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Elves of the Realms

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1Elves of the Realms Empty Elves of the Realms on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:06 am

None are truly certain from whence the first elves arose. The elves themselves claim they arose from the blood of Corellon Larethian, while other races hold that they sprang full-fledged into the world, without divine intervention. Their affinity with the world on which they have made their home leads one to suspect a more elemental nature to their being. However, since they have often been residents of this world longer than humans have existed, human sages are often inaccurate when speculating about origins.

Elves have adapted to life in nearly every environment possible. The mountains, the forests, the plains, the waters, and the underground all know the taste of elves. The snowy wastes have felt the light touch of elven boots, as have the hot sands of deserts.

The elves' curiosity about life makes it only natural that they expanded their holdings to such an extent. They wish to be sure of their world, and they cannot understand it if they cannot experience it. If an elf accurately reports her experiences, other elves can understand that world intuitively.

Yet elves are notorious for their desire to see things for themselves. Even when a place has been experienced and reported, many elves will still have a wish to see the place. Along the journey, they are likely to view each passing locale with great interest, stopping to explore anything that catches their interest. For this reason, the elf race as a whole is likely to have heard of any given location on any of the worlds they inhabit.

Through their inherent connection with all the worlds, elves adapt more easily than many other races. For this reason, they can be found in any clime, under almost any extreme.

What unites almost all the elves of the Realms is their self-bestowed title: Tel'Quessir. This translates to "The people." All non-elves are known as the "N'Tel'Quess," or "Not-People."

Elves are of human height, though there the resemblance ends. The elves of the Realms are much more slender and delicate in appearance. Breaking down the elf nation still further, there are five separate, distinct subraces of elves in the Realms, each of which is viewed differently by the other races. (Please Note: Drow will be handled sperately)

The first subrace is that of the gold elves. Some also call them sunrise elves or high elves. Gold elves are generally viewed as the most civilized and, at the same time, the most contemptuous of other races. They are the nobility of elves on Toril, leading the other elves in the elven way.

The second subrace is known variously as moon, silver, or grey elves. They are the most common of elves on this world, or at least the variety most often seen by non-elves. Because of their higher tolerance for other races, the moon elves are more likely to become adventurers than are the other elves. Likewise, most half-elves in the Realms are descended from moon elves. Although moon elves are considered less noble than gold elves, the Queen of Evermeet is a moon elf.

The third subrace is roughly equivalent to sylvan elves. They are called wood, copper or forest elves. They deal almost exclusively with other elves, keeping any contact with other races to a minimum. Since they try to live far from humankind, they are one of the least-seen races of the elves. Although they do not have a kingdom of their own, they permeate every elf nation.

The sea elves comprise the fourth subrace. They, too, are fairly uncommon, although they aren't as reclusive as wild elves. They swim in two waters: those of the Great Sea and the Sea of Fallen Stars. There is only a slight difference in appearance between the two. One race breathes salt water and the other fresh, but they can survive in either. Water elves make their homes anywhere but are most common near the island retreat of Evermeet.

The elves of the Realms are one of the oldest races native to that world. While humans were living in their caves, learning to hunt each other, the elves flourished. Their nations spread across Toril, and they lived in harmony with the land. But as humans became more and more civilized and expanded their holdings, the elves had to retreat.

Since the elves could not react quickly to the constant change humans wrought, they had to devise an alternate plan. From their court in Myth Drannor, the elves began arguing the virtues of a Retreat to a land beyond humans. They argued this matter for many centuries and, after exhausting all the evidence available, came to a consensus.

During their debates, they located a land far beyond human reach. Called Evermeet, an island thousands of miles out in the Trackless Sea, it suited their purpose perfectly. Holding deep and glorious forests as well as many of the other features elves consider essential for a home, there was little doubt that this should be the last home of the Elf Nation.

Only elves are welcome in Evermeet. All others (including drow and half-elves) are turned away. Since there seems no way of magically traveling to Evermeet, it is only by ship that anyone can journey to there. The Elven Navy, the largest known, protects the sanctity of Evermeet by destroying non-elven ships that come inside Evermeet's jurisdiction. The navy also provides passage for elves seeking Retreat or protection for elves beset by humans. The navy seems to know when their services are needed.

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2Elves of the Realms Empty Gold Elves-Ar'Tel'Quessir on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:08 am

Gold Elves-Ar'Tel'Quessir

Gold elves are at once the most noble and most reclusive of the elves. They have withdrawn from the world after making their mark, which was to ensure that the world was well on the path to goodness. The gold 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.

Gold elves act much like human knights—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 other gold elves.

This subrace garbs themselves in wool tunics of gold, silver, white, or yellow. Over these, they wear cloaks of dark blue or purple. Their dress alone often makes them the most striking of the elves, and their elegant bearing and pure beauty make them almost appear as supernatural creatures.

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.

Taller and more slender than the other elves, Gold elves typically have silver hair and amber eyes. This does not give them any special abilities, but it does serve to distinguish them from their moon elven brethren. Somewhat rarer are those gold elves who have pale golden hair and violet eyes. These elves are often known as faerie and are probably those who first made contact with humans.

While not exactly bigoted toward other races, the gold 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. Only the mightiest mages of other races are allowed within their mountain citadels, and these are greeted with suspicion. The gold elves are not rabid in their dislike of the shorter-lived races, but they do fear the corruption that the other races can bring to the elves.

Because of their reverence for the sanctity of elven blood, gold 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 gold elf. These elves feel that they are the "true" elves and that others are somehow lesser versions. The gold elves staunchly believe this to be true, despite the fact that they are an offshoot of the original high elf line.

Gold elves disguise the entrances to their mountain meadows and remote cities with powerful magic, ensuring that only those who are elves or familiar with the elven dweomer can discover their retreats. If members of another race find their hideaways, the gold elves are not averse to casting a high-level forget spell. They have worked long and hard to achieve their hidden lands, and they welcome not those who stumble across them.

Of all elves, gold elves rely the most on their intelligence. While other elves are by no means stupid, gold elves trust less in physical prowess than they do the mind. Their line breeds more mages and mage combinations than any other, and some of the most esteemed of their subrace are scholars. 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 gold elves with no small measure of fascination.

However, like all elves, their crafters have had centuries to perfect their art. Since the gold 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 gold elves—but even then they cannot rival the sheer beauty exhibited in elven manufacture.
It is a guarantee that almost any gold elven work can hold the strongest magicks and enchantments. The very qualities of the manufacture work subtle charms into the item, making it more receptive to whatever potent magic a mage might use to enhance it. The gold elves have produced most of the magical items attributed to elvenkind. They are particularly devoted to the creation of tomes and scrolls.

Gold elves often have the most extensive libraries of anyone in the world. Any gold elf community of more than 50 years will have a communal library rivaling those of any major city or wizard. Such libraries are open to all elves who wish to better themselves and increase their knowledge. Since the gold elves value the constant expansion of their stores of books, many spend their lives in research (either magical or scientific), writing learned treatises.

Gold 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 gold elf society.

Interestingly enough, most other elves do not readily befriend gold elves, for they see the gold elves as far too serious and arrogant. Indeed, some elves think the gold subrace is far closer to the word "human" than "elf." They think the gold elves have lost the elven joy of life, for the gold elves prefer to spend their time with books rather than revel in the outdoors and the goodness of life. Instead of exploring the boundaries of life, they are learning to be serious

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3Elves of the Realms Empty Moon Elves - Teu'Tel'Quessir on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:09 am

Moon Elves - Teu'Tel'Quessir

The most commonly seen of all elves, the moon elves are also the most open and friendly. They have no compunction about traveling in the world outside their lands, and they do so much more often than other elves. While at first they may seem aloof and arrogant, a glimmer of true self can be learned with a little effort. Moon elves know the value of friendship and alliance with the other good races of the world. However, they are not always easily befriended. Many moon elves are cautious about trusting the shorter-lived races; quite a few learned to distrust humans and dwarves in their younger days. Thus, although moon elves serve the cause of good, one can never be sure of what the reception from them will be.

Moon elves are very pale. Though they spend a great deal of time outdoors, their skin simply doesn't tan, no matter how long they are in the sun. However, their skin is less a corpselike pallor than the color of new cream. Their hair and eyes fall into two major variations. One is fair not only of skin, but of hair as well. These elves generally have blond hair and blue eyes. The other variation, equally numerous, seems far more mysterious. They have dark hair, ranging from sandy brown to sheerest black, and intense green eyes. These two varieties of moon elves have no other significant differences, but they are nonetheless often treated differently simply because of their appearance.

Moon elves prefer light pastel shades over the colors worn by gold elves. Since they rely on hunting and woodsmanship, they often wear cloaks of green for camouflage in forests. Their preferred weapon is the bow, but they are also adept with long and short swords. In battle, they wear their gleaming elven chain mail beneath cloaks "woven of the essence of the woods," which allows them to move silently through forests, strike quickly, and then retreat. Although they may befriend giant eagles and occasionally use them for transport, they rarely use mounts because horses and the like are too unwieldy in the forest. Only on the long-distance journeys or on the plains will moon elves use mounts.

Moon elf civilization is much like that rumored in children's fairy tales. Elven homes are enchanted, the lands under their jurisdiction places of goodness. The realms of moon elves are fabled in the lands of men, and the highest aspiration of many a human is to slip into the arms of death while basking in the serenity of the elf lands.

These elves do not place a great deal of value on society, preferring instead to live as they wish rather than how someone tells them to. Their villages are peaceful places, for the elves all look out for one another. They have a royal bloodline of sorts, but few elves pay it much heed. They do not respect someone purely on the basis of birth.Moon elves live in a constant relationship with nature, never taking more than they need and giving back ever more. They replenish the forests and the plains constantly, ensuring that there will always be nature within their world. As such, they are often regarded by other good-aligned races as the highest epitome of goodness. Although those who prefer law over freedom do not always agree, they nearly always have respect for the quality of elven life. There is no doubt that the moon elves lead a fine life: Freedom, nature, and the sheer vitality of being alive comprise the daily existence of a high elf.

These elves have few cares or worries, and their lives are often characterized by idyllic splendor. While they face problems from rampaging humanoids or the encroachment of humans, they seem to live free of the cares that so often plague other elves. Because they live so closely in harmony with nature, they have little trouble finding sustenance in the areas near their homes. Game proliferates near moon elf communities, and the earth is fertile for them. However, should the moon elves roam farther afield, they often discover a different matter entirely. A band of elves on the march must sometimes rely upon the generosity of others.

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4Elves of the Realms Empty Wood Elves- Or'Tel'Quessir on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:10 am

Wood Elves- Or'Tel'Quessir

Although wood elves are descended from the same stock as the other elves, they are far more primitive than their kin. Their lives are geared toward the simple matter of survival in the woodlands, rather than enjoyment. Yet sylvan elves find that this life, more than anything else, gives them their greatest pleasure. Not for them the sophistication of art and delicate music. They prefer a simpler life. Their music is that of wind through leaves, the howl of wolves, and the cries of birds. Their art—in the form of tattoos—is inspired by the everchanging cycle of seasons.

Wood elves, by their very nature, seem more prone to violence than their civilized cousins. Their muscles are larger, their complexions more florid. They have yellow to coppery-red hair, which contrasts with their lightly tanned skin. Their eyes are generally light brown, although bright green is not uncommon. Hazel or blue eyes are exceptionally rare, cropping up only two to ten times in an entire generation. The superstitious wood elves believe that twins who have blue or hazel eyes are an omen of good fortune for both the twins and wood elves as a whole. Thus far, they have not been disappointed.

Wood elf clothing is much less gaudy than one would normally expect from an elf. The focus of their clothing is to allow the wearer to blend with the woods easily. A typical outfit is dark brown and green, or tan and russet in fall. Winter finds sylvan elves wearing white leather so that they can hide in snow.

About once every five years, these elves indulge in a festival of art and music more material than the ephemera of nature. When the summer solstice arrives, the nomadic tribes gather in the center of the forest. For half a moon, the tribes celebrate the turning of the Seldanqith, wherein the constellations of the Seldarine are obscured by the northern lights. They claim that the gods come to earth during this time to celebrate in the revels of their children. Wood elf celebrations involve oak wine, bonfires, dancing to wooden drums, and singing. The carousing is primitive, even savage, but fiercely exciting to them. Their every instinct is aroused, taking them back to the roots of nature.

Wood elves are often described as wild and temperamental. This is true to the extent that these elves are a very emotional people. They live with their hearts, not their minds as do the gold elves. Whatever they feel, they know it is the right answer. Logic plays little part in their lives, for logic cannot save one from the charging boar or the falling tree. Intuition and strength are all that counts in the wildwood.

Sylvan elves are an independent folk and do not lightly brook intruders into their forests. Anyone, even another elf, who even draws near to a wood elf encampment (within three miles) will have a constant, unseen escort of at least two wood elves (possibly more) until the intruder leaves the area. Unless the camp is directly threatened, the wood elves will leave the intruder strictly alone. Twenty-five percent of the time wood elves will allow trespassers to know that they are being watched.

If those encroaching the encampment draw too near and evince hostile intent, the wood elves have no compunctions about utterly destroying them. Wood elves are extraordinarily reclusive—even more so than gold elves. They have no wish to let others expose them or their lifestyle to the harsh scrutiny of the civilized world. Therefore, they may even destroy those who bear the wood elves no particular ill will. They feel this is the only way to ensure their lives and privacy.

Although they are of elven descent, wood elves tend toward total neutrality. This is not out of any inherent evil, but only out of a desire to be left alone. They do not care about the proceedings in the outer world; only when such acts impact their realm do the wood elves take interest. Even then, that interest is only in removing the nuisance and in returning to the wildlands as quickly as possible. Only other elves can break their solitude without suffering potential death.

Sylvan elves associate more often with the animals of the forest than with any other beings. They have giant owls guarding their tent homes or, rarely, giant lynxes. Their isolationist tendencies have corrupted the only racial language they know (Elvish); however, some do learn the languages of various creatures of the forest.

Wood elves are probably the least friendly of all the surface elves. They are certainly not as outgoing as moon elves, nor are they as adventurous as aquatic elves. While gold elves are quite arrogant, they at least will not casually kill intruders. However, it should be remembered that wood elves are not evil; they simply value their solitude above all else

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5Elves of the Realms Empty Poscadar on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:11 am

Anchorome is the far western continent of Toril, roughy about 3,000 miles across the Trackless Sea of the Sword Coast. In the scholar's view of Abeir-Toril, Anchorome is the "Unknown Land" just north of Maztica. There, a in Faerun nearly unknown subrace of elves exist with the name of poscadar. The Poscadar are a group of nomadic elves who live along the Pasocada River and Long Canyon. They subsist by hunting the bison and other large creatures that inhabit the grasslands. These savage elves are taller than any other elven kin and have bronze-coloured skin. Poscadar are shamanic, savage elves attacking any strangers in their lands on sight. They are so xenophobic they did not even speak with the ambassador from Evermeet.

Racial Traits:

- Ability Adjustments: +2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma.

- Hardiness vs. Enchantments: Immunity to magic sleep effects, +2 racial bonus to saving throws against enchantment spells or effects.

- Low-Light Vision: An poscadar can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination.

- Weapon Proficiency: Poscadar receive the Martial Weapon Proficiency feats for the longsword, rapier, longbow (including composite longbow), and shortbow (including composite shortbow) as bonus feats.

- Keen Senses: +2 racial bonus to Listen, Search, and Spot checks.

- Favored Class: Spirit Shaman. A multiclass poscadar's spirit shaman class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty.

- Level Adjustment +0:

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6Elves of the Realms Empty Dune Elf on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:13 am

Dune Elf

It's said that there are three types of elves in the Land of Fate: dune elves, who stalk the sands of the desert at night; oasis elves, who tend the gardens and fountains of the cities; and burned elves, about whom we dare not speak. Dune elves are one of the most wild of the elven races, living the nomadic lifestyle of the Al-Badia. They are expert horsemen and archers without peer. Dune elves look down on their other elven brethren, but their true fury is reserved for their ancient enemies - the orcs. The enmity between the dune elves and the desert-dwelling orcs stretches back millennia, before the Enlightenment. Dune elves are not above raiding human Al-Badia tribes or caravans when they are in need of supplies. Dune elves are a short, slight race, barely five feet tall. Their skin is a dusty tan color, and their hair is bleached a white-blond by the sun.

A dune elf's goals, beyond defending his family and defeating his ancient orc enemies, are usually straight-forward. Success in battle, material prosperity, true love, and a fearsome notoriety are all admirable accomplishments to strive for.

Racial Traits:

- Ability Adjustments: -2 Strength, +4 Dexterity, -2 Constitution.

- Hardiness vs. Enchantments: Immunity to magic sleep effects, +2 racial bonus to saving throws against enchantment spells or effects.

- Low-Light Vision: A dune elf can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination.

- Weapon Proficiency: Dune Elves receive the Martial Weapon Proficiency feats for the longsword, rapier, longbow (including composite longbow), and shortbow (including composite shortbow) as bonus feats.

- Keen Survival: +2 racial bonus to Listen, Spot, and +3 Survival checks.

- Favored Enemy; Orcs: Dune Elves racial hate grants them a +1 bonus to damage rolls against orcs. They also receive a +1 bonus on Listen, Spot, and Taunt checks against them.

- Favored Class: Swashbuckler. A multiclass dune elf's swashbuckler class does not count when determining whether she takes an experience point penalty.

- Level Adjustment +0:

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7Elves of the Realms Empty Aquatic Elves- Alu'Tel'Quessir on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:18 am

Aquatic Elves- Alu'Tel'Quessir

Although not as frequently encountered as other elf subraces, aquatic elves (also known as sea elves) are actually as common as their landbound brethren. They patrol the deeps of oceans and large inland waters, holding court beneath the waves. Often they are only seen when they frolic with dolphins in kelp beds.

Aquatic elves have gill slits much like fish, through which they process oxygen. They can also survive out of water for a short time by breathing. Their skin is typically silver-green, matching the seaweed near their territory. Some possess a bluish tinge to their skin, although this is quite rare. Aquatic elves' hair complements their skin and is also green or blue-green. The overall effect is one that makes them difficult to discern underwater, especially near kelp beds. Because of their coloring, they gain the typical elven ability to camouflage themselves in their natural environment.

Although their lives seem spent in frivolous activity, these elves play an important role in the underwater ecology: They serve to keep the seas safer for inhabitants. As do the elves of the forests and the mountains, sea elves keep the devastation of such creatures as sahuagin and ixitxachitl to a minimum. The sahuagin are to the aquatic elves what orcs are to land elves; they are a nuisance and a menace, but now a serious threat. Unfortunately, the sahuagin do not see things this way and often plan wars on the sea elves.

These elves dislike sharks intensely. Although a natural part of the ecological cycle, elves dislike any creature that is rapacious and cruel. Additionally, any beast that the sahuagin identify with closely (as they do with sharks) is considered to have few redeeming features. Since sharks relish the taste of sea elf, the elves organize hunts against this menace.

Because they fear the strange and terrible monsters that dwell in the sea, the aquatic elves and the dolphins have taken it upon themselves to keep at least some of it safe for those who travel across it. In many realms, no one would travel on the sea otherwise, for the danger would be far too great. Thus, most seaside communities severely punish those who incur the wrath of sea elves. Only the most evil of people encourage the death of sea elves and dolphins. Reprisal for their murder is always swift and brutal; the elves tolerate not the killing of either brethren or friend.

Obviously, the sea elves do not lightly leave the sanctuary of their oceans. The harsh environment of the land world discourages any sea elf who foolishly wishes to leave the soothing waves. This does not mean that the sea elves have no dealings with those who breathe air. Any elves (excepting drow) are welcome to visit the land of the sea elves, and they will be greeted royally. Trade delegations are common between land and sea elves, although it is usually the land elves who must travel, for they have magicks more suited for the foreign environs of water.

Sea elves commonly travel with elven ships, defending those aboard from attacks beneath the waves. Since they are accomplished at scuttling the ships of evil humans and humanoids, aquatic elves are feared by pirates and those who would prey on elven craft.

Aquatic elves often consort with dolphins and hippocampi, and the latter are bred as mounts. Dolphins and sea elves are usually on the best of terms and easily befriend one another. They serve each other's needs, giving mutual protection and aid.

Aquatic elf society consists mainly of those sea elves who dwell in a five-mile area. There is a titular king or queen to whom they pay homage, but he has no real power over daily life. Sea elves live as they please, coming together under a ruler only in times of undersea emergency or great trouble for the world in general. The lords and ladies of the ocean cities do little other than escort visitors and conduct the trade that aquatic elves find so enjoyable. The rest of the population consists of artists, hunters, and farmers, all concerned with making survival possible and life pleasant for the rest of the community.

These elves have cities of living coral, supplemented with glittering crystal domes. Their undersea paradise is marked by sea elf farmers tending schools of fish; it is also marked by the peace one can find beneath the waves. The wash of blue- and green-dappled light has inspired abovesea artists for years—and will no doubt continue for years to come.

(Added for RP purposes and information only)

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8Elves of the Realms Empty AVARIEL (Aril-tel-quessir) on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:21 am

AVARIEL (Aril-tel-quessir)

Rarest of the elven races, the avariel, the winged elves, live a reclusive existence, seldom seen by outsiders. Such is their scarcity and seclusion, that their status is almost that of legend, and many believe tales of these winged elves to be little more than myth and wild fancy.

Avariel are a proud people, aloof to the affairs of the world, save when such concerns impact upon their own lives. Of all the elven races, the avariel are the most serious-minded, and can even be ruthless when necessity dictates, but are just as appreciative of beauty, creativity, and the natural world, but their greatest joy by far, is that of flight. Even when not soaring through the heavens, they can be seen with a far-off look in their eyes. Their love of the unbounded sky is matched only by their discomfort of enclosed spaces, and the avariel suffer from crippling claustrophobia.

Physical Description:
Avariel are graceful and striking, standing as tall as most humans, though they appear even more fine-boned than their landborn elven kin. Their features are more chiseled, more angular, their eyes larger, and golden, azure, emerald, or rich hazel. The hollow bones that enable them to fly make them frail, though their chests and shoulders are strong, powering their magnificent eagles' wings. Their plumage is usually the purest of whites, though blacks and greys are known, and their hair is white, black, or more rarely, gold or silver. Like other elves, they have no facial or body hair. They prefer simple, loose clothing that does not impede their wings, usually in pale white, grey, or silver. Avariel have shorter lifespans than those of other elves, reaching majority at 50, and seldom living beyond the age of 300. Like other elves, the avariel do not sleep, instead entering meditative trance for 4 hours per day.

Despite an aloofness that can astound even other elves, avariel rarely exhibit the haughtiness and arrogance many have come to associate with elvenkind, though they pity all races lacking the ability to fly. They have little to do with other races, only maintaining cordial, but brief, contact with other elven settlements within range of their homes. They reserve their greatest pity for those avariel who are incapable of flight, whether due to accident, injury, illness, or misfortunate birth. Unaccepting of pity themselves, such wingless or flightless avariel seek lives elsewhere, or end their own lives in despair.

Like other elves, the avariel value freedom, and lean towards the gentler aspects of chaos, and although not quite as deeply respectful of all life as their ground-dwelling kin, are still good more often than not.

Avariel Lands:
Avariel settlements are rare, located in secluded and inaccessible mountains, their many towers carved into the rock faces and plateaus, resplendent with many windows, perches, and balconies. Their societies are commonly composed entirely of avariel dedicated to one of two paths of life: the path of the warrior, or the path of the aesthete, though a rare few settlements compose members of both paths. The warriors are not all combatants, as might be inferred, though many are, but all follow the philosophy of action, of doing. Aesthetes are the thinkers, those inclined to study, magic, art, music, and philosophy. There is no animosity between followers of the different paths, both of whom have long lineages, and they each support and respect the other to the best of their abilities. Avariel seldom trade with outsiders other than other elves, obtaining from them the rare metal implements that they themselves do not use. Avariel craftsmanship utilizes glass, crystal, obsidian, and stone almost exclusively, even in the construction of weapons, and gems and semiprecious stones are used for currency. Those rare avariel encountered beyond their mountain dwellings are usually those seeking escape from pity due to their inability to fly, or the rare avariel gripped by an overpowering wanderlust.

The avariel are a deeply religious people, but they owe their greatest loyalty, not to Corellon Larethian, but Aerdrie Faenya, the winged elven goddess of the air, the weather, and avians. Although their true origins are a mystery, the avariel hold that it is her intervention that enables them to survive, and that they are her favored children. Some avariel even belief that they were the original elven race, though many more of their sages speculate that Aerdrie Faenya's hand melded them with their beloved giant eagles.

The avariel speak the same lilting and fluid language as other elves, and some have even devised an intricate sign language based upon this tongue. Some avariel consider it a source of pride to learn and speak Auran, the language of all avian creatures, and a rare few learn a scattering of the languages utilized by those races dwelling in proximity to them.

Avariel pick their own names upon reaching the age of majority, though closefriends may continue to use the avariel's "child name". Family names are of vital import to the avariel, whose lineages stretch back untold centuries, devoted to the path which they have chosen.

Male Names: Aerontar, Daedamai, Peregrane, Raptiir, Sperenshay, and Talasphir.

Female Names: Aerie, Cassae, Esthaenie, Icaria, Lethri, and Nahlrie.

Family Names: Adongala ("Peacewhisper"), Driiquar ("Airdance"), Elandinai ("Arrowbreeze"), Kiirquarlani ("Gemsoul"), Silathdiir ("Mountainstone"), and Xilokerym ("Petalsword").

Avariel take up adventuring only if gripped by uncontrollable wanderlust, or seeking a life elsewhere as a result of exile, self-imposed or otherwise. Followers of the warrior path make up by far the majority of those avariel gripped by wanderlust.


· +4 Dexterity, -4 Constitution: Avariel are extremely light and graceful but their hollow bones make them painfully frail.

· Medium-size: As Medium-size creatures, avariel have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.

· Avariel base speed is 25 feet. They can fly at a speed of 45 feet (average). Avariel cannot fly when wearing Medium or Heavy armor. Custom fitting for armor purchased outside of avariel settlements has a cost equal to half the value of the armor itself.

· Low-light Vision: Avariel can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.

· Proficient with either longsword or rapier; proficient with bolas and lasso. Avariel find that the muscles they use to fly, oppose those used to fire ordinary bows.

· +4 racial bonus to Spot checks; +2 racial bonus to Listen and Search checks. An avariel's vision is akin to that of a giant eagle, able to discern details on objects up to a mile away.

· Avariel may take the Flyby Attack feat (see page 11 of the Monster Manual) as a General feat; this is not a free bonus feat.

· Claustrophobia: whenever an avariel finds herself enclosed in a small area for any significant length of time, she must make a Will save (DC 13) or become panicked (-2 morale penalty on all actions; can become aggressive). Saves are made every day. The panic subsides when the character is brought out into the open air.

· Avariel find their wings an impediment to motion when on the ground, suffering a -2 attack penalty and -2 AC penalty as a result. These penalties can be negated if the avariel takes the Ground Combat feat (see below).

· Automatic Languages: Common and elven. Bonus Languages: Auran, Avariel Sign, Draconic, Dwarven, Giant, Goblin, Orc. Avariel commonly know the languages of their enemies and allies, as well as Draconic, the language commonly found in ancient tomes of secret knowledge. They have developed a form of silent communication somewhat similar to the drow sign language.

· Favored Class: Avariel of the warriors' way have Fighter as their favored class. Avariel of the aesthetes' way have Wizard as their favored class. A multiclass avariel's fighter/wizard class does not count when determining whether she suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing.

· Level Adjustment: +1. Although no more powerful or weak than most other elven subraces, the avariel's ability to fly is an extremely useful ability.

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9Elves of the Realms Empty Attitudes Toward Other Races on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:23 am

Attitudes Toward Other Races

Elves generally do not hate other races. Although they may dislike these races, they still feel a kinship with them as living beings. Humans never understand this, for they have not the time to make a true connection with the life force of the world. Only the true mystics of other races can understand the affinity elves have for all life.

Those races that hate the elves with an all-consuming passion are not worth any such emotion from elves. Irritating as these species may be, the elves regard them with nothing more than strong antipathy. Only those who routinely defile the forest for their own evil ends arouse much anger in elves.

The elves reserve their darkest emotion—hatred—for the drow. The drow have thrown away all that the elves consider sacred and have instead embraced foulness, corruption, and death. They have betrayed the heritage that was theirs by right and forsaken the light of the sun to live with pure evil: Lolth.

Not only do most of the surface elves fail to comprehend this choice, they don't understand how beings created from the blood of a god could descend to the depths of evil as have the drow. They do understand, however, that the drow mean only to destroy them. The drow dreams of world conquest and domination are secondary to their hatred for surface elves. The elves of sunlight know this hatred well and return it in full measure.

With regard to other races, elves have been accused of being haughty, arrogant, and contemptuous. This accusation is not entirely true. While elves do hold themselves apart from the other races, they do not hold them in contempt. (Granted, dwarves do come close.) Most elves, however, don't befriend these other races because of their short lives, not because of any inherent dislike. While the elves believe in living life to its fullest, they don't relish the idea of watching myriad friends grow old and die.

Since elves can live through twenty human generations before leaving for Arvanaith, many see no point in befriending those whom they will only lose immediately. (While dwarves are longer lived, they don't agree well with the elven disposition.) Younger elves are sometimes willing to accept the sure pain of impending death for the joy friendship with these vital beings brings. After a few decades, however, they see that their companions are aging at an absurd rate when compared to elf friends. This is always a shock to the young elves. For the first time, they must come to grips with the concept of mortality and death. This proves more difficult for some than for others, though it comes to almost all finally.

Despite their short lives, each of the other races holds a unique place in the elven heart. Outlined below are typical dynamics between elves and humans and demihumans.

Dwarves: Although elves and dwarves both fight on the side of goodness, they often find themselves at odds over everything else. The main point of contention between the two is the definition of a good life. Dwarves strongly believe in the work ethic (elves do not). Dwarves don't feel that happiness is essential to a good life (elves certainly do). Dwarves believe life should be organized and well cared for—not haphazard and spontaneous as elves prefer. These views, so contrary to the elven enjoyment of life, don't allow dwarves to see things on the elven level. Yet each race secretly appreciates the other, and some of the strongest bonds in the world are between elves and dwarves. The two races are actually a good complement to each other.

Gnomes: Elves and gnomes get along well when they meet. Gnomes have an appreciation of humor and a zest for life that appeals to the elves. In elven opinion, gnomes take what is best about the dwarves and combine it with a healthy dose of elvendom. Indeed, some ancient elven legends say that gnomes were created by crossing elves with dwarves.This is not to say that gnomes are entirely loved by the elves. They take their obsession with digging into the earth a little too seriously, and they seem to regard elves with some suspicion. Elves return that regard. Still, as with dwarves, the two races will defend each other if necessary.

Halflings: Elves genuinely like halflings, although in a somewhat patronizing way. They regard halflings as an amusing race and treat them for the most part as children. The halflings don't have enough curiosity for elven taste; halflings are usually content to remain in their burrows and comfortable little farmsteads without ever experiencing the outside world. Elves are very impressed when a halfling manages to amount to something more than a connoisseur of food and drink. Halflings sometimes resent the elven view that the halflings are like children, but they are very much in awe of elves and so rarely speak out against them. To associate with an elf is all the excitement a halfling needs in his or her life. To travel a time with elves is more than many halflings can bear. Elves regard halflings as children and are very protective of them. They don't appreciate attempts to harm halflings in any way and will do their best to avenge any wrongs.

Humans: Elves have a difficult time classifying humans. Many humans are friendly and even a little in awe of elves. Others are bigoted and unfriendly, even downright hostile. While other races have variations in their racial makeup and general views, none are as varied as the humans. This means that elves will regard every human they meet with some degree of suspicion until that human has proven him- or herself a friend.Elves, despite their many accomplishments, are amazed at humans. Humans are prolific producers of children, and many have incredible innate ability. Humans have managed to convert lands elves had once thought unlivable into homes. The elves are impressed—and perhaps a little frightened.Despite their constant bickering and warlike nature or perhaps because of it, humans now dominate the world. They have accomplished in a few short years what it took elves hundreds of years to achieve. It is because of the humans' soaring population and expansionistic tendencies that elves find themselves retreating to the forests and secluding themselves from the world. The vast variance of human nature is enough that elves have no set reaction to them. Their variety confuses elves, and they stay away from humans as much as possible.

Dragons: One of the few races to truly have the respect of elves. Dragons not only share long lifespans, but they also share the elve's inherent connections to the Weave, though Dragons’ connections are slightly different from that of the elves. Elves have little respect for evil Dragons, who seek to dominate and despoil, rather than work in concert with the world. While not exactly enemies, they are not exactly allies, either. Long ago, Elves and the Dragons fought terrible wars, for dominance of the planet. Both of the races have long memories, and they simply respect each other.

Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Bugbears: These races are viewed with a variety of pity and scorn. They are not hated, by any means however. It is elven belief that such savages are not even worth the effort to hate. Instead, they are looked upon as any pest or any type of vermin. They are a filthy race that are dangerous only when their populations grow too large. Therefore, it is important to continually “trim the population”.

Half-breed Races: are viewed with either disgust, or are judged on an individual to individual merit system. Half-Orcs are most often dismissed as vermin. Brave and honorable Half-Orcs often gain the respect of Elves simply for exceeding the racial limitations and the racing drawbacks placed on them by their ancestors.

Demons, Devil, Yugoloths, and other creatures from the Lower Planes: These races are hated by the Tel’Quessir. Elves see these creatures as pure evil, and as such, need to be destroyed for the good of Faerûn. Elves have never willingly consorted with such creatures, nor will they ever. The only exception was House Dlardraegeth, and the Tel’Quessir severed their ties with them years ago. With the closure of the Crusade, the Tel'Quessir hopefully will be rid of them once and for all. Their mere existence on the Material Plane is an affront to Elves, and they make it their business to cleanse the world of their taint whenever possible.

Celestials, Eladrin, and other similar creatures from the Outer Planes: These races are seen as allies to the Tel’Quessir. These creatures share many of the same characteristics as elves, and often have the same enemies . Magical unions with Celestials and Eladrin are not uncommon, though they are extremely rare. The Surin’Tel’Quessir, and the Celadrin are the results of such special unions.

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10Elves of the Realms Empty Diet on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:24 am


Elves can subsist on any food palatable to humans, although their tastes are generally more discerning. Their preferences are clearly toward delicate foods and wines, particularly those that possess a great degree of subtlety. Heavier foods, such as beef and coarse bread, distress the elf stomach.

Humans usually find elven food unsatisfying, for the portions are too small. Elves, of course, require less food than do humans. They very rarely hunt for or make more food than they can eat in a day. However small the portions, the food elves do make is such that the finest human chef blushes in shame at his inadequacy. Indeed, many humans who would be gourmet cooks try to procure an apprenticeship among elves. Those who learn the elven techniques have a right to boast of their achievements.

Elves tend to be more vegetarian than humans, for this has less of an impact on their environment. When they do eat meat, it is carefully culled from the excess animal population of their area and done in such a way that it doesn't disrupt the land.

Elves almost never keep herd animals. Not only do these creatures take up space that could more properly be forest, animals require almost constant maintenance and feeding. No elf wants to be saddled with the joyless burden of watching animals eat all day long.

Let the humans rake in the profits to be had from ranching; elves can survive on the fruits of the forest. Besides, elves don't believe in raising animals simply to kill them. That is not nature's way and therefore not the elves' way.

For drink, elves mostly subsist on sparkling waters from cold mountain springs. However, they are not averse to wine and beverages of a similar nature, and many elf cities and towns cultivate the grapes and grains necessary to the making of such refreshments.

Elves enjoy drinking mead, or fermented honey. This delicate drink agrees well with the elven palate and gives them a pleasant feeling. Greater quantities act on elves much as alcohol does on humans. Fortunately, elves feel none of the ill effects humans do when drinking this beverage. However, elves are susceptible to human brews such as ale and beer.

The elves favorite drink, however, is a nectar created from the juice of flowers, mixed with honey and an additional, secret ingredient. This nectar is of ancient origin and is called feywine. What its secret ingredient might be has long been a mystery to humans, dwarves, and the demihumans, as well as most elves. Feywine is used liberally at elven festivals. It induces frivolous behavior, lasting for days or even weeks.

Elves can, however, turn off feywine's effects when necessary (for example, when defending against rampaging orc hordes). Humans, dwarves, and other races are not so lucky. The effects of feywine on these races is much greater than it is on elves, and large quantities can make a human lose all sense of self for months. Too much feywine is the cause behind stories of humans waking after reveling with the elves, only to discover that months have passed since their last memory.

Because of this, elves rarely allow humans to consume feywine. The side effects are simply too great, and consumption only increases enmity against the elves. Any human attending an elven festival can expect water, mead, or nectar; only when the elves are particularly mischievous or when their judgment is somehow impaired will they allow a human to sample feywine. Since feywine doesn't keep well, elves never carry it on their travels.

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11Elves of the Realms Empty Elven Holy Days on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:25 am

Elven Holy Days

Every day is a day of celebration for elves; their love of music, poetry, and song imbues their lives with a festive air. However, there are particular days that elves traditionally commemorate. These celebrations, despite their rituals (or perhaps because of them), are the most anticipated days of the year. Naturally, these days have a special significance attached to them, for they mark events in the hearts of elves. The following is a list of the major festivals elves celebrate each year, although it is by no means complete. Each gathering of elves will have other celebrations in addition to those below, each with its own unique observance. The holy days are presented in chronological order.

Yeartide: Yeartide takes place during the winter solstice, marking the end of the death that autumn brings. During this time, the elves believe the earth is purified while she lies underneath her blanket of snow. Even in those regions where the sun doesn't rise and the snow lies eternally across the land, the winter solstice is seen as the changing of the old year into the new. Elves celebrate Yeartide with quiet meditation on the year past and on things to come. They regard the human practice of ushering in the new year with feasting and drinking senselessly barbaric—the mark of people unable to truly understand the passing of time.

Faerieluck: This is a day in early spring when elves celebrate with their cousins—the pixies, leprechauns, and so forth. Too often elves forget their kinship with these other races, and this festival reminds them all of their relationship. It is a day spent in practical jokes and merriment, and participants try to demonstrate their cleverness at the expense of another. The games are never acrimonious; they draw to a close long before any irreparable damage can be done to one's pride.

Springrite: Although winter is seen as the turning point of the year, the vernal equinox (spring) represents a time of fertility among the elves, who spend this season engaged in the pursuits of romance and song. Elves spend the week around the equinox dancing and singing, involved in nothing but merriment. All important decisions and actions are postponed until the week is over. This is the time of year when most couples bond in marriage or announce that they are promised.

Agelong: Agelong is the celebration of the elven creation, the observance of the legendary battle between Corellon Larethian and Gruumsh One-Eye. This holy day serves to remind the elves of the presence of their enemies. Held at the summer solstice, Agelong is the perfect elven excuse to go orc-hunting. On the night of the hunt, elves nick themselves with obsidian daggers and let their blood flow into the earth, simulating the bloodletting that made their existence possible. They then swoop down from their homes and kill as many orcs as they can find during this night.

Fallrite: As Springrite is to birth, so is Fallrite to death. Held during the autumnal equinox, Fallrite is a week long period when elves contemplate the spirits of their ancestors, the passage to Arvanaith, and the immediacy of death even in a nearly immortal lifetime. Unlike some races, elves do not hide behind merriment to avoid facing death, because they feel that death is merely a passing on to a different stage of life. The most important duties of the year and the most difficult decisions are reached during Fallrite. The elf kings and queens traditionally sit in judgment at this time of year to hear any capital cases.

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12Elves of the Realms Empty Elven Music on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:25 am

Elven Music

Song and dance play an important part in everyday elven life. They find that music provides an outlet for their centuries of experience, pain, and joy. The elf that does not have at least some experience with an instrument or some proficiency in dancing is a rare being, and one might suspect that he or she is somehow emotionally stunted.

Elven music is an incredibly complex and beautifully crafted art, although it is not often played around non-elves. Elves have learned that their tunes haunt anyone who has an ear for music, for it leaves these people with a vague, unsatisfied yearning that can never be filled with anything but elven music.

It is for this reason that there are very few traveling elf bards. For one thing, they don't want to destroy the enjoyment humans find in their own music. For another, they know humans would never leave the elf cities alone if they knew of the sublime beauty elves are capable of producing with music.

Those who have been fortunate enough to hear elven music claim that humans learned music from the elves. Although human music is but a poor imitation, the humans continually strive toward the ultimate musical experience that the elves provide. The best human and half-elf bards are those who have learned from elf masters, yet even they can only echo the elves. This is the reason, some sages surmise, that so many wonderful musicians remain dissatisfied with their work.

Elven songs of grief are often acappella wordless melodies. Those listening to such songs who are non-elves will find themselves in tears before the elves are halfway through, for the anguish expressed in the lilting voices of the elves transcends the human experience of heartfelt pain. Those who hear the elven mourning rituals are never quite the same, returning to the present sadder and somehow wiser. The sorrow that the songs express often haunts the listeners for the rest of their lives.

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13Elves of the Realms Empty The Elven Bond on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:27 am

The Elven Bond

Very rarely, an elf will form a mystical and unbreakable bond with another being, whether elf, human, dwarf, or otherwise. Some signify this bonding through the giving of gifts designed to demonstrate one's love. Others merely forge the bond quietly, without any outward signs. Whatever the process through which this bond is formed, the elves involved and their chosen can sense the strong emotions of each other. They feel the joys and sorrows of the other, their triumphs and angers as well. Should distance separate the two in this bond and one pass away, the other can feel the death through the breaking of the bond. This is an even stronger version of the communion ability elves share, for this is a lifelong bond and not lightly broken.

For this one person, elves become truly altruistic. Their lives are focused around making their loved one happy, even to the extent of sacrificing their own life. When this bond is broken, whether through betrayal or death of one of the pair, it is a tremendous shock to the other member of the union. Elves can die from the grief caused by such partings.

Because they can enact this union only once (or twice, in extremely rare cases) in their lives, elves are very careful about those to whom they attach themselves. Many elves go through life without joining their spirits to another, for many find no mates suitable for or deserving of such an important union.

Few elves bestow this gift on humans, for humans are so short-lived that the bond would be all but wasted on them. Still, there are some who consider this a small sacrifice for the love of a particular human. The very number of half-elves attests to this, for although most half-elves aren't children of this union, there are enough who are. The blink of an elf's eye spells an end to these ties, but the love they gain lasts for the rest of their life.

This bond applies, to a lesser extent, to the earth itself. If confined or kept away from the land or the company of other elves for too long a time, an elf can die from grief and loneliness. Even if being held prisoner near nature or with other elves, the elf can lose hope and—without sustaining physical injury—force his or her own death. This is done only in the darkest of times, and only when there is no hope left at all to the elf.
This ability to choose death over life is one that defeats captors and would-be torturers, for they are unable to maintain their grip on their victim for long should the elf choose this method of "escape."

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14Elves of the Realms Empty The Blood Oath on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:31 am

The Blood Oath

Elves are not always peaceful folk. If they or their friends have been grievously insulted or injured, they swear the sacred oath of vendetta—a ceremony carried out in the darkest hour before dawn. When they swear this terrible promise, they forsake all other pastimes to seek retribution. Elves understand this oath and will release the avenging elf from his or her tasks.

The avenging elves hunt down the offender to exact some form of vengeance, be it merely a sincere apology for an insult or something more severe. Typically, a time of service given to the injured elf is enough to satisfy this oath. However, there are occasions when nothing less than death will satisfy the demand of the blood oath.

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15Elves of the Realms Empty Elven Death on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:31 am

Elven Death

There are those who consider the elves to be virtually immortal. While they can die through accident or violence, no one has ever seen an elf die of "old age." That is because no truly old elves remain in the world known to humans; "old" elves have left the world and journeyed on to a place called Arvanaith. At about age 550 years old, elves feel an irresistible urge to make one last journey. An elf can defy this urge only marginally more than a man can defy death when it comes.

With the spells available for prolonging one's life, elves do have the choice of temporarily forestalling the inevitable. However, because of their attachment to the natural cycles of the world, most elves feel disdain for those who attempt to avoid the unavoidable. Only those elves who feel no respect for the tuggings of the seasons or those who have crucial tasks yet unfinished take this option. Otherwise, old elves travel to Arvanaith, the hidden elven homeland. No elf who has traveled to Arvanaith has ever willingly left that land, nor has any elf regretted such a journey. The sylvan glory awaiting all elves there is beyond any ever experienced by humans—and is barely conceivable by the elves themselves.

Arvanaith is a place full of natural beauty, hidden away from all but elves. Some human sages have speculated that this pocket is a piece of Arvandor on the Plane of Olympus, but none have ever been able to reach it—save through death. Those sages who have made such a journey and were able to return to their original plane are unable to speak of Arvanaith. The memory of the beauty is too intense for their human minds to bear. It is truly a realm only for the elf.

Those elves who have passed into its wooded glories can experience anything they've ever wanted for as long as they want. Unimaginable happiness lies in this realm, and every elf can expect to enter Arvanaith upon his or her departure from temporal kingdoms.

The only way to return from Arvanaith is through reincarnation, resurrection, or some way of retrieving the spirit from this realm. (The last two methods are always done against the elf's will.) A very few return voluntarily, having spent millenia enjoying the splendor of Arvanaith; they volunteer to be reincarnated, and their souls begin anew. Those who leave seldom regain their original bodies. They find themselves reincarnated in the form of any animal ranging the spectrum of the animal kingdom. Sometimes these elves return as creatures so low on the evolutionary scale that they lose their elven spirit altogether.

Only a legendary few have ever returned through time to their original forms. These elves have returned to complete quests of epic valor and salvation. More likely, those truly heroic elves who have requested to be reincarnated are reborn as a new elf.

Some elves are ripped from Arvanaith by the spells or prayers of those still on the mortal plane. A very few of these survive the shock of returning to their old bodies; they regain their mortal lives, albeit their spirits are now touched with a strange sorrow. Most elves, however, fight to remain in Arvanaith. Their spirits do not willingly leave the glorious forests of this most ancestral land. Should powerful magicks force them against their will, the elves will return—but at great cost. Such elves usually succumb to madness and despair; a few cannot survive the return and are transformed into banshees.

In Arvanaith, all things are possible. Anything elves might want, including forgetfulness or even oblivion, is available. The winds of Arvanaith are enough to soothe even the most troubled spirit, causing it to set aside his or her fears and torments. Only those few who refuse to give up their sorrows retain the memory of former troubles.

Instead, memories of friends and happy times make up an elf's new life, along with new dreams and challenges. Troubling memories remain largely in the back of an elf's mind, serving only as a reminder and measure for the goodness of existence in Arvanaith. Most elves are happy to relinquish the memories of their suffering, retaining only the knowledge of its passing to more fully appreciate their current happiness.

Of course, no elf is forced to stay in Arvanaith against his or her will. However, only a few elves have chosen to return to the mortal plane—and then only after centuries have been spent in Arvanaith. It is largely inconceivable that any elf would not want to remain in the eternal lands.

It should be noted that elves don't die the way other mortal races do; in fact, elves only rarely suffer true death. Those that do are mourned for months, for their spirits can never return to nourish the earth once again. Their children are cherished in hopes that they will carry on the works of their parents, provided the parents did not die dishonorably.

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16Elves of the Realms Empty Accidental or Violent Death on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:32 am

Accidental or Violent Death

Seemingly unlike many other races in the worlds, elves try to avoid violence. Their actions are typically more cautious, despite the fact that they seem impetuous. This is more true of older elves than younger ones. When embarking on a course of action, elves remind themselves that it could be their last. This has sobering effect on even hotheaded elves.

Elves live long enough that they don't want to risk their lives on an insignificant issue. Only truly earth-shattering events and dire emergencies will stir older elves from their retreats in the forests or mountains. Nothing less will entice them to risk their lives; although they are not cowards, they have no desire to lose a life for something petty.

This is one of the reasons why elves have become legendary for their skill with the bow; it keeps their foes at a safe distance, affording the elves little danger. At closer distances, elven training with the sword is proficient enough that few need worry. Still, elves have no foolish notions about killing an opponent "honorably." The method of least resistance is more likely to preserve precious lives.

Unlike most races, elves have no ingrained fear of death. Their longevity ensures that they have a healthy respect for the cycles of life and—because of their interrelationship with nature—they accept death in nature. Indeed, elves look forward to their "death," for it signifies the journey to Arvanaith and a new way of life rather than the surcease of life. However, elves do fear death by other means.

Elves also fear the violation of their spirits and their free will, for these are essential in entering Arvanaith. Any creature that feeds on the lifeforce of another is zealously avoided (or slain, if the means are available) by elves, for these creatures are among the few who can inflict true oblivion upon an elf. Even those elves who live under the shadow of evil find no kinship in these creatures.

If an elf suffers a fatal accident or is murdered, she cannot re-enter the grand cycle, that mystical rhythm that hurtles the earth through the spheres. Instead, her body lies cold and useless wherever the physical death occurred, her spirit cast out and swallowed by the nameless void surrounding her. If her body is returned to the land of her birth, the story is another matter. Only then can the elf's death once again have meaning, for there her physical form can contribute to the well-being of her world, nourishing the plants and animals of her birthland. Her spirit is free to enter Arvanaith and partake in its glories.

Any elf of good or neutral alignment is allowed in Arvanaith. Even drow so aligned are welcomed and allowed to share in the beauties of spirit found in Arvanaith. In Arvanaith, subrace is not important as long as the soul is good or neutral. Any spirit residing there has earned the right to do so, regardless of what it might have been in life. This is truly a reward for those who lived their lives under a pall of suspicion simply because of the circumstances of their birth.

Aquatic elves, too, are welcome in Arvanaith. Although they probably had no real contact with the surface-dwelling elves in life, they can revel in the company of these elves in the afterlife, for in Arvanaith all things are possible. Aquatic elves and land elves mingle in a world where the air is water and water is air; there is no difference to them.

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17Elves of the Realms Empty Funereal Ceremonies on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:33 am

Funereal Ceremonies

Since most elves pass on to Arvanaith, their passing is not mourned for long. Although it is unlikely that they will return to the earth in the same form as they had assumed before or even with the same personality, their spirit continues on. As such, death rituals are more often a celebration that the elf has achieved the joys of Arvanaith. While the elf may be missed for a while, others know their companion has passed on to something better.

The ceremony surrounding each elf funeral varies even from village to village. Some gather with great pomp to watch the body be interred in the ground, with speakers expounding on the merits of the deceased. Others bury the body with dispatch; they regard it as a mere husk from which the life force has departed. After ridding the shell, they celebrate the spirit of the elf who once resided there. Still other elves believe that burning is the only way to truly rid the spirit of its earthly ties; not only does it free the spirit for Arvanaith, it prevents anyone from using the body for nefarious purposes. Each burial is typically related to the nature of the elf, so that the burial is personalized and the point made that the spirit has left the body.

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18Elves of the Realms Empty Communion on Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:34 am


All elves have the inborn ability to share their experiences, their feelings, and their lives with those elves they love or trust implicitly. This sharing, called communion, can only be undertaken by fully willing elves. It does not work with half-elves, nor does it function when one of those participating has even the slightest reservation. This includes those under the influence of charm-related spells, for they hold qualms deep in their hearts, even if told they do not.

Communion requires all elves involved (to a maximum of four) to be in a state of total relaxation. They must be in a place of peace, preferably where the world is not likely to intrude with its troubles and its cares. A natural surrounding works best for this operation.

Communion requires the participating elves to be totally serene, thinking only of the others in this most intimate bond. (Thus, communion is not an effective method of relaying messages of any urgency.) All the elves must free themselves of judgments and prejudices about the others, which may take some time. Indeed, some communions have been known to take a fortnight or more merely in preparation for the bonding.

When the participants have sufficiently calmed and retreated from the rigors of the world, they lightly touch palm to palm, finger to finger. They open their minds to the others, freely and completely joining together; if even a tiny reservation remains, the bond fails. During communion, the elves explore all the facets of the others' personality—the loves, hatreds, hopes, and fears.

While in this trance, communing elves are totally vulnerable to anything that might happen to them physically, for they cannot defend themselves against any attacks while communing.

Interestingly enough, the very act of communion offers a protection of sorts. Those in communion are defended against being spied upon, either mentally or physically; this defense takes the form of an invisible barrier surrounding the communing elves. It is speculated that the elves are so enrapt with each other that they project a mental shield that keeps discovery to a minimum. Of course, this offers no protection against an attack from someone who knows of the time and whereabouts of a communion.

The benefit of communion is not only that elves learn the most secret facets of others. Because of the sharing, they also become intimately acquainted with others' habits, fighting styles, and ways of thinking. For the day immediately following communion, the bonded elves can fight in perfect harmony, one's weapon following through where another left an opening.

Communion can only be effected once a week. Those who try it more often with the same partners find themselves sharing with essences that are essentially themselves, for those who have participated together have shared enough of their spirits that there is little difference between them. Furthermore, communion tends to be somewhat draining even while it invigorates. Bonding so totally is simply too much of a drain on one's psyche to be attempted lightly and frequently. Communion works best when the participants have something to learn or gain from one another

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