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From PHB: Eladrin are of human height. They are slim, and even the strongest simply look athletic rather than musclebound. They have the same range of complexions as humans, though they are more often fair than dark. Their straight, fine hair is often white, silver, or pale gold, and they wear it long and loose. Their ears are long and pointed, and their eyes are pearly and opalescent orbs of vibrant blue, violet, or green, lacking pupils. Eladrin can’t grow facial hair and have little body hair. Eladrin children grow much as human children do, but their aging process slows to a crawl when they reach maturity. They enjoy youth and health for most of their lives and don’t begin to feel the effects of age until the middle of their third century. Most live for over 300 years, and even at the end they suffer few of the infirmities of old age.

History of the Eladrin

The Eladrin race precedes that of Elves, but they are extraordinarily closely related. At one time, in the earliest age of Ashara, all ‘elves’ were Eladrin. The Eladrin and Humans were early allies, and their cultures grew together for quite some time. It was inevitable that some Eladrin would take Human lovers, and the result after a generation of this crossbreeding was the Elves, the less pure-blooded descendants of Eladrin/Human couples. The loss of purity in their blood resulted in less natural affinity for magic, and the Eladrin were greatly alarmed, as they revered magic and their connection to its natural ebbs and flows.

The Elves were cast out, and formed a separate culture. The majority of the Eladrin race withdrew from Human affairs and secluded itself within the areas of the world in which magic pooled.

Now, centuries later, the Elves and Eladrin have reunited as a single people, recognizing that the impurity of an Elf’s blood does not make him less than family. That is not to say, of course, that the less pure Elves are treated as equals. This mixed culture does place great importance on blood purity, and most of Elven society is ruled by Eladrin. Elves are not treated poorly, but the Eladrin are the powerful aristocracy of Elven society.

Eladrin in Ashara

Eladrin are fairly aloof, having grown to see themselves as superior to most other races. They value their connection to magic, and it is rare for an Eladrin to not master some form of spellcasting. They tend to be natural arcane casters – sorcerers or warlocks, rather than wizards, though there is the occasional wizard Eladrin – but some join the clergy and explore divine magic instead. A very few Eladrin turn to primal magic; druids and the like are usually Elves. In fact, the key difference between Eladrin and Elves is perhaps this difference of interests; Eladrin, due to their natural affinity for magic, focus on magical pursuits, while Elves are more connected to the wilderness, and therefore tend toward more martial or primal ways of life.

While Elves are typically quasi-tribal, living off the land in very basic accommodations or, at best, treetop huts, Eladrin construct great magical strongholds, though few non-Elves are likely to see one. It is rumored that these cities are more within the extra-dimensional layer of reality where magic flows, rather than within the material plane; this contributes to the fact that other races rarely find one of these magical centers of the Elven race.

Playing an Eladrin in This Campaign

If you choose to play an Eladrin, be sure to consider the race’s natural affinity for spellcasting in this setting. If your Eladrin isn’t a spellcaster, why is that? What led him or her to pursue a more martial way of life? While it’s true that not all Eladrin become spellcasters, it’s rare for one to eschew spellcasting altogether. Thus, you might consider taking a multiclass feat into sorcerer or something similar down the road.

Eladrin are otherwise much the same as they are in standard DnD campaigns. You might also find inspiration in the High Elves of earlier editions of DnD, or from personalities like that of Elrond from LotR.


In the Pursuit of Greatness bcnorby