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2e<Men1.p004>第2章:强大的魔索布莱城Menzoberranzan the Mighty



强大的魔索布莱城Menzoberranzan the Mighty

  略多于两万的卓尔居住在 魔索布莱城Menzoberranzan。这个数字少于大部分卓尔城市——多数城市的人口都保持在35000以上。在这座城市的贵族家族之间暴力争斗相当激烈(蛛后与其信徒培育了这些斗争,并使之永存),这类因素限制了城中人口的快速增长,但是这也确保魔索布莱城的卓尔们都是 幽暗地域Underdark 中最顽强、最狡猾的幸存者,以及,最致命的战士。若要与20位魔索布莱城的战士对抗,许多人口40倍于魔索布莱城的地表国度恐怕也难以凑出20位满足要求的战士来。
Slightly more than 20,000 drow call Menzoberranzan home. This is fewer than most drow cities; most hold 35,000 or more. The bitter, violent rivalries of the city's noble Houses (perpetuated and fostered by the Spider Queen and those who worship her) keeps the population from growing much—but also ensures that the drow of Menzoberranzan are among the hardiest and most cunning survivors, and deadliest fighters, of the Underdark. Most surface realms of forty times the city’s population would be hard put to assemble twenty warriors who could hold their own for long against twenty Menzoberranyr fighters.

Menzoberranzan the Mighty

  魔索布莱城的低人口导致它的 统治议会ruling Council 规模小于多数卓尔城市——仅八个家族,而不是常见的九、十二、十五或十六家族的组合。而至少有一个城市——瓜里德斯城Guallidurth(位于 卡林珊Calimshan 之下),拥有二十一个家族组成的议会。
Menzoberranzan’s low population makes its ruling Council smaller than those of most drow cities—eight Houses rule, rather than the more usual nine,twelve, fourteen or sixteen. At least one drow city, Guallidurth (deep under Calimshan), has twentyone Houses in Council.

On the other hand, Menzoberranyr are a more tightlyknit populace than most,because they all dwell in one vast natural cavern. Most drow cities have inherent prejudices and rivalries, as citizens grow up in various caverns and linking passages, and citizens are judged or ranked by where they came from.

The worship of Lolth (called "Lloth" in Menzoberranzan, as in some other drow cities, and as she will be referred to in the rest of this set) dominates Menzoberranyr life. There seems no higher purpose in the lives of most citizens than to rise in the service of the Spider Queen—until she claims each life, in turn. Most drow develop a hobby or interest to call their own (from mastery of a particular weapon to collecting certain gems or fine boots), but these can be weaknesses if a rival can find a way to exploit them.

With Llothworship comes female dominance. Males of the city tend to excel in the few things they are allowed to excel in: fighting, wizardry, and dirty jobs related to trade, building, and food.

Males who enjoy home or the worship of Lloth turn their efforts to mastering the arts of sculpture and design (and, if magically talented, glyphs and House defensive traps), and to excelling at songs in praise of the Spider Queen.

  野心勃勃或特立独行的男性往往被吸引到了 术士学院Sorcere (在那里他们可以一生都远离多数的家族政治、与世隔绝),或者选择商人的人生道路,穿越危险的幽暗地域来往于不同的城市和贸易点——有时甚至包括地表。(位于 深水城Waterdeep 下的 头骨港Skullport 就是这样的忙碌贸易据点之一。因为在那可以买到罕见而奇妙的商品(如施法材料),所以在罕见的情况下,以此为目的地展开一场漫长而危险的旅程将是物有所值的。)
Restless or independent males tend to gravitate to study in Sorcere (which can involve being cloistered away from most House politics for their entire lives), or towards life as a merchant traveling through the perilous Underdark to and from other cities and trademoots, sometimes on the surface. (Skullport, under the city of Waterdeep, is one such trademoot. On rare occasions, it is worth the long trip, and the destination’s great dangers,for the scarce and wonderful wares such as spell components—that can be bought there.)

Except for individuals of great beauty,or who show great aptitude in the arts of war, sorcery, or artisanship in a valued field, the preceding notes on choices in life apply almost exclusively to drow nobles: commoners do as they are told, forming the bulk of the drudge labor, Houseservant, and common soldiering tasks as servants of the noble Houses.

No drow citizen of Menzoberranzan is ever officially the “slave” of another Menzoberranyr, but a great many drow are slaves in all but name. (Drow battlecaptives won from outside the city can be held openly as slaves.)

The commoners' only avenues to freedom lie in escape from the city, or in developing skill and reputation (and thereby, work) as hunters, mercenary warriors, or traveling merchants. As all of these routes to a better life lead into the dangerous wild Underdark, few survive long to enjoy any successes.

  有突出技能的平民通常会被他们侍奉的贵族家族收养,或者(在更为罕见的情况下)被第一个注意到他们技艺的家族捷足先登。他们会得到该家族的姓氏、支持和一个职位——这是个岌岌可危的位置,仅仅建立在他们的表现和家族主母的一时兴起之上。但对于那些因为出众美貌而被授予“侍父patron”(主母Matron 的配偶)位置的男性卓尔,这种待遇常常是徒有其名的。一些虐待成性的主母每晚换个新侍父,对于面容尽毁、肢体扭曲的昨日交欢对象,她们或将残骸拿去喂牲口,或随手杀死,或者把他们丢去做卑贱的杂活,让他们在沉重的劳役中慢慢死去。
Commoners with exceptional skills are usually adopted by the noble House they serve, or (more rarely) by the first noble House to notice their skill and seize them.They receive the House name, sponsorship, and a position—a precarious one,based on performance and the whim of the ruling Matron of the House. In the case of male drow of great beauty awarded the position of “patron” (consort to the Matron), this is all too literally true. Some sadistic Matrons take new patrons every night, having the twisted, disfigured remnant of the last consort fed to House animals, slain out of hand, or put to menial labor to be slowly worked to death.

  或许对于卓尔来说,通向独立的最好的道路就是魔法。那些最嚣张凶狠的女性也对家族法师礼让三分(而对于那些在术士学院研修家族成员就更是如此了,他们得以隔绝与其他法师以外的人的日常联系)。你永远无法完全确定自己知晓一个卓尔法师的力量强弱——当知道时就为时已晚了。如《幽暗地域的卓尔Drow of the Underdark》的“家族徽章House Insignia”一节,卓尔法师总是把自身防御放在首位,并且常常能成功隐藏自己的的力量和准备的法术,甚至是在警惕的高阶罗斯女祭司的眼皮底下。
Perhaps the best road to independence for drow lies in sorcery. House wizards (and even more so, House members studying in Sorcere, shielded from daily contact with nonwizards) are treated with some respect by even the most aggressive females. One can never be sure of the power of a drow mage—until it is too late. As shown in Drow of the Underdark, under “House Insignia,” drow wizards always look to their own defense first, and are often able to hide powers and magical preparations even from watchful high priestesses of Lloth.

Female drow usually throw themselves with energy and zeal into the endless, vicious intrigue and politics of the city. The bodies of many mark every twist and turn in the fortunes of the Houses, and the everchanging favor of fickle Lloth—but for every drow female who falls, fifteen to twenty males meet doom.

If life is so dangerous, and drow forced into endless strife against drow, how is Menzoberranzan “the mighty?” Why does it survive at all? The answer lies with Lloth. If one believes her faithful, the cruel Spider Queen pits drow against drow solely to improve and strengthen her people, making the survivors ever stronger,wiser, and better able to serve her. Lloth also helps her people from time to time (though seldom directly, especially in HouseversusHouse internal conflicts).Matrons can ask information and aid of her dreaded handmaidens, the yochlol (detailed in FOR2),but any faithful Menzoberranyr drow who calls on Lloth in need may receive a onetime cure light wounds,neutralize poison, or any spellpower possessed by drow even if the supplicant cannot yet, or never will be able to, wield such powers or has exhausted his or her daily ration of them. (There is a 10 percent chance per level of this happening, minus 10 percent for each time in the last 33 days aid has been called for.) Such aid is always temporary, and accompanied by the arrival of some sort of spider. Lloth always exacts her price later: often a difficult, dangerous mission or service. Alternatively, Lloth may send spiders to attack foes of beleaguered drow; this form of aid does not “cost” anything.