Never does a star grace this land with a poet’s light of twinkling mysteries, nor does the sun send to here its rays of warmth and life. This is the Underdark, the secret world beneath the bustling surface of the Forgotten Realms, whose sky is a ceiling of heartless stone and whose walls show the gray blandness of death in the torchlight of the foolish surface-dwellers that stumble here. This is not their world, not the world of light. Most who come here uninvited do not return.
Those who do escape to the safety of their surface homes return changed. Their eyes have seen the shadows and the gloom, the inevitable doom of the Underdark.
Dark corridors meander throughout the dark realm in winding courses, connecting caverns great and small, with ceilings high and low. Mounds of stone as pointed as the teeth of a sleeping dragon leer down in silent threat or rise up to block the way of intruders.
There is a silence here, profound and foreboding, the crouched hush of a predator at work. Too often the only sound, the only reminder to travelers in the Underdark that they have not lost their sense of hearing altogether, is the distant and echoing drip of water, beating like the heart of a beast, slipping through the silent stones to the deep Underdark pools of chilled water. What lies beneath the onyx surface of these pools can only guess. What secrets await the brave, what horrors await the foolish, only the imagination can reveal – until the stillness is disturbed.
This is the Underdark.
* * * * *
There are pockets of life here, cities as great as many of those on the surface. Around any of the countless bends and turns in the gray stone, a traveler might stumble suddenly into the perimeter of such a city, a stark contrast to the emptiness of the corridors. These places are not havens, though; only the foolish traveler would assume so. They are the homes of the most evil races in all the Realms, most notably the duergar, the kuo-toa, and the drow.
In one such cavern, two miles wide and a thousand feet high, looms Menzoberranzan, a monument to the other worldly and ultimately – deadly grace that marks the race of drow elves. Menzoberranzan is not a large city by drow standards; only twenty thousand dark elves reside there. Where, in ages past, there had been an empty cavern of roughly shaped stalactites and stalagmites now stands artistry, row after row of carved castles thrumming in a quiet glow of magic. The city is perfection of form where not a stone has been left to its natural shape. This sense of order and control, however, is but a cruel façade, a deception hiding the chaos and vileness that rules the dark elves’ hearts. Like their cities, they are a beautiful, slender, and delicate people, with features sharp and haunting.
Yet the drow are the rulers of this unruled world, the deadliest of the deadly, and all other races take cautious note of their passing. Beauty itself pales at the end of a dark elf’s sword. The drow are the survivors, and this is the Underdark, the valley of death – the land of nameless nightmares. – R.A. Salvatore (Homeland)
~ * ~
Station: In all the world of the drow, there is no more important word. It is the calling of their – of our – religion, the incessant pulling of hungering heartstrings. Ambition overrides good sense and compassion is thrown away in its face, all in the name of Lolth, the Spider-Queen.
Ascension to power in drow society is a simple process of assassination. The Spider Queen is a deity of chaos, and she and her high priestesses, the true rulers of the drow world, do not look with ill favor upon ambitious individuals wielding poisoned daggers.
Of course, there are rules of behavior; every society must boast of these. To openly commit murder or wage war invites the pretense of justice, and penalties exacted in the name of drow justice are merciless. To stick the dagger in the back of a rival during the chaos of a larger battle or in the quiet shadows of an alley, however, is quite acceptable – even applauded. Investigation is not the forte of drow justice. No one cares enough to bother. –excerpt of an essay on Station by Drizzt Do’Urden (again, R.A. Salvatore; Homeland)
To start your application make a post in the Applications folder with character name (if you know it) and your MW handle in (). Example: Veir-iliv (Jreece). After characters are chosen your application will double as your Character Thread.
Noble House: House Nizzre (means "lightning") Matron: Veldri Nizzre (Veldri_Nizzre)
Noble House: House Melrahel (unsure of any translation) Matron: Chess'albraste Melrahel (Maxwell)
Noble House: open Matron: open (could be you!)
Mercenary Band: L'Jiala'in Velve (the Laughing Blades) Guild Master: ??? (Chronic's friend, or if he doesn't show up an NPC or also played by ChronicLunacy) Second in Command: Zirbilin Nirrinath (ChronicLunacy)
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I will be rolling dice to check House Rank within the city. No starting house will be higher than 15th, however. And while not all Houses are obsessed with promotion, many (most?) are.
L'Jiala'in Velve stands outside of the House Ranking. If is largely a home for displaced Nobles and promising commoners. It operates with the blessing of the Ruling Council (a privilege for which it pays handsomely). The only "house" likely to accept non-drow.
I'd like to add a bit about L'Jiala'in Velve. In keeping with the translation ("The Laughing Blade"), the members of the mercenary guild tend to wear stylized theatre masks depicting a laughing face when they're on duty. This allows them to walk the city freely, lead double-lives, and even infiltrate the city's noble houses without immediately being recognized. These masks are magic items that act the same way a drow house insignia does, with varying effects individual to the wearer.
I just finished the last book resurrection of war of the spider queen tonight, this is like a godsend, completely interested.
Who wants to work to create a house right outside ruling counsel looking to take over the 8th counsel seat or something like that? I'd like to play second or third daughter to have people to plot against both in house and outside house.