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by Christopher Richard Davies

After GAZ4, GAZ5 The Elves of Alfheim comes as a welcome relief. The absurdist elements of the line were kept to a bare minimum (I believe that Doriath's “surfer dude” accent was the only one) and the new character options were intriguing and logical expansions of already existing material. My one issue with the product is the blatant artistic “swipe” from ElfQuest in one of the illustrations, but I suppose that's a quibble. As such, these notes will be fairly brief.

[*] As mentioned, “high elves” are born in Alfheim more commonly than they are in other elven homelands, most likely due to the large number of true Trees of Life in a small area. But they still aren't terribly numerous, even here. The elven NPCs described in GAZ5 are reclassified as follows:

Eladrin: Arloen Treelife, Brendian Erendyl, Carlisan*, Draugin Smallhammer, Dyradyl Feadiel, Ethrilord Bilgrammus[1], Gilfronden*, Shurenglya.
Elf: Beasthunter, Brightsword, Coolhands, Daisy of Desnae, Doriath Erendyl, Durifan Widefarer, Jorodin Feadiel, Lynnwyn Chossum, Mealidan Mealidil, Redsword Truetalker, Sharlikan, Shelingar, Starwatcher, Taragin Oakbranch.
Half-Elf: Engledoc Dewsap[2], Don Maximillian de Belcadiz.

Eladrin from Alfheim should use their Eladrin Education racial trait to take Nature as a trained skill, but they aren't required to do so, particularly if they already have it as a class skill.

[*] Since elves are fully capable of learning to use divine magic, they don't have any need to enter into feudal arrangements with human clerics or druids. Indeed, elven treekeepers should be treated as clerics of Ilsundal, though of course they don't normally adventure. (They do, however, often multiclass as druids or wizards, increasing the versatility of the powers to which they have access.) Of the human clerics resident in Alfheim Town, Abdullah Hazarkan is a cleric of Asterius (while still a follower of the Eternal Truth), Dominicus Graybeard is a cleric of Solarios (Ixion) and Grindolf the White is a cleric of Odin (Noumena).

[*] Both the good and the bad magic points tend to create pathways to the Feywild. The pathways associated with the good points lead to regions ruled by eladrin, such as the Kingdom of Oberon and Titania. Those associated with the bad points lead to very, very, very bad places. (There should probably be a few more “very”s in that statement.) And similarly bad things come out of them.

[*] Elven horses should be treated as celestial chargers, with a change of origin from “immortal” to “fey” and a change of alignment from “lawful good” to “unaligned”. Details on the chevalls will have to wait for information on the centaurs (who will most likely be in Monster Manual II.)

[*] Elves of the Red Arrow and Long Runner clans can take the following heroic feat (and probably should take it at first level) to represent their use names.

Prerequisite: Eladrin or elf.
Benefit: Any attack with the charm keyword automatically misses you, unless the attacker knows your true name, in which case it automatically hits.

[*] Barring PC intervention, the future of Alfheim is extraordinarily bleak. The Desert Nomad invasion of Darokin will give Gilfronden the opportunity he's been waiting for. The elven forces sent to support the Republic's war effort will be thick with shadow elf infiltrators. They will strike at the worst possible moment, both sabotaging Darokin's war effort and slaughtering loyal elven forces, who will thus be unavailable to defend Alfheim against the shadow elf invaders that attack at about the same time. Alfheim Town will burn, and while Doriath and at least some of the clan leaders are likely to survive the assassination attempts against them, the surface elves will be driven out of the forest completely -- save for a few who remain behind to fight a hopeless guerrilla war.

In an irony that the surface elves are unlikely to appreciate, the conquest of a surface homeland proves to be the most divisive event in the history of the shadow elves. But that's a topic for a later date. Elven reaction to the loss of Alfheim varies. Most seek new homes in Glantri, Karameikos or Wendar, while one contingent determines to reclaim the Sylvan Realm from its conquerors. But a large number of elves, driven near to madness by the loss, seek death in battle against the Desert Nomads, fighting with suicidal ferocity that helps to save Darokin. Tragically, this sacrifice is repaid with treachery, when the Republic makes an arrangement with the shadow elves that, among other things, guarantees that they won't support any elven attempts to reclaim Canolbarth ...


[1] This is the ambassador from Glantri, mentioned passingly in Don Maximillian's description.

[2] Two half-elves don't, logic be damned, make a whole.