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Wild Elves

By H.J. Ford, illustrator - http://www.gutenberg.org/files/37396/37396-h/37396-h.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28727492, Wild Elves
By H.J. Ford, illustrator – http://www.gutenberg.org/files/37396/37396-h/37396-h.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28727492

These tribal and barbaric offshoots contend that they are the ancestors of the rest of the elves, for they maintain the closest ties to the wild places. Fierce warriors who roam the land, they scorn civilization and its trappings, choosing a nomadic lifestyle over the grandiose structures of their cousins. Also called grugach, they ignore the opinion of other elves, who consider them savages.

The Quintessential Elf

Author Alejandro Melchor
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002

Society

A grugach tribe gathers around a strong chieftain, who is advised by a council of elders. Anyone can challenge the chieftain for the position, with the victor of a ritual combat becoming the new leader. These challenges are rare and never to the death. The position is hereditary as long as the chieftain’s child can defend the title from challengers to the succession, but if the elders support the succession, there are no contenders.

Wild elves regulate their lives according to the turning of the seasons, travelling around to follow the herds of the animals they hunt for sustenance and clothing. They have a deep respect for nature, even stronger than other elves, subjecting themselves to the whim of the elements. They build camps when they stop to gather food and during the hunting season, but move along when conditions become too harsh.

Grugach are jealous of their domains and defend them with great zeal and ferocity.

Player Character Information

Wild elf characters have the following characteristics:

  • Personality: A grugach is tough and rugged, an elf of few words but honest deeds. The honesty is not exactly a welcome trait for those who trespass on the wild elves’ lands, as they prefer to have their arrows do the arguing rather than let outsiders try to Bluff their way out of their punishment. The grugach are hostile to everything outside their sphere of influence, and are deeply distrustful of anything that smells of civilization.
  • Physical Description: Grugach are as small and nimble as high elves, but they are not as frail. Another difference is their dark brown skin that sets them apart from most other elves’ fair complexions, with their hair ranging from black to light brown. They dress in animal skins and simple cloth made from plant fibres, with jewellery of painted clay and bits of animal bones. Leather tokens hang from many warriors’ necks as do medicine pouches from women’s. They possess a feline grace that is mesmerizing in its own feral way. A typical grugach reaches maturity through a rite of passage at his first century, and can expect to live almost as long as a high elf.
  • Relations: The only allies the grugach have are the animals and the fey creatures that inhabit their lands. The wild elves refuse the company of all other humanoids who are not natives of the forest, including other elves. They may be willing to talk with a druid or with a wood elf envoy, but trespassers are better off sending familiars or animal companions bearing messages to avoid a swift and unexpected death.
  • Alignment: The wild elves’ hostility can lead to mistaking their inclinations, but it just stems from their desire to protect the lifestyle they love from interlopers of any race. They prize their independence and care for their loved ones as much as any high elf.
  • Wild Elf Lands: The grugach do not have permanent settlements, but they build temporary camps from where they hunt and gather along herds’ migration routes. They prefer to live in forests, but venture out onto the plains often. They litter a wide area around their camps with traps and snares that get increasingly deadly as they are closer. They dispose quickly of intruders unless convinced to the contrary by a crafty, yet respectful show of Survival prowess.
  • Religion: Religion among the wild elves is as primitive as the rest of their lifestyle. While acknowledging the existence of the Allfather, grugach take a shamanistic approach to their worship, believing him to be in the soul of all things, with all the other gods being merely great spirits.
  • Language: Wild elves speak a rough dialect of Elvish and do not write it, relying on the oral tradition of passing down their lore through the storytellers and shamans.
  • Adventurers: A grugach adventurer is either a scout, a shaman looking to increase his experience or an outcast. The strong tribal bonds of the wild elves do not break easily and very few abandon the tribe willingly to explore the world. Even if such adventurers return, they are seen with suspicion and watched for any sign of tainting by his contact with civilization.

Racial Traits

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

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