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Race: Mystaran Wood Elf

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Wood Elf Racial Details


The Mystaran Wood Elf Racial Details included herein are Product Identity belonging to Wizards of the Coast.

The details were generated by merging appropriate details about the elven race from the following 3E and 0E resources:

Primary Source Material:

M ystaran forest elves mingle freely with the other races throughout The Known World. They are well known for their poetry, dance, song, lore, and, especially, their magical arts — in Mystara, everyone "knows" that even the lowliest elf is capable of arcane spellcasting. Most elves favor things of natural and simple beauty, although there are some Mystaran societies where elves have come to not only understand but respect and pursue the materialistic and complicated ways of humans, such as those found in Darokin. Whenever danger threatens them and theirs, whether they are in the woodland homes of their traditional lands or the towns and cities of their adopted homes, they quickly reveal a strong martial streak, demonstrating skill with sword, bow and battle strategy.

Personality: Wood Elvesare more often amused than excited, more likely to be curious than greedy. With such long lives, 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. The 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.

Physical Description: The forest elves of Mystara are short and slim, standing roughly 4 2/3 to 5 3/4 feet tall and typically weighing 85 to 150 pounds, with elven men the same height as and only marginally heavier than elven women.

The forest elves of Mystara have delicate features and pointed ears and are generally fair-skinned and fair-haired; they tan lightly and never sunburn.

In general, forest elves prefer simple, comfortable clothes, especially in pastel blues and greens, and they enjoy simple yet elegant jewelry. Elves possess unearthly grace and fine features. Many humans and members of other races find them hauntingly beautiful.

Forest elves live naturally to between 600 and 800 years old. A very few have reached 1000 years old; and more have died of disease or violent deaths before their 600th birthday. They take about 20 years to grow to full size, then have a free-spirited "adolescence" of about 80 years.

Forest 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."

Relations: Dwarves. Forest 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 have so much adaptability, flexibility and ambition 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.

Half-Orcs. When Mystaran elves encounter half-orcs in civilized regions, they regard them with unrelenting suspicion. Half-orcs raised among their orcish relations are reviled and hated as much as their orc parent would be.

Half-Elves. Most Mystaran elves consider half-elves to be a figure of legend. These fabled creatures are thought to have all the benefits of both elf and man, with none of the problems. However, throughout most of the Mystaran continent of Brun, in the area identified as "The Known World", the true half-elf is virtually unknown.

Occasionally, there are elf-human matings as the two races are sufficiently similar to be inter-fertile. However, the product of such unions seem always to end up being either elves or humans — although outward appearances may sometimes fool watchers. As far as can be told, the elven traits are inherited through the female line. The product of a union between human female and male elf is always human. Moreover, the male children are always stillborn. When a female elf mates with a male human, the male children are always elves, the female children always human. Of course, all of these female "human" children have the potential for growing up to bear elf or human children of either sex, depending on the genetic make up of their partner.

Whether the "legendary" true half-elf does, in fact, exist at all, either as rare and possibly portentous local occurrences, or in some far distant, less well known, regions beyond the borders of "The Known World", continues to be hotly debated among sages and scholars who care to spend time concerning themselves with this sort of thing.

Alignment: 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

Elven Lands: Most elves traditionally live in woodland villages containing from 200 to 500 souls. Their well-hidden villages blend into the trees, doing little harm to the forest. By human standards a typical elven town is a sprawling, lightly populated community. While a human settlement may occupy a few acres, its elven counterpart can be a half-mile square.

Elven villagers hunt game, gather food, and grow vegetables, 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.

It is also possible to find a few elven towns which may hold from 500 to 3,000 elves. In addition to being larger than the villages, and much more permanent in nature they have special features, such as government buildings, storehouses, and perhaps the Tree of Life belonging to one of the elven clans and the Tree Keepers necessary to tend it. Towns must usually rely on trade with the surrounding villages to supply it with some of the food it needs.

Major elven homelands (i.e. regions in the Known World of Mystara where elves form the dominant culture) include Alfheim, Wendar, and County Vyalia in Thyatis.

Other traditional elven clanholds found in the Known World include the Callarii and Vyalia clans in Karameikos, the Erewan and Belcadiz clans in Glantri, and the Forster, Wraight and Shuter clans of Guild Verdier in the Minrothad Guilds. These clans maintain the customs of major elven homelands to varying degrees but in all cases they have resisted a complete assimilation into the other cultures that surround them.

Finally, the following regions of the Known World have significant elven minorities: the Republic of Darokin and the Metropolitan areas of Thyatis. The elves of these nations have been mostly assimilated into the dominant cultures of those nations so, while they retain the normal elven interest in all things arcane, they do not necessarily observe any regional restrictions or gain any regional benefits that are associated with elves from traditional elven cultures.

Religion: Most elven religious life among the elves in Alfheim is tied to the worship of the first elven Immortal, Ilsundal. Some elves, especially in the Mealidil clan, extend their worship to Mealiden, who followed Ilsundal's path to Immortality.

Other Immortals favored by elves throughout the Known World include Calitha Starbrow, Eiryndul, and Ordana. Generally, most elves in a single clan or group follow the same Immortal.

Since most elves practice arcane magic rather than divine magic, many elves see no need for any patron Immortal.

Language: All Mystaran elves speak a single common elven language, a fluid language of subtle intonations and intricate grammar. Slight differences in dialect reveal the origin of the speaker but do not interfere with mutual understanding.

While the literature of the forest elves 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.

Names: Most Mystaran elves have a given name and a clan name. In general, elven names tend to follow a euphonious tradition of names similar to the Celtic and Norse naming traditions of our own world. There are some exceptions to this general trend, most notably the elves of the Belcadiz clan, in Glantri, whose names have a distinctive Spanish flavor, and the wood elves of Guild Verdier, in the Minrothad Guilds, whose naming conventions have been influenced by guild and the local language, resulting in clan names which are descriptive of the craft each clan has specialized in. Additional details about the more unusual naming traditions of such clans will be covered in the write-ups for the relevant regions.

Many traditional elves forgo clan names when traveling outside their homeland, either because elves are rare enough where they are that there is no need for identification beyond, for instance, Durfendor the Elf; or there is only one clan present, such as the Callarii of Karameikos, so any elf encountered is likely to be of that clan.

Common Given 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: Alfheim: Chossum, Erendyl, Feadiel, Grunalf, Long Runner, Mealidil, Red Arrow. Glantri: Belcadiz, Erewan. Karameikos: Callarii. Thyatis & Karameikos: Vyalia. Guild Verdier of Minrothad: Forester, Wraight, Shuter

Adventurers: It is during the time of their free-spirited "adolescence" that an elf chooses whether to remain in the forests of her birth, or follow the wandering path of the adventurer. Most elves take up adventuring out of simple wanderlust. Life among humans moves at a pace that elves dislike: regimented from day to day but changing from decade to decade. Elves among humans, therefore, find careers that allow them to wander freely and set their own pace. Elves also enjoy demonstrating their prowess with the sword and bow or gaining greater magical powers, and adventuring allows them to do so. Good elves may also be rebels or crusaders.

Wood Elf Racial Details last updated: March 20, 2002 (version 1.3)

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Wood Elven Racial Traits

Wood elf characters have the following racial traits:

† There are several regions in Mystara that are specifically known to be strongholds of traditional elven society. Where this is the case, it is noted where the relevant regions are described in detail (see the Mystaran Settings section). A DM may define any community of wood elves as a "traditional elven society" simply by having it supply the benefits, and adhere to the restrictions, specified for these two traits.

Wood Elf Racial Traits updated: July 04, 2003 (version 2.0)

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Wood Elven Vital Statistics

Wood elves mature at a faster rate than standard elf race as specified in Chapter 2: Races of the Players Handbook [PHB], and their average height is about 2" taller. Additionally, most wood elves feel the "call of the forest" after adventuring for a century or so and return home from their wandering, although some may continue adventuring for several centuries if they are able to do so.

Add the following information for wood elves to Tables 6-4, 6-5 and 6-6 of the Player's Handbook [PHB]:

Table 6-4: (modifications) Random Starting Ages
                                   Brd      Clr
                          Brb      Ftr      Drd
                          Rog      Pal      Mnk
Race        Adulthood     Sor      Rgr      Wiz
Elf, wood   20 years      +4d6     +6d6     +10d6

Table 6-5: (modifications) Aging Effects
            Middle                                 Maximum
Race        Age          Old          Venerable    Age
Elf, wood   350 years    525 years    700 years    +4d% years

Table 6-6: (modifications) Random Height and Weight
                   Base    Height         Base     Weight
Race               Height  Modifier       Weight   Modifier
Elf, wood, man     4'5"    +2d8           85 lb.   x (1d6) lb.
Elf, wood, woman   4'5"    +2d8           80 lb.   x (1d6) lb.

Wood Elf Vital Statistics updated: July 11, 2003 (version 1.4)

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