The Scarred Lands
Deep beneath the peaks of the Kelder Mountain range dwells a malignant race of elves who are known only for their hate and treachery. No one knows why these elves choose to live beneath the earth, not even the Dwarves who constantly do battle with them. What is known is that the dark elves are malicious and cruel, hating everything about their neighbors and their surface brethren. They use massive tunnel networks, centered on a massive underground city dubbed Dier Drendal, to strike at travelers and settlements in and around the Kelders, sowing fear in all who encounter them. The reasons for their powerful hatred are unknown, and in truth, is something about which the Vigils of Vesh are not particularly concerned; what does concern them is what might happen should the Dark Elves ally themselves with any of Ghelspad’s more aggressive peoples, such as the Charduni, or the humans of Calastia or Dunahnae.
Living in an almost entirely matriarchical society, they serve their God-King with feverish devotion, working tirelessly to find the means to return his essence to his home plane. Due to a peculiarity in the dark elf genetic makeup, four in every five children born are male, making females a much sought-after commodity. Thus, Dark Elven society is female dominated, with males serving as foot-soldiers, workers, and breeders, caring for the young after they are born. The sole exception to this pattern of female domination lies in the arcane arts. The females of the Dark Elven race have proven unable to wield the Arcane Energies of Mesos, and thus there is a small, male-only Mageocracy within their society who hold equal status with the Clergy and sit on the ruling council.
Aside from raids for supplies, arcane components, and a general desire to spread terror, the Dark Elven nation has little to no connection with the outside world. The whole of their existence is bent on restoring their diminished Patron to his former status, and they are prepared to run, rough-shod, over any who might oppose this goal. Dark Elves are rarely away from home, but those who do travel are either at the command of their leaders, on some task pertaining to the restoration of their deity, or are exiles, cast out into the harsh light of the Overworld for some transgression. In either case, the Dark Elves are dangerous to cross, and are never lenient to those who would.
Names: In general, a Dark elf is identified by a name, and by the name of the matriarch of his or her family. This is far more important for men than for women, as a man’s status and treatment away from his household is directly proportional to his visible rank, and the status of his house. Females are generally marked by a descriptive byname indicating profession, skill, or reputation.
Male Names: Heinrich, Wilhelm, Hartmann, Didrich, Friderich, Gerhard, Sifrid, Johan, Ludewic, Theoderic
Female Names: Gertrud, Elisabeth, Aleid, Christina, Hedwig, Heidi, Agnes, Berta, Judda, Sophia
Sample Name: Heinrich of Agnes Dwarf-Slayer, or Gertrud the Seamstress of Agnes Dwarf-Slayer
Cultural Derivative: Germanic
- +2 Dex, -2 Con, +2 Int, +2 Cha
- Dark Elf base speed is 30 feet
- Immunity to sleep spells and effects. Dark Elves simply do not sleep, and cannot be forced to do so.
- Darkvision out to 120 feet.
- +2 Racial Bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks. Elven senses are finely honed. A Dark Elf who merely passes within 5 feet of a secret door is entitled to a search check to notice it as if she as actively searching for the door.
- +2 Racial Bonus on Will saves against spells and spell-like effects.
- Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day – blur, mirror image. These abilities are as the spells cast by a sorcerer of the Dark Elf’s Character level.
- Automatic Languages: Ledan and Elven (Dark)
- Favoured Class: Rogue or Wizard
- Level Adjustment: +1