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The Quintessential Elf

Author Alejandro Melchor
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002

Elves are noted for their joyful demeanour and general good humour, but they are no less prone to traumatic events than members of any other race. Elves who dedicate their lives to the persecution of non-elves receive the title of ‘manhunter’, as it is humans who most often attract their wrath. A manhunter is a grim individual who suffered a great loss at the hands of non-elves. A home destroyed, a soul-mate murdered, a family lost, an ideal held dear violated. Any of these may push an elf into the dark domain of hated, so that he dedicates all the skill and power acquired through his Profession to one end only: punishing those responsible for bringing suffering to elves. Remaining friends and family shake their heads with sadness and try to steer a manhunter back into the light, but accept and understand the role he has taken, hoping that he will reconsider and heal his wound.

Adventuring: Manhunters rarely join multiracial parties, especially if they include a member of the race that caused them pain in the first place. However, their resentment does not blind them to clever tactics, and they may swallow their desire for retribution if they can reach a more important goal by cooperating. These higher goals always include hurting the interests of another race, especially if they even hint at affecting nearby elven lands. Taciturn and always suspicious of his companions’ motives, the manhunter does not last long in a party if he cannot put aside his distrust, for his attitude is clear and obvious.

Role-Playing: These elves are unusually grim and serious, opening up a little when around other elves, but closing up airtight when others are present. They will not trust non-elves until years of interaction have proven that an individual from a different race can be trusted, but, even then, they do not extend the trust to the rest of the race. The manhunter’s hatred is usually cold and cunning, his longevity allowing him to plan revenge with long-term results, but he can also be very intolerant in the short run, brushing off the opinions of non-elves as unimportant. Many parties will not tolerate this elf for long and eventually ask him to leave, or abandon him without warning.

Bonuses: Manhunters can fly into sudden rages in different situations and with different effects. The player should choose a single race that caused the character the loss that made him into a manhunter for some of these rages, and cannot switch to another race in the course of his life. If he witnesses non-elves threatening or harming elves or elven lands and property, he gains a +4 morale bonus to Initiative while attacking the offenders. If he sees members of his hated race attacking or harming anyone, he gets +2 to Strength in addition to the Initiative bonus. If destiny places the exact individuals responsible for his loss within his grasp, his bonuses are +4 to Initiative, +4 to Strength and +2 to Dexterity, with a +2 bonus to Will saves. While in this last mode of rage, the manhunter suffers a -2 penalty to AC. For duration and effects of a rage aftermath, this ability works like a barbarian rage. If the manhunter is a barbarian or a class with the rage ability, he can only enter one kind of rage at a time, and the effects do not stack.

Penalties: Manhunters never forget their loss, haunted by dreams and nightmares and seeing the faces of murdered loved ones in people they pass on the roads. Once per week, the manhunter may stumble upon an event or a person that reminds him of his loss and sink into a flashback for 1d6 rounds (+ his own Intelligence modifier), oblivious of everything that happens around him. The Games Master rules when this happens, and the manhunter is considered stunned for the duration of his flashback. Only by supreme effort of will can the elf escape this state if he is in danger, such as in the middle of combat. He can roll a Will save (DV 18) every round he is in a flashback to snap out of it, most often flying into a rage immediately afterwards.

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