Dark elves, also known as Drow, are faithful to the treacherous ways of the Spider Queen Lolth. Living in the Underdark, they tend to reside in large city-states. The city of Menzoberranzan is a perfect example of Drow society in every regard.
A strict and transparent House hierarchy is how things work in this majestic, yet highly violent city. Plots, deceits, betrayal, and covert House elimination is a common occurrence. As a testament to their deceiving and hypocritic nature, the Council can eradicate any House if a witness survives and names them as the attacker.
They live in a Matriarchal society, where a Matron Mother with her daughters and sons rules a House. Each House, with an army and slaves, scheme and plot over the rest, trying to secure a spot in the Ruling Council of Eight, which presides over all others.
How to Choose a Good Drow Name
Male or Female, from a noble House or not, where he or she was born, and who did the Matron Mother chose for the father are all valid questions that can affect the name you choose. The House name, plus the Matron’s personality, tend to make the most impact.
Drow names are elven-like and exotic, though they often have a more sinister tone to them. That, plus a few different ways that you could read the name, equals plenty of combinations. Let us instead focus on more tangible ways to create a Drow name.
Drow Name Formula Examples
We can make a name sound more akin to their nature by using one or more of the following:
- Two same letters in a row
- A few consonants in a row
- Using a combination of the three
You can divide the name by using an apostrophe, often leaving only one or two vowels on each sides, i.e. Zak’nanor or Gel’dyl. It breaks the name in an unusual way, one that wouldn’t be used in our everyday lives, thus making it seem more outlandish.
You can add a bit of flair to the name by using two similar letters in a row, . Examples would be Altriir or Suspurra. It makes the name more exotic, as it applies a certain mystique and alienness to it. However, try not to overdo it or it’ll just feel misplaced.
With the third option, involving consonants, the goal is to make the name harder to pronounce, i.e. Uhltysaar or Lhtmyr. It gives a more guttural feeling and it fits, as the Undercommon, the Drow language, is based on multiple diverse languages.
Using Drow Language to Name Your Character
You can always refer to the list of the Drow Houses and draw inspiration from them. See how the names are written. Notice the usage of the combinations we mentioned. Ask yourself what was done and how you would make those names sound more alluring.
Another good resource is the Drow dictionary, where you can find the meaning of some of their words. Once you understand them better, they could provide yet another method of coming up with a Drow name. Check them all, inspiration can be everywhere.
Drow Last Names
Drow surnames can vary, though many use their House name, especially the noble ones. Below you can find examples where the other half focuses on existing noble Houses.
Female Drow Names
Females are the dominant gender among the Drow and Matron’s daughters are mostly High Priestesses of Lolth. The oldest one is the next in line to become a Matron Mother.
- Lyrena Ulass
- Brordreza Rrostaerth
- Byrlass Zaphrinath
Second daughter of House Blun’Dyth. Very zealous and prone to bursts of violence, especially towards the males, “as Lolth would have it”.
- Nedylene Lueltar
- Rilrae Dyrr
- Trielynrae Everhghym
- Iymvyll Auvryduis
- T’rissolin Freiryn
Formerly daughter of a defeated family, she now serves as a daughter to House Ti’rin, the very same House that defeated them long ago.
- Belarless Zauvin
- Vormyra Dilion’lyr
- Shynlass Chaulssinn
- Zeberess Hunzruae
- Jhangara Cormrael
Matron Mother of House Hael’lrin, the 19th House. The youngest and the most successful Matron in the history of House Hael’lrin.
- Taldril Godearn
- Balnitra Hlaafin
- Burala Do’ett
- Zarshalee Arabneld
Male Drow Names
Each House has up to two sons, with every third sacrificed to Lolth. It’s a fairly common occurrence that a second son kills the oldest, thus securing one of the highest statuses a male Drow can achieve.
- Quenthel Chaulssin
- Lymeoyn Freth
A mercenary on the rise. Specializes in killing younger, less trained, priestesses, something that’s very much sought for. Escaped assassination attempts from more than a few Houses.
- Dindorl Rilyniryn
- Phardriirn Hun’ath
- Jaezvir Gallambra
- Nalphrin Argoryn
- Kluththan Helviiryn
- Narisinyon Zaphrylan
- Xarann Coborel
Thought killed during an expedition, he is a prisoner to a certain Svirfneblin King. His House has to keep sacrificing sons as Lolth knows he’s alive.
- Seldstel Hun’ath
- Nalzt Arabndar
- Drizdrin Hun’val
- Phyxyln Myzynge
- Bemraun Abbaulur
- Malagrann Ichoara
He recently became the first son of House Noquar, as he covertly slew his older brother during their successful attack on House Tlabbar.
- Bhinruel Taulur
- Jevan Faertala
Badass Drow Names
Not every Drow is a member of a (noble) family and so they often seek to be employed by a certain House, joining their army in one way or another. And sometimes, Drow make names for themselves.
One of the most notorious Drow alive. A cryptic leader of Bregan D’Aerthe, notorious mercenary company, a group that is said to be as powerful as true Drow Houses.
Weapon Master of House Do’Urden, the most prominent swordsman in Menzoberranzan, and a father to one of the most famous Drow in all history.
Killed her Mother and became the new Matron. Unfortunately, that was also the moment when they were under attack by a much larger force, ending her rather short reign.
Now It’s Your Turn
Drow are fun characters and I enjoy creating them. They are a healthy mix of fighting prowess and magical ability. If you’re looking to play a more sinister character or perhaps one that is trying to escape everything his race is, the Drow are a perfect choice.
Did you enjoy this guide? Please, share your thoughts on what you liked and what would you have done differently. Tell me what are some of your own methods of coming up with a Drow name.