Drow Fairy Tales


Advice

Scarab Sages

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My party is in the Under-murk and has managed to corral a Drow nobleman in to providing them safe passage across the Drow realms. Last session they got to visit a Drow town, which was a pretty weird and prickly experience for all involved. Long-story-short, one of them acquired some Drow books, including a book of Drow Fairy Tales. (I was working off the cuff, and he said he was looking for very basic stuff, like an Undercommon grammar primer, etc.)

So now I need to figure out what kind of fairy tales the Drow tell their children. The best we could come up with at the table was:

"J'ak and J'eihll went up the hill to fetch a pail of poison. J'ak ended up at the bottom of the well with a broken neck, and J'eihll's parents succumbed to the venom shortly after dinner, leaving her solely in charge of the family estates."


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Drow promote ambition; the ambitions of the characters will be exalted, failure is a weakness of the character rather than an unwise ambition.

So maybe the warlock who summons a demon prince to slay and torture his enemies is perfectly right to do so. That he winds up with a dagger in his back is his own fault for not guarding against his trusted slave.

The enchantress who charms the leaders of her city state, gaining wealth and power for her family is in the right, too. Even if she has to flee when a visitor exposes her plot; her family are still wealthier and more powerful after all.

There should probably be one in there about the foolishness and wealth of the surface elves. There need to be reminders to keep them favored targets.


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Um... no. Let's not advocate rape stories.

However, for good Drow fairy tales, you could just do an internet search for dark or creepy fairy tales and then altering them to fit Drow. Many original fairy tales ended with many children dead or eaten, which would fit Drow.

Scarab Sages

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'Sani wrote:
Um... no. Let's not advocate rape stories.

Wholeheartedly agreed.

Quote:
However, for good Drow fairy tales, you could just do an internet search for dark or creepy fairy tales and then altering them to fit Drow. Many original fairy tales ended with many children dead or eaten, which would fit Drow.

I was thinking more in terms of subverting traditional tales. Like when Hansel and Gretl put the witch in the oven, in the Drow version they would then eat her, gain her power, and then return home to wreak vengeance on the parents that abandoned them, and that's the happy ending.

I kind of like the idea that instead of a "Big Bad Wolf" there's the "Big Bad Elf" :) Although that's probably giving the elves more credit than the Drow would.


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I suppose this is all based on the GM and the players. If your table is more toned down in subject matter, then things involving rape is probably not a great idea.

For the record, I'd never advocate rape or pretend it's funny. My suggestions were genuine. Drow are evil creatures, raised to be evil, taught to lie, cheat, steal, and kill their way to the top, and in the meantime, they have the right to torture anything beneath them. They're an emotional race, even more fickle than their surface cousins. In the interest of realistic integrity, I say that a race like that would consider something like rape just as acceptable as any other crime of passion - i.e. only worthy of punishment if you get caught, and outright legal when performed on any creature under you in the hierarchy.


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Thought you might appreciate one possible fairytale. I hope it is to your liking.

J'cyan and the Way Down:

Long ago, while the dark still rested on the world above, there lived a youngling J'cyan, who lived with his father amongst the dismissed. His mother had fallen from the graces of the Queen, and they had lost everything but their ancient spider, D'zeem, from whom they gathered webs to make rope.

One day, D'zeem ceased to give web, and J'cyan father grew anxious. He sent J'cyan to sell D'zeem at market. But J'cyan was a fool. Norkoryn, one of the Dark Folk, waylaid him upon the road. Norkoryn offered him the five teeth from a dragon, and J'cyan was overjoyed at making such a marvelous trade. He rushed home, as Norkoryn turned away. Norkoryn, as you know the Sigils, later became fabulously wealthy, and the blood of his enemies was always on his sword.

When J'cyan arrived home, he told his father what he had done, and his father became enraged. "Fool child! Dragon's teeth these are not, but mere shards of worm-maw!" And the father tossed the shards away, and that night they had no food and no fire, and the stones grew cold.

When J'cyan awoke after his rest, he found that the shards were gone, and in there place was a fissure leading into the dark, and long forlorn cobwebs descending all along the sides. Fearing his father's wrath when he awoke, J'cyan descended into the echoing maw. He climbed downwards into the Way Down for a lost-known time, though he rested five times before he reached the bottom.

There he found a strange land. It had great cedars like those on the surface, and the whole ceiling was dim alit with sparks of light. J'cyan, filled with the venom of warriors, went forth, and laid eyes on all that he could find. At last, he came across The Sleeper. The Sleeper had as many eyes as there were days, and as many maws to match. It was ancient, and foul beyond compare. But it slept, and it's three treasures lay near by. One was a shell, which whispered in forgotten tongues lost tales of blood and ambition. One was a great wasp, whose eggs were shelled in Mithral. And last was the Queen's daughter, who had fallen in battle and was lost, yet here she lived and was of great beauty.

J'cyan was a bold fool, and scorned her for not escaping before. He grabbed the wasp and the shell, and they fled for the Way Down. Yet even as there hands touched the webs, a monstrous booming groan could be heard behind. The Sleeper awoke with a rage, and gave them chase up the webs. Up they climbed, and did not rest, for there eyes ached with the cries of madness, and the teeth of the Sleeper's teeth always grazed there shins. At last, they reached the end of the Way Down, where the way narrowed. The Sleeper was slowed, and the Queen's daughter and J'cyan reached the top.

As the Sleeper continued to climb, J'cyan cried in despair. "Alas, we have no arms to fight, and strength fails. But look, let us drop the wasp and the shell. For surely the Sleeper will give chase to it's treasures two and let the one, be it the most fair, escape." But the Queen's daughter turned to him "J'cyan, you are bold. But you are a fool. Will the Sleeper not also desire the blood of the thief?" And she drove the sting of the wasp into his arm, and threw the wasp, the shell, and the fool that was J'cyan into the Way Down. Then the Sleeper turned, gave chase to its two treasures and its hatred.

And as the Sleeper descended, the princess took up a sharp stone, and cut each strand of cobweb free. "J'cyan was a bold fool, and spoke disrespect to the daughter of his Queen. Otherwise, he might have lived, and been a great warrior of the Fanguard. But you, oh Sleeper, though you have many eyes, are the greater fool, for who holds the Queen's daughter captive, and does not meet their death?" So the Sleeper was made to fall, and none have found its corpse, but the quake caused was so great that many thought another star had fallen.

The daughter of the Queen returned home, and the Queen was pleased. She sent guards for J'cyan's father, and he was made a slave in her house. For J'cyan's boldness, and that the venom of warriors was in his veins, was a credit to his father. But J'cyan was a fool, and his bones lie down in the dark, and will never be found.

Notes:

1. Yes, it's Jack and the Beanstalk. Evil elf edition.
2. Some of the Proper Nouns and details are a little vague. I think that's pretty standard for children's tales.
3. I also hope that the twisted ideals and morals of the Drow are evident here.

Scarab Sages

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Yeah, I get where you're coming from Cuup, and intellectually I know it's a valid point, but it's not somewhere I want to go at my table. It's just going to make some of my players uncomfortable.


Maybe it is a good idea to simply say that it's revolting, and just what you'd expect murderous, demon-worshiping monsters to tell their children?

Scarab Sages

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Anonymous Warrior wrote:
Thought you might appreciate one possible fairytale. I hope it is to your liking.

That was brilliant! Thanks!


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Glad you understand. I'll try it from another angle...

The Boy who Cried Elf could illustrate their surface cousins as feral beasts, taking pleasure in being exposed to the elements, always soaking wet and nearly naked. In this context, elves are dangerous and represent the dismantling of society. An elf running around the city would be equivalent to a rabid wolf. From there, you can keep the story relatively true to the original.

You could alter the story of Cinderella in the following way: the step mother/daughters are stand-ins for a higher social class, which constantly tortures and exploits the protagonist. The fairy godmother is turned into a Demon Lord (which are commonly worshiped by Drow), who gives the protagonist the power of spells instead of a carriage and dress in order to kill her superiors in order to take their place, and seduce a member of nobility in order to assert herself into the higher class.

The Frog Prince could instead be some other race deemed "slave fodder" by Drow. A naive drow is told by this slave that he has been transformed into such and is actually a Drow Noble. This is untrue, and the Drow is killed by the clever slave when she tries to kiss him.

Sovereign Court

I've always thought of the Aztecs as the closest real-world version of the Drow.

Come on - tie a POW (they were inherently always at war to get more human sacrifices) to a stake in the ground in the middle of your city and whoever kills him 'gets' to wear his skin for the next week? You can't get much more blatantly creepy/evil than that!

Just put in some creepy Aztec mythology.


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Anonymous Warrior wrote:

Thought you might appreciate one possible fairytale. I hope it is to your liking.

** spoiler omitted **...

Fantastic! I was completely engrossed in that story!


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As a children's book writer myself (ahem!), and as someone who loves reading aloud to kids, one good thing to note is how *loving* the act of reading aloud/storytelling can be, IRL. If nothing else, you're spending time your time with someone, spending your time on them. It can create a space of great tenderness and closeness.

So, stereotypical evil drow would NOT be about that. Who's gonna waste their time on weak children? Why on earth would you try to create something rich for them? You wouldn't. Unless....

I believe that the tales the drow DO tell their children always have a horrid little twist at the end... aimed at the CHILD. A drow adult gets sadistic pleasure from lulling a child along with a gripping tale, but the end of the tale always ends up viciously skewering some particular aspect of that child's personality, for instance. (Or something else equally psychologically shattering.) The moral of the story: Don't ever let yourself be lulled!

By the way, need I say that I think doing this in the real world is deplorable? Terribly abusive. Utterly cruel. I.e., perfect for an evil and sadistic demon-worshipping race, alas. People weaker than you are mere victims and playthings. Alas.

I also think that this scenario probably happens: while one adult is telling the tots a riveting tale, another adult is sneaking into the kids' bedrooms and smashing all their possessions. "Ha ha, that'll learn ya."

Sovereign Court

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I remember there was a German picture book I read which had a kid who chewed his fingernails. His parents told him to stop or the Barber of Berlin (I can't remember the barber's actually name) would come for him.

The kid kept chewing his fingernails, so the Barber of Berlin showed up and cut off all his fingers with giant scissors.

The end!

I could see similar Drow stories about kids not revering Lloth or showing mercy to their enemies etc.

"And then the handmaid of Lloth showed up and turned the child into a drider. The end!"


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I could see drow tales having a lot of cautionary themes about being weak, feeble characters getting their comeuppance from their betters, showing mercy being a bad thing, etc.

Actually, take a look at the really old-school fairy tales (pre-Grimm and the like). Those can be downright nasty, although the drow ones would probably have a slightly different "moral" at the end. I could see a drow version of Cinderella ending with Cinderella's horrible death, for example, and the kid would be taught to take glee in this because she was weak and deserved her fate. A sort of "haha, good is for suckers" type of tale.

Sovereign Court

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Meraki wrote:
I could see a drow version of Cinderella ending with Cinderella's horrible death, for example, and the kid would be taught to take glee in this because she was weak and deserved her fate. A sort of "haha, good is for suckers" type of tale.

Cinderella would have to be re-vamped almost entirely since the whole male-female dynamic is entirely wrong for Drow. Unless you have the 'prince' be a demon prince.

"No Cinderella - you can't go to the demonic sacrifice because you don't have proper ceremonial garb and you have to stay home to clean up all of these blood-stains!"


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How about the story of blue beard, only blue beard is a matriarch (who makes her clothes out of cut off dwarf beards died blue), and she is also painted as the good guy:

"Curr! I told you not to go into my collection of 'ex' husbands. For this, I will have you stuffed and you shall join them!"

And thus, my little wretchlings, we can clearly see that you should listen to the instructions of your betters, or you shall get your just punishment.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Charon's Little Helper wrote:


Cinderella would have to be re-vamped almost entirely since the whole male-female dynamic is entirely wrong for Drow. Unless you have the 'prince' be a demon prince.

Could make the prince a princess instead. Or gender-swap the roles so Cinderella is a dude.

Sovereign Court

Meraki wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:


Cinderella would have to be re-vamped almost entirely since the whole male-female dynamic is entirely wrong for Drow. Unless you have the 'prince' be a demon prince.

Could make the prince a princess instead. Or gender-swap the roles so Cinderella is a dude.

I don't think that the gender-swap would work. One of Cinderella's core premises is a male rescuing a female from a bad situation - flipping that doesn't work. Female drow don't rescue males - female drow PUT male drow in bad situations.


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Meraki wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:


Cinderella would have to be re-vamped almost entirely since the whole male-female dynamic is entirely wrong for Drow. Unless you have the 'prince' be a demon prince.

Could make the prince a princess instead. Or gender-swap the roles so Cinderella is a dude.

No, keep cinderella a girl, make it an evil step father, and go REALLY HARD on the step father's punishment. To show that drow men should not dare to try to be over drow women.

Also, have her court the favor of the prince's mother (the matriarch) rather than the prince. No drow prince gets to pick his owner. Obviously. The drow prince is just the prize.

And have her capture and torture the fairy godmother until the latter agrees to give away her magic. Or have her rip out the fairy's heart and use it as a powerful amulet. Be proactive. Use your ambition to grab your own desires.

And instead of a dance, make it a gladitorial arena, and have her drop the glass daggers she used to slit many throats- and prince is sent out by his mother to find the person with such bloody skills. Drowella shows her skills by slitting her step sister's throats. And then go with the original german version of what happened to the step father (forced to dance in burning iron shoes until he dies).

Scarab Sages

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I'm liking the Cinderella tale.

Keep the stepmother/sisters. who murdered her real mother and keep her as a servant, but she gets help doing her duties from her "little animals" (all her mother's former slaves, still in the house and still loyal to her out of fear) The step-family is going to the gladiatorial ritual at the Great Fane in an attempt to curry favor with the High Priestess of Lolth. Drowella wants to go too, but they chain her up in the dungeon.

Drowella cuts off her own hand to get free, then breaks into the summoning chamber and calls up the unquiet spirit of her dead mother, who tells her the secret of a dread ritual of power as well as where all her cool old magic items are hidden. (Glass daggers?) Drowella then performs the ritual by sacrificing all her "little Animals" and summoning a servitor shadow demon. With the demon's help she goes to the Great Fane, takes over the ritual, kills her stepsisters on the alter of Lolth and drops her glass daggers on the way out.

The High Priestess goes sends a herald for her to see who this new power is, and Drowella proves herself by murdering him. The stepmother is tortured to death, and Drowella is placed on the High council of Lolth, whereupon she murders the High Priestess and usurps ultimate power.

Sovereign Court

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Wolfsnap wrote:


The High Priestess goes sends a herald for her to see who this new power is, and Drowella proves herself by murdering him. The stepmother is tortured to death, and Drowella is placed on the High council of Lolth, whereupon she murders the High Priestess and usurps ultimate power.

I'm not sure the last part would be in there. Not that a drow wouldn't do both of those things - but part of how their society functions at all is that the lesser drow are made to think that the high priestesses are to be nearly worshipped themselves and are all but omniscient. I doubt they'd allow such a fairy tale to be told as propaganda of their fallibility.

I'd have Drowella just capture the herald (a powerful wizard in his own right - so in some ways more of a show of strength - and it's the high priestess's herald - so not to be destroyed) and then join the High Council of Lloth - the story ending when her hand is regenerated. (that's why she dropped her glass blade - she'd had to drop it to cast a spell since she had only one hand)

Community Manager

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Removed a post—please avoid using rape in any examples in this thread. This is very much a topic to be discussed in your private group, not on a public forum where underage children might read it.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Drow Fairy Tales, sounds like the Fairy Tales you hear in the Addams Family.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oooh, yeah, that Drowella story is excellent.

A Red Riding Hood story where the "wolf" is a drow preying on foolish unsuspecting humans or elves, maybe? Just change the ending so that the drow triumphs, and let that be a lesson to all the little kids on the superiority of the drow race.


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Here's an actual fairy tale from the first edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales, which was removed for the second edition for obvious reasons, and I think ti would make an excellent Drow fairy tale.

The Brothers Grimm wrote:
One day, two brothers saw their father killing off a pig. They imitated what they saw and the older brother killed his younger brother. Their mother, who was giving the baby a bath, heard her child scream and abandoned the baby in the bath. When she saw what her eldest child had done, she took the knife out of her younger son's throat, and in her rage stabbed her older son in the heart. When the mother found out that meanwhile the baby had drowned in the tub, she felt an inconsolable desperation and committed suicide by hanging herself. After a long day of work in the field, the father came home. Finding out that his whole family was dead, he soon also died from sadness.

The End! Goodnight little Drowlets.


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'Sani wrote:

Here's an actual fairy tale from the first edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales, which was removed for the second edition for obvious reasons, and I think ti would make an excellent Drow fairy tale.

The Brothers Grimm wrote:
One day, two brothers saw their father killing off a pig. They imitated what they saw and the older brother killed his younger brother. Their mother, who was giving the baby a bath, heard her child scream and abandoned the baby in the bath. When she saw what her eldest child had done, she took the knife out of her younger son's throat, and in her rage stabbed her older son in the heart. When the mother found out that meanwhile the baby had drowned in the tub, she felt an inconsolable desperation and committed suicide by hanging herself. After a long day of work in the field, the father came home. Finding out that his whole family was dead, he soon also died from sadness.
The End! Goodnight little Drowlets.

I'm with you on everything other than the suicide.

Y'know. Cause drow tend to think long term, and tend to be more cold. Her reaction to all this might be "damn, have to start on a new batch".

Husband still commits suicide, since he knows what happened the last time she made a batch. Tis better to just end himself now than to go through that.

Scarab Sages

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I dunno, you could make it a story that Drow tell about humans.


Hmmm... thinking of stealing some of this for my own drow game, though altered: with my "some of their more uncomfortable tendencies are actually justified in-universe" angle (and the fact that it is entirely separate from either the various original D&D or Pathfinder universes), they would actually be toned down compared to some of these, but still, this has very useful elements to them for re-fluffing. Great work, over-all!


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I can't remember all of the details, but I recall a sort of Drow tale from a D&D book that, in my opinion, is the perfect sort of story for the Drow. Supposedly, long ago, among the elven people's spread a a terrible plague, killing millions of elves and leaving yet more grieving family members in its wake. The plague was apparently magical in nature, and nothing the elves tried could prevent its spread. In those days there was still great animosity between the elves and the Drow, though the two still retained from strenuous ties. The elves suspected the Drow, believing the plague to be the work of their alchemists and poisoners despite the fact that the plague had stricken the Drow as well. The Drow of course knew that they themselves were not the cause of the plague, and were curious as to the plagues cause. Eventually, the Drow found the diseases progenitor to be a Demon, who's name I can't remember (Some appropriate demon name or other). In true Drow fashion, they threw aside their petty grudge against the demon, and have since worked with him to spread many plagues among the elves and other goodly races. I can't remember the exact details and they're hardly relevant to you, but I believe the tale was in The Crystal Shard, a Drizzt Do'Urden book, the fourth, and one of my favourite in the series. I believe Drizzt was infiltrating Akar Kessel's tower...? Whatever, doesn't really matter unless you want to reference it.


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Wolfsnap wrote:
I dunno, you could make it a story that Drow tell about humans.

"and they all died horribly forever after"

And then a round of applause and laughs.


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Incidentally, in the Drowderella story, in our world, she'd be oppressed by her step-father, a Mul (a natural male) - but one with powerful mind-altering magic, empath, psionics, or similar abilities (or perhaps just drugs of compliance of some sort) and be in the midst of an extortion scheme of some kind (never mind how unlikely this is; it's a fairy-tale). It would emphasize his intelligence and physically brutal nature, but also his complete lack of social grace or understanding of his proper place in society without a powerful female to tame and guide him, and the House's complete destitution - to the point that she would be the only slave available to him that wasn't entirely worthless.

The step-sisters could either be step-brothers or step-sisters with no real problem. If they were step-brothers, they could be Muls, like their father, and suffer from the same problems, or the jyfanii males (those created by formula) that, again, emphasize their helplessness without a female (only they'd be slightly more pathetic for being so worthless and for failing to be subservient to females; could also be an important side-moral about putting them in a proper monastery to make sure they function properly - if so, they would be unskilled, and unhealthy due to this lack). If it were step-sisters, it would likely be distinctly common drow, who are compared (unfavorably) to the noble drow that is Drowderella (though this is unnecessary, and may vary from tale to tale).

The backstory would be, in other words, a life-lesson and tragedy that explains that, no matter how devoted he was to his mistress, and no matter how fond she was of him, the male simply cannot be trusted to run things properly on his own.

The fairy godmother would be replaced by the whispering of the step-father's very own ruby rod (the macguffin by which he gained this power)*, which would grant her wishes, but always with limits or twists it in some way. Through her own cunning (and a bit of clever wordplay), she'd gain the ability to pass as royalty until the great Arcane Clock ran low (which, of course, it would).

She would impress the <regional ruler>** as a courtier and important (mysterious) servant, destroy several rivals' villainous plots, and generally become invaluable before the AC ran low due to an apprentice's mistake, and she had to flee.

Depending on whether the story was supposed to be a downer or an inspirational tale (which can vary from place to place and teller to teller), she would either be discovered and punished for her deceptions, or found and promoted to an even higher station than previously held, only now publicly and freely.

Punishments could range from the severe (torture and death) to the relatively 'benign' (re-education and thus redemption for the fallen/corrupted males; though, depending on the intention of the storyteller, this may be more or less successful), though the original Mul would definitively be killed for the problems he'd caused and his inability to be trusted or changed.

In a rare, few places, the male might not even be drow: it could be a goblin***, kobold, or something else****, leaving the step-children to be fiendblooded*****, though this last would be unlikely.

Anyway, this was long and ranty, and probably not useful to most of you... but fun for me! :D

Asterisks; all the asterisks:
* Probably by murdering its "rightful" original female owner... or perhaps by simple inheritance, if it had belonged to either of his mistresses who had foolishly been infatuated enough to leave the thing to him.

** Probably a princess of one of the petty Gray Wastes Queendoms in the original, though heavily censored to being 'merely' a regional governor in the Jade Empire.

*** Goblins are a broad category of creature in this game, ranging from gobbos, to hobbos (yes, I'm aware), buggas, uruks, and trolls.

**** Ogres, anidrowgenus^ creatures, or other strange entities go here.

***** Man, I'm getting a lot of asterisks. Also, fiend-blooded are generally the grandchildren of drow and other creatures - they have unusually consistent racial abilities, but also have very weird, almost random, physical features. They are usually relatively well-treated, but not always.

^ It's a pun. See, their animal-like. And drow-like. And also often seemingly androgynous to the drow, who have a hard time telling the various creatures apart.


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Here's my thoughts on the matter:

The Drow are Chaotic Evil, but they are at once an entirely separate race from a lot of the more traditional "Evil" races. They lack great physical stats (+2 Dex, -2 Con), and wouldn't typically hold the advantage in a upfront confrontation.

Everything about them seems to suggest they deal best in secrecy, misdirection, and manipulation. They can see farther underground than even the Dueregar, giving them the drop on most of their enemies. They specialize in poisons, and have a Charisma bonus that makes them naturally good in social interactions, even at Bluffing and Intimidation amongst themselves.

I propose that Drow society is less about taking what you want by brute force (though if you can pull it off without getting yourself killed, by all means) and more about convincing others to play into your hands for your own benefit.

Thus, Drow would likely view as naturally occurring opportunities, creatures whom they get a great deal of time to manipulate and shape as tools that might even grow up to become useful allies.

Thus, Fairytales would be used as a way of indoctrinating their children in what lessons will make them the most useful.

- Play nice with those who are stronger than you. Make yourself useful. Doing these things is the fastest route to power, security, and wealth.

- If a foreigner approaches as an ally, play along. At best, you can make a powerful servant, beholden to your manipulation. At worst, you've got time to pool your resources to kill a dangerous enemy. But in either case, your guard should always be up.

- Romance is a powerful tool to get what you want.

- The Macbeths had the right idea, they just slipped up at a few key moments because they moved to quickly.

- Don't play with giant spiders, undead, giant undead spiders, or anything that has more than 2 eyes. Play carefully with those that have 2 or less. Seriously, it will kill you if it gets the chance, and then I have to have another kid. Another kid that might take 100 years to reach adulthood.

- The Woods Caverns are a dangerous place. Don't go in there without a plan, a backup plan, and a at least 3 daggers on you at all times.

- If it's definitely weak, definitely not useful, and definitely using up valuable resources, don't tolerate it's continued life, and feel free to have fun getting rid of it.

- The best way to defeat your enemies is have three layers of proxies, the last layer being responsible for nuking the other two proxies and your enemy from space.

But ultimately, a "Smart" Drow would likely view their kids as a resource to valuable to waste unwarranted cruelty on, and well worth the investment of attention. After all, in a few hundred years, you can acquire a LOT of enemies, and if you want to survive to a Venerable age category, you have to play things smart.


Tacticslion wrote:
Hmmm... thinking of stealing some of this for my own drow game, though altered: with my "some of their more uncomfortable tendencies are actually justified in-universe" angle (and the fact that it is entirely separate from either the various original D&D or Pathfinder universes), they would actually be toned down compared to some of these, but still, this has very useful elements to them for re-fluffing. Great work, over-all!

Okay, I've GOT to hear more about your universe . . . Especially the part about "some of their more uncomfortable tendencies are actually justified in-universe".


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By the way.

In our world, in-canon, they are not called "fairy tales" as fairies demonstrably exist (and are more properly called "Gloura").

Rather, they are called "Bunny Tales" here. Oh, yes. Yes.

And these can range from cute and fluffy to every bit as dark and disturbing as can be imagined - after all, the mythical "bunny" clearly can't exist in the World*, as none of its features serve any purpose related to survival whatsoever. Clearly a child's fantasy. (Sometimes darkened by clever adults into rapid fast-moving long-leaping killing machines so those big sharp pointy teeth make more sense, and give the creature an air of plausibility).

"Bunny Tales" is a popular series of plays that revolve around bouncing bunnies and their magical bunny-berry juice.

"Bunny Tales" is a different popular series that anidrowmizes the bunnies as all the kinds of people that exist, and revolves around a wealthy uncle and his three newly-deposited nephews.

And "Bunny Tales" is yet a different popular series of terrifying spooky stories, often told around campfires, but also told by professional acting troupes and traveling entertainers (either alone or with a caravan) collecting the most brutal, deadly, and macabre of such things... though usually with a moral lesson embedded somewhere within.

Check your local bard for listings in your area, and ensure the series nearest you is appropriate for the ages you plan to bring.

* The drow of this campaign don't know of a world "above" anywhere - what we would call the "Underdark" is, instead, "the World" and a scant few passages lead to the "Hellscape" of burning blindness.


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So I figured I should clarify a few bits of this.

Tacticslion wrote:
In our world, in-canon, they are not called "fairy tales" as fairies demonstrably exist (and are more properly called "Gloura").
Tacticslion wrote:
Rather, they are called "Bunny Tales" here. Oh, yes. Yes.

PUNALERT-PUNALERT

Tacticslion wrote:
And these can range from cute and fluffy to every bit as dark and disturbing as can be imagined - after all, the mythical "bunny" clearly can't exist in the World*, as none of its features serve any purpose related to survival whatsoever. Clearly a child's fantasy. (Sometimes darkened by clever adults into rapid fast-moving long-leaping killing machines so those big sharp pointy teeth to[sic] make more sense, and give the creature an air of plausibility).

Obviously, this is the mature and reasonable understanding.

Tacticslion wrote:
"Bunny Tales" is a popular series of plays that revolve around bouncing bunnies and their magical bunny-berry juice.

These are associated with a sweet drink and snack that are wildly popular with their associated youth cultures. Generally, these sorts of shows are played in the Hellgate and Jade Empire regions and are stories told of corrupt Jadefall "Nobles" (run by males with an excessive reliance on goblins to avoid indicating females might be subservient) and the youths who befriend the mystical bunnies and thwart the awkward bumbling (but intelligent, physically powerful, and ruthless) males by social graces and trickery (and the Bunny-Berry Juice, of course).

This is generally considered the drow variant of Bowdlerized and "clean" (although it still deals with death and dismemberment - mostly of the goblins - for amusement).

This is generally considered a child's series, and is generally episodic without any over-arching plot.

Lyrics:

Dashing and daring;
Courageous, curaring;
Faithful and fluffy; with stories to share~!

All through the Empire,
They sing out as a choir,
Hopping along, as their song fills the air~!

BUNNY TAAAALES~!

Bouncin' here and there and every-where~!
High adventure that's beyond compare~!

These are the Bunny Tales~!

Magic and myst'ry,
Are part of their hist'ry,
Along with the secret of bunny-berry juice~!

Their legend is growing,
They take pride in knowing,
They'll fight for what's right in whatever they do~!

BUNNY TAAAALES~!

Bouncin' here and there and every-where~!
High adventure that's beyond compare~!

These are the Bunny Tales~!

These are the Bunny Tales~!

Tacticslion wrote:
"Bunny Tales" is a different popular series that anidrowmizes the bunnies as all the kinds of people that exist, and revolves around a wealthy uncle and his three newly-deposited nephews.

Mostly, this is set within a singular fictional city, though with a plethora of forays from it to equally fictional worlds, and is generally a comedy series for slightly more mature than the other series, but is still for younger audiences. It is generally comedic, and has a few notable spinoff series (though with varying degrees of dubious to impossible canon), and a couple "related" series (by popular association, though entirely lacking any canonical overlap). This is most often presented in Hellgate, or the border-regions of the Jade Empire and the Gray Wastes.

Lyrics:

Life is like an earth-quake
... here in Bun-berg~!

Race-beasts, el-dritch, bat-snake
... it's a... Bun-blur~!

Might solve a mystery... or re-write history...

BUN-TALES~! WOO-HOO-OOH~!

Every season out here makin' Bun-tales! Woo-hoo-ooh~!
Tales of daring-do, bad- and good-luck tales! Woo-hoo-ooh~!

D-d-danger (lurks behind you)~!
There's a stranger (out to find you)~!

What to do? Just grab onto some-

BUN-TALES~! WOO-HOO-OOH~!

Every season out here makin' Bun-tales! Woo-hoo-ooh~!
Tales of daring-do, bad- and good-luck tales! Woo-hoo-ooh~!

Not phony tales or quacky tales, but-

BUN-TALES~! WOO-HOO-OOH~!

Tacticslion wrote:
And "Bunny Tales" is yet a different popular series of terrifying spooky stories, often told around campfires, but also told by professional acting troupes and traveling entertainers (either alone or with a caravan) collecting the most brutal, deadly, and macabre of such things... though usually with a moral lesson embedded somewhere within.

These range from hinky and goofy, to outright terrifying, to intriguing, to fun; and some are just disgusting.

The full gammut of tales exist within this eclectic "work", and it's extremely hard to guess how good or terrible something will be within. Different troupes or actors use different sub-genres, themes, and similar, and can gain great recognition through consistent forms, though some make their success through sheer diversity, as well.

Regardless, these are (generally) considered more "mature" than most such works, and often have at least some semblance of over-arching plot threads, unless they're large, singular stand-alone works.

These have also been repeatedly bound into individual volumes, though finding any sort of "definitive" collection is effectively impossible, as different groups include or exclude different elements. Still, it's popular reading material, and many of the tales are adapted to be more "friendly" to less-nuanced readers.


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I suggest using Aesop's Fables as they are and just change the moral.

Examples, [u]The Boy Who Cried Wolf[/u]
Aesop's Moral: Liars won't be believed, even when they tell the truth.
Drow Moral: Don't tell the same lie twice.

[u]The Swallow & The Other Birds[/u]
Aesop's Moral: Destroy the seed of evil, or it will grow up to your ruin.
Drow Moral: Nurture the seeds of evil so that it will grow up to the ruin of your enemies.

[u]The Three Tradesmen[/u]
Aesop's Moral: Every man for himself.
Drow Moral: Actually, this one doesn't need to be changed at all.

[u]The And & The Caterpillar[/u]
Aesop's Moral: Don’t burn bridges; you don’t know when you might need them.
Drow Moral: This one is Drowish enough, too.

[u]The Bowman & The Lion[/u]
Aesop's Moral: Be on guard against men who can strike from a distance.
Drow Moral: Wow, I'm just clicking randomly on fables and finding that Aesop was a Drow!

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