Elves mingle freely in human lands, always welcome yet never at home there. They are well known for their poetry, dance, song, lore, and magical arts. Elves favor things of natural and simple beauty. When danger threatens their woodland homes, however, elves reveal a more martial side, demonstrating skill with sword, bow, and battle strategy.
Personality: Elves are more often amused than excited, and more likely to be curious than greedy. With such a long life span, 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 slower to forget them. They reply to petty insults with disdain and to serious insults with vengeance.
Physical Description: Elves are short and slim, standing about 4- 1/2 to 5-1/2 feet tall and typically weighing 95 to 135 pounds, with elf men the same height as and only marginally heavier than elf 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 reaches adulthood at about 110 years of age and can live to be more than 700 years old.
Elves do not sleep, as members of the other common races do. Instead, an elf meditates in a deep trance for 4 hours a day. An elf resting in this fashion gains the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep. While meditating, an elf dreams, though these dreams are actually mental exercises that have become reflexive through years of practice. The Common word for an elf’s meditation is “trance,” as in “four hours of trance.”
Relations: Elves consider humans rather unrefined, halflings a bit staid, gnomes somewhat trivial, 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 (a category that encompasses just about everybody who’s not an elf).
Alignment: Since 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.
Elven Lands: Most elves live in woodland clans numbering less than two hundred souls. Their well-hidden villages blend into the trees, doing little harm to the forest. They hunt game, gather food, and grow vegetables, and their skill and magic allowing 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 elf instructors, who teach swordplay to their children.
Religion: Above all others, elves worship Corellon Larethian, the Protector and Preserver of life. Elven myth holds that it was from his blood, shed in battles with Gruumsh, the god of the orcs, that the elves first arose. Corellon is a patron of magical study, arts, dance, and poetry, as well as a powerful warrior god.
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, for Aquan, the language of water-based creatures, and for Undercommon, the language of the drow and other subterranean creatures.
Names: When an elf declares herself an adult, usually some time after 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, 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 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, Soverliss, Thamior, Tharivol.
Female Names: Anastrianna, Antinua, Drusilia, Felosial, Ielenia, Lia, Mialee, Qillathe, Silaqui, Vadania, Valanthe, Xanaphia.
Family Names (Common Translations): Amastacia (Starflower), Amakiir (Gemflower), Galanodel (Moonwhisper), Holimion (Diamonddew), Liadon (Silverfrond), Meliamne (Oakenheel), Naïlo (Nightbreeze), Siannodel (Moonbrook), Ilphukiir (Gemblossom), 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.
“I swore an oath to protect this city before your grandfather was born, human. And when your grandchildren are but memories, I’ll walk the borders still.”
—Killarin Shaez, elf ranger in the service of Fairhaven
Living among short-lived, everchanging races such as humans and halflings, the elves of the Five Nations have learned to identify themselves more by nation and culture than by race. With a blend of the longlived perspective common to other elves and the quick, adaptable nature of other races, these elves are equally capable of long-term planning and quick, decisive action.
The elves of the Five Nations do not have the numbers or national unity of those from the nations of Valenar or Aerenal, yet they are the elves most commonly encountered by other races. Almost all these elves put their national identity above their racial identity; for example, an elf from Breland has more in common (at least in terms of social and philosophical views) with other citizens of Breland than he does with elves from Aerenal or Valenar. Elves associated with either of the great elf dragonmarked houses, however, identify themselves first as members of the house rather than as citizens of a particular nation or members of a specific community.
KHORVAIRE ELF CHARACTERS
With keen senses, long lives, and a deadly talent for archery, elves make interesting, powerful characters. Whether bearing the Mark of Shadow in service of House Phiarlan or House Thuranni or perfecting arcane magic after centuries of study, the elves of the Five Nations are among Khorvaire’s most powerful and intriguing individuals.
Adventuring Elves: Having lived among the shorter-lived races for several generations, the elves of Khorvaire have taken on many of the mannerisms and behaviors of their national cultures. Compared to the far-seeing elves of Aerenal, Khorvaire elves are impulsive and adventurous.
Displaying more of their national culture than their racial norms, the elves of Khorvaire look favorably on adventurers and others who achieve greatness. Even though they have lost much of their ancestor-worshiping traditions, the elves of the Five Nations still see great deeds as important parts of their faith and believe that today’s adventurers remain true to their race’s spirit and courage.
Character Development: Point Blank Shot and other bow-oriented feats capitalize on an elf’s racial proficiency with the longbow and high Dexterity, and focusing on ranged combat minimizes the impact of the elf’s low Constitution by keeping foes at a distance.
Character Names: The elves of the Five Nations retain some of the naming traditions of Aerenal, including the use of many vowels. Their time away from the lands of their ancestors, however, has led to changes that are reflected even in their language. Although Aereni and Valenar elves prefer names that are lilting and mellifluous, the time that Khorvaire elves have spent among the other races has led to shorter, more truncated names. While there is still some overlap between male and female names, distinct gender naming conventions have developed. Some examples are given below.
Male Names: Aesha, Daellin, Marrath, Tellian.
Female Names: Innae, Paela, Phaeani, Sailla, X’ennia.
“Put up your swords and talk of peace, or hide behind your walls of stone. When the host of Valenar thunders forth, neither will save you.”
—Shaeras Vadallia, High King of Valenar
Warriors seemingly born in the saddle, the elves of Valenar have taken the first steps along their epic quest to reclaim the lands of their ancestors. Although Valenar elves do not differ physically from the elves of Aerenal, their young culture and newborn aggression make them a race unto themselves in the eyes of the other nations of Khorvaire.
Lands: The elves of Valenar declared their own sovereignty at the end of the last war, claiming a large portion of southern Cyre. As the fractured nations of Khorvaire struggle to recover from the war that ripped the kingdom of Galifar apart, the elves of Valenar gather their strength and prepare to strike out again. The lands they hold include many ruins from the Last War and other more ancient sites from the Age of Monsters, when elves first settled the lands that are now Valenar.
Settlements: The war clans of the Valenar remain in near-constant motion unless assigned to guard a specific area by the high king. These roaming clans move throughout the kingdom, launching raids when near the border of the Talenta Plains or Q’barra and moving south during foaling season. Other than the city of Taer Valaestas where High King Vadallia keeps his seat, there are few elf settlements of any size within Valenar. Small clusters of ranches form the bulk of stationary residences within the kingdom.
Power Groups: Many of Valenar’s forty-five war clans vie for attention and prestige within the kingdom, but this competition is hardly noticeable in light of the elves’ continued aggression against neighboring countries. Welcomed into Valenar to help with agriculture and administrative tasks, the half-elves of House Lyrandar have a great deal of sway within the country, as do the Keepers of the Past, the most prominent religious group in Valenar.
Beliefs: The Keepers of the Past, the priesthood of the Valenar elves, maintain the memory of the great elf heroes of Xen’drik. Keepers travel with war clans to ensure they honor the great ancestors of the elves. The Keepers share increasing concern over a rapidly growing warrior cult. This cult, known as the Dalan Rae, brings the idea of ancestor worship to a fanatical extreme. Its warriors, known as the Dalan Rael (or “near dead”), believe that death in battle is but the last step to assuming the true form of a warrior, an undying spirit. These fanatical warriors seek an early death at the hands of a powerful foe, for in their eyes such a death ensures their return as powerful spirit warriors. The cult hopes to build a host of such spirit warriors to ride alongside the living champions of Valenar.
Language: Valenar elves speak Elven, but they are more aggressive and straightforward in conversation than other elves are, even on simple topics.
Relations: The other races view the Valenar elves as dangerous aggressors, and few doubt that the elves of Valenar will soon go on the offensive again. Although respected for their peerless cavalry troops, the elves of Valenar receive an indifferent reaction at best from members of other races.
While this problem is pronounced for any large group of elves, few see one elf as a threat. Those elves traveling in the company of other races still have an easy time moving through other cultures peacefully. Lands near the borders of Valenar are rightfully suspicious of military activity, however; this makes any sort of social interaction more difficult for elves in these regions.
VALENAR ELF CHARACTERS
Paragons of battle and honor, Valenar elf adventurers carry on the spirit of those mighty elves who smashed the giants of Xen’drik. Valenar grows in power with each passing season, and its warriors number among the mightiest in the world. Riding forth from Valenar on steeds unmatched by those of any other peoples, the warriors of Valenar are the living heirs of their great ancestry.
Adventuring Valenar Elves: Valenar warriors often travel and adventure for a decade or more in search of personal glory. Other Valenar elves, particularly clerics affiliated with the Keepers of the Past, search for relics from the elves’ ancient struggle against the Empire of Dhakaan, ruins of lost elf settlements, or even relics from ancient Xen’drik and the elves’ time there. These elves are deeply devoted to the ancestor-worship so important to their people, and many travel to Aerenal to visit the City of the Dead and speak directly to the most honored ancestors of that ancient land.
Valenar elves see adventuring as a necessary and glorious part of the warrior tradition. Emulating their ancestors of old, adventuring elves seek out great foes to defeat, thus bringing honor to themselves and their people.
In keeping with their proud martial nature, Valenar elves have not only embraced the scimitar of their Aereni ancestors, but also have further developed the weapon into a form all their own: the Valenar double scimitar, an elegant and lethal variant that they have learned to use to great effect.
Valenar Elf Traits: Elves from Valenar receive the Martial Weapon Proficiency feats for the shortbow (including composite shortbow), scimitar, and Valenar double scimitar. For Valenar elves, this trait replaces the standard elf weapon proficiency racial trait.
Character Development: Valenar elves usually devote a great deal of energy to mastering the Ride skill, and the Mounted Combat feat is virtually a must among Valenar warriors. Valenar elves hold their horses in tremendously high esteem, and high-level Valenar adventurers spend much of their resources on magic to protect their steeds against the powerful foes they face.
Character Names: Valenar elves use the same naming patterns as Aerenal elves, with little to differentiate male and female names. Some common names include Aeraes, Dailian, Fianin, Kaelan, Lia, Niath, Shearan, Tairil, Thail, Vaelas, Vaelin, and Xael.
VALENAR ELF ENCOUNTERS
Talented cavalry and aggressive warriors, the elves of Valenar are likely to test adventurers with combat before welcoming them into their lands. In addition, the PCs are likely to feel the brunt of a Valenar raid should they stray too near the borders of the aggressive kingdom.
EL 8: A Valenar war band consists of eight to twelve warriors. The vigilant riders patrol the borders of Valenar and raid neighboring lands regularly, so it is much more likely that they will get the drop on their foes rather than be caught unprepared for battle.
Valenar Rider: Female elf ranger 2; CR 2; Medium humanoid (elf);
HD 2d8+3; hp 12; Init +3; Spd 30 ft.;
AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 13;
Base Atk +2; Grp +4; Atk +5 melee (1d6+2/18–20, masterwork scimitar)
or +6 ranged (1d8+2/×3, masterwork composite longbow);
Full Atk +5 melee (1d6+2/18–20, masterwork scimitar) or +6 ranged (1d8+2/×3, masterwork composite longbow)
or +4/+4 ranged (1d8+2/×3, masterwork composite longbow);
SA favored enemy (humans +2); SQ elf traits, low-light vision, wild empathy +3 (–1 magical beasts);
AL CN; SV Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +1 (+3 vs. enchantments);
Str 15, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8.
Skills and Feats: Handle Animal +4, Hide +8, Listen +8, Move Silently +8, Ride +8, Spot +8; Mounted Combat, Rapid Shot, Track.
Favored Enemy (Ex): A Valenar rider gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against humans. She receives the same bonus on weapon damage rolls against humans.
Elf Traits: Elves have immunity to magic sleep effects. 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.
Wild Empathy (Ex): A Valenar rider can improve the attitude of an animal in the same way that a Diplomacy check can improve the attitude of a sentient being. The rider rolls 1d20+3, or 1d20–1 if attempting to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2.
Possessions: Masterwork studded leather, masterwork scimitar, masterwork mighty composite longbow (+2 Str bonus) with 40 arrows, potion of cure moderate wounds, heavy warhorse (hp 30)
VALENAR ELF ADVENTURES
Most adventures that feature Valenar elves deal with raids into Valenar lands to capture horses or with raids by a Valenar war clan. Other adventures might focus on the ancient history of the province, including exploring ruins from the Age of Monsters.
- Valenar elves have been seen moving through Q’barra in small groups, but this is no raid. The elves seem intent on stealth. Although no one is certain of their purpose, most think that the elves seek some item of power left from the Last War. Someone must follow their journey through the countryside and discover what they are seeking.
- The characters learn of Taer Dalan, a ruin built during the Age of Monsters and linked to the elves’ giant-slaying ancestors. Filled with powerful magical energy and the lingering sprits of the ancient elves, Taer Dalan holds great secrets. The Valenar elves, including both the Keepers of the Past and the Dalan Rae cult, would go to great lengths to learn of the location of Taer Dalan and keep adventurers of other races out of the ruin.
ROLEPLAYING A VALENAR ELF
Here are some tips and ideas to use when playing an elf from Valenar. Feel free to incorporate any or all of these ideas into your character’s personality and mannerisms.
- Do not be shy about praising the might and valor of your ancestors. You are a descendant of the mighty elves who battled free of the giants’ rule in Xen’drik, and every deed you do gives praise to their greatness.
- Take your trusted mount with you on your adventures as often as you can. Horses are the life blood of Valenar and the backbone of your nation’s armies.
- Do not hesitate to seize an opportunity or act with aggression if it will bring honor to yourself and your ancestors.
ELF RACIAL TRAITS
- +2 Dexterity, –2 Constitution: Elves are graceful but frail. An elf’s grace makes her naturally better at stealth and archery.
- 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. She retains 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. Elves esteem the arts of swordplay and archery, so all elves are familiar with these weapons.
- +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. An elf’s senses are so keen that she practically has a sixth sense about hidden portals.
- Automatic Languages: Common and Elven. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, and Sylvan. Elves commonly know the languages of their enemies and of their friends, as well as Draconic, the language commonly found in ancient tomes of secret knowledge.
- Favored Class: Wizard. A multiclass elf’s wizard class does not count when determining whether she takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing. Wizardry comes naturally to elves—indeed, they sometimes claim to have invented it, and fighter/wizards are especially common among them.
Adulthood: 110 yrs.
Barbarian, Rogue, Sorcerer: +4d6
Bard, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger: +6d6
Cleric, Druid, Monk, Wizard: +10d6
Middle Age: 175 yrs.
Old: 263 yrs.
Venerable: 350 yrs.
Maximum Age: +4d% yrs.
|Random Height and Weight||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||4'5"||+2d6||85 lb.||x(1d6) lb.|
|Female||4'5"||+2d6||80 lb.||x(1d6) lb.|
Source: Player's Handbook, Eberron Campaign Setting, Races of Eberron4