Many elves are regal and aloof, concerned with plans hat cover the sweep of centuries, not the petty day-to-day affairs that occupy the thoughts of other races. A few elves are rather more down-to-earth: The elves of the dragonmarked houses have lived among humans and other short-lived races for centuries and have adjusted their sense of time to accommodate, and the elves of Valenar have rejected many of the old ways of their kind in order to take a more active and expansionist place in the world.
Although generally taller than humans, elves possess a graceful, fragile physique that is accentuated by their long, pointed ears. Their eyes are wide and almond-shaped, and filled with large, vibrantly colored pupils. While elven clothing often plays off the beauty of the natural world, those elves that live in cities tend to bedeck themselves in the latest fashion.
The elves were born on the mysterious southern continent of Xen’drik, where they were slaves of the giant kingdoms. Tens of thousands of years ago, elf slaves rebelled against their masters and eventually left Xen’drik entirely. They settled in the fertile tropical rain forest of Aerenal, a large island-continent to the southeast of Khorvaire.
Before the long reign of the Galifar kings, some elves decided to leave Aerenal and emigrate to Khorvaire. These elves now live among the nations of Khorvaire and have integrated almost completely into human-dominated society. These “civilized” elves have little to do with either the ancient Aerenal society or the newly formed nation of Valenar, though some individuals may have more of a connection to their ancestral cousins than the average Khorvaire elf.
During the Last War, the beleaguered rulers of Cyre brought elf mercenaries from Aerenal into their lands. After fifty years of fighting on Cyre’s behalf, these mercenaries claimed a portion of Cyre as their own, declaring that this land once belonged to the elves—a trading colony had been established on the mainland to trade with the empire of the hobgoblins long before the arrival of humans on Khorvaire. This land is now known as Valenar.
Most of the elves in Aerenal give little thought to the outside world, focusing instead on the goals of their isolated family groups and their families’ roles in the far-reaching plans of the undying. While this makes much of Aerenal isolationist and impenetrable to outsiders, small parts of the elf nation deal directly with the outside world. Through the port city of Pylas Talaear the elves sell their magical timber and worked wooden goods to members of other races. Because of this commerce, and the fact that the elves of Aerenal have held their island continent for ten times the length of living memory, outsiders almost universally view the elves with a healthy mix of awe and indifference. All this is changing, though, as the young elves of Tairnadal continue to migrate to the kingdom of Valenar and practice policies of aggressive expansion.
Alignment and Religion
Elves are emotional and capricious, yet value kindness and beauty. Most elves are chaotic good. There are several religions that the elves of Khorviare worship. The first is the Undying Court of Aerenal. The elves of Valenar worship the spirits of the past, but elves elsewhere in Khorviare are likely to worship any of the other deities, particularly those of the Sovereign Host.
Many elves embark on adventures out of a desire to explore the world, leaving their secluded forest realms to reclaim forgotten elven magic or search out lost kingdoms established millennia ago by their forefathers. For those raised among humans, the ephemeral and unfettered life of an adventurer holds natural appeal. Elves generally eschew melee because of their frailty, preferring instead to pursue classes such as wizards and rangers.
The elven houses of Phiarlan and Thuranni, split during the Last War, together carry the Mark of Shadow with its powers of scrying and illusion. They control the business of espionage throughout Khorvaire, but they also operate more legitimate businesses related to art and entertainment. Since the split of the houses, Phiarlan and Thuranni have become ruthless competitors as each strives for dominance in the field.
Caladrel, Heldalel, Lanliss, Meirdrarel, Seldlon, Talathel, Variel, Zordlon.
Amrunelara, Dardlara, Faunra, Jathal, Merisiel, Oparal, Soumral, Tessara, Yalandlara.
Elf Racial Traits
+2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, –2 Constitution: Elves are nimble, both in body and mind, but their form is frail.
Medium: Elves are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Elves have a base speed of 30 feet.
Low-Light Vision: Elves can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Elven Immunities: Elves are immune to magic sleep effects and get a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells and effects.
Elven Magic: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance. In addition, elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Spellcraft skill checks made to identify the properties of magic items.
Keen Senses: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception skill checks.
Weapon Familiarity: Elves are proficient with longbows (including composite longbows), longswords,rapiers, and shortbows (including composite shortbows), and treat any weapon with the word “elven” in its name as a martial weapon.
Languages: Elves begin play speaking Common and Elven. Elves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Celestial, Draconic, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, and Sylvan.
Alternate Racial Traits
Born in the Saddle (Valenar): Elves with this racial trait gain a + 1 bonus on damage rolls while mounted, do not take a penalty on Ride checks for riding bareback, and Ride is always a class skill for them. This racial trait replaces Elven Magic.
Deathward (Aerenal): Elves of Aerenal gain a +2 bonus on saving throws against necromancy and death effects. This ability replaces Elven Immunities.
Horse Whisperer (Valenar): Elves with this racial trait speak only Elven and do not gain any bonus languages from possessing a high Intelligence score. In addition, they learn only one language per 2 ranks of Linguistics they possess. However, they may speak with horses as if under a continuous speak with animals effect. This racial trait replaces an elf’s normal languages.
Valenar Weapon Familiarity (Valenar): Elves with this racial trait are proficient with scimitars, falchions, longbows (including composite longbows) and shortbows (including composite shortbows). They treat double scimitars, as well as any ranged weapon with “elven” in its name, as martial weapons. This racial trait replaces Weapon Familiarity.
Aerenal Elf: Aerenal elves have the deathward racial trait.
Valenar Elf: Valenar elves have the born in the saddle and Valenar weapon familiarity racial traits. Only the most attuned to nature have the horse whisperer trait.
Favored Class Bonuses
Antipaladin (Aerenal): Add + 1/2 more uses of touch of cruelty per day.
Barbarian (Valenar): Add 1 round to the duration of the barbarian’s rage.
Cavalier (Valenar): Add 1 to the base speed of the cavalier’s mount. In combat this has no effect unless the cavalier has selected this reward 5 times (or another increment of 5); a speed of 34 feet is effectively the same as a speed of 30 feet, for example. This bonus stacks with a class’s fast movement feature and applies only under the same conditions as that ability.
Cleric (Aerenal): Add + 1/2 more uses of channel energy per day.
Oracle (Valenar, Ancestor Mystery): Add + 1/2 to the oracle’s class level for determining the durations of his revelations.
Oracle (Valenar, Battle Mystery): The oracle gains + 1/6th of a revelation from the Ancestor mystery.
Oracle (Aerenal, Bones Mystery): The oracle is considered to have a Charisma score + 1/2 higher for determining the effects of his revelations and the highest level of oracle spells he can cast. This ability does not affect save DCs.
Oracle (Aerenal, Life Mystery): If they have the Channel revelation the oracle may channel energy + 1/2 additional time per day.
Paladin (Aerenal): Add + 1/2 more uses of lay on hands per day.
Ranger (Valenar): Add 1 to the base speed of the ranger’s companion. In combat this has no effect unless the ranger has selected this reward 5 times (or another increment of 5); a speed of 34 feet is effectively the same as a speed of 30 feet, for example. This bonus stacks with a class’s fast movement feature and applies only under the same conditions as that ability.
Summoner (Valenar): Add 1 to the base speed of the summoner’s eidolon, as long as it uses the biped or quadruped base form. In combat this has no effect unless the summoner has selected this reward 5 times (or another increment of 5); a speed of 34 feet is effectively the same as a speed of 30 feet, for example. This bonus stacks with a class’s fast movement feature and applies only under the same conditions as that ability.
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