Gods and Empires
Wild Elves are an offshoot of the Common Elves who have chosen to adopt a more primitive lifestyle, living as one with the natural world. Some tribal groups remain settled in villages, far from so-called ‘civilized’ lands, while others maintain a nomadic existence, following the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Historically, the Wild Elves are thought to have split from the Common Elves during the time leading up to, and immediately following, the fall of Valoria. Some fled persecution and extinction, seeking out remote and sparsely-inhabited wilderness to escape the wrath of human armies, while others chose to revert to a more primitive existence as a backlash to the destruction wrought by the Valinor, believing that elves had become too much like the humans, and that no good could come of cities and nations. Physically, the Wild Elves differ little from the Common Elves. The greatest distinctions are philosophy and lifestyle.
Personality: Wild Elves are a quiet, withdrawn people who neither like outsiders nor tolerate any offense to their person. In some ways, Wild Elves are very savage and they are quick to violence if provoked. Few things are more dangerous in the wilderness than a vengeful band of Wild Elves with ill intent. However, Wild Elves are not wholly uncouth and most would rather let trespassers go freely than harm them, so long as they learn nothing that could be used against the tribe; those who do are usually wiped of their memories rather than killed. Wild Elves are also trustworthy and loyal friends who, though so slow to trust that short-lived races such as humans are often put off the attempt, will happily reward those who earn their respect and admiration in any way they can.
Physical Description: Wild Elves tend to have darker skin than Common Elves, though it can range from the typical pale hues to an almost nut-brown color. The average male is 5 ½ feet tall and weighs 140 pounds, while the average female is 5 feet tall and weighs 115 pounds. Their hair can be anything from black to light brown, and it grays and turns to white with old age. They prefer to wear as little clothing as possible and choose instead to adorn themselves with other decorations like tattoos, feathers or body paint. They can make and wear complicated and intricate beadwork. Males are usually larger than females, sometimes by as much as five inches or twenty pounds, but Wild Elves differ little in size from other elves.
Wild Elves, like other elves, are nimble and agile in body, but they are commonly thought of as less intelligent than their elven brethren, due in part to their aversion to civilization. As a result of either their heritage or their choice of lifestyle, Wild Elves tend to reach majority sooner, at about 75 years of age, and can live to be over 500 years old, though few actually die of old age.
Relations: Wild Elves are not a very open-hearted race and are generally untrusting of outsiders, in part due to the harsh experiences of their history. Wild Elves will commonly avoid or even outright attack intruders upon their lands, though not all Wild Elves are so extreme in their methods. Wild Elves have been known to help lost adventurers, though usually such “help” involves capturing the intruders, magically altering their memories, and setting them free some distance away from their homelands. When Wild Elves themselves require help from outside, they will reluctantly seek it, sometimes even allowing visitors into their hidden sanctuaries. As a general rule, Wild Elves do not trust outsiders readily, but will reward those who earn their respect with lifelong friendship or even gifts such as ritual tattoos or a place within the tribe.
Alignment: Wild Elves, like their cousins, 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: Wild Elves almost exclusively inhabit forested areas, generally in remote wilderness or areas far removed from the trappings of so-called civilization. Some tribes live in small villages of huts, and others live a nomadic lifestyle. Some Wild Elf tribes construct villages at the tops of trees, using considerable engineering skill.
Religion: Although Wild Elves revere Enowen and Alura, as their cousins do, they tend to hold Aegwyn in higher regard, respecting her and her dominion over Nature, which they also hold sacred.
Language: Though Wild Elves speak the same language as their cousins, they tend to be simpler and more concise in its use. As a result, they are often viewed as crude and child-like by their more refined relatives, which no doubt contributes to the notion that Wild Elves are primitive savages. Wild Elves use the same script, but tend to prefer oral histories and seldom produce written works. They are also just as likely to be fluent in Sylvan, the language of the Fae, as they are Common.
Names: Wild Elves tend to follow the same naming conventions as Common and High Elves.
Adventurers: Wild Elves rarely take up the adventuring lifestyle. Those who do so are often outcasts from their tribes, while others may seek to find greater power that may strengthen the tribe. Regardless of the reason for their wandering, Wild Elves usually find themselves to be out of place wherever they travel.
• +2 Dexterity, –2 Constitution.
• Medium: As Medium creatures, Wild Elves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Wild 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: A Wild Elf can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. Wild Elves retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
• Weapon Proficiency: Wild Elves receive the Martial Weapon Proficiency feats for the longbow (including composite longbow), and shortbow (including composite shortbow) as bonus feats.
• Survival: Wild Elves receive the Survival skill as a class skill, regardless of class.
• +2 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks. A Wild 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.
• +2 racial bonus on Hide, Move Silently and Survival/Wilderness Lore checks while in woodland settings.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Elven. Bonus Languages: Gnoll, Goblin, Orc, and Sylvan.
• Favored Class: Sorceror. A multiclass Wild Elf ’s sorceror class does not count when determining whether she takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.