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Shadow Elves: The Official Player's Book for the D&D(R) Game
adapted from D&D accessory GAZ13 The Shadow Elves created by Carl Sargent and Gary Thomas
edited by John A. Nephew
prepared for America Online by Roger E. Moore
(C)1995 TSR, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
(R) and (TM) indicate trademarks of TSR, Inc.
This file was written especially for players in D&D Known World campaigns. Further information on shadow elves appears in a separate file: "Shadow Elves: The Official DM(TM) Book for the D&D(R) Game." This material may also be adapted for an AD&D(R) MYSTARA(R), HOLLOW WORLD(R), or RED STEEL(R) campaign using another AOL library file that describes shadow elves in AD&D game statistics ("Shadow Elves: The Official AD&D(R) Game Statistics"). Maps and illustrations from the original GAZ13 product are not available on-line at this time.
Shadow elves are unknown on any other official campaign world in the AD&D game multiverse. However, individuals can travel wherever they like, using spells, devices, magical gates, or elements of the SPELLJAMMER(R) or PLANESCAPE(TM) campaigns.
The world of Mystara has undergone major geopolitical changes in recent years, given the events detailed in the Wrath of the Immortals boxed set, the three Poor Wizard's Almanacs, and Joshuan's Almanac (due out December 1995). Shadow elves have fought their way to the surface world and now control their own kingdom, Aengmor, which is completely surrounded by Darokin. (Aengmor was formerly known as the elven kingdom Alfheim.) Consider the information in this file and other GAZ13-based AOL files to be the most accurate "pre-WotI" data available. Files updating the shadow elves' situation might be posted at a later date.
Before starting a shadow-elf campaign, make sure that you, the player, are familiar with this guide, which provides you with an overview of the mysterious shadow elves and guidelines for creating shadow-elf characters to use in their home deep beneath the Broken Lands of the Known World.
The very best way to learn about the shadow elves is not to encounter them as a reader, but as a player character. The culture of the shadow elves is truly an alien one, quite different from life on the surface. It has many layers, and peeling off these layers, one by one, is a time-consuming process. Not even the shadow elves know why they do some things the way they do; so much is shrouded in history, or in their deeply held beliefs. Much enjoyment can come from learning about these underground elves in a piecemeal fashion, so the best way to experience this book is to let someone else "read" it to you, in the course of a gaming session where your characters learn--perhaps incorrectly, at first--about the shadow elves.
When you are finally ready to play a shadow-elf character of your own, this is where you'll return. About half of this book gives the cultural perspective of the shadow elves: history as they know it, general geographical information, a typical day, and some scattered details about the "Way of the Shamans." The rest of this book details the creation and playing a shadow-elf character, with an extensive list of skills and spells.
For those players who want an extra challenge--at the cost of slower advancement--the last section of this book tell you how to create and play a shaman, or ritual spellcaster, among the shadow elves. Shamans dedicate their entire lives to Rafiel, the Immortal, and to the shadow elves as a whole. In return for their service, they gain additional spells, as well as the respect of the shadow elves for their wise leadership.
Besides the rules for the D&D game, you may be interested in perusing GAZ5 The Elves of Alfheim and GAZ10 The Orcs of Thar; both of these books pertain to the "friends and neighbours" of the shadow elves. The perspective of these books, of course, is different, and a few "well-known facts" in them might not be entirely correct--but a character who wants to know the whole truth about the shadow elves must travel to their underground dominion and live among them.
Welcome to the Home of the Shadow Elves
Adventurers know the Broken Lands as a rugged, forsaken area of burning sunlight and dry, dusty rocks. Merchants who have business on the other side of the Broken Lands, along with mercenaries hired to protect them, are typically the only outsiders willing (or foolish enough) to enter this barren place.
Some adventurers also know that the Broken Lands are not as deserted as they appear, for below them are the caverns that serve as homes for many humanoid races: orcs, bugbears, goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, ogres, gnolls, and trolls. The orcish king, Thar, claims the Broken Lands as his, and together with his hordes threatens any on the surface above who trespass his domain. Indeed, the Broken Lands are quite inhabited, for the vicious and ugly humanoids who live beneath its surface are still not as deep as possible. Beneath the orcs and their allies live a race never meant to inhabit the bowels of the earth, but lost to depths eons ago and now accustomed to life below ground: the shadow elves.
Only a handful of the humanoids above the shadow elves know of their existence, and almost no surface dwellers are aware of them. Yet the shadow elves have knowledge not only of the orcs and their kin, and the Alfheim elves and other demihumans farther above, but also of lands and races never dreamt of by any of these: the area known to the shadow elves as the Land of the Red Sun.
Rafiel Will Guide Him
The cavern was cold and humid, a contrast from the usually warm and dry abodes that the shadow elves inhabited. But this group was not at home: they had travelled some distance in order to participate in a ritual as old as their race, a ritual handed down from the Immortal Rafiel, a ritual ordained in the Refuge of Stone.
No torchlight nor candle flame reflected off the shaman's pale, mottled face, for this was a ritual of darkness, as were all of the rituals of the shadow elves. Still, the small group huddled in this cave could see through the blackness as well as any surface dweller could see in daylight, and their large, pointed ears could easily pull in the whispering of the shaman's chanting voice as she recited the history of the Four True Clans.
"Once, long ago, before the Great Rain of Fire even before the shamans discovered the secrets of the Earth Fire, we lived on the surface, as did all of our brothers and sisters. Deep in forests green did we dwell, a happy people in a happy land. We were a fertile race, living at peace with all in a fertile land. Our elders brought us up wisely, teaching us all those things that we needed to know, and we in turn brought up our children so that they could preserve the best of all of us.
"And so life went on for so many years, until humans caused the Great Rain of Fire, the day that the sun and the moon moved suddenly across the sky, and our fair land was lost in snow and ice."
The shaman paused in her recital, a tear rolling slowly down her cheek. She turned to the mother and father standing there, staring intently at each. The mother's eyes had already begun filling with tears hours ago, as the shadow elves were making their pilgrimage to this lonely spot. Somehow the little bundle in her arms knew not to cry.
The shaman reached out her hand to pull the blanket back from the baby's grotesque face, then continued her soft chanting.
"But all was not lost for our people. Those at home in the south were mostly destroyed, frozen by the bitter cold and unable to find food anywhere. Fortunately, though, our elders had visited Blackmoor, and even as it was burnt to a cinder, this remnant found the Refuge of Stone.
"The fathers of the Four True Clans dug deep beneath the surface, finding incredible caverns that hid them from the Rain of Fire. All of Blackmoor was lost, but the elves were safe.
Travelling onward, always deeper, after many years the leaders of this remnant found a large cavern where they settled. Etched on its walls, touched by the hand of Rafiel, were the sacred words of the Refuge of Stone. It was there that our ancestors built a great temple, and it was there that the City of Stars grew up. Rafiel had not yet taught us the Way of the Shamans, nor the secret of the soul crystals."
The shaman looked down at her breast, where hung a large, clear stone, which even in the pitch darkness of the passageway seemed to glow with its own light as she spoke. Holding tightly to the crystal with her left hand, she put her right hand on the forehead of the tiny sacrifice she was about to offer to the Way of the Shamans.
"The Way of the Shamans was there, in the Refuge of Stone, but our elders could not see it, for Rafiel did not want them to see it. The secret of the soul crystals was there, in the Refuge of Stone, but our elders could not see it, for Rafiel did not want them to see it. But Rafiel was good, and Rafiel was wise, and the Refuge of Stone caused our people to grow in number.
"Life in the City of Stars was hard, with little food, and many of us hungered for many years. Rafiel was testing us, tempering his people as a smith tempers his sword. After centuries, Rafiel was convinced that this sword was true; he knew its hardness and its sharpness. With this sword, Rafiel could smite any enemy, and so it was that Rafiel revealed to us the Way of the Shamans, hidden within the carvings of the Refuge of Stone.
"Light brings forth shadow, and only shadow can bring forth light. May this soul bring forth light, and return together with others to lead our people."
So saying, the shaman took the baby from its mother's arms and set it gently on the cavern's floor. "Rafiel in the rocks can guide this one's path now. Strengthen him, help him to find a clear crystal, lead him as you led us to our Refuge of Stone. We will watch for him, just as you patiently watch over us."
The shaman started back down the cold passageway, leading the party home to the City of Stars, while the crystal on her chest glowed brightly. The dwindling sounds of the baby's whimpering matched his mother's silent tears.
History as the Shadow Elves Know It
The elves who had led the Blackmoor expedition were caught unawares by the Great Rain of Fire. They fled into the Broken Lands, finding caves there that promised to protect them from the scorching flames on the surface. Deep within the ground, they found a vast cave with unusual properties: one could stand on its ceiling as easily as on its floor. On that ceiling they settled, attracted by mysterious carvings, and founded the City of Stars.
The City of Stars was not the only city of the shadow elves, but it was the largest, and it did manage to survive--something difficult considering the circumstances. The catastrophe on the surface continued in the depths of the earth and utterly destroyed one city, Aengmor, when it was surrounded by lava after an earthquake. Even so, after centuries, the elves had started to rebuild civilisation, and centuries after that, they dared to travel to the surface again.
The elves had by now forgotten the way to the surface, but the bravest among them were sent to seek it out. On their first journey, a small party of elves found the land as inhospitable to them as it was when they left it: the sun burned a fiery red, and refused to set at night. The pale skin and eyes of the shadow elves were little match for the sun's brightness; many members of this group were blinded after only the first day, and all of them died shortly after returning to the City of Stars.
A second expedition was sent out about a hundred years later. The shadow elves emerged in the Broken Lands near what is now called the Sun's Anvil, and needless to say, the expedition leader decided that the surface was still not habitable. Meanwhile, the shadow elves had occasionally encountered other denizens of the Broken Lands. These humanoids in general found the shadow elves delicious; none of them was able (nor did any try) to correct the shadow elves' false impression of conditions on the surface.
Eventually, shadow elves in some cave or other came upon a party of human adventurers. These humans scarcely recognised the shadow elves as elves, so much had their appearance changed over the millennia. The shadow elves learned from these humans that the devastation from the Great Rain of Fire had ended long ago, and even more astonishing, that an entire nation of elves had established themselves on the surface--Alfheim. (In fact, several nations of elves had formed, including Wendar, Shiye-Lawr in Alphatia, and two principalities in Glantri, but the shadow elves did not learn of these until later.)
The shadow elves, unskilled in the arts of diplomacy (for such had never before been needed by their kind), hastily sent a group to Alfheim, on the surface, but peace was not to be readily had. The surface elves, who had somehow survived the ice age in their homeland and travelled here, were not interested in sharing their bounty with their lost cousins. A series of overtures and counter-overtures finally ended with Celedryl, then king of Alfheim, ordering that all shadow elves found within his realm be immediately killed.
The shadow elves hardened their hearts at this. This was against their code as elves: Never would they treat another of their kind so shamefully. They now understood why Rafiel had prepared them so well for the hardships of cave living, for it was evidently their fate to live forever in the City of Stars and its environs.
Still, some shadow elves are yet hopeful that they may be able to return to the surface some day, and certain envoys have quietly been sent to different nations to investigate this eventuality. Meanwhile, the shadow elves are not friendly to any visitors to their realm: the approved policy is to shoot these enemies first, and ask questions later.
The Four Lost Clans
In relation to the elves of Alfheim and other surface lands, the shadow elves make up all that is left of four clans lost when Blackmoor was destroyed: the Celebryl, the Porador, the Felistyr, and the Gelbalf. Elves are not a solitary people; they enjoy the company of others of their kind. Thus, it is not surprising that these four clans have gathered into four cities underground.
These four cities are connected by a warren of tunnels, opening out into caverns large enough to hold each of the cities. The tunnels connecting the cities are not of uniform size, and so most tunnels are designated as allowing travel in only one direction. In this manner, groups seldom need to pass by each other in the narrower passageways. The elves have a certain amount of specialisation, so trade between cities is a common activity. Travelling the wrong direction is seen as a breach of good manners. More about the tunnel networks connecting the cities can be found below.
While members of a clan live in the city to which they belong, it is ordinary practice to marry a shadow elf from a different city. The new couple then sets up their home in the bride's home city, usually living near her parents, and sometimes sharing quarters with them. The new husband is considered to belong to his wife's clan after the marriage. Geography in General
The domain of the shadow elves covers one of the greatest regions of any country covered in the Gazetteer series. If it were suddenly moved to the surface, it would extend from Belcadiz in Glantri, east to the regions of the Ethengarian Yakuts and the Dwarfgate Mountains, then south to the Cruth Mountains and west in a line below the city of Darokin as far as Lake Amsorak.
The shadow elves, spread out over their underground expanse, number about 550,000, with more than half of these concentrated in the clans' four major cities.
The City of Stars
Description: The City of Stars is the capital and largest city of the shadow elves, and an architectural marvel, for it is built on the ceiling of the largest cavern known to them. The elves thought it a miracle that gravity acted in the way that it did in this cavern, and the fortunate discovery of the Refuge of Stone on a cavern wall further guaranteed its value as the site for a city.
The gravity is in general uniform for anyone standing in a particular spot: he feels firmly attached to the floor below him, and anything he throws up into the air falls back down to the ground as expected. But there are areas of sudden gravity shifts along the walls, and a careful climber will discover that he can ascend to what he thought was the ceiling and then stand upon it, looking "up" toward the "floor" he was standing on before. It is on this ceiling that almost a majority of shadow elves makes their home.
The name of the City of Stars derives from its appearance from the floor of the cavern in which it is built. The unusual gravity of the cavern allows a visitor to stand on the floor of the cavern and look up at the city, miles above, so far away that its streetlights and windows appear to be stars. Somewhere, deep in the shadow elves' racial memories, they recall the beauty of stars under a summer sky, so the City of Stars holds a particular emotional appeal. Indeed, the infravision of the elves leaves little need for lights--the main reason they are kept is so that the city deserves its name when viewed from the floor of the vast cavern.
The City of Stars, however, does not always deserve its name, for its cavern is so large--and so warm--that the centre of the cavern often fills with clouds, and rain falls about once a week. Because of the peculiar gravity of the place, this rain falls both directions at the same time. Thunderstorms occur less often, but are quite dramatic and seen as a good omen from the Immortal Rafiel.
The principal feature of the City of Stars is of course the Temple of Rafiel, built against a face of the cavern on which is carved the Refuge of Stone, the religious text upon which the Way of the Shamans and all worship of Rafiel is based. The Temple of Rafiel almost entirely fills this niche, with stalactites hundreds of feet long hanging down nearly to the steps of the temple.
The temple is built as a series of concentric rectangles, with walls sloping in toward the centre. Any shadow elf is free to worship at the shrine on the very top of the temple, but entering inside is allowed only to shamans. Only the highest-level shamans have access to the innermost sanctum of the temple.
The Celebryl Air Force is of course based in the City of Stars; its troops practice manoeuvres daily, swooping their large skinwings--tremendous flying reptiles similar to winged reptiles of the age of dinosaurs--through the air.
The City of Stars is directly underneath Trollhattan, in the Broken Lands; the water from the city's wells, in fact, is filtered down from Troll Lake more than a thousand feet above.
Description: The city of New Grunland is located about 100 miles north of the City of Stars, a good twelve-day journey through twisting tunnels that connect the two caverns. New Grunland's cavern is about half the size of the capital's, but is considerably warmer.
The Grunlanders take advantage of this heat by growing and processing food, trading it with the other three cities of the shadow elves. A "Porador breakfast"--only a single mouthful--can last an elf all day long, because of the way it is compressed and preserved. Foodstuffs such as these are particularly useful for travelling through the caves; no one wants to be burdened with extra weight.
Description: Alfmyr boasts the largest vein of soul crystals of any of the cities of the shadow elves. Mining these crystals is tedious, exacting work--it can take several years to extract a single crystal--but is considered rewarding by the elves because of the religious significance of the crystals. The crystals, of course, are not traded with other clans, but are shared between shamans, who are considered clanless, belonging to all of the shadow elves.
Alfmyr does profit financially from its mining, though, often finding precious metals near the pockets of soul crystals. The smoke of smithies can be smelled in Alfmyr, as these metals are fashioned into fine armour and weapons.
Geographically speaking, Alfmyr is the city farthest from the rest of the shadow elves, being located almost directly under the Canolbarth Forest in the kingdom of Alfheim.
Description: The smallest of the four main cities, Losetrel is known for the bravery of its tailors. Spider silk, gathered from the webs of giant shroud spiders, is carefully cured to remove its paralysing features, and is then woven into cloth and cut and sewn into white garments of considerable beauty.
The shroud spiders are not domesticated in any sense of the word. Their bite is poisonous, but it is considered unprofitable to kill a spider, as they take years to grow to a size at which they can spin useable silk. This means that the webbing must be "stolen" from the spider, usually accomplished by having one tailor lure the spider away from its lair by feigning to be trapped while another tailor grabs up the silk. This is a dangerous manoeuvre, since anyone within 30 feet of the spider can be hit by a paralysing strand of web.
Webbing is also made into ropes that retain their property of paralysis for several months; these are often used as lassos by skinwing troops, or by ground forces travelling through tunnels near humanoid settlements.
The techniques first developed in Losetrel have since been adopted in other cities and settlements of the shadow elves.
The Tunnels of the Shadow Elves
Shadow elves are as adept at mining and tunnelling as the dwarves of Rockhome are, but for the most part the shadow elves have not had to create their own tunnels. Indeed, the area that they inhabit is riddled with literally thousands of caves and tunnels, with some passageways being hundreds of miles long.
Not only do these passages lead between the four cities of the shadow elves, but they also lead to many of the realms of the humanoids, as well as to the surface in various locations, including Glantri, Darokin, and even Thyatis and Alphatia.
Naturally, the endpoints of these tunnels are carefully guarded by the shadow elves, even though visitors through them are rare. The most common (after ordinary animals and other monsters) are humanoids from the Broken Lands above, but the occasional human or dwarf party is not unknown.
Interestingly enough, there is a tunnel that is purported to lead to the fabled "Land of the Red Sun", and it is guarded just as any other tunnel would be, although none of the shadow elves use it. Being posted here is considered a demotion.
The shadow elves have spent--and continue to spend--considerable time working on these tunnels. If one didn't know better, one perhaps would suspect that the shadow elves were related to dwarves, because of the enjoyment and skill they have with mining.
Tunnels are widened where necessary to provide proper passage. Where stalagmites and stalactites prevent wheeled carts or pack animals from moving through, these natural features are removed by work crews to provide a path. Some areas need special shoring up along walls and ceiling to insure safety.
Not all the tunnels are filled only with air--some are considerably more hazardous while offering other benefits. Many tunnels are flooded with underground rivers, and several of these rivers are navigable, allowing the shadow elves to travel in boats from city to city. Extensive work has been done on several of these water tunnels, because a boat can't just duck its head when the ceiling is lower. The erosion along these tunnels also requires the constant attention of shadow elven miners. Some large caverns contain gigantic underground lakes; some of these have shadow elf cities and settlements along their banks.
A few tunnels are "wind shafts", with air blowing fiercely in one direction or the other, depending upon the pressure of the caves that are interconnected. These insure that the shadow elves have fresh air to breathe, besides allowing smoke to be carried off safely. For the most part, these passageways are not further excavated by the shadow elves, lest they interfere with the natural wind.
Finally, a few tunnels are filled with molten magma, on its way to becoming lava once it reaches a surface and spews forth from a volcano. Tunnels only partially filled afford opportunity for the shadow elves to vary their diet, for many of them contain lava fish, a succulent food prized not only because of its rarity but also because of its piquant flavour. Lava rivers frequently become the homes of blacksmiths and other metal workers, as well as other types of businesses that need a high heat source. Explorations of these tunnels, when possible with the assistance of magic, show that most of them end in great lava whirlpools, some leading to the surface--presumably to a volcano or future volcano--and some leading back down into the depths of the world.
As can be expected, different types of tunnels can converge more or less in one spot. Thus, for example, a wind tunnel, lava tunnel, and underground river might create a great quantity of steam that is blown off to some other cave.
Finally, it must be emphasised that these tunnels are quite variable in size--some can barely be squeezed through by a young shadow elf, while others can be several miles wide.
A Day in the Lives of the Shadow Elves
1 a.m.: Swooping through the black sky, Teledriel kept his eyes sharp, scanning this way and that, hunting for his deadly prey. Teledriel belonged to Clan Celebryl, and had earned his post as captain of a patrol after 19 years of service. Above him, stars twinkled--the lights of the City of Stars. His skinwing mount knew this cave as well as he did. The great beast flapped its leathery wings only occasionally, otherwise catching the warm air currents that lifted off various rocks, hot from the energy in the bowels of the earth.
This whole area underground was riddled with tunnels; the major ones were well guarded by troops on the ground, but there were not enough elves to protect all of them, and some of these tunnels led to the Broken Lands above. It was a full-time job for many, protecting the habitations of the shadow elves from the marauding humanoids. Whenever possible, it was standard policy for the shadow elves to kill any unwanted visitors, completely to the last soldier. If any happened to escape, or if a raid was considered not accidental--not just a party of trolls who were lost in the tunnels--then the shamans needed to be called in, to use their magic to reroute the tunnels, so that the orcs and their kin would not be able to find the shadow elves that way again.
For the most part, humanoids were too stupid to attempt attacking the shadow elves--and those with enough intelligence to accomplish it were smart enough not to try. Tonight, Teledriel hoped that all would be quiet.
2 a.m.: In the city of Losetrel, in a quiet little house, in a small room, an elf lay in painful struggle--the struggle for life. She and her husband had waited for this moment for 28 weeks now, the moment when she would give birth to their first child. The pains were coming more regularly now, and Faengloar knew that the time was close.
Her husband, Poponel, was worried, as worried as any husband would be at such an occasion. He loved his wife, but was frightened of her frailty. He glanced at the midwife hovering nearby, and wondered if his child, whether son or daughter, would be born healthy. Faengloar was only 141 years old, quite young to be having a child.
3 a.m.: The town of Porador was quiet at this time of day, but Dilgar liked it that way. He was already up and busy tending his charges. "My beasts want to be milked reg'lar," he liked to say, and he prided himself on the fact that he had not missed a morning or evening in 22 years on the farm.
The giant slugs--not the wild variety, but a species domesticated by the shadow elves millennia ago--waited patiently in their stalls, growling softly when Dilgar poured the slop in their feed troughs. This was Dilgar's favourite part of the job, when the beasts' eager natures showed through. Dilgar liked his slugs to show some spirit.
4 a.m.: Faengloar's cries had grown louder over the last hour, as her pain had intensified, and Poponel had been ushered from the room by his sister-in-law. Now Poponel had only to do what every father had to do at some time in his life--to wait by himself, with his fears, while his wife bore his child. It could be hours yet, he thought to himself. He hoped that he could endure the wait and wished that he had a treltilan to smoke while he paced back and forth.
5 a.m.: Seladir set down her towel; she was dry enough now, and combed through her damp white hair with quick, eager strokes. Seladir had much to do today--she had been up for an hour already--for Seladir was a shaman.
She picked up the small copper pitcher and poured a few drops of holy water on each hand. Barely audible, she asked that Rafiel would guide her this day and keep her heart and body clean, so that she could better serve him. This ritual completed, she hurriedly dressed, finishing her outfit with a large white gem that hung from a gold chain around her neck. "May Rafiel guide these to us," she solemnly intoned, and then walked from her tiny room toward the main chamber of the Immortal's temple.
6 a.m.: Mardaniel continued along his way, quietly taking step after step as he had for the last three hours. To another shadow elf, keeping such hours would seem unusual--but Mardaniel no longer had the right to call himself a shadow elf. Mardaniel was a wanderer, forced to leave his city after a shaman determined that he was too old to stay any longer. "Too old!" he thought to himself-- "as if I was any spryer at 700 than 800."
Mardaniel chuckled to himself at this thought, then sucked in his breath lest anyone hear him. This cavern was one he had never entered before, of course, for it was ordered in the Refuge of Stone that wanderers never retrace their steps, and Mardaniel was not one to tempt Rafiel's justice over so inconsequential a matter.
7 a.m.: Teledriel was pleased with the night--everything so far had been quiet, and only two more hours on his shift. The sturdy beast under his saddle showed no signs of tiring, but Teledriel would be glad to land and crawl into bed.
His stomach reminded him that it was time for his meal. He whistled twice to his skinwing as a signal, then tied the reins off to the saddle-ring while his mount flew steadily on. The pouch hanging from Teledriel's belt held his meal for the day, and he opened it gingerly, pouring the brownish lump into the palm of his hand. He offered a silent prayer up to Rafiel, bit into his breakfast, and swallowed the whole in two gulps. Teledriel would not be hungry again until the following morning.
8 a.m.: Seladir felt entirely at peace with herself, as she did each morning after the adulation of the Refuge of Stone. The worship chamber of Rafiel's temple was huge, and the back of the largest chamber was built into the face of the cliff. No wall was added, for here was found the Refuge of Stone, the instructions for the shadow elves, drawn by Rafiel's own finger into the rock.
Those gathered there this morning had read out the 14 verses of the Refuge of Stone, following the letters carefully even though each had memorised the entire text long ago. Most of the congregation were shamans, wearing soul crystals, and these gems shown the brighter while the holy words were recited.
Seladir wished that she could stay in this place for a while longer, but knew that she had other duties to keep her busy today in the temple.
9 a.m.: Teledriel was putting his great beast away, rubbing his back with a stiff brush where the saddle had been strapped for the past 12 hours.
Suddenly, both beast and rider bristled at the faint sound of a horn being blown from some distance away. Every shadow elf in the City of Stars knew this sound, for there was only one reason that horns were blown--an attack from outside!
Teledriel grabbed the saddle back from its rack as a boy came running to help. Within moments the great straps had all been made fast, and Teledriel was winging his way back across the sky. His ears picked out the direction of the horn, and he guided his mount higher and higher, soon reaching the gravity shift point where he swung the skinwing over and began the rapid descent toward the opposite floor of the cavern.
10 a.m.: Dilgar had finished milking his slugs, and even now was pouring the last bucketful of their yellow-brown milk into a large vat. The evening before, he had picked a handful of lermon (a kind of fungi) and now tossed it into the vat and stirred briskly with a large wooden paddle. While the milk was curdling, he rinsed off his leather apron--slugs can be a little messy at times--and headed off to the "north 40," where his fungi needed tending.
11 a.m.: Poponel's mind jumped back and forth from a mood of hope and ease, to one of excitement and eagerness, to one of doubt and worry, and back again. He tried sitting, he tried pacing, and he even tried lying down. None of this was able to settle him--but would anyone expect it to?
From time to time he could hear his wife's groans of pain from the next room, which only made him feel even more powerless. The midwife didn't really help when she stepped out for a moment and asked how he was--he felt embarrassed for being nervous, and felt further embarrassed for feeling embarrassed.
Noon: On the surface, the sun would be at its highest point in the sky at this time, but in the City of Stars it was, of course, still as dark as ever.
Seladir's noontime meditation was interrupted, as she knew it would be when she first heard the horns, by the arrival of injured troops from the battle across the gigantic cavern. One of the worst injuries was a skinwing rider--probably an officer, to judge from his clothing. The military healers who brought him in said that he had been ambushed by two trolls who jumped out at him when he dived toward a regiment of orcs. His skinwing had been killed--and half eaten!--by the trolls. If their hunger had been less, they might have paid some attention to this flyer and he would have returned to a soul crystal; as it was, he lay on the ground unconscious while other shadow elves laboriously defeated the humanoids all around him.
Seladir looked at this specimen of bravery now. He would live, but it would be some time before his left leg regenerated, and that required the care of a shaman. Blessed by Rafiel, she thought to herself, this man would fly again in a few months.
1 p.m.: Reginal had stared at the wall of this cave for over two hours now, and he felt ready to take the next exacting step. The pick in his hand looked like a child's toy, small as it was, but it was of the finest shadow elven craftsmanship. Further, it had been blessed by the shamans at the Temple of Rafiel. No other tool would fit the bill for the precise work he was doing.
Reginal was no ordinary miner. He was not digging a new passageway to some cavern, or widening some tunnel so that carts could pass, or even raising the ceiling of some underground river--a dangerous job, but necessary for navigation in many cases.
No, Reginal was mining soul crystals, and he knew that damaging the gem in any way meant many deaths, for these multi-faceted stones held within them the past and future members of his race. This was Rafiel's gift to his kind, he thought, the secret of the soul crystals.
Tap! Tap! His pick struck the rock wall in two places; then Reginal stood staring again. This one would require a few more hours of study before he could continue his excavation.
2 p.m.: "Liar! I touched you before you found refuge, you know I did."
"Did not, green elf!"
"Did so, wanderer!"
Two shadow elf children were enjoying another day of play, at games that reflected the concerns of their parents long ago. The archetype was the early wanderings of the shadow elves, before Rafiel revealed the Refuge of Stone and the race founded the great City of Stars. "Green elf" was a free insult, comparing the companion with those surface elves that had not the courtesy nor kindness of accepting their deep-dwelling siblings. This childhood squabble would end in a moment or two, and play would continue, but the disagreements the playmates' parents had with the elves of Alfheim was a more serious matter--outside the realm of childhood frivolity.
3 p.m.: Seladir was finished with her patient, the skinwing rider whose name she still did not know. The bleeding from his leg had stopped, thanks to her powers as a shaman of Rafiel. She felt glad that the wound that amputated the leg was sharp and clean, for she hated having to cut away dirty injuries. If the rest of the leg had been found at the scene of the battle, she could have tried to put it back on, but evidently one of the trolls had consumed it. As it was, she exerted the utmost of her powers to cause the missing limb slowly to grow back.
4 p.m.: Poponel was no happier now than he was 12 hours before. The midwife had left, relieved by another midwife who took her place at Faengloar's bedside. Poponel harboured a secret desire that some other husband, some other father-to-be, could come and relieve him, waiting for the inevitable while Poponel got some sleep, or took a walk, or--anything but this!
5 p.m.: Mardaniel was almost 900 years old, but still had his faculties. He knew what the rock surrounding a vein of soul crystals looked like, and this was it. In his youth, this would have been a lucky find, but now it was valueless to his race. Rafiel knew where it was, and would reveal it in due time, but all Mardaniel could do was to pause here, reverently, and wonder who might some day be born after these gems were unearthed.
Would Rafiel look kindly on his own soul? he wondered. When he breathed his last breath, would he travel to a soul crystal hanging around a shaman's neck, or resting on an altar? Or would his travail be to abide in an unmined vein, such as this one, to wait--possibly for centuries, or even millennia--until he was dug out and could be born again?
Mardaniel's reveries were interrupted by a sudden sound from the passageway ahead of him. He could hear his heart pounding in his ears as his eyes scanned this way and that, looking for any suitable hiding place among the rocks. He was a wanderer, and forbidden by the Refuge of Stone ever to retrace his steps, so he could not turn and run. But who was ahead of him, coming this way? Perhaps a band of goblins, hunting for food. Even worse, it could be a group of his own kind--and Rafiel had strictly forbidden contact between wanderers and city dwellers. Mardaniel pulled himself into a niche in the wall, crouched down, and hoped that he wouldn't be spotted.
6 p.m.: Miles above the City of Stars, the sun was going down in the western sky, but there was no change here. Rafiel's kindness did not extend to creating giant lights in the sky to see by. Shadow elves had other gifts from the Immortal: Their clear eyes could see in the dark for almost a hundred feet, and their oversized ears enabled them to zero in on the tiniest sound.
7 p.m.: Dilgar wouldn't trade his life with that of anyone else in Porador--or even anyone in the City of Stars, even the king himself. He liked getting up early, and he liked settling down to an evening of peace and quiet after putting the animals to bed. The slugs needed little tending, other than their milking twice a day, but the spiders were something else. These fearsome giants were naturally territorial, but even so if one got too hungry it was liable to roam, and Dilgar's neighbours wouldn't appreciate that at all.
Once a week, Dilgar had to give the spiders meat--fresh meat. He had only two spiders on his farm, and he was fortunate that there had been an attack by kobolds a few days ago. Kobolds always attacked in large numbers, but were usually incapable of being more than a nuisance. Dilgar had purchased four of the dead creatures from the troops' quartermaster after the battle, and he now approached the spider webs with the bodies loaded in a wheelbarrow.
His farm was laid out in a clever fashion. The spiders lived in a cul-de-sac; Dilgar had fitted out the passageway leading into them with a slingshot made from the outer skin of a particular giant fungus. One by one, he loaded up the slingshot with the cold bodies of the kobolds, firing these morsels into the spider webs at the back wall of the cave. He liked the little chittering sound the beasts made when he fed them.
8 p.m.: Mardaniel should have felt tired, but his excitement was still high from the conversation he had been having with his new friend. The footsteps he had heard did not belong to a humanoid raiding party, nor to city-dwelling shadow elves, but to another wanderer like himself.
This was allowed, but necessarily temporary: Rafiel's code did not allow either of them to accompany the other, for that would require him to retrace his footsteps, and such a thing a wanderer never could do. The two old men had just talked for a while, reminiscing about mutual acquaintances years before in the City of Stars.
Mardaniel brought up the subject of the hidden city, a tale he had heard as a child, but his new acquaintance knew nothing of it. Was there really a great cavern, inhabited by wanderers? Did Rafiel allow such a thing? Would Mardaniel ever find this city?
The two wanderers swapped information on what each would find farther along the tunnel, then they parted. Neither would ever see the other again.
9 p.m.: Telemon Celebryl was king of all the shadow elves, by the grace of Rafiel and his shamans. His palace was in the City of Stars, of course. Ordinarily, a king would not be working this late, but it was not every night that a spy brought back a new report from Glantri.
Telemon knew that his subjects deserved better than these hollow spaces underground, even if this was Rafiel's will for them. Telemon knew that life on the surface was sweeter than this, and that the elves of Alfheim could be forced to share their bounty with the shadow elves. Telemon knew that he had the strength, cunning and will to bring these things to pass.
With this latest report, his plot to take over Alfheim was proceeding according to plan.
10 p.m.: Seladir enjoyed this flyer's company. His optimism in the face of hardship and suffering was contagious, reminding her of what her father was like before he became a wanderer.
She learned the name of the captain--for she had guessed rightly, he was an officer--the name of Teledriel, who would rest here in the temple's infirmary overnight, and then report back to his camp in the morning. His leg had grown back entirely by now; he would walk with a limp for a few weeks while it gained its strength anew.
11 p.m.: Poponel could not believe that he had fallen asleep. He woke up now with a start, and wondered what time it was. He could hear his wife's piteous cries from the bedroom intermingled with the midwife's orders: "Push!" the woman cried "Push harder! Everything is well, Faengloar, but you must work now to see your new baby born!"
The fact that in a few moments Poponel's wait would be over was no relief to him. He found himself pacing back and forth across the room, wanting to be with his wife but knowing that he would only be in the way. At this final moment, his thoughts turned to fear: The shadow elves were more prolific than their surface cousins, but a painful price was paid for this. Will my baby be healthy? he wondered, or will it, like so many others, be defor--he could not get his mind to finish the word. He had a brother whose second child was returned to Rafiel, as was the custom in such cases, and Poponel knew that he thought of it with sadness each time he went to the temple.
The sudden sound of a baby's cry brought Poponel's thoughts back to the present, but the shouts of the midwife did nothing to soothe him. "Faengloar! Your son! Look at his face! He has the marks--send someone to the temple immediately!" Poponel noticed, rather detached, that the room seemed to be getting darker, and that there was a rushing sound in his ears--then he fainted and collapsed to the floor.
Midnight: Seladir was in bed, and had pulled the blanket tight up under her chin. It had been a long day, and she certainly deserved her rest, which made her wonder all the more why she could now hear voices clamouring in the hallway outside her door. A knock convinced her that she would not soon be sleeping. "Come in!" she called.
A servant girl stepped through the doorway and bowed her head once in respect to the shaman. "Pardon the intrusion, your reverence, but there is a man here who needs you to look at his newborn. He says that the baby has the marks--"
Seladir was already up out of the bed and pulling on her dayclothes. She followed the girl out into the lobby to meet this father. Poponel saw her coming, and thought how poised the shaman looked. He studied the purplish marks around her eyes, and proudly remembered those same marks on his first son's face, the marks that forever branded him as one of Rafiel's chosen, the marks that qualified him to enter the temple's school, the marks that showed every shadow elf that here was a shaman!
The Way of the Shamans
The shadow elves are a quite religious race, feeling as they do that the continued existence of their people intimately depends upon the quality of their relationship with the Immortal Rafiel. It was Rafiel, they believe, that led them to the City of Stars and revealed his scripture, the Refuge of Stone. Nor is Rafiel any one-shot leader: He has continued his mystical presence throughout the history of the shadow elves, teaching and empowering shamans, leading miners to new veins of soul crystals, and in every way ensuring that the shadow elves do not become extinct.
Birth? Not Quite Yet!
Life begins at birth--or so believe the surface dwellers. The shadow elves know better, for Rafiel has taught them his secrets, the Way of the Shamans. In fact, the soul of the individual is immortal, and dwells in a physical form only temporarily--at most a thousand years.
Where is the soul, then, before it is born into the body of a shadow elf? And where does the soul go after apparent death? The answers to these two questions give the shamans incredible power.
The rocks surrounding the habitat of the shadow elves infrequently yield forth a particular sort of gem--a gem found nowhere else in the world. Rafiel has taught his shamans that these gems are "soul crystals", the holders of the race of shadow elves. Each soul crystal, depending on its size and quality, can contain from one to 100 souls. These souls lie dormant as long as the gem is contained in its original rock formation, but after it is excavated these souls are free to be born.
When a shadow elf becomes pregnant, a soul from a nearby soul crystal enters into the woman to await its imminent birth. Which soul? From which soul crystal? These are decisions for Rafiel himself to make, and those who revere him must of course respect his judgments in all such cases.
In Rafiel's wisdom, he has selected out certain souls as special. When these are born, their uniqueness is immediately apparent.
Some souls are weaker than others, or misbehaved in earlier lives, and must be kept apart from the shadow elves or properly punished to guide them along the path that leads to proper behaviour. These souls are born with tragic, atrocious deformities as a sign of their past misdeeds.
In such a case, a shaman leads the parents, together with the infant, on a journey that might take several days or weeks. Rafiel guides the shaman on this circuitous route, that eventually ends up in some little-travelled underground corridor. There, a short ceremony is held, and the baby is abandoned into Rafiel's care. The parents mourn for the expected death of their infant, but they know that Rafiel is just and that its soul will some day return in another crystal, for no shadow elf ever truly "dies".
How exactly do these infants die? A few might linger for a few days before passing away from exposure, but this is rare--after all, a tender young baby might hit the spot for some wandering monster. Cruel? No, for as the shadow elves say, "Rafiel will guide him."
The Mark of the Shaman
The second case of unusual birth among the shadow elves is considered much more auspicious--the parents in this case have an opportunity to rejoice over their good fortune with considerable pride.
These babies show a purplish discolouration of skin--a birthmark--around their eyes and extending up the forehead into the hairline. Many of these infants also show additional mottling on other parts of the face, or other parts of the body, most often the backs of the hands or tops of the feet. These birthmarks are almost always symmetrical in design, a definite proof that these disfigurements have not occurred randomly.
These birthmarks are known among the shadow elves as the "mark of the shaman". When such a baby is born, the closest temple must immediately be notified, and a shaman is sent out to verify the facts of the birth. The child is taken away from the parents at the age of 10, and reared from that time on in the clan's Temple of Rafiel.
Temple training is quite effective in bringing about a proper attitude of worship toward Rafiel; he in his turn rewards the student with such blessings as are deserved: a strong body, a quick mind, an eagerness to learn, and the will to survive against overwhelming odds.
In the rare case that a youth with the mark of the shaman does not enter temple training, or is not consecrated by another shaman, the birthmark fades away when the shadow elf reaches adulthood.
The Power of Souls
Full training in the Way of the Shaman includes many powers that can only be hinted at here. One of these powers is the ability to use soul crystals as material components of a spell. The shaman, casting his magic, can intensify it by drawing upon the power of all of the souls contained within the crystal. Considering that virtually all elves have some inherent ability at magic, and further considering that there might be as many as 100 souls in a crystal, it is easy to imagine the power that the shaman has in this regard.
Death and the Next Life
When a shadow elf dies, his soul returns to a soul crystal to await a new birth some time in the future. This temporary resting spot for the soul is determined in whole by the actions of the individual while alive.
The shadow elf who is diligent in obeying the shamans and the revealed truths of the Refuge of Stone will most likely end up in a soul crystal currently in use, that is, as a shaman's amulet or kept carefully in a temple. Such a soul is liable to be born again soon thereafter, and again live out the hard life of a shadow elf.
A shadow elf who does not live up to the standards set by Rafiel, on the other hand, will be sent to a soul crystal still deep within the rock. Here he must wait, unconscious of his surroundings, until the soul crystal is tediously and painstakingly removed by a shadow elf miner. Only after the soul crystal is excavated and then blessed at the Temple of Rafiel do its souls become eligible for birth.
It is widely believed by most shadow elves that shamans can communicate with those departed souls residing in soul crystals, but the shamans do not speak of this publicly. "The Way of the Shamans is not for every ear to hear," according to the elves.
The Refuge of Stone
The core beliefs of the shadow elves are enumerated in the 14 verses of the Refuge of Stone, the original of which can be found at the Temple of Rafiel in the City of Stars. From this basis, the organised priesthood has developed a number of subsidiary rules and regulations, all of which must be carefully followed if a shadow elf wants to live out his life in the best way possible.
The calendar of the shadow elves is also based upon this text, with 14 months of 24 days, each month representing the truth of one particular verse. Naturally, there are special feast days and holidays in each of these months, and the shadow elves are careful to celebrate these in a fitting manner.
More importantly, many days of the calendar are considered unlucky, typically because of some earlier tragedy falling upon the day in question. No official business (and no important business if one is extra careful) is transacted on these "bad" days.
More details of the shadow elf calendar can be found in the Dungeon Master's Booklet; the calendar itself is printed inside the outer cover.
More About the Shadow Elves
First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage
Shadow elves form families much as surface elves do. Many marriages are arranged by the parents, with a goal of increasing the family's wealth or influence. All marriages are exogamous--that is, the bride and groom must belong to different clans. The new home is then set up in the clan of the bride; the groom is considered from that point on to be a member of his bride's clan.
If the wife died early enough for her widower to remarry, he might then choose a new bride from the clan in which he was originally born--for he would not at that time belong to that clan, so the marriage would be proper.
As can be expected, this "back and forth" between clans has many cultural and societal benefits for the shadow elves. No city suffers from inbreeding--other than the usual two types of defects encountered by the shadow elves. What technological innovation there is can spread more easily by the intermarriages of different clans, and the natural desire to see one's relatives increases the amount of intercity travel and trade.
Then Comes Baby in the Baby Carriage
The shadow elves are more prolific than their ancient cousins, the surface elves, but are still nowhere as prolific as the humanoid races that surround them. Furthermore, the incidence of babies born with disqualifying marks is high enough to prevent the shadow elf population from growing too rapidly. Current growth rates are 1% per year, with an expected average of four children per family, and a maximum effective lifespan of 800 years.
Still, the total number of shadow elves is currently about triple the number of elves in Alfheim.
Food for the Body, Food for the Soul
The Refuge of Stone doesn't teach anything like "give us this day our daily bread", but it does mention food, and the habits of the shadow elves in this regard are different enough to bear mentioning.
The Way of the Shamans teaches several different techniques for food preparation and preservation; this is seen as Rafiel's way of protecting the nascent shadow elves from newly-encountered poisonous substances and also his way of allowing the elves to travel far on slim supplies.
The typical shadow elf eats only one meal a day, and that meal usually takes the form of an egg-sized, dark brown ball of compacted foodstuffs. So proficient are the elves at this science that this trania also supplies the elf with the water he needs for the day. Eating more than one ball of trania is considered not only rude but also irreverent, a sin against the Way of the Shamans.
The exception is on the elven feast days. On such occasions, wine flows freely and succulent delicacies of every variety are prepared in abundance. A typical meal on a holiday will consist of 14 courses, representing, of course, the 14 verses of the Refuge of Stone and the 14 months of the calendar. The symbolism of these dishes is exquisitely bound up with their preparation and the way they are served, making the meal a delight not only for the shadow elf tongue but for the shadow elf spirit as well.
Working for a Living
The typical shadow elf learns a trade from his father, or perhaps from an uncle, and practices that profession for his entire life. About one out of three shadow elves will change occupations at middle age--say, 500 years old--but this is often looked upon by neighbours as a symptom of laziness. After all, if one persists at a craft, one will reap the enjoyment of it, so if someone takes up a new trade, this proves he was not diligent enough in the earlier one.
More on the typical occupations of the shadow elves can be found below. A player character, of course, might very well have learned more than one trade even in his relative youth--as evidenced by the number and choice of his skills.
The Strength of Rafiel
The shadow elves do not live at peace with their neighbours; no, far from it. The constant raids from the Broken Lands would be too much for any weaker race, but the shadow elves view this interference as a way for Rafiel to test his people, and they seem to do well at the test.
All shadow elves are expected to serve in the military for at least 10 years once adulthood is reached at the age of 120. Many find that they enjoy the excitement and challenge of this mode of life, and stay in the military as a permanent career. This does not preclude adventuring; valiant expeditions into unexplored tunnels are as important as standing guard near the City of Stars.
Travel and Trade
Travel and trade between the four tribal cities of the shadow elves is, in fact, relatively common, thanks to the network of tunnels that interconnects the four cities.
The principal and most common method of travel is on foot. A journey might take up to several weeks, but is not particularly arduous. One simplification is that the shadow elves can carry trania, their compressed food, minimising the amount of weight in packs. At least one member of a travelling group stays on guard at all times when the group is resting, so that unwelcome visitors can be detected early.
When a great quantity of goods is to be transported, carts are used. Many of these are ordinary hand carts, pushed by one or two individuals over the entire distance to be travelled. Other carts are attached to beasts of burden and pulled while the elves walk alongside, or even ride in larger wagons.
Going by boat is another possibility, as underground rivers travel between many areas. While none of the ships of the shadow elves can match the size of those found on the surface seas, some are as large as a longship: 80 feet from bow to stern, with a crew of 75 elves and capable of carrying a cargo of up to 40,000 cn weight.
Finally, if one wants only to travel from one side of a large cavern to another, one can fly on a skinwing. While these are normally used only by skinwing patrols (a branch of the shadow elven military), a few of these gigantic beasts are in private hands. A few tunnels are large enough that skinwings could fly through them--if not the entire distance, then most of it, with the remainder covered on foot.
Before Death--the Wanderers
The shadow elves have another custom that might seem cruel, but could not be--or Rafiel would not have ordered it. When an elf is fortunate enough to live to be 800 years old, he no longer has the right to live among his people.
In a special ceremony held in his clan's temple, he bids farewell, with well-wishers all around. This is not a solemn occasion, but rather is celebrated with good food, strong drink, and singing and dancing well into the night--or what would be night if the shadow elves lived on the surface. This festivity is always held on a holiday, as described above.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, two shamans escort their elder into a tunnel. Again, Rafiel guides their steps for some distance. When the shamans reach their random destination, the old shadow elf is left behind. He becomes a "wanderer", cursed to live by himself, never allowed to retrace his steps, and never to come into contact with other shadow elves.
How long do these wanderers live? No shadow elf knows, for contact is forbidden. Most are frail from age, and not suited to a solitary "wilderness" existence.
Legends speak of an entire city of wanderers, hidden somewhere among the regions of the shadow elves, but how could this be? No sensible shadow elf believes in this tall tale.
By the way, it is a matter of some speculation among the shadow elves as to why Rafiel commands that wanderers leave. Many shadow elves believe that this teaching is a holdover from the earlier days underground, when food was scarce and the elderly were often too weak to contribute their share to the community. Indeed, when life was most harsh, few shadow elves reached the venerable age of 800, so there were few wanderers. In any case, the practice is carried out by the shadow elves with no exceptions, as any command from Rafiel would be.
Creating and Playing a Shadow Elf
Into the Fray
Playing a shadow-elf character can be exciting, for these underground magicians have different reasons for doing what they do--these are not just wood elves dropped into a cave! Still, as far as game rules go, some similarities are found, along with some differences. Look over this material carefully if you want to play a shadow elf.
To create a normal shadow elf player character, you need only follow the elf-generation rules from the D&D Basic Set or Rules Cyclopaedia, noting the following differences:
Physical Description: While popular art often depicts surface elves as having a faint greenish cast to their skin, it would be more accurate to say that they are fair-skinned. The shadow elves are even paler, with white hair and very clear eyes, usually a sparkling blue or grey colour. The shadow elves are somewhat smaller and thinner than their surface cousins, standing about five feet tall and weighing about 100 pounds. Their ears are larger than those of wood elves, giving the shadow elves a sort of "walking radar" underground. Shadow elves have high-pitched voices--almost squeaky to human ears.
Minimum Scores and Experience Bonuses: An adult shadow-elf character must have a minimum Intelligence score of 9. If both his Strength and Intelligence are 13 or more, he gains an Experience bonus of 5%. If his Intelligence is 16 or more, and his Strength is 13 or more, his Experience Bonus is 10%. Different minimums and bonuses apply to shamans; these are described below.
Hit Dice and Levels: Elf hit points are determined on one six-sided die for each level, with the normal additions allowed for high Constitution. Ninth level is the last level in which an elf gains another Hit Die. From there on, he gains 2 points per level with no additional Constitution bonus.
Unlike normal elves, shadow elves can proceed higher than 10th level in fighting and magical ability, without having training from humans or becoming Treekeepers (cf. The Elves of Alfheim). A shadow-elf character who gains the higher level of Experience Points must choose whether he wants to specialise as a fighter or as a magic-user. Virtually all such fighters belong to the shadow elf army; magic-users may belong to the army, may be shamans, or may be free lances, working for themselves or for whomever might wish their services.
As fighters, shadow elves progress past 10th level with attack ranks (described in the D&D Companion rules; or the D&D Rules Cyclopaedia, page 106). As magic-users, they may attain new spells of higher levels. (See Table 1.)
Table 1: Shadow Elf Experience, D&D(R) Game
Spells by Spell Level Level Experience Attack Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 0 - 1 - - - - - - - - 2 4,000 - 2 - - - - - - - - 3 8,000 - 2 1 - - - - - - - 4 16,000 - 2 2 - - - - - - - 5 32,000 - 2 2 1 - - - - - - 6 64,000 - 3 2 2 - - - - - - 7 120,000 - 3 3 2 1 - - - - - 8 250,000 - 4 3 2 2 - - - - - 9 400,000 - 4 4 3 2 - - - - - 10 600,000 a C 5 4 3 2 1 - - - - 11 850,000 b D 6 5 3 3 2 - - - - 12 1,100,000 E 6 5 4 3 2 1 - - - 13 1,350,000 F 7 6 4 4 3 2 - - - 14 1,600,000 c G 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 - - 15 1,850,000 H 8 7 5 5 4 3 2 - - 16 2,100,000 I 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 - 17 2,250,000 J 8 8 6 6 5 4 3 2 - 18 2,600,000 d K 8 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 19 2,850,000 L 8 8 7 7 6 5 4 3 2 20 3,100,000 M 8 8 8 7 6 5 4 4 3
Notes to Table 1
a - Same as a Fighter of levels 22-24.
b - Gain the Combat Options for Fighters. Two attacks per round possible at this level.
c - Automatically takes half damage from any breath weapon.
d - Same as a Fighter of levels 25-27. Three attacks per round possible at this level.
Table 1 combines information for both fighting and magic-using shadow elves, as the experience points are the same for both. However, after 10th level, remember than a character can be progressing only in one, not the other! If your character is progressing as a fighter, you should disregard the new spells listed past 10th level; conversely, if your character is a magic-user, you should disregard attack ranks; your shadow elf will forever fight as a plain, 10th-level elf.
Special Abilities: Besides their ability to operate as both fighters and magic-users at the same time, elves have natural infravision with a range of 90 feet in the dark. Also, they cannot be paralysed by ghouls or other undead, although other types of paralysis are potent against them.
As far as languages go, the shadow elves know their own tongue, their alignment language, and the languages of three of their nearby underground enemies: gnolls, orcs, and hobgoblins. The language of the shadow elves is a dialect, of course, of the language of the surface elves. Your DM has more information if your character wants to learn the surface language or communicate with the elves of Alfheim or other regions.
Just like their surface cousins, shadow elves have keen vision, so they are quite adept at finding hidden doors and other objects. Whenever an elf tries to find something, the DM rolls 1d6 and allows the elf to find the object (assuming the elf is looking in the right area) on a roll of 1 or 2. This applies to any shadow elf's searching for anything--not just a hidden door.
Names: Names for shadow elves are similar to the names of surface elves. The names of various characters mentioned in the book can give you a start; other examples of names can be found in B10 Night's Dark Terror; CM1 Test of the Warlords; CM7 The Tree of Life; GAZ1 The Grand Duchy of Karameikos; GAZ3 The Principalities of Glantri; GAZ5 The Elves of Alfheim; GAZ9 The Minrothad Guilds; M2 Vengeance of Alphaks; M5 Talons of Night; and X11 Saga of the Shadow Lord. Shadow elves do not follow the custom of "use names" as described in GAZ5 The Elves of Alfheim.
Clan and City: Every shadow-elf character has to belong to a specific clan, which usually determines the city where the elf lives. The clan your character belongs to will change if your character gets married--and could change for other reasons as well.
Strongholds: When a shadow elf reaches 9th level, he may build a stronghold in a cave near the shadow elf's domains. Your DM will tell you how to do this when your character reaches this level. When a shadow elf does this, he starts a new settlement that would be considered to belong (ultimately) to his particular clan.
Special Attacks: Shadow elves who belong to the army continue to improve in combat ability for their entire careers. Refer to the table below for details. When the character's XP total reaches 850,000, the Combat Options for Fighters (see DM's Companion rulebook; or D&D Rules Cyclopaedia, pages 103-105) are gained. For multiple attacks (if an attack hits with a Hit Roll of 2), two attacks are possible at 850,000 XP, and three attacks at 2,600,000 XP. Four attacks per round are never gained by shadow elves. Smash, Parry, and Disarm options are useable, as described in the DM's Companion or Rules Cyclopaedia.
Skills: The optional use of skills, if allowed by your DM, is described in complete detail in the following section.
Magic Levels: It should be pointed out here that the spell levels described in this book correspond to the system first described in GAZ5 The Elves of Alfheim. It is a different system from the "normal elf" in the rulebooks, with higher possible levels of spells, and more spells to choose from. When rolling up your shadow-elf character, be sure to check with your DM that he allows this modified magic system for elves.
Skills for Shadow Elves
Skills are a handy and optional addition to the D&D game rules. They help to define a character and add considerably to the role-playing possibilities available. Ask your DM whether skills are being used in your campaign.
All beginning (1st-level) shadow elves start with four initial skills. All shadow elves have the Orientation in Caves skill. One other skill must be chosen from among the craft and profession skills; this skill represents the character's trade. A character can also choose two additional skills from the list below (including more crafts, if the player wishes).
Bonus Skills: Beginning characters know more skills if they are particularly intelligent, exactly as characters know more languages if they are intelligent. A character with an Intelligence of 13-15 knows one extra skill (for a total of five). With an Intelligence of 16-17, a character knows two extra skills (for a total of seven).
How Skills Are Used
Each skill is based on one of a character's ability scores (Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Constitution, Dexterity, or Charisma).
During a game session, the DM may decide that a character's skill could help him in a situation. Also, the player may ask the DM to consider whether his character's skill might be applicable, but it's up to the DM to decide whether or not this is the case. If the DM decides that the use of the character's skill is appropriate to a situation, the player is asked to roll 1d20 against the current score of the ability the skill is based on. If the roll is equal to or less than the ability score, the skill has been used successfully.
Guidelines for Skill Use
In most circumstances, skills cannot be used against other player characters. Certain skills, particularly Charisma skills, can only be used against NPCs. A roll of 20 always fails. The higher the successful roll (so long as it is successful!), the more effectively the skill has been used. The more difficult the task, the more modest the benefits of a successful check.
A roll of 1 is not an automatic success. When a very difficult task is attempted, the DM may assign penalties to the roll to reflect the increased difficulty of the task. If the task is exceptionally difficult, the DM may rule (before the dice are rolled) that, although success is remotely possible, it is incredibly unlikely. In such a case he may require the player to roll two consecutive 1s. A character pulling off such a feat can make a good case for having been divinely inspired!
The DM may decide that use of a skill when carrying out an easy task is automatic, or that the PC receives a bonus to the roll. The DM determines the amount of time required for a successful use of a skill. Building a cart may take several days, while identifying a fungus may take only seconds.
The DM determines the effects of the successful use of a skill. Your DM may rule that successful use of the Boating skill will give advance warning of rapids in the tunnel ahead, or that it only permits the character to deal with the rapids when they are reached, according to circumstances.
The DM's ruling is final. If, as a player, you think a judgment was unreasonable, discuss it with your DM after the game, with the hope of avoiding misunderstandings in the future.
A character's skill score may be raised above the ability score that the skill is based on. To improve a skill score, you must trade in one ordinary skill choice to increase a different skill score by 1 point.
Such an improved skill is indicated on a character sheet by marking the number of additional points with a "plus" sign after the skill name (ie, Acrobatics +1, Nature Lore +2, etc.). Improving a skill increases the chance of a successful check against that skill.
Other benefits conferred by that skill are not affected. These are permanent choices; you cannot shuffle skill scores after the character starts adventuring.
Learning More Skills
As time goes by, your character may gain more skills or improve existing ones. All characters get a new skill choice every four experience levels. Thus, they get their first skills at 1st level, then a new skill at 5th level, another at 9th level, another at 13th level, and so on.
Each additional skill choice may be used to acquire a new skill or improve an old skill in the manner described earlier. New skills may be drawn from the general skill list or from the craft and profession skills.
Table 2: Maximum Skills Known, by Character Level
Level 1: 7 skills
Level 5: 8 skills
Level 9: 9 skills
Level 13: 10 skills
Level 17: 11 skills
Level 21: 12 skills
Level 25: 13 skills
Level 29: 14 skills
Level 33: 15 skills
Skills and the Character Sheet
Record your skills on your character sheet in the following fashion. First fill in the "Number of Skills Choices: _____" blank, recording on the line the number of starting skills choices your character received.
Below this, write down your character's skills. Record the name of the skill, the abbreviation of the ability the skill is based on, any permanent modifier you have obtained for the skill by devoting extra skill choices to it, and the correct skill roll you have with the skill.
Example: Fortanor, a shadow elf of the Gelbalf clan (Str 13, Int 16, Wis 9, Dex 9, Con 11, Cha 10) begins his adventuring career. His Intelligence of 16 gets him two extra skills, for a total of seven. He desires to explore the environs of his city by means of the waterways nearby, so he chooses ship building as his craft skill, and his DM rules that this skill depends on Fortanor's Intelligence. In order to serve better, he opts to apply two skill choices to Helmsman/Captain skill, giving him a +1 on his skill checks. He similarly chooses other skills that he thinks would be useful to his character, and tops off the list with Singing, just because he thinks this would be fun. His character sheet looks like this:
Number of Skill Choices: 7
Ship Building (Int): 16
Helmsman/Captain (Int+1): 17
Know Terrain (Int): 16
Danger Sense (Wis): 9
Rope Use (Dex): 9
Singing (Cha): 10
Following are the skills particularly appropriate or useful in a shadow elf campaign, listed according to the ability score they are based on. This is not a complete list of all possible skills. You may suggest other skills to your DM, and he may have other skills available for campaign use.
Do not overlook the possibility of skills that are entertaining but "useless" in the traditional adventurer's way of thinking. Skills can be useful to characters for in-session problem-solving, but a skill doesn't have to be useful to be desirable--it can just be fun. Don't hesitate to ask your DM for a skill that might not be very useful, but which perfectly fits the personality you've imagined for your character.
Craft and Professional Skills
Every shadow elf must have at least one skill which can earn him a living; even a shaman must specialise in some trade, just as any other citizen. These different skills make use of different character abilities, and some can even be variable, depending on the ruling of your DM. For example, many crafts can be seen as based on either Intelligence or Dexterity, depending upon the degree to which the craftsmanship approaches the level of artistry.
The craft skills may be included among the Dexterity-based skills because manual dexterity, patience, and practice are important in learning the basics of any craft. Alternatively, they may be included among Intelligence-based skills because training, attention to detail, and proper planning are important to the end result. DMs may decide to use both designations in the same campaign. The Intelligence-based crafter may make the lovelier products, while a Dexterity-based crafter makes solid, serviceable goods.
Use of these skills presumes adequate time and access to appropriate tools and materials. Otherwise, penalties may be assessed, or a DM may rule that the task is impossible.
The ability to make and repair items associated with your craft, and the ability to evaluate the worth of such items. Craftsman skills include Armourer, Barrelmaking, Blacksmithing, Brewing, Bricklaying, Bowyer, Building, Carpentry, Cobbler, Draying, Engraving, Farming, Fletching, Glassblowing, Leatherworking, Metalsmithing (gold or silver), Mining, Pottery, Sculpting, Ship Building, Smelting, Stonecutting, Tailor, Tanning, Tinkering, Weaponsmithing, and so forth. Some crafts are described in more detail below.
Armourer: The ability to make and repair leather armour. Higher skill levels enable the character to make and repair chain mail (+1 skill) and lamellar armour (+2 skill).
Bowyer: The ability to make bows and arrows.
Ship Building: The ability to build boats and ships, and to keep them in good repair.
These skills are usually based on Intelligence, requiring "book learning" to become an expert in them. Choose one among the following, or invent a new one not on this list and convince your DM to allow it: Architecture, Banking, and Engineering.
Brawling: This skill allows you to fight crowds using furniture pieces, knocking attackers off-balance, swinging down chandeliers, and so on. Brawling damage is not lethal, it just knocks victims unconscious when reaching 0 HP. A successful check allows you to double damage for each +1 in Strength bonus your character has. Damage is spread among attackers in the same group, up to 10 attackers.
Muscle: The knowledge and experience of heavy lifting and hard labour. Your character knows how to direct groups of labourers to make their efforts most effective. He understands the use of simple machinery like wedges, pulleys, and levers. Your character gains a +2 bonus to Strength Checks for difficult tasks like bending bars or smashing through doors and walls.
Acting: The ability to pretend to be someone else or to show false emotions. Successful use of this skill enables a character to tell lies over a period of time. This is not the same ability as the Charisma skill of stage acting.
Alchemy: The ability to recognise and identify common alchemical substances and potions.
Alternate Magics: Basic familiarity with those magics that are not directly related to standard spellcasting. Includes knowing magical abilities of well-known Prime Plane and extraplanar monsters, and of Immortal beings.
Ancient History: Detailed knowledge of the shadow elves' history. General knowledge of the history of the nations of the other races inhabiting the Broken Lands and the surface elves. Vague knowledge of the history of other surface peoples.
Artillery: Your character understands and knows how to operate artillery pieces, including the special gravity artillery in the City of Stars. A successful check gives a +2 to hit with such weapons.
Boating: The ability to handle small boats and barges. Also includes fishing skills. Simple tasks are automatically performed with this skill; check only in dangerous or unusual situations.
Disguise: The ability to make oneself look like someone else. A successful Disguise Check by your character is required for each character or group of characters that the disguise must fool. The roll is modified according to the viewer's Wisdom bonus or penalty. Therefore a character with a high Wisdom score has a better chance of penetrating a disguise.
Helmsman/Captain: The ability to handle a larger ship and direct a competent crew. This doesn't include handling challenges to a captain's authority--a mutiny, for example--which would be decided by a Charisma check or use of some other appropriate skill (Leadership, Persuade, etc.).
Know Terrain: The knowledge of the land, water, and environment conditions of a region, such as the underground realm of the shadow elves. This includes knowing the safest or fastest travel routes, pathfinding, local tunnels and waterways, and dangerous environmental conditions. Use of this skill in the character's home dominion receives a +2 bonus. Use of this skill in an unfamiliar but similar setting is at a -2 to -4 penalty. A beginning shadow-elf character cannot take this skill for any surface region--such knowledge must be gained in the course of adventuring!
Mapping: Your character does not necessarily know how to read and write, but he is capable of understanding and making maps. A check is needed for complicated three-dimensional layouts, or to map an area from memory.
Nature Lore: Knowledge of common plant and animal life of a familiar locality, both domestic and wild. This includes knowing such things as edible and poisonous plants, healing fungi, or signs of unnatural danger like absence of normal plant life, atypical animal behaviour, etc. Use of this skill in the character's home dominion receives a +2 bonus. Use of this skill in an unfamiliar but similar setting is at a -2 to -4 penalty. A beginning shadow-elf character cannot take this skill for any surface region--such knowledge must be gained in the course of adventuring!
Navigation: The ability to guide a boat or ship to an unfamiliar destination or in unfavourable circumstances in the underground waterways of the shadow elves. Use of this skill presumes possession of a map or equivalent knowledge of an area. If any of these are not available, a penalty of -4 to -8 may be imposed.
Non-elvish Cultures: General knowledge of non-elvish races of the Broken Lands. Includes incomplete knowledge of non-elvish customs, methods of warfare, skills with magic, and a very basic vocabulary.
Orientation in Caves: Used underground, when moving on long distances. It prevents becoming lost when exploring caverns, tunnels, and underground rivers. Orientation in a maze requires a skill check.
Read/Write Language: Knowledge of a written language, either human, demihuman, or humanoid. An Intelligence Check is required each time an attempt is made to read or write this language.
Signalling: Enables your character to leave messages that can be understood only by another Signalling specialist. For example, unobtrusive stacks of stones may be left to warn friendly followers of an impending danger. A skilled shadow elf can also leave simple messages, such as, "troll patrol arriving from north," "safe place to camp", or "go back and warn the shadow elf army." Communication is also possible using horns, flags, and light signals. All shadow elves are familiar with the signals sent by the army's horns.
Snares: Building traps to capture animals, monsters, or unwanted visitors. A successful check means the trap functions properly.
Survival: This skill enables a shadow-elf character to find food, shelter, and water in the underground realm of the shadow elves. A successful check indicates that your character has found sufficient food for himself and several companions (fungi, insects, etc.). Another skill choice is required to find food in a different terrain type, including surface areas.
Tactics: The ability to use troops in the best possible way. A successful check means your DM will modify the outcome of a confrontation in a reasonable (and favourable) way.
Tracking: Your character can follow tracks. The DM is free to increase or decrease the chances of success depending on the circumstance (age of the tracks, type of terrain, number of fugitives, etc.). This skill can also be used to obscure tracks made by your character and any companions. The difference between the number actually rolled and the number needed to make the test is used as a negative penalty on Intelligences for Tracking Checks made by anyone trying to follow your character. For example, Farneal is a wanderer, and fears that she is being followed by a band of hungry orcs. She tries as best she can to hide her trail through the passageways she visits. She has Tracking skill of 15 and rolls a 5, a successful check. Any tracker following her trail has a -10 penalty to his Intelligence for Tracking checks.
Animal Training: Choose a particular animal. Your character knows how to raise, train, and care for this type of animal. The animal can be taught some very simple tricks or simple orders. A check is needed every time the animal is used for any significant purpose, with a penalty to the check of -1 per HD of difference between the trainer and the animal (if the animal is tougher than the trainer).
Bravery: This enables your character to resist the effects of any magical fear.
Codes of Law and Justice: Knowledge of the laws and moral codes that govern shadow elf society.
Cooking: Your character is capable of preparing trania, the specially compressed and reserved food of the shadow elves. On special feast days, this skill also gives the ability of cooking up special delicacies.
Danger Sense: An aptitude for sensing danger or odd situations. A successful check means you have detected an imminent danger, magical or physical, directed at you. You will not know the nature or the source of the danger. The DM will make this check in secret, informing you of the result.
Detect Deception: The ability to recognise deceptive tricks or behaviours in an NPC. This does not reveal the truth or falsity of specific statements nor the motivations of the speaker, nor does it reveal the exact nature of the deception. Unlike the detect lies spell, this skill only warns the character to distrust the NPC who is trying to deceive him. The character gets no clues about which statements are true or untrue. Successful use of this skill just indicates that the speaker is intentionally trying to deceive the character.
First Aid: The ability to perform simple medical aid. A successful check enables a character to restore 1d4 hit points to any wounded character or creature. This skill may not be used on a wounded character or creature more than once per injury. If the character is subsequently restored to full hit points, and is then wounded again, first aid may once again be applied. If a 20 is rolled when using this skill, 1d4 points of damage are inflicted on the patient.
Natural Healing: Your character is knowledgeable in the use of herbal and fungal cures. If you roll a successful Healing Check, any character who has been poisoned is allowed a second Saving Throw with a -2 penalty. On a successful check you may also allow characters to naturally heal damage at the rate of 2 hit points per day of total rest.
Teaching: The ability to teach a skill most efficiently. A successful check means the apprentice learns the skill with a permanent +1 modifier, as long as his final skill score remains at best equal to his teacher's.
Note on Thief Skills: Among the dexterity skills listed below are several based on the abilities of the human thief class: Escape Artist (similar to Pick Locks), Find Traps, Hear Noise, Hide in Shadows, and Move Silently. This is to allow similar types of characters to develop in shadow elf society (though, obviously, not to the level of specialisation and skill found among humans).
For these skills, do not use ability score checks as you normally would. To do so would mean, absurdly, that a first level shadow elf with a high dexterity could be better at a particular task than a full-time human thief--with the same dexterity--who had years of experience! Instead, consider the shadow elf to have the same percentage chance of success using that skill as a thief of the same level. If a shadow elf allots an extra skill slot to the skill (eg, "Find Traps +1"), treat him as one level higher for the purpose of determining his percentage chance of success.
Alertness: Enables your character to draw a weapon without losing any time, or to avoid the effects of surprise. A successful check means your character wakes up at the slightest odd noise--not necessarily a useful ability for spellcasters.
Blind Shooting: The ability to shoot at a target without seeing it (infravision has a limited range, after all!) Your character must be able to hear the target so its position can be evaluated. A Hit Roll is needed to hit the target but without the normal penalties due to darkness. Among shadow elves, this skill trained for and is best used with a light crossbow. Other weapons (bows, daggers, hand axes, artillery, stones, etc.) require a Skill Check (some with varying penalties, at the DM's discretion); if it is failed, the character suffers the usual penalties for darkness. Blind Shooting can be used in conjunction with the Hear Noise skill (see below).
Climbing: Can be used to climb underground terrain with appropriate gear. A check is needed to climb more dangerous surfaces, with penalties varying with the degree of difficulty (see DM's book).
Dancing: Just like their surface cousins, the shadow elves are superlative dancers. This skill confers the ability to move rhythmically and gracefully to accompanying music.
Evade: The ability to elude a pursuer. This skill reflects experience in running away from dangers. Successful use permits (where appropriate) a movement bonus of +10 feet per round for 10 rounds, giving the evader a chance to hide or throw the pursuer off his trail. If the situation is one of hiding, dodging, or outguessing a pursuer, a successful check allows the character to find some way to be overlooked.
Find Traps: The ability to detect traps after observing a corridor or a room; see the note at beginning of this section. A failed check means none of the traps are discovered. The extent of the success indicates how many traps could have been found. Another check is needed to set or disarm each trap.
Hear Noise: The aptitude of perceiving faint noises, or some detail among a multitude of different sounds, knowing their source and nature (see the note at beginning of this section). This skill improves the Blind Shooting skill (above) by granting a +1 bonus on a skill check; or by granting a +1 on THAC0 for a character shooting in the dark who does not have Blind Shooting.
Hide in Shadows: As the Thief's ability (see the note at beginning of this section).
Horsemanship: Knowledge of basic care and feeding of horses, and the ability to control a horse under difficult circumstances. A character can easily recognise a nag, but buying a suitable mount for a reasonable price requires a minimal skill check, as will attempting to perform various activities from the saddle. For example, most folk can stay in a saddle while a horse is walking, but staying there during a gallop or a combat is a whole different story. To use a weapon, spell, or skill while on horseback, a character must succeed in a horsemanship check, with penalties as the difficulty increases. Note: No beginning shadow-elf character can have this skill--it can be gained only on the surface, in the course of adventuring!
Juggling: A shadow elf with this skill can juggle three objects of similar shape and size. A skill check is required to juggle more objects, with a -1 penalty for every object more than four, or objects of varying weights.
Jump: The successful use of this skill enables a character to leap over obstacles and leap distances of up to 10 feet, increased by 10 feet with a running start.
Ledge Hopping: Common in underground settings, this skill lets your character safely hop from one rocky ledge to another within six feet, and with reasonable encumbrance. The skill also enables your character to find the safest, most stable ledge on your path. Circumstances may require a check.
Martial Arts: Choose one style: Offensive--Allows a PC to add Strength bonuses to open hand or natural attacks. A successful check doubles damage (bonus not included). Defensive--Permanently improves AC by one, and allows a check to dodge non-magical projectiles.
Move Silently: As the Thief's ability (see the note at beginning of this section).
Quick Draw: The ability to notch and fire an arrow with a +2 bonus to Initiative.
Rapid Fire: A successful check enables a character to fire a bow twice instead of once. Each shot is made with a penalty of -3 to hit. The first arrow is fired according to which side wins initiative, the second arrow is always fired at the end of the round.
Rope Use: The aptitude for making knots and nets. A check is required to throw a net, a lasso, or a grapple to get a solid hold on an object or creature.
Skinwing Flying: A shadow elf with this skill is able to control and ride a skinwing. Skill checks are required to control the monster in dangerous situations or if it gets hit in combat. Failure results in the skinwing spinning out of control until a successful Skill Check is made (check each round).
Sound Imitation: Your character can emulate animal or monster noises to deceive someone. This skill can be used to communicate at short range without being noticed when used with Signalling.
Weapon Mastery: This enables a character to become skilled with a weapon, as described in the D&D Game Master Players Book under Weapon Mastery (pp. 16-17). A skill choice must be traded in for each subsequent Weapon Mastery level.
Drinking: A talent for absorbing alcoholic beverages without being affected. The first failure means your character is drunk; he passes out on the second failed check.
Slow Respiration: A successful check means your character survives in a reduced space after a cavern exit collapses. A check is needed for each day of imprisonment, with a cumulative penalty of -1 for each day the character has been trapped. The same could be applied to water, with a penalty of -1 for each minute of immersion. A failed roll means the character suffocates and dies.
Stamina: The ability to continue arduous physical activity for long periods, and to endure physical hardship. Character can run twice as long--40 rounds, 10 minutes--without becoming exhausted (see "Movement," D&D Basic Player Manual, page 56; or the D&D Rules Cyclopaedia, pages 87-88). He moves as though encumbered at one class lower than his actual encumbrance (see the Encumbered Movement Rates Table, D&D Basic Player Manual, page 30; or the D&D Rules Cyclopaedia, page 88), and receives a +2 bonus on any Constitution-based checks concerning resistance to effects of adverse weather or resistance to fatigue from extended periods of exertion.
Bargain: A successful check enables a character to get the best deal available for goods, services or information. If two characters with this skill bargain against each other, and both made successful skill checks, whoever made the lowest roll wins. The DM may give bonuses or penalties to either character to reflect the difficulties in the bargain to be made.
Deceive: The ability to persuade a listener of the sincerity of what is said, despite the fact that the speaker is lying through his teeth, being insincere, or both. Successful use of this skill causes an NPC to believe an untrue statement or to accept a misleading statement as honest and sincere. Failure indicates that the character stumbles over words or otherwise sounds unconvincing. This skill will not stand up to the application of a detect lie spell.
Gain Trust: The ability to gain the trust of an NPC through a combination of courtesy, respect for traditions, knowledge of human and demihuman nature, and honourable behaviour. Successful use of this skill causes an NPC to accept the character as a trustworthy person until given solid evidence to the contrary.
In routine situations, a successful use of this skill is sufficient. This covers situations like an overnight visit to a roadside inn, seeking food and shelter at a farmstead, etc. In dangerous or threatening circumstances, or if the NPC listener is hostile or already has reason to distrust the speaker, the DM may assess penalties to the check. The DM must examine the situation, and may require opposed Charisma checks between the PC and the NPC, or require opposed checks between the Gain Trust skill and the NPCs Wisdom.
Leadership: Successful use of this skill adds a +1 bonus to the morale of any NPCs under the character's control. It may also be used to convince other NPCs to follow the character's commands.
Music: Choose one group of related instruments; groups include stringed instruments, brass, percussion, etc. Like their surface cousins, the shadow elves are skilled musicians.
Persuade: The ability to prove your sincerity to NPC listeners. This skill cannot be used to deceive a listener; the speaker must always believe the truth is what he says. If the NPC is hostile, or has a reason to distrust the speaker, the DM may assess penalties of -1 to -8 to the skill check.
Singing: The shadow elves have a rich oral history, with many of their legends and sagas committed to music. The ability to sing well is highly valued among the elves, and is a useful skill to make friends of strangers in public settings. Related to the Storyteller skill, below.
Storyteller: The ability to captivate an audience when telling stories. It is also an ability of shamans versed in the history of the shadow elves.
Magic Among the Shadow Elves
Millennia ago, the surface elves developed their first civilisation upon their skills with magic and combat. Elves learned magic easily, and all elves knew at least some magic. It is said, even among the shadow elves, that humans first learned the disciplines of magic from elves, though this may be simply self-serving legend-making.
Over the years, the shadow elves have expanded upon the relatively simple spells that they knew when they first travelled underground. Because of the subterranean environment in which they were developed, these spells often have differences from their surface counterparts.
There is no limit to the progress in magic that a shadow elf can make, if he elects to be a magic-user rather than fighter--a shadow elf can exceed the 10th level of experience and accordingly gain in power. For more information, see Hit Dice and Levels, earlier in this booklet.
The shadow elves have their own higher magical system which is similar to that of human wizards, but reflects their habitat of living underground--some spells are useless in the environment of the shadow elves, and so were never discovered.
The use of numbered levels can be confusing here. A 20th-level shadow elf has three 9th-level spells, while human magic-users do not gain 9th-level spells until they reach 21st level. However, an examination of the Experience Points involved shows that a shadow elf of the 10th level has to have earned almost as many XP as a human wizard of the 28th level--a level which has four 9th-level spells and many more lesser level spells.
Spells in italics have detailed descriptions below; others are identical to the magic-user spell of the same level and can be found in the various D&D rulebooks.
The shadow elves live in an underground environment, and their available spells reflect that fact. Detailed spell descriptions explain many of the restrictions imposed by the underground environment, but many spells are so like surface spells that they are not fully described here. Where these spells have underground restrictions, the restriction is noted with a plus sign (+) next to the spell name. An asterisk indicates a reversible spell.
First-Level Shadow Elf Magic-User Spells
Protection from Evil
Second-Level Shadow Elf Magic-User Spells
Third-Level Shadow Elf Magic-User Spells
Hold Underground Animal*+
Invisibility 10-Foot Radius
Protection From Evil 10-Foot Radius
Protection From Normal Missiles
Speak with Underground Animals+
Fourth-Level Shadow Elf Magic-User Spells
Growth of Underground Animal
Hallucinatory (Underground) Terrain
Summon Underground Animals+
Fifth-Level Shadow Elf Magic-User Spells
Contact Outer Plane
Transmute Rock to Mud+
Wall of Stone
Sixth-Level Shadow Elf Magic-User Spells
Anti-Underground Animal Shell
Stone to Flesh*
Transmute Rock to Lava+
Weather Control (in City of Stars only)
Seventh-Level Shadow Elf Magic-User Spells
Create Normal Creatures
Transport Through Rock+
Eighth-Level Shadow Elf Magic-User Spells
Metal to Rock+
Polymorph Any Object+
Ninth-Level Shadow Elf Magic-User Spells
New Shadow Elf Spell Descriptions
First-Level Spell Descriptions
Range: 0 (Touch only)
Duration: 1 round
Effect: Analyses magic on one item
Description: A shadow elf using this spell can handle one item and learn the enchantment on it. Helms must be put on, swords held in hand, bracelets put on wrists, etc. Any consequences of this action fall upon the elf, as usual, though he or she gets the usual saving throws. The elf has a chance of 15% plus 5% per magic-user level of determining one characteristic of the item, or of whether the item has no magic at all. The determination is not exact. Pluses on weapons can be characterised as many or few, charges can be estimated within 25% of the actual number, etc.
Range: 60 feet
Duration: 1 round per level of caster
Effect: Illuminates creatures or objects
Description: With this spell, the shadow elf can outline one or more creatures or objects with a pale, flickering, greenish fire. The fire does not inflict any damage. The objects or creatures need only be detected in some way (such as by detect magic) to be the object of this spell. All attacks against the outlined creature or object gain a +2 bonus to Hit Rolls, as it is more easily seen. The elf can outline one man-sized creature (about 12 feet of fire) for each 5 levels of experience. Thus, at 20th level, 48 feet of fire can be produced (outlining one dragon-sized creature, two horse-sized, or four man-sized creatures).
Range: 40 feet plus 10 feet per level
Duration: 2 rounds per level
Effect: Illuminates an area
Description: This spell creates from one to four lights which resemble either torches or lanterns and cast up to the same amount of light. The actual intensity of the light can be varied by the caster at any time he spends a round concentrating. The caster must create the lights where he can see them; he can then move the lights anywhere within his range, even if they pass out of his vision (such as around a corner). He cannot move them through solid objects.
This spell is frequently used by shadow elves to mislead parties of orcs who come too close in a cavern or passageway.
Range: 0 (shadow elf only)
Duration: 1 round per level
Effect: Increases charisma
Description: This spell causes the shadow elf to gain either a temporary increase of 2-8 points in charisma in the eyes of the target, or a loss of 1-4 points if the target makes a Saving Throw versus Magic. All those failing the Saving Throw are very impressed by the caster and desire greatly to be his friend and assist him in any way they can. Those who do not fail the Saving Throw are uneasy in the caster's presence and tend to find him or her irritating. This spell has no effect on creatures of animal intelligence or lower. It also has no effect on Charisma-based skills.
Range: 0 (shadow elf only)
Duration: 6 turns (1 hour)
Effect: Detects one animal or plant within 120 feet
Description: This spell allows the shadow elf to sense the direction of one known normal animal or plant. The elf can locate (similar to the locate object spell) any normal or giant-sized animal, but not fantastic creatures, plant monsters, nor any intelligent creature or plant. He must name the exact type of animal or plant, but does not need to see the specific one he wishes to locate. The animal or plant gets no Saving Throw. (This spell is most often used to find special plants.)
Range: 0 (touch)
Duration: 5-8 hours
Effect: Doubles normal movement speed
Description: The longstride spell enables the shadow elf or other recipient of the spell to move at twice normal ground speed (walking) for 1d4+4 hours without tiring, or run normally for the same amount of time without tiring. However, after this the recipient must spend the same amount of time resting, as well as drinking plenty of liquids and eating heartily. If he does not rest, he loses 2-8 Constitution points. These are recovered by rest at the rate of 1d4 days per point, and only after he has spent time resting and drinking and eating, as noted above. Only bipedal humans and demihumans are affected by this spell.
Duration: 1 round per level
Effect: Creates light rain in 30 feet + 10 feet per level diameter area
Description: This spell takes all the water vapour in the area of effect and turns it into a light rain. Note that a low-level shadow elf would be caught within the effect of his own spell because of the short range.
Except when used by high-level elves, the principal effect of this spell is to dampen clothing, film solid rock floors with water (making footing uncertain), water plants, and snuff out fires. The rain turns into obscuring fog of double its normal area when it hits fire magic (such as a wall of fire). If the weather is below freezing, the rain turns into sleet (between 31 and 33 degrees F) or snow (30 degrees F and below).
Magical cold (such as an ice storm) applied to the result of the precipitation turns it into ice.
Within the domains of the shadow elves, this spell can be cast only in the cavern which contains the City of Stars; this spell cannot be used on the surface.
Range: 10 feet
Duration: 2-8 turns plus 1 turn per level
Effect: Plants or animals give warning
Description: When the watcher spell is cast, the shadow elf causes a specific plant or local animal to react to the presence of any living creature bigger than a rat, ie, anything larger than about one-half cubic foot in volume or than about 3 pounds in weight. As soon as any living creature steps past the plant or animal, touches it, or otherwise disturbs it, the plant or animal emits a loud keening sound which can be clearly heard within a 60-foot radius (subtract 10 feet for interposing doors, 20 feet for thick walls). The sound lasts for one round, then subsides. Undead do not cause the spell to function, but invisible creatures do. Flying and levitating creatures attempting to pass over the watcher within the radius are also discovered.
Second-Level Spell Descriptions
Range: 30 feet
Duration: 1 round per level
Effect: Controls ropes
Description: This spell allows the shadow elf to use any rope-like object of living or once-living material (roots, vines, leather ropes, plant-fibre ropes, etc.) to behave as he orders. About 50 feet of normal 1/2-inch diameter vine plus 5 feet per level of caster can be affected. The commands to be given under an entangle spell include: coil (form a neat stack), coil and knot, loop, loop and knot, tie and knot, and the reverses of all the above. The vine or rope must be within 1 foot of any object it is to coil around or tie up, so it must often be thrown at the target. The affected vine can be handled by the target as it would any other entangling object.
Range: 0 (shadow elf only)
Duration: 2 turns per level
Effect: Creates fire in hand
Description: This spell causes a small flame to appear in the shadow elf's hand. It does not harm the caster in any way, and sheds light as if a normal torch. The flame can be used to ignite combustible materials touched (lantern, torch, oil, etc.) without harming the magical flame. While holding the flame, the caster can cause it to disappear and reappear by concentration once per round, until the duration ends. Other items may be held and used in the hand while the fire is out. If desired, the fire may be dropped or thrown to 30 feet range, but disappears 1 round after leaving the elf's hand.
Third-Level Spell Descriptions
Hold Underground Animal*
Range: 180 feet
Duration: 1 turn per level of caster
Effect: Paralyses several animals
Description: This spell will affect any normal or giant-sized underground animal, but will not affect any fantastic creature, nor one of greater than animal intelligence. Each victim must make a Saving Throw vs. Spells or be paralysed for 6 turns. The shadow elf can affect 1 Hit Die of animals for each level of experience, ignoring "pluses" to Hit Dice. For example, a 20th-level elf could cast the spell at 10 giant toads (2+2 Hit Dice each). Note that the spell can affect summoned, conjured, or controlled animals.
The reverse of the spell, free underground animal, removes the paralysis of up to 4 victims of the normal form of the spell (including one cast by a cleric). It has no other effect.
Speak with Underground Animals
Range: 0 (shadow elf only)
Duration: 6 turns
Effect: Allows conversation within 30 feet
Description: When this spell is cast, the shadow elf must name one type of underground animal (such as normal bats, lizards, etc.) For the duration of the spell, the elf may speak with all animals of that type if they are within 30 feet; the effect moves with the caster. Any normal or giant forms of animals (including underground mammals, insects, birds, etc.) may be spoken to, but intelligent animals and fantastic creatures are not affected. When there exist both normal and giant forms, only one type (either normal or giant) may be named. The creatures' reactions are usually favourable (+2 bonus to reaction roll), and they may be talked into doing a favour for the shadow elf if the reaction is high enough. The favour requested must be understood by the animal, and must be possible for the creature to perform.
Fourth-Level Spell Descriptions
Duration: 5 rounds per level
Effect: Makes a weapon temporarily magical
Description: A weapon of any kind that this spell is cast on becomes magical for the duration of the spell. It has no bonuses to hit or for damage, but it can be used against lycanthropes, various undead, gargoyles, some non-corporeal creatures, and other creatures who are invulnerable to normal weapons.
This is a very popular spell among fighting shadow elves.
Range: 0 (Touch)
Effect: Causes targets to run away in fear
Description: The victim must make a Saving Throw vs. Magic or run away from the caster (at 3 times the normal rate) for 30 rounds.
Growth of Underground Animal
Range: 120 feet
Duration: 12 turns
Effect: Doubles the size of one animal
Description: This spell doubles the size of one normal or giant underground animal. The animal then has twice its normal strength and inflicts double normal damage. It may also carry twice its normal encumbrance. This spell does not change an animal's behaviour, Armour Class, or hit points, and does not affect intelligent animal races or fantastic creatures.
Summon Underground Animals
Range: 360 feet
Duration: 3 turns
Effect: Calls and befriends normal animals
Description: With this spell, the shadow elf can summon any or all normal underground animals within range. Only normal, non-magical creatures of animal intelligence are affected, excluding insects, arthropods, humans, and demihumans but including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, etc. The shadow elf may choose one or more known animals, may call for specific types, or may summon everything within range. The total Hit Dice of the animals responding will equal the level of the caster. Treat normal small creatures (frogs, mice, squirrels, small birds, etc.) as Hit Die each. Animals affected will come at their fastest movement rate, and will understand the elf's speech while the spell is in effect. They will be friends of and will help the caster, to the limit of their abilities. If harmed in any way, a summoned animal will normally flee, the spell broken for that animal. However, if the shadow elf is being attacked when a summoned animal arrives, the animal will immediately attack the opponent, fleeing only if a Morale Check is failed.
This spell may be used to calm hostile animals encountered while adventuring.
Shadow elves seldom use this while hunting normal food animals.
Fifth-Level Spell Descriptions
Range: 0 (shadow elf only)
Duration: 1 turn per level of caster
Effect: Opens a path through rocks
Description: For the duration of this spell, no rocks can prevent the shadow elf's passage, no matter how dense. Even stalagmites will bend or magically open to allow the druid to pass. All equipment carried can also be moved through such barriers, but no other creature can use the passage.
Transmute Rock to Mud
Range: 160 feet
Effect: Turns hard rock to soft mud
Description: This spell turns natural rock of any kind into an equal volume of mud. The most that can be transmuted is a cube of 20 feet on a side per level. The depth of the mud can never exceed one-half its length and breadth.
Once the spell is cast, the resulting mud acts like normal mud in all situations.
Sixth-Level Spell Descriptions
Anti-Underground Animal Shell
Range: 0 (shadow elf only)
Duration: 1 turn per level of caster
Effect: Personal barrier which blocks animals
Description: This spell creates an invisible barrier around the shadow elf's body (less than an inch away). The barrier stops all attacks by underground animals, both normal and giant-sized, as well as insects and all other non-fantastic creatures of animal intelligence or less. The caster cannot attack animals while protected except by use of magical spells; the animals are protected from the elf's physical attacks, just as the elf is protected from theirs.
Range: 0 (shadow elf only)
Effect: Short-range teleportation
Description: With this spell, the elf can enter one large stone or stalagmite, teleport, and immediately step out of another stone of the same type. The stones must be large enough to enclose the elf; the wall of a cavern will not work for this use. The range an elf can teleport varies by the type of stone, as follows: stalagmite or stalactite: 600 yards metamorphic rock: 360 yards igneous rock: 240 yards sedimentary and other rock: 300 yards
Transmute Rock to Lava
Range: 160 feet
Effect: Turns hard rock to hot lava
Description: This spell turns natural rock of any kind into an equal volume of lava. The most that can be transmuted is a cube of 20 feet on a side per level. The depth of the lava can never exceed one-half its length and breadth.
Once the spell is cast, the resulting lava acts like normal lava in all respects.
Seventh-Level Spell Descriptions
Range: 240 feet
Duration: 10 turns
Effect: Cuts depth to 1/2 normal
Description: This spell will affect an area up to 10,000 square feet. At the end of the duration, the lava moves back into the area, sometimes causing "lava waves" that otherwise would not naturally occur.
Range: 0 (shadow elf only)
Duration: 2 turns per level of caster
Effect: Allows caster to turn to stone
Description: This spell allows the shadow elf to change into a rock, along with all non-living equipment carried, up to once per round (to or from rock form) for the duration of the spell. The caster can concentrate on other spells while in rock form. Although this spell does not give immunity to Turn to Stone effects (from the attack of a gorgon, for example), the caster may simply turn back to normal form one round after becoming petrified.
While in rock form, the elf is Armour Class -4, but cannot move. The rock cannot be damaged by cold or fire (whether normal or magical), or by normal weapons. The rock need not breathe, and is thus immune to all gas attacks, drowning, etc. Magical weapons and other spells (such as lightning bolt) can inflict normal damage. If a fire or cold spell is cast at the elf while in normal form, the character need only win the initiative (through the standard roll) to turn into a rock before the attacking spell strikes. The caster receives +2 to initiative if planning to change form that round.
Transport Through Rock
Effect: Long-range teleport
Description: This spell may be used once per day at most. The shadow elf must be near a rock of any size--not a cavern wall--and must choose either a general location or a specific known rock elsewhere. After casting the spell, the elf magically enters the nearby rock and steps out of a rock at the destination (the exact rock determined randomly if not specified). There is no limit to the range, but the rocks must be on the same Plane of Existence. The caster immediately appears at the new location.
The caster can transport two additional, willing creatures.
Range: 30 feet
Duration: 1 turn per level of caster
Effect: Pushes all stone items away
Description: This spell creates an invisible wave of force, 120 feet long and 60 feet tall. Its midpoint can be created anywhere within 30 feet of the caster. This wave of force then immediately moves in one horizontal direction, as specified by the caster, at the rate of 10 feet per round. If desired, the force wall can be stopped at any time, but cannot thereafter be moved.
All stone objects contacting or contacted by the wave of force become stuck to it and move with it. The wave of force continues moving until the maximum range (360 feet) is reached, and stops there for the remainder of the spell duration. The items caught are not harmed by the effect, but cannot be used while trapped in it.
Once created, the wave of force does not required concentration. However, the caster may cause it to vanish before the duration ends by concentrating for one round.
This spell has many useful applications in cleaning up a cave area. However it will not move permanent constructions (such as buildings) or other secured objects (such as stalagmites or stalactites).
Eighth-Level Spell Descriptions
Metal to Rock
Range: 120 feet
Effect: Changes metal into rock
Description: This spell can be used to change any metal item or items into rock. The amount that can be transmuted is 50 cn per level of the caster. Any magical item is 90% resistant to the magic. The effect is permanent, and cannot be changed back with a dispel magic spell. Any armour changed to rock falls off the wearer and any weapons affected turn to non-magical stone clubs.
Polymorph Any Object
Range: 240 feet
Duration: See below
Effect: Changes form of one object or creature
Description: This spell is similar to the 4th-level polymorph other spell, except that any object can be affected. If the object is part of a greater whole (such as a section of wall), up to a 10 feet x 10 feet x 10 feet volume can be polymorphed. A creature may avoid the effects if a Saving Throw vs. Spells is made, but with a -4 penalty to the roll.
There are three basic "kingdoms' of all things--animal, vegetable, and mineral. If an object is polymorphed to one of a "nearby" kingdom (animal-vegetable, vegetable-mineral), the duration is 1 hour per level of the caster. If the change is from animal to mineral (or the reverse), it lasts for 1 turn per level of the caster. If no change in kingdom occurs (for example, if a creature is polymorphed into some other creature), the change is permanent until removed by a dispel magic spell at normal chances for success.
Note that creatures created by means of this spell are not automatically friendly. A polymorph cannot affect a creature's age or his points. (See the 4th-level polymorph self and polymorph other spells for other guidelines.)
Ninth-Level Spell Descriptions
Range: 30 feet
Duration: 6 rounds + 1 per level of caster
Effect: Creates sword of force
Description: This spell allows the shadow elf to create a shimmering sword-like blade of force. The elf is able to wield this weapon as if he or she were holding it. An elf cannot both fight with this sword and fight with other weapons, but it will just hang in space if the elf must neglect it for a few rounds to handle something else. It has no bonuses, but can hit any sort of opponent, even those normally struck only by +3 weapons. It hits any Armour Class on a roll of 19 or 20. It inflicts 4-24 points of damage and lasts until the spell duration expires, a successful dispel magic is cast on it, or the caster no longer wants it. This sword can be used for any special manoeuvres, just as a normal sword can.
Creating and Playing a Shaman
Shamans among the shadow elves hold an elevated status, being the worldly representatives of the Immortal Rafiel. Being a shaman is no small task, so Rafiel chooses those souls he wishes to be his shamans, and marks them in his own special way. There is no other way to "become" a shaman--if the mark is there, the character is eligible for training, but if the mark is missing, the shadow elf is out of luck. If you wish your PC to be a shaman, then she has a mark like this.
Shamans are elves, so they have the normal abilities of fighting and spellcasting as other elves, but in addition they receive shaman spells much as human clerics do. Naturally, level advancement level takes longer for a shaman because of her extra responsibilities and powers.
Besides the special birthmark signifying the character's status, each shaman, before she is qualified to receive spells, must acquire a soul crystal. When your character is ready for this step, your DM will provide you--perhaps with other players--with a quest adventure to realise this goal. Over a career, a shaman might acquire many of these holy gems--if the character is true to the Way of the Shaman, and if Rafiel guides her!
To create a shaman shadow elf player character, follow the rules for creating an elf given above, noting the following differences for shamans:
Physical Description: As already noted, all shadow elf shamans have the "mark of Rafiel"--a purplish birthmark that extends over the forehead and eyes, and sometimes other parts of the face, in a symmetrical design. Examples of these marks can be found on the cover of this book.
An unusually high percentage of shadow elf shamans are female--about 70%--so you might consider playing a female character, too, if you are interested in playing a shaman.
Minimum Scores and Experience Bonuses: Besides the normal minimum Intelligence score of 9, a shaman must also have a Wisdom score of at least 9. If both her Wisdom and Intelligence are 13 or more, the shaman gains an Experience bonus of 5%. If her Wisdom is 16 or more, and her Intelligence is 13 or more, her Experience Bonus is 10%.
Special Abilities: The main special ability of the shadow elf shaman (besides those abilities that all shadow elves have) is the powerful spells that Rafiel grants. These make the shaman a powerful force against those outsiders who would interfere with the happiness of the shadow elves. No spell can be granted, or subsequently cast, unless the character is in possession of a soul crystal of the appropriate size and quality. For example, some soul crystals are "first-level" crystals; a shaman having one of these could meditate and receive first-level spells, and cast these, but could not receive any higher spells. The first soul crystal your shaman finds will most likely be one of these. When you are ready to cast higher-level spells--time for another quest! (Other special abilities will be gained as the shaman advances in level, and she is allowed into lower levels of the Temple of Rafiel. These will be revealed to you by your DM as the time comes.)
Clan and City: Distinctly unlike other shadow elves, a shaman is said to be clanless--she serves all shadow elves. In practice a shaman of course makes her home in a certain city, and typically that is the city of the clan of her parents. Shamans do not often marry, not because there is any prohibition against it, but just because their many responsibilities would get in the way of a settled, normal family life. In fact, because a shaman is "clanless" from birth, she may even marry someone from her parents' clan. If a male shaman does marry, he does not necessarily move to the city of his bride. Usually it is dictated by the needs of the shadow elf people (ie, where he is needed for a temple, etc.).
Temples: When a shaman reaches 9th level, she may build a Temple of Rafiel in a cave near the shadow elf's domain. Your DM will tell you how to do this when you reach this level. When a shaman does this, she starts a new settlement that would be considered to belong (ultimately) to her particular clan.
Special Attacks: Shaman characters are not allowed to improve in combat ability past the 10th level of experience, nor are they eligible to use the Combat Options for Fighters or multiple attacks.
Level Advancement: The Experience Points gained by a shaman character must be split between her normal advancement and the additional XP needed to advance as a shaman. The player can divide these points as she wishes, but the level of shaman can never exceed the regular level. Also, notice that to become a 1st-level shaman requires 2,000 XP. The character must adventure for a while as a 1st-level shadow elf to earn these points; only after she has achieved them is she invested as a shaman of Rafiel.
Spells: Shaman spells are gained the way clerics gain their spells: The character meditates and Rafiel grants the spells that Rafiel thinks the character has earned.
Table 3: Shadow Elf Shaman Experience, D&D(R) Game
Shaman Spells by Spell Level Level Additional XP 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2,000 1 - - - - - - 2 3,000 2 - - - - - - 3 4,000 2 1 - - - - - 4 8,000 2 2 - - - - - 5 16,000 2 2 1 - - - - 6 32,000 3 2 1 - - - - 7 60,000 3 3 1 - - - - 8 125,000 3 3 2 - - - - 9 200,000 3 3 2 1 - - - 10 300,000 4 3 2 1 - - - 11 425,000 4 4 2 1 - - - 12 550,000 5 4 3 2 - - - 13 675,000 5 4 3 2 1 - - 14 800,000 5 4 4 3 1 - - 15 925,000 6 5 4 3 2 - - 16 1,050,000 6 5 4 3 2 1 - 17 1,175,000 7 5 4 4 3 2 - 18 1,300,000 7 6 4 4 3 2 - 19 1,425,000 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 20 1,550,000 8 6 5 5 4 2 1 21 1,675,000 8 7 5 5 4 3 2 22 1,800,000 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
Notes to Table 3
125,000 XP per level after level 22.
Maximum shaman spell ability is gained at level 22.
Shaman Spell Lists by Level
First-Level Shadow Elf Shaman Spells
2. Command Word
3. Purify Food and Water
4. Resist Cold
Second-Level Shadow Elf Shaman Spells
1. Cure Light Wounds
2. Detect Danger
3. Know Alignment*
4. Predict Weather
5. Resist Fire
6. Silence 15-Foot Radius
Third-Level Shadow Elf Shaman Spells
1. Fire Ball
2. Heat Metal
4. Protection from Poison
Fourth-Level Shadow Elf Shaman Spells
1. Control Temperature 10-Foot Radius
2. Cure Disease
3. Lava Breathing
4. Wall of Fire
Fifth-Level Shadow Elf Shaman Spells
1. Call Upon Souls
2. Cure Serious Wounds
3. Insect Plague
4. Neutralise Poison
Sixth-Level Shadow Elf Shaman Spells
1. Control Destiny
2. Cure Critical Wounds
3. Dispel Evil
4. Raise Dead
5. Stone to Flesh*
Seventh-Level Shadow Elf Shaman Spells
1. Creeping Doom
2. Delayed Blast Fire Ball
3. Discharge Soul Power
5. Raise Dead Fully
New Shadow Elf Shaman Spell Descriptions
First-Level Spell Descriptions
Effect: Consecration of one creature, item, or area
Description: This is an all-purpose spell that a shadow elf must perform as part of a process to guide another elf through some part of his or her life. The ceremonies involved include:
Adopt: A ceremony that transfers a shadow elf (and, on rare occasion, a human or other demihuman) from one clan to another. The shaman performing the ceremony must be of a level at least equal to the adoptee's. This ceremony is part of any marriage, moving the groom to the clan of the bride.
Anathematise: A ceremony performed when an elf has reached the age of 800 years and must now be banished as a wanderer.
Consecrate: This ceremony has two different uses among the shadow elves. The first allows the shaman to dedicate an area of ground to the building of a Temple of Rafiel, and dedicates certain implements for that building. The second use of this spell allows the shaman to dedicate an area of a cave for the mining of soul crystals, and dedicates certain implements for that mining.
Invest: A ceremony that is performed when a shadow elf becomes a shaman.
Range: 10 feet
Duration: 1 round
Effect: One creature
Description: This spell allows the shadow elf to utter a command of one word. The word must be in a language that the recipient is able to understand. The recipient obeys to the best of her ability as long as the command is clear and unequivocal. A command to "Die!" would make the recipient faint for a round, but there would be no other harmful effect (unless, of course, she was walking a high wire at the time). Typical command words include halt, back, run, go, surrender, etc.
Undead are not affected by a command word.
Creatures with an Intelligence of 13 or more and creatures with 6 or more hit dice or experience levels are entitled to a Saving Throw vs. Spells. Creatures who meet both qualifications do not get two saving throws.
Purify Food and Water
Range: 10 feet
Effect: Makes food and water safe to consume
Description: This spell will make spoiled or poisoned food and water safe and useable. It will purify one ration of food (either Iron or Standard rations), or six waterskins of water, or enough normal food to feed a dozen people. If cast at mud, the spell will cause the dirt to settle, leaving a pool of pure, clear water. The spell will not affect any living creature.
This spell is seldom used among the shadow elves, who have come to depend upon trania, their specially compressed and preserved food preparation.
Range: 0 feet
Duration: 6 turns
Effect: All creatures within 30 feet
Description: When this spell is cast, all creatures within 30 feet of the shaman can withstand freezing temperatures without harm. In addition, those affected gain a bonus of +2 to all Saving Throws against cold attacks. Furthermore, any damage from cold is reduced by -1 per die of damage (but with a minimum of 1 point of damage per die). The effect will move with the shaman.
Second-Level Spell Descriptions
Cure Light Wounds*
Effect: Any one living creature
Description: This spell will either heal damage or remove paralysis. If used to heal, it will cure 2-7 (1d6+1) points of damage. It will not heal any damage if used to cure paralysis. The shaman may cast it on himself (or herself) if desired. This spell will never increase a creature's total hit points above the original amount.
Range: 5 feet per level of caster
Duration: One hour
Effect: Reveals hazards
Description: This spell combines some effects of detect evil and find traps. While it is functioning, the shaman can concentrate on places, objects, or creatures within range. A full round of concentration is needed to examine one square foot of area, one creature, or one small object (a chest, weapon, or smaller item). Larger objects require more time. After examining the thing, the shaman will know whether it is immediately dangerous, potentially dangerous, or benign (all strictly from a shaman's point of view). The precise nature of the danger is not revealed. Note that most creatures are potentially dangerous. This spell will detect poisons, while other spells may not.
The spell duration is a full hour when used underground in the areas inhabited (or claimed by) the shadow elves; elsewhere, the duration is half normal (ie, three turns).
Range: 10 feet
Duration: 1 turn
Effect: Tells alignment of target
Description: This spell enables the shaman to exactly read the alignment aura of a person--human, demihuman, or non-human. Up to 10 persons can be examined with this spell.
The reverse of this spell makes another's know alignment spell react as if the target is the same alignment as the examiner; this effect lasts for one turn.
Range: 0 (shaman only)
Duration: 12 hours
Effect: Gives knowledge of coming weather
Description: This spell enables the shaman to learn the accurate weather to come for the next 12 hours. It affects an area 1 mile in diameter per level of the shaman; for example, a 20th-level shaman would learn the weather within a 10-mile radius. The spell does not give any control over the weather, merely predicting what is to come.
Range: 30 feet
Duration: 2 turns
Effect: One living creature
Description: For the duration of this spell, the recipient cannot be harmed by normal fire and heat. The recipient also gains a +2 bonus on all Saving Throws against magical fire (dragon's breath, fire ball, etc.). Furthermore, damage from such fire is reduced by 1 point per die of damage (though each die will inflict at least 1 point of damage, regardless of adjustments). Red dragon breath damage is reduced by 1 point per hit die of the creature (again to a minimum of 1 point of damage per hit die).
Silence 15-Foot Radius
Range: 180 feet
Duration: 12 turns
Effect: Sphere of silence 30 feet across
Description: This spell makes the area of effect totally silent. Conversation and spells in this area are impossible for the duration of the spell. This spell does not prevent a person within the area from hearing noises made outside the area. If cast on a creature, the victim must make a Saving Throw vs. Spells; if successful, the spell remains in the area in which it was cast, and the victim may move out of that area.
Third-Level Spell Descriptions
Range: 240 feet
Effect: Explosion in a sphere 40 feet diameter
Description: This spell creates a missile of fire that bursts into a ball of fire of 20-foot radius when it strikes a target. The fire ball will cause 1-6 points of fire damage per level of the caster to every creature in the area. Each victim may make a Saving Throw vs. Spells; if successful, the spell will only do half damage. For example, a fire ball cast by a 6th-level shaman will burst for 6-36 points of damage, or one half the total to those making the Saving Throw.
Range: 30 feet
Duration: 1 turn per level of caster
Effect: Warms one metal object
Description: This spell causes one object to slowly heat and then cool. It will affect one metal item weighing up to 5 cn per level of the caster. A 12th-level shaman, for example, can heat a normal sword, but a 20th-level shaman can heat a two-handed sword, and a 36th-level shaman, a lance. The heat causes no damage to magical items. Normal weapons or other items may be severely damaged, especially if made of wood and metal (as a normal lance), as the wood will burn away. If the object is held, the heat causes damage to the holder: one point during the first round, 2 in the second, 4 in the third, 8 in the fourth, and then decreasing at the same rate (for a total of 22 points of heat damage over seven rounds.)
No Saving Throw is allowed, but fire resistance negates all damage. The item may be dropped at any time, of course, and creatures of low intelligence are 80% likely to do so (check each round). In the fourth round, the searing heat will cause leather, wood, paper, and other flammable objects in contact with the metal to catch fire.
Once the spell has been cast, no concentration is needed; the heating and cooling proceed automatically. a dispel magic can stop the effect, but normal means (immersion in water, etc.) will not.
If used on an item imbedded in an opponent (such as an arrow or dagger), the creature may remove the item but loses initiative for that round (and takes the appropriate heat damage as well). Note that heat damage disrupts concentration; the victim cannot cast spells during any round in which damage is inflicted by this spell.
Range: 0 (shaman only)
Duration: 1 level per turn of caster
Effect: Creates huge misty cloud
Description: This spell causes a misty vapour to arise from the ground around the shaman, forming a huge cloud. The cloud is 1 feet high per level of the shaman, and is 10 feet across for each level. For example, a 20th-level shaman could cast an obscure 20 feet tall and 100 feet in radius. The cloud has no ill effects except to block vision. The caster, and all creatures able to see invisible things, will be able to dimly see through the cloud. All other creatures within the cloud will be delayed and confused by the effect.
Protection from Poison
Duration: One turn per level of caster
Effect: Gives one creature immunity to all poison
Description: For the duration of this spell, the recipient is completely immune to the effects of poisons of all types, including gas traps and cloudkill spells. This protection extends to items carried (thus protecting against a spirit's poisonous presence, for example). Furthermore, the recipient gains a +4 bonus on Saving Throws vs. Poisonous Breath weapons (such as green dragon breath) but not petrification breath (such as a gorgon's).
Fourth-Level Spell Descriptions
Control Temperature 10-Foot Radius
Range: 0 (shaman only)
Duration: 1 turn per level of caster
Effect: Cools or warms air within 10 feet
Description: This spell allows the shaman to alter the temperature within an area 20 feet across. The maximum change is 50 degrees (Fahrenheit), either warmer or cooler. The change occurs immediately, and the effect moves with the shaman. The temperature may be changed by mere concentration for 1 round, as long as the spell lasts. The spell is useful for resisting cold or heat so the caster may survive any temperature extremes.
Range: 0 (touch)
Effect: One living creature
Description: This spell will cure any living creature of one disease, such as those caused by a mummy or green slime. If cast by a shaman of 11th level or greater, this spell will cure lycanthropy.
Range: 30 feet
Duration: 1 day
Effect: One air-breathing creature
Description: This spell allows the recipient to breathe while under lava. It does not affect movement in any way, nor does it interfere with the breathing of air. Note also that this spell does not afford protection from the intense heat of the lava.
Wall of Fire
Range: 60 feet
Effect: Creates 1,200 square feet of fire
Description: This spell creates a thin vertical wall of fire of any dimensions and shape, determined by the shaman, totalling 1,200 square feet (for example, 10 feet x 120 feet, 20 feet x 60 feet, 30 feet x 40 feet, etc.). The wall is opaque and will block sight. Creatures of less than 4 Hit Dice cannot break through the wall. Creatures of 4 HD or more can break through, but take 1-6 points of damage in the process. Undead and cold-using creatures (white dragons, frost giants, etc.) each take double damage while breaking through. The wall cannot be cast in a space occupied by another object. It lasts as long as the caster concentrates on it, without moving.
Fifth-Level Spell Descriptions
Call Upon Souls
Range: 30-foot radius from soul crystal
Duration: 1 round per level
Effect: Increases spell effects
Description: This spell enables the caster to increase her spell effects for one round per level. This requires the use of a soul crystal of the appropriate quality. The increase in level depends upon the soul crystal, and varies between one and seven levels of increase. If the level of spell casting does not substantially change the effect, the caster may instead choose to increase one of the following factors:
Range (except for permanent or instantaneous effect spells) Duration (except for permanent or instantaneous effect spells) Area of Effect (except for spells affecting only one person or target) The factor increases 10% (or one level) for each 10 souls within the soul crystal, to a maximum of 7 levels or 70%.
Example: A 36th-level shaman with the maximum soul crystal (ie, 70% improvement) could cast a fire ball 408 feet away instead of 240 feet, or cover a 68-foot blast area instead of 40 feet. (Damage does not increase since spells never cause more than 20d6 of damage, as per D&D Companion rules.)
Drawing upon the power of souls within a crystal weakens them, of course. The souls regain their strength only slowly, as they have no material bodies. Each soul drawn upon is unusable for one week. Other souls within the crystal are still available, however.
Cure Serious Wounds
Effect: Any one living creature
Description: This spell is similar to a cure light wounds spell, but will cure one creature of 4-14 points of damage (2d6+2).
Range: 480 feet
Duration: 1 day
Effect: Creates a swarm of 30-foot radius
Description: This spell summons a vast swarm of insects. The swarm obscures vision and drives off creatures of less than 3 Hit Dice (no Saving Throw). The swarm moves at up to 20 feet per round as directed by the shaman while it is within range. The caster must concentrate, without moving, to control the swarm. If the caster is disturbed, the insects scatter and the spell ends.
Effect: A creature, container, or object
Description: This spell will make poison harmless either in a creature, a container (such as a bottle), or on one object (such as a chest). It will even revive a victim slain by poison if cast within 10 rounds of the poisoning! The spell will affect any and all poisons present at the time it is cast, but does not cure any damage (and will thus not revive a poisoned victim who has died of wounds).
Sixth-Level Spell Descriptions
This spell is described in another file for shadow elves: "Shadow Elves: The Official DM(TM) Book for the D&D(R) Game."
Cure Critical Wounds
Effect: Any one living creature
Description: This spell is similar to a cure light wounds spell, but will cure one living creature of 6-21 (3d6-3) points of damage.
Range: 30 feet
Duration: 1 turn
Effect: Enchanted or undead monsters or one curse or charm
Description: This spell may affect all undead and enchanted (summoned, controlled, and animated) monsters within range. It will destroy the monster unless each victim makes a Saving Throw vs. Spells. If cast at only one creature, a -2 penalty applies to the Saving Throw. Any creature from another plane is banished (forced to return to its home plane) if the Saving Throw is failed. Even if the Saving Throw is successful, the victims must flee the area, and will stay away as long as the caster concentrates (without moving). This spell will also remove the curse from any one cursed item, or may be used to remove any magical charm.
Range: 120 feet
Effect: Raises body of one elf
Description: By means of this spell, the shaman can raise any elf from the dead. The body must be present, and if part is missing, the raised character may be disabled in some way. A 19th-level shaman can raise a body that has been dead for up to eight days. For each level of the shaman above 19th, three days are added to this time. Thus, a 22nd-level shaman can raise bodies that have been dead for up to 17 days. The recipient becomes alive with 1 hit point, and cannot fight, cast spells, use abilities, carry heavy loads, or move more than half speed. These penalties will disappear after two full weeks of complete bed rest, but the healing cannot be speeded by magic.
Stone to Flesh*
Range: 120 feet
Effect: One creature or object
Description: This spell turns any one statue (or quantity of stone up to 10 feet x 10 feet x 10 feet) to flesh. It is usually used to restore a character turned to stone (by gorgon breath, for example). The reverse of this spell, flesh to stone, will turn one living creature, including all equipment carried, to stone. The victim may make a Saving Throw vs. Turn to Stone to avoid the effect.
Range: 0 (shaman only)
Duration: 1 turn + 1 round per level of caster
Effect: Reveals all things
Description: When this spell is cast, the shaman is able to clearly see all things within 120 feet. The spell is quite powerful; the shaman can see all hidden, invisible, and ethereal objects and creatures, as with the magic user detect invisible spell (including secret doors). In addition, any things or creatures not in their true form--whether polymorphed, disguised, or otherwise--are seen as they truly are, with no possibility of deception. Alignment is also "seen", as is experience and power (level or Hit Dice).
Seventh-Level Spell Descriptions
Range: 120 feet
Duration: 1 round per level of caster
Effect: Creates a 20 feet x 20 feet square insect horde
Description: This spell magically creates a huge swarm of 1,000 creeping insects, appearing anywhere within 120 feet of the shaman (as chosen by the caster). They fill an area 10 feet x 20 feet at least, and can be ordered to fill any area up to 60 feet x 60 feet (at most). The creeping doom can move at up to 60 feet/turn (20 feet/round) if the caster remains within 120 feet of any part of the swarm. They vanish after the duration ends, or whenever the shaman is more than 120 feet from them. The insects always attack everyone and everything in their path, inflicting 1 point of damage per 10 insects--a total of 100 points per round per creature--to all within it (no Saving Throw). Normal attacks (such as fire) can damage the horde slightly, but even a fireball spell will only slay 100 of them (reducing the damage the horde can do accordingly). The creeping doom can be destroyed by a dispel magic spell (at normal chances for success), but it can penetrate a protection from evil effect, and can move over most obstacles at the normal movement rate.
Delayed Blast Fire Ball
Range: 240 feet
Duration: 0 to 60 rounds
Effect: Delayed blast fireball, sphere of 20-foot radius
Description: As the name implies, this is a fire ball spell whose blast can be delayed. The shaman must state the exact number of rounds delay (from 0 to 60) when the spell is cast. A small rock, very similar in appearance to a valuable gem, then shoots out toward the desired location, and remains until the stated delay elapses. The "gem" may be picked up, carried, and so forth. When the stated duration ends, an effect identical to a normal fire ball is produced--a sudden instantaneous explosion inflicting 1-6 points of damage per level of the caster to all within the area of effect (a sphere of 20-foot radius). Each victim may make a Saving Throw vs. Spells to take half damage. Once the spell has been cast, the explosion cannot be hurried nor further delayed, except with a wish. The "gem" created is pure magic, not an actual object, and cannot be moved magically (by telekinesis, teleport, etc.), though it can be dispelled.
Discharge Soul Power
This spell is described in another file for shadow elves: "Shadow Elves: The Official DM(TM) Book for the D&D(R) Game."
Range: 120 yards
Duration: 1 turn
Effect: Causes earth tremors
Description: This powerful spell causes a section of earth to shake, and opens large cracks in the ground. A 14th-level caster can affect an area up to 60 feet square, adding 5 feet to each dimension with each level of experience thereafter. For example, an 18th-level shadow elf affects an area up to 80 feet square; 19th-level, 85 feet square; and so forth. Within the area of effect, all small dwellings are reduced to rubble, and larger constructions are cracked open. Earthen formations (hills, cliffs, etc.) form rock slides. Cracks in the earth may open and engulf 1 creature in 6 (determined randomly), crushing them.
Raise Dead Fully
Range: 60 feet
Effect: Raises any living creature
Description: This spell is similar to the 8th-level raise dead spell, except that it can raise any living creature. Any human or demihuman recipient awakens immediately, with no wounds (full hit points), and is able to fight, use abilities, spells known, etc., without any penalties--except those existing at the time of death. For example, a victim cursed or diseased at death would still suffer the affliction when raised fully. If any other living creature (other than a human or demihuman) is the recipient, the guidelines given in the raise dead spell apply (including time limitations, rest needed, etc.). A 22nd-level shaman can use this spell on a human or demihuman body that has been dead up to 4 months; for each level of experience above 22nd, 4 months are added to this time. Thus, a 24th-level shaman could cast raise dead fully on a body that has been dead up to 12 months.