The Dragonlance Nexus

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Darkwatch Elves: The Drow of Dragonlance.

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by Kendermage


"I watched as the stricken elves turned on each other, their ebony skin merging with the shadows, and their white eyes glowing with barely restrained hatred." - Corilanthas the White

Drow have always proven to be popular with players. Several attempts have been made by fans to add them to the setting with varying degrees of success. This is my answer to those who wish to play a Drow in a Dragonlance campaign.

Background

Darkwatch elves began as normal elves. As a result of the events of the War of Souls, both elven homelands were lost to the elves. The elves that could, pushed on to the city of Khuri-Khan, and eventually to Inath-Wakenti; those who could not took up residence in the town of Pashin.

With the coming of the Dark Knights to Pashin the elves were forced underground. A discovery by an elven kirath named Naelathan Shadowdark proved to be both the salvation and ultimately the curse of the elves of Pashin.

Naelathan discovered an abandoned temple in the sewers beneath Pashin and persuaded his people that the only way for them to survive was to use it as temporary home. Shortly after taking up residence in the temple the elves began to display symptoms of a disease that baffled the clerics and mystics of the elves and did not respond to any form of treatment.

Unbeknownst to the elves who called the temple home, it once belonged to Morgion. Morgion was both annoyed and amused that the elves had intruded on his property. To show his thanks, he decided to corrupt the elves. He infected them with a plague the likes of which had never been seen.

This plague resulted in physical and mental changes to the elves. It began with a slight aversion to sunlight and was characterized by black blotches on the skin that swiftly spread over the victim's body. Eventually the elves of Pashin lost the ability to tolerate sunlight at all.

As the disease progressed it caused the elves to become crueler and more warlike. Most elves began to display great bouts of rage, snapping at the slightest provocation.

The Drow Houses

In the wake of the corruption of the elves of Pashin, the Houses of the Silvanesti have been compacted into four Houses. The houses that once served as a stratified caste system became even more so. The elves battled each other for dominance, more strongly aligning themselves with their Houses. The elves of House Cleric emerged victorious mostly due to the divine sponsorship of Morgion. The members of House Cleric became the new royalty with all the drow bowing to Queen Angelyn Starsinger, First Speaker of the Night.

House Cleric: Since there are no members of House Royal, House Cleric became the new royalty. Prior to the Cataclysm, House Cleric enjoyed power and privilege second only to House Royal. Following the corruption of the elves of Pashin, House Cleric has become the most powerful House in the new kingdom of the Drow, and it is from House Cleric that the Ruler of the Darkwatch Elves, is chosen by Morgion.

House Mystic: House Mystic has emerged as the second most powerful house in the new order. The powers that be have decreed that those who wield the awesome powers of arcane magic are inherently better than those who do not. Drow who display an affinity for arcane magic are taken from their previous house and are adopted into House Mystic.

House Protector: The military authority of House Protector has been usurped by House Cleric. All military decisions now come directly from the Speaker of the Night and her council of Lords. Membership in House Protector is now given to those with no propensity for divine or arcane magic, but whose members are experts in arms. They make up the bulk of the drow military forces.

House Servitor: House Servitor is reserved for those with no magic, no martial skills, and slaves. They have no voice in any decision making processes and exist solely to serve their betters. The members of House Servitor are among the most ruthless members of the Drow, figuring, rightly, they have nothing to lose.

Relations

Drow are secretive. They come out only at night, and as such few know they exist. The Drow value people only in so far as they are useful, once their use is at and end typically so is the person's life.

One such group that knows of the existence of the Drow is the Dark Knights that control Pashin. They have discovered the existence of the evil elf enclave beneath their city, whom they have nicknamed the Darkwatch Elves. The Dark Knights see these evil elves as competition for dominance of the city, and are taking steps to either eradicate them or bring them under their control.

The elves having once shut out the outside world, now seek to dominate it. For the moment though they work to build their numbers. The Drow continue to be carriers of sunblight and are capable of passing the contagion on any elves they physically contact. With each new infection, more drow are added to the ranks. The Speaker of the Night has decreed that all elves found in the city are to be corrupted.

Religion

The Drow of Pashin worship Morgion exclusively. It was he that freed them from the limited thinking of millennia of subservience to the Gods of Light, and bestowed on them their new abilities. The Speaker of the Night is the Chosen Priestess of Morgion, Currently this is Angelyn Starsinger, a former Priestess of Mishakal. As the transformation took over Angelyn she lost the favor of the Goddess of Healing and called out to the only other willing to listen, Morgion.

Morinost, The City of Darkness

In mockery of all that they once were, the drow of Pashin have opted to rename their underground home Morinost. The Morinesti have scoured the sewers of all other creatures. They have shored up weak points and established roving patrols to protect their domain. Numerous outposts now dot the sewers as the drow seek to expand their territory, by constructing new tunnels and controlling access to the lightless kingdom. To this end the Morinesti have hired a number of dwarves to aid with the endeavor

Conclusion

While Drow are not a standard Dragonlance race, they can add much to your game. As corrupted elves, the Darkwatch Elves are angry at the world they shut out for so long, and now seek to dominate it. They are a dangerous new player in the game to dominate Ansalon.

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