Gazetteer – 03a06 – Drow
Iho the Black was banished when he used trickery to poison Räyädis, king of the elves. His eight sisters came with him on his journey. The land was dangerous filled with beings hungry from the giant rune. Everyone and everything was considered food to these giants.
Iho and his siblings were from an aristocratic family and his sisters were unfamiliar with the harsh life of banishment. Iho protected them as best he could, but he demanded they learn to defend themselves and trained them in both arms and the use of poison to hunt and kill.
The most capable of these sisters was Lia, a beautiful elven maiden with skin of ivory snow and hair like fresh spun silk. Her otheri was of weaving which in the wild lands of the Age of Titans led her to the study of spiders. Spiders are creatures of instinct and the fate rune and Lia soon started to master the ways of fate. Iho mated with all of his sisters to expand the elven community, but Lia was the one he considered his wife.
The group traveled into the north looking for a place of isolation with which to recoup, build, and learn. Marja had a gardening otheri and loved mulberry trees. Mulberries are slow growing and don’t grow too high so Marja nurtured them from root to crown. They found a hidden land in the north warmed by countless hot springs. The spring made the growing of mulberry trees possible. Lia loved mulberry trees because silkworms fed on them enabling the production of silk, her favorite material to weave. She agreed with Marja that this land was the place for them to settle and the nine elves set about making it their new home. They named the land Twindernight because the nights were long and the clear sky was filled with twinkling stars.
Iho was King and his rule was absolute. When Lia bore an atar for Iho, she presented the boy elf to him and said, “Meet your new heir.” This comment sparked a poisonous thought within him. Why do I need an heir when I am immortal? Will this child seek to rival me? Usurp my kingdom? He murdered the child on its 8th day of life. He murdered all the male children of his sisters to follow.
As the only male elf in Twindernight, Iho not only mated with his sisters, but his children as well. The community grew, but the community was all female. This meant the women became responsible for the tribes defense, hunting, food protection, construction – everything. These women also retained some of the taint that their sire’s poisonous otheri bestowed upon them. This elven community became caddy, conniving, backstabbing, and murderous. The lack of genetic diversity also saw a narrowing of the scope of the otheris these elves would choose. Those female that chose otheris that Iho did not understand were often murdered like their brothers. Still able warriors, the magic of these elves began to wane.
With all the competing females in the tribe, few spent any time with Iho. Lia began to drift into the fate aspects of her weaving otheri. To better understand it, she studied the moves of the spiders, the tiny creatures imbued with the fate rune. She learned that the reason spiders have eight legs is because the concept of the number eight is the counterpoint to the fate rune. Thus, using this counterpoint, fate in some small way can be manipulated to reveal its secrets. Unbeknownst to her, as she ventured down this course of study, she grew new arms so that she had eight hands with which to weave. She also grew fat as she rarely moved from her loom any more. When Iho returned to Lia after a few years of absence in the beds of the countless other females in the tribe, he saw a monster. He was repulsed, but also excited by this demonic form of his sister. Her disinterest in him only stoked the fire of lust within him and he demanded that she lay with him. Lia refused. She was done with sex and desired no more children for Iho to either mate with or murder. He tried to force himself on her, but Lia had eight arms to fight him off with, and Iho was driven off every time he tried.
The thought of bedding Lia again consumed him. His otheri had made him a master alchemist, but he had no known recipe that could charm an elf. He researched a means of subduing Lia with many of the other females in the tribe. He concentrated on Lia’s offspring who often had insight into weaving and fate. One daughter, Lindelia, had modified the weaving otheri into a music otheri and had crafted many wonderful string instruments. Iho found the play from some of these instruments could sooth a female and put them into a swaying trance. Armed with a harp, he again returned to Lia.
The seduction worked and Lia allowed Iho to once again mate with her, but as he mounted her, he stopped playing the instrument and Lia broke from her trance. Iho was finished, but before he could flee, Lia had spun a net around him trapping him in her clutches. She then sank her teeth into Iho draining all his blood.
With Iho dead, males were no longer killed. The scores of females with child gave birth to many atars. It took a while for these males to reach age, but when they did, the drow were truly formed.
As for Lia, when she consumed the blood of Iho she found it to be a virulent poison. This poison didn’t kill her, instead it further transformed her into a monster. During the Age of Titans there had been no Fate Eater that battled a Chaos Eater because there was no chaos in the world to eat. Lia became that fate eater, but there was still no chaos, yet.
The drow elves lived for an age or two in relative peace as the society tried to figure itself out. Their magic was diminished, but they craved the power that was lost. They turned to sorcery and channeling to restore some of this lost power.
Lia was revered by her drow sisters, daughters, and nieces for slaying Iho the Black. A form of worship never before seen in other elves emerged and Lia became divine. She was disinterested in the ruling of her people, however, preferring to live her days in self-induced trances sailing across the oceans of fate as she wove from her loom. Skilled weavers amongst the drow would sometimes receive messages from her about the destiny of individuals within the family. This strengthened her position as a deity.
Thus the drow began to move past the days of Iho and integrated males back into the society as they grew up with females firmly planted as the ruling class. Different houses emerged from the descendants of the 8 sisters that vied and competed with each other for overall rule. Lindelia who was very manipulative by nature and could control the others to some extent through her music insured that the House of Lia remained the most powerful.
The drow lived this way until the coming of Chaos as the Laughing Man. Lindelia figured prominently in this arrival in a story that we have detailed, but have not published on this site, yet.
When the Laughing Man sought to conquer the lands to the south, the drow allied with him. When Calgillien defeated the Laughing Man’s armies and killed his physical form, the drow used powerful sorcery and Lia’s ability to manipulate the rune of fate to flee Twindernight for the surface of the moon. There they waited for an age before returning to Twindernight at the end of the Age of Chaos.
At that time, the goddess Fate had trained a hero to slay Lia in order to gain control of the fate rune in Oklos. That hero was the Polfanian hero, Tarvan, one of the Heroes of Atlas.
Lia feared for her life and devised a plan. Her 1000 years upon the Moon enabled her to learn how to siphon the Red Moon’s awesome magical power to break the bonds of death with which Jukal had constrained the Beast. She moved her people back down to Twindernight to perform the gargantuan ritual that summoned the red moon down to earth. The moon shrank as it came. The pressure of the process intensified the essence within it until it was small enough to fit inside the chest of the beast.
Tarvan slew Lia just as she completed the ritual. Fate had a slim window to enter the world before the Beast had fully gathered its power to deny her entry. Fate mated with Atlas to conceive Silver Moon — a new titan, Chaos Eater. With Silver Moon in the sky, the armies of Oklos rallied and destroyed the Beast, forever.
The failed coup by Lia have left the drow without a unifying purpose. Factions are emerging that had not previously existed during the time of Lia. The Sons of Iho are a rebel group of male drow that would like to see the female dominance end. The rival houses are rebelling to Lindelia’s authority without her mother’s divine backing. The drow are in a state of turmoil and on the brink of civil war.
The drow of the World of Atlas will be explained in considerable detail at some point in the future. For example, drow elves have magic resistance due to living on the Red Moon for one thousand years and drow innate abilities originated from elven otheris. These innate abilities can improve as a drow ages and becomes more powerful. How these abilities improve will be part of that detail.