THe elves

Of Shadowgate

Elves of Shadowgate

Elves are one of the most ancient races, said to have come after the dragons. Their history is steeped in magic and learning, and they are renowned for their mastery of sword and bow. They are usually beautiful creatures possessed of unearthly grace, that grow slowly and are extremely longlived, up to more than 500 years old. They reach physical maturity at approximately 25, and are considered adults among their people by 125. Elves do not scar save by magical injuries, and also tend to be immune to normal illnesses, as only magical ailments tend to trouble them.

As longlived creatures, they tend to take a long time to come to decisions, much to the frustration of shorter-lived companions. They have little care for money, instead taking greater interest in the beauty of art, music, nature, arcanistry, and other such lengthy pursuits. They tend to prefer the company of their own kind first and foremost, and do not make friends easily with others; many look down on shorter-lived races as lesser than themselves.

Elves do not grow any kind of facial hair except for brows and the hair on their head, and have long ears and wide, almond-shaped eyes. Considered by many to be a beautiful race, they are usually slender and a little shorter than a standard human, with angular features. They do not sleep, but instead enter a waking trance known as the ‘reverie’, during which they relive parts of their lives (it’s difficult to remember several hundred years of life without going over it!). They do not age as humans, retaining their looks from adulthood onwards except for the most ancient among them, and the rare few that choose to show their age in their features.

Art by SirTiefling at Deviant Art

Playable subraces:

Moon elf (silver elf)

Alignment: any non-evil
Classes allowed: fighter, cleric, mage, thief, ranger, bard, sorcerer, druid, barbarian
Normal adventuring starting age: 101-130
Average life span: 550
Stat adjustments: +2 dexterity, -2 constitution
Skill bonuses: +2 perception
Misc bonuses: +2 saves vs charm spells, sleep immunity
Daily spells: commune at will
Level adjustment: 0
Commonly found: Synoria (western Darkwood forest) and Akh’ketonn (Kilkaen forest)

Moon elves are the most common of the elven subraces, and the most social in regards to other races. They generally have fair skin (often tinged a pale icy-blue towards their extremities), with blue or green eyes, and hair that runs in a scale from silver-white to blue or black. Most half-elves are descended from a moon elf parent, as they are the most likely to mingle with humankind. They are the most impulsive of the elves (although keeping in mind that impulsive for a creature that lives for centuries, may be considered still very slow by human standards). When they settle down they usually live in forest homes, usually built around trees, but they often prefer to travel.

 

 

Sun elf (gold elf)

Alignment: any non-evil
Classes allowed: fighter, cleric, mage, thief, ranger, bard, sorcerer, cavalier, paladin, barbarian
Normal adventuring starting age: 101-130
Average life span: 550
Stat adjustments: +2 intelligence, -2 constitution
Skill bonuses: +2 perception
Misc bonuses: +2 saves vs charm spells, sleep immunity
Daily spells: commune at will
Level adjustment: 0
Commonly found: the eastern Tsarven empire, throughout Selu’havessthyr and Sindh

Somewhat less common than their moon-elf cousins, they tend to be less social with other races. They usually have bronzed skin, along with golden or green eyes, and hair of blonde, black, or coppery red. They are less inclined to physical pursuits as those of arcanery and other intellectual ends. They are some of the greatest magic users in the realms, and are also renowned for their magnificent stonewrought towers and spires that form their homes.

Wood elf (copper elf)

Alignment: any non-evil
Classes allowed: fighter, cleric, thief, ranger, bard, sorcerer, druid, barbarian
Normal adventuring starting age: 101-130
Average life span: 550
Stat adjustments: +2 strength, +2 dexterity, -2 intelligence, -2 charisma
Skill bonuses: +2 perception
Misc bonuses: +2 saves vs charm spells, sleep immunity
Daily spells: commune at will
Level adjustment: 0
Commonly found: Tharis (both the western city limits and the surrounding forest)

Also known as sylvan elves, these creatures have coppery skin tinged with green, and brown, green or hazel eyes. Hair is usually brown or black, or on rarer occasions, blonde or coppery-red. Wood elves are more elusive than their moon elf cousins, and tend to live in small close-knit tribal communities. They place greater emphasis on physical abilities than on intellectual pursuits, and generally abhor all forms of wizardry, blaming it for the destruction of Daoine’yndaar, their kingdom of old, and their beloved Vandor’ivae (now Tharis forest). They are far more elusive than their elven cousins, living deep within the forests, but share the moon-elven understanding and tolerance of humans. Wood elves are particularly calm creatures, difficult to surprise and possessed of impressive patience. Among elves, they carry the greatest bond to nature, and generally are uncomfortable in any areas of heavy civilization.

Wild elf (green elf)

Alignment: any non-evil
Classes allowed: fighter, cleric, thief, ranger, sorcerer, druid, barbarian
Normal adventuring starting age: 101-130
Average life span: 550
Stat adjustments: +2 dexterity, -2 intelligence
Skill bonuses: +2 perception
Misc bonuses: +2 saves vs charm spells, sleep immunity
Daily spells: commune at will
Level adjustment: 0
Commonly found: Parnelli forest on Laerad, Wildlands

One of the three eldest elven races, and equally reclusive as their early cousins. They tend to be a stealthy, feral species much more primitive than other elven kind, and are known as the ‘wild’ cousins of other more distinguised elves. They tend towards relatively stocky frames, for an elf, with dark brown skin. Their hair ranges through shades of black and brown, fading much in the way of humans to a silvery-white as they age. Once commonly found also upon the mainland, the destruction of their ancestral homeland Daoine’yndaar, and their hostilities towards the expansion of humankind have since caused them to be mostly extinct, leaving only two main groups: the clans upon Laerad, that were separated by the Sundering of 0SG, and the clans hidden deep within the forests of the Wildlands.

Elven races – Not able to play

Aquatic elf (sea elf)

These elves live beneath the sea, and can only spend limited time on land, as they breathe water rather than air via the gills on their neck. They tend to be quite distrustful of anyone but their own kind, and have less magical affinity than most other elven subraces. Aquatic elves have blue or green skin, marked with white or brown, with stringy hair in black, blue or silver.

Avariel

One of the three eldest elven races, these elves are winged and built much as birds, with hollow bones. They have pale skin and gem-like eyes of green, blue or purple. Their wings are usually white, though black-winged avariel do exist, and their hair color generally matches that of their wings (though variants in hair color such as auburn have been noted). Nearly extinct from their ancient wars with dragonkind, they bear an intense enmity for dragons. They are mostly reclusive and keep to their own kin, to the point that they are seen so little that many scholars dismiss them as nothing more than fairy tales. Their society is split into two separate sects, in which all Avariel are trained regardless of the group into which they are born: those warriors of warlike inclination, and those of more peaceful inclination, including their scholars and philosophers.

Lythari

One of the three eldest elven races, the Lythari are a kind of lycanthrope, except that they retain complete control over their transformations, and retain their minds while shifted. As true lycanthropes, they are only born or made via a ritual of bonding with a willing subject. They are extremely reclusive, and near impossible to find, being so rare in present times that even most elves consider them nothing more than a myth. In wolf form, they leave no impression of danger upon any that view them. They can reach the size of a small pony, and usually have gray or silver fur, and intelligent blue or brown eyes. In their native elven form, their hair color is generally that of their lupine coat, with light blue or green eyes. They do not fashion metal objects of any kind, and the rare few spellcasters among them tend to be priests of nature deities.

Useful MUD helpfiles: elf, elf rp, race gods, moon elf, sun elf, wood elf, wild elf, request characters.

Resources:
Races of Faerun (3.5e sourcebook)
Races of the Wild (3.5e sourcebook)
Complete Book of Elves (2e sourcebook)
Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves (2e sourcebook)
Elven roleplay tips
Elven dictionary
Elven names

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