The very notion of a drow city may call to mind images of twisted spires and a looming sense of dread, but not all of their kind fit the stereotypical evil stereotype. In fact, adding some variety and depth to characters such as drow will improve your fantasy landscape tenfold. Getting creative with a city name is a great place to start.
Good Drow City Names
The drow may be distinct from other elves in many ways, but what they do share is language. The drow dialect may vary slightly, but we can still draw inspiration from the various forms of Elvish that have appeared across fantasy writing. These fabricated languages are perfect for creating city names that are both memorable and beautiful.
In many places, thick cobwebs lining the walls of a palace would be taken as a sign of degradation. For the drow of Hlínëmardë, they were proof of Lolth’s holy blessing.
- Sharr N’Vaelahr
Though the architects of Gilgalad Cyll continue to burrow ever downward, its origin and entry point remains the most beautiful. The starlight-dappled hollow for which it is named.
An ever growing dungeon city, Ethirgedyr is a grim place specially reserved for spies. Outsiders and treacherous drow alike rot within its walls.
- Sharr Mhaor
- Myth Ahnvae
While those above ground dismiss the Underdark as a barren place of despair, the drow know a thousand ways to find sustenance down here. A trip to Blalathiilor, for example, will keep you stocked in mushrooms for a year!
- Minas Huinë
Ôlcenedril was named for the sacred pool that the city sprung up around, the Dream Mirror. Those who gaze into the pool’s surface may access the dreams of another, a skill so dangerous that access to the pool is tightly guarded.
With a name meaning “palace hidden from light”, visitors are often surprised to find Halyatúrion a bright and airy city. It is holy light that cannot enter its streets, creating a sanctuary for dissidents and heretics.
The waterfalls that guard Celebrenethuil’s entrance are so mesmerizing that travelers of every race make pilgrimage to stand beneath the silvery falls.
Coming up with interesting names for drow cities ensures they provide just as much depth to your fantasy world as those above ground. Will you use any of the names I’ve listed here? Let me know in the comments, along with any ideas of your own. If you have friends who like to include drow characters, share this article with them too!