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House Jaelre

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House Jaelre was the biggest drow faction in Cormanthor.[1] In 1372 DR, they accounted for about 11% of the drow population in the forest.[1]


House Jaelre’s goal was to find a home for themselves by repopulating the land of Cormanthor that the elves abandoned in the wake of the Retreat. Towards that end, they tried to satisfy the three requirements of a state. Namely, territory, the region around the Elven Court, population, their own members, and power to defend borders and lives of the aforementioned two through modifying elven magic such as the mythals into forms that would protect them.[1]


House Jaelre claimed the territory in and around the abandoned Elven Court[1] before the Eldreth Veluuthra could do so.[5] They generally remained on the upper part of the city for the lower parts were riddled with mortally dangerous traps.[6]

House Jaelre reused elven buildings when they could but also created their own,[2] for the elves destroyed their biggest structures in their former capital before they left for Evermeet. They used these houses as forts and camps for defense[6] and places from which to strike against their enemies. As a general rule such buildings had at least one Underdark level.[2]

They practiced agriculture but only with Underdark food, in regards of surface food, they were gatherers and hunters and traded with other groups.[7]

They studied the mythals with the intention of modifying them so that they could be used for the protection of House Jaelre’s people. In order to distract others from intervening in these actions and to thin the ranks of their drow enemies, House Jaelre harassed distant lands like Mistledale to agitate the Dalesfolk into attacking House Jaelre’s drow enemies.[8][1]


House Jaelre’s members were collectively drow and followers of Vhaeraun. Their members were organized in a militaristic fashion[2] that functioned like a military, a feature commonly seen in vhaeraunite organizations due to a cooperative mind set that was uncommon in drow cultures, though higher rank didn’t mean receiving special treatment.[9]

They were led by a council of four members. These were:

  • Nurkinyan, a cleric; he was the spiritual leader as well as the leader of the leading council
  • Belarbreeza, a wizard; she led the study efforts of the mythal
  • Jezz the Lame, a rogue-sorcerer; he led the striking forces among others against Mistledale[1]
  • Tebryn, a rogue-fighter; he was responsible for House Jaelre’ defenses[8]

It seemed that House Jaelre didn’t apply the usual „might makes right“-rule commonly seen in religious drow groups, in which the most powerful cleric is put in charge, but seemed to apply more secular standards as seen in Nurkinyan being completely outclassed in terms of power by the High priest Tzirik Jaelre, as evidenced by the High priest’s ability to cast spells like astral projection[10] and gate[11] and the inability of Nurkinyan to do so[8].


House Jaelre was a drow house and thus consisted of drow.[7]

House Jaelre abandoned the tradition of racial hatred against elves and had no intention to put specific efforts towards their destruction[8]. but, unlike Clan Auzkovyn, they made no efforts to recruit non-drow.[1] They allied with other creatures ranging from dragons, mephits[8] to surface elves when they shared their mind set like those of the aforementioned Clan Auzkovyn.[12] Their elven neighbors though didn’t lose their tradition of hatred and became their enemies and coupled with the good reputation of the elves and the bad reputation of the drow, other races also viewed House Jaelre as their enemies for being the elves’ enemies. House Jaelre used this hatred against drow in general to play out non-drow enemies against their drow enemies.[8][1] Elven groups such as the Eldreth Veluuthra used similar tactics against House Jaelre. They disguised themselves as drow and raided human settlements and wanderers to increase hostilities between humans and drow.[5]

House Jaelre saw an enemy in Lolth-worshipping drow[13] but fairly good relationship with other Vhaeraun-worshipping groups with whom they traded[7] Their relationship with Clan Auzkovyn was especially good for that group had no desire to erect permanent settlements. They didn’t kill each others’ trespassers[1] and even developed personal friendships like the one between the Widower and Jezz the Lame.[14] The connections between these groups developed into a full alliance called the Masked Brigades.[12]

Magic and SkillsEdit

Each member of House Jaelre’s fighting forces was provided with magic items which included at least one healing potion.[15]

House Jaelre seemed to favor magic items that augmented their own and the items’ intrinsic abilities and those that could be used by anyone equally well. For example specialists in sneaking were provided with boots of elvenkind, elixir of sneaking and 'potions of cat’s grace while the warriors were provided with gauntlets of ogre power and potions of bear’s endurance were all items to improve the basic abilities of the user and usable by anyone else. Potions of spells like blur and invisibility were also common.[15]

Their armor and weapons were enchanted so that their basic capabilities like sturdiness was heightened instead of adding gimmicks.[15]

As drow, they made use of piwafwis, and drow house insignias while more unusual items included the likes of fire elementals gems and rings of antivenom.[16]

They also made heavy use of alchemical goods and poison. Apart from the usual smokesticks, acid flasks, alchemical fire, thudenstone or tanglefoot bags,[7] they also used drugs like kammarth or ziran.[9]

A special trait about House Jaelre’s member was that they had at least some aptitude in stealth and that many overcame the drow race’s weakness against sunlight.[15]


Originally House Jaelre lived in Menzoberranzan. Some decades prior to 1372 DR, it lost a civil war and was driven out of the city.[1] Another account spoke of the house being driven out for the crime of having a male leader and revering Vhaeraun instead of Lolth about 500 years prior to 1372 DR.[17] Given their large numbers of about 8000,[2] compared to House Baenre’s 3300,[18] both accounts could be true.[speculation]

After being cast out from Menzoberranzan, House Jaelre wandered the Underdark in exile.[17] They settled for a time in the Labyrinth, where they occupied a palace and other holdings. Sometime between 1322 DR and 1372 DR,[19] they found a portal in the newly sacked Blingdenstone, taking them to areas of the forest of Cormanthor that had formerly been protected by mythals.[1] (Other accounts speak of a portal set up directly from House Jaelre's holdings in the Labyrinth that brought them to Cormanthor.[20])

In Cormanthor, House Jaelre set up their base in Minauthkeep, an abandoned elven fort.[3]

The house sought to occupy the ruins of the Elven Court and make use of the mythals and wards there to keep its enemies at bay.[1][2] It sent a force led by Jezz the Lame as a diversion to the Dalesfolk.[1]

House Jaelre had relatively little conflict with the Clan Auzkovyn, which first arrived in Cormanthor at about the same time, as the latter were nomadic and thus did not contest Jaelre's holdings.[1]

A century later, Valan Jaelre sent the drow (led by a simulacrum of himself) to attack Shadowdale and steal the Pendant of Ashaba.[4]

Notable members of House JaelreEdit




  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 125. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 34. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 246. ISBN 0786932023.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 James Wyatt and Logan Bonner (August 2012). Council of Spiders. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Jeff Crook, Wil Upchurch, Eric L. Boyd (May 2005). Champions of Ruin. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 70. ISBN 0-7869-3692-4.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 124. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 35. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 30. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 36. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
  10. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 322. ISBN 0786932023.
  11. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 355. ISBN 0786932023.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 156. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  13. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named LoD-p32
  14. Sean K. Reynolds (2004-08-18). Obsul Ssussun, "The Door to Light". Magic Books of Faerûn. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-05-19.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 32–33. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
  16. Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 33. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 249. ISBN 0786932023.
  18. Brian R. James, Eric Menge (August 2012). Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 34. ISBN 978-0786960361.
  19. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 170. ISBN 0786932023.
  20. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 173. ISBN 0786932023.
  21. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 248. ISBN 0786932023.

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