Author Topic: Elves  (Read 3186 times)

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Mr. Cheez-It

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on: October 18, 2005, 02:05:32 AM
Originally hailing from another realm far removed from Faerun in the distant past, the elves have proved to be one of the most successful and diverse races to appear on Abeir-Toril.  They have taken to the lands, the seas, and even the skies of Faerun, colonizing and expanding throughout the ages.  Today, the great elven realms may have retreated from the encroachment of humans and humanoids, but the elven influence in the world is unmistakable and pervasive.

Elves adapt and change dramatically to meld with their surroundings, so through the generations the various tribes of elves have become quite divergent in appearances and outlook.  Despite this, all elves retain certain characteristics that set them apart from the other races of the world.  Collectively, the elves know themselves as the Tel-quessir (translated into the common tongue, this means, “The People”).  They refer to all other beings as the N-Tel-Quess, a less-than-diplomatic elven expression meaning “not-people.”

Elves are graceful, lithe, and beautiful.  Regardless of their particular heritage, they are viewed by other races as a highly magical and wondrous people.  This awe and respect has an unexpected corollary – many people view elves as haughty and shamelessly introverted as a race.  The reasons for this are numerous, including jealousy, envy, and religious hatred.  It is the nature of the elf to elicit such reactions from others, for it seems impossible upon first encountering the elves to react with anything resembling disinterest or apathy.



Mr. Cheez-It

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on: October 21, 2005, 03:47:53 PM
Moon (Silver)

The most common of the elven subraces on Faerun are the moon elves.  Thay have fair skin, sometimes tinged with blue, and hair of silver-white, black, or blue; humanlike colors are somewhat rare.  Their eyes are blue or green, with gold flecks.

Moon elves prefer to dress in rustic clothes of simple cuts and fashions that are nevertheless of find and exquisite make.  They adorn their dress with embroidered patterns, beads, and similar trappings, preferring earthen colors for everyday wear, hues that makie ti easy to conceal themselves in foliage.  In place of safety or int times of revelry, moon elves enjoy dressing in bold colors – the more brightly colored, the better.  Hair is worn in braids or ponytails, twinned with wires or beads.  Moon elves sometimes wear body paint or tattoos in mystic patterns, although not to extent the wild elves do.

Outlook

Moon elves are more impulsive than the other elves, and dislike remaining in one place for any significant amount of time.  Most moon elves are happiest when traveling, especially across the expanses of untrodden wilderness that still survive in Faerun.  This is probably the single greatest reason wht they are so much more friendly and accommodating to other races than many other elves.  They do not isolate themselves from the human lands behind impervious defenses.  Moon elves have watched humankind for much longer than their sun or wood elf kin, and they know that nonelves aren't as foolish an unimportant as most other elves think.  They feel that engaging promising human realms such as Silverymoon and instilling elven values and culture in these young lands is a better way for the elven race to survive and thrive than hiding away and avoiding all contact with ambitious, grasping humans.

Moon elves are drawn to adventure through sheer wanderlust.  They desire to see and do everything possible during their long lives.  Like their allies the Harpers, moon elves believe that a single person of good heart who stands up to injustice or evil can make a big difference.  The typical moon elf adventurer tends to be a wandering protector of the common folk, not a dungeon-plundering slayer of monsters.

Characters

More so than other elves, moon elves are drawn to a variety of paths.  They have a great love of music and make excellent bards.  Moon elves do not possess the depth of reverence to the Seldarine the sun elves do, nor the bond with mature of the wood elves, but clerics and druids are not uncommon among the subrace.  Many moon elves are skilled warriors and have at least some levels in the fighter class, as they have long made up the bulk of the elven armies.  But moon elves prefer stealth over strength, and often choose to become rangers or rogues instead.  Finally, like all elves, moon elves are enamored of magic, and a great number take up the wizard's arts.

Society

Moon elves are nomadic spirits who rarely settle down for long in one place.  They are comfortable living among sun elves and wood elves, but just as often they live in areas dominated by humans, halflings, or even gnomes.  Their homes tend to be simple, unassuming, and comfortable.

Moon elves are much less solemn and serious in their ways and actions than sun elves.  Their songs and poems are lighter and often quite humorous; tragedies have their place but the moon elves prefer to balance such things with light-hearted and often bawdy tales and songs.  They also enjoy a wide variety of art styles, including paintings and sculpture.  Moon elves are fond of games of chance and gambling.  Drinking, feasting, and reveling are all a strong part of their society.

A more serious side of the moon elves emerges in times of trouble.  Moon elves are just as skilled with weapons and magic as their fellow subraces, and do not hesitate to act if a situation calls for violence as a solution.  Even in warfare, they try to find hope and humor, for it is during these dark times that levity and joy are most valuable.

Moon elves gather in loose bands, composed of a dozen or so extended families.  Leadership is democratic; all elves of the band have a say in important decisions, although the voices of one or two of the wiser and more experienced family heads tend to carry the day.  In times of danger, the band chooses an elder or warleader to see them through the peril.  Moon elves travel light and travel often, rarely staying in the same place for more than a season or two before moving on.

Deities

Moon elves worship the Seldarine.  A moon elf identifies with all the elven deities, but usually chooses one as a patron deity above the others.  Unlike their sun elf cousins, many moon elves worship the elven deity Angharradh, who they believe to be a melding of the three goddesses Sehanine, Aerdrie Paernya, and Hanali Celanil.  The moon elves view her as equal in power to Corellon Larethian, who is often regulated to the status of consort.  Moon elf religious ceremonies are exuberant, joyful, and loud.  Even deeply religions moon elves recognize that some ceremonies and festivals are simply excuses for revelry.

Relation with Other Races

Of the elven subraces, moon elves are the most tolerant of nonelves.  They travel extensively, and a moon elf can expect to interact with hundreds of different races throughout her life.  Moon elves find the diversity of Faerun's races to be intoxicating and forever surprising, and they especially value the insights of other races because they often think of things no elf would ever consider.  This openness and willingness to accept new ideas is regarded as foolish and dangerous by other elves, so ironically their own kin often give moon elves the coolest receptions.

Despite their open minds, moon elves have little patience or interest in the various evil beings, and they hold orcs and gnolls in particular contempt.  They avoid regions where such cultures hold sway, although moon elf adventurers often infiltrate these areas to spy on them.  The moon elves share with the other elven subraces a hatred and loathing for the drow.



Mr. Cheez-It

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on: October 21, 2005, 04:35:48 PM
Sun (Gold)

The majority of Faerun's sun elves live on Evermeet, having abandoned what remained of their ancient realms during the centuries following the falls of Illefarn and Cormanthyr.  They are only now returning to the mainland to reestablish their presence there.  The sun elves are famed for their command of both arcane and divine magic, which exceeds that of any other living race.  Works of elven high magic thousands of years old still survive in the hidden refuges of the sun elves.

Sun elves are responsible for the majority of the great elven cities of legend, although other elven subraces aided the construction of many of these cities.  Myth Drannor is perhaps their most famous creation, although probably not their most magnificent.  Sun elf realms are the stuff legends are made of, an integral part of the history of Faerun for thousands of years.  The sun elves certainly know this, for they distance themselves from nonelf races and often won't let such “lesser beings” into their lands.  Sun elves have bronze skin, hair of golden blond, copper, or black, and eyes of green or gold.  They favor contemplation, lore, and study over the quick games and light-hearted songs of other elves, but seem to embody the unearthly beauty, grace, and presence of the elven folk.

Sun elves dress in clothing that is at the same time magnificent and understated, favoring cool colors such as blue and green.  They decorate their clothes with intricate gold or mithral thread embroidery in exacting patterns whose subtle designs are easy to miss at first.  Jewelry is simple, but painstakingly crafted.

Of all the elven subraces, sun elves are the most arrogant and haughty- even more so than the avariels, whose haughtiness is rooted in pity for the landbound races.  Sun elves believe they are the true elven race, the builders and the leaders of the elven realms, and that the other elven subraces fail to live up to the solemnity and dignity of their ancient stock.

Outlook

The sun elves believe that they were selected by Corellon Larethian to be the defenders of elven tradition and history.  They are also the most patient of the elven races, and they devote their time to perfecting a task rather than just merely completing the task.  To a sun elf, rushing a job or finishing a project in anything less than perfection is betraying the elven ideal.  As a result, they tend to have a much narrower range of skills than other elves, but they are the unrivaled master of the skill, art, or craft to which they turn their efforts.  The only exception to this rule is combat.  Sun elves have no love for combat, but they are nevertheless well trained in its ways.  They  view combat as a necessary evil, and one that should be resolved quickly so the task can be done and one can return to more pleasurable and constructive pursuits.

Sun elves are the least likely of the elven subraces to take up the adventurer's path.  They see little point in roaming around the world and meeting other peoples, especially when any sun elf can enjoy as much comfort, study, and contemplation as she likes by remaining in on e of the hidden sun elf realms.  Most sun elf adventurers are more properly thought of as spies, dutiful scouts who make it their lifelong task to observe the other people of Faerun and keep a vigilant watch for the rise of any threats to the elven homelands.  A few sun elves are also drawn to the mystery of ancient power and seek to add to the lore of their people by exploring ruins of ancient empires all across Faerun.  

Characters

Sun elves favor the traditional paths of the elven folk:  fighter and wizard.  No sun elf could truly be described as a barbarian, although a dun elf raised among wilder kin might, on very rare occasions, choose to take levels in the barbarian class.  They make good bards, and even if they are not noted for the light-hearted revels, the ancient songs and lore of a learned bard are worthy of a sun elf's respect.  Sun elves are also the foremost clerics and paladins among the elven races.  The arts of stealth and archery are not widely practiced among sun elves, so rangers and rogues are relatively scare among them.

Society

Sun elves are deliberate, patient, and solemn, and their society reflects this.  Their buildings, while aesthetically beautiful and architecturally brilliant, tend to be ostentatious.  Nevertheless, the sun elves take great pride in their buildings, believing that nothing less than perfection will do for the chosen defenders of elven tradition and history.  Their art, poetry, and songs also reflect their deliberate and regal attitudes.  They prefer tales of ancient battles, songs of the gods, and stories of great heroes with terrible tragedies.

Sn elves revere wisdom and learning.  Even the humblest sun elf abode features a roon or two filled with old scrolls, maps, and books.  Sun elves have a strong tradition of rule by nobility, and most sun els communities are ruled by a monarch who can trace his of her line back to the First Crown War.  Where a human noble measures his power by the expanse of the lands under his rule and the numbers of solders at his command, a sun elf noble is known by the honor of her family name, the magical power and lore her family has accumulated, and the wealth and beauty of her palatial home.

Deities

Religion infuses every aspect of sun elf society.  Sun elves believe themselves to be the chosen representative of the Seldarine in the mortal realm, and are quick to offer prayers of thanks to their deities.  These prayers and ceremonies are invariably long, drawn-out affairs during which loud voices, merry songs, or joyful worship and deemed disrespectful.  Religion is a serious, solemn subject to the sun elves.  They worship all the Seldarine equally, and most choose Corellon Larethian as their patron.

The sun elf devotion to magic, skill at arms, and the superiority of elven civilization means that they have a great and abiding veneration for the leader of the elven pantheon.  Like their nobles, Corellon is a wise, generous, and firm leader who brings forth beauty in the world, then defends his work resolutely.  Clerics of the church of Corellon advise the rules of sun elf communities, and Corellon's clerics from the heart of sun elf army when the sun elves must take the field to defend their lands.

Sun elves also venerate Labelas Enorath, the elven deity of longevity, time, and wisdom.  While Corellon is seen as the divine leader and protector of the sun elves, Labelas is revered as a counselor and advisor, a source of wisdom in times of trouble.  Clerics of Labels are charged with the keeping of knowledge and records among the sun elves.

Relations with Other Races

The sun elves feel affection for the moon elves, although this affection is often unintentionally patronizing.  They fear that their moon elf cousins are too flighty and irreverent, and they strive to help them return to the proper elven path with stern lectures and fatherly advice.  They admire the wood elves and feel that they embody the elven spirit of nature.  Relations are good between sun elf and wood elf, although the reclusive nature of the wood elves makes direct contact rare.  Sun elves are a pit puzzled by the wild elves, and hope one day to civilize them.  Aquatic elves are thought as near-equals, and the sun elves believe that their water-breathing kin were places in the world to bring to the seas what the sun elves bring to the lands above.  The sun elves deeply regret the sufferings of the avariels, and occasionally send out explorers to seek out avarieal aeries and offer them a place on Evermmet.

Sun elf prejudice toward other races (humans in particular) can be quite sever.  Many sin elves won't even deign to speak to a human and would rather leave a dying man to meet his fate than to save him.  This attitude is somewhat understandable, given the way humans have historically treated the sun elves and their lands, but it winds the sun elves few friends among their human neighbors.

If there is one race that the sun elves hold in absolute contempt, it is the drow.  They view the dark elves as abominations and insults to the Seldarine, and often attack these hated enemies on sight.  As word of the drow invasions of Cormanthor begins to spread through Evermeet, it is likely that more and more sun elves will return to the mainland, if only to bring way to the drow and force them from the ruins of what sun elves still consider their lands.



Mr. Cheez-It

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on: October 21, 2005, 04:57:03 PM
Wild (Green)

The wild elves of Faerun are insular and savage, and as a result are rarely seen outside their forest homes.  In ages past the wild elves (or green elves, as they were commonly known) raised great kingdoms in the forests and fielded armies to defend their homes, but with the march of time they have abandoned the trappings of civilization, becoming a furtive, reclusive race.  The wild elves were always close to nature, even more so than other elves, but they have forgotten many of the high arts and lore of their people, choosing stealth and survival over building and book learning.

Wild elves are stocky and strongly built for elves.  Their skin tends to be dark brown, and their hair ranges from black to light brown, lightening to silvery white with age.  They are quiet around anyone except their own kind, and quickly become hostile in these uncomfortable situations.  Clothing is kept to a minimum among the wild elves, although they make up for this with body decoration of all sorts – tattoos, war paint, feathers, and beaded jewelry that show a surprising streak of complex and beautiful artistry.

Wild evels share the height of their moon elf kin but are mot heavily built.

Outlook

The tragic history of the wild elves has left hem untrusting of outsiders.  Their tactics for dealing with intruders very from tribe to tribe.  Some simply hide and allow the trespassers to go by unknowing, while others attack to capture such interlopers.  They rarely kill those they capture, preferring to use magic to alter their memories and carry them far away before releasing them.  They make friends slowly, and most nonelves simply don't have the lifespans required to gain the trust of a tribe of green elves.  They excel in combat and often revel in its chaos and primal fury.  Little can match the fury of an enraged tribe of green elves.

Characters

More so than any other elves, wild elves value the martial skills.  Barbarians and rangers are very common among the wild elves.  The wild elves do not feel close to the Seldarine and do not often become clerics, instead venerating nature itself as druids of Mielikki, Silvanus, or Rallathil.  Wild elves have no written tradition and little patience for hours of study in any event and so rarely become wizards.  Unlike other elves, they prefer the sorcerer's arts.

Society

Among their friends and kinfolk, wild elves are pleasant and outgoing, somewhat like the moon elves.  Their feasts and celebrations are events of great joy, with singing, dancing, and all manner of merry-making.  One of the most beloved ways to celebrate is to engage in a hunt.  Hunts are tribal affairs in which all elves, young and old, have a part.  The actual hunt itself is sometimes only a small part of the overall event, which also includes a religious ceremony and a tribewide festival.

The scattered, tribal nature of the green elves also means that no two tribes are exactly alike.  Some have settled in permanent villages with crude huts, while others are nomadic, dwelling in tents and wandering over vast wilderness territories.  Gender segregation is common; some tribes are exclusively matriarchal, while others are patriarchal.

Although they have a great interest in music and art, wild elves create few permanent works of art.  To the wild elf, the joy of art lies in the creative process, the spontaneous creation of song or dance or effects.  They view permanent works of art, recording songs or stories in writing, and so on, maintaining that to do so imprisons the ever-changing beauty of the world.

Deities

The wild elves worship the Seldarin, in particular Rillifane Rallathil, but this worship does not approach the regimented, organized structure of the other elven subraces.  Rather, the green elves worship individually when the urges takes them.  They commune constantly with a pantheon of nature spirits, each representing an archetypal member of an animal or natural phenomenon.

Relations with Other Races

The green elves do not seek out relations with others, and they do their best to reamin unseen and unknown.  Nevertheless, wild elves have been known to interact with adventurers, explorers, and lost travelers.  Usually, these people are captured, their memories magically erased, and then let go somewhere far from the tribal lands.  Rarely, the elves allow a wanderer to visit their camp, usually in times of dire peril when they are forced to call upon outside aid.  Those who manage to impress and even befriend a tribe of wild elves find that their friendship is strong and loyal, and such individuals are often gifted with wild elf tattoos or spirit animals.



Mr. Cheez-It

  • Guest
on: October 21, 2005, 05:29:33 PM
Wood (Copper)

The wood elves are among the most numerous of Faerun's elven people, a young and confident folk who hold the old elven forest homelands in strength.  Theirs to the second generation of elven nations, wood elves see their realms as the natural successors to lands such as Eaerlann and Cormanthyr.  Where the old empires expanded with strength and pride, the realms of the wood elves hope to grow with compassion and humility.  The wood elves do not view their homelands as a land apart from Faerun; they understand better than their kindred that for better or worse, their fates are bound with the fates of humans, dwarves, and halflings around them.

Also known as copper or sylvan elves, these people have coppery skin tinged with green, and brown, green, or hazel eyes.  Hair is usually brown or black, occasionally blond or coppery-red.  Wood elves prefer to dress in simple clothing, similar to the moon elves, but not quite so colorful.  They favor a simple cut to tunic or dress, set off by common embroidery in natural designs.

They are particularly fond of leather armor, and they often wear lovingly tooled and well-crafted suits even when they do not feel endangered.  Their clothing, leather armor or not, is usually dark shades of green and earth tones to better blend with their natural surroundings.  They are a humble race and only rarely do they enhance their appearances with jewelry or similar accessories.

Wood elves are as tall as most other Faerunian elves but more heavily built.

Outlook

Wood elves are clam, serene, and difficult to surprise.  Their patience is legendary.  They are at one with the world of nature, and are not comfortable in areas of heavy civilization.  They have lost the urge to build and replace nature with walls and palaces; even the cities built by their elven kin seem to be foolish to the wood elves.  They have come to believe that buildings of stone are transitory in nature, and that in time, the forest returns to overgrow the greatest of cities.  Other races interpret this attitude as fatalistic or condescending, and as a result wood elves find it hard to understand anyone who isn't a wood elf.

Characters

Of all the elven subraces, the copper elves have the least fascination with arcane magic.  They understand its power and a number of their folk study its way, but ultimately the artifice of arcane lore is simply one more way of expressing dominion over the natural order of things, and the wood elves view it in that light.  Wood elves make excellent fighters, rangers, and rogues, relying on their natural strength and quickness to meet challenges.  Wood elves from particularly remote forests sometimes become barbarians.  Clerics are somewhat rare among this people, but druids are very common and are the most prominent spellcasters of the race.

Society

Wood elves live at ease with nature, using what naturally occurs in the world to shelter or defend themselves.  They are not nomadic, and claim large territories in the deepest woodlands of Faerun.  Some wood elves choose to do without houses, furnishings, and any possessions they can't carry, using the high branches of great trees or natural caves in their roots for shelter and storage.  Most wood elves instead prefer to dweel in small villages of permanent homes of natural fieldstone and lovingly carved wood, so carefully concealed among the surrounding wilderness that a human hunter might walk through the center of a wood elf village and not even notice that he had done so.

Wood elves adhere to a tradition of leadership bt their oldest, and most experienced druids, although most villages form a council of elders selected from the wisest and most experienced elves of each family to handle day-to-day affairs.  The druidical hierarchy serves to unite wood elves of different villages and weld all the wood elves of a particular forest into a common realm.  The druids do not pretend to tell the elders how to run a village, but the elders generally give great weight to anything a druid chooses to day.

Wood elves excel in the hunt.  They spend much of their time stalking their chosen territory on the search for food or intruders into their realm.  The rest of their time is spent frolicking among the branches; in this regard, they are quite similar to moon and wild elves.  With the end of the Retreat, wood elves are quickly coming back into contact with the Civilized world.  Although they are reluctant to allow others into their lands, wood elves understand that times are changing.  If they are to survive as a people, it may be time to change for the copper elves to change as well.

Deities

Wood elves worship the Seldarine, but they hold a special respect and reverence for the ancient forest powers of Faerun, Silvanus and Mielikki.  Among the Seldarine, the wood elves hold a particular reverence for Solonor Thelandira, the Great Archer, and Rillifane Rallathil, the Leaflord.  Solonor, as the deity of archery and the hunt, is viewed as the special patron of the wood elves, and before battle a wood elf will often invoke his name.

Relations with Other Races

In the five hundred years since the fall of Eaerlann, the wood elves have been forgotten byt most of the other peoples of Faerun.  Only those humans and dwarves native to the North and familiar with the borders of the High Forest have seen copper elves, and even hen, they most likely met a solitary hunter or ranger.  While the wood elves shelter deep inside forbidding forests and are therefore inaccessible to their neighbors, they are ironically among the more compassionate and understanding of the elven subraces.  Like the moon elves, they accept the power of humankind and seek to live alongside their human neighbors and guide their expansion instead of seeking ways to deter or intimidate the human lands.

Wood elves have a long history of cooperation with the shield dwarves, whose realm of Ammarindar stood alongside their own realm of Eaerlann for many centuries in the vale of the Delimbiyr River.  By extension, they look favorably on most other dwarves, too.  Gnomes and halflings are both greeted as friends and potential allies.  On the other hand, the wood elves have a cold place in their hearts for creatures such as orcs and gnolls, who brings axes, fire, and slaughter to the forests the wood elves have sworn to preserve.



Mr. Cheez-It

  • Guest
on: October 21, 2005, 05:43:26 PM
Names

When an elf declares herself an adult, usually some time after achieving her hundreth birthday, she also selects a name. Those who knew her as a youngster may or may not continue to call her by her “child name,” and she may or may not care. En elf's adult name is a unique creation, though it may reflect the names of those she admires or the names of others in her family. In addition, she bears her family name. Family names are combinations or regular Elven words and some elves traveling among human translate their names into Common while others use the Elven version.

Male: Aravilar, Faelar, Mourn, Nym, Orlpar, Saevel, Respen, Rhistel, Taighen.
Female: Amra, Hacathra, Imizael, Jastra, Jhaumrithe, Quamara, Talindra, Vestele.
Surnames: Amalith, Braegen, Calaudra, Eveningfall, Laelithar, Moondown, Tanruth.