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Races of the Shattered Lands, part V: Elves 
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Post Races of the Shattered Lands, part V: Elves
The Elves were ancient when man first emerged onto the pages of history, though for the most part, they did not dwell or even travel much to the eastern continent of Illyria, where they would have been obliged to battle for supremacy with great Human empires, as well as with the Dwarven Dominions and the Dragon-Men of the Southern Deserts. Instead, the Elves made their home of limitless antiquity in the rich and fertile western continent of Arcadia, where their combination of magical power and martial skill and ageless wisdom allowed them to easily seize dominion over the human and halfling inhabitants of the land.

The Elves organized themselves into two great castes- those that dwelt in the magical cities of the Wizard-Kings and Queens and those that preferred the great forests, plains and valleys between them. The High Elves, as those who dwelt in cities became known, established themselves as the priests and rulers, while the broad majority of the population, latterly known as Wood Elves, lived close to the natural world, gathering what was needed to support themselves and to send onto their elite kin. Sometimes, Wood Elves grew discontented with the reign of the High Elves, but the Wizard-Kings were canny and set up petty Human kings, playing them against the Wood Elven tribes, securing their dominance with little direct effort.

When the Shattering ripped Illyria asunder, at first the Elves paid it little heed- if nothing else, it had surely obliterated the change that a great eastern power would arise and threaten their regime. When refugees started arriving on their shores, at first the Elves were inclined to be generous- their magic and realms required ample labour and materials to sustain them and they could augment their labour pool while appearing to be munificent at the same time. However, over time, the numbers of humans arriving on the shores of Arcadia became greater and greater. The untamed Human powers of the Stormwind Isles struck their black sails once again and started to maraud the coasts, daring to attack not only other human villages but even Wood Elven tribes.

As the Wizard Kings met to discuss this increasingly serious problem, Karl Magnus came over to the Isles with an army of ten thousand, riding a colossal gold dragon. At first, the Wizard-Kings were inclined to regard this as a blessing in disguise as the maraudings of the Stormwinders stopped- perhaps the human warlord could become a valuable puppet and buffer from any reborn eastern powers. However, it soon became clear that Karl Magnus did not intend to stop with the Isles and that he'd simply set the inhabitants to building a new and larger fleet. The wars that resulted would last the greater part of a century and would utterly, completely destroy Elven power in Arcadia, with a tiny remnant fleeing to Illsmare to set up a petty state there.

Most of the surviving Elves found themselves suddenly adrift, their society almost annhiliated, the majority of their race slain or scattered. Many of the Wood Elven tribes, long frustrated with High Elven pretension, had joined with Karl Magnus and were granted liberal rights of self-determination in the new Phoenix Empire of Arcadia. For the most part, the High Elves found themselves grudgedly tolerated for their immense wisdom and knowledge of magic. Many of them found themselves being hired as tutors, or training a new generation of human Wizards.

For the most part, the Elves have accepted their fate- the arrogance of their ancestors is well-known. But some dream of turning the tables, through hook or by crook ....

Description: Most people consider Elves to be beautiful and yet slightly otherworldly. Most Elves are slightly taller than humans, but more slender. There is little difference in the size of men and women and, indeed, many consider Elves to be just slightly androgynous compared to humans. High Elves typically have unnaturally blue eyes and dark hair, with their skin often having a bluish tinge. Wood Elves usually have intensely green eyes, with brown hair and a skintone of varying shades of brown or light green. Elves are long of limb, both arms and legs and have prominent pointed ears.

Personality: The Elven personality is marked by their incredibly long lifespan. Elves are encouraged to cultivate a range of interests and to seek to perfect a particular field of endeavor, finding a balance between becoming expert in one particular field and possessing a range of useful skills. Elves have long memories, though, and remember kindnesses and slights done to them not only by individuals but by entire families and lineages.

The typical Elf is hardly a puritan, but a libertine neither- they strongly tend towards epicurianism, enjoying the assorted pleasures of the world, but in relative moderation. Wood Elves feel a spiritual affinity towards nature, but have little regard for formalized religion and High Elves are even less inclined to worship gods, even if they respect their power. It is among the High Elves that Arcanism, the philosophy of becoming one with the Godhead through exploring magic, has reached its full flower.

Racial Affinities: Considering the bloody history that for Elves is relatively recent (the oldest Elves have parents who were involved in the great Phoenix Wars), it may come as a surprise that Elves, while strongly preferring their own company, tend to disdain that of Humans far less than others. They regard Dwarves as hopelessly mired in religious superstition and terminally joyless, they regard the overtly magical Gnomes with suspicion and have never stopped seeing Halflings as much other than good farmhands. They have relatively little history with Orcs compared to the inhabitants of the East, but tend to regard Half-Orcs as ugly and boorish and avoid them whenever possible.

Environment: Most Wood Elves live in deep forests in Arcadia, particularly in the colossal Forest of Arden, where they mix quite readily with the local humans. High Elves, those that are left, either live on the island of Illsmare, or scattered amid the new Imperial cities of Arcadia.

Racial Traits and Abilities

Elven Magic: Elves possess magic deep within their blood. High Elves may choose a cantrip from the wizard or illusionist list which may be cast at will. Wood Elves may choose a cantrip from the druid list which can be cast at will.

Enhanced Senses: As PHB

Twilight Vision: As PHB

Magical Education (High Elves only): High Elves receive a +2 bonus to Intelligence checks used to determine the properties of magical items, as well as a +1 bonus to saving throws against arcane magic.

Move Silently (Dexterity): As PHB, but only Wood Elves

Spell Resistance: Elves have strong wills and cannot be put to sleep against their will. They gain a +5 bonus to saving throws against magical compulsion.

Spot Hidden Doors (Wisdom): As PHB

Trance: Elves do not sleep as Humans do, but enter a trance-like state. They only require four hours of this trance state to achieve the benefits of a full night's sleep.

Weapon Training: Elves are proficient in the use of shortbows and longbows. If an Elven character's player class gives them proficiency with longbows and shortbows, they gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls with that weapon.

Language: Common and Elven, can learn Dwarf, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, Slyvan and Orc
Size: Medium
Movement: 35 feet
Typical Classes: Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Wizard, Druid, Bard
Attribute Modifiers: +2 Dexterity, +1 Wisdom (Wood Elf) or Intelligence (High Elf), -2 Constitution
Ranger Modifier: As PHB
Rogue/Assassin Modifier: As PHB

Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:42 am
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