Gods and Empires
The vast majority of Faeregoth’s elven population are collectively known as ‘Common Elves’, though they do not refer to themselves as such. The phrase is largely used by non-elves to distinguish them from the longer-lived High Elves, from whom all modern day elves are descended. The primary distinction between so-called High Elves and Common Elves is lifespan. High Elves claim to be pure elves, unlike the Common Elves whose bloodlines were mixed with those of humans long, long ago. Perhaps it is for this reason that Common Elves are more prolific and faster to mature than High Elves, and likewise why their average lifespan is so much shorter. Regardless, Common Elves are indeed the most common, and in normal conversation simply called ‘elves’.
Personality: Elves are more often amused than excited, more likely to be curious than greedy. With such long lives, they tend to keep a broad perspective on events, remaining aloof and unfazed by petty happenstance. When pursuing a goal, however, whether an adventurous mission or learning a new skill or art, they can be focused and relentless. They are slow to make friends and enemies, and even to slower to forget them. They reply to petty insult with disdain and to serious insults with vengeance.
Physical Description: Elves are short and slim, standing about 5 to 5 ½ feet tall and typically weighing 90 to l35 pounds with elven men the same height as and only marginally heavier than elven women. They are graceful but frail. They tend to be pale skinned and dark-haired, with deep green eyes. Elves have no facial or body hair. They prefer simple, comfortable clothes, especially in pastel blues and greens, and they enjoy simple yet elegant jewelry. Elves possess unearthly grace and fine features. Many humans and members of other races find them hauntingly beautiful. An elf achieves majority at about 90 years of age, and can live to be as much as 600 years old.
Relations: Elves consider humans rather unrefined, halflings a bit staid and dwarves not at all fun. They look on half-elves with some degree of pity, and they regard half-orcs with unrelenting suspicion. While haughty, elves are not particular the way halflings and dwarves can be, and they are generally pleasant and gracious even to those who fall short of elven standards (which, after all, consists of just about everybody who’s not an elf).
Alignment: Elves love freedom, variety, and self-expression. They lean strongly toward the gentler aspects of chaos. Generally, they value and protect others’ freedom as well as their own, and they are more often good than not.
Regions: Elves mostly live in woodland clans of less than two hundred souls, though there are rumored to be a few cities nestled deep within the elven homelands. Their well-hidden villages blend into the trees, doing little harm to the forest. They hunt game, gather food, and grow vegetables. Their skill and magic allows them to support themselves amply without the need for clearing and plowing land. Their contact with outsiders is usually limited, though some few elves make a good living trading finely worked elven clothes and crafts for the metals that elves have no interest in mining. Elves encountered in human lands are commonly wandering minstrels, favored artists, or sages. Human nobles compete for the services of elven instructors, who teach swordplay to their children.
Religion: Above all others, elves worship their creator Enowen, the Goddess of Birth and Light. Elven myth holds that it was Enowen who formed the first elves, and that they served her during the Second Age when the Gods still dwelled in Faeregoth. Elves also revere Aegwyn, Goddess of Life and Nature, Loriel, Goddess of Love, Compassion and Peace, and Alura, Goddess of Beauty, Art and Song.
Language: Elves speak a fluid language of subtle intonations and intricate grammar. While Elven literature is rich and varied, it is the language’s songs and poems that are most famous. Many bards learn Elven so they can add Elven ballads to their repertoires. Others simply memorize Elven songs by sound. The Elven script, as flowing as the spoken word, also serves as the script for Sylvan, the language of dryads and pixies.
Names: When an elf declares herself an adult, usually at some point after achieving her hundredth 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. An elf’s adult name is a unique creation, thought 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 of regular Elven words and some elves traveling among humans translate their names into Common while others use the Elven version.
• Male Names: Aramil, Aust, Enialis, Heian, Himo, Ivellios, Laucian, Quarion, Thamior, and Tharivol.
• Female Names: Anastrianna, Antinua, Drusilia, Felosial, Ielenia, Lia, Qillathe, Silaqui, Valanthe, and Xanaphia.
• Family Names: Amastacia (“Starflower”), Amakiir (“Gemflower”), Galanodel (”Moonwhisper”), Holimion (“Diamonddew”), Liadon (“Silverfrond”), Meliamne (“Oakenheel”), Nailo (“Nightbreeze”), Siannodel (“Moonbrook”), Ilphukiir (“Gemblossom”), and Xiloscient (“Goldpetal”).
Adventurers: Elves take up adventuring out of wanderlust. Life among humans moves at a pace that elves dislike: regimented from day to day, but changing from decade to decade. Elves among humans, therefore, find careers that allow them to wander freely and set their own pace. Elves also enjoy demonstrating their prowess with the sword and bow or gaining greater magical powers, and adventuring allows them to do so. Good elves may also be rebels or crusaders.
• +2 Dexterity, –2 Constitution.
• Medium: As Medium creatures, elves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Elf base land speed is 30 feet.
• Immunity to magic sleep effects, and a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells or effects.
• Low-Light Vision: An elf can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. Elves retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
• Weapon Proficiency: Elves receive the Martial Weapon Proficiency feats for the longsword, rapier, longbow (including composite longbow), and shortbow (including composite shortbow) as bonus feats.
• +2 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks. An elf who merely passes within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door is entitled to a Search check to notice it as if she were actively looking for it.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Elven. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Gnoll, Goblin, Orc, and Sylvan.
• Favored Class: Wizard. A multiclass elf ’s wizard class does not count when determining whether she takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.