Faerun has seen much darkness in its time. Armies of Undead have scoured its face, mortals have stolen the power of gods, and humanoid kind has waged war with itself. These things come to pass in phases, much as the moon cycles from full to new.
In all of the world, there exists only one place where darkness truly flourishes- one constant. Menzoberranzan is the city of spiders, home to the Drow and bastion for their god Lolth. No other heart of darkness in all of Faerun can rival it.
One need only step foot into the massive caverns of Menzoberranzan to see that even in utter darkness, life flourishes. Trade carts force their way through the crowded streets. Merchants hawk their goods from every available corner. It all appears like some sort of dark reflection of any city on the surface, as if one were peering into the gutter water in Cormyr. The inky darkness perfectly mirrors that sewage filled reflection.
The denizens of this dark metropolis all move separately, yet in step, as if a part of some grand dance. The moment a matron’s palisade turns down the street, crowds part in deference, lest they catch a whipping. Drow matrons still rule the city with an iron fist. Any who forget are soon given reason to remember.
All of Faerun experienced great suffering and upheaval, but the untrained eye would be hard pressed to note any difference in Menzoberranzan. The great structures and institutions of the city still stand. Teir Brenche operates as one of the premiere martial, arcane and divine academies in the world. The Bazaar is second to none in the Underdark. Drow parties put on ever greater displays of opulence and depravity.
The upper echelons of power remain open only for the most noble of Drow, but all races can find some measure of success. Many of the lesser races have gained a small foothold in the city, filling in the power vacuum left when the less pure Drow reverted back to Elf or Eladrin. Entire non-Drow guilds and societies operate in the open.
The time is ripe for new blood to find their way in this dark world. Many have tried before and lost their lives in the tangled webs of Drow machinations. For those who avoid the spider’s kiss, the rewards are rich and powerful beyond all dreams.