Vol. 90: Elves
At a Glance: The Elves are truly one of the ancient races. Together with the Trementians and the Swaft they make up the 3 oldest races in the entire multiverse. Their mastery over arcane energies can by challenged by few. They live lives of magic and wonder.
Special Note: The beginning of any race is hard to pinpoint. But some races are definitely older than others. The 3 most ancient races are the Elves, Swaft, and Trementians. The Elves are said to have been born of pure arcane energy, or magic. The Trementians from pure elemental force, and the Swaft from the very void, which over time became the element of air, the first element. (There are some who say the Xerxes represent the fourth ancient race, being born of Chaos…) The next truly old races came after, being the Merfolk, born of water, the Sliders, born of the earth, and the Humans, born of fire. Of all these the Humans progressed by the far the most slowly, but like fire, humans also grew with the most intensity.
Please also note these are just legends. The veracity of which is dubious. However, most legends do have an aspect of truth…
Appearance & Lifestyle: Elves are humanoid beings. The look like humans but with pointy ears being their most predominate feature. Most elves are beautiful, lithe and intelligent. (+1 to charisma/physical beauty and a choice of either +1 to dexterity or +1 to intelligence.) The tend to move and act gracefully. They often have sharp facial features but like humans can come in any shape and color.
Even in modern times they tend to dress only in natural fabrics. Their clothing is usually elegant and intricate. They are fond of jewelry of all kinds but not to the point of excess. They are fantastically long lived, being only matched by the Trementians in longevity. As such they never seem to be in a hurry. Even in crisis they tend to “take time” to evaluate all of their options before making a choice.
Elves are naturally helpful, and in fact see it as a kind of duty to assist any race they come across. The humans have been helped by the elves probably more than any other race. The problem is that elves can be quite prideful at times, talking down to those they are helping and seeing other races as “less than.” This has improved over the years but “Having an elven attitude” is an adage used by many races to describe someone who thinks they are better than everyone else. Still elves are staunch defenders of peace and freedom and will fight to the death to protect those they find suffering injustice.
Elves are also intrepid explorers being the very first race to explore the multiverse. They love to experience new things, new environments, and new cultures. They live in tune with nature and are welcomed by even sensitive races like the Dryads and Fairies and are the only race known to easily speak to Unicorns.
Powers & Abilities: The elves live lives deeply saturated with magic. It is almost like an additional sense to them. Indeed, elves can easily detect magic (20’ + 2’ per level, no mana cost and always on) and can weave its energies to effect nearly every aspect of reality. (ALL Elves regardless of class know and can use the Cantrip spell)
As mentioned, elves are natural magic users and receive bonuses to any magic class they choose. Elves start at level 1 with 2 bonus spells in their arsenal and can learn an additional spell every 3 levels in addition to whatever spell knowledge would normally come with their class. However, elves CANNOT learn Psionics. At least not without giving up magic forever. Once an elf goes down the path to learning Psionics they will lose all ability to weave arcane energies. The majority of psionic using elves are the Destiny Elves (See previous Destiny Elf write up for details)
Elves also make incredible warriors. Especially archers. Elves are plus +1 to hit and damage with all bowed weapons. They also make fantastic rangers, having the dexterity to wield two weapons easily and a natural affinity with nature.
Elves have natural night vision, but it is much weaker than in most other races that have this ability. In general, an elf can only see about 40 feet in the dark and really need at least some small amount of light to do this. The light from a moon and some stars is usually enough. In the pitch black of say, a cave, this ability is greatly diminished, but with even the light from a candle it can be brought back to full strength.
Lastly elves are also quite resistant to magical attacks in all forms. They receive +1 to all saving throws involving magic used against them. They are -1 to saving throws vs psionics.
History: To tell the history of the elves is a daunting task. How does one speak about a race that has existed since before time was measured? Their history can best be described as a history of service. The elves more than any other race have helped other races. They have been teachers of magic, allies in war, they have taught healing arts, science, mathematics, engineering and so much more.
The elves have never enslaved any other race. They have fought to free races across the multiverse. The truth is elves are almost too perfect. At least socially. If it wasn’t for their very prolonged “wait and see” attitude, and their tendency to be prideful, they might be considered perfect. This is not to say they don’t get angry. Frustrated may be a better way to put it. Of all the races the elves have always felt most connected to the humans, and as such have had ample opportunity to be frustrated. But even when humans have risen up against them in war, they have been patient, dealing with humans as a parent would a petulant child.
There have of course been major events in their history. They were the first race to begin exploring the multiverse. (The Xerxes may have been right behind them but its hard to tell.) They created many of the various schools of magic that are used by mages today. They had a schism between with own kind with the emergence of the Destiny Elves, who gave up magic for the pursuit of psionics. This period was perhaps the most turbulent part of their past but as it was covered in our writing about the Destiny Elves it doesn’t need to be rewritten here. (See the Destiny Elf write up for the awesome story!)
As we move into the present, we see the elves continuing to be an anchor for the multiverse. They are exceptional counselors and diplomats and continue to teach others and bring what peace they can to all they encounter.
It is safe to say without the elves we would be in a VERY different place in the multiverse. It could be argued it would be a much more violent and tragic reality. In many ways the elves are the glue holding all universes together. It is hard not to be thankful for this race of mighty teachers, warriors, and friends.
About the Illustration: Today we have a Centaur and his robotic assistant working on a technological marvel!