Elves

From Tearsofblood

This article is currently under revision due to dated content.

Not all Feldarin agreed with the invasion of the mainland. As the invasion progressed, a number of Feldarin artists, poets, and scholars voiced their opposition to the violent subjugation of other races. They believed that the true strength of the Feldarin culture lay in its arts and music, and that the Feldarin should direct their ambition to the study of the arcane arts rather than war. They tried to spread this message, but most Feldarin benefited from the spoils of the conquest and ignored them. Over time, these idealists grew vain and bitter. They came to see themselves as better than other Feldarin, and decided to form their own perfect society.

Not long after, a powerful Celestial angered the gods. Seeking a way to flee their wrath, he asked these rebellious Feldarin to perform a profane ritual that would strip him of his divinity and pull him into the material plane. Since celestial glory can only be transferred, not destroyed, he offered to give an equal share of it to each of them. They knew his evil nature, but in their vanity they cared nothing for the suffering he might bring to others. They performed the ritual and gained beauty, elegance, and a natural affinity for magic unmatched among mortals. They became a new race, the Elves. In doing so, they brought forth an infernal being, the Plague Fiend.

Only too late did the Elves understand that the price of their beauty was an avatar of blight, a fiend who gains power by drinking the suffering caused by all disease. Living in human and Feldarin cities became unbearable to them, because every victim of disease served as a painful reminder of the terrible deed they had committed. They retreated to the forests and other uninhabited places where they can hide their disgrace from the world.

Contents

Personality

The Elves are a reclusive people, who value privacy above all else. They dislike strangers and almost never befriend people of other races. Deep down, they are burdened with guilt, and they cope with this by focusing on intellectual pursuits such as poetry, music, or the study of arcane arts. They often seem detached and aloof, and take no interest in the affairs of other races. Despite their shame, most Elves are still vain and believe themselves superior to less beautiful races. They are free-spirited and react very negatively to any attempt at coercion, but prefer to avoid conflict.

Physical Description

Physically, Elves closely resemble Feldarin with longer ears and slimmer faces. Their skin is smooth and flawless, completely free of blemishes. Elves are graceful and lithe, with an average height of 5-6 feet and weight between 100-150 lbs. Males and females are very similar in both height and weight. Elves tend to be fair-haired, with bright eyes ranging in color from gold to amethyst. They have no facial or body hair. They enjoy elaborate clothing, although they also prefer it to be light and supple so that it does not restrict their graceful movements. Elves also enjoy jewelry, but prefer simple designs that subtly enhance the wearer’s appearance. Elves live up to 300 years.

Because of the Celestial influence in each of them, all Elves seem to radiate elegance and grace. They project a serene, celestial aura and are considered beautiful by most members of every sentient race. Their eyes and faces somehow seem more alive, more vibrant, and more divine than any other race. Yet there is also a sense about them of ineffable sadness and lingering remorse.

Relations

Elvish attitudes toward the other races differ by subculture, but some generalizations can be made about them. Most worry that the other races hate them for summoning the Plague-fiend, but although it is widely known what they did only they still think about it. In general, Elves still dislike the regimented, militaristic nature of the Feldarin, and will only befriend those who reject that way of life. They sympathize with humans, who they see as innocent victims of Feldarin aggression. Elves often enjoy amicable relations with humans living near their camps. They admire Dwarven craftsmanship and skill, although they sometimes disapprove of what they see as overly militaristic attitudes. Elves have profound respect for Orcish spirituality. They respect Gnomes as fellow students of the arcane arts, and will often deal with them to trade spell components or knowledge. Elves are ambivalent towards Halflings, but recognize their mastery of the sea and prefer Halfling ships when traveling. Elves genuinely esteem the Giantkin, and enjoy their friendship and counsel.

The Elves find Plaguetouched abhorrent and will kill, drive off, or flee from any they see. In their eyes, the mutated Plaguetouched are both hideous to behold and a grim reminder of their shame. Very few Elven Plaguetouched exist, and in all cases they are outcasts from their societies.

Alignment

Elves reject the order and hierarchy of the Feldarin and are very rarely Lawful. They tend toward chaotic alignments, valuing freedom, individuality, and creativity. Generally, they care little about the affairs of others and lean toward neutrality rather than good or evil.

Lands

Elves inhabit any secluded or remote area, and have little respect for boundaries or borders. They can be found within the bounds of the Feldarin Empire, in free human and giantkin lands, and even on the Orc continent. They live mostly in small camps, but one or two big Elves cities are known to exist. Their architecture varies from settlement to settlement and reflects their independent and creative nature. Elves have been known to live in hollow tree houses, caves under trees, suspended woven 'nests', treehouses, mud-brick houses with thatched roofs, log cabins, and rocky desert caves.

Elves generally view uninvited guests as intruders, and each settlement deals with them in its own way. Some set traps and cast magic to deter intruders, others hide and retreat from them. Sometimes they will meet intruders at their borders to encourage them to leave or to trade. Only in the direst circumstances will they abandon their settlements or resort to violence to kill or drive away intruders.

Culture

The Elves govern themselves through infrequent but well-organized gatherings. At these councils, all Elves have a chance to speak. These councils do not make laws, since the free-spirited Elves have no respect for rules. Instead, the councils simply offer an opportunity for the Elves to discuss issues facing their culture and allow concerned individuals to collaborate on their own solutions.

Although the Elves have only been in existence for a short while, their independence and lack of centralized authority has led to the development of multiple cultures. At least three and possibly more of these subcultures exist. The oldest and most widespread Elven culture are the Vanimar, who mostly fit the ‘typical’ Elven profile presented here. A prominent counter-example are the Morvanima, who feel no shame for bringing the Plague-Fiend into the world and revel in the suffering he has caused. *They have only contempt for other races and tend toward evil alignments. *They are reclusive only because they prefer to carry out their malevolent plans in secret.

Religion

Most Elves worship the arcane arts, and have little interest in the divine powers. One interesting exception are the Morvanima, who honor (but don’t worship) the Plague-fiend. Elves religion is very decentralized and informal. In stark contrast to the towering cathedrals of the Feldarin, Elves rarely even construct specialized temples, instead meeting in small groups at someone’s house or under the open sky.

Plague Casualties

The Elves suffered crippling casualties from the Plague. No Elven settlement was spared, and every Elf lost family members and friends. Many small camps were obliterated, sometimes leaving only a handful of traumatized survivors. These survivors are often haunted by the horrors they have seen, and take up wandering rather than joining another Elven community.

To avoid the Plague, most Elves attempted to retreat into the wilderness and cut off all contact with outsiders, but to no avail. Once an Elf was infected, he or she faced a terrible choice. To recover and become Plaguetouched meant a life of ugliness, mutation, and expulsion from their society. It is a testament to their extreme vanity that the Elves are the only race in which many individuals chose to die rather than survive as Plaguetouched.

Language

The Elves love language and view poetry and song as the highest of arts. Although they still speak Common Feldarin, they have also developed their own unique and musical language, Lindarin. As with many other aspects of the Elves, Lindarin is both beautiful and chaotic, with many irregular forms and subtle complexities. Learning the language and its flowing, artistic script is the work of decades, and among the other races, only bards are willing to put forth the effort.

Names

The Elves love of language and song extends to their names, as well. Each Elves’s name is written like a song or poem, and grows over time. They can include stories about the individual’s life, relations to family and friends, or flowery descriptions thoughts and dreams. Verses can be composed by the individual themselves or added by family and friends. The oldest Elves have names that take days to recite or sing. When a Elves dies, their family adds verses describing the manner of their death and the impact of their lives. *Elves genealogies are simply collections of these names.

For everyday use and for dealing with outsiders, Elves choose a nickname for themselves. Because of their independent and private nature, these nicknames rarely incorporate family names or other personal information. They sometimes translate these nicknames into common when dealing with other races.

Male Names (translation): Aeglos (Snowthorn), Alagos (Stormwind), Calan (daylight), Elenath (Starhost), Randir (wanderer), Sadron (faithful one), Talagan (Harper).

Female Names (translation): Aerlinn (Seahymn), Celebrin (like silver), Elanor (name of a flower), Eryn (wood), Linaewen (of birds), Rodwen (noble), Tiriel (gazing).

Adventurers

Elves take up adventuring for a variety of reasons. Some enjoy exploring the natural world, while others feel compelled to share the beauty of Elves poems and songs. They find life in Feldarin cities and towns very oppressive, and prefer occupations that take them into the wilderness. Some Elves feel a desperate need to find acceptance among other races, hoping to assuage their guilt and self-disgust. Others are very idealistic, and feel the need to beautify the world by ridding it of monsters or tyranny. Some may simply wish to perfect their abilities to satisfy their vanity. Many are simply outgoing, and tire of living in remote and secluded places.

Racial Traits

  • +2 Charisma, -2 Constitution: Elves are lovely but delicate.
  • Medium: As Medium creatures, Elves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Elf base land speed is 30 feet.
  • +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells and effects
  • +2 racial bonus to Spellcraft checks.
  • Low-Light Vision: An Elf can see twice as far as a Human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • +2 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks. (This does not include the ability to Spot secret doors automatically.)
  • Starting at first level, and at every three levels thereafter, Elves gain a new spell-like ability that they can use a number of times a day equal to 1 + their Charisma modifier, selected from this list: detect magic, light, ghost sound, mending, message, open/close, prestidigitation. Regardless of class, these spells are cast as by a sorcerer whose level is equal to the Elf’s hit dice.
  • Automatic Languages: Lindarin (Elven) and Feldarin.
  • Bonus languages: Local Human languages, Draconic, Giantkin, Halfling, Gnomish, Orc. Elves are typically familiar with any languages spoken in their home region.
  • Favored Class: Sorcerer. A multiclass Elf's sorcerer class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.


Races
Dwarves - Elves - Feldarin - Giantkin - Gnomes - Halflings - Humans - Orcs
Acquired Templates and Bloodlines
Fleshwrought - Plaguetouched
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