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Elf - Drakher
The Drakher are a race of subterranean elves which may be used for player characters. For additional information regarding this race, read their entry in the Creature Compendium. Presented here are guidelines for the play of Drakher characters.
Drakher are known through-out the Underhalls of the ground as a spartan and warrior-like race. They are a pridful, determined lot and are avoid by most other underground races for their volatile mood swings and proverbial "chip-on-the-shoulder" attitude. They are often skilled in wizardry, but also in more subtle arts - such as assassination. Drakher society is a corrupt ladder of power where the skilled, wealthy, and influential rule through cruelty and guarded caution. Political advancement is almost always through the elimination or disgrace of one's superiors and an opportunity for profit is rarely an opportunity turned down by a Drakher. Despite their status hungry nature, Drakher prefer power over material wealth. Gems, jewelry, finery, and comforts are the province of the weak and unambitious, so from an early age a Drakher is taught to shun such things. Fear is the quick way to gain respect from a Drakher elf (if it is you that they fear), but the long road of friendship and eventual trust is to be equally determined and to pursue goals that don't get in the way of whatever personal ambitions the Drakher has. It is not unheard of for the occasional Drakher to abandon their competitive society and seek solitude or the company of other races. One might sum up the Drakher's philosophy of ambition by the following: "Winning is everything. Do not expect pity, expect competition."
Drakher are easily distinguished from the other elfin races by their very pale, almost white skin. They are thinner and smaller than their
elfin cousins. Their hair is also naturally almost all white. Drakher often use dyes to permanently color their hair or tattoo their skin. Dyes are
also used to mark the skin and faces of slave Drakher. Dye colors are rarely bright or attention grabbing - unless the marked Drakher is a
criminal or untouchable. Their ears are slightly larger and their eyes are slightly rounder than those of other elves.
Drakher elves are not well loved by the races above or below ground. Their competitive and ethnocentric nature has caused a great many
conflicts in the past. Most races assume that all Drakher elves are of an evil bent. True, there are many swayed to evil, but there are exceptions,
and it is those exceptions that surface races are most likely to encounter. It is important to recognize the fact that the Drakher do not openly
seek or pursue conflict with other races. Often times they are too preoccupied with their own society to plot against the other inhabitants of the
world. Drakher are also rarely outright hostile with everyone they meet and in fact they can be quite reasonable conversationalists, but anyone
whose actions consistently conflict with the Drakher's goals better watch their back.
Drakher society is orderly and lawful, but made corrupt by the clashing numbers of ambitious individuals. Tyrants in power use their connections to further their own selfish aims and solidify or advance their position in society. Drakher adventurers may be of any alignment but most are ambitious in some manner. What measures they are willing to take and sacrifices they are willing to make to achieve their ambitions ultimately determine their true alignment.
Drakher live in functional cities of stone that spread through multiple interconnected caverns of the earth. These buildings are shaped from stone by magical force so as to form strategic avenues and easily defended positions. Drakher hunting parties roam the tunnels nearby their cities, ever vigilant against the many predators of the underworld.
Drakher are mostly monotheistic, following the god known as Brakah, Lord of the Earth. They also believe in the earth as a spiritual force and special Drakher priests, called Dura, act as interpreters on behalf of the earth-spirits. It is difficult to discount the existence of these spirits as the Dura do indeed receive supernatural powers and spell like abilities in return for services on their behalf. Drakher do not worship the earth-spirits, but do revere them. Some believe that they are the "breath" of Brakah. Priests of Brakah can be very influential members of Drakher society and reinforce their power by the decrying of other gods as pretenders or weak spirits of the Realm Above. Some Drakher secretly worship the god called Shistar, god of mysteries, secrets, and magic. They are carefully clandestine of their worship of this god though for fear of punishment at the hands of the following of Brakah. Drakher adventurers may choose to follow any god, but should be aware of the rejection they may suffer from their own race should their worship of inappropriate gods be discovered.
The Drakher speak their own language, Dhe-khalan, which has its own written equivalent. The language and written word is highly changeable from one Drakher clan to the next so the writings of two vastly separated clans might appear to be two completely different languages. The spoken tongue is not too difficult for non-Drakher to learn, though learning enough Dhe-khalan to communicate with Drakher from other clans can quickly become a difficult task. The written language is much more difficult to learn as it is comprised of thousands of characters which must be memorized before even simple sentences can be understood. The Drakher also have a simplified version of their written text called Dam. This set of way-runes are used as signposts and warnings through-out the underground. Any serious adventurer of the underground should take the time to learn the useful and commonly encountered Dam runes.
Drakher are given two names, one at their birth and a second at their death. Their birth name typically is influenced by some expectation
that the child's parents have for their newborn. Their death name is an important symbol of what they actually accomplished in life and is how
the Drakher will be remembered in written texts and how they will be called when they live no more. A Drakher cannot choose their own death
name, it is given to them once they are already dead. Thus it is an important task to a Drakher to have done something noteworthy, memorable,
and deserving of a good death-name before they pass on into the afterlife. Some Drakher believe that without a death-name a spirit cannot rest
soundly and will never find comfort in the afterlife. Following this belief, sometimes a particularly disliked or unaccomplished Drakher will be
punished by never receiving a death-name, condemning their spirit to forever wander aimlessly through-out the afterlife.
Knowledge, power, vengeance, to prove oneself, to escape Drakher society, or merely for a change of pace, there are many reasons for a Drakher elf to go adventuring. Drakher elves make an effective addition to adventuring parties that prefer politics or blood-thirsty combat. As long as the party is on the move, progressing to some goal, it is easy to keep a Drakher character satisfied. Aimless wandering, months of sitting around, being lost in the woods, or mundane guard duty are tasks which will leave a Drakher frustrated. It is challenge and success or the impending anticipation of it that gets them going. This doesn't mean that Drakher are impatient. Drakher are known to carefully lay plans that may take years before fruition. It is not the speed of the task to be done, but the having a task to be done which is important to a Drakher. Some adventuring groups may find a Drakher companion to be too demanding, intense and focused. Many groups enjoy side adventures and excursions over the course of a longer campaign. A Drakher elf is the kind of person who might just ignore the villagers in distress if it means success in some endeavor they have undertaken.