Val'Beldrobbaen Fortress

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From the northern edge of Chel'el'sussoloth the Beldrobbaen’s fortress hangs watchfully over its limited territory. Though once lively, the attrition of wars and time, along with the more recent tragedies, have taken a heavy toll on its people, and the great halls that once clamored with the sounds of many footsteps now echo hollowly with the occasional few. Even among the things that move within their hold, a disproportionately large number of them are endlessly laboring golems and driders for defense.

The land under the Beldrobbaen’s control has shrunk alongside their loss of personnel. Whatever notable property they hold outside of the clan fortress has yet to be seen.

Note: At this time, very little is known about the Beldrobbaen and the land they inhabit, so large majority of the following information can be found in two podcasts, "Beldrobbaen Houses" [1] and "A Short History" [2], as well as within the Moonless Age comic. Information is subject to change as new updates on the clan appear in Moonless Age.

Structure

Much of the architecture gives these districts the appearance of being much darker than other places of the city.

The fortress is located in the northern region of Chel'el'Sussoloth, and comprises of giant stalactites and stalagmites strewn across that portion of the Chelian cavern, with a central tower connecting the upper and lower parts. Numerous bridges and walkways also connect the stalactites, creating what seems like a dizzying maze of pathways thwarting navigational attempts by the unfamiliar, rare visitor.

The upper reaches of the Beldrobbaen home is guarded by natural formations in the rock, where many gemstones can be found that reflects all mana. This special property of the stone protects the clan from enemy mana attacks, and prevents tampering of structure via earth sorcery. This causes demolitionists to resort to conventional explosives to bring down towers[3].

A visual representation of the interior can be found in Chapter 26, pages 9 to 18 [4]. Muted colors and a somber, shadowy atmosphere dominate the scenery, only interrupted by the presence of bright and colorful mana plants--their purpose serves to help sustain the waning clan's ambient mana pool (mana bugs also inhabit the areas where these plants are cultivated). Black is the preferred color of choice, although dark blues, greys, and other shades can be found. Also a common theme throughout the citadel is that of family solidarity--within the halls where dev'esses gather sits a large mural of the Beldrobbaen family lineages. It stands as both a reminder of the glory days, and a gravestone for the fallen bloodlines lost to time[5].

The land that the Beldrobbaen held shrank over its long history to an alarmingly small area, to the point where only the immediate lands surrounding the fortress belong to them--only a little larger than Sullisin'rune land holdings [6]. They gradually lost land to newer clans and warfare, such as the North Cliff district [7]. Within that little land they still hold, citizens can expect to be of the same mind as the clan they serve. As a general rule, business within Beldrobbaen holdings is traditional: older established businesses that can sometimes be centuries old take precedence and are very profitable, but these are few in number. [8]

The Beldrobbaen also have hand in mining, as seen in Chapter 30[9], where the Highland Raiders come across an old mine belonging to the clan that had been sacked by Black Suns.

Inhabitants

The attitudes match the surroundings.

Visitors to the clan fortress are few, but those that do appear will immediately notice the painfully obvious: a large lack of clan members that contribute to the rather empty halls. During the Nidra'chaal War, all slaves were purged from the Beldrobbaen clan due to paranoia and fear of tainted assailants, and now only automated golems, Waelinidar knights and the occasional flesh golem guard that serve the clan. Some clan members are generally paranoid and rarely leave the confines of their fortress, let alone lands controlled by them--it has advanced to a point where a Beldrobbaen would prefer to send golems to run errands for them or hire third parties to work on their behalf.

A common courtesy is to do as they do, or you would be considered being extremely rude--muted, dark colors and speaking in barely a whisper are keys to blending in with residents of the Beldrobbaen lands.

Allies of the Beldrobbaen are welcomed in their lands, particularly Zala'ess' and Sarv'swati's bloodlines, but the people of the clan are wholly against anything that is seen as abnormal and wrong, such as the Jaal'darya's and Vloz'ress' versions of creating Driders and other types of half-elven creations [10].

Not surprisingly, there is still a presence of dark elf residing within the clan fortress, and they rule with considerable influence, as displayed with the elderly Thalestris taking command in Waes'soloth's absence. Also, there is a curious rumor of a male hidden away and keeping to himself for fear of persecution. If this male exists, he would be most likely attached to his sister's daughter's house, and would be a valuable asset for his skills with ancient methods of transforming elves into Awares and Driders.

A panoramic view of the fortress (left) and the Beldrobbaen districts.

Practices

In addition to being known as an extremely secretive clan with many skills that deal with the shadows, the Beldrobbaen is most known with keeping up with the ancient and sacred tradition of creating driders. The very act of doing this is a high art (composed of blood, bone, and other sorceries), and is known only to a handful of members. Driders are revered within the clan and can find a safe haven in the fortress where elsewhere they would be shunned and persecuted because of general public fears for those unlucky driders that go insane and turn feral, known as Skreekaider. The clan also has a close relationship with a Drider colony known as The Hive, where they send Driders in danger of losing their sanity to seek treatment--in exchange, young, optimistic Nel'kasaiders (Driders that are able to breed and use mana as Drow would) often travel to the Beldrobbaen fortress to experience the excitement of what it's like to live outside of the Hive and in the world of the drow.



This article reflects events up to chapter 41.

Sources:

  1. "Beldrobbaen Houses" podcast
  2. "A Short History" podcast
  3. http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10774
  4. chapter 26 page 9
  5. http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10785
  6. chapter 35 page 1
  7. chapter 35 page 24
  8. A Short History, 41:34
  9. chapter 30 page 3
  10. A Short History, 8:45