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PC Races - elves
Players must obtain permission from the narrator to create dwarven characters.
"elves are creatures of the Air, concerned with matters that few others can even perceive." -- Foran Silas
Elves are generally thinner, slightly shorter, and more lightly built than a human. They tend toward slender, graceful features. elves have very little body hair, save on their heads, and no facial hair. They display a broad range of skin tones, but most have pale complexions. Their eyes are usually vivid teals and greens, although some bloodlines have amber or gold as well. Their hair retains the colors of the forest - blondes, light browns, light grays, and greens. On average, elves live about one and a half to two times longer than a human.
- Average Height - Male: 5'6" Female: 5'3"
- Build - Light frame with slender limbs. Ears measuring 4" to 5" in length which taper to a point. Long fingers, narrow faces, high cheekbones and slender eyebrows. Close set eyes. Very little body hair except on the head, and no facial hair. Olive to fair skin tones. Clear, resonant voices in the baritone and mezzo-soprano range.
- Age - Youth: 20 Adult: 35 Mature: 115 Old: 150
- Eye Colors - High saturation colors in shades of amber, honey, green, viridian and teal.
- Hair Colors - Blond, light brown, light grey, or green tones. Very glossy hair.
- Spellcasting Class Allowed - Shamans
+1 skill bonus to Mental (blue), Sensing (magenta), and Spirit (purple) spells.
Unable to cast Healing (yellow), Shifting (orange), Shaping (green), or Creating (teal) spells.
- Racial Advantages - Lowlight Vision (5), Sense of Heights (7).
- Racial Disadvantages - Dignity (-2), Limited Magic Paths (-5), Vow: Significant - Strive to be productive (-3).
- Optional Traits - Deep Insight (10), Nictating Membrane (2), Perfect Balance (15), Spirit Sense (5), Silence (5/lvl), Telescopic Vision (5/lvl), Heterchromia: Hair (-2), Mild Phobia: Claustrophobia (-5), Supersensitive (-5/lvl).
- Common Quirks - Concerned with appearance (-1), Curious (-1), Maintains elvish traditions (-1), Mildly xenophobic (-1), Prefers to avoid physical confrontation (-1), Status conscious (-1).
- Homeland - Talandur and Rushara
- Personality - Astute, composed, compromising, discreet, reserved, sentimental, traditional, and unselfish.
- Goals - Elves are an unusual dichotomy of cultural ideals. They are passionate, yet tend to hide their feelings and be introverted. They believe in personal freedom and responsibility, yet strongly uphold elven traditions. They strive to be self-sufficient, contributing to the community instead of relying on it for support.
- Signs of Rank - Flowing clothes, intricate embroidery, escorts. Longer hair is a sign of more prestigious lineage, as lower ranks have fine hair.
- Slavery - Elves do not have slaves or bondsmen. They will allow masters with bondsmen to travel through their lands, provided the bondsmen are well treated, but do not tolerate slavery.
- Religion - Although many elves are agnostic or athiestic, some worship a small pantheon of gods and goddesses.
- Taboos - Elves expect visitors to make an effort to learn the basics of their language and tradition, responding poorly to guests who violate social taboos. They are also careful to be polite guests in other nations.
- Festivals -
- Architecture - A mix of Islamic and Classical Greek styles, with no spires. More decoration of interior space than exterior facades. Complexes with central courtyards and adjacent walled gardens. Round domes with pillars, high pointed arches, reflecting pools, ornamental relief workwork, carved stone trim, light colors, white marble, merging of stone and wood, high windows and air traps, stained glass.
- Clothing Style - Long vests, robes, little or no jewelry. Different outfits for work, home, and social occasions.
- Art - Frescos (murals), fountains, gardens, stained glass, tree shaping.
- Music - Alto range. Wind and reed instruments, harps, and lutes.
- Travel Lodgings - Talanduri elves build permanent, large campsites adjacent to every village. Towns have guest villages with cabins. These are free and open for travelers to use. Only large cities and the capitol have inns. Rusharan elves build gatehouses for foreign visitors, instead of inns. Foreigners are not allowed inside cities between sundown and sunrise without permission.
- Social Drinking - Talanduri elves build taprooms as extensions of restaurants, not separate bars or taverns. Rusharan elves do not have public taverns, only a handful of small, discrete, members-only bars. Citizens only drink in public on holidays.
- Sports - Archery, handball, horse racing, and xare (similar to raquetball).
- Hobbies - Bocce, dancing, darts, kite flying and puzzles.
- Pets - Birds, cats and large felines.
- Weapons - Ranged weapons such as bows and crossbows.
- Burial - Nobles are cremated in a few seconds by magical fire in a massive ornate brazier. The ashes are sealed in a funerary pottery container with a metal token bearing the name of the deceased. The urn is kept in a temple. Commoners are also cremated, but their ashes are scattered in the deep woods on the first day of high winds. Ornate clothing is worn for cremation but no goods are burned with the dead.
- Other Notes - Talanduri elves sometimes spend a season sightseeing, traveling or exploring.
The elves have lived in relative peace along the northern shores of the Amaranth Ocean longer than anyone can remember, save perhaps for the Kindar. This is common knowledge. What is not common knowledge is that they settled the lands once held by the Kethani.
No druidic stone rings are found in Talandur. The runed stones, after which their land is named, were hidden during the first wave of human expansion. Elves also hold a number of powerful magical crystals, although it is not currently known whether these are of Nimorean or more ancient manufacture.
Shortly after barbarians settled the tundra, the elves suffered a civil war based on cultural beliefs and split into two nations. Traditionalists founded Rushara in the northwestern wastelands. Those eager to adapt to changing times remained in Talandur. Unlike the Dwarven kingdoms, however, relations are still relatively warm between these two nations. They trade freely with one another.
When the provinces of the Athanari empire split into independent nations during a bloody civil war, the elves gave their northeastern lands to human refugees. The area was already populated by a number of half-Elven and break-away human settlements. Under the guidance of the Talanduri government, the republic of Tanaris was founded. During the turbulent times that followed the war, Tanaris was considered the safest place for refugees. It was not a former imperial province, and would be defended by the Talanduri military if Athanar attempted to claim it.
Only the eldest, most respected elven shamans know the secret origin of their race. A species of humanoid, sentient creatures known as Fae inhabited the Astaria Forest. They lived in the shadow of the Kethani empire. When the Kethani shaped themselves into more magical beings using ancient relics, they also began to shape their environment. Over time, the Fae were transformed. When the Kethani realized what they had done, they did their best to guide the evolution of the Fae into a race that could survive in lands starved of magic. They also limited the potential of this new race so that it would never be capable of achieving complete mastery of magic. These evolved Fae became the first elves. Fae were creatures stronger in spirit than flesh, so elven magic naturally tends towards shaminism.
Elves excel at shamanism. However, they are unable to cast spells in the orange to teal spectrum. This is the direct result of Kethani tampering in Fae evolution. It was intended to make sure that elves would never become so mystically powerful that they could shape Xina with their will.
Elven shamans commonly employ their art to communicate and interact with the many otherworldly creatures of spirit that dwell within their lands. They are also famed for their ability to talk to animals, and often employ them as scouts and guardians. A common elven trick during times of war is to bind willing animal spirits into the bodies of deceased foes, sending them back into battle against their former compatriots. This unsavory tactic has turned the tide of battle in their favor on numerous occasions. Humans believe that these risen troops are actually undead and that the shaman has control of the fallen soldier's soul. Elves do not discourage this belief, as it makes the corpse troops even more frightening.
Sample Hair Colors
Blond - Butterscotch, dirty, flaxen, golden, honey, sandy, saffron, strawberry.
Brown - Almond, chocolate, dark, hazelnut, mahogany, medium, mocha, wheat.
Green - Emerald, fern, grass, jade, moss, pine.
Grey - Alabaster, ash, arctic, platinum, silver, slate, snow, white.
The Effects of Age
As a Youth, a character is an adolescent who is supposed to be under an adult's care and supervision. As an Adult, he gains full legal rights and responsibilities. At Mature, a character begins to suffer the effects of aging. He must roll HT once per year. On a failed roll, an attribute decreases by 1 point. On a critical failure, 1 point of HT is lost as well. An Old character's HT roll is made at a penalty equal to the number of years above the minimum age for Old (IE: -1 at age 81 for humans). If any attribute is reduced to zero, the character passes away.