Mythandar: Elves

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High Elf The Elves of Mythandar are much like those depicted in popular fantasy - fair, noble, magical, somewhat alien and very long-lived. According to legend (and their own traditions), the elves are the first born of the mortal races, given souls by the primal earth-goddess and endowed with Power. Thus they are known as the Elder Race. Once they dominated the lands north of the Inner Sea, from the west coast south of the Winterborne River to the ancient forestlands along the Varya (Easting) River. All of Elderwood, the Eastmark and Wildewood were the elven realms of Noldoran, Ealdas and Talquenos. As mankind spread north and westward and encroached on their ancestral lands, elven territory and numbers diminished. Now, they rule only the forested realm of Everwilde where non-elves are forbidden to enter except by leave of the lords of elven kind. There is an informal alliance between the Elves and the human kingdom of Anglamar established long ago by Thelron the Great.

Ethnically, all elves are of the same type - medium in height, slim and graceful, with greater speed and coordination than humans. They have the classic features: pale skin, narrow, handsome faces, almond-shaped eyes, pointed ears. They live far longer than men, 500 years or longer among the oldest High Elves, and are much more resistant to infirmity and disease. There are two bloodlines in the West. High Elves, the "nobility" of elven-kind, are among the tallest, with golden hair and gold or green eyes. Moon Elves (or Gray Elves) have black hair and eyes of palest blue or gray. The two groups intermingle with the characteristics of one or the other parent breeding true in their children.

Elves possess unique and extraordinary abilities - keen intellect, superhuman physical agility and senses, and natural magical talents. Though not immortal (nor immune to physical injury), they live for centuries, gaining experience and Power as they age. Elves are also Lawful in nature. They are basically good, adhering to the ideals of personal freedom, fairness and generosity. However, they have learned to be cautious when dealing with other races in general and humans in particular.


  • Superhuman Agility. Elves are fast and graceful, dexterous with their hands (making them amazing archers and light-arms fighters), and precise in their crafts. The typical adult elf is about three times as fast as a human.
  • Superior senses of sight and hearing. Elven distance vision is some 10 times better than that of humans and they are able to see in near total darkness as though in the light of day (light amplification). Their hearing is extremely acute, allowing them to detect sounds unnoticeable to humans and at greater distance.
  • Mindspeak (telepathy) allows elves to communicate silently among themselves and with those humans who are able to "hear" them. The range of mindspeak is limited by an elf's Power level.
  • Magical abilities. Though they do not practice the magic arts as humans do, all elves are able to Sense Power and resist magical attack or influence (as a mage of equivalent Power Level). These abilities do not require formal training, but are natural talents which increase as the elf matures and gains experience.*

    * Typically, an elven child will possess Weak Power, increasing to Typical at maturity and Superior in middle age (300 years or more). The eldest elves possess Power at Fantastic level or higher.

  • Travel. The elves know the world far better than men do and are able to use their innate magical abilities to locate and use magical PATHS which link certain locations. These operate much like intra-planar portals, providing instantaneous travel without the restrictions of teleportation which mages use.

    Gray Elf
    ELDER RACE is the ancient name of the elves, as recorded in the histories of the Inner Sea Lands. According to their own traditions, elves were the first sentient mortals to inhabit Mythandar (the dwarves dispute this claim), given life by the primal Goddess herself. The name is now used as a term of formal respect.

    THE PEOPLE is the common translation of the elvish name for themselves - talas (singular talasa). Non-elves are collectively called n'talar, literally "not the people."

    HIGH LADY is the acknowledged queen of elven-kind and among the eldest and most powerful of High Elves. For the last 300 years, Aravel of Everwilde has been High Lady of the Elves in the West.

    HIGH ELVES are the highest caste of elven society, based solely on heredity and appearance. Also called Gold Elves, they are tall and handsome, with gold-blond hair (turning snowy white with age) and eyes of amber or green. High Elves are the nobility of elven kind and accorded the greatest respect among the People.

    GRAY ELVES (or Moon Elves) are distinguished by glossy black hair, gray, blue or violet eyes, and extremely pale skin. The most numerous of elves (outnumbering High Elves 10 to 1), they are the most likely to deal with outsiders. Adventurous Gray Elves even live or journey among humans for extended periods of time.

    HALF-ELVES, the offspring of elven and human parents, are rare. As half-breeds, they are most often discriminated against or outcast from human society. Half-bloods fortunate enough to be raised by elves are treated more kindly, though mistrusted for their human flaws. Half-elves exhibit the mixed traits of both parents. As genetic hybrids, they are incapable of producing children (there are no 1/4 elves or humans with a trace of elvish blood). They are smaller and more agile than the typical human and possess all of the elven abilities to a lesser degree (see above - Power level is limited to Typical without formal magical training). Due to their heritage, human-raised half-elves often tend toward study of the magic arts, which makes them susceptible to corruption as are all elves (see Dark Elf, below).

    WILD ELF or WOOD ELF is a term used by humans to refer to the forest-dwelling elves first encountered centuries ago when men migrated westward into Anglamar. The concept of the elf living like an animal in the wilderness is a myth and prejudice common among city-dwelling humans.

    DARK ELF is a term incorrectly used by some as a name for the drow. In proper usage, a dark elf (elvish il'nara) is one who has been corrupted by Power and become evil. Due to their natural magical abilities, elves are susceptible to the appeal of magic. Once seduced, such individuals abandon elven ethics and grow in Power beyond that of human mages. These rogue elves are ostracized from elven society and, depending on the extent of their corruption, often hunted down and destroyed by other elves.

    DROW are the third branch of elven kind, subterranean dwellers separated long ago from their surface-dwelling kin. Seduced and corrupted by evil powers, they have become dark in mind, body and soul. The Lost Ones (elvish il'loth) practice sorcery and worship the dark goddess Llis of the Blood-red Moon. drow have all of the abilities and talents of surface elves, but are blind weakened in the light of the sun. They are wholly evil in nature, and there is unrelenting hatred between the elves of light and darkness.

    AVARE' is the common elvish greeting, meaning literally "I greet you." E'NAVAR is less cordial, meaning something like "I acknowledge your presence." Among the Elder Race, "unwelcomeness" goes unstated.

    ATHANAS (ATH-a-nas) is the much vaunted elven elixir that cures illness, speeds healing, and restores the mind and body from the effects of fatigue. Distilled from a mixture of herbs and magical ingredients, athanas is literally worth its weight in gold (Player Characters must get athanas from an elf in character).

    ELVEN BOW is a short recurved bow made of laminated fibers and wood, perfectly balanced and elaborately carved and crafted. It is the mainstay of elven fighters and elven archers are renowned for their deadly accuracy. Elven bows are rarely found in the possession of non-elves and only if they have been stolen or gifted to those considered aelfwise (friends of the Elven People).

    ELVEN CLOAK The cloak of elven-kind, mentioned in legends and fairy tales, is an item of great rarity and value. Woven from the finest threads of white, green, gray or midnight blue, it provides excellent protection from rain and cold. The most valuable trait is the ability to make the wearer virtually invisible by blending in with the surrounding terrain or environment. Cloaks are not sold openly, but are sometimes gifted to the aelfwise.

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