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Sea Elves

By Ernst Josephson - Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde, Public Domain,, Sea Elves
By Ernst Josephson – Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde, Public Domain,

Few outsiders have any contact with the aquatic elves, despite their being as numerous as the high elves. They have adapted completely to their underwater home, and rarely venture to land, if at all. They cavort among the whales, befriending marine animals with as much ease as their landbound cousins do with surface species. They are friendly and open, shouldering the responsibility of keeping the oceans safe from the encroachment of evil, with few or no allies to call for aid.

The Quintessential Elf

Author Alejandro Melchor
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002


Like high elves, the sea elves place little importance on matters of government, leading a carefree life where their sense of community ensures the stability and continuity of their kingdoms. Sea elf nobility have the responsibility of leading their subjects in war against their enemies, as well as conducting trade with outsiders, playing the hosts whenever visits from dry land arrive.

The elves of the sea share many cultural traits with the high elves, including their communal unity and their love for freedom and expression.

Theirs is a besieged society, however, being one of the few good-aligned races in the deep ocean. They put more emphasis on their fighting prowess than they do on magic out of necessity, and their every action is coloured by a strong sense of duty and responsibility.

Player Character Information

Sea elf characters have the following characteristics:

Personality: Similar to the high elves, a sea elf looks for the joy of a simple life and enjoys every moment of it. He respects all life and feels his role is to protect it where no one else will. Sea elves are quick to make friends with visitors and strangers who prove their worth, but hold deep grudges when betrayed. Their amiable demeanour hides a depth of thought that not even other elves know about. The tranquillity of life in the sea is conducive to philosophical ponderings, and every sea elf work of art has a second meaning for the philosophically minded.

Physical Description: Of similar height and build to high elves, sea elves are easy to recognise due to the greenish-silver coloration of their skin, which sometimes is bluish among some elves. Their hair is a deeper green or blue that adds to their skin colour to blend in with their undersea surroundings. Their hands and feet are partially webbed to aid in swimming and they have gills at the sides of their necks. They wear little or no clothing, as the salt water of the sea quickly spoils most fabrics and they generally interfere with swimming. Most of their clothing is made from a silky substance, and worn as close and tight as possible. Armour consists of shells and hardened coral. A sea elf may expect to live up to his 600th birthday.

Relations: Sea elves would keep much better relations with humans, dwarves and other races if they visited more often. As things stand, they remain underwater, protecting ships from many races, but especially elven vessels, from the depredations of pirates and evil marine monsters.

This protection endears them to coastal settlements with which sea elves forge alliances quickly.

Of the other elf subraces, the sea elves identify more closely with the high elves, and frankly cannot understand the grey elves. They have almost no contact with drow, so their animosity is somehow lessened. Wanderer elves who take to the ocean find ready allies in the sea elves, as do the sky elves who travel sometimes with an elf ship.

Alignment: The aquatic elves have as much love for freedom and self-expression as any high elf, leaning also towards a certain chaotic attitude. Their deep caring for the safety of others puts them firmly on the side of good.

Sea Elf Lands: The kingdoms of sea elves are loose communities deep on the ocean floor or along continental reefs. Like the grey elves, they shape their constructions from the natural environment, with magnificent palaces of pearl and coral. Patrols keep a careful eye towards menaces like sahuagin, with dolphins lending great help in identifying infiltrators and spies. Finding a sea elf on land is a sign that there is something grave happening beneath the waves.

Religion: While nodding in the direction of the Allfather, sea elves favour their own sea god, a deity of knowledge and beauty that reflects the philosophical mind of his worshippers. The sea elves’ faith is one where deep thoughts are encouraged.

Language: Sea elves speak normal Elvish, though they seldom use the written form except in carvings on religious objects of art.

Adventurers: A sea elf becomes an adventurer for the same reason a high elf does. They add to their motives their sense of responsibility, as they venture to seek out evil instead of waiting for it to strike. They join with parties who travel the seas, becoming scouts and watching for any threat that comes from below. They never adventure overland unless there is a powerful magic helping them survive.

Racial Traits

Sea elves have the same traits as high elves with the following differences.

  • +2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence.
  • Aquatic elf base walk speed is 30 feet; Swim speed is 40 feet.
  • Gills: Aquatic elves can survive out of the water for 1 hour per point of Constitution. Refer to the rules for suffocation after that time passes.
  • Low-Light Vision: Aquatic elves can see four times as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of low illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish colour and detail under these conditions.
  • Proficient with trident, spear and net.
  • Automatic Languages: Common and Elven.
  • Bonus Languages: Aquan, Draconic, Gnome, Goblin, Sahuagin and Sylvan.
  • Favoured Class: fighter.
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