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by DJ Hartel

I've been working on compiling the various elves that exist on Mystara and trying to map out how I think they'd fit into 4E DnD. Right now, I'm using just the various elven races (Eladrin, Elf and Drow) along with 4E backgrounds to map out the differences. I am considering adding in recommended feats/classes, but currently want to keep it open for players so they can still customize to their concept.

At some point I may collapse the various clans and things to simplify, as currently I think there are over 50 variations on the elven race here. (From running several campaigns with new players, I'm finding people new to gaming or a setting can get overwhelmed with too many choices...)

When doing these allocations, I aimed for the default elf to be a 4th edition Elf. Essentials allows for a bonus to Intelligence, most elven subraces/clans of Mystara should qualify by default. However, for some I've found the flavor of the 4th edition Elf doesn't fit with the elf as described in various Mystara sourcebooks (cannon and fannon).

I've derived a lot from threads on here, especially the following:
Zendrolian's Elven Ethnicities
DWK3's various files for converting Mystara to 4th Edition
(I have more sources which I need to add when I can find the URL's for them)

Currently I'll add various grouping of elves as different threads to this post. Once completed (or as near complete as can be achieved) I'll create a webpage for it.

I believe there is a group of Elves that live west of the Sylvan elves in a forest (I've seen notes) but I cannot pinpoint what they are/if they exist or rumored or anything about their culture. I also believe there is a group of Elves hanging out within Hule too, but, once again, I don't have a lot of material to work off of.


Clan 4th Race Secondary Bonus Background
Chossom Elf Either Occupation - Merchant
Erendyl Elf Either Warsmith[Campaign]
Feadiel Elf Wisdom Forest Warden
Grunalf Elf Wisdom Silent Hunter
Long Runner Elf Intelligence Magic Scholar
Mealidil Elf Intelligence Any
Red Arrow Elf Wisdom Last Legionnaire

Mealidil I was vague on because there isn't anything that maps to singing for 4th edition. I haven't added in preferred classes yet, but for them it would be bard.


Clan 4th Race Secondary Bonus Background
Belcadiz Eladrin Dexterity Blademaster
Erewen Elf Intelligence Occupation - Artisan

Eladrin fit better for Belcadiz for their penchant for swords and sword fighting. Erewen are pretty standard magically inclined elves.


Clan 4th Race Secondary Bonus Background
Callarii Elf Wisdom Howling Plains

The Howling Plains was used because it was similar in the horseman riding and focus.

Minrothad Guilds

Clan 4th Race Secondary Bonus Background
Verdier (Wood Elf) Elf Wisdom Occupation - Artisan
Kelar, Manre (Water Elf) Eladrin Charisma Occupation - Mariner

These mappings work pretty well. For my campaign I have a player who is a water elf storm sorcerer and it seems to be working out well for her.

Shadow Elves

Clan 4th Race Secondary Bonus Background
Celebryl Eladrin Charisma East Rift [Campaign]
Porador Eladrin Dexterity East Rift [Campaign]
Felistyr Eladrin Dexterity East Rift [Campaign]
Gelbalf Eladrin Dexterity East Rift [Campaign]

I need to work at fleshing the clans out based upon the text from the shadow elf gazetteer. I chose Eladrin for a few reasons -
1 - Elves have a bonus to bows, that doesn't work so well when your culture primarily uses crossbows.
2 - The gazetteer emphasizes they could learn magic above and beyond most elves.
3 - Drow didn't fit for a few reasons, I don't see them using poison, or being as treacherous. However, the Drow get Darkfire which is like faerie fire which Shadow Elves could cast at first level. I'd also like to keep Drow as an evil bogeyman type of race, rarely seen but dangerous when encountered. If a Drow rejects his civilization and becomes good (or even neutral) that at best is extremely rare.

Thyatis - Vyalia Elves

Clan 4th Race Secondary Bonus Background
Vyalia Elf Intelligence Enlisted Soldier

I decided to focus on them being allies of Thyatis and their military service to the empire.


Clan 4th Race Secondary Bonus Background
Shiye Lawr Elf Intelligence Zilargo

I did not have any further division for clans beyond this. Also, the Shiye clans in Norworld may be different...


Clan 4th Race Secondary Bonus Background
Antartic Elf Wisdom Frostfell (Primal Power)

Not too much about these elves. They are a primal subrace, I could also see them having feats to withstand the cold.


Clan 4th Race Secondary Bonus Background
Sheyallia Elf Wisdom East Rift [Campaign]

Pretty easy to translate, I believe they have bows from the underground forest.

Isle of Dawn

Clan 4th Race Secondary Bonus Background
Trueflower Elf ??? ???

I only read a brief excerpt on this clan and am not sure how they fit in. Also, I'm not sure if other clans exist on the isle (outside the of migrated known world or Alphatian clans).

Northern Elves

Clan 4th Race Secondary Bonus Background
Genalleth Elf Any Elf - Urban Elf?
Geffronell Eladrin Any Eladrin - Estranged Fey
Lothenar Eladrin Charisma Haunted Survivor
Parthenal(Wild) Elf Wisdom Elf - Wild Elf

From the fan gazetters. The only questionable one is for the Genalleth elves of Wendar, I know they are very friendly with the humans, but they bonuses may not align. I'm still researching what would be best.

Savage Coast

Clan 4th Race Secondary Bonus Background
Savage Coast Elf Any ??

I haven't had time to research how the elves of this area can be broken down, so this is just a filler.

Sylvan Realm

Clan 4th Race Secondary Bonus Background
Sylvan Elves Elf Any Myth Drannor

Depending on how I run my campaign these elves are either in trees or newly freed. Changed to Elf to better fit origins of Alfheim elves.

Hollow World

Clan 4th Race Secondary Bonus Background
Blacklore Elf Any ???
Elf Eladrin Intelligence ???
Icevale Elf Wisdom Geography - Mountains
Schattenalfen Drow Any Any Drow related background

Blacklore I decided were elves, but after that I pretty much let them be. I'm not sure what their background could be, and am still reviewing.

Truedyl Updated to them to be Elves. Teleportation magic still does not work. There isn't a background that maps to apathy/nihilism well, but I may have missed something.

Icevale was easy mapping. Does anyone know what their real Elven clan name is?

Schattenalfen are drow more or less, and the only subrace used for them. I'm still partial to just making them elves... However, in the Hollow World book it is said that Aztanteol did alter them to be unable to handle sunlight, perhaps the altered racials are a benefit and curse.