The Chronicles of Erdon
Racial Traits: These traits are in addition to high elf traits, except where noted.
- Dark Elves gain +2 Str and +2 Int. This replaces the high elf’s ability modifiers.
- 60ft. Darkvision. This is in addition to the high elf’s low-light vision.
- Immunity to magic sleep effects, and a +2 racial bonus on Will saves against spells and spell-like abilities. This replaces the high elf’s resistance to magic traits.
- Spell-like abilities: Dark Elves can use the following spell-like abilities once per day: Detect Poison, Darkness, Deathwatch. Caster level equals dark elf’s class levels.
- Weapon Proficiency: None (by class).
- Weapon Familiarity: Dark elves treat the hand crossbow as a martial weapon rather than an exotic weapon.
- Automatic Languages: Common, Dark Elven (the dark elves use a different dialect). Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Draconic, Gnome, Goblin, Infernal, Orc. This replaces the high elf’s automatic and bonus languages.
- Light Blindness: While exposed to bright light (e.g. cloudless sunlight, Daylight, or brighter), dark elves are dazzled.
- Favored Class: Wizard [Necromancer] or Fighter. This replaces the high elf’s Favored Class. Wizards may only count their Wizard class as a favored class if they have specialized in the school of Necromancy, and no Dark Elf may count both his Wizard and Fighter classes as his favored class; he must choose one or the other. Most Dark Elves do not multiclass anyway, and if they do it is usually only a few levels to preserve martial adequacy.
- Level Adjustment: +1.
Skin, hair, and eyes are all always dark black. On average they are a bit shorter than High elves, but not as short as Wood or Wild Elves. They favor dark clothing, primarily black, but also purples, blues, reds (e.g. dark blood), and even greens. No one knows if their colors are associated with and sort of status at all, though it is believed that their necromancers prefer red or purple to offset the mainstay black of their robes. Some witnesses however, have reported them to use colors as uncharacteristic as bright white and gold, though never as more than an accent to their otherwise dark attire. When they adorn themselves, they tend to prefer blackened metal or obsidian fixtures with sharp extruding spikes; edges are sharpened as much as possible, and their armor often exhibits natural spikes and blade-like features that are all sharpened to deadly precision. Rumors abound that their hair suddenly turns pale white when they reach a certain age; others say it simply falls out; in reality no one has ever verified any link to their age as far as which ones shave their heads. They are often uglier than the average human, even as ugly as orcs and goblins, but this is more due to their tendency to superficially mutiliate and scar themselves and each other; specialists believe these marks to have ritual or religious significance.
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Despite their perceived drawbacks they exhibit a force of personality just as strong as most sentient creatures; they are overtly racist and egotistical as a whole, and prone to social and cultural megalomania. They don’t consider themselves individually so much as they consider themselves socially, and therefore don’t think they personally are better than everyone else, but that their race and society are better than all other forms, which are necessarily rivals. However, they identify as individuals through and in light of their social superiority; a dark elf will say for example, “we are better than you (and therefore I am better than you).” In fact, they consider even their ‘flaws’ to be proof of superiority, and hold to their dogma with incredible zealotry. Their attitude is always belligerent, combative, and hostile; for them everything is a contest for either survival or power (i.e. existence is a fight between victor and loser), even if that power is just the right to brag about their superiority; their drive for victory comes at all costs, and by any means necessary. They are necessarily pragmatic to the extreme, and the depths of their depravity have yet to be fathomed: in this regard some have likened them to a barded warhorse charging down the side of a bottomless cliff because it can’t fall fast enough (despite the fact that a horse would never do that). In their personal pursuits they show restraint only where they are truly incapable of attaining their desire, and many of their desires are especially base; ambition is prevalent amongst them, but for many it is only directed toward animalistic drives and petty struggles. They tend to be particularly sadistic and masochistic, relishing opportunities to inflict and experience pain, and they delight to learn new ways to kill various creatures.
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Dark elves seem to have a regimented, militaristic organization. They appear to take orders without question from those with greater power than themselves, whether that be a matter of sorcery, cunning, or sheer combat prowess. Socially they have all the trappings of an imperial dictatorship, and advancement is believed to entail the murder of an aspiring dark elf’s captain. Their language uses a similar script to that of the high elves, but their dialect is so different that it is truly a different language, that isn’t naturally understandable even to other elven subraces. Forsaking the grace of their brethren, their culture favors strength and knowledge most highly, but they recognize, exercise, and even usurp power of all kinds. They love the arts of deception and cunning; and are frighteningly proficient as necromancers, though their warriors and assassins can be just as deadly. They are obsessed with death, its process and meaning, usefulness (corruption rather) of the life-force, and other such matters. Their lands are said to be eternally haunted with the tortured souls of the innocent, which they enslave for their own twisted humor. No one knows what (if any) dark deity these foul creatures worship, but the usual lot is assumed (Nerull, Vecna, Erythnul, etc).
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