Alsara: Requiem and Revolution
Up in the brutal mountains of the Vokayagora live the Elves. They are split in two: the powerful among them live in the cities as citizens of The Vokayagora Zemla, awash in wealth and opulence. There are also the Elves still living in the mountains, as their ancestors did throughout The Dragon Age. These days, most of the Elves in the world at large are those found in the Seven Cities of Vokaya, and as such they are what are discussed here.
Elves are a proud people, and their mastery of magic has made them immensely powerful in the world. They are the peak of civilization in our time, producing arts, technology, and wealth at a rate far above anyone else. They can seem—and be—haughty and arrogant to other races, but often enough they have power to back their attitude. Their sheltered existence in the Seven Cities can sometimes leave them unprepared for the brutality of the world at large, however, and sometimes a lonely Elf will find themselves lost and out of sorts when removed from their homes.
Physical Description: Generally taller than humans, elves possess a graceful, slender physique that is accentuated by their long, pointed ears. It is a mistake, however, to consider them weak or feeble, as the thin limbs of an elf can contain surprising power. Their eyes are wide and almond-shaped, and filled with large, vibrantly colored pupils. The coloration of elves as a whole varies wildly, as they have access to greater variety of magical means to modify their appearance, and their culture has grown to adopt such practices. This can cause them to look frightening and outlandish, with hair any color of the rainbow, and eyes that could shimmer deep indigo or brilliant red. Their skin, however, is usually very pale, as they tend to burn before they tan.
Elven dress is as strange as their physical appearance, though it generally comes in two varieties: the city dress and the merchant dress. City folk rarely leave the Seven Cities, and so dress in blithe disregard for their frigid native environment. They will wear brightly colored silks and patterns, the men sometimes wearing only a sash and pants, the women dressed in revealing wraps and dresses. Merchants, however, must travel between the Seven Cities and into the world beyond, and so they must contend with the cold. As such they wear much more practical clothing, like furs and leathers; that said, their wealth is still well-displayed, with beautiful patterns and rare animal skins decorating their armor.
Society: Elves are mostly the people of Vokaya, and follow with the Vokayan beliefs and values. The Vokayan considers itself extremely enlightened compared to their peers: they have abandoned slavery and find the practice distasteful, their nepotism is accidental rather than innate, and the Contests make it possible for nearly any competent citizen to become a lord. This has given Elves a strong belief in personal self worth, as they have a real possibility of advancement and wealth even as a commoner. As a result of this, Elves are often extremely entrepreneurial. They tend to rest success and failure on the individual, not their circumstance, and as a result are more driven to succeed and leave their mark on the world.
Relations: Other races deal with Elves in their own ways, though most agree that Elves are very strange. Their wealth, magic, and unusual physical appearance has surrounded them with a mysterious reputation, though most of the time it collapses down to a reputation for wanton promiscuity. This isn’t wholly inaccurate due to some fundamental differences between Vokayan and Imperial partnering practices, but the differences that do exist become greatly exaggerated.
The Elves themselves view Imperials with fierce distrust, which is returned with elan. As for Aturans, they are much more relaxed, even cordial, seeing the Aturan mercantile nature at least somewhat similar to their own. Elves often find Halflings to be a bit overbearing, and they are unprepared for the sheer grimness of the Halfling character. They regard Orcs with pity, as they usually see a noble savage rather than a person. As for Half-Elves, the range of their reaction cannot be summarized; some Elves hate them, others accept them, others still are confused by them. But universally, Half-Elves are Others, not Us. Dragonkin are revered for their closeness to the Dragons, though sometimes it is a morbid fascination, and almost always ends in disappointment from both sides.
Alignment and Religion: Elves are vigorous and energetic, and their manners can be wild and unpredictable. They also tend to be friendly, if misguided or misinformed, and are usually Chaotic Good. Their faith might be weaker than in other races, but the effect is has on their personality can be quite telling. They revere the Dragons for the Uplift, and so they also put great respect in metals. The gods responsible for Love, Lust, and Family are all different gods, which reflects the Elves’ own opinion on the separation of the three. Sex is not love, and neither are children. Love is something that stands between and above them both. Lastly, they put knowledge and magic above honesty and virtue, and do not much value foolish promises.
Adventurers: In the wake of the Neverwar, many Elves now find themselves homeless in a country at war. Elves might choose the life of an adventurer in order to escape poverty, starvation, or drafting into the military. At the same time, Elves could become adventurers in order to try and support their homeland abroad, or to try and bring enlightenment to some savages somewhere. Whatever their reasons, Elven adventurers are not uncommon.
Trait Bonus: The character gains +2 to Constitution.
You are not a member of the so-called High Mountain Kingdom. You and your family have lived in the mountains since The Dragon Age and you are not about to give up your heritage now. Your magic also come side-by-side with skill at arms, as you, at least, have not lost your touch with war.
Ability Bonus: Weapon Familiarity: Elves are proficient with longbows (including composite longbows), longswords, rapiers, and shortbows (including composite shortbows), and treat any weapon with the word “elven” in its name as a martial weapon. This replaces the Arcane Focus ability.
Languages: The Elf begins play speaking Low Vokayan and Trade. If they have a high Intelligence score they can choose from the following bonus languages: Imperial, Steppelander, Eastlandic, Firetongue, and High Vokayan.
Attributes: +2 to Charisma. -2 to Constitution. Due to their perception by the rest of the world as graceful and brilliant, Elves approach the human ideal of physical beauty. However, generations spent living in comfort and hospitality have left their bodies somewhat frail.
Type: Elves are Humanoid creatures with the elf subtype.
Size: Elves are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Base Speed: Elves have a base speed of 30 feet.
Elven Magic: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance. In addition, elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Spellcraft skill checks made to identify the properties of magic items.
Arcane Focus: Some elven families have such long traditions of producing wizards (and other arcane spellcasters) that they raise their children with the assumption each is destined to be a powerful magic-user, with little need for mundane concerns such as skill with weapons. Elves with this racial trait gain a +2 racial bonus on concentration checks made to cast arcane spells defensively.
Elven Immunities: Elves are immune to magic sleep effects and gain a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells and effects.
Intense Presence: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks.