The Quortek Baat'leb
Also known as the Circle of Soul Stealing, this is a powerful Hermetic diagram that is transcribed on a surface and then otherwise concealed or distracted from until an unwitting living sentient being steps into it. With a flash of eldritch light the circle is activated by the presence of a living soul which it then drains. Empowered thusly, the Circle can be used as a quick charging mana battery to power other arcane and eldritch traps, spell items, and so forth. It is very Elfish in its design, pragmatically killing two with one stone, as the second member of the intruding group is the often the target of the device the point man just charged with his life force.
The Under Realms
The Under Realms are a dark and hazardous place, and one of the greatest advantages employed by the multitude of races that populate it's stygian depths are great numbers. This came as quite the challenge to some of the more advanced, but numerically inferior races such as the Mindflayers, Drow, and others. They each investigated various techniques for dealing with the numerical advantages of the smaller faster breeding goblinoids that lived in the darkness with them. Some explored militarism, others invested in superior magical powers and greater feats of sorcery, and then there were the Taur' Khalizzi, a small sect of the Drow, intellectuals and philosophers, who had nothing to do with the worship of Lloth or her spiderkin.
The Taur Khalizzi were seen as an anomaly to the greater Drow society, but were given their own space, as they took little, asked for nothing but to be left alone, but those things they discovered through their explorations and research they shared freely with the rest of their kin.
The Taur Khalizzi were well known and respected for their pragmatism, spartan aesthetic, and their absolute xenophobic hatred of anything that wasn't of the Drow. As such, they were constantly working on new and improved methods to ensure that non-Drow who invaded Drow territory met vicious and horrible fates. In this endeavor they found that one of the biggest problems was that mechanical traps had to be reset or reloaded, and magical traps have to be recharged. This required a large amount of time and work to built, and more work to maintain. That did not fit into the pragmatic nature and functionality of the Taur Khalizzi.
Attempts were made to create regenerating hermetic circles, accumulators, and other magical constructs to fuel secondary devices. These did work, but the effectiveness was questionable. The time required to recharge limited the usefulness of the constructs they powered, and likewise, spells that detect the presence of magical energy were effective for revealing these devices. In some instances, roving marauders figured out how to breach these charging systems, stealing the power in them, or reconfiguring the arrays so that the traps activated against the Drow who built them, instead of the enemies they were intended to slay.
The Quortek Baat'leb is a very simple Hermetic array. It is passive and holds no charge, until sometime breaks the barrier around it, which activates the array. Thus, as the array doesn't charge or hold power, it is almost impossible to detect with magical means. Those arrays carved into stone must typically be discovered either by trap finders, or by the hard way, activating them, and surviving the activated trap.
Effects of the Baat'leb
Stepping into and activating a Quortek Baat'leb functions as a Drain Life spell. Weak creatures are snuffed out almost instantly, as they lack sufficient lifeforce to resist the effects of the trap. Average level creatures are stuck with a major loss of vitality, likely passing out or otherwise being knocked out of effectiveness. Strong and powerful creatures can resist the effects of the Baat'leb, but so long as they stand in the circle, it will continue to drain their lifeforce. The power of the Baat'leb is generally gauged by the size of the area it is in, the power requirements of the trap it provides energy to, and can be specifically designed to be more effective against a specific type of foe, such as a narrow passage favored by goblinoids can have a relatively low power, but very specifically designed anti-goblinoid baat'leb. Conversely, an area with heavy enemy traffic can have a large, very strong, but multi-purpose baat'leb.
Sample Quortek Baat'leb Traps
The Ice Ray
The Ice Ray is a crystalline construct that generates either a strong freezing ray or a weaker but much larger cone of cold. This is an effective weapon against goblinoids as their smaller bodies are less resistant to the cold.
The Gas Generator
This trap discharges a cloud a poisonous gas, filling the entire area. An effective area attack weapon, and can range from acidic vapors, poison gas, or a choking fume.
Like the ice ray, the flame cannon fills are area with a gout of flame, but requires an extensive amount of energy to fire. Effective against regenerating creatures.
Monster Summoning Trap
This trap uses an array to charge a summoning circle, which draws a hostile uncontrolled monster into the area, typically either an elemental, or something very hostile and very nasty.