Drow are a dark-skinned race of elf that live in the Underdark, an underground city. Most drow are evil aligned, with the exception of Drizzt Do'Urden and Solaufein in Baldur's Gate II. They are shorter than regular elves and highly resistant to magic, and have a strong hatred for surface elves. Drow usually have black, blue or violet skin, have white hair and red or blue eyes. Before the name Drow was adapted, they were simply known as 'dark elves'.

Drow are taught from an early age to trust no one, forging alliances only when they are confident that they can outmatch their ally if he/she decides to turn on them. The inherent pride in their own abilities quite often leads to such alliances being forged, though they almost always end badly when one party decides said alliance is no longer convenient. Even drow who escape the cruelties of the Underdark find it more difficult to form long-term friendships than most races do.

Slavery plays a large part in drow society and drow households usually have two or more slaves for each member. All unskilled labor in drow cities is carried out by slaves. One slave from each household is usually kept as a “pet” by the household, and this is often a spider, since it is the symbol of the deity Lloth. Spiders roam the streets in drow cities, acting as pest controllers, and larger ones are used to guard houses or as mounts for transportation. These spiders are often specially bred for the purpose and are more intelligent than their regular counterparts, especially the sword spider.

Most drow speak a drow version of Elvish as well as Undercommon, and a language suitable for the region in which they live, such as Abyssal, Common, Draconic, or Goblin. It is quite common for the Drow to learn the language spoken on the surface beneath which they live. All Drow are literate except for their barbarians. Drow Sign Language is commonly known, and is a silent language that consists of hand signals and facial expressions. There is no equivalent written or spoken form of this language.

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