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Race: Elf

Most elves in Karameikos are of the Callarii clan, a merry and hardworking tribe proficient in riverboating, riding, horse-trading, hunting and foresting. The elves are neutral toward humans in general. They become fast friends with those who demonstrate honor and humor, but do not cooperate with the pretentious, dishonorable or rude.

Duke Stefan looks on the Callarii very favorably, and even has a guard unit entirely composed of elves from the clan, and therefore, the Callarii are in turn disposed favorably toward him.

The other clan of elves residing in Karameikos are the Vyalia clan. Most Karameikans have never seen a Vyalia elf, which is because they are far less in number than the Callari and the fact that they very rarely travel outside of their home deep in the Dymrak forest. The Vyalia are very reclusive and wary of outsiders. Like their Vyalia cousins in Thyatis (who are more open and friendly to outsiders than the Karameikan Vyalia), they are highly accomplished woodsmen, even for elves. Not much is known about the mysterious Vyalia clan – for more information, consult your DM.

To play an elf that is not a member of the Callarii or Vyalia clans, go back and choose a different place of origin.


History

Elves have an advantage over other races with shorter lifespans in that they are much closer to their own history and are able to remember history that much of the rest of the world has forgotten.

Long before men had words, the elves grew great in the wondrous land of Evergrun. There, they first learned the way of the forest and they were content.

But, in a far land, the evil empire of Blackmoor grew and when the fat merchant-priests landed on the shores of Evergrun, they were welcomed. They eventually brought their corruption to the elves, many of whom learned to practice the black arts taught by the interlopers.

Over time, the forests of Evergrun turned foul, and the wisest among the elves fled far away, and by this the elven race was saved. Soon, the gods stepped in and brought the horrible catastrophe known as the Rain of Fire down upon Evergrun, which was destroyed.

The elves that were not killed met again in what was then called Grunland. Even then, some still practiced the dark magic they had learned. It was then that Ilsundal, the wisest of the elves, led a group of faithful followers on a long and treacherous journey northward to the wild continent.

The cost of the journey was great, but the elves made a new home for themselves which they called the Sylvan Realm. Shortly thereafter, Ilsundal became an Immortal, and created for his people the Tree of Life. With this artifact at their disposal, the elves helped the forestland to grow great.

But there came a time when the Sylvan Realm could no longer hold all the hunters and magic of the elves. Mealiden Starwatcher, another wise elf, led several clans to seek out a new land. Born from the original Tree of Life, new Trees of Life were given to each of the clans as they set out on another long journey.

The Callarii elves were among the tribes that left the Sylvan Realm. They would eventually settle in the deep forests of what was then Traladara, 1000 years prior to the modern day. The other clans continued on and eventually settled in Alfheim, the main homeland for the elves of Mystara.


The Elven Way

Elves are not merely humans with pointy ears, nor are they mankind's noble woodland pals. They are a race of beings whose existence is totally alien to that of humanity.

To elves, all the world should be forest. Their history describes the terrible tragedies that resulted when they tried their hand at technology, and they want no more of that. Elven society centers on this yearning for stability in the forest.

Elves have an average life span of 800 years, and have a radically different attitude toward the passage of time and accomplishment of tasks than humans. They have a hard time understanding why something needs to be done immediately. Yet, they can industrious and work with intensity on the projects that interest them. They feel that merriment makes chores more pleasing, and would rather spend an entire day making a game of picking just three nuts off each tree than to simply find one tree and methodically strip it of nuts.

Elves are more often amused than excited, more likely to be curious than greedy. With such long lives, they tend to keep a broad perspective on events, remaining aloof and unfazed by petty hapenstance. When pursuing a goal, however, whether an adventurious mission or learning a new skill or art, they can be focused and relentless. They are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. The reply to petty insults with disdain and to serious insults with vengeance.


Elven Race Relations

Dwarves. Elves do not understand the dwarven work ethic or the dwarven need to create only things that last, just as the dwarves cannot comprehend the elven need for the emphermeral pleasures of hunting and playing. In essence, there exists between elf and dwarf a deep misunderstanding resulting from total racial incompatibility.

Gnomes. To elves, gnomes are more reasonable than dwarves. Gnomes like the forest, work with things other than rock and metal, have a lot of imagination, and a sense of humor. Moreover, gnomish inventions never fail to fascinate and amuse the elves... even if they don't always work.

Halflings (Hin). If there is a race that the elves truly like, it is the halflings. The short folk seem to have an elf-like joie-de-vivre, even without having elf-like lives. True, the halflings are entirely too tied up in taming the land rather than living with it, but that is obviously the influence of the humans. If halflings had the proper influence of elves around, they would probably be good foresters. It's a pity about that human influence though.

Humans. Elves are often in awe of humans. That short-lived beings can achieve such skills with magic and weapons amazes the elves. Yet, it is amazement mixed with fear, for the elves still remember tales of Blackmoor, of wrongful technology ... and the punishment of the Rain of Fire, all brought on by humans. It happened once, it will happen again. Humans now like to think of elves as their friends. yet given the choice, [most] elves would choose not to deal with humans. When they do deal with humans, they are often aloof, distant, even insulting, expressing pity in a negative way; attitudes which mask the elven fear and distrust of this prolific, powerful, and unpredictable race.

Orcs. Orcs hate elves, elves hate orcs (though the cosmopolitan elves of Alfheim Town have learned to tolerate what they think of as "their" orcs). Records in the Mealidor Library suggest that the mutal hatred predates even the oral tradition of history. Wherever elves go, it seems that orcs soon follow (or vice versa). Some scholars believe the orc/elf struggle may have cosmic significance. In all likelihood, the truth lies buried under the southern polar ice cap in what was once Evergrun, the elven homeland

Half-Orcs. When Mystaran elves encounter half-orcs in civilized regions, they regard them with unrelenting suspicion. Half-orcs raised among their orcish relations are reviled and hated as much as their orc parent would be.

Half-Elves. These do not exist in Mystara. Occationally, there are elf-human matings. Apparently, the two races are sufficiently similar to be infertile. However, the product of such unions are either elves or men, though their outward appearances sometimes fool watchers.


Naming your character

Elven names tend to sound Celtic or Norse, such as Leadyl, Dylen, Feadiel, Thalaric, Quillan, etc. Some elves have last names that match that of their clan or family name, while others have last names such as Elm-Grower, Oaktree and Wildflower.


To choose a class for your character, go ahead to Step 3...

To pick a different race for your character, move back to Step 2.