The Scattered Isles
Five hundred years ago, the Empire of the Waves exiled a large group of its people to the surface. These exiles had been found guilty of crimes against the sea and surface, the punishment for which is normally death. Unable or unwilling to commit an execution on such a scale, the sentence was reduced to exile for all those in the fold of the nobles and mages who carried out the crime of the Rising Tide. These outcast warriors, sorcerers, and nobles made their home in the far northwestern waters of the Aegis Sea, in their island fortress of Lor’danel.
The ambitions of the surface elves were not quelled by their exile, however, and in time began a campaign to reclaim the glory they believed they deserved. In what has come to be known as the Battle of the Falling Tide, the surface elves were soundly defeated by the combined might of the other nations of the Scattered Isles. Unfortunately for the surface elves, the orcs lacked the reservations of the sea elves, and began a brutal campaign of execution across the battlefields and prison camps of Lor’danel. Saved by the insistence of the humans and gnomes, a small group of surface elves were spared the orcish axe. Most of those that survived were servants and slaves of those that waged the battle against the free races of the Scattered Isles.
Granted a limited amnesty by King Silas Brand of Highstone, many of these surface elves work to undo the chaos wreaked by their former oppressors, and seek out a life for themselves free of the chains, and shame, of the exiles.
Taller and thinner than the average human, surface elves move with grace and agility. Their long, slender ears extend upward, ending in points slightly above the tops of their heads. Their eyes are slightly larger than human eyes, with brightly colored pupils filling the majority of their space. Surface elves have fair skin and hair, darker colors in either are uncommon.
With no home to speak of, the surface elves belong to no singular culture. A few cling to the proud ways of the exiles, believing themselves superior to the other races of the Scattered Isles. Many others cast off the old ways, and embrace surface life and customs. Others still are unsure of how to proceed in a world they were not created for, but has offered them a second chance. Those with magical talent usually study in Mechaven, under the tutelage of the gnomes.
Most surface elves hold either hatred or fear for orcs. The slaughter at Lor’danel was taken up by those of Grom’ka with great abandon. The majority of surface elves hold a deep gratitude toward the humans and gnomes that saw them spared from execution. The gol are a curiosity to the surface elves; their peaceful, friendly ways are embraced by some who wish to leave behind the ways of war and death. The changelings fill the surface elves with a mix of nervousness and hope, their abilities are strange and unnerving, their rise from oppression is a sign that better days may be ahead.
Alignment and Religion
Most surface elves seek a better path in the life and freedom they have been granted. They seek to make the world a better place for themselves and their fellows, as well as their descendants. They often see strict laws and orders as something they have left behind with their new found freedom. Most surface elves tend to be Chaotic Good. Those hat cling to the way of the exiles seek to gain power and influence by any means. Adventuring offers wealth and power, and draws many of these surface elves. Surface elves that hold to the ways of Lor’danel tend are usually Lawful Evil. Surface elves take up many different religions and gods. Those who still follow the ways of exiles usually worship Staal, hoping the vengeful deity will help restore them to glory and power. Those of kinder temperaments tend to follow peaceful deities, such as Kyran or Fion. Those that study magic under the gnomes occasionally take to worshiping Nysander.
Many who survived the slaughter at Lor’danel seek to leave a positive mark on the world, and see adventuring as a means to do so. Taking up just causes, building themselves up from nothing, adventure holds appeal to the surface elves. Most surface elves avoid direct confrontation pursuing the path of the ranger, rogue, or wizard.
Male Names: Variel, Suviont, Aldiel, Tolvis, Selios, Fendral.
Female Names: Arianna, Elilse, Terrande, Olanna, Verethis, Tessara.
+2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, –2 Constitution: Surface elves are nimble, both in body and mind, but their form is frail.
Medium: Surface elves are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Surface elves have a base speed of 30 feet.
Low-Light Vision: Surface elves can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Elven Immunities: Surface elves are immune to magic sleep effects and gain a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells and effects.
Elven Magic: Surface 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.
Hated: Surface elves take a -2 to Diplomacy checks when dealing with any other race.
Keen Senses: Surface elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
Weapon Familiarity: Surface elves are proficient with light crossbows, longspears, rapiers, and spears, and treat any weapon with the word “elven” in its name as a martial weapon.
Languages: Surface elves begin play speaking Common and Elven. Elves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Aquan, Draconic, Gnome, and Goblin.
Discerning Eye [Racial]
You are not easily fooled by illusions and forgeries.
Prerequisites: Surface elf, keen senses racial trait.
Benefit: You receive a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against illusion spells and effects and a +2 bonus on Linguistic checks to detect forgeries. You can use the Linguistic skill to detect forgeries untrained.
Elven Battle Training [Racial, Combat]
You have been specially trained to wield a variety of traditional elven weapons.
Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +1, Surface elf.
Benefit: You have received special training with traditional elven weapons (light crossbows, longspears, rapiers, and spears, and any weapon with the word “elven” in its name). You receive a +2 bonus to your CMD against disarm and sunder maneuvers directed at one of these weapons you are wielding. In addition, if you are wielding one of these melee weapons, you may make an additional attack of opportunity each round (this bonus stacks with Combat Reflexes).
Exile’s Path [Racial]
Shunned by other races, you are resistant to efforts to pry inside of your mind.
Prerequisite: Surface elf.
Benefit: Once per day, when you fail a Will save against an enchantment spell or effect, you may reroll that saving throw, but must take the reroll result even if it’s worse.
High Socialite [Racial]
You are adroit at avoiding social gaffes.
Prerequisites: Surface elf, Cha 13.
Benefit: You may reroll Diplomacy checks. You must take the result of the reroll, even if it’s worse than the original roll.