The Star Drow are a subculture of Dark Elves distantly related to the Dark Elven race commonly known as Drow. The Star Drow are different in many ways beginning with their choice to live above ground rather than below. This derives their name as ‘Star Drow’ since they hold the night sky’s stars and constellations to be sacred. The Star Drow have politicaly unified under a ruling council of five Queens headed by a single leader, the Empress. This council exercises complete domination of their society. Their culture is divided into five principle clans, each of which is ruled by its own seperate and semi-autonomous Queen. The position of Empress is NOT hereditary and succession is commonly chosen by the ruling Empress from among the five ruling queens of each clan, each a council member, before her retirement. The royal tradition of voluntarily stepping down from power to ensure the smooth succession of leadership has spared the Star Drow much of the wasteful infighting and feuding of their underground dwelling cousins. The former Empress assumes the honorary title as Grand Empress, but transfers authority to her hand-picked successor, often serving as an unofficial advisor. Following this example the daughters of the Queens are each equally candidates to become the new Queen. There is no seniority afforded to birth order, but rather promotion based upon individual merit among the daughters is favored. While this makes competition between each Princess very intense, it is wise to make more friends than enemies. You never know for sure who the next Queen, or even Empress will be for certain. The society of the Star Drow is entirely Matriarchal. Social rank is determined by your mother’s status, often times even the identity of the father is unknown. Those times when it is known it is largely irrelevant. The Empress traditionally chooses five male consorts, one from each ruling clan. The exact parentage of her offspring is therefore often in doubt, and helps to balance any favoritism the Empress may display toward one clan or another. Her consorts also compete for her attentions and thereby attempt to win favor for their clan. Despite the entirely matriarchal nature of society, male Star Drow are rarely poorly treated or regarded with contempt as is common in many drow societies. They do understand, the ladies are in charge, and it is going to stay that way. Forever. (Now be a good boy and lift those heavy boxes for mommy, will you? You’re such a dear. I also need you to grab those alchemy reagents from the top shelf…) Males have their uses, even if leadership is never going to be one of them. Each of the ruling clans specializes in a particular branch of magic. This essentially forms the basis for its political power. The different specializations are Elementalist, Evocation, Enchantment/mentalists, Illusionist, and Demonology. The Esqua clan specializes in Demonology. The Star Drow society is on the whole better adjusted and far more pleasant than many Drow societies. Slavery is universal, but it is fashionable to treat slaves almost like pets. Most slaves have served for many generations and regard themselves as lucky compared to many human peasants. While other elves may see them as arrogant and controling, they exhibit none of the outright cruelty that taints traditional Elf-Drow relationships. Star Drow are less concerned with expanding their empire (they have plenty enough slaves to last a very, very long time) than with expanding their mastery of magic in its many forms. Recognizing that knowledge is power they seek to insure their continued survival by ever expanding their knowledge base of the arcane arts. They choose to mind their own business and desire for others to do likewise. They are quite content to trade peacefully with neighboring societies of all sorts. And woe to anyone foolish enough to directly challenge them!