Elves are a truly alien race upon Reylan, particularly in culture. All elves are the descendants of the elves that crossed the Beyond from Sundast to Riadus before recorded history. They brought with them an advanced civilized culture that, despite the elves’ xenophobic nature, the native races of Riadus soon picked up on.

Due to the elves’ mistrust of anything different from themselves, interaction with other races has always been strained at best. Several wars have already been fought, each ending with the elves retreating to their adopted homeland which they defend fiercely. While elves still harbor an isolationist view of the world, they have recently opened their borders to trade and diplomacy.

Personality: Though they are alien in origin, elves are not too different in mind or spirit from any other races on Riadus. What makes them different is the culture they have brought with them. The elven mind is a disciplined one, trained to show emotion only when desired, and to act without hesitation when required. Other races assume elves lack emotion, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Elves are fully capable of feeling emotion; they simply choose to share these emotions only among friends rather than display them in public.

Most important to an elf is his personal honor and discipline. All elves have a sense of honor, though some may be stronger than others. They live by an unwritten and complicated code of conduct which defines their life and their honor. The core of this code is obedience and respect to one’s superiors.

Elves have a love of nature rivaled only by the nature spirits themselves. Elven art, music, and often poetry reflect nature and natural elements. They also have a great love and respect for magic, especially wizardry.

Physical Description: Although generally shorter than humans, elves possess a graceful, fragile physique that is accentuated by their long, pointed ears. Their hair is naturally straight, silky and black, and both men and women wear a variety of styles. Their eyes are wide and almond-shaped, and filled with large, vibrantly emerald colored irises. While elven clothing often plays off the beauty of the natural world, those elves that live in larger cities like Nakakyo tend to dress themselves in the latest fashion, even opting to color their hair in various shades, from natural tones such as blond and auburn to more unusual colors like blue or pink.

Society: Many elves feel a bond with nature and strive to live in harmony with the natural world. Most, however, find manipulating earth and stone to be distasteful, and prefer instead to indulge in the finer arts, with their inborn patience making them particularly suited to wizardry.

Relations: Elves don’t like other races. That is to say, they don’t like other races that act differently from themselves. They have practiced their way of life for thousands of years without change and feel they have reached cultural perfection. This attitude has earned them many enemies among other races.

Elves will respect any individual who makes an effort to learn their ways. Adopting the culture of elven society is not necessary for this respect, just an effort to understand them. Something as simple as learning the Sundastian language or displaying a sense of honor may earn an elf’s lifelong respect. Some elves, however, may be insulted by a foreigner “pretending” to be an elf, especially if the foreigner is of a nationality that has warred against the elves within the last several hundred years.

Generally speaking, elves get along best with dwarves, as both tend to keep to their own kind. Goblins are tolerated as “spirits” of the natural world, but are otherwise disliked. Wulfen are highly regarded for their sense of honor, which is similar in nature to the elves own, but are more often that not viewed as monsters. Throughout the past several thousand years, elves have had the most contact with humans, and so perhaps understand them most, though they don’t always get along.

Elven Lands: When elves first came to Riadus, the goddess Feilona gifted them with the forests where only wild beasts and animals lived. Ever since that time, these vast woodlands, known as Nysundast, have become the traditional home of the elves. In the most isolated areas of these dense forests they have built cities with delicate yet florid, magically-wrought architecture. Smaller towns and villages can be found in more accessible areas, though the mystical architecture remains the same.

Alignment & Religion: The strict and unbending ways of elven life make elves a strongly Lawful race. They value honesty and justice and tend to be Good. Few elves are Evil. Almost universally all elves worship the sun god Raedastin (known to other races as Triceil). It was Raedastin who rescued the elves from the destruction of Sundast. According to elven mythology, there was no light in Riadus until the elves arrived with the sun lighting their way. A small group of elves have chosen to worship Xian, the god of wisdom and martial arts. These elves typically live reclusive lives in secluded monasteries or remote villages apart from the rest of elven society.

Language: The language of the elves is perhaps the most alien aspect of their civilization. Though simply pronounced and lacking the complications of other languages, it is filled with dozens of homonyms and synonyms which are only distinguishable through accents and context. The script is also unique, being logophonetic (uses thousands of unique symbols to represent each sound or word) rather than alphabetic, and is written in vertical columns from the right to left sides of a parchment.

Names: Elves treat names differently than other races. They place a great value and importance on family unity and a family’s honor, and so their family name is always presented first, followed by their less important given name. Given names are either a unique creation of the elf’s parents, or a modification of an elven word with a pleasing sound or meaning. Most elves traveling outside their homeland prefer to go solely by their family name, while others may translate their given name into the language of the region.

Male Names: Daizu, Hayama, Hisano, Kazutada, Momota, Motoshi, Reisuke, Shinkichi, Tatsuji, and Yasuo.
Female Names: Fumiko, Haruko, Hibari, Koseki, Machiko, Mihoko, Sanae, Shiko, Sumie, and Touko
Family Names: Ayakura, Bunji, Handa, Ishibashi, Itokawa, Kagi, Onuma, Shimaya, Takuboku, and Yuki.

Adventurers: Life in an elven land is strict and often oppressive. Many elves leave their homeland to enjoy the freedoms found in the company of other races. Some may be traveling at the request or order of their lord. Others have dishonored themselves or their families and flee rather than kill themselves in shame (either is acceptable in elven society, so long as the offending elf never returns).

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. See Vision and 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 a Regional Language (usually Sundastian). Elves with high Intelligence scores can choose bonus languages from the following: Celestial, Draconic, Gnoll, Goblin, Orc, Sylvan and all Regional Languages.
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