Negeémiliel was a city in the underworld of Kazrrad, in southeastern aels, under the mountains of Nohalion. It was founded at the 2440 b.a.H as a colony by Erehel-Sinu, becoming an independent state at the 480 a.a.H. During the 1700-2500 a.a.H Negeémiliel was one of the hegemonic drow powers of Kazrrad, and had grown in size to be the largest city ever seen within the cavernous world of Kazrrad. Affected by The Cataclysm, the city will survive the disaster, but reduced in size due the collapse of Kazrrad as an ecosystem.
An inhabitant of Negeémiliel is called a Negeémi, as their language.
Foundation: Rendan d'HarukEdit
Negeémiliel was founded by the drow-city state of Erehel-Sinu at the 2440 b.a.H under the name of Rendan d'Haruk, as the government of Erehel-Sinu wanted to extend their influence to the south of Kazrrad, being needed for that to cross the bottomless Abyss of Doom: for this, where send a garrison of Erehel-Sinu warriors and some enginers, along with a large workforce of slaves and servants of negeél -descendants of the ensalved inhabitants of the old drow city of Llurth-Negeél.
This foundation is to be understood within the politics of expansion of Erehel-Sinu, which leaded to the foundation of several drow settlements, such as Ched'Nasan ay 2.600 b.a.H and others.
Building the bridge over the bottomless abyss was a slow and difficult, being lost many lives of the workers due the recklessness of their Erehel masters, who cared more for finishing quickly the bridge over the Abyss of Doom, rather than security of their personel.
As was finally finished the bridge, the Erehel-Sinu builded a fortress on the southern side of the Abyss, fortress that will be known as the Temple of Doom, guarding the pass in the Abyss of Doom.
Erehel-Sinu Rule: Ched'NegeélEdit
Since the foundation of Rendan d'Haruk at 2440 b.a.H until the independence of it as Negeémiliel, this colony remained under Erehel-Sinu rule until the 480 a.a.H, during 2920 years.
During this time, it will be seen the slow rise of the Negeél, from being slaves to free servants, existing a dicotomy in the colony, between the ruling Erehel drow, their favored client Negeél drow, and the lower Negeél class.
Due to the possition of the settlement over the Abyss of Doom it will become in a center of trade, pass for many of the trade routes of the south of the underworld and Kazrrad, and will grow to become a city.
With the economical rise of the city, so will rise many Negeél drows economically, who to have some security of their position, will seek protection of the Erehel drow ruling class, becoming their clients, but gaining as well power.
Erehel-Sinu tried to keep the dichotomy and differentiation between the Erehel and Negeél drow, as the latter began to request for more rights and protection of the ones they already had from an arbitrary justice, beginning some rebelious civil movements around the 900 b.a.H among the Negeél commoners, that weren't open rebellions but worried the Erehel ruling oligarchy.
The Negeél drow would achieve then, slowly, for the following 900 years a series of civil rights, but weren't in any way equal to the ruling Erehel drow, a minority that ruled the city -now known as Ched'Negeél, the city of the Negeél- in name of Erehel-Sinu.
Around the time of the Apparition of Humanity, will come a serie of massive changes of the surface in about 50 years as the Tekkno-loki magic of the humans shaped this world after their own, meant for the Drows that suddenly, inmense extensions of Kazzrad collapsed -becoming more fragmented the union of southern and northern Kazrrad-, and thousands of new caverns and tunnels will surge, as other were dried from the water of the seas.
The year 100 happened the sudden fall of the Human civilization in flashes of light and fire that burn the lands: and then, the dramatic changes produced by the Tekkno-loki were stopped.
With new lands to explore and settle, not only Erehel-Sinu became part of the colonization and expansion there, with the possibilities of the surface expansion cut down by the High Elves, but as well their colonies participated, becoming more and more powerful in their own:
And so, Ched'Nasan and Ched'Negeél will take a part of the expansion of the drows to the south, increasing the power of the Negeél drow groups along with the economical expansion, and as well gaining military experience their forces in the colonial expansion.
At the 480 a.a.H, Negeémiliel will become independent from Erehel-Sinu. While according to the official records of Negeémiliel, they achieved independence in an heroic uprising against the evil and depraved Erehel-Sinu, fighting a liberation war.
However, the actual events seem to be different: at the 400 a.a.H, another of the colonies of Erehel-Sinu, Ched'Nasan will claim their independence, beginning a brutal war against their metropolis. With the rebellion of the southern colony, many minor colonies joined the rebels. However in the case of Ched'Negeél it seems that instead, they cooperated with Erehel-Sinu against the rebels, in exchange of political gains for the Negeél drows.
It seems then, that they were aligned with the metropolis as long as Erehel-Sinu was winning against the rebels: but after the defeat of the Erehel forces (supported by the forces of Ched'Negeél), upon the advances of Ched'Nasan and the other rebels, to avoid the fall of the city they called in a preemptive way independence from Erehel-Sinu at the 480 a.a.H.
This version can be inferred in parts with some documents from Ched'Nasan and Erehel-Sinu, but mostly due to the incorporation of the old Erehel drow oligarchy of the old Ched'Negeél into the citizenship of the new, independent drow city state of Negeémiliel.
Since then, Negeémiliel seems to have shifted alliances, abandoning Erehel-Sinu: however Ched'Nasan and the other rebel colonies didn't receive them with open arms (remembering their support to the Erehel during the independece wars) and there came a series of wars between the newly founded Negeémiliel against their neighbors, Ched'Nasani and Erehel, minor wars that will last until about the 600 a.a.H.
After ensuring a place in the underworld of Kazrrad, taking opportunity of their adventaged position in the trade routes of Kazrrad, they will quickly expand economically, proceeding to extend the frontiers of the drow, founding new colonies and drow settlements of their own, as in the case of Ched'Hihrin at the 666 a.a.H.
The Warring StatesEdit
The independence of their colonies, the Age of Invasions, the loss of connection to the northern underworld of Kazrrad, the Nortunk Dwarf menace and then the impossibility of expansion, on the underworld or the surface, will lead eventually to the end of the hegemony of Erehel-Sinu after almost 5.000 years.
With the end of the lead of Erehel-Sinu in the south, will began the era known for the drow simply as the Warring states, between the 1.000 to the 1.700 a.a.H: chaotic era of permanent war, against the non-drow and between the drows. During this time, Negeémiliel waged constant wars against the dwarves of the mines of Nortunk, against their former metropolis of Erehel-Sinu and their sister city of Ched'Nasan, against the mountain elves of Hebonnor and the Galaw Orcs, against the Draak Harg and later against some of their own colonies, as Ched’Hihrin claimed their independence.
In Negeémiliel, since around the 1500 a.a.H two main political parties rised in the southern drow city-state of Negeémiliel: the Senatorials and the Populists. (See: The Negeémi Senatorial Party and The Negeémi Populist Party)
The "Senatorials" were a traditionalist group, that wanted to perpetuate the social structure of Negeémiel, meanwhile the "Populists" sought reform of the system, such as expanding citizenship to even more Negeémi drow.
Between the 1500s to the 2072 a.a.H, the relations between both factions will be mostly polite -but as with drow politics, with plots, conspiracies and machinations-, being alternated longer periods of governance by the Senatorial party, along with brief governments of Populist charismatic leaders: however, being fewer in numbers, they couldn't achieve significative reforms, and when they intended to do so, the power returned in the elections to the Senatorials, being perpetuated the status quo.
However, this comfortable situation began to change since the 1700s after the defeat of the dual-alliance of Ched'Nasan and Ched'Hihrin that had for long contested the power of Negeémiliel, meant a significative expansion of the territories held by the city: for this began pressing the issue to control the larger empire, and more acolytes were needed, so there were reforms to extend citizenship even more, as intended by the populists.
It became more difficult each time to reach agreements, as the discussions in the Low Council became longer and longer, and while the Populists and Senatorial alternated rule continued, it began to be each time more frustrating for the Populists how slowly reforms were accomplished.
This meant an escalation of tensions, until at the year 2072 a.a.H the Khalazza Coup occurred, when the councilwoman Haelra Khalazza seized power in a bloody coup d'etat, rising herself as dictator. This will begin a series of Populist dictators, that ruled from the years 2072 to the 2207: Haelra Khalazza, overthrown by Felyndiira Olonrae, who was in her turn overthrown by Khalazza, and after her assassination, by Miz'ri Vrinn.
Under her rule, The demons of the Dark Legion would seek the support of the dark elves, while the drows of the three powers -Negeémiliel, Manzarraza and Sia'Peiran- entered into diplomatic games with the dark legion for their own interests, and with the promises of each of these three nations of reunificating the Empire of Drow under their own banners.
Miz'ri Vrinn will sign a secret pact with the demons at the 2169 a.a.H, as well to fulfill her own ambitions.
Under the black banners of the dark legion, was conformed a loose drow confederation, allied with the Dark Legion of Demons, fighting at their side in the First War of the Power (2.203-2.223) against the humans and their allies.
During the war, and with demon support, Miz'ri Vrinn will claim herself Queen Vrinn I, Queen of Negeémiliel at the 2207 a.a.H. But her reign will be short lived, and as the tides of the war changed, she will die in the Battle of the Titanizk mountains.
This war will be lost by the demons, and power struggles will follow it in the drow cities, but the Negeémiel will remain as the principal drow city, after fighting a series of wars and taking as vassals Ched’Hihrin, Ched’Nasan and Erehel-Sinu, becoming the largest drow city and Empire until that moment during the Middle Human Age-
The Negeémi EmpireEdit
With the conquest of Kalhari and other minor drow cities, the defeat of the mountain elven kingdom of the Hebonnor, the defeat of Sia'Peiran and succesful wars against the dwarven mines of Nortunk, Negeémiliel was able to build an Empire, controling important territory and trade routes, not only in the underworld of Kazrrad, but as well in the surface.
However, to lead such an empire will be a challenge: the city was forced either to adapt to the empire and change to rule over it, or see it fall apart.
Decline of NegeémilielEdit
But internal struggles between the metropolis and their colonies and allies, between the populist and senatorial parties, struggles between the families to control the destiny of the city and wars to remain in their hegemonic position (against drow and non-drow alike), and as well due the competition with the Nigromante of Tok-Thoria slowly weakened the position of Negeémiliel as a power in the region: And in the second coming of darkness, the with the return of the great demon lords and the Second War of the Power (2.434-2.539), with the discussions inside the government of Negeémiliel of alligning themselves again with the Dark Legion, or trying to stay aside of the War of the Power, made the Dark Legion decide to create a puppet drow state, more directly under their control, founding Zaghäl. Negeémiliel, as the other drow city-states, coerced by the military might of Zaghäl, will cooperate with the dark legion, but they keep themselves largely aside of the principal military campaigns of the Second War of the Power and as well during the Third War of the Power, trying to keep a difficult balance: much of their former empire will be lost, as almost all of their surface holds: but in such a way the drow city of Negeémiliel wasn't as affected as other drow cities by the wars of the powers.
Negeémiliel and the CataclysmEdit
Among the drow cities, when The Cataclysm occured Negeémiliel was one of the most fortunate, and while complete neighborhoods were lost, these were mostly the newest expansions, rather than the historic center of the city, that was built in part of the original Kazrrad.
However, while it was less affected than other civilizations of the underworld, The Cataclysm meant a collapse of Kazrrad as an ecosystem that could sustain such a large population to the level that the city had reached, and as well the destruction of the trade routes that provided the city and state of her riches:
Due to these causes, soon a large proportion of Negeémi population would emigrate to the surface -now controlled by the Tork Empire of Cretor, and only one major neighbourhood of the former city -the weavers neighbourhood- will remain inhabited for the next centuries.
Government and PoliticsEdit
The High Council and Low Council are the two principal branches of the Negeémi government. There is a high court, but it is not on the same level as the councils. It seems that the assembly of the Low Council has greater power than the other two branches though.
The low council has some 500 - 600 members, with every 500 citizens getting a representative, a ten fold number of commoners getting representation, 10-fold the number of 500 citizens, for 5.000 commoners per representative.
The army gets representation, active acolytes get "double representation" through the army. Also, the institution itself does, with boards of officers and acolytes having concerns shared with their representatives for military concerns. So does the Academy, with the administration obtaining representatives for the Academy, which is an extremely important institution in the training of future acolytes, and also, simply as a means of educating the future elite.
Likewise, the official religions get similar representatives.
So do all the trade guilds.
- Three Generals
- Three Sorceresses
- Three Priestesses
One of the Priestesses is referred to as the "Head of the Spider", and nominally heads the High Council in some way. The other members are referred to each as being a "Leg of the Spider". It is unknown if the priestess serving as the 'head of the spider' has any greater powers, or is just a 'first among equals' or has 'tie-breaking' powers or such.
Powers of the High CouncilEdit
While executive in nature, the powers of the High Council remain undefined. It may pass "orders", suggestions, to the Low Council, but hasn't been demonstrated as doing anything overtly contrary to the will of the collective Low Council until the Senatorial coup d'état.
The High Council cannot be legally impotent, the Populist plot in seizing all political power, when they seemed to have a very great deal already in the Low Council, most likely was stymied by the presence and the Senatorial Party majority in the High Council. It may well be that the High Council has "Veto Power" or can otherwise overrule or amend legislation from the Low Council?
Power by Influence and StewardshipEdit
Much of the power of the High Council may stem from the influence and control of certain Negeémi institutions by High Council members. One of the Sorceresses becomes installed as the High Sorceress of the Temple of Doom, and doubtlessly gains much power and prestige from that office and institution alone.
Speculation: It would be logical if other members of the High Council may receive similar stewardships of powerful temples or institutions? Also, the judiciary may operate in temples, and if the members of the High Council are stewardesses of the greatest temples in the city, it would stand to reason that the judiciary tends to side with the political views of the 'Leg of the Spider' high priestesses or high sorceresses who head these temples?
This would make sense with the harsh penalties given to the criminal members of the Cult of the Flower, even though the Low Council will not act decisively against them. The Populist elements blocking such efforts and, indeed, making use of the Cult of the Flower.
Officially, the State is a theocracy. It might also be described as a plutocratic oligarchy as to the importance of citizens to have the money to send their daughters to the Academy, and much more money to gain influence.
It is also worth pointing out that the magic using priestesses and sorceresses are effectively special acolytes that can easily become 'more important' acolytes in that they bring power beyond that of their humanoid bodies into play in war and within the society. They are also given more respect in the society and command more fear amongst the commoner populace as well. It is quite possible that priestesses and sorceresses would be more capable of gaining the influence and entry into the Low Council. As the High Council has six out of nine members being magic users, and very likely powerful magic users, Negeémiliel as a magicracy in all but name is not an unreasonable conclusion to draw.
With this in mind, the High Council might play a role of identifying and rewarding (and segregating and removing) the most powerful or talented of the Low Council members. The most powerful of magic users are akin to being super-beings amongst lesser powerful council members, or the majority that have no accessible magic power at all.
This is, in fact, a common issue with elven societies. The special magic users amongst them having an important place in the culture. This might range from the informal respect given to mages in the more primitive elven tribes, to the highly cultured magicracies of the High elves, particularly those of the State of Dahl'Haran.
Law is important in the city-state, but Acolytes have the power to act as police officers, and priestesses and commissioned officers of the level of Captain or higher are known to have the judicial power of magistrates. Many small offenses and disagreements are resolved by acolytes without ever being heard in a formal court setting. This is an efficient system in its way, but encourages bribery and other forms of corruption, as well as abuse of the system by the acolytes.
There is a judiciary of acolytes and citizens who have become lawyers in their careers. Formal disagreements between businesses are often resolved by the respective trade guilds, with courts stepping in should arbitration fail.
It is unknown how most crimes are tried, but many serious crimes are tried by a tribunal system of acolytes, the tribunal system is how captured Fanatics of Jabharil in the Cult of the Flower are tried when caught in the commission of criminal activity. Tribunals are typically used where capital punishment is imposed, such as death by execution or as a sacrifice in a temple, or enslavement.
A High Court exists that hears certain appeals or conducts reviews, but its powers do not extend towards declaring laws enacted by the Low Council as "unconstitutional".
Theorically, the Negeémiliel Army is composed of all the citizens, those who are Acolytes, and retired acolytes who are theoretically only inactive Acolytes of Negeé: that would mean around 52.000 individuals in total, who have completed such training in their lives.
However, this counts many former acolytes now too old, crippled or dedicated to trade and other activities, so this is more of an hypothetical reserve or maximal mobilization: the real number of fighting acolytes is between 10.000 to 15.000. Less, perhaps, if the numbers should be severely depleted due to the fortunes of war.
Now, to this number they can add about 8.000 - 9.000 mercenaries, and some levies and auxiliaries from small colonies and settlements of not much military value, numbering about 10.000 more:
They will field then an army of about 23.000 to 34.000 in total, all over their territory, garrisoning the positions, and with vassals, near 50.000 drow.
The acolyte army is the backbone of the Negeémi military, however mercenaries, auxiliaries and levies be added to it. It is essentially divided into eight divisions. Whether these divisions have inherent specializations or are approximately the same is unknown.
It is believed that each division is much the same, that is, composed primarily of infantry and supported with magic users. Cavalry are known to certainly exist, but are believed to be auxiliary units that are assigned to support various divisions and units as needed.
The Company UnitEdit
The basic infantry unit is a company, commanded by a captain, with support of at least two lieutenants and multiple sergeants, is of about 150 to 160 infantrywomen. They carry spears as a standard weapon, but also have range weapons such as light crossbows, and close melee weapons such as swords.
Every unit has a few priestesses and/or sorceresses as specialists. Some priestesses specialize in healing wounds, others, like the category of the dreaded Warpriestess, and likely most sorceresses, use their powers in offensive ways. They might kill enemy soldiers with fireballs or chain lightning or soul burn attacks. There might be several lesser magic users in the unit who require alchemical reagents such as liquids or powders to focus their magical attacks, they do not have a special title designation like the priestesses or sorceresses, but are much valued nonetheless. Magic makes for a good 'force multiplier'.
The army is divided into eight divisions, each division is often called a Leg of the Spider, also a term that applies to the general in charge of that division.
It is reasonable that there is 8 to 12 'captain's units' or companies, each with about 150 acolytes in each division, with units being disbanded, reorganized, and new ones in a process of 'coming online' as the Initiated graduate from the Academy and receive further training as young Acolytes.
Speculation: So a division might have:
- Six units as a skeleton division of about 900 acolytes -- (likely never to be used but in desperation or as an ad hoc field division of an army)
- Eight units as an underpowered division of about 1.200 acolytes
- Ten units as a full division of about 1.500 acolytes
- Twelve units as a reinforced division of about 1.800 acolytes
Mercenary Houses as UnitsEdit
There are a large number of mercenary houses to call upon. They supplement the Acolyte units as auxiliaries and march out with the columns going to war, or come along later to reinforce the army in the field, or hold bases or captured positions as guards. They have been used so often that some of the best mercenary units have become closely affiliated with a particular division or general or high officer of a division. There are sometimes almost as many mercenaries working with the division as there are acolytes, so a Negeémi division frequently has some number between two to three thousand soldiers.
Cavalry units of mounted warriors riding reptilian Kazaaks also exist. Whether they have units of 150 riders, or how many units exist, is unknown. It is possible that every division has a cavalry unit, or maybe just two or three divisions are equipped with cavalry units. It is also possible that maybe ten or so cavalry is with each unit as specialists much like magic users, but there is no evidence of that, and would seem unlikely. Finally, it is also possible, and perhaps most likely, that the cavalry exists as auxiliary units outside of the normal division structure, and such units go as is needed.
Cavalry have not often been seen as being fielded by Negeémiliel, Negeémi cavalry have yet to be seen brought to bear even when the other side made heavy use of cavalry. With that in mind, it would be likely that there were not many units and they were used for scouting and skirmishes as opposed to playing a significant part in major battles?
There are academies in 6 other, bigger cities, and some small "schools" and temples who do introductory trainings, but still is needed to send the daughters to the academies: this work to forge the sense of national unity over particularism.
It takes twenty-six years or more to turn a young drowling into a young Acolyte who are mistresses of fighting and discipline. The years in which the girls spend in the Academy, they are called the Initiated. After graduation, the girls might spend some years in service as police, guards, or couriers and such, very often serving with the same girls that each new acolyte had trained with all their lives. Perhaps one new company unit comes "online" every year, with others having numbers replentished? A corresponding old unit being retired as its acolytes complete their mandatory service?
Negeémiliel has both long avoided making heavy use of levee troops, preferring professional soldiers, indeed, highly trained Acolytes, as the backbone of their army. Paradoxically, the city-state also makes very heavy use of professional mercenaries to supplement their forces. As the Negeémi state has grown, the Acolyte army has grown with it. However, a great deal of social inertia, unwillingness of the citizen (acolytes and formerly active acolytes) elites to share their power and the length of time training new acolytes entails makes the size of the Acolyte army lag behind the growth of the overall population. To maintain needed military strength, the use of mercenaries has grown to swell the army, and much coordination takes place to ensure good relations and performance on the battlefield.
Additionally, the overall expense of training initiated into acolytes, makes having proportionately huge armies of such highly trained soldiers prohibitive. Yet, successful and expansive drow cities do require large armies, where isolated and insular city states that concentrate on defensive warfare do not. Negeémiliel as a, or principal, leading Drow state controlled an enormous amount of territory at its height, with many vassals and enemies at its borders, while never truly evolving its government beyond that of a grand city-state. An especially large proportion of the Negeémi army needed to be composed of mercenary troops.
As a result, the capital city of Negeémiliel is full of mercenary houses, with professional mercenaries of various degrees of quality available for hire by the state, and increasingly, the wealthy of the city. Some of the best mercenary houses have become quasi-official arms of the military, closely connected to a general or a military division, and serving that division to the exclusion of many other contracts. This would seem to be the case of the mercenary house known as the Black Widows. Of course, other mercenary houses are far less particular, loyal, or professional; for example, the Light Blue Ribbons are towards the other end of the scale. The Light Blue Ribbons are only on the skill level of militia, and typically do work for wealthy individuals as small numbers of hired swords, or just 'toughs' as opposed to being true soldiers.
The total number of the various mercenaries in the hegemony of Negeémiliel has come to be almost as many as the number of active acolytes! Often, mercenary bands of less than excellent quality are put to work guarding outposts, fortresses, important towns and cities, or portals connecting the subterranean world of Kazrrad with the surface world. In some situations, those mercenary units might be based at the positions that they guard, waiting to be called into action in the field? They are also useful in patrolling trade routes, or accompanying trade caravans as guards. Many a beginning mercenary or low level independent fighters are employed as trade caravan guards.
Militia and LeviesEdit
In a medieval environment, every village or town will make some use of militia as police. The Negeémi Drow are no exception, and local militia guards the approaches into a settlement and defensively fight incursions of foes as they might occur in times of war. Drow militia might be superior to others, but they are not well favored by the Negeémi military, which places quality of its troops well ahead of the quantity of troops that it can deliver. As a result, the Negeémi military avoids using levies of commoners as auxiliary soldiers in favor of professional mercenaries (of whom the acolytes are also often disdainful of).
Even so, militiawomen are a common sight in towns, particularly the out of way outposts and colonies, or border towns. The militia forces of certain areas will be called upon to guard fortresses or gates when soldiers are absent. Trade has long been important to Negeémiliel from the foundation of the city, and has become more important as the Negeémi state has grown into an empire of cavern nodes, and webs of tunnels in Kazrrad, and the connections to the surface. Protecting various gate towns from at least attacks from bandits is very important so as not to tie down more capable soldiers, and it provides a stable setting that allows business and trade to occur in the gate towns.
Hence, the military finds their potential usefulness as being of value, and encourages basic training of commoners. Large scale wars might well require that significant levies of commoners be called upon, and the government is loathe to have them be too ill prepared. This training, and need for soldiers, is another factor that have swelled the number of mercenaries for hire in the hegemony.
industry, spidersilk, mining, algae, trade with the surface, importance of surface imports to the Empire
Negeémi culture is dedicated towards slavery as a base of the labor done in the city. Slave trading and training is a big industry in its own right. It is, however, regulated in many ways by the Negeémi Slave Commission, with legal proscribed means for enslaving persons, and every slave being legally assessed and taxed. However, a significant number of illegal, 'black market' slaves might be found in the city as well, and the legal system might be subject to corrupt manipulations.
While Negeémiliel seems to have had an unquenched need for slaves, the city was able to export some even as it imported others. Persons enslaved due to crimes were often exported so as to be rid of them for good. Given that slaves might achieve freedom someday, or were often unrestrained enough in their daily activities to commit crimes or cause trouble even as slaves, exporting potential troublemakers isn't unexpected.
Slaves do most of the unpleasant or difficult work in the nation, particularly in mining. They are also key components of the industrial sector, particularly in the ascendancy of silk textiles, often treated--and cared for--as 'factory machinery'; impersonally, but often as valued assets. Or not, due to poor stewardship.
Slaves are commonly seen in wealthy households as servants, indeed, most servants might be correctly seen as slaves. Particularly as the proportion of enslaved persons reached as many as the commoners when all slaves of differing races were taken into account. The clothiers of the city very often had a their own line of livery for servants or for servants who were obviously slaves; not strange in a culture where the clothes industry was a principal leg of industry. Although, most slaves wore simple, undyed white shifts.
Through the necessity of providing for the city's needs of coal for various uses and export, as well as to excavate new 'avenues' for the growing city, mining was quite important as a basis for much of the work.
Because of the unusually vast amount of air in the city due to the Abyss of Doom, much forging and metal working activities occurred near the great abyss. Usually in 'sub-basement decks' below the footprint of the city so the pounding would not be ever present.
Engineered caverns that produce mushrooms and other edible fungus were common features, often using waste and geothermal heat to grow more food. Ponds that produced algae, cavefish and invertebrates for consumption abounded and were very important. It is a traditional industry for most of the subterranean world of Kazrrad.
The principal city of Negeémiliel itself had grown far beyond its ability to feed itself, despite its vast regions of caves and ponds devoted to food production. Great caravans of food produced in towns with surplus from the underground world, or from farm holdings on the surface, such as Animadelia, were necessary. Caravans would arrive every day to feed the city.
Food was therefore valuable. Particularly if it could be locally produced. Although, even so, it rarely made farm holders wealthy in itself.
The production of clothes became very important in the city-state as it expanded towards empire. Silk production and weaving textiles is a very common, almost ubiquitous Drow industry in the underworld. Even so, the expansive nature of the Negeémi hegemony and its wide range of surface trading contacts expanded the industry enormously. It was surface export of silk goods that became the greatest and most profitable skilled industry in the city. The 'Looms of Negeémiliel' becoming a famed phrase of origin.
Indeed, so much silk textiles were exported, that domestic needs for silk were unfulfilled. This was largely due to the limited environment for the giant, domestic spiders that produced the raw silk. Silk production and food production were therefore at odds with each other, and caravans bringing raw silk for weaving in the textile factories of the city were also common.
Despite being the premier textile producer in Aels, clothing became scarce in the great city, because of the rising expense of clothing. Merchants of other races would come to hawk second hand clothing goods to the poor of the city, with the impoverished or slave classes becoming more familiar with cotton or wool garments.
By the Middle Human Age, the city of Negeémiliel had about 270.000 drow inhabitants, and within the Empire of Negeémiliel, the drow population was of some 530.000 drow, this without counting their vassals and allied.
Negeémiliel Empire: 528.450 drows
- City of Negeémiliel : 270.000 drow
- Cities and colonies directly under Negeémi autority: 258.450 drow
- - 6 cities of 10.001 to 15.000 drow
- 12 cities of 5.001 to 10.000 drow
- 15 towns of 1.001 to 5.000 drow
- 105 colonies and settlements of 501 to 1.000 drow
- smaller settlements, errants, nomads, surface rural areas: 48.000 drow
- - 6 cities of 10.001 to 15.000 drow
Aside of the population directly under Negeémi rule in their empire, Negeémiliel had 3 Great City-States as allies/vassals (with all their own vassal cities, towns, villages and colonies): Erehel-Sinu, Ched'Hihrin, Ched'Nasan: this amounted a total population of vassal states during the end of the Middle Human Age of near 781.500 drow.
Aside of these allies and vassals, Negeémiliel had as well for a more brief time other drow cultures under their hegemony, as Kalhari.
Then, more or less, the drows under Negeémi hegemony are 1.309.950, and with non-drow population, up to 1.500.000 inhabitants.
Composition of the Population: Legal and Economic Classes of DrowEdit
The drow population is divided, first of all, between the free drow, and the slaves. The Free drow are divided between the Citizens, that hold and monopolize the political power, and then the Commoners, free drow that doesn't have citizenship.
While the slaves have in common they lack freedom, there is actually many differences between them, existing a very diverse slavery in Negeémiliel. As examples, some slaves are kept confined in barracks at the businesses they toil, and chained to their posts when at work. Other slaves go about their lives as if they were free, poor workers. They might live in their own homes, or a home with other slaves supplied by their owner, receiving wages for their work, buying their own food, and conducting their own business outside of work. In that case, their enslavement might only consist of being unable to 'quit' their employment or perhaps to be identified as slaves via collars and/or slave dress.
Many variations of slavery exist.
10% of the Drow population
- 2% very rich acolytal families
- 3% wealthy
- 5% middle class, more or less at the line between citizenship and commoners
50% of the Drow population
- 10% familiars of citizens, or young initiated, etc.
- 5% Wealthy commoners who are close to citizenship, or would be citizens if they weren't males, foreigners, or commoner born, and who may produce citizen daughters in the future
- 10% middle class
- 25% of working class to poor commoners. Of them, some closer to middle classes, others just workers, and finally, the so poor commoners that would find slavery preferable as a way out of debts and hunger
40% of the Drow population
- 30% owned by citizens
- 10% owned by Commoners
Composition of the population: drow vs non-drowEdit
It is known that the total number of individuals under the empire of Negeémi hegemony is 1.500.000. Of these, 1.310.000 are drow, and 190.000 are non-drow races. Mostly goblinoids, but also many dwarves, draak harg, deep elves, and deep humans.
(1.310.000 / 1.500.000) x 100% = 87.3% drow, 12.7% non-drow.
Given the more cosmopolitan and heavy trade that Negeémiliel puts out, the proportion of non-drow in their direct territories, big cities, colonies requiring much labor, and certainly the capital city, may be higher.
So, about 13% of the total, true Negeémi population is made up of non-drow. Mostly slaves, but an undefined, significant number are working class, non-drow commoners. Indeed, there are sufficient numbers of hidden non drow in middle class or even wealthy settings to create supporting "black" organizations hidden from normal view of the authorities. The "Guild of Backdoor Owners" is the most predominant of these organizations.
With an official drow population of Negeémi territories by the Middle Human Age being known it was 528.450 drow, extrapolating the numbers, the total population of the Negeémi Empire might have been by that time of about 608.000 individuals throughout the empire directly under Negeémi control. This might mean that the proportion and numbers of the demographics might look like this:
- The total proportion of citizens may have been about 8.5% of the total Negeémi population (8.5% drow, 0% non-drow), (51.680 Acolytes)
- The total proportion of Acolyte non-citizen family members might may have been 9% of the total population Mostly males, and the Initiated, the very young girls, and those daughters unsuited for becoming acolytes. (9% drow, 0% non-drow), (54.720 drow)
- The total proportion of the wealthy commoners may have been 4.5% of the total population (4.35% drow, 0.15% non-drow), (26.448 drow, 912 non-drow)
- The total proportion of the middle class commoners may have been 10% of the total population (8.7% drow, 1.3% non-drow), (52.896 drow, 7.904 non-drow)
- The total proportion of the working class commoners may have been an estimated 24.5% of the total population (21.8% drow, 2.7% non-drow), (132.544 drow, 16.416 non-drow)
- The total proportion of slaves may have been 45% of the total population (34.8% drow, 10.2% non-drow), (211.584 drow, 62.016 non-drow)
This figures that many non-drow foreigners in the role of merchants are likely to remain in Negeémiliel effectively as permanent residents. This will push the middle class and wealthy proportion up. Most of the wealthy non-drow are certainly true residents, but their role as owners of large businesses are hidden behind a front, as are many of the middle class non-drow. It is hard for a working class non-drow to remain in this category, they will either leave the city, climb to become middle class, or fall into slavery.
There is a great deal of business that goes on in Negeémiliel to make these numbers of wealthy and middle-class non-drow possible. There are many more itinerant merchants who enter and leave the capital and major cities, or even much smaller municipalities on a regular and common basis. The capital city of Negeémiliel is known to have a well established Foreigners' Quarter. There ultimately was a great deal of resentment towards foreign and non-drow merchants living in the city by the commoner poor drow given the relative better living conditions of the merchants in the Foreigners' Quarter.
To become a citizen of Negeémiliel, there was a serie of pre-requisites, such as being female, having served as Initiated of Negeé and passed the Acolyte Exam, being an Acolyte of Negeé. All citizens of Negeémiliel are therefore, Acolytes of Negeé.
Traditionally, only about 10% of the drow population has been able to serve as acolytes and therefore become citizens, however during the history of Negeémiliel this proportion have varied, due both internal and external reasons -such as wars, plagues and diseases, extension of citizenship, natural disasters, etc-. During it, sometimes the proportion of citizens became larger or smaller than the upper 10 of the drow female.
Leasing of a Family NameEdit
Such losses are often eagerly made up by newly wealthy enrolling daughters in the Academy. Names of Acolyte families with no daughters carry on via marriage by the "purchase" of the family name by commoners. Even so, there exists a degree of resistance to allowing commoner families into joining the acolyte class, and the time required to train new Initiated that may lower the number of serving Acolytes and citizens relative to the full population including non-drow.
There are three methods of "leasing" or adoption of a family name for various reasons, but to typically to continue the family line.
1. Marriage with wealthy commoner families. This allows an acolyte family to gain an infusion of funds and/or keep the family line going should no daughter be able to carry on the family line. It allows a wealthy family a means into sending a daughter to the Academy, or to cement a hold onto the Acolyte class by an initiated daughter taking on an old family name, presumably removing some prejudice against her.
2. Adoption of an orphaned initiate. On rare occasions, it is possible that an acolyte family might effectively be destroyed by the fortunes of war and other untimely deaths and issues. An initiated girl, and sometimes other family members, might be adopted into another acolyte family to support that initiated girl.
3. Adoption of a clan daughter into the primary Acolyte family. If the primary family should have no daughter to send to the Academy, a girl from a secondary family might be adopted to serve that purpose.
Occupations of CitizensEdit
Acolytes serve the State for their entire youths until they reach the end of their mandatory service at about 120 years old or older. This has an effect of institutionalizing the acolytes, many remain in the military as career soldiers. This is normal for those who serve as officers, to climb to higher ranks in hopes of becoming a colonel or general. Otherwise, acolytes who make a career of the military and rise to higher Noncommissioned officer ranks, or even achieving an officer rank due to diligence and fortune, or experience and seniority, rather than brilliance.
Those acolytes who are relatively poor (middle class) are those most likely to continue to serve as non officer soldiers as a career beyond their mandatory service. Citizens will engage in many types of work or business after completing their acolyte careers. Many work or invest in corporations to obtain incomes. Wealthier citizens will have family businesses to support them, and they will work to perpetuate those holdings. Very wealthy citizens are also likely to try and enter politics and serve in the Low Council, or leading positions in the trade guilds.
The Commoners are a very diverse group, but that have in common that they are free, but they don't have the citizenship.
They can be divided first by gender: females and male commoners. While none of the commoners have political rights, the females have a serie of rights about the ownership of property for example, right the drow males don't have.
Between the commoners, there can be identified as well diverse groups:
- The acolytal famillies: members of the families of citizens, who can't be citizens themselves: the males of the citizen families -sons, brothers, husbands, fathers and familiars of citizens, who are then part of the ruling oligarchy, but from their houses, and without a political role-, and as well, the underage daughters, Initiated of Negeé and drow women who have failed the acolytal exam or acolytal service.
- Wealthy Commoners: the rich traders and artisans, parts of the upper class, but who don't have citizen rights, for diverse reasons -being foreigners, having been born commoner, or that haven't reached their wealth the value assigned by the law, so their daughters can become Initiated of Negeé, and eventually citizens-
- Middle Class Commoners. artisans, traders, independent workers, persons of the liberal professions, mercenaries, and drows with some wealth.
- Working Class and Poor commoners workers, employees or laborers, the poor commoners are often miserable and face starvation in a great city that has endemic food shortages. Many poor commoners sell themselves into slavery if they are reasonably young in good condition.
Despite the exclusivity of the Acolyte system, commoners account for only half the population. Indeed, discounting the males or children of the Acolytes, the number of commoners are actually no more than 40% of the population. Commoners are found in the entire spectrum of non-political avenue of society. Some are wealthy businesswomen, others serve as soldiers in mercenary houses. More humble commoners operate small businesses or as employees or laborers. Many form corporations to continue to compete with the very wealthy citizens.
For the commoners, it is banned to wear acolytal clothes, or use the clothes, robes, ranks and insignia from the designs of priestesses and sorceresses, and in case they contradict this law, the punishment can even be the death penalty.
As well, in general, the commoners wear much more clothes than the Acolytes, the acolytes perhaps showing off their fit bodies and status by wearing little.
Among the middle and higher class of Commoners, colourful clothes with drawings and patterns are some of their preferences, and since the arrival of the cult of Jabharil, flower designs have become popular, and not always related to the Cult of the Flower and the Goddess of love.
The drow, like many other elves, give great priorities to how they look, and normally good dressing is a priority, as well as their hygiene, and only the very poor will have ragged clothes.
The higher and middle classes have a much more varied diet, coming from the importations from the surface -meat, fruits, vegetables, grains, wine, beer, oil- , aside from food from the underworld, such as mushrooms, algae and fish from the ponds of the city, meat of underworld creatures, etc.
Having a varied diet is given much importance to the Negeémi, and so, importations from the surface are a sign of wealth.
The lower classes depend as well from the importations of the surface, as one of the cheapest foods are the grains and cereals: However, not always are the prices are accessible, or due to wars, catastrophes or other reasons, not enough grain is imported, and this mean famine for them, as the population of the drow city as expanded beyond the sustainable capacity from only the resources of the underworld. Aside of the grain and cereals from the surface, any other surface importation is prohibitive for the poor commoners, and they must depend of underworld products, being many of the poor of Negeémiliel malnourished.
The introduction of the "Goblin potato", a underworld tuber, basis of alimentation of the cave goblins, meant the possibility of other cheap food source, but it's barely enough for the dietary needs of a drow.
Because of the problems of alimentation and famines, often some of the poorest drow commoners may sell off some of their own as slaves, or even themselves, to try to avoid dying from hunger: the problem is that in cases of famine, many times the households release the slaves they can't maintain, and aren't either accepting new ones.
40% of the population of Negeémiliel are slaves. Discounting the family of the Acolytes, there are as many slaves as there are commoners. Indeed, counting non-drow slaves, there might well be more slaves than free commoners.
Slaves are typically required to have an indication of their slave status on their person, such as slave livery, walking barefoot, wearing only whites, tags, or most commonly, a collar of some sort.
Slaves do the labor intensive or unpleasant work, of course. Slaves are commonly seen doing household maintenance, but these are often considered fortunate duties. Many slaves are involved in industrial production such as the famed "looms of Negeémimiliel", or the gathering and processing of spider silk or caring of the giant spiders. Weaving is generally seen as the better production related jobs, work that is also often performed by free laborers.
Less desired work consists of unpleasant work such as cleaning streets and sewers. Construction and excavations of new cavernous galleries, sewer lines and water cisterns are jobs that are hard work and often results in injuries. Mining is hard, dirty and dangerous, often considered a slow death sentence, depending on the whims of the mistresses and considerations of the Negeémi Slave Commission. Free laborers usually work in construction, and many free laborers work in excavation projects, but slave labor has made many inroads, and the safety of the slave labor force is more questionable and variable.
For example, the owner of an intermediate sized weaving shop might keep the slaves locked in barracks to sleep, and chained to their looms when at work. Other enslaved weavers live in modest homes, shop for themselves, walk to work and home and live almost like free laborers receiving a monetary stipend for supporting themselves. There is little to separate them from free laborers, indeed they sometimes may be better off than many free laborers. But for wearing a collar and sometimes a numeric tag with their information for those slaves working for a large operation.
It should be noted that enslaved non-drow, particularly goblinoids, are the slaves that are used for the hardest and most dangerous mining and excavation work.
Foreigners and non-drowEdit
Many merchants are from foreign nations or of different races. Laws and rules may not be very friendly, but for the most part, businesses can operate unchallenged with the use of bribes or various tricks. But more than racist restrictions, more restrictions are sexist in nature. Negeémi culture holds that males are incapable of running businesses, so even non-drow merchants might often be women. But many male business owners operate with the help of front-women and the aid of 'black' organizations like the Guild of Backdoor Owners.
It is unknown if there are restrictions on where free non-drow may live, although there is a Foreigners' Quarter to the city where a large proportion of the inhabitants are either foreign drow or non-drow.
In the case of Gaveo the foreign born hobgoblin textile weaver, he lives largely secretly and unseen in the upper floor of his shop. He has been a successful, indeed, a tough and ruthless businessman, within a society that is prejudiced against males and non-drow.
Nonetheless, the city-state is quite cosmopolitan in character given its primacy as the largest city of Kazrrad, its relatively 'shallow' depth, and its natural position as a trading city. Dwarves, Draak Harg, and deep humans are a common sight in the city carrying out trade. The slave trade is a major form of trade with slaves being sold to the wealthy, and the slaves carrying in cheap goods to sell to the commoners and poor of Negeémiliel.
Many Negeémi outposts and towns engage in trade, but the capital city gets the greater share. This is an expected result of an enormous, cosmopolitan capital city. Also, some trade is only legal within the city of Negeémimiliel, or cities and towns with administered markets, such as the slave trade. Many merchants will make illegal sales outside of the city to avoid taxes.
Subdivisions in the CityEdit
These are areas of the city that have appeared in stories. The Spiders' Nest, Cave of the Silver Hammers, Coin Warrens, Glass District, Orbb Dau'Ren and Dan'Northa are creations of https://empress-of-ravens.deviantart.com/ . Several more subdivisions exist.
- Temple of Doom -- A citadel with the main temple of over a thousand personnel, the Abyss of Doom, the city square, and various other buildings.
- Academy -- The main, walled facility for training Initiated young Drow girls. Altogether, the institution has an estimated seven thousand students and faculty.
- Foreigners' Quarter -- A large region of the city where foreigners are allowed to do business, sell produce and store and sell various wares, and live.
- The Spiders' Nest -- Where the major textile houses and silk producers conduct business. Speculation: This might be where most clothes are sold?
- Coin Warrens -- Where most unspecialized business is conducted.
- Glass District -- Gambling and Entertainment District.
- Fish Ponds -- Ponds in side caverns from the city where meat is produced in the form of cave fish, often along with invertebrate food and algae growing on the water.
- Cave of Silver Hammers -- Area of the city where metalwork is done.
- Orbb Dau'Ren -- Working Class Neighborhood
- Dan'Northa -- Slum Neighborhood
The Cult of Negeé and CitizenshipEdit
The city declared independence from Erehel-Sinu in 480 b.a.H. and became a republican theocracy based on the worship of a long maligned 'slave goddess' of Negeé. In truth, the city had long became more and more aligned with such worship centuries before this, and multiple aspects of the previous Erehel religion and culture remained intact by either being folded up into the new social system being set up, or continuing parallel to the new governance. An example might be the two magic using classes of 'Priestesses' and 'Sorceresses'.
As a result of this revolution, the practice of slavery was reduced (at this time), governance was meant to revolve around public works as duties to the devotion of Negeé. The new system of Acolytes serving the goddess and the State began as a meritocracy for the protection and good management of the city. Quickly, the acolytes became the elites in the city, and mostly an entrenched one, with commoners finding it difficult to enter that category. Most aspects of governance and all public offices require the applicant to be a citizen, which is the same as saying 'an acolyte'. Retired acolytes are supposedly only 'inactive acolytes'.
Training and Need for WealthEdit
The system of schools known as the Academy was developed so as to train young girls known as the Initiated into becoming the future acolytes of the State. This education ensured that future soldiers were brave and disciplined, competent and able in their future lives as well in governance and business. This naturally leads to wealth in these families, but the primary responsibility to outfit and supply an acolyte comes from the family of the acolyte, not the State.
The process young girls, mostly from acolyte families, going on to become acolytes themselves through schooling at the academy, and then serving as soldiers for about ninety years, retiring to often serve in the government or business, and then hoping to produce daughters to repeat the cycle is known informally as the 'Acolyte System'.
So, while this process has the clear effect of perpetuating familial wealth and authority, it is also a system whereas the wealthy shoulder the burden of providing soldiers to fight the wars and to train and outfit those soldiers, and suffer the risks of losing daughters in actions. In this way, there is a certain just parity, but also the idea of sacrifices as initiated and acolytes making the acolytes deserving of their elite status and all that goes with it. The broader aspects of a meritocracy in the full drow society being lost, and a division between classes.
Even so, the system allows for some commoners to enter into the Acolyte System in small numbers every year. But the need for wealth making it necessary for new families to be already wealthy, so entrance being as much about the possession of wealth than that of talent. This has an effect even amongst acolytes, as the system creates divisions within acolytes between those who are officers or not. Meritocracy remains strong within the acolytes, but it is true that wealthy, high ranking, acolytes will produce similar such children as much due to social standing than inherent merit.
Over time, some clear corruption in governance and Acolyte behavior has crept in, and becoming expected, widening the separation in the classes. Acolytes being highly educated and disciplined, but also fully believing themselves to be entitled and to act arrogantly and abusively to those beneath them.
There are further divisions when it is considered that the Negeémi Government has become a hegemony amongst multiple Drow states within the subterranean world of Kazrrad. Further, non-Drow races have continued to grow more numerous within this Drow empire, and associating with it as Negeémiliel has become a cosmopolitan trading city, and rules over different Drow cultures, and even pockets of different races. The acolyte system that has worked well for a Drow city-state works increasingly poorly for an empire.
Academy of NegeéEdit
The Academy is the institution that takes some 26 years or more to educate about one tenth of the Negeémi drow population to serve as the administrative elites of the city-state. As a result, this drow state is highly educated and generally capable, even if the academy is restricted only to Initiated who will become the future acolytes.
University of NegeéEdit
Unlike the Academy, the University is open to all Drow who can pay the tuition. It is the institution that produces medical doctors, advanced engineers, lawyers, advanced magic users and other occupations of advanced learning.
Private schools exist for primary education for commoners (especially males or non-acolytes from acolyte families), but also for wealthy commoner families. It is unknown if primary schools exist for more modest
Music, adeptness at a musical instrument, singing and dance is popular and considered part of an educated Negeémi drow's curriculum. Sword dancing is a martial art that has a non-combatant, aesthetic side for display and competition.
Drow are noted for producing various drugs and poisons derived from fungi, spiders, and other invertebrates. Larger and more stable Drow societies have become adept at producing drugs for medicine as well as poison.
Speculation: The Negeémi Drow might have a very large pharmacological knowledge, and be in possession of drugs unique to them, and of unusual effects?
While the Acolytes might have a predominance in knowledge of offensive magic, males possessing magic might learn to use their magic in a number of utilitarian ways. Particularly males from acolyte families, or upper class families where their magically empowered children might be educated. Treatment of wounds by magic alongside first aid and surgery is used for quick recovery from injuries and sometimes restoration of damaged bodies.
The "Eartists" are doctors who are usually called upon to work plastic surgery and stretching techniques on ears. Elfs have a very vain attitude towards their ears, and upper class Drow are expected to have particularly long ears, as well as being pointed. This tendency towards longer ears may be due to some subtle genetic selection over the generations, and better nutrition promoting ear development. But not all drow children develop long and pointed ears as expected, especially as many commoner drow have entered or married into the Acolyte class. The ears of children might be made longer and more pointed by stretching and sometimes simple surgery.
The case of adult drow that have lost an ear is harder to repair. A partially removed ear can be treated with tissue grafts and stretching. The long life and regenerative aspects of elves makes the prospect of restoring an ear over a long time a possible prospect. Healing spells as used by priestesses might also be learned by commoners who have good magic using potential. It would seem very likely that spells exist that promote the healing and manipulation of skin and cartilage in restoring and reshaping ears?
Festivals and HolidaysEdit
There are however already several fighting sports, sports and competitions in Negeémiliel: :
In other drow cultures, there exist gladiator fights -to death or not-, but in Negeémiliel they were banned when the city became independent.
Certain Cultural Transformations from Erehel RuleEdit
In Negeémiliel, this was somehow a cultural war, between the Negeél and the Erehel: Once becoming independent, all the Negeél will become -being slaves, servants, serfs or free- servants of Negeé, and later, Acolytes of Negeé.
From the lower class to ruling their city, the (now) Negeémi banned many things, from Erehel heritage: as was the gladiatoral combats.
The Sorceress class has its origins in the old aristocracy before the Negee revolution. That the old elites when overthrown still had some power and were 'folded into' the new power structure. Their magic users could no longer be "priestesses" but could become "sorceresses" instead. This also explains why the power sharing goes on politically in the high council's balance of three, three, and three.
Meta Differences From Role Playing GamesEdit
A side Note about differences of Aiers Drow and those of Role Playing Games:
In the "Dungeons and Dragons" game, the two classes of wizards and clerics have different power sources. The gods literally giving their power to their invested clerics. As there is no such direct signs of a divine presence in Aiers, the two classes are a cultural designation. But it has long confused viewers, and might need some clarification.
Perhaps Sorceresses and priestesses have different magical traditions, and use different spells? In the D&D game, sorcerers have inherent magic, and use it in generally unsophisticated and destructive ways, relative to clerics and wizards who have many more subtle and constructive use for their powers. Aiers probably won't work in the same way, especially as priestesses and wizards, and sorceresses and wizards are sort of the same thing.
Indeed, priestesses and sorceresses are sort of the same thing. But some distinction ought to be made: Priestesses wear white hooded robes and might have a multitude of different spells, differing between 'all purpose priestesses' and the dreaded War Priestesses. Sorceresses wear a variety of differing clothes, but are never to be confused with priestesses. They may have been originally from a different cultural and magical tradition, but there seems few distinctions in their spells. They seem to be more offensive in their spells than the regular priestesses. It is possible that the sorceresses concentrate much more on arcane magic than the trappings of religion? Even so, some sorceresses might serve in leading roles in temples, so there is probably a strong religious component in their lives as well.
Also, in 'traditional Dungeons and Dragons', in drow societies, most power does come from the divine, clerics to Lolth. Some drow sorceresses exist as well, from being descendants of mating with demons and such! Wizards certainly do exist--but--it is considered a lesser class for an elite female drow! Only very gifted drow women would become wizards, and unless they were brilliant girls who somehow emerged from humble backgrounds, they will face scorn for that choice! Becoming a wizard IS an appropriate and respectable occupation for a drow male.
A physical differences between the drow of the "Dungeons and Dragons" game and those of Aiers is that in Aiers, the drow sleep as do other humanoids as opposed to going into 'Trance'. Additionally, drow have very powerful low light vision, but true 'Darkvision', that is, literally seeing in the absolute dark, does not exist.
The drow city state of Negeémiliel is politeist, and among a raising pantheon of goddesses and gods, the matron Goddess of the city, Negeé, is their main goddess.
Temples in the CityEdit
It is known that there were thirty major temples to various deities in the city itself, the primary one being the Temple of Doom, dedicated to the matron Goddess of War Negeé. It is a massive citadel with over a thousand permanent inhabitants and effectively a backdrop to the public 'forum' of Negeémiliel.
There are some 300 smaller temples and shrines to various deities in the city.
The city and its empire are a technical theocracy The worship of Negeé is the dominant deity of worship, and the head of the local pantheon. As a war goddess, she is portrayed as fierce and bloodthirsty. Sacrifices of drow or other races are conducted at the main temples with regularity. These are often criminals, but the best sacrifices are those individuals that might qualify as warriors. Soldiers captured in combat would have some reason to worry about being sacrificed in a temple.
Other gods of the Negeémi PantheonEdit
Some Erehel based gods are doubtlessly part of the Negeémi pantheon. For the most part, the theocracy doesn't much persecute other religions unless they grow to be disruptive.
Genai was a god of the Negeémi pantheon, the main husband of Negeé, being his male counterpart: as Negeé was the goddess of War, he was the god of war, civilization, wisdom, strategy, arts, justice and ability, supposedly gifted to see the future.
An important part of his cult is the Oracle of Genai, the more important and determinative figure of Negeémiliel, being one of the few males that are as well part of the Priesthood of Negeé.
The Oracle of Genai was supposed to be the mouth of the god, and was able to see revelations of the god, and in such way interpret the designs of the Goddess Negeé.
Lolh, the Spider Queen, old Goddess of the Drow, is less than a shadow of its might in Negeémiliel in comparison to the other drow cities, such as the old metropolis of Erehel-Sinu. The Drow of the north of Kazrrad worship Lolh as a terrible matron goddess that demands much and might deliver horrors. Lolh might be seen by various Drow cultures or cities as a war goddess, as a jealous and even twisted goddess whom the people fear and hope to appease by bloody rituals or superstition in private lives. The clergy of Lolh being eager to ramp up the fear of the people to maintain their control or influence over their usually petty states.
In Negeémiliel, the Spider Queen, the chaotic matron goddess to many other civilizations, and her symbol, the spiders, aren’t as revered as in other drow cities. As the Goddess of Spiders, she will be relegated in Negeémiliel to the trade of Spider silk and spider silk textile clothes production, key to the exports and trade of Negeémiliel. Because of this, with the passage of centuries the terrible Spider Queen, Goddess of the drow, became more and more for the Negeémi drow a peaceful but spoiled goddess of traders, and their faithful will go to her shrines to pray to her for the raising of the price of the Spider silk, against a disease of the cattle (giant spiders), or other small petitions that for the northern drow will be seen simply as heretical.
And as well, the Negeémi drow who trade to the north of Aels, to other drow cities, will find surprised of the completely divergent character of what they were raised to believe as a peaceful trade goddess. This would be especially true of the Dungeandar drow that inhabit the underground of Kazrrad beneath the northwest of the Aels continent. Dungeandar drow being fierce and cruel, hard traders, and harder soldiers; but likely to fall into superstitious fears that their goddess might be watching them. Acts of violence and betrayals are often believed to be the result of the goddess Lolh placing the thought into the minds of aggressors to punish the victims.
Other religions within NegeémilielEdit
Other drow religionsEdit
A major and divisively controversial religion is that of the Cult of the Flower. The worship of the goddess Jabharil, the primary goddess of the Kalhari drow culture has become quite popular in the city. Particularly amongst the poor or as an avenue of social advancement for certain members of the wealthy or middle class commoners.
Non-drow religions in NegeémilielEdit
Tolerance vs. PersecutionEdit
Other religions are largely tolerated until they become overly noticeable, then they might be increasingly persecuted as they are perceived as a threat if they seem unusual, or worse, many commoners or slaves become adherents.
- The case of the Cult of the Flower
The Kalhari conquest of the early 25th Century and the resulting trade brought many worshippers of Jabharil to the city in the form of captured Kalhari made into slaves and traders from Kalhari, now part of the Negeémi empire and economy. This religion expanded quite quickly amongst the slaves and commoners, and was subject to various acts of censure, not least of which was commoners opposing it, families torn apart over matters of faith, and 'fanatics' on both sides known as the Fanatics of Jabharil and the traditionalist minded Fanatics of Negeé opposing each other in demonstrations and actually fighting street battles against each other. The acolytes also opposed the religion, but only in small ways and were surprisingly mild in their response to the disorder.
Despite the resistance, the new religion seemed to present an answer to the social unrest in the commoners given social inequities of rights and the economy, the cult also helped poor families which tended to help attract whole families and its message and rites were made for an attractive lure and were too exciting and popular to easily suppress. Also, politically, the Negeémi Populist Party came to see the new religion as a means of rousing the common people to their support and as a source of motivated, disposable minions that they could employ by working with the cult's leadership. Particularly the Cult of the Flower's High Priestess, Ma'Az.
Hence, the Cult of the Flower is a special case, a cult that was allowed to rival Negeé as the Acolyte leadership was working at cross political purposes. Similar such cults before were liable to be persecuted if seen as a threat to the acolyte system.
Notable People and charactersEdit
- The Initiated
- Black Widows
- Cult of the Flower
- Negeémi Populist Party
- Negeémi Senatorial Party
- Negeémi Slave Commission
- Low Council
- High Council
- House Dahl'Arak
Groups of CharactersEdit
- Briiza Ralochs
- Danieh'le Dahl'Arak
- Felyndiira Olonrae
- Haelra Khalazza
- Khariel Baener
- Miz'ri Vrinn
- Selene Paen'Dhirra
- Ver'acea Paen'Dhirra
- Ved'Lith Meeren
- Xuunera Lo'Kee
- Shazeer'ah (born in the city, returned much later)
- Maylara Maltree (Enslaved for several months in the city, acted as a secret agent)
- Neroe Rhedyn (A Hebonnor elf who had been enslaved for several months in the city)
- Belád Bonceduil (A High Elf that was enslaved for about two years in the city)
- Roothar (A Farian Duergar slaver that often conducts business or passes through the territory of this Drow State)