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Winning Races: DrowD&D Insider Article
Academies of the Underdark
By Arnie Franke and Rachel Cirricione

Because of centuries of civil war and intrigue, the learning centers of drow society have changed hands more times than their libraries record. Each time this happens, a new headmistress takes up leadership of the school, which in turn leads to a murderous but efficient rotation of the faculty. Given the astronomical rate of attrition among instructors, the academies of the Underdark often “inherit” the possessions of some of drow society’s most fearsome and ambitious members, and many of these are items of great power. This article details the drow academies themselves and four such items.

To be born a drow, one of the feared and hated dark elves, is to be born into bondage. From the high to the low, all who dwell under the uncertain coruscation of the crystalline spires will in time cringe under the lash of their master, be it wielded by a lowly taskmaster or by the hand of Lolth. In the tenebrous light of the Underdark only one law exists: Crush as many as you can beneath your feet before you are crushed.

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    About the Author

    Once every five hundred years, the dark and unnatural clouds vigilantly shrouding the towering heights of Arnie Franke’s third-story apartment dissipate. On these nights, the peasants of Seattle’s northlands gather in fearful speculation: “He’s a designer!” “No, copywriter!” “Nay, ‘tis written that he toils endlessly as a freelance art director!” Too late these simple folk realize that Arnie Franke, looking down upon them in smug majesty, is all of these things and more.

    Much like the dreaded illithilich, Rachel Cirricione has now been proven to be terrifyingly real. The Seattle writer and event consultant spends her days alternately tormenting the locals with foul necromancy and traveling abroad to sample exotic brains. When not penning baleful tomes for Wizards of the Coast, Rachel can be found delivering social media training to local businesses and pursuing a variety of freelance writing opportunities.

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