High Elf Species in Zheng-Kitar | World Anvil

High Elf

The lesser descendants of the Sapphire Elves

Base Racial Traits

Ability Score Modifiers: (-2 Strength, +4 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma): High Elves were Smart, Charismatic, and Supernaturally Nimble, yet frail of body.   Size: High Elves are Medium Sized Creatures, and gain no benefits or penalties due to their size.   Type: High Elves are creatures with the Fey type, and need to eat, breathe, and sleep.   Speed: High Elves have a base land speed of 30ft.   Languages: High Elves begin play speaking the Regional Language(See Languages of Zheng-Kitar) that reflects their origins, and Sylvan. High Elves with high INT may choose any non-secret languages as a bonus language.   Vision: High Elves, thanks to their Fey heritage, possess low light vision.   Mortal-Blooded: High Elves are treated as both Fey and Humanoid typed creatures for the purposes of spells and effects that go off type.   High Elven Immunities: High Elves are immune to magic sleep effects and gain a +4 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells and effects.   Hyper-Keen Senses: With two massive, unblinking insectoid eyes assisted by six smaller eyes located around their faces, High Elves are extremely perceptive and gain a racial +4 to perception, always treat it as a class skill, and can use their strange eyes to zoom in up to 2x magnification on distant objects like binoculars.   Primal Void: Once connected to all elements that made up reality, High Elves were permanently stripped of their ancestral connection to life by the Yema long ago - and in its place within them remained only a cold, gnawing void which magic cannot pierce. High Elves gain Spell Resistance equal to 11 + their Hit Dice.   Feywild Natives: With tough, rubbery skin, High Elves inherit some of the strange immunities of their Fey brethren and gain DR 5/Cold Iron.   Eternal Wanderers: High Elves cannot age - they cannot enter any age category past middle and are immune to the penalties and bonuses of aging. Effects which forcibly age a target do not effect them but instead stun them for one round. In addition, High Elves gain Knowledge(History) as a class skill and gain a racial +5 to it.   High Elven Magic: All spells that use your level or HD to determine the damage or range treat your level as being 2 higher than it is normally. This +2 can go beyond the normal limit for Level or HD-based bonuses(Such as Damage on a fireball having a max number of dice. This +2 would add to it.)   Warden's Touch: By touching another creature or object and focusing on them as a full-round action, a High Elf can gain a complete mental picture of the creature or object's current status, including a view of their bodily or structural health or stability, current flaws or negative conditions, and the like. This also detects foreign bodies in organic beings and the material makeup of objects(Including special materials).   Elemental Glamer: High Elves are under a constant illusion that causes them to appear as a more mundane elf-like creature, similar to another type of Elf. This illusion is extraordinary, and consistent - it does not change, but is disrupted during moments of extreme emotional trauma or similar duress. It can be lowered or raised at-will. This glamer is a product of the protection of the natural world itself, and is thus an extraordinary ability.   Faith Vulnerability: When presented with the holy symbol of a Yeman Faith(Or one anathema to the Spirit Kings) by a foe as a standard action, High Elves must succeed at a Will Save (DC 10 + 1/2 Foe's HD + Foe's Highest Mental Stat Modifier) or become shaken for 1 minute, lose spell resistance for 1 minute, and become staggered for 1 round. A successful save drops this to 1 round of shaken, 1 round of no Spell Resistance, and negates the stagger effect.   Faminewalker: A curse laid upon them by the Yema for the sins of their Ancestors, High Elves are cursed to be forever shunned from the natural world they once stood guard over such that they impose a curse of famine on their surroundings that invokes a number of penalties on the lands they inhabit for extended periods of time - magical energy is depleted from the natural world, plantlife withers to nothing around them, and the soil beneath their feet soon becomes dry and barren. Places bathed in the energies of the Feywilds(And the First World itself) are immune to this curse. However, this curse gives all weapons they wield a constant Bane Effect against Plant-type and Elemental creatures.

Basic Information


High Elves have bodies that were simultaneously both timeless and incredibly chaotic. They have two legs and two arms attached to a central torso, and a head that protrudes from the top of their torso. While their appearances and several internal bodily processes such as their metabolism are frozen in time and unable to truly change, their internals and bodily makeup by contrast are incredibly receptive to change to an almost extreme, fey-like degree. Though they have an incredibly hard time gaining weight thanks to their timeless metabolisms, their bodies are incredibly quick to change through tanning, strength training, or even simply adapting to their environment.   Though they are timeless, their bodies are freakishly quick to adapt to their surrounding conditions such as frigid cold, scorching heat, or other environmental conditions...it is this chaotic makeup that often earns them the favor of the Fey, who appreciate their constant change and mutable natures. Though their internals are consistent enough to allow for precision strikes to deal immense damage to them, nearly everything about them, including their bones and musculature, can be moved or shifted or changed without concerted effort.

Biological Traits

High Elves are incredibly varied and different creatures, and depending on their home environments they can take on a variety of external and internal traits accordingly. When living in chaotic environs such as the Feywild, their skin and hair and even bodily features can morph and change color and shape accordingly to represent their home...and similarly, locales such as extreme heat, underwater or cold, and etcetera can cause similar changes in their bodily look and makeup. Given time, extended life in such locales can cause drastic changes in their bodies such as gills to survive underwater, heat-resistant skin to survive in the desert or extreme heat, and so on...though this process often takes generations, it nonetheless happens extremely quicker compared to normal rates of adaptation in other species.

Genetics and Reproduction

High Elves are capable of sexual reproduction and can birth and have children among each other, but due a combination of their eternal lifetimes and an incredibly low natural fertility rate, High Elves rarely desire to or give birth to new children and instead prefer to go about living their lives as normal. Their bodies are capable of mating with some other lifeforms, but are outright incompatible for most forms of life that are more stable or impermanent such as Dwarves or Goliaths...as such, they often prefer to engage in relationships with members of their own race to have children but rarely can and do get with other chaotic races such as Fey to have children.   When they do decide to engage in sexual relations, High Elves rarely become pregnant...barely one in a hundred High Elves who have relations with each other or another compatible race produce a child as a result of the coupling. When they do come down with Child, High Elven females carry their children within them until they reach maturation in their wombs, a process which on average takes 9-15 months...but can for nearly as long as they desire to prolong the process.   Once born, High Elven children reach adulthood after 50 to 65 years, during which time they are often taken along on the adventures their parents embark on...but once they become adults, they are often left to their own devices.

Growth Rate & Stages

Once they hit adulthood, High Elves never grow older or age in any capacity and, upon reaching adulthood are often abandoned or left behind by their parents to pursue their own desires or adventures throughout the Planescape...as such, they are often taught of their own special lives and the fleeting impermanence of other creatures and are often stricken with wanderlust and are uncaring for other less permanent life.   However, they must always be wary of The Earthslumber, for if they settle down and stop their explorations, their bodies will rapidly calcify and begin the process the Earthslumber forces upon all High Elves eventually...until their eventual demise.

Ecology and Habitats

High Elves are highly adaptable thanks to their primordial chaotic natures, but because of this chaotic nature and their eternal lifespans they loathe residing in 'boring' environments and prefer to settle instead in highly unpredictable and wild locales...which often leads them to the Feywilds or other similar places within the planes. They often integrate naturally into the places they reside in or take up residence within and rarely form a new settlement or village, instead preferring to enter pre-existing settlements or villages...but regardless of where they integrate into, High Elves rarely approve of or care to do any action which infringes upon their environment or the natural world around them. As beings formed of primordial chaos, they often feel a closer connection to nature than they do the settlement they live in, and often take care to preserve it or at least not infringe upon it during the actions their home takes to survive.   Because of this incredible adaptability and desire to settle in wild and interesting locales, when they choose to reside within these extreme locales they often soon adapt to their home environment and give birth to entirely new sub-species as they settle down...which leads to their ancestors in races such as the Desert and Forest Elves, and even the Cloud and Sea Elves...all can be traced back to the whimsical adventures of their High Elven ancestors, who have long since moved on to more interesting pastures.

Dietary Needs and Habits

High Elves are technically omnivores, but they tend to prefer eating plants, crops, and other natural things rather than items taken from animals or other living creatures. They believe these simple, natural ingredients are delicious meals all their own, and when elevated through cooking or intelligent preparation become beautiful, complex dishes that can delight any palette moreso than a simple butchered animal carcass prepared over heat...which they generally see as simplistic food. However, while many High Elves may hold personal compunctions against eating meat or animal products, it is not a race-wide restriction.

Biological Cycle

High Elves are entirely immune to the passing of time and have no meaningful biological cycle. Once they hit maturity, they will never age or grow in any meaningful fashion beyond simple cosmetic changes such as hair growth, nail growth, or similar minor things. Their metabolisms are not only hyperactive, but they are nearly perfect and High Elves almost never gain weight in any meaningful fashion aside from strength and/or muscle training.   This immortality is attributed to the roiling, primordial chaos that all High Elves were formed from which churns within them and, thanks to studies done by curious High Elven scholars, has been discovered to not truly 'freeze' their insides in time like was initially thought but instead simply keeps their bodily processes operating at peak efficiency for all time, completely preventing natural bodily decay and the normal degradation that normally comes with possessing living bodies. Their bodily functions operate perfectly, with no waste, and will never decay or degrade no matter how much time passes. A High Elf, for example, never experiences memory loss, never gets shorter of breath, and never experiences the side effects that normally come with a body that would degrade over decades or centuries.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Though the belief is a bit barbaric and outdated, a very popular folk tale and belief told the nigh-supernatural effectiveness of High Elven Eyes as magical tools, alchemical ingredients, and simply valuable items said to be able to see through all barriers and gaze upon the truth of the world.

Facial characteristics

High Elves have extremely elongated, slender faces that are often neither masculine nor feminine...they are almost genderless in their beauty and aesthetic, but vaguely resemble insectoids in their appearance with multiple eyes and strangely-shaped head with extremely sunken and hollow cheeks. Their ears are extremely long and tapered to a point, and their eyes are slender and narrow, but this can vary from person to person. Their lips are often thin, and their hair tends to be long and flowing and rarely curly. They have trouble growing beards of any kind, and facial hair is almost unheard of for High Elves, as their timeless visages almost never allow hair to grow on their chins or faces.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

High Elves can be found almost anywhere within the Planescape, though they rarely care to visit the Prime Material Plane...when they do visit the Material Plane, they never emerge in the same location twice and often wander about in erratic, whimsical paths that take them wherever their hearts desire. They tend to settle and stay longest in areas of extreme chaos or turbulence where they may have plenty of things to entertain them...in this way, they are often found in incredibly unpredictable natural locations such as the Feywild or other more chaotic nations or groups where they might be entertained longest.

Average Intelligence

High Elves are incredibly intelligent beings, and are often incredibly wise as a natural consequence of their extremely long lifespans. Their intelligence is often unfathomable to mortal ken, and can reach incredibly heights as they live their lives accruing knowledge and intelligence without hindrance.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Thanks to their Fey ancestry and the primordial chaos that they carry inside them that closely links them to the Feywild, High Elves can see excellently in conditions of low-light. They are also highly sensitive to magic and planar barriers or portals, and some among them can even intrinsically sense such things when they come near them.   Otherwise, they generally possess the normal five senses other races do, but as another sign of Fey heritage High Elves process all sensory input and perception at nearly twice the speed and efficiency of other races. They can see more color, smell more subtle aromas, and altogether "process" senses so quick they consider other races with normal processing speeds "slow" and "dull". They can see a beautiful spectrum of nearly all visible light and have such an enhanced sensory suite they often consider the mere act of feeling and seeing as they do a delight for one's senses and mind.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

High Elven names more closely relate to those of the fey than they do of the mortal plane, and as such, vary wildly and are incredibly chaotic. Some may be incredibly long, proud titles full of heritage, history, and family, while others may be guttural syllables and short intonations that barely count as names as most know them. While High elves have gender, their names are rarely gender-exclusive, so it is not uncommon for a name to apply to both sexes.   Male: Gregoribyl, Borsilaxin, Xa, Huric, Kol, Drystyntopilusondria, etc...   Female: Melanathiriel, Yulafrescoria, Elegancia, Syl, Ri, Ai, etc...


As the descendants of the legendary Sapphire Elves, the High Elves were created untold millennia ago when the Sapphire Elves were defeated during the closing days of the Age of Sapphires, their Sapphire Skycities grounded and destroyed by the Yema and their species stripped of its connection to the six elements and cursed with The Earthslumber, doomed to wander forever more as punishment for resisting the Yema and attempting to defend the ways of the Old Gods against the selfish ways of the Yema, to no avail.   Though they still hold much of the power and immortality their ancestors did, the High Elves are but pale echoes of what once was, and all but the most base secrets of their ancestors the Sapphire Elves is lost and incomprehensible to them now - the senses and natural affinities required to understand it stripped from them long ago by the Yema. Now they are a people cursed to eternally wander and seek new experiences, lest they go motionless and die.
Alternate Racial Trait List:   High Elf Alternate Racial Traits  
Racial Feat List:   High Elf Racial Feats  
Genetic Descendants
Immortal, with limits. See The Earthslumber for more details.
Conservation Status
High Elves are a scattered people who can found in nearly every plane and realm across the Planescape, but despite this disunity they are in no danger and in no need to be protected or conserved.
Average Height
4.9ft - 7.2ft (1.5 - 2.2 Meters)
Average Weight
125 - 220 pounds (55kg - 90kg)
Average Physique
High Elves are supernaturally thin, to the point where one can often see their skin stretching over their bodies leaving their bones very visible beneath their thin skin. They are very lithe and nimble, and lack much muscle mass - indeed, they are quick in both body and mind, and are better suited to nimble motion that brute force. They are creatures of beauty that can be admired regardless of gender, and have an objective beauty and perfection to them that many liken to fine art...no matter one's sensibilities, they cannot help but admit the objective beauty of a High Elf.   However, this is naught but a lie - enshrouded in a constant Glamer that hides their true hideous appearance, High Elves' true appearance is that of a supernaturally gaunt, thin, and almost insectoid-looking beings with many strange eyes and alien bodies, whose legs are bony and thin with vaguely humanoid three-pronged insectoid pads in place of feet and toes. High Elves also have a nearly supernatural presence about them, and radiate an air of eternal mystery and wisdom...which often attracts other lesser creatures to them for one reason or another. Many liken their bodies to be things of otherworldly, quiet serenity....beautiful and serene forms that are often better appreciated from afar, for fear of breaking them if one got too close or touched them...this apparent fragility is perhaps not the truth, but they as a people do little to offset this belief.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
High Elves typically have skin colored accordingly to their environment to an extreme degree - A High Elf in a desert or arid locale for an extended period might develop black, tan, or obsidian skin, while a High Elf in a frozen wasteland might develop frosty blue skin, and fiery red near a volcano, and so on. Their hair adapts accordingly, and is similarly colored.
Related Ethnicities
Related Materials

Descendants of the Sapphire

As direct descendants of the legendary Sapphire Elves, the legendary beings created by the New Gods at the beginning of time to serve as wardens of reality and enforcers of the cosmic balance to balance out the extremes of the other original races, High Elves have an incredible lineage and history...though much of it is now lost to them. Though their ancestors once claimed cosmic mastery of all things and were legendarily powerful beings with a civilization so advanced that they created their now famous Sapphire Skycities, perfect fusions of nature and civilization that floated through the sky powered by the source of all magic itself - so powerful they directly governed the fundamental facets of the world and preached the ways of balance and peace to all creatures, High Elves themselves are now a pale shadow of their ancestors.   However, as the Sapphire Elves in time stood against the Yema and named them enemies of the cosmic balance with their selfish ways and sided with The Old Gods to preserve their peaceful, balance-focused teachings and were in time obliterated, the High Elves were the result - poor imitations and descendants of their once-glorious ancestors, cursed with The Earthslumber to ensure they could never again unite to resist the Yema as their ancestors had. Now, they remain as the only race that can even hope to gleam the ancient secrets of the Sapphire Elves - though the blessings bestowed upon their ancestors to control and commune with the very fundamental aspects of reality were stripped from them, many yet hold out hope of one day reclaiming their lost greatness.

First of the Fey

In many ways, the High Elves and by extension their Sapphire Elven ancestors can be called the first of the pureblooded Fey, said to be the children of The Old God Ianerin-Dahmu who created the Feywild and Fey themselves...carrying a spark of primordial nature within them, the High Elves are just as whimsical, capricious, and chaotic as the Fey themselves, and thanks to their curse of The Earthslumber they fit right in with the chaotic Fey, who view the High Elves and their constantly changing natures as kin, honoring them as ancient ancestors and inheritors of the Sapphire Elves' legacy.   And while most all High Elves long ago abandoned the Material Plane to seek new experiences across the Planescape, the Feywild is the one place they can truly call home, and the place where they can be found most commonly - the constantly mutating nature of the plane resonates with them very well, and these beautiful, ancient Elves are often found in the company of the fey there, serving in the fey courts, and otherwise living their eternal lives out in the ever-stimulating Feywilds.


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