Elf Species in Braythe: Shattered Realities | World Anvil


Player Race

Ravager Elves concept design by Ina de Wendt and Heiner de Wendt. Title Image Credits: Rebecca Lavoie (commissioned artwork).
Elves have always been one of the dominant races of Virthys alongside the humans. They had villages and cities in almost every country, hidden settlements in the forests, and they were also present in many human cities. Below the ground, shadowblood elves reigned over many areas, and they still have mighty kingdoms in Delvaroth, Shamrua, the Ember Wastelands, Carivar and even the Forgotten Lands.   Ashandri has also seen new subraces: The ravager elves that have come here from Va'Laeth, and the Areian Elves, a particularly magical subrace that emerged from the Spirit Fields.  



Shadowblood Elf

  Hidden in the depths below the ground,
crawling creatures and shadows abound,
there hides a madness that none shall behold,
for if you do, you become slave to The Old.
  Excerpt from The Crawling Shadows, a poem by Tyril the Nightwalker     Empires of darkness, lurking below the ground. Mysterious gods that demand constant sacrifice. The shadowblood elves were among the most feared races of Virthys. Many people living above ground believed them to be nothing but rumours, tales to tell your children so they behave. But those living in the vicinity of their strange cities knew the truth, and tried their best to avoid areas in which the elves reigned.   A shadowblood elf's skin looks like natural stone, their thick black veins like mineral lodes. This natural appearance helps them hide in their underground tunnels and ambush their prey. But their camouflage abilities go further: The elves can evoke shadows from their own bodies. Spreading like tentacles from their black veins, the shadowblood elves can engulf themselves in darkness, creating their own hiding spots or improving their concealment.  
Shadowblood Elf by henryez
  The cities of shadowblood elves defy gravity, their organic-looking buildings sprouting in every direction, turning their cityscapes into an anarchic disarray. Some cities exist completely on the ceilings or sides of massive caves. Once you cross the city's invisible borders, gravity suddenly changes, and you can walk the place normally. Many shadowblood cities are overgrown with sentient vines and tentacle-like plants the elves have bred over millennia, attacking everyone who doesn't belong there.   The shadowbloods serve a unique pantheon of gods, which, according to their religious scripts, are seven deities merged into a single body - depicted as a mess of limbs and faces and religious symbols. Their followers call this entity The Old, with every god also having a name of its own. These shadow gods are reigned by Ssygoriz, a faceless, genderless deity of mental exploration - or, as other races describe it, madness. Curiously, during the first five days of Ashandri, the shadowblood clerics were the only ones not cut off from the divine powers of their gods.   Powerful proxies of the Old Gods, the so-called Umbra Spirits, lived among the shadowblood elves to guide and support them. It's assumed that most of them died in the apocalypse, but some Umbra Spirits still exist.   Other species, whether sentient or not, are simply resources to the shadowblood elves, and they use them either as slaves, or for cruel experiments, or both. Many nobles have aberrations as pets that once were sentient beings, loving to show off their dominance over other races and their creativity in twisting and transforming them into something else.   There seems to be no limit to the cruelty and insanity of these elves. A common saying among them is: If it can be done, it should be done. Which is why those attacked by the shadowblood elves prefer to fight to the death, knowing that surrendering will be the worse fate.   When shadowblood elves are born, they receive what they call a shadow spirit. This is a benevolent (to the elf) spirit creature, bound to that particular individual. The link between the two is so strong that the spirit always matches the elf's alignment - even if it changes. The shadow spirits are intangible, but the elves can summon them into material form, similar to a wizard's familiar.   The end of the world and the creation of Ashandri was mostly an interesting and fascinating experience for many shadowbloods. While others were in shock, these elves considered the events as opportunities, raiding nearby cities. Only a small group of individuals suddenly changed - describing it as if waking up from a deep trance. While not all of them have turned good, or even overcome all their mental illnesses, they do reject their race's deities and culture of dominance. The other shadowblood elves hunt them, calling them renegades.   Those who survived have often fled to the lands above the ground. As they are usually met with fear and prejudice, many of them retreated to more tolerant places like Hag's Rest or the Shadow Sanctuary.  
Shadowblood equipment
  The Shadowblood Elves have a very unique way of crafting items, especially those for war. Their infamous Night Forges are living chambers of flesh and stone, filled with screams and nightmares. Components or even complete items are grown rather than forged. Rich individuals and those of a certain status get powerful magical items here, such as the Shadowblood Urumi, a dangerous whipsword, or the gruesome Shadowblood Living Armor.     Shadowblood Elves Traits:   Ability Score Increase: Intelligence+1   Superior Darkvision: Shadowblood Elves have darkvision with a radius of 120 feet.   Sensitive to Light: Shadowbloods have disadvantage on Attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks relying on sight when they, their target or whatever they are trying to perceive is in bright light.   Shadowblood Weapon Training: Shadowblood Elves have proficiency with the Whip, a weapon commonly used to intimidate, punish and torture their slaves and prisoners.   Shadow camouflage: Using the deceptive markings combined with the summoning of shadows, you gain advantage on Stealth checks in dim light and darkness. As a bonus action, you can also attempt to hide in evoked shadows even if not otherwise concealed. Any magical light overlapping with the shadows dispels them, but you can try summoning them again on your next turn.   Aberration Familiar: All shadowblood elves can cast Find Familiar to summon their shadow spirit. Once used, you need a short rest before you can use this ability again. The spirit can change its shape every time it is summoned, appearing like a different creature, but its soul and memories stay the same. The summoned familiar is of the aberration type, which shows in its shape: A raven familiar could have three eyes, an octopus could have a hundred tentacles or a spider might have a fur pattern that looks like a screaming face. These aberration marks can change every time the familiar is summoned in a new shape.  

Areian Elf

  The Areian Elves originally were High Elves living in the Spirit Fields. But the rebirth of Ashandri seems to have awakened something in the region - and in a random group of individuals among the elves. On the dawn of the sixth day, when Ashandri reconnected to the other planes, the Areians felt a "spark" in their soul. Their eyes changed, appearing like constantly moving quicksilver with no pupils. The hair of many, but not all Areians, has turned white or silvery; some have changed into bright and flashy colors, others haven't changed at all.  
Areian Elf by henryez
  All Areian Elves feel deeply connected to nature and to life itself, and many become druids, rangers or even nature-serving paladins. They are also intensely in touch with their own emotions, and rarely hide them - often ignoring social and cultural rules, even those they grew up with. Given their attraction to beauty and art, some also become bards, or even rogues trying to steal beauty from those who do not appreciate it.   Whatever created this new subrace seems to be reaching out for the individuals irregularly. In strange dreams and visions, Areian Elves see incomprehensible images, hear cryptic, whispering voices or simply get weird feelings. In rare occasions, these have shown to be prophecies of the near future, or observations of the past before the apocalypse. But most of the time, the visions stay enigmatic and obscure.   Areian Elf Traits:   Ability Score Increase: Wisdom+1   Lifebound: Areian Elves have a resistance to necrotic damage and Advantage on saving throws against diseases.   Magic Eyes: Once a day, Areian Elves can cast Detect Magic. Starting at 6th level, this ability can be used three times a day.  

Ravager Elf

    Greyfaces. Soulstealers. Ravager Elves. They have many names, and all instill fear in the hearts of their enemies. Their grey, almost ashen skin is thick, and usually adorned by tribal tattoos that tell the stories of their first killings. But the most striking feature of a ravager elf is the face: Split in two halves, it looks like the faces of two different people forged into one. That is, if their last kill is less than a month ago.   Ravager Elves are born with only half a face. Their blank half is simply featureless skin. There is no visible eye socket or nose, just thick skin, a mouth slit with thin, barely visible lips, and a roughly visible facial bone structure (which, at birth, resembles the opposite side, but later takes after the last face that half showed). Despite this, they can see, hear and speak normally. This is a supernatural ability, which Ravager Elves describe as "feeling" their surroundings.   Once they have become at least sixteen years old, if they face a humanoid foe in a fight, their blank half changes into a slightly greyish version of their opponent's face, including the shape and color of the eyes. This effect vanishes after about an hour, unless the elf manages to kill his enemy - then he can keep the new half of his face, at least for a while.   28 days after a kill, the older half of the face begins to vanish. In case of the elf's first kill, this means the original face with which they were born. Within 48 hours, it transforms into a featureless skin, and the process repeats in the next fight. The "new" face-side becomes more and more grey during the 28 days, until it matches the elf's original skin colour. Over the years, Ravager Elves wear many different faces. Which is why their tattoos have become the main source of identification among each other.   In their homeworld of Va'Laeth, the Greyfaces or Soulstealers - names they sometimes use themselves to frighten others - reign over the land of Kav'drush, enslaving all other races, and many of their own whom they consider too weak. One sign of weakness here is walking around with a blank face side for more than a day or two. Those who do usually end up in one of the many gladiator arenas of Kav'drush.   Ravager Elf Traits:   Languages: You can speak, read, and write Laethian Common (the standard language of Va'Laeth), Common and Elvish.   Ability Score Increase: Constitution+1   Thick skin: Ravager Elves have a natural Armor Class (AC) of 12   Ravager Weapon Training: Ravager Elves have proficiency with the Battleaxe, Warhammer, Glaive, and Halberd.   Ravager Fright: Due to their fearsome presence, Ravager Elves are naturally proficient in Intimidation.

Cover image: by Rebecca Lavoie


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