Aquatic Elf

From AmiaWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Aquatic Elf

Aquatic Elf.png
Picture: “Aquatic Elf.”
Regions Great Sea, Sea of Fallen Stars
Favorite Class Fighter
Racial Modification: Abilities: +2 Dexterity
-2 Intelligence
Racial Modification: Feats -
Racial Modification: Skills -
Racial Modification: Other Immunity: Drown
Level Adjustment +0
Regognized Keywords aquatic

General

The Aquatic Elves are civilized and good-hearted at their core, inhabiting the seas of Faerûn.

They're rather tall, standing at six feet or more in height, their body also being larger than usual. Their limbs are long and trained for swimming, with thick webbing between their fingers and toes. The color of their skin often depends on their home land, with those of the Great Sea having deep green skin with brown hinting, to those of the Sea of Fallen Stars having blue skin with white patches and stripes.

Aquatic elves tent to only trust their close neighbors and family, despite sharing many strong bonds of history and culture with any land-dwelling elf aquaintance.

Aquatic Elves tend toward Chaotic Good. [1]

You have to make a character application in order to play this race.

History

Across the seas of Abeir-Toril live tall Elves, adapted to the world under the sea. They have long, heavily muscled limbs. They have fingers that are connected by webbing. Their leathery skin ranges in color, from a radiant green to a deep blue, with hair that appears akin to seaweed. But, perhaps, their most striking feature are the gills that line their necks, collarbones, and ribcages.

The Aquatic Elves, or Alu'Tel'Quessir, were the last of the major Elven subraces to arrive in Realmspace. On the Plane of Faerie, the Aquatic Elves lived in the great lakes and oceans of the plane, swimming among the multitude of fey water spirits. The exact reason for the Aquatic Elves coming to Realmspace is unknown, lost to the sands of time.

The Alu’Tel’Quessir first appeared on Abeir-Toril in the Great Sea. Instead of building undersea cities, the Aquatic Elves spent years and years simply exploring the new world they lived on, leaving no rock under the sea left unturned. During this time, the Aquatic Elves traveled in a large group, known as the ‘Great School’. It is said that, because of a High Magic Ritual that was cast, all of the Elves in the ‘Great School’ acted and thought with a unified hive mind.

When they first arrived in this Crystal Sphere, the Sea Elves were curious. It was this naivety, their legends say, which cost them something they held dear- their magic. According to Sea Elven legends, shortly after arriving on Abeir-Toril, a dark and mighty wizard- some historians point to Ka’Narlist Ilythiir as the individual in question- let loose a creature that single handedly stole the magic from their cities, and placed it all in a black pearl. Historians, in further attempting to shed light on this myth, have divined that Ka’Narlist Ilythiir did indeed wear a single black pearl around his neck. Whether or not he was the one who stole the magic from the Alu’Tel’Quessir, or this is simply coincidence, is in the eye of the beholder, so to speak.

The Aquatic Elves knew of their air-breathing cousins, but they were hesitant to allow that relationship to become anything other than simple acknowledgement because of the theft of their magical abilities. It wasn't until the Fourth Crown War that, they too, found themselves drawn into the ongoing conflict, and began associating with their cousins once again.

Shortly after Ilythiiri Selu’Taar cast destructive High Magic rituals to call “stones from the sky” and “the earth to boil and the trees to scream”, the Elven kingdoms that existed at the time met multiple times in great conclaves, to decide how to deal with the war-like Ilythiiri. At first, the leaders of the Alu’Tel’Quessir spurned their advanced, but when Deep Sashelas began sending the leaders of the Aquatic Elves dreams in their reverie, they began attending these conclaves.

After the Descent of the Drow, in which the Alu’Tel’Quessir participated in a passive manner, the Aquatic Elves began settling down on the floors of the seas across Abeir-Toril. Over the next thousands of years, they would begin building settlements, outposts, cities and colonies all across the ocean floor. Chief among these would be the Serôs, a joint venture created by most of the benevolent races living under the seas of Abeir-Toril, and Aryselmalyr.

Currently, the Alu’Tel’Quessir maintain amiable relations with most other Elven subraces, and some of the major Elven realms across the continent. Because of this isolation, races that do not regularly come into contact with them often pass Aquatic Elves off as a myth.

Outlook

The Aquatic Elves are aloof as any other Elven subrace, although they still see value in alliance and trade with other N’Tel’Quessir races. The Alu’Tel’Quessir are generally isolated from other Elves, though they still have similarities in culture and history with their land bound kin. Community, in any form, is important, as are alliances, as the seas are a dangerous place. They see the arrogance and divisiveness of the other Elven subraces to be detrimental to their survival, and as such, make their best efforts to not emulate such behavior.

Those who do not fully understand the psychology of a Sea Elf sees this kind of behavior as paranoid, and skittish, as they are never fully trusting of anyone who is not of their kin, or community. However, as, in their history, the Aquatic Elves have been tricked, and taken advantage of time and time again, the Sea Elves have learned their proverbial lesson, and believe they can only trust those they inherently know. All outsiders, no matter how true and genuine they seem, can and usually do have ulterior motives.

Aquatic Elf Society

Aquatic Elf society is structured into a loose feudal system, where the nobility follows a patriarchal inheritance structure. Most political power falls upon the eldest male child of a ruling family. Despite all of this, women still exercise a good degree of influence in Aquatic Elf society, and power is not vastly divided based on sex.

The Sea Elves also form very close-knit communities and relationships with each other. In the eyes of the Alu'Tel'Quessir, community means survival. Every resident or family in an Aquatic Elven community has a dwelling for themselves, or their family. However, society dictates that personal property is nonexistent, and that property belongs to the entire community. When one is in need of an item, they are usually welcome to use whatever tool or object is needed that is in the possession of another. However, this idea of communal property doesn’t include those that are not Aquatic Elves, even if they live in an Alu’Tel’Quessir settlement.

Language and Literacy

All Aquatic Elves speak their own dialect of Elven. This language used by the Alu’Tel’Quessir has some Aquan influences, that are reflected in their speech and writing, although they do indeed use the Espruar alphabet. The Aquatic Elves of the Great Sea, and those that inhabit the Trackless Sea also speak Aquan.

Meanwhile, the Serôsian Aquatic Elves learn Serusan, the language of the Inner Sea. Sea Elves that have contact with the surface world, will many times learn Common, and are also inclined to learn any regional languages and/or dialects used in the local area.

Aquatic Elf Magic and Lore

The Aquatic Elves are the least magically inclined of all the elves. Supposedly, long ago, a Dark Elf of great and terrible power, robbed the sea folk of their magic. While there is little evidence to back up this claim, similar stories are told by the Drow, and, oddly, the Wemic.

This is not to say that they now fear magic, or shy away from it. It is just that magic does not come as naturally to the Alu’Tel’Quessir as it does to other Elven subraces, and their lack of Spellcasting knowledge and traditions causes those with potential to flounder.

Although they have fewer mages, and virtually no Spellcasting traditions, the Sea Elves are just as much a part of the Weave as any of the Tel’Quessir. In fact, because of their lack of magicians, and their lack of magical traditions, the few Aquatic Elves who do learn to harness and work with the power of the Weave become Sorcerers, an oddity among the Tel’Quessir.

Spells and Spellcasting

Aquatic Elves that are spellcasters are forced to use materials that can hold up in watery environments that they inhabit. For their spellbooks, they have developed a special kind of ink that doesn’t run or disperse. Scrolls are made of alternate materials, such as sharkskin or certain varieties of seaweed. They also use alchemical processes to ensure these items do not decay in their natural environment that is so hostile to written works.

Sea Elven spellcasters have also developed their spells in such a way that spell components are more readily available to them. In other words, they have adapted their spells to require material components that are available under the sea.

Because of their obvious connection to water, most Aquatic Elf mages prefer spells that somehow manipulate water. Spells that allow them to breathe air, or that allow others to breathe water, are also commonly used.

Aquatic Elf Magic Items

While the Alu’Tel’Quessir are not fearful of magic, magical items are very uncommon in Aquatic Elf society. The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, there are few Alu’Tel’Quessir magicians to enchant magical items. Secondly, the production of magical items that can be easily adapted for undersea use is somewhat difficult, and expensive, causing underwater magical items to simply be more rare.

The most common magical item employed by Sea Elves is the Trident of Serenity, which was actually first created by an Aquatic Elf. These magical tridents retard the Sahuagin’s natural ability to enter into a blood frenzy.

Aquatic Elf Deities

Like all other Elves, the Alu’Tel’Quessir venerate the Seldarine. However, they venerate Deep Sashelas above all other members, instead of Corellon Larethian. Deep Sashelas is the creator of the Sea Elves, as well as the god of oceans, creation, knowledge, Sea Elven beauty, and water magic- concepts that the sea folk hold dear.

All Aquatic Elf cities have at least one temple dedicated to Deep Sashelas within them, and they are usually used as both a spiritual and social center for the city. Across the ocean floor, religious Alu’Tel’Quessir dot the landscape with small shrines dedicated to the Dolphin Prince that are used as places of reverence and safety, when crossing the open seas.

Relations with Other Races

Aquatic Elves remain somewhat isolated from other races, including fellow Elves. When necessary, they interact with others races, but would rather keep to themselves when possible. The Sea Elves do understand the value of alliances and trade, however.

Their curiosity of land-walking surface races is matched only by their caution and hesitance to deal with these same groups. They even make little distinction between land bound Elves, their cousins. As for other races of the world beneath the waves, they are normally on good terms with Merfolk, Tritons, and other goodly folk living under the sea. But, unfortunately, they have just as many enemies as they have friends. Sahuagin, known as ‘Sea Devils’ are especially hated. Merrow, Aquatic Trolls, are also enemies of the Alu’Tel’Quessir.

Aquatic Elf Equipment

The environment of the Aquatic Elves dictates what kind of equipment is used and what is preferred. Metal tools of any kind are rare, because most are undoubtedly susceptible to corrosion that comes when in contact with saltwater for prolonged periods of time. An exception to this near universal rule is gold, which is used by the Sea Elves to fashion jewelry, and is used with trade, with surface dwellers.

Forging metals beneath the waves is practically impossible. After all, it is nearly impossible to light a flame underwater, even in the magic rich world that we live in. So, any metal that is used by the Sea Elves must be beat into shape by hand. Because of this, they have mastered this technique, and are capable of crafting beautiful jewelry from gold, which is very malleable. Most mundane items are produced using materials that are readily available underwater, such as stone, coral, or shells. Many times, shipwrecks are scavenged to obtain materials.

Aquatic Elves also use potion bladders instead of vials. Drinking potions from vials would be rather difficult beneath the waves, so pastes and unguents are used in place of liquids. Aquatic Elven alchemists have perfected the art of turning liquids, such as magical potions, into pastes, jellies, and unguents.

Arms and Armor

The weapons and armors used by the Aquatic Elves are, as most things, chosen with consideration of their environment in mind. Most weapons that are common on land are relatively useless underwater. For example, what good is a sword under the water, where a simple riposte is slow and ungainly? Because of their environment, Sea Elves use weapons that pierce almost exclusively. Tridents, spears, darts and thrusting daggers are the favored arms of the Alu’Tel’Quessir.

Weighted nets are also used, and the Sea Elves have perfected methods to throw these nets underwater in ways that resemble manta rays or octopi- they drift and unfold while in motion. Aquatic Elven weaponsmiths have also have also developed a unique bow that can fire underwater, unlike ordinary bows. Aquatic longbows lack the range of normal longbows, but as ranged weapons under the sea go, they are second to none.

Without metal, the materials used to make weapons are usually more fragile, but are still easy to use in the construction of these weapons. The Aquatic Elves are known to use bone, narwhal horns, and even coral to build their weapons.

Armor, on the other hand, is rarely used at all. It hinders their mobility, and most metals wouldn’t survive very long being submerged in the water for such excessive amounts of time. Shields, the most common form of armor, are usually made from shells, stone, bone, and coral.

Although they generally discourage the use of armor, there are a few alternatives that some Aquatic Elves utilize. These include sharkskin armor, chitin armor, and Sea Elven Scale Mail. Sharkskin armor is, for all purposes, similar to leather armor. Almost all Aquatic Elves find the thought of wearing sharkskin abhorrent, as sharks are widely hated in mainstream Sea Elf society. Chitin armor is made from the shells of giant crabs, lobsters, and other crustaceans. It still hinders the movement of the extremely agile Aquatic Elves, but not as much as metal armor would.

Sea Elven Scale Mail is mundane scale mail adapted to their environment, although it is more often used in ceremony than for actual protection. It is made of metal that has been treated as not to rust, and is affixed to eel skin. It is expensive to produce, so it is worn almost exclusively by the Sea Elven elite. It is finished with a beautiful silver coating, made of mithral treated to survive long-term submersion. Sea Elven Scale Mail is nearly as valuable as “ordinary” Elven chain mail.

Animals and Pets

Aquatic Elves have a strong affinity for dolphins and porpoises. Most Sea Elven communities utilize the services of several of such creatures. They normally serve as guardians, messengers, and personal companions. Sea lions are sometimes trained to be guardians too, especially in hazardous areas such as those inhabited by Sahuagin.

The Alu’Tel’Quessir also have great respect for whales, although their migratory patterns and sheer size prevent them from becoming permanent companions or guardians. Many Aquatic Elf communities are even situated alongside whale migration routes, as to afford the protection of these massive mammals, and sometimes, young Aquatic Elves even leave home for a year or so, so that they may travel with a pod of whales.

The killing or hunting of any of the above mentioned creatures is absolutely appalling to all Sea Elves, for not only do they believe that no one should ever slay any animal larger than oneself for food, but also that whales and dolphins are sentient and intelligent creatures and are seen as friends to the Alu’Tel’Quessir.

One animal that Aquatic Elves despise, however, are sharks. Sharks are seen as unnatural monsters by many Sea Elves, and it is even said that sharks like the taste of Sea Elves. Whether or not this claim is true, however, is something I do not know. In the minds of Aquatic Elves, considering the Sahuagin affinity for sharks, it is only logical that the fish are tainted by the Sea Devils. The evil god of the Sahuagin, Sekolah, even takes the guise of a shark. One need not be overly wise to draw a connection.

Aquatic Elf Characters

Because magic is nearly unheard of in their society, Aquatic Elves tend toward more martial classes than those of magic. Many become Fighters or Rangers due to the presence of evil aquatic races that they find themselves at odds with. Although the sea elves usually don’t find themselves drawn to the path of the Wizard or the Cleric, they often become Bards. With the properties of sound beneath the waves, song becomes a powerful medium for magic and stories alike. Aquatic Elves are more likely to become sorcerers than wizards.

Favored Class

Fighter is the favored class of the Aquatic Elves. Considering the sheer number of evil denizens of the deep, fighting skills are valued. Sea elf fighters tend to specialize in speed and melee combat over the stealth and archery with which the surface elves are so famed.

Prestige Classes

Some Aquatic Elves choose to become Sashelan Aquarians, to help defend their homes from threats that extend even past the shoreline.

Sources

[1] Varia: Subraces