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Living In Theria - The Elves

Jason Massey - October 17, 2013

Most of you have no doubt realized by now that certain races act differently in our campaign setting than in traditional D&D settings. They have different backgrounds and origins, too. It’s all in an attempt to keep things feeling fresh. It didn’t start that way of course. When we first started, I read every book I could get my hands on and checked out all the major races and found out something along the way: I didn’t wanna do that at all. Most of the stuff is pretty common and have been the backbone of most major fantasy races for decades now. Dwarves are tough and like to hit things, humans can be generally shady and lust for power, and elves are agile and good with a bow. I wanted to put my own spin on some of this. For instance, in Theria, Gnomes are mostly greedy little grifters and are generally not to be trusted (…just look at Galford). The classes are a little different here and there as well. With the debut of James and his character Daegon, (Episode 28) people can get to see what it’s like to be a psion in our setting. With this in mind lets take a look at the elves of Theria.

ELVES:
The bulk of Theria’s elves are situated in The Evergreen, an immense forest that has been ravaged by years of clear cutting and warforged fighting. Within The Evergreen, they were scattered into several smaller tribes but all answer to a single leader or “High Maiden.” Their leader is always female and is normally one of the elder elves within a tribe. They have a deep connection to nature and above all to “Cal Cas,” The Great Tree. They believe this to be their link to nature itself and the very heart of the forest they call home. Almost any elf would die to defend it. Some have, in fact. T’odisus Silverleaf was one of the brave elves who fell in the grand defense of Cal Cas. While a majority of his homeland lay splintered and burned, he and others like him stood against a mechanical beast the likes of which had never been seen before. Facing almost certain death at the hands of a what appeared to be an unstoppable foe, the elves took up arms along with The White Ravens and a group of noble adventurers. Together they toppled the armored beast and staved off the invasion of their forest for another day.

Brettana Moonshadow is the current High Maiden. Her job is to ensure the health and well being of all that live within The Evergreen. This is not limited to elves. They believe that as long as you do not intend harm, all that dwell within the forest are under the elves’ protection. The High Maiden must keep a steady hand and a level head in all disputes. Emotion rarely has a say in her decision making. Brettana herself is a bit of an anomaly. She has been blessed (some would say cursed) with visions of what would appear to be the future. While she has no control over them, she has been able to tie some of the visions to events within the forest itself: a glimpse of a surprise warforged attack or the image of an outside visitor. Most of the time though, the visions are of people she doesn’t know or places she has never seen. Another elf who has recently started to display the same talent for these visions is Baranith. After fighting alongside her group to escape Onak-Al, she confided in Galford that she saw what she believed to be a peek into the future. Particularly, a vision of Vallus (a tiefling warrior and fellow slave) being the key to victory in a coming war. She took this as a sign that Vallus needed to live in order to fulfill whatever destiny he has and to play a part in Theria’s salvation. While Galford saw this as lunacy or perhaps hallucination, Baranith trusted this vision so much that she betrayed one of her own teammates and stole a resurrection scroll from them, all in an effort to bring back the fallen Vallus.

DROW:
The drow are a mostly subterranean race and live largely underneath Theria in Dowmyrith. Dowmyrith, or “the world beneath” as it’s sometimes called, is home to thousands of drow who are located in several key cities underground. The world they live in is vast and treacherous. Most who seek out one of the drow cities meet their end in any number of grizzly fashions. Firstly, without a constant light source one might fall into one of the infinite precipices trying to navigate the under world. Though if you were to use a light source you would almost certainly attract any number of deadly creatures that make their homes there. Even if you did make your way to one of the drow cities, you would either need a drow among your party to vouch for you are be very convincing and very quick with an explanation as to why you have invaded their home.

Drow are mostly pale skinned (as result of living underground for generations) and thin by nature. They can fully see in the dark and are fairly ruthless even among their own people. As a result they are commonly employed as thieves or assassins. They live hard lives and keep up a never ending fight against the creatures that live side by side with them underneath Theria. The drow are not normally looked upon with favor by the other races. They are viewed as secretive and conniving at best and ruthless killers in the worst cases. Trixy knows all too well how people who live top-side view her. Even though Trixy didn’t grow up in Dowmyrith, and is by all accounts a helpful and valued teammate, she is a trained killer and as such, is looked at as “just another drow”.

ELADRIN:
If the elves are the nature-loving caretakers of Theria, The eladrin are their disproving step-fathers. Eladrin are elitist by nature and kind of power-hungry to boot. They look down on almost all other races to some degree. The only race that they hold any small amount of respect for are the gnomes, strangely enough. Not because of any kinship or that they see them as equals mind you; the eladrin see the gnomes almost like humans see dogs. Eladrin have a thirst for arcane knowledge and a lust to learn all they can about the wielding of spells and rituals. The eladrin capital was the city of Odysia. A gleaming, coastal jewel in lower eastern Theria. This gorgeous city by the sea was adorned with elegant architecture and radiated pure opulence. It was considered by many to be the pinnacle of what civilized living could be.

Eladrin tend to live a bit longer than either standard elves or drow. They don’t really sleep in the traditional sense either. They meditate for at least 3 to 6 hours a day.

Sadly, The Eladrin are all but extinct. Over a century ago the bulk of the eladrin population seemingly disappeared from Theria quite literally overnight. There is not yet an explanation as to what caused this disappearance. Seeing a healthy eladrin now is a blessing from the gods by some people and is seen as sign from the heavens. The few who remain have spent decade after decade wandering Theria in search of answers. Most would think that any eladrin who remained would have softened their resolve and learned to like and perhaps even respect some of the other races of Theria. To the contrary, the opposite has occurred in most eladrin. They see themselves as the “chosen few” and would sooner die than change what had previously made their civilization so great. That also means that they would most likely never mate with anyone but a fellow eladrin, which makes the survival of their race a slim prospect at the moment. Daegon is one of these few remaining eladrin. He also has the bad luck of being a psion, which comes with nightmarish visions and a tortured psyche. Will he ever find his missing kinsman, or will he be doomed to live out the rest of his life in seclusion?