Campaign of the Month: August 2012
An Underkiln city built into the shores of a huge underground lake, Lanke Darla is the primary trading center for the Drow. There are various small tunnels leading deep underground, but most traders enter the city by crossing the lake on small boats controlled by the Drow.
The prominent house controlling Lanke Darla is House Fey-Branche, supported by the powerful House Barrison Del’Armgo but it is also quite cosmopolitan and a visitor will find members of all eight major Drow houses here. The city is ruled by the Baenre Governess, Elg’ Cahl Rah Rilyn Baenre (Poison Hand of House Baenre), supported by the Baenre military commander, Aphyon Tizzin (Death Lizard), who oversees an elite force of Baenre warriors. The ships and shipyards are controlled by Renor Sirn Rilyn Fey-Branche (Black Mirror of House Fey-Branche). The local Matriarch serving under the Governess is Xar’zith Tsoss Rilyn Fey-Branche (Ice Kiss of House Fey-Branche) supported by Riknueth Ooble’ Rilyn Barrison Del’Armgo (Bitter Tongue of House Barrison Del’Armgo).
As a general rule, the Fey-Branches and Barrison Del’Armgos control the trade while House Baenre (supported by Faen Tlabbar and Xorlarrin) keep the peace. The Baenres find it useful to concentrate on the Third and Fourth houses in the city as assurance against any attempted uprising by Barrison Del’Armgo or Fey-Branche. In fact, the Governess has made quite a name for herself over the years; for example: not long ago, in the wake of a slave revolt, she had every tenth slave fettered and thrown into the lake, which she had chilled to near-freezing temperatures. The Matriarch actually carried out the sentence (as is the order of things), which is probably why the lake was chilled as well.
One of the most celebrated sights in all Underkiln is the illumination of Qu’mados D’ujool (The Sea of Glass), the great lake of Lanke Darla. This fabulous multicoloured display is maintained by the Mages of Karithnika who live on a small island out on the lake. The island houses a highly specialised school of evokers run by Sussun Fashka Rilyn Xorlarrin (Bright Force of House Xorlarrin). The Mages of Karithnika are also responsible for the magical protection of traders on the lake and take their responsibility seriously as they know that all of Underkiln depends on this.
Lolth is the main deity and indeed the only deity worshipped openly in Lanke Darla. However, there are rumours of a secret good cult of Eillistraee having some members and it is widely believed that worship of Vhaeraun has infiltrated some of the male population of the city. Outlanders are permitted to worship their own gods in private but open public worship of any of these is punishable by expulsion from the city. Drow slaves who do this are put to death. All matters religious are presided over by Elg’ Cahl Ra Rilyn Baenre or Xar’ zith Tsoss Rilyn Fey-Branche.
Lanke Darla is the closest Drow city to Tharadokk, the Great Dwarven City, through which all Underkiln trade with the Surface World (Kileana) takes place, which puts it at the center of Drow commerce. Dwarves and other surface dwellers with permits are granted protection in Lanke Darla and generally no harm will come to them if they are minding their own business and not causing any trouble. Because of the numbers of Dwarves and Surface Dwellers visiting the city, trading of slaves in Lanke Darla is officially forbidden, though ownership of slaves is rife, and black-market sales (and even auctions) are still held on a regular basis.
Major Houses of the Drow (In order of station)
Baenre, Barrison Del’Armgo, Faen Tlabbar, Xorlarrin, Mizzrym, Fey-Branche, Tuin Tarl, Duskryn