Content of the article: "We created an alternate origin for the Drow for our home campaign, would the community be interested in a full detailed document based on our Az’Drow (Astral) Elves?"
One of our recent home campaigns is based in the Underdark, with a party of Drow attempting to build what will ultimately be the Drow home city in the deep.
There's far more to explaining their origins than I'll post here, but the core origin is that Drow are a matrilineal race of Astral-Sailing Elves, with translucent skin – nearly albino. Az'Drow being their word for the Astral Plane. The depths of space being very dark, their bodies have no need for protective coloration. But their diet can cause different colorations to appear as a side effect of digestion (think more like the various alien colorations in Marvel's Gaurdians of the Galaxy). They fly the astral seas in sleek ceramic-based ships that are controlled by a near-AI assistant that interfaces with their glowing crystalline computer/weapons systems via a network/mesh/web. They interact with the machines via innate light-manipulation (dancing lights/darkness) and mild psychic ability.
During a cataclysmic war above the world, the ships end up embedded deep within the underdark, smashed and broken. Evil forces merged and manipulate the shattered crystals, causing the Faezress crystals to grow. Lolth found the drow communications system/web perfectly suited to her own portfolio of powers and control. The Drow diet causes their coloration to change, and their innate abilities and culture begin to adapt to a ruthless environment – becoming brutal and oppressive.
One other note, was that we have the Druids of the Underdark maintain their albinism by subsisting on goodberries, to maintain their distance from the main culture. For all their talk of "balance", they actually spend a lot of time keeping the culture's many factions in balance – not necessarily good/evil in balance.
Part of this experiment was to see if we could divest "evil for evil's sake" from the race, and build a bigger picture/future for a people beyond where they might be first encountered.
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