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From the Hollow World Set, Dungeon Master's Sourcebook, Atlas, pp. 80-85
Technology: Iron Age (steel forged).
Life-Style: Cavern-dwelling empire-builders, very militaristic and revenge-oriented.
Population: 600,000, with one-tenth in the city of Issarthyl and the rest scattered in innumerable caves and caverns.
Outer-World Origin: Centre of the crust of the world, ca. BC 1,400.
The land of the Schattenalf Caverns is not just caverns, of course. It comprises cave-riddled mountains and foothills on the northern edge of the great equatorial mountain range where it meets the western sea.
The mountains and hills are cool, both from their altitude and from the Immortal magics which maintain the weather at the equator. The highest mountains are snow-capped, and their lower slopes and the hills are heavily forested.
The cool weather and steep slopes discourage intrusion from predatory dinosaurs, though other beasts, such as bears, great cats, and a local draconic breed named flapsails, do sometimes prey on animal and elf alike.
The Schattenalfen are indeed an elvish race, but few people who'd ever seen other elves would think they belonged to the same species.
The Schattenalf males average about 5' tall and 110 lbs., with females an inch or two shorter and some 20 lbs. lighter.
They are very, very pale-skinned: their skin is almost white. Their hair ranges from pure white to a light steel-grey, and is usually worn long and unbound, whether male or female.
Most eyes are ice-blue or grey; a few are light green or even yellow. But, though they look like albinos (except for the lack of pink eyes), they are not.
Outside, in the open, Schattenalfen wear very concealing garments: heavy long-sleeved tunics, trousers, high soft boots, gloves, and cloaks with hoods they can pull well over their faces. They prefer dark colours to light, usually dressing in blacks, browns, blues, purples and deep reds. All these garments are necessary to their continued survival: when his skin is exposed to sunlight, a Schattenalf takes 1 hit point of damage for every hour of exposure.
Inside their cavernous homes, the Schattenalfen remove the cloak and gloves, but otherwise maintain the same outfit; caverns tend to be chilly, and the Schattenalfen are a cold-blooded race, needing all the protection from chill they can get.
In wartime, these elves wear elvish chain mail and carry shields. They use a wide variety of weapons, especially broad swords and polearms, long bows and crossbows, lances (both land and air cavalry) and many others.
The Schattenalfen speak the elvish language. This is basically the same as the tongue spoken in Alfheim on the outer world, and in Icevale and Blacklore lands in the Hollow World, and is almost identical to the dialect spoken by the Shadow Elves of the City of Stars. But the Schattenalfen dialect is more sibilant; many hearing it consider it sinister and threatening. There is a written form of the language, identical to the written form of other elvish dialects.
Schattenalfen also speak Neathar, Azcan, Traldar and Malpheggi lizard man because of their proximity to those peoples.
The culture of the Schattenalfen is unlike the cultures of other elves.
Most elves worship above-ground nature: growing trees, green living things, flowing rivers and the shining sun. Not so the Schattenalfen; after all their centuries of living below-ground, they have become distanced from that world. They are physiologically and psychologically adapted to life below-ground. The sunlight burns them and can kill them; they feel nervous and exposed when there are trees all around instead of stone walls, and when there is no cavern ceiling above their heads - only open sky and the distant sun.
Even this would not be so bad except the Schattenalfen long to be part of the green, growing world again. All their culture's legends and aspirations move them to desire life among the trees. They resent their physical and mental limitations which keep them living among the caves; even more so they resent races which live casually, easily, comfortably in the world of nature. Consequently, they hate most races.
The Schattenalfen build cities underground. They expand on and modify the caves, tunnels and caverns that make up their homes: many of them are expert diggers, miners and engineers, like the dwarves of the outer world.
Their architecture is almost identical to that of the Azcans (read the entry on Azca toward the start of this chapter), featuring pyramids, plazas and heavy walls built of dressed stone. Unlike the Azcans, they don't use dried mud-brick for any of their building; they rely entirely on stone.
The Schattenalfen observe all rituals and ceremonies in utter darkness. Though they light their caverns with torches, lamps and candles, their formal gatherings (prayers to Atzanteotl, marriages, celebrations of birth, etc.) are all held in complete darkness.
Among the Schattenalfen, males and females have roughly equal rights. Both males and females learn magic and fight; the military is about 60% male, 40% female.
But inheritance is matrilineal: the family name and family property descends from mother to daughter. When Schattenalfen marry, the male formally leaves his own clan and becomes a member of his wife's clan. Among rulers, power settles on the member of the marriage who is personally the most dominant; one family may be ruled by its mother, another by its father, and another by a marriage of equals.
The Schattenalfen, like their distant Icevale cousins, expose children who are born hideously deformed. Unlike the Icevale elves, many Schattenalf children are born deformed, perhaps one in five.
Elderly Schattenalfen, by ancient tradition, are exiled. If a Schattenalf reaches 800 years of age, he packs up a few belongings, makes his farewell to his family, and departs the caverns forever. He is doomed to wander the surface of the Hollow World for the rest of his life; also, by tradition, he is not allowed ever to retrace his path or see the same place twice.
Most of these wanderers die in the dangerous wildernesses of the Hollow World. Sometimes the Immortal Rafiel takes pity on them (on the kinder, wiser ones, at least) and personally tells them they do not have to wander forever and may settle where he guides them; he then guides them to places such as the Lighthouse, to Oltec villages, or to the lands of the Icevale elves (see the separate entries for those places in this chapter).
On the other hand, the Schattenalfen, by ancient custom, must adopt any elf who expresses a wish to live among them. They might fall on and attack a foreign elf they find sneaking through their territory; but if he knows to cry out that he claims the right to live among them, they will break off their attack.
(This doesn't mean that it's easy for an elvish PC to infiltrate and spy on these elves. Others have tried; the Schattenalfen are suspicious of any of their adoptees for decades, even centuries. An adoptee must swear an oath of loyalty to the Schattenalf king. He must marry a Schattenalf; if a married pair of elves seeks adoption, the marriage is considered irrelevant and they are separated and married to Schattenalfen. The adoptee will be watched for as many years as it takes to convince the Schattenalfen of his loyalty. And if he does turn out to be a traitor, he will be routinely executed. But he will be adopted if he wishes to be.)
These elves are ruled by an Elf-King and Elf-Queen, who live in the city of Issarthyl. Each other community comprising two or more extended families is ruled by a governor appointed by the crown. Many communities constitute only one extended family, and the ruler is the family leader, who must answer to the crown just like any governor ... but who may not be removed or demoted by the crown. The King and Queen, all city governors, and all high-ranking advisors and military advisors are followers of Atzanteotl; that Immortal has a strong lock on the ruling caste of Schattenalfen.
Most Schattenalfen live on a substance called trania. It is a highly concentrated foodstuff which they prepare themselves; its making does not require magic. Trania comes in dark, egg-sized balls, one of which will sustain a Schattenalf for an entire day. (It usually takes two meals of trania to sustain a larger person such as an adult human. Also, trania does not satisfy the compulsive meat-eater's love of meat and so many people do not consider it an adequate diet; it sustains them, but leaves them craving flesh.)
The Schattenalfen make use of beasts of burden, mostly reptiles. Both the crawler (a riding lizard identical to the Hutaakan foot-pad lizard) and the flapsail (a small, unintelligent dragon-like creature native to these mountains) are domesticated and ridden; both types of beasts also thrive in the wild and sometimes attack Schattenalfen.
The official faith of the Schattenalfen is the worship of the Immortal Atzanteotl. His philosophy is one of revenge and punishment: any slight against Schattenalfen must be avenged. Since the humans blew up the world in the ancient past, they must be conquered. Anyone who insults a Schattenalf must be punished. This doesn't have to be by a sudden attack or formal duel: slow, thoughtful, carefully-planned vengeance is even more palatable to the Schattenalf followers of Atzanteotl.
Though Atzanteotl's faith is the official worship of the Schattenalfen, that doesn't make it the universal faith of these people. Among the Schattenalfen, four in ten consider themselves followers of Atzanteotl; one in ten is, secretly, a follower of the original Shadow Elf patron, Rafiel. The other five in ten are rather agnostic, following neither Immortal, simply living their lives.
Two Races of Shadow Elves
If you have the Shadow Elves gazetteer, you may be confused by the many differences between those Shadow Elves and these Schattenalfen. There are two breeds of Shadow Elves.
The ones described in the Shadow Elves gazetteer are the Shadow Elves, also called the Shadow Elves of the City of Stars.
The elves described here are called Schattenalfen, and they have many customs which are different from those of the ancestral Shadow Elves.
The Shadow Elves mostly follow the Immortal Rafiel. More of the Schattenalfen follow Atzanteotl. However, unlike the Azcans, they do not practice sacrifice. The Shadow Elves build stony homes and dwellings that are not too dissimilar from stone dwellings built by surface-dwelling humans. The Schattenalfen, as noted, build pyramids and other buildings similar to those of the Azcans.
The Shadow Elves have shamans among them - clerical followers of Rafiel. The Schattenalfen have no shamans, and very few of them even know how to use magic.
The Shadow Elves are very much concerned with mined crystals which are said to hold the souls of their ancestors. The Schattenalfen have abandoned this belief and attach no special significance to crystals.
Among the Shadow Elves, many children are born with purplish marks like tattoos on their faces; this disfigurement, a mark of favour of the Immortal Rafiel, does not appear among the Schattenalfen.
The Schattenalfen remember their origins among the Shadow Elves, but centuries ago lost all communication with the Shadow Elves. As far as they know, the original Shadow Elves could be dead and gone.
One last note: among the Schattenalfen, unlike the elves of Alfheim on the outer world, a name is a name. They don't conceal their real names under cover of use-names.
The largest city of the Schattenalfen is Issarthyl.
Issarthyl is a city of 60,000 built in an enormous cavern lying a full mile beneath the foot of Mount Issarthyl.
Within the cavern is a 200'-tall stepped pyramid devoted to the Immortal Atzanteotl. Below it lies the great plaza of Issarthyl, surrounded by temples of Atzanteotl, the royal residence, and other building just as are found in the city of Chitlacan (see the entry for the Azcan Empire, above). There is one major exception: the Schattenalfen don't play the game of tlachtli, and so there are no courts here for that game.
Around the great plaza and its functionary buildings are the homes of the common Schattenalfen.
As in the Azcan city of Chitlacan, there is a steady stream of foot-traffic in and out of Issarthyl. Though the Schattenalfen could be completely self-sufficient (living on foods such as the fungus which grows in abundance in their caverns and the milk taken from a variety of giant slug), they prefer to trade their goods for richer, healthier food grown on the outside. So they mine precious stones and craft wonderful gems, jewellery and precious statuary, and trade them for food - especially to the Traldar on the western coast. The streams of traffic bear those trade goods out of the cavern and stockpiles of wheat, barley, wine. dried fish, dried meat, dried fruits, and other goods from Traldar lands.
History on the Outer World
At the time of the Great Rain of Fire, in BC 3,000, the ancestors of the Shadow Elves were four ordinary elf-clans: the Celebryl, the Porador, the Felistyr and the Gelbalf. They lived not too far from Blackmoor, having colonised these new lands with the permission of the Blackmoor humans.
Then those Blackmoor humans blew themselves up, scattered rotting, corrupting energies to the four winds (poisoning many elves of the four clans), and altered the very climate of the world. These colonist elves fled for shelter, finding it in deep caverns beneath the area later called the Broken Lands.
Perhaps subtly guided by the Immortal Rafiel, their new, sympathetic patron, they discovered a remarkable series of caverns and tunnels leading deep into the earth - hundreds of miles deep into the earth, as a matter of fact. There, they discovered a miles-high cavern where gravity was bizarre; the elves could stand on the ceiling, on the floor, on certain sections of the wall.
This was, in fact, a cavern smack in the middle of the World-Shield, which was described in the History chapter. The anti-magic effects of the World-Shield were very weak here, having been weakened by the presence of this cavernous bubble, so the Shadow Elves had no difficulty casting their magic.
The Shadow Elves built their City of Stars here, some of it on the ceiling and some on the floor. They tamed animals living deep in the earth, including domesticable giant slugs and a species of flying lizard they called skinwings. They set about following the moral and ethical guidelines provided by the Immortal Rafiel. Though they longed to return to the upper world, they were convinced that it was destroyed, hostile to all life, and so lived sad, dark existences deep in the earth.
More than a thousand years later, ca. BC 1,700, another disaster took place on the surface: elves living in the land now called Glantri found and accidentally detonated an old Blackmoor device. The resulting catastrophe wasn't as great as the original Rain of Fire, but it did drive all these elvish clans underground, and some of those survivors discovered the cavern of the City of Stars.
Adopted by the Shadow Elves, they astonished their new patrons with stories of an upper world which had recovered from the Great Rain of Fire. But they also frustrated the Shadow Elves with the knowledge that they couldn't immediately ascend to the surface: the rotting sickness caused by the Blackmoor device's explosion might not disappear for generations, or so said the shamans of the Immortal Rafiel.
These adopted Shadow Elves took the clan-name schattenalfen, which just means "shadow elves" in their own elvish dialect, and they were the ancestors of the Hollow World Schattenalfen. At about the same time, an elf named Atziann, another survivor of the Glantrian explosion of four hundred years before, was attaining Immortality in the Sphere of Entropy. He chose the name Atzanteotl as an Immortal and decided to meddle with both the Shadow Elves and the Azcans, two races in which he saw a lot of evil potential. (See the entry for Atzanteotl in the Immortals chapter.)
Atzanteotl corrupted many of the Shadow Elves, particularly members of the new Schattenalfen clan, promising them that they could live on the beautiful surface world and be masters of their world if only they would abandon the worship of Rafiel and worship him instead. Many did. He taught them new ways to build in order to honour him - using the building style of the Azcans, which had fascinated him when he was a moral hiding among those humans. This is why the Schattenalfen followers of Atzanteotl have a different form of architecture than their ancestral Shadow Elves.
Atzanteotl divided his Schattenalf followers into two groups and sent them in different directions.
One group was sent up to near the surface of the outer world, there to build a magnificent city called Aengmor. Their fate is mentioned in the History chapter, and is discussed in greater detail in GAZ 10, The Orcs of Thar.
History in the Hollow World
The other group was sent to follow the expedition which had reached the Hollow World. This expedition also succeeded in reaching the Hollow World. Prepared for the dangers of the sun by the deaths of their predecessors, they dressed to shield themselves from the solar radiation and set about conquering their new lands.
Unfortunately for them, the Kogolor dwarves already living there didn't feel like being conquered. Helped by the appearance of a golem-like dwarf-hero from the outer world, the Kogolors fought the Schattenalfen over a period of a few years and finally drove them out of their lands.
The Schattenalfen fled westward, finding similarly fierce defenders among the Oltecs, and finally settled in mountains not yet occupied by sentient races. There, they settled and built their cities.
Ironically, they found they couldn't actually return to the upper world to live as their ancient elvish ancestors had; this was a cruel trick played on them by Atzanteotl. Their race had been underground so long that they could not endure prolonged exposure. The sun was dangerous to them; they were nervous when not surrounded by stone walls. So they were trapped in their old lifestyles when no other force kept them from enjoying the upper world.
Many Schattenalfen have managed to adapt - slightly - to the Hollow World's surface. These brave pioneers build cities above ground and try to spend as much time outside as they can bear. True, their cities are like artificial caverns; they tend to be huge, impenetrable stone domes linked together by fully-enclosed tunnels, with no windows and few exits to the outside. And the elves who live here have learned to go outside for days, even weeks, though most of them are nervous and irritable while on the surface. It is these elves who perform above-ground raids on enemy territories; they have learned to ride horseback and on flapsails, and hide among the trees, and some few even enjoy the experience of the outdoors.
Over the centuries, the Schattenalfen (substantially helped by those elves daring enough to live above-ground) have grown more resistant to sunlight. Exposure to the sun for a day will still kill most of them, but in more ancient times, exposure for a mere couple of hours would be enough to do the job. So slowly, gradually, the Schattenalfen are learning to live above-ground.
Relations With Other Races
When they settled in their new mountains, the elves discovered that there were sentient races all around. North were the Azcans; east were the Oltecs; beyond them were the Kogolor dwarves who had treated them so unfairly; northeast, beyond the swamps, were the Neathar; southwest were the Traldar.
They hated the Kogolors for chasing them out. They weren't too happy with the Oltecs for the same reason, and for others: the Schattenalfen hated all humans, because it was humans who had caused the Great Rain of Fire and the Glantrian disaster. They hated the Neathar who found it so easy to live close to nature.
But, especially, they hated the Azcans. Not only were the Azcans humans, not only did they live among the forests - they built cities that were cruel, mocking imitations to the Schattenalfen. Their cities and pyramids were so like those of the Schattenalfen that the Azcan cities seemed to be saying, "We have built your city, which you cannot live in; here it is, and here we are enjoying it while you rot underground." The Schattenalfen believed the Azcans to have taken this architectural style long after the elves, and to mock and torture them; consequently, they came to hate the Azcans more than any other race.
In the centuries since they settled in these mountains, the Schattenalfen have waged innumerable wars against the Azcans. These are bloody, hateful wars, with no quarter taken on either side.
The Azcans are far more numerous than the Schattenalfen, so the Schattenalfen use their few natural advantages to compensate. They establish hidden base camps as close to Azcan cities as they can, then spend literally years digging their way into the centres of those cities. When the time is ripe - often, when a city prince is conducting a sacrifice with crowds of thousands assembled below - the Schattenalfen will emerge from below-ground slaughtering all in their way, often killing the city's ruler before fleeing again.
The Schattenalfen also perform ordinary cavalry-based raids against Azcan outposts, often luring the inevitable Azcan pursuit into ambushes and avalanches.
The flapsails give the Schattenalfen a certain aerial advantage. Squads of elves mounted on flapsails fly over Azcan cities, dropping flaming brands onto the poorer sections of town, where thatch roofs and the beams supporting mud-brick houses burn nicely.
So the war, while bloody and constant, is a guerrilla war, never fought with divisions of infantry facing each other across a field.
The Schattenalfen know they cannot survive if they have enemies on all sides. Thus, though it galls them even to be neutral to a human culture, they have always traded peaceably with the Traldar. The Schattenalfen and Traldar do not like or trust one another, but their trade has been peaceful and mutually profitable for centuries, and neither desires to see it end. The Traldar, however, do not send mercenaries to help the Schattenalfen.
The elves sometimes find mercenaries among the Malpheggi lizard men; though those reptiles also accept jobs from the Azcans, they will turn on anyone if paid enough. The elves also pay the Krugel Horde to perform raids into northeastern Azcan lands, but the Krugels more often work for the Azcans themselves.
The Schattenalfen know that there is a race of elves living to the far north, but don't know much about them. If they were to learn that those elves are descendants of survivors of the Glantrian disaster who descended deep into the earth, found the Hollow World, and adapted to it so happily and successfully, the Schattenalfen would also hate the Icevale elves.
The Schattenalfen know that their ancestors, the Shadow Elves, probably still live hundreds of miles down in the ground, but have long forgotten the path back to the City of Stars; there has been no communication with the City of Stars in over 2,000 years.
One Schattenalf whom the PCs might meet is Air-Captain Trylthyn.
Trylthyn, Air-Captain, Flapsail-Rider
History: Trylthyn, born 150 years ago, has for 40 years been a member of the Schattenalf aerial corps. He's one of those "outside" Schattenalfen, the ones who live in a surface-built city. He has long been famous among the Schattenalfen, a hero among them: he is a great warrior, a great flyer, and one of the rare magic-users to boot. However, he is not a follower of Atzanteotl, and consequently his political future is limited; this is why he is a lowly captain rather than a general of Schattenalf armies.
Personality: Trylthyn's mother was a follower of Rafiel, and his father was an agnostic. So he grew up away from the doctrines of hate and revenge which dominate so many of the Schattenalfen. However, when it became clear that he had the intelligence necessary to be a magic-user, he was recruited early into the Schattenalf military, which is dominated by followers of Atzanteotl. Consequently, he has often found himself in conflict with revenge-minded superiors and fellows. This has made him moody and distant to his fellow Schattenalfen, preferring solitary patrols on his flapsail to drinking and carousing with the other officers. He is suspicious of humans (he knows they blew up the world), and intensely dislikes the Azcans, but wishes his people were not inimical to the other surrounding races such as the Oltecs and Neathar.
Appearance: Trylthyn is big for a Schattenalf, nearly 5'4" and 130 lbs. His hair is an iron-grey, his eyes a nearly identical hue. His features are plain, but the intelligence evident in his eyes is very arresting. He prefers to wear all-black clothes set off with golden jewellery, especially necklaces, broad bracelets and buttons on his flying suit.
DMing Notes: Trylthyn can easily be an enemy of the PCs, but could just as easily become their ally. Unless they are mostly Azcans, he won't immediately attack intruders into Schattenalf territory; confident in his abilities, he will descend near them on his flapsail and order them to leave; if convinced that they have some business important to the King and Queen, or to the Schattenalf race as a whole, he will guide them across the hills to the city of Issarthyl.
Combat Notes: 10th-level elf (attack rank D); AC 2 (chain mail and shield); hp 40; MV 90' (40'); #AT 2 broad sword or long bow; Dmg 1d8 + 1; Save E10; ML8; AL L. S13 I18 W13 D10 Co9 Ch10. Languages: Elvish (Schattenalfen dialect), Neathar, Azcan, Traldar, Malpheggi, Kogolor, orcish (Krugel dialect), one unspent language slot. General Skills: Military Tactics (I), Profession (Weaponsmith, I), Navigation (I), Signalling (Schattenalf Air-Cavalry hand-codes, I), Animal Trainer (Flapsails, W), Caving (W), Alertness (D), Riding (Flapsails, D), Leadership (Ch).
Spells Carried: 1st - detect magic, protection from evil, read magic. 2nd - levitate, web x 2. 3rd - dispel magic, fly, protection from normal missiles. 4th - growth of plants, wall of fire, wizard eye. 5th - dissolve, pass-wall.
Magical Items in Possession: chain mail + 2.
The Schattenalf lands are occupied by most of the monsters indicated for mountain and hill terrains in the Monsters chapter of The Adventure Book. Two other monsters (from that chapter) which are very important to the Schattenalfen are flapsails and foot-pad lizards.
From the Hollow World Set, Dungeon Master's Sourcebook, The Immortals, pp. 98-99
Sphere and Alignment: Entropy; Neutral.
Manifestation Power: Greater.
Worshippers' Alignment: Neutral and Chaotic. His clerics all are Neutral.
History: Atzanteotl, born with the name Atziann, was an elf clan-lord living in Glantri some 2,700 years ago. At that time, some of his fellow elves found and accidentally triggered a dangerous Blackmoor device left in the Broken Lands. The resulting cataclysm drove the surviving Glantrian elves underground. Atziann and his clan travelled the labyrinth of caves under Glantri for dozens of years, years during which all his clan-members perished. These experiences made him very dark, fatalistic, and bitter.
After these years of wandering lost below the earth, Atziann emerged once again into sunlight ... but it was the wrong sun. He found an exit into the Hollow World, in the lands of the Azcan Empire. With his magical abilities, he was able to conceal himself from their eyes and hide among the Azcans until he learned their language and culture. He gained quite an appreciation for the lethal, uncompromising Azcans, for their culture and architecture and sense of style, before continuing on with his wanderings.
By now committed to doctrines of evil and pain, Atziann took the Path of Immortality of the Sphere of Entropy and, within a couple of hundred years, his unrelenting evil had earned him that reward (such as it is). Now, he decided, it was time to return his attention to his original people (who were now called the Shadow Elves) and see what he could do to shape them into a race more to his liking.
Under the name Atzanteotl, a name in the Azcan style, he began to turn the minds of shadow-elf clerics and Azcan clerics to his own twisted evils. He supplied great power and wisdom to these clerics, and in both cultures they eventually took charge. Certain Shadow Elves, especially the Schattenalfen clan, began construction of a city, Aengmor, built along Azcan lines and dedicated to the glory of Atzanteotl. The Azcans, both those in the Hollow World and those on the outer world, increasingly turned away from the worship of Otzitiotl (Ixion) and Kalaktatla (Ka the Preserver) and to that of Atzanteotl; they introduced sacrifices into their way of life.
Since those days, Atzanteotl has driven his Schattenalfen further underground, repopulated their city Aengmor with orcs (see GAZ 10, The Orcs of Thar, for details), and has continued to make his followers more populous and powerful. He has inspired all Shadow Elves with a hatred and envy of Alfheim, made them covet Alfheim for their own homeland.
Personality: Atzanteotl is fascinated by the process of corruption; he enjoys nothing so much as seeing good sentient beings turn to evil. Once they are turned to evil, he loses most of his interest in them. He has built up three cultures (humanoids of the Broken Lands, Schattenalfen and Azcans) dedicated to his evil glory, and his only plan is to continue in the same vein until every sentient thing is corrupt and evil and chanting his praises. His ultimate goal is the destruction of all life on the outer world, especially the elves of Alfheim.
Allies: Atzanteotl has no allies.
Enemies: Atzanteotl's greatest enemies are Ilsundal (who detests his corruption of elves), Ixion and Ka the Preserver (who oppose his effects on the Azcans), Karaash (who resents his interference with the humanoid races), Rafiel (from whom he "stole" the worship of many Shadow Elves) and Halav (an enemy of the patrons of the humanoids). All the other Immortal patrons of the humanoid races, such as Bartziluth, can be counted as his secondary enemies.
Appearance: In mortal form, Atzanteotl takes the appearance of either an elven hero or a dark orc. His Immortal/demonic shape is that of a jet-black feathered serpent with the beautiful, solemn face of an elf - a face which occasionally twists with rage.
Symbol: The silhouette of a feathered serpent.
DMing Notes: Atzanteotl is one of the movers and shakers of the Hollow World. He opposes the Spell of Preservation and the four Immortal sponsors of the Hollow World at every turn. He works to expand the borders of Azcan and Schattenalf territory, though he allows these two empires to fight one another to amuse him. Though he knows the Spell of Preservation will not allow him to wipe cultures out utterly, he makes sure that his Azcans and Schattenalfen enslave and dilute all other cultures they encounter.
From the Hollow World Set, Player's Guide, Character Backgrounds, pp. 56-57
Schattenalfen are pale. subterranean elves. As a race, they have lived too long below-ground; consequently, they have trouble dealing with sunlight and the outdoors.
Appearance and Dress
The Schattenalfen are elves, but somewhat different from the ordinary forest elves people are used to seeing. They average about 5' tall and weigh anywhere from 90-110 lbs. They are very, very pale: white-skinned, white- or grey-haired, blue- or grey-eyed. Most people looking at them think they are some sort of subterranean life-form like an earthworm which has taken on humanoid form.
The Schattenalfen wear dark, heavy long-sleeved tunics, trousers, and knee-high soft boots; outside their subterranean homes, they also wear broad-hooded cloaks. They typically dress in blacks, browns, dark blues, purples and deep reds. The garments are protective rather than decorative: see below, under.
Schattenalfen, unlike most other elves, do not worship nature or revere growing things. Driven underground by natural disasters, they have adapted to life underground. They feel safest when surrounded by living rock; they feel exposed and endangered when in the open, especially in forests with open sky above.
However, ancient tradition makes them long for the old ways; they believe that they should be able to live out in the open lands, among the trees. Most of them just can't bring themselves to that great and uncomfortable a change, which makes them angry and resentful. (Some Schattenalfen have learned to live above-ground; they are still not fully comfortable with it, and they are a distinct minority among their people, but they do exist.
The Schattenalfen choose large caves and caverns and build cities in them, expanding existing networks of tunnels, turning raw cavern into homes which nearly rival the subterranean architecture of the Rockhome dwarves of the outer world.
But their architecture is not like that of the Rockhome dwarves. In fact, it's almost identical to that of the Azcans, their enemies. It features buildings and stepped pyramids made of heavy dressed-stone blocks. The Schattenalfen are convinced that the Azcans stole these motifs from them, and the Azcans claim that it was the Schattenalfen who are the latecomers; the Azcans claim to be the originators of these designs, while the Schattenalfen say these designs were granted to them by the Immortal Atzanteotl, which gives them the better claim. Regardless of which side is right, both Schattenalfen and Azcan hate one another.
The Schattenalfen are a monarchic power. The entire race is ruled by an Elf-King and Elf-Queen who live in the city of Issarthyl. Their society is heavily militarised, the lives of the elves being very heavily regimented.
Schattenalfen live by a doctrine of vengeance: any insult must be punished. Player character Schattenalfen do not have to avenge every insult immediately, but may not ever forget a slight or insult, and will always ultimately try to avenge themselves.
Schattenalfen tame and ride a type of flying reptile they call flapsails; indeed, they have a large corps of flapsail-pilots, something which gives them a much-needed edge in their ongoing wars with the more-numerous Azcans.
The state faith is the worship of the Immortal Atzanteotl, though not all Schattenalfen worship that evil Immortal. A few Schattenalfen secretly worship Rafiel, the patron of the original Shadow Elves from whom the Schattenalfen are descended.
Schattenalfen names tend to be several syllables long, and contain many soft, sibilant sounds: 'll,' 'ph,' 's,' 'sh' and 'th,' for instance.
Roles and Genders
Male and female Schattenalfen have equal rights, but property is handed down on the female side of the family; the family name and homes are handed down through the female line. Whenever a male Schattenalf weds, he officially leaves his own family and joins his wife's.
Schattenalfen speak elvish (the same elvish spoken everywhere, but with a sibilant and sinister-sounding dialect). They also speak Neathar, Azcan and Traldar human, and Malpheggi lizard man.
Allies and Enemies
The Schattenalfen have no actual allies. They perform peaceful, if mutually suspicious, trade with the Traldar to the south, and often hire Krugel orcs and Malpheggi lizard men for campaigns against the Azcans. None of these associations are friendships or alliances; they're purely business.
The Schattenalfen do have enemies, though. Their most hated enemies are the Azcans to the north; close behind that is their hatred of the Kogolor dwarves to the far east. They also wage less personal wars of conquest against the Oltecs to the east and Neathar to the northeast.
Schattenalfen with Intelligence scores of 16, 17 or 18 can be created as normal elves; all other Schattenalfen should be created as warrior-elves from the Character Creation chapter.
Weapons and Armour
Schattenalfen use a wide variety of armour and weapons. They prefer chain mail, shields, broad swords, polearms, long bows and lances, but have access to more weapons than these.
Cultural Melee Weapons: Axe/hand, dagger, sword/short, sword/normal (broad), sword/two-handed, sword/bastard, mace, club, staff, polearm (all varieties), spear, javelin, lance, net, whip.
Cultural Missile Weapons: Crossbow/light, crossbow/heavy, bow/long, bow/short, sling.
Cultural Armour: Leather, scale mail, chain mail, banded mail, plate mail, suit armour, shield (horned shield, knife shield, sword shield, tusked shield not allowed); no barding for flapsails.
Schattenalfen are harmed by direct sunlight and can be killed by it. A Schattenalf takes 1 hit point of damage for every hour his skin is exposed to sunlight. Wearing heavy, dark clothing over the entire body (as they routinely do) prevents this damage.
All Schattenalfen must take Caving skill and at least one professional or labour skill (a result of their very regimented society).
From the Hollow World Set, Adventure Book, Adventures, pp. 8-12
The Gem of Neathar
(Expert Adventure: 3-6 Characters, Levels 4-9)
This adventure presumes that the characters have been in the Hollow World long enough to gain some experience and get a good idea as to what's going on in this setting, but still haven't found their way out (assuming that's even one of their goals any more). They have had time to learn the Neathar language and may have Hollow World followers or even PCs accompanying them.
Starting the Adventure
Wherever the heroes are, during one of their wilderness travels they stumble across this scene.
They discover and encampment - they spot it before the encamped people spot them and can conceal themselves if they wish to.
In the encampment is a party of Schattenalfen, the shadow elves of the Hollow World. They're not an infantry group, however: they're flapsail riders, and tethered nearby are their reptilian flapsail mounts. (See the entry in the Atlas chapter of the Dungeon Master's Sourcebook for more on these elves and the flapsails.)
As the heroes watch, the Schattenalfen are performing standard encampment duties: one is lazily on guard, one is cooking a potful of food, one is sharpening his sword on a stone, and the last is scrubbing down one of the flapsails. There are only four elves here, and there are nine flapsails. It looks as though a couple of them bear only supplies, going by the two large saddles laden with gear.
All these shadow elves snap to attention when another of their kind, an officer (if the PCs gauge by the number of arm-stripes on his outfit) enters the clearing. The officer is dragging an unwilling prisoner.
The prisoner is quite remarkable to look at. It is a human woman - Zorena, Princess of the Toralai Neathar tribe.
Zorena, the Gem of Neathar
History: Zorena is the firstborn child or Zorok, chief of the Toralai tribe of the Neathar people. She was beautiful as a child and had her father wrapped around her little finger; he indulged her in every possible way, and, at her request, taught her to fight and to live a warrior's life. As a young woman, she grew even more beautiful, so much so that she earned a widespread reputation among the Neathar tribes: they called her the "Gem of Neathar," an epithet they bestow on one they feel to be the most beautiful of the entire race. Now, at 19, Zorena is the target of many warrior-kidnappers who wish to steal her away to be their mate; she has become very adept at escaping captors.
Unfortunately for her, the last warrior to kidnap her knew many knots which confounded her escape attempts. He was able to march her far, far away from her native land ... and had almost reached his own tribal territory when an exploring party of Schattenalfen discovered them.
These Schattenalfen, flying flapsails, had been charged with mapping distant parts of the Hollow World. They spotted the two Neathar on the ground far below and swooped down to investigate.
Their leader, General Caryldian, saw Zorena and became infatuated with her. He ordered an attack on her captor and killed him. He then swept the bound Zorena up and carried her away, he and his flight group returning toward Schattenalfen territory.
However, he underestimated the clever Zorena. She persuaded him that she was just as attracted to her as he was to her, and complained that her bonds were numbing the arms that longed to hold him. When he cut those bonds, the fearless girl dropped right off the flapsail and into the trees below, her acrobatic ability allowing her to survive the fall unharmed. This was several hours ago.
In the time since, the Schattenalfen spread out to search for Zorena. Many have now returned to camp. And one of them, Captain Geissyl, was able to find her and capture her with a web spell. now she is once again in Schattenalfen hands, though General Caryldian has not yet returned to camp.
Personality: Zorena is every inch the jungle princess. She is proud and noble, aware of her status as a tribal princess and as a famous figure among all the Neathar. She can be very haughty, particularly with captors and strangers, but drops this mannerism among friends, with family, with animals or with children.
She is very independent - though not antisocial, she knows she can survive on her own and so does not behave like a clinging, helpless victim. (She sometimes pretends to be one, in order to effect an escape, but only when that tactic would appear to have a good chance of success.) She does not escape from her captors because she objects to the idea of finding a suitable mate; in fact, the reason she has been so often captured is that she is willing to gauge the suitability of each captor. But so far none have lived up to her expectations of the perfect mate; one is too brutal, one too stupid, one too young, one too coarse.
Naturally, should one of the player characters be handsome, intelligent, brave and unwed, Zorena feels a great attraction to him. If rescued by a party of outer-worlders, she is very suspicious of them (they are quite alien, after all) but only tries to escape them if they try to capture her. If they don't try to capture her, she promises them a reward if they accompany her back to her own land; she doesn't believe she needs such company, but she is now further away from home than ever before, and she is very curious about these aliens. (The reward? She can offer many stone-tipped weapons, great amounts of furs or salted bison meat; her tribe does not lean much to treasures.)
Appearance: Zorena is 5'6" and 130 lbs. She is well-muscled (though not muscle-bound) and in excellent condition. Her skin is tanned very dark (the Toralai are a plains-dwelling people), but her hair and eyes are darker still, both being midnight black. She wears a short skirt, a short, closed vest, a headband, and knee-high soft boots of lionskin decorated with fringe. Normally, she also wears a thin lionskin belt holding a knife-sheath, carries a hide backpack, and holds a stone-tipped spear, but currently she is a captive and has been stripped of these things. Instead, she is well-secured in chains. Her wrists are secured behind her, and her wrist-shackles are attached by a chain to the links around her waist. A third chain attaches to a shackle around her neck at one end and is held by her captor at the other.
DMing Notes: Zorena is a classic jungle princess character - a beautiful native heroine who can become romantically involved with one of the PCs if the campaign is inclined in that direction.
Combat Notes: 6th-level thief; AC 4 (Dexterity bonus and Special Compensation); hp 17; MV 120' (40'); #AT 1 spear or dagger; Dmg 1d6 (spear) or 1d4 (dagger); Save T6; ML9; AL N. S12 I13 W10 D18 Co11 Ch18. Languages: Neathar, Azcan. General Skills: Navigation (I), Survival (Forest, I), Tracking (I), Acrobatics (D), Escape Artist (D), Endurance (Co).
Magical Items in Possession: None.
First View of Zorena
When Captain Geissyl drags Zorena into the clearing, he issues orders to the men to hurry up, get packed, and prepare for departure; they'll all leave as soon as the General arrives. If the PCs understand elvish, they understand his orders; if they don't, they just hear what sound like orders and see the elves suddenly get busy.
Then Zorena addresses him. If any of the PCs or their followers understands Neathar, this is what she says:
"Listen to me, o worm of an elf. You've caught me with your despicable magic, but you'll never hold me. I'll cut your throat and that of your pig of a leader. "I am Zorena, whom they call the Gem of Neathar. My father is Zorok, chieftain of the Toralai. He send his warriors to rescue me. Warriors of the Toralai can bring down the mighty bison single-handed, even unarmed: what chance do you pallid weeds have before such as them? "Let me go now, and you suffer no harm. Try to hold me ... and death be your only reward."
At the end of this impassioned speech, Captain Geissyl coldly strikes her across the face, knocking her to the ground. He then turns to his men and gestures for them to hurry up.
Do the PCs Attack?
The PCs, if they're red-blooded heroic sorts, probably want to attack Geissyl and the Schattenalfen for their infamy. Perhaps they're disinterested types and don't want to. Here are some of their likely options to choose from:
The PCs Attack Now
The heroes could launch an attack on the Schattenalfen encampment. If they do, they face Captain Geissyl and four 1st-level Schattenalfen warrior-elves. Only Geissyl has magical knowledge.
The flapsails are alarmed by the fight; some tear free of their restraints and go flying off, while the rest just snarl through their muzzles and stay where they are. They do not join the fight unless fighters brawl amongst them; in that case, they attack PC and Schattenalf indiscriminately.
If the heroes win, they can do whatever they want to with the camp; Geissyl has the keys to Zorena's shackles.
General Caryldian shows up toward the end of the fight. He won't reveal himself to the PCs; he stays outside the camp, watching them from secrecy. Unsure of the intruders' abilities, he bides his time and attempts to steal Zorena away at some other time. He is able to find and recapture one of the flapwings that escaped, and follow the PC party from flapwing-back.
The PCs Attempt To Rescue Her Secretly
If the PCs are sneaky (or just think they are), they may wish to rescue Zorena secretly. Captain Geissyl chains Zorena to a tree by her neck-chain and mostly pays attention to his men and their preparations for departure.
A PC thief could rescue her by sneaking up to her tree (this would require two successful move silently rolls; failure alerts the Schattenalf guard to their presence), and picking the locks that chain her. Just unchaining her neck-chain won't allow her to move silently; her wrist-chains clink, too. Also, she is suspicious of anyone who attempts to steal her away from the Schattenalfen but not "rescue" her. The PC has to unlock her neck-collar and her two wrist-shackles, requiring three open locks rolls.
Failure of a roll doesn't alert the guard, but makes it impossible for Zorena to move silently. At that point, the heroes have to run for it or attack the Schattenalfen.
The PCs Wait Until The General Appears, Then Attack
After about half an hour of waiting, General Caryldian and one more Schattenalf soldier arrive. The general is furious at his failure, but brightens when he sees that the captain has recaptured Zorena. Caryldian taunts her for a moment or two, then orders the soldiers to load the remaining flapsails for departure.
If the heroes attack now, things go much as before. General Caryldian is a canny, cunning elf; he doesn't stick around to fight. He uses his fly spell to move off to a distance and watch what happens.
Once the heroes have won, Caryldian has a much better idea of their capabilities. He doesn't counterattack right away (he has no interest in the fates of his minions). He is able to take one of the flapwings which got away during the fight, and follows the heroes from a distance until he can figure out a way to recapture Zorena.
The PCs Just Watch
If the PCs just hang around and watch, Caryldian and his subordinate appear as before; Caryldian taunts Zorena; the Schattenalfen load up their flapsails, chaining Zorena to one of them, and then they fly off. That's the end of this adventure; let them continue on to some other adventure geared to their own interests.
Combat Notes: 4th-level elf; AC 5 (chain mail); hp 20; MV 90' (30'); #AT 1 broad sword or spell; Dmg 1d8 or by spell; Save E4; ML8; AL N. S12 I17 W10 D11 Co13 Ch9. Languages: Elvish (Schattenalfen dialect), Neathar, Azcans, Traldar, Malpheggi lizard man, Kogolor dwarvish. General Skills: Mapping (I), Profession (of Military Aide, I), Caving (W), Alertness (D), Ledge Hopping (D), Persuasion (Ch).
Schattenalfen Fliers and Flapwings
See the entry in the Atlas chapter of the Dungeon Master's Sourcebook for statistics for these NPCs and monsters.
Rescue and First Contact
Assuming that the heroes have rescued Zorena, this is the situation: the PCs are in the company of Zorena, and General Caryldian, in possession of a flapwing, is pursuing them at a distance.
The PCs now have to figure out how they're going to treat Zorena. Their options include:
Leave Her: The heroes can say, "Well, we've rescued you, nice to meet you, and goodbye." If they do, the curious Zorena makes her thanks and watches them go. Then, she follows them as they travel, watching them and learning about them. While doing so, she makes herself some crude weapons to replace the ones her previous captors took from her (unless the PCs were generous enough to offer her weapons). Eventually, several sleeps later, if the PCs haven't spotted her and invited her to rejoin them, she alerts them to an enemy ambush or impending dinosaur attack and repays her debt to them. If they're still not interested in having her accompany them, then she begins the long march home. However, if they invite her to come along, treat the situation as it is described in the paragraph below.
Offer for Her to Accompany Them: If they invite her to come along with them on their travels, she hesitates a few moments, then agrees to do so. Her desire to return home is somewhat blunted by her curiosity about these people, and so she accompanies them. However, General Caryldian, using all his magical arts and general skills, is following the group and soon makes attempts to retrieve Zorena.
Offer to Accompany Her: The heroes, if they are particularly generous or have no sense of direction, may offer to conduct Zorena back to her home territory. To this, she instantly agrees; this gets her back home and keeps her in the company of these strange, interesting outsiders. Of course, as described above, General Caryldian is shadowing them and plotting to kidnap Zorena again.
Take Her Captive: The heroes may decide to take her captive. Naturally, she tries to bolt to safety. If she's able to evade the PCs (you can either role-play the escape attempt, or use the Evasion Table from the Expert rulebook), then she has escaped. If she's unable to evade them, they probably are able to recapture her. Now, she is no friend of the PCs (unless they later recant and decide to free her) and makes every attempt to escape. But all the while she is in their hands, General Caryldian follows them and tries to steal her back from them.
General Caryldian suspects that he is overmatched in power by the player characters, so he uses his wits, skills and magical abilities to achieve his ends - hopefully without having to resort to direct confrontation.
Caryldian's tactic is to track his prey from the air, staying very high and occasionally using magic spells such as wizard eye and clairvoyance to spy on his prey on the ground, sometimes landing and using his Tracking general skill to calculate their probable course.
Then, he moves ahead of them and sets up ambushes.
The Drop/Web/Dinosaur Ambush
One ambush works this way:
He sets up his trap at the edge of a cliff or ravine which the PCs are approaching. He casts a web spell below the lip of the cliff or ravine so that it catches anyone who drops into it. He then casts a hallucinatory terrain over the cliff or ravine, making it look like continuous, level ground.
When the PCs move into view, he casts a fly spell so that he'll be able to fly, casts a protection from normal missiles on himself, and then, just as the characters are coming upon the lip of the ravine, casts a phantasmal force spell to create the illusion of a mighty allosaurus (see the Monsters chapter) behind the PCs.
The PCs may run. They may just scatter in order to fight the allosaurus better. Regardless, several of them step right off the concealed edge of the ravine and into the web.
Caryldian then flies into the midst of this chaos, grabs up Zorena, and carries her off. He's a pretty tough customer (by Expert-level play standards) and so is able to suffer a few attacks from PCs as he's doing so. With the struggling Zorena in hand, he flies off to his flapwing and takes to the air before trying to tie Zorena. This leaves the PCs with their party scattered and some of the trapped, and Zorena in Caryldian's hands.
History: Caryldian is 200, an experienced Schattenalf military leader and magic-user. He has led more expeditions than he can count against the Azcans. He is very effective at motivating his elves, but is not himself a great planner or tactician; he has to leave that task to his advisors. He has long had an unfriendly rivalry with the younger (see the Schattenalfen writeup in the Atlas chapter of the Dungeon Master's Sourcebook), whom he despises because Trylthyn is a heretic - not a follower of the Immortal Atzanteotl.
Personality: Caryldian is a brute-force leader, terrorising his elves into obeying his slightest whim. On the other hand, he prefers for his advisors to work up complicated, sneaky plans involving as little direct confrontation as possible because Caryldian is a bit of a coward. Oh, he'll challenge any elf who calls him that, but that's only because he's very familiar with the abilities of anyone who would make that claim. The fact is that he's afraid to fight any opponent he doesn't know enough about.
Appearance: Caryldian is a little large for a Schattenalf, standing 5'4" and weighing about 120 lbs. He has pale green eyes, is very handsome, and wears green and gold clothing with a metallic finish.
Combat Notes: 10th-level elf; AC 4 (chain mail and shield); hp 35; MV 90' (30'); #AT 1 broad sword or spell; Dmg 1d8 + 3 or by spell; save E10; ML11; AL C. S16 I18 W10 D12 Co9 Ch13. Languages: Elvish (Schattenalfen dialect), Neathar, Azcan, Traldar, Malpheggi lizard man, Kogolor dwarvish. General Skills: Intimidate (S), Navigation (I), Signalling (Schattenalfen Flapsail-Riders Hand-Signals, I), Tracking (I), Caving (W), Alertness (D), Find Traps (D), Hear Noise (D), Riding (Flapsail, D).
Spells Carried: 1st - detect magic, protection from evil, read magic. 2nd - locate object, phantasmal force, web. 3rd - clairvoyance, fly, protection from normal missiles. 4th - growth of plants, hallucinatory terrain, wizard eye. 5th - dissolve, wall of stone.
Magical Items in Possession: boots of levitation, broad sword + 1 (detects evil).
On the Road
Caryldian continues to dog the adventurers' paths until he has captured Zorena and flown away with her, or has been defeated or killed by the PCs.
If he's killed by the PCs, this adventure is effectively over. The heroes continue on their route, suffer dinosaur attacks and encounters with fabled races, and eventually reach their next destination.
If he does capture Zorena, the PCs have another choice. Zorena has told them that Caryldian was going to take her back to the Schattenalf capital. Do they follow and hope to rescue her (or find her again when she escapes), or do they decide to go about their own business?
In the case of the former choice, you can turn the adventure into a cross-country race. The PCs know that they are not fast enough to catch Caryldian on his flapwing.
So, they may find flying mounts of their own: pegasi, griffons, giant pteranodons, whatever they think they can capture and quickly tame. This would result in them catching up to the lazily-flying Caryldian many days' flying away, and end in an aerial dogfight against the Schattenalf general.
On the other hand, they might not be able to find flying beasts. In this case, let them proceed overland in pursuit of the general, intending to break into the Schattenalfen capital to rescue her.
But before they reach that territory, they come across the body of the downed flapsail. It has been brought down by some flying predator. The tracks of Caryldian and his lovely captive head away from this mishap, headed straight toward the Schattenalf lands. They have a two-day head start on the PCs; but the PCs are faster, because they're not dragging along an unwilling captive.
This makes the rest of the adventure a race against time, as the heroes gain on their quarry, hoping to catch up to Caryldian before that villain reaches the Schattenalf borders.
When they do catch up to him, they can have a final duel with the villain. He may prefer to abandon his captive in order to stay alive, and fly off to safety. In this case, he returns at some far-later date to exact his revenge on the player characters.
Or, maddened by the pursuit and by Zorena's continual rejection of him, he might turn on his pursuers like a rabid dog, attacking them in a fight to the death.
Either way, Zorena is reunited with the outer-world heroes, and this adventure is concluded ... at least for the time being.
From the Hollow World Set, Adventure Book, Monsters, p. 23
Armour Class: 2
Hit Dice: 8*
Hit Points: 30
Move: 90' (30')
Flying: 240' (80')
Attacks: 2 claws/1 bite or breath
Damage: 1-8/1-8/3-18 or 30 pts.
Number Appearing: 1-4
Terrain: Forest and Jungle, Hill, Mountain
Save As: F8
Treasure Type: Nil
XP Value: 1,200
Flapsails are a Hollow World variety of small, unintelligent red dragon. They may be an ancestor of the modern red dragon, or just an offshoot which some Immortal placed inside the Hollow World when they began to go extinct.
Regardless, the flapsails were heavensent for the Schattenalfen. The elves had trained a reptilian mount in their home caverns, and the flapsail, intelligent enough to be trained and not too fierce to be domesticated, was an admirable substitute.
Flapsails grow to about 25' long. Adult flapsails can carry 4,000 cn of weight aloft at full flying speed, or 6,000 cn at half speed.
Like red dragons, they have claws, teeth and fiery breath weapons. Unlike dragons, they have no spells.
Though many are encountered as Schattenalfen riding beasts, there are many more living wild in the hills and mountains.
From the Hollow World Set, Fold-out maps, 40 miles-per-hex scale Northern and Southern Iciria
Capital City: Issarthyl.
Towns: Nomarys, Phoridiel, Qeradyth, Ranthryl, Tyradeal.
Forts: Fort Myridas, Fort Ploiec, Fort Unyis.
Nearby Battles: Battle of Ploiec (no data - probably Schattenalfen vs. Azcans), Battle of Tuxmal (no data - probably Schattenalfen vs. Oltecs), Battle of Wondyviel (Schattenalfen vs. Azcans; major Schattenalfen victory).
Nearby Ruins: Axateotl (Azcan city destroyed by Schattenalfen after countless attacks).
Notes: There are hundreds of smaller settlements not shown on the map, as well as hundreds of other battle sites. It seems the Schattenalfen have no need to defend their southern border as of yet, since they have no forts there. Finally, it should be noted that the towns shown on the map are almost certainly underground settlements, just as the capital city of Issarthyl is.
From the Poor Wizard's Almanac, Overview of Mystara, pp. 73-74
Location: Hollow World, continent of Iciria, northern parts of the World-Spine mountain range in the far west of the continent. Area: 175, 976 sq. mi. Population: 600,000, including 60,000 living in the city of Issarthyl. Languages: Elvish (Schattenalf dialect, very similar to Shadow Elves' language). Coinage: Mountain (gp), Pyramid (sp), Stone (cp).
Government Type: Monarchy; kings and queens must be clerics of Atzanteotl.
Industries: Mining (precious metals and stones).
Description: These are cavern-riddled mountains occupied by the Schattenalfen culture.
See the description of the Shadow Elves in the "Aengmor" listing. The Schattenalfen are physically identical to the Shadow Elves, but culturally different. They build monuments like the Azca - just like the Azca; their architectural tastes have been shaped by the Immortal Atzanteotl, who is an admirer of the Azcan culture. As followers of Atzanteotl, they are adherents of a philosophy of hatred and ruin rather than of the Immortal Rafiel's words of knowledge and growth. They are sensitive to the rays of the sun (exposure to sunlight for a full day will kill most Schattenalfen), and prefer to live underground, but hate and envy those who live at the surface. They make continual war against the Azca (though they have so much in common with that hateful civilisation), as well as against the Traldar, Oltecs, Neathar, and anyone else they meet.
Notable Sites: The capital of the Schattenalfen is Issarthyl; this city is built within a huge cavern beneath one of the region's tallest mountains. It is much like an Azcan city, full of stone dwellings, plazas and pyramids, except that it is underground and occupied by pallid elves instead of burly humans.
History: See the history of the nation of Aengmor. The Schattenalfen are descendants of explorers who left the far-underground City of the Stars to reach the earth's surface, and succeeded - but found the wrong surface. Inspired by the Immortal Atzanteotl, they have founded a nation based on war and hatred.
Important Figures: Catriata (Queen and Shaman).
Flora and Fauna: Monsters in this mountain region include: basilisks, bats, bears, giant bees, giant beetles, beholders, undead beholders, black puddings, blast spores, caecilias, carrion crawlers, mountain lions, sabre-tooth tigers, giant centipedes, chimeras, dinosaurs, dragons, giant ferrets, gelatinous cubes, stone giants, grey oozes, green slimes, giant lizards, ochre jellies, pterosaurs, purple worms, rats, trolls, and yellow moulds.
From the Poor Wizard's Almanac, Armies of the World, pp. 122-123
Basis: Classical; males and females (3% standing, up to 30% wartime); population 600,000; standing.
Division Names: Fists of the Immortal.
Type of Division: Regular Division.
Number of Such Units: 30 (I-XXX Fist of the Immortal).
BR: 140. Personnel: 500. Troop Class: Average.
Division Commander: General (E10). Deputy Commander: Captain (E5). Heroes: Elf-Shaman (6th level equivalent).
Regiments 1-3: Each has 100 regular E1 elf light infantry, scale mail and shields, spears and normal swords, four sergeants (E2), one captain (E5).
Regiment 4: 100 regular E1 elf light infantry, leather armour, longbows and normal swords, four sergeants (E2), one captain (E5).
Regiment 5: 50 elite E3 flying cavalry, chain mail, shields, longbows and lances, riding flapsails (flying reptiles), four sergeants (E4), one captain (E5).
From the Poor Wizard's Almanac, Who's Who in the World, p. 134
Catriata. Queen of Schattenalfheim, Matriarch of Atzanteotl, Flower of Issarthyl. Born AC 772; apparent age elderly elf. Catriata is a female elf and shaman of Atzanteotl. She is a pale, sickly thing, not at all a fighter, but commands her people through cunning, manipulative skill, and the will of the Immortal she serves. She is a schemer who loves to destroy courtiers who do not please her, throws tantrums whenever the Azcans or Traldar displease her, and she is easily influenced by flattery. Hair: White, worn long and unbound. Eyes: Ice-grey. Height: 5'2". Reed-thin, usually looks as though she is terminally ill, wears bright orange and purple gowns which make her look even worse. Combat Notes: E10/8th level shaman; AC 9; hp 30; MV 120' (40'); #AT 1 spell; Dmg by spell; Save E10; ML4; AL C. S8 I13 W18 D11 Co7 Ch15.
Note from Poor Wizard's Almanac III: Catriata is given an AD&D; Alignment of Chaotic Evil.
From the Poor Wizard's Almanac, The Year in Preview, p. 234
Kaldmont 13: The Shadow Elves Meet
Description: Explorer shadow elves from the City of the Stars deep in the world's crust finally make their way to the Hollow World's surface, and encounter the Schattenalfen. The Schattenalfen grab the explorers and hustle them to their capital city of Issarthyl.
What This Means: The two branches of the shadow elves' race have been separated for quite some time - it will be interesting to see how they interact.
Kaldmont 16: Shadow Elves Talk
Description: The queen of the Schattenalfen converses with these other shadow elves and learns much history that her race has forgotten. She agrees to open up diplomatic ties with the other shadow elves.
What This Means: The two branches of the shadow elf family do not like or trust one another, but both recognise the ties that bind them - and that each can learn from the other. The two races will not become military allies in the foreseeable future, however, as their politics are too different.