First published: January, 1993. First posted online: December 01, 2005.
For years, we were concerned. Should we refer to these arachnid-worshipping subterranean evil elven matriarchs as
“The DROW”? We weren’t entirely comfortable with this whole
argument that they’re
public domain; that drow have been around human tales since Celtic prehistory, derived from the “Duerarrgh” or some such charming, similar
name, so there’s no need to think that
TSR Wizards Hasbro, or their assigns, is going to give us any trouble over it. We were just not convinced. Sure, Icelandic sagas refer to “dark elves”, and even Tolkien has one in The Silmarillion, but we seriously doubted whether an entire generation raised on irresistably hot powerwymyn could tell the difference between confusion in the marketplace and a witty reference. Until very recently, we didn’t think the word “Drow” existed before about 1978. Not D-R-O-W– surely that’s trademarkable. We weren’t going to be your guinea pigs. An EXPURGATION would have to commence, and if you readers wanted to see your precious trademarkable word alive, you were going to have to buy the book, where it’s all licensed and safe from the terrorists. Oh, you could hide behind your OGLs and fair use all you liked, and yell at us for messing with your childhood memories by editing scenes so that Glathheld shoots first, but we were just not going to call those %!#¢#@$ by that name unless there was a direct satiric reason to do so, and then, y’know, um… uh, we guess we would have to do that.
So. The dark elves in Yamara? We reached a clear, rational conclusion of what to refer to them as.
We’re gonna call ‘em “dark elves”.
And another thing. You young’uns with yer marathon-speed zombies, and mummies doin’ the ka-ra-te, don’t know nuthin’ about making th’ funny.
Time was, an undead would know how to shamble. It showed respect. And back in the day, we’d have Roger Moore on the floor of his Lake Geneva office, side-split with laughter over the image of a Universal-era mummy trying to compete in a tennis match. It’s just– it’s just–
–sorry, gotta catch our breath. Soooo hilarious.
Eh, git off our lawn.