Elves & The Green Wood

The Elves of Saas are an immortal and glorious race, born as children of the Goddess herself, whom they know by her chosen name, Alieth Shanha Dewoden (trans. Alieth Queen of the Elves).  Elves have walked the Green Wood (in Elf it is called Verialwode, trans. Elf Home) since the beginning of the Elder Age some 61,000 years ago.  In appearance elves are tall and slender with delicate angular features that are aesthetically pleasing to all creatures that look upon them.  But it is not their physical features which are the cause of the legendary elven beauty; elves have a magical aura as a result of their divine birth which makes them unnaturally attractive in appearance and bewitching in speech.  Despite their lithe frames, elves are massively strong, capable of lifting many times their own body weight with little effort and remarkably hardy, able to survive injuries and traumas that would kill any other creature.

Culturally the elves consider themselves far in advance of every other race.  Elven art, poetry, literature, song and drama are without peer among other races, although the elves seldom share this bounty with Niadwoden (trans. Not Elves).  In craft and skill of arms only the greatest of the dwarf heroes of old are an equal to the elven Shanhadra (trans. Prince/s) who command the armies of the Green Wood, and only the Runemasters of Greathold can compare their creations with weapons and armour forged by the Sorwoden (trans. Fire Elves, meaning smiths).  Of all the accomplishments of the Woden (trans. Elves, singular Elf = Wode) magic is easily the greatest.  Elves display an aptitude for magic that no other races has, or even comes close to; the oldest Cadradriel (trans. Mages/Wizards/Wise-men) are as powerful as the Gods themselves and against the Cadre Cadradriel (trans. Council of Mages, also known informally as the Five Hundred = Ferendel) none can stand in opposition.  Although elves do not have a system or ruler-ship as such, they respect ability and wisdom above all else and any elf will willingly follow a warrior who is strong and brave, and will abide by the decisions of any mage who is wise and just.  For this reason the elves are ruled by the Shah (trans. Lord) they choose to lead them or the Prince whose banner they follow and all elves will abide by the decisions of the Ferendel.

If Elves have any failing it is in their concept of time.  The dwarf king Aran IV, acknowledged as the most glib of all dwarf kings, once remarked, “Beards grow long in the urgency of elves,” which lead to two common dwarf sayings; “let them grow beards,” meaning let them wait; and “an elf’s urgency,” meaning a very long time.  Elves do not number the years as they pass and the Green Wood is without seasons, and most elves who venture into the mortal realms regard the dwarven concepts of seconds, minutes and hours as preposterous abstractions.  As a result of this elves are rarely on-time for anything, and turning up several weeks early or late for an appointment with an elf will not even raise an eyebrow, indeed turning up exactly when expected is viewed as a Niadwoden practice to be viewed with suspicion.  This attitude extends to all areas of elven life, which is only to be expected from a race which does not grow old, has near limitless stamina and can see at night as well as day.

Elves are unique among all the speaking races in that they choose their own names.  While humans have given and family names and dwarves and centaurs have their own naming systems, elves are free to pick whatever name they wish and to be part of whatever family they wish.  There is no set age at which an elf will choose his or her own name, but by about 50 years old most elves will have chosen.  Elven first names always begin with consonants, while elven family names always begin with vowels.  Until an elf picks a first name he or she is known simply as Birienwode (trans. elf child), and until they chose a family they are considered to be part of their mother’s family.  Elven families are quite distinct from families in dwarf or human terms; the elven word for family is gilden from which the dwarf word gild and the human word guild are derivative.  Elves join families which are involved in areas which interest them; each of the many elven armies is a family, the Sorwoden have three families (Eandel, Imdrall and Imdrafor), all seven of the Dol Cadradriel (trans. archmage, meaning level 50+ mage) of the Ferendel have families (Aethlis, Obus, Ondramol, Ibenorsus, Alon, Ulthriel and Elanor) and there are many others relating to specific trades and to more esoteric elements of elf live such as marble sculpture (Aooan) and the growing of citrus fruits (Imtam).  The heads of elven families are known as Shah (both males and females) and they are referred to only by the family name.

Elven society cares for all children equally and the role of parent and child is not considered an important one.  Likewise there are no marriages between elves; individuals are presumed to stay together in relationships for as long as they wish and there are no customs which govern them to the contrary.  On Saas it is not possible for elves to interbreed with other species; Shah Umuarr, one of the most respected of all elven clerics once said, “Woden sanguarrenia” (trans. “Elven blood does not mix”).  In all actions elves use their own wisdom, and there is only one law that governs them – no elf shall kill any creature unless his survival is threatened.  Elves are linked to the Goddess and she is the embodiment of everything that lives, so for an elf to kill any creature is like killing themselves.  This means that elves will eat meat, but only if they haven’t killed the animal, so elven communities tend to subsist on fruits and vegetables.  Taken to extremes it is a unique elven paradox that the more powerful an elf is the fewer things he is allowed to kill, since his life is not really in danger.  One of the Dol Cadradriel for example would be forbidden to kill even the greatest dragon because even such a powerful beast could not hope to harm the mightiest of elf mages.  Of course, elves are permitted to defend their friends and allies if they are in danger, and elven life is also the elven way of life, so elves may kill to avoid imprisonment or other non-lethal attack.

Creating An Elf

All characters on Saas have their abilities determined by a points system rather than dice rolling.  Elves have remarkable attributes in every area and so have 100 points to spend, but their final scores must be within these limits, and the normal racial modifiers do not apply to this system.  Elves may be any class except druid, specialist wizard and paladin.

Attribute: Min / Max

STR: 10 / 20

DEX: 10 / 20

CON: 10 / 20

WIS: 10 / 20

INT: 10 / 20

CHA: 19 / 20

Special Abilities

Elves have the following special abilities.

Immortality: Elves live forever and do not age after their thirtieth year, so an elf who is 50 may look as old as an elf who is 50,000.  This means that elves are also immune to the unnatural effects of aging such as caused by casting a wish or the attacks of certain types of undead.  Elves are immune to normal disease and poison, though magical varieties affect them normally.  As a side effect of this immortality it is impossible to extend elven life beyond its normal span, which means elves cannot be raised or resurrected by any means, including divine intervention.  Once the vital spark of an elf is quenched it cannot be re-lit.  It has proved possible in the past for certain elves, usually those who are very young (under 300) when they die, to be reincarnated into another form.  If this is done the physical characteristics of the new life form are obtained, while the mental characteristics including charisma, class and level of the elf are retained.  Note: reincarnation as an elf is impossible.

Elven Aura: An elf’s charisma has a minimum rating of 19.  This is due to their vital link to nature and cannot be reduced by any means save the direct will of the Goddess.  Even if polymorphed into a non-elf shape the elf maintains their charisma score.  Because of this, elves are always obvious as elves; they cannot disguise themselves as anything else and even when polymorphed into something completely different an elf will always appear to be an elf in an altered state.  There are no visual giveaways to this, the knowledge is intrinsic to the viewer.  Because of this aura, illusions of elves and creatures polymorphed into elves are obvious forgeries, again there are no visual clues, but the knowledge is intrinsic even to those who have never seen an elf.

Magical Vision & Spirit: Elves do not need light to see, they can see equally well in bright light and magical darkness.  They are unaffected by spells which obstruct vision such as a light spell cast upon their eyes, but can be rendered blind by other spells or by normal means such as blindfolding or eye removal.  Elves are immune to all charm effects, all illusion spells (though magic which can still cause damage even when successfully disbelieved damages them normally) and all mind affecting spells including Magic Jar and Trap the Soul.

Powerful Wizards: Elf mages are considered specialists in every school of magic, receiving bonuses to save and learn and inflicting penalties accordingly.  They can cast one bonus spell per spell level from any school and upon obtaining a new spell level, receive bonus spells from every school.

Vital Race: Elves have the vital spark of divinity in them and because of this do not require material components less than 100gp in value to cast spells.


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