Elf

The long-lived elves are children of the natural world, similar in many superficial ways to fey creatures, yet different as well. Elves value their privacy and traditions, and while they are often slow to make friends, at both the personal and national levels, once an outsider is accepted as a comrade, such alliances can last for generations. Elves have a curious attachment to their surroundings, perhaps as a result of their incredibly long lifespans or some deeper, more mystical reason. Elves who dwell in a region for long find themselves physically adapting to match their surroundings, most noticeably taking on coloration reflecting the local environment. Those elves that spend their lives among the short-lived races, on the other hand, often develop a skewed perception of mortality and become morose, the result of watching wave after wave of companions age and die before their eyes.

Physical Description

Although generally taller than humans, elves possess a graceful, fragile physique that is accentuated by their long, pointed ears. Their eyes are wide and almond-shaped, and filled with large, vibrantly colored pupils. While elven clothing often plays off the beauty of the natural world, those elves that live in cities tend to bedeck themselves in the latest fashion.

Subraces
Elves call themselves Tel-Quessir which means "The People" in the elven language. Various subraces of elves exist, most only differ in appearance, though there are exceptions.

  • Moon Elves (Teu-Tel'Quessir): The moon elves are the most common of all the elves and are also known as silver elves. They typically have fair skin and hair that runs in hues from silver-white to black or blue. While human style hair colors are rare, eye color can be remarkably similar, with colors ranging from blue to green. The majority of the half-elves come from parings between humans and moon elves.
  • Star Elves: Also known as Mithril Elves, this subrace comes from an extraplanar realm only known to few. Star elves look a lot like moon elves, with light skin and hair of gold, red, or silver. They have violet or gray eyes with occasional gold flecks in them. They like to wear elaborate tunics but in neutral tones, so as to better remain unseen in the forest. They are strikingly handsome by human standards, even more so than other elves.
  • Sun Elves (Ar-Tel'Quessir): Sun elves rarely leave their homelands and because of this, they are less common across the rest of Planes. With bronze colored skin; gold, black, or green eyes; and gold, blond, black, or (rarely) red hair, they are also called gold elves. Sun elves are less physically fit, but more intellectually advanced, than their counterparts.
  • Wood Elves (Or-Tel'Quessir): Wood elves are a reclusive subrace, preferring to live in isolated material plane forests. They are also known as Copper Elves or Sylvan Elves and place more emphasis on strength than learning. Wood elves are considered by other elven subraces (particularly the austere sun elves) to be boisterous and hedonistic. They have a zest for life and pleasure. They slowly formed for centuries from some of the other elven subraces and see their realms as the natural successors to past nations.
  • Wild Elves (Sy-Tel'Quessir): The most reclusive of all the elves, the wild elves pride themselves on their isolation and skill at keeping hidden. Their skin tends to be brown and they have similar colored hair which lightens with age. They are also called Green Elves.
Base Age Age Mod Middle Age Old Venerable
110 +6d6 175 263 350
Gender Base Height Height Mod Base Weight Weight Mod
Male 5'8 +2d6 100 *1d6
Female 5'5 +2d6 90 *1d6

Personality

Elves are more often amused than excited, and more likely to be curious than greedy. With such a long life span, they tend to keep a broad perspective on events, remaining aloof and unfazed by petty happenstance. When pursuing a goal, however, whether an adventurous mission or learning a new skill or art, they can be focused and relentless. They are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. They reply to petty insults with disdain and to serious insults with vengeance.

Society

Many elves feel a bond with nature and strive to live in harmony with the natural world. Most, however, find manipulating earth and stone to be distasteful, and prefer instead to indulge in the finer arts, with their inborn patience making them particularly suited to wizardry.
Most elves live in woodland clans numbering less than two hundred souls. Their well-hidden villages blend into the trees, doing little harm to the forest. They hunt game, gather food, and grow vegetables, and their skill and magic allowing them to support themselves amply without the need for clearing and plowing land. Their contact with outsiders is usually limited, though some few elves make a good living trading finely worked elven clothes and crafts for the metals that elves have no interest in mining.
Elves encountered in human lands are commonly wandering minstrels, favored artists, or sages. Human nobles compete for the services of elf instructors, who teach swordplay to their children.

Relations

Elves are prone to dismissing other races, writing them off as rash and impulsive, yet they are excellent judges of character. An elf might not want a dwarf neighbor, but would be the first to acknowledge that dwarf's skill at smithing. They regard gnomes as strange (and sometimes dangerous) curiosities, and halflings with a measure of pity, for these small folk seem to the elves to be adrift, without a traditional home. Elves are fascinated with humans, as evidenced by the number of half-elves in the world, even if they usually disown such offspring. They regard half-orcs with distrust and suspicion.

Alignment

Since elves love 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

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 repertoires. 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 dryads and pixies, for Aquan, the language of water-based creatures, and for Undercommon, the language of the 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, Caladrel, Heldalel, Lanliss, Meirdrarel, Seldlon, Talathel, Variel, Zordlon.
  • Female Names: Anastrianna, Antinua, Drusilia, Felosial, Ielenia, Lia, Mialee, Qillathe, Silaqui, Vadania, Valanthe, Xanaphia, Amrunelara, Dardlara, Faunra, Jathal, Merisiel, Oparal, Soumral, Tessara, Yalandlara.
  • 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

Many elves embark on adventures out of a desire to explore the world, leaving their secluded forest realms to reclaim forgotten elven magic or search out lost kingdoms established millennia ago by their forefathers. For those raised among humans, the ephemeral and unfettered life of an adventurer holds natural appeal. Elves generally eschew melee because of their frailty, preferring instead to pursue classes such as wizards and rangers.

Notable Elves

AdeleElf Psion 6

head.jpgAdele01.jpg

AmethystElf Psychic-Warrior 4

head.jpgAmethyst01.jpg

BaellasElf Ranger 5

head.jpgBaellas01.jpg

SilwenElf Bard 5

head.jpgSilwen01.jpg

VikusElf Oracle 1

head.jpgVikus01.jpg

Racial Traits

  • +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, –2 Constitution: Elves are nimble, both in body and mind, but their form is frail.
  • Medium: Elves are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Elves have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Low-Light Vision: Elves can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
  • Elven Immunities: Elves are immune to magic sleep effects and get a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells and effects.
  • Sleep: Elves do not sleep, as members of the other common races do. Instead, an elf meditates in a deep trance for 4 hours a day. An elf resting in this fashion gains the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep. While meditating, an elf dreams, though these dreams are actually mental exercises that have become reflexive through years of practice. The Common word for an elf’s meditation is “trance,” as in “four hours of trance.”
  • Elven Magic: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance. In addition, elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Spellcraft skill checks made to identify the properties of magic items.
  • Keen Senses: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception skill checks.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Elves are proficient with longbows (including composite longbows), longswords, rapiers, and shortbows (including composite shortbows), and treat any weapon with the word “elven” in its name as a martial weapon.
  • Languages: Elves begin play speaking Common and Elven. Elves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Celestial, Draconic, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, and Sylvan.
Most content is Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc..