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    Posted on Mon, June 21, 2004 by Farcluun
    Braggi writes "This article was inspired by "The Drow of Oerth" written by Josh Raup, which mentioned five drow cities, including the Vault and four new locations.

    Chantelolth is from my last major campaign which needed an central location for drow appearing both in the Pomarj and the Bright Desert.

    By: Braggi
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    A New Drow City

    Since the days of the Epochs of Myth and Legend, the dark elves have continued their slow, but steady expansion throughout the unseen realms below. In the last five centuries, emboldened by the complacency of the surface races and by their successful bid for secrecy after the fall of the Suloise and Baklunish empires, the drow have grown both powerful and bold. A major new city, located far to the east of the original Vault has been established, promising some of the greatest achievements to come in the annals of the underdark races.


    Chantelolth (Lolthsong) was established six hundred years after the Rain of Colourless Fire in 22 CY. Chantelolth was created as a fall-back position of strength for the dark elves, should anything happen to their capital in The Vault. It’s settlement was spearheaded by houses Kilsek, Tormtor, Godeep and Obludra. The latter house had been seeking to increase its position in the drow hierarchy for centuries and they saw in their involvement with the establishment of the new city a chance to win the favour of the Spider Queen.

    Chantelolth is unique due it’s location – it lies a quarter mile below the floor of the Woolly Bay, 90 miles due north of the surface city of Highport. Mighty spells have been woven into the fabric of the city’s walls, ceilings and floors, such that any catastrophic release of water from the bay above will trigger several effects:

    - walls of force will surround the borders of the city in a gigantic sphere to keep the water at bay - vortices will open to the elemental plane of air to replenish the air of the city
    - sending, message and similar spells will be dispatched to each Great House priestess and the rulers of the mages guild, warning of the emergency

    To protect against such a disaster, the spell users of the city at all times keep a large stock of useful spell scrolls and devices close at hand. These include (but are not limited to) rings of water walking, airy water and water breathing spells, helms of underwater action, wall of stone and wall of force scrolls, a stone of controlling earth elementals (to be used to summon the elementals to effect emergency repairs), stone shape and dig scrolls, and teleport and word of recall spells stored in spell storing rings. All such precautions have been waterproofed and will have double the normal duration or effect when used.

    The need for these precautions was demonstrated in the first year of the settlement, when a summoned xorn managed to break loose of a careless mage’s control and bored a shaft up towards the floor of the bay in it’s flight. Although it did not reach the bay, its path did intersect several submerged tunnels, allowing them to pour tons of water into the city below. The Great Houses mobilized a repair force in time, but it was a very close thing. From this point forward the dark elves of the city were much more aware of the dangers of the waters above them. Lolth herself felt strongly enough about the accident that her avatar appeared at the sacrifice of the guilty mage and instructed her people to work together in the event of another such disaster. That the chaotic and destructive Spider Queen would do such a thing must mean that her plans for the ocean realms of Oerth are great indeed. Later developments would seem to uphold this idea.

    Shortly after the near-disaster, the drow of House Obludra discovered a series of submerged caverns which formed natural air locks, accessible through a crevice in the wall of their compound. They were about to seal the crevice in preparation for the protective spells to be put in use for the city when their Matron Mother received a command from a Yochlol to map the unusual cave formations. Using water breathing spells, agents of the house explored the caverns, subduing an Aboleth in the process, only to discover that they eventually led into a storehouse of an aquatic elven settlement, located on the floor of the Woolly Bay. Withdrawing before their presence was discovered, the scouts returned to their house.

    Matron Mother Alsindra Obludra hid all knowledge of the discovery from the other ruling houses and secretly sent word to her sisters in The Vault. They responded by sending her several hundred humanoid troops along with the majority of the house’s priestesses, mages and warriors. These forces were armed with weapons and magic adapted for underwater combat. All was in place by 31 CY and the drow of House Obludra, reinforced by the Aboleth’s enslaved forces, conquered and sacked the aquatic elf settlement.

    The treasure and magic taken from this conquest increased considerably both the House’s temporal power and their favour in the eyes of Lolth. Never before had any drow house successfully attacked an enclave of aquatic elves. Lolth was pleased indeed. As a sign of her favour, the Spider Queen smiled upon the lesser house, even going so far as to reveal new rituals which allowed the Obludra priestesses to enslave various creatures of the deep waters as servants. With these new forces, the ambitious house sought to expand its underwater realm, cautiously eyeing a Sahuagin city and a Locathah settlement, both within close range of the aquatic elves former dwelling. They also began to slowly amass an army of larger creatures such as water spiders, giant squid, giant sharks and even dragon turtles to aid in their planned conquests. The house became patient and cautious, in spite of its previous success, thus its plans have been centuries in the making.

    In the mean time, still operating slowly and through secrecy, all of the ruling houses of the city began extending their influence into the surface world. Over the next five hundred years, the drow of Chantelolth began to insinuate themselves into surface affairs. Alliances were eventually made with agents of the Slavers of the Wild Coast and the city has grown in population and power as a result. Tunnels have been explored and expanded. The first series discovered led north into the Brass Hills of the Bright Desert and beyond to the southern border of the northern Abbor Alz. Wary of arousing the power of the various wizards in both the Circle of Eight and the Greyhawk Mage’s Guild, this tunnelling was eventually abandoned.

    Instead, the drow focused their efforts to the east and to the south. As a result of this, the Drachensgrab Mountains have several major drow “highways” running through them. Again, caution and secrecy have ruled the dark elves’ efforts, since the dwarves of the southern Drachensgrabs were a formidable foe before the fall of the Pomarj, being used to underground combat in the stone halls and mines of their mountains.

    In the northern sections of the peninsula the drow raid the surface for orc, goblin and other humanoid slaves regularly. The prisoners from these raids are usually sent west piecemeal to the Mother City, with an occasional larger slave caravan being dispatched to The Vault.

    Thus has the newest drow city prospered since its settlement. If anything ever were to happen to the ruling houses of The Vault, Chantelolth would make an excellent new capital in the underdark, with it’s unusual and well hidden location.

    Chantelolth Great House Structure

    1. Kilsek
    2. Godeep
    3. Milithor
    4. Tormtor
    5. Fey-Branche
    6. Baenre
    7. Obludra
    8. Noquar
    9. Freth
    10. Everhate

    House Obludra has only recently (in the last four hundred years) achieved it’s high standing. At present, it seems to be content with its place on the ruling council, however there are rumours that it covets the position of either House Fey-Branche or Tormtor. With the patience learned by their underwater forays, it is certain they will not strike unless absolutely convinced of a complete victory through overwhelming force. Should this occur, then House Obludra would seek to improve their standing in the Mother City of The Vault as well.


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    Re: Chantelolth (Score: 1)
    by Tedra ( on Tue, June 22, 2004
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    Excellent article, Braggi. Not only did it contain great information it was very entertaining to read.

    Re: Chantelolth (Score: 1)
    by Cebrion on Thu, June 24, 2004
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    Seems you have at least one Forgotten Realms Drow noble house in the list. ??? Not sure why it is there. I'd replace them with others instead.

    Re: Chantelolth (Score: 1)
    by carlanco on Thu, June 24, 2004
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    Great article! Hope to read more about this city soon.

    Re: Chantelolth (Score: 1)
    by Braggi (braggi@greyhawk.gates) on Fri, June 25, 2004
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    Thanks, very much, for the comments. As far as the F.R. Drow house is concerned, yes at least one hails from there. The reason is simple - I ran out of houses. :)

    The article that inspired this entry had five cities, most ditributed much to the west of the Flanaess. These cities used all of the other houses mentioned in D3 Vault of the Drow. Not wishing to plaguerize Josh's brain child, I did my best to come up with something original. Thanks for the sharp eye though!

    Re: Chantelolth (Score: 1)
    by PeterOui on Mon, June 28, 2004
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    Excellent article! Relatively magic rich, but it's good to see that the Drow of Oerth are not in decline as The Vault seems to be.

    However, where is the "The Drow of Oerth" article written by Josh Raup located? I can't seem to find it.

    Re: Chantelolth (Score: 1)
    by Tedra ( on Mon, June 28, 2004
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    As a matter of fact, Braggi, I also was a bit interested in seeing "The Drow of Oerth" article mentioned. I could find no such matches here at CF! so I was wondering if you could tell us where we might find it.


    Re: Chantelolth (Score: 1)
    by Braggi (braggi@greyhawk.gates) on Thu, July 01, 2004
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    The article in question was published way back as part of a collection from the now-defunct Greyhawk Fan club. I stumbled over a copy of the collection online about two and a half years ago.

    I took in the article and rewrote it to fit my campaign. When I was looking for something to post here, I chose the only section from the rewritten article that I had created from scratch, namely this particular city.

    If you are looking for a copy of the original article, I'm not sure where you'd find it today, since all of the links that lead to the GFC archive that I used back then are dead now.

    Sorry I can't help more. You might try quizzing Gary Holian (Pluffet Smedger) about where to find this stuff. He may or may not know, but its worth a try.


    Re: Chantelolth (Score: 1)
    by Braggi (braggi@greyhawk.gates) on Wed, July 07, 2004
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    A quick addendum to the above. I would happily share the rewritten article here, but I have no idea how to get a hold of Mr. Raup to ask his permission.

    This is one of the problems with some of the early fan created items... the authors often leave the scene or change e-mail addresses/web sites leaving outdated or just plain wrong contact info in their works. It is wrong to put their stuff up without their OK, especially if there have been modifications made, but how do you contact them? (E.G.: I have about ten fan-created, Greyhawk modules in 1E/2E rules format in my personal collection that I have edited, formatted and/or added maps to, but I can't (and won't) post without author permission.)

    Nonetheless, I included their titles in my Greyhawk by Level chart here on Canonfire, to at least acknowledge the work these folks put in to keep the campaign world alive.)

    If any of you feel up to trying to locate Josh, I'd be glad to help with whatever info I have on hand (not much, but you never know.)

    Just a thought.


    Re: Chantelolth (Score: 1)
    by Tedra ( on Thu, July 08, 2004
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    I'll give it a shot, Braggi, if you'd like to send over what info you have. Perhaps a shout out on the Greytalk list could produce some results as well. Someone may know of a current contact email or he may even be on the list himself.


    Re: Chantelolth (Score: 1)
    by Devon on Mon, July 05, 2004
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    Great article, it gives me some ideas for my campaign...since my players r against the Slavers....and have to pass through the UnderOerth under the Pomarj....i was searching something to put some obstacles in their way...and a couple of drow patrols fit really well in the role of "obstacles".

    By the way, what do u think of of "Vel-Sheznar" as a drow family name?

    Re: Chantelolth (Score: 1)
    by Braggi (braggi@greyhawk.gates) on Wed, July 07, 2004
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    I happen to like that particular house name you came up with. Wish I had it when I wrote the article.

    Also, It was the same series, the Slavers adventures, that prompted me to create this city. Glad it was of service to your campaign. Hope it is useful for future player challenges. :)


    Re: Chantelolth (Score: 1)
    by Devon on Wed, July 07, 2004
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    I was planning a subplot that will carry my players to "discover" this city and the possible threat it is for the Flanaess...thanks again for ur article


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