Excerpts 05/01/2007


Drow of the Underdark



Those cursed by Corellon Larethian are condemned to spend their days languishing in a lightless world that contains terrible monsters and life-threatening dangers. These beings are the drow, and you can learn more about them in the D&D supplement Drow of the Underdark . . . and here in our excerpts, too. Read on for the Introduction, a list of new feats, the prestige class called the Demonbinder, the monster called the shunned, and the nonplayer character drow named Anybys.

Shunned

What looks like a swollen tumor bristling with a score of spider legs pulls itself forward with alarming speed. The front of the thing has the face of a pale elf twisted in terrible pain.

The hideous shunned are the accursed of Lolth. Created from servants who have failed the Spider Queen, they are condemned to a fate of eternal agony.

Strategy and Tactics

A shunned hates all creatures and seeks to make them suffer as much as or more than it does. It lures creatures to battlefields of its choosing with dancing lights, and uses darkness to best take advantage of its environment. As its prey draws near, a shunned vomits forth swarms of spiders; once the battle begins, it lurks in the shadows while its minions contend with the enemy. The shunned readies an action to cast dispel magic to counter any significant magic attacks its foes might cast. Once the opponents have focused their efforts against the spider swarms, the shunned creeps forward, using suggestion to drive off tougher prey before it closes to deliver its venomous bite.

Sample Encounters

So foul are these creatures that others cannot abide their presence, not even other shunned. These aberrations are always encountered alone.

Individual (EL 7): A shunned lives a solitary existence on the fringes of its former society. It has come to terms with its new form but blames the drow for its wretched state. This shunned has managed to infiltrate a fungus forest where it murders slaves, overseers, and anyone else who comes too close.

Ecology

The shunned are aptly named: Having so displeased the Spider Queen, they are rejected by their former people. They are not permitted within drow cities and are cast out to find their own way in the Underdark. Consigned to a lonely life, the shunned pine for what they have lost, trapped in a hideous form and ever aware of their goddess's wrath. No creature will ever accept them -- most flee before their horrific visages.

All shunned cling to the faint hope of being restored and would do anything, kill anyone, to regain Lolth's favor. Few, if any, ever succeed at this goal. For most, it is but a matter of time before some other creature destroys them, ending their pitiful existence.

Shunned Lore

Characters who have ranks in Knowledge (dungeoneering) can research the shunned to learn more about them. When a character makes a successful skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (dungeoneering)

DC Result

17 This creature is one of the shunned -- drow who have been terribly cursed by Lolth. This result reveals all aberration traits.

22 Although rejected by the drow, shunned retain many of the traits of their former form, including the elf's keen senses and the ability to work magic innately.

27 All shunned are infested with spiders. They can spew swarms of the tiny arachnids and bend them to their will.

Though despised by the drow, shunned rarely venture too far from their former homes. A shunned establishes itself in a small, out-of-the-way cavern or tunnel, surviving on goblins, quaggoths, and the occasional drow.

These wretched creatures are relatively free of antagonists. Animals and vermin do not prey on them, for their meat has a sense of wrongness about it. The drow defend themselves against attacks by the shunned but do not actively hunt them, believing that they should not interfere with Lolth's punishments. Shunned must be wary of svirfneblin and duergar, who destroy them on sight.

Environment: The shunned are found only underground, and never more than a few miles of a drow settlement. Once a shunned settles on a home, it decorates the lair in a mockery of a typical drow dwelling, with rubbish and other cast-off materials found when hunting.

Typical Physical Characteristics: A shunned measures about 6 feet long and weighs just over 200 pounds. Most of its body is a bulbous sac of pale flesh covered in throbbing black veins. Foul excretions collect in its folds, emitting a sour stink. The head of a female drow with translucent skin perches on the end of its bulky form, and close inspection reveals numerous tiny spiders wriggling just below the surface of the pallid flesh. Randomly piercing its disgusting body are numerous glossy spider legs covered in thorns.

Shunned are exclusively female and lack the ability to reproduce.

Alignment: Shunned are always chaotic evil. Many do not begin with this alignment, but after a few weeks in their new form, their minds give way to madness and desperation, pushing them to random acts of terrifying violence.

Typical Treasure

Shunned do not typically hoard treasure and do not use magic items. They are, however, keenly interested in drow goods, such as furniture, carvings, and even clothing. They decorate their homes with debris collected from drow cities. Examining the contents of a shunned lair reveals various items of worth, amounting to standard treasure for the creature's Challenge Rating, but no coins.

Shunned in Eberron

The shunned are native to Dal Quor, the Region of Dreams. Born from old nightmares experienced by those who suffered the quori invasion, they exist in a state of eternal torment. They regard mortals as the cause of their plight and take any chance to slip onto the Material Plane to get revenge.

Shunned in Faerûn

The clerics of Kiaransalee hold up the shunned as examples of Lolth's corruption, seducing these vile creatures with promises of restoration. Seeing hope in the Revenancer's clerics, many shunned aided them in the War of the Spider Queen. But no succor was to be had from those who served the White Banshee; most of the shunned were wiped out in Kiaransalee's mad campaign to purge the Underdark of Lolth's influence.

Shunned CR 7
Always CE Medium aberration
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +7, Spot +7
Languages Undercommon

AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 16
(+2 Dex, +6 natural)
hp 82 (11 HD); DR 10/magic
SR 17
Fort +6 (+10 against poison), Ref +5, Will +9
Weakness light sensitivity

Speed 40 ft. (8 squares), climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +12 (1d8+6 plus poison)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +8; Grp +12
Atk Options magic strike, poison (Fort DC 20, 1d6 Con/unconscious 1d10 rounds)
Special Actions disgorge spiders, wail
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 11th):
1/day -- dancing lights, darkness, dispel magic, faerie fire, suggestion (DC 14)

Abilities Str 19, Dex 14, Con 17, Int 6, Wis 15, Cha 12
Feats Ability Focus (poison), Alertness, Combat Casting, Improved Natural Attack (bite)
Skills Climb +12, Concentration +5, Hide +6, Jump +8, Listen +7, Move Silently +6, Search +2, Spot +7
Advancement 12-18 HD (Medium); 19-25 HD (Large)

Light Sensitivity (Ex) A shunned is dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
Magic Strike A shunned's natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Disgorge Spiders (Su) As a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a shunned can spew a spider swarm (MM 239) into an adjacent square. Once it has disgorged spiders, the shunned must wait 1d4 rounds before using this ability. The shunned controls all such swarms completely and can instruct each swarm to attack a particular target. It can redirect a swarm as a move action.
Wail (Su) Once per round as a standard action, a shunned can loose a horrid wail. All creatures within 30 feet must succeed on DC 16 Will saves or become sickened for 1 round. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Skills A shunned has a +2 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks.
It also has a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened.

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