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Drow Houses

Drow society is based on the gain of status and the knowledge that only the strong survive in the world of the underdark.

Families of nobility (the ranking class) are grouped into Houses.

Inner House Rankings

A house consists of, in the order of rank, as follows:

  1. A ruling Matron Mother.
  2. The Matron’s first daughter.
  3. Any daughters in birth order that are in training to become priestesses, or are priestesses.
  4. Any daughters in birth order not in training.
  5. Any priestesses not of the same family.
  6. The Elderboy, first son of the Matron.
  7. The Secondboy, the Matron’s second son. The third son born is sacrificed to Lloth at birth, unless one of the first two sons die before he is born.
  8. The Patron, the Matron’s current lover.
  9. The House Mage, if none of the sons has taken the position.
  10. The Weapons Master or Trainer. Also a position that can be taken by a son.
  11. Any warriors and mages.
  12. Any slaves or workers.

Societal house rankings

All houses are grouped by number. The newest house has the highest number. As houses are eliminated from the underdark each house below it improves its ranking by one.

Example: House 15 eradicates House 3. House 15 then becomes House 14, and all others under House 3 move up one position. The lower the number that a House has, the longer it has survived.

The Matrons of the top eight houses sit upon a secretive ruling council. Together they plot and scheme against all and each other, helping each other only if it will further their own plans.

The Creation of a House

A strong female priestess with no hope of gaining status in her own mother’s house will sometimes strike out on her own and form a family.

Thus begins the creation of a new House. She will struggle and gather to herself a patron, warriors, mages and slaves. As her family grows, she will fight to maintain her good graces with Lloth. This includes sacrificing her third son to the Goddess and sending her female children into Lloth’s service. The growth and wealth of her house are a direct reflection of her own standing and power within the society.

The new Matron rules with an iron hand; in her house she is judge, jury, and the executioner. All members in the house are expected to further the house’s position. Those that do not follow her wishes are quickly eliminated. She will do everything in her power to turn that elimination into an action seen favorably by her Goddess.

In time, if she is strong and cruel enough, her house will grow. The mages will set about creating a house of beauty for her. Using spells and mage lights as art, they will visually show the rest of the underdark the power and wealth the house carries. The more powerful the house, the larger and grander the visual looks of the house becomes.

The Nobility lives separately from the rest of the house. Often an area only accessible by those with the ability to levitate, or available by the use of rune spells will be created. This effectively distinguishes and separates the Nobility from the lesser house members.

Coveting the position of the houses above her, the Matron will pray, plan, and scheme to further her house. Covertly she will investigate all opposing houses, looking for weaknesses to exploit. When a weakness is found, she may spend years gathering resources and information, covering every base she can think of before finally making her move. Failure in an attempt to take another house’s position means she herself and everything she has worked for will be eliminated with no trace of their existence left.

The attack will happen swiftly with no warning. The first order of such business would be to drop darkness spells around the area. The rest of the underdark may “know” who is making the attack, but it is never spoken. It is considered barbaric if drow battles drow openly in the city, and with “hard proof” of such an attack, the city council’s forces will destroy the violators. Although everyone may know that an attack is occurring and who the attacker is, it is understood that as long as battle is not visible, it isn't occurring, for there is no visible proof. Eliminating every member of the nobility relates to this--only if there are no surviving nobles is there the removal of hard proof of the attacker's identity.

Quickly, the fighters will overcome the walls, while the Matron and her priestesses launch a “psychic magical attack” upon the Matron and priestesses of the targeted house. All nobility of the assaulted house is exterminated down to the last child hiding in a corner. There are no witnesses of the nobility left alive to point fingers at them. Leaving any behind would result in the annihilation of the attacking house. Lastly, slaves and rothe are rounded up and brought back, thus adding to the wealth and power of the House.

When successful, such an attack will move her House up the ladder one position, thus moving the Matron closer to her Goddess.


House Maerdyn Drowish Resources Scenario Information Contact & Joining War Annex (Private)
Updated:20 Jan 2002

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