Generally, the drow are divided into two societies, the Underground Drow and the Surface Drow. Other than the environments in which you find them, and construction techniques, however, they are quite culturally similar. Please bear in mind that Drow society is exceedingly matriarchal.
The first mention of the Drow comes from an ancient Varigal epic, The Ballad of the Sun and Moon. In it, two young lovers try to find a way to stay together forever, despite one being an elven princess, and the other being a human slave. They make a pact with a sorceress, who is described as being "cloaked in night, her eyes glimmering stars beneath her moonbeam tresses." This reference is up for debate, however, as some believe that the sorceress is not actually a drow, but an avatar of Akrasia.
Outside of legend and song, Drow first appear in the tax records of the Elven Empire Caeredwyn, mentioning a wealthy settlement of Surface Drow in what is now the Caered Forest. Generally, one can find a small enclave of Surface Drow in any thick forest near a mountainous region.
Drow settlements are not 'governed' in a way most would define as 'governance'. There is only one real crime amongst the Drow, and that is getting caught. Even then, depending on what you are caught doing and who you are may change the severity of the punishment. Drow society is extremely matrairchal. Each "House" is overseen by the eldest woman, who often clawed her way there over the bodies of her sisters, aunts, and mother. These houses, while constantly trying to maintain the veneer of Civility, are fighting each other for power in their own settlement. There is no overseeing body, save their personal religious convictions.
Drow generally worship female dieties, with the most common being Varsera, and blasphemous (according to most other mortal races) versions of Akrasia and Deloe. Marriage is not practiced amongst the Drow, with women taking lovers as they please, and having children when they please, with little thought to the consequences.
Drow Life Edit
Drow children are born after a year-long pregnancy, usually in front of a large group of witnesses, including the Matriarch of the mother's House, and any other women who feel the need to be there. Once the child is born, it is examined, and if female, immediately returned to the mother to be raised. If male, however, it is immediately sent to the city slave quarters, where it will be raised and trained in whatever purpose the city has need of. The House usually receives a guard or a skilled servant of some type in return for their 'investment in the city'.
Drow girls are raised in the lap of luxury. They are taught magic from a young age, and rewarded for viciousness and cunning. Before the age of 100, drow girls cannot be held responsible for crimes they commit, as they are still 'learning' how to be an adult. At their 100th birthday, a drow woman is named an adult, and usually receives a handful of slaves as a gift from her family.
It is considered criminal to teach a Male Drow Magic. Any that are detected as sorcerers are executed immediately, if they do not escape first. Anyone caught teaching a Male magic is executed, or has her magic removed by older Drow women, and is made a slave herself. Males are all taught how to fight with traditional drow weapons - rapier, longsword, bow and arrow, hand crossbow - and at least one trade skill. Once a year, all male drow who reached their 100th birthday in the previous year are put up for auction, unless they have already been given as a gift to one House or another.