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Lore:Rothé Valley

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A Hasty Warning[edit | edit source]

The last words of this hastily written note are smeared by blood:

"Uncle, if you are reading this, you must listen to my warning. Proceed no further, and leave us to our fate! The drow believe you were behind a raid on their slaving outpost that left one of their leaders dead. They used magic to find all of us related to you, and gathered us here to lure you in. The only one I haven't seen is my cousin Cella, and with her half-elven blood I cannot imagine she still lives.

Uncle, I never doubted your stories, but even in your prime you wouldn't have a chance against what they have waiting for you. You haven't seen the vast and bloated spider they call "Lolth's Daughter". They showed us what it could do to a person. I cannot describe-

They've seen me writing. Uncle, you must get out! It's a tra-"

Cella's Diary[edit | edit source]

From a diary written by Cella Gunderson:

“Mother told me I should start writing down some of Uncle Gunderson’s old adventuring stories. She has a good point. I share her elven blood, and will outlive most everyone I know. But if I remember their stories, they’ll live on my memory.

So, Where should I start with Uncle Gunderson’s stories, and which of them should I believe? With the time he searched for lost Lantan and ended up in the Moonshea isles? Or when he and father chased a gnoll necromancer to Luskan? Or should I start at the beginning, when he left the village as a youth to help the wizard Rucksam?

Have to finish later, diary. A new customer came in. She looks like a drow, but dressed so strangely. Mst be from Neverwinter. How exciting! I wonder what brings her out here?

- Cella”

Driders in Drow Culture[edit | edit source]

A hideous fusion of dark elf and giant spider, Driders are formed from drow who have gained special favor or disfavor in the eyes of the demon-goddess Lolth. Those in Lolth’s favor become more powerful and deadly while those cursed with the form are maddened by the transformation.

Thus, Driders can be found at the forefront of drow armies, in positions of power, and among the priesthood; or they might be tortured monsters existing on the fringes of drow society. Either way, they are dangerous creatures to be feared.

Drow Slave Rebellions[edit | edit source]

The drow of the Underdark have experienced several crippling slave rebellions in their long history. These, in turn, cause the drow to take up harsher measures, which make their slaves more desperate, which usually leads to another rebellion. Some scholars believe this is all part of a Lolth’s greater plans to make her worshippers stronger by demanding constant vigilance for their society to function.

Duregar Dungeon Map[edit | edit source]

1385DR
Day 5: Most of the dungeon seems to have caved in- we don’t know what caused it but the duergar that we have encountered and fought have accused us of dire magic We have mapped most of this level and found a place to make camp.

Day6: We lost Grym Fartreader to a large green cube today while we was searching for keys or a lock pick set to unlock the doors. Shouldn’t be long now before we can return to Neverwinter with our spoils.

Haunted Redoubt Journal[edit | edit source]

From a journal found in hidden chamber:
“Second of Leafall, 1142 DR:
We chased the drow slavers back into their tunnels, but were turned back at the edge of a vast city of the dark elves before we could rescue ay of the villagers. We tried to make our way back to the surface, but the drow have closed the exit with stone. We are sorely injured and need to rest, but the drow keep looking for us.

Third of Leafall, 1142 DR:
We have found a hidden spot, and I’ve used my magic to create an illusion which should protect our hiding place. The drow are still searching for us. We’ve seen what comes to those they capture, and have vowed to die before we let that happen. We’ll just have to wait for a chance to escape. The world above must know that Rothé Valley is a trap, lest the same fate befalls another village.

History of Lolth[edit | edit source]

The demon-goddess Lolth was originally known as Araushnee, elven goddess of artisans and destiny, and lover of Corellon. However, she grew hungry for power, and began to betray the other gods in secret.

Eventually, she formed a dark pantheon of her own in an attempt to overthrow the Elven gods. Araushnee was defeated, and was transformed into hideous hybrid of woman and spider before Corellon cast her into the Abyss.

Banishment to the abyss was meant to be a punishment, but instead Lolth thrived. Through treachery and murder she forged an entire layer of the Abyss into a new home called the Demonweb Pits.

Aided by demons, spiders, and her drow worshippers, Lolth has spent eons preparing her long-awaited vengeance against the world.

Iliyanbruen Inscription[edit | edit source]

A faded inscription in ancient elven reads:

Favored reader, know ye that I’m a wizard of my word,
Thus, to say I meant for the Princess’s disgrace, absurd.
To fulfill my vow I shall now cast this new spell of mine,
An illusion of rock which shall outlast true stone and time.
Past turn of star, death of gods, e’en Iliyanbruen’s fall,
Through aeons shall stand this, my new illusionary wall.

- Monterocarr, wizard of Iliyanbruen

Imbross' Letter[edit | edit source]

Grandmother,
I’m writing to ask you to stop sending assassins after the family. You have none to blame but yourself for driving mother to flee for not sacrificing father, and you cannot blame either of them for never wanting to return. You dynastic politics have no meaning for us in Neverwinter, we are free of It and want no part. It is a different world up here, and we have new future before us, so lave us be.

Mother still sends her love. Father, and I quote, “hopes every day that had gets her treacherous brain sucked out by a mind flayer.”

Your Grandson,
Imbross

P.S. - Your last band of assassins were slain with the aid of an elven paladin of Corellon. Her name is Ayriisha, and the two of us will be wed next spring. So your efforts haven’t been for nothing, I suppose.

Lolth's Ritual[edit | edit source]

Recovering drow ritual books revealed the depth and breadth of the strange rite which the drow are attempt to enact on the order of their goddess. Lolth’s priestesses are attempting to weave a web of magic from the underdark up to the surface, and all across the world. This web is meant to ensnare the arcane power that has raged uncontrolled ever since the Spellplague, and craft it into a new weave of magic. A weave under Lolth’s control.

Neverwinter's Rangers[edit | edit source]

Lord Neverember has recently commissioned the service of bands of Rangers to patrol and explore regions of the Sword Coast near Neverwinter. Consisting mostly of local volunteers, mercenaries, and elven expatriates, these rangers travel to small towns and forgotten places, scouting for dangers that may threaten the city and answering cries for help from friendly settlements.

So far, the policy has worked well for Neverwinter, providing information and spreading good will at low cost. Unfortunately, the small ranger bands are often woefully unprepared to deal with some of the threats they discover.

New Xorlarrin[edit | edit source]

Unlike previous drow slave raids into Rothé Valley, this latest raid has included a large amount of construction by the drow of house Xorlarrin. Beneath the shroud of darkness covering the village, they have already begun construction bastions, manor houses, outposts to make Rothé Valle a beachhead into the world above. They’ve even broken from their normal pattern of sending captured surface dwellers into the underdark, and enslave them to build the fortresses of the drow over the village they once called home.

Operations in Rothé Valley[edit | edit source]

(Available to Fighters only)

A peaceful settlement along the High Road north of the city, Rothé Valley farms much of the grain and fodder that keeps Neverwinter alive. When the drow of House Xorlarrin raided Rothé Valley, they forced Neverwinter Guard to respond.

The Guard's order in Rothé Valley are to establish a defensible base, liberate any and all civilians from captivity, and capture and interrogate any command-level drow. Given the low troop levels available, skirmishes and commando raids are recommended strategies.

Origin of the Drow[edit | edit source]

Over 12,000 years ago, during the Fourth Crown War between the ancient elven kingdoms, the dark elven kingdom of Ilythiir turned to the worship of their ancient goddess Araushnee, now known as Lolth, the Queen of the Demonweb Pits.

The Ilythiiri’s vile tactics revealed their allegiance to Lolth and her cadre of dark gods, drawing the ire of all other elven nations. The Ilythiiri are dubbed “dhaerow”, or traitors, and great magic was worked against them to drive them from the surface lands.

In the Underdark, the Ilythiiri formed new cities and strongholds, and took the name “Drow” for their own. The drow have never forgotten their ancient hatred, and the vow of vengeance sworn by their ancestors is still central to drow society and their long-term goals.

Rucksam Tunnel[edit | edit source]

This convenient tunnel mysteriously appeared overnight in Rothé Valley nearly fifty years ago, in 1429DR. The village elders were afraid it might be a side effect of the Spellplague, and asked traveling wizard named Rucksam, who was staying in town, to investigate. The wizard explained that the tunnel was safe, because he had built it himself with his magic, in order to win a bet with old Fergus Gunderson, a local farmer.

While the townspeople happy to have an easier way to get to the nearby farms, old Fergus would grumble “That’ll teach me to make a bet against a drunken wizard,” and every time he had to pick up Rucksam’s tab at the inn when the wizard travelled through town.

Slavers from the Depths[edit | edit source]

The drow have been taking slaves for centuries, and while specific techniques vary from city to city and house to house, their methods are horrifyingly effective.

Captured prisoners are first brought to outposts and subjected to acts of random cruelty for imagined insults against their captors. When their fear is at its peak, the captives are taken to a shrine of Lolth where they are marked with brands of slavery. The drow then chose one among their victims to be slain upon an altar in front of the others at the culmination of the ceremony of enslavement as a blood sacrifice to Lolth.

With their will to resist broken, the prisoners are finally sent into the underdark to serve the drow until their bodies break.

Slaves of the Drow[edit | edit source]

(Available to Drow only)

The practice of keeping slaves among the drow is as old as the drow themselves. In Menzoberranzan, the number of slaves rivals and occasionally the number of drow.

The drow are egalitarian when it comes to their slaves. Goblins, orcs, kobolds, and humans make up a large portion of the slaves, but more exotic creatures can often be found in bondage to drow masters. Troll, tiefling, and ogre slaves can bring respect and prestige to their owners.

For the most part, drow do not make slaves of other drow, preferring execution or exile as punishment for most crimes. Slavery, to the drow, is for lesser peoples.

The Secret of Rothé Valley[edit | edit source]

Though there are mentions of villages in the area on off hundreds of years, the current village was founded in 1295 DY. Ignoring old stories about “shadow-people” from under the ground who stole people away in the night, settlers began farming the fields and soon built village of Rothé Valley.

The truth behind this idyllic tale is far more disturbing. In the language of the drow, “rothé” means “salve”. For centuries the drow of House Xorlarrin have use Rothé valley as a trap, luring in settlers, waiting for the population to grow, and then coming up from below to abduct their terrified victims into slavery in the depths of the Underdark. This time, however, the drow mean to stay.

Welcome to Rothé Valley[edit | edit source]

The small farming town of Rothé Valley was nearly forgotten by the larger world in the wake of the Spellplague and the cataclysm, but the recent reconstruction of Neverwinter has changed much. With its fertile soil and easy access to the Never River, Rothé Valley has swiftly become an important local source of food for the growing populace of the city.