Author Topic: The Elves of Ravenloft  (Read 10518 times)

Alundaio

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The Elves of Ravenloft
« on: October 25, 2009, 12:26:46 AM »
Most information in this thread is directly quoted from "The Complete Book Of Elves" (1992).
Hope this helps anyone wanting to increase their Elf roleplaying ability. Enjoy.

[Feel free to add more or update this information]



RAVENLOFT(r) Campaign World (Known during 2nd Edition)

There are no known elves native to the dark domains. The majority of elves found in the demiplane live in the domain of Sithicus and are originally from Krynn. Here, they are forced to remind Lord Soth of his crimes, keeping alive the memory of his heinous past. Although they do not consciously perform this service, he cannot but help recall the elves who engineered his downfall. The elves here live a tortured, cheerless existence, never knowing when Soth may choose to avenge himself for this offense.
      This domain is not entirely natural, so elves feel no connection with it. The forests do not respond to their merriment, lying lifeless instead beneath their feet. The joy that elves typically feel in the forests of more natural lands is absent from Sithicus, and any happiness they might show is forced. Their lives are tortured; for this reason, elves experiment extensively with methods to escape the clutches of Soth. Thus far, few (if indeed any) have been successful.
      In the other domains revealed at the time of this writing, elves and their derivatives tend to be regarded with intense suspicion. The people of Ravenloft are usually very human and inherently superstitious. Anything that does not fit with their carefully structured beliefs is an object of fear and hate. Only warily will elves ever be accepted by these folk, and even then they will be distrusted.
      Most undisguised elves in Ravenloft are hunted by frightened citizens. After a few attempted lynchings, any elf worth his bow will understand the need for disguise while traveling in the dark lands. Thus, any elves who might be journeying through these realms will not be readily apparent, although they will typically offer aid to a fellow elf in danger. Since undead radiate no heat, elves can spot imposters easily at night . . . which comes all too frequently in Ravenloft.

Known Ravenloft Subraces of Elves

Darkon elf (the 'native' elves of Ravenloft; same as high elves elsewhere)
Shadow elf (in early 2E described as Lolth-worshipping drow; now apparently Fey type creatures called 'Sidhe' in late 2E and 3E. No connection to Mystara's shadow elves)
Alf (small, winged elves)
Brag (wild-eyed craftsfolk)
Fir (tinkers and engineers)
Muryan (aka Dancing Men; violent and aggressive warriors)
Portune (sobre and silent healers)
Powrie (aka Redcaps; evil and sinister assassins)
Shee (elves of Maeve's Seelie Court)
Sith (dark elves fascinated with death)
Teg (feral and wild)
Sithicus elf (descended from the qualinesti of Krynn drawn into Ravenloft when Lord Soth Laren was imprisoned)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2009, 01:35:17 AM by Alundaio »

DM Tarokka

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2009, 12:49:04 AM »
I would add there is a big number of elves also in Darkon, whose overall population is 117,300 people, of which 3% are elves and 1% half-elves (so if maths doesn't betray me, 3,519 elves and 1,173 half-elves) which are definitely more than the whole population of Vallaki and Village Barovia together. Population of Sithicus is 4,300, of which 96% are elves and 2% half-elves (4,128 + 860). So basically, speaking just of numbers, we're around the same people in the two realms overall.  Of course Darkonian elves are more "civilized" and less elvish, but on this we might open another discussion.

And just because I liked this stupid thing I was doing:

Kartakass has an 1% of half-elves on front of a population of 5,000 people (so just 50 of them); 1% of elves also in Falkovnia (overall population 64,300), so some 643.

A 5% of elves is stressed also in Necropolis (in front of a 26,800 population), so some 1,340, but all of these are undead. an 1% of half-elves in Verbrek on an overall population of 1,970 people (so some 197) who can be likely werewolves.

I miss all information on Nova Vaasa and some other realms of that Gazetteer. But just to point out elves are not common, but they're not just in Sithicus.

Alundaio

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2009, 02:29:52 AM »
Emotion and Logic

Some consider elves to be totally emotional creatures, driven by the whim of the moment. Others
see them only as coldly calculating creatures who do nothing without first considering the benefit
to themselves. Neither of these is really true. Elves are often seen as distant and self-serving
creatures, probably because of their legendary haughtiness. Once one can get past their exterior,
they find that elves are a freely emotional, intuitive people.
      On the other hand, elves do not let their emotions rule their lives. They have a finely
developed logical system and use it daily. Since it is a logic that is based on their long lives
and the elven mindset, it can freely incorporate all aspects of elven life. Logic naturally
includes feelings. Humans and dwarves cannot seem to grasp that emotion is an important part of
one's life, to be cut off only at risk of losing one's personality. Those who live solely by the
word of heartless logic ignore fully half of their lives, to their detriment. Or so say the elves.
      Although elves fear very little in this world, those things that they do fear they regard
with utmost terror. They conceal their fears from the other races, not wishing to appear weak
before them. Also, they wish to appear invincible to such petty things as fear, for to do so might
expose a weakness to enemies.
      Elves don't really fear death, but if closeted away from nature, that fear is likely to
surround them. When they encounter a spirit-destroying creature (such as a tanar'ri or a wraith),
they suffer mortality pangs of the worst kind, fearing as desperately for their lives as any human
would.
      Elves hate and fear undead. They see them not only as perversions of nature, but also as
nearly immortal foes to be dreaded and loathed. Since undead can live even longer than elves,
these creatures are a serious threat to the elven way of life. Their plans can span centuries,
their machinations of purest evil.
      Elves therefore often become hunters of the undead. The elves have set themselves as the
natural adversaries of undead. The undead are a blemish on the face of the world, an otherworldly
perversion of the life force. Elves, embodying the life force, find the undead far more repugnant
than most ordinary people do. (To become an undead elf is, to elves, truly a fate worse than
death.) Only good- or neutral-aligned liches may even hope to escape elven hatred, and these are
feared.
     The elves' ability to hunt the undead is impressive, especially in older elves. Many
adventuring elves have gained the experience necessary to fight monsters, and they bring this
wealth of knowledge with them when they begin hunting undead. Elves somehow seem able to sense the
very foulness in the air when undead are present, and this leads them to their prey. Although this
ability is not easily applied in game terms, the DM should be more lenient in allowing elves to
find undead. Undead lairs are such rank holes of un-nature that elf senses are acutely aware of
the evil aura left by these foul beasts.
      Elves are never necromancers (either mage or priest), except for those who have turned to
evil. These elves resemble the drow in attitude and, as such, do not mind the foulness and
corruption associated with the undead. The only time an elf associates their name with necromancy
is when they study necromancers' tomes for clues about those they seek.

« Last Edit: October 25, 2009, 11:10:24 PM by Alundaio »

Alundaio

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2009, 11:09:26 PM »
Mental Attributes

The key to understanding the elven mind is comprehending the years an elf must fill. Most races do not (and cannot) understand the perspective hundreds of years of life lend an elf. This incredible lifespan often gives the elf a terrible, driving ambition. Paradoxically, it can also give elves a lackadaisical attitude.
      Above all, elves are patient. They have years to complete any task, and they don't mind the wait. After all, they have created many ways to wile away time. They find impatience to be an especially amusing vice possessed by the other races. If the need for haste is urgent, however, elves can move faster and more decisively than most of the other races.
      Elves tend to be very clever and devious, having had years to practice their skills and hone their minds. Their conversation and their games possess many degrees of subtlety, most of which goes unheeded by non-elves.
      Elves delight in paradox and humor, for it is through these attributes that they express themselves most fully. These two qualities allow them to communicate with one another and affords great verbal play as elves try to outwit each other. Although elves are primarily happy folk, they are capable of great emotions of a much darker nature.
      An angry elf is a terrible foe. An elf bent on vengeance is even worse. As mentioned, elves have an inexhaustible store of patience. They can wait for years before exacting revenge-after their prey has been lulled into a false sense of security. Or they can hunt their enemies over the years, never faltering or slowing in the pursuit of their quarry.
      Occasionally, elves will make a pretense of the hunt and let the person "escape." After the person has taken to flight, the elf is likely to appear at random intervals-a tactic designed to keep fear instilled in the heart of the person. This can make for a life of anxiety for anyone who has earned the wrath of elves, for that person never knows when the elf may strike to claim vengeance. This is one reason that the elves are so feared as foes, for no one wishes to live a paranoid life fearing elven wrath.



The Elven Bond

Very rarely, an elf will form a mystical and unbreakable bond with another being, whether elf, human, dwarf, or otherwise. Some signify this bonding through the giving of gifts designed to demonstrate one's love. Others merely forge the bond quietly, without any outward signs. Whatever the process through which this bond is formed, the elves involved and their chosen can sense the strong emotions of each other. They feel the joys and sorrows of the other, their triumphs and angers as well. Should distance separate the two in this bond and one pass away, the other can feel the death through the breaking of the bond. This is an even stronger version of the communion ability elves share, for this is a lifelong bond and not lightly broken.
      For this one person, elves become truly altruistic. Their lives are focused around making their loved one happy, even to the extent of sacrificing their own life. When this bond is broken, whether through betrayal or death of one of the pair, it is a tremendous shock to the other member of the union. Elves can die from the grief caused by such partings.
      Because they can enact this union only once (or twice, in extremely rare cases) in their lives, elves are very careful about those to whom they attach themselves. Many elves go through life without joining their spirits to another, for many find no mates suitable for or deserving of such an important union.
      Few elves bestow this gift on humans, for humans are so short-lived that the bond would be all but wasted on them. Still, there are some who consider this a small sacrifice for the love of a particular human. The very number of half-elves attests to this, for although most half-elves aren't children of this union, there are enough who are. The blink of an elf's eye spells an end to these ties, but the love they gain lasts for the rest of their life.
      This bond applies, to a lesser extent, to the earth itself. If confined or kept away from the land or the company of other elves for too long a time, an elf can die from grief and loneliness. Even if being held prisoner near nature or with other elves, the elf can lose hope and-without sustaining physical injury-force his or her own death. This is done only in the darkest of times, and only when there is no hope left at all to the elf.
      This ability to choose death over life is one that defeats captors and would-be torturers, for they are unable to maintain their grip on their victim for long should the elf choose this method of "escape."

Alundaio

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2009, 11:14:57 PM »
Adulthood

When elves reach age 110, they are considered adults. They are allowed to make their own way in society, human or otherwise, and are free to make all personal choices. They are also ready to take responsibility for their actions-whether good or bad. Adult elves can now experience life fully, for they are fully grown and are in the prime of life.
      This is the age when many elves begin adventuring. Free of the constraints of childhood and free to follow their own guidance, they relinquish their role in society for a time. They yearn to satisfy their boundless curiosity about the universe.
      This is, unfortunately, also the age when many of these adventuring elves die. Having had no true experience of the world outside their homelands, they are usually unprepared for what lies beyond the fields they know.
      Less than one-fourth the adult population of elves goes adventuring. Most-although curious about the world-find enough joy and beauty right where they are. Those who take up the sword and the bow to campaign in the outerlands often feel some driving need. They are not ostracized by their fellows for the wish to experience more; indeed, those who stay at home may feel a little wistfulness that they have chosen to remain behind.

Middle Age

At the age of 175, elves reach middle age. They have slowed somewhat and become slightly more vulnerable to disease and age. In trade, they know much more about the world and its workings, having affirmed their connection to the land countless times. Elves of this age have the wisdom to know what their abilities are and the intelligence to not push themselves beyond their means.
      Many elves cease adventuring at this point. More than 60 years of one's life devoted to pursuing fleeting treasure and fame is quite enough for most elves. The priests settle in one community, the wizards retire to perform magical research full time, the warriors train others, and thieves establish their own guilds.
      There are a few elves who never cease the campaigning life. They are likely to remain actively adventuring forever-or until their enemies catch up with them. Often, they have some epic quest or some inner need driving them. These are the elves most often spoken of in legends, for they will not retreat from what they perceive as their duty. They do what they must, not always what they want. They are among the most admired beings on whatever world they exist; their most hated enemies hold them in grudging respect. Decades and even centuries have given these elves a reputation of might and power. Even if these elves have no great ability, that reputation is enough to cow most opponents.

Old Age

Around the age of 250, the elf has entered "old age." He still hasn't become visibly old, but he feels the effects of age. He slows his activities, preferring less strenuous ones. Rather than sprint through the forests as he might have as a young elf, he sits in the rays of sunlight and composes songs. He has tapped into the mystic rhythms of the earth and become ever more attuned to its cycles.
      Few elves continue adventuring upon reaching old age. Their bodies and minds evolve into something more suited for a quiet, contemplative life. Still, their bodies do not appear any different than they did 100 years before, and their skills are still as sharp as they ever were. There is a slight slowing in their limbs, but that is all.

Venerable Age

Here the elf, at age 350 or older, begins to show signs of age. Wrinkles start mapping her face. Her physical condition deteriorates still further, but her knowledge and her wisdom continue to grow ever greater. Physically, she can still exert herself, but not nearly as much as a younger elf. Fortunately, no one expects her to do so. She has earned the right to be called elder, and other elves defer to her wisdom and vast experience.
      Unlike humans, even the very old elves do not lose much vitality-only endurance. Their willpower grows to phenomenal might, and these elves can force themselves to great deeds if need be. As a rule, venerable elves prefer to lead a relaxed lifestyle, playing music and singing, and listening to others do the same. There is no such thing as a naturally senile elf.

Alundaio

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2009, 11:23:17 PM »
The Reverie

Yet another difference between elves and the other humanoids of the worlds they share is that elves do not sleep in the typical sense, though they can enter that state if they desire. Instead, they gain their rest through a process known as the reverie. The reverie is akin to sleep, yet is very much unlike it. When elves enter this state, they vividly relive past memories, those both pleasant and painful. Like the dreaming of humans, elves have no control over which memories rise to the fore when they relinquish their bodies to the reverie. Occasionally, elves do actually dream, but this is not a frequent occurrence and mostly occurs only when they truly sleep.
      Elven dreams, when they happen, are sometimes prophetic. Whether these dreams are an indication of some sort of precognitive ability on the part of the elves or granted by their gods is a matter of debate. However, not all elven dreams are prophetic. Indeed, enough of their dreams are like those of humans that they cannot rely on their dreams for guidance. Still, all of their dreams are highly symbolic, providing insight into each individual's character.
      In a very real way, the reverie accounts for the elven desire to lead happy, joyous lives. Who would look forward to reliving unpleasant memories every night? Very few, though there are some truly noble elves who take on the pain and suffering of others so that they relive the memories with each reverie instead. These elves have accepted this sacrifice for the good of their people, taking upon themselves the burden that could not (or should not) descend to the lives of other, more innocent elves. They perform the unpleasant task of drawing into themselves the suffering of their people.
      When they enter reverie, elves do not usually close their eyes unless there is a bright light present. They relax their bodies entirely, each muscle losing its rigidity, until they are absolutely calm. Their faces relax into a dazed and distant look as if they were seeing another land or another time.
      During this time, they are aware of their surroundings, but they cannot act to influence them any more than a human can while asleep. Only by an act of will can an elf tear herself from reverie, and she will be confused for a short time, just as a human would be who has torn himself from sleep.
      Although the reverie provides rest, it is primarily an important memory tool that helps the elf maintain a strong sense of identity. Since their lifespans are so great, elves must periodically recall the events in those hundreds of years that were integral to the making of their personality.
      The fact that elves go into this reverie, rather than enter actual sleep, could help to explain their natural resistance to sleep spells. Since sleep is, for the most part, alien to their nature, they can ward off its effects easily. But since the reverie is akin to sleep, they suffer no ill effects when they do fall victim to sleep spells and like magicks.
      The combination of reverie and manifestation may also account for the elves' near-immunity to charm-related enchantments. The reverie imparts a strong sense of self, giving them a secure identity. They are intimately attuned to their own lives, wants, and needs and are therefore not easily misled about their goals. They allow only themselves to determine their course of action.
      Their innate manifestation ability makes them well aware of efforts to influence them through extranatural means. Since they can sway others, they are conscious of attempts to manipulate them and can resist these endeavors with more authority and success than most other races.

Alundaio

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2009, 11:42:52 PM »
The Elven Language

The elven language is melodic and fluid, consisting of musical words that are a joy to hear. There are nuances and lilting intonations, all of which combine to make Elvish a lovely language. Even Drow Elvish is an attractive language, full of dark mystery and secrets.
      When spoken by non-elves, Elvish seems strangely brutalized, although it is hard to define exactly why. Elves know that this is because the subtleties inherent in Elvish only fully translate for them (or for those using magic to communicate). Elves, because of their keen hearing, perceive an additional current in their tongue, one which also conveys emotion should the speaker wish.
      Because of this hidden feature, elves can carry on a conversation within a conversation. The subtleties of the language and the nuances available allow elves to pass on the substance of an entirely different topic provided, of course, it is not a difficult or confusing one. This ability also allows elves to pass hidden messages to one another even in front of a human who understands Elvish, which is one reason why elves make such excellent spies. They can speak of inconsequentialities, yet pass along vital information to other elves. No one hearing them without magical aid can discern the additional message that is carried on the wings of the conversation.
      The intricate care involved in the structure of the elven language extends to naming children. Elven names, although they often sound somewhat similar, are all individual. No two elves have ever shared the same name, save as a matter of choice, for elves are far too individualistic to stoop to using identical names for their children.
      Elves prefer names that flow off the tongue like wind through trees. Sibilants and "th" sounds are common, as are others of the softer consonants. Occasionally, to add interest to a name, elves will include a hard consonant, such as a "k" or a "t." Overall, they prefer to allow the name to remain fluid and melodic, much like their language.

Sithican Elven Language

This elven language is noted for its sibilants, which earns the Sithicans the derogatory nickname of the "hissing elves." To the learned ear, numerous Sithican words and phrases seem oddly dissonant, hinting that they may have been borrowed from languages otherwise unknown in these lands.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2009, 01:20:51 AM by Alundaio »

Bluebomber4evr

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2009, 11:53:35 AM »
Note that some of this stuff has changed since the publication of the book you're quoting. Native elves were made more common as of Domains of Dread (1997) a late 2nd edition Ravenloft update. That book also gave elves a Celtic feel, though this was not picked up in the later 3rd edition Ravenloft books. A few of the "generic" elven traits that you later list I believe were tweaked under the 3.X edition rules, but I'm not completely sure which ones (I think they tweaked the stuff about death and the afterlife a bit--2nd elves "died" very much like Tolkien's elves)

Also, Sithican elves no longer remind Soth of his crimes because Soth no longer rules Sithicus. But that's a whole other story. ;)

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DM Tarokka

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2009, 11:56:52 AM »
I might add Sithican Elvish language is not even that melodic since it should be full of hissing sounds...

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2009, 01:14:23 PM »
From the campign setting of ravenloft regarding elves

Elves
Two seemingly unrelated elven societies exist in Ravenloft. The elves of Darkon tend to have dark hair and eyes of green, violet, or gray. Elves from the domain of Sithicus all share the traits of silvery hair and amber eyes.ears, vulpine features, and lithe builds. Elves prefer to dress in light, fine fabrics like silk or satin. Sithican elves prefer drab colors, but the fashion of Darkonian elves is set by season: pastel greens and blues are worn in the summer, followed by yellows, oranges, and reds as the trees turn color in the autumn. During the winter months, the Darkonian elves restrict themselves to black, white, or gray tones, to be replaced by an explosion of colors with the coming of spring.

The "fair folk" are children of nature, respected by some humans but quietly feared by others. They measure their lives in centuries and lack the sense of urgency that seems to drive humans. In times of need, elves can react as quickly as any other race, but they see nothing wrong with dedicating months or years to perfecting a sonnet, observing beauty, or engaging in the pursuit of pleasure. Humans often call elves hedonistic and claim that they have only a bystander's understanding of death. In fact, in some lands, elves are commonly thought — however erroneously — to be fey creatures, immortal nature spirits merely aping the human form. More than one unfortunate elf has had her immortality tested by the inquisitors of Tepest.

Homelands: Darkon's Mistlands contain three primarily elven communities—Neblus, Nevuchar Springs, and Sidnar — where elves mingle freely with other races. On the far side of the Core, Sithicus stands as the only domain with aprimarily nonhuman population. Legends speak of still more elven cities hidden from human eyes by powerful elven magic or the Mists. Elves occasionally settle in human lands,where they can become respected scholars. In some locales, tales circulate of elves who served as advisers to entire human dynasties.

Alundaio

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2009, 01:42:18 AM »
Updated to include further information on the Elves native to Ravenloft... :lol:

Oh, Yeah I know about Lord Soth not being around anymore. I read Spectre of the Black Rose.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2009, 01:45:43 AM by Alundaio »

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2009, 11:43:57 AM »

Shadow elf (in early 2E described as Lolth-worshipping drow; now apparently Fey type creatures called 'Sidhe' in late 2E and 3E. No connection to Mystara's shadow elves)
Shee (elves of Maeve's Seelie Court)

I am getting more confused not less. Elves of the Seelie (and Unseelie court for that matter) are "Sidhe" (Sidhe being pronounced as Shee)
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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2015, 12:14:52 PM »
Do the elves of Sithicus have any actual religion or remember anything from their Krynn heritage?  I know it says they don't venerate any gods in many writings but then certain things like celebration days say they do.  Just curious
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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2015, 02:09:08 PM »
Nope. Just druidic circles and whatnot.

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2015, 02:14:26 PM »
Do the elves of Sithicus have any actual religion or remember anything from their Krynn heritage?  I know it says they don't venerate any gods in many writings but then certain things like celebration days say they do.  Just curious
They remember it, but no longer practice it. They feel that the Krynnish gods abandoned them.

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Jeebs

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2015, 04:30:04 PM »
      This domain is not entirely natural, so elves feel no connection with it. The forests do not respond to their merriment, lying lifeless instead beneath their feet. The joy that elves typically feel in the forests of more natural lands is absent from Sithicus, and any happiness they might show is forced.

I remember reading something like this before, and I was just wondering if this is exclusive to Sithicus or if it includes all of the lands in Ravenloft?

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2015, 04:55:27 PM »
      This domain is not entirely natural, so elves feel no connection with it. The forests do not respond to their merriment, lying lifeless instead beneath their feet. The joy that elves typically feel in the forests of more natural lands is absent from Sithicus, and any happiness they might show is forced.

I remember reading something like this before, and I was just wondering if this is exclusive to Sithicus or if it includes all of the lands in Ravenloft?
No, it's just the elves of Sithicus that this applies to.

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Jeebs

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2015, 05:06:30 PM »
Alright then, so any other elf walking into Sithicus might actually feel a connection to it the same way they might feel connected to any other forest land they visit, if I understand correctly?

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2015, 06:12:23 PM »
Alright then, so any other elf walking into Sithicus might actually feel a connection to it the same way they might feel connected to any other forest land they visit, if I understand correctly?
Yes, if they're native elves.

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2016, 12:24:13 PM »
Are there any resources on what Sithican elves would actually know of their abandoned faiths? Because the Gazetteer is pretty mum on it and it seems that things have changed enough from their Silvanesti -> Sithican transition that they've got some unique stuff going on.
Fane Silivasi / Edwin Aubert / Marianne Sondheim / Nelu Stoichita
Ata Ubaid / Bruhm Blackwrought / Craven



Alan Hunter

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2016, 05:15:38 PM »
I'd have to reread the Dread Realms Natural Balance but there are Cannon stories and resource that state the Land itself is controlled by the Mist and contains some corruption or evil, stronger where there is mist, which does cause Rangers, Druids, and Elves some discomfort or insanity if they try to unbalance the mist. As for sithicus specific I'm looking up 2nd edition and 3 edition resources to give you a definitive answer as i been reading much on the nature of the dread realms to better react to as Alan when it come to role play. Domains of Dread 2nd edition is 454 pages so bare with me i had this on an old E Tool when Gygax started doing pdf books for streaming and chat box role playing with Red VC Tool and the D&D Generator. The E Tool files required a certain psx program to unlock their format and changing the file to pdf is pain but here's


"Section from 2nd edition Domains of Dread: Sithicus"

Sithicus
The Land: This thickly forested domain lies in the southwest region of the Core, east of Valachan and south of Verbrek and
Invidia. Massive trees crowd out the sun, plunging the forest floor below into darkness. A tangle of mottled ivy and gray
ferns hides the earth from sight, providing perfect cover for snakes, rodents, and insects. The lowlands are filled with
bubbling springs and shallow pools. Most travelers stick to the main roads that lead to the domain's principal cities,
Mal-Erek, Hroth, and Har-Thelen. These wind their way through narrow valleys or hug the edge of crumbling cliffs.
To natives of Sithicus, its night sky is a reminder of Krynn, the world they are forever isolated from. The sky is apparently
moonless, filled with cold pinpoints of light. Natives of Krynn note that the constellations are similar to those of their home
world, but with a few important differences. The "platinum dragon" constellation representing the god Paladine has been
torn asunder, its stars scattered throughout the sky. The stars in the "five-headed dragon" constellation representing the
goddess Takhisis shine brighter than before. Constellations of the other gods of Krynn have dimmed sharply.
Although it is not easily seen, Sithicus actually does have a moon in its curious sky. Mamed Nuitari, this orb is black and
can only be seen by characters of evil alignment. These characters can see by its dark light about as well as normal humans
can in moonlight. Characters of other alignments can "see" the black moon only by observing which stars wink out in the
sky. Nuitari becomes full every eight days.
When the characters enter Sithicus, roll 1d8 to determine the phase of the moon, since its phases affect wizardly magic in
Sithicus. Nuitari remains in each phase for twenty-four hours - one day and one night.
Table 2: Phases of Nuitari
Roll Phase
1 New moon
2 Waxing crescent moon
3 Waxing half moon
4 Waxing gibbous moon
5 Full moon
6 Waning gibbous moon
7 Waning half moon
8 Waning crescent moon
When the black moon is half full to full, wizards of nonevil alignments suffer penalties to their spellcasting, while evil
vizards receive bonuses. These effects are similar to the "sinkhole of evil" effects experienced by priests in Ravenloft. (See
Appendix Three: Character Classes.)
Waxing/waning half or gibbous moon - Nonevil wizards suffer a -1 penalty to saving throws vs. spell. Evil
wizards receive a +1 bonus to saving throws vs. spell.
Full moon - Nonevil wizards suffer a -2 penalty to saving throws vs. spell and cast nonevil spells at one level
lower than normal. Evil wizards receive a +2 bonus to saving throws vs. spell and cast nonevil spells at one
level higher than normal.
In addition to these modifications, special conditions apply whenever an evil wizard spell (any that requires a Ravenloft
powers check) is cast during a full moon. Regardless of the caster's alignment, these spells work at two levels higher than
normal. Player characters who cast an evil spell incur a powers check increased by 2%.
Only wizards are affected by these changes. Because Lord Soth is not a wizard, his spells are not affected.
The population of Sithicus is almost exclusively elven. Mal-Erek, Hroth, and Har-Thelen are mediocre and have none of the
beauty of elven cities elsewhere. The stonework has large gaps, potholes dot the streets, and statues and other works of art
have a rushed, half-finished look. The concentric walls that separate the various elven castles are crumbling, books in the
city libraries are moldy, and the enchantments that normally hide the entrance to elven cities have been allowed to wane.
Soth's castle, Nedragaard Keep, is hidden between two arms of an eerie ridge, resembling his own Dargaard Keep on Krynn.
The castle is a gift from the dark powers of the land. He is joined by the shadows of spirits and undead warriors who also
haunted his castle on Krynn.


Cultural Level: Medieval.
The Folk: Most natives of Sithicus are elves. However, a number of human and half-elf children, fathered by Kartakan
merchants living in Har-Thelen, have been born of late, and a small group of Vistani (called the Wanderers) live here. In
addition, several kender communities are hidden deep in the domain's forests.
Sithican elves have a general air of apathy about them. Characters familiar with Krynn will recognize their clothing as
similar to that favored by the Silvanesti elves of Ansalon a few centuries ago, but their clothing is drab in color and their
armor dented and unpolished. Instead of riding proudly into battle on the backs of griffons or hippogriffs, their warriors use
horned stag beetles as mounts.
Sithican elves find neither joy nor beauty in the tangled forests and boulder-choked streams. Their songs are mournful
dirges, accompanied by low-pitched, droning instruments that evoke a sense of loss.
Despite these failings, they still look down on other races and, to a lesser degree, on elves who are not of Silvanesti stock. In
many subtle ways, they make nonelf characters feel unwelcome in Sithicus. Characters are overcharged for supplies, told
that no rooms are available at the inns even though there are obvious vacancies, and served last at taverns. Everywhere they
go, nonelf heroes receive rude stares. Small children throw mud at them, and residents coincidentally choose to empty slop
buckets into the street just as they pass by. The rare elf who actually smiles at the heroes or extends them a helping hand
seems a godsend beside the rest.
This attitude reflects the treatment elves of Sithicus get when they leave their own domain. In most other domains of the
Core, it is the demihumans who are treated with contempt.
A small, but significant, Vistani population thrives in Sithicus. These Vistani are called the Wanderers, and Soth keeps them
trapped in his domain, closing the border whenever he senses these Vistani approaching it. He feels their leader Magda
betrayed him when he was first drawn into the Demiplane and wants them to suffer the same imprisonment that he does.
Although Soth destroyed most of the kender that existed in the domain by turning them into kender vampires through dark
experiments, a few survived and now live in the woods. They have the reputation of being some of the most violent and
xenophobic people of the Core. Natives avoid the areas of the forest that have been claimed by the kender. Visitors to the
domain can recognize the boundaries of kender territory by the rotting heads that are spiked to the trees at its edges; the
kender of Sithicus thus turn trespassers into "No Trespassing" signs.
Native Player Characters: Typical native heroes are elves. They may belong to any class allowed in Ravenloft, as well as
any multi-class combination allowed to elves. However, the magic of elf mages is affected by the dark light of Nuitari, as
detailed above. Heroes from Sithicus are generally not plagued by the racist attitudes of their fellow elves, although there are
exceptions. Half-elf and half-Vistani player characters are also found in Sithicus.
Personalities of Note: Mason, the Lord Speaker of Har-Thelen is an elf thief/mage who appears to be a bit more ambitious
and upbeat than other Sithican elves. He continues to bully and manipulate the craftsmen of his city to produce decent goods
that can be traded with Kartakass, and he has even pressed stonemasons into the city's service so that it may be repaired and
maintained. Mason is fighting an uphill battle, though, and rumors have it that his activity is annoying Soth's seneschal,
Azrael. He prefers the elves to be docile, or at least direct all their efforts to helping him locating Kitiara Uth Matar, a
woman his master seeks.
The Law: Although each of the cities of Sithicus has its own caste of elf nobles - headed by the hereditary ruler knows as a
Lord Speaker - all acknowledge the rulership of Lord Soth. They see him only rarely, but all fear his wrath and cringe at the
mention of his name. An invitation to visit the High Lord at Nedragaard Keep is generally considered a death sentence.
Because Soth can literally raise the remains of the dead to do his bidding, no corner of Sithicus is safe.
Soth's seneschal, Azrael the dwarf, receives careful respect even though he is not an elf. Discourtesy to this servant of the
High Lord is sure to have dire consequences.
The laws made by the Lord Speakers are few and typical of what one would expect to find in an elven community.


I will post additional sithicus information on this topic from third and additional cannon resources hopefully this helps its up to the DM's to decide on what is good and not. But from where I highlighted in bold it seems anything involving nature or forests to these elves in their own homeland brings them no joy maybe in other lands they may get a spark from what I read but given their treatment in the Core Lands their resentment may make them not enjoy these rare wonders so much.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 05:21:11 PM by Alan Hunter »
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Alan Hunter

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2016, 07:05:29 PM »
Are there any resources on what Sithican elves would actually know of their abandoned faiths? Because the Gazetteer is pretty mum on it and it seems that things have changed enough from their Silvanesti -> Sithican transition that they've got some unique stuff going on.

I wish I can elaborate more but those aren't consistent with the Ravenloft gaming series but more in the novels that have long past our time. I'd have to research the Books of Krynn that tell tale of Sithicus but my understand on a few excerpts online and what i did have in Ravenloft is that Sithicus Elves are mostly tortured by the environment as it reminds them of a long almost forgotten Krynn. Any Krynn faith the Silvanesti may only be practiced through those devoted families or if anything remained may have long been forgotten or changed given the time passing and events. If native player did wish to celebrate or practice the faith it may mostly be legends in such that the constellations were once this and that the prominence of Takhisis shows that they too may have been forgotten by the other gods. Like most non Ravenloft deities their faiths may be only remnants of their former glory. This is something a player shoul;d discuss with a DM if making a cleric type or druid type character of this region to see if it is possible or permitted.
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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2016, 08:35:18 PM »
Are there any resources on what Sithican elves would actually know of their abandoned faiths? Because the Gazetteer is pretty mum on it and it seems that things have changed enough from their Silvanesti -> Sithican transition that they've got some unique stuff going on.
They would be the gods of Krynn. They didn't abandon their religion until Soth's disappearance, so they would remember all of it.

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Alan Hunter

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2016, 08:55:00 PM »
Updated Status on Sithicus elves from 3rd edition hope this helps. Blue Bomber is right though most their temples are in ruins this is the most current data. I pop the official images but its a pain in the butt to do it and i'm lazy so here's the txt format

Spoiler: show
Sithicus
Cultural Level: Medieval (7).
Landscape: Full Ecology (Temperate Forests
and Hills). Sithicus (SITH-uh-cuss), located in the
southwestern Core, is a shattered elven kingdom,
perhaps the only domain in the Land of Mists
populated primarily by nonhumans. As might be
expected, it is a land of ancient forests where the
dense, leafy boughs above blot out the sun. The
wilds are overgrown and treacherous, reeking constantly
of wet decay and sickly-sweet resin.
Patches of briars and nettles form dense snarls,
and the forest floor is slick with rotting leaves and
moss. Mottled ivy and gray ferns grow
everywhere, and pools of fetid water gather algae
in the hollows. Fallen logs litter the understory,
encrusted with florid, poisonous fungi. Rocky
uplands peek out of the sweeping forest landscape
here and there, providing roosts for great, russet
eagles. The Musarde River and its tributaries cut
through the domain's gently rolling terrain. Near
the center of the domain is the jagged maw of the
Great Chasm. Out of this sheer canyon rises a
black peak topped by the ruins of Nedragaard
Keep, the fortress of Sithicus's dwarven tyrant.
Shattered three years ago in the Hour of
Screaming Shadows, the cracked ruins now jut
from the earth like blackened teeth. Ravens wheel
forlornly about the towering shards, and some
elves swear they have glimpsed mournful shades
drifting around the ruins at night.
Elegant architecture was once prized by the
elves of Sithicus, but today the domain's settlements
are crumbling. The wondrous elven wood
and crystal masonries are neglected and covered
with ivy. Twisting towers of living wood are
blighted with insect galls and rot, and the gardens
stand choked with thistles and brambles. Roads
that once glittered like an evening sky are dull and
crumbling. The arcane libraries slowly rot under
an assault of mildew and silverfish, yet the elven
wizards seem oblivious. Temples to forgotten gods
are charred and blasted as if from lightning, the
holy names stricken.

The climate in Sithicus is temperate but mild.
Although the sun often blazes cruelly in the late
summer months, the elves are sheltered by the cool
shadows of the forest.
Major Settlements: Har-Thelen (pop. 500),
Hroth (pop. 900), Mal-Erek (pop. 500).
The Folk: Population 4,300; Elves 96%,
Half-Elves 2%, Humans 1%, Other 1%. Languages
Sithican,* Vaasi, Balok, Mordentish.
Religions
Ezra, Hala.
The overwhelming majority of Sithicans are
high elves, though these Sithican elves speak their
own unique language. Over the years, human merchants
and craftsmen from Kartakass have settled in
Sithicus, often marrying into elven houses of low
station. Predictably, there is a growing population
of half-elves in the domain, though more prestigious
houses spurn these outcasts. Rumors persist
of a tiny settlement of halflings in the Iron Hills of
the northeast, but the region is considered by the
elves to be haunted.
Sithican elves are grim, cold folk compared to
the high elves found elsewhere in the Land of
Mists. Their clothing is drab, the preferred colors
being white, beige, ash, and gray-green. The deep
adoration of nature and beauty is gone, replaced by
solemn apathy. Sithican elves believe that their
culture will survive, as it has done for centuries, no
matter what troubles befall it. The domain's wicked
monarchs may rise and fall, the petty problems of
other realms may come and go, but Sithicus itself
will endure. Denial tinges the elves' cold arrogance;
all around, the wonders of their culture are
crumbling. They cling to their traditions dourly,
draining them of meaning and suffocating their
society for reasons they can no longer remember.
Outsiders are treated with disdain or even hostility
by the Sithican elves, who remain haughty and
suspicious toward all other races and lands. Even
humans who have dwelled in Sithicus for a generation
or more are considered second-class citizens.
The Law: Despotic monarchy and aristocracy.
Azrael, a dwarven despot with unholy powers, rules
Sithicus through sheer fear. The dwarf recently
seized control of the domain from the black-hearted
knight who once ruled from Nedragaard Keep.
Although the knight was undeniably harsh to the
Sithican elves, he cared little for his role as their
monarch. Azrael has proved a much more
monstrous tyrant. The dwarf governs erratically,
appearing periodically in elven settlements,
demanding tribute and slaughtering any who displease
him. No explanation or excuse is ever
given. The Sithican elves hate Azreal passionately
but fear his wrath even more. The dwarf king
commands troops of undead soldiers and is widely
rumored to be a supernatural creature himself.
Speculation abounds regarding Azrael's relationship
with Sithicus's Vistani, whom he seems to
envy, fear, and hate.
Azrael's presence aside, the Sithican elves
adhere to the traditional loose elven aristocracy.
Without a true elven monarch to unite them,
however, relationships between settlements and
noble houses can become tense and bitter. Each
settlement is ruled by the word of the eldest elven
noble, who governs lightly. There are houses for
each task or role in elven society, though some are
much more prestigious and powerful than others.
The noble, ranger, and wizard houses are particularly
prominent. Since the elves value their
freedom above all else, laws are few and far
between. Protecting the resources of the forest and
the privacy of elven settlements are the primary
priorities. Sithican militias are small but well
trained and diversified, with fighters, rangers, and
wizards in their ranks.
Trade and Diplomacy: Resources oats,
cabbage, carrots, turnips, peppers, squash,
peaches, grapes, sheep, goats, wine, spirits, timber,
furs, salt, gems, crystal, cloth. Coinage rose
(gp), crown (sp), sword (cp).
Although suspicious and insular, Sithican
elves have reaped the benefits of expanding trade
with neighboring domains, particularly Kartakass.
Thus, reluctantly and gradually, contact with other
lands has increased. Merchants are eager to
acquire the rare vegetables, spirits, hardwoods,
and handicrafts the elves produce. Tiny
settlements of human traders and laborers have
begun to appear in Sithican territory, which angers
the more isolationist elven houses. Azrael does not
discourage such economic colonialism, however,
as it benefits his own coffers.
Characters: Classes bards, druids,
fighters, rangers, wizards. Skills Bluff, Craft
(bowmaking, carpentry, gemcutting, weaving),
Handle Animal, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana,
nature, nobility and royalty), Profession (herbalist,
scribe), Wilderness Lore. Feats Dodge (plus
derivatives), Lunatic, Point Blank Shot (plus
derivatives), Reincarnated, Track, Two-Weapon
Fighting, Weapon
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Truth_USMC

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Re: The Elves of Ravenloft
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2016, 09:05:59 PM »
I'm currently playing a Sithican mystic attempting to rebuild a connection with E'li (Paladine) Whom they believe to be the elven creator, by attempts at uncovering lore and knowledge relating to such.  The route I've been taking is they remember their creator but view it through a filter of somber attitude which he's trying to strip away in a mystical sort of way.
'Smile, be polite and have a plan to kill everyone you meet" -Marine saying