[[quoteright:291:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SharenAllianceCut2_8750.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:291:Speaking of conflicting loyalties...]]

->''"This is their tale. The world as it was through their eyes"''

''[[http://www.drowtales.com Drowtales: Moonless Age]]'' is a fantasy manga-style webcomic that has been running since 2001. In the last few years the webcomic itself has undergone significant remakes and has increased its fan base exponentially.

The webcomic was originally Kern drawing the events of the RP he and some friends played in the ''ForgottenRealms'' ''DungeonsAndDragons'' setting. However, by chapter 4 the comic [[DerivativeDifferentiation diverged into both its own story and had started to implement new things in the setting]]. As the comic expanded on the original details and gradually built up its own setting, it was decided a {{Retcon}} was needed for the first three chapters.

This took place in two stages: A new first chapter and part of a second was made in parallel with the current chapter, up until chapter 12.
However, by that point the comic had diverged far enough from its ''own'' changed setting that a redraw and {{Retcon}} was needed for remainder of chapter 2 up until chapter 8.
This, combined with the sheer number of pages (over 1400 in the main story alone) is part of the reason the world-setting is a bit of a ContinuitySnarl, especially for newer readers.

Nowadays, Drowtales has an original setting with some general similarities with its ''[=DnD=]'' origins, but with a distinct flavour of its own.
The story mainly follows Ariel in the first four or so chapters, but uses several viewpoint characters. This is a feature which becomes more prominent as the chapters progress, so now Ariel is ''a'' main character instead of ''the'' main character.

The chronologically first chapter is [[CaptainObvious the prologue]] while the (currently) oldest published chapter is chapter 9.

New readers are advised to either start at [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6099 Chapter 1]] or [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7934 Chapter 33]], the start of the Second Arc of the story after a 15 year {{Timeskip}}.

''Drowtales'' is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, and the drow and their internal conflicts and lives are the main focus, particularly the nobles. However, it does not play any specific side or faction as good or evil, treating the drow (and other races) as individuals rather than a [[PlanetOfHats Species of Hats]]. In a sense, one of the main themes of the comic is: No one is evil in their own eyes, or at least think their actions are justified to reach their goal.

Now has a [[Recap/{{Drowtales}} recap page]].

Notes about links:
# Links to the main story may be moved around whenever a chapter is redone or inserted. This means many links throughout this page lead to the wrong page, or no page at all. The simplest way to get a permanent link is to access a page through the archive drop-down menu and use the URL it gives you.
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!!This comic provides examples of:

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%% Please put character-related trope on the character sheet and do not duplicate them here.
%%

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Tropes A-F]]
* AbsoluteCleavage:
** Kharla's dress, but considering how [[AxCrazy absolutely batshit insane she is]] combined with the fact that she has the mentality of a child it may come off as FanDisservice to some.
** [[spoiler:Kalki]] takes this a step further. Her [[GodivaHair hair]] covers more than that outfit.
** And [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6507 Discordia]].
* AbusiveParents:
** Hoooo boy, Quain'tana. Let's see, of her three adult children, one is dead and has been turned into a golem, Kel'noz is officially subservient to her but has his own agenda (and readily acknowledges that she was a really bad mother) and then there's Mel'arnach, who was not only disowned and imprisoned, but beaten (and implied, raped) by Quain'tana's men, [[spoiler:and then for her trouble had the child she wanted taken away from her]]. And then there's [[TheUnfavorite Syphile]], who has a trope of her own...
** There are also plenty of others, and a current thread in the forum is titled "[[http://forums.drowtales.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=12777 Worst parent in Chel]]" discussing this. The number of ''good'' parents (Shimi'lande, Kiel's mother Ven'ndia, Sarnel's caretaker Nei'kalsa if you're counting foster parents, and Waes'soloth spring to mind) can be counted on one hand...
** As well as Ash'waren, who is the neglectful type. After being told that her daughter Faen has returned traumatized, her reply was "Who?" And then after being reminded when Faen was born to help her remember, she merely comments on how Faen's father was a bad lay. This was fairly shocking to fans who had thought better of Ash'waren before this, leading at least one to comment that it seems that this is shaping up to be a general trait of Val mothers no matter who they are.
* ActionGirl: Plenty of these, and culturally it's unusual for a female to ''not'' be an ActionGirl, since females are the dominant gender in both political and military matters.
* AdultFear: All over the place given the setting, but probably the best example is what happens to [[spoiler:Shinae's]] baby, which is horrifying if you've ever had children or are even thinking about having them in the future. Continued in chapter 44 where we see [[spoiler:Chrys'tel]] having a miscarriage [[spoiler:because of her taint]].
** Chapter 46 also sees [[spoiler:Ariel]] first get stabbed in the hand and then get her arm chopped off [[spoiler:by Kalki]] in full view of her mother and father, with the former completely freezing up at the sight.
* AerithAndBob: Ariel versus -- just about everyone with their multi-apostrophed names. Some fans have pointed out a good deal of the names drow sport are names found ''somewhere'' on earth, often with an apostrophe. For instance, Sarv'swati is one letter off from [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saraswati Saraswati]], a Hindu Goddess, and many Kyorl'solenurn names have Japanese roots. Quain'tana is also the family name of an obscure writer. And amusingly, there is an actual Bob: Bob the undead chicken of [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom doom]].
* TheAgeless: The fae races (drow, light elves, faeries) provided they live with enough other fae to generate a surplus of mana. Otherwise they will suffer from mana deprivation and will start to age much like humans do. This is what has happened to Rosof and Tralyn. If one goes back to a large enough group of fae again, before the aging has gone too long, the process can be halted. This is likely the case with Tralyn (not confirmed). For Rosof it was too late and he is slowly dying despite being among the people of his clan again. Also, plain statistics makes for fatal accidents killing people off sooner or later. The average lifespan of drow is around 200 years for a commoner/non-Val and around 1000 for Val matriarchs and [[spoiler: Dark Elves]].
** Subverted in [[http://drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?id=943 one of the audiobooks]]. It's stated that drow have a finite natural lifespan, though they're lucky to get within centuries of dying of old age (which for them could be circa 1000 years plus).
* AirVentPassageway:
** Ragini.
** Also [[SubvertedTrope subverted]]- [[spoiler:Diva'ratrika's]] too large to fit, and it's very likely that [[spoiler:her decision to possess Ragini]] was because she would eventually grow too large to go in and out.
* AlasPoorYorick: Kiel [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9448 mimes this]] with the head of Sindas, one of her demon prince's, [[spoiler:when describing what she would have done if she ''had'' been the one who killed Shimil'lande]], but he can always just reattach it.
* AlienCatnip: a side story and the coinciding news post suggested that chocolate is a potent drug to drow, who may have evolved from feline creatures. Evidently, students at the Orthorbbae abuse tablets of cocoa like some people abuse Ritalin in real life, and consuming too much at once will kill a drow. They're probably reacting to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine Theobromine]] in the chocolate, which can be poisonous to both animals and humans if enough is consumed. A page posted later in the main archive had [[spoiler:Mel'arnach and Snadhya'rune]] getting stoned off their arses on chocolate.
* AllThereInTheManual: You are likely to miss a great deal of context unless you read supplemental information from other sources, like WordOfGod on the forums and other materials.
* AlternativeCalendar: As one would expect from a culture that places a great deal of importance on the moons, the drow use a moon calendar 13 months long, with 30 days each.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: Averted, if not outright deconstructed. Even intelligent demons, who would normally be such, fall more under BlueAndOrangeMorality.
* AmazingTechnicolorPopulation: More subtle than most examples of this, but while drow skin tones are almost always some variant of dark brown or black there's a fair amount of diversity among them. Besides the obvious difference between drowolath and drowussu, drow from different regions can also have remarkably different skin tones. This is most obvious when comparing [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=5581 the Nal'sarkoth]] to Chelian drow, and it's implied that other drow from of the city Mimaneid as similarly colored. And even within the same clan this can vary, since comparing [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7983 Nega'fanea, who was born in Val'Raveran, and Balsii, a native of Nuqrah'shareh]], shows that they have different colored highlights in their skin. And mixed-race drow run the gamut of somewhere between the two and dark or light enough to pass for one but not the the other. And then you get Farasank and his brother Farhang, who are [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9030 both]] [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7639 red]], just to throw a wrench into things.
* AndIMustScream: Kharla has a habit of turning people she doesn't like (and some she does like) into living "dolls".
* [[AntiHumanAlliance Anti-Halme Alliance]]: Not ''all'' halmes/humans, just the kingdom that captured Faen.
* AnyoneCanDie: Especially adorable animals. This works well to create dramatic tension, especially leading up to the timeskip chapters, since so far only Ariel, Faen, Kau and Shala were confirmed to have survived. This also meant that in chapter 32 fans were extremely worried about several characters, since it was quite possible they wouldn't survive. At the end of Chapter 32 the casualty count for that chapter was [[spoiler:one, Rek'maar's aura got drained by Khaless and the the Orthorbbae Library lists his status as deceased]].
** This is also the case with reader-sponsored cameos, unless the character's creator specifically requests otherwise. And even in that case the death itself might be implied but not specifically shown.
* AnythingThatMoves: Ash'waren, and much of the Sullisin'rune clan in general.
* ArachnidAppearanceAndAttire: Quite a few clans and individuals.
* ArtEvolution: [[http://www.drowtales.com/wordpress/?p=751 Phenomenal]]. That post, by the way, spares you from seeing the original artwork from the very, very, very beginning (for the good of humanity, it would seem; so you'll have to seek it out yourself if you're so inclined). This is, perhaps, the CharlesAtlasSuperpower applied to art.
* ArtificialLimbs: Nihi'liir Vel'Sharen ends up with one after [[spoiler:Faen injures her arm]] and they're fairly common among drow due to mana technology. Sang Niz'zre, one of Quain'tanta's devesses, lost all of her limbs due to be tortured by the Sharen and had them replaced by golem limbs.
* ArtShift: When Phani'nath Vel'Sharen [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=5568 describes the last Ill'haress' gathering]], the regular realistic style shifts to render the mighty powers of Chel'el'sussoloth as [[SuperDeformed chibis]]. Also, in Sil'lice's chapter, it begins in the comic's traditional style but changes to a more manga like style when Sil'lice begins telling her story to the twins.
* AscendedMeme: Throughout chapter 46 a RunningGag on the forum was *hooting intensifies* signifying [[spoiler:the approach of the Kavakini troops to Felde]] and when they [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10195 finally arrive]] the area on the bottom of the page that usually lists characters instead just says "Hoot."
* AsteroidsMonster: If a demon is damaged enough, it might break into shards, the shards essentially becoming "children" of the demon in question, with each containing a fragment of the original demon's personality.
* AudienceSurrogate: Vaelia plays this role to a point, [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=4818 especially at the beginning of chapter 7]], where she's [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=4822 very bothered by the way Ariel's alleged "guardians"]] are treating her. She's also the only one who seems bothered by Rik's behavior towards Ariel, though she's also the only witness to the first AttemptedRape and may not have the vocabulary to describe what happened to anyone else who might want to do something about it.
** Sandaur also serves this role [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7934 in chapter 33]], especially since new readers are advised to start there if they don't want to start at the very beginning. Bonus points in that [[spoiler:he dies at the end of that chapter]].
* AuthorAvatar: Not who you'd think. The character [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=501 Kwaii]] is a former avatar of the author, while [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=611 Desmonde]] is a DistaffCounterpart of his wife's character Kaito, who himself appears [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6801 in chapter 24 onwards]]. The authors themselves (and various staff members) do show up in the chibi extras at the end of chapters and in the [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=4318 artists' life]] pages.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Numerous possible examples, but Quain'tana is probably the most obvious.
* AutomaticCrossbows: Averted in Chapter 18, where Syphile is shown having to load one. Played straight with the Fallen Legion's wrist-mounted crossbows, though possibly {{justified|Trope}} by {{golem}} mechanics.
* AxCrazy: The members of the Vloz'ress clan are either this or so desperate that they had to run to the pinnacle of insanity. The average life expectancy for the troops can be measured in ''weeks''.
* BabyFactory: After the timeskip [[spoiler:Mel'arnach]] is being used this way, having delivered two sons and having a daughter who's born during the story in order to [[spoiler:give Quain'tana more heirs]].
* BadAss: Quain'tana fits this trope, as can a few others.
* BadassBystander: [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8693 This woman]], quickly dubbed Crossbow Lady on the forums, pulls a ShutUpHannibal on Maki via a crossbow bolt to the shoulder. Even better, her hands are visibly shaking, and she seems to be either a drowussu or a mixblood.
* [[BadassGrandpa Badass Grandma]] - Most of the Illharesses fit this trope. Quain'tana in particular, as she is centuries old and can still kick the asses of most of her subordinates.
* BadassNormal: from the audience's point of view, Vaelia.
* [[spoiler: TheBadGuyWins]]: The Nidraa'chal war, which everyone [[spoiler:[[TheConspiracy thinks the Sharen won]] but really lost due to being taken over BY the Nidraa'chal in a coup, and the Nidraa'chal leaders were in fact high-ranking Sharen]].
* BaitAndSwitch: In chapter 42, the audience is at first lead to believe that Chiri was assassinated by a Vloz'ress, only to find out that she was just having a vision. Later in the chapter we find out what really happened: [[spoiler:''Shimi'lande'' was the one who was really assassinated, and Chiri was seeing it with herself in Shimi'lande's place]].
* BaitTheDog: A doozy of a one in the remake of Chapter 1. [[spoiler:Despite the ForegoneConclusion that Fuzzy dies by Syphile's hands, the fandom was still shocked when, after Ariel begs to be allowed to keep her new pet, Syphile apparently ''agrees'', leaving the room with only a sigh, not even chiding Ariel. Next page, cut to a week later to a suffering Fuzzy with the revelation that Syphile has locked Ariel and Fuzzy in for the ''whole week'' with inadequate food and, apparently, even no provision for the calls of nature. She kills Fuzzy two pages later by slamming his head against the wall.]]
* BarbarianTribe: The Black Sun is a good example of TheHorde, since they're decentralized and subsist solely on raiding other settlements, and they're forbidden from gathering in large groups in Chel. The Am'saag subhouse of the Sarghress also embody this, given that they're barbarian mercenaries hired from a foreign land.
* BareYourMidriff: Ash'waren especially. The fandom nearly exploded with {{squee}} when both she and Quain'tana were in the same scene with bare midriffs.
* BarrierWarrior: Potentially all fae, depending on their skill and strength in mana. [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=4252 Seen in the second panel here]].
* BavarianFireDrill: One city of light elves is so used to doing what they're told that an elf commands a group of assassins to stand down and they do what he says, even after he [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1528 lampshades the use of this trope]].
** Also, Kyuusei in chapter 42 is [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9387 counting on this trope]] to keep anyone from questioning his plan to [[spoiler:use Shimi'lande's assassination as an excuse to get rid of the Dutanvir-descended drowussu in their clan]], claiming that the drowussu's natural inclination towards obedience to authority will work to his advantage. [[spoiler:He's wrong]].
* BeastMan: What the humanoid fae sees the goblin races as due to not having an aura. In practice they are more like {{muggles}} without any technical advantages, though they have a better chance against nether beings since, lacking an aura, they can't be possessed, though they can still be injured physically. The Sarghress have taken advantage of this and formed a "[[http://www.drowtales.com/worldsettingarchive.php?order=chapters&id=60 War Meat]]" corps of non-fae whose express purpose is to go into nether infected areas and kill the nether summoners before the fae move in to finish the job.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Giving the setting, this is averted near constantly. Women get just as badly injured and dirty as their male counterparts, and even Kyo'nne, they most stereotypically feminine of the main cast, [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=649 takes a full on punch to the face]] [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=709 and has a visible bruise for some time afterwards]]. And Kiel'ndia [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7377 probably has the worst of it]] where even after surviving [[spoiler:being poisoned]] she's clearly a mess and has to remove the clotted blood from her eye to open it. And even [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7756 Snadhya'rune]], who so far hasn't engaged in any direct fighting on panel, ends up with a black eye and bloody after her carriage is tipped over.
* BecauseYouWereNiceToMe: Mel and Lulianne, among others.
* BedmateReveal: Chapter 46 [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10004 has one]] with a double dosing of FanDisservice, mostly down to the parties involved being [[spoiler:Khaless and Kharla'ggen]].
* BestialityIsDepraved: One of the reasons[[note]]the other being that they're biologically incapable of reproducing with each other[[/note]] you won't see any fae/human hybrids in the Drowtales world. Drow consider having sex with goblins, including humans, to be roughly on par with a human having sex with a chimpanzee.
** When the Highland Raiders talk about one guy named [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=825 Val'Doom]] who kidnaps human women to mate with they flat out refer to him as having a bestiality fetish.
** There's also Shoki, who has [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7402 a pretty suspect relationship with his pet Noz]][[note]]a type of orc[[/note]].
* BewareTheNiceOnes:
** Faen. The [[FriendToAllLivingThings nicest person in the setting]]... and has the [[PersonOfMassDestruction high body count already]].
** Ariel is the butt of many jokes for having been educated in the male's school, but she's still [[BadAss Quaintana]]'s [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority recognized heir]]
* {{BFS}}: Koil'Dorath's weapon.
* BigBad: If anyone can be classified as such, it's probably Snadhya'rune who is more or less single handily responsible for the current civil war.
* BigNo:
** Chapter 27, Page 35, uttered by Kiel. Also basically the entire fandom when they saw that page.
** As point of fact, essentially every other chapter will cause the entire fandom to scream this. The forum posts for bascially the entirety of Chapter 33 are a particularly good example.
* BigDamnHeroes: [[http://drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9679 Chiri answers Ariel's call to arms.]]
* BigDamnKiss: After years of friendship, hinting, and [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8416 in-series shipping]], [[spoiler: Faen finally [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9466 works up the courage to kiss Ariel]]]]. Followed by a textbook case of PostKissCatatonia.
* {{Bishonen}}: Several, and Shan'naal was created specifically because the fans requested a cute guy character who ''wouldn't'' die.
* BizarreSexualDimorphism: While not incredibly extreme, female drowolath and dark elves tend to be taller and stronger than the males. The opposite is true of drowussu, who are closer to human sexual dimorphism.
* BlackComedy: A lot of the humor is of this variety. The chibi pages at the end of chapters are often like this and make light of events in the chapter by rendering them in chibi form.
** [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6511 This]] is a good example in the main story.
** [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7673 Here's]] another example that takes the very seriously dysfunctional relationships between Quain and her children and treats it like this. Especially notable because the story proper ''never'' plays it for laughs.
** Also, almost anything involving Kharla's dolls will have a streak of this. Yes they're horrifying, but it's hard not to snicker [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6766 at something like this]], especially since that particular guy [[AssholeVictim deserved it]].
* BlackMagicianGirl: Ariel, as well as several of the young characters.
* BlackMarketProduce: The trope is [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=839 lampshaded here]]. [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1294 Chocolate is considered a recreational drug.]] Drowolath cooking relies heavily on SoylentGreen and mushroom beer. Elves who rely on such staples can be identified by their tongues, which have become permanently purple.
* BlackSpeech: Drowish evidently sounds a bit like this, since at the very least "Eat cake" prompts [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1143 this reaction]] from a human guard at the sight of Ariel (who, granted, looks like a monster at the time, which probably helps).
* BlankWhiteEyes: The golem Vy'chriel, Laelle'aell and Faen (when using her powers) all have these. This also happens to a dead elf's body or when an elf is placed under serious strain.
* BlastingTime: When Mana Attacks are used.
* BlindfoldedVision: Shan'naal when first introduced. He's only worn it once that way since, for a few pages when he needed it to help his eyes adjust after Ariel's traveling group first reached the overworld.
* BloodBath: The human royal couple hunted Elves so they could bathe in their blood in a bid for immortality. Whether it actually worked is not stated, but given differences in fae and human biology it most likely did not.
* BloodSpatteredInnocents: [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=343 Ariel]], after [[spoiler:killing Miir'kin]]. Especially disturbing as she's the human equivalent of being 7 years old (physically) when it happens.
* BloodyMurder: Fae with blood affinity can use their own blood as weapon, and probably the blood of others as well, though this hasn't been explicitly shown on panel.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: The drow themselves may appear this way to most of the readership.
* BodyDouble: Chapter 30 reveals that [[spoiler:the Sharen sisters have employed one to take the place of Diva'ratrika during parades]]. Needless to say, [[spoiler:the ''real'' Diva was pretty shocked to hear that "she" was holding a parade through the middle of Chel]]!
* BodyguardBetrayal: Happens with Yaeminira and Vy'chriel, and [[spoiler:Rikshakar and Ariel]].
* BodyHorror: Lots, like those who get taken by demons. But the living dolls. Oh, something have mercy, those horrible dolls.
** [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=3134 This.]] It has the arms of children for teeth.
* BoomerangBigot: Chiri'nide hates "impure" people while she herself is the daughter of a drowussu and a light elf, and later [[spoiler:we find out that Drowusuu are ''descended from light elves'', making the entire Kyorl'solenurn clan fall under this as well]].
* BreakingTheFourthWall:
** Kiel'ndia considers the readers as one would imaginary friends and frequently points to them (us) and talks to her "friends." Of course, she comes from [[AxCrazy the Vloz'ress]] [[PlanetOfHats clan]], so others dismiss her as psycho.
** Kiel'ndia breaks the fourth wall [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7178 in a tragic way]]. Beware, your screen might break.
* BreakTheCutie: The world seems determined to do this to anyone's who even minorly sympathetic or kind, especially in the case of Faen. Ariel seems on the fast track to this if she's not already there. Kiel'ndia and Naal'suul are at first examples of pre-broken cuties, but [[spoiler:after Naal's abandonment, and then transformation]] Kiel becomes truly broken and crazy (-er than normal).
* BreastPlate: Averted; female characters wear armor suited to a female physique, but protective and actually useful in battle. As a result, it's sometimes [[ViewerGenderConfusion hard to tell the gender]] of certain characters when they're in armor. Even exceptions to this are justified. [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=5982 Sarv'swati's armor]] has a CleavageWindow as she's observing Zala'ess at the council, but by the time she's gone out to actually fight [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7651 she's switched to a fully covering armor]], indicating that the window is just for show and not intended to actually be worn in battle. And Diva's "armor" on her torso is clearly not meant to actually be worn in battle since has open sides, [[spoiler:which is [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9129 something]] Kiel takes advantage of with a Diva body double by stabbing ''under'' where the armor cuts off.]]
* BreatherEpisode: After the WhamEpisode that was Chapter 25 came chapter 26, which follows Chrys'tel, Shinae, Naal and Kiel as they look at the Moons' End Festival and do things like watch puppet shows, though it still advances the plot and provides insight into the world setting. It's then followed by 27, where [[spoiler:Naal'suul meets her apparent end]] making it even more of a BreatherEpisode before another Wham.
* BrickJoke: Back in Chapter 7, Chrys'tel was seen wearing [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=4864 a set of black and red clothing]], and after she's captured [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=4996 Ariel takes them]] in Chapter 8 in order to impersonate Chrys'tel, though she never wound up using them. Then in Chapter 30, ''22 chapters later'', [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7625 they're worn by]] [[spoiler:Diva'ratrika, her ''grandmother'']], which later results in [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7775 a hilarious payoff]].
* BroadStrokes: The approach to older information in side stories post {{Retcon}}. For instance, Chirinide's father is still a light elf and [[spoiler:Ariel is still the child of Mel and Zhor]] but specific events may have played out differently with the same results. The current version of chapter 1 is similar in that the basic series of events didn't change all that much while some events were expanded upon or omitted.
** Chapter 9 was also given some minor updates for the 10 year anniversary, such as inserting some additional pages to expand on Chrys'tel and Shinae's first meeting and some minor dialog alterations to make it internally consistent with later chapters (taking out Chrys'tel [[CallingYourAttack calling her attack]], for instance). The art itself was unchanged minus the chapter cover.
* BrokenAngel: One of Ariel's shapeshifted forms resembles this.
* BSideComics: both subscription and as side stories, many by different artists.
* ButForMeItWasTuesday: One part of the DeliberateValuesDissonance between drow and humans is that drow think nothing of raiding surface settlements and taking back human slaves, and even Faen, one of the most morally good characters by human standards, doesn't bat an eye about buying a light elf slave at the market. Vaelia considers the raid on her home village as a defining moment of her life, but for the drow it's a drop in the bucket.
* CallBack: Pre-TimeSkip, Shinae can be seen [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=4879 here]] promising Ariel a thousand deaths. Post-TimeSkip, Shinae can be see [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9045 here]] recalling the promise as she tries to fulfill it.
* [[CallingTheOldManOut Calling The Old Woman Out]]: [[spoiler:Syphile]] finally tells her mother what a horrible parent she is, how she's ruined all the lives of her children, and tells her to 'do the only thing you know' [[spoiler:and kill her, something that actually manages to impress Quain (who still kills her).]]
* CampGay: Sorane'Saniil.
* CannibalismSuperpower: One of the few known ways to kill a demon is for another demon to eat them. Partially depending on the variety, this frequently results in the demon gaining traits of its victim. To at least some degree, this will also work on Fae. One of the legends claims that consuming demonic power is how Sharess ended the demon threat.
* CanisMajor: The Sarghress mount.
* CanonImmigrant: Kyne, who is Sil'lice's granddaughter and a former Sharen golem pilot, started off in the "Space Age" story from the Daydream section of the site. There are also the numerous roleplay cameos, but they fall more under ContinuityCameo.
* CantArgueWithElves: Averted. The fae already messed up the world pretty bad rule with brute force, and aren't that much better than the "lesser" goblin races.
* CapeWings: Ariel, with overtones of PrehensileHair.
* CardboardPrison: The Sharen ''attempt'' to defy this by building a prison in Chel's outer shell, which is made of crystal[[note]]WordOfGod is that the cavern Chel resides in is more or less a giant geode[[/note]] therefore making it impossible for prisoners with earth affinities to simply bend the bars and break out. This runs into problems when [[spoiler:a shapeshifter is among the prisoners, can turn into one of the guard's comrades and trick them into opening the gate]].
* TheCassandra: Both Chiri'nide and Shimi'lande possess clairvoyance, but they [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=365 don't always like it]] and can't always control it. In Chiri's case, her visions often end up causing more problems than they solve, and can be [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=5468 really frickin scary]].
* CastOfSnowflakes: The modern art style, where even scenes like [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8961 this]] with feature around a dozen characters in similar armor individuals can be told apart, and not just by hair color. Also given that many bit characters are reader cameos many have unique designs and backstories.
* CatFolk: The Ferals.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Sil'lice comes off as being somewhat more likable than her earlier appearances, and she implies that she was intentionally putting on an act for Chrys'tel. Most of her more negative traits have seemingly been transferred to her daughter Kadara.
* ChekhovsGun: Since the comic has run as long as it has there are ''loads'', some of which are only now firing after nearly ''ten years''. Going back through the archives to find them has more or less become an official fandom sport.
** [[spoiler:Squishy]], who's instrumental to helping [[spoiler:Ariel escape Rik]]. And now [[spoiler:Squishy]] turns out to have been even more of a ChekhovsGun since [[spoiler:Mel gave one of her eggs to a Jaal'darya friend in exchange for it, and that egg was later used to make Kalki]].
** With Chapter 25, [[spoiler:[[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1272 The Ninth Tower of Orthorbbae]]]], the existence of which was hinted at all the way back in [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=195 chapter 2]], has finally been revealed.
** Also, [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=814 remember this]] [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=815 door]] from the end of Chapter 2? [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7079 Chrys'tel did.]]
* ChekhovsGunman: The remake chapters show several characters in the background before they become significant, including younger versions of Chiri and Shan in chapter 3. [[spoiler:Liriel, aka Diva'ratrika]] is a big one as well that's only fired as of chapter 23.
* ChessMaster: ''Lots'' of characters count as this, to the point of a GambitPileup.
* ChewingTheScenery: Many important characters have at least one of these.
* TheChosenOne: Interestingly, largely subverted. Well, no, that's not accurate. ''Each major clan'' has a point of view, and someone who can save them. Ariel is the most obvious one, while Kiel, is perhaps the strangest (but no less of one, as evidenced [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9179 by various monsters telling her they depend on her]] in Chapter 41)
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: The three Sharen sisters. After all the nasty things they've done to everyone around them -- [[spoiler: including a false coup d'état and killing their own mother]] -- it ''really'' isn't surprising that they've started to turn on each other.
* CityOfCanals: Nuqrah'shareh, and some parts of Chel, especially around the Jaal'darya fortress.
* CivilWar: Chel has had internal squabbles since its founding. The first major war was the one between the Sharen and the Sullisin'rune, which the Sharen won. As of the {{Timeskip}}, [[spoiler:the Sarghress and Sullisin'rune clans are in open war against the Sharen, Black Sun, and Beldrobbaen clans. The Nal'sarkoth, and Jaal'darya clans have remained neutral while the Vloz'ress have ''become'' neutral. While the ill'haress of the Illhardro clan dislikes the Sarghress, she was unable to afford fighting them until recently and is just starting to join in, along with a couple of Nuqrah clans allied with her.]]
* TheClan: Nine major ones and countless smaller ones, and the driving conflicts in the series are clan-based. Several prominent Vloz'ress believe that the solution to all these conflicts is to force the clans to disband and enter a democratic system.
* ClothingSwitch
* TheCloudcuckoolanderWasRight: No one (minus the readers) believed Kiel when she suggested that [[spoiler:some of Naal's personality may have survived her seed taking her over]] but then Chapter 32 showed that she was right.
* ColonyDrop: Occurred in the backstory, where the elves ''somehow'' managed to take a piece out of one of the moons ([[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6101 the broken moon can be seen fifth from the right in the first panel]]) and a piece of the moon that hit the planet's surface and created the underworld. [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7936 This map]] heavily implies that most of the underworld is actually the crater from this impact and that the "ashes" that are mentioned as causing mutations among the later drow generations may be related to the moon fragment in the city of Sha'shi. More information can be found in [[http://www.drowtales.com/wordpress/?p=1328 the Sha'shi audiobook]]. It's also implied that the floating cities that have been said to exist have come crashing down to the surface on occasion.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Each major clan has a set of colours that represent them; see also "tainted" drow eyes vs. normal drow eyes.
* ContinuityCameo: Lots!
** [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=763 This page]] features over a dozen cameos from the roleplays, side comics, Daydream and comics done by other members of the staff.
** [[http://www.drowtales.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/kharla20091024x768.jpg Kharla'ggen]] can be seen holding a plushie of [[http://www.drowtales.com/~wiki/index.php/An%27jhali_Tei%27kaliath_(Ilhar) An'Jhali]], the Illharess of the Tei'kaliath clan from the visual roleplay, in several pieces of art.
** Characters from the Relic Hunters visual roleplay have also made cameos in the story proper as important characters in the Highland Raiders.
** In one chapter a character gets a book about the [[ShowWithinAShow Vel'cahal]], which is the subject of a Daydream story that's presented as being historical fiction. Naal later buys a doll of the Vel'cahal [[spoiler:which gets featured in the HopeSpot at the end of Chapter 27]].
** Dhal'zin of the ''Alstrat's Journal'' audiobook series [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1086 appears]] in chapter 20 with her Stone Company, but interestingly, Fen, the main character of that series does not, instead it's his descendant [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1090 Kai]], but Dhal confuses the two (even though they do, in fact, look very different).
** Taio'shi and Cer'kal, two characters from [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7221 that year's winning contest story]], [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7748 appear in chapter 31]]. It's also implied that their story may be part of the main story's canon now, since the contest story showed that [[spoiler:Mikilu]] lived with Taio'shi, and that same character appeared [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7756 several pages after]] Taio'shi and Cer'kal, the implication being that [[spoiler:Mikilu had them plant the mana bomb that nearly blew up Snadhya's carriage]] which is later confirmed in the ''Battlefield Engineers'' canon sidestory, which also shows that [[spoiler:Cer'kal was badly burned in another attempt to kill Snadhya]].
* ContinuitySnarl: Figuring out what is and isn't canon at this point is difficult, to say the least. WordOfGod has helped somewhat, but with almost 10 years of continuity and thousands of pages it gets difficult.
* ControlFreak: This seems to run in the Sharen family, with Diva'ratrika, Snadhya'rune and Sarv'swati all showing signs at various times.
* CostumePorn: Given that most characters are nobles there's a lot of this, and the Sharen probably have the most considering how much money and prestige they have.
* CountryMatters: Has come up twice in the story. Interestingly, both occasions involve Mel, and she's actually the one who says it the second time. It apparently doesn't have the same terrible connotations to drow as it does to Americans[[note]]do note that the author is from Quebec, where while still a bad word it's not considered ''quite'' as bad[[/note]] due to their matriarchal society.
* CrapsackWorld: A few reasons, mainly due to demons and the elves themselves.
** The ever-present threat of being possessed by demons, the possibility that tainting only guarantees said possession in the long run, and the rampant (and not entirely unjustified) genocidal dogma against said tainted hurls the setting into Crapsack territory.
** Also, the fact that most everyone is trying to kill most everyone else for many reasons beyond the tainting. Hopefully it wasn't normal in pre-industrial societies to tell ten-year-old children, "Don't kill a fellow student unless you can dispose of the body," and not be joking. The characters all justify their actions, and it is debatable if anyone in the setting is evil, but Chel is not a safe place to live for anyone. Even more so in post-timeskip chapters. And this is long after another war already rendered the surface unlivable for ages.
** And while drow in this setting may not be AlwaysChaoticEvil in the way traditional D&D drow are, but they're still far from paragons of virtue. The Author makes the Drow sympathetic and rational without necessarily making them good; they still keep slaves and have death matches with few qualms about murder. Most of this is justified in some way or another, like they don't have a lot of room or resources down there so overpopulation and starvation are very real possibilities, and just because they're not "good" by modern human definitions doesn't mean they don't have feelings, and the fact their society is messed up in the way it is isn't exactly conductive to good feelings, and after the timeskip it seems many commoners have begun to realize this.
* CrazyCatLady: Crazy Spider Lady: Mel with her pets.
* CreepyChild: Kharla and, to a lesser extent, Naal. Even Ariel has her moments, and when [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive/20091104c01p030.jpg this page]] came online one forum goer responded with a picture of Samara from ''TheRing''.
* CurbStompBattle: A few times. [[spoiler:Rik vs. Discordia]] (though that one was rigged and later ''severely'' reversed) and [[spoiler:Sil'lice vs. Yaeminira/Vy'Chriel]]. And now we can add [[spoiler:Syphile vs. Quain'tana]] to the mix, making it the second such curbstomping in as many chapters. Drow in general seem prone to ending up in these since their system of honor dictates that they face challenges, even if that means going up against someone several times their age and experience who they have no chance of winning against.
** Curb stomp battle is the only way to describe [[spoiler: Shinae crushing Ariel in 2 seconds flat when they fight after the timeskip ]]
* CurtainsMatchTheWindow: Some Vloz'ress, Diva'ratrika, Chiri'nide, Shimi'lande, Ariel, and Mel'arnach. Among first and second generation elves like Diva'ratrika this is natural, while in later generations it seems to be done deliberately using dyes and magic.
* CuteMonsterGirl: ''All'' the main characters, including the males and, from the other characters' perspective, ''humans''.
* TheDarkArts: Nether summoning is often seen this way and with good reason. In Chel, they are considered a borderline forbidden art and are the reason that the Vel clans who dabble with it have become so infamous. In Nuqrah'shareh, they are banned completely (aside from sending demons ''back'' to the nether of course).
* DarkSkinnedRedhead: Some Vloz'ress, though they actually use hair dye.
* DeadlyDecadentCourt: The case can be made for several of the ruling clans, but the human kingdom of Nagyescsed seems to be the best example, seeing as how the king was [[spoiler:collecting elves to kill so he could bathe in their blood]] and [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1164 the]] [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1167 suggestion]] that the kingdom just needed a decent push to fall over [[spoiler:as it did, courtsey of Ariel and company]]. The Sullisin'rune are also experiencing problems from this.
* DeadlyGraduation: Quain'tana orders Ariel to either [[SadisticChoice kill a prisoner or duel a fellow clan member to the death]]. In the current version, [[spoiler:she decides to kill the prisoner, and Quain tells her to [[DropTheHammer make it messy]]]].
* DeadlyHug: Jer'kol attempts to smother Ariel with a hug but is stopped by Vaelia.
* DealWithTheDevil: This is effectively what willingly tainting yourself is, since it gives you extra strength but also turns you into a ticking timebomb. Sene'kha also offers this to Kiel, telling her that if she helps break her out of prison they'll not only TakeOverTheWorld, but possibly be able to keep Naal'suul alive. [[spoiler:Kiel refuses after Naal tells her it's impossible]].
* DeathFromAbove: Ariel inflicts this on a Vloz'ress scourge [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8663 in chapter 38]], and WordOfGod is that she learned from earlier when she just leaped down and this time aimed to kill.
* DeepCoverAgent: [[spoiler:The surviving Nidraa'chal, who exist in ''every major clan'' and probably most minor ones.]]
* DefeatMeansFriendship: How Rosof joined Quain'tana's army. According to one of the creators, he's also [[UnrequitedLove in love with her]].
* DeflectorShield: The Sarghress have developed this technique to compensate for being individually fairly weak [[BarrierWarrior barrier warriors]].
* DefrostingIceQueen: Possibly Chrys'tel, and to a lesser extent Ariel and some others at points.
* DelayedReaction: Kiel first realizes [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9546 they have stowaways]] after seeing Sara, but it takes a few seconds for her to realize she's out of place and that "Elbinac" (who supposedly died in a previous chapter) is actually Anjin.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Sil'lice [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6094 illustrates]] the values of different species, which explain why people who are BadAss, AxCrazy, or [[KnightTemplar extremists]] are portrayed sympathetically and/or positively. Leads to a lot of debate among the readers.
* DemonicInvaders: The cause of the dark elf exodus to the underworld, among other things. They are a major threat to any 'untainted' aura-bearing creature.
* DemonicPossession: Definitely one of the darkest examples, as once it happens, not only is it completely irreversible, but the possessed victim [[KilledOffForReal literally ceases to exist in any way, shape or form]]. There is nothing left but the demon and the broken body of the victim it uses as its shell.
* DetachedSleeves: Fairly common in Drow fashion.
* DidYouJustRomanceCthulhu: Chapter 46 contains an example of one Cthulhu ([[spoiler:Khaless]]) romancing another Cthulhu ([[spoiler:Kharla'ggen]]).
* DiscontinuityNod: In a post-remake page, Ariel wonders aloud whether she should try to turn into a Drider (drow/spider hybrid) but after Kyo'nne mentions all the "icky legs" Ariel dismisses the idea. In the original, now non-canon chapters she morphed into a drider a fare bit, but now she explicitly doesn't' have enough mass to pull it off.
* DisguisedInDrag: In Chapter 27, Nau'kheol and Khal'harror are [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7067 forced into this]] so they can sneak into the girls' section of the school. They're assisted by Sorane'sanil, who does this on a regular basis, and while [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7071 Sorane gets caught]] because one of the teachers recognizes him, the other two manage to pass.
* DiseaseBleach: A long-term version of this occurs with both Drowolath and Drowussu, who tend to have darker hair in earlier generations (i.e. closer to their surface born ancestors) while later generations almost always have white hair. This is true of Drowussu to a lesser extent, since they tend to have color stay around through later generations, but their hair tends to be a lighter color in the first place. It's suggested that the lightened hair along with their skin is the result of the "ashes" which may be tied to the moon fragment that's in Sha'shi and was responsible for the creation of the underworld.
* TheDollEpisode: Any time Kharla shows up.
* DopeSlap: Kiel delivers one to Shinae [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1610 on behalf of Kyo]].
* DoubleAgent: Lulianne. Sort of. Lu is spying on Mel for Quain'tana, but is sympathetic towards Mel, withholding information from Quain. She also did not bring Mel back when she escaped. Good? Bad? She's a double agent, it depends on your perception.
* DramaticIrony: For most of the story the audience has known that [[spoiler:Ariel's mother is really Mel, not Quain, but Ariel herself still doesn't know]]. Additionally, any time the Sharen Sisters discuss [[spoiler:Diva'ratrika]] in public has shades of this due to the fact that [[spoiler:they know all too well that she's dead -- they were the ones who did it!]]
** Also very much present on [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9734 this page]], where a still-recovering from her horrific childbirth [[spoiler:Shinae]] hears [[spoiler:Mel'arnach]] talking about her children and saying that they might as well not exist, and mutters to herself that some people have all the luck at being able to even ''have'' children. She doesn't know the circumstances behind this statement that the audience does, or the fact that "luck" is probably the ''last'' word [[spoiler:Mel'arnach]] would use to describe her situation.
** Also happens on [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9771 this page]] from the same chapter, where Yuh'le is telling Snadhya'rune about the presence of [[spoiler:Sara'hilana]] at the gathering where she's collecting information for Zala'ess. Meanwhile, neither of them is aware of the presence of [[spoiler:An'jin]] in the background doing the exact same thing.
* [[DroppedABridgeOnHim Dropped A Bridge On Her]]: The nether summoner [[spoiler:Sene'kha]], when she was [[spoiler: stabbed by her sworn enemy, captured by another clan, imprisoned, turned over to her Sworn Enemies, then beheaded and finally ''set on fire'', '''''in that exact order'''''.]] And, depending on your view, [[spoiler:Rik'shakar]].
* DropTheCow: In the ''Daydream'' subscription section of the site, where the users put in options for how the story will progress, this often ends up happening, though the frequency seems to have decreased in later years. Most commonly it's because a story [[{{Rule34}} devolves into porn]] or just becomes incomprehensible and too silly, and the story is frequently put back on track in a humorous manner such as one character telling the story getting punched out by another or [[RageAgainstTheAuthor the characters themselves revolting]]. One especially memorable incident had a character that the readers had been tormenting go {{Rambo}} on them.
* DudeLooksLikeALady: Sorane'Saniil. In fact most of the males in Sorane'Saniil's ''entire clan''. Also, given that this world has a matriarchal society, where men tend to fulfill what we would perceive as feminine roles, there are many examples of this throughout all the drow clans.
* DuelsDecideEverything: Standard in Mimaneid, where most conflicts are solved by duels (not to the death) with wooden staves.
* TheDungAges: If you're a human or orc
* DyingAsYourself: The Kyorl'solenurn try to make this happen when someone is taken over by demon, as seen [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=641 here]].
* DysfunctionJunction:
** Sarghress Clan, ahoy! Even Kel'noz, the most outwardly sane one, [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6201 admits that he's not free of the crazy either]].
** The Sharen; but with them most of the worst stuff took place behind closed doors. Of what we know:
*** Diva'ratrika certainly lives up to the "[[LargeHam Diva]]" in her name, and while she started off very controlling, drew into seclusion little by little [[spoiler:to the point that her daughters have been able successfully pass her off as a ShadowDictator for 16 years]].
*** Snadhya'rune was apparently the favourite, but Mel'arnach implies that she didn't always get along with Diva'ratrika, and they certainly didn't get along after Snadhya purposely had herself tainted.
*** Sarv'swati is described as being "maniacal" in her control over her family.
*** Sil'lice has a habit of torturing people (tainted especially) and an obvious temper, but she's apparently good to her own children.
*** Nishi'kanta hasn't appeared much, but after becoming tainted during the war she went to live as a hermit [[spoiler:or at least that's the official story]]. Also, members of her bloodline have been seen [[spoiler:among the Vloz'ress]].
**** After the TimeSkip, [[spoiler:she reunited with Sil'lice]].
*** Zala'ess clearly has ambitions of becoming the leader of the Sharen, and when her sisters speak of her they often refer to her as "little" and treat her accordingly.
*** And of course [[spoiler:the fact that they ''killed'' their mother, had Nishi'kanta tainted and set up Sil'lice to take the fall for their war]] is the icing on the DysfunctionJunction cake.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Some of the ''very'' earliest chapters differ widely in tone from the later ones, including more overt references to the ''Forgotten Realms'' Dungeons and Dragons setting, Ariel being much more of a VillainProtagonist and drow sexuality being much more overt and depraved. One reason the remake was necessary was to make the tone internally consistent throughout and make the world it's set in more distinct.
* EarlyBirdCameo: Lulianne appears in the new version of chapter 1 to subdue Mel.
* EldritchAbomination:
** "Demons" in this setting are closer to this trope than TheLegionsOfHell.
** Fae also play this trope closely if you look at their biology, drow in particular: Deep within the earth, parts of them humans can't hope to see, able to ignore some of the basic assumptions of the universe simply by existing in their own cities, dragging humans down to the horrors that probably don't leave them sane...
* ElementalBaggage: Averted.
** Note that those that are proficient with fire magic can create blazes by creating a lighter spark with a device in their armour as seen [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=153 here]]
* ElementalEyeColours: Sil'lice Val'Sharen is both an Ice Sorceress and one of the few remaining untainted Nether Summoners.
-->You know, blood contains water. And water freezes so well.
** Nishi'kanta was also an example before she was tainted, since she had [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=4232 orange eyes]] and a fire affinity.
** The Val'Nal'sarkoth Clan also has this, since they tend to have [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=5778 green eyes]] and are some of the only people in the Underworld who have an affinity with wood.
* ElementalHair: There's a bit of this with the clan colors: Sarghress (red / shapeshifting (blood element)), Sharen (purple / summoning (supernatural element)), Beldrobbaen (black / flesh & darkness elements), Nal'Sarkoth (green / wood element), and so on.
* EloquentInMyNativeTongue: [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=date&id=1307 Vaelia]].
* EmotionControl: [[TheEmpath Empaths]].
* EmotionlessGirl: Naal, and to a much lesser extent Syphile and Ariel at points.
* EmpathicHealer: Faen. A good part of her clan is TheEmpath.
* {{Engrish}}: Shows up in the chibi pages, along with accented grammar mistakes.
* EnsembleCast: Started off with focus on Ariel but the cast kept growing until there was 4-5 important story arcs running at the same time with equally important characters. Currently there was nearly a year where Ariel was never seen with more important plot lines hogging the pages. Not to mention all those layers of plots of even greater importance that live in the background and probably will burst into foreground in the future.
* EquivalentExchange: How magic works. Ariel can change her shape, but not her mass. This is one reason she doesn't turn into a drider post-retcon, since it requires more than she has.
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: [[MemeticMutation Everyone is Quain'tana for Ash'waren]], and quite a few other examples.
* EveryoneIsArmed: A side effect of Chel's ever escalating CivilWar. Due to the nature of the Sarghress clan, this trope is particularly prevalent in Sarghress controlled districts, to the point that the commoners even form TheCavalry when the Sarghress get in over their heads.
** Kiel also discovers this much to her dismay [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9232 here]]. Of particular note is one lady who seems to have a blade in her ''pipe''.
* EveryoneIsBi: Purely heterosexual and homosexual people exist as minorities. It's also implied that drow don't even have terms that reference sexualities, so while people may have preferences the very concept of "straight" or "gay" is likely foreign to them.
* EveryoneKnewAlready: Even before the {{timeskip}} several clan leaders already suspect that [[spoiler:Diva'ratika is actually dead]] something [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6984 Waes'soloth flat out admits]] along with saying that the only thing hindering them is that they have no definitive ''proof'' and still have to play along. After the timeskip [[spoiler:Kiel's very public assassination of Diva's BodyDouble -- from inside the Beldrobbaen fortress, no less]] finally puts an end to the act and allows Waes'soloth to pull her troops back from the fighting.
* EverythingsBetterWithPlushies: Kharla is very fond of them and can be appeased by new gifts.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Chrystel, and to a lesser extent, Ariel, Faen, Naal, Kiel, Chirinide, etc.
* EvilMatriarch: All of the Ill'haresses qualify to a certain extent, but the Sharen sisters much more so.
* [[TheEvilPrince The Evil Princesses]]: The three Sharen sisters.
* ExcuseMeComingThrough: Done subtly [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=5810 as Mel is escaping]], including someone hanging off the staircase, having apparently been shoved off.
** Then [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9234 again]] when Kiel is trying to avoid her Imperial pursuers.
* ExoticEyeDesigns: Several variations. All Drow have a red sheen to their pupil that helps them see in the dark that their surface born brethren lack, while tainted characters have red iris that replaces whatever eye color they had naturally, and people who are fully possessed by their seeds or are sentient demons like Khaless [[spoiler:and Naal]] have completely red eyes with white at the pupil and around the iris. And an even rarer variant has a white spiral appear in the pupil, with Sha'sana, briefly [[spoiler:Liriel/Diva]] and [[spoiler:Kiel'ndia]] the only examples so far.
* ExplosiveBreeder: This is the main reason why the drowolath managed to become the dominant species in the underworld. Whilst its mentioned that drow and elves in general find it difficult to get pregnant (leading to low numbers overall despite a thousand year existence), it is also stated that the drowolath are somewhat more fertile than their drowussu cousins, hence why they were able to outbreed the latter and become the most populous underworld species.
* ExpressiveMask: [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=740&overview=1&chibi=1&cover=1&extra=1&page=1&check=1 Qujia Vloz'ress]]... to the extreme!
* EyelessFace: The Xuile'solen sub-race.
* EyepatchOfPower: Odelia, the Beldrobbaen field commander sports one of these along with a GlassEye for more formal occasions.
* FalseUtopia: The world setting page for Felde, a city ruled by Snadhya'rune Vel'Sharen, implies it to be this.
* FamilyRelationshipSwitcheroo: The truth behind [[spoiler:Ariel Val'Sarghress']] lineage is that [[spoiler:her mother is Mel'arnach and her father is Zhor, but Quain'tana, her grandmother, took her away from Mel to raise as her heir. This was ''not'' voluntary on Mel or Zhor's part.]]
* FanDisservice - It's a pretty safe bet that almost any time nudity shows up outside of Daydream there will be an aspect of this.
** There's Naal'suul for part of chapter 13 [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=5276 sans-clothing]] (though you can't see anything) the disservice comes from her body language and posture due to being imprisoned in a dark cell, and the fact that she's talking about the demon that already {{Mind Rape}}d her once and will eventually take advantage of her again and kill her. [[spoiler:And it does, in chapter 27]].
** Also, Kharla'ggen. She wears [[AbsoluteCleavage really low cut tops]] and is seen in a bath [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=448 here]] and [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=732 here]], but she is [[PsychopathicManchild completely insane with a childish personality]].
** And again, normally Diva'ratrika naked would be pretty appealing, given that she's an unaging dark elf woman, but not when [[spoiler:[[http://www.drowtales.com/longestwait.php?order=date&id=50 she's naked because being trapped in her throne room for a year has made her start losing her mind]] since she only has one slave for company and has been barely staying alive]].
** And one of the few times we see fully uncovered, uncensored breasts in the main archive is... [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=23 on a possessed pregnant woman]], whose fetus is ''reaching out of her stomach and is also possessed''. EUGH.
** There's also the beautiful, [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6877 uncovered body]] of [[spoiler:Sharess]], the sexiness of which is mitigated by the fact that she's [[spoiler:a thousand year old corpse]].
** The crowning moment so far probably has to be in Chapter 32, largely thanks to MoodWhiplash, where [[spoiler:Rek'mar and Lulianne's]] love scene goes from [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7798 sweet]] to [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7799 OMG WTF]] in the space of a page. [[spoiler:Thanks a lot, Khaless]].
** There's also [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8365 Faen's shower scene]], the sexiness of which is off put by the fact that she apparently has issue with self mutilation because she's seen [[SelfHarm digging her fingernails into her back until she bleeds]]. The first two panels give you just enough time to get into voyeur mode, [[{{Squick}} and then]]...
** And then there's [[spoiler:Demon!]]Naal, [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8880 who's completely topless and very well endowed]], but it gets offset by [[spoiler:what the rest of her body looks like, mainly that it's a giant dementedly grinning demonic face, to say nothing of the freakishly long arms that, you may recall, belong to other people and corpses that she's absorbed over the years]].
** Chapter 46 also has [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10004 a whopper]] in the form of a BedmateReveal of two female characters. However this scene has three very '''big''' things wrong with it. The first, mainly showing that a female character used her shapeshifting to turn into a male, isn't so bad on its own (especially since it's implied that something similar occurred with [[spoiler:Ariel and Faen]]) but the second is that the shapeshifter in question is [[spoiler:Khaless, an EldritchAbomination MindHive]] and the third is that other party is [[spoiler:Kharla'ggen, who for the most part appears to have the mental capacity of a child]] adding a definite layer of QuestionableConsent, especially since [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9733 the seduction]] had definite "candy in my van" vibes.
* FanService: There's a whole subsection of the site that's expressly devoted to this, and it skirts the border between [[TheissTitillationTheory extreme fanservice]] and outright porn.
* FantasticCasteSystem: On a general level, fae < than everyone else. On a specific level, drow and elves < dragons < faeries. Drow''olath'' (dark skinned drow) versus Drow''ussu'' (light skinned drow) on a fairly equal level, but both drow cultures < hybrid drowolath/drowussu.
* FantasticRacism: Drow tend to look down on nearly everyone else [[note]]Slightly less so for the Sarghress if you can fight. Depraved commoners. Also possibly the case for the Nal'sarkoth as they actively recruit non-drow races to build up their numbers[[/note]], most of the non-drow major characters find themselves enslaved at some point, 'tainted' drow vs. 'pure' drow, grey drow vs black drow, driders vs. drow in general, "blind" drow vs. "normal drow" etc.
** In short, everybody versus everybody.
* FantasticSlur: "Drowhiir" is a slur for Drowussu. Light Elves are also sometimes called "White Worms" and humans are called "beast men" and lumped in with orcs.
** Drow also seem to use "motherkiller" in the same context as humans use "motherfucker". It's also mainly been used about Val nobles, but mainly directed to the Sharen, because [[spoiler: The three sisters killed their mother and apparently that's out of the bag]]
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: Not all that obvious but the drow clans are comparable to actual ancient/medieval real life cultures; Sharen: Medieval Persian/Indian, Sarghress: early Roman/Mongol hybrid, Kyorl'Solenurn: Knights Templar/Feudal Japan hybrid, etc.
* FateWorseThanDeath: What Kharla'ggen does to people who "resist her, or catch her eye."
** Also arguably [[spoiler:Naal's demise]].
* FatherIDontWantToFight: Ariel, when told what she has to do to earn Quain'tana's approval, [[spoiler:and she does in fact decide to kill Miir'kin.]]
* FeelNoPain: Tainted drow have a reduced sense of pain, and in extreme cases they can't feel much at all.
** The Sharen clan heavily taints their males and has them wear sealing armor to prevent them from [[SealedEvilInACan losing control of their seed]] to act as EliteMooks.
** Naal'suul, tainted to the core, feels pretty much nothing: once she tells her mother that she broke her finger and didn't feel it.
* FetusTerrible: In the Prologue, a woman who became tainted [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=4267 had one of these actually reaching out of her womb]], while in the story proper [[spoiler:Shinae]] [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8803 gives birth to one]] that's so horrifying that the father, [[spoiler:Gailen]] orders it burned.
* FictionalGenevaConventions: There used to be several unwritten rules of warfare to limit collateral damage. The most important rule was that innocent bystanders are not to be harmed. Other rules include no poisoning water supplies and no fighting in the city. When the Nidraa'chal attacked, they broke virtually every rule, shattering the existing status quo of following the rules and causing future battles to ignore those rules.
* FinishHim: [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=4505 Done quite gruesomely with a mace]] to [[spoiler:Miir'kin]] by [[spoiler:Ariel, who was egged on by Quain'tana]]. The actual act is done with GoryDiscretionShot, but that [[TakeOurWordForIt arguably makes it worse]].
* FirstTimeInTheSun: Subverted for Ariel, who gets vertigo immediately. Later [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8719 Chrys'tel experiences the same thing]] and actually falls backwards.
* FishingForSole: Used [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8434 here]].
* FiveManBand: Chrys'tel (The Hero/Big Bad), Shinae (The Lancer/The Dragon), Kiel (The Big Guy/The Brute), Naal (The Smart Guy/Evil Genius), Kyo'nne (The Chick/Dark Chick).
* FlippingHelpless: This trope is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] when [[spoiler:Kiel'ndia Val Vloz'ress']] turtle {{golem}} gets flipped upside down by the Beldrobbaen spellcasters:
-->"Once a turtle is on its back, it's done for."
* ForegoneConclusion: Lots of readers knew from [[DramaticIrony concept arts that]] [[spoiler: Ariel will not accept Mel as her mother, instead the tension readers had during that scene was focused more on ''why'' Ariel rejected Mel]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Look closely at [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7169 the cover of Chapter 28]], especially [[spoiler:the position of Kiel's hand on her stomach]]. Now recall that in that chapter [[spoiler:she nearly dies due to poisoned food]].
** Also, check behind Sate'ja's head on [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7676 the cover of chapter 31]]. It's [[spoiler:[[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=5877 Diva's tower in ruins]]]]. And why was Chrys'tel there? [[spoiler:To try and meet Diva'ratika]]. Guess what happens later in chapter 31.
** [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6993 The story of the Vel'cahal]] that the kids see in Chapter 26 also serves this purpose, since it's essentially [[spoiler:what happens to Naal later on, with her keeping just enough of her consciousness to avoid eating Kiel]]. Just to drive the point home, [[spoiler:Naal]] even gets a doll of the Vel'cahal, which she keeps even after [[spoiler:her seed takes her over]].
* FreakyIsCool: Naal says this to Kiel [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1115 here.]]
* FreeRangeChildren: It's hard to tell how widespread it is (especially since Quain'tana isn't exactly the paragon of good parenting), but drow parents seem to give their children a larger amount of freedom than modern day parents, even allowing them to go to the Surface without visible protest, which is always described as a dangerous and wild place. Since the drow world seems similar to pre-industrial or even feudal societies this is TruthInTelevision as far as early human societies go. Partly justified by the fact Drow elite mothers are more concerned about quality of heir than how many have to die. To quote ''[[Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick Order of the Stick]]'', they don't care how many they have to kill they can make more in their tummy! And have centuries to do so. 'xcept for ONE drow mother...
* FromBadToWorse: In Chapter 33, the city of Nuqrah'shareh is in the middle of a civil war caused by an influx of refugees from neighboring cities. And then [[spoiler:Balsii Val'Illhar'dro attempts a coup on her cousin, and though Nega'fanea survives]] the city has fallen even further into chaos by Chapter 34.
** Also essentially describes Chel as a whole in the years following the Nidraa'chal War. The War itself caused massive casualties and left large sections of the city uninhabited, and the issues that were either raised during or exacerbated by the War persisted for 15 years until the next Council, which ended with several clans walking out and no progress being made. Then the Sharen attacked the Sarghress and the two clans entered into open war with each other, and after 15 years of that Chel's in an even worse state than before. And then one thing that hasn't yet happened but is on the horizon is [[spoiler:Zala arriving home with her Nuqrahsharian allies, which has the potential to upset the city ''even more'']].
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: These often crop up during crowd scenes, with a standout example on [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7823 this]] page, where Shinae's hissy fit causes a woman walking by to lose her grip on her food, so it splatters against the wall. Also check the name of the shop they're in front of, which shows up [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8274 again]] later and is implied to be the same one, or at least part of the same chain.
** There's also [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8361 this page]] where Melodia's apparently stolen something and is being chased by two drow, but most people were too distracted by [[spoiler:Faen's SelfHarm]] to notice.
** [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1451 This]] guy also nearly gets a [[GroinAttack knife in the groin]] when the hibachi chef at his table is so distracted by [[TakeOurWordForIt Baliir's face under his mask]] that she accidentally flings it his way. His female companion is also ''blushing''.
** And a funny foreground event in [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8820 the first panel]] where Tsuris'lok (the Scourge on the right) is taking issue with a wolf statue, referencing how one of his hallucinations is a wolf-stag hybrid.
* FuroScene: Once in [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=540 Chapter 9]]and again in [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7056 Chapter 27]].
* FusionDance: [[spoiler:Ragini and Diva'ratrika]] in the backstory, who became [[spoiler:Liriel]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tropes G-O]]
* GambitPileup: What happens when you have 9 major clans and countless minor ones plotting against each other, on top of people ''within'' said clans plotting against each other, and then even within ''those'' groups people are plotting against each other. The [[http://wiki.drowtales.com/index.php/Clan_Relations clan relations]] chart is a relatively simple, condensed version of it.
** Within the Vloz'ress there seems to be a decent GambitPileup, with each Nether Summoner vying for influence within the clan and for control over Kharla'ggen. With [[spoiler:Sene'kha's death]] the floodgates seem to have been opened.
* GenderIsNoObject: Though the vast majority of leaders are women, armed forces seem to be split roughly 50/50, with perhaps slightly more female than males due to their matriarchal society.
* GenderFlip: In universe, it's suggested that the story of the [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6993 Vel'Cahal]] was originally about a male knight, but was later changed to be about a woman.
* GenderRestrictedAbility: Traditional summoning can only be performed by females, due to what WordOfGod describes as something related to their ability to bear children. The ''Origin of the Jaal'darya'' story elaborates on this as being related to the ability to separate one's own aura from that of the child growing inside them when they give birth, with the same technique being used to create a traditional summon. Nether summoning has no such gender restriction which is one reason it's become increasingly popular.
* GenkiGirl: Kyo'nne is the most obvious example.
* GenocideBackfire: In chapter 42, [[spoiler:Kyuusei's attempts to carry out ThePurge of those Kyorl who have Dutan'vir blood seems to be heading in this direction, since he's confident that the Kyorl are obedient enough to go along with it, [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9387 only for one to promptly disprove him by helping those targeted escape]].]]
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: Shinae not just slaps, but punches Kiel'ndia out of a hysterical fit [[spoiler: over the demonization of Naal'suul]].
* GirlsLove: Lots of [[LesYay implications]], and one explicit couple in [[spoiler:Mel'arnach and Snadhya'rune]].
* GlorifiedSpermDonor: For the most part drow society sees the roles of fathers as this, though there are exceptions where the father plays a role in the upbringing of the child like with Zala'ess' mate Sabbror and the Beldrobbaen clan, who have a tradition of turning their children's fathers into driders to serve as the child's protectors, and the Ill'hardro who teach their children who their fathers are to encourage trade between clans. The fathers of Diva'ratrika's daughters are never mentioned (and each daughter may in fact have a different father) and Quain'tana seemingly doesn't give a damn about the paternity of her various children and grandchildren.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: Faen, when she intensively uses her empath powers, or during her episode of PowerIncontinence.
* GodivaHair: [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=5897 Here]] on [[spoiler:Kalki]])
** [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7056 Later]] [[spoiler:Snadhya'rune and Mel]] get the same thing, which is hilariously appropriate considering that they're the above's [[spoiler:mothers (no, that's not a typo)]].
* {{Goth}}: Bel'drobbaen clan, call your office. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=5300 here]].
* GovernmentInExile: The clans of Chel'el'sussoloth started out as this, but it's persisted for a millennium, and the fact that they haven't adapted since then causes problems that become more and more evident as the series goes on and the office of the Val'Sharess is shown to be either indifferent or powerless.
* GrandTheftMe: [[spoiler:Diva'ratrika on Ragini]], [[http://www.drowtales.com/longestwait.php?order=date&id=1 which has its own story]]. Interestingly, at first it was ''not'' canon, [[AscendedFanon until the author gave in and made it canon.]]
* GreatOffscreenWar: There are several of these in elven history, with the War Of The Moons having the most impact, since it's the reason the surface is no longer inhabitable, and then various conflicts within Chel's history. Specific incidents include the Sharen/Sullisin'rune War, the War between the Dark Elves and Drow, and the conflict between the Sharen and Sarghress after the collapse of the Skyhole [[spoiler:that resulted in Quain'tana becoming barren]] mostly occurring offscreen and in the past. We have seen Quain's conquest of Machike in its own side story and the Nidraa'chal War makes up the story's Prologue.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: The last narration box on [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive//20080827c08p047.jpg this]] page sums it up nicely: "There is no hero nor villain in these drow tales, only actors in history, wearing their masks and playing their roles."
** It really says something when Zala'ess, one of the most obvious villains in the series, is also probably the best parent of the bunch.
* GroinAttack: Played straight, subverted, averted ''and'' a scary edition! Depends when it occurred and to who. A female on female version has also been the cause of ''many'' plot developments on Quain'tana's side.
* GrotesqueCute: [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive//20060405c12p043.JPG Right here.]] With a lovely smile, to boot.
* HalfIdenticalTwins: Kau and Shala. The only visible differences between them are that one's eyes are a slightly different color and one has spikier hair.
* HamToHamCombat: Oh, where to start... let's just make a blanket statement that any time a serious fight starts it become this.
** [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10011 Kalki and Kiel]] provide a particularly good verbal example and even seem to be literally headbutting.
* HandBehindHead
* HardDrinkingPartyGirl: Liriel. Her behaviour becomes a lot less funny when you learn that [[spoiler:her drinking is to suppress Diva'ratrika's voice in her head]].
* HarmlessFreezing: Though played straight in the {{chibi}} pages of the prologue, it was subverted in [[AnIcePerson Sillice]]'s battle with [[spoiler: Vy'chriel/Yaeminira]]. Not only did she freeze to death, her fingers actually snapped apart right before the end!
* HeadInTheSandManagement: The attitude most of the other clans had towards the Nidraa'chal prior to the war, where the Sarghress and Kyorl'solenurn [[http://www.drowtales.com/longestwait.php?order=date&id=8 refused to pick sides]], instead leaving it up to the Sharen. The Kyorl [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=4276 eventually changed their minds]] and sent their troops in to "purge" the demons, while the Sarghress' position consisted mainly of [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=4245 preventing any demons from entering their territory]].
* [[HeirClubForMen Heir Club For Women]]: A ''major'' motivation for Quain'tana.
* HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic: Mostly averted, in that most armored characters wear helmets, though Sharen dragon riders seem to not wear them when patrolling only to put them on when expecting a fight. A helmet also saves a Sharen at one point and he gets off with a nasty head wound, and Ariel [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8969 lampshades this trope]] after a scuffle where she says that she now gets why they make them wear helmets, since she got hit by some debris that dented her helmet and had some minor bleeding but was otherwise alright.
* HeroicRROD: A constant danger for golem pilots, and [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8288 Kyne explains]] that she's seen people actually die from piloting golems that drained them. This is also one of the dangers a tainted person presents, since if they get too badly injured their seed can begin to take them over.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Arguably Kuso and Bal'liir. The two of them individually are probably not strictly "heterosexual" given drow culture (see EveryoneIsBi above) but their relationship otherwise fits.
* HiddenElfVillage: The Jaal'darya clan are a variant on this, since no one knows precisely where their fortress is located. The Light Elves of Vahaheimr are an even better example, sequestering themselves in the mountains with little to no contact with the outside world, as well as an ''extremely'' xenophobic attitude.
* HitSoHardTheCalendarFeltIt: The current story takes place in the year 1098 of the Moonless Age. Not because the moon was destroyed 1100 years ago, but because the elves went into exile underground where they couldn't see the moon.
* HoneyTrap: One of the ways female students at the Orthorbbae lure in male test subjects so they can practice medicine, torture or nether summoning on them.
* HonorBeforeReason: Drow honor [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6094 operates under this principle]]. They consider it more honorable to face challenges, especially great ones, even if they're fairly suicidal. See [[spoiler:Vy'chriel and Syphile]]'s attacks on people much stronger than them, for them it doesn't work out so well.
* HopeSpot:
** It's tiny, but at the end of the tragic chapter 27, [[spoiler:we see demon-Naal picking up a doll she bought at the market, and clutching it to her chest, implying that her mind is still there, somewhere. Confirmed in chapter 32, when she pushes Kiel away rather than eat her]].
** Chapter 32 also has one that helps soften the blow of an otherwise pretty bleak ending for Mel. [[spoiler:She's had her arms broken by Quain, her heart broken by Ariel rejecting her as being her real mother, and has agreed to give up at least one more child to Quain and be Quain's baby machine. However, the last page has [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7900 Ariel come up to Mel and hold her hand]], which hints that Ariel ''might'' have started to accept that Mel's her real mother]]. Apparently this ending was specifically added as something of a WriterRevolt by two members of the staff, who thought the extra page with the [[spoiler:hand holding]] should be added.
* HostileShowTakeover: As of April 2012, Kiel has taken over [[https://twitter.com/#!/Drowtales the Drowtales]] {{Twitter}} account. She promptly demanded [[LovableSexManiac a tribute of princes]] ([[BiTheWay but would also accept princesses]]). There are also a series of news posts with Kiel directly addressing the readers.
* HotSkittyOnWailordAction: Rik'shakar is half-dragon, and this is possible because dragons were originally elves that were transformed into their dragon states. Though the specifics aren't spelled it out it's assumed that his mother was the drow, and the fact that he's the only half-dragon seen and implied to have been an experiment and that this is otherwise pretty unusual.
* HumanoidAbomination: Kharla'ggen. According to Senekha, Kharla is no ordinary Tainted; she is a living vortex of demonic power. [[spoiler: The main plan of the Vloz'ress clan is to imprison a demon god inside Kharla by using the fragments of its old foe as bait -- one of those fragments being Discordia.]]
* HumanOutsideAlienInside: Fae (drow, light elves, drowussu, etc.) in Drowtales are more biologically different than their humanoid appearance would suggest. The key to this is mana; the energy they generate, absorb and manipulate. It is the source behind their comparative resistance to, and lack of, diseases (they are not completely immune though). It is also what keeps them young and in a healthy condition, provided there are enough of them to generate a surplus of mana. They still need to eat and drink, but less so than a human of comparative size would, and their bodies do not store fat the way a human body does. Their nature means that they also can "starve" even when they have plenty of food and drink -- if they are alone. If that happens they will start to suffer from mana deprivation and starts to age much like a human would.
* HumansAreMorons: Humans are considered to be a type of goblin. Though considered somewhat cunning individually, collectively humans are viewed as less intelligent than orcs, making it a variant of the ConservationOfNinjutsu.
* HumongousMecha: Giant war golems provide a close fantasy equivalent.
** Also played straight in the Space Age Daydream (though the giant war golems exist here, as well)
* {{Hypocrite}}: Possibly one of the main themes, considering how many characters are actually massive hypocrites.
** [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive//20060718c12p073.JPG Kyo'vaerde]]
* AnIcePerson: Sil'lice. Literally. From what we can tell she was never a very nice person, but [[spoiler:being set up by her sisters and exiled]] probably didn't help at all. A notable instance of using her ice abilities involves her freezing [[spoiler:"Vy'Chriel" Yaeminira]] to death. This caused her fingers to snap. "Nasty way to die" indeed.
* IdiotBall: One is apparently handed to dwarves, who have terribly bad designs for man-portable cannon. They can't even handwave the over-the-shoulder cannon with AWizardDidIt, as the dwarves are explicitly lacking in magic. They also can't even manage to pull off their given role of tunnel skirmishers - their attack causes zero casualties and only minor damage.
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty: Rikshakar tries this ''twice'' on Ariel, the first time being stopped by Vaelia, and the second time resorting to kidnapping her. He severely underestimates her the second time and [[spoiler:gets beaten up by her, only to become chow for the demon Discordia after she catches up with him. See KarmicDeath.]] Note that the first time didn't happen in the original version, which was squickier, but consensual.
* ImAHumanitarian: Drow have no compunction over eating the flesh of humans and orcs, who they consider beasts, and even eat their own dead (more for reasons necessity than actually enjoying it).
* ImmigrantPatriotism: The Illhar'esses of the Jaal'Darya, Nal'Sarkoth and Illhar'dro clans are not natives of Chel (hailing from Damadi, Mimaneid and Val'Raveran respectively), but the three of them are collectively amongst the most outspoken at the Council in chapter 16.
* ImportantHaircut:
** Liriel just performed one of these [[spoiler:To mark the shift from the her own personality to that of Diva'ratrika Val'Sharess, who had moved her spirit into "Liriel"'s body several years before but had been held back by her [[HardDrinkingPartyGirl heavy drinking]].]]
** Vaelia gets the "opposite" of one in that she has hair extensions put in to signify she is no longer a slave.
** Slaves are not allowed to have haircuts longer than their neck. Long hair signifies higher status, hence why Yaeminira grew out her hair when she officially "became" Vy'Chriel.
* ImprobablyFemaleCast: While drow populations are about 50/50 as far as the gender ratio goes, most of the characters who are the focus of the story are female. Justified by drow society being matriarchal and women being the leaders.
* InadequateInheritor: Quain'tana has gone through ''at least'' three heirs.
* InfantImmortality: Averted on several occasions. Simply being a child is no guarantee for survival.
** One chapter features [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8261 an impoverished woman drowning her baby son to save him from starving to death.]]
** And then there's [[spoiler:Shinae's baby]].
* InfiniteCanvas: Introduced after chapter 39, with the artists specifically citing ''{{Webcomic/Unsounded}}'' as an influence, perhaps best demonstrated [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8939 here]].
* InnocentInnuendo: Chapter 45 opens with [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1560 a classic example]], showing Ariel moaning in deep pleasure and clutching her bedsheets while Die'tra, listening outside, praises Faen. Except [[spoiler:Faen's just combing Ariel's hair]].
* InstantFanclub: Meta-example: [[spoiler:Kalki]] gained this from the fans when she showed up topless but for GodivaHair in Chapter 17.
* InterspeciesRomance:
** One sidestory is about a drow named "[[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=5314 Val'Doomed]]" who kidnaps human women to try and breed with, but because this is impossible he just earns the derision of other drow. An aversion is [[spoiler:Mel'arnach and Zhor]] who initially appear to be this trope, but [[spoiler:Zhor is in fact a Dark Elf that was transformed into his current state]] so it's not really this trope.
** A minor but more straightforward example is the relationship between Dhal'zin and Kai of the Stone Company, which Ky'onne is the only one to notice.
* ItGetsEasier: Ariel experiences this, much to her horror, and the fact that [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=344 the only time to date Quain'tana shows her physical affection]] is right after her first kill is downright chilling.
* ItRunsInTheFamily: Being somewhat naive seems to be a trait shared by both Ariel and [[spoiler: her actual mother Mel'arnach]].
* IWantGrandkids: Zala'ess, according to [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1761 this chibi page]]
* JediMindTrick: [[spoiler:This is how [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive//20090811c18p015.jpg Ash'waren]], who's really a dark elf, has been passing herself off as a drow for the better part of 1000 years]].
* JerkassHasAPoint: The Kyorl'solenurn are more or less the mascots of GoodIsNotNice, and yet when it comes to their extremism about the tainted they're surprisingly justified, especially with recent revelations.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Kiel'ndia, and a few others, including Kuso, who doesn't seem that bad despite his [[SirSwearsalot foul mouth]].
* {{Kamehamehadoken}}: Magical version. Take an ordinary magic missile, add 1000 years of (mana/aura)growth and experience - [[http://www.drowtales.com/longestwaitarchive//20050719c1p023.JPG destruction ensues]]. Unfortunately, her targets dodged.
* KarmaHoudini: ''Quain'tana''. So far, and quite a few people wonder if she'll ever get her comeuppance.
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler:Rikshakar.]]
* KickTheWrongDog: Ariel has one of these moments after she kills Maya, and it changes her path from a more AntiHero path.
* KidWithTheLeash: Kiel, after [[spoiler: Sene'Kha's death]] becomes one of these, holding [[spoiler: Kharla's]] leash as her [[spoiler: "big" sister. Mentally, she really is.]]
* TheKingdom: The mega city-state of Chel'el'Sussoloth. The total population and land area is typical for a [[TheKingdom Kingdom]] (a cave network ~50km in diameter with around 100,000 people) culturally it is arguably a [[TheFederation Federation]] with the clans serving as its 'states'.
* KnightsTemplar: The Kyorl'Solenurn clan is this trope personified.
* LadyLand: The Jaal'darya, who actually want to get rid of men, and probably others to lesser extents.
* LadyOfWar: Cool, elegant, ass-kicking Sil'lice personifies this, though she's not above [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1057 completely flipping her shit]] in the past.
* LargeHam: As can be inferred in the comic, Quain'tana speaks with a loud, bombastic voice reminiscent of Leonidas in ''[[ThreeHundred 300]]''. Zala'ess has a flair for the overly-dramatic herself.
** The scene in [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=453 Chapter 8 where Quain and Zala are verbally sparring]], and the duel in [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=757 Chapter 12 between Kyo'vaerde and Sene'kha]] are prime examples of Dueling Hams.
*** The duel between Kalki and Sil'lice is yet another example of HamToHamCombat.
** I'm going to go out there and say that nearly the entire Val'Kyorl'solenurn clan (and much of the Vel'Sharen) has a steady diet of the comic's scenery.
*** No kiddin'. Read The Longest Wait...[[IncrediblyLamePun the Val'sharess isn't called Diva'ratrika for nothing!]] Likewise with her daughters, especially Snadhya'rune.
* LaserGuidedKarma: Aside from just generally being a bitch, doing whatever she wants, no consequences - Kalki [[spoiler:cuts off Ariel's arm at her dinner with Snadya, then not a few hours later gets her own arm ripped off by Ariel]] [[AppendageAssimilation as a replacement.]] Further lampshaded by the author comment.
-->-''"It's about time."''
* LateArrivalSpoiler: It becomes really, ''really'' hard to talk about many of the later events of the comic without giving away the following:
** [[spoiler:Diva'ratrika has been dead for 16 years]]
** [[spoiler:Diva has reincarnated (kinda) as Liriel]]
** [[spoiler:The Sharen sisters were behind the Nidraa'chal plot, which was a ruse to kill their mother]]
** [[spoiler:Ariel's mother is really Mel'arnach, not Quain'tana]]
** [[spoiler:Syphile dies by Quain'tana's hand after breaking Chrys'tel out of prison]]
* LawOfInverseFertility: Affects most female fae, since fae in general [[ImmortalProcreationClause have low birth rates]], but [[spoiler:Quain'tana's]] case is cause of much angst and many plot developments. This also means that Diva'ratrika, while over a thousand years old, has only had five (surviving) daughters and one son, Zala'ess has had many more and Sil'lice outright says that she's had to do a lot of screwing around to get that many, though many if not most of them seem to have the same father. And because drow have NoPeriodsPeriod it means that they never go through an equivalent of menopause, which explains how [[spoiler:Ash'waren]] can be as old as Diva'ratrika and still be producing children. [[spoiler:Mel'arnach]] also says that she was trying for several decades to get pregnant, though it may be due to [[spoiler:the father being Zhor]] than the usual problems fae face.
* LightIsNotGood: Both the Kyorl and the Light Elves [[spoiler:which makes sense considering they're related]].
* LineageComesFromTheFather: Inverted, drow only care about who someone's mother is. This is especially true with Vals, who can only pass on the Val title through the female line.
* LivingDollCollector: Kharla.
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: Faen to Ariel.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Counting all the reader sponsored cameos, the main storyline alone has a cast of named characters in the triple digits.
* LostSuperweapon: [[spoiler:The Illhar'dro's engineers manage to bring an [[CoolAirship ancient airship]] back to life. Zala'ess comes to Nuqrah'shareh hopping to borrow it for her own war. But the Nidraa'chal manage to steal it, use it to stage attacks on colonies Snadhyarune doesn't control, steal all of the colonies' food, [[FalseFlagOperation and pin the blame on the Sullisin'rune and the Sarghress]].]]
* LovableNerd: Yafein.
* MamaBear: Zala'ess is implied to be this, and she wanted to kill her daughter Vy'chriel's protector twin Yaeminira after the latter murdered her real daughter, and only grudgingly allowed her to [[ReplacementSibling take her place]] at the urging of her own sister Sarv'swati. It's also been suggested that Zala'ess' main redeeming quality is her love for her children. Shimi'lande is also implied to be this for ''the entire Drowussu race'', seeing as she serves a sort of mother to all of them.
* MandatoryMotherhood: Played with in-story. Even though women are the dominant gender in drow society, having children is a way for them to build up their families and power, and the fact that Snadhya'rune, Diva'ratrika's heir, has no family of her own is seen as scandalous. However, [[spoiler:Snadhya does indeed have a daughter, she just had her conceived and carried outside of her womb, and it seems that Snadhya did indeed want children, just on her own terms.]]
* MaternallyChallenged: One interpretation of why Quain'tana has such a bad relationship with her children. As far as can be inferred she had no parents to speak of and was on the street from an early age, and the effect is pretty obvious on her children.
* MatronChaperone: [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?id=307 Vaelia assigns herself the role of Duenna]], and played with in that Ariel herself isn't exactly receptive to Rik's advances either, and likely doesn't understand [[AttemptedRape what he's really trying to do]].
* MeaningfulBackgroundEvent: Repeatedly.
** On [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7983 this page]] and several subsequent ones from from chapter 34, [[spoiler:Shodun]] is out of focus in the background behind Balsii, only to [[spoiler:burst out of the background and kill Sandaur]].
** On [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8276 this page]] from chapter 35, in the background you can see the assault on First Landing Fortress, which is talked about later in the chapter. No one in the scene comments on it, suggesting that Chelians have become jaded to the constant conflict during the timeskip.
* MeaningfulName: WordOfGod says that Syphile's name comes from the word Syphilis, since her original character was in an RPG and the name was made up on the spot.
** Most names in the setting have some sort of meaning and/or history behind them, [[http://www.drowtales.com/wordpress/?p=1797#comment-4782 while Kite tends to use a different method]].
** Character specific examples can be found on the CharacterSheets but one memorable example is that of Jer'kol, a character who pre-timeskip pretended to be Ariel's father. His [[CaptainObvious true]] nature became much clearer later on when it turned out that [[spoiler: he was working for Syphile to kill Ariel]].
** The twins Kau and Shala are named after one of their older brothers, Kau'Shala, who died in the Nidraa'chal conflict.
* MegaNeko: The Sullissin'rune [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive//20061024c02p032.JPG cavalry mounts]]/clan animal.
* MenAreTheExpendableGender: For the most part most drow view their males as this at best. In story the trope is averted as casualties are roughly 50/50 along gender lines, but because there are fewer male characters who have large roles this has the effect of making male deaths hit the audience harder, the inverse of most fiction, and WordOfGod confirms this is deliberate.
* MiniMecha: Becomes a very common type of war golem after the {{Timeskip}}. The technology needed to power them was developed by the Jaal'darya. They are mostly used by the Sarghress, and on the opposite side, the Beldrobbaen.
* MirroredConfrontationShot: [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?cid=12 The cover of chapter 12]]. The printed Prologue also has [[http://www.drowtales.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/drowtalesprologue_cover.jpg Sillice and her children on one side and Kalki and the Nidraa'chal on the other]].
* MissionFromGod: The belief of the Kyorl'solenurn.
* MisunderstoodLonerWithAHeartOfGold: Mel'arnach.
* MixAndMatchMan: Rik.
* MoodWhiplash: Chapter 44 page 13 has Nau being told he needs to produce babies for his clan and his mother is arranging a mate for him to the next page where [[spoiler: Chrys'tel is having a messy miscarriage and realizing that Shinae's stillbirth was not a coincidence.]]
* {{Mooning}}: During Phani'nath's description of the last Ill'haress gathering [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=5568 Quain'tana does this]] to Sarv'swati. It's not entirely certain if this actually happened, but it would hardly be out of character.
** Kiel also [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9815 does this to Snadhya'rune]] in a chibi page for chapter 44. WordOfGod also indicates she was originally going to do it in the chapter proper, but it would have been a LevelBreaker, so it was kept as a parody page since it was something she would have done.
* MrFanservice: Shan'aal, most obviously, and Tir'ade as well. Kor'maril is this both in the fandom and in canon, where in canon he's had at least one lover and [[spoiler:is the father of Sillice's twins]] and there's a Daydream story where he gets it on with both another woman and a literal DragonLady.
* MsFanservice: Although she ''is'' essential to the story, Mel'arnach is the frickin empress of fanservice in the comic. [[spoiler:Kalki]] may come in second depending on if she ever puts on a shirt. Ironically (or not) [[spoiler:they're mother and daughter, er, sort of]].
* MulticoloredHair: Since all drow have white hair, dyeing it, often but not always in the clan colors, is common.
* MultinationalTeam: The comic's staff come from 13 different countries. In-story, the group on the surface contains characters from 3 different major clans (4 if [[spoiler:you count Liriel/Diva as a Sharen]]), a human and a feral.
** And after the timeskip, Chry'stel's group in Nuqrah'shareh consists of members of the Sharen clan (herself and Nau'kheol) as well as members of the Jie'yen, Balvhakara and Duskians, though the last one is only tagging along and providing them cover and not an official member.
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch
* MysteriousParent: [[spoiler:Mel'arnach turns out to be Kalki's "father" with Snadhya'rune as the mother.]] Possible thanks to the Jaal'darya clan's OrganicTechnology / BioAugmentation.
* MysticalWhiteHair: The Drowolath and most other Fae races native to the Underworld.
* NailedToTheWagon: Liriel.
* NeglectfulPrecursors: The Dark and Light Elves are pretty much the ones responsible for turning the surface into the hell hole it is now, and by extension are responsible for the birth of the drow, and the case can even be made for AbusivePrecursors considering that at least some of them were said to have opened nether gates ''on purpose''.
* NightmareSequence: A couple of these, one for Ariel, a several for Chiri, and one for Kiel. All of them are horrifying.
* {{Ninja}}: The Fallen Legion, particularly the possessed Lael'aell and in Chapter 34 the Jie'yen clan of Nuqrah'shareh.
* NippleAndDimed: Occurs several times via GodivaHair on topless characters in the main archive, but later averted with [[spoiler:Demon!]]Naal, who has a very visible nipple showing. The author has also expressed puzzlement at and made fun of this trope several times.
* NominalImportance: Kiel lampshades it in [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1330 this strip]].
* NonMammalMammaries: Nagas (humanoid upper body, snake-like lower body) the females of which both have breasts and [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9459 are shown to be able to nurse]] seem like a straight use of this until you dig deeper into what they actually are. "Natural" or born nagas (as opposed to the Vloz'ress corrupted) are implied to be the descendants of fae who underwent a similar process to Zhor that replaced parts of their bodies while still keeping their basic inner biology intact. And considering that Zhor, who's not even humanoid, is able to [[spoiler:father children]] nagas retaining the ability to nurse after several generations doesn't seem so far-fetched. It's also implied that nagas are still warm-blooded despite their appearance and give live birth.
* NonStandardCharacterDesign: The artwork for the comic is to a very high standard and usually has a regular design aesthetic which was why it was all the more jarring to see [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive//20111115c34p003.jpg this character]](called Wordweaver Frehling) talking to Chry'stel Vel'Sharen in Chapter 34. He looked a lot more like he should be in a Disney film than in an {{Animesque}} webcomic.
* NoOSHACompliance
** Golem operated elevators frequently have a big gap between the platform and the walls and no hand rails.
** The Beldrobbaen mostly live in structures built into the stalactites of Chel. Not all of their windows have glass.
* NoPeriodsPeriod: WordOfGod is that fae do not get periods, which helps explain how even very old fae can still have children at upwards of 1,000, but female humans [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6542 do]], unfortunately for Vaelia.
* NoSell: A proper application of mana technique [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=648 can disrupt attacks before they can be fired]], as Jer'kol demonstrates. Additionally one of the few advantages non-fae have over fae is that they're completely immune to possession by nether spirits, lacking auras, though they can still be hurt by physical attacks carried out by someone who's possessed. For this reason the Sarghress have begun using a non-fae squad called the War Meat to run in ahead of the regular troops and kill the nether summoners before the rest move in for cleanup.
* NotQuiteDead: As one forum poster put it, it seems that Dark Elves have the tenacity of cockroaches since within a few chapters, 3 of them, [[spoiler:Diva'ratrika through a FusionDance, Ash'waren through a JediMindTrick, and whatever Sha'sana did]], have been shown to have survived. It also lead one poster to proclaim that [[spoiler:Snadhya'rune]] is really bad at killing people.
* NotSoDifferent: Despite being a SuperiorSpecies the drow in particular are not actually that different from the goblin races. Just take a look at how the drow consider the goblin races. Now take a closer look at the drow. Ironic that the ones who consider halmes akin to locusts almost destroyed their own planet for mana-based life a millenia ago, isn't it?\\
\\
Later on, when Chiri'nide and Shan'aal visit the elves of Vanaheimr, [[spoiler:the way the Light Elves try to kill them and succeed in killing the refugees they brought causes Chiri to reference the drowussu's own views about "racial purity" and begin to question them]].
* ObfuscatingInsanity: Mel'arnach, Ash'waren.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Liriel, though that might just be the beer.
* OhCrap: A few memorable instances detailed on the main page, and the entire fanbase collectively had this expression through most of [[WhamEpisode Chapter 25]].
** And then a Vloz'ress Scourge manages to top it by [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8653 somehow managing to emote this through a mask]], when he realized [[FamedInStory who Ariel is]].
* OhNoNotAgain: Related to the above, a Vloz'ress scourge says this nearly [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8663 word for word]] when Ariel inflicts DeathFromAbove on him for the second time.
* OnlySixFaces: Played with, since the very early chapters suffered from this, but as the art style has evolved it's become less and less so, since characters are now pretty distinguishable in their facial features. OnlySixFaces is also plays a role in drow culture as a whole, since most drow have white hair and similarly shaded skin they will often dye it or add accessories to distinguish themselves.
* OpenSecret:
** After the TimeSkip, pretty much everyone knows that [[spoiler:Diva'ratrika was murdered by three of her own daughters]]. The only people "unaware" are those who refuse to believe it, namely the [[BlueBlood Blue Bloods]] such as the Beldrobbaen, Ill'hardro, and the Sharen themselves, who's leadership are using an ElCidPloy to prevent themselves from collapsing. Eventually, [[spoiler:the Nidraa'chal force everyone to acknowledge that Diva'ratrika is dead, even if not under the actual circumstances, so as to throw the empire into even more chaos and knock Sarv'swati out of the game]].
** Snadhya'rune creates a "secret gathering" of important people to a peace conference. But so many people receive invites, that it has entered the common gossip.
* OrderVersusChaos: Light elves versus Dark elves. While only loosely inspired by DungeonsAndDragons after the {{Retcon}}, Dark elves and their drow descendants are still described as being very individualistic and prone to change. Light elves and their drow descendants tend to be more disciplined and inflexible.
* OurMonstersAreDifferent: ... or, to be more precise, Our Drow Are Different.
** OurDragonsAreDifferent: The original dragons were elves that were altered into their present state by life sciences long lost. Dragons vary greatly in size. Surface dragons are intelligent, can fly, and can often speak. The descendants of the dragons that fled underground with the Dark Elves however have degenerated into simple animals.
** OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: The dwarves are a minor underground dwelling race. Their greatest cities were supplanted by the drow, who enslaved them and took their caverns for themselves. The dwarves don't stand much more of a chance against the Fae than the other races, but are capable of giving them a bloody nose by ambushing them with cannons. Gnomes are "domesticated" Dwarves.
** OurElvesAreBetter: Not ''nicer'' mind you, or cooler, and certainly not more "right". Basically, they are are tougher and carry a bigger stick than everybody else.
** OurFairiesAreDifferent: All mana bearing animals, such as Elves, Dragons, Nagas, and Driders, are classified as Fae.
** OurGoblinsAreDifferent: All animals that do ''not'' bear mana, such as humans, dwarves, and orcs, are classified as goblins.
** OurOrcsAreDifferent: Orcs are a simple goblin race that is valued by the drow for their loyalty.
** OurDemonsAreDifferent: [[PureMagicBeing Demons are beings made out of nether mana]] from other realms. There are believed to be an infinite variety. Most of them are extremely dangerous, but only a small number are actively malevolent. Most demons are immaterial and can only interact with the physical realm via a host, but a handful of demons can manifest physically like a summon.
** OurGodsAreGreater: In the old setting, goddesses were the counterparts of demons and also lived in the nether realms. It was possible for priestesses to channel their powers. None of this is true post-{{Retcon}}, but some demons are still worshipped like gods by various nether cults, such as the Vlozz'ress.
* OurNudityIsDifferent: Drow in Chel'el'sussoloth usually wear high collars, because the (lower) neck is [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive//20040804c10chibi.JPG considered a naughty part]]. That isn't the case with all drow nations though, nor has it always been the case in Chel. Similar to how it's normal IRL to go topless on the beach in some countries and scandalous in others.
* OverlyLongName: Odelia'Sigismondo Shessembrae Val'Beldrobbaen aka [[LampshadeHanging The Long Name Warmaster]]. Several other drow names get into this territory, especially since many drow names follow the pattern of Personal name + house name + clan name.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tropes P-Z]]
* ParentalNeglect: Though not universal, this is a very strong tradition among the Val class. The mother will usually raise her first daughter, but any successive children are usually given to elder siblings or even servants to raise so that the mother [[MarriedToTheJob can play politics]]. [[GlorifiedSpermDonor In Val families, fathers almost never have a role in raising their children]]. It is not uncommon for the children of Vals to feel no bond towards their parents. This is ultimately [[spoiler:Diva'ratrika]]'s [[SelfMadeOrphan undoing]].
** In the case of the Elder Siblings raising the children scenario, it is generally the eldest sibling who has not yet had their own first born child, as the birth of a child is seen as the sign of reaching adulthood within Drow Society. Which was really what caused [[spoiler:Diva'ratrika]]'s [[SelfMadeOrphan undoing]] because by this rule it fell to [[spoiler:Snadhya'rune]] to raise all of her sisters as she was the eldest child, and refused to give into her mothers wishes for a granddaughter. [[spoiler:It shouldn't be any surprise then that the majority of the Sharen Sisters helped Snadhya dispose of their mother.]]
* PenalColony: After the {{Timeskip}}, it is revealed that the Sharen and Beldrobbaen clans have been enslaving large chunks of Chel's populace. The portions that don't end up [[SlaveMooks conscripted to fight the rebel clans]] are sent off to a prison colony named Dari Yako.
* PeopleOfHairColor: A subtle example, but among Dark Elves and drow who have naturally colored hair (mostly earlier generations) it's apparent that certain colors can indicate which of the original Dark Elf kingdoms one's ancestors originated from. The Sharen and those related directly to Sharess tend towards purple, while blue is predominant in the Sullisin'rune and black among the elves of Phariasta, which include the Beldrobbaen and Balvhakara, and the Illhard'dro seem to favor teal and greenish-blue.
* PeopleJars: [[spoiler:Sharess' body turns out to be kept in one]]
* PersonaNonGrata: In chapter 45, the Ys council kicks [[spoiler: the Sarghress out of Ys]]. Those getting kicked out are highly suspicious of the motives behind the action.
* PetTheDog: "Bad" or at the very least not very nice characters will often get moments like this to add to the GreyAndGrayMorality.
** Zala'ess seems to genuinely love her children, and Sil'lice, who before was shown taking joy in torturing tainted gained major PetTheDog points when she was revealed to have little twins in the form of Kau and Shala, who she named after a ''son'' who died in the Nidraa'chal war. Quain'tana's relationship with Ash'waren is also something of a PetTheDog in regards to showing that the usually gruff and {{badass}} Ill'haress has a soft side.
** A subtle one occurred in chapter 22, when the human queen [[spoiler:who had been participating in ritual sacrifice and blood bathing]] was shown [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6604 teary eyed with someone who is presumably her child]]. People who had been calling for her head a few pages earlier suddenly felt sorry for her, which overlaps with EvenEvilHasLovedOnes.
** Once Ariel returned from the surface, Quain'tana questioned her of her adventures on the surface, before telling her that "You make me... proud." Considering this is [[WellDoneSonGuy Quain]] saying this, it definitely counts.
* PimpedOutDress: Several characters, though special mentions goes to Shimi'lande's formal dress, Diva'ratrika's parade dress and pretty much all of Snadhya'rune's dresses.
* ThePlague: The taint is a demonic infection in a Fae's aura that has the risk of consuming its host and turning it into a demon. Abuse of forbidden arts nearly brought about the end of all Fae life via demonic plague. While it '''is''' possible to use safe taints as a sort of vaccine, [[spoiler:Snadhyarune has been distributing faulty "safe" taints that turn the infected into a ticking time bomb and have long term side effects on the Drow's health]].
* ThePlan: The Nidraa'chal war turns out to have been [[spoiler:engineered by Snadhya'rune and two of her sisters]] as a cover for [[spoiler:their attempt to kill their mother Diva'ratrika]]. Since this this is a bunch of Drow, everyone is either running one of these, or an UnwittingPawn caught up in the Gambit of another.
* PlayAlongPrisoner: Mel'arnach is a long term version of this along with ObfuscatingInsanity.
* PoliticallyActivePrincess: Most of the female cast counts, since their society is a {{Matriarchy}}, so it's expected. Zala'ess Vel'Sharen is probably the best example, since she's the politician among her three sisters.
** Because Queen Diva is quite reclusive, her daughters perform most of her duties. In fact, [[spoiler: the older sisters convinced Zala to help them wall in their mother in a secret coup.]]
* PottyFailure: Implied to have [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7872 happened to Chrys'tel]] (look near her feet), since she did mention earlier that she had to pee, and [[spoiler:being trapped in an iron maiden for an entire day by your sadistic cousin]] doesn't offer many potty breaks.
* PoweredArmor: A type of armor with golem mechanisms is used by the Balvhakara, the Nuqrah'sharian cousins of the Beldrobbaen.
* PowerIncontinence: [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?id=441 Faen]].
* PowerPerversionPotential: Ariel can manipulate her own shape, something that has [[http://wiki.drowtales.com/images/a/a8/Chibi3.jpg interesting]] [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9670 applications]] in her relationship with Faen.
* PragmaticVillainy: A case can be made for this if [[http://www.drowtales.com/longestwait.php?order=date&id=11 this page is any indication]]
* PrettyInMink: Snadhya'runes hardly goes anywhere without her enormous fur coat.
* PrinciplesZealot: [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?id=532 Chiri]] mixes this with FantasticRacism.
* ProjectileSpell: The easiest and most common attack for a fae to use. Can be dodged. [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive//20070731c0p018.jpg Seen in action here]], together with mana shields and ordinary crossbows.
* PsychoForHire: Sene'kha and Ky'ovaerde... and to a lesser extent, Laele'aell, though in her case it's more that she doesn't really have a soul any more.
* PsychopathicManchild: Kharla'ggen. Her origin story seems to indicate that if just left alone she'd be fine (if badly tainted), but Sene'kha, the above PsychoForHire, pushed her even further into insanity. Discordia is also showing signs of this, especially in her childlike behavior after she [[spoiler:kills Rik]].
* PunctuationShaker: Pretty much all the Drow names. The apostrophe is also a sign of nobility in some families, hence why Sil'lice is referred to as Sillice by the other Sharen after her exile.
* PunyEarthlings: The story arc from chapters 20 to 22 has Ariel, her friends and a group of Highland Raiders storm a human city and kill the king with comparatively little effort. Whether or not this was [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot bad writing]] or indicative of the power levels of the species involved (see GameBreaker above) is best left to the forums. WordOfGod was that the story arc was intended to be longer and include the Hermiones, another group of humans, but had to be cut down for the sake of time.
* PureMagicBeing: Demons and summons. Summons are the separated auras, or "[[OurSoulsAreDifferent souls]]", of a Fae and are made out of ether mana. Demons are native to the nether realms and are made out of nether mana.
* PutOffTheirFood: In chapter 14, when the group of protagonists sits down for dinner, the drow Kyo'nne tells the human Vaelia that the preserved meat they're eating is human meat. She was just joking — but since they don't actually know what kind of meat it is, and since drow do eat human meat, Vaelia decides to play it safe and have bread instead.
* PVPBalanced: The old-old start of the comic was this way when it was based on DungeonsAndDragons sessions. Back then, goblins still didn't have auras by default, but it was possible for them to acquire them and fight the Fae on equal terms. This gets deliberately [[GameBreaker averted]] in favour of story over balance in the current main comic, which is something new readers should keep in mind/be aware of.
* QuantityVsQuality: When the Sarghress and Sharen armies come into conflict during the District War, their respective strengths can be compared in this way. The Sharen army is filled with highly skilled summoners and sorcerers. The Sarghress clan is mostly made up of foot soldiers. The Sharen have the strongest mounts, but dragons are slower to breed than Sarghress wolves. Sharen golems are extremely powerful, but cost a lot of energy and are expensive to build. Sarghress golems are energy efficient and can be mass produced. Overall, the average Sharen soldier can easily match an entire squad of Sarghress, but the Sarghress outnumber them considerably and can replace their ranks more easily.
* RapePillageAndBurn: S.O.P. for the Sarghress, especially the Highland Raiders. Lampshaded in [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=361 one chibi page]]. The Black Sun / Siyakorsed even more so, since they have no permanent settlements and make their living off doing this.
* RapidFireFisticuffs: Sil'lice's daughter Kadara is particularly adept at this.
* RapunzelHair: Name nearly any female character... although it is justified due to drow culture, as short hair is reserved for slaves. The one exception to the "long hair = noble" rule seem to be the Sharen protector twins like Shinae and Yaeminira, but that's because they exist in a weird state of both being and not being a noble, and unlike those two Khaless does have long hair and seems to be essentially an equal to Snadhya'rune.
* ReallyGetsAround: Zala'ess and Ash'waren are heavily implied to be this for [[EveryoneIsBi both genders]], considering how many children they have. This was joked about in a podcast, which suggested that the two of them go out together cruising for guys.
* [[ARealManIsAKiller A Real Woman Is A Killer]]: Quain'tania only recognizes Ariel as being worthy of the title of her heir after she kills Mir'kiin
* RedStringOfFate: The cover of [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9442 chapter 43]] seems to be using this symbolism, though the string is glowing white rather than red. Also of note is that the only one who's not actually tied to it is [[WildCard Kiel]], who instead is holding it.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: The 'Tainted', AKA Ver'drowendar. Red eyes in Chel basically means that the person with them is a ticking timebomb that could, at any moment, turn into a nigh unstoppable engine of destruction in the form of a demon.
* RedHerring: Possible example in chapter 44. When Wi'am shows up helping an apparent dark elf stand up out of a wheelchair, the fact that this elf has the same hair color as [[spoiler:Diva'ratrika]] lead many to assume that it was [[spoiler:another Diva BodyDouble or golem]] with only a few people noticing that the arms looked unusually muscular for a female. Later in the chapter we find out that the elf is actually [[spoiler:Zhor, sporting a new humanoid body thanks to the Jaal'darya]].
* RelationshipReveal: [[spoiler:Mel'arnach and Snadhya'rune]] had been teased at before, but chapter 17 [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=979 confirmed it]], and since then it's gone beyond that [[spoiler:with the revelation that Snadhya used Mel's genetic material to make Kalki]].
* ReligionOfEvil: Played with. Nether cults like the one the Vloz'ress used to be are portrayed this way by the Kyorl, but at least under Kiel's mother they weren't exactly "evil" and had some noble intentions. Once Senek'ha took over, on the other hand...
* RememberTheAlamo: A particularly brutal Sharen attack against the Sarghress controlled town of Machike is what blew up the tensions between the Sharen and Sarghress into a full fledged [[UrbanWarfare urban war]]. Not only did the Sharen use [[TheDarkArts nether summoning]], but they even enslaved neutral commoners on behalf of their Black Sun allies. Ever since, "Remember Machike" is a major Sarghress battle cry.
* TheRemnant: The Dutan'vir clan fell during the Nidraa'chal War, and the survivors mostly wound up slaves or joined the Kyorl or the Sarghress. The have a decent presence within the Maeyukir House of the Sarghress, and Lulianne shows that there are a few who hope to resurrect the clan some day.
* {{Retcon}}: The whole business of remaking the first several chapters.
* RichBitch: Chrys'tel, though her sister Yami'ni seems to top her in just about every way.
* RichInDollarsPoorInSense: Ariel chief among them, but also some nobles. They tend to be the exception rather than the rule however.
* RiskStyleMap: The Sarghress clan's progress in conquering Chel during the District War is portrayed in this way. Each chapter of the District War displays a map of Chel'el'sussoloth. The entire city map is divided into different districts. The districts each clan controls is indicated by the clan's color, and [[spoiler:by the time the District War ends, all of the previously Sharen held territory has been converted to Sarghress red]].
* RiskingTheKing: This is the norm among armies, with Quain'tana and Sarv'swati leading the Sarghress and Sharen armies themselves due to a combination of AuthorityEqualsAsskicking and the drow sense of honor.
* RoyallyScrewedUp: Just about every noble family, but the Sharen are the most obvious.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Those heiresses don't just sit pretty. Orthorbbae prepares them for combat.
* RuleThirtyFour: Some fans make it themselves, but a good deal comes from the writers themselves.
* RunningGag: Ariel's love of cats, and her dislike of maths. Shimi'lande also has a running gag of needing chocolate to keep herself from going insane from keeping all the fanatical Kyorls in line, which occasionally leads to references like '''NO CHOCOLATE?! ''CRUSADE!'''''
* SatisfiedStreetRat: Quain'tana's early history. Also deconstructed, since it left her as a horrible parent.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Said [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8603 word for word]] in chapter 38. Perfectly understandable given the circumstances.
** Also done by [[spoiler:both the Beldrobbaen and The Black Sun en masse]] after it becomes obvious that [[spoiler:the Sharen are on the losing side of the war with the Sarghress]].
* SealedEvilInACan: Being immaterial in their default state, demons cannot be destroyed by physical attacks. Nether mana also seems to be more potent than ether mana, so ordinary mana attacks only end up feeding them. Aside from attacking them with another demon, the only known way for a Fae to defeat them is to seal them inside a gem.
* SecretLegacy: [[spoiler:Ariel's]] true heritage. And [[spoiler:Kalki]] on both sides, though she knows it.
* SeenItAll: [[spoiler:Sha'sana]] knows critical information that could prevent Chel from going through hell all over again, but she does nothing because [[BystanderSyndrome she no longer gives a damn]] about Chel or its problems.
* {{Seers}}: Some people (supposedly) have the ability to look into the future. How it works is poorly understood, but WordOfGod states that it is a very unusual form of [[TheEmpath Empathy]]. WordOfGod eventually explains that they are not looking into the future at all. They are merely experiencing the senses and aspirations of other Fae.
* SelfMadeOrphan: [[spoiler:the three Sharen sisters send mommy dearest to her room ''permanently'' so they can rule Chel'el'Sussoloth in a demonic triumvirate.]]
* [[SelfMadeMan Self Made Woman]]: Quain'tana.
* SettlingTheFrontier: The story is set when the Drow race is right in the middle of the colonization effort. There had been many false starts in the past, but thanks to the war, things are picking up in earnest with each faction struggling to use the colonies as a tool to take control of the population. The Illhar'dro and Nal'sarkoth clans were involved a little while ago and have a head start. More recently, the Sharen and Beldrobbaen clans have been enslaving their citizens and sending them to a PenalColony in a desperate bid to retain their empire. The Sarghress have been much more interested in taking Chel itself, but they do have a colony in the upper portion of Machike. Snadhya'rune herself seems to have made this strategy a major keystone of her plan.
* {{Sexiled}}: Poor Kau [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9660 gets subjected to this]] in chapter 44 when Shala finally manages to hook up with Sarnel and locks him out, explaining that Sarnel "doesn't swing the threeway."
* SexyDiscretionShot: ''Possibly'' used in chapter 44, where we cut from a scene of [[spoiler:Ariel and Faen]] apparently consummating their relationship to Chiri and Shan [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9641 watching a burning hillside]].
* ShadowArchetype
* ShadowDictator: No one has seen Val'Sharess Diva'ratrika for 16 years [[spoiler:because she's dead, killed by her own daughters, though Ragini/Liriel, her servant/reincarnation/merger/FusionDance/whatever, is still running around]].
* ShaggyDogStory: Chiri'nide and Shan'naal [[spoiler:bring back Light Elf prisoners from Nagyesced to Vanaheimr, but the prisoners are killed that very night and Chiri and Shan nearly so themselves]].
* ShapeShifterBaggage: Averted post-retcon.
* ShiningCity: Chel'el'sussoloth.
* ShipSinking: Sarnel/Ariel was one of the more popular (heterosexual) pairings for Ariel, but it was sunk twice over after the timeskip, once by showing that [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8742 their parents tried to get them to date]] only to fail at it, and again by Ariel getting together with [[spoiler:Faen]] and Sarnel getting together with [[spoiler:Shala]].
* ShoutOut: The Sarghress clan symbol has an uncanny resemblance to Guts' brand in {{Berserk}}, and WordOfGod is that the anime series [[http://www.drowtales.com/wordpress/?p=3679 was very influential on him]].
** And Kyo'nne's [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=855 Xellos impression.]]
** And the ''ConanTheBarbarian'' inspired clothing/armor/weapons. Quain'tana is more or less Creator/RobertEHoward's Conan the Cimmerian, if he were a drow female. Or like Temujin/Ghengis Khan.
** [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1364 The summon near the ceiling]] looks like PacMan.
** Kharla'ggen's hair makes her resemble [[TenchiMuyo Washu]], especially since the demon Sene'kha plans to use Kharla to summon looks like [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=5263 a crab]], which is Washu's symbol.
*** And speaking of Washu, [[spoiler:Diva]] is quite similar to the original version of Washu from the OVA, in that she's really [[spoiler:a lot more powerful than she looks, is hiding in plain sight and in a much younger body]].
** Chrys'tel tells Kiel that [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7175 a Vel'Sharen repays her debts]], which recalls Tyrion Lannister and the (unofficial) Lannister family motto from ''ASongOfIceAndFire''. Probably intentional given that the author is known to be a fan of the series.
** And the fate of [[spoiler:Shinae's]] baby may be a reference to Daenerys' first child, [[spoiler:who was corrupted while in the womb and born horribly deformed]].
* ShutUpHannibal: Kiel'ndia pulls one on [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8878 Khaless]], emphasized by her FlippingTheBird with both middle fingers at once.
* SimultaneousArcs: From about chapter 8 onwards the story focus alternates between different characters, with events more or less occurring at the same time.
* SinisterScythe: Sene'kha's weapon. It's stated that Vloz'ress nether summoners often pick a large weapon for appearance rather than practicality.
* SirSwearsalot: Several characters, but [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8451 the Illhar'dro golem pilot]] deserves special mention for using the word fuck [[ClusterFBomb nine times]] on one page.
* SituationalSexuality: Heavy implied to occur at Orthorbbae in the main comic and outright stated in Daydream, due to the gender-segregated sections of the school. Less of a case of this than usual since drow have an EveryoneIsBi society anyway, so it's not as big a deal.
* SkeletonGovernment: Averted. Chel'el'Sussoloth's political scene is a major driving force behind the events of the story.
* SlobsVersusSnobs: The main reason for the war. The snobby clans, namely the Sharen, Beldrobbaen, and Illhar'dro believe that only [[BlueBlood Blue Bloods]] have the right to rule. The Beldrobbaen refuse to even mate with commoners. The snobby clans resent upstart commoners trying to achieve greatness to the extent that they have even started enslaving many of their citizens to retain control. The slobby clan, the Sarghress, believes that everyone should have the right to prove themselves regardless of their background and are willing to shed a lot of blood to prove it.
* SpannerInTheWorks: The plan of [[spoiler:Snadhya'rune, Sarv'swati and Zala'ess]] to cover up [[spoiler:that they killed their mother]] was going off without a hitch until [[spoiler:Chrys'tel]] discovered the truth. Ironically, she saw it at the same time [[spoiler:Sil'lice]] told one of their mooks that she had seen it too.
** And [[spoiler:Liriel/Diva's return]] isn't so much a spanner as an i-beam.
* SpeechBubbles: Everyone has a unique balloon, with the exception of the occasional one-off character. Mostly this is done with color (both font and backdrop), but a few characters have different fonts as well.
* SplitPersonalityMerge: This is what happens when a demon seed merges with its host. [[SplitPersonalityTakeover The vast majority of the time, the demon's personality is dominant]], though in a few rare cases, the personality of the original fae manages to retain dominance.
* SplitPersonalityTakeover: [[spoiler:Liriel]] has completely become [[spoiler:Diva'ratrika]] as of Chapter 22.
* SproutingEars: Ariel sprouts cat ears at a humorous moment in the comic. Since she can shapeshift this appears to have actually happened instead of just being a visual metaphor.
* StarCrossedLovers: [[spoiler:Mel'arnach]] believes [[spoiler:her and Snadhya'rune]] to be this, the truth might be more complicated... This seems to be how Kyo'nne thinks of herself and Shan'naal as well, though with her it's played for comedy.
* TheStoic: Naal'suul, Koil'dorath, Sar'nel, Sarv'swati and Chirinide are the most prominent examples
* {{Stripperiffic}}: Mel'Arnach's dental floss, more so in the previous versions. With the first episode being retconned for the second time, her outfit is now just a step away from a long pants/pink sweather combo, albeit with transparent fabric over much of it and a ThongOfShielding.
* SuperDeformed: Besides mini chibi-pages at the end of chapters characters will occasionally shift into this at humorous moments.
* SuperHumanTrafficking: A halme (human) royal family did this to drow and elves seeking immortality.
* SweetPollyOliver: Ariel goes to the male section of the WizardingSchool to avoid being trapped under the thumb of [[MagnificentBastard the headmistress]], subverted in that she's found out almost ''instantly'' and only has her secret kept because no students are allowed to leave and spread the word, and once she is found out she has to leave. This also earns her the nickname of "The Sarghress Transvestite" among some of the other drow.
** Kel'noz and Mel'narach both did this, but not in {{Canon}}. Which was the subject of a side story and a [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1292 later]] MythologyGag.
* SympatheticMurderBackstory: Ariel is [[spoiler:ordered to kill Mir'kin Vel'Vloz'ress, and then kills Yafein Val'Sullisin'rune's slave Maya in a fit of rage after he pushed her BerserkButton.]] It's clearly hinted that the resulting MyGodWhatHaveIDone moment resulted in PTSD. It's particularly disturbing when you remember that due to her species' slow aging process, she was physically still a small child at the time.
* TakingYouWithMe: One thing that makes tainted so dangerous is that even if they get so badly injured that they won't survive their seeds can then take them over and continue to cause destruction, and their tainted auras can then go on to taint other people. In fact, this is used as a tactic by certain tainted, and [[spoiler:Syphile]] is explicitly told that even if she dies while trying to kill [[spoiler:Quain'tana]] releasing her seed should finish the job.
* TangledFamilyTree: The [[spoiler:Vel'Sharen and Val'Sarghress family tree]] is turning into this with recent revelations about [[spoiler:Kalki]], and to give you an idea of how convoluted it is, [[spoiler:Ariel's step-grandmother is actually ''Diva'ratrika'']]. One forum member [[http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/9600/sharensarghressfamilytr.png attempted to draw up said tree]] (warning for '''crazy spoilers''' and very big image file), and as crazy as ''that'' is it's not even everyone!
* TemptingFate: [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive//20060503c12p050.JPG Rik]]
** [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1142 She's Just Askin' For it...]]
** And again, via Chrys'tel: [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1332 "No summon can talk."]] [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1387 Eyup]].
** Chrys'tel should really learn to keep her mouth shut. "[[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7769 Red eyes are not something acquired at birth]]" which is [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8803 horrifying subverted]] later.
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: Averted in chapter 46, where one of Snadhya's guards [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10100 fails to fall for Kiel and Fame's tricks]] so they eventually resort to [[ItMakesSenseInContext throwing a naked Kuso at him]].
* ThoseTwoGuys: Kuso and Baliir, pair of Vloz'ress soldiers, a regular trooper and a Berserker. The trooper seems like a rather chatty and good natured fellow, while his friend is a GentleGiant... except when he fights. He's shown fighting once in the main story and once in a guest side story. He [[CurbStompBattle curbstomps]] his enemies both times. Would be ThoseTwoBadGuys except they act more like {{Punch Clock Villain}}s, if that.
* {{Timeskip}}: Several instances:
** The first occurred in chapter 1, where there was a 10 year jump.
** The next happened during Chapter 2, where there was a 4 or 5 year jump.
** And now the most significant storywise, between Chapter 32 and 33 there is a 15 year jump.
* TomatoSurprise: [[spoiler:Many, if not most, of Orthorbbae's female staff are actually summons, their bodies are hidden in a morgue beneath the school]]
* TooDumbToLive: [[spoiler:Yaeminira]] who is sent on a blatantly obvious suicide mission by a mother she knows hates her. She compounds this by going alone (well, with the golem) through the front gate and challenging one of the most ancient and powerful drow known to a duel which ends in a [[spoiler: CurbStompBattle]] Best part? Sil'lice gives her a thorough explanation, and offers to let her [[HeelFaceTurn switch sides]] which she doesn't appear to even seriously consider.
** A chapter later [[spoiler:Syphile]] arguably crosses into this. One image a forum member posted [[http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y67/AthenAltena/sneakattack.jpg sums it up]].
** One of Larvova's scourges [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6760 finds out the hard way]] not to threaten Kiel when Kharla is around.
* TortureTechnician: Sil'lice is a pro.
* ToughLove: Part of standard parenting for most Drowolath noble families, but special mention goes to Quaintana whose methods of parenting left all but one of her children [[spoiler: and said sole child later fell to demons]] outright hating her, feeling neutral towards her and a JerkAss and JerkAssWoobie respectively.
* TragicDream: Rik, who sees Ariel as a way to have a family. Unfortunately [[RapeAsDrama his methods]] [[IHaveYouNowMyPretty to obtain it]] come back to bite him in the ass ''big time''.
* TranslationPunctuation: The comic is a bit inconsistent on this due to it having [[DependingOnTheArtist more than just one artist]]. For example, the main story uses [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6545 angle brackets and a slightly different font]] when translating Halme to [[CommonTongue the language of the Drows]], whereas the side story following Vaelia's journey [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9089 uses a vaguely]] [[ForeignLookingFont Japanese looking font]] when translating from Emberi.
* TrueCompanions: The Highland Raiders!
* TheUndead: WordOfGod is that there are no undead in the DT world, though having your aura separated from your body, as Sharess and [[spoiler:Diva'ratrika]] both did is close and auras can be used to power summons or golems, but you won't see any zombies around except for people who have been fully possessed by demons, which somewhat resembles zombies in the form of TheVirus.
* UndergroundCity: Chel'el'sussoloth and every other city made by the Drow.
* TheUnfavourite: Syphile is this trope in drow form.
* {{Unicorn}}: the Holy Lance Mounts, aka Dawmeres, which are actually more similar to goats than to modern horses.
* UnusualEars: Obviously.
* UnusualEuphemism - the phrase ''"going to live as a hermit"'', judging from what we know about fae biology and their dependence on mana. In other words, it might in fact be code for [[spoiler:suicide by mana deprivation]].
* UrbanWarfare: Urban warfare was forbidden by the Empress's Peace in order to protect the commoners. But the Nidraa'chal had no regard for the rules. The Nidraa'chal War was a particularly horrific conflict because it took place within the city of Chel itself, resulting in massive civilian casualties. Worse, the nether summoners actually used civilians as weapons by turning them into demons. The clans managed to keep the Empress's Peace for a few more decades, but eventually, a particularly infuriating Sharen attack that also hit neutral bystanders caused UrbanWarfare to become the norm.
* TheUriahGambit: [[spoiler:Zala'ess]] does this to [[spoiler:Vy'chriel/Yaeminira]], and seems relieved to know the outcome was a success.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: Multiple characters have their own vision of how they want to shape Chel, and frankly don't care about the sacrifices that have to be made in order to do it.
** [[spoiler:Snadhya'runes has tainted almost everyone with a deliberately flawed form of tainting that will kill anyone afflicted with it in 25-50 years, while keeping the safe and pure version only for herself and her followers.]] All she needs to do is wait until Chel self-destructs, and take over what is left.
** [[spoiler:Sha'sana]], for one, is dedicating her life to [[spoiler:bringing back Sharess so she can unite the clans]] and doesn't care that Chel goes to hell in the meantime.
** Sene'kha was planning to blackmail all the clans into disbanding and setup a democratic state by [[spoiler:empowering an incredibly dangerous PsychopathicManchild with the power of a demon god and dollifying anyone that opposes it]].
* VagueAge: Due to the fact that fae stop aging at the human equivalent of 30 and most have trouble keeping track after a few centuries it's only really the child cast who have any concrete ages (their teens in the first arc and their 30s in the second). Mel'arnach [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7749 speculates]] that she (and by extension Kel'noz) must be at least 300, and context would seem to put Quain'tana as at least 400.
* VaporWear: There have been [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive//20080908c08chibi1.jpg several]] (the previous one just one of many) things that references drow nobility in particular not wearing underwear. For an actual confirmed case, Mel'arnach has a semi-transparent dress that [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive//20080810c08p035.jpg clearly has nothing under it]].
** The character [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7978 Shen'fya]] also caused a minor stir with her outfit, much of which has transparent fabric, and it takes [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8067 what would be an upskirt shot]] to realize that she's actually wearing [[NudeColoredClothes leggings that are almost the same shade as her skin]].
* VillainDecay: Demons start out being portrayed as horrific, unstoppable monsters. Demons cannot not be harmed by any known weapons or spells and have brought about the downfall of entire civilizations. A few dozen Nidraa'chal were able to annihilate the entire Dutan'vir clan and the portion of the Sharen army sent to fight them. Only the Kyorl clan was capable of cleaning up the mess. But after the TimeSkip, we start seeing more variations of demons, some being almost cuddly. And while other demons remain the only thing that can actually ''kill'' them, now, ''all'' the clans have sealers in their ranks, enabling them to [[SealedEvilInACan trap the demons in gems]]. Thus nether summoning has been reduced to a useful, but hardly invincible art.
* VillainousValour: Althought not villains per se, the dvergar who choose to fight the drow rather than trade with them shows this. Even after being reduced to a remnant by the desperate, fleeing dokkalfar (and later outright invading drow) and having no mana, they still are a real danger to drow trade caravans and even manage to get in a few good blows against the [[{{Ranger}} highland raiders]]. Keep in mind that the last is a bit like somali pirates attacking a US battleship.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=1434 Poor Kiel]]... It seems that vomitting is a side effect of Kharla's dollification process too, since Kiel's mother [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=622 also threw up]] as her body started to change.
* WalkingTank: Kiel'ndia Vel'Vlozress attacks the Imperials at the Beldrobbaen fortress with a giant golem shaped like a turtle.
* [[WarriorPrince Warrior Princess]]: Ariel, Sil'lice, Chiri...
* WebcomicTime: From [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?order=chapters&id=242&overview=1&chibi=1&cover=1&extra=1&page=1&check=1 Chapter 3, Page 14]] to (as of writing this) Chapter 28 takes place over only a few months of comic time, from the end of the school year to the Moon's End Festival. Faen's fleeing was originally drawn in 2003, which means it took 7 years "real time" for Ariel to rescue Faen. Talk about "The Longest Wait!"
* WeHaveWaysOfMakingYouTalk: Torture is run-of-the-mill in drow society, and due to mana they get creative with it.
* WellDoneSonGuy: From daughters to mothers, especially Vy'chriel Vel'Sharen, though she has a slightly more complicated version since she's not the real daughter, she was the real daughter's ''protector'' and killed her, taking her place, and Zala'ess is understandably not too thrilled with the situation.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Slightly reversed.The setting of Drowtales has many Drow clans in the running, however the clan of [[ChurchMilitant armor plated, demonhunting zealots]] whose daily routine requires [[KillItWithFire purging the tainted ones]] whenever possible would generally be considered the mascot of this trope. And just to show how gray the morality in the world is, in many ways they're ''right''.
** Funnily enough, their arch-enemy clan of Vloz'ress used to be it too[[spoiler: before Kiel took over and ended that plan]]. Their goal was to end all wars in the world by turning everyone into mind-controlled puppets...
** In Chapter 16, [[spoiler: the Val'Jaal'Darya Clan Ill'haress, Asira'malika, related a story of a frontier settlement that eventually succumbed to the ravages of war, natural disasters, and the like. Using this story, she justifies her clan's intent to destroy potential threats to Chel'el'sussoloth before they have an opportunity to present themselves.]])
** Also, Sene'kha planned to [[spoiler: kill off all the nobles (with Kharla acting as prison for a demon god) to end the clan system]].
* WhamEpisode: [[WhamEpisode/{{Drowtales}} Has its own page]].
* WhipSword: Zala'ess's weapon, which she hasn't yet used but has been seen on panel.
* WhosYourDaddy: After [[spoiler:Sillice's]] twins were introduced, the first question many people had was who their father was. A Daydream story eventually revealed that it's [[spoiler:Kor'maril]]. The twins however know who it is, so this was more for the fans.
** Snadhya'rune just mentioned that the father of [[spoiler:her daughter Kalki]] was a Sarghress. It's even worse than many speculated. [[spoiler:It's '''Mel''']].
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Due to a high mortality rate most drow don't live long enough to experience this, but very old drow and dark elves often fall into this as they get older and older, in part due to the massive amounts of mana their bodies require to stay young, essentially confining them to large cities. Some dark elves underground committed suicide out of despair at the knowledge that they'd probably never see the surface again.
* WhyAmITicking: Naal'suul may count, by virtue of having been unwillingly tainted so badly that she could die and turn into a demon at practically any moment.
** [[spoiler:Chapter 25 revealed that ''nearly every tainted in the setting'' has only around 25 to 50 years to live, meaning that a significant portion of Chel is a ticking time bomb. Including several major characters.]]
* WithMyHandsTied: Vaelia [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=4430 protecting Ariel]] long enough for help to come. Right after being bought. Ariel grants her freedom immediately afterwards.
* WizardingSchool: Orthorbbae
* WomanInWhite: Mel often appears like this due to her choice of clothing.
* TheWomenAreSafeWithUs: Averted [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=6549 by Vaelia's explanation]], and if Mel'arnach's backstory is any indication the Sarghress troops are not above raping their own people. Unfortunately TruthInTelevision for many armies.
* WorldOfActionGirls: Yup.
* WorldOfBuxom: Save for a few characters, the majority of drow females sport breasts larger than a C-cup.
* WriterRevolt: The end of the sidestory ''Longest Wait'', was apparently one of these, since it was not originally planned for [[spoiler:Diva'ratrika to fuse with Ragini and escape]] but the artist of that story wanted it to end differently than was planned [[AscendedFanon and the new ending was eventually accepted into the canon]].
* YouBastard: Kiel invokes this in chapter 28, and even ''throws a belt at the audience'' during her emotional breakdown. Ouch.
* YouNoTakeCandle: Vaelia, though it's because she doesn't know the drow language, and it has been gradually improving.
* YouWillBeSpared: In chapter 44, [[spoiler:Snadhya'rune's]] speech to the gathered Nidraa'chal explains that she will spare the Beldrobbaen, Vloz'ress and Jaal'darya from [[spoiler:her plan to throw Chel into even more chaos]].
* YourNormalIsOurTaboo: Bisexuality and multiple partners is the norm for Drows, while pure heterosexuals like Zala'ess and her hubby Sabrror, and pure homosexuals like Snadhya'rune and Mel'arnach are considered unusual. Cannibalism is also acceptable. With so few resources, Drow eating Drow is the norm amongst the lower class. It may have disappeared from the background materials, but a running theme in Drowtales is that a bare neck is considered a form of nudity in Chel'el'sussoloth.
* YourSizeMayVary: The heights of the various characters shift in-between panels from a couple of centimeters to a half a meter at times. Quian'tana and Ariel in particular fall victim to this given their tall stature, appearing giant in one chapter and looking merely bigger than average in the next.
* YourSoulIsMine: The fate of anyone killed by Snadhya'rune (or any other summoner); she can then summon their soul to do her bidding.
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