"Aid me in my endeavor, surface-dweller, and Deep Sashelas will surely favor you through all your journeys upon the face of his ocean." - Xiphalia Brightwave
Although surface elves are renowned as daring and skillful seafarers above the waves, the greatest legacy of elves and sea lies below the surface of the ocean. The nations of the aquatic elves are as ancient and powerful as those of their land-dwelling cousins. The children of Deep Sashelas, aquatic elves dwell in the shallower parts of the ocean, usually within a few miles of a coast, for the deeper parts of the sea tend to be not only too cold and lightless for their taste, but also home to their blood enemies, the sahuagin.
Personality: Aquatic elves tend to be seen as standoffish creatures hesitant to trust outsiders, and this is true to some extent. Aquatic elves understand the value and importance of community in their survival beneath the waves. They are very suspicious of strangers, especially those who come from the surface world. Nonetheless, they know the value of a strong alliance and, once their fears are allayed, make staunch compatriots.
Physical Description: Aquatic elves are very striking in appearance, with skin that ranges between a light blue to a dark green. They usually have black hair and their eyes are oddly colored, ranging from an iridescent blue to gold to a white-silver hue that shines like mother-of-pearl. Their hands and feet are webbed and they boast a set of gills that runs along their collarbones and down their ribcages.
Relations: Aquatic elves have long memories and they do not trust quickly. However, they have long maintained alliances with the honorable aventi. They are more than happy to allow tribes of merfolk to wander into their territories and even stay for a while, but locathah and other such beings are not permitted within a day's swim of aquatic elf cities.
Alignment: Like most elves, aquatic elves maintain a love of freedom and personal expression, considering most laws and governments to simply be methods of control. They favor good and chaotic alignments.
Aquatic Elven Lands: Aquatic elf cities are wonders to behold, crafted as they are of living coral just as many elf cities on land are made from still-living trees. They gleam with mother of pearl and shells scoured bright, and among them swim fish of a thousand colors. The borders of these cities are guarded by soldiers with tridents, spears, and nets, as are the hunter-gatherer parties sent out to retrieve food among the fish and carefully cultivated fields of food plants nearby.
Aquatic elves are ruled by a loose feudal system, with clans of aquatic elves swearing fealty to noble houses who take oath to protect those clans beneath them. All it takes to confer nobility upon a clan is to have another clan swear fealty to it, so most clans have had times in their histories when they were considered nobility.
Religion: Aquatic elves revere Deep Sashelas first and foremost. His temples, usually built of solid stone and decorated by everyone in the community, serve not only as centers of faith but as the heart of aquatic elf communities. Deep Sashelas's clergy serve as the advisors of the aquatic elf people, often acting as counselors, healers, mediators, and defenders of their communities.
At some point in an aquatic elf's adult life, she is expected to undertake an endeavor for the local temple where her adulthood celebration was held. Each aquatic elf chooses her own endeavor, one that either relates to that elf s vocation or something that symbolizes her personality.
These endeavors aren't about doing something the temple needs to have done. They are about allowing the elf to express her sense of uniqueness in a way that directly benefits the temple and reaffirms her choices in life.
Language: Aquatic elves speak Elven, though they have borrowed many words and inflections from the Aquan tongue, so that their speech tends to seem oddly accented to others who speak the language.
Names: Each aquatic elf clan has a name that is often translated into Common around non-elves, similar to the surnames of other elves. Personal names are given at birth and maintained throughout the life of the aquatic elf.
Male Names: Arvastan, Balthonlis, Barishlin, Deranthil, Ervastath, Kerithlan, Perilastanor, Poldanlin.
Female Names: Avashtana, Bihalisha, Deirastane, Firiashe, Iridansa, Tiliashanna, Xiphalia, Yrashiae.
Clan Names: Anterome (Brightwave), Danlianthol (Silverpearl), Garinlastil (Scarletleaf), Gyrashiil (Joy-bringer), Iandaal (Brightwhisper), Ieriantol (Kinwatcher), Oromae (Silvercoral), Perlantasil (Nightwater).
Adventurers: Aquatic elf adventurers are often driven by a need to discover more about the other peoples and creatures in the world, for aquatic elf culture is very insular. They find themselves among strange races and cultures that they never dreamed possible. Most look forward to the day when they can return to their own people once more to tell the stories they have lived. Some begin a life of adventuring after undertaking an extended quest away from their homes on behalf of a temple of Deep Sashelas as part of their acknowledgment of adulthood.
Aquatic Elf Racial Traits
- +2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence. These adjustments replace the high elf's ability score adjustments. Aquatic elves are as swift and coordinated in their movements as their land-based kin. While more sturdily built than most of the other elf subraces, they have little use for study.
- Aquatic: An aquatic elf is a humanoid with the aquatic and elf subtypes.
- An aquatic elf has a swim speed of 40 feet. An aquatic elf has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.
- Immunity to magic sleep effects, and a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells or effects.
- Gills: Aquatic elves can survive out of the water for 1 hour per point of Constitution (after that, refer to the suffocation rules).
- Proficient with trident, longspear, and net. This replaces the standard elf proficiency with longsword, rapier, and bow.
- Superior low-light Vision (Ex): Aquatic elves can see four times as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of low illumination. (This trait replaces the high elf's low-light vision.)
- +2 racial bonus on listen, Search, and Spot checks. An aquatic elf who merely passes within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door is entitled to a Search check to notice it as if she were actively looking for it. An elf's senses are so keen that she practically has a sixth sense about hidden portals.
- Automatic languages: Common and Elven. Bonus: Aquan, Draconic, Giant.
- Favored Class: Fighter.
|Random Starting Ages|
|Aquatic elf||110 years||+4d6||+6d6||+10d6|
|¹ Simple classes are barbarian, rogue, and sorcerer.|
² Moderate classes are bard, fighter, paladin, and ranger.
³ Complex classes are cleric, druid, monk, and wizard.
|Race||Middle Age¹||Old²||Venerable³||Maximum Age|
|Aquatic elf||175 years||263 years||350 years||+4d% years|
|¹At middle age -1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.|
² At old age, -2 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
³ At venerable age, -3 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
|Random Starting Height And Weight|
|Race||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Aquatic elf, male||4'10"||+2d10||100 lb||x 2d4 lb.|
|Aquatic elf, female||4 5"||+2d10||80 lb.||x 2d4 lb.|