Author Topic: Subrace Roleplaying Resources and Lore  (Read 17426 times)

EO

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Abber Nomad
« Reply #75 on: February 13, 2021, 11:09:03 AM »
Abber Nomad

A race of humans live in the Terrain Between. These beings, called Abber nomads, are a stoic and proud people who have adapted to life in the dreaded Nightmare Lands. Considered by outsiders to be barbarians, the Abber nomads have an unusually sophisticated outlook on life that, not surprisingly, is almost as alien as the bizarre realm that they inhabit.

To most who travel the Nightmare Lands, the Abber nomads are a strange and frustrating people. They appear to suffer from mental distress, at least from the point of view of those from a more sane world. In a realm of insanity however, perhaps a touch of madness is necessary to survive.

The Abbers take things one moment at a time since the Forest of Everchange where they dwell is never the same from one moment to the next. Because nothing around them remains the same the Abbers don't believe in anything they can't see. Further if something leaves their sight they forget about it completely. Nothing exists that isn't immediately perceptible.

Physical description:
The typical Abber nomad male stands roughly six and a half feet tall with females being only an inch or so shorter. They are generally well-muscled survivors, as befits their nomadic society and the harsh land with which they must contend.

Outlook:
While the Abber nomads might seem to be a fairly typical aboriginal culture, nothing could be further from the truth. Their strange surroundings have convinced them that the universe is a wild and unpredictable place — leaving them with no understanding of science or the traditional concepts of cause and effect. In the Nightmare lands, a device or spell that works one day might cease to function the next, fire may burn with kindling today but require water tomorrow.

Because of the strange happenings of the Nightmare Lands, the nomads have developed a philosophy that, greatly paraphrased, says that anything they cannot perceive themselves does not exist. Thus, someone who walks out of their sight ceases to exist until they are again visible. While this can make outsiders uncomfortable and efforts to deal with the nomads very difficult (the nomads will make no long range plans or commitments), it enables them to cope with life in a wild place that seems oblivious to the natural laws that rule the rest of the universe. In addition, the nomads have no faith in the permanency of anything, including ideas or memories. Time means little to the Abber, living where days and seasons change by the moment. In short, they accept what is and make no efforts to change it or participate in it. They are, perhaps, the universe's most withdrawn and disinterested occupants.

These nomads do not dream, though some members of their society do learn to dreamwalk. Perhaps their lack of dreams protects them from the attention of the Nightmare Court.

Society:
The Abber nomads, as their name implies, make no permanent structures. They travel about from place to place in search of the basic elements of survival. They work no metals, but are skilled at woodworking and have some interest in stone carving (usually for the design and construction of minor tools and hunting implements).

They are the only true humans inhabiting the Forest of Everchange (Dream spawn in the form of humans don't count.) They are a passive occasionally helpful group. If a wanderer can learn to deal with the Abbers' unusual outlook on the world then he might find help on rare occasions.

Each tribe of nomads will be composed of 10-40 adults (roughly half male and half female). In addition, there will be another 25% of this number who are young children that do not fight or hunt. Among adults, men and women hunt and share all labors equally. One in ten of the adults will be a leader. There may be more than one leader in any given tribe.

Abber tribe members practice no magic. There are no Abber wizards, and Abber clerics are almost equally rare. The few Abbers who decide to take up priestly magic and try to learn about their strange world must leave the safety of their tribes and become Abber shamans.

Abber shamans are the strangest and most eccentric outcasts of an already peculiar people. They are never allowed to dwell with the rest of the tribes. It is believed that the magic they wield and the knowledge they seek to gain attracts the worst denizens of the Nightmare Lands, and in some ways this is true. Morpheus and Mullonga, in particular, sometimes search out shamans for their own amusement.

As the Nightmare Lands have no natural ecosystem, any judgement about the nomad's place in it is difficult to make. Still, it is clear that, even if the wild lands about them were not constantly in flux, they would have little impact upon them. They are a simple people who survive as hunters and gatherers.

Relations with other races:
Because of their perception of the world and their isolation, they do not have any established relations with other races. Before the Nightmare Lands moved out of the Core, they would trade with adjacent lands. They brought strange metals and gemstones from their lands, trading for the practical items they needed for their tribe. The nomads seemed unsettled, almost frightened, among the orderly houses and tree-lined streets of the Core's cities, and they quickly returned to the ever-shifting terrain of the Nightmare Lands.

Alignments:
Most Abber nomads are Neutral.

Religion:
Most Abbers have no faith in the permanency of anything, including other beings, but a small percentage reject this philosophy. This minority strives to understand what governs the Nightmare Lands. Other Abbers view this as insanity and cast these individuals out. However, all Abbers believe that insanity can grant insight, so the outcasts become, in effect, tribal shamans.

These shamans are the holy men and women of the Abber nomad tribes. The shamans, like the rest of the Abbers, dwell in the dread Nightmare Lands, specifically in the Forest of Everchange. However, the mad paths that the shamans walk make them outcasts among outcasts, cut off from the rest of Abber society. Shamans dress in hides taken from fantastic dream creatures and horrifying nightmare beasts, giving them a surreal appearance. They wield weapons made from wood and stone such as spears, and decorate the few possessions they carry with colorful feathers.

While Abber nomads reject the reality of everything around them, Abber shamans seek to embrace the madness and discover the truth of the world. For this obvious rejection of Abber culture, shamans are never allowed to live within Abber communities. Their curiosity and bizarre habits attract too much attention from the denizens of nightmare for the rest of the tribe to feel safe.

Combat:
When hunting or making ready for battle, Abber nomads paint their faces and bodies with traditional symbols that they feel will give them power over the animals they are stalking or the enemies they are confronting. Most wear tanned skins and carry wooden shields that provide them with protection. In all regards, save the following, they fight as normal men.

In melee combat, they employ long, slender spears set with stone tips that function as javelins. These weapons could be thrown, but the nomads seldom use them in that manner and make no effort to balance them for flight.

In missile combat, they use short bows. They often coat their arrowheads in a mild toxin to aid in hunting larger animals.

Language:
The language of the Abber nomads is absolutely unique; no scholar has ever been able to liken it to any tongue spoken by any other race in any known land. Further, there seems to be little in their culture to link these people with any other human race, making them seem all the more outcast and alien to the visitor.

Names:
Abber nomads have short first names and no last names (eg. Skya for a female character). Abber shamans take on nicknames that reflect their journey.

Adventurers:
Due to the primitive culture of the Abbers, players may choose to be only fighters or rangers. There are no Abber wizards, and Abber clerics are almost equally rare. The few Abbers who decide to take up priestly magic and try to learn about their strange world must leave the safety of their tribes and become Abber shamans (see above).

Settings:
Abber Nomads are exclusive to the Ravenloft setting.

Game Stats:
+4 saving throws vs mind-affecting

Source: Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium I, The Nightmare Lands, Domains of Dread, Tales of Ravenloft
« Last Edit: July 09, 2021, 11:37:48 AM by EO »

MAB77

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Glacier Dwarf
« Reply #76 on: February 13, 2021, 08:07:35 PM »
Glacier Dwarf

Dwarves from the enigmatic and frozen wasteland known as the Frostfell.

Physical description:
Glacier dwarves tend to be more pale than most other dwarves, with white, blond, or red hair. They stand about 4 feet tall, and weigh as much as fullgrown humans. Male dwarves favor long, braided beards, although they often go bald at a relatively young age. Females braid their hair in long pony tails and often tie ribbons to these braids. Their eyes are almost uniformly dark brown or even black. The glacier dwarves are a proud warrior race, and present an appearance of elegant sophistication - beards cut close, armor trimmed with fur and brocade, and the fury of an ancient barbarian warrior simmering deep beneath the fair facade.

History:
Little is known of the history of the glacier dwarves. It is sometimes said the dwarves of Eberron all originated in the Frostfell and migrated to Khorvaire some twelve thousand years ago. Some, however, remained behind in the Frostfell. These glacier dwarves are called Toldun Nordorthak, "Those Who Stayed," since they continue to inhabit the frozen keeps and glacial strongholds.

Outlook:
They remain a grim and survival-minded race. They are slow to reveal emotion, and stoic around anyone not of their immediate family. Dwarves choose their words deliberately, careful to avoid giving away information that could be used against them.

Society:
Glacier dwarves dwell in the frozen lands as the mountains of the Frostfell are just as filled with metal ores as elsewhere. Typically, the dwarves of the Frostfell differ little from those who dwell in warmer climates. Some, however, have left their ancestral homes in the mountains, seeking an altogether different material from which to forge their weapons and armor. This material, known as blue ice, is found only in the deepest and most ancient glaciers. Blue ice can be forged like metal, but is lighter and keeps a sharper edge. These dwarves have taken to building their underground homes in the hearts of glaciers that carry deposits of blue ice. These glacial mines are similar in many ways to the mountain mines, except that everything is crafted from masterfully carved ice.

Relations with other races:
With a wealth of natural resources, forbidding natural defenses, and a long history of bloodshed, the dwarves present an impressive image to the outside world. It is easy to see why others find it more prudent to call the dwarves friends than to raise their weapons in an attempt at conquest.

Alignment:
Glacier dwarves are usually lawful, and they tend toward good. Adventuring dwarves are less likely to fit the common mold, however, since they are more likely to be those who did not fit perfectly into dwarven society.

Religion:
Many dwarves pay homage to the Sovereign Host, favoring most Kol Korran, the god of trade and wealth. Other deities are popular as well, including Boldrei, Olladar, Onatar, and Dol Dorn. Some hope this devotion to the Host might serve as a unifying force within dwarf culture, but such religious influence is unlikely given the independent nature of dwarves.

Language:
They speak Dwarven among themselves, though they are literate in the languages of those races with which they trade.

Names:
Glacier dwarf names usually feature heavy consonants and several syllables. Every dwarf has a given name, which is often the name of a grandparent or great-grandparent, and a clan name identifying his home holdfast.

Male names: Bruennen, Durnnam, Greddark, Kellark, Turanank.
Female names: Annaka, Gerthin, Karkanna, Menna, Zranakarak.

Adventurers:
Most dwarves who choose to adventure do so to increase their own wealth and prestige, carving a life and fame out of the world the same way the barbaric clans of their ancestors carved space for themselves in their mountain holds. Dwarves have a long and violent history, and they respect the independence and personal power required to become a successful adventurer.

Settings:
Glacier dwarves are exclusive to the Eberron setting.

Game Stats:
+2 Con, -2 Cha
Stonecunning
Darkvision
Cold Endurance
Hardiness vs. spells
Offensive training vs. orcs
Offensive training vs. goblinoids
Defensive training vs. giants
Skill affinity (lore)

Source: Frostburn, Player's Guide to Eberron
« Last Edit: February 16, 2021, 07:04:22 PM by EO »
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MAB

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MAB77

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Dark Dwarf
« Reply #77 on: February 13, 2021, 11:21:13 PM »
Dark Dwarf

The dark dwarves of Krynn refer to the members of three mountain dwarves clans that live the deepest underground: the Daergar, the Theiwar, and the Zhakar. They are notorious for their violent behavior, and some say, madness.

Physical description:
The Daergar are similar to their light-loving cousins in appearance, ranging from 4 to 4½ feet tall and often nearly as wide. Their hair ranges from light brown to black, with their eyes the same spectrum of color.

The Theiwar are extremely fair, with many true albinos, and although they are the same height as other dwarves, they tend to be skinny and more wiry.

The Zhakar start out life like any dwarf, but are changed by the mold plague they carry. By middle age, all of their hair has fallen out, and their eyes will be a milky white. Their skin will be discolored and splotchy, with odd molting patches of skin.

History:
The largest collection of dark dwarves in Ansalon resides in the city of Nobardin in the mountain kingdom of Thorbardin. The Theiwar and Daergar clans dwell in the depths of a massive dwarf-made crevice known as the Anvil's Echo. Prior to the Chaos War, each clan had two cities in Thorbardin. The Theiwar lived in Theibardin and Theiwarin, and the Daergar had the cities of Daerforge and Daerbardin. These cities were reduced to ruins during the Anvil Summer, and the dwarves were forced to evacuate to the Northgate, Complex, renamed to Nobardin.

Of the Theiwar, the current Thane is Brecha Quickspring, who took the reigns of power from her father when he perished during the Chaos War. Thane Brecha is loyal, for a Theiwar, to the current High King Jungor Stonesinger. Instrumental in assisting the Hylar attain power, Brecha is in a position of power no other Theiwar has ever attained.

During the Age of Dreams, the Daergar were a noble clan who fought on the side of the Hylar. After joining sides with rebel Theiwar, the Daergar were banished into the deep undermountain. The Daergar clan's current Thane is Sleram Axedelver, who was appointed by the current High King as Thane for his loyalty to the crown. Many Daergar are infuriated by this assignment, and it won't be long before the new Daergar Thane will be challenged.

The Zhakar clan once claimed the ancient dwarven realm of Thoradin as their own, but since their forced exile at the hands of Severus Stonehand, they now dwell in scattered cavern systems throughout the Kalkist Mountains. The clan of Zhakar has been scattered, and there is no central ruler among them. The largest group of Zhakar outside Thoradin is led by a dwarf known as Lord Brule Vaportwist. He is a cruel military leader who has protected many of his people against the invasion of Severus Stonehand. Working alongside Lord Vaportwist is a mysterious Zhakar dwarf known as Coal Flamebringer, who, along with his followers, worships a great fiery worm-like creature that dwells in the depths of Thoradin.

Throughout the rest of the continent, dark dwarf enclaves have been discovered from time to time. This is often followed by a violent attack from the dark dwarves and their disappearance underground.

Outlook:
Dark dwarves are naturally suspicious of others. They tend to keep to themselves and only give information when it is necessary. They trust only the backstabbing nature they see in every race, and only interact with other races when they feel they gain something. Dark dwarves automatically assume everyone fears them, for they are quite aware of how other races view them, and will try to use this to their advantage. If presented with a situation that defies this logic, they assume there must be a hidden motive behind it.

The Theiwar are taught from an early age that it can be dangerous to stand out. They are usually quiet, holding conversations in low whispers, and practically never laughing or yelling.

The Daergar, on the other hand, are often loud and demanding, and disputes in their settlements are often settled in short violent encounters. Even if these dark dwarves are not the leader of a party, they act as if they are and tend to give orders.

Society:
The Theiwar have a thane who represents them on Thorbardin's Council of Thanes before the High King. This position is potentially the most dangerous, as Theiwar Thanes come to power by assassinating their predecessors. Within Theirwar society, it is common for families to war against one another in an attempt to gain control of precious resources. There are many secretive partnerships and organizations within the clan that control different aspects of society.

The Daergar clan also have a thane among Thorbardin's Council of Thanes. The clan respects strength, and so to no surprise their Thane is normally determined in a trial of combat. The Daergar prefer to have the physically strongest leader in a position of power. Families organize their own militias to war against their neighbors. They often spend more time and energy fighting amongst themselves than they do against external foes.

Among the Zhakar, there is no Thane. The position of king is held by whoever had the most influence over the various factions of the community. Various family groups work independently of one another. Zhakar settlements are often dark and quiet, and well hidden by skilled stone masons.

Relations with other races:
Dark dwarves have worked with every evil race at one time or another throughout the ages. If anyone, whether human, elf, ogre, or draconian, makes an offer of power or wealth, the dark dwarves will usually ally themselves until it is apparent they will not gain from the alliance.

Most humans have proven to be greedy and self-serving, which dark dwarves depend on when dealing with them. Kender and gnomes are irritating but can usually be manipulated easily enough, but can't be trusted to get anything important done. Elves are only as useful as the jewelry around their necks. The only race dark dwarves have been known to get along with are minotaurs. Their evil tendencies appeal to dark dwarves. They trust minotaurs to stab them in the front, rather than the back.

Alignments:
Dark dwarves can be of any alignment, but as a product of their environment most dark dwarves are of evil alignment. They are known for their thievery and back-stabbing, but are tolerated by other clans because of their special skills. Although not every member of these clans is bent toward dark endeavors, most of the other clans view them with distrust.
 
Religion:
Dark dwarves give Reorx the Creator the proper respect he deserves. However, most dark dwarves crave power and to this end, many of them worshipped Tamex the False Metal (Takhisis) and prayed for her assistance. Additionally, the Theiwar venerate Hitax the Flaw (Hiddukel); the Daergar honor Sargonax the Bender (Sargonnas), and the Zhakar revere Morgax the Rustlord (Morgion).

Language:
All dark dwarves speak Dwarven, plus the languages of their natural enemies, such as Ogre or Goblin. All dark dwarves are taught to understand Hammertalk, the dwarven tradition of tapping hammers on stone in various codes. Theiwar assassins have developed hand signals, known as Flash Talk, to communicate certain ideas while remaining completely silent.

Names:
The Theiwar prefer names that denote magical ability or craftiness, such as Pounce Quickspring, Kera Shadowfist, and Relghar Cutshank.

The Daergar prefer names that will strike fear into an enemy, such as Vog Ironface, Brack Blackblood, and Gurt Rockgutt.

The Zhakar naming traditions are similar to the Theiwar, but tend to incorporate their deformities into their names, such as Toldec Two-teeth, Glome Scarback, and Harpy Crookedstep.

Adventurers:
There are a number of reasons why a dark dwarf might leave his mountain home. Perhaps he is an outcast, a Fatherless, of his people. He may be neutral in alignment. Many dark dwarf societies are unfair to female dwarves. A Zhakar dwarf may be on a mission to find a cure for his people for fame and power.

While most dark dwarves have some issues traveling during the day, they would make excellent companions for moving about in the dark, especially in dungeon settings. A dark dwarf would face prejudice in nearly every realm. The Zhakar and Theiwar would be naturally shunned for their physical deformities, while the Daergar would have an easier time, until they encounter another dwarf.

Dark dwarves make excellent rogues. The Daergar are very martial, and it is common for them to be fighters. High Sorcery is a natural selection for the Theiwar race, but most Zhakar are rogues, except for an elite disciplined group that serves the Cult of the Black Flame, which includes a number of monks.

Settings:
Dark dwarves are exclusive to the Dragonlance setting.

Game Stats:
+2 Con, -4 Cha*
Hide +2
MoveSilently +2
Listen +2
Stonecunning
Darkvision
Hardiness vs. poisons
Hardiness vs. spells
Offensive training vs. orcs
Offensive training vs. goblinoids
Defensive training vs. giants
Skill affinity (lore)

* At character creation, remember that the game engine automatically applies the default +2 Con, -2 Cha adjustment for standard dwarves. An extra -2 Cha will be applied once the subrace is selected in-game.

Source: Dragonlance Campaign Setting, Races of Ansalon
« Last Edit: February 16, 2021, 06:15:16 PM by EO »
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MAB

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MAB77

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Mountain Dwarf of Ansalon
« Reply #78 on: February 14, 2021, 07:57:45 PM »
Mountain Dwarf of Ansalon

The mountain dwarves of Ansalon make up the bulk of the dwarven population on the continent. They consider themselves the true dwarves of Krynn. In the depths of Thorbardin dwell the royal clan of the Hylar, the spiritual Daewar, the erratic Klar, the treacherous Theiwar, and the ruthless Daergar.

Note that while the Theiwar and Daergar are mountain dwarf clans, they are also referred to as the dark dwarves and are covered here.

Physical description:
Mountain dwarves typically stand between 4 and 4 ½ feet tall and nearly as wide. The dwarves of the Daewar clan are among the tallest, some even standing over 5 feet in height. Daewar dwarves often have golden hair and lustrous braided beards. Of all the dwarves, they are the most vain and prefer to wear fine clothes of bright colors.

The Hylar also prefer to where fine clothes to demonstrate their noble status among their people, but colors are muted compared to the flashy Daewar. Typically, Hylar hair color ranges from sandy-blonde to dark brown. They often style their hair into complex patterns and keep it clean and brushed. This is in stark contrast to the Klar clan that prefers to let their hair rest where it may in wild tufts. The Klar have been known to tie trinkets into their beards, such as beads or even the bones of enemies. The dwarves of the Klar clan wear tough, simple wool clothing that can resist the wear and tear of the physical labor they often perform.

History:
The history of the Krynnish dwarves is a long and rich saga too long to repeat here in its entirety. At the height of their glory, mountain dwarves controlled three kingdoms and were considered a major force of trade on the continent, forging trade agreements with the nations of Solamnia, Ergoth, Qualinesti, and Istar. It wasn't until the Kingpriests of Istar began to impose their laws upon all the people of Ansalon that the dwarves closed their doors to the world. However, nothing could save them from the Cataclysm.

With the fall of the fiery mountain from the heavens, the kingdom of Thoradin was destroyed, leaving the Theiwar clan to suffer alone. Under Thorbardin, the mountain clans remained safe from the hazards of the Cataclysm, but they could not escape each other. Civil war erupted between the clans, lasting decades. Even the peace following the War of the Lance only lasted until the Chaos War. Then the kingdom under the mountain erupted into a war that destroyed the ancient cities of the dwarves and reduced the population to a fraction of what it once was. The only mountain dwarf kingdom to survive relatively unscathed is the kingdom of Kayolin beneath the Garnet Mountains of Solamnia.

Outlook:
Mountain dwarves are generally gruff and possess shrewd minds. When it comes to their people, they are fiercely devoted to clan first and then to all mountain dwarves. They are willing to defend their homes to the death and are some are literally raised with hammers in their hands. They see the world as a creation of the god Reorx—something to be revered and crafted into shape by skilled hands. To outsiders, mountain dwarves appear introverted. Most prefer to dwell apart from the world, below the surface, never seeing the light of day. Although they can make steadfast trading partners, mountain dwarves rarely stray far from their mountain home. Among the Hylar and Daewar, a good day's work should yield riches and wealth. They work hard, so they deserve the best. Mountain dwarves appreciate the finer things in life and are not ashamed to flaunt it. Unlike hill dwarves, they are not modest and dress as regally as they can afford. This display of wealth, their success in industry, and secrecy of their mountain home are reasons many folk believe dwarves hide mountains of gold in their underground kingdoms.

The Hylar are the most outgoing of the mountain dwarf clans. They and the Daewar have more experience with the surface world than other clans. Honor, respect, and tradition are the tools by which a Hylar views the world. If a nation fails to respect its people or fails to honor its pledges, they are unworthy of trade or association. Among their own kind, the Hylar can be bit self-righteous, but other races find them to be rough and no-nonsense. The Hylar are considered the most noble of the dwarven clans. When they are not suffering from problems within their own clan or withdrawn into their mountain city.

The Daewar dwarves are actively seeking trade with all who will trade with them. Worship of their gods and industry are indistinguishable. The Daewar live to give shape and purpose from raw substance and further the concepts of trade and engineering. Daewar priests work the forges day and night, showing their faith by the hours spent working. Warriors sing dwarven chants to the gods as they meet their enemy on the battlefield. “May their hearts and pockets be rich,” is a prayer many Daewar merchants often utter before every sale. They are a spiritual people and honor those who respect them and their beliefs. Intense and loud, the golden-haired Daewar are often easy to recognize.

The wild Klar are natural explorers. Unlike many other dwarves, Klar have a knack for dealing with the natural wonders of the world, especially plants and animals. Even so, few Klar are willing travel far beyond their mountain home, preferring instead to explore the details of their own mountains before looking to the world beyond. However, a touch of insanity is prevalent in the Klar clan, and has produced some odd dwarves. Some have willingly left to make their fortune in the surfaceworld or even taken up the art of wizardry.

Society:
A mountain dwarf's life revolves around his clan and his place within it. Each clan is led by a Thane who represents his clan's interests on the Council of Thanes. The original Council was established to be the ruling body of all dwarves upon Ansalon, but now each dwarven kingdom has its own Council. In Thorbardin, there are nine chairs on the Council of Thanes, one for each of the seven clans, a chair for the Kingdom of the Dead — a nation of honored ancestors who have passed on before and the adopted clan of all dwarven clerics — and a chair for the High King of the dwarves. The High King of Thorbardin is the dwarf who rightfully claims the Hammer of Kharas. Without it, a dwarf may claim sovereignty, but he will never be accepted by all the clans as the true ruler. The Neidar (hill dwarves) and Aghar (gully dwarves) are the two non-mountain dwarves clans with a seat on the Council of Thanes.

Hylar (“Highest”): The Hylar clan has long been considered the ruling clan of the dwarves. They are noble in stature and commanding in nature. Hylar dwarves are expert architects and engineers, and are responsible for many of the great wonders found in the underground dwarven kingdoms. In Thorbardin, the Hylar have been reduced to a fraction of the power they once held. Many of their members were killed in Palanthas during the Chaos War and even more beneath the elven city of Qualinost when it collapsed. Also during the Chaos War, the entire stalactite city of Hybardin was destroyed, crashing into the Urkhan Sea. Jungor Stonesinger now claims the throne of the sealed off kingdom of Thorbardin, while exiled former king Tarn Bellowgranite resides in Pax Tharkas with his followers. The largest concentration of Hylar is now in the kingdom of Kayolin. Among the dwarves, the Hylar are known as inventors; they are responsible for a number of innovations such as aqueducts, pulleys, lifts, and underground cart systems that link together many of the sprawling dwarven cities. Their feats of engineering made it possible to build a city within a massive stalactite in Thorbardin.

Daewar (“Dearest”): The mountain dwarves of the Daewar clan have long been allies with the Hylar clan. They are a zealous clan with a love of religion. Unfortunately, their fervent nature has often led to conflicts within the clan. Daewar warriors are often hailed for their wisdom and respect for the law. Daewar can often be found in positions of public safety and public works, and as healers. They are also instrumental in keeping safe a number of traditional dwarven ceremonies and sacred texts. During the Chaos War, the Daewar clan was too busy with dealing with civil unrest to assist the Hylar. Consequently, when the forces of Chaos attacked their city, they were unprepared and many lost their lives. In Thorbardin, the current Thane Granite Glitterstone represents the clan. In Pax Tharkas, General Otaxx Shortbeard speaks for the Daewar. In the ancient kingdom of Thoradin, Severus Stonehand rules over the Daewar and all the dwarves of that realm. For the Daewar, religion is ingrained in everyday lives. From the time they are young, Daewar are taught the importance of steadfast worship of the gods. Their lives are filled with rituals, birthing sacraments, naming ceremonies, and rites of passage all before adulthood. Children are educated in the way of the forge and receive religious instruction from an early age. The dwarven saying “He was born with a hammer in his hand” is an apt expression regarding the early years of the majority of Daewar. Most children are visiting the forge by the time they can walk and hefting a hammer soon after. Stone masonry and architecture are also part of a young dwarf 's training. Instruction in the use of a hammer for building and warfare is tradition. Adults in the clan are charged with increasing the honor of their family within the community. Daewar often feel that appearance equals status, so the more flamboyantly a dwarf dresses or the more ostentatious his home, the greater his status in the community.

Klar (“Crazed”): The Klar clan has long existed to serve the Hylar. They are the most unpredictable of the dwarven clans. Since the arrival of the Hylar to Thorbardin thousands of years ago, the Klar have served both above and below the mountain. Some factions left Thorbardin after the Cataclysm and can be found in small enclaves across Ansalon. During the Chaos War, they were persuaded to turn against the Hylar and assisted in that clan's downfall. Currently, Smeargash Splintershield speaks for the Klar in Thorbardin. The dwarves of the Klar clan endure lives of servitude under the mountain. They are a clan of laborers and warriors, serving the most powerful clan under the mountain. Once they were a content clan of hill dwarves who lived above ground, but generations of mining quicksilver poisoned the minds of their people. Since they refused to give up the practice, their insanity continues. When the Hylar arrived in Thorbardin, they were given a city beneath the mountain for their assistance in building the kingdom. Now they live below Thorbardin, serving the king and occasionally siding with the dark dwarf clans if it serves their purpose. Klar are born into their trade. Oftentimes, young dwarves are sent to work with their mother or father to learn their place in dwarven hierarchy. Since the Klar have a natural affinity for plants, they are often put in charge of maintaining the food warrens of Thorbardin and Kayolin.

Relations with other races:
Mountain dwarves deal with other races on a limited scale. While many mountains dwarves are merchants, they rarely leave their underground kingdoms, preferring to sell just to their own kind. Views about other races are often developed from second-hand hearsay or brief encounters when representatives of that race have visited the mountain dwarf home. On the whole, mountain dwarves consider elves to be haughty and reclusive. The kingdom of Thorin traded with Silvanesti, and the mountain dwarves of Thorbardin built up a strong relationship with the elves of Qualinesti. Yet those relationships were severed with the occurrence of the Cataclysm. The elves retreated into their forest homes, and the mountain dwarves retreated underground. Following the Chaos War, Tarn Bellowgranite tried to convince the mountain dwarves of Thorbardin that the elves could once again be strong allies. Unfortunately, his plan ultimately failed when thousands of dwarves and elves perished in the fall of Qualinesti. Now, with the elves exiled from their lands, it seems highly improbable that such a relationship could be restored. Mountain dwarves find gnomes amusing in a pathetic way. Dwarves live among some of the greatest examples of architecture and technology Ansalon has ever known. Gnomes are clearly cursed. This is painfully obvious in their so-called inventions and their illogical methodologies. However, mountain dwarves admit they admire the gnomish desire to create and their tireless work ethic. Mountain dwarves do not quite understand half-elves. Often, they simply assume they are humans. However, half-elves do seem to be amiable and understanding, and relations between mountain dwarves and half-elves often work well. Humans are often too unpredictable to place in any one category. While many humans make good trading partners, just as many want to rob you blind. Dwarves dealwith humans on a case-by-case basis. Mountain dwarves find kender as irritating as gully dwarves. Thankfully, not many of them make it below ground. In dwarven eyes, they can't be trusted. Mountain dwarves have no love for minotaurs. They rarely trade with them and know very little about them, beyond the fact that they are large, smelly, and like to fight. Draconians, ogres, and goblins fall in the same category. No self-respecting dwarf would waste time dealing with them.

Alignments:
Mountain dwarf characters are the iconic dwarves, made for players who want to play strong, vibrant characters. They are never timid and never afraid to speak their minds. The Hylar are perfect for those players looking for a lawful archetype, although the Klar allow a player to break from the norm and play a chaotic dwarf. The Daewar can be any alignment but are rarely evil.

Religion:
Mountain dwarves respect religious traditions and incorporate them in their daily lives. Even in those ages when the gods have been silent, some dwarves continued their veneration. However, in the centuries following the Cataclysm, many dwarves gave up hope, believing the gods had abandoned them. Some temples to Reorx were converted into places of learning, while others were abandoned entirely.

Following the War of the Lance, the dwarves were reunited with Reorx once again, and the forge fires at the heart of each temple were reignited. The sounds of hammers ringing against steel, and the comforting chant of the dwarven clerics echoed through the underground halls.

After the Chaos War, many dwarves turned to the Power of the Heart in order to keep their traditions alive, although this practice did not come without a price; the use of mysticism brought its own problems. Some dwarves believed it was a betrayal to use this new magic.

In the Daewar clans, the use of this magic brought civil unrest as the dwarves hotly debated the use of magic. Severus Stonehand made the use of mysticism even more questionable by using his magic to persuade many of the Daewar clan to follow him out of Thorbardin, an act that fractured the already unstable Daewar clan. The eventual return of Reorx and the rest of the gods following the War of Souls helped ease that tension. Now with the return of the clerics, the use of mysticism is being reconsidered as a gift from their god.

Most mountain dwarves observe religious holidays and ceremonies. Among the more common rituals are naming ceremonies of newborns, weddings, and blessings of artifacts.

While Reorx is considered the high god of the dwarves, he is not the only one worshiped. The Hylar traditionally prefer to remain to true to Reorx, although Shinare also has a small following. The Daewar generally feel open to worship any of the good or neutral gods. Among the favored are Thak the Hammer (Paladine), Kijo the Blade (Kiri-Jolith), the Silver Mistress (Shinare), and Sirrion the Firemaster. Among the Klar clan, many dwarves venerate Reorx, but a fair number also worship Chislev, who they often refer to as the Living Earth. The Klar are the only mountain dwarf clan known to have druids among their people.

Language:
All dwarves share a common language. Each region and clan tends to have its own dialect, however. When one dwarf speaks to another, he can usually determine where that dwarf was raised and to which clan they belong. The mountain dwarf dialect has changed little over time, even less than the hill dwarf, due to the fact that mountain dwarves rarely mix with other races and cultures. The spoken language is harsh and choppy. Even when spoken fluently, it sounds harsh to the ears. Dwarven does not use an alphabet, but a system of runes. These runes have evolved very little since their creation. Each clan and family also have their own rune. These are often etched into the items mountain dwarves create.

There are few ancient dwarven texts, but those that exist are usually found in the possession of mountain dwarves. The Hylar of Thorbardin have long kept extensive histories and genealogies of their people and accomplishments. Many of these were destroyed during the Chaos War. The Daewar clan also keeps a number of written religious documents and histories.

The dwarven language is designed for use in engineering and architecture. This may have been a natural evolution of the culture. The language allows for easy explanation of various processes, revealing an exacting amount of detail and precision. Planners and designers use it to get their point across to engineers, who in turn can relay that information to workers and laborers.

"Rust and Tarnish." This phrase indicates dissatisfaction with a situation. The decay of metal is a commonly used in the dwarven language to express discontent or frustration.

"By Reorx's Beard!" This is a common cry among dwarves on the battlefield. It is also often exclaimed when a dwarf is taken by surprise.
"Don't be fooled by a crumbling jewel's luster." This phrase is a warning of caution to another dwarf to not trust what they see without looking closer.

Names:
Mountain dwarves use family names, such as Bonecutter, Hammerstand, Ironmaul, Longslate, and Thornwallen, with each family belonging to a larger clan. Individual names are given at birth; these often reflect an aspect of their clan values or the name of an honored ancestor. Male names include Blaxter, Handil, Hopton, Jerem, Shard, and Tarn, while common female names are Amelista, Andean, Girasol, Jett, Nebba, and Tera. Hylar dwarves pick names that are strong or commanding in nature. Often times, these names are related to the earth, such as Granite Stonesinger or Jade Stonetooth. Daewar dwarves prefer flashy names such as Olim Goldbuckle or Crystal Truesilver. In the Klar clan, they prefer names that are warrior-like in nature, such as Rilt Smeargash or Fara Greenblood.

Adventurers:
Adventuring mountain dwarves are somewhat rare, but the current conditions in the Age of Mortals allow a number of reasons for mountain dwarves to be found outside their underground homes. Presently, only Thorbardin dwarves would be unlikely to leave their mountain homes, as they have closed all entrances to their kingdom again. The most likely adventurers from Thorbardin would be outcasts. The regions of Pax Tharkas, Kayolin, and Thoradin offer the most likely home for mountain dwarf adventurers.

Mountain dwarves may take up adventuring for a number of different reasons; perhaps they were sent on a mission by their Thane or are working for a dwarven merchant. Some dwarven clerics find they must leave the mountain on a spiritual journey.

Settings:
Though this entry is about the mountain dwarves of Dragonlance, their equivalent are found in numerous settings including Eberron, Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Mystara, Planescape, Ravenloft and Spelljammer.

Game Stats:
As standard dwarves.

Source: Dragonlance Campaign Setting, Races of Ansalon
« Last Edit: February 16, 2021, 06:12:51 PM by EO »
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Belcadiz Elf
« Reply #79 on: February 15, 2021, 05:38:49 PM »
Belcadiz Elf

Hailing from the Known World of Mystara, the Belcadiz elves are considered by many to be arrogant and foppish. Their honor is not to be joked with, as they are a proud people. Many are master duellists, sporting the rapier as their weapon of choice.

Physical description:
The elves of the principality of Belcadiz are slightly smaller than those of Erewan and the average elf in general. They have dark complexions, hair and eyes.

History:
The Belcadiz Elves would arrive at what is now Glantri around 730 AC, moving into Glantri where the Flaems already ruled, the elves were not the only migrants to come to Glantri as migrants from Thyatis and Traladara also came to the land.

The rise of the Warlord Halzunthram would soon impact the Belcadiz Elves. In 788 AC, a treaty for all the various people of the land, including the elven settlers was being negotiated. However before the treaty could be signed and ratified, the warlord revealed himself as an agent of the empire of Alphatia and claimed all the lands for himself. The Elven settlers were infuriated and declared independence, while the Flaems and human settlers united in rebellion against Halzunthram. This conflict became known as the Forty years war.

In 828 Lord Alexander Glantri ambushed Halzunthram and brought the war to a close. He would then use that momentum to unite Glantri and establish a new government, setting up the parliament and the council of princes. In 858 the Light of Rad firmly established Glantri as a Mageocracy.

In 884 tensions within the Elven principality finally reached their breaking point. The elves would split and create two new principalities, the principality of Erewan and the Principality of Belcadiz. To hear the Belcadiz perspective, the Erewan elves were reactionaries who were jealous of their progress.

Outlook:
While a proud race, they do not oppose the mixing of Clans and cultures; most glantrian-born half-elves come from a belcadiz heritage. These elves consider themselves a unique people; they have few ties to the other elven clans of the world. In fact they concern themselves more with Glantrian affairs than with those of the elven races.

Belcadiz mages tend to call most spells by grandiose names so that they can promote the sophisticated and mysterious nature of magic. For example fireball might be called deathfire's rapture or animate dead might be called dance of bones. Glantrian spell names don't always make perfect sense, but they do sound good.

Belcadiz elves like to think themselves sophisticated in their appreciation of art, music, and theater. Glantrian theater is unique in that it often includes illusions, enchantment and other spells in the performance.

Sculptors, painters, and other visual artists have long worked in a glantri-centrist style. This classic approach treats Glantrian subjects as larger than life. Paintings make people look more comely, nobler, taler, and younger than they truly appear. Cities are portrayed as new, clean,ornate and beautiful.

When princes commission a portrait of themselves or their family, they don't choose the artist most talented in representational work. They want one most inclined to portray unrealistic beauty and power. Skill has been superseded by importance in self-indulgent, embellished overstatement. Thus while glantrians are no more beautiful than people of other realms, their art certainly would have an outside believe otherwise.

Conversely, Glantri's artists tend to portray that which they dislike as tiny, ridiculous, hideous, deformed, or foolish. Dwarves, priests, temples, and religious artifacts are always depicted in a dark, corrupt, or otherwise twisted context.

Society:
The Belcadiz elves belong to the Principalities of Glantri and like Glantri as a whole, their society is divided between two social classes, the nobility and commoners. The nobility is made up of mages, indeed all mages are considered nobility within Glantri, and those born into the noble houses, while the commoners lack any magical ability.

The life of a prince or other noble is not one of constant voting sessions and meetings, most of these powerful wizards have, at times, sent proxies to the council or parliament to allow the nobles to spend time in study, research, and experimentation. Nobles also spend their days and nights absorbed in behind-the-scenes dealings and extravagant parties (Afterall, balls offer fabolous opportunities to meet, speak with, and influence others.)

Glantrian nobles campaign constantly for support among their peers. Secret dealings, bribery, blackmail, magical charms, and other such activities considered corrupt in other societies are business as usual in Glantri.

Belcadiz is a realm of rolling hills, making conventional agriculture difficult. For this reason, the becladiz elves mainly cultivate grapes(for winemaking) and various fruit-bearing trees. Renowned for its metalcraft, Belcadiz produces the finest swords and light weight armors in Glantri. Many desire the elven metal for its ability to hold enchantment.

Relations with other races:
Unlike the elves of Erewan, the Belcadiz elves mix freely with humans; they feel more strongly tied to other Glantrians then to their distant elven cousins. This racial blending makes half-elves common among the Belcadiz. Half-elves usually take after their elf parent in looks and style, but are accepted by both human and belcadiz elf society.

Elves: Non-Belcadize elves call the clan so "humanized" that members are all half-elves - whether they actually have any human blood or not. Of note are the elves of Erewan, since the splitting of the Glantri elves into the principality of Erewan and Belcadiz there has been tension and friction between them.

Dwarves: Like others in Glantri, There is an inborn distrust and animosity to Dwarves, as they supposedly spread a deadly plague during the year of infamy, and then fled. This legacy has left many in Glantri, including the elves of Belcadiz, despising Dwarves.

Alignments:
Belcadize elves can be of any alignment.

Religion:
Glantrians have long seen religion as a threat to the power of wizardly magic. Reverence of Immortals, they feel, will lead only to a lessening of magic's perceived importance. If Glantri has any religion, it is the worship of magic (coupled with a devotion to the acquisition of personal power).

Clerical magic to heal wounds, cure disease, create food or water, or remove curses is acceptable. After all, such magic saved Glantri during the recent wartime plague. But any other spells - especially magic resembling a wizard's craft - remain prohibited. Glantrin mages find spells that counter wizard magic particularly abhorrent and seldom even allow definition.

Language:
Belcadiz Elves speak elvish with their own Belcadiz dialect

Names:
These elves come from a southern clan unrelated to the elves of Alfheim or Wendar, and their nomenclature is as distinctive as their culture. All Belcadiz elves adopt surnames through family pride, giving their children the most grandiose names they can contrive.

Male names include: Alejandro, Carlo, Diego, Duarte,  Fernando, Hippolito, Joaquin, Manuel,  Maximilian, Miguelito, Ricardo, Sancho, Sebastien, Vinciento
Female names include: Blanca, Carrnina, Carnelia, Ilona, Isabella, Leotina, Maria, Nicolasa, Sanchia, Victoria, Yolanda
Surnames: Alhambra, Alvar, de Casanegra, de Monte- bello, del Egorn, de Satolas, Monteleone

Adventurers:
A handful of nobles still enjoy "adventuring" to gain new magical items, ritual ingredients or bits of knowledge. Other Belcadiz elves might adventure to gain wealth and glory for their family or the principality, or to make a name for themselves.

Due to the fact Glantri is a magocracy, Arcane spell casting classes are common among the Belcadiz Elves. Divine casters are extremely rare as Glantri looks down upon religion as a whole. Until recently it was even punishable by death to be a cleric or druid within the Principalities. 

Many Belcadiz will supplement their magical skill with some training with the rapier or the saber, these are the weapon of choice within Belcadiz. Though the rapier is favored more than the saber both lightweight blades wielded with elegance and finesse, appeal to elvish sensibilities. The elves of Belcadiz often use a dagger, short sword, or buckler in conjunction with the rapier or saber.

Settings:
Belcadiz elves are exclusive to the Mystara setting.

Game Stats:
+2 Int, -2 Con*
Low-light vision
Sleeplessness
Hardiness vs. Enchantments
Elven Weapon Proficiencies (Longsword, Rapier, Shortbow, Longbow)
Keen Senses
+2 Influence

* At character creation, remember that the game engine automatically applies the default +2 Dex, -2 Con adjustment for standard elves. An extra +2 Int, -2 Dex will be applied once the subrace is selected in-game.

Source: Gaz 3 The Principalities of Glantri, Glantri Kingdom of Magic
« Last Edit: August 22, 2021, 01:33:50 PM by EO »
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Lerara Suel (Lerara)
« Reply #80 on: February 20, 2021, 07:12:38 PM »
Lerara Suel (Lerara)

The Lerara Suel, also known as Lerara or Leraran, is a family of Suel stranded underground after the Rain of Colorless Fire, over a thousand years ago. Abandoned and forced to survive in the inhospitable tunnels under the Hellfurnace Mountains, this once-proud family has degenerated into fierce, pale-skinned savages.

Physical description:
Like most Suel, the Lerara Suel are lean, with pale skin and fair hair. However, centuries spent underground have taken their toll on the Lerara physique.

Once an attractive people, they have degenerated thanks to a combination of inbreeding and environmental pressures over the last thousand years. Though certainly human in appearance, they are almost albinos, having chalk-white skin, very pale blue eyes, and rough, silver-white hair. Many true, pink-eyed albinos live among them. Most Lerara have receding chins and very small ears, a few having minor deformities such as one less finger or a few extra toes. Their eyes, however, have grown slightly larger and have a disturbing aspect when staring.

Lerara rarely bathe and so have a dirty, unkempt look. They wear a wide variety of clothing. Commoners, which includes all female, wear crude clothing and foot wrappings made from skins and furs stitched together by tribal women, while Lerara nobles (all of whom are males) wear leather boots and other finery gained in trade with the drow under the Hellfurnaces. Gloves and hand wrappings are common. Jewelry is usually crude but popular; nobles wear the best necklaces, rings, amulets, etc., often cast-offs traded to them by the drow, who are glad to be rid of their "junk."

Warriors wear armor constructed from various fearsome creatures native to their underground realm. These creatures are most often bested by luck rather than skill, and rampaging monsters regularly take a heavy toll on the Lerara population.

History:
The Suloise "tribes" who entered the Flanaess after the Ruin of Colorless Fire were a number of once-prosperous noble families and their retainers. Being on holiday, they escaped the burning of Zinbyle, the ruined city in the Sea of Dust recently found by explorers from the Yeomanry. After the Rain died away, the survivors lived in barbarism, scavenging for food and stealing from the flocks of goat-herders in the foothills of the bordering Crystalmists. It was in such a condition a decade after the disaster that the great wizard Slerotin found them, mistaking them at first for actual savages.

Slerotin heard the entreaties of the Suloise survivors, who could offer him nothing but gratitude in return for helping them cross the Crystalmists to the rich lands of the Flannae and demihumans. Slerotin summoned his power and opened a great tunnel directly through over 70 leagues of solid rock. in this way did the Suloise enter the Flanaess with Slerotin, meeting some of their own kind who had earlier crossed the Kendeen Pass (later destroyed by a volcano) and settled along the Javan River. The "tribes" in time became organized clans and noble Houses. They grew in strength, preyed upon Flan and olve and dwur alike, and ran afoul of the Oeridian hordes.

Seventeen Suloise "tribes," including the local goat-herders, braved the Passage of Slerotin to reach what is now the Yeomanry. An 18th group, the Lerara entered late. Further delayed by a fight between several nobles, the Lerara were trapped within the Passage when it was sealed. This little group of 100-120 adults, with children and animals in tow, was forced to adapt to this dark land, thinking they were abandoned by the gods and cursed.

By 333 c.y, the Lerara had formed a stable barbaric community of about 3,800 adults, with four smaller communities scattered along the central part of the Passage and in nearby tunnels. The Lerara had become exceedingly conservative, unwilling to take great risks in the dangerous environment they inhabited. A father's word was law in each family, and women and children were kept close to home - that being whatever dead-end tunnel the family held as its own - to tend fires, cook, make pots, and so forth. Hunters traveled in large groups, braving the darkness armed only with crude spears and javelins.

A new nobility of sorts formed among the family heads who oversaw the growing of mushroom crops and the training of hunters. The nobles were further supported by distilling poisons from certain fungi, then trading these to the treacherous drow in exchange for better weapons, food, tools, clothing, and trained armorbacks (what you would call giant millipedes). The nobles would elect a governor among them, who served until voted out or dead. Such system is still in place today.

The rediscovery of the Passage has attracted many explorers to the Yeomanry, and with the end of the Greyhawk Wars many soldiers are looking for work there, too.

Habitat:
Nearly all Lerara inhabit the northern reaches of the vast cavern-and-tunnel system under the Hellfurnances, along the Passage of Slerotin. The Passage was once hidden but is now open, its ancient magical seal gone. It starts from where the Crystalmists border the Sea of Dust, and leads out onto the grasslands of the Yeomanry. The Mother and the heart of Lerara culture are located in deep tunnels hidden in the Passage.

The Lerara's territory is lit by animal-fat candles and glowing fungi, the only fires being those for cooking and heating, tended by the women. The temperature of the Passage is cool, about 56° F, growing warmer within one mile of either end of the Passage. A light draft blows from the western end of the tunnel, in the hot daylight in the Sea of Dust, to the eastern end in the Yeomanry; the breeze reverses as the Sea of Dust cools at night.

Society & Religion:
The main community, which was never formally named, currently has an adult population of 5,400 with 11 surrounding smaller "towns." The Lerara are conservative, tradition-bound, and patriarchal, governed by wealthy male nobles under an elected governor. The goats survive of the original livestock brought into the Passage centuries ago. Giant millipedes are their steed of choice.

Since the discovery of the Passage of Slerotin in 577 C.Y., an increasing number of adventurers and treasure-hunters have reached Leraran society. Unlucky outsiders have been sacrificed to the Mother, a monstrous amoeboid entity that glows pale white in its great cavern chamber, where most Lerara worship it. The Mother has never left its chamber since it was found in 221 C.Y., nor has it ever actually communicated with the Lerara, but it is definitely evil and appears to have gained strength from the sacrifices made to it. The Suloise word for "mother" is murma, and the Mother is referred to by the Lerara as se-Murma, "our Mother." A group of six old men function as "priests", attempting to interpret the possible meanings of the random ripples and vibrations seen in the Mother's ooze. Though the Mother is not a deity, it might give telepathic advice or offer its secretions as potions and poisons.

Alignment:
Lerara are naturally predisposed to no alignment in particular, but their harsh living conditions and veneration of a horrid entity known as the Mother turn many of them to evil. As such, most are true neutral or neutral evil, but some are lawful evil, chaotic evil, lawful neutral, or chaotic neutral. No matter their alignment, they are selfish and bossy. Good-aligned Lerara Suel exist, but are rare.

Languages:
All Lerara Suel speak Ancient Suloise and Common, and many speak the drow's language. They speak a corrupt form of ancient Suloise mixed with words borrowed from the drow. Lerara Suloise is 50% understandable to anyone who speaks true Suloise (which is extinct in the Flanaess today), but it is barely understandable to anyone speaking a modern Suloise-descended language (e.g., Lendorian or the Cold Tongue). Since the discovery of the Passage, Lerara have begun learning Common. Most Lerara also know the drow's language (a corrupted form of elvish) and can speak a crude form of common, learned from contacts with surface people after the Passage of Slerotin was discovered in 577 C.Y.

Adventurers:
Lerara Suel have little interest in the world beyond their warren, though they know it exists from their own legends. The outside world is said to be either heavenly or hellish, depending on which Lerara or legend one believes.

The player character could be an outcast (heretic, criminal, refugee) who has fled Leraran society through the Passage of Slerotin into the Yeomanry. They might also be a scout, hermit, or outcast who left their conservative society. The PC might hate the Mother, and thus want no further contact with the other Lerara.

Settings:
Lerara Suel are exclusive to the Greyhawk setting.

Game Stats:
As standard humans with low-light vision.

Sources: Dragon Magazine 241 (AD&D), Living Greyhawk: COR3-16: Lerara (3E)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2021, 09:36:11 PM by EO »

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Ilsundal Elf
« Reply #81 on: February 21, 2021, 09:49:41 PM »
Ilsundal Elf

Also referred to as the sylvan elves, they are the descendants of elven clans that once followed Ilsundal to the Sylvan Realm. They are the high elves of Mystara.

Physical description:
Ilsundal elves usually have fair or tan skin, blonde or golden hair and blue or green eyes.

History:
When the Great Rain of Fire destroyed the Blackmoor civilization, clans of elves gathered around their leader Ilsundal whom called them to abandon Blackmoor technology and re-embrace their heritage. They left Evergrun in a great exodus to another continent where they founded the Sylvan Realm where they prospered for over a millennium. That land too would eventually come to fall, this time to invading humans. Led by Mealiden Starwatcher, a new exodus occurred that saw the Ilsundal elves settling into the Known World. There they found the nation of Alfheim, but they also split in several other communities that can be found in different parts of Brun.

The nation of Alfheim itself has a long and rich history, though one that also ends in tragedy. When the shadow elves rediscovered the surface, they sent a delegation to King Celedryl. Initially The king was happy to welcome them and thought that he would be able to find space to accommodate them. Then he learnt that the shadow elves population was equal to that of Alfheim itself. Moreover, in their arrogance, they demanded reparation for their long neglect in the tunnels beneath the Broken Lands. They not only demanded more than half the land of Alfheim, but also leadership of the country. The shadow elves left no room for debate or compromise. The king called for a purge of the Shadow elves in his land. They retreated to their underground realm threatening war. For a long time they sent infiltrators to spy and sabotage the surface elven nation. An invasion was launched in 560 AC, but was repulsed with the combined might of Alfheim and its Darokin ally. Centuries of a cold war would continue, until finally in 1008 AC, the shadow elves would invade again. They succeeded in conquering Alfheim, renaming the land Aengmor. Surviving Alfheim elves would flee to neighboring nations.

Ilsundal elves are found in many parts of the Known World. Their major settlements before AC1000 are in Alfheim, the Principality of Erewan in Glantri, as well as the Radlebb Woods in Karameikos. After the events that transpired between AC 1000-1010 and that saw the kingdom of Alfheim conquered by Shadow Elves, the Ilsundal Elves can be found in Wendar and Karameikos. Many Ilsundal Elves are also found living alongside humans in other parts of the Known World.

Outlook:
The core of elven philosophy revolves around two key precepts - their belief that the natural state of the world is forest and their centuries long natural life spans.

And to Forest Shall All Return...
To elves, all the world should be forest. Their history describes the terrible tragedies that resulted when they tried their hand at technology, and they want no more of that. Elven society centers on this yearning for stability in the forest. As a result, clearing forest (except for good forestry) is abhorrent to them. Destroying trees merely to cultivate ridiculous little plants is sacrilege. Even those elf adventurers who settle among humans tend to grow wild-looking orchards, rather than till fields. Elves prefer to live in the outdoors, camping under the sky with only leaves and branches between them and the Stars. Frequently they sleep in trees (in their houses or just wedged into a branch's fork) where they can see the night Stars. Elves have no empathy for dwarves , halflings, and humans who prefer burrows, or homes of cold stone and dead wood.

Time
Contrary to popular human myth, elves are not naturally immortal. Yet with an average life-span of 800 years, elves have a radically different attitude toward the passage of time and the accomplishment of tasks. It is difficult for the long-lived elves to understand why something needs to be done immediately ... or next week ... or even next year. They know that they will probably be around to finish any project they start, so a project start is often delayed and something that would have taken a dwarf or human a week at most to complete may take an elf years to finish. Yet despite maligning by dwarves and other short lived races, elves can be industrious. They work with intensity on projects that interest them, but other tasks, even important ones such as finding food, are treated as games. The elves feel that merriment makes chores more pleasing. They would rather spend an entire day making a game of picking just three nuts off each tree than to simply find one bearing tree and methodically strip it of nuts. In the forest, food is everywhere, but fun is where you find it.

Society:
Note that the following describes Alfheim's society prior to that nation's fall to the Shadow elves. Other Ilsundal elves communities would likely be similar. Alfheim society is officially classless, with even the royalty being but first among equals. In actuality, there are real differences in the various levels of elven society.

Royalty/Adventurers
The most distinctive class among the elves are the members of the Royal House. The king is an ex-adventurer who has returned to Alfheim to serve his people. When the current king feels that he has few decades left, or the country is in a situation in which the king might be killed in war, the Clan Council looks among possible candidates to find a replacement. The children of the current king are considered for their acquaintance with politics and administration, but no king of Alfheim has ever been succeeded by his child. Only former wanderers are seriously considered for this position because they have had experience in the outside world and have a working knowledge of how the outside world works. Neither the normal gatherer elves nor the Treekeepers have the necessary feel for non-elven society that is required to help their nation survive among the humans and other races. The wanderers arc the heroes of Alfheim. At the same time, the stay-at-homes have a certain fear of the adventurous members of the community, a fear often expressed as disdain. The wanderer elves are in the position of the professional soldier of any race, wooed and made much of when war threatens, but swept under the rug when peace is at hand. Wanderers often distinguish themselves from other elves by wearing the clothing of other realms.

Townsfolk
This term is reserved for the residents of Alfheim Town. The elves of the town consist of the royal court, many former adventurers and the failed adventurers, elves who have returned to the arms of Alfheim but cannot fit themselves back into the clan structure they left. In Alfheim Town they can try to find the best of both worlds - the presence of elves and yet the bustling activity of an outside world city. Townsfolk commonly wear a sort of transition-style of clothing, midway between elven forester styles and those of other cultures.

Clanmasters
The Clanmasters are the principal nobility of Alfheim. There are two ranks of Clanmasters: those who rule the seven clans of Alfheim, and those who govern the lesser clans scattered throughout the forest. Theoretically, all Clanmasters are members of the Clan Council. In fact, only the major clan Clanmasters are the ruling body which make most of the decisions for the Council. The rest of the Clanmasters are called in to support the decisions of the main council. Clanmasters are the final arbiters of the clan's policies. The actual day-to-day governance of a clan is usually left to the Clan Holders. Clanmasters are never wanderers. They are usually the oldest elves in their clans. A Clan Master commonly wears the traditional garb of his clan. This makes for colorful Clan Council meetings with forester-garbed Grunalfs, robed Mealidils, hunt-clothed Long Runners, armored Red Arrows, Crafts-garbed Erendyls, formal Chossums, and leaf-trimmed Feadiels.

Treekeepers
The Treekeepers are the custodians of the Trees of Life. There ace six Mother Trees in Alfheim, each an independent avatar of llsundal. The Feadid clan tree is a seedling of the Mother tree of the Sylvan Realm, and dependent on that tree for continuance. The Treekeepers are the high priests of the elven race. They are responsible for maintenance of the elves link with the immonal Ilsundal. They also serve many other functions, which often depend on their particular clan. In Alfheim they can serve as custodians of history (Mealidil clan), researchers into magic (Long Runner Clan), and researchers into the genealogy and protection of Trees of Life (Clan Feadiel). There are six High Treekeepers, each in charge of one of the Mother Trees. Each High Treekeeper has several Treekeepers as assistants. Smaller clans may have only one Treekeeper, or even a human druid, taking care of their Tree of Life. Treekeepers are never wanderers. However, many study magic so intently that they climb high in their magical abilities. Most Treekeepers dress formally, wearing robes similar to the fashion brought
with them from their original home.

Clan Holders
Clan Holders are the only other elven leaders who are often adventurers. These folk are wanderers who have gone out, gained great ability and treasure, and returned to start their own stronghold (called a holding) within one of the major clans (or sometimes their own miniature clan). A Clan Holder is often responsible for the founding of a stronghold and is responsible for governing it. In many clans, the Clan Holder acts like an executive officer officer in a military establishment - he directs day-to-day activities in his holding, but lets the Clanmaster handle policy decisions. Not all Clan Holders are this responsible. Some just like the fame of founding a holding. Thereafter, they virtually ignore the governance of the clan altogether. Some don't even live in their stronghold. Adventurer dyes have returned to Alfheim, started a new holding and left again for more adventuring. In these cases, the Clanmaster appoints a temporary Clan Holder. Some wanderer elves start a stronghold, leave again, come back to act as a Clan Holder for a century or so, and then go adventuring again. Since many clan Holders are adventurers, they often wear the fashions of a dozen other nations, often mixed haphazardly with traditional elven garb.

Gatherers
The gatherer elves are the backbone of Alfheim, the followers of the Forest Path. They hunt and gather for their clans and maintain the watch on the forest against enemies and monsters. Some become craftsmen and forego much of the hunting and gathering, but even the craftsman who spends weeks at a time working on, for instance, weapons, drops his tools and joins his comrades when a major hunt is called or the safety of the holding is threatened. Elves embarking on gathering expeditions dress in what is commonly called "forester garb," relatively tight leather garments that cover all the elf but his head and hands to keep his skin from being cut by bark and thorns. Hunting elves tend to discard sleeves and leggings to be able to run unhindered in torso coverings (frequently a tunic, vest, and short news) only. All elves have at least a set of leather armor for warfare and hunting major monsters.

Crafters
This is not really a separate class among the elves, as every elf is a craftsman to some degree. No elf can look at a piece of leather without thinking about carving or dyeing it, or both. Wood is to be grown until it is ready, then carved. Stones are to be cut and polished until they gleam. All elves have these thoughts as they look at the world, but the natural elven procrastination means that much leather remains half-carved or half-dyed, stones sit gathered in a pouch waiting for the mood to strike, and an elf's life path is full of pieces of wood that have been picked up, whittled at until a new interest came along, to be dropped along the way. Even half-done, many of these items are still beautiful. What an elf considers unfinished, many humans consider complete, and pay handsomely for them. Many a wealthy human shows off his collection of elf-art to elven associates who are too polite to mock the inadequacy of the work. "This needed another century" is a common, but unexpressed, judgement in such cases. Elves like all crafts. Many specialize in songwriting, or singing, or woodcarving, or embroidery, or stonecutting. Many elves often finish projects - largely because they are doing them to pay for food or to trade for the products of other elven crafts. Many contracts take a decade to fulfill, but this is an incredible case of "stick-to-it-ivness" in terms of elf perceptions. Elves prefer to create their own songs, which are generally historical in nature and thus a part of all elves - so all elves know them. Elven songsmiths often work on human and dwarven stories and the songs of whales and dragons and weave them into fanciful tales of events that never happened, yet partake of events from all around the world and all through history. This confuses dwarves completely, but humans and halflings love them. Storytellers among the elves have the same cavalier attitude toward the facts that the songsmiths do. Their tales are compilations of historical figures doing fantastic things at anachronistic times. Non-e1ves whose lives become the subject of elven songs don't realize what the elves are doing with these songs and stories. They just get upset because the songs and stories don't correlate to the facts they know. But the elves know that everything that has happened will take place again - with just a change of cast. If what they sing about hasn't occurred yet - "just wait," they say, "it will."

Relations with other races:
Dwarves. Elves do not understand the dwarven work ethic or the dwarven need to create only things that last, just as the dwarves cannot comprehend the elven need for the ephemeral pleasures of hunting and playing. In essence, there exists between elf and dwarf a deep misunderstanding resulting from total racial incompatibility.

Gnomes. To elves, gnomes are more reasonable than dwarves. Gnomes like the forest, work with things other than rock and metal, have a lot of imagination, and a sense of humor. Moreover, gnomish inventions never fail to fascinate and amuse the elves... even if they don't always work.

Halflings (Hin). If there is a race that the elves truly like, it is the halflings. The short folk seem to have an elf-like joie-de-vivre, even without having elf-like lives. True, the halflings are entirely too tied up in taming the land rather than living with it, but that is obviously the influence of the humans. If halflings had the proper influence of elves around, they would probably be good foresters. It's a pity about that human influence though.

Humans. Elves are often in awe of humans. That short-lived beings can achieve such skills with magic and weapons amazes the elves. Yet, it is amazement mixed with fear, for the elves still remember tales of Blackmoor, of wrongful technology ... and the punishment of the Rain of Fire, all brought on by humans. It happened once, it will happen again. Humans now like to think of elves as their friends. yet given the choice, most elves would choose not to deal with humans. When they do deal with humans, they are often aloof, distant, even insulting, expressing pity in a negative way; attitudes which mask the elven fear and distrust of this prolific, powerful, and unpredictable race.

Orcs. Orcs hate elves, elves hate orcs (though the cosmopolitan elves of Alfheim Town have learned to tolerate what they think of as "their" orcs). Records in the Mealidor Library suggest that the mutual hatred predates even the oral tradition of history. Wherever elves go, it seems that orcs soon follow (or vice versa). Some scholars believe the orc/elf struggle may have cosmic significance. In all likelihood, the truth lies buried under the southern polar ice cap in what was once Evergrun, the elven homeland.

Alignments:
Like the high elves of other settings, Ilsundal elves value 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.

Religion:
Most elven religious life in Alfheim is tied to worship of the first elven Immortal, Ilsundal the Wise. Also known as Tiuz, or the Guide, his portfolio includes protecting elves and nature, wisdom, scholarship, magic, traditions, serenity & peace. it is he whom first led the elves back to the sylvan culture they had abandoned during the days of Blackmoor's glory. Then, as part of his path to Immortality, he created the first Tree of Life (actually an avatar of Ilsundal). The elven clerics are known as the Treekeepers. Some elves, especially in the Mealidil clan, extend their worship to Mealiden Starwatcher, who followed Ilsundal's path to Immortality. He is a patron of elves, Alfheim, protection, guardians, loyalty, war, adventure and exploration. Finally, another important immortal is Zirchev, a patron of sylvan races, animals, survival, magic, nature, outcasts and hunting.

Language:
Ilsundal elves speak elvish and often the languages of neighboring human lands.

Names:
The elven naming tradition tends to be somewhat unisex, though names that end in a vowel are more often applied to females. Some examples include: Allandaros, Bethys, Carolotina, Delsel, Dylen, Eleesa, Enoreth, Esmeralda, Feadris, Fillindyl, Galladin, Goriidel, Kavva, Leadyl, Miridor, Myris, Norelia, Prestele, Qantir, Qenildor, Quillan, Shalander, Stellara, Sythandria, Thalaric, Thenedain, Tuladin, Unedyrin, Vanar.

Major clan names include: Callarii, Feadiel, Erewan, Erendyl, Elm-Grower, Oaktree, Vyalia, Lindenhelm, Chossum, Grunalf, Long Runner, Mealidil, Red-Arrow.

Adventurers:
Elves take about 20 years to grow to full size, and then have a free-spirited "adolescence" of about 80 years. During this time, an elf chooses one of the following three paths to walk in his or her future life:

The Forest Path – Most elves stay in their homeland and follow the forest path. They have little interest in the outside world and instead live out their years in their home forest. Their lifestyle is one of endless hunting, gathering, crafting and playing.

The Wanderer's Path – A few young elves feel the need to affect their world. Some are drawn to the outside. These become adventurers, called "Wanderers" by fellow elves, are believed throwbacks to elvenkind's glory days when elves could live anywhere in the world. Though honored as heroes, they are also disdained by forest elves who do not understand them. The elves visit their homeland at regular intervals, and often, after a century or so of wandering, return home to stay building dominions and strongholds. Some never come back and others establish new elven strongholds in other parts of the world.

The Leader's Path – The third path is that which leads to positions of Clanmaster and Treekeeper. These elves stay home, rarely go on adventures and study the greater magics and secrets of the elves.

Settings:
Ilsundal elves are exclusive to the Mystara setting, though they are technically the high elves of that setting. Their equivalent are found in most other D&D settings.

Game Stats:
As standard elves.

Source: Gaz 5 The Elves of Alfheim, Wrath of the Immortals
« Last Edit: March 04, 2021, 10:42:39 PM by MAB77 »
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Chultan Dwarf (Albino Shield Dwarf)
« Reply #82 on: March 02, 2021, 10:46:07 PM »
Chultan Dwarf (Albino Shield Dwarf)

Chult is a land rich with gems, minerals, and precious metals - the perfect place for a thriving dwarven population. Indeed, there are two distinct dwarven populations in the Jungles of Chult: the Chultan Dwarves, isolated clans of shield dwarves, and the Wild Dwarves, also known as Jungle Dwarves.

Physical description:
Subterranean Chultan dwarves are albino shield dwarves. They have pale skin and pink eyes. They wear little clothing and abhor sunlight because it hurts them. Because of this, they leave their mines only at night.

Outlook:
The typical Chultan dwarf is a dour, sullen fellow, even moreso than his northern counterparts. He almost invariably lives in a vast mine, largely isolated from the outside world, where small dinosaurs are used for pack animals. Chultan dwarves focus their culture upon wealth and skill in crafting items with gems and precious metals. While not particularly bellicose, they will fight fiercely to protect their homes and their stockpiles of diamonds, emeralds, and gold.

The dwarves have a guarded fear of the dinosaurs. They know how to avoid the largest and most dangerous of them. They hunt smaller herbivorous dinosaurs for meat, and they hunt young, mated monoclonius to steal their eggs and raise the young dinosaurs as domesticated pack animals.

Society:
These dwarves live in clans in caverns where they mine gems that they trade. Clans can be composed of dozens of dwarves, and are led by a leader, who is sometimes a cleric. They live all their lives in the caverns beneath Chult, only moving when their mine is depleted, and are well adapted to the heat of this land. To them, the humidity can be oppressive at times, but they have found ways to deal with it, such as working underground during the hottest times and only going outside when absolutely necessary.

Relations with other races:
The albinos get along with most of the people of Chult. They trade with the Tabaxi, whom they call the dark ones, and they respect and cooperate with the Batiri, whom they call the emerald-skinned ones. The Chultan dwarves know Batiri in the jungle are many different colors, but the tribe they trade with is predominantly green. Some of the emerald-skinned ones work for the dwarves. However, they do not completely trust any of the tribes in the area, even though they trade with them, and they are skeptical of most of the merchants they deal with along the coast. The dwarves know that many of the wizards and witch doctors would like to own the mines for themselves, so the Chult dwarves always keep sentries posted and are always on the look out for treachery from the tribes.

As such, trade with the surface world remains limited, and only a few trusted agents can expect much success in dealing with the dwarves. Surprisingly, the most accomplished traders come from the Batiri's Dimetrodon Clan; these goblins have abandoned their nomadic ways and established camps near the secret dwarven mines. They conduct a thriving business, exchanging gems for exotic pelts, ivory, and foodstuffs unavailable to the dwarves underground. Unusual foreign goods are especially valued, bringing astronomical prices. The dwarves also trade for weapons, wine, ale, magic weapons, and magic items.

Weapons smithed by the Chultan dwarves are valued highly, since they are often edged with diamonds. These short swords, spears, and axes (longswords and other polearms are almost unknown to the dwarves) are extremely expensive. Because of their diamond cutting edges, these weapons deal more damage and never need to be sharpened.

In Tabaxi lore, white is the color of death, so the pale-skinned, pink-eyed Chultan dwarves are viewed with fear and superstition.

Alignments:
Chultan dwarves are usually true neutral.

Religion:
Chultan dwarves worship Dumathoin, the protector of miners and shield dwarves.

Language:
Chultan dwarves speak Dwarven and Common.

Names:
A dwarf's name is granted to him by his clan leader, in accordance with tradition. Every proper dwarven name has been used and reused down through the generations. A dwarf's name is not his own. It belongs to his clan. If he misuses it or brings shame to it, his clan will strip him of it. A dwarf stripped of his name is forbidden by dwarven law to use any dwarven name in its place.

Male Names: Barendd, Brottor, Eberk, Einkil, Oskar, Rurik, Taklinn, Torderk, Traubon, Ulfgar, Veit.

Female Names: Artin, Audhild, Dagnal, Diesa, Gunnloda, Hlin, Ilde, Liftrasa, Sannl, Torgga.

Clan Names: Balderk, Dankil, Gorunn, Holderhek, Loderr, Lutgehr, Rumnaheim, Strakeln, Torunn, Ungart.

Settings:
Chultan Dwarves are native to the Forgotten Realms setting where they live exclusively in caverns in the jungles of Chult.

Game Stats:
As standard dwarves.

Source: Jungles of Chult (AD&D), Demihuman Deities (AD&D)

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Wild Dwarf (Jungle Dwarf)
« Reply #83 on: March 02, 2021, 11:18:23 PM »
Wild Dwarf (Jungle Dwarf)

Chult is a land rich with gems, minerals, and precious metals - the perfect place for a thriving dwarven population. Indeed, there are two distinct dwarven populations in the Jungles of Chult: the Chultan Dwarves, isolated clans of shield dwarves, and the Wild Dwarves, also known as Jungle Dwarves.

Wild dwarves, who call themselves "dur Authalar" (the People), are the primitive inhabitants of the Jungles of Chult and the Mhair and Black Jungles. They have largely rejected the clan-based craft and smith oriented culture of their gold, gray, and shield dwarf cousins, choosing instead to live in hunting bands of 20 to 200 members with ever shifting memberships. Eschewing all trappings of civilization, wild dwarves live like beasts, engaged in an endless hunt for survival. Only those who dare the shadow depths of Faerûn's southern jungles are even aware of the existence of thise barbaric dwarven subrace, for these elusive hunters keep to the depths of their woodland homes.

Wild dwarves have more in common with the beasts of the jungle than they do with their dwarven kin, viewing life as an endless hunt and each day a struggle to kill or be killed. Wild dwarves distrust all intruders into their jungle domain and, if confronted, are apt to attack first without question. Much like the beast they strive to emulate, wild dwarves care little about goings on in the world at large, the doings of those who are not wild dwarves, or material possessions.

Physical Description:
Wild dwarves are three feet tall, dark skinned, short, and stout but nimble, with dark brown eyes. Their heavily tattooed bodies are covered with grease to ward off insects and make them hard to hold. Wild dwarves wear little except their long, woven and braided hair, the braids often woven together to form crude clothing (as they wear nothing else). They plaster their hair and skin with mud to form a crude armor when going to war.

They wear bone earrings, bracelets, and necklaces but never wear metal ornaments or armor. Body odor is very unpleasant, which may be a natural defense against jungle insects or carnivores.

History:
The drow conquest of Bhaerynden sometime around the year -9000 DR forced the Stout Folk of that realm to scatter to isolated holdings across the South. One of the largest groups of dwarves to flee the destruction made their way overland to the Chultan peninsula before splintering into small tribal groups. There they emerged as a distinct subrace known as wild dwarves. Dur Authalar have never reversed their rapid descent into barbarism and have largely forgone the strictures of clan life. Although several great empires have claimed their territory from time to time, including the Chultan realm based in Mezro, the yuan-ti empire of Serpentes that arose after the fall of Netheril, and the Cities of the Seabreeze that came together to form the kingdom of Tashtan, the wild dwarves have never been conquered. Instead, they have chosen to simply melt into the depths of the jungle until such time as they could peaceably reclaim their old hunting grounds.

Outlook:
Wild dwarves see the world in terms of hunter and prey. In their minds, civilization is but a veneer that obscures the endless cycle of prey and predation. Wild dwarves care only about securing their next meal and surviving the ever present dangers of the natural world. From a young age, wild dwarves join in the hunt, and the lack of strong family or clan ties ensures that each wild dwarf understands just how alone he or she is in the world.

Those few wild dwarves who have chosen a life of adventure usually found it thrust upon them. Many were once captives of Calishite slavers who escaped and must now make their own way in the world. Lacking the support of the pack in which they were raised, many see the close camaraderie of adventuring bands as a close approximation of their traditional hunting bands and thus seek out such groups.

Characters:
The primitive way of life led by wild dwarves ensures that the skills of the barbarian are highly prized. Rangers and fighters who are capable of defeating potential predators and hunting for food survive longer than those who must rely on the beneficence of the pack. Clerics and druids of Thard Harr spread the teaching needed to survive in the harsh jungle environment, while rogues skilled in making and setting traps bring much needed bounty to the nightly feast. Common multiclass combinations include barbarian/fighter, barbarian/ranger, barbarian/druid, and ranger/druid.

Adventurers:
Once or twice every decade, a wild dwarf is captured by explorers or slavers and taken unwillingly from the jungle to the assumedly more civilized realms of Faerûn. If the dwarf escapes or is freed, he may want to explore this new land before returning to his homeland if he decides to return at all. Wild dwarves pride themselves on mastery of their environment, and hostile lands are a difficult challenge to pass up.

Favored Class: A wild dwarf’s favored class is barbarian. Unlike their more civilized kin, the dur Authalar have retreated into barbarism beneath the thick jungle canopy of Chult. In the face of the many dangers that stalk their homeland, survival demands the heightened senses, fast movement, and battle rages of a barbarian.

Society:
Wild dwarves organize themselves into loose, ever changing hunting bands composed of 20 to 200 members and pay little heed to distinctions of family or clan. They live nomadic lives that revolve around the hunt and escaping from more powerful predators. Material wealth and goods mean very little, with weapons being the only objects to which they evince any real attachment.

Wild dwarven children are raised communally, with only faint familial bonds ever acknowledged. Book learning is nonexistent, and the young are taught to hunt as soon as they can keep up with the pack. All adults are expected to contribute to the communal life, whether it be watching over the young or leading the hunt.

While the wild dwarves respect the wisdom of elders, those who grow too weak to keep up through persistent sickness or age are eventually left behind by their kin. A few choose their own deaths, suicidally attacking a great beast single handedly. They are remembered for their bravery in nightly tales that gradually grow into myths.

Few wild dwarves ever leave their traditional way of life in the southern jungles. Wild dwarves encountered beyond the jungle are usually loners who have either been captured and enslaved or voluntarily chosen exile. Most such wild dwarves eventually find their niche alongside rangers, hunters, or druids, although a few join packs of lycanthropes and other sentient beasts in an attempt to recreate their traditional way of life.

Language and Literacy:
Wild dwarves speak a dialect of Dwarven, as well as Common. Those rare individuals who are literate emply the Dethek rune alphabet. The wild dwarf dialect, Authalan, is distantly related to the dialect of the gold dwarves, and betrays a subtle Chultan and Tashalan influence.

Common secondary languages reflect the dominant languages of the Chultan peninsula and include Chultan, Draconic, Goblin, Shaaran, Tashalan, and Yuan-Ti.

No wild dwarves are literate, except for those who select a character class other than barbarian.

Magic and Lore:
Wild dwarves take what magic they know for granted. The blessings of Thard Harr, transmitted through the tribe’s cleric, are no more unusual than the chieftain’s prowess in warfare or the healer’s ability to find beneficial herbs in the jungle. Conversely, wild dwarves are often anxious around magic they’ve never seen before, which includes most arcane magic and any magic items based on manufactured goods.

Spells and Spellcasting:
Wild dwarves have a strong divine spellcasting tradition, with many of the Stout Folk called to serve Thard Harr as clerics, druids, or rangers. Arcane spellcasters are almost unknown. Wild dwarves favor spells that that interact with the natural world and aid in the hunt.

Alignment:
Wild dwarves are usually lawful neutral. Adventuring dwarves are less likely to fit the common mold, however, since they are more likely to be those who did not fit perfectly into dwarven society.

Religion:
Although the wild dwarves occasionally make offerings to the other dwarven deities, they truly worship only Thard Harr, Lord of the Jungle Deeps. In the folklore of the dur Authalar, the Morndinsamman are reduced to little more than powerful spirits, often associated with specific landmarks or natural phenomena. The Lord of the Jungle Deeps is the protector of wild dwarves, aiding them against marauding beasts and intruders into the jungle fastness. Nearly all wild dwarves venerate Thard Harr, viewing him not only as patron of their kind but also as a source of great wisdom and experience. He teaches the wild dwarves to both respect and emulate the ways of beasts, particularly great jungle cats, and live in harmony with nature.

Relations with other Races:
Hidden away in their vast jungle, wild dwarves have little exposure to races that do not dwell in significant numbers on the Chultan peninsula. Wild dwarves have good relations with other dwarven subraces after centuries of peaceful contact with a small number of albino shield dwarves who have emigrated to Chult. Wild dwarves have almost no knowledge of elves, half-elves, gnomes, halflings, half-orcs, or planetouched, although they get along well with the ghostwise halflings on the rare occasions they meet.

Wild dwarves have mixed feelings about humans. While they get along well with Chultans, they see Calishites and Lantanna as cruel exploiters and view most Tashalans as servants of the yuan-ti. Wild dwarves reserve their greatest hatred for the goblins of Chult.

Equipment:
Wild dwarves generally eschew any form of clothing, choosing instead to wear their hair long and cover their bodies with tattoos and grease. In times of war, they plaster their bodies with mud, forming effective but crude mud armor. When defending their home caves, they like to use all manner of pits, snares, deadfalls, and other traps.

In their homeland, wild dwarves commonly employ weapons such as halfspears, handaxes, and the ubiquitous blowguns with barbed darts coated with knockout poison.

Wild dwarves favor bats, ocelots (lynxes), snakes, and toads as familiars; they prefer hunting cats, such as leopards and tigers, as pets or animal companions. The wild dwarves’ reverence for the great felines of the jungle is so great that most refuse to hunt them.

Wild dwarves eschew the use of pack or riding animals, although from time to time they attempt to harness triceratops for the latter role.

Automatic Languages: Dwarven, Common.

Bonus Languages: Chultan, Draconic, Goblin, Tashalan, Yuan-Ti.

Settings:
Wild dwarves are exclusive to the Forgotten Realms setting.

Game Stats:
+2 Con, -2 Cha*
Use Poison
Fire Damage Resistance 5/-
+3 saves vs poison
+4 saves vs disease
Darkvision
Hardiness vs. spells
Offensive training vs. orcs
Offensive training vs. goblinoids
Defensive training vs. giants
Small stature

* At character creation, remember that the game engine automatically applies the default +2 Con, -2 Cha adjustment for standard dwarves.

Source: Dwarves Deep, Races of Faerun, Jungles of Chult, Demihuman Deities
« Last Edit: March 03, 2021, 07:44:36 PM by EO »

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Grugach Elf
« Reply #84 on: March 03, 2021, 12:15:30 PM »
Grugach Elf

The grugach are the wild elves of Greyhawk.

Physical description:
The grugach are similar in appearance to wood elves, but are smaller, thinner, yet broader shouldered, and very fair with yellow to coppery coloured hair. They wear rugged clothing consisting of kilts, boots and shirts made of animal skin and rough plant weaves. When not in their tribal bands, they dress in leather armour decorated with the shapes of leaves or of the animals of the deep forest.

History:
Little is known of the history of the grugach. Elves were present in the lands east of the Crystalmist Mountains for many centuries before first human kingdoms arose there. The encroachment of humans and other humanoids slowly drove the elves from their plains settlements and into forest and upland realms. The exodus into the Flanaess with the Twin Cataclysms drove them further and caused even the Flan to come into conflicts which would occasionally result in battles. The wild elves settled for remote and deep forests keeping outsiders out ever since. Many grugach are found in small communities in the Vesve and Phostwood forests.

Outlook:
These wild elves are considered barbaric by other elves. While it is true that many bands of wood elves are secretive and even dangerous when stumbled upon, it is actually the grugach who have given the wood elves a reputation for ruthless xenophobia. These tribal elves contend that other elves have given up their primal essence to be more like humans. Grugach fight to keep the woods clean of civilization, and to keep unwanted strangers away. They live close to the land in a half agricultural, half hunter gatherer lifestyle. They are excellent archers. They favor spears over swords, as there’s little space to swing a sword in the dense virgin woodlands where the grugach live.

Society:
They think in terms of Frana-an ('Insiders' or 'Friends': one's one tribe and to a lesser extent, other grugach tribes), and Malza-an ('Outsiders' or 'Enemies': everyone else). Grugach are cold and untrusting to other races, even other elves, either seeing them as effete snobs or liable to steal from the tribe. Druids, to a lesser extent, tend to be the only exception to the rule of outsiders, earning respect through their profession alone. This is still not enough to pardon trespassing. To outsiders the Grugach deem worth their time interacting with, they prefer to behave with deadpan solemnity and impassive courtesy. They may joke among themselves, but outsiders do not get that privilege and jokes from them are seen as insults. Trespassers that are deemed innocent are drugged, blindfolded and bound, and then led to far outside the Grugach's lands. If deemed evil, resisting capture, or are perceived to be thieves the Grugach will deem them a threat that needs to be eliminated for the safety of their tribes.

Each tribe's identity centers around a totem animal or place. They're semi nomadic, travelling to better winter grounds for hunting and shelter, and better summer grounds for small garden farms. Tribes consist of about six family units of five to ten elves each, living in a widespread camp of several ground-level or tree-level huts. Tribal territories are ill defined, usually by borders formed by barricades formed to look natural or numerous traps or centered around the locations of vegetables gardens in the summer camps and sturdier wooden huts of the winter camps. Grugach that wander into another tribe's land are taunted and sent away, but not met with the silent aggression non Grugach are. Grugach can move from tribe to tribe, typically due to marriage, but must submit to a initiation rite by the tribes druid. This is the same as swearing loyalty to a tribe. While grugach are independent individuals like most elves, loyalty to the tribe is paramount. Tribes are typically led by a collective of elders and the tribe druids. Young Grugach do not get the long leisurely childhoods available to other elves, but instead must quickly learn to support the tribe.

Beside the tribe, other means of creating Frana-an and maintaining group bonds are 'secret societies' made up of Grugach from multiple tribes. Grugach can be part of multiple societies and despite the 'secretiveness' of said societies, may wear facial tattoos identifying them as members of such. These mostly serve the purpose of keeping inter-tribal relations on good terms through friendly rivalry and frequent socialization between tribes. Still, tribes will often compete in less friendly rivalries or or simply avoid and ignore each other.

Most Grugach are less concerned by the means of getting something done, so long as the ends benefit the tribe. Ethics of such tribes tend to be to not kill unless necessary, but never hesitate if you must; Grugach do not execute other grugach, even for the crime of betraying one's tribe. Despite being keen hunters and coldly hostile to outsiders, most Grugach are not warriors and seek glory in beneficial hunts, not dangerous hunts. Warriors who kill in defense, such as protecting a camp against powerful enemies, still gain a large amount of respect, but everything else is seen as a form of hunting; stealth, traps and skill. Killing for sport is considered grotesque. Hunts must benefit the tribe and be necessary - killing orcs who aren't an immediate threat is seen as neither of these things nor a skilled hunt due to orcish stupidity.

Grugach who are trained in the ways of assassins or thieves may be part of a deadlier few, dedicated to more aggressive defense of their homelands, or outcasts exiled into the human world for parting from Grugach ethics. As such most Grugach encountered outside of their tribes will almost always be exiles for one reason or another, or tribeless due to misfortune. Still Grugach are not so different from other elves - many have a sense of wander lust and are still prone to desiring beautiful things and a bountiful life. For these few, who's drive outgrows their commitment to their tribe and culture, adventuring offers many opportunities.

Grugach seem particularly attracted to platinum, a metal they find beautiful and well-suited for their jewelcraft. Grugach are sometimes hunted for their riches, but thieves who attempt this are usually disappointed by the small amount of treasure carried by grugach (thieves are also horrified by the dedication the wild elves demonstrate in hunting down such villains).

The wild elves are known to ride stags. They befriend many of the nonevil animals of their forest, having mastered beast tongue and tend to see themselves as guardians of their woods.

Relations with other races:
Grugach are particularly xenophobic and do not get along with any other races, not even other elves.

Alignments:
Most grugach elves are chaotic neutral.

Religion:
The grugach worship the Seldarine, in particular Rillifane Rallathil, but this worship does not approach the regimented, organized structure of the other elven subraces. Rather, the green elves worship individually when the urge takes them. They commune constantly with a pantheon of nature spirits, each representing an archetypal member of an animal or natural phenomenon.

Language:
Grugach rarely speak common, usually restricting themselves to elvish, treant, and certain other sylvan creatures’ tongues.

Names:
No naming nomenclature is available for grugach elves.

Adventurers:
Grugach adventurers are druids, barbarians, fighters, rogues or rangers. These elves fight to keep the woods clean of civilization, and to keep unwanted strangers away. Their way of life is incompatible with the monks and paladins philosophies. Arcane casting classes and clerics are virtually inexistent in their society.

Settings:
The grugach are the wild elves of Greyhawk, but their equivalent can be found in the wild elves of Forgotten Realms and the kagonesti elves of Dragonlance.

Game Stats:
+2 Dex, -2 Int
Low-light vision
Elven weapons proficiencies
Hardiness vs. Enchantment
Keen Senses
Skill Affinity (Listen)
Skill Affinity (Search)
Skill Affinity (Spot)
Sleeplessness

* At character creation, remember that the game engine automatically applies the default +2 Dex, -2 Con adjustment for standard elves. An extra +2 Con, -2 Int will be applied once the subrace is selected in-game.

Source: Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Adventures Appendix, Dragon Magazine #155, Monster Manual 2, Dragon Magazine #67, 1st ed. Unearthed Arcana
« Last Edit: September 03, 2021, 08:39:28 PM by EO »
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Talenta Halfling
« Reply #85 on: March 03, 2021, 05:48:45 PM »
Talenta Halfling

Savage masked hunters and deadly dinosaur riders, Talenta halflings present an imposing image that they meet and easily exceed. Physically indistinguishable from Khorvaire halflings, Talenta halflings nevertheless stand apart as a unique and important force on the continent.

Physical description:
Talenta halflings match the usual description of halflings in general. They stand about 3 feet tall and usually weigh between 30 and 35 pounds. Halflings hair and eye color are usually dark brown. They are known to wear strange yet heavily decorated clothings and to done hunting masks with sacred reverence. A halfling reaches adulthood at the age of 20 and generally lives to the middle of her second century.

History:
Talenta halflings roam the plains that are their namesake. Talenta halflings travel through these rolling, arid grasslands in the traditional tribal units much as halflings have done for thousands of years. Nomadic by nature, Talenta halflings rarely stay in one place for more than a month and move the tribe to follow the herds they hunt.

The halflings have wandered the Talenta Plains since before the first humans reached Khorvaire’s shores. Once, these nomads ranged far and wide, traveling across the open land that is now the Mournland, Karrnath, Valenar, and the Talenta Plains. With the coming of the humans and the rise of the Five Nations, the halflings found their territory shrinking as human settlements encroached on the wide-open plains. At times, the halflings attempted to hold their position and drive the humans away, and a number of bloody battles punctuate the shared history of the two races. In the end, the two races found common ground and eventually discovered a way to peacefully coexist (the Last War not withstanding).

Karrnath and Cyre both claimed parts of the Talenta Plains during the Last War. Prior to the fall of the kingdom of Galifar, the halfling tribes were permitted to wander their ancestral lands as long as they paid tribute to the Galifar king. With the coming of war, the halfling tribes began to cooperate in unprecedented ways to protect the Plains that all the tribes revered. Warriors of different tribes banded together, repelling invaders from Karrnath and Cyre by using their knowledge of the ways of the Plains to confuse and confound the invaders. Later, when the Plains became the place for various combatant nations to clash, the halfling tribes tried to stay out of the way.

As the war progressed, the halfling tribes settled more and more of their ancient grievances, creating a “nation of nations” that stretched across the Talenta Plains. War councils, tribal meetings, and gatherings celebrating victories and festivals important to the halfling tribes replaced the minor skirmishes that once punctuated tribal interaction. When the time came for the powers involved in the Last War to meet and discuss forging a lasting peace, the halfling tribes sent agents representing their tribal council. With the signing of the Treaty of Thronehold, the territory of the Talenta Plains was recognized as a sovereign nation composed of loosely aligned halfling tribes.

Outlook:
The halfling tribes of the Talenta Plains struggle to keep their ancient traditions and heritage alive despite the lure of the comforts and advances of the Five Nations. Many people of central Khorvaire have a certain picture in mind when they think of the Talenta Plains — halfling barbarians riding dinosaurs, performing heathen rituals, engaging in strange customs, and wearing strange clothing. All of these images ring true, but it is a partial truth. The culture and rituals of the halfling tribes are simpler, more archaic than the customs and practices of those living in the more “civilized” nations. These rituals can be cruel, harsh, and primitive by some standards, but they also possess a beauty, sophistication, and wonder all their own. Where part of each tribe embraces tradition, part also feels the pull of modern thoughts and ideas. So far, the tribes have balanced these two competing forces, but a day may come when tradition must bend to modernization or be twisted and broken by its unrelenting weight.

Society:
The Talenta Plains hold only one permanent halfling settlement: Gatherhold, the communal city of all tribes. Talenta halfling tribes live in temporary camps made up of tents they can easily set and strike. Not wanting to slow themselves or their dinosaur mounts, Talenta halflings carry few possessions. What items they do carry they decorate heavily. Their tents in particular bear ornate designs. Most Talenta art features bold geometric shapes and thick lines, and their tents use these designs along with pictures to tell the story of the tribe’s history.

Relations with other races:
Most of the world views Talenta halflings as strange and savage. Their culture is alien and often frightening to outsiders. Talenta halflings take no pains to hide the brutality of their traditions and see no reason to excuse their ways. This is balanced in most people’s eyes by the fact that the halflings generally have no prejudice against other races beyond their generally dim view of urban life. The elves of Valenar are the main exception. Nearly every tribe of Talenta halflings has had a skirmish with the aggressive elves, and the halflings view Valenar with both enmity and respect.

Alignments:
Talenta halflings can be of any alignment.

Religion:
Talenta halflings follow a unique religion of spiritualism blended with worship of Balinor, Lord of Beasts and the Hunt. Hunting is a powerful concept in Talenta halfling culture, and all halflings in a tribe are considered hunters despite what their daily duties might be. Talenta halflings honor both the spirits of their dead and the spirits of the dinosaurs they ride and hunt. In particular, they value the souls of their mounts, believing that by putting on their hunting masks and riding their mounts into battle or the hunt they bond with the dinosaurs, sharing souls. Donning the mask is a sacred act of reverence done only when one is about to hunt or kill.

Language:
Talenta halflings tend to be suspicious of the habits and trappings of civilization. Because of this, they often don’t know or refuse to use other races’ words for objects. When speaking another language, they might use phrases to identify objects rather than the objects’ names.

In conversation about topics outside their realm of experience, Talenta halflings tend to remain silent and attentive despite a disinterested air they might adopt. When speaking of things about which they know, Talenta halflings assume leadership roles and might even be patronizing to other races or more settled halflings.

Names:
Talenta halflings rarely use more than one name. Halflings in the same tribe thus rarely share a name, allowing them to avoid confusion. When Talenta halflings do share a name, speakers usually use a physical or personality-based feature to distinguish between them in speech. Thus, a tribe with two halflings named Hoebi might call one Broken-Thumb Hoebi and the other Slow-Anger Hoebi.

Male Names: Gagi, Kabelund, Lanudo, Mabu, Rathan, Toebo.
Female Names: Dovi, Hebblu, Mebsa, Shenta, Studa, Tatha.

Adventurers:
Talenta halflings who leave their tribes for lives of adventure often learn to move between societies, taking up the ways of their citybound relatives around other cultures and donning their hunter’s masks upon returning home to the Talenta Plains. Other Talenta halfling adventurers remain bound to their tribal ways. These adventurers are something of a curiosity in the cities of Khorvaire and have a fierce reputation that can make interacting with others difficult. Talenta halflings are hunters. Risk takers by nature, many Talenta halflings therefore consider adventurers to be kindred spirits. On the other hand, Talenta halflings are bound by tradition, and those who break from that tradition are viewed with distrust. The tribal halfling that leaves the Plains to take up the life of an adventurer is noticed wherever he or she goes. In full tribal gear, hunter’s mask, and with a dinosaur at his side, the tribal halfling makes an imposing figure on the city streets of the Five Nations, or wherever his adventures take him.

Talenta halflings make good rangers and rogues, and many hunters take both classes. Druid and ranger Talenta halflings can ride dinosaur animal companions. Of course, the mounted combat feats suit a Talenta halfling well, and Dinosaur Hunter and Dinosaur Wrangler, feats described in this book, offer Talenta halflings strong choices to help them deal with their mounts and their prey, as well as dinosaurs they might encounter while adventuring or during war.

Settings:
Talenta halflings are exclusive to the Eberron setting.

Game Stats:
As standard halflings with a +2 bonus to animal empathy.

Source: Eberron Campaign Setting, Races of Eberron
« Last Edit: March 03, 2021, 09:32:36 PM by EO »
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Khorvaire Elf
« Reply #86 on: March 03, 2021, 08:32:47 PM »
Khorvaire Elf

While not native to Khorvaire the elven race is found throughout the five nations. As diverse as the lands they inhabit, these elves blend with the culture they are raised in closest proximity to and are accustomed to life among other races.

Physical description:
Humanoids with a range of heights and phenotypes, but always marked with distinctive pointed ears and a build on the lighter side.

History:
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.

Outlook:
Living among shortlived, 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 longterm planning and quick, decisive action.

Society:
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.

Relations with other races:
Khorvaire elves are integrated with whatever society they have chosen to settle into.

Alignments:
Khorvaire elves can be of any alignment.

Religion:
Khorvaire elves do not have a unifying faith of their own, and may be counted among the faithful of the Sovereign Host, the Dark Six, the Blood of Vol, and many other religions.

Language:
Elves speak common, elven, and perhaps the local language of their adopted home.

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.

Male Names: Aesha, Daellin, Marrath, Tellian.
Female Names: Innae, Paela, Phaeani, Sailla, X'ennia.

Adventurers:
Compared to the farseeing 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.

Settings:
Khorvaire elves are exclusive to the Eberron setting.

Game Stats:
As standard elves.

Source: Eberron Campaign Setting, Races of Eberron
« Last Edit: March 03, 2021, 09:31:34 PM by EO »
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Valley Elf
« Reply #87 on: March 03, 2021, 09:26:51 PM »
Valley Elf

Valley elves are a minor subrace of elves, closely related to gray elves. The elves of the Valley of the Mage have distinctive features and characteristics. They are found only in the immediate vicinity of the Valley of the Mage. They are known as valley elves to most races, but other elves use a derogatory term implying the status of slaves or created things rather than servants or allies.

These unusually tall (up to six feet in height) elves are known to practice unusual magic presumably taught to them by Jaran Krimeeah.

Physical description:
Valley elves are as tall as most humans, up to six feet in height, but thin with sharp and pointed features. Their hair is pale yellow in the summer, darkening to a rich gold in the winter months. They dress in blues and greens, usually in garments that are loose and flowing. When necessary, valley elves can pass as humans. Indeed, the Mage of the Valley is rumored to have valley elf spies and assassins arrayed in a network stretching across several kingdoms. Like most other elves, their preferred weapons are the bow and the long sword. Many valley elves own and wear suits of chain mail.

Other than these distinctive attributes, valley elves conform closely to the characteristics of gray elves, and of elvenkind in general.

History:
Scholars who visited the vale before the time of the Exalted One studied the reclusive valley elves and recorded their belief that the elves were an offshoot of the high elven race that settled in the vale and evolved through the centuries. However, the valley elves are in fact a separate race of elvenkind that traces its presence in the vale back about 15 000 years. This was the first demihuman race to make a permanent home of the vale. Valley elves are also found in the wilderness around the Valley of the Mage.

This secluded vale has always been avoided by the common folk of nearby lands. Even in ancient times, it was felt to be dominated by an awful and foreboding presence. The valley was known to be the habitation of a strange race of elves, who viewed all other elves with disdain. The valley elves were once ruled by a king of their race who held his authority under the guise of a transcendent calling, though no deity was ever evoked by name. The valley elves were equally aloof in their relationship to the natural world, and they felt no reverence for the mysteries of faerie. All other elves abhor the valley elves, claiming they are not true elves at all, and shun them utterly.

The valley elves were rejected not only by all other elvenfolk, but also by the gods of their race. No outsider has ever discovered the cause of this divine renunciation, and the elves will not speak of it. The drow hint that the valley elves allowed themselves to be bound in servitude to a powerful master, in exchange for knowledge from beyond the known planes. For this the drow despise them, saying that they were made slaves to a lie, while the drow believe that lies should be used only to enslave others. Regardless of the cause, the rift between the valley elves and their kindred is thought to date back to their earliest appearance on Oerth.

The valley elves were not completely friendless, however. They formed a partnership with gnome traders that allowed them access to markets as far away as the Pomarj and the Nyr Dyv. Gnomes lived as citizens of the valley kingdom even before the first grand duke reigned in Geoff. By the time the Keoish built their empire, humans from the lands west of the Barrier Peaks had immigrated to the Javan Vale. They were allowed to form their own small communities, under a human earl who ruled in the name of the valley elf king. They were expected to learn the elves' language, but the combined influence of humans and gnomes in the vale soon made Common the language of daily use.

Few beyond the neighboring countries were aware of the hidden valley kingdom in the Barrier Peaks. The Grand Duchy of Geoff had the most regular relations with the court of the valley elf king, though merchants from Bissel and Ket quietly maintained contact with the gnome traders who served the king. When Geoff had its brief conflict with Keoland in the middle of the last century, the valley elves were said to have helped the grand duke's cause by providing information on Keoish tactics and resources. This relationship seems to have persisted until at least the end of the last century, despite vigorous and heated protests by the High Lord of Elvendom at Hocholve.

The most notable encounter with the valley elves occurred shortly after the turn of this century, when the elven king arrived unexpectedly at the grand duke's castle in Gorna. The king brought his entire royal house into the country, unchallenged by either the duke's forces or the elves of eastern Geoff. The valley elf king and his retinue were allowed to enter the city, and the king was granted a private audience with the grand duke. The following dawn, the king and his retinue departed, and the host of valley elves was observed traveling southward into the Crystalmists, never to be seen again. The grand duke was left with an oaken chest, several scrolls, and the final words of the valley elf king, which he revealed only to his heir.

Afterward, no contact was had with the valley until an exiled Aerdi wizard named Jaran Krimeeah, also called the Black One, learned of its existence and made himself master of the place. Marauding monsters had taken a heavy toll on the human communities, though the remaining gnomes and valley elves had defended themselves. Jaran magically restrained these summoned monsters and was hailed as the Mage of the Valley. He ruled for a number of decades, assuming great power over the vale and its inhabitants. One of his last public acts was to place a rogue drow elfin command of the valley's forces. Access to the valley was soon forbidden to all outsiders. During this time, the Mage acquired the antipathy of the wizard Drawmij, who joined the Circle of Eight and directed certain plots against him.

For nearly twenty years prior to the Greyhawk Wars, there was no contact with the Valley of the Mage. When giants from the Crystalmists swept down into Geoff and Sterich, these nations appealed to Keoland for aid and sent a small deputation to beg assistance from the Mage of the Valley. Against all hope, they were allowed inside the valley and given audience with the Black One — or so they at first believed. When the aid-seekers were introduced to the Mage, one within the group recognized him as an exiled necromancer, Nyeru of Bissel. Wisely, this discovery was never revealed to the ersatz Black One. Negotiations continued for several weeks with no real progress, until the marauding giants of the Crystalmists found their way into the valley.

Society:
The Valley of the Mage is a dangerous place, with wild monsters let loose to discourage visitors, subtle traps, and other hazards. Rather than being at risk, though, the valley elves are part of the danger. The elves obey their liege and his First Protector, Tysiln San, a female drow in charge of defenses against unwarranted intrusion, and are in turn kept safe from the lands they patrol.

The valley is home to about 1200 gnomes, 800 humans, and 4000 valley elves. The majority of the population of valley elves is divided between the Vinestrong, Moonhollow, and Darkglade villages; the first two villages have about 800 elves each, while Darkglade boasts about 1200. The remainder of the elves live in bands of 100 to 200 throughout the vale. These smaller communities are unnamed. All Valley elves communities tend to use cooshees as guard dogs.

Summerstorm Nightwind, the valley elf cleric who leads his people, divides his time between the three villages, although he spends a little more time in Darkglade, which is the community farthest from the entrance to the vale. He was chosen for this position by the elves, primarily at the recommendation of the Exalted One. Under him are the leaders of each of the villages and their councils. All village officials are appointed by the residents, although the wishes of Summerstorm and the Exalted One play a heavy role in the outcome of the elections.

There is little crime in the valley elf communities. Penalties are severe to discourage wrongdoing. Elves accused of crimes are brought before the village communities; those accused of crimes in the outlying settlements are brought before the nearest council. If gnomes or tree people are accused of committing a wrong against the valley elves, a council of the elves and the accused’s peers decides judgment. The elven clerics using detect lie spells are usually quick to determine what happened and who was at fault. Summerstorm is consulted on the most difficult matters.

Valley elf wizards are honored in their communities, as they are considered to be following in the steps of the Exalted One. They have high positions in the communities and are not expected to perform the menial tasks expected of other elves.

The Mage provides for most of the valley elves needs, and they forage for the rest. In return they serve the Mage as agents and guards. They have raided Bessel, the Grand March, Ket, and the Duchy of Geoff.

In contrast to other elven subraces, valley elves craft few items, perhaps due to the Mage providing for them.

Relations with other races:
Valley elves are by nature reclusive and predisposed to resent most other races, except the gnomes in the vale, whom they tolerate because the mage demands that the races work together to protect the area. At times, however, the elves’ patience wears thin, as the gnomes enjoy playing pranks with their illusions. The elves for the most part also accept the tree people. Many of the valley elves consider the tree people a sub-species of humans because of their guttural language. However, they accept the tree people more readily than other humans because of the tree people’s obvious respect for nature. Some elves are able to look past their prejudices and recognize the tree people as their equals in intelligence.

Knights of the Watch whisper that valley elves, disguised as humans, spy on or steal from certain towns. Understandably, the Valley Elves' practice of infiltrating other lands disturbs the neighboring peoples, and they would be happy to see the valley elves eliminated.

Occasionally, a visitor stumbles onto one of the bands of valley elves, settled among the hills. The elves know that none of the Mage's invited visitors is supposed to encounter them, and so they attack with intent to capture the intruders. Strangers in the vale are usually brought before Summerstorm, if the patrol that located the strangers had valley elves in it. Summerstorm usually confronts the strangers with pointed questions before the entire village. The valley elves do not believe in secrecy within their communities. The captives can then be taken to the First Protector if warranted.

With the exception of snow elves, other elves dislike valley elves, believing that they have sold out their most valued treasure, their independence, to the Mage.

Valley elves tolerate snow elves perhaps because each views the other as sharing a similar plight - neither race is considered true elves by their cousins. They trade with each other.

Alignments:
Valley elves are usually chaotic neutral.

Religion:
The elves, like the gnomes in the vale, worship Ehlonna. Clerics, although respected because of their curative powers, are not regarded as highly as wizards.

Language:
Valley elves speak common, elven and gnome, although their speech is strangely accented.

Names:
No naming nomenclature is available for valley elves.

Adventurers:
A valley elf's favored class is wizard. Valley elves cannot be clerics of the Seldarine, although they can be clerics of any other faith. They tend to favor Ehlonna.

Most valley elves are multiclassed ranger/wizards, and their ranger favored enemy is humans.

Settings:
Valley elves are native to the Greyhawk setting.

Game Stats:
As standard elves with a + 4 bonus to Disguise.

Source: Vale of the Mage, Complete Book of Elves, Monstrous Compendium: Greyhawk Appendix, Dragon Magazine 155 (Snow Elves), Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (3E, full history), Living Greyhawk Journal #2 (3E stats)
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 07:11:51 AM by EO »

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Deep Dwarf
« Reply #88 on: March 03, 2021, 09:27:08 PM »
Deep Dwarf

A rare type of dwarves living far underground. They tend to be more standoffish with nondwarves.

Physical description:
Deep dwarves average 4 feet tall and weigh about 120 pounds. They are large boned, but leaner than other dwarves. Their skin varies from pale brown to light tan, and often carries a reddish tinge. Their eyes are large, but without the sheen of their surface cousins; in color, a washed-out blue. Hair color ranges from flame red to straw blond.

History:
Little is known about the actual origin of the deep dwarves. One school of thought suggests they have always have existed deep beneath the surface. Other records point to cataclysm, or a reign of monsterous terror. Perhaps the most compelling theory is they were driven downward by mountain or hill dwarves.

Outlook:
A conservative and closed off people, they consider themselves to be the sole repositories of dwarven culture. deep dwarves share their brethren's mistrust of outsiders, in fact they take it to an extreme and may come across as standoffish or downright hostile.

To most deep dwarves the world is made up of the dark places underground. The lands above are strange and remote. Almost certainly they would have been formed or shaped by the gods of other lands. Most dwarves believe that the world is made up of a number of parts created for different peoples. Dwarves were given the deep earth as their own, elves the forests, halflings the fields; each in their own place.

Many believe that the whole world was originally given to the dwarves. Their legends contain tales of how parts of the world were taken away by other gods when they created the other races.

Few of them could have any real knowledge of the shape of the surface of the world and their subterranean lives have caused them to develop some very strange beliefs: worlds shaped like a globe, an egg, a flattened disk, a jagged rock with a central pinnacle and even a great depression in the earth, among them.

Many legends are concerned with the depth of the earth. Many deep dwarves believe that it is possible to tunnel so far down that the diggers emerge through the bottom of the world. Their priests and sages argue incessantly as to what lies at the bottom of the word. Some claim that only empty space exists beneath the world. Most deep dwarf miners believe that the world rests on a spike of gold that will one day make them rich beyond even dwarven dreams of avarice.

Some think the world is a living organism or an intricate machine that needs careful maintenance if it is to continue. They believe each race was created to look after its part of the world, the deep dwarves caring for the underground realms.

Society:
Deep dwarves have little or no contact with the surface, as it is too far for them to travel to the world above. They organize themselves into loosely affiliated clans and build their strongholds deeper then even most dwarves venture due to their penchant for isolation.

Relations with other races:
Some deep dwarves are on friendly terms with hill and mountain dwarves and use them as liaisons for trade with the surface. Others harbor a grudge against them for perceived ills or avoid their shallower-dwelling cousins altogether, considering them tainted by the influence of other races. They frequently compete with duergar dwarves for living space and minerals

Alignments:
These dwarves are frequently neutral in alignment, but may also be lawful good or lawful neutral.

Religion:
The deep dwarves worship the gods of the Morndinsamman and hold Moradin as their creator.

Language:
Deep dwarves speak dwarven and goblin, and occasionally draconic or undercommon.

Names:
Deep dwarves follow ordinary dwarven naming conventions, incorporating the names of deceased ancestors into their titles.

Adventurers:
Adventuring deep dwarves tend toward classes that take advantages of their hardy nature, making them stalwart frontline warriors. They are often supported by clerics in their midst. Arcane classes are virtually unknown in their ranks.

Settings:
Deep dwarves are natives from the Greyhawk setting.

Game Stats:
+2 Con, -4 Cha*
Stonecunning
Darkvision
Increased hardiness vs. Poisons (+3 bonus on saving throws vs poison)
Hardiness vs. spells
Offensive training vs. Goblins
Offensive training vs. Orcs
Defensive training vs. Giants
Skill affinity (lore)
Increased saving throw bonus (+1 bonus on fortitude, reflex and will saving throws)

* At character creation, remember that the game engine automatically applies the default +2 Con, -2 Cha adjustment for standard dwarves. An extra -2 Cha will be applied once the subrace is selected in-game.

Source: The Complete Book of Dwarves, D&D 3.5 Monster Manual
« Last Edit: March 03, 2021, 09:28:53 PM by EO »
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Stout/Deep Halfling
« Reply #89 on: March 04, 2021, 06:23:06 AM »
Stout/Deep Halfling

A shorter and stockier type of halfling, prefering to live in the company of dwarves over that of humans or elves.

Physical description:
The stout halflings, also called deep halflings, are shorter than the more common lightfeet. They are about 2-1/2 tall and weigh between 30 and 35 pounds. They have broad features, stocky but athletic built, ruddy skin, straight coarse black hair, and dark eyes. Male Stouts grow some facial hair but not full beards, styled often as mutton chops or thick sideburns. Those able to grow mustaches maintain them with pride. Halflings reach adulthood in their early twenties and generally live into the middle of their second century.

History:
Halflings originally occupied small settlements in the river valleys of the west-central Flanaess. They spread slowly into other territories, so that by the time of the Suel and Oeridian migrations, few were north of the Gamboge Forest or east of the Harp River. They are common in much of the Sheldomar Valley, interacting freely with humans, dwarves, elves and gnomes. Historically, they prefer to dwell in stable nations ruled by stronger folk. Today, halflings are found in much of the Flanaess, but they still favor the central and western regions from the Urnst states to the three Uleks.

Outlook:
Deep halflings are notably the most industrious of their kin, able to accomplish a large sum of work in a limited period of time. Naturally their muscularity makes wrestling a favorite Stoutish form of entertainment, which they regularly best their kin at. Stouts prefer sturdy attires of boiled leather overtly practical in nature (to the point they appear with a drab sameness to their neighbors). However they make a point of keeping louder dyed clothing of exotic materials like cotton, wool and sparsely, silk for special occasions. Boots styled as moccasins accompany a Stoutish attire, fitted for the rocky, marshy ground they live upon.

Society:
The stouts form tight-knit communities within dwarven cities, or they form self-reliant villages in secluded places. Stouts amongst all other halflings exhibit an affinity for mining, finding successful industrial careers that do not suit their more pastoral kin. Stoutish communities are founded in hilly or rocky terrain close to freshwater fishing spots. Grooming cavernous mushrooms, digging for minerals or setting gemstones into jewelry come readily to a Stout over a life of sprawling agriculture. Stoutish burrows are dug expansively, utilizing round shuttered windows to sparingly let light shine through stone-masoned walls. Deeper dug than other halfling homes, a Stoutish burrow may be seen as dark and somewhat damp.

Relations with other races:
Stouts segregate themselves from human societies, preferring alliances with dwarves of militaristic, defensive or economic nature. Stoutish armies include skilled swimmers and boatmen, employing thin canoes for boarding raids at night against larger vessels. Stouts, like their kin, do not wage war beyond protecting their homes, and never settle where they know territory will be disputed.

Alignments:
Deep halflings are usually of neutral alignments.

Religion:
Stouts see religion like most halflings do, preferring worship to be conveniently grounded in their immediate livelihood. Yondalla is revered before all others, with their pantheon being matriarchal in nature. Male deities, such as Arvoreen, are relegated to being sidekicks or undertaking roles seen as transitory or temporarily needed.

Language:
Deep halflings are taught both Common and Halfling, and learn Dwarven to communicate with their mountain allies. Elven, Gnome, Goblin and Orc are among the rarer dialects spoken within a Stoutish community.

Names:
A halfling has a given name, a family name, and possibly a nickname. It would seem that family names are nothing more than nicknames that stuck so well they have been passed down through the generations.
Male Names: Alton, Beau, Cade, Eldon, Garret, Lyle, Milo, Osborn, Roscoe, Wellby.
Female Names: Amaryllis, Charmaine, Cora, Euphemia, Jillian, Lavinia, Lidda, Merla, Portia, Seraphina, Verna
Family Names: Bushgather, Goodberrel, Greenbottle, Highhill, Hilltopple, Leagallow, Tealeaf, Thorngage, Tosscobble, Underbough

Adventurers:
Most stout halflings encountered outside their home are warriors, though their innate agility also makes them natural rogues.

Settings:
Stout halflings are native to the Greyhawk setting.

Game Stats:
+2 Dex, -2 Str
Darkvision
Stonecunning
Skill affinity (lore)
Skill affinity (listen)
Lucky.
Fearless
Good aim
Racial attack bonus when using slings
Small stature

D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook, D&D 3.5 Monster Manual, Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, AD&D 2nd Ed., The Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 07:11:06 AM by EO »
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Forest Gnome (Forstneblin)
« Reply #90 on: March 04, 2021, 11:55:48 AM »
Forest Gnome (Forstneblin)

The wallflowers of the gnomes. Hard to come upon, they have a love for nature and forests distant from any civilization.

Physical description:
Forest gnomes are the smallest of the gnomes, averaging only 2 to 2 1/2 feet tall. Even the tallest forest gnome is less than 3 feet. They typically weigh around 25 to 30 pounds. They share the stocky physique of the Rock and Tinker Gnome and the bulbous nose which is so characteristic of the race in general. Unlike others gnomes, they wear their hair and beards long, often almost to their feet when unbound. These are a source of great pride, and they often trim them to a fine point or curl them into hornlike spikes that extend to either side. Their skin tends toward the greenish cast of tan rather like bark, although often darkened and ruddy from exposure to weather, and their eyes are usually brown or blue, but green eyes are not unheard of and are considered very attractive and the omen of a good life for their owner. Their hair color is brown or black, often becoming gray or white in old age.

History:
The forest gnomes have had even less impact upon the history of Faerun (or the Flanaess) than the deep gnomes or the rock gnomes. They have likely saved several forests from aggressive logging for centuries, but their efforts are infrequently acknowledged since they are rarely, if ever, seen. Among themselves, they often mark the years by significant events (both good and ill) that befell their village or the firest in which they live, but these details are often trivial and mean little to outsiders.

Outlook:
The vast majority of forest gnomes would simply like to be left alone to enjoy the beauty of their wooded homes. They are not particularly distrustful of people outside their villages, nor do they hate those who treat the woods with respect. However, they just don’t see how such people could have much interest in them
and their simple way of life.

Most forest gnomes encountered outside their homes are illusionists, although clerics and druids sometimes show themselves as well at great need. The illusionists help to conceal the gnomes, their homes, and their efforts from the outside world. The clerics and druids take great pains to help maintain the health of the
gnomes’ forest home.

Society:
Life as a forest gnome is idyllic. They eat only that which they can gather—mostly fruits, nuts, and berries, with the rare bit of meat. Forest gnome communities often number fewer than 100 members and can be as small as a single family.

Each home in these hamlets is connected to the chamber by a narrow tunnel just wide enough for a full-grown forest gnome to slip through. Most forest gnomes spend their day tending to the forest and gathering food. A few search for gems underground—they prize emeralds above all else—while others craft jewelry of extraordinary quality. The designs in forest gnome jewelry are filled with themes related to their woodland home: flowers, trees, local animals, and the like.

Forest gnome children are allowed to do as they like. Often they spend their days playing within arm’s reach of their parents, watching how their elders treat the environment in which they live. These children learn how to behave by way of example, and this results in a quiet and near religious reverence for the teeming life of the forests that surround them.

Forest gnomes respect their elders, and the eldest member of the community is usually the person in charge of it, regardless of gender. They have little in the way of politics—the patriarch or matriarch simply acts as a wise advisor most of the time.

Otherwise, the forest gnomes only act as a group when they have a clear consensus on what course of action they might wish to take. Outside their homes, forest gnomes are solitary. If two or more are together, they form an insular group, often whispering among themselves at the slightest event. In such cases, the eldest forest gnome present is the nominal leader.

Forest gnomes do not keep cattle or pets of any kind. The animals of the forest are their friends, not creatures to be preyed upon or domesticated. They have been known to strike up friendships with all natural creatures of the forest, although they favor those closer to their own size, like foxes, squirrels, and the like.

In Faerûn, they can mostly be found in Aglarond and the Great Dale.

Relations with other races:
It’s not that forest gnomes wouldn’t get along with other races. They simply avoid them so much that they rarely have much of a chance to interact with them at all. When they do meet pleasant and respectful outsiders, forest gnomes can usually rise to the occasion, however shyly. If given a chance, they can be the most steadfast of friends.

Those forest gnomes who have encountered outsiders prefer rock gnomes, elves—particularly wood elves and wild elves—and halflings (especially ghostwise halflings) to all others. This is because these races share the respect that the forest gnomes have for their natural surroundings.

As for the other standard character races, the forest gnomes don’t know or care much about them. However, they have a long-standing hatred for orcs, kobolds, and lizardfolk, based upon the way these races abuse the forest and nature in general. They are also somewhat suspicious of humans, as human loggers, trappers, and hunters have damaged more than one forest despite the forest gnomes’ best efforts.

Alignments:
Forest gnomes are typically of good alignments.

Religion:
Forest gnomes are the most devout of all the gnomes, their reverence for their natural surroundings transferring quite easily to the gods who created it all. Forest gnome priests always lead off every gathering of forest gnomes with a solemn blessing. Often, such a priest is the glue that keeps the distant members of his community connected.

Baervan Wildwanderer is the patron deity of most forest gnomes. As his last name suggests, this god is most comfortable in the remote places the forest gnomes call home. He has personally charged them with the care of their pristine homes, and for this they owe him their undying gratitude. It is a burden they have gladly shouldered. Clerics of Baervan often advise their fellows on the careful husbandry and stewardship over the forest.

The faith of Segojan Earthcaller is also popular among the forest gnomes. Segojan taught them their undying respect for their closest friends, the animals with whom they share their forests. Many forest gnomes warriors wear armor covered with grass and roots to demonstrate their veneration for the Earthcaller.

To forest gnomes, Urdlen represents the great unknown, everything above, around, or even below their forest homes—in other words, the things of which the forest gnomes are most frightened. Still, on a sunny day in the forest, Urdlen and the fears he represents seem far off. The god apparently appreciates the work the forest gnomes do to preserve their homes, because he rarely enters them.

Language:
Forest gnomes speak Common, Gnome, and Sylvan. If they pick up an additional language, it’s often Elven, but it could just as well be Halfling, Treant, or the human language of the surrounding region. Those forest gnomes who fight to defend their homes sometimes pick up a bit of Draconic, Goblin, or Orc too, just so they can converse with their attackers and—if possible—spy on them.

Names:
Gnomes love names, and most have half a dozen or so. As a gnome grows up, his mother gives him a name, his father gives him a name, his clan elder gives him a name, his aunts and uncles give him names, and gains nicknames from just about anyone. Gnome names are typically variants on the names of ancestors or distant relatives, though some are purely new inventions. When dealing with humans and others who are rather "stuffy" about names, a gnome learns to act as if he has no more than three names: a personal name, a clan name, and a nickname. When deciding which of his several names to use among humans, a gnome generally chooses the one that's the most fun to say. Gnome clan names are combinations of common Gnome words, and gnomes almost always translate them into Common when in human lands (or into Elven when in elven lands, and so on).

Male Names: Boddynock, Dimble, Fonkin, Gimble, Glim, Gerbo, Jebeddo, Namfoodle, Roondar, Seebo, Zook.
Female Names: Bimpnottin, Caramip, Duvamil, Ellywick, Ellyjobell, Loopmottin, Mardnab, Roywyn, SHamil, Waywocket.
Clan Names: Beren, Daergel, Folkor, Garrick, Nackle, Murnig, Ningel, Raulnor, Scheppen, Turen.
Nicknames: Aleslosh, Ashhearth, Badger, Cloak, Doublelock, Filchbatter, Fnipper, Oneshoe, Sparkegem, Stumbleduck.

Adventurers:
Most forest gnomes see no reason to ever leave their homes, but sometimes doing so becomes unavoidable. Adventuring forest gnomes may be hunting for a solution to some problem back home or hoping to learn more about the surrounding area so that they can defend their community against threats they would otherwise know nothing about.

Settings:
Forest gnomes are native to the Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms settings.

Game Stats:
+2 Con, -2 Str
+4 Hide
Hardiness vs. illusions
Offensive training vs. reptilians
Offensive training vs. goblinoids
Offensive training vs. orcs
Defensive training vs. giants
Skill affinity (listen)
Skill affinity (concentration)
Spell focus (illusion)
Low-light vision
Small stature

Sources: D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook, Races of Faerun
« Last Edit: March 06, 2021, 02:35:17 PM by EO »
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Xeph
« Reply #91 on: March 04, 2021, 01:41:34 PM »
Xeph

The humanlike xephs are a race of dark-skinned, innately psionic humanoids vaguely resembling the gith, whose mental powers manifest as an ability to telekinetically boost their speed. They live in the valleys of a great rift in Adar. They are acknowledged for their skill in feats of agility, their uncontested ability at generating bursts of speed, their matchless knowledge of movement and distance, and their capacity for humor. Xephs are celebrated for the fabulous objects of subtle beauty they produce for trade.

Physical description:
Xephs stand about 5-1/2 feet tall and are slender and graceful, usually weighing about 140 pounds. Males are typically taller and heavier than females. Xephs' skin is typically brown, and their eyes are dark. Their hair is usually black and straight; some wear it clipped short, while others shave their heads except for a topknot and weave that hair into a single long braid. They have pointed ears.

Some have noted a certain resemblance to the gith in their appearance, making them wonder if xephs might not be a forgotten branch of the family tree that has forgotten its kin - or deliberately wishes to avoid them and their pointless blood feud.

Note that while xeph characters may hide their features under a helm, it is otherwise obvious at all time that they are not humans.

Base HeightHeight Mod.Base WeightWeight Mod.
Xeph, male  4′ 8′′+2d10100 lb.× (2d4) lb.
Xeph, female  4′ 4′′+2d1075 lb.× (2d4) lb.
      
History:
Little is known of the xephs history. Xephs originated and still live in rift valleys in the southwestern portion of Adar. They are a strange breed native to Adar and possibly a product of the peculiar planar forces that exist in the land of refuge. In ages past they adopted psionic traditions from kalashtar missionaries, and they remain closely tied to the kalashtar of their homeland.

Outlook:
Agile and psychically able, xephs are renowned for their fine crafts. Adaran xephs seem extremely lighthearted compared to the typical Adaran, but the xeph homeland has never known war or significant internal strife. All xephs consider themselves soldiers in the defense of Adar, however, and they're worthy partners in this role.

Xephs are quick to laugh or joke, welcoming of strangers, and especially charitable to those who really earn their confidence. If they are betrayed by a friend, xephs are dwarflike in their resolve to seek justice and redress. Xephs value artful sculpture, beautiful paintings, expensive clothing, and other art objects. They prefer to avoid a fight rather than wade in, but they are not timid if combat is their only recourse.

Like the kalashtar, they resist the tyranny of the Inspired of Riedra.

Society:
In the southwestern portion of Adar, deep in the awe-inspiring canyons where the impassable Xaryai River flows, a forest occupies the chasm's floor. The river has cut a wider opening through softer stone, creating a shaded valley and revealing luminescent crystal that bathes the area in almost eternal twilight. In this weird jungle of crystal and trees live the xephs. Xephs have long been accepted among Adarans. The largest concentration of xephs in the Xaryai Coulee, as the xephs name the valley, is in a settlement of graceful buildings melding stone, tree, and crystal. Xephs call it Xephanan. From Xephanan, xephs travel all over Adar; many are integrated into Adaran society and involved in the war against the Inspired. A few bold xeph merchants run trading vessels from the port at Dvaarnava, where they also work with the Summit Road.

In their cities, Xeph practice their arts and sing their songs under the boughs of a gloriously illuminated forest. Members of other races are welcome in the forest, though some ancient temples are off limits to those not of the blood. The wealth the xephs own is due in part to their artistic bent, and in part to their desire to travel far and wide to trade for the wealth and art of other cultures. Some prefer overland caravans, others seagoing ships.

Relations with other races:
Xephs get along well with humans, half-elves, and halflings. They think that elves might be a little too good to be true, while they view half-orcs and half-giants with some suspicion. Xephs and maenads tend to rub each other the wrong way; xephs see maenads as too stiff (little realizing the reason why), while maenads envy xephs their free and easy attitude.

Outside Adar, xephs are rarely accepted into civilization; they must subsist on the edges, getting by as best they can with trickery and psychic contrivance.

Alignments:
Xephs tend toward good and chaotic behaviors.

Religion:
Being integrated in Adaran culture, traditionnal Xephs' prayers call on Braahyn (Balinor), the god of the wilds and the moving earth, and his spouse Aarakti (Arawai), the goddess of abundance and storms. Many people also respect the spirits of nature and those of their ancestors. Like the humans and other residents of Adar, xephs respect the Path of Light even if they do not fully understand its teachings. This dominant religion in Adar has all but eclipsed these other spiritual practices. Its message has proven preferable to the rule of remote gods and a cold and meaningless end to life in Dolurrh. It is a path of choosing one's own destiny and possibly even transcending death, though most followers are either human or kalashtar.

Language:
Xephs speak their own language, which uses the same alphabet as Common. Some also learn Sylvan, the language of fellow wanderers.

Names:
A xeph’s name is granted to her by her parents on her fourth birthday. Most xeph names are used and reused down through the generations. Xephs who travel usually take the name of their city of birth as a second name, a reminder of where they originally began their journey through life.

Male Names: Assim, Bahram, Behrooze, Cyrus, Jamsheed, Ksathra, Majeed, Mehrdad, Nasim, Shatrevar, Xerxes.
Female Names: Amira, Azar, Cyra, Darya, Jaleh, Marjan, Narda, Shahin, Soraya, Zenda.
Second (City) Names: Asha, Dareh, Feroz, Kurush, Melchior, Saeed, Val.

Adventurers:
A xeph adventurer is usually motivated merely by the thought of travel and exploration itself. A xeph may also be motivated by the desire to see new wonders, feats of might, psionics, or magic great enough to inspire the xeph to greater works of personal art.

Settings:
Xephs are native to Eberron.

Game Stats:
+2 Dex, -2 Str*
+1 bonus on Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saving throws
Darkvision
Expeditious Retreat 3x/day

* At character creation, remember that the game engine will not apply the ability score adjustments immediately. The +2 Dex, -2 Str adjustment will be applied once the subrace is selected in-game.

Sources: Expanded Psionics Handbook, Secrets of Sarlona.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 07:10:26 AM by EO »
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Hill Dwarf of Ansalon
« Reply #92 on: March 04, 2021, 06:08:46 PM »
Hill Dwarf of Ansalon

The hill dwarves of Ansalon are known as the Neidar ("Nearest" or knoll dwellers). They are descendants of those that chose to live on outside world at the time Thorbardin was created. 

Physical description:
Hill dwarves tend to be short and stocky. They stand between 4 and 4 ½ feet tall. While not tall, their girth still makes them physically imposing. Male hill dwarves tend to weigh anywhere between 150 and 200 pounds; females usually weigh slightly less. They have a dense bone structure that lends to this added weight and makes them less buoyant than other creatures. As such, dwarves sink, rather than float, in deep waters. Of course, this only adds to their natural aversion of large bodies of water. The Neidar often have darkly tanned skin from years spent outdoors working fields, harvesting lumber, and traveling to and from nearby settlements for trade. Wrinkles are common, beginning around the early age of forty, making hill dwarves appear older than they truly are. Neidar eye colors are predominantly dark brown with the occasional exception of green or hazel. Many hill dwarves tend to be nearsighted. Their heavy eyebrows hang over their eyes, giving them a natural scowl when tired or preoccupied. This is a large reason why non-dwarves believe they are always cross.

A dwarf's hair is a source of pride and occasionally a sign of their social status. Dwarven males love their facial hair. “You can tell a lot about a dwarf by the way he keeps his beard,” is a common dwarven saying. It is common practice for a dwarf to keep his beard tucked into his belt, provided it's long enough; this way, the beard stays out of the way while he are working. Beards are occasionally braided and tied. While this is functional, additional ornamentation is considered gaudy for males. Keeping a beard clean and healthy is the general accepted practice. Hair color ranges from family to family. As a rule, hill dwarves have the widest spectrum of hair color, ranging from blonde to black and everything in between. Their hair will begin to turn a silver-grey as they reach adulthood and white as they reach old age. Many male hill dwarves tend to go bald while they are still young. Females, however, often enjoy thick heads of hair their whole life. They take as much pride in their hair as their men. While they do not have beards, they do have long hair, often tied up in a bun to keep it out of the way when performing the day-to-day tasks; they let down it at night and for special occasions. Ornamental hairnets, jeweled pins, and fashionable hair clips are brought outduring festivals or community get-togethers.

History:
The history of the Krynnish dwarves is a long and rich saga too long to repeat here in its entirety. It is however with the creation of Thorbardin under the Kharolis Mountains that the history of the Neidar clan truly begins. As they chose to live on the outside world, the role of the Neidar prior to the Cataclysm was scouting and tending to the flocks outside of Thorbardin.

When the Cataclysm struck, destroying the dwarven kingdom of Thoradin and ravaging Krynn, the kingdom under the Kharolis Mountains suffered far less damage. However, Thorbardin had become increasingly dependent on trade for its food. The Cataclysm destroyed this trade, as the dwarves' trading partners suddenly had other issues which were more important. It was evident to King Duncan that Thorbardin's food supply would not support all of the dwarves who lived within the mountain as well as those who lived in the nearby countryside, so he made the decision to close the doors of the dwarven kingdom. He reasoned the dwarves outside could continue farming to support themselves.

This decision became known as The Great Betrayal by the surface dwarves. Above the underground kingdom, famine and plague ran rampant. The survivors of Xak Tsaroth joined with the surrounding dwarven refugees to demand access to Thorbardin's food stores. The mountain dwarves formed an army and marched upon the encroaching enemy, which had been joined by Black Robe archmage Fistandantilus. When it appeared the surface dwarves would lose the battle, Fistandantilus called down powerful magic that destroyed not only the army of the mountain dwarves but also his own army. The Dwarfgate War, as it was later called, had huge ramifications; it split the dwarven nation in two. Ever since that war, the hill dwarves from this area have harbored a deep resentment towards Thorbardin's mountain dwarves for their betrayal.

During the War of the Lance relations improved with their mountain dwarf cousins but still remained tense. The Neidar did prevent arms sales to the Dragon armies by preventing the Theiwar from taking over the village of Hillhome. The defense of Hillhome, led by the Fireforge Family, began a period of open communications with the dwarves of Thorbardin.

Following the Chaos War the Neidar fared better than most of the other dwarven clans. They helped the Hylar and Klar exiles survive through the first few years until the exiles could return to Thorbardin. Prior to the War of Souls, Thorbardin king Tarn Bellowgranite had married the Neidar princess Crystal Heathstone and relations had steadily improved.

Outlook:
More curious about the world around them than their mountain-dwelling cousins, hill dwarves have traveled far and wide, spreading their culture and plying their trade in every nation of Ansalon. Nearly every mountain in Ansalon has a settlement of hill dwarves somewhere along its base. Dwarven adventurers will most often be Neidar, as they are usually the only dwarves willing to leave their homes in search of greater fortune. In their dealings, Neidar tend to be fair and honest, but will haggle for every last copper. Hill dwarves are loyal friends if one can penetrate their grumbling manners and gruff exterior.

Hill Dwarves believe in hard work and commitment. A good life is comprised of a day of hard labor followed by a mug of spirits and the satisfaction that you have done something worthwhile for your family and community. Creature comforts are important once work is complete. “A good chair can outlast a good friend!” is an old dwarven saying. Though many more hill dwarves than mountain dwarves are adventurers, the majority prefer to remain dedicated to their family and community. Dwellings are often adorned with trappings to make the house more comfortable. While all dwarves covet gems and precious metals, hill dwarves do not usually feel a need to flaunt their wealth. Like all dwarves, if an individual can establish a bond with a hill dwarf, that person can always depend on them. Rock solid and never wavering, a Neidar will defend his friends and family to the death. Their stubborn nature, which keeps them from returning to the mountains or forgetting any slight against them, can be a powerful force when it is used to protect a loved one.

Society:
Most hill dwarf villages have a mayor or elected official who passes judgment on internal conflicts and oversees the local laws and customs in the village. If it is ever discovered that the official is working against the good of the community as a whole, he is quickly and often ruthlessly removed from office. A number of dwarves also work as local law enforcement, helping settle disputes and patrolling the borders of the hill dwarf territory.

Since most dwarves are trained for combat, everyone is expected to be involved in the militia. Most dwarves have their own weapon and suit of armor; sometimes handed down from one generation to the next, antique armor is not unusual among the hill dwarves. Female dwarves often take on tasks behind the front line, such as protecting children or gathering supplies, but this doesn't prevent a determine female fighter from joining the men. When confronted with a threat to the community, every dwarf who can wield a weapon is welcome to join the fight.

There are two primary concentrations of hill dwarves on Ansalon. The first is the in foothills of the Kharolis Mountains. These are the dwarves who joined forces with humans to attack Thorbardin in the Dwarfgate War. They can still be found there, farming, hunting, and continuing their lives much as they have since that dark time. The second settlement is among the hills surrounding the Garnet Mountain Range. The prosperous dwarven province of Kayolin, located deep beneath the Garnet Mountains, has long been a shining jewel among the dwarven kingdoms. It has never known great civil unrest like Thorbardin or destruction and disease like Thoradin. Even during the dark times following the Cataclysm, Kayolin left its doors open to the hill dwarves in the surrounding territory, easing tensions and saving lives. Hill dwarves are not exclusive to these regions, however. They have found homes all across Ansalon; small clans of dwarves have settled in nearly every corner. The Emerald Peaks of Nordmaar are home to the Stonedrum clan of wild Klar who picked up and fled far from Thorbardin after the Dwarfgate War. Among the cliffs of Port Balifor, the Stonesplitter clan has settled and even assisted the citizens against the dangers of dragons by building escape tunnels and cliff-side residences. In Khur among the desert tribes, the Shalecutter dwarves are renowned for their metal and stoneworks. With the possible exception of the Minotaur Isles, hill dwarves can be found nearly anywhere on Ansalon.

Relations with other races:
While hill dwarves are seemingly intolerant of nearly everyone, it has never stopped them from dealing and trading with nearly every race at one point or another through the ages.

Despite their differences, hill dwarves have generally gotten along with Qualinesti elves. It was mainly the hill dwarves of Thorbardin who assisted in the creation of the elven kingdom. Since the Cataclysm, much of that camaraderie has faded. Contrarily, since the fall of the elven kingdom, it is not uncommon to find the odd group of elves living among dwarven communities who opened their homes to the refugees of the fallen nation. Outside of the region around Thorbardin, meetings between elves and hill dwarves can be uncomfortable affairs.

Hill dwarves regard gnomes with some trepidation and annoyance. This may be because the dwarves can see something of themselves in the hardworking gnomes. However, the gnomish drive to go far beyond what any sensible dwarf would consider and their knack for failure scare hill dwarves. Dwarves and gnomes can work well together, however, as long as the dwarf can establish the leadership role.

Hill dwarves seem to understand half-elves. A race of outcasts from not one, but two different societies reminds the many hill dwarves of their estrangement from the clans beneath the mountains. Not as hot headed as humans and not as pretentious as elves, the personalities of most halfelves appeal to hill dwarves.

Humans have interacted with hill dwarves for longer than either race can remember. To the dwarves, humans are warlike, over-eager, and greedy, but at the same time can show compassion and respect for tradition. One thing all humans tend to do, at least in the eyes of the hill dwarves, is recklessly spend their wealth and personal gain. Hill dwarves are more than happy to oblige in taking it from them if it means an honest day's work for them.

If there is any race on the face of Ansalon that totally mystifies and frustrates hill dwarves, it's kender. How the kender race has managed to survive is as baffling to hill dwarves as how gully dwarves remain in the world. Kender are foolish, careless, and lazy. They are also clearly a race of thieves, lawless bandits, and compulsive liars. They can't be trusted any farther than they can be thrown, no matter how many times you throw them.

The Neidar see minotaurs as an honorable race, even if they are evil. Occasionally, hill dwarves have been known to trade with minotaurs, but just as often, they have fought against them. When dealing with minotaurs, hill dwarves come armed with a good bit of suspicion and a hand on their axe.

Hill dwarves detest draconians on general principle. They consider a race of magically deformed dragon children crafted from dark magic to be unnatural and twisted. Hill dwarves have little to no contact with them that isn't violent. There is a nasty rumor circulating that it was a hill dwarf who gave the draconians instructions on how to find the dwarven ruins of Teyr. However, it's generally believed that any self respecting hill dwarf would never do such a thing.

The ogre race has been at odds with the dwarves since the dwarves' creation. The only dwarves known to interact with ogres have been the Zhakar, who traded with the ogres of Blöde. Even some of those meetings ended in bloodshed. Unlike half-elves, half-ogres are not treated with the same respect from hill dwarves. The taint of their ogre parentage is hard for any hill dwarf to ignore.

Alignments:
As a race to which loyalty, honor and the collective welfare serve as the most venerated ideals hill dwarves display a tendency to the lawful alignment rather than to the chaotic. Truly evil dwarves are rare, especially amongst those who grew up in the bosom of their clans for their set of cultural and social ideals place them along the Neutral and Good alignment much more often.

Religion:
The Neidar tend to be a spiritual people. They venerate Reorx as the highest of all gods. Incredibly stubborn and not willing to take things at face value, most Neidar believed Reorx was teaching them a lesson after the Cataclysm and never stopped worshiping him. When their prayers had seemingly stopped being answered and the clerical worship of Reorx drastically fell into decline, the dwarves refused to believe Reorx would abandon them. After the Dwarfgate War, however, many families took a different view. They began to believe that Reorx, like the mountain dwarves, had forsaken them and turned away from him. Conflicts over religion fractured the Neidar; it was only after the War of the Lance and the return of their god that these wounds began to heal, and the Neidar came together as one again.

After the Anvil Summer, the Chaos War, and the passing of the gods, the hill dwarves stubbornly held on to the belief that their god would not again be silenced. Reorx had tamed Chaos once, and he would do it again. The one moon, the changing constellations, and the lack of magic only meant that things had changed, but it did not mean Reorx had been defeated. When mysticism and the Power of the Heart were discovered, many hill dwarves believed it was Reorx's parting gift to them and explored this new power. Later, when the gods returned once more, many rejoiced and worshiped Reorx and the other gods, but a few held on to the dear gift of the Power of the Heart. While Reorx is venerated as the highest god among the pantheon, the Silver Mistress (Shinare) and Mesalax (Mishakal) are both highly respected among the Neidar—the Silver Mistress for her dedication to industry and Mesalax for her healing arts. Stories of the famine and disease that followed the Cataclysm are still told to younger generations of dwarves as a reminder of that terrible time. They also tell how it was Reorx who defeated Chaos and the god of the One Moon, as he smashed that grey moon from the sky with his great hammer and returned the moons and the stars of the past to their proper locations.

Every dwarven village has at least one chapel dedicated to Reorx, Mesalax (Mishakal), or the Silver Mistress (Shinare). While organized worship is not mandatory, it is encouraged, and it is not uncommon for many dwarves to visit their town's temple on holy days to pay their respects, assist in maintaining the temple, or donating supplies for the priests and the poor of the community.

Language:
From time to time, scholars have debated the origins of the dwarven language. If it is true that both dwarves and kender are descended from gnomes, might it stand to reason they would all share the same language? This certainly does not seem to hold true; gnomes and kender both have adopted new standards for communication over the years, while the dwarven language seems to have changed only slightly. Ancient dwarven texts still require some skill and knowledge to unravel, but the basic structure of the current language remain largely unchanged.

The dwarven language is comprised of a primary base set of words that are either defined by context or modifiers, such as prefixes or suffixes. Dwarves do not use an alphabet; instead, they use a set of dwarven runes depicting these different words. The runes are straight, angular, and easy to reproduce. Many times, these symbols can be found etched into stone or metal. Each family and clan also has its own distinctive symbol.

The dwarven language is one of many hard consonants and few vowels. It is a rough language and difficult for non-dwarves to speak properly. Kender say it sounds like an avalanche coming out of the dwarf 's mouth. Lots of grumbling and harsh clicks do indeed make it sound like rocks knocked together.

Hill dwarves rely primarily on an oral tradition to pass along their history from one generation to the next, so they have very few actual written texts. Those texts that do exist are often discovered in ancient caves and ruined dwarven fortresses. The dwarves have a number of different phrases and sayings. The following phrases and meanings are a few of the more common in hill dwarf culture.

“Eyes High!” This phrase is common among dwarven scouts to bring attention to something they have spotted or to remind a companion to stay alert.

“Sometimes a stone is just a rock.” This is a phrase used by dwarves to warn another not to get their hopes up about some event.

“The gods look after fools, children, and drunks, and kender count for two out of those three.” This a common phrase that often comes up when dealing with kender. It is especially pertinent after a kender has escaped some disaster… usually one he produced.

Names:
All hill dwarves have a family name of which they are extremely proud, and they always do their best to increase the prestige associated with their family name in all tasks they perform. Some examples of Neidar clan family names are: Fireforge, Coalfist, Greeneyes, Winterseed, and Broadland. Hill dwarf children are given individual names at birth. Often times, they are named after previous relatives as a method of honoring that ancestor.

Males names: Amos, Aylmar, Cale, Flint, Garth, Holden, Ruberick, and Tybalt.
Female names: Fidelia, Glynnis, Helta, Jetta, Mica, Mileen, Ruby, and Tuilen.

Adventurers:
Hill dwarves adventure for a number of reasons. Most often, they go out into the world on some type of family business. Sometimes these trips abroad unexpectedly turn into adventures that take the dwarf far away from home and hearth. Occasionally, it is family troubles that cause young dwarves to leave home and take up a life of adventuring. These dwarves are often reluctant to talk about their home and will rarely share details of why they left. Young hill dwarf warriors will sometimes hire themselves out as mercenaries, looking for excitement and experience.

Settings:
The Neidar are the hill dwarves of Dragonlance, though their equivalent exists in most other D&D settings.

Game Stats:
As standard dwarves.

Source: Races of Anselon
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 07:09:33 AM by EO »
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Wood Elf of Mystara
« Reply #93 on: March 05, 2021, 07:31:50 PM »
Wood Elf of Mystara

Wood Elves are those Mystaran elves who have retained the original elven culture, once possessed by the elves of the legendary realm of Grunland.

Unlike the Sylvan elves (the high elves of Mystara), they have not followed Ilsundal to the Sylvan Realm after the Great Rain of Fire.

Physical description:
Most Wood Elves have brown hair and blue or brown eyes, though the Vyalia dlans, have pale skin, and white or silvery hair, not unlike Water or Shadow Elves.

The Verdier clans have hair ranging in color from blond to brown, with green or hazel eyes. Their features bear a distant resemblance to the sylvan elves of Alfheim.

History:
Wood elves have made their way to the Known World in different waves of migration, some even before the Great Rain of Fire, but all have a common culture. They can be found in many parts of the Known World. Their major settlements are Wendar (Geffronell Clan), Minrothad (Verdier Clan) and Thyatis (Vyalia Clans).

Wendar
In the ancient past, elves from the elf-kingdom of Evergrun, discovered the human kingdom of Blackmoor in the far northern continent. Many waves of Evergrun elves emigrated to the lands near Blackmoor and settled there. They became friends with the Blackmoor humans and dabbled in their technology. When that technology destroyed Blackmoor and wrecked the world, many of these elvish communities perished - but the elves of the land called Wendar survived though they were reduced to a savage daily struggle to survive against the climatic changes, for Blackmoor's destruction plunged Wendar and most of the northern continent of Brun into an Ice Age. The elves of Wendar have all but forgotten this early part of their history.

For a very long time Wendar could not even be called a nation, it was a land settled by both elves and humans that was regularly attacked by the people of Denagoth to the North. Wendar truly became a nation only around 800 AC (Thyatian calendar) when a sympathetic sage named Bensarian gave an Immortal artifact, later known as the Elvenstar, to an elf-mage and town leader named Gylharen. With this artifact, he was able better to protect the land from invasions from Denagoth: he set up is own town, Wendar, as the capital and invited other town leaders to pledge loyalty to him in return for his protection. After a few decades of his good rule and vigorous defense of the land, all communities in Wendar had pledged loyalty to him.

In recent history, Wendar stay well out of the war between Glantri and Alphatia. King Gylharen made sure the passes into Wendar were well-manned, and the nation rode out the war with ease. However the greatest threat to the nation came from a source which intended peace only. After the destruction of Alfheim, elf-refugees from that nation flooded toward Wendar, inadvertently bringing with them the plague which was then ravaging Glantri. Gylharen quickly confined the elf refuges to southwest Wendar, sought clerical help from Norwold and contained the plague before it could do serious harm to the population.

The Verdier Clan of Minrothad
The wood elves of Minrothad are also called forest elves in Minrothad Patois. The terms are synonymous and refer exclusively to the forest-dwelling elves of these islands who work wood and other products of the earth. Minrothad wood elves all belong to Guild Verdier, which is named for a wood-elf clan of ancient distinction that were the shipwright of Evergrun in the distant past.

It is claimed that in the ancient past, the Verdier left the ancient realm Evergrun in search of their allies, clan Meditor, the water elves, and that they eventually found them in the Minrothad Isles, where both groups lived ever since. The Minrothad Guilds themselves were founded in 691 AC by Gregus Verdier, a wood elf who solidified the loose trading confederation of the Minrothad Isles into a system of guilds and associate guilds.

Vyalia
The County of Vyalia is an heavily-wooded area, the eastern edge of the Dymrak Forest, which extends a few miles into Karameikos. Though the bulk of the population is human, it is also lightly populated by the clan of elves that gave the area its name. It originally became a county in the early 3rd century AC, when the Vyalia elves agreed to teach the Thyatians their arts, and to sponsor the Order of the Foresters (a group of human rangers). Vyalia has been counted as loyal citizens of the Empire ever since. In recent years, the numbers of elves in the county nearly doubled with the arrival of Alfheim refugees.

Outlook:
Most wood elves are relatively close in ideology to the wood elves of other settings. They act to protect they forest realms with zeal, but though they are discreet, they are also usually welcoming of humans in their lands on the condition they share their views on preserving woodlands. To a fault all wood elves revere nature and seeks to live in harmony with it. They value their freedom as much as most elves. Their report to time is that of a long-lived race that do not see the need to complete anything in a rush. Despite sharing a common culture there can be still stark differences between the various of clans of wood elves.

The elves of the Verdier clan in Minrothad, are without a doubt more "serious-minded" than their mainland cousins. They are interested in actively practicing their handicrafts, and are more inclined than most elves to stick with long-term projects. The wood elves throw themselves fully into whatever activity they have chosen to pursue. If it is woodworking, for example, they set a goal, then labor tirelessly for months or years to achieve it. A typical goal might be to become a master woodcarver, or to perfect a new colorfast dye for cloth. When their work is complete, these elves abandon themselves to the pursuit of pleasure with as much dedication as they applied to their work. Although an elf might labor almost continuously for a year or more, he is then ready to take a break that, in turn, may last months or years. Wood elves "on vacation" are encountered outside of Alfeisle, and those with years of free time even journey to the mainland seeking fun and adventure before they return to work.

Society:
The Wendarians, both humans and elves, are no weak folk whatsoever. The climate, the wild land and the wilder monsters living here have toughened them, so that even the elves seem somewhat fiercer and braver than their Alfheim cousins. They are used to the cold and humid weather so common in this land (it snows and rains seven months a year). Though they are united under the rule of the elven wizard-king Gylharen, and are seen as a united and peaceful folk, there are many differences and problems that still divide this people. For instance the name of the country is different for each race. The elves call it Genalleth (after a mighty figure of their obscure past), and the humans Wendar, in honour of the first man who created the Wendarian League at the beginning of the millennium. Every major town has its name translated into both Heldannic and Elvish, and the proclamations and laws must equally be issued and written in these two languages. Every town with a mixed population has two burgomasters, one for each race, and they both must co-operate and agree to issue anything, from a simple announcement to a legal document. The Wendarian militia is composed 50% of elves and 50% of humans, and each division is either made up of humans or of elves only

The Verdier elves are integrated in a society dominated by guilds and concerned with trade and commerce. That they even retain elements of the original elven culture is highly debatable. Following the creation of the Minrothad Guilds, reponsibility for crafts, manufacturing, trading, and sailing (i.e., cargo carrying) were assigned to specific clans and family groups so that each race had equal power and control through a family guild. Over the following years a number of miscellaneous guilds came into being which provided services rather than manufactured crafts. These were finally consolidated into the group of organizations known as the Political Guilds. Guilds are noted for their policies of non-interference with craftsmen. Unlike most mainland guilds, innovation and experimentation are encouraged, resulting in a number of finely-made articles that are useful and unusual. The work of these guilds is recognized as some of the best in the known world.

The Vyalia are divided into several clans. These include the Blueleaf, Diamarak, Etheredyl, Greenheight, Hierydyl, and Treeshield. The Blueleaf clan is known for its artisans-jewellers, painters, sculptors, and the like. The Diamaraks prefer to reside in the deep forests and wilderness of Vyalia, and serve as its protectors. They are ever vigilant against poachers and others who would despoil their woodlands. They are experts in the use of botanical magics, and are at the forefront of the reforestation efforts. Many of the Diamaraks are adventurers, and others tutor the foresters. The Etheredyls are a philosophic and mystic-minded clan, which largely keeps to itself and avoids contact with outsiders. The Greenheights are more outgoing and gregarious. They are even hospitable to dwarves. It is they who built the town of Greenheight, and who first agreed to sponsor the foresters. They also perform most of the few administrative functions that are required, and liaison with the imperial government in Thyatis City. The Hierydyls are the scholars of the Vyalia, knowledgeable in elven lore and magic. Many travel abroad, conducting their studies, and are among the more likely Vyalians to be encountered by travellers. One seeking the knowledge of a sage should go to the Hierydyls. The Treeshields are a clan of warriors. Many serve in the Thyatian military, usually in elite units.

Relations with other races:
Both the Wendar and Vyalia elves share their lands with humans. In Wendar the arrival of Alfheim refugees is causing some tensions between the races. The human citizens of Vyalia however are friend and allies of the Vyalia elves, and so bear many of their attitudes about maintaining the wilderness and not "civilizing" virgin territories. They are not prejudiced against any other races aside traditional ennemies of elves such as orcs and goblins.

The Verdier elves do not travel as much as the elves of clan Meditor, the Water elves, and as such do not come into contact with members of other nations as often. This isn't out of any prejudice against other races, just the way the guilds are organized. They will deal with anyone that wishes to enter a trade partnership with them.

Alignments:
Wood elves ascribe to the usual values of freedom, variety, and self-expression of elves in general. They tend toward chaotic and good alignements, though those of the Verdier clans have a distinctive lawful bent, at least when it comes to crafting and
commerce.

Religion:
Vyalia elves worship and respect immortals tied to the preservation of nature, including but not limited to: Ilsundal the wise, patron protector of elves, nature, wisdom, scholarship, magic, traditions, serenity & peace; Ordana, the Forest Mother, creator of the elven race, patroness of nature, fertility, protector of forests and woodland beings; Zirchev, patron of sylvan races, animals, survival, magic, nature, outcasts and hunting.

Wendar elves are discreet about their beliefs, though it is believed they primarily worship Ordana.

Minrothaddans (including the Verdier elves) are rarely fanatic about their religious beliefs, and talk little about the philosophies they adhere to. They are tolerant of the beliefs of foreigners. Whether or not they are religious, most natives wear a holy symbol or medallion with the mark of their church. Such an item is considered to bring good luck and blessings to the individual's endeavors. Temples are low-key affairs located in residential areas away from the hub-bub of visiting foreigners and commercial districts.

Language:
All wood elves speak their own elvish dialect. They also speak the dominant languages of human nations depending on their location in the world. Verdier elves speak Minrothad Patois, the wood elves of the Isle of Dawn speak Alphatian, the Wendar speak Heldann, and the Vylia speak Thyatian.

Names:
The elven naming tradition consisting of a first name along a last name corresponding to one's clan is usually respected in most woold elves communities. Names tend to be somewhat unisex, though names that end in a vowel are more often applied to females. Some examples include: Allandaros, Bethys, Carolotina, Delsel, Dylen, Eleesa, Enoreth, Esmeralda, Feadris, Fillindyl, Galladin, Goriidel, Kavva, Leadyl, Miridor, Myris, Norelia, Prestele, Qantir, Qenildor, Quillan, Shalander, Stellara, Sythandria, Thalaric, Thenedain, Tuladin, Unedyrin, Vanar.

Little is known of the Wendar elves clan names.

The six Vyalia clan names are: Blueleaf, Diamarak, Etheredyl, Greenheight, Hierydyl, and Treeshield.

For the Verdier, Old-elvish clan names have long since gone by the wayside under the impact of guild influences and the Minrothad language. Wood elves now use names adopted from the Minrothad Patois which are descriptive of the craft each clan has specialized in. The most influential clans of Guild Verdier are Clan Forster, Clan Wraight, and Clan Shuter.

Adventurers:
Wood elves make accomplished rangers, fighters, barbarians, rogues, druids and arcane casters. Whereas monks, paladins and clerics are virtually inexistants.

Settings:
This entry is about the wood elves of Mystara. Their equivalent are also found in the Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk settings.

Game Stats:
+2 Str, +2 Dex, -2 Con, -2 Int, -2 Cha
Low-light vision
Elven weapons proficiencies
Hardiness vs. Enchantment
Keen Senses
Skill Affinity (Listen)
Skill Affinity (Search)
Skill Affinity (Spot)
Sleeplessness

* At character creation, remember that the game engine automatically applies the default +2 Dex, -2 Con adjustment for standard elves. An extra +2 Str, -2 Int, -2 Cha will be applied once the subrace is selected in-game.

Source: Gaz 1 Dawn of Empirors, Gaz 9 The Minrothad Guilds, Poor Wizard Almanach vol. 1
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Desert Dwarf (Maztican Dwarf)
« Reply #94 on: March 05, 2021, 08:28:13 PM »
Desert Dwarf (Maztican Dwarf)

The only clans of dwarves dwelling in Maztica are the desert dwarves, isolated clans of shield dwarves. These are dwarves, and their descendants, who were a part of mainstream dwarven culture in the Realms until their subterranean (and suboceanic) lair was cut off from the rest of dwarfdom by an undersea cataclysm centuries ago.

Physical description:
Desert dwarves are very much alike their shield dwarf cousins, except for their sun-bronzed skin that is dried like old leather. They are thinner and leaner than other dwarves, for the sustenance must feed many mouths, though they would regain normal weight given a more normal diet.

They wear smooth leather loincloths, with a band of snakeskin about their scalp. Males have bristling, waist-length beards.

History:
In 987 DR, the Year of the Flaming Dwarf, deep within the tunnels under the Trackless Sea, an expedition of shield dwarf miners was ambushed by drow. During the ensuing conflict a deep core fissure erupted, vomiting a deadly river of magma into the gallery, an event known as the Rockcliff Cataclysm. Both sides took substantial casualties with only a handful of survivors. Separated from mainland Faerûn and each believing their enemy destroyed, the drow and dwarf exiles undertook an epic journey through the Underdark to the west. When they finally emerged onto the surface, the dwarves found themselves amid the harshest desert imaginable, the Sands of Itzcala, in Maztica. They made a home there, however, and have adapted remarkably well to it. The drow emerged farther south, within the foothills of the Axapoztlan Range.

Desert dwarves believe that the dwarven race was annihilated in this cataclysm, except for a few small tribes, such as their ancestors, who found that life underground was no longer possible, for the caverns that survived the fire, became caldrons of poison gas or pools of hot, molten rock. So the dwarves came to the surface, and now live in shallow caves, very near the baking heat of the sun. They believe they are the last survivors of a proud and noble race, and that the Cataclysm that destroyed their home also destroyed all drow.

From their starting point in the Sands of Itzcala, some clans ventured south and settled in the House of Tezca, whilst two clans - the Sandbeards and the Rockjaws - ventured north and now live in the Pasocada Basin. Of these two clans, the Sandbeards live in the eastern part of the Basin whilst the Rockjaws live in the southern part.

For most of their history, desert dwarf villages have suffered no threats other than the implacable sun and parched air that provided security even as they challenged its residents to survive.

In recent years the desert dwarves living in the House of Tezca fought with other Mazticans and Amnish soldiers against an evil threat. Most returned to their caves but after the war, some stayed behind and settled in Tukan, the New City, which is occupied by a mix of people - primarily Nexalan, but also many from other valley cities, some Little Folk and legionnaires.

Society:
Desert dwarves are separated in clans of a few hundred members each. Most of these clans are separated in small communities throughout deserts; a few thousands reside in the House of Tezca. They search for secluded canyons which they excavate into caves to build their villages, sheltered from the winds of the desert. Many of these caves are raised, accessible only by ladders, though several large caves will be at ground level. This provides protection against attacks, even if they have never been endangered in their homes. These communities are led by chiefs and headmen, who gather from time to time to discuss matters of great importance.

Since there are no sources of metal ore in Maztica, desert dwarves have learnt to work with stone, such as plumastone or obsidian, crafting and enchanting weapons that are every bit the equal of steel. A few metal weapons still exist, that predate the Rockfire Cataclysm, but these artifacts are reserved for chieftains and other venerable warriors.

Diet:
Desert dwarves eat a diet of subsistence, including snake meat, cacti, and water, which comes from sand mothers, plump cacti that dwarves have learnt to extract water from. They also drink a bitter draft, which is very intoxicating, in jars. In the Pasocada Basin, they are also known to smoke tobacco.

Relations with other races:
Desert dwarves live in isolation, having only minimal contact with Mazticans. Mazticans refer to them as the Hairy Men of the Desert, creatures of legend.

While reclusive and private, they may help a stranded traveler if that person is deemed no enemy of the dwarves, or for their own reasons.

Alignments:
Desert dwarves are usually neutral, though their warriors tend towards lawful good.

Names:
Male Names: Bann, Gurden, Harl, Luskag, Pullog, Tatak, Traj
Female Names: Use standard shield dwarf names.

Clan Names: Sandbeards (Pasocada Basin), Rockjaw (Pasocada Basin).

Language:
Desert dwarves speak Dwarven, Payit and Nexalan.

Settings:
Desert dwarves are native to the Forgotten Realms setting, where they are found only in Maztica.

Game Stats:
As standard dwarves.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 08:36:15 PM by EO »

MAB77

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Star Elf
« Reply #95 on: March 06, 2021, 12:57:09 AM »
Star Elf

Reclusive elves that spent millenias hidden on the demiplane they named Sildëyuir.

Physical description:
Of all the elven subraces, star elves most closely resemble moon elves. They have pale skin that sometimes takes on a pearly gray or faintly violet tinge, and hair of gold, red, or silver-white. Their eyes are gray or violet, sometimes with gold flecks. Like the sun elves or moon elves, star elves are tall and slender; men average between 5 1/2 and 6 feet in height and weigh around 140 pounds, while women are about half a foot shorter and weigh around 110 pounds. In their homes they favor elegant, embroidered tunics but dress in neutral colors with dappled gray-green cloaks to remain unseen in woodlands. Star elves are graceful and strikingly handsome by human standards.

History:
The green depths of the Yuirwood hide an ancient secret long forgotten by folk beyond Aglarond’s borders, and not widely known even within—the star elves, an elven subrace that retreated from Faerûn to an extraplanar refuge known as Sildëyuir. Sometimes referred to in ancient texts as mithral elves, the star elves concealed the existence of their hidden kingdom for almost two thousand years, leaving behind nothing but mysterious ruins and old, strong magic in the stone circles of the Yuirwood.

While the star elves have kept themselves apart from the rest of Faerûn for many centuries, their isolation is coming to an end. Besieged by an insidious peril from beyond the circles of the world, they face the possibility of being driven from Sildëyuir back to their ancient abode in the Yuirwood.

Outlook:
Star elves are cautious and aloof, keeping an emotional distance from events. They can be judgmental, although they take their time and consider many factors before passing judgment on a creature or action. Once won, a star elf’s friendship (and enmity) is deep and long lasting. Star elves love beauty in any form and have a knack for perceiving inner beauty rather than outward appearance and actions. Among their own kind, star elves delight in song, dance, and works of magic, but away from their homeland they are slow to bestow the gift of their voice or artistry.

Relations with other races:
Most star elves have removed themselves from the everyday life of Faerûn and therefore have little understanding of humans, dwarves, and other races. They think of humans as aggressive expansionists who readily take up blade and spell to get what they want, and they regard humans with caution. They get along well with other elves, especially sun and wood elves, but fear trouble from the moon elves' unguarded generosity and engagement of human realms.

Alignments:
Most star elves prefer not to involve themselves in the world's troubles. Star elf society values individual accomplishment and rights over collective effort, so they lean toward chaotic rather than lawful alignments.

Religion:
Star elves venerate the Seldarine, the pantheon of elven deities. They are not a devout race but hold a special reverence for Corellon Larethian.

Language:
Star elves speak Common and Elven. Those who venture to Faerûn from Sildëyuir often learn Aglarondan, Mulan, or Rashemi. In their refuge, Auran, Celestial, and Sylvan are common, while some star elves learn Abyssal and other evil tongues to converse with those seeking to destroy Sildëyuir.

Names:
Male: Aeril, Brevel, Dhisten, Jhered, Mourel, Ourevel, Thaeleven
Female—Bracatha, Calastra, Evindra, Falindra, Lauratha, Nimara, Varele. Surnames: Dawnsong, Duskwood, Moonshadow, Nightsong, Nightwind, Starwind, Woodsong, Woodwalker.

Adventurers:
After two millennia in isolation, star elves have realized that they know little about the world from which they took refuge. As their ancient haven no longer shields them entirely, many have begun to debate whether Sildëyuir should remain closed. Certain Faerûnian realms might make powerful and reliable allies in their war against the abominations who threaten Sildëyuir. A few have taken it upon themselves to spy out the lay of the land, seeking knowledge to defend their home, or a place to call their own if Sildëyuir must be abandoned.

Settings:
Star elves are exclusive to the Forgotten Realms setting.

Game Stats:
+2 Cha, -2 Con*
Low-light vision
Hardiness vs. Enchantment
Keen Senses
Skill Affinity (Listen)
Skill Affinity (Search)
Skill Affinity (Spot)
Sleeplessness

* At character creation, remember that the game engine automatically applies the default +2 Dex, -2 Con adjustment for standard elves. An extra +2 Cha, -2 Dex will be applied once the subrace is selected in-game.

Source: Unapproachable East, Player's Guide to Faerûn
« Last Edit: March 06, 2021, 01:08:30 AM by EO »
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MAB

Dev. Relationist for the Dark Powers.
1 Castle Road, Castle Ravenloft, Village of Barovia.

MAB77

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Tundra Halfling
« Reply #96 on: March 06, 2021, 02:03:44 AM »
Tundra Halfling

Halflings that settled the northern reaches of the Lhazaar Principalities or the southern reaches of the Frostfell.

Physical description:
Tundra halflings match the usual description of halflings in general. They stand about 3 feet tall and usually weigh between 30 and 35 pounds. Halflings hair and eye color are usually dark brown. A halfling reaches adulthood at the age of 20 and generally lives to the middle of her second century.

History:
There is no known history of the tundra halflings. Like other halflings on Eberron, they are descendants of the Talenta halflings, who ventured further north, and share many characteristics with them.

Outlook:
Halflings, being both nomadic and curious by nature, often find their communities moving into the wilderness. Popular opinion may believe that halflings, with their love of comfort and the pleasurable elements of life, would eschew the unforgiving northern regions as a place to live, but nothing could be further from the truth. Vast regions of the Lhazaar Principalities and the Frostfell lie open and unclaimed, making perfect places for halfling commonwealths to take root.

Society:
Small communities of tundra halflings exist in the southern parts of the Frostfell, and parts of the Lhazaar Principalities in, particularly the region around Skairn in the northern mainland. These halflings are more closely related to those of the Talenta Plains in their cultures and attitudes than to the more urban halflings of Khorvaire, and are known to ride fastieths and white-feathered clawfoots.

They have an affinity to these wide open reaches of the frozen lands. They retain their nomadic lifestyles, but often build permanent structures along the paths their wanderings commonly take; it’s not uncommon for a group of tundra halflings to wander from one empty village to another as the seasons change.

Relations with other races:
Tundra halflings tend to be more isolated and insular, and do not often interact with other societies.

Alignments:
Tundra halflings can be of any alignment.

Religion:
The religious practice of the tundra halflings are unknown. However, given their isolated location and their way of life, it is likely to be very similar to that of the Talenta halflings which follow a unique religion of spiritualism blended with worship of Balinor, Lord of Beasts and the Hunt. Such worship would not be centralized as would be religions in other lands and actual practices and beliefs may vary from a tribe to another.

Language:
Tundra halflings speak the halfling language and possibly the language of other neighboring races.

Names:
Tundra halflings are likely to use the same naming conventions as their Talenta cousins and rarely use more than one name. Halflings in the same tribe thus rarely share a name, allowing them to avoid confusion. When tundra halflings do share a name, speakers usually use a physical or personality-based feature to distinguish between them in speech. Thus, a tribe with two halflings named Hoebi might call one Broken-Thumb Hoebi and the other Slow-Anger Hoebi.

Male Names: Gagi, Kabelund, Lanudo, Mabu, Rathan, Toebo.
Female Names: Dovi, Hebblu, Mebsa, Shenta, Studa, Tatha.

Adventurers:
The fact that they are more often forced to provide for themselves by hunting and gathering, makes them turn to the skills of the ranger more often than not.

Settings:
Tundra halflings are native to the Eberron setting.

Game Stats:
As standard halflings

Source: Frostburn, Player's Guide to Eberron, Races of Eberron
« Last Edit: March 06, 2021, 02:07:18 PM by EO »
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MAB

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MAB77

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Rockborn Dwarf
« Reply #97 on: March 06, 2021, 01:58:42 PM »
Rockborn Dwarf

The dwarves of the Known World. All surface dwarves trace their ancestry to the clans of Rockhome, the main dwarven nation of Mystara.

Physical description:
Rockborn dwarves are short and stocky, standing about 4' tall and weighing about 150 pounds. Male dwarves wear long beards. Their skin is ruddy or
earth-colored and their hair is dark brown, gray, or black. Female dwarves do not have beards. Their faces bear the strong, craggy features of the dwarven race, but do not have facial hair.

History:
The rockborn dwarves history starts with the Great Rain of Fire that ravaged Mystara. At the time a widely different breed of dwarves, the Kogolor, where the masters of the mountain ranges, but persistent sickness caused by the catastrophe and the subsequent rise of the human culture sent them into decline. The Immortal named Kagyar the Artisan decided to create a new dwarven race. He thought that something like the dwarves, but more resistant to the diseases caused by Blackmoorian devices, more inclined to live in safe below-ground homes, would have a greater chance of survival in case something like the Blackmoor disaster ever threatened the world again. So Kagyar took up all the dwarves on the world. He took the healthiest of them and modified them into the modern Rockborn dwarven race, establishing them in the Rockhome mountain ranges. The others he unceremoniously dumped in a mountain range of the Hollow World.

The Rockborn dwarves, of course, tell of their creation in a different light. In the dim ages of the world's past, the land that was to become Rockhome lay under thick ice. It was not devoid of life, for monsters and creatures suited to icy existence lived and bred beneath the frosty crust, but it was inhospitable to human and other races inhabitants. The Immortal known as Kagyar - celebrated in different part of the world as Kagyar the Artisan and Flasheyes Kagyar - saw this dim landscape as nothing but an unpainted canvas. He whipped the curtain of ice from it and began to alter it to his liking.

To begin, he created a creature which would be master of this land and celebrant of Kagyar's philosophies. From a boulder, with his magics and consummate artistry, he fashioned a powerful mortal being short of stature, strong of thew, clever of mind, long of patience. He called this being “Rockborn” – in the dwarven language, Denwarf. Denwarf was the first of the dwarves and their first king as well.

Kagyar created many more of Denwarfs folk, separating them into males and females in the fashion of nature's creatures. He infected them with a desire akin to his own, a desire to craft beauty from all things which come from the land. He gave them a language which was uniquely their own. He taught them about both hunting and agriculture, as he had seen them practiced by humans and other races elsewhere on the continent. He gave them abilities which would allow them to thrive both above and below the ground - and to enjoy and revere the subterranean world as no other intelligent mortal race could. Then he withdrew from the land of these folk to see what they would do.

In the ages which followed, the dwarves increased in population and explored their mountains, learning to mine out precious materials, to craft them into wondrous things. In these times, they believed that their mountains were the center of their world and that there were no other worthy intelligent races to be found: they encountered only the warlike and primitive goblins, orcs, gnolls, and hill giants which were also to be found in these lands. The dwarves, always pursuing the glorious cause of creating art from whatever materials were put in their way, had no time or affection for races which merely wanted lands on which to hunt. In terrible battles and wars, they drove the other races from the mountains and made eternal enemies of these tribes.

Denwarf never did grow old. Decade after decade he served the dwarves as king. He was known for his stony impassiveness, his merciless fighting ability, his chilling impartiality in judgment of crimes. Larger than the other dwarves, more hardy, just but unsympathetic, he was revered but was never precisely loved. In the 400th year of his reign, he discovered a massive cavern complex in the foothills east of Lake Stahl, and commanded that the clans he directly governed move to this lovely subterranean land. He named the place "Dengar", which translates as Rockhome in other tongues. Then he set about exploring the deeper and darker passages of the caverns, and was never again seen by dwarven eyes.

For a long period of time starting around 1000 BC ("Before Crowning", Thyatian Calendar), marauding tribes of orcs and goblins regularly attempted to invade dwarven lands. The Battle of Sardal Pass marks the victory of dwarves to finally secure the borders of Rockhome. This seminal event occurred in 492 BC, and marks Year 0 on the Dwarven Calendar.

Eventually the dwarves, in their explorations of the lands surrounding Rockhome, encountered the higher forms of life known to the world - higher, in their eyes, because they had crafts and made things of beauty. These were the humans, elves, gnomes and halflings.

So Rockhome - regarded from outside and from within now as a nation, a dwarven nation - gradually began trading out its surplus craft goods and even raw ores for the goods created by neighboring tribes and states. For its exports, Rockhome received foods, drinks, leather and wooden goods, work animals, and more. Information, too, flowed from all directions. The dwarves had become quite expert in the techniques of mining and engineering; as this expertise was sought by the human lands, so they learned from the humans more sophisticated means of growing food, recording facts, waging war, and many other things.

By the time the first emperor of Thyatis was crowned, 0 AC ("After Crowning"), the king of Rockhome, too, was widely known in surrounding lands. Rockhome was known as a small but strong and well-defended land; fine profits could be had from working with the dwarves there. The great city of Dengar, built in the caverns found by Denwarf, thrived, and a new city - called Upper Dengar - was built in the lands above the caverns, as the trade city from and to which all these goods moved.

In the centuries that followed, the kings of Rockhome began a determined and aggressive program of sending dwarves out into the surrounding lands: to learn and send their learnings back, to colonize, to establish relations with human lands, even to establish communities within human communities. This was successful in some areas, unsuccessful - even disastrously so - in others.

Dwarven clans made inroads and established good, strong colonies in the mountains of Darokin, with whom they had good trade relations; Vestland and the Jarldoms, who admired the sturdy fighting dwarves; Traladara (later Karameikos), whose gnomish community welcomed them as allies; and Ylaruam, whose humans liked dwarfish craftsmen and the dwarves' lack of affinity for things magical. They found less of a welcome in Thyatis, with its labyrinthine politics and procedures for colonization and trade. And they suffered disaster in the Principalities of Glantri: there, when they arrived some two hundred years ago to pursue rumors of a gold rush, they appeared at about the same time as a devastating plague. Suspected of bringing the plague, and fascinating to the sorcerers of Glantri because of their resistance to magic, dwarves there were hunted down, driven out, captured, studied and tortured over a twenty-year period. Since then, dwarves have spoken only in terms of contempt or hatred for the magocracy of Glantri.

Today, Rockhome is as solid as ever, the center of dwarven civilization and trade. Dwarf colonies and communities in other part of the continent keep in communication with their motherland. In the face of harsh winters, trade wars and occasional invasions by orc and goblin tribes, Rockhome stands powerful and indomitable in its own corner of the world.

Outlook:
If there is a race of workaholics, it is the dwarven race. Laziness, as a character trait, is practically unknown among them; when it appears, it is considered a disease of the mind. From the lowliest convict or farmer working the land to the king crafting a cunning crown to leave to his heir, every dwarf works an average of ten hours a day. If denied work-by illness or lack of opportunity - a dwarf will feel edgy, uncomfortable, and irritable. Adventuring dwarves, who spend a lot of time between workshops or opportunities to do creative work , will often spend much time planning their next projects; some keep track of their plans in their heads, others carry portable drafting kits or craftsman's tools on their adventures.

The dwarves' work-mania doesn't mean that they're incapable of relaxation. Dwarves enjoy company, the telling of stories, feasting (heavily), swilling alcoholic beverages, playing games, gambling, wrestling, and dancing. They also enjoy a good night's sleep.

Tied in with their need to work is a strong drive to create things, strong, tactile works of art which will outlast them and say to hundreds of future generations that they were here and they were talented. Every dwarf, from birth, is trained in the trades of mining and engineering: how to dig into the earth and how to make things out of what is dug. These are considered the cornerstones of dwarven education. However, many dwarves don't want to limit themselves to these two professions. For every type of metal or gem there is another craftsman skill. Some dwarves even delve into woodcraft or leathercraft, but most prefer the less perishable media of stone, gold, silver, steel, bronze, and precious gems.

Dwarves, in general, have less affection for perishable or transitory arts than humans, elves, and other races do. For example, things such as embroidery, painting and even flower arrangement tend to make them a little sad. It's not that they don't recognize the beauty of these things - on the contrary, they do - but they feel bad because the art has been performed on media which will soon disappear, in a few days or only a couple of centuries. Dwarves appreciate music; though a song goes up into the air and disappears, it can be sung again. However, few dwarves tend to be imaginative bards; they eagerly record and sing good music created by other races, but few write memorable music themselves. Storytelling is a craft much prized by the dwarves, but to be really appreciated, the tale must be a true one, and told in exactly the same manner in each telling. When a Story is embroidered or embellished to make it more to the liking of an audience, the dwarves consider it to be showing signs of spoil; they do not like it so much then. The only time they accept fiction is when it is a cautionary tale with an unnamed protagonist. Human drama and theater hold no pleasure for them.

Dwarves have a curious attitude about agriculture - especially about farmers. Though they know they cannot survive without agriculture, and though they understand that someone has to do the job of raising food, they still hold farmers in contempt or pity. This is because farmers contribute nothing lasting to dwarven culture - as the dwarves see it. They raise a crop of grain. and within a year or two it is gone - Utterly, completely gone, with no trace left of its passage. Dwarves have no respect for those who leave so little trace of their passing. Peculiarly, though, the dwarves are expert farmers! With techniques they have developed over the centuries. They grow much more food per acre than humans. This is the result of a simple philosophy: the more food each dwarf can grow, the fewer dwarves have to grow food.

Though their main drive is for the creation of physical works of art, the dwarves like to fight as much as humans do. Fighting makes for good stories, it protectS the country, it earns gold, it keeps dwarves fit. So they do lavish a good deal of their creative time on making glorious weapons and suits of armor, and then take their goods out in the field - as mercenaries for the human realms, or in raids into orc or elf territory.

Society:
Dwarven society is divided in clans and families. Every Rockhome dwarf belongs to a dwarven family, and every dwarven family belongs to one of the seven major clans of Rockhome: Burhrodar, Everast, Hurwarf, Skarrad, Syrklist, Torkrest, Wyrwarf. Family leaders defer to the clan's leader, who in turn defers to the king.

Families are extended units. Consisting usually of several venerable dwarves; their senior children and the Seniors to whom they're married; their adult children and the adults to whom they're married; their children; adopted children, fosterlings, apprentices from outside the family, etc.; all under the leadership of one or two dwarves who lead the extended family.

Clan Buhrodar is a theocratic clan calling for the power of the government to reside with Kagyar's clerics. They are led by the Buhrodar family.
Clan Everast is the ruling clan of the Kingdom of Rockhome, currently led by King Everast XV. They are led by the Everast family.
Clan Hurwarf is the most conservative of the dwarven clans and calls for dwarven isolationism. They are led by the Lhyrrast family.
Clan Syrklist is a mercantile family that founded many colonies outside Rockhome. They are led by the Skyrlist family.
Clan Skarrad is technology-oriented, radically progressive and unconventional. They are led by the Nordenshield family.
Clan Torkrest is a militaristic clan and one of the most ancient clans of the Kingdom. They are led by the Torkrest family.
Clan Wyrwarf is of recent origin and is composed mainly by farmers and other lower-class dwarves. They are led by the Kurutar family.

Rockhome is ruled by a king, the Dwarf-King or Gardar ("Home-Chief'), The kingship is an inherited title, The king makes and interprets the laws of Rockhome. He is the overall commander of the Rockhome military. He sets trade policies for his people. He makes taxation policies and allots those taxes between such things as military expenditures, building programs, incidental expenses, and his own personal wealth.

After the king, the next most-powerful political body in Rockhome is the Senate. The Senate was introduced into the government structure more than a thousand years ago and the dwarf-kings have never been able to get rid of it. The Senate is composed of one representative from each family which counts more than a thousand members. In a nation of dwarves, who are a clannish people, and in a nation of just over half a million dwarves, this means that there are usually about 250 Senators.

In essence, the Senate meets (in what is called the Grand Council) to vote on whether it will obey the king's laws as they're introduced. All new laws are debated and votes taken. If more than two thirds of the total number of Senators vote against a law, the king repeals it.

It's not that there's some document which says that the government is laid out in this fashion and that the king must do so. It is, instead, that the king who makes laws which are contrary to the overwhelming opinion of his people soon finds himself in the position of a Worker serving another Dwarf-King. The Senate also serves as an effective tool of communication. Say something interesting to a senator, and it will be all over Rockhome with amazing speed. The senators can also vote to introduce a law before the King. They structure the wording of the law, constantly revising it until they can achieve a two-thirds majority, and then present it before the King. For the reasons listed above, the King usually then introduces it into law. In Grand Council, each senator tends to vote according to the opinion of the leader of his clan. Effective politicking in Rockhome, then, consists of persuading the clan leaders to a particular opinion. No law says that a senator has to vote according to the whim of his clan leader, but those who don't are sure to face the anger of their clan heads. Such incidents can result in struggles within a clan, sometimes leading to the rise of a new clan leader.

Dwarves also form themselves into mutual-interest societies such as guilds and organizations with specific goals such as The Thorns, The Clergy, The Hammer, or The Underside as described in the Dwarves of Rockhome module.

Relations with other races:
The dwarves of Rockhome are natural enemies of orcs and goblins. In the gnomes, the dwarves find kinship - if the gnomes did not bear the mark of Kagyar's creation, they at least had similar drives and characteristics. Dwarves and gnomes found friendship, mutual interests and similar habits. The halflings, too, are comfortably similar - but sadly, like the humans, not all have the craftsman's drive and the explorer's itch.

Humans elicit both their admiration and their scorn: admiration, because they are capable of leaps of fancy and imagination beyond even those of the dwarves, and could craft many wonderful things, especially from materials (such as glass and cloth and leather and wood) which the dwarves had never truly mastered; scorn, because so few of them really are creators, or heroes, or visionaries, most being like the orcs and goblins, content with a stretch of woods to hunt or a plot of ground to farm. So relations between dwarves and humans varies greatly from clan to clan and dwarf to human. Glantrians are however met with hatred due their persecutions of their kin.

Elves mainly elicit scorn-and a grudging envy. These tall and light-hearted folk can craft gold and silver and jewels as well as dwarves, and in fashions and designs far different from those of the dwarves. But they are such a shallow race, imagining that they saw as much beauty in a song as a crown, or in an abstractly-carved piece of wood as an in laid axe-head. They are impossible people: too friendly too fast, no sense of restraint, no idea of the slow and comfortable pace which the dwarves need to learn the character of another before showing him inner faces and inner thoughts. The elves are too free, too embarrassing, too flighty - a pity all that craftsman brilliance had to be locked up in a silly and vapid mind.

Alignments:
Rockborn dwarves tend toward good and lawful alignments.

Religion:
Kagyar the Artisan, patron Immortal and creator of the Rockborn dwarves is revered over all other.

Language:
Rockborn dwarves speak dwarven, the languages of orcs and goblins, and the tongues of the races they trade with.

The language of the dwarves sounds rough, guttural and harsh to human ears, even more so to elves. It's not difficult to learn, and most human traders into Rockhome pick up at least a smattering of the language. However, it's practically impossible to pick up a native level of ability with the language. While it's simple to learn enough of the language to get by, the dwarven tongue features literally thousands of different descriptive adjectives for different colors, artistic effects, textures, and so forth. There are dozens of various words for "blue", each describing a subtle difference in the hues. There are at least sixteen words for "smooth", each describing a discrete degree of smoothness, and twice that many for different sorts of "rough". In short, the rough sounding language is the most descriptive tongue in the world for precisely and accurately describing craftsmanship, metals, engineering, and any sort of physical object wrought by nature or by the hand. Many dwarven words have entered the technical terminology of the engineers and craftsmen among the humans.

Names:
All dwarven names derive from a fairly small number of stems, to which are added any of a number of traditional suffixes: the male suffixes are -ar, -ed, -ic, -in, -lum, -or, -to, and -ur; the female suffixes are -a, -as, -i, -ia, -if, -il, -is, and -la. Family tradition usually dictates that a child will share either the stem or suffix of the parent of the same sex (thus, Belfin’s son might be named Durin or Belfic).

All Rockhome dwarves belong to one of the seven great clans. Instead of family names, the given name is followed by the parent’s name plus the sufh -warf (son of, daughter of). Thus Dia Farawarf is Dia, daughter of Fara; Orin Noarwarf is Orin, son of Noar.

Over the centuries, the dwarves  have borrowed many similarly sounding names from their human neighbors to the northeast (Ostland, Soderfjord, and Vestland); such names are treated exactly as other dwarven names. Dwarves with particularly common names often adopt epithets: Thoric Redhand, Kori Fire-Eye, Belfin Elf-friend, Gilia Song- smith, Morur Blackheart, and the like.

Male names: Belfin, Belfur, Bifin, Bofin, Bolto, Dofin, Dorfin, Dorto, Duric, Dwalur, Glofur, Goric, Korin, Kuric, Morur, Noar, Oic, Orin, Thoric, Thrumbar, Thuric
Female names: Bali, Balis, Bifi, Bifia, Dia, Duris, Fara, Filia, Gilia, Konla, Kori, Koris, Nais, Noris, Thori, Thrais, Toris, Wharif
Clans: Buhrodar, Everast, Hurwarf, Skarrad,  Syrklist, Torkrest, Wyrwarf

When introducing himself to someone else, a Rockborn dwarf tends to follow a precise and unvarying pattern: "[Name], [son or daughter] of [Name], of the [clan's name], and well-met." Male dwarves will refer to their fathers, whereas female dwarves will refer to their mothers. Most dwarves will also add an epithet*, or nickname, to their name when introducing themselves. The dwarves will often introduce themselves with impeccable politeness to an enemy just before they begin fighting. They prefer for an enemy to know the name of his slayer.

A proper greetings would sound like "Kori Fire-eye, daughter of Filia, of the Everasts, and well-met."

Examples of prefixes and suffixes:
Prefixes: Bal-, Belf-, Bif-, Bof-, Bomb-, D-, Dor-, Dorf-, Dur-, Dwal-, Far-, Fil-, Gil-, Glo-, Gor-, Kon-, Kor-, Kur-, Mor-, Na-, No-, Nor-, O-, Or-, Thor-, Thra-, Thro-, Tor-, Whar-
Female suffixes: -a, -as, -i, -ia, -if, -il, -is, -la.
Male suffixes: -ar, -ed, -ic, -in, -lum, -or, -to, -ur.

* Remember that, by server rules, the nickname of a character is not to be included in the name at character creation, but is fair game to be used in game. In the above example, the official name of the character would be Kori Everast.

Adventurers:
The bulk of Rockborn adventuring dwarves are fighters supported by occasional clerics.

Settings:
Rockborn dwarves are exclusive to the Mystara setting, but are technically equivalent to the mountain dwarves of other settings.

Game Stats:
As standard dwarves.

Source: Gaz 6 The Dwarves of Rockhome, Rules Cyclopedia
« Last Edit: March 07, 2021, 09:13:45 PM by EO »
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MAB

Dev. Relationist for the Dark Powers.
1 Castle Road, Castle Ravenloft, Village of Barovia.

MAB77

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Tallfellow Halfling
« Reply #98 on: March 06, 2021, 02:51:13 PM »
Tallfellow Halfling

The tallest of halflings. Known to enjoy the company of elves.

Physical description:
Averaging a little over 4' in height, Tallfellows are slender and light-boned, and weighing between 30 and 35 pounds. Their skin is ruddy and their hair is black and straight. They wear their hair long, often topped by a small brightly-colored cap. They have brown or black eyes. A halfling reaches adulthood at the age of 20 and generally lives to the middle of her second century. Tallfellows favor woodland shades of brown, yellow, and green and have developed several vibrant shades of the latter color through unique dyes.

History:
The halfling race seems to have originated in the river valleys of the west-central Flanaess, spreading only slowly from their homeland. At the time of the Great Migrations, few were north of the Gamboge Forest or east of the Harp River. They developed friendly relationships with the Oeridians, however, and today they can be found throughout much of the Flanaess.

Outlook:
Halflings prefer trouble to boredom. They are notoriously curious. Relying on their ability to survive or escape danger, they demonstrate a daring that many larger people cant match. Tallfellow Halflings are less nomadic than other type of halflings and prefer to settle in temperate woodlands. Halflings enjoy wealth and the pleasures it can bring, and they tend to spend gold as quickly as they acquire it. Halflings are also famous collectors. While more orthodox halflings may collect weapons, books, or jewelry, some collect such objects as the hides of wild beasts - or even the beasts themselves. Wealthy halflings sometimes commission adventurers to retrieve exotic items to complete their collections.

Society:
Halflings have no lands of their own, living instead in the lands claimed by other races. They can be encountered most frequently in the central and western Flanaess; they're a common sight throughout the Sheldomar Valley, in the Urnst States, and in the Ulek States. They favor stable nations with long histories of peace with their neighbors. Tallfellow halflings are not so common as the Stout or Lightfoot, but exists in significant numbers in many areas of temperate woodland.

Preferring to live above ground, Tallfellows often dwell in spacious houses of wood, with many windows. Indeed, the ceiling of a Tallfellow house will typically be nearly 6' above the floor! Though the house will often have a cellar, this will be used primarily for storage. However, during days of hot summer, Tallfellows will often retire to their underground chambers for a long evening's conversation and sleep. Tallfellows display the greatest affinity toward working with wood of any halfling. They make splendid carpenters (often building boats or wagons for human customers), as well as loggers, carvers, pipesmiths, musicians, shepherds, liverymen, dairymen, cheese-makers, hunters, and scouts.

They are better farmers than Stouts (although not as good as the Lightfoots) and more adept than any other at harvesting natural bounties of berries, nuts, roots, and wild grains. The only halflings who enjoy much proficiency at riding, Tallfellows favor small ponies. Indeed, many unique breeds of diminutive horse have been bred among Tallfellow clans: fast, shaggy-maned, nimble mounts with great endurance. In a charge, of course, they lack the impact of a human-mounted warhorse; nonetheless, Tallfellow companies have served admirably as light lancers and horse archers during many a hard-fought campaign. On foot, Tallfellows wield spears with rare skill. They are adept at forming bristling "porcupine" formations with these weapons, creating such a menacing array that horses and footmen alike are deterred from attacking. This is one of the few halfling formations capable of standing toe-to-toe with a larger opponent in the open field.

Relations with other races:
They enjoy the company of elves, and most Tallfellow villages will be found nearby populations of that sylvan folk, with a flourishing trade between the two peoples.

Alignments:
Halflings tend to be neutral. While they are comfortable with change (a chaotic trait), they also tend to rely on intangible constants, such as clan ties and personal honor (a lawful trait).

Religion:
The chief halfling deity is Yondalla, the Blessed One, protector of the halflings. Yondolla promises blessings and protection to those who heed her guidance, defend their clans, and cherish their families. Halflings also recognize countless lesser gods, who rule over individual villages, forests, rivers, lakes, and so on. They halflings pay homage to these deities to ensure safe journeys as they travel from place to place. Among the other gods worshipped are the other members of the halfling pantheon including including Arvoreen, Brandobaris, Cyrrollalee, Sheela Peryroyl, and Urogalan, as well as the hero-goddess Charmalaine, and the Oeridan deities, Ehlonna, Obad-Hai and Ulaa.

Language:
They generally speak Elven in addition to Common and Halfling.

Names:
A halfling has a given name, a family name, and possibly a nickname. It would seem that family names are nothing more than nicknames that stuck so well they have been passed down through the generations.

Male Names: Alton, Beau, Cade, Eldon, Garret, Lyle, Milo, Osborn, Roscoe, Wellby.

Female Names: Amaryllis, Charmaine, Cora, Euphemia, Jillian, Lavinia, Lidda, Merla, Portia, Seraphina, Verna

Family Names: Bushgather, Goodberrel, Greenbottle, Highhill, Hilltopple, Leagallow, Tealeaf, Thorngage, Tosscobble, Underbough

Adventurers:
Halflings often set out on their own to make their way in the world. Halfling adventurers are typically looking for a way to use their skills to gain wealth or status. The distinction between a halfling adventurer and a halfling out on her own looking for "a big score" can get blurry. For a halfling, adventuring is less of a career than an opportunity. While halfling opportunism can sometimes look like larceny or fraud to others, a halfling adventurer who learns to trust her fellows is worth of trust in return.

Settings:
Tallfellow Halflings originate from the Greyhawk setting.

Game Stats:
+2 Dex, -2 Str
Skill affinity (listen)
Skill affinity (spot)
Skill affinity (search)
Keen Senses
Lucky
Fearless
Good aim
Racial attack bonus when using slings
Small stature

Source: 3.5 Player's Handbook, 3.5 Monster Manual, The Complete Book of Gnomes & Halflings
« Last Edit: March 07, 2021, 12:21:00 PM by EO »
Best Regards!
MAB

Dev. Relationist for the Dark Powers.
1 Castle Road, Castle Ravenloft, Village of Barovia.

MAB77

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Grey Elf of Greyhawk
« Reply #99 on: March 07, 2021, 09:10:24 AM »
Grey Elf of Greyhawk

Taller and grander in physical appearance than others of their race, grey elves have a reputation for being aloof and arrogant (even by elven standards).

Physical description:
Taller and more slender than the other elves, grey elves are of fair complexion, with either silvery hair and amber eyes, or pale golden hair and violet eyes (the second type commonly called faerie or fey elves).

Elves normally attire themselves in pale forest hues, though they favor more intense colors in urban settings. Generally, males wear a blouselike shirt over close-fitting hose and soft boots or shoes, while females favor a frock with sash, or a blouse with an ankle-length skirt. Hunting garments are typically in neutral colors like shades of brown, tailored for silent and easy movement. grey elves wear complex gowns and flowing robes of pure white, sun yellow, and silver and gold set off by polished leather of contrasting colors, accented by jewels.

When arming themselves for battle, they don shimmering suits of plate or chain mail, protecting the head with winged helmets. Their weapons, created by master elf crafters, shine brightly under any light. Mounted warriors ride griffons or hippogriffs into battle, swooping down upon their enemies with dreadful perfection.

History:
Elves were present in the lands east of the Crystalmist Mountains for uncounted centuries prior to the rise of the first human kingdoms there. Slowly driven from open country to more secluded and better defended strongholds by the growing strength of both human and nonhuman folk, elves still held a number of forest and upland realms at the time of the Twin Cataclysms. The invading humans, orcs, and others pressed them further, until some prominent elven realms made military and political alliances with dwarves, gnomes, and halflings, and even with certain major human tribes (usually Oeridian). Grey elves are nowadays found in Celene, Highfolk, Sunndi, the Lendore Isles and the Vesve Forest.

Outlook:
Grey elves are very reclusive, live in isolated meadowlands, and never associate with any other humanoids, other than elves, for long — or with frequency. Of all elves, grey elves rely the most on their intelligence. They trust less in physical prowess than they do the mind. Their entire existence is based on developing and discovering new knowledge, and they therefore spend less time on the pleasurable pursuits that occupy other elves' lives. Their mages are without peer in the elven world. Even mages of greater power from other races speak of the knowledge of the grey elves with no small measure of fascination.

The grey elves view themselves as the protectors of good in the world, but they will stir from their mountains and meadows to protect the "lesser" races only when they are faced with great evil. They are often seen as supercilious and condescending, full of their own importance. They think nothing of speaking their minds, provided that this remains within the bounds of elven decorum. They are often haughty, disdaining contact with most others, including all other elves save grey elves.

Because of their reverence for the sanctity of elven blood, grey elves have striven to maintain their original ideals. They consider themselves to be the purest form of all elves. They believe that, since the other elves do not concern themselves with maintaining their purity, their role in the elven world is less than that of the grey elf. These elves feel that they are the "true" elves and that others are somehow lesser versions. The grey elves staunchly believe this to be true, despite the fact that they are an offshoot of the original high elf line.

Their crafters have had centuries to perfect their art. Since the grey elves have a much fiercer dedication to perfection than other elves, their products are finer than any others in the world. Only some dwarves can rival the expertise shown by grey elves-but even then they cannot rival the sheer beauty exhibited in elven manufacture.

Society:
Grey elf society is among the most rigidly defined in any world. They are ruled by a hereditary monarch, either male or female, who can be succeeded by any of the other members of the House Royal. This is subject to approval by a majority of the House Noble. The ruler must have all decisions ratified by such a majority. Beneath these two Houses are the Merchant Houses, of which the Guild Houses are a part. The House Protector is equal to the Merchant Houses. Beneath the Merchant Houses are the Servitor Houses. Beneath them are the casteless elves, who have almost no voice in grey elf society.

The Fairie Kingdom of Celene is the principal nation of the elves in the Flanaess. It is an hereditary feudal monarchy in which royal house and all noble houses are elven. It currently has no official political relations with any outside nation. Strangers are not welcome in their land without good cause. Ruled by an elven monarch of Faerie lineage, the Grand Court is imbibed of the Fey Mysteries, from the frolics to the passions, and all rites are observed with deliberate care. Queen Yolande is foremost in these devotions, and this has given her the reputation, in human lands, of being oblivious to events beyond Celene's borders. This is only partly accurate, since the queen sometimes receives ambassadors from foreign lands and displays a clear understanding of events in the larger Flanaess.

In order to maintain their cities, they must rely on "lesser" elves for the upkeep of their realms. Since almost all of these servant elves have been brought up in the particular atmosphere of the grey elves, they believe that their lot in life is to serve the grey elves. Although some do leave, most do not have the spirit to do so. Many are truly happy performing tasks for their masters and would not dream of departing. The stratified society offers them security and comfort. Grey elves are not harsh taskmasters, but neither are they forgiving. When a servitor elf fails in a task or performs it poorly, punishment is swift and to the point. Few make the same mistake twice.

Relations with other races:
While not exactly bigoted toward other races, the grey elves do believe in the purity of the elven line. They are the least tolerant of other races, and they take pains to ensure that they remain secluded from all-sometimes even other elves.

The grey elves of Celene have isolated themselves from the outside world and maintains no formal relation with other nations. Occasional alliances occurred with the Duchy of Ulek and the Kron Hills gnomes in the past. Non-grey elves, including wood elves, gnomes, halflings and even humans and half-elves do live on their territory, but in a servitor position and with little to say on the affairs of the kingdom. They are enemies of the orcs and monstrous creatures of the Pomarj, as well as the forces of Iuz.

Grey elves in other lands tend to keep to themselves in typical fashion. An exception of note is in the Kingdom of Sunndi, a member of the Iron League, where the minority of grey elves form the royal and noble houses ruling over a highly diverse population of humans, dwarves, gnomes, halflings and others. Its internal cooperation between races are its greatest strengths. Though it is still an isolated nation almost completely surrounded by potential enemies.

Alignments:
Grey elves, like most other elves, tend toward chaotic and good alignment. Though they are known to be more serious than others.

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 repertoire. 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 pixies and dryads, for Aquan, the language of water-based creatures, and Undercommon, the language of 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:
Grey elves can be of any classes but truly excel at wizardry and other scholarly pursuits. They produce efficient fighters, rogues and bards. Wilder classes such as druids, rangers and sorcerers are rare, being paths better left to "lesser" elves. Classes tied to human behaviors and ideals, such as barbarians, monks and paladins are virtually nonexistent in their society.

Settings:
This entry is about the grey elves of Greyhawk, but their equivalent exist in the elves of Sithicus on Ravenloft, the Shiye of Mystara and the Silvanesti of Dragonlance.

Game Stats:
+2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Con, -2 Str*
Low-light vision
Sleeplessness
Hardiness vs. Enchantments
Elven Weapon Proficiencies (Longsword, Rapier, Shortbow, Longbow)
Skill Affinity (Listen)
Skill Affinity (Search)
Skill Affinity (Spot)
Keen Senses

* At character creation, remember that the game engine automatically applies the default +2 Dex, -2 Con adjustment for standard elves. An extra +2 Int, -2 Cha will be applied once the subrace is selected in-game.

Source: 3.5 Player's Handbook, Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, AD&D 1st Edition Monster Manual, Complete Book of Elves
« Last Edit: August 19, 2021, 01:29:45 PM by EO »
Best Regards!
MAB

Dev. Relationist for the Dark Powers.
1 Castle Road, Castle Ravenloft, Village of Barovia.