Oh no more drow bullshit.
Kzandr Vel’bol Veldrin is honored to serve as paladin of Lolth, and wants nothing more than to give his life in her service. But when his eldest sister Ethestra’tana is murdered, he finds the carefully-constructed fiction of his life unraveling. Will the mercy of the Spider Queen save him? (Spoiler: it will not).
This series — “The Fortunes of House Vel’bol Veldrin” — is the novelization of the ongoing drow intrigue campaign I’m playing in. While the campaign itself is homebrew, it begins in Menzoberranzan in 1325 DR, around the time Drizzt graduated from Melee-Magthere. (Canon characters may occasionally appear). We play members of the 20th house of Menzoberranzan, scheming and murdering their way up the hierarchy of the city.
(“Vel’bol Veldrin” is short for the ancient full name of the House, which basically is “what we do in the shadows” translated into Drow. Oh, we have fun…)
Drow fancier that I am, I had too many character ideas to play just one, so I decided I would play them serially, bringing each character’s arc to a good conclusion. Thus each fic in this series will be primarily the POV of one of my PCs, detailing how they experience the adventure. This work, “A Prison Made of Chitin,” is focused on Kzandr, the elderboy of the house, an Oath of Conquest paladin of Lolth, who in-game I have just managed to kill off in a narratively satisfying way. The first few chapters will be short character history vignettes about Kzandr, and then we’ll go into the adventure itself.
Because (Lolthite) Drow Are Awful ™, this is an evil campaign, and evil shit will happen in this story. In our campaign, we have safety mechanisms in place and have all opted into Some Pretty Dark Shit, though by consensus the darkest shit (torture, sexual violence) is veiled or off-screen. Of course, in this fic, any disturbing content will be tagged appropriately.
Content warnings for this chapter include: child abuse, blood sacrifice, some deep cultural misandry, slavery, and spiders.
Future CW are likely to include: murder (including of children), implied/referenced torture and mutilation, implied/referenced sexual assault, some deeply fucked up and not entirely consensual relationships (because what even is consent in an evil matriarchy??), body horror, transphobia and deadnaming, and probably a bunch of stuff I’m forgetting. I’ll tag them as they come up.
… yes, I do have another campaign novelization going right now, why do you ask? Trust me, I have not forgotten about Mavash and Jorlan and their much, much healthier relationship.
Chapter End Notes
I won’t introduce the PCs yet because you’ve only met Kzandr so far! Aksharu and Zeska are both NPCs — respectively, the second priestess and the Matron Mother.
Darthiir are surface elves.
Your comments are priceless, and constructive criticism is welcome ❤️
The featured image is art of Kzandr I commissioned from iisjah/Natalia Komuniewska