Night Elf Species in The Realm of Beardsgaard | World Anvil

Night Elf

The night elves of Svartalfheim grow very old, but are not, in fact, immortal. They began as the elves of the night, very like their Day Elf cousins but were long ago driven largely underground by a blight upon their lands. Their innate ability is Destruction, which was used to make great works, to bring the waning of the year, and the harvest with it, and also, you know, destruction, when called for.   Due to generations underground and a preference for night when aboveground, the Night Elves are best suited to the dark, and don't often travel to the southerly regions of the Realm. They do, however, feel at home aboveground in Vanaheim, and travel there for trade more frequently than elsewhere.

Basic Information


Similar to Humans, but more lithe, slim and refined.

Growth Rate & Stages

Like Vanir, Night Elves are infants for a short time, in a year or two they are generally roaming the caverns by themselves, and finding their own food. They are under the care of a parent (but generally not two), and full grown by 10, although still considered in their youth until they reach 100 years old and usually live near or in a settlement or civilization.   While they are able to have children all their adult lives, most Night Elves are done with family life by their early 200s, hence their low population, spending the rest of the first half of their lives exploring, learning and building. When half of their lives are done, unlike most species who enter a decline, the ending is the most beautiful part of life to a Night Elf, and they spend many years finding meaning in the elder years of their final centuries, reaching an average of 1000 years of age.

Ecology and Habitats

With their immaculate night sight and northern habitat, Night Elves would not be caught dead on the beaches of Asgard, preferring cool temperates and tolerating freezing, if not loving it.   In the early days of the Realm, Night Elves were as trees amidst the moonlit forests and shadowed valleys of the mountains of Svartalfheim, ushering in the autumn from the north down through the Realm, bringing the harvest, the waning and the dying of the year before the Day Elves to the south bring the spring.   After the year it all went wrong and the forests began to wither and die, their night sight allowed them to delve into the more stable lands beneath the mountains. Some survivalists still cling to a live aboveground in the blighted lands, but most now reside in the vast, sometimes beautiful, sometimes terrifying Underdark. It's a big place, there's a lot going on.

Dietary Needs and Habits

The Night Elves used to hunt and forage quite a bit in the days before the blight, but with no water for fish to swim in and nothing that grows long enough to bear fruit before the roots rot, food sources are much more scarce. Some twisted creatures still roam the dead woods and some birds still fly through, but in the cavernous Underdark there is still water, and things that swim, crawl, fly and skitter, as well as a great many aquatic plants.   Even so, in the aftermath of the rot and the rallying together of all Manegard to aid, vegetables fit for long storage, salted fish and meats, grains, dried beans, herbs and spices are regularly imported from Alfheim and some from Vanaheim to Svartalfheim.

Biological Cycle

In the early days of the Realm, Night Elves were as trees amidst the moonlit forests and shadowed valleys of the mountains of Svartalfheim, ushering in the autumn from the north down through the Realm, bringing the harvest, the waning and the dying of the year before the Day Elves to the south bring the spring.   For the Night Elves themselves, they take after their Vanir cousins more than the southern ones. Night Elves are youthful at a time, but once they reach their middle years, they begin to take on a not young, but ageless quality, if they take on a humanoid form at all. As they reach their elder years, some choose to let that ageless mask slip and their wilder natures take over.

Additional Information

Social Structure

Night Elves began as a a rather solitary species, living nomadically or in solitary hidden homes. Even then, but more after the rot, they began to congregate in larger settlements and cities for survival. The highest in society are a combination of the oldest ones and the most powerful magic users.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Most of the Night Elves in Svartalfheim reside in the northwestern mountains, with large underground populations there and in the southeast. Some more scattered settlements can be found along the eastern and southern borders, with almost no one in the far north.   Night Elves also feel at home in the dark green mountains of Vanaheim, and less at home but still comfortable in the underground caverns of Nidavellir.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Night Elves, as all elves, have heightened perception in hearing and eyesight. With glowing amber eyes, they have incredible dark vision can see somewhat even in total darkness. Like Dwarves, they are excellent at sensing nearby movement through their feet.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

The mortal elves, like many other species, are given a nickname in their youth, but no surname, instead stating a reference to ones parents for introduction, for example, "Firefly, of Duvainil and Achasson" who would grow to be named Dúon Nightfall.   Some Night Elves who find a specific calling for themselves may instead choose a title of a surname, such as Duvainil of the Dusk or Achasson of the Dread.

Beauty Ideals

Night Elves, like their Vanir cousins, are attracted to those whose nature is complimentary to their own, so beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. An elf from the wild mountains may be smitted with what a city elf would consider a furry slathering twelve legged wolf, while said drooling furbag wouldn't give a second look to the tall and elegant queen under the mountain.

Gender Ideals

Beyond the biological ability to reproduce with each other, Night Elves put little emphasis on gender or gender roles, and identify far more with their nature, be it shadow, or spiders, or the night itself.

Relationship Ideals

The Night Elves in relationships are less focused on love, but instead what they call Bondship with a partner whose nature intertwines with their own. These partnerships are sometimes long term, even life long, but more often for a season of an elf's life.

Average Technological Level

Like their western neighbors, the Night Elves use magic far more than technology, but most of life is dedicated more to survival in these harsh lands than technological advancement. Underground, their stoneworks rival the Dwarves in scale and far surpass them in elegance.

Major Language Groups and Dialects

Night Elves speak usually speak Common Gaardic, but the old and noble lines usually know Old Gaardic as well. Aboveground, Northern Elvish is frequently spoken, or Common Elvish when in mixed elvish company with the southerners. Underground, Darkspeak is the primary language, although nonverbal, a series of blinks with glowing eyes in the dark can speak as clearly as a voice.

Historical Figures

The first of the Night Elves was Duvainil of the Dusk who built the Temple of Duvain for her people to worship the moon. For many years after the blight came, she walked the lands to restore some of their former glory, but late in her life she disappeared, some say into The Gaw, but none know for sure. To this day she is remembered by her people as a hero of the trees.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

The Night Elves are rather solitary, sharing the closest kinship with their immortal Vanir neighbors along The Gaw   The Day Elves, despite not seeing much of each other and not particularly understanding each other, are their equals and partners in the turning of the seasons, even if they find their social sort a bit much.   The Fire and Water Elementals are mystical and fascinating to the Night Elves, both elements being precious in the north, and a pilgrimage to their lands is a nearly religious experience, especially the fire lands.    The Gods, however, they mostly avoid, being both more powerful than them (being immortal), and everything that bothers the quiet and solitary Night Elves.   They have great respect for their Giant neighbors, slightly less for the boisterous Dwarves, although quite a kinship, as they both dwell primarily underground.    They have little to nothing to do with Humans, generally considering them pests.

Night Elf Stats

Character Building: Dungeons & Dragons 5E
Generic article | Nov 15, 2023

How to build your D&D 5E character in the Realm of Beardsgaard

Type: Mortal • Elf
Ability Score Increase: Plus 2, Plus 1
Size: Medium
Speed: 30 ft
Species Element Affinities: Destruction & Death
School of Magic Affinities: Necromancy
Prime Traits
Blighted Ancestry: You have resistance to necrotic damage, and magic can’t put you to sleep.
  Trance: Elves don’t need to sleep. Instead, they meditate deeply, remaining semiconscious, for 4 hours a day. (The Common word for such meditation is “trance.”) While meditating, you can dream after a fashion; such dreams are actually mental exercises that have become reflexive through years of practice. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.
  [bParasitic Cloud: You cause a cloud of mites, fleas, and other parasites to appear momentarily on one creature you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw, or it takes 1d6 poison damage and moves 5 feet in a random direction if it can move and its speed is at least 5 feet. Roll a d4 for the direction: 1, north; 2, south; 3, east; or 4, west. This movement doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks, and if the direction rolled is blocked, the target doesn't move.
Legacy Trait
Form Shifter: When you were young, you became enchanted with some form of nature, like a horde of spiders, a living mist, a blighted bear, a flock of ravens, or whatever you and your GM agree on. This change in form is an illusion that surrounds your real form, you retain your own size, stats and abilities in every way except visually. You can do this once per long rest. Also once per long rest you can choose the visual form of your clothing.

Average Height
5-7 feet
Average Physique
Taller than their southern cousins, Night Elves, like most elves, are usually tall and lithe, occasionally softer and a bit more rounded, but never bulky and muscular. All of this is assuming they are walking in a humanoid form.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Night Elves skin tones range from pale as moonlight to dark as a moonless sky with hair the color of earth and stone and flame and caverns that have never seen light.
Geographic Distribution


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