Elves are a basic character race that are featured in the core rulebooks of all editions of Dungeons & Dragons. In Eberron, the elves originated in Xen'drik during the Age of Giants, where they were slaves of the Giants. Modern elves are split into many distinct cultures: the Aerenal, the Valenar, the Khorvaire elves, and the Drow of Xen'drik. Most elven cultures partake in some form of ancestor worship, though the Drow and some of the elves of Khorvaire are exceptions.
Elves in Eberron[edit | edit source]
The Elves of Eberron are known to be a strange and diverse people. Humans will often find elves to be as strange as they find orcs and goblins. The elves who live in Khorvaire have integrated with their human society and now have similar culture and ideology. The elves of Aerenal and Valenar have an isolationist and perhaps even xenophobic outlook, rarely interacting with other races and caring little for affairs outside their borders. Despite their views of outsiders The Valenar and Aerenal Elves are willing to trade and interact with other nations, though neither of these elven societies is especially welcoming to visitors.
The Aerenal elves worship their ancestors as Deathless, lifeforms much like undead but kept alive by the positive energy of Irian. The Deathless serve as advisors and defenders and are considered by those who worship them to be divine as a whole, in the form of the Undying Court.
Another group of elves found on Aerenal are the Tairnadal tribes, a warrior culture that lives in the plains of northern Aerenal. Tairnadal elves do not worship the Undying Court. Instead, they follow the Spirits of the Past. By emulating the deeds of these ancestors, they believe the spirits can live again. They do not resurrect their fallen or beloved as Deathless. The most notable Tairnadal tribe is the Valaes Tairn, who went on to found the nation of Valenar in Khorvaire.
The elves of Khorvaire are as diverse as the elf race as a whole. They divide themselves by nation or by dragonmarked house and often follow the local customs. A few still hold their own race's beliefs in ancestor worship, but not to the same degree as the tairnadal or aereni. Currently, there is one elven dragonmark present in Khorvaire - the Mark of Shadow. it is divided across two houses: House Phiarlan and House Thuranni. The half-elven descendants of the elves, the Khoravar, have formed a separate community in Khorvaire.
The Drow of Xen'drik don't worship their ancestors directly. Rather, they tend to hold to the preservation of their forebears' traditions. They believe nothing honors their ancestors more than by living as they did. Some Drow also worship the scorpion god Vulkoor, though some Khorvairian scholars suspect Vulkoor to merely be an aspect of The Mockery, a member of the Dark Six. Other notable tribes of drow include the Umbragen, who reside in the portion of Khyber that lies beneath Xen'Drik, and the Sulatar, who have mastered elemental binding techniques learned from the Giants.
Long ago, another group of dragonmarked elves, bearing the Mark of Death, resided in Aerenal and the Lhazaar Principalities. However its bearer, House Vol, was utterly destroyed in -1600YK. The legacy of this house can still be seen in Khorvaire in the form of the Blood of Vol faith, which was founded by House Vol and its allies.
History[edit | edit source]
The elves of Eberron descended from the eladrin of the feyspire city, Shae Tirias Tolai. During the Age of Giants the city was sacked by the giants of Xen'drik and its inhabitants were enslaved. The years of enslavement changed the eladrin into the elves we know today, and allowed the elves to learn arcane magic from the giants. After the fall of giant civilization, many elves fled to the continent Aerenal where the majority of them have remained to this day.
During the Age of Monsters, some of the elves of Aerenal departed to Khorvaire and founded a colony in the region that is now Valenar. This colony was later abandoned, but during the Last War elven mercenaries of the Valaes Tairn cited this claim as justification for founding the nation of Valenar. Throughout its history, Aerenal has had a great rivalry with the dragons of Argonnessen, resulting in multiple Elf-Dragon wars.
In around -3,200 YK, the Mark of Shadow and the Mark of Death appeared on elven families of Aerenal. Around -2,600 YK, House Vol and the Mark of Death were wiped out by the aereni for the crime of creating a half-dragon offspring. In response to this, House Phiarlan left Aerenal for Khorvaire, though the Mark of Shadow still occasionally appears amongst aereni elves. Aereni elves with the Mark of Shadow are inducted into the Cairdal Blades, an aereni society of elite warriors. In 972 YK, in the midst of the Last War, an intra-house feud caused House Thuranni to break off from House Phiarlan.
During the Last War, elves of the Valaes Tairn were used by the nation of Cyre as mercenaries. In 956 YK these elves, under the leadership of War Leader Shaeras Vadallia, turned on their cyran employers, conquering a large region of southwestern Cyre. Vadallia crowned himself High King and founded the nation of Valenar. However, much of the population of Valenar is still made up of former cyrans, with elves making up less than half of the total population.
Elven Dragonmarked Houses[edit | edit source]
Notable Elves[edit | edit source]
- High King Shaeras Vadallia, former War Leader of the Vaeles Tairn and now the head of state of Valenar.
- Balaereth and Tezaera Mendyrian, the current Sibling Kings of Aerenal.
- Baron Elvinor Elorrenthi d'Phiarlan, current matriarch of House Phiarlan.
- Baron Elar d'Thuranni, current patriarch of House Thuranni.
- Erandis Vol, half-green dragon bearer of the Mark of Death, whos existance triggered the destruction of House Vol and the eradication of the Mark of Death.
- Maza ir'Thadian, currently the only elven member of the Sharn city council.
- Syraen Melideth, governor of Pylas Talaear, the main trade port between Aerenal and the outside world.
- Mordain the Fleshweaver, a former wizard of the Twelve and member of House Phiarlan who excoriated for his use of daelkyr magic. He now resides in Droaam.
Appendix[edit | edit source]
External Links[edit | edit source]
- Elf article at the Chronicles of Astinus, a wiki for the Dragonlance campaign setting.
- Elf article at the Forgotten Realms Wiki, a wiki for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting.
- Elf article at the Spelljammer Wiki, a wiki for the Spelljammer campaign setting.
References[edit | edit source]
- Eberron Campaign Setting, pp. 14, 210-212, 216-219, 236, 238-239. Keith Baker, Bill Slavicsek, and James Wyatt (2004). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3274-0.
- Secrets of Xen'drik, pp. 51-52. Keith Baker, Jason Bulmahn, and Amber Scott (2006). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3916-8.
- Eberron Campaign Guide, pp. 143-144. James Wyatt, Keith Baker, Ari Marmell, Robert J. Schwalb (2009). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN: 0-7869-5099-4.
- Sharn: City of Towers. Keith Baker and James Wyatt (2004). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3434-4.
Connections[edit | edit source]
|Civilized Races: Changeling | Drow | Dwarf | Elf | Gnome | Goblin | Half-Elf | Half-Orc | Halfling | Hobgoblin | Human | Kalashtar | Orc | Shifter | Warforged|
|Monstrous Races: Armand | Asherati | Bhuka | Doppelganger | Dragon | Dragonborn | Gnoll | Kobold | Lizardfolk | Medusa | Sahuagin | Shulassakar | Thri-kreen | Yuan-Ti|
|Outsiders: Aasimar | Angel | Archon | Daelkyr | Demon | Devil | Elemental | Genie | Githyanki | Githzerai | Inevitable | Mephit | Quori | Slaad | Tiefling|