Pact, much to the elves' chagrin.[2][4]

Drow houses are in direct competition and seek to supplant or even destroy each other. Open warfare is rare, as doing so will attract more enemies, but behind-the-scenes manipulation is commonplace. Nevertheless, they maintain alliance strong enough to maintain Apostae's position on the Pact Council and keep the Pact Worlds from looking too hard, and assemble to elect emissaries as the Pact demands.[2][4]

Drow have no laws and do whatever they believe they can get away with. Offences against low-ranking employees are usually overlooked, and non-drow and common drow know that their houses will rarely, if ever, protect or avenge them in response to attacks from other houses. Only acts committed against high-ranking drow or causing major ripples and making a house look weak will be enough to rouse it to violent response.[4]

Non-drow that live in drow settlements, most commonly orcs and half-orcs, are treated as slaves or second-class citizens with no say in politics. They are mostly employed as labourers or cannon fodder when exploring new locations, or are sacrificed to preserve drow lives in battle.[2][6]

Since all positions of power were held by drow women before the Gap and at its end, the drow have since established laws that cemented drow women as more powerful and important than men. These positions are usually held for centuries, so drow men and non-drow have very little opportunity to advance. For such individuals, the most likely way to power is through financial success or a reputation as an enforcer, assassin or spellcaster, but they have to contend with danger from both those above them and rival houses, who view them as either threats or assets to be eliminated. Because of this, ambitious midlevel managers often ask for permission from their houses to expand their operations off Apostae, allowing them to gather power away from those who would mark them as targets. Only half of such petitions succeed, but this is enough for ambitious drow.[4]

Across the Pact Worlds system, drow are renowned for their advanced weapons. Their soldiers favour ranged weapons and undermine foes with teamwork tactics, though even the most loyal soldier would take advantage of a clear line of fire to get rid of a rival in a chaotic fight. In battle, drow are utterly ruthless and never fight fair. Honour is viewed as a pathetic gesture of lesser races deserving of exploitation.[6]

The drow's elven cousins view them as a blight that must be eliminated lest they conquer the entire Pact Worlds, and often go to extreme lengths to destroy drow holdings. Both races view others to be irrelevant to this conflict, and care nothing if non-elves or non-drow are killed as collateral damage.[4]

References

  1. The singular and plural forms of drow are the same.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Logan Bonner et al. (2017). Starfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, p. 458–459. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-956-1
  3. James L. Sutter. (August 4, 2017). Pathfinder Races in Starfinder, Paizo Blog.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 James L. Sutter et al. (2018). Pact Worlds, p. 128–131. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-022-4
  5. Paizo staff. (2018). Alien Archive 2, p. 158. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-075-0
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Paizo staff. (2017). Alien Archive, p. 43. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-975-2