Friday, October 21, 2011

My Top 10 Drow

I love drow. I love the Forgotten Realms world in general, but mostly, I love drow. The black-skinned, white-haired, spider-worshipping dark elves that live in caves untouched by the sun are pretty much the best sort of elf to ever exist in the pages of fantasy. There are a few spoilers in here, so if you haven't read The Legend of Drizzt or War of the Spider Queen books but plan on doing so, maybe skip the ones you aren't familiar with.

10. Vierna Do'Urden 
Vierna is a rare drow. As a priestess, she is expected to be horrible and evil; sometimes, however, a little bit of her calmer, nicer inner self shows through, and she's not such a bad person after all. Then she goes crazy and turns her brother into a drider, and you can forget about her being nice ever again.

9. Quenthel Baenre
A high priestess of the Spider Queen, Quenthel is very dedicated. She is completely dispassionate towards her fellow drow, and maintains her faith through very difficult trials. 

8. Lord Dyrr
Dyrr is a lich. He's amazingly powerful and wants even more power all the time. He doesn't care at all who gets in his way.

7. Halisstra Melarn 
Halisstra is a high priestess of the Spider Queen until she converts to a freer, more peaceful religion followed by a group of drow living on the surface. She changes her evil ways completely to live a life of dancing under the moon, and she even falls in love. I was legitimately very angry with her when she later abandons that life to go back to the Spider Queen. It ruined my life.

6. Zaknafein Do'Urden
I really liked Zaknafein's presence in the Legend of Drizzt series. He is a father figure, a master trainer, and a friend, yet the empathy he clearly possesses has been suppressed due to the violent and evil he lives in. He is a good-hearted character who lives a miserable existence to survive, and he does his best to make sure Drizzt doesn't succumb to the evil ways of the drow. Even when manipulated by powerful magic, he refuses to kill his son, and destroys himself instead.

5. Ryld Argith 
Ryld is a weapons master who isn't a particularly interesting character until he abandons his life in Menzoberranzan to settle down in peace and love on the surface. His empathy is unusual for a drow, and it is even more unusual that he acted upon those emotions and gave up his old lifestyle simply for love. Even when betrayed, he has no regrets. 

4. Jarlaxle 
The leader of a band of rogues, Jarlaxle is one of the most influential male drow in Menzoberranzan. His presence is tolerated and even approved by the Spider Queen herself. He has a wide array of magical items that give him a huge assortment of abilities. He never runs out of tricks, and often uses illusions to his advantage. He's eccentric, brilliant, and highly resourceful. 

3. Gromph Baenre
The archmage of the largest drow city, Menzoberranzan, is Gromph. He's got tons of power, tons of influence (especially for a male drow), and tons of crazy secrets. He fights Lord Dyrr at some point, and the battle is stretched over two books (probably about 8 chapters in total) just because they kept outdoing each other. Gromph has a typical lack of compassion and a total disregard for anyone who gets in his way. 

2. Drizzt Do'Urden
If you know drow, you likely know of Drizzt. The Legend of Drizzt series contains some of my favorite books to date. Drizzt breaks the stereotypical evil of his race and lives as a ranger on the surface, beneath the sun and with the dwarves and humans in the cold north. His constant struggles to escape his past and his unmatched swordsmanship skills make his adventures quite interesting and dynamic. He forms very strong bonds with his friends, and their safety is always his top priority. I love the mentality he maintains throughout the series, as he talks about the importance of sticking to your beliefs and such.

1. Pharaun Mizzrym
Pharaun is significantly awesome. He's a very skilled wizard who doesn't care a whole lot about the Spider Queen. He likes keeping his appearance tidy and neat, and he's often complaining about getting dirty. He's very drow-like in his egocentric mindset; he will eliminate whomever he has to in order to secure a better position for himself or keep himself alive longer. One of my favorite things about him as a character is his dialogue. He's always going on - in a very formal way - about the intricacies of everything, carefully examining every slight flavor in his wine and dwelling on the characteristics of everyone he meets. Pharaun is also good at talking himself out of bad situations (probably to avoid messing up his hair), and he'll try whenever he can. He once asked a very large demon, "Will you consent to parlay?"


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