The Dragonlance Nexus

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Elves of Taladas

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by Nael

The description given to the elves on page 16 of the Dragonlance Campaign Setting (DLCS) does not seem to apply to the elves of Taladas as a whole, though some aspects still apply. Many of the elven kindred of Taladas still live with the land, but in a state that is both barbarous and ancient than the elves of Ansalon of today.

Armachnesti (Silvanaes Elves)

The descendants of a storm lost expedition of the once great Silvanesti naval fleet, the Silvanaes elves of Armach, have attempted to rebuild an idealized elven home.

Personality: Much like their Silvanesti ancestors the Silvanaes elves of Armach have little use or respect for members of any other race, including other races of elves, and the elves of the Elf clans in particular. The grace and relative sophistication of the Silvanaes people is marred by their general intolerance and maltreatment of what they consider inferior races. This is not to say that there are not some who view other races as if not equals at least not completely without merit, but the tradition bound senators and speaker are adamant on maintain the purity of their Silvanesti heritage. Silvanaes elves are nearly the same as Silvanesti elves in personality (DLCS, p 19).

Physical Description: Silvanesti average about 5 feet tall and weigh between 90 and 100 pounds, with men only slightly taller and heavier than women. The fair-skinned Silvanaes are a direct contrast to the majority of the humans in the area, who generally, are of Hoorish decent and are relatively darker of skin and eye. Other than this the Silvanaes follow the physical description of Silvanesti elves in the DLCS.

Relations: Silvanaes elves are outwardly just as xenophobic as their Silvanesti cousins. And due to the way in which the Silvanaes founded their home in exile, relations with other races are rather strained, the Silvanaes first edicts not withstanding. When the Silvanaes first made landfall in the Amarch area, they by force of arms, drove the native human tribes out. This has had lingering results, as well as the declaration, that the newly conquered area would forever after be accessible to elves only, and that any non elf would be killed on sight. This has been amended in practice if not in wording, as to include any non elf who willingly and of their own free will enters the area. This was in response to some individuals being forced onto elven territory by rivals and enemies to have the elves as their instruments of murder. The Silvanaes have created a confederation, of sorts, of which they are the supreme head. The Voice (The Silvanaes version of a speaker) is the de-facto head of the Armach Confederation, with his or her word being the equivalent of law. Although the Silvanaes have a senate to adv the Voice, the humans of the confederation have no say in their government directly. Each human nation within the confederation has an Elven senator assigned to them, who voices the concerns of the human nation to the senate as a whole. This has been, if not an overly successful and fulfilling partnership, it does at least ensure that there is at least a semblance of acquiesce to the non elven population.

Alignment: Like the Silvanesti the Silvanaes are members of a strict hierarchy, and have very lawful tendencies, however morally the Silvanaes tend more toward a neutral alignment. Silvanaes are more concerned with the letter of the law, rather than the good or evil therein.

Silvanaes Lands: Silvanaes lands consist only of a relatively small area within the Armach confederation, centered in the Hoor area are a number of interconnected valleys and deep forest, these secluded valleys are all claimed as part of the Silvanaes proscribed lands. Within these valleys the Silvanaes have built there homes. Originally the Silvanaes built a grand city or towers that was named New Silvanost, but as the early Silvanaes lacked much of the engineering skills and much of the magic of Silvanesti, it was a poor imitation and a constant reminder of what was. While New Silvanost is abandoned, it is still a spiritual center for the Silvanaes. After the Cataclysm shattered Taladas, more valleys opened up within the new mountains, these have been claimed as Silvanaes as well. Silvanaes government is split between two very distinct social classes the Nestiroml and the Neskijir. The Nestiroml are the elves who descend from the sailors and navigators of the original fleet, while the Neskijir are the descendants of the noble passengers and the few wizards and clergy who had booked passage. The Nestiroml outnumber the Neskijir 5 to 1, but the Voice of the Silvanaes is always of the Neskijir families. Neskijir are forbidden on pain of death or exile from taking non elves as mates. The Nestiroml originally fell under the same ban, but as long as the relations are discreet and no Hat heerkil (half humans) are allowed into the Silvanaes only regions, the Nestiroml are left alone.

Religion: Silvanaes religion is much like that of the Silvanesti, but as time has passed and with the loss of E'li (Paladine) many of the Silvanaes have turned to the Sea Lord (Habbakuk) and Ildamar/Quen (Mishakal). Some elves still worship Astarin (Branchala), but the faiths of both Chislev and Zivilyn are growing. One faith, that of Usa the Mighty (Hiddukel), is strictly forbidden and practitioners are forced to repent and curse the dark deity or die.

Language: The Silvanaes elves speak the Silvanesti tongue, with a smattering of the Sea Elven languages mixed in (a gift of the sailors that make up the majority of the original castaways). The Script of the Silvanaes is nearly identical to the old styles of Silvanesti writing. Some Silvanaes take the time to learn the Hoor tongue, but use of the language among the Silvanaes is considered vulgar at the least.

Names: The Silvanesti naming conventions are still popular among the Silvanaes for both men and women. Surnames traveled with the Silvanaes from Silvanesti, and are approximate.

Adventurers: Silvanaes of the Neskijir families rarely become adventures, but those that do are usually the black sheep of the family or specialists in service to the Voice. Many Nestiroml do take to the adventuring life usually as traders and sailors.

Silvanaes Racial Traits:
Silvanaes have all the racial traits of Silvanesti elves detailed on page 20 of the DLCS, with the following exceptions.

  • +1 racial bonus on all Knowledge (seamanship) and Profession (sailor) checks.
  • Favored class: Mariner (Nestiroml Family Elves) or Wizard (Neskijir Family Elves). Neskijir Wizards that opt for a life at sea are predominantly multiclass Wizard/Mariners or Wizard/Sea Mages.

Wild Elves of Neron (Cha'asii Elves)

Personality: A stoic people, the Cha'asii are children of the jungle, they are not overly proud like the Silvanaes elves to the far north nor are they capricious and overly cruel to outsiders as are their Hulder cousins. The Cha'asii take each day one at a time. Unlike many other elves the Cha'asii, are not known for taking the long view of things, as they are more concerned with day to day survival than the other elven subraces.

Physical Description: Cha'asii are the fairest and the smallest of the elven sub races, many have naturally white hair and very fair skins. However, Cha'asii practice a unique form of camouflage and use naturally occurring reagents in differing alchemic formulae to create quasi-magical body tinctures, much like the Tarmak of Ansalon. These body tinctures alter the skin tone of the Cha'asii from the norm to a range of naturally occurring pigments from a dusky burnt umber to an oddly flattering yellow green, many also dye their hair with the gall of the Ironwood tree, which produces a glassy black with a green tint. Few Cha'asii are larger than 4-foot-9 inches with both men and women averaging the same. Some traders have commented that Cha'asii reminds them of "Whopping Big Kender", which is a common thought among the Fianawar dwarves of the north.

Relations: The Cha'asii are a recalcitrant people, they don't suffer fools willingly, and treasure hunters usually find themselves asleep in a tree the next day, just inside the human village or trading post they had departed from the day before. Humans that have fought and killed Yaggol, are welcomed within the Cha'asii villages, as they feel anyone willing to fight the Yaggol is a friend until proven otherwise. Spellcasters of any type are welcome among the Cha'asii, but if at anytime they are seen using magic's that subvert the will of another or summon the dead, the Cha'asii will retaliate immediately usually by dumping the offender in the nearest quicksand slew, with all their fingers broken and their lips sewn shut. Cha'asii elves equate all such "dark magic" with the Yaggol, and anyone using them is no better than the jungle demons.

Alignment: Cha'asii are more Neutral in alignment, and while they have many taboos, the Cha'asii are more flexible in both their morality and their law or chaos leanings.

Cha'asii Lands: Originally the Cha'asii could only be found in the Neron rainforests, but since the Grim Winter and the subsequent upheavals, including increased pressure from the Yaggol, the Cha'asii can now be found as far as the Blackwater Glade to the west and the Great Reed Delta to the east. Some have even spotted small Cha'asii settlements in the lower reaches of the Black Forests as well.

Religion: Cha'asii elves revere several deities, but Sarris (Sirrion) is the deity most often called upon. Some Cha'asii venerate the nature deities Chi'sla (Chislev) and Hab the Fisher (Habbakuk) and Mislaxia (Mishakal) usually hold the highest honors with Astarta (Branchala) the Bird Singer also popular. Cha'asii do also honor the World tree, but few offer themselves, as priests or druids, as they see Zivilyn as an aloof deity, who doesn't require mortal worship.

Language: Cha'asii speak an ancient form of the Elven language, but are also familiar with the languages of the cultures around them.

Names: Cha'asii true names are complex with glottal stops (a click like sound) and many consonants and double vowels. Many adopt use names much like those used by the Kagonesti elves of Ansalon.

Adventurers: In the past there was little reason for the Cha'asii to venture forth from the jungle, but with the Yaggol slowly increasing in numbers the Cha'asii have encouraged exceptional individuals to travel and search out new ways to fight the jungle demons, and protect the tribe by locating new items of magic or other adventures willing to help fight the Yaggol.

Cha'asii Elf Racial Traits:
Cha'asii elves have all of the racial traits listed for elves in Chapter 2 of the Player's Handbook, except as noted below.

  • -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom Cha'asii elves are smaller than average and more lightly built than most and do not have the physical strength that many larger creatures do, they make up for this, however in their innate grace and wisdom, as none, not even the Kagonesti of Ansalon are more in tune with their surroundings.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Cha'asii elves may treat blowguns, bolas, and nets as martial weapons rather than exotic weapons. Cha'asii do not gain the standard bonus weapon feats.
  • +2 racial bonus on Craft (alchemy) checks. Cha'asii elves have learned since childhood how to combine many natural substances to create many different potions from their surroundings.
  • +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (nature), Move Silently, and Survival checks in jungle (warm forest) terrain. Cha'asii elves are particularly attuned to their native environment.
  • +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against aberrations. The Cha'asii have long fought against the unnatural creatures of their homeland.
  • Nature Magic: Cha'asii elves that take levels in an arcane spellcasting class may cast spells from the Air, Animal, Earth, Fire, Plant, or Water domains as if they were arcane spells. These spells are added to the spell lists of any arcane spellcasting class the Cha'asii has. Cha'asii are unable to learn, prepare, or cast spells with the death, force, or language-dependent descriptors.
  • Automatic Languages: Elven. Bonus Languages: Aeran, Aquan, Bakali, Ignan, Sylvan, Terran, plus regional human languages. Cha'asii are very familiar with the natural world's languages that extends even to the elemental creatures that manifest within it.
  • Favored Class: Wizard or Sorcerer. A multiclassed Cha'asii elf's levels in wizard or sorcerer do not count when determining when she takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.
  • ECL: Cha'asii elves are an ECL +1 player race.

The Hulder Elves (Hulder Elves)

The Hulder elves or the Shunning people as they call themselves are a race lost in time. In many respects they are unchanged from the elves that hid from the first Ogre civilizations millennia ago.

Personality: Capricious, cruel, annoying, aloof and a menace are all words that barely scratch the surface of the Hulder elves. Hulder elves view all non elven races as at best an easy target for sharp humored tricks and at worst an enemy to be humiliated then destroyed.

Physical Description: Like their closest cousins the Cha'asii the Hulder elves are a small race, with men averaging 5 foot 2 inches and women around 5 feet. Most Hulder have jet black hair with the occasional silver blonde. Slight of stature but more robust than the Cha'asii the Hulder are darker of skin with light nearly washed out eye colors.

Relations: Hulder treat all non-elves with disdain and contempt. Half-elves are pitied, unless they are descended from a changeling, other elves are welcomed into Hulder communities warmly, even the Merkitsa, but non-Hulder never seem to settle as they feel themselves slipping away in the timelessness that permeates a Hulder settlement. Hulder are notorious for their pranks and malicious tricks that they enjoy perpetrating on any non elven resident of their home forests or the Blackwater Glade. Many humans and Bakali would happily kill a Hulder elf on sight, but alas and thankfully (for the Hulder) they are rarely seen. Hulder practice an ancient form of adoption where a sickly elven child is left in the place of a stolen human child. The human child is reared by the elves just as if the human where an elf. If the human parents take the changeling child as their own they are rewarded by the Hulder, either in increased output of farms, fertile animals, and unusually large harvests. Human parents that abandon or mistreat the changeling find that all their enterprises fail, livestock disappears and fruit rots upon the vine. Some parents who raise changeling children with love and care, and then the child dies, usually discover large quantities of gold and silver, in the cradle within a few days. The humans raised by the elves do interbreed with the elves, on occasion, and the resulting half elves are usually fostered out with those few humans who are trusted by the whimsical Hulder.

Alignment: Hulder Elves are chaotic with many leaning towards a neutral moral alignment and a few towards good. Those Hulder that are outright evil, are usually exiled to the farthest reaches of Blackwater Glade. Although chaotic in nature, if a Hulder gives his word, he or she must obey it to the letter. Hulder are also proscribed from ever telling an outright lie. It is not that they cannot lie or break oath, it's just that it would demean a Hulder more than they could bear to break their word or bother to lie to a lesser being.

Hulder Lands: Hulder can be found throughout the Blackwater glade and the Hulder forests.

Religion: Hulder worship rarely, but when they do they tend to worship the gods of nature, with Zivilyn, playing a large part in their religious beliefs.

Language:Hulder speak an archaic form of Elven, but master the languages of the races around them to better taunt and irritate them.

Names: Hulder names are much like the Qualinesti names, but they also favor use names much like the Kagonesti names for use to outsiders.

Adventurers: Hulder adventures are usually exiles, but the few that have chosen to wander are usually Hulder who have made contact with other races of elves, who have awakened wanderlust within the young Hulder.

Hulder Elf Racial Traits:
Hulder elves have all of the racial traits listed for elves in Chapter 2 of the Player's Handbook, except as noted below.

  • +2 Dexterity,-2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom. Hulder elves are more robust than their Cha'asii cousins, but are more likely to take risks. Hulder are not unintelligent, but do to their shunning of outside cultures and the stagnation of their own culture, they have little access to outside knowledge.
  • +2 racial bonus to Craft (trapmaking), Disable Device, Hide, and Move Silently checks. Hulder elves are particularly fond of sneaking around and setting traps, skills they put to good use against-non elves.
  • Innate magic: Hulder elves can cast a number of spells per day equal to their charisma bonus from the following list: faerie fire, mage hand, magical aura, snare, spider climb, and trip. These spells are cast as if by a sorcerer of the same level.
  • Automatic Languages: Elven. Bonus Languages: Aeran, Aquan, Bakali, Ignan, Sylvan, Terran, plus regional human languages. Hulder are familiar with the natural world's languages.
  • Favored Class: Rogue or Sorcerer. A multiclassed Hulder elf's levels in rogue or sorcerer do not count when determining when she takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.
  • ECL: Hulder elves are an ECL +2 player race.

Elf Clans (Hosk'i imou merkitsa)

As savage as a winter storm, as fearless as a raging hatori, and as swift to strike as a diving eagle, these and many more descriptive references are used to describe the barbarous elves of the Tamire steppes.

Personality: The common perception of a merkitsa is that of an expressionless and emotionless killer, and while this is most often the aspect seen of a member of the wild riders of the elf clans, it is only a scratch in the surface. The Merkitsa are a proud race, more so even than the Silvanaes, or the Hulder. Surrounded as they are by humanity the Merkitsa have adopted a very harsh outlook on life, not quite defeatist, but one of pessimistic pragmatism.

Physical Description: Originally the Merkitsa like all the native elves of Taladas, were small in stature, but early interbreeding with local humans and the practice of sa'qul idri, has increased the relative size of the Merkitsa physically, as well as increased their robustness. The average Merkitsa is anywhere from 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7, with no apparent differences between men and women. Merkitsa have darker shades of hair, with the occasional honey blonde or red, but many choose to dye their hair in bright primary colors with blues and greens the most popular. Eye color is usually darker with hazel being a predominant color. Men tend to wear their hair long, but in complex braids, while women tend to keep their hair straight or in a severe queue. Both men and women tend to colorful clothing, rarely leaving anything its natural shade.

Relations: Merkitsa, like their Hulder cousins, have a general disdain for humans and an all consuming hatred for the Ilquar goblins and Silvanaes elves in particular. When the Silvanaes first landed in the area that would become the Armachnesti, they had among their crew a small number of Kagonesti slaves. During the confusion and early conflicts with the native humans the Kagonesti revolted and fled to the far north of Taladas. Here the Kagonesti where welcomed into the tribes as refugee Kagonesti brought not only steal weapons and armor, but pure blooded elven horses. A lingering resentment to the Silvanaes, and their portrayers as slavers of their own kind have passed down to a simmering hate that sill exists today. Merkitsa have a particular ritual, in which if an elven mother dies during childbirth, the Merkitsa will capture a suitable human woman, to act as a surrogate and spouse to the grieving father, this human is then renamed and is considered an elf by the entire tribe. If the child dies and the mother lives, the Merkitsa will raid and steal a suitable infant (almost always male) that is then given over to the grieving mother to raise as her son. This child is considered an elf by the tribe, and even though the elven children are known to be cruel and taunting to their human peers, they soon learn that Humans mature much faster and hold grudges much longer, and a 15 year old human will easily out mass and out fight a similarly mature Merkitsa. As the humans adopted in this way are considered elves, human elf pairing does occur, with many families of half elves found among the merkitsa.

Alignment: The Elves of the Tamire are more Neutral in outlook and morality. Nearly all Merkitsa are or some form of Neutral alignment.

Elf Clan Lands: The Tamire steppes and the few stands of woodland are all claimed by the elf clans. Some of their claimed land does overlap with that of the Uigan human territories and the territories of both the Kazar and the Alan-atu mountain peoples. The elf clans do occasionally encounter the Ilquar goblin lands and the lands of the Panak deserts as well.

Religion: Only one deity is openly worshiped among the clans, this is Astra (Branchala), but each clan has a totem spirit to which each clan shaman offers prayers and gifts. These clan spirits are actually manifestations of Chislev or Zivilyn. Sargah the Raged (Sargonnas) is also openly worshipped, usually when the elves are about to participate in a retaliatory raid.

Language: The elves of the Tamire speak a bastardized version of the Kagonesti speech, using many Uigan words and concepts, not found in the elven language.

Names: Asu'a, Brot-to, Nicidae, Throt-tor, Hikida, are common names, with female names being similar but ending with a suffix of -iska .

Adventurers: Few Merkitsa take to the adventuring life, but those that do so are usually out to recover lost relics of the ancient elves, or to increase their prestige among their own people. Male Elves are almost always of a martial class such as Fighters Rangers or Barbarians, with those females who adventure being multiclass fighter/sorcerers, fighter/mystics, clerics of Astra or druids in-service to their animal totem. Male Elves of the Merkitsa do not use magic, it is a role left only to women.

Elf Clan Traits
The Merkitsa have all of the traits of Kagonesti elves listed on page 18 of the DLCS with the following differences.

  • +1 racial bonus to Handle Animal (horse), Knowledge (nature), and Survival checks, and a +2 racial bonus to Ride checks.
  • Favored class: Barbarian (males) Druid (females).

Sea Elves (Dargonesti and Dimernesti)

The deep-sea-dwelling elves of Taladas (Dargonesti), as well as the elves of the shallows of Taladas, are already detailed in the Dragonlance Campaign Setting and remain unchanged.

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