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Last Home of the Elves
77% drow, 6% duergar, 5% troglodyte, 3% dark folk, 3% ghoul, 2% tiefling, 2% dero, 2% other
Noble houses
Source: Endless Night, pg(s). 49
Seltyiel, Lini, and Sajan flee from Zirnakaynin.

The massive city of Zirnakaynin (pronounced zeer-nuh-KAY-nin)1 is not only the largest drow settlement, but also the most populous city in the Darklands. It has stood for over eight millennia and spreads out over three enormous caverns in the realm of Sekamina, far below the surface nation of Nirmathas.2


Zirnakaynin was the first settlement founded by the drow after their transformation during the Age of Darkness.3


The city is separated into three distinct caverns, each with their own populations and atmosphere, though all are decidedly drow. From top to bottom, they are Eirdrisseir, the home of the nobility; Cocyrdavarin, the largest cavern and primary residence of merchants and other non-nobles; and Rygirnan, undercity of slaves and industry.2 The city itself is quite impressive, with grand vistas contrasted by lethal crevasses, and covered in buildings that mirror the twisted cruelty of the dark elves themselves.3


The massive cavern of Cocyrdavarin is home to the majority of Zirnakaynin's inhabitants, including most of its non-noble inhabitants. It is also the only part of the city into which non-drow are allowed access, although outsiders should expect only contempt from the drow. Visitors of other races are seen as below even slaves in social standing, an attitude that the matriarchs of the various noble houses wish to change, as foreign trade brings great wealth to the drow capital.2


Even though the city is ostensibly governed by the twelve noble houses, the matriarchs only enforce the laws which benefit them personally, leaving Zirnakaynin in a state of de facto anarchy most of the time. This lack of laws means that open conflict and riots are a common sight in the city streets.2


Zirnakaynin has a number of colonies bolstering its pre-eminence in drow culture.4


The drow city of Giratayn lies in the upper levels of Sekamina, located far below the surface nation of Druma. The city is a strong trade hub, especially in its dealings with the duergar city of Hagegraf.2 The colonial links are so strong that the leader of Giratayn is always selected from the first daughters of the great families of Zirnakaynin; and this leadership changes regularly every 50 years.4


  1. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 247. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 James Jacobs and Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). Into the Darklands, p. 43. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-140-4
  3. 3.0 3.1 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 60. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  4. 4.0 4.1 Thurston Hillman. (2016). Drow. Darklands Revisited, p. 8. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-819-9