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Of the various elven sub races, none are more notorious than the drow. Descended from the original dark-skinned elven sub race called the Ssri-tel-quessir, the drow were cursed into their present appearance by the good elven deities for following the goddess Lolth down to the path to evil and corruption.

Also called night elves, the drow have black skin that resembles polished obsidian and stark white or pale yellow hair. They commonly have blood-red eyes, although pale eyes (so pale as to be often mistaken for white) in shades of pale lilac, silver, pink, and blue are not unknown. Normally when they use infra-vision it causes their eyes to glow red. They also tend to be smaller and thinner than most elves. Most drow on the surface are evil and worship Vhareaun, but some outcasts and renegades have a more neutral attitude, and there are even groups of good drow who worship Eilistraee or other deities not of the traditional drow pantheon.

Drow are, on the whole, sadistic, destructive, and treacherous. Even among their own kind, drow are cruel and suspicious. There is little room for love and friendship in drow society. They may value alliances with other family members or acquaintances, but no drow truly trusts another. Drow forge alliances only when they are more powerful than an “ally,” possess blackmail-worthy knowledge, or have a common enemy that overrides their mutual hatred. Even then, they keep their eyes and ears primed for the slightest hint of treachery. The motto for the drow may well be, “Do unto others first so they cannot do unto you.”

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Rare are those few drow who have atoned for their evil ways and think of their fellows as monsters that need to be stopped. These drow are either surface dwellers who are struggling to become accepted into new societies, or fugitives dwelling in out-of-the-way caverns deep underground. With the new expansion into the surface, more drow than ever before are being exposed to the truth on the surface, and many are realizing that life on the surface is much nicer than they were led to believe by the agents of Lolth and her kin. It is possible, with proper acceptance and encouragement, that the number of neutral or even good drow on the surface could skyrocket n the coming years. The priesthood of Eilistraee is in the forefront of this movement, desperately trying to divert the drow war on the surface into a mass conversion from the dark elves' dreadful ways.

The drow are renowned for their skill as clerics, fighters, rogues, and wizards. While many drow are naturally gifted enough to excel in almost any career to which they turn their attention, their society had long rewarded skill at arms, divine power (primarily in the hands of female clerics of Lolth), and arcane might (primarily in the hands of male wizards). Drow live in militaristic societies with strong religious foundations. They are a matriarchal society, ruled by the most powerful drow priestess.