Mountain Elves

Mountain Elves consider themselves the the purest elven race and culture. They look at their woodland and coastal cousins with a little disdain, and a lot of arrogance. They consider Sea Elves as something less than an elf, Dark Elves an evil abomination and deadly enemy. Mountain Elves go to great lengths to maintain cultural traditions and attitudes. They can be describes as cold, cruel, cunning, and merciless. They are also however just, loyal, and industrious. Sloth, ineptness, sadism, and dishonesty are considered banes of society as are addictions and opulence.

Mountain Elves existed on the Northern Continent long before Humans, Orcs, and Gnolls. Their culture was already flourishing when the Dwarfs emerged, and they have seen entire civilizations rise and fall. They claim ancestry, and it is rumored they maintain ties, with great elvish colonies across the seas. They think and plan in the long term keeping an eternal perspective. They enjoy fine craftsmanship, artistry, clothing, and music. There is a longstanding taboo against destroying and/or exploiting nature and it is severely punished. They have developed a sense of oneness with their environment and realize that they have to be custodians of natural resources to maintain a balance, wealth, and health. They have a monarchy that rules in conjunction with a set of appointed and elected advisers; the monarchy having the power to remove any appointed or elected adviser from their post. There laws are not well defined, but are well practiced none the less.

Mountain Elves are on good terms with most dragons; have fair to good relations with Dwarfs (even if it isn’t always amicable); treat humans as neutral, but with potential; find Gnolls to be a curiosity; and hate everything about Orcs. They also maintain liaisons and diplomats with large Wood Elf cities and trade with Coastal Elves often. They treat other elves with outward respect, but poorly masked arrogance.

Treat reactions as follows:
Coastal and Wood Elves – +1;
Dragons – +1;
Dwarfs – +1;
Orcs, Ogres, and the like – -3;
Humans and Gnolls – -1;
Fairy/Fey – +1;
Demons – -4

Mountain Elves established strong ties with the fairy as they began to appear in this realm. Inversely, Mountain Elves developed a hatred towards all demon kind and will generally extinguish this evil wherever found; thus the ancient rift between High and Drow. The Drow in turn embraced all things demonic and fled deep into the earth to avoid destruction at the hands of their kin. Mountain Elves look unfavorably towards human-elf half breeds, but some live openly among them. Often times half breeds are used as spies.

Mountain Elves maintain highly trained and specialized military forces. Everything from undercover assassins and spies to griffin riders. They use military machines combined with strong magic as well as their relations with dragons, fairy, and even Dwarfs to fight their battles. They also rely on diplomacy, economics, and any other means at their disposal to dispatch and destroy enemies.
For unknown reasons, their numbers and influence has diminished in the recent past. They are fairly contained and content to live in certain high-mountain ranges. They trade with Dwarfs, Humans, and Gnolls; and live with Dragon and Fairy kind. They cultivate fields, raise tree farms, have impressive horses, and many artisans; all of which are highly protected. Whole tribes of Orcs have been eradicated to the individual for trespassing on an elvish hunting ground or chopping down a tree in an elvish forest. They trade for furs, metal, and other goods and in turn provide wood, crafts, and magic to Dwarfs and others.

Mountain Elves have developed unique smithing abilities and can create weapons and armor that are 20% lighter than normal as well as items of fine and very fine craftsmanship. In an elven community they cost 50% more than normal. Outside an elven community they cost at least three times as much. They also have great proficiency in falconry and griffinry. They are the only race to “tame” these creatures as mounts. To be a griffin rider one must be smart, strong, and disciplined. Next, they must take either Animal Empathy or a similar advantage such as Special Report. (Talked about a new advantage called Griffin Link that can be bought in levels and adds to Animal Empathy.) The skills used to raise, train, and ride griffins are highly guarded secrets unique to Mountain Elves. Certain spells are often used in this process. Riders and tamers must generally learn these spells and skills as part of their professional training. Griffins should not be mistaken for hipogriffins; many races, including humans, have tamed hipogriffins to use as mounts but Mountain elves alone have succeeded with griffins.

Mountain Elves have incorporated magic into their daily lives and professions. For example, most smiths know spells to shape and purify metals. Farmers use plant, earth, and weather spells. However, their closeness to nature has taught them the appropriate times to use these and when to rely on the natural process.
It is rumored that the Mountain Elves maintain a pact/treaty with the Dwarfs and send huge underground caravans to the ocean miles away. The purpose of these caravans is uncertain. It is known that the Mountain Elves have a “hidden” navy, and that the Dwarfs keep and maintain a large tunnel system for the elves’ benefit.

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Mountain Elves

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