The Fabled City of Erwyndran is a dangerous place, far from the comforting light of the surface. Treachery and betrayal are the bywords of negotiation, and the Drow demand subservience from all who dare intrude into the subterranean empire of evil. Just over 32,000 Drow call Erwyndran home and the Drow of this city are among the most hardiest, cunning and deadliest living in the Underdark.
The worship of Lolth (called "Lloth" in other settings) dominates the city of Erwyndran.
With Lolth worship comes female dominance. Males of the city tend to excel in the few things they are allowed to excel in: fighting, wizardry and dirty jobs related to trade, building and food. Males who enjoy home or the worship of Lolth turn their efforts to mastering the arts or sculpture and design (and if magically talented, glyphs and House defensive traps) and to excelling at songs and praise of the Spider Queen.
Restless males tend to gravitate to the study of Sorcere (which can involve being cloistered away from most House politics for their entire lives), or towards life as a merchant traveling through the perilous Underdark to and from other cities and trade points within the Underdark, sometimes (although rare) to the surface. (Mantol-Derith, beneath the city of Candledeep, is one such neutral location used by the Underdark and the surface for trading)
Except for individuals of great beauty, or who show great aptitude in the arts of war, sorcery or artisanship in a valued field, the preceding notes on choices of life apply almost exclusively to Drow nobles: commoners do as they are told, forming the bulk of the drudge labor, House servant, and common soldiering tasks as servants of the nobles Houses. No Drow citizen of Erwyndran is ever oficially the "Slave" of another Erwyndran, but a great many male Drow are slaves in all but name. (Drow battle captives won or captured outside the city can be held openly as slaves).
The commoners only avenues to freedom lie in escape from the city, or in developing skill and reputation (and thereby, work) as Hunters, Mercenary Warriors, or Traveling Merchants. All of these routes to a better life lead into the dangerous wild Underdark, few survive long enough to enjoy any successes. Commoners with exceptional skills are usually adopted by the noble House they serve, or (more rarely) by the first ranked house of Erwyndranto notice there skill and seize them. They receive the House name, sponsorship, and a position - a Precarious one, based on performance and the whim of the ruling Matron of the House.
Perhaps the best road to independence for a Drow lies in Sorcery. House Wizards (and even more so, House members studying in Sorcere, shielded from daily contact with non-Wizards) are treated with "some" respect by even the most aggressive females. One can never be sure of the power of a Drow wizard - until it is too late. Drow wizards always look to there own defense first, and are able to hide powers and magical preparations even from the watchful Priestesses of Lolth.
Female Drow often throw themselves with energy and zeal into the endless, vicious intrigue and politics of the city. The bodies of many mark every twist and turn in the fortunes of the Houses, and the everchanging favor of fickle Lolth - but for every Drow female who falls, fifteen to twenty males meet doom. If life is so dangerous, and Drow are forced into endless strife against Drow, how does Erwyndran not destroy itself? The answer lies with Lolth. If one believes her faithful, the cruel Spider Queen pits Drow against Drow solely to improve and strengthen her people, making the survivors ever stronger, wiser, and better able to serve her. Lolth also helps her people from time to time (though seldom directly, especially in House vs House internal conflicts).
The Fabled City of Erwyndran is a seething power house of Lolth worshipping, tirelessly evil Drow, striving for supremacy in the eyes of the Fell Spider Queen, "An ant hill of arrogant evil" as some have called it and thus begins the journals of the "Darkness Reborn" Underdark campaign.
Erwyndran is a Drow city of more than sixty thousand population. The marble cavern of the city is dome shaped and more than two miles in diameter. A large lake lies in the center of the cavern beneath the main platform of the city itself and is fed by two freshwater rivers and drained by a third. The rivers left large plateaus upon which the Drow dwelt slaves often dwelt in caves along the shores of the lake. The city's three plateaus are each dominated by the eight nobles houses. The city itself is located over two miles beneath the surface. Numerous tunnels lead to the surface allowing the Drow access to the surface throughout the realms.
Matron Mother: Bane Duskrym
House Females: 71
High Priestesses: 19
House Males: 20
Drow Force: 350 Elite Foot (Female), 700 Archers, 1,200 Foot, 400 Lizard Riders
Slave Force: 300 Goblins, 300 Orcs, 100 Gnolls, 150 Bugbears, 100 Ogre, 75 Minotaur
Matron Mother: G'eldra Rasta'Thal
House Females: 50
High Priestesses: 14
House Males: 17
Drow Force: 250 Elite Foot (Female), 50 Elite Foot (Male), 500 Archers, 1,000 Foot, 250 Lizard Riders
Slave Force: 200 Goblins, 200 Orcs, 100 Gnolls, 100 Bugbears, 100 Ogre, 50 Minotaur
Matron Mother: Lirial Khalazze
House Females: 45
High Priestesses: 13
House Males: 15
Drow Force: 300 Elite Foot (Female), 75 Archers, 75 Lizard Riders
Slave Force: 600 kobold
Matron Mother: Guillara Talenna
House Females: 27 Priestesses: 22
High Priestesses: 5
House Males: 18
Drow Force: 100 Elite Foot (Female), 200 Archers, 300 Foot, 150 Lizard Riders
Slave Force: 400 Goblin, 100 Goblin Archers, 100 Orc, 100 Bugbear, 100 Trolls
Matron Mother: Faer Elsparssa
House Females: 19
High Priestesses: 5
House Males: 22
Drow Force: 60 Elite Foot (Female), 100 Archers, 80 Foot, 20 Lizard Riders
Slave Force: 200 Goblin, 100 Goblin Archers, 100 Orc, 100 Bugbear
Matron Mother: Jhulae Zaphra
House Females: 16
High Priestesses: 4
House Males: 7
Drow Force: 100 Elite Foot (Male), 100 Archers, 150 Foot, 50 Lizard Riders
Slave Force: 200 Goblin, 200 Goblin Archers, 100 Orc, 100 Bugbear
Matron Mother: Kirria Yril'Lys
House Females: 11
High Priestesses: 3
House Males: 6
Drow Force: 100 Archers, 100 Foot, 50 Lizard Riders
Slave Force: 200 Goblin, 100 Orc, 100 Bugbear
Matron Mother: Imrae Argitha
House Females: 11
High Priestesses: 4
House Males: 5
Drow Force: 50 Elite Archers, 100 Archers, 100 Foot, 50 Lizard Riders
Slave Force: 200 Goblin, 200 Goblin Archers