A Gazetter of Erdreja
This is by far an incomplete attempt to put together the knowledge of various places around the world.
This is the traditional home of the fae and is a parallel world to that of mortals. It is separated by a veil that thus far has only been crossed by the fae. It is a magical place. Sidhe, also known as the Faerie Lords, Dames Blanches, Fees, Alven and Ellefolk, are the nobility of Arcadia who wear diaphanous fabrics and light Cuir Bouilli. Eshu are the loremasters and storytellers who value knowledge above all things. These renowned travellers are dressed practically unlike the Sidhe. Fae Trolls have more intelligence than common trolls and are the bodyguards of the Sidhe.
The name derived from the Latin ‘albus’ refers to the famous white cliffs. The sea separates Albion from Teutonia, Estragales and Lyonesse to the South and East. Lyonesse and Estragales surpass Albion, so Albion surpasses Erin in good weather and splendour, but not in the health giving properties. Albion is pre-eminent in trees, fruit, cattle and beasts with some vineyards in the South. The land has an abundance of birds and beasts well served by excellent wells and rivers. There is a great abundance of small fish, salmon and eels so some people feed their swine with fish. Dolphins, sea-calves and baleens are often caught, as are various kinds of shellfish. This island is rich in veins of metal such as copper, iron, lead, tin and silver. The excellent wool of the sheep is highly prized on the continent. Many harts and wild beasts wonder the forests. There are few wolves to hinder the sheep. Each of the capitals of the Duchies and Shires has a Ritual Circle.
Bristol, the major seaport of Albion, is presently controlled by Captain Jadvor Erland who became the Lord General of the Lions in 1096 AF. He opened the Coliseum for the more adventurous gamblers in 1095 AF. Most of his wealth has come from slavery. In Early 1096 AF, he was besieged by a large Unliving Army led by Lady Katrina. The city was relieved after a very long battle outside the gate by the combined army of Harts, Dragons and Unicorns commanded by Lord Calin, Banatar of the Harts.
Caer Herne commands pass between the hills that separate the Duchy of Cornwall and the Huntshire. It was here that a force of Unliving was easily brushed aside by the combined Army of Harts, Dragons and Unicorns.
Exeter was besieged by Unliving in Early 1096 AF and held out through the valiant defence of the Town Militia until relieved by a combined Harts and Dragons army led by Lord Pleb.
Silverlake is in the centre if the Lake of the same name. One of the most
picturesque places in Albion. There is currently large number of Unliving very close by that have caused a serious depopulation of the area. Nearby is one of the entrances to the Underdark.
This is the province of the Elves and a few humans including the Watchers in the Darkwood. Half of this ancient forest is in Cymrja. The precise border is still difficult to define.
The Darkwood is the North eastern region of the Greenwood and is the preserve of the Watchers of Darkwood. Only friends of the Forest are permitted passage.
Edwinstow was granted to Baroness Zircon by Duke Calin in 1094 AF. This poor Barony has suffered the ravages of war over many years. Part of her estate border the Greenwood. The tenants are maintained by coppicing, producing charcoal for the Shire’s metal working industry and cattle in the East of the district. The elves restrict the use of wood. The iron comes from border mountains near Tewkesbury to the North west. The swordsmiths are renowned for producing the finest blades in Albion, and are almost as famous as the Toledo Blades for their cutting edge.
Ellenbrooke is one of the fairest places I have ever seen. It is in the heart of the Greenwood. Lios Alfar has taken up residence to the West. Lord Calin has ruled from here for many centuries.
Loxley is a small town to the East of Edwinstow. Sir Connall of HBS has a small manor house nearby.
Tewkesbury, a border town with Cymrja and is the centre of the iron ore mining industry in Albion. Recently the discovery of large deposits of coal has allowed the smelting of iron ore to occur. This was the former residence of Annias now Count of Shrewsbury.
The human half of the Shire of the Hunters Alliance ruled from Gloucester.
Chester is just south of Huntingdon and is a barren place. Caused by the border wars that have scar the place still. Earl Tarragon has controlled this area for many years and is the consort to Lady Karlennon.
Gloucester is the seat of power over the human part of Huntshire has a very interesting history. For many years, Duke Desmond D’Raby ruled over Gloucester and was well loved by his vassals despite his methods. Under his charge, Gloucester became renowned for shady dealing and corruption. In 1094 AF, Lord Corvus accused him of treason and was killed trying to defend his honour. Duchess Ailish O’Donovon has done much to remedy its unsavoury reputation since it passed into her possession. Alas the pilfering from conveyances is still rife. The most recent addition was the Grey Tower built by Count Annias near the Ritual Circle. This is now the residence of Lady Lysandra, the Black Mage.
Hereford is famous for its fine beer. The brewery is protected by Clan McKinnon under contract to Baron Tarn, who is one of the most accomplished fighters in Albion.
Huntingdon, the most important invasion route from Cymrja, is controlled by one of the finest Castle complexes in the known world. Lord General Cuthbert Hunter ruled Huntshire was a very old man when he passed away and in the last decade the administration of the shire has suffered severely. The power over the shire shifted south to Duke Desmond D’Raby until his untimely death in 1094 AF. After the death of Lord Hunter in 1095 AF, Lord Calin took residence from his beloved Greenwood. His advisors include Sir Huw de Grognard and Lady Akijah Na’Shaar. Sir Connall of HBS has owned a town house here for many years.
Shrewsbury is the fairest of all cities and controls the King’s Chase. The second most trod path into Cymrja. Previously under the guidance of Lady Ailish O’Donovon, it has passed to Count Annias.
Silverlake is in the centre if the Lake of the same name. One of the most picturesque places in Albion. There is currently large number of Unliving very close by that have caused a serious depopulation of the area. Nearby is one of the entrances to the Underdark.
An island off the Cornish coast is as far as the writer knows uninhabited.
This was the seat of power of the self styled Prince Anree who had greater ambitions for Albion under him of course. In 1095 AF, Duke Anree was murdered.
Naseby is one of the entrances to the Underdark.
Battle is the where the Pendragon and Mordred fought their last legendary action.
Bollington is one of the entrances to the Underdark. Baron Malik is much troubled by Drow.
Finmere is an inland lake.
Londinium is the traditional seat of power in Albion. In 1094 AF, Lord Corvus bequeathed it to the Scum who pushed this fine city into the depths of despair in their manner of extracting money. Carronor the Freak, leader of the Scum died in 1095 AF.
Marchwood Keep is the Barony of Sir Tiamat who commanded the Wolverines before they were disbanded after disastrous losses against the Unliving in Southern Albion.
Winchester, the new capital of the Harts of Albion, is the current residence of Lady Karlennon. Lady Kathen Fairchild was given leave by her to build the Sanctuary for the Incantors of Albion.
This delightful vale was the agreed neutral residence of the Steppe Alliance during 1093 to 1094 AF before they decided to leave to join the Wolves.
Selby is a small court Duchy given to Lady Ailish O’Donovon by Lady Karlennon in 1095 AF.
Sherbourne Keep contains the chapter house of the Knights of the Dark Sun.
Wickham is north of the Vale of Avalon.
The Vale of Eaton has been the spectator for many centuries of the bloody frontier disputes between the Bears and the Lions. It also contains the Wellspring of Life, the premier Ritual Circle.
Eaton is the traditional seat of the powerful Karlennons who have been central to shaping the history of Albion. It holds the strategic position south and south-west of Norhault, bordering Caledonia.
Norhault, the oldest centre of learning in the known world, is renowned for the Great Library and a University. After the defeat of the Bears in 1092 AF, ‘Prince’ Anree took control of Norhault. The Great Library was where the Anree Slayers discovered the Necromumdum. In 1094 AF, ‘Prince’ Anree supervised the maltreatment of Duke Desmond D’Raby. After Anree’s death, Sir Hugo Charenton, the brother of Lady Karlennon, became Lord of Norhault. The city is now open to the trading and learning that once made it once so famous after all the suspicion of the previous incumbent.
Nottingham is one of the entrances to the Underdark.
Tauten where the Great River enters the Vale of Eaton is an entrance to the Underdark.
Wellspring of Life is the premier Ritual Circle in the known world. Every couple of decades or more there seems to be a disturbance that destroys the surrounding area for miles around. For this reason the Mages Guild has only a temporary structure rather than an impressive building that belighs their power.
This province has been under the control of Corvus’ family for many years. The battlefields and destruction from the incessant border wars with the Bears are still vivid in the inhabitants’ minds.
Berwick is one of the entrances to the Underdark and the northern most town in Albion. It has changed hand many times between Albion and Caledonia.
Chesterfield was besieged by the Bears after a Lion’s Legion raided across the border in 1096 AF.
Flodden is the battlefield of a defeated invasion from Caledonia.
Newcastle is the Major port on the Yorkshire Coast.
Warwick was the centre of Harts’ operations against the Unliving in the North of Albion in 1096 AF.
York was where Corvus held his Lion’s Council and in 1095 AF called his niece Lady Karlennon a traitor and failed in his attempt to arrest the Dragon’s ambassador, Baron Lachlan. The residence of Lord Corvus, Duke D’Addenoir and his cousin Viperblanc until their demise at the hands of Golgomoth the Demon early in 1096 AF. After being raised to ground by Golgomoth the Demon, Marshal Justin Salieri of the Prince Bishop’s men was allowed to take command of the city by the Harts.
The Kingdom of Caledonia is north of Albion and Cymrja. The wars between these nations have gone down in legend. In recent years the Caledonians have fought the Wolves over their ancient birthright of Orkneyjar. The true powers within Caledonia are the three queens, led by Queen Ceradyn.
Bardhness has one of the two chapter houses of the Order of Balroth.
Buchanan is to the East of the central highlands bordering Albion.
Great Wood is ancient forest straddles the border between Cymrja and Caledonia.
Loch Lomond was chosen for the Bears Moot of 1096 AF because of its close proximity to Albion.
Loch Tay is the residence of the Violet Mage who had the grace to host the Open Grand Council in 1095 AF. Like most mages, it is in the form of a high tower. The great hall is on the first floor of the classic Caledonian square keep. The circular keep being more fashionable in Albion.
MacTwattams have a clan area just north of the Great Wood
Orange Tower is the residence of the Orange Mage.
Instead of castles, they take to woodlands and marshes as defensible positions. They know how to enjoy themselves without elaborate cookery. When they are occupied with drinking, they are full of talk. For many years Cymrja was ruled by Lady Katrina before she threw in with Lord Sat’un. At the Dragon’s Council of 1095 AF, Lord Magician Arcane was proclaimed as King after the crown was found by the Lios Alfar.
Gateway contains a number of sites of strife (orcs, goblins and ogres tend to come out the mountains for a scrap), some ruins and some ancient burial barrows. This barony is commanded by Baron Korn of the Dragonblades.
Gateway Keep lies on the Eastern border of Cymrja and Albion. It controls the Cymrjian end of the Kings March and is twined with Huntingdon in Albion. Baron Korn has been resident here for many years and is the Ambassador to the Harts. About a thousand people use to live within its walls although it has a population of only 327.
Farm Watch is a market town and the most of the populated area of the Barony of Gateway. The population of 650 people is protected by a watch tower. Truth Waters is an inland lake fed by the runoff from the mountains that surround this serene place.
Avalon Reavers Keep commands the King’s March that runs through the Greenwood to Huntingdon in Albion.
Elidonia is the province of the Elidarii.
Controlled by Baron Belrat.
Caerleon is the most northern sea port in Cymrja and is the family seat of Silkin ap Palaran. It is in the Duchy of Caer.
A rich and fertile island kingdom close to the cost of Caer, settled many years ago by dragon colonists of the Beomarisian Line. Owain ap Nudd rules the Island.
Cestria is most northern fortified settlement in Cymrja.
Stonkdonia upon the edge of the Red Wood that commands the northern invasion route to Albion.
Castle Eorsenydd is the residence of Drinin Drinacku, Lord Chamberlain of Cymrja and of the Knights Arcane. He gave shelter to Lucifien, formerly of House Veladorn.
Gorsenwydd is the capital of the Northern Reaches.
The Province of Owain Caradog. Llewelyn is the commander of the border region nearest Cornwall.
City of Caerdydd is the capital of Southern Cymrja and is the residence of Lord Caradog.
Darkmoon Keep Treeford Willow Abbey
High Hold Kormarris is a coastal fortress next to the Cornish Border of Albion. North Haven is a town built amounts the most fertile land in Cymrja. Ravenscar is held by Baron Cayleith Llewelyn who is the standard bearer for the Dragons.
This is the great forest of the central Cymrja.
Alqualonde is the residence of the Master Scribe of both the Cymrjan and Erin Dragons.
Berkham Abbey is on the edge of Kappa Forest in central Cymrja. Coed Forest Deep Port Shrub is the base for the Southern Fleet.
Beaumarris is the Cymrjian residence of Baron Lachlan. The castle in coastal estate is currently been rebuild by the Castellan.
Port Rechemont is the base for the Northern Fleet.
A small island off the southern coast off Southern Cymrja disputed with Albion for many years.
The island of Erin lies off the West coast of Britannia and is the most Western part of the known world. The narrow Erin Sea separates Erin from the rugged Western coastline of Cymrja. Erin is split into nine Provinces ruled by a Provincial Lord. The country is full of mountains, hills, woods, marshes and moorland. It is mild, rainy and windy. By the sea it is low-lying and in the interior hilly and sandy. There is a great abundance of fine pasture and grazing. High King Fig currently rules Erin.
Marit Stormcrow holds the Duchy of Clare. He acts as the Chamberlain of the Erin Court and Lord Chancellor of the Dragons who appointed the Ambassadors. Over the Shannon estuary lies the green vastness of the Westwood. In common with Leinster, the majority of the population are Tuatha de Daaan (‘Children of Danu’.) The rare timbers required for the famed Erin keel are grown. The vast tracks of forest conceal the very rugged landscape of ridges and valleys. Athenry is the northernmost manor of Clare. Westwood are a group of manors that are populated by humans on the edge of the great forest. Orchards grow apples that produce the infamous Cider that is considered lethal even to hardened drinkers.
The Northern most Province traces its heritage back to the first men to come to Erin and has over the centuries has born the brunt of the raiding from the East. It has born a race of fearsome fighters yet some of the finest minstrels and bards in Erin. Anfrwn du Beaumaris was recently granted the Duchy of Dal Riada and holds this with that of his ancestral Barony of Lachlan. He is also the Champion of the Erin Court, Grandmaster of the Paladins of Danu, Herald of the Dragon Court and Ambassador to the Lions. Hearthland is the residence of Baron Lachlan and the centre of power of the Paladins of Danu. A new Vodka distillery was opened here owned by Chairman Bong of the Peoples Party.
This harsh, bleak and barren Northern most Province of Erin is ruled by Baron Caylieth Llewellyn who is also the Ambassador to the Drow. Hidden deep in the deep narrow water carved valleys are small hamlets and isolated cottages. In contrast to their harsh environs, the people of Donegal are the warmest you will find anywhere. Croodle is tucked away on the high Northern tip of Erin and is entirely inhabited by Kender. Ernesmouth guards the passage through to Lough Erne that lies in the heart of Mullingar.
This is the home of the Erin Fleet and ruled by Baron Gull, Admiral of the Royal Fleets of Erin. Much of Galway is untamed moor and heath similar to Donegal. It is along the shores of the Lough (Lochs/Lakes) that most of the population can be found. Castlebar sits astride the canal that links Lower Lough Conn to the Western Ocean. It is here that the Baron Gull of Galway, Admiral of the Royal Erin Fleets commands his ships. Erris is traditionally the haunt of pirates that preyed on shipping off the coast of Erin. It is here that the famous hostelry of ‘The Mangles Hobbit’ run by ‘Breakyaface’ Fergal can be found. Westport is the main port on the West coast. Vice-Admiral Krea of the Fleet also hold the Barony of the Western Isles.
Earl Random of Leinster and his sister wife Indreni rule are both Fae who rule Leinster jointly. The Southern most Province of Erin has gentle rolling grassland dotted with copses of fine timber. Most of the folk of Leinster are Fae, Children of the Goddess, noted for their everlasting youth, and their total lack of responsibility, concerns or morals. Towards the Eastern edge of Leinster, spanning the border with Connaught, the land rises into the formidable mountain ranges of Boggeragh and Knockmealtown. Nestled between these is the beautiful and sacred Vale of the Ravens. Connely’s Leap exists to supply travellers, hunting and hill-farming communities.
This is the home of the High-Kings of Erin. This central province is the smallest in Erin and contains many places of note. Drogheda is the Western port on the shores of the Erin Sea. Kildare contains the College of Chirurgery Newgrange was the centre of Erin politics before the Formorian wars of the 6th century. It is still where the High Kings are buried in Great Barrows. The Mound of Fal Dara was constructed entirely by hand as the focus for worship to the Goddess Danu. On top of the mound is the triple ring of standing stones of the Prime Circle of Erin. Royal Meath is home of King Figmentus Figmentii and where the Court of Erin is held to debate, legislate, argue, fight and drink. Oriel is a barony held by Silkin ap Palaran. It is famed for fine glass ware and the legendary ‘Witch.’
Earl Ash of Connaught is of both Erin and Cymrjian extraction. He has the title of Governor of Erin. This Province has the dubious honour of being invaded 150 years ago from an expeditionary force from Lyonesse. Wexford was held for three years until the disputes between Earl Balferis O’Donovon of Connaught and the High King Garic Conasil were resolved. Garic re-took Wexford in the notorious Breakfast Battle only to find that the breweries and the village had been removed to Lyonesse.
This is the largest Province of Erin and is also known as the ‘Iron Province.’ It is traditional for the stewardship to be under the High King’s Warleader and hence is the training ground of the armies of Erin. The current Duke of Mullingar is Sir Pleb the Polyurt’anicul. Vast deposits of metals are found in the Iron Mountains. The furnaces and forges of Mullingar are fuelled by the high quality peat dug from those treacherous frozen wastes of Donegal. The foundries produce all the Iron and Steel for Erin. It makes part of Mullingar the noisiest and dirtiest in Erin. Castle Derg overlooks the marshes and bogs of Donegal.
This Province that has everything is held be Sarandor Lankhori and followed the profession of Marit Stormcrow. From the wave swept shores through the tree bound heart of the Efelwyd over the mountains of Mourne and back to the shore of Lough Neagh.
A monarch rules Estragales but the power is held by the nobility under the guidance of Lord General Gryphon. It comprises of the mainland and a collection of islands.
This is the worst run province in Estragales. Nomads, warlords, and wizards all hold claims to different parts of the province. Taxes are collected only with a very strong escort. Lord Holbon’s has a hidden estate here and one of known Drow entrances.
Blastengerry has both Mage Schools, the senior ritual circle and a large number of tobacco shops.
Port Dourak, the foremost port in Estragales, is defended by the King Own Guard who inspect all of the imports to Estragales.
The Shambles is the nearest thing to the province capital and is so badly administered that it looks more like a sprawling shanty town.
This is the largest province and the domain of both the King and the Lord General. It is well organised and very picturesque. Most of the people who want favour have estates here.
Granhanga is the provinces’ capital and is known for its emeralds and sapphires set into the walls.
Muppit is the nearest human settlement to the Darkish-Grey Forest (B’lhur iick in elvish.) The forest is unwelcoming to outsiders.
This is the seat of power Estragales.
Brentsworth is a well-defended capital city and port with as legend has it a friendly Kraken lurking near Geralds Cliff at the call of the King. A couple of times a year a young girl is thrown off there to appease this beast. The channel to the port is only known to the Pilot’s Guild.
The home of the ogres, goblinoids and most of the elves who seem all to get on with each other.
Kurrmath is the Dwarfish mountain fort that dominates the mountains in this area. This the only locality in Estragales where no Drow can be found due to the dwarves and the Urrgsh Ogre tribe.
This borders Teutonia and has been victim to many invasions with prior sub- divisions.
Larrinium, the impregnable elven city, has never fallen is its only redeeming feature. During times of trouble the inhabitants of the area either retire to the city or the forest.
The province where the first thought of uniting Estragales took hold under the first Lord Gryphon.
City of Losaka was once the seat of Gryphon power. Only of historic interest but it does have some of the best fight schools.
These are south of Estragales and populated by Wood Elves with a few White Elves. No dwarves or Drow has ventured this far and if they did would not be welcome.
La-harial, the provincial capital, is a nice place but decent food cannot be found there. On the southern most island is a fort staffed by elves.
This is the realm of the Lios Alfar and has a very small community of Dwarves (Vannheim). These retired from the Mortal World when evil ruled the world. With them they locked away Incantor Magic to restrict the power of the Infernal Engine created at the behest of Mordred to destroy the Elder Races. In 1095 AF, the Lios came out of their fair sanctuary to ask for help to destroy the Engine that they were able to do by the unity of the other factions at the Gathering. Since the Gathering, the Queen of the Lios Alfar decided to set up an outpost in the Greenwood of Albion after talking to Lord Calin.
The Llwyd (the Grey) are the servitors of the Lios Alfar and those that to any of the other clans. The Queen who was previously the chancellor, is an Llwyd. It is held that one that rules others must serve others must first learn to serve them. Ninniane, the keeper of the Rituals joined their number later than mot due to deaths by the Elven Plague.
Clan of the Phoenix, is the clan of fire and craft. These tame metals, wood, stone and combine them with magic. Lord Lankin is their master whom many mortal men have mistaken him for Wayland, the mythical weapon-smith.
Clan of the Stag is the clan of the forest, trees and the Hunt. The Wildrunners are lead by Ceman, the brother of Ninniane. Lord Calin is descended from Ceman.
Clan of the White Hawk is the clan of the air, music and storytellers.
Clan of the Dolphin, also called the Sea Elves, are the pilots/navigators that make it possible to travel between the two realms. Their leader is Tirannoc. The former clan leader and two dwarves were murdered by Drow.
Clan of the Golden Dragon are the custodians of Elven Incantor Magic headed by Gwydion.
Clan of the Serpent is the clan of chaos and void. Their leader, Ecruth, was a former Golden Dragon before he studied human magic. `
It has long associated itself with Estragales through a common heritage and the need for mutual protection. A sovereign state that defers to Lord General Gryphon in times of trouble.
The northern region of Lyonesse is the home of many of the best warriors. It is further divided into noble houses, and the taxes raised in these lands are divided between the Gryphons and Lyonesse.
Tratticoita, the capital of Lyonesse, is very militaristic and is full of soldiers awaiting the glory of battle. The market is good for only weapons and not much else. It has a low crime rate due to punishments that normally involve death.
Fort of Bygolda is close to a net-work of caves that are constantly watched, the reason for which is not divulged and only known by the current Lord General. Probably this is something due to the Drow.
The southern region of Lyonesse is a loose collection of estates, holdings and free lands. It is renowned for its trade, tolerant laws and cosmopolitan population.
City of Yeltum is the market place of Lyonesse. Most things can be purchased here for a price but it is best to look after your wallet or anything else that you hold dear.
The main island north of Caledonia that has over recent years been under dispute between the Wolves and the Bears. Currently it is under military occupation by the Wolves.
Malar, the only large settlement on Orkneyjar, has in recent years been sacked in turn by the Wolves and the Bears.
Ralatosk is an island to the East of Orkneyjar and is still in the possession of the Bears.
Skribadnir, also known as the Dead Isle, was where Lord General Thorfin set sail to the Newfoundland far to the West.
The new land discovered by Lord Thorfin upon his two year voyage of discovery. As yet very little is known of this land.
The land of the Wolves is famous for the hard life and cold weather. Their longships and warriors are feared around the world. Only once in living memory were they defeated in battle.
Nodtum is the great port and naval dockyard of Norsca.
Tain is the great forest of the hinterland. Uslad borders Teutonia. Utgard borders Teutonia.
The Black Kites are surface dwelling Drow and have owned this island for many centuries. It is the only significant tract of land outside the Underdark that is wholly owned by Drow.
These are lands fabled lands exist to the South of Estragales. Very few travellers and Crusaders have returned from them. What they tell is very little.
Antioch is the gateway to the promised land. I have heard much of this city from Raynauld du Chatillan of the Slayers who believes it to be his birthright.
Vast expanse holds many mysteries. In 1092 AF, the Vipers took sanctuary in Estragales after they lost their final toehold in Teutonia to the Cobras. In 1094 AF with the assistance of the Bears, the Cobras were finally expelled and almost irradiated by the traditional owners of the land. The Vipers have undergone a great deal of rebuilding over the last couple of years. Their land stretch once again stretched from the Rhine to the Vistula.
The Underdark is a network of inter-linking tunnels, caverns, lakes and rivers with almost the same diversity as on the surface. Underdark towns and cities form in large caverns near to good supplies of food and water, or at the entrances to the surface settlements. Normally one race predominates in such a settlement although there is mixed race trading areas. The major races to be found in the Underdark are the Duergar (deep dwarves), Svirfineblin (deep gnomes) and the Drow. Dwarves do not live deep enough to be considered part of the Underdark, though their cities occur on the edge of the Underdark. Other races are rare. These include Illithids (mind flayers) and beholders.
Drow society, education and culture are based around the worship of the Most Revered Goddess Llolth, who is sometimes described as the Spider Queen. Many females, especially those of noble descent, train to become Priestesses of Llolth, and these priestesses are the leaders of our society, highly respected and honoured.
Each Drow city is FULLY INDEPENDENT. Though they may not always be self sufficient they will most likely dominate their area of the Underdark and survive through trade. Most Drow are worshipers of Lolth.
Drow society is hierarchical, with most cities containing one or more "Noble Houses", the Matron Mothers of which rule the city as a democratic Council. The Matron Mothers combine both feudal, religious and magical powers and are the heads of the noble families that run the cities. Each family is out for its own personal gain. The rule of the council is more often than not a facade, and the real power is wielded by the most powerful house.
Most of the groups that journey to the Gathering is from the Premier House of these Drow cities. No other house would be able to divide its strength and still maintain it’s position in the face of attacks from its rivals. When Drow attend the Gathering they normally bands congregate together for mutual protection. This is however always a temporary arrangement and only intended for the duration of the Gathering. Most of these Houses that travel to the surface are First Houses in their own right so it was traditional for the leadership of this band of Drow to rotate.
House Gereshen and the Black Kites Clan were the two houses that instigated the ‘Council of the Eight’ where the lead house was rotated. This was temporally suspended by the House Naxos D’Fey and hence caused the Civil War. Only under the promise to accept once again this system has Vindriss kept her crown. Time will tell whether she can keep it.
1092 AF Black Kites with House Gereshen involved in the internal organisation of the Drow.
1093 AF House Moor’den’aar
1094 AF House Naxos D’Fey with in theory House Gereshen. The latter were not allowed to take any part.
1095 AF House Naxos D’Fey decided to throw out the idea and become permanently the First House.
1096 AF ? Only under the leadership of the Black Kites and House Gereshen in 1092 AF was the Drow on the winning side. Remember, that they were part of the Vipers faction.
Commoners are ranked according to their profession. Thus a respected artisan is superior to a serf, but inferior to any noble. Drow society is cultured in art and music. Drow are notable and proficient warriors. This is due to the dangerous realms in which they live, where an unwary traveller will soon find death unless highly trained and constantly alert.
One of the accusations levelled against them by ignorant surface dwellers is that the male Drow are totally subservient to the females. On the contrary, males can rise to positions of power, usually either through the study of magic or through military prowess, although admittedly no male is ever superior to a female of noble birth. However, males are generally content with their role, leaving the difficult tasks of leadership and government to the more capable females.
Drow do not follow the human methods of ranking and instead a Matron Mother is the highest position attainable (and then only to females). Then females are ranked on the basis of religious achievement and noble birth (if applicable). Males can gain rank by being in charge of certain tasks (e.g. Weapons Master, House Wizard), noble birth or by being the Matron Mother’s lover of the day (Patron).
Drow were expelled from Teutonia and took refuge in the lands of the Gryphons. At the Gathering of 1092 AF they formally split away from the Vipers faction. The aim of Matron Mother Shinane of House Moor’den’aar at the Gathering 1093 AF was to unite the Drow race under one ruling house, hers. They took the field to support Corvus in 1092 AF and 1094 AF. The Tarantulas have always suffered from internal power struggles between the Leading Drow Houses. This came to a head in 1095 AF when they took up arms on different sides of the battlefield for the first time.
House Creotha has always shown a very strong martial tradition and their city is Acheron under Slavia in Teutonia.
House Fey D’Wrath.
House Gereshen is the First House of the city of V’eldrinnshar.
House Melizear Gerrit.
House Moor’den’aar had the chair of the Council in 1093 AF.
House Naxos D’Fey has had the honour to be the head of the council of the Eight Matron Mothers from 1094 to 1096 AF.
House Zommorrod A’Tesh fought with great distinction in 1092 AF and is resident below Transylvania in Teutonia.