Drow (Almish)

Descendants of darkness, forgotten but never gone

Game rules for the Almish drow are identical to the drow race detailed in the D&D 4e official rulebooks.

Most mainlanders have never even heard of the drow, much less met one. Cautious and secretive, they have no land or nation of their own, but they are occasionally encountered in the quieter and more remote—or more accepting—corners of Alm.

Unknown to surface dwellers, Sorairo’s largest island houses a labyrinthine prison hidden called the Aganai. A maze of deadly traps and puzzles, the Aganai was conceived as a teaching tool, intended to reform dangerous prisoners by forcing them to learn cooperation. Perhaps predictably, this reformation did not occur, and the prison instead encouraged its inhabitants to form vicious gangs with the ultimate goal of overthrowing the soratami empire.

Today, the Aganai is sealed, with only a few ancient inhabitants not born below the surface. Raised in the darkness, these descendants know only that they are imprisoned here not for their own misdeeds, but for the sins of some long-forgotten ancestor. Their world is one of ruthless survivalism, where the weak must beg the protection of more powerful beings if they hope to live.

With all entrances barred by the soratami, the only way to escape the Aganai is to explore the endless tunnels in search of a one that emerges beyond the labyrinth—either to the island’s underside, or to the foreboding dark of the shadowfell.

Escapees of the Aganai are few and far between, but those who do reach the sunlight tend to remain self-reliant, opportunistic individuals who forever carry the trauma of their imprisonment. Surface scholars came to know these rare individuals as “drow”—a corruption of the soratami “doro”—and mistakenly (or not) attributed their origin to “The Agony”.

Creating & Playing Almish Drow

Almish drow look much like soratami, but with somewhat more wiry builds and skin of muted blue-grey hues. Shock-white hair is overwhelmingly common, though individuals frequently dye this as a matter of practicality (in the Aganai) or self-expression (on the surface world).

Without a deep connection to any surface culture, an escaped drow has little choice but to define their own aesthetic. Many develop an eccentric sense of style that strongly serves their particular self-image, while others have tastes constantly in flux. In either case, they tend toward extremes—either shaped by the grim pragmatism of their homeland, or indulging the sort of hedonism that can only be embraced in relative safety.

Names: Most drow are given Sorana names, though they have little use for more than one. Escapees frequently give themselves new names, leading to an eclectic mix based mostly on personal taste.