[WiC] Winter Elves

A new elven race created by guest blogger Adam Page.

May A Cold Wind Blow This Night...

"Over the hills and far away, beyond even the great strongholds of the little folk, deep in the mountain ranges that are topped with snow all year long, you can find a secret race, sylvan beings at home in the frigid ice and blinding blizzards, a group of beings who have purposefully chosen to stay secluded from our modern societies. And should you find them, they will be only too happy to help you freeze to death."

These elven beings, long since forgotten about in the verdant lands of the Nentir Vale and beyond, are rarely seen, and even then, their gaunt pale appearance means they are mistaken for ghosts or other apparitions of the cold addled mind of adventurers and explorers lost in deadly snowstorms. However, these beings are as real as their fey brethren and go by many names. To themselves they are the Aeskakiaur, but to outsiders they are the winter elves, snow elves, ice elves, frost elves or blue elves...

Regardless of the name they are given, their elven lineage is unmistakable. They share the same basic body shape of their tree dwelling ancestors, but the limited food makes them gaunt, which, with the blue tint to their skin and their fine white hair makes them resemble a frozen corpse. Relatively short lived for elves, they reach maturity later and spend more time as a family rather than out in the wider world experiencing emotions and searching for knowledge.

The Aeskakiaur have only limited dealings with other races, they trade with being that life in the valley of the hinterlands and rarely travel beyond the melt waters each year, choosing to remain aloof and withdrawn from the affairs of the world in which they inhabit. When they encounter beings in the lands they call home, they deal swiftly with what they consider to be interlopers. Those without the means to survive in the freezing wilderness are shown no mercy and are eliminated, while those who can prove their worth or skills are helped out of any predicament, shown the quickest way out of the mountains, and are warned that the next time they will not be so generous.

To understand this behaviour, it is necessary to look at the reasons for their self imposed exile into the mountains. In the ancient ages of the world, before the mortal humans first walked, when elves and dwarves shaped the world bequeathed to them by the primordials, the sylvan race spread itself out to find the most fertile places where the influence of the feywild allowed their community trees, the so called Trees of Life, to flourish. Groups were sent north and south, east and west from the wide expanse the primordials had placed them in.

Artwork courtesy of @symatt.
Click through for a larger version.
One such group were swifter of foot than the dwarves they travelled with, and while their little allies stopped to rest in a magma heated cave, the elves continued north until a storm struck. Disorientated, they wandered in circles, supplies diminishing, the frail and weak perishing. When the storm abated a year later, the beings that the dwarves found in a shelter made from ice were changed. Some claim they massacred the little beings, other claim the dwarves found them frozen solid, but the elves that did survive the storm never left the snow covered peaks.

Over the ages of mankind’s growth, the snow elves grew and adapted to their harsh environment, and while they remained aloof, it was not until they allowed the dark elves, the Drow, passage through their lands into the tunnels to the Underdark that they became shunned. The wild elves and the lofty Eladrin viewed this action as being as bad as the war that the Drow had started, and while no official condemnation was forthcoming, the Aeskakiaur knew that they had to distance themselves.

Despite the passing of many generations of both the wood elves and the Aeskakiaur, the rise and fall of mighty empires, there have been no reconciliations, and indeed the spanning millennia have turned the already aloof Aeskakiaur into the arrogant and unwelcoming winter elves. These beings still bear some resemblance to other elven beings, but while some are light footed and speedy, or innately magical, the Aeskakiaur are hardy and quick sighted, in close communion with the spirits of the snow, capable of surviving for days in the cold without food or shelter.

Aeskakiaur (Winter Elf)
Arrogant and aloof sylvan beings, with hearts as cold as the snow covered peaks they inhabit.

Racial Traits
Average Height: 6' 0"-7' 0"

Average Weight: 100-140 lb.

Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Dexterity or +2 Wisdom

Size: Medium

Speed: 6 squares

Vision: low-light

Languages: Common, Elven

Skill Bonuses: +2 Endurance, +2 Perception

Fey Origin: Your ancestors were native to the Feywild, so you are considered a fey creature for the purpose of effects that relate to creature origin.

Survival Instincts: You grant allies within 5 squares of you a +1 racial bonus to Endurance checks.

Chilled Blood: You have Cold resistance equal to 5 + one-half your level.

Snow Walker: You ignore difficult terrain caused by ice and snow. In addition, you can choose to negate or increase forced movement you are effected by while on ice or snow by 1 square.

Ice Sheet: You have the Ice Sheet power.

Ice Sheet * Aeskakiaur Racial Utility
"Years of living amongst the snow has chilled your bones, so that when you stomp, the chill spreads outwards from your feet."
Encounter * Cold, Primal
Minor Action * Close Blast 3
Effect: Each square in the blast becomes coated in ice until the end of your next turn. The squares are considered difficult terrain, and creatures falling prone in them take 1d4 cold damage.

See more entries in the Winter Is Coming RPG Blog Festival.

2 comments:

  1. Love the story behind this race. Nicely thought out!
    Though I think the race its self is a little over powered. Especially the cold resistance, it makes sense for the race of course but cold resist 5 + half lvl without even the need of a feat is very powerful. On its own I might, maybe be able to accept it but add in the 'survival instincts', 'snow walker' and the 'ice sheet' power its going a bit far.

    I think do away with the 'ice sheet' power and 'survival instincts' and it would be close to being balanced maybe offset it a bit by only giving them 1 +2 in any stat, like humans.
    You could maybe introduce the 'ice sheet' power at lvl 11.

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  2. Nicely updated backstory and well done tieing it to Nentir Vale. I wonder how it stacks up against the original Snow Elfs that they had in Dragon 155.

    I don't think the resist 5 cold overly powerful, no more so then the Teiflings resist 5 fire. The Ice sheet power should have been a racial feat I think. In the same way the dragonborn have a feat that gives them a resist to their breath weapon.

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