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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Drow, part 2

Tolkien Discussion Group
July 7, 2010
Topic: Drow - continued

AelKennyr Rhiano
Lihan Taifun
Fifi Wickentower
Shawn Daysleeper
InyaRay Oktomica

Drow have a high birthrate, presumably because not all their children would survive.
According to Fifi's research, drow children receive a strict formal education. How exactly does educating the children benefit the decision-makers who would organize the school system?
In general, how much would any drow work for the good of the clan, if the personal benefit was indirect? How does a society of "totally self-centered" beings work out in practice?
We can't imagine any leader being able to unite several clans, not for any length of time. Though matrons might form temporary alliances, if there were a mutual advantage.
We know nothing about the "final fate" of drow after death. You wouldn't expect Lolth to provide a pleasant afterlife.
Fifi found a list of common drow foods, including spiders, mushrooms, crickets, fish, and lichen. Drow sometimes let their slaves eat each other, to save the expense of feeding them.
How organized could a drow fighting force be, if warriors could not trust their comrades?

I have edited out the subplot about Fifi's internet connection.

Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Inya, you don't LOOK drow
InyaRay Oktomica smiles
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . for one thing, you are wearing way too much clothes
InyaRay Oktomica hmmm. InyaRay Oktomica decides to remain dressed
AelKennyr Rhiano blushes
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . thank you
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . While that may increase attendance dramatically, I think Tolkien Discussions should be dressed affairs:)
Fifi Wickentower: . . . *snps ingers . . . forgot I had a full row av in mycloset*drow
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . you decided to try being a closet drow?
InyaRay Oktomica: a whim of a Valar is that
AelKennyr Rhiano: . .'s the 4th Age...time to come out of the closet....snaps. AelKennyr Rhiano blushes....sorry...that kinda slipped out
Shawn Daysleeper laughs
Fifi Wickentower: . . . ad here we go agai withthe cht lag. arghh
Lihan Taifun tries to commisserate with Fifi, while giggling at Ael
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . heh heh
Fifi Wickentower: . . . the skin smelled unny *wrinkes nos
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Maybe it's the moth balls?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . what DO drow smell like?
Fifi Wickentower: . . . mayblood, and fungus, and fear sweat
InyaRay Oktomica: This drow smells like... "Spring" of course
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . You know, I hear blood is so hard to get out of an av
Shawn Daysleeper: laughs
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Those stains are the worse
InyaRay Oktomica: Depends on the method
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Teleri can soak in the ocean
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . true

Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . where were we last week? bratty down children
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . yes
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Whether drow clans were or were not organized
InyaRay Oktomica: I believe someone suggested killing them or such
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . they did?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I suppose not all children reach adulthood
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Well, the drow are more prolific than elves...
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Teenage humans are enough strain on adult humans, and adult humans have some self-restraint. Sometimes
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . and their culture is survival of the fittest
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . and I'm not sure drow would have any reason to be attached to their children
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Most of the reasons humans have wouldn't apply
InyaRay Oktomica: The would run in packs perhaps
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Well, until Victorian times, humans were not all that attached to their children.
InyaRay Oktomica: brat packs InyaRay Oktomica smiles
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . hahaha. The idea of a "childhood" as we conceive of it really started in the Victorian era.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I thought that was a myth, that earlier eras didn't care about their children
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . There was such a high incident of childhood mortality that parents kept an emotional distance
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . You are right. Children were not coddled.
InyaRay Oktomica: Yet one does not associate a 'fun' childhood with Victorian times
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . put to work, often as not
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . But with the rise of industrialism and capitalism, also came the concept of childhood, which was the priviledge of the rich
InyaRay Oktomica loves childhood... and intends to keep it
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Again, Lihan is correct.
Shawn Daysleeper nods
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . In agricultural societies, children were the old-age insurance, someone to support you. Not that drow children would support their aged parents!
InyaRay Oktomica: Were there old Drow ?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . not many, I bet
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I would think very few
InyaRay Oktomica: So, those who did exist would have been the most attractive, healthy , smart
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I think so.
InyaRay Oktomica: Seems unfair
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . The weak would not survive.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Drow wouldn't care much for our ideas of "fair"
Shawn Daysleeper: I agree
InyaRay Oktomica: always imbalances, to keep the world moving perhaps
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . But that does act as a balance when you consider elves. So we are each on opposite ends of the scale.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Drow have a higher birthrate because fewer of them survive? You know, I can imagine young drow running in packs, or gangs, whatever, because their parents might not support them very long
Fifi Wickentower: . . . since i a unle to atuallytypw aything. . .ere i some nfpoab
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . wow, that's bad, Fifi!

Fifi Wickentower: . . . It is seen as a good sign for a baby to feed on its mother until blood is drawn. Those babes that drink blood along with milk are thought to show the most promise. Children who learn to speak and act first are given most of the attention of their parents. A household takes responsibility for the young, however, and Drow mothers are not saddled with her children; the skills of a Drow female are too valuable to go to waste. Some Drow mothers have been known to tend duties for hours and face the squalling hunger of their unfed infants with anger.

Drow children are not coddled. They are raised together and sent to schools with high standards of conduct. Drow children are trained to compete with one another and to show no mercy. Some children do not survive the intense childhood games. Females are not given any advantages by instructors. They are taught that they must know how to beat the males on their own. During adolescence, females are given private instruction by elder Drow women in how to control m

InyaRay Oktomica: ((you can type commetns into notepad and copy/paste those as well perhaps .. ))
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . good idea

Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . The whole picture of drow childhood doesn't ring true for me
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Please explain
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . What Fifi just copied for us ... that seems more organized than I picture drow society
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Who pays the teachers? Why is being a teacher a valued profession? Why do drow care about educating their children?
Shawn Daysleeper: Because teachers are the masters?
InyaRay Oktomica: If it served a selfish end they might provide at least military style training
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . ok. What selfish end does it serve? That's what I'm not seeing
InyaRay Oktomica: Increaes in their power by increasing abiltiy to attack others. Though.. not sure they are organized in attacks really
Shawn Daysleeper: maybe through influence
InyaRay Oktomica: in that case training should be social in nature more than military
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I agree with Shawn
Shawn Daysleeper: influence is a powerful thing, especially if you are a teacher
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . also if the best and the strongest survive, then it is imperative to ensure the survival of your race by education
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . You lost me there
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . ok If you keep everyone uneducated... then how does your people survive and advance? If you, however, take the best and the brightest and educate them..
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . If everyone in your clan is your rival, do yoiu want them educated?
InyaRay Oktomica: They seem little concerned with group benefit and more with their own personal influence
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . to a degree?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I agree with Inya, is group survival even a priority?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Wouldn't it have to some extenst? Man, this is tricky
InyaRay Oktomica: It is..
Shawn Daysleeper: It's kinda like Darwinism, drow society
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Partly because 100% self-centeredness doesn't work very well
InyaRay Oktomica: They must have some care for society at large to wish to shine in it, or even just control it
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . yes
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I suppose a strong clan is better to live in than a dying clan
InyaRay Oktomica: Did clans join together ?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . voluntarily?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I can only imagine that if there were some overpowering need
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . The two matrons might cooperate if it were to both their advantage. Temporarily. I don't know if that counts as "joining"
AelKennyr Rhiano nods in agreement
Shawn Daysleeper: that sounds more like an allianceInyaRay Oktomica: and the clan may be an extended clan or family or tribe
InyaRay Oktomica: Was there a king or queen of the Drow ? or just the clans
Shawn Daysleeper: I don't think there was an overall queen of all drow
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . I suppose that would depend on how powerful someone was, this year? It does seem improbable that someone could rule all the clans
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I can't imagine one maintaining such a position for long
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . not for long, certainly
Shawn Daysleeper nods in agreement

InyaRay Oktomica: was there a final fate of them ? or do they go on in general the same
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Does anyone know?
Shawn Daysleeper: I don't
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I do not , either
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . That might be between them and Llolth?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Does anyone know a drow expert?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Dominique knows some drow
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . So do you
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . yes. I know a little about them
Lihan Taifun {to Fifi}: Does your research say anything about the Final Fate of drow?
InyaRay Oktomica: Perhaps we shall send a small Drow bratty child to them
Fifi Wickentower: . . . hmmm . . the big FF
Fifi Wickentower: . . . i can serve in hat capacity ^^
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I found some stuff on LLoth
Lolth is a fickle and cruel goddess, believing that the drow race is best served by constantly struggling against each other. To this end, she tests some of her more exceptional followers to determine if they are worthy of her patronage -- and worthy of their lives. This test, known as the Test of Lolth, is given to any Lolth-worshiping drow upon reaching 6th level, although sometimes she waits until the subject is 7th or even 8th level.
Part of the test is about Loyalty. Usually Lolth plants thoughts in the mind of a friend, family member, or ally of the subject, leading him to believe he has been chosen for a special favor from the Spider Queen. (If the subject of the Test has no suitable friend, family member, or ally, Lolth chooses a cleric that has shown insufficient zeal.) In return, he must destroy one of "Lolth's enemies" (the drow actually being tested). Lolth instructs the dupe to ambush the target, slaying the enemy of the Spider Queen. When the target is attacked, she hears whispers from Lolth that she is being tested and the outcome of the battle determines whether she succeeds or fails. It is a test of loyalty whether or not the subject is willing to kill an ally if the Spider Queen tells her to do so.
The rest of the test is about power and resourcefulness -- whether or not the subject is strong and clever enough to defeat a powerful foe.

Fifi Wickentower: . . . all i have noticed about the Ff is oblivion . . no chance really at redemption
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Well, with Lolth, who wants to spend more time with her? Oblivion sounds like much more fun

Fifi Wickentower: . . . I did learn that drow find spider jerky very tasty
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Euuu
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Not much meat on a spider

Fifi Wickentower: . . . but spider jerky!!!
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . That sounds more like a snack, instead of a meal?
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . We were wondering what drow eat
InyaRay Oktomica: ew
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Would they eat each other?
Fifi Wickentower: . . . here's some more info :))
General staples of the drow diet include:
  • mushroom/fungus flour: used to make pastry and noodles
  • mushroom-based tofu: a meat-substitute that is a staple of "middle-class" drow.
  • lizard eggs
  • rats: usually eaten only by the lower class, this is beneath the dignity of the wealthy and noble houses.
  • snails
  • lichen
  • fish: grown in ponds in or near the drow cities, or netted from underground rivers.
  • mollusks
  • insects: particularly cave crickets. Usually served fried with a spicy mushroom sauce, or carmelized as a desert (along the lines of honey roast peanuts)
  • Subterranean Puffer fish: a dangerous delicacy enjoyed by the drow. If prepared incorrectly it can prove fatal (this is simply a variation of the Japanese dish)
Shawn Daysleeper: Maybe spider jerkey
InyaRay Oktomica: my, sounds strangley appetizing
Fifi Wickentower: . . . well, they have a lot of slaves and it seems that they will allow the slaves to eat each other so they don't have to bother with feeding them
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Wouldn't want to run out of snails and rats to feed the slaves
InyaRay Oktomica: so so bad ... I will not wish to be this Drow
Shawn Daysleeper: Mushroom based tofu?
Fifi Wickentower: . . . Yes, drw rarely eat rats
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . You said upperclass drow rarely do
Fifi Wickentower: . . . i don't even want to try the skin on lol
Fifi Wickentower: . . . yes . . nobility and upperclass. i use the term loosely. nothing noble i can see. love is their first and greatest taboo
Shawn Daysleeper: So these are the masters and clan leaders?
Fifi Wickentower: . . . There is a hierarchy just like in regular elven groups
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Last week some people were saying the drow were "well disicplined" fighters. I would have thought they were too independent-minded for that -- each looking after his or her own skin
InyaRay Oktomica: but they are said to be intelligent, so may cooperate for a purpose
Fifi Wickentower: . . . The drow society follows the social pattern of lloith personality
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . You can cooperate a lot better if you aren't always worrying that your fellow warriors are going to stab you in the back. It really helps to be able to trust your comrades
InyaRay Oktomica: true
Fifi Wickentower: . . . Drow society is an extension of the goddess and the social order follows the pattern of her character. Lolth is the fickle mother at the heart of everything, the fat spider at the center of a vast web of Drow that feed her bloody thirst with belief and sacrifices.
Fifi Wickentower: . . . It is alien to us the very concepts by which they live
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . very alien
Fifi Wickentower: . . . So far i have learned more than i ever wanted to about them
InyaRay Oktomica: How is it that elven creatures becomes so different from their base
Fifi Wickentower: . . . I was never te least bit interested n d&d, and still am not :D
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I was not into D&D in College. I had a lot of friends who were.
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . But now we have drow in the 4th Age
Fifi Wickentower: . . . they hd no start in tolkien so there base isn't from that wold at all
InyaRay Oktomica: that is nice to consider
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . yes, we do have drow
Fifi Wickentower: . . . i've known ppl too, just not my personal thing

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . There is an an aspect of Drow society we have not considerd tonight: slavery
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . that sounds very drow

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Slavery is second nature to the drow mindset; few dark elves can imagine life without slaves. Drow believe they have a manifest destiny as the best and strongest of all the races. It only follows that other races must serve them or become extinct.
Drow treat slaves with no respect, using and abusing them at will. To most surface slavers, a slave is a valuable trade-good, not to be damaged more than is necessary. To most drow, a slave is but a pair of hands, without limits that need be thought of; if it is killed, there are a million replacements to be had.
As such, in drow society, slaves can be killed for the smallest slight, for pleasure, or out of spite. Maiming and scarring, both physical and emotional, is another form of punishment (and amusement) commonly meted out upon slaves.

Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Sounds like drow must have an infinte supply of cheap replacement slaves

Fifi Wickentower: . . . that is another taboo . . . Equality: Drow may not treat other races as equals at any time, unless they are doing so as a means of deception. A Drow must never think that other races are equal to their own. In some Vhaeraunian encampments, however, this taboo is altered: all elves are superior, and non-elves, including half-elves, are to be disdained.

InyaRay Oktomica: If a drow with a slave appears in my garden.. I shall eject the drow and let the slave be free
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . What is " Vhaeraunian"?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I was about to ask that, too?
Fifi Wickentower: . . . a group like teleri
Shawn Daysleeper: I'm glad I'm not a drow
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . me, too
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . How did the drow get into your garden? You live in the Blessed Lands
InyaRay Oktomica: Many things get into my gardens
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . That is a good question...
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . They're not supposed to get into your garden
InyaRay Oktomica: If a tree there can be withered.. so to may appear a Drow
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . perhaps the nightmare tears? they open portals
InyaRay Oktomica: yes, so bad
InyaRay Oktomica: It is in case a Drow is listening... and has a slave... they will know what to expect
Shawn Daysleeper: I wouldn't rp a drow, not sure I even could, they sound so cruel
Fifi Wickentower: . . . nor I
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . yeah
InyaRay Oktomica: The limit was knowing they allow slaves to eat one another if no food. I will save all Drow slaves if I may
Shawn Daysleeper: sounds worse than orc even
Fifi Wickentower: . . . lovely
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . or just to save expenses
Fifi Wickentower: . . . they thrives on pain, torture, cruelty
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . superiority
Fifi Wickentower: . . . mental torture as much as an other kind also
InyaRay Oktomica: yes. For each poor slave killed.. I would name a flower
Fifi Wickentower: . . . nice Inya :)
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . oh, Inya, that is so sweet
InyaRay Oktomica: yet it does not save them :( Down with Drow
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . At least it honors their existence
InyaRay Oktomica: true :)

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . I wonder why Tolkien did not include the drow in his world. They would have been a great analogy for the concept of Arayan supremacy
Fifi Wickentower: . . . because he was wise and good :D smiles sweetly

Fifi Wickentower: . . . let me ust ad this it . .. Elves and half-elves are almost always considered special slaves and subjected to the harshest treatments, stemming from Drow relations with their surface cousins. The Drow rejoice in obtaining slaves of the more rare elven races, especially the nearly extinct

InyaRay Oktomica: Tolkien was right not to include them. so bad
Shawn Daysleeper: Well, I think we answered the question why there is no drow in Tolkein's works
AelKennyr Rhiano shudders. EEP
Fifi Wickentower: . . . yes please, i' need a shwer afer allthis ceepy stuff hehehe
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . You'd think the drow economy would go broke, buying new slaves
Fifi Wickentower: . . . buy??? buy???? h!!! mostly the humanoid rces . they breed fast enough to replace themselves

AelKennyr Rhiano: . . What will we talk about next week?
Shawn Daysleeper: not drow
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Agreed! We could do Chapter 4 in the Sil....
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . What is Chapter 4?
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . Thingol and Melian. That would be upbeat
Shawn Daysleeper: Ya sounds good
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . That sounds harmless enough
Fifi Wickentower: . . . Maybe Melian would cme
InyaRay Oktomica: Wish Rosie could be here, yes
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . She might come
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . Rosie might
Fifi Wickentower: . . . I could ask Thingol, but probably wouldn't
AelKennyr Rhiano: . . That would be cool
Fifi Wickentower: . . . Let's ask her
Lihan Taifun: . . . . . . . no predicting what Thingol would do
Fifi Wickentower: . . . I'll ask him too. But no hold breath