To tidy this page up a bit the various headscratchers have now been categorized according to the headings below. Please begin new questions at the top of the folder rather than the bottom, for ease of reading.
What actually caused the war between the Dark Elves and the Light Elves during the Moons Age in the first place?
This troper would like to see the story addressed in maybe a main comic side-story or a Day Dream mini series. It can't have been due to competitiveness over resources or space as it has already been established in the World Setting pages that the two elf species lived continents apart (the light elves in the northern hemisphere, the dark elves in the southern hemisphere)and contact between the two was rare and when contact did occur it was often hostile.
This may have been explained already and I must have missed it, but exactly how do drow record time in the setting, if the moons have been destroyed and everyone is living underground?
What is the difference between the terms Ill'haress and Ill'har?
The two terms seem interchangeable, but during the Ill'haress Council that Zala'ess calls, both terms are used. I thought Ill'har meant a male leader whilst Ill'haress meant a female leader but female characters (e.g. Snadhya'runes and the leader of the Siksa'santi Kendra) have been referred to as Ill'har as well.
Ill'har refers to the leader of a minor clan, while Ill'haress is the leader of a major clan. They're both derived from the drow word for "mother" (which is also part of the Ill'hardro name). There was a bit of in-universe Values Dissonance when the Tei'kaliath of Path to Power first arrived in Chel and referred to to their leader as an Ill'haress, since in their home city she would be, while calling her that in Chel is saying she's the equal of a head of a great clan. Fans use the word "ill'harn" to refer to a male leader, but that's not canon as of yet. The suffix "ess" seems to be a dark elven word for something high ranked, given the characters it's attached to (Zala'ess, Sarghress, Sharess) and the fact that it's also in the word for a house leader within a clan, a dev'ess, so an Ill'haress is a high-ranked Ill'har. The fact that Sha'sana refers to Snadhya as the "Ill'har" of the Nidraa'chal may also be a Stealth Insult.
What do Drow females use for contraception?
While most Drow seem to revere pregnancy, what do those who don't want children for whatever reason do? If Drow females don't have a menstrual cycle, what regulates their ability to become pregnant?
It's heavily suspected that this one was thrown in specifically to explain how Drow never hit menopause, it could also be that it's just REALLY HARD to get pregnant for them, and the infrequency of pregnancy, combined with the reverence for it, just means that when it happens, they might not care. Alternatively, condoms, humans have had them since before the middle ages (latex and rubber made them RELIABLE :P) but we had them. And of course, the ever present "contraception spell" in fanfics is certainly an option.
It's more or less implied that the above is the case, since Mel'arnach was trying for years to get pregnant, and the fact that Quain'tana couldn't get pregnant after her injury set much of the plot in motion. And Zala'ess is mocked even by other drow for how many children she has since it means that she's been screwing around a lot. And since having children is a major way to gain status the idea that you wouldn't want them is practically unheard of. There is also the implication that Snadhya'rune has had abortions (which, even in a pre-industrial society, aren't that hard to induce if you know what you're doing), and the way Sil'lice talks about it makes it sound like that's considered really unusual for a drow to do. It might also be that the commoners do have some form of contraception, but since the story mainly focuses on nobles they don't have much need for it so we, the audience, don't see it.
At the beginning of chapter 35 we see a mother who recently dumped a baby boy. It is also implied that getting rid of unwanted children through dumping or slave trade is not unheard of. So there is no need for contraception; if you don't want a kid, just get rid of it.
Humans spend nine months pregnant with a child. Drow seem to age slower, so it's likely even longer for them. This is not a comfortable nine months, especially if you need to work during it, which you probably do if you can't afford a child. Getting rid of children by abortion is better, but still not ideal.
Not all sex involves a penis and vagina for humans. Why would it be different for Drow?
And yet humans still use contraception. Why would it be different for Drow?
How dangerous is being tainted?
The Knight Templars seem to think a tainted drow becoming possessed is inevitable. The rest seem to think tainting fairly safe. It seems that tainting is old enough that they'd have a very good idea of exactly how dangerous it is. How dangerous is it, and why the apparent disagreement?
This is a spoiler answer. The Kyrol'solenurn's attitude towards tainting is partly justified. While some of it may be irrational fear of influence by the demon seeds upon their hosts, it's been revealed in the manga that many, most even, of the currently tainted Drow have had the procedure done incorrectly. This was done purposefully by the Nidraa'chal, working in the shadows, and this incorrect type of tainting will kill all of those who have received it in a matter of decades. There is a form of tainting that is perfectly safe, but only a few know it. Even those tainted correctly would likely be hunted down by the Kyorl'solenurn and their sympathizers, they are zealots after all.
That still doesn't answer the question. The Kyrol'solenurn have the same information as everyone but the Nidraa'chal. They should all come to the same conclusion regarding the dangers of taint.
One of the reasons it's dangerous is that while it makes you immune to other nether beings coming after you, even if you don't have one of Snadhya's faulty seeds you might still lose control of it and get taken over by it, as happened to the teacher in Orthorbbae. The dangers of tainting are also due to the fact that it involves accessing nether beings, who are by nature dangerous, and it increases the odds that someone would open a nether gate accidentally (or on purpose) and possibly cause lots of casualties. The Kyorl oppose any use of nether beings except to seal them because open nether gates are so dangerous.
Snadhya's faulty seeds I wonder if they apply to most of the Vel'Vlozress as well or whether they had access to the original taint that Kiel'ndia's mother began? Assuming that Kiel'ndia was already tainted before the Nidra'achal War. And then there's Kharla'ggen. Who knows how she became tainted and if she ever lost control of her seed what that would mean for Chel'el'sussoloth.
I think the implication behind Snadhya's seeds were that she went to Kiel's mother specifically to get them, since whatever she wanted Ven'ndia to do really upset her to the point that she considered telling the other clans. It's not clear how Kharla was tainted, but the Sea of Spirits audiobook implies that it has something to do with the high concentration of spirits in Char (which is why "Char Spirit Summoning" is such a rare and unique ability) and that they somehow took her over.
Thank you for discussing the above. Something interesting was raised about the eye colour of tainted drow in ''The Infodump'' which should also be clarified. The suggestion was that the deeper the taint (e.g. tainting to the core, like Naal'suul) the whole eye turned red save for white schlera around where the iris would have been, whereas a supposedly light taint (other tainted drow) keeps the iris red but the rest of the eyeball white. How canon is this and would it help readers possibly identify which character's seed is going to consume them and which character has a "crushed" seed. The whole eye colour thing might also help readers spot undercover Nidraa'chal agents...
I've heard that theory, it'll be interesting if it turns out to be true.
The Kyorls have implied that they kill tainted because they're going to die anyway, and this way it's more controlled. They're not doing it just because they're against being tainted. They seem to consider it much more dangerous than the other clans do. Do they have information that the other clans do not, or are they just being stupid?
What's the difference between a drow and a dark elf?
I always thought they were the same thing.
In most media they are. In the Drowtales universe, Dark Elves (aka Dokkalfar) are the ancestors of the Drow who lived on the surface. The Drow are the children of the Dark Elf race, changed by the environment of the Underworld, gaining much darker skin, losing the color in their hair and some other minor cosmetic changes. These◊ two pages◊ explain somewhat. The Drow are divided into four main types as seen on the second page: Drowolath—most common type of Drow, descended from the dokkalfar; Drowussu—lighter-skinned than other Drow they are descended from the Vanir (aka Light Elves) the ancient enemy of the dokkalfar; Xuile'solen—not much to say, they're a genetically degenerate sub-species. Ver'drowendar—Drow that have undergone Tainting.
It hasn't been confirmed yet, but it's also implied that the children of the Tei'kaliath (from the Path to Power game) will be born as dark elves if they are born on the surface, so it's apparently not just a one-way process. Check back in on that later.
Are actually the descendants of Light Elves and not Dark Elves. Okay this is not a problem. But I am just wondering how their population came to be. Who were the Light Elves that went underground with Sharess and her people? Were they originally allies that the Drow and their ancestors just forgot about? Or are they descendants of Light Elf slaves of the fleeing Dark Elves - who somehow split from their dark elf counterparts and formed their own clans? If the latter is true how large a population would there have had to have been in order to form their numbers? Is Drowussu skin so close to regular light elven complexion that they can afford to have actual Light elves underground as members without anyone noticing?
There are a few implications as to how this happens. In the current setting the surviving light elves are almost always covered fully as Judicators, so that's why no one (including, it seems, most other drowussu) know who they really are. As to how they came to be, this hasn't been made clear, but the fact that the Dutan'vir were part drowussu and Diva's guards suggests that she knew about some of them and probably accepted some light elves back when Chel was first founded. There's also a podcast where they suggest that drowussu developed in another part of the underworld and came to Chel, though this isn't necessarily canon.
When is Daydream considered canon?
Some stories like Sil'lice and her twins are accepted as canon whilst others like Goddess Knight and Origins of the Jaal'darya are not. But elements from Goddess Knight appeared in the main comic in Chapter 17 and some of the backstory in clan politics cannot be understood by newcomers when forumites are referring to daydream in discussions
Pretty much everything is non-canon unless otherwise stated. The Sil'lice story was a unique one in that the members voted to have it told as close to canon as possible, but this isn't the usual practice (and at the time the author was pretty perplexed by the fact that the options letting him tell it kept winning). The Vel'cahal story is based on an already existing story in the drow world, the Daydream version is likened to a historical fiction book that has some elements of truth but also embellishes it, so while there was a Sharess and probably was a Vel'cahal no one but those people (and maybe Diva) know what really happened.
The potential of "empathy" to be a gamebreaker power in the setting
If empathy is just influencing and feeling emotions, how did Faen manage to rip off Nihi'liir's arm in her psychic attack? Empathy should be a passive rather than active power and at the very least Faen's ability to rip off an arm should have something to do with telekinesis?
She didn't actually "rip off" Nihi'liir's arm, the implication is that she possessed it, which would be like an extension of her healing powers, and seeing as it's going blue she probably cut off the circulation to it or messed with the nerves, so they likely amputated it later and replace it with a prosthesis. The way the teacher slumped down (notice the blood coming out of her eyes) means that she probably overloaded the circuitry in her brain, since the teacher grabbed her with both hands and presumably formed a closed circuit, while Nihi'liir was only in contact with her for a second.
Do drowussu also have the potential to be empaths and if so how do their empaths compare to those in the Sullissin'rune clan? I think the world setting pages hinted that within Kyorl orders there may well be empaths but being fairly new to the comics (as of January this year) I don't know how canon this is.
They do have empaths in the Kyorl, the trained ones are called Inquitors. That page gives a pretty good explanation of how it works.
Also in relation to the above, it would be interesting to see a drow with both empathy and seer in their bloodlines and how this would affect their abilities.
At least from some of the ways Chiri reacts, seer abilities might be related to empathy, given that when she sees particularly gruesome visions she seems to feel what the victims feel. It might be that they're actually offshoots of the same sort of power (though this is just speculation on my part).
Twins in the Sharen clan
The podcast dealing with this is inaccessible outside of the USA so apologies if this is already answered. If twins (identical or fraternal) are born naturally within the Sharen clan are protector twins still needed for each twin or would the mother just ignore the convention in that case?
I don't think that's answered specifically, but it does seem that only some mothers decide to do the Protector Twin thing. Zala seems fond of it since there are at least two daughters who've had one (Chrys'tel and Vy'Chriel), and Diva did so with Snadhya, but there's no evidence that Sarv'swati or Sil'lice used them, while Nishi'kanta might have (it's not clear if Ni'bai's twin was her protector or if they were biological twins). It might be that they only give protector twins to the most "valuable" female children and that they're less likely to do it the further away the relation to the main house is.
Why are non-magic users not extinct?
If elves (and their and their evolutionary derivatives) are so powerful, why do they tolerate what they consider to be animals that just happen to be intelligent (with the capacity to rebel that entails) at all?
Because they're useful? Humans and orcs can be slaves and humans are at least intelligent enough to trade with, and with a few exceptions (the Nagyesced king) are pretty much harmless. Also, wiping out an entire species would take a lot more work than the elves are willing to expend, since in the classic Moses scenario if you miss one it can bite you in the ass. Also non-magic users have a distinct advantage in that they can survive in areas without a mana pool, while an elf there would eventually start getting mana deprivation. That an it's implied that the human presence on the surface is a lot more than it used to be during the Moons Age, and that the humans have largely taken over old elven ruins for their own purposes. And unlike D&D drow the drow of DT are not Always Chaotic Evil, so they wouldn't simply wipe out humanity unless they had a reason to.
Wow. I've heard about increasing dislike towards elves on the readers' part, but when exactly did they become analogous to the Third Reich?
Alternate version: Both populations must compete for food and resources. If one is clearly superior, the other would go extinct. There's a reason that there aren't any neanderthals around anymore. Why are there still non-magic users in the Drowtales universe?
Because the drow for the most part don't care. Most of the resources they need are underground, and they only need quick raids to the surface for the most part. Plus humans breed much faster than the drow can keep killing them off. Seriously, drow in this universe are not Always Chaotic Evil, and going through the trouble of killing the entire human population, especially when some exists in areas that are hard to reach, is just not worth the trouble. It's better to keep them around to trade with an occasionally raid.
Drow didn't always live underground. The goblins should have died out once the elves appeared. It's possible that goblins are actually more fit, possibly because of inverse fertility or needing less food, in which case the elves should have died out. The only thing I can think of is that they have different ecological niches, but what are they?
Well for one humans can live in areas without adequate mana supplies, while elves cannot unless they have a large enough population (this is the main thing hindering the colonization effort, since you need a pretty large population to be self-sustaining, so you basically need to move an entire clan at once). That would prevent overlap in territory since besides occasional raids like the Highland Raiders elves need to set up settlements if they want to stay in any one area for an extended period of time, and there are only certain areas that are suitable for that. The Tei'kaliath, for instance, are in an area that has two human settlements nearby, but the area they chose is geographically isolated enough that they basically have to look for each other to find each other. There's also a group called the Hermiones from a different continent that apparently didn't have elves, so the humans might've migrated, in fact there are some implications that humanity as a whole is relatively new to the areas that were once major elven population centers, since most of the human settlements seem to be built on old elven settlements. Also, since elves have low fertility rates they probably have a fairly stable population, and Chel itself is only around 100,000 people and one of the larger population centers, and while we don't know the exact size of Vanaheimr it's apparently pretty small if it can stay hidden.
What keeps the mana ecosystems from encroaching on the non-mana ones? What's the disadvantage of mana?
Humans and other goblins have no aura and are therefore not taint-able. This would have given them an enormous advantage in the wake war on the surface. In some of the supplementary material it is also mentioned that Quain'tana has gathered a bunch of slaves into a fighting force specifically attqack nether-summoners
WHEN are readers going to get to see the time-skip?
The release has been delayed so many times as of now. First it was going to be Chapter 30, then this was pushed back to Chapter 31, then Chapter 32 and now things are back to being up in the air.
Here several drow sneaks up behind someone. My first impression was that they were using the cover of darkness, but drow have mana vision and can see in the dark. They were behind her, but given that mana vision doesn't require eyes, it seems unlikely that they can only see in front of them. Even if that's true, the drow she was talking to should have had a clear view.
Drow only "see in the dark" the way cats can, by using what little light there is to help them see. If they had perfect night vision she wouldn't need a light at all. The reason a drow's pupils are red is because of the eyeshine effect. If it's pitch black they still can't see anything because there's no light, since while their vision is better than a human's it's not that good. Also mana vision isn't 100% perfect, you probably have to concentrate to use it or else tracking people would be a lot easier. Also Shan only seems able to use mana vision when his actual eyes are covered.
Mana vision is good enough for fighting, and easy enough that Kyorl soldiers are willing to rely on it for purely symbolic purposes when their life is at risk. This page says that being blindfolded allows them to focus on their mana vision. It sounds to me like this means that it's easier to use when blindfolded, but it's not necessary.
Said people also have to be trained. Your average drow like that merc probably hasn't had that education. Templars and Inquisitors are the only people who explicitly can do it, and we've never seen a drowolath use it so far. And if it's related to empanty, as Inquisitor abilities are, it's entirely possibly that only certain people are able to use it at all. Drowussu bloodlines may just have a particular tendency towards that skill.
What's the deal with genetics?
Drow and humans are mutually infertile. Drow and spiders are not.
Zhor's not a spider. He's an elf that just looks like a spider externally, genetically he's still an elf. Same with dragons, they're all actually elves that were transformed.
The Black Dragon breeds dragons. The owner sat in full view of the audience, which included males, so she can't be a Jaal'darya. It's barely feasible that an elf born in a dragon's womb becomes a dragon, but they have a half dragon. The only thing I can think of is if they transplanted him from one womb to another part way through the pregnancy. Also, where is this stated?
Rik was an experiment, the only one of his kind. We don't know the specifics. The earlier generations dragons looked more humanoid and retained more of their intelligence (and apparently their ability to speak) but the ones in the Black Dragon are much more removed from the originals and can't fly anymore (minus one who we see with wings, implied to be one of the originals). Also Irena is not and never was a Jaal'darya, she was just rich from supplying the Sharen with dragons. Also, Word of God is dragons are actually elves, he's said so several times, especially in podcasts.
Also, Nei'kalsaider are descended from elves who were transformed into driders but somehow retained the ability to breed. It seems that once an elf's gone through some form of metamorphosis if they can still breed their offspring will either also shared their transformed form (i.e. have spider legs or be a dragon) or a regular elf. It seems to depend on the combination of parents, so Thera is probably a drider + drider while Ariel was the result of a regular elf and a transformed elf, and it was brought up that she might not have been a regular elf, so it might just be chance. It's been hinted that Rik's mother was a regular drow, so who knows what his father was. Dragon + dragon most likely gets you a dragon.
So in short, Lamarck Was Right? That still doesn't explain where they all came from originally. From what I understand, biogolems are drow that are messed with so that they end up shaped differently, and Jaal'darya are the only people who know how to make them. If I remember correctly, they don't make their biogolems capable of breeding.
Biogolems are not technically drow, even though they can have auras and manipulate mana. Awares like Zhor, on the other hand, were originally elves, and the technique to turn people into things like driders has largely been lost, except for the Beldrobbaen who still practice it. Biogolems are wholly created creatures and cannot breed, thus are not technically a species. Now it's implied that the Jaal'draya based biogolem technology on the old techniques to create awares, but it's not the same process.
Here it's implied that biogolems are made from drow.
Might just be the flesh itself that they need. We don't know the actual process, though the Daydream story implies that blood or limbs can be used to make them. Strictly speaking biogolems seem to be just that — golems (essentially robots or animated matter) made of flesh instead of rock or metal. They're clearly alive, but not strictly speaking drow anymore.
Chirinide's hair is yellow because her father was a light elf. Drowussu are just malnourished light elves. I could understand if it was her mother, but how does her father's nutrition change her hair color?
It's not nutrition so much as the fact that the further away from a surface elf you are the less likely that certain surface traits like hair color will show up, i.e. a second generation (one generation removed from the surface) is much more likely to have naturally colored hair than fourth or further. It looks like having a first generation parent increases that but doesn't guarantee it, as Diva's kids show, and it's likely that while the first few daughters had surface born fathers the later ones had drow fathers.
Elves normally have elf children. Something is making them have drow children. I was under the impression that it was malnutrition. What is it? The only way the father can matter is if it has something to do with DNA. Drow started changing in one or two generations. The only possible explanation is epigenetics. Could that really change your hair color?
It's implied to be the effects of the underworld and "the ashes" from the end of the Moons Age, which also caused the degeneration into xuile'solen among some of the less lucky ones, whose environments were so extreme that they basically have no auras. The implication behind drow hair is also that it's less that it changed color but more that any natural color in it has a harder time being expressed. Most drow in Nuqrah'shareh, for instance, have some level of very light color, mostly blues. The gene is still there, it's just not being switched on. Also mana means that elves adapt to their environments while in the womb, which is why whether or not you're a drow or a dark or light elf depends on where you were conceived and gestated. Malnourishment is not the whole story about why you end up a drow. If it was the Sharen wouldn't be drow since they're fithy rich. The main sign of malnourishment is purple-colored tongues.
Interesting, but none of this has anything to do with fathers. None of that stuff should be affecting sperm unless it causes epigenetics and mutation. It's clearly not mutation, since it only changes elves to drow. Once they're drow, they stay constant.
It's likely a combination of parents and environment, with the main factor being the latter. It basically doesn't matter whether you have two surface elves, a surface elf and a drow, or two drow, if they baby is born underground it's a drow, and if it's on the surface it's a dark or light elf. Environment trumps everything else when it comes to some traits like skin color and whether they have the eyes adapted to low light vision. Nega'fanae heavily implies that exposure to the ashes is the main factor affecting skin and hair, so it might simply be that it doesn't matter who your parents are, if you were born after a certain date you have a very low probability of naturally colored hair because the environment itself changed. This is supported by the fact the naturally colored hair only shows up among drowolath among those born very early in Chel's history like Snadhya'rune, the environment might've changed enough in that time that the gene just can't be expressed if you're born underground no matter who your parents were. Also note the dark elf woman with a baby in the Prologue, she's clearly first generation but her baby has no color.
Also in regards to Chiri, she's clearly not the only drowussu with naturally yellow hair (which is one of the early hints that drowussu are all descended from light elves), so her father being a light elf probably has little to do with it. It's also worth noting that dark elves tended towards darker shades and those disappeared pretty quickly, so the environment might just favor lighter shades like drowussu tend to have. And Word of God on drowussu hair is:
Drowussu hair retains its color longer through generations, but it is almost always pale if any coloring exists. Though fine featured, like the drowolath, drowussu hair manages to retain its color longer throughout the generations, and so coloring is more possible than the dark-skinned cousins. Shades of turquoise, brown, and yellow are not unheard of, although almost always pale.
In Daydreams, the future elves are drow. Are they still malnourished in the future?
That story's not canon. In actual canon, drow who give birth overground have children with dark elven coloring.
Where does all the energy come from?
Drow get their energy from their food. The food gets energy from the light. The light, as far as I can understand, is magic, and gets its energy from drow. Am I missing something, or is Chel'el'sussoloth a perpetual motion machine?
A Wizard Did It. But seriously, trying to invoke conservation of energy in a setting with magic is a losing battle.
Equivalent Exchange only applies to mass in the setting, since it's stated that Ariel can't change her mass. The actual mana's not like that.
In that case, why do drow need to eat, beyond gaining mass?
Because they're still biological creatures. The only creatures that are pure mana are demons and summons, and they can only exist under specific circumstances since they can't stay on this plane unless they have either a physical body to supply them or can feed off mana to stay somewhat corporeal. A fae can also separate their aura from their physical body (as Sharess and Diva have shown) but it can't last too long on its own. The same rules that apply to other biological creatures apply to them, mana just means that they won't age unless they're cut off from the mana supply and can manipulate the mana around them. Oh, and Word of Godon mana:
mana plays a major role in the sustainment of the drow body; along with stopping the aging process, it also makes the drow need for food and sleep less pronounced as it takes over some of the physical maintenance those things provide. Nothing will affect a drowolath's condition quite as drastically as mana deprivation.
Biological creatures eat because they need mass and energy. Energy can be obtained from mana by processes such as a golem-operated generator. Mana can be created by perpetual motion machines. Hence, a life-form could evolve that just eats dirt.
There's no such thing as a golem operated mana generator. If so they could just bring a bunch to the surface and they would've colonized years ago. The only ways to get mana are either by having enough drow in one place that it forms a surplus or having mana plants and the like. You need to get it from somewhere. Human bodies (and other living things) give off heat as a byproduct of creating the energy needed to keep us alive, mana works the same way. Get enough people in a room and it gets hot as a result of the heat people are giving off just by standing thee, a mana pool essentially forms the same way.
Really, it's more of a question of why some single-celled organism hasn't evolved into a mana-based perpetual motion machine, and evolution just stopped there. I guess it wouldn't stop for the same reason that evolution didn't stop with plant-like protists, but there at least wouldn't be any lifeless areas. Then again, it could be a lack of water, rather than a lack of energy.
Also, elves aren't the only things producing mana. Mana plants and some mana bearing animals exist, and drow need them around to have an adequate mana pool. It's not simply food = energy = mana, there's more to it. An elf can have plenty of food but if they don't have enough mana they'll age and die. Also, the Pillar of Light (main light source in Chel) isn't mana powered, that's actually luminescent moss.
Yes, there's more to it, but the energy still has to come from somewhere. Unless, of course, it doesn't.
One possibility is it's the other planes that nether gates connect to. But really, you're just going to give yourself a headache if you think about this too much.
Is it feasible that it's chemosynthesis? I'd expect the rifts would give rise to that.
Come to think of it, I don't think fire spells take as much energy as the should, and don't get me started on ice spells.
What technology do they have?
It's kind of an open-ended question, but I'd like to be a bit more certain about a few things.
Do they have computers?
It's been mentioned that Kau’shala used an iPad, although I can't seem to find where he actually used it.
Not all of the golems are piloted. The clearly have some kind of a computer, but I don't know if they're ever given the ability to follow Turing-complete instructions with the intent to use this to its capacity.
Computers don't have the presence I'd expect from a society that has them.
Do they have movable type?
Here, it's shown that the book Ariel was given to study from was a library book. I suppose that's not really that much evidence, but I feel like if books were cheap, a Val would have bought a copy, if she didn't already own one from when she was taught.
Do they have chemical explosives?
Drow rather clearly use explosives several times, but they seem to be mana-based. If I understand this right, they need some kind of gem to do it, so it's pretty expensive.
Dvergars are portrayed as being far better at digging than drow. There's no obvious reason why they could do anything the drow couldn't. They clearly have chemical explosives, given that they've used cannons and they don't have mana. If they have explosives and drow don't, that would explain the difference. I still have to wonder at how they can keep something like that from the drow though. Then again, given what I've seen, it's possible that the drow that do learn the recipe just keep it to themselves.
They recently mentioned an explosive called Dvergar powder, so dvergars apparently have explosives. The odd thing is that it seems to be just drow using it. Perhaps the drow learned how to make it from the dvergar, or just bought some.
What's the difference between Val and Vel?
I thought "Vel" meant that it was the ruling clan, but that wouldn't explain the Vel'Vloz'ress.
"Val" originates from the time when the religion of Sharess was still mainstream in the Drow society, and it has connotations to holiness. "Vel" is its total opposite, and indicates rejection of the traditional, hostile attitude towards demonic forces, and embrace of the practice of Tainting. In a nutshell, the Val-clans hold a negative attitude towards Tainting, while the Vel-clans consider it to be the salvation of Drowkind.
Why would demons help the Vloz'ress?
The Vloz'ress clearly summon demons. I would expect that anyone who had just been kidnapped into another dimension, never to see their loved ones again, never to tell them that they're okay, would not look kindly on the people who did that to them.
Implicitly the Nether is not a nice place, even for demons. They are constantly struggling with one another for essence, energy and power. The physical world gives them a respite from that, and an opportunity to do something more meaningful than to just survive another day. And if they want to go back, they only need to destroy the body they've possessed, and they are free.
I'm having trouble finding references, but I'm pretty sure the Nether is every plane of existence except theirs. I know it was mentioned that, just as their worlds seem empty to us, our wold seems empty to them. Neither is empty; we just can't interact with each other well. Possessing a physical body in a plane of existence they're not from most likely isn't as good as possessing the body they're used to in the world they're used to. Killing the host doesn't send the demon back to its own world, and even if they get someone to send them through a nethergate to their world, that just gets them to the right world. It's not given how close the portal will open, and their body will almost certainly be dead. The best they could do is possess someone else, which involves killing an innocent.
How does chemistry work?
They've mentioned gold and adamantium. They can't just have some real life elements, though. If their chemistry is fundamentally similar to ours, the elements will all be similar. If not, they'll all be different. It is possible for the chemistry to be fundamentally similar, but the constants just different enough for it to behave the same with the smaller elements, but gold is pretty far up there. Either they're Calling A Rabbit A Smeerp, Calling A Smeerp A Rabbit, or Artistic License – Chemistry.
How are humans a threat?
The latest threat in the latest chapter seems to be the humans but I don't understand how they could be. They can't use mana so there's no threat of demon summoning. They seem easy to kill. Even the fires they start can be put out. The Drow are bigger and stronger than them. Even a kingdom that was capturing Drow and draining them of their blood was dismantled in a day by Ariel and her crew. How can the Drow take them seriously when they're so easy to kill?
Because these Hermiones appear to be both smarter and more fanatical in their hatred of drows than previously seen goblins. Various acts of arson has undermined the morale of Ys. Yes the fires can be put out, but not easily. Also, where Halmes were scared of drows and ran away, Hermiones hate drows and charge in for the kill, so to speak.
"Even a kingdom that was capturing Drow and draining them of their blood was dismantled in a day by Ariel and her crew." Don't be ridiculous. Ariel's group did not defeat that kingdom's entire army on a battlefield. Ariel's group went to that kingdom's castle (without ever beating a prepared force of that kingdom on a battlefield) where they were helped out by the Highland Raiders. And the whole group got away from the castle before reinforcements came, including the Highland Raiders.
Word of God says that Seeing is derived from experiencing another's sensations and planning. This explains everything that happened on the surface. And I suppose it's possible that Shimi's vision of Ariel being important to Nidraa'chal conflict was derived from Snad considering Ariel a crucial component of her plans even as far back as when she was a young child. But where did Chiri's vision of Tirade and the music come from?
Did the Dutan'vir have access to Seer capabilities?
Or did the fact that the clan was of mixed heritage (both drowolath and drowussu) negate their ability to have Seers in their bloodlines?
Also has it ever been addressed in the comic whether or not males (both drowussu and drowolath) can be Seers? We know males can be empaths but not if they can be Seers. Was it ever said that foresight was an exclusively female trait?
Why did so many Dutan'vir agree to become tainted prior to the Nidraa'chal War in the first place; so that when Diva'ratrika held her inquisition into all tainted members within subject clans, why would many Dutan'vir feel so personally affronted? I'm getting this info from the Prologue and The Longest Wait.
My guess is Snadhya'rune convinced them to get tainted, since Sha'sana more or less states that part of Snadhya'runes' plan was to deliberately undercut the Dutan'vir's stability, and what better way to cause a rift than to convince them to do something her mother hated and would go after them for? Also it's implied that prior to the war being tainted was considered some sort of form of rebellion since it was tied to the Nidraa'chal, who prior to the war were seen as eccentric but more or less harmless nether cult like the Vloz'ress, and Diva went after the tainted because she thought they might be Nidraa'chal sympathizers.
Was Koma'lawen (Queen of the Sullisins during the Moons Age) Ash'waren's mother or aunt?
I think the Daydream Goddess Knight story puts her as Ash'waren's mother, but then again in the main comic, Koma'lawen is described by Ash'waren in the Council of Nine as being her aunt/great aunt. Which is it? I assume the former as it makes more sense since Ash'waren's actually a dark elf but why say she's her aunt as surely this would have placed her out of the line of succession were it not for the deaths of her sisters and parents in the Sharen/Sullisin'rune War.
Should readers believe that Zala'ess really loves her children if she willingly agreed to tainting most of her lineage given what we know of Snadhya'rune's faulty seeds? It all depends on how much Snadhya'rune has told her sisters.
I think it's fairly likely that either Zala doesn't know that detail, given what Snadhya'rune says to Sarv'swati, or Zala's family is protected from the faulty seeds. Sil'lice seems under the impression that Zala doesn't know, but then again Sil'lice isn't exactly in the best position on this, so I'd take what she says regarding the faulty seeds with a grain of salt. It's also entirely possible that Zala didn't know then, but after the timeskip now does, which might be why she made her bid for Empress as a "screw you" to her two other sisters. It's also telling that we haven't seen Sabbror so far, and the last time we saw him Zala looked very concerned, and this is the exact same page where Sha'sana's describing the faulty seeds, so I'm interested in how this develops.
How likely is it that Sarv'swati was raised by Snadhya'rune and in turn Sil'lice raised by Sarv'swati, right down to Zala'ess being raised by Nishi'kanta and how might this have affected the relationship between the sisters on a generational basis?
There's probably a good chance of this. How else would Khaless know Sarv'swati well enough to reference her by her childhood nickname?
How bad was Diva'ratrika as both a parent and a ruler taken from the knowledge we have from her own account in Longest Wait and the account given of her by other characters?
There seems to be no middle ground here if you look at the comments on the forums. My personal theory is that she did what she could with what she had and if she wasn't exactly "nice", that was because she couldn't afford to be in the setting — look what happened to Nega'fanae in Chapter 34 as an example. Her being strict with her daughters to the point of stifling them doesn't seem to hold up with the treatment of Sil'lice, Nishi'kanta and Ashu'athama. Snadhya'rune mentions how restricted she felt by Diva'ratrika but she was the "first" daughter which in general drow society seems to mean that you have the most responsibility heaped onto you, and even then it seems the major issue between Diva'ratrika and Snadhya'rune seems to be the latter's assumed lack of children. Zala'ess as the youngest probably had the most freedom of all her daughters, yet even she joined in on the two eldest daughters' matricide and coup d'etat.
Her being a "terrible" ruler doesn't seem to hold up with the fact that she held control for a good "six hundred" years, meaning she had to be doing something right.
Things seem to point to her starting out decent, albeit somewhat of a hardliner but her being in power so long left her with a narrow outline for the future of Chel'el'sussuloth and disillusioned from mainstream politics, all of which kept her an outsider from current issues and made her more unpopular with her subjects.
I'd say the above is pretty likely the case, since DT as a whole seems to be a deconstruction of power and what it takes to both get it and hold it, and it seems that there's no ruler in the setting who can completely have their cake and eat it too.
It's important to note that being a good parent, a good leader, and a good person are three entirely different things—Quain'tana is proof enough of that! She was probably a pretty poor parent, as evil matricidal children don't come from nowhere, her virtues as a leader probably outweighed her faults as one, and I'll give her the benefit of a doubt and say that given the context of the culture of her people she's probably not horrible at that either.
You make some good points above, but to add to the idea of Diva'ratrika being a bad parent-well Nishi'kanta and Sil'lice didn't seem to think so, hence why they were not part of the original coup. Plus the main tension seemed to be between Diva'ratrika and Snadhya'rune and even then mostly because of the latter's refusal to have publically known children. Its possible that Snadhya'rune could have exaggerated her feelings of being stifled and Diva'ratrika may have deliberately blinded herself to Snadhya'rune's desire for independence by mistaking it for a minor inconvenience.
Has Sil'lice ever said she thinks Diva'ratrika a good mother? The fact that she opposed killing Diva could just as well be because of moral standards - after all, this was the one character they chose to explain drow ideas of honor, and motherkilling seems not to be held in high regard in their society, even being a word to swear by. There's also the possibility that Diva's daughters really were treated differently due to personality compability issues (cf. Quain'tana's different attitude to Mel, Kel'noz and Laele'aell). Either way, Zala'ess seems not to think too highly of Diva as a mother.
Why is Kalki so short given what we know of her parentage?
After the timeskip between Chapter 32 and Chapter 33, we see that Ariel has grown considerably in comparison to her peers. This is to be expected since her female line of family are all very tall ( Quaintana and Mel'anarch) and she also has direct Dark Elf parentage from her father Zhor. Kalki has her mother's line directly descended from a Dark Elf and both her parents are tall. At 50 years of age she was around Syphile's height, now at age 65 (see Chapter 34) she appears to have remained the same height as she was fifteen years ago. What has skewed the height dynamics for Kalki and her half-sister?
Kalki's apparently not that short. In reality, she comes up toabove Mel's shoulder, not too different from Snadhya herself, who's about half a head shorter than Mel. Plus Lulianne is specifically defined as 5'8" in her concept art, so comparing the two means Kalki's likely somewhere around six foot, which is about average for a drowolath female. And quite frankly Mel's kind of a freak, and even presumably average heighted women have half a head less on her, while Lulianne is below Mel's shoulder. Kalki's probably about average for a drowolath, and in Ariel's case the direct Dark Elf genes might be the main factor. Plus, we have no idea what Zhor's height was, or really anything about any of the paternal ancestors on either side, so we're only seeing half the story when it comes to both girls. It's also not certain exactly how tall Ariel is, since we've yet to see her next so someone who's not a child like Wafay or anyone who can give us a real idea of where exactly she ranks. She might've wound up slightly shorter than Mel, and it's worth nothing that Shala seems to come up to about where most drow females seem to fall in relation to Mel, and all the people in that lineup are not yet fully grown at this point, being around the drow equivalent of 15 years old. (Also, height can be weird, I, for instance, wound up taller than both of my parents, and most closely resemble my maternal grandfather in that regard)
Small update to the above: we've now seen Ariel and Lu side-by-side, and while it's possible that Khaless changed Lu's height, even though that probably would be noticed it gives us a better idea of where Ariel ranks, and eyballing Kalki and Lulliane suggests that Ariel and Kalki are probably fairly close, since they both have about a head on Lu. This also points to Ariel being shorter than Mel is, so a rough guess (based on a really rough bit of math involving heads) is that Ariel is somewhere between 6'4" and 6'6", so that's about half a foot taller than the average, and based on that same comparison Kalki's maybe more like 6'3", and using the same formula Mel herself comes out to somewhere around 6'10". Also a random note is that Faen's apparently the same height as Lu, lending more evidence to the theory that Sullisin'rune tend to be shorter.
Will readers ever get to see Nishi'kanta on-panel again? She's the one Sharen sister whose fate has yet to be confirmed. Has she died or is she in hiding? Why didn't Chrys'tel seek her out for more information about the coup against Diva'ratrika? She knew from Sil'lice that Nishi'kanta was not in on the coup. Is she working with Mikilu to break up her sisters' alliance? What is the deal with Nishi'kanta's whereabouts.
Is Mel'anarch's hair purple or white?
The early chapters up to Chapter 18 when she runs away from the Sarghress after the golem attack clearly show her with white hair. Next, when we see her in Chapter 25, the first few pages still show the white hair and then finally towards the end of Chapter 25 and beginning of Chapter 27 her hair starts being shown as light purple up until her most recent appearance in Chapter 32. Which is it?
All drow have white hair unless they have mixed heritage. Unless otherwise specified, any colour is always dye or an artistic variation of the white palette, much like both dark blue and brown sometimes stand in for variations of "black" in visual medium.
Why did Diva'ratrika do nothing to stop the slaughter of her kind during the early years of underworld settlement?
Who's to say she didn't do anything? She doesn't have absolute authority, especially over other clans (in the past they were more or less city states) and other clans that would've started killing the dark elves wouldn't exactly have told her. And at that point drow probably massively outnumbered the dark elves, so tactically it would make no sense for her to side with them. Plus most dark elves are implied to have died from malaise over the centuries, so not that many may have died at first, with more falling to their own age over the years, which wouldn't be something she could do much about.
What is it with Snadhya'rune and the fur?
Seriously why the fetish for fur? Unless its to further emphasise her as being the odd one out amongst her siblings?
Because it comes from the surface, and is therefore expensive.
There are furry animals living underground, such as wolves and cats. I suppose it works if it's from some kind of animal that lives only above ground, and is sufficiently recognizable.
That still doesn't explain it. Expensive as fur may be for Drow, there are other materials equally as expensive from the surface. Why her specific fetish for fur? What about feathers for example?
Maybe she just likes fur?
Could be because of her taint- maybe it makes her feel cold more easily?
How did Waesoloth react when she found out that Naal'suul had died from likely Khal'harror when he returned home?
Probablynot well. We're probably going to find out at some point, but since the story jumps around between clans and in time it might not be for a few chapters.
Waesoloth only had two children or were all her children around Naal'suul and Khal'harror's age? If the latter is true would all her daughters have been in Orthobbae at the time of a demon breaking loose?
She probably has more than just the two of them since she's so old (it's implied she's second generation, meaning that her parents were dark elves) and that her older children have their own subhouses, but it would still be devastating to lose an entire generation of girls as they did, especially since the tradition is to turn the father into a drider protector of the child, so they would have fewer and fewer suitable males to breed with.
Naal'suul was referred to as being Waesoloth's heir, which was why I thought that maybe she had only had the two children above. If Naal'suul was her heir, then her death would obviously have been even more devastating to Waesoloth; however if she indeed have other, older daughters why would she make her youngest be the heir?
Maybe the others are all males? I dunno, could be. It might be that the others have died since the Beldies have had a long line of bad luck.
On a similar topic, just how did the Sharen convince Waesoloth to agree to a tainting ceremony for so many Beldrobbaen girls? It was implied at the Council meet and Kiel'ndia's memories that the Beldrobbaen were against tainting.
I don't think there was ever an indication that the teacher's seed went berserk during a tainting ceremony. If you look at the background of the scene it looks like it happened in either a library, an office or a classroom, and the architecture is nothing like what we see of the room where they do the actual ceremony. In all likelihood the accident happened during a study group or social get together that just happened to include Beldrobbaen girls, because like you said, Waes was against tainting.
How is it a secret that Ash'waren is really a Dark Elf?
I'm new to the Drow Tales comic so I'm sorry if this seems like a newbie question, but if Ash'waren is said to be the next in line of succession for being Val'Sharess (due to being the next person to personally know Sharess after Diva'Ratrika)considering that Sharess discharged her aura to close the nethergates soon after leading the Dark Elves underground and entrusting leadership of her clan to her sister, and as can be presumed, before the Dark Elves started giving birth to Drow; the only way that Ash'waren could have known Sharess is if she were a Dark Elf herself. Then with the whole Thalamani exodus that Rel'Lumia Val'Nal'Sarkoth mentions at the Illharess Gathering, considering that this occurred on the surface and Ash'waren mentions she remembers it, this could only mean that she is actually Dark Elf.
With all of the above does this mean that her true race is in fact an Open Secret and so she just maintains the balance using her empathy or are the Drow really and truly unaware of her true origins?
As far as I can tell, the vast majority of drow do not have heavy interaction with the clan leaders, or for that matter, anyone above the grunt work level of their armies and merchants (who collect taxes, do odd jobs, and generally act as a buffer between the clan leadership and the common, clanless, populace). This isn't readily obvious because the story DEALS more with the nobility of the world than with the common folk, but I suspect that it's an open secret amongst the Il'haresses, and she takes that form just to avoid ticking off people who might see her in the street/all the minor clan leaders who have no possible historic roots back to the Moons Age. EG: anyone who DOES know about it, doesn't give a damn, anyone who WOULD give a damn, doesn't know about it, and no one who DOES know about it is about to tell them (because hey, they're only a step up from commoners right?)
Also, keep in mind that she can kill you with her brain, and most people think she's insane anyway, so it wouldn't be that much of a stretch for people to write it off as another eccentricity. Considering that Diva'ratrika dealt with her directly during the war between her clans I think it's pretty likely that she knows too, but it probably is more or less Open Secret among the top brass who just don't care enough to spread it around. And since Ash'waren or her relatives have access to the bedrooms of a lot of nobles she probably has quite a bit of dirt on everyone else, so they wouldn't be eager to spread around dirt about her knowing she could sling some back.
WordOfGod now confirms that exceptionally tall drow get their heights from their dark elven ancestors. This brings me to question if Ash'waren is just short for her race or whether empathy can be used to make herself shorter as well, given how she compares to Quain'tana.
I think the implication of Ash'waren's height is just that she's small for a Dark Elf, and since the Sullisin'rune are implied to be from the same area that Vaelia's people are from (just compare the architecture) and the Emberi are shorter than the average Halme that it may just be a racial trait.
Which makes her daughter's height make more sense. She is only tall compared to Drow, who themselves are hardly small people. Since she's short, so is her daughter.
Why is Mel'arnach considered Kalki's "father" and Snadhya'rune her "mother" ?
When it was Mel'arnach's egg that was used to create Kalki? Assuming that the Jaal'daarya just used Snadhya'rune's genetic material and implanted it into the egg, shouldn't it be the other way around?
It's not clear just what they did, but they might not have used the egg in the way we think they did. Also "father" is more of a metaphor, since there's another story in Daydream where they do the same process and refer to a "second mother" instead. Note that said Daydream story actually turned out to be epicforeshadowing.
Snadhya'rune and Khaless
Is it common knowledge that Khaless is now a demon or only known by a select few people?
It's probably not common knowledge. The implication is that the demon absorbed Khaless' memories (since she calls Sarv'swati "Siksi" which seems to be a childhood nickname), but that the real Khaless is more or less dead, similarly to how Laele'aell's body is still moving around but everyone refers to her as being dead since it's a case of "lights on nobody's home". Snadhya also says that when Khaless had her accident she thought she had lost her, but adds "or so I had believed at the time" suggesting that she only discovered later that the demon retained her memories.
Also, during Path to Power we actually met Khaless, and she acted perfectly normal. I'd guess that it's only a few people.
How did Snadhya'rune get Khaless to be her willing servant even when turned demon? If Khaless is a Vel'Akar and is therefore a demon capable of complex thoughts and motivation, how come she seems so subservient to Snadhya'rune?
Probably because it's mutually advantageous, Khaless can do things for Snadhya and Snadhya can do things for Khaless. We also don't know how much of the original Khaless personality got absorbed, but it might have also absorbed her loyalty for Snadhya.
Nei'kalsa and Sarnel Tions Sarghress
Weren't they part of Kel'noz's bloodline? I thought Nei'kalsa was mentioned in one of the earlier chapters as being Kel'noz's great/granddaughter with a member of Rosof's family. Is this now retconned?
They are still Kel'noz's bloodline and he's Sarnel and Nei'kalsa's grandfather, but they're related to him patrilineally so they're not "real" Vals. The only reason they count as Rosof's line is that his son made a deal with the mother (Nebu, who hasn't been seen but has been mentioned by Word of God) so they would be, and this is acknowledged as a rare thing. One fan did a family tree◊ that explains it.
The point that bugs me is the whole need for concern surrounding Quaintana's heir. Even if Mel'arnach hadn't got pregnant, readers know that Quain'tana has raised members of the sub-houses to the rank of Val before (Kor'maril, Koil'dorath etc.) and even adopted people (Sill'ice (though informally) and Syphile)as her daughters why could she not do the same for Nei'kalsa or Sarnel? In the early chapters she makes a point about her heir needing to "have her blood". Well they do, albeit through her son Kel'noz. The fact that she has allowed a male to be a Devess in the Clan-something very rare in the Drowtales world-shows that she can defy tradition when she wants to. Of all her children, Kel'noz has been the most loyal and least estranged. Both Sarnel and Nei'kalsa are also related to Rosof via their paternal line. What better way to reward Rosof's loyalty (and for Rosof something symbolic of his unrequited love for Quain'tana) but by making Sarnel and Nei'kalsa both Vals and adopting them as her heirs. This would join the Tions subhouse with the main family of the Sarghress and Quain'tana would ensure that she had two lines of houses loyal to her and her alone.
I think the reason she wouldn't be able to accept them as heirs is that she needs them to be seen as legitimate by the rest of Chel, hence they don't "count" because of the patrilineal relation. A big point about Quain'tana is that she's something of a hypocrite since she's ostensibly all for changing the way Chel runs, but only as long as it benefits her, and yet she's buying into the way the Val clans work in other ways (mainly, her obsession with bloodlines). This is one of the reasons Suu'be resents her. And don't forget that Rosof himself was one of, if not the main force behind pushing Quain to have the Sarghress become a Val clan, since he pushed her to make an alliance with the Sullisin'rune, so he probably knows that the rest of Chel would never accept his grandchildren as heirs. And also when you consider that Word of God is that Kel'noz considered becoming a woman in order to get pregnant and give Quain an heir it's pretty clear that the matrilineal descent thing really is that important to drow.
The Dutan'vir- Drowussu with a touch of drowolath or drowolath with a touch of drowussu?
They seem to view themselves mostly as grey drow (drowussu) if Mikilu's perspective in the Dutan'vir path sidestory is anything to go by.
According to the website's character background the noble house "Les'wanre" means the grey swan in drowish. Who were the first Dutan'vir and how did Diva'ratrika come to form them into her personal guards?
My theory: The first Dutan'vir were some surviving light elves that went with Sharess to the Underworld, and they interbred with some of the surviving dark elevs. When their children were born as drowussu Diva'ratrika adopted them as her guards as a gesture of goodwill, and agreed to keep quiet about their heritage so as not to inflame the old rivalries again. That's all speculation on my part, but it makes a certain amount of sense, since Diva has to know that drowussu were originally light elves.
Why didn't Sarv'swati just kill Quain'tana instead of simply making her barren
Being a Worthy Opponent aside, she could have solved all the problems the Sharen had with the Sarghress in one go instead of settling for making her closest rival barren. I know it was meant to be an insult to Quaintana's pride (and it worked) but from a battle point of view its easier to kill your opponent than leaving them alive and still hating you.
Don't forget that Sarv'swati also left her mother to die rather than straight up kill her, and talked Zala out of offing Yaeminira after she killed the original Vy'chriel. Diva'ratrika also didn't kill Ash'waren when she had her at her mercy, and it turns out that Snadhya didn't actually kill Sha'sana. So maybe not finishing people off when you have them cornered runs in the family, so yeah, it may have been Genre Blind on Sarv's part to leave her alive, but it's not without precedent. Sarv'swati might have also left her alive because she at least knows what to expect from Quain, and a fractured Sarghress in the wake of her death would be more dangerous than a united one under a leader they could predict the actions of. I also wouldn't rule out Chronic Backstabbing Disorder as being a motivation in terms of using the Sarghress to get at the rest of her family, considering some of the other stuff she's done.
Is it actually stated that Sarv'swati doesn't want Quain'tana dead? Quain has quite a reputation for toughness, and surviving a direct hit form Sarv doesn't seem that much a stretch.
Who says that wasn't exactly what she was trying to do? Battles don't always go according to plan, you know...
What exactly is the relationship between Mel'arnach and Zhor?
Besides Zhor being the father of Ariel why are they together? I thought he was her guardian, much like the driders of the Beldrobbaen?
The Daydream story about the early days of Mel and Snadhya seems to imply they're mostly close friends, and she found him in Orthorbbae. I personally get the sense that they're both outcasts, her because of her relationship with Quain'tana and he because he's one of the last surviving Awares, so that's why they stick together. As for why Zhor is Ariel's father, I get the sense that it's because he's pretty much the only male she can trust, morphed into a spider or not, and Mel's options were essentially get pregnant from one of Quain'tana's men, or get pregnant on her own terms by someone she trusted.
Ash'waren should be older than Diva'ratrika especially if taking the Daydream story as canon
Diva'ratrika looks like a prepubescent and around Ariel's age in her flashback and the daydream story, whereas Ash'waren seemed like a young teenager or around Chrys'tel or Kiel'ndia's age in Diva'ratrika's flashback and the daydream story. Will put the links later. This leads me to question their power levels. The Sharen won the Sharen-Sullisin'rune war but as they grew older, Diva'ratrika was unable to be out very often as it would drain her mana, whereas Ash'waren who may be only a few years/decades older seems to get around just fine. Is it her empathy that helps (if so then why are the Kyorl'solenurn judicators so old looking) or just plain luck of the draw?
Diva's flashback doesn't show that much of an age difference between them, if there is one it's probably comparable to Faen and Ariel, who are 15 and 24 respectively (since Faen is in the same class as Kiel, who explicitly says she's 24). 9 or so years in the context of a millennium is not that much.
As far as leaving the mana pool, Chel itself is a large mana pool because it has so many people in such a small space, and Ash can get around fine because she's surrounded by people both in her dome and in the rest of Chel. It seems that pretty much if you're inside Chel proper you're fine, because the 100,000 citizens create enough ambient mana to sustain you. And in Diva's case I get the impression that the mana thing was at least partially an excuse, that she probably would have been okay but she just had so little interest in things outside her tower that she didn't bother. Plus one thing about mana deprivation is it only really starts to affect you if you're away from the pool a long time, long enough to exhaust the mana you have in your own body to the point that aging sets in, a quick journey outside the pool won't really do much to harm you unless you can't get back in time to reverse it. That's why it hurt Rosof so much, because he didn't get back quick enough. Plus Snadhya refers to how she'd bring a court with them if they were to travel, so if you travel in a large enough group you can also ward off mana deprivation, and Snadhya can travel to Felde and back with no problems.
Related to this is Sha'sana. Word of God confirmed that the Sha'sana of the main comics is not the same as the one in daydream (the latter may be the former's mother and the name sha'sana just a title) but if Sha'sana is as old as she is implied to be (being the caretaker of Sharess's legacy and all) how is she surviving confined to the ninth tower with only golems for company? How can she access mana from others if she is kept away out of sight?
Don't forget she has Orthorbbae right under her. If mana operates like heat it would be confined in the cavern and reach her just fine, and the space between her tower and Orthorbbae is probably only a few hundred meters. With mana you don't seem to need direct contact with it so much as there has to be a high enough concentration around you, and since Orthorbbae has hundreds (if not thousands) of people plus Chel's mana pool would be more than enough for her.
Why did Durlyn want Balushizar to hurt him instead of Faen
Here, after Balushizar hits Faen, Durlyn tells her to beat him, but not to touch her. Faen is an empath. Wouldn't she feel it either way?
Well, for one "Faen" in that scene is actually Ariel, and Durlyn is a huge Ariel fanboy, which was probably supposed to be a hint at who it really was and then general chivalry. It may have also been part of the act to convince the Sharen that it really was Faen.
How do Drow define consent?
I'm relatively new to Drowtales but something confuses me. The latest chapter (45) has a scene with Ariel and Faen in bed together. Although the two have been sharing a bed, the two haven't been in a sexual relationship. On this page, Faen wants to loss Ariel and be in a relationship with her but Ariel declines. Faen does...something...empathic related and Ariel suddenly accepts her. The two make out and all is well. The page doesn't make it very clear what is going on (it was drawn by a guest artist) but my main concern is this: with how empathy can manipulate thoughts and feelings, how do you define a consenting relationship? How do you know an empathic Drow isn't manipulating you? And did Faen essentially commit the Drow version of date rape by using her empathy to make Ariel change her mind? Do Drow recognize this as date rape or not?
I do not know how the drow view consent, I will however say that it is not reasonable to think that Faen mindcontrolled Ariel here. First, we have no signs that Faen has that level of control. A few pages later when she knocks out an enemy squad with empathy attacks she also knocks out Ariel and Chirinide. Second, we have clear signs through much of the comic that Faen leaks emotions when under stress, this is in fact her empathy attack. This leads me to this interpetation of the above mentioned scene. Faen pushes Ariel to admit that they are more than friends. Faen has kissed her before. Ariel says they should just be friends because of how the squad and Quain'tana could react. Faen gets hurt enough by that to start leaking. Ariel feels Faen's pain and eventually decides that potential scorn is not worth Faen's pain. Ariel has not been shown to try to dissuade Faen after the big kiss.
Why does Ariel view humans still as a mindless goblin race post timeskip?
After her time with Vaelia acting as a second mother to her, why has Ariel suddenly unlearned all of this. She kills a human who was just defending himself in the latest chapter and doesn't think anything of it. There's no hesitation? Not even for someone who was just a guard doing their job, knowing that Vaelia could have been in the same situation? It just seems so strange for her to forget all of that after being so attached to her.
Ariel does not kill random humans. She does however kill enemy combatants. And is not given to philosophy on the battlefield.
Why keep Ariel out of action?
Ariel has skills in both physical combat and mana arts. Why is Quain keeping her out of the battlefield? Isn't that putting her at a disadvantage since she already has an heir? How is Ariel supposed to learn about commanding an army and war when she's away from the front lines of it?
Maybe because Quain doesn't want to unnecessarily risk Ariel dying? Perhaps Quain has in mind a way to teach Ariel all those things where the risk of dying is mitigated?
Drow- do you pronounce it as D-ROW to rhyme with ROW as in row your boat or DROW to rhyme with COW as in the animal?
The creators say "drow" as rhyming with "cow" in the podcasts.
Is pronunciation consistent?
I've heard "Faen" pronounced both faw-een and fane in the course of one animation.
I've usually heard it as "Fai(rhymes with "eye")-een" but I think they've more or less decided it can be however you want it to be.