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Sky Elves

By Franz Dvorak (1862-1927) - Copied from an art book, Public Domain,, Sky Elves
By Franz Dvorak (1862-1927) – Copied from an art book, Public Domain,

As the sea elves took to the sea, so the thoronedhil took to the sky. Not even the sky elves have any evidence as to why they came to have wings, but appear unconcerned about the issue in any case, living their lives through the joy of flight. As very few enemies can reach their homes, the thoronedhil have focused on developing their arts and knowledge. This does not mean that they forgot how to fight, for sky elves still make fearsome opponents when they strike from above. Their mountain homes bring them closer to the grey elves and they both profit from the exchange, as the thoronedhil’s joy of flight rekindles the grey elves’ stifling soul.

The Quintessential Elf

Author Alejandro Melchor
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002


The basic unit of sky elf society is the aerie, the home of an extended family that may include up to six families plus giant eagle allies. The eldest of each aerie voices his family’s concerns at a communal meeting. As communities tend to be small, these councils are very effective in dealing with day-to-day matters. In times of conflict, or when an entire region must mobilise, each community chooses an elder and a young warrior as candidates for leadership of the entire thoronedhil ‘kingdom’. The sky elves are excellent herders and goat milk is an important part of their diet.

The sky elves believe in freedom above all, holding that any and all creatures have the right to live their lives as best they can. Although bordering on naiveté, this attitude makes the thoronedhil the most peaceful of elves, who prefer to parley first and draw swords later, and would give even drow a chance to speak. They ally with giant eagles for mutual protection and many fly down to work for the grey elves as flying mount trainers. Unlike the grey elves’ other elf servants, the thoronedhil know they can leave whenever they want and patiently ignore the grey elves’ claims of superiority.

Player Character Information

Sky elf characters have the following characteristics:

  • Personality: A sky elf is always smiling, with a serene and faraway look in his eyes. The few non-elves that know of the thoronedhil describe them as “birdbrained”, mostly for an apparent short attention span as the sky elf always yearns for the feeling of the wind beneath his wings.
    • They are slow to anger and possess an infinite patience; some argue this is because they have to stand the grey elves, but it is just the way they are; their very nature teaches them to always look at the larger picture.
  • Physical Description: Thoronedhil resemble grey elves in stature and build, but their most striking feature is their feathery wings, which range from white to light shades of brown, with a few black-winged sky elves known to exist. Their hair has a contrasting range of deep black and pure silver, with tawny shades present. Their eyes go from bright amber to deep violets. They dress light, preferring togas and tunics that wrap around their bodies without encumbering their wings, with embroidered fabrics of whites, blues and yellows. They have a relatively short life, reaching adulthood at 90 and with a life expectancy of around 600 years.
  • Relations: The sky elves deal mostly with grey elves because they both live in the mountains, not because they get along better with them. They do not have much experience with other races, treating everyone on a case-by-case basis. They like the humans’ tenacity and the Halflings‘ good nature, grouping them with the high elves in that area. They also lump together dwarves, wood elves and grugach as people who take themselves too seriously and should get out of their mines and forests to enjoy the whole of the landscape.
  • Alignment: Thoronedhil staunchly defend every individual’s right to seek happiness, putting them at the forefront of the elven philosophy of chaos and the defence of good.
  • Sky Elf Lands: The sky elves build their homes high in mountain peaks and mesas, using hippogriffs and goats as beasts of burden to carry wood and other construction material. It is difficult to discern whether a thoronedhil village is nearby, as the houses are scattered and out of view from lower down the mountain slopes. The bigger towns have two or three large buildings plus a string of watchtowers. The surroundings are always patrolled by sentries and their giant eagle friends who are not easy to spot from the ground.
  • Religion: The sky elves revere a goddess of wind and music, and then pay homage to the elven Allfather. Their religious practice is informal and, to some, even heretical in the familiarity with which they refer to the deities.
  • Language: The Elvish spoken by the thoronedhil is even more musical to the ear, as they intone it with more variations of pitch and tone. Their writing resembles that of grey elves.
  • Adventurers: Sky elves set out to adventure because of curiosity and because the world is’ there. Many thoronedhil young fly down to known grey elf enclaves as their first foray into the world and quickly return or travel onwards to meet more interesting people. They are an extremely welcome addition to any army as scouts and sentries, and many others join ships as lookouts.

Racial Traits

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

  • +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -4 Intelligence.
  • Medium. They are considered Large creatures when their wings are extended, suffering a -1 size penalty to AC, but not to attack rolls.
  • Walk speed is 30 feet, fly speed is 60 feet (average).
  • Wings. The wings of a thoronedhil are too large to be hidden, an opponent can target the wings with an attack following the same rules as striking a weapon, with the attack dealing damage to the thoronedhil directly and reducing his flight speed by 10 feet for every 5 points of damage directed at the wings. In addition, the wings are flammable. The sky elf suffers a -2 inherent penalty to saving throws against fire and fire-based attacks.
  • Low-Light Vision: Sky elves can see four times as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish colour and detail under these conditions.
  • Proficient with either short sword or light lance; proficient with shortbow, composite shortbow and javelin.
  • +4 racial bonus on Search, and Spot checks. Sky elves do not roll a Search check to notice secret or concealed doors merely by passing near them.
  • Bonus Languages: Auran, Draconic, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin and Orc.
  • Monster Level: 2.
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