Heraldry of the Underdark


Dark Dwarf


Dark Dwarves appear to be a cruel subspecies of dwarves, twisted by ancient dark magics. They are typically stocky figures, with ashen-gray skin. They have a deep-seated grudge against other dwarfs due to their exile from their midst and legends stating that the rest of dwarvenkind abandoned them to horrors of the Underdark.

Dark Dwarves have established themselves deep beneath the earth, in twisted cities built by their mad architects. Even more xenophobic than their surface brethren, Dark Dwarves have been known to recently ally with the Drow.






Drow


Those known as the Drow, an obsidian-skinned sub-race of elves, have withdrawn from their surface cousins into the deep subterranean realm, where they often feud amongst themselves in a deadly cycle of hate and deceit. From the cavernous depths, they continually raid the surface, spreading fear of their existence and venting the hatred festering in their hearts.

The supremacy of the female is deeply ingrained in drow culture. Females are seen as stronger, smarter, and more emotionally controlled than males. Males, on the other hand, are viewed as intellectually and physically inferior, useful primarily for physical and skilled labor.

Drow society in the Underdark is dominated by noble houses. The machinations of these houses has continued unabated since well before the Age of Light. The Houses that grow weak are destroyed, and newer Houses rise up.

The full history of each House would constitute a nearly endless book of treachery, spite, and unceasing ambition.



The following are the known topmost houses of Drow:


First House: N'borleandi


The Ebon Lady is the Drow matriarch from House N'borleandi. In an unprecedented display of power and unity between the Major Houses, the Ebon Lady has united the most powerful houses together under one banner.



Second House: Xantric

Those of House Xantric are known for their cruelty, which they enact for their own dark amusement.

Almost all drow learn the basics of combat during their schooling -- the better to survive in their violent society -- but only a few of them study warfare, strategy, and tactics to the degree of those from House Xantric. They prefer to be the aggressors in any military action, and their strategies are designed with offense in mind.

Coupled with their long bred line of basilisks and a recently enhanced command of Harming magicks, small bands of Xantric raiders can cause extreme damage with precision strikes.

Beltar Xantrix, newly appointed Headmaster of the Tower of Silak by the Ebon Lady, has moved this House into the second postion in place of the disgraced House Kirthan.



Third House: Merinox

House Merinox is thought to originally be housed in a natural cavern of floor-to-ceiling, hollow stalagmites in the midst of a mushroom grove. This location is said to have given them an abundance of food and natural resources -- incuding rare and sought after fungi, including Amanita phalloides -- that gave this house a trading advantage.

House Merinox is known to use loyal Umber Hulk servitors. Many deep caverns in the Underdark are linked together by umber hulk tunnels.

The abundance of trading materials and the ability to form their own tunnels and passageways suggest that most Underdark goods found on the surface likely come from House Merinox - thought no one has ever been able to prove this.


Fourth House: Onaxius

House Onaxius is uncharacteristically reclusive, even by Drow standards. The house guard is infamous for its magically bred giant spiders.

House Onaxius boasts masters of metallurgy, engineering, and alchemy as well. They have become particularly skilled at the art of brewing poisons. Many of these poisons utilize spider venom as their primary ingredient, but venom extracted from animals, fungi, plants, or any other strange Underdark source are common.

Drow thralls bearing the sigil of House Onaxius are not uncommon among the retinues of prominent Beholders, and the eye tyrants often occupy positions of power and influence during Onaxious boasts.



Fifth House: Serratak

House Serratak is gifted in the art of divination and its members are known for their communication with to their ancestors.

They frequently are considered reckless and insane for their fanaticism to Serratak primogenitor prophicies foretelling the future.



Sixth House: Faerl

House Serratak


Seventh House: Tizzanen

House Faerl.


Eigth House: Valithor

House Tizzanen


Ninth House: Garothen

House Valithor.


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