Posts Tagged With: Tudarin

Half-Elves, the Tudarin

“We are the children of joy and sorrow, sometimes born out of love, more often born of illicit desire and as mistakes.  We have the passion of our elven heritage matched to the determination of our human blood, and we have numbered some of the greatest heros, and villans, of the Heartlands, amongst us. But even at the best of times and with the best of us, elves look down upon us for what they see as human weakness and humans fear and distrust us because of our elven otherworldliness. That is, at least, when our exotic nature doesn’t inspire a prurient interest that both races can barely forgive themselves for. Is it surprising that we finally created kingdoms of our own in the wake of the Mad God’s War? We stand with the legacy of the Thrice-Blessed and the Thrice-Cursed ever at our shoulder, and there are those who would slay us out of hand as perversions of nature merely because we had the misfortune to be born and live our lives unbound and unafraid.” – High Princess Aliannatulian of Silverveil

 

The Half-Elves, also known as the Tudarin or the “People of Two Paths” in the Faerie tongue, are a race that is both blessed and cursed by their heritage. While none would deny their beauty or their skills, they are often viewed with suspicion and disdain by others simply for the fact that they exist. The taboo against cross-racial sexual relations is a strong one, and the children of such liaisons bear the brunt of it. Always a small and often persecuted minority at the mercy of those in power, the vast majority of Half-Elves are born of the union of human and elf, most commonly male elven and a female human parents, and raised in human culture.

Statistic Modifiers: None

Languages: Faerie and the Local Human Language.

Size, Speed, and Appearance: Half-Elves stand 4′ 9″ tall (+2d8), and weigh 110 lbs (x2d4) lbs. Half-Elves are Medium in Size and their Speed is 30. Both sexes have with average builds that tend towards the slender, and fair complexions rarely marred by either scars or sun. Female Half-Elves are considerably more buxom and curvaceous than Elves, but are generally slimmer than Humans. Their eyes are commonly grey or blue, with hazel occurring sometimes, and the violet or emeralds of an elven relative appearing rarely. Similarly, their hair tends to come in the same shades as human hair, with the occasional appearance of the silver-blonds, snow-whites, and blood-reds of their elven heritage appearing as well. One significant difference with Half-Elves is that they are able to grow beards as full as any human’s and those desiring to pass for human will usually do so.

Common Dress: Half-elves will generally dress in the manner of the culture they were raised in, but will often mix garments and styles of dress from other cultures that they have travelled to or like the looks of.

Lifespan: Half-elves are young adults at age 24, considered mature adults at around age 40, and can live up to 325 years of age. They generally begin play at 21 + 3d4 years of age.

Common Culture: There is very little that can be described as “common” half-elven culture because they are primarily raised either as humans or by the elves that dwell in human lands with a strong desire to acculturate. It isn’t uncommon for Half-Elves raised by humans to pick up various affectations that they deem as elvish or to adopt some element of elven culture that they learn about that appeals to them. Most commonly this is either hair styles or jewelry styled as elvish, but it can often encompass eating habits, music preferences, or simply peppering their speech with elvish words and phraseology. Half-Elves raised in Elven culture often become “more elven than Elves” by way of compensation, or become so disenchanted with the prejudice they encounter that they begin to deliberately flaunt human customs (speeding their expulsion from polite Elven society).

Common Backgrounds: Like their human parents, any Background is appropriate for Half-Elves, though they do pick up more than their fair share of Charlatans, Entertainers, Outcasts, and Outlanders.

Naming Conventions: Half-Elves often have names that reference both parents in some way. For those raised in Elven society they do not use Great House name but instead reference their own nature instead. For those raised in human society “Half-Elven” is sometimes used a surname, as well as other variants upon that (Faeblood, Elfson, etc.).

Common Alignments: Any, though Half-Elves lean slightly towards the various Chaotic and the various Neutral Alignments.

Common Religions: Half-Elves will tend to follow the religion of the culture and the parents that raised them. Among humans this often seems to mean the Old Faith while Half-Elves raised among the Elves will tend to follow the precepts of Li’vicor.

Common Class Breakdown: Preferred: Bard, Fighter, Rogue — Common: Druid, Ranger, Wizard — Uncommon: Cleric Sorcerer, Warlock — Rare: Monk, Paladin — Very Rare: Barbarian

Common Professions: Half-Elves tend to be born to the adventurous, and in turn tend towards professions that reflect a yearning for something other than a quiet and staid existence by a hearth. Mercenaries, explorers, merchants and travellers of all sorts – these are the sorts of professions that often appeal to Half-Elves as they search for a place and people that will accept them. Their half-blood status also means that many find a welcome home as courtesans and Tantrics, their good looks and partial blood making them both exotic and attractive to those interested.

Racial Traits

Darkvision: Due to their elven heritage, Half-Elves have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. Under the light of the stars they can see up to 120 feet perfectly well, and twice that distance as if there dim light.They can see in dim light up to 60 feet as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it was dim light. They cannot discern color in darkness though, only shades of grey.

Fae Magic: Half-Elves benefit from their elven ancestry and may chose one of two Cantrips to know, either Prestidigitation or Minor Illusion.

Fae Ancestry: Half- Elves have Advantage against being charmed and magic cannot put them asleep.

Fae Legacy: Half-Elves may also wear Ultra Light, Light, and Medium non-metallic armors and cast Arcane spells, or enchanted metallic armors.

Skill Versatility: Half-Elves gain proficiency in two skills.

Special Vulnerabilities: Half-Elves are also uncomfortable around Cold Iron and cannot benefit from a Long Sleep if surrounded by large amounts. They also suffer from a fair amount of prejudice from many Humans and Elves due to their mixed heritage.

Psionics: Reserved.

Death: Upon death, Half-Elves travel either to the Realms of the Dead or into the service of their deity if they are holy enough. There are no restrictions on Raising or Resurrection. If Reincarnated they invariably come back as Half-Elves, though some come back as High Men, Sh’dai, or even Common Men. A few, exceedingly rare Half-Elves are so in tune with their Elvish nature that they have spirits rather than souls, they are treated as elves after death.

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A Short Synopsis & Minor Treatise On the History & Nature of Creation (Part 2 – The Antediluvian Era)

(Estimated Timeline -250,000 to -5000 RA)

Rise of the Elder Kingdoms

In the Mortal Realm, new life sprung up in the wake of the destruction wrought by the War. The Fae live a life circling around their Great Tree hidden in the center of the Golden Woods, the Dragons sought out place wild and desolate and beautiful to contemplate Creation and the nature of the Thirteen Great Gods. But new life also arose, echoes of dead Gods, influenced by the memory writ upon the world by what had happened. So there came forth the Serpent Kings, the Weavers of Spells, the Dragonborn, the Consanguinity, the Bringers of Fate, the Gatekeepers, the Ichneumon Vorre, the Wind Giants, the Deep Ones, and many more besides.

The First City

It is the Serpent Kings, the Serpathians, who truly dominate the Mortal Realms in the Antediluvian Era. They create the First City, living what was at first a deeply contemplative life in the warm sun. A wondrous edifice that sprawled across leagues of land and sea, the First City was the first hub of mortal civilization. But with the cycles of light and darkness, the Serpathian’s began to delve into matters better left untouched, uncontemplated, and unexplored. Slowly as the Serpathians gave themselves over to longer and deeper periods of hibernation and sleep, aided by sorceries and alchemy, ever-seeking more truth and more power they inevitably begin to become infected with the Dearth, the dream-taint of the memory of the unmade Great Old Ones.

The War in Heaven and the Fall of Angels

Ever vigilant, the Celestials experiment in the Vale of ‘Aden, and create new life in Their own image, Humans, trying to find a new tool, a new weapon in case some new threat emerges that threatens Creation. There grows to be discontent in the Eternal City and greatest among the Celestials, the Morningstar, argues about the role of the Sarim in the Mortal Realms. The Lightbringer, as the Morningstar is also known, seeing what is occurring amongst the newly born races advocates for active engagement and even rulership among the mortals. The opposing side, does not wish to get involved in affairs of mortals and instead advocates for a continuation of passive guardianship. Stealing into the Vale, the Morningstar convinces the First Man and the First Woman to leave, setting them loose upon the Mortal Reams after teaching them much lore, more, it must be said, than he intended. This is the start of the War in Heaven and the Fall of the Angels. The Lightbringer and his angels take up residence opposite the Eternal City in the great Abyss maintaining watch over the great gate of the Void. The Celestials decided to spread the children of the First Humans across the Mortal Realms to see how if they survive and if they will thrive despite adversity.

The Rise of Man

Spread across the Mortal Realms by design, they wander freely curious and free of fear due to their birth in ’Aden, but eventually come together. To the great sorrow of the Celestials they also war amongst themselves and several tribes establish themselves, some say thirteen to match the Great Gods, but they found what was soon known as the Second City – an edifice that rivals the now lost First City of the Serpent Kings. Watching their pain and suffering, the Celestials take mercy upon them and some, known as the Grigori, come down to the Mortal Realms to teach and aid them. Unfortunately these Celestials are not suited for Mortal Realm and end up ensnared in their lusts of the flesh, not quite Falling, but still being cast out from Heaven. Out of their liaisons with humanity come the inhuman Nephalim who are still feared to this day.

The Decline of the Elder Kingdoms

Elsewhere, after millennia of exploration, contemplation, and growth, the Weavers of Spells destroyed themselves in a spectacular magical display, with only a few survivors now existing and trying to regain their lost glory. The Serpathians became lost in their hibernation and dreams and their slave-races and servants rose up to usurp their place and power until now only degenerate remnants of the once proud race exist, eking out a primitive existence in jungles and swamps across Creation. The other Elder Races see similar declines, some greater, some lesser, and many find their fates irrevocably linked to end of the Antediluvian Era.

The Thrice-Blessed and Thrice-Cursed

The Fae also meet the humanity for the first time as humanity matures and the Second City grows in power and influence. Ilhiedrin, the Thrice-Blessed, the first half-elf, is born to the King of all the Fae from his mortal lover. While this love child is a marvel, there are some within the Fae who are uneasy about the commingling of the blood of the two races. Ilhiedrin rises to be the greatest mage that the world has seen at this point but jealousy grows in his heart and he makes a great mistake as he descends into madness. Passing beyond the Veils, Ilhiedrin becomes the Thrice-Cursed when he breaks the great seal at the bottom of the Abyss and uncovers the truth of the Great Old Ones in his search for power.

Where there is memory, there is imagination;

where there is imagination, there is Essence;

where there is Essence, there is Form.

The War Without End

When Ilhiedrin unleashed the Great Old Ones upon creation again it was not complete, and what was able to manifest has become known as the Five Demon Emperors. They found Themselves greatly restricted by a multiverse that is far less fluid and They are barred from true entry. Even so, Their baleful influence spreads and the War Without End is rekindled as the Shadaoin are created and walk free within the Mortal Realms. Whole civilizations rise and fall during this time, shaped and wracked by the conflict. The Sorcerer-Kings of Engis-Erkrath rise up almost overnight and are destroyed from within, their own people rebelling against their domineering and tyrannical ways – and stand to this day as guards against such a thing occurring again, witnesses to the madness that is the War Without End.

Sundering of the Fae

After the loss of the Queen of Elvendome and her heir, the decision is made by the Fae to work a great enchantment and raise the Twilight Mists between the realm of the Fae and the Mortal Realm, creating a safe haven that can remain uncorrupted by the Dearth. This in turn is greatly contested by others among the Fae and causes the Sundering as the Sha’Achtar leave their brethren to pursue the War Without End in their own way, carving out their own Shadowlands on the edge of Death and Destruction so as to find and meet the Great Old Ones and the Lords of Dearth before they can corrupt reality even more than they already have. The effort is not entirely successful, and even in Faerie the Dearth has a foothold while the Shadowlands remain the first battleground against the Lords of Dearth as the Sha’Achtar intended even if the Realm itself is a darker and more dangerous place than was intended.

The Invoked Devastation 

After the Twilight Mists rise and the Shadowlands expand, the War Without End continues to raze the Mortal Realm without mercy or hope as the Dearth taints it and Creation rebels against itself. The Primordial Gods, finally roused from their contemplation, bring about the Invoked Devastation, destroying the Second City in Fire and Flood. Its status as a seat of goetic perversion in the wake of Ilhiedrin’s crimes a cancer on the face of Creation. While the Celestial Fires are specific, raising Thalath in a Great Flood is far from specific and much of the Mortal Realms affected, and the effects are felt even into Faerie and the Shadowlands.

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