Elves are the tall, slender, elegant scholars and mystics who spend most of their days learning and enjoying the beauties of nature. This makes them the inverse of dwarves not only in physique but also in culture. They’re usually identified by (both pejoratively as well as descriptively) their long, pointed ears and their tendency to be found surrounded by animals. They pride themselves on being refined, educated and benevolent.
If you’re an elf, you begin with the following stats:
An elven character may hail from any of the following nations:
Barkenholdt is a strange urban metropolis; its living skyscrapers are coaxed over millennia out of massive, domesticated trees which are tended by enormous, domesticated insects that carpet the city. The elves who live here deeply value science, philosophy, art, politics, philanthropy and fashion.
Barkenholdt elves were content to keep to themselves; ignoring the affairs of the outside world for centuries. Life outside of this elven utopia was a quaint curiosity if not a nuisance. Hidden deep in a massive forest, the residents of Barkenholdt were so sheltered from the Fiend War that they hadn’t known of it until it’d been raging for years and they initially thought it was a myth.
While the dignified elves of Barkenholdt abhor violence, that doesn’t mean they celebrate frailty or helplessness. The following skills are considered vital to independence and start at level 2 for elves from the city:
Barkenholdt elves know their past isolationism helped the demons advance as far as they did. They are now always traveling to build relations with the world. Barkies start with this equipment:
Characters from Barkenholdt can choose any of the following professions:
Considered by many to be the most intelligent of people in the world, the academics of Barkenholdt have two interests; philanthropy and science. They are often found traveling the world in pursuit of both and they usually find it. Of course, they also find great peril. That’s just the reality they live in.
Thanks to academics tagging along with travelers, the world has an ever-growing understanding of The Fouled and how to fight them. This makes travelers happy to invite a scholar on any journey.
Barkenholdt elves feel remorse for the fact that they didn’t join the fight against the demons sooner. Many feel personally responsible for the fact that so many died in the war.
To ensure that they never again neglect their duty to the world, they have cast off their past seclusion with gusto and now make it a point to send city representatives to every nation and to build healthy and friendly relationships with all.
They know that they have a lot of work ahead of them. Having been so separate from world affairs in the past, the other nations have very little reason to trust them.
Diplomats are remarkably patient and amiable but they know that amiability is not the same as weakness. They know that the only way to earn the respect of some nations is to show strength and they never pass up a chance to prove their worth.
The people of Barkenholdt eschew superstition and mysticism with all fervor. When others claim to be capable of magic, elves of the city will politely suppress their scoffing at the quaint display of pseudoscience. They know that there is no such thing as magic. This is precisely why they make such fantastic wizards.
“Greenwalker” is the term used in Barkenholdt to describe nomadic elves that live in the forest surrounding their city. The Greenwalkers are a fractured people, remaining isolated in their own tribes or tribal alliances. The only consistencies between them are that they all live in the same forest and they all consider it sacred.
The world doesn’t appreciate the tireless effort they’ve vested in keeping the forest alive during and since the Fiend War. Perhaps partly because the world doesn’t appreciate how vital the forest is for all life in the world.
Survival in the forest is not easy and requires one to learn the following skills in order to no starve or get eaten. If you choose to be from a Greenwalker tribe, your character will begin with them at level 2:
Greenwalkers don’t tend to carry many possessions because weighing one’s self down with belongings interferes with the nomadic lifestyle. Encounters with imps, however, taught them to be well-equipped as they travel. These are items that every Greenwalker character starts with:
There are two common reasons for a Greenwalker to leave the sacred forest and venture into the rest of the world: Because the tribe wants them to or because the tribe doesn’t want them around.
While the latter is far more common, there are a few very large tribes that show interest in the affairs of the outside world and they send brave young souls off to learn what they can bring their new knowledge back to the tribe.
Laws within most Greenwalker tribes are quite arbitrary; usually they are little more than the dictates created by the whims of a tribal leader. It’s common for tribal leadership to banish members capriciously and an elf whose tribe has disowned him is at risk of being hunted for sport by any of the other tribes. Leaving the forest is often the only way to survive.
The large cities of the world are therefore teeming with elves cut off from their homes for political or religious reasons. Some societies are more welcoming to these elves than others and these outcasts have had to learn to be clever and resourceful.
A Ranger is sent by the tribe to learn something about the world outside the forest. They gather information and resources and send it all back to the tribe with the hopes that it can help their kin become more powerful or wealthy. They stand out in normal society, with their odd customs, dress and speech but are valued as bounty hunters and explorers.
It’s become vogue to purport one’s self to be a guardian of all life in the world while riding on trains and shooting Fouled creatures. While it’s hard to find two Greenwalker elves who agree on anything else, the consensus is that it’s cute when those people think they’re protecting anything.
A shaman is afforded more mobility than any other Greenwalker elf. One that has established herself as a legitimate envoy to some fey or forest spirit will typically be honored by any tribe and could leave the forest and return without anybody accusing them of being an industrialist spy.
The humble and industrious Silverveld Compact is a group of elves sharing the curious profession of herding mammoths. Before the Fiend War, they followed their grazing livestock all over the continent, selling their wool and ivory to the nations they passed by.
During the War, their efforts were focused more on keeping their herds alive; only fighting the enemy when a mammoth stampede was the appropriate tool for the job. The enemy has trampled most of the grassland and it hasn’t recovered since – leaving the compact with many starved mammoths and very little space for grazing.
Many herdselves gave up life on the range for more sedentary vocations in Barkenholdt or sometimes even living with one of many Greenwalker tribes. Those few that remain do their best to get along with the countries they pass through to feed their stock.
Characters who were raised on the range start with the following skills at level 2:
Silverveld characters begin with the following equipment:
Characters of the Silverveld Compact can choose from the following professions:
In the past, the Compact would commission Marshals to enforce property rights by inspecting a company’s livestock and ensuring they were properly branded and accounted for. These days, the livestock and the number of companies is so small that the job of the marshal has shifted to that of protecting the herds from predators, The Fouled and human poachers.
Many descendants of herdselves have lost all their livestock but continue to wander the plains as nomads. They may spend time briefly tending to others' herds in exchange for food and company and they are always eager to slay The Fouled. They encounter many different kinds of people and animals in their travels and do their best to get along with everyone they meet.
No company in the Silverveld Compact would consider heading out on the range without a religious authority to serve as company Vicar. The vicar’s job is to help with emergency magical transport if needed and to provide feel-good wisdom that keeps the company members neighborly. Vicars only serve in a company for a few years before going their own way, seeking new ways to improve the world.
Elves of the Greenwalker Tribes will tend to have only one name. The few sedentary tribes that exist will often follow their names with the name of the area they live in and is prefaced with the words “of the…” Such as “Nightbloom of the Pantherglenn.”
City elves from Barkenholdt have a given name, a surname, and usually an honorific or professional title appended or prepended. Etiquette doesn’t demand that these honorifics always be said with the name unless in very formal situations or if you’re trying to flatter the elf — as in “Dame Nightbloom Pantherglenn, Esquire.”
Plains elves of the Silverveld Compact are given one name by their mother and one by their father. Mother-given names are used for familiar speech where father-given names are for formal speech. It’s common to use both-names together as a way of saying “I think we’re close enough friends that we should use mother-given names but don’t want to offend you with such a presumption.”
If you’re having trouble coming up with a name for your elven character, you can roll four times on the following chart. The first roll correlates with the first column of the table and its value determines the row. The first two rolls will combine to make your character’s given name and the second two rolls will form the house name.
For example, if you roll 9, 1, 6, 6 on this chart, the generated name would be: “Nightbloom Pantherglenn.”