Although surface elves are renowned as daring and skillful seafarers above the waves, the greatest legacy of elves and sea lies below the surface of the ocean. The nations of the aquatic elves are as ancient annd powerful as those of their land-dwelling cousins. The children of Deep Sashelas, aquatic elves dwell in the shallower parts of the ocean, usually within a few miles of a coast, for the deeper parts of the sea tend to be not only too cold and lightless for their taste, but also home to their blood enemies, the sahuagin.
Aquatic Elf Racial Traits
- +2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence. This replaces the standard bonuses and penalties most elves recieve. Aquatic elves are as fleet of foot and coordinated as their land-based kin, and while they are more sturdily built that most of the other elven subraces, they have little use for study.
- Aquatic: An aquatic elf is a humanoid with the aquatic and elf subtypes
- An aquatic elf has a swim speed of 40 feet. An Aquatic elf has a +8 racial bonus on any swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action will swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.
- Immunity to magic sleep effects, and a +2 racial saving throw against enchantment spells or effects
- Gills: Aquatic elves can survive out of the water for 1 hour per point of Constitution (After that refer to the suffocation rules).
- Proficient with trident, longspear, and net. This replaces the standard elf proficiency with longsword, rapier, and bow.
- Superior Low-Light Vision (Ex): Aquatic Elves can see four times as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of low illumination. This replaces the high elf's low-light vision.
- +2 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks. An aquatic elf who merely passes within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door is entitled to a search check to notice it as if she were actively looking for it. An elf's senses are so keen that she practically has a sixth sense about hidden portals.
- Automatic Languages: Common and Elven. Bonus Lanugages: Aquan, Draconic, Giant.
- Favored Class: Fighter
Aquatic elves tend to be seen as standoffish creatures hesitant to trust outsiders, and this is true to some extent. Aquatic elves understand the value and importance of community in their survival beneath the waves. They are very suspicious of strangers, especially those who come from the surface world. Nonetheless, they know the value of a strong alliance and, oonce their fears are allayed, make staunch compatriots.
Aquatic elves are very striking in appearance, with skin that ranges between a light blue to a dark green. They usually have black hair and their eyes are oddly colored, ranging from an iridescent blue to gold to a white-silver hue that shines like mother-of-pearl. Their hands and feet are webed and they boast a set of gills that runs along their collarbones and down their ribcages.
Aquatic elves have long memories and they do not trust quickly. However, they have long maintained alliances with the honorable aventi. They are more than happy to allow tribes of merfolk to wander into their territories and even sty for a while, but locthah and other such beings are not permitted within a day's swim of aquatic elf cities.
Like most elves, aquatic elves maintain a love of freedom and personal expression, Considering most laws and governments to simply be methods of control. They favor good and chaotic alignments.
Aquatic Elven Lands
Aquatic elf cities are wonders to behold, crafted as they are of living coral just as many elf cities on land are made from still-living trees. They gleam with mother of pearl and shells scoured bright, and among them swim fish of a thousand colors. The boarders of these cities are guarded by soldiers with tridents, spears, and nets, as are the hunter-gatherer parties sent out to retrieve food among the fish and crefully cultivated fields of food plants nearby.
Aquatic elves are ruled by a loose feudal system with clans of aquatic elves swearing fealty to noble houses who take oath to protect those clans beneath them. All it takes to confer nobility upon a clan is to have another clan swear fealty to it, so most clans have had times in their histories when they were considered nobility.
Aquatic elves revere Deep Sashelas first and foremost. His temples, usually built of solid stone and decorated by everyoone in the community, serve not only as centers of faith but as the heart of aquatic elf communities. Deep Sashelas's clergy serve as the advisors of the aquatic elf people, often acting s counselors, helers, mediators and defendors of their communities.
At some point in an aquatic elf's adult life, she is expected to undertake an endeavor for the local temple where her adulthood celebration was held. Each aquatic elf chooses her own endeavor, one that either relats to that elf's vocation or something that symbolizers her personality.
These endeavores aren't about doing something the temple needs to have done. They are about allowing the elf to express her sense of uniqueness in a way that directly benefits the temple and reaffirms her choices in life.
Aquatic elves speak Elven, though they have borrowed many words and inflections from the Aquan tongue, so that their speech tends to seem oddly accented to others who speak the language.
Each aquatic elf clan has a name that is often translted into Common around non-elves, similar to the surnames of other elves. Personal names re given at birth and maintained throughout the life of the aqauatic elf.
Male Names: Arvastan, Balthonlis, Barishlin, Deranthil, Ervastath, Kerithlan, Perilastanor, Poldanlin.
Female Names: Avashtana, Bihalisha, Deirastane, Firiashe, Iridansa, Tiliashnna, Xiphalia, Yrashiae.
Clan Names: Anterome (Brightwave), Danlianthol (Silverpearl), Garinlastil (Scarletleaf), Gyrashiil (Joybringer), Iandall (Brightwisper), Leriantol (Kinwatcher), Oromae (Silvercoral), Perlantasil (Nightwater)
Aquatic elf adventuerers are often driven by a need to discover more about the other peoples and creatures in the world, for aqautic elf culture is very insular. They find themselves among strange races and cultures that they never dreamed possible. Most look forward to the day they can return to their own people once more to tell the stories they have lived. Some begin a life of adventuring after undertaking an extended quest away from their homes on behalf of a temple of Deep Sashelas as part of their acknowledgement of Adulthood.
Aquatic Elves in Faerun
Regions: Aglarond, Dragon Coast, Impiltur, Sembia, Vilhon Reach, Aqautic Elf
Racial Feats: Breathing Link, Landwalker, Rapid Swimming
Level Adjustment: +1
Rarely encountered by the landbound races, the aquatic elves are a civilized and good-hearted people who inhabit the seas surrounding Faerun. Most aquatic elves hail from underwater cities in the Sea of Fallen Stars or in the Great Sea south of Faerun, but small settlements of this race can be found in the seas along Faerun's western coasts as well.
The aqautic elves are tall, standing 6 feet or more in height. They have long limbs with strong swimming muscles, and their fingers and toes are long with thick webbing. Their most striking features are sets of gills along the collar bone and ribcage. Aquatic elves are nowhere near as thin as their landbound cousins and their hair is usually stringy and thick, cut short for warriors, but otherwise worn long. Great Sea aquatic elves have radiant skin of deep green with irregular thin brown stripes and patches. Aquatic elves from the Sea of Fallen Stars have skinn in many shades of blue with white patches and stripes. Eye colors for both types of aquatic eles come in every shade seen among gold, moon, or wild elves. Their clothing is made of various undersea plants in shades of green, black, and brown, although aautic elves usually go about lightly clad, if dressed at all, while underwater.
Aquatic elves have the life expectancy and age categories defiened for elves, but use the following random height and weight characteristics.
Male 4'10" + 2d10 100 lb x (2d4) lb
Female 4'5" + 2d10 80 lb X (2d4) lb
Aquatic elves first appeared in the Great Sea untold ages ago, the last of the major elven races to migrate frm the elven homeland to Faerun. For many years, these elves lived nomadic lives and spent much of their time exploring the waters of their new world. The quatic elves did not begin to settle down and form permanent communities in the depths until the time of the First Crown War. The knew of the Crown Wars, and often watched the battles from the safety of the water, but kept their interactons with their landbound kin to a minimum. Unfortunately their attempt to avoid becoming entangled in the wars proved futile, and by the time of the Fourth Crown War, many aquatic elves flet to the Sea of Fallen Stars to establish a new nation sheltered from the madness of their kin.
The aquatic elves of the Sea of Fallen Stars have raised several distinct realms of varying size. Major colonies include Naramyr, and Selu'Maraar, in the Dragonmere and Dragon Reach areas respectively. There are also several outposts east of the mouth of the Vilhon Reach and west of the Alamber, known as the Sharksbane Wall. Another colony called Faenasuor lies on the continental slopes ease of Starmantle, and a numbr of small villages can be found among the reefs off the Fang of western Aglarond. in the Trackless Sea, a major sea elf city near Evermeet is called Iumathiashae ("Mother of Oceans"). Many additional colonies also lie off the coast of Tethyr.
Aquatic Elves have fought many wars against the evil races of the sea, especialy the sahuagin, but surface-dwellers know very little of these tales.
Aquatic Elves are viewed by many land-dwelling folk as skittish, distrustful creatures who are afraid to leave the water. While this is not necessarily true, an aquatic elf trusts only his close neighbors and family, even though he shares many strong bonds of history and culture with any land-dwelling elf acquaintance.
The aquatic elves believe that alliance and community mean survival, while factionalism and arrogance mean death. They are standoffish even to other aquatic races, except when it serves the elves to have allies or trade partners. Despite this attitude, the aquatic elves of the Sea of Fallen Stars have recently started to overcme their natural tendancies and have begun to open trade with their neighbors, both aquatic and landbound.
Aquatic Elf Characters
Aquatic elves share the seas with a number of vicious and dangerous races, such as kapoacinths, sahuagin, scrags, and krakens, and often become very capable fighters and rangers. They have little taste for the wizard's studies or the cleric's devotions, but many aquatic elves take up the path of the bard, learning eerily beautiful songs of great power. Sorcerers are more common than wizards among the aquatic elves. Typical multiclass combinations include bard/fighter, bard/sorcerer, and fighter/ranger.
An aquatic elf's favored class is fighter. Wile aquatic elves have few organized armies, individual fighting skills are highly prized. Land bound elves may prefer stealth and archery, but the underwater environment dictates speed and skill in melee instead.
Aquatic Elf Society
Aquatic elves form loose feudal societies. The nobility rules in a reasonable enlightened manner, and all social conventions follow a patriarchal structure for inheritance and the transfers of power. While women wield cnsiderable influence among aquatic elves, particularly as bards and sorcerers, the bulk of the political power devolves on the eldest male child.
Aquatic elves form closely knit communties. While each family or single resident often has a home to call his or her own, private property is rare. Tools, weapons, and other miscellaneous objects trade hands often. An aquatic elf in need of a particular item simply takes one he finds, without fear of repercussion. Theft is relatively unknwon in aquatic elf society as a result; one cannot steal something if everyone cnsiders the object community property. This attitude does not extend to nonaquatic elf visitors, however, and such visitors are often watched to make sure they keep their hands to themselves
Language and Literacy
All auatic elves speak Elven, written with a distinctive style of Espruar characters that shows Aquan influences. Aquatic elves native to the Sea of Fallen Stars also speak Serusan, the trade language of the Marine peoples of the Inner Sea, while aquatic elves from the Great Sea or the Trackless Sea speak Aquan. Both of these languages use the Aquan alphabet. Those aquatic elves who have the inclination to learn various languages of the surface world, notably Common, Chondathan, and Sylvan.
All aquatic elf characters are literate, except for barbarians, warriors, and commoners.
Aquatic Elf Magic and Lore
Of the seven elven subraces, the aquatic elves are the ones who have embraced the art of magic the least. This is not to say that there are no spellcasters among their kind, just that the proportion of spellcasters to nonspellcasters in aquatic elf society is more like that found among dwarves than humans or elves. Nevertheless, the long life span of the aquatic elf allows him to spend much more time perfecting his magical training than a similar human
Spells and Spellcasting
Aquatic elf wizards write scrolls on specially cured sharkskin or on papyruslike sheets of thick, fibrous seeweed. In either case, both are alchemically treated (Craft (alchemy) DC 10, cost 5 gp per scroll) to resist rotting or damage from exposure to water. The inks are much thicker and more viscous than surface inks and do not diffuse upon contact with water
Aquatic Elf Magic Items
Aquatic elves have the same range of magic items used by their surface kin, although they are by necessity often altered in form due to th elves underwater existence. For example, the aquatic elves have developed "potions" that are closer to unguents, pastes, or even magic sea fruits or seaweed. Scrolls are prepared on specially treated sharkskins or sea-reed papyrus. Magic items normally crafted out of metal are made from materials that do not corrode in salt water.
Aquatic elves do not wear much clothing, so magical garments are rare, including armor. Wearing armor tends to hamper an aquatic elf's ability to swim. Aquatic elves rely upon Dexterity and magical means of protection in battle, such as rings of protection and amulets of natural armor.
Iconic Item: Aquatic elves patrolling the barrier reefs around their settlements frequently carry tridents of serenity. As long as such a trident is nearby, their hated foes, the sahuagin, will be unable to enter blood frenzy
Aquatic Elf Deities
Although the aquatic elves acknowledge the Seldarine, their true deity is Deep Sashelas. Almost all aquatic elves venerate the Lord of the Undersea to some extent. Temples dedicated to Deep Sashelas can be found in all aquatic elf cities. These builders are usually built of stone and carved to resemble gargantuan shells; they serve as the spiritual, physical, and social centers of many aquatic elven communities. Some religious aquatic elves wander the seas, floating with the currents, exulting in the natural beauty of the undersea world, and spreading the word of their lord to all they encounter.
Relations with other races
Aquatic elves are caution folk. Although there are many races friendly to the aquatic elves such as the merfolk and the tritons, there are just as many menaces in the deeps. As a result, aquatic elves remain in their cities and interact with others only when forced to. This caution extends to surface communities, but is often tempered with curiosity. Aquatic elves who live close to shore often spend long hours spying on their air-breathing neighbors. They make little distinction between the various land-dwelling subraces of elves.
One race in particular should be mentioned in the context of the aquatic elves: the sahuagin. Aquatic elves possess a fierce, blinding hatred for the sea devils and often wage senseless wars against them. The one sure way to overcome an aquatic elf's natural shyness and wariness is to offer him then chance to attack and possibly kill some of his race's hated enemies.
Aquatic Elf Equipment
Aquatic elves rarely use metal tools due to the inevitable damage most metals suffer to saltwater corrosion. One notable exception is gold. Many aquatic elves have mastered the art of beating gold into beautiful jewelry, because forging metals is all but impossible underwater. For the most part, their tools, weapons, and armor are made from materials they have on hand underwater. For the most part, their tools, weapons, and armor are made from materials they have on hand underwater, such as stone, coral, and shells of various sorts. Shipwrecks are a major source of materials for aquatic elves, although they are careful to honor any who may have died before looting the sunken cargo holds.
Becauseof the difficulty in drinkin potions underwater from normal vials, aquatic elves use potion bladders to hold their potions
Arms and Armor
In an underwater world, bludgeoning and slashing weapons are nowhere near as efficient as piercing weapons. Tridents and spears are therefor the favored weapons of the aquatic elves, and these weapons can be found in amazing varieties and styles throughout the various undersea communities. Bone, narwhal horns, and even coral are used to build these weapons. Although they are more fragile than regular steel weaponry, they are easy to construct. Weighted nets are also a popular weapon for aquatic elves, who have perfected methods of throwing such weapons so that they drift and unfold in the water almost like large octopi or manta rays. Weapons made of interior materials have a -2 attack and damage penalty.
Armor is generally eschewed by aquatic elves for two reasons. First is slows their swimming speed and agility. Second, most metal deteriorates over time underwater. As a result most aquatic elves simply relay on their natural quickness to protect them in combat. Shields crafted from shells are common, and those elves with theresources often resort to magical means of protection, such as rings of protection and amulets of natural armor.
Unique Items: Aquatic elves living in areas that are harassed by sahuagin or other enemies have come up with two ingenious forms of armor that work equally well on land or underwater. These two new forms of armor include sharkskin armor and chitin armor.
Aquatic elf weaponsmiths have also mastered the art of crafting bows that can fire underwater. While they lack the range of a surface elf's longbow, the aquatic longbow provides aquatic elves with a potent ranged weapon for underwater combat.
Animals and Pets
Aquatic elves have a strong affinity for dolphins and porpoises, and they usually live in the same areas as these aquatic mammals. Most aquatic elf communities have several of these creatures as guardians, messengers, and playful companions.
Aquatic elves also have a great and abiding respect for the larger whales, and although the migratory habits of the great sea mammals precludes the possibility of recruiting them as guardians or companions, many aquatic elves build communities long established migration routes so that twice yearly they receive visits from the stately creatures. A young aquatic elf often leaves home for a year just to accompany a pod of migrating whales.
Some aquatic elf communities have been known to train and keep sea lions as guardians as well, especially in dangerous areas. Sharks are universally hated by aquatic elves. Many thin of these creatures as unnatural monsters tainted with perversion by their enemies, the sahuagin.
Aquatic Elf Region
Aquatic elves are isolationists, and as a result most ofthem simply take the Aquatic Elf region, which is detailed below. An aquatic elf occasionally has enough contact with a region bordering his homeland to select a surface realm as his home region.
Preferred Classes: Bard, Fighter, Ranger, Sorcerer. A character of one of these classes may choose a regional feat, and gain his choice of the bonus equipment below as a 1st level character. An aquatic elf character of any other class may not select one of the regional feats here and does not gain the bonus equipment at 1st level.
Automatic Languages: Common, Elven, and Aquan (Great Sea) or Serusan (Inner Sea)
Bonus Languages: Aquan, Chondathan, Draconic, Giant, Serusan, Sylvan
Regional Feats: Blodded, Landwalker, Survivor
Bonus Equipment: (A) trident or longspear, or (B) chitin armor and small wooden shield, or (C) 3 100 gp pearls.