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The following races are available as playable in Alvena.
Elves and Elven Subraces
- Drow Elves:
- Gray Elves:
- Wood Elves:
During the demon wars, many noble and dark drow alike were seized by the influx of devils at the hands of their queen. Many were transformed into massive half-spider half-drow creatures which bred true. Some drow considered this a terrible curse, while others considered it a blessing of the dark gods and their queen. Regardless, drider have become a common sight in drow cultures in Alvena; either viewed as martyred brothers or dread champions of their causes. Unlike traditional driders in Pathfinder, male driders have the upper bodies of normal drow men.
- Drow: The drow were once considered the most noble of all elves. With both exotic beauty and a noble mindset, the drow first sensed the budding corruption within the high elves and many other humanoid tribes or factions after the Age of Dragons came to a close. They fled into the deepest, thickets woods and forests across the mountains and deep underground. They have been allies to most dwarves for centuries; but they suffered a catastrophic fall during the Demon Wars when their noble-queen struck an a secret alliance with infernals and gave birth to a devil-child princess as part of the pact. The drow populace split into a faction of wicked diabolists and noble idealists; but evil drow greatly outnumbered those of pure heart. While they were eventually defeated and the diabolic drow pressed into hiding in their deep underground hiding places, the rest of the world would forever judge them harshly. Now only orcs and dwarves look past their tainted history and remember the nobility they once had.
- Drow Racial Traits
- Note: Only normal drow are a playable race. Noble drow are not a playable race.
Alvena has long since been a world of magic, and during the Demon Wars that magic was put to use summoning a multitude of powerful outsiders that left lingering effects on the world that will likely never be vanish. One of these effects were the planetouched. The planetouched humanoids are the result of breeding with outsiders, resulting in aberrant offspring which diluted over the generations; though it never seems to goes away completely. Planetouched are a strange breed of humanoids, who can breed true, with offspring always resulting in similarly planetouched children. These planetouched are called Aasimar, which is elven for Blessed Souls, and Tieflings, which is elven for Damned Child; each touched by celestial and fiendish blood respectively.
- Aasimar: Aasimar are rarer than tieflings, but enough of them exist that they're not horribly uncommon. They are generally respected, and usually prone to being attractive specimens of their species; often having an otherworldly appearance. Most of them are well liked by their more mundane peers (though some harbor jealousy or envy against them). Many Aasimar are considered destined for a life of greatness; but their path is their own.
- Tieflings: Tieflings are almost disturbingly common. Most of them are descendants of slaves or rape victims during the Demon Wars, and are almost universally considered innately damned. Their fiendish bloodline has lasted throughout the centuries after the wars, but society still scorns them. While it's not an actual crime to be a tiefling or have "the taint", it usually is a very miserable life. Society at large tends to view tieflings as innately evil, untrustworthy, and many just harbor an unsolicited hatred for them. Because people expect tieflings to be evil good-for-nothings, the adversity of their youth often makes them cold and ruthless; which in turn makes people expect them to be (forming a vicious cycle). Tieflings vary in appearance, but most have various tell-tale signs such as horns, fangs, vertical slit pupils, strange infernal eye colors, strange bone structure, skin tones, or even small unusable wings, or long demonic tails.
- Elemental Planetouched: Less common than aasimar and tieflings, elemental planetouched are those whose family tree has been touched by the elements of fire, earth, wind, and water. Most of the elemental planetouched are the result of couplings between humanoids and genies such as djinn, efreeti, shaitan, and marids. Some suggest that the touch of all elements can cause Janni to produce any of the four elemental planetouched when paired with mortals. Seeking to emulate this mystical gift, many Alvenian wizards sought to create artificial hybrids of humanoids and elemental energies through the use of magic experimentation. Many of these experiments were on unwilling individuals who eventually broke free, forever imprinted with the elemental essence forced upon them, and bred as true as real planetouched. Over the past few centuries, the population of the elemental planetouched has increased through natural breeding, and the differences between the genie-born and the artificial planetouch is merely academic at this point.
The orcs of Alvena are a race of powerfully built warriors who revere nature and its blessings. Most of them train as warriors or shamans from an early age and live in tribal communities. After the demon wars the orcs split into three major factions; the Blood-manes, the Skylanders, and the Blackmoon; and while some smaller offshoots tend to spring up, most orcs hail from one of the three major tribes.
- Blood-manes: The bloodmane tribe is one of the oldest tribes in Alvena. The first leader of the tribe dated back to the dragon wars. Many orcs from this tribe have red hair and golden eyes instead of their usual color pallets; which is said to date back to their original leader who was said to have had the blood of red-dragons running in his veins. The blood-manes are generally regarded as the most civilized of the orc tribes; and possess a natural talent for sorcery; with many of their leaders being barbarian/sorcerers. They are typically neutral.
- Skylanders: The Skylanders are one of the second oldest tribes in Alvena. Taught the gifts of astrology by the goddess Akaia before the end of the dragon wars; they became close allies with the drow and dwarves after the Age of Dragons came to a close. They are a mystical tribe that trains many shamans (clerics and druids) within their ranks, and they are primarily nocturnal in their activities and commonly reside underground when their shamans aren't gazing at the stars. They are typically neutral.
- Blackmoons: The Blackmoons are the third major tribe in Alvena and were formed during the Demon Wars as countless warriors fell to the temptations of the evil beings invading their world. Even after the demon wars, the other tribes wouldn't accept them back into their ranks, and the Blackmoons carried on the teachings of their infernal and demonic masters. They are typically chaotic evil.
- Orc Racial Traits
- Note: Additionally orcs from the Blood-mane tribe add Draconic to their list of bonus languages; Skylanders add Elven, and Blackmoons add Abyssal.
The goblin tribes are a varied species; only rivaled in their variations by the versatile humans. Goblinoids breed at exceptional rates; often having multiple children per child-birth and requiring fewer months before goblinoid children are born. Combined with the goblinoid's ability to reach physical maturity quickly has allowed them to survive for centuries of nearly continuous warfare and conflict; either amongst themselves or against outside forces (such as other humanoids or dangerous magical beasts).
While other types of goblinoids may exist; there are three major species of goblinoids in Alvena.
- Goblins: Goblins are curious humanoids that rarely build communities of their own; preferring to dwell in caves or natural shelters, or living alongside their larger cousins the hobgoblins and occasionally bugbears (if the bugbears will put up with them). The will eat almost anything that won't eat them first. Goblins enjoy salvaging and scavenging for tools and food. Many of them prefer coastal areas where they can find things that drift up from the ocean; or any areas that they can salvage junk from more civilized races such as humans, elves, or especially dwarves. Goblins tend to view magic with a sense of awe and fear; and the majority of goblins are illiterate due to cultural taboos about writing; though some advanced goblins exist in hobgoblin tribes that learn how to read and write, as the hobgoblins do what they can to shake such taboos from their small allies (because they know writing can be crucial in war-messages). Virtually all goblins have a dreadful fascination with fire that makes them exceptionally dangerous to friend and foe alike.
- Hobgoblins: Hobgoblins are strong, sturdy, militaristic humanoids. Their race as a whole wages war almost continuously, and virtually all hobgoblins have some form of training or skills that can assist in a war. They build fortresses and camps throughout the world and often raid other humanoid settlements for supplies and slaves. Hobgoblin culture is often seen as strange to outsiders, with children training with weapons as soon as they can pick up a sword. Female hobgoblins are often some of the roughest and most violent warriors, having learned to fight off suitors from an early age. Some hobgoblin clans have allegiances with orc and and human settlements, or at least peace-treaties; however they remain at near constant war with most elves - particularly gray elves whom they draw a distaste for arcane magic from. They often find worthy opponents among dwarves and have warred with them for centuries; but they lack the hate for dwarves that they do for elves, with more or less a bitter rivalry between military clans. Dwarves have long since learned how to fight them, which makes them all the more fun to battle.
Gray elves are exceptionally intelligent and gifted with arcane magic. Long considered the experts of all things arcane and magical, rivaled only by the drow, gray elves fell out of favor with most of the world when they brought on the demon-wars through their reckless quest for knowledge and power. From high atop their mountain spires they unleashed destruction on the world accidentally, and were nearly responsible for the extinction of the hobgoblin race. Despite this legacy, modern gray elves are often torn between rebuilding their legacy, making amends for sins of their fathers, or blindly making the same mistakes once again.
Gray elves are as easy to pick out as their drow cousins. They have pale features, often with a gray or silvery toned skin and bright red, violet, and blue hair-shades. Some gray elves have taken to wearing makeup and dying their hair to appear more like other types of elves, since the social stigmas they face outside of their own communities are sometimes too much for the fair-folk to bear. The gray elf capitol is a city that floats in the air and hovers over the world eternally; with way-gates to the city from the mountain tops where they used to reside.
- Gray Elf Racial Traits are identical to normal elf racial traits.
Doppelgangers & Changelings
One of the more enigmatic humanoids species roaming Alvena are the doppelgangers. Strangers that change shape and live amongst other societies, integrating with them as brothers, sisters, friends, or even lovers. Widely distrusted and whispered about, the doppelganger is the quintessential assassin or spy. Their abilities to change shape and adapt to a wide variety of skills and techniques quickly make them unique.
The starkin, Aersulians, or "Aersule" as they call themselves collectively, are a race of psionic immigrants from beyond the surface of Alvena. Hailing from the seventh planet in Alvena's solar system, Aeur, the Aersule arrived on Alvena roughly three hundred years ago; traveling on great ships that were almost like cities made of adamantine and steel; powered by raw psionic energy. The greatest minds of Aeur formulated a grand exodus to Alvena, which they believed was mostly undeveloped; as their own world had become too dangerous to live on thanks to the rapid population of hostile, and powerful, aberrations. Upon arriving on Alvena, the Aersule found that the planet held a great many sentient species; with most of them being humanoid. They found most of the inhabitants of the world exceptionally suspicious of outsiders, and discovered that they had just been in a world-shaking war with creatures from planes beyond the material.
Thanks to their mastery of psionic powers, the Aersule quickly adapted to communication with Alvena's natives. The majority of the Aersule landed in the Silverock Desert, and have been developing the mostly barren region since their arrival. The Silverock Desert is home to their grand capitol colony "Bastion"; the last great city of the Aersule. The Aersule people brought the concept of space travel to Alvena; though it hasn't really caught with the natives of Alvena, since most are too preoccupied with re-discovering their own world after the Demon Wars. Aersulian warriors often wield weapons formed out of psionic or magical energies; which while less damaging than traditional physical weapons, are difficult to guard against.
Aersulians generally stand about six feet tall regardless of gender and are humanoid in appearance. They have smooth skin which ranges in dark tones of black, blue, indigo, violet, or gray. Their facial features are humanoid but very subtle; having small noses which seem to meld into their cheeks, and thin lips. Their eyes glow and often change colors with their mood, something that most learn to control and even conceal intentionally by puberty. Their hair is thicker and longer than most humanoids, and while soft, it appears almost like hanging tendrils, which are usually pulled back into braids or clasps, and are usually black or silver. The most bizarre feature of the Aersule is their bodies are typically covered in glowing veins which almost look like tattoos; which glows with latent psionic energy. As with their eyes they can intentionally suppress the glow. An Aersulian's glow isn't strong enough to actually function as a light source.
Stalking the night and eternally feared by the living, the undead are something of a race of their own in Alvena. Essentially the opposite side of the proverbial coin. Death is not so much the opposite of life as the border between life and unlife, a state of existence where a body is powered by neither positive nor negative energy. Those powered by negative energy are known as the undead. The stuff of horror stories and nightmares, the undead can be dangerous and mysterious. Though feared and often hated, some sentient undead are capable of becoming heroes…