Gangsters and Goblins
The Drow Nation
The Drow, or dark elves, are a subrace of elves that are mainly characterized by their black skin, white hair, and a notorious reputation.
Before the Drow Coal Conflicts, the Drow people and society was characteristic of the traditional DnD description: They were a matriarchal society organized into many independent city-states each run by a high priestess of Lolth. Their city-states were all located in the vast network of underground caverns, present across the entire continent of Cathagus, called the Underdark. Their rabid devotion to the evil goddess Lolth created a violent, perverse society that was equal parts hated and feared by the surface world. In early history, the drow were known to frequently raid and plunder the surface world; however as the world moved into the more modern age, the attacks became less frequent as the drow took on a state of almost complete isolation from the surface world that had now become far more structured and organized into stable industrious nations.
The Drow Coal Conflicts
The great technological advancements of the 1800’s was fuelled exclusively by coal. Massive industry and simple luxuries were now far more widespread due to technology fueled by coal. Having not yet developed the technology for economical strip-mining, subsurface shaft mining was the only real option for obtaining coal. These operations were far larger than any other ore mining operations ever attempted. The mostly dwarven miners made extremely long and deep tunnels them into ever increasing contact with the Underdark. In 1857 one of these contacts turned bloody when a dwarven mining operation in the country of Fegrush encroached on a drow city. The miners were killed and the center of the mining of operation was invaded by a drow attack force and everyone involved in the operation were murdered, their bodies mutilated and left as a warning.
It didn’t take long for Fegrush to declare war and the drow city followed suit. The opening months of the war didn’t draw much attention from the rest of the world. However, as the conflict dragged on for a year, both the rest of the drow Underdark city-states and the nations of Cathagus started to take notice. It dawned on them that this same conflict was inevitable in their land as coal mining increased. Some nations attempted to open relations with the drow city-states beneath them, while others quickly sought to clearly define their borders and fortify themselves against possible attack from below. While the surface nations reactions were varied, the drow city-states response was almost unanimous: “The Underdark is drow territory, violation of our territory is an act of war.”
Tension between the surface nations and their respective drow city-state beneath them increased rapidly over the next 5 years. By the end of the 6th year of the conflict, several dozen individual wars had broken out between different surface nations and the drow city-states beneath them. For the next 3 years the different wars raged on separate from each other with each city-state fighting for istelf and each nation relying upon its own military.
By mid 1866 the surface nations of Cathagus had come to the conclusion that these wars would drag out for a long time unless they joined forces to tackle the drow threat as a whole. So a temporary alliance was made to pool military resources and coordinate and carry out a complete military campaign against the drow. In response the drow city-states reluctantly joined forces as well. Each high priestess of Lolth meet on neutral ground to determine who would lead the now united drow people against the surface world. Considering drow society, the result of the meeting was quite predictable. All of the high priestess of Lolth fought and killed each other for the right of leading the united drow people. By the end only one high priestess remained. She renamed herself The Blade of Lolth and went on to lead the drow in a near suicidal bloody campaign against the surface nation alliance.
The conflict continued for another 4 years with high casualties on both sides. Although the drow very more advance in the magical arts, their technology was significantly behind that of the surface world. The advances in weapons (firearms), medical, and communications technology of the surface world easily countered the drow’s magic superiority. The allied surface nations found it particularly difficult in acclimating to warfare in the cramped Underdark and drow poisoned weapons made almost every wound fatal.
In the last year of the war the allied surface nations were clearly winning; however the allied nation leaders understood that if the continued fighting as they were, it would take several more years and many more casualties on their side before they had any chance of forcing the incredibly stubborn drow to surrender. So they adopted a “total war” like strategy to completely demoralize their enemy as quickly as possible. From then on every single drow (military and civilian) encountered was killed, every settlement or city was completely destroyed with no building left standing, and all drow resources were either destroyed or taken for use.
The drow military suffered one complete and utter lose after another in the last year of the war. It didn’t take long for the drow military leadership to completely lose faith in Lolth and conclude that she had completely betrayed the drow. The military leaders saw no other alternative then to surrender to save the drow from complete genocide. However, The Blade of Lolth and the rest of the religious ruling class forced the military to continue fighting a fruitless battle. The religious ruling class were completely devoted to Lolth and were willing to sacrifice every drow life, including their own, before surrender.
In August of 1869 the military began a coup against The Blade of Lolth and her the rest of the religious leadership. On October 18 The Blade of Lolth and all her remaining followers were killed, the military took over control, and they promptly surrendered.
Post Coal Conflicts
At the start of 1857, the total population of drow worldwide was estimated at around 35 million. By the end of 1869 their were less than 5 million left. Some of these survivors remained in the Underdark, but with everything that they had built and all their resources taken or destroyed, most were lucky to even get by. Most fled the destruction of the Underdark for the surface world. Despite having had little to no relations with Drow (except for the recent conflict) for over 2 centuries, their reputation proceeded them and the refugees rarely found welcome in any society they tried to integrate into.
The only success that any drow found in survival on the surface was when they banded together such as forming small self sufficient rural communities or creating their own isolated neighborhoods in large urban sprawls. Alone the drow were easy targets of persecution and harassment. In a group, however, they were intimidating and people generally stayed out of the way. Strength in numbers was a simple but very true statement for them.
With the near eradication of their race and the complete destruction of the Lolth priestesses, almost all drow have renounced Lolth. They see Lolth as the ultimate betrayer that turned her back on them when they needed her the most. Most believe that she didn’t even care about the drow in the first place and has intentionally sabotaged their society and snuffed out their true potential from the very beginning.
The Drow Nation
The turn of the century gave rise to criminal societies that would start in Northern Cathagus and then spread to the rest of the world. Out of these emerging organized crime groups came a drow exclusive crime society commonly referred to as The Drow Nation. They claim to champion the cause of all drow and hold their people’s interests paramount. However, many see the group as simply a powerful criminal organization that happens to be all drow. The group is very large, well funded, and operates internationally with a secret yet effective leadership structure that can mange such a large spread out organization.
The Drow Nation deals mostly in the selling and transport of illegal goods, providing illegal necromancy services for money, and mercenary work. The Underdark has many long and secret routes that can run for hundreds or thousands of miles beneath the Cathagus continent. The Drow Nation use these secret routes to transport anything they are hired to move without having to deal with national borders and law enforcement. With necromancy illegal and naturally hard to come by in a modern world that has been moving away from arcane advancement in favor of technological advancement, the drow’s advanced and nefarious magical background makes them the one of the top choices when it comes to necromancy. Finally, drow propensity towards stealth, subterfuge, and poison use makes them ideal spies and assassins.
The Drow Nation in Romasor
The Drow Nation operating in Romasor is run by Diana, a successful railroad tycoon and prominent Romasor socialite. She is unusual, compared to the rest of the organizations leadership, in that her identity is known in the Romasor criminal community and she is in the public eye when it comes to her social dealings and her legitimate business dealings. Despite being so out in the open, her involvement in the Drow Nation is at best a vague piece of gossip among the general public.
In Romasor’s criminal community, the Drow Nation is considered the number two group you do not want to piss off in Romasor with number one being the Cartel. They are very protective of the drow population, especially ones that belong to the Drow Nation organization. Any violence or major discrimination against drow is swiftly dealt with by the Drow Nation with extreme prejudice. Which usually means you can expect alot of non-drow dead bodies popping up.
The majority of Romasor criminal organizations stay out of conflict or association with The Drow Nation. Their is a tenuous alliance between The Drow Nation and the Bunchinsky Family, although it mostly amounts to them staying out of each others way. The Drow Nation’s major enemy in Romasor is The Cartel and by association the RLA. No one knows why they have such open hostilities against The Cartel, the only thing we know is that The Drow Nation was the initial aggressor and it started only a few years ago. Besides the Cartel and the RLA, The Drow Nation does not like the Cult of the Raven Queen. Although they don’t take as nearly an aggressive stance against the cult, they still on occasion attempt to stop its activities in Romasor since the Cult is actively opposed to the creation of undead, which is apart of The Drow Nation’s enterprise.