Monday, May 6, 2013

Cannibal Drow?

Back in the mid 1980s, the Drow were scary, at least in my neighborhood. Everyone in my local D&D scene, no matter which group they played with, all knew--KNEW!-- that drows were cannibals. If the dark elves caught your character, it was only a matter of time before they killed and ate you. Almost 30 years later, when I think of drow I don't think of tortured anti-heroes or demonic dominatrices. I first think of people-eating monsters.

I like the idea of cannibal drow. It makes them monsters similar to good old-fashioned vampires. "This creature looks human(ish) and beautiful, but it is actually an alien fiend that will kill and eat you if you get too close." The whole capture-and-eat theme fits well with their classic spider motif as well.

I recently started to wonder where this idea came from. Was it merely a regional thing restricted to my small Ohio town and its neighbors? It can't be just that, can it? I remember seeing a throw-away joke about cannibal drow in the old "Yamara" comic.
(c) Manui & Adams
I skimmed through my old First Edition books, and haven't found any references to drow eating people. I've poked around Google a bit, and "cannibal drow" only brings up a couple references to drow eating other sentient creatures, but it's mostly speculative. "You can't farm in the Underdark. Maybe drows are cannibals?" not "I remember when the Lady Taranulass cooked and ate my dwarf!"

So I'm damnably curious.  Does anyone else out there remember Drow being cannibals? Were the dark elves people-eaters in your games, or was this just a localized phenomenon?

1 comment:

  1. I think they mentioned something about it in Drow of the Underdark - they ate the old and the weak when food ran low. Makes sense in a subterranean environment, but still creepy...