Drow Campaign: Menzoberranzan the Mighty. House Sergeants. Red Worm Trading. Underdark Features Northdark Locales. Jhaelith calls a Mezzoloth. Betrayal and assassination are a way of life here, and a cruel and suspicious nature is a sign of good breeding.
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Drow Campaign: Menzoberranzan the Mighty. House Sergeants. Red Worm Trading. Underdark Features Northdark Locales. Jhaelith calls a Mezzoloth. Betrayal and assassination are a way of life here, and a cruel and suspicious nature is a sign of good breeding. The city occupies an irregularly shaped cavern more than 2 miles wide at its widest point. The ceiling is 1, feet high, and stalactites, stalagmites, and columns litter the cavern.
All of them have been worked or shaped, and the continuous effect across the entire cavern can be mesmerizing to the uninitiated. Some of the larger stalagmites have been converted to castles and homes for drow noble Houses.
Slavery is legal and socially favored in Menzoberranzan, and it permeates every district of the city. The variety of slaves is astonishing. It is not legal to enslave other Menzoberranyr drow, but indentured servitude is practiced with gleeful malice. Visiting Menzoberranzan The drow of Menzoberranzan are universally hated and feared throughout the Northdark, and they in turn regard their neighbours with condescension and hungry ambition.
Their merchant system, however, is the one of the best in the Underdark. Other cities have better markets, and some have more valuables, but in terms of total gold, no other settlement in the Northdark can match the mercantile might of the City of Spiders.
This focus on commercial gain means that Menzoberranzan is open if not terribly hospitable to anyone who wants to buy or sell. Non drow of all races, faiths, and outlooks come here. The city caters to these foreign merchants as much as necessary to get their money, but no further.
Anyone who sets foot in the city is fair game for the warring noble Houses, and visitors often become pawns in their schemes for power. Many visitors act as fulcrums for various drow plans without ever knowing how or why. Brief History Menzoberra the Kinless, a powerful priestess of Lolth, founded the city that bears her name in DR. At the behest of the Spider Queen, she led seven drow families into the Northdark from the southerly drow holdings of Great Bhaerynden.
Without an immediate external enemy, the families fell to attacking and undermining one another, to the greater glory of their goddess. In DR, only fifty years after the city's founding, a terrible battle between House Nasadra and House S'sril led to the exile of the former which later founded the city of Ched Nasad and the rise of House Baenre as the First House of Menzoberranzan.
The city's internal machinations have continued unabated for millennia. Houses that grow weak are destroyed, and new ones rise up to find favor in Lolth's many eyes. Their full history would constitute a nearly endless logbook of treachery, spite, and naked ambition.
Within the last century, this pattern has seemingly accelerated; House Do'Urden ascended to Ninth House of Menzoberranzan with meteoric swiftness, destroyed the Fourth House DeVir and seemed destined for greatness, only to falter in a series of disasters leading to the destruction of the House.
In DR, House Oblodra, Third House of the city, was destroyed by an apparent manifestation of Lolth's own wrath, and again the ranks of the ruling Houses changed. Even worse, Menzoberranzan recently tasted its first defeat on the battlefield in centuries uncounted when the dark elves attack on Mithral Hall was thrown back with great loss, and House Baenre lost its Matron Mother.
Matron Baenre had governed Menzoberranzan with such cruel subtlety and perfect evil for so long that House Baenre's preeminence had seemed completely insurmountable. When her eldest daughter Triel became the mistress of House Baenre, this situation changed. Triel Baenre is clever and completely devoted to Lolth, but she lacks the utter confidence, resolve, and strength that her mother possessed.
Business takes individuals of all kinds to different districts, but hanging around in the wrong district can lead to unfortunate cuts and bruises. Donigarten : This area supplies much of the city's food. The center of Donigarten is a small, deep lake of the same name whose shores are surrounded by slave-tended fungi farms.
The district isn't exactly off limits, but the guards here pay very close attention to what goes on, especially since the uprising. Braeryn : This would be considered the "rough" part of town in a surface city, home to out-of-favor drow and low-class members of other races.
Poor craftsfolk, laborers, peddlers, and rogues of all description crowd the tenements and stinking taphouses of this district. Eastmyr : Drow commoners, mercenaries, and lesser merchants live here.
The noble Houses are heavily engaged in many of the businesses in this district, and Eastmyr regularly falls in and out of favor as a bolt-hole or springboard for various schemes. Duthcloim : Common drow with money and connections live here, alongside important nondrow merchants. The Bazaar : This area is where the city's open trading occurs. Any item or service with any value at all can be bought, sold, or at least arranged for here.
Visiting merchants know that trading with drow can be as dangerous as fighting them. West Wall : Older noble Houses occupy this area. The schemes of these Houses are so subtle that they can rarely be traced back here, and the area is slightly quieter than the low murmur in the rest of the cavern. Narbondellyn : Newer, brasher noble Houses burning for power line the wall beneath the Qu'ellarz'orl plateau.
The riskiest gambits come from these Houses, who claim to want nothing other than to serve their goddess by killing their superiors. Ou'ellarz'orl : This raised plateau on the southern end of the cavern known as The Place of Nobles. A forest of giant mushrooms hides activities on this plateau from the lower parts of the city. The Houses of the Qu'ellarz'orl are the oldest and wealthiest of the city. Baenre Plateau : The highest point in the city, situated above and behind Qijellarz'orl, this plateau is home to House Baenre.
Overlooking the city, House Baenre rules with unmatched political finesse. Once Baenre was strong enough to fight any three lesser Houses and win, but the death of the old Matron Baenre has left the House more vulnerable than it has been in many centuries.
For the first time in living memory, the Matron of House Baenre cannot simply govern Menzoberranzan by personal fiat. All noble-born drow, and many non nobles who show exceptional promise, spend many long years studying here before returning to their Houses. Tier Breche consists of three separate schools: Melee-Magthere, the school of combat; Sorcere, the school of wizardry; and Arach-Tinilith, the school of clerical magic.
Narbondel This thick column of stone near the centre of the cavern is a major landmark in tha city and the only bit of stone that remains in its natural form.
The column is a fixture of daily life. To mark the end of an old day and the beginning of a new, the Archmage lights up the stone with creeping fire from bottom to top. This ritual is the closest thing Menzoberranzan citizens have to a clock Surrounding Area Menzoberranzan's location places it near several areas of interest, but the two described below are the most famous. Drow patrols wander the area constantly, but nearly any creatures are allowed in, even wandering monsters.
The patrols might or might not challenge creatures found in the Dark Dominion, depending on their whim. Patrols are less likely to hassle caravans and much more likely to challenge anyone who even looks like a surface elf. The Dark Dominion is dotted by dozens of walled and well-protected outposts, from mines to fungi farms or livestock pens, which provide the city with ores and food. More than a hundred known tunnels link the Dark Dominion with the surface.
The most famous is a long but fairly safe route up to Mithral Hall in the Silver Marches, which goes right past the front door of Blingdenstone. Another, on the western end of the High Forest, is a continual bane for the rangers and treants of that wood.
Numerous tunnels connect this gorge to the Underdark, and a nearby waterfall provides free water for all. Another allows passage to and from a marketplace in Skuld, the capital city of Mulborand.
The Menzoberranyr appear to pay little attention to traffic through the gorge, but in reality, several noble Houses and merchant companies maintain permanent scry sensors there. The drow always know who is coming to visit long before the visitors arrive. Powered by Create your own unique website with customizable templates. Get Started.
House Baenre is a family of powerful schemers and manipulators that holds more power than any other house in Menzoberranzan, keeping it so for over 2, years. Fiercely devoted to the drow goddess Lolth, as all houses in the Menzoberranzan society were, House Baenre was led by Matron Mother Triel Baenre, a shrewd priestess of Lolth who was able to succeed her slain mother Yvonnel, after Salvatore wrote her slain. Menzoberranzan was a city ruled by backstabbing and ambition, and Baenre thrived in it. It, the house, held the greatest favor of Lolth more successfully than any other family in Menzoberranzan history. As such, the family was successful at keeping hold of the prestige Deceased Matron Mother Yvonnel Baenre succeeded in acquiring and continually supporting throughout her over 2, year reign.
It was the home of Drizzt Do'Urden , and many of his early adventures dealt with the political intrigue and characters of the city. It was located in the Upper Northdark , about 3. The deep gnome city Blingdenstone was located about 45 miles to the west of Menzoberranzan. Menzoberranzan was located in a huge arrowhead-shaped cavern, some two miles wide and a thousand feet high. The drow called the cavern, Araurilcaurak. Buildings were often covered with the city's main motif: the spider, in honor of Lolth.
List of drow houses
T he work contained on the following pages is the property and copyright of Wizards of the Coast and is quotted directly from their site. It has been formatted for viewing on the web by the Scribes of Candlekeep for archive purposes only and no contest is made for ownership of the content presented below. Drow Famous and Not. By Sean K Reynolds and Brom. The twelve dark elf novels written by R. Salvatore and Elaine Cunningham have introduced dozens of drow characters. Like their strange and evil cities, these characters are tied to each other by bonds of family, location, faith, and vengeance in a convoluted tangled web.