Ability score adjustment
Age (categories and effects)
Darkness or light
Attitudes toward other races
Bladesong fighting style
Bonus to attack rolls, bow
Bonus to attack rolls, sword
DARK SUN® elves
Elven Imperial Navy
Elves of the Great Sea
Elves of the Sea of the Fallen Stars
Find concealed doors
Find secret doors
FORGOTTEN REALMS® elves
Height by subrace
Helm of valor
Nomadic high elves
Bonus nonweapon proficiencies
Resistance to heat and cold
Resistance to sleep/charm
Celebration of birth
Celebration of marriage
Passage to adulthood
Ability score adjustments
Additional experience cost
Valley of the Mage
Weight by subrace
Avariel (Winged Elf)
CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Temperate to subtropical mountains, forests
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Any
INTELLIGENCE: High to Supra- (1420)
TREASURE: N (G, S, T)
ALIGNMENT: Neutral or chaotic good
NO. APPEARING: 520
ARMOR CLASS: 8 (10)
MOVEMENT: 9, Fl 18 (C)
HIT DICE: 1+1
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: By weapon
SPECIAL ATTACKS: +1 with lasso, bolo, or sword, wing buffet
SPECIAL DEFENSES: See below
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil
SIZE: M (5'+ tall)
MORALE: Champion (15)
XP VALUE: 650
The avariel, or winged elves, is a rare race of reclusive elves that dwells high in the mountains or forests away from other civilizations. They appear even more delicate than their landbound brethren, their facial features even more chiseled and angular. The characteristic of the avariel that is most stunning, however, is their beautiful, soft wings. Although these wings are generally white, avariel have been seen with wings whose colors range to black. The wings are their pride and joy, and an avariel who has lost his wings is intensely pitied by the other avariel. Since elves do not generally accept the pity of others, a wingless avariel often leaves the community to find a life elsewhere.
Avariel eyes tend to be a little larger than most elves', although they are the same color that most grey and high elves possess. Their hair is most often white or black, but there have been numerous exceptions. The avariel have a tendency to adopt a far-off look in their eyes when their immediate attention is not required. They are very much at home in the outdoors, and they appear out of place indoors or underground.
Avariel clothing is most reminiscent of togas, for other types of clothing often snag on their wings. Togas and their like wrap easily around the avariel's body and wings.
Combat:To those not bred to aerial combat, the avariel are a confusing opponent. While most humanoids tend to think two-dimensionally in combat, the avariel think in a third dimension, which they utilize to devastating effect.
They have incredible eyesight. Not only do they have the standard elven infravision, when flying or outdoors they can focus their vision to notice details at over a mile away or those obscured by underlying forest. They use this incredible perception to maximum advantage and thus are excellent scouts.
From a distance, avariel in flight appear as large birds. Thus, while opponents may notice their silhouettes, they usually disregard them. This has, more than once, resulted in the nearly total elimination of enemy forces. Since the avariel are efficient hunters, they ruthlessly stalk those who have escaped the battlefield, more often than not finding and destroying those who would report their presence.
In combat, avariel prefer to use light weapons, for heavier ones inhibit their flight. The lasso, bola, and sword are their weapons of choice, and they gain a +1 to attack rolls and damage when using these weapons. Note that the momentum generated by any sword longer than a long sword interferes with flying. For this reason, they use bastard swords and two-handed swords only in foot combat; they do not gain the +1 bonus. Avariel, unlike other elves, have a difficult time using ordinary bows. Their wings interfere with the smooth movements required to fire a bow, and they therefore do not gain the +1 bonus other elves have when using bows.
The strength of the avariel is also their downfall. If they lose more than 50% of their hit points in damage, they become too weak to fly and must continue their battle on ground. Until they lose 75% of their hit points, however, they can still glide for short distances. They can also jump to a height of 10 feet.
Their wings are susceptible to fire, and they burn quickly once set ablaze. Only several weeks of recuperation will restore wings to flying condition. A favorite tactic of their enemies is to launch a fireball into the midst of a group of high-flying avariel and watch them plummet to their deaths. Because of this, avariel are highly suspicious of fire-using mages. The winged elves will never fully trust these individuals, even if they are elves.
Another weakness avariel have is claustrophobia. They cannot bear to be in closed places, most especially under the earth. If confined in such a place, avariel must make a Wisdom check every day they are so confined. Failure spells temporary insanity, and the avariel will become violent, catatonic, or panicked. Such insanity lasts until the avariel reaches open air. If the winged elf failed more than four Wisdom checks, he or she has gone permanently insane. This can only be cured by a heal or remove disease spell.
Winged elves can carry a mass equal to their own body weight before their wings will not support them. Each half of their body weight that they carry reduces their maneuverability class by 1; if they carry more than light encumbrance, their maneuverability becomes Class D.
Avariel can become fighters (not rangers or paladins), mages, and clerics, as well as the multiclass combinations available to these three. There are no recorded instances of avariel rogues. For every five avariel in a group, there will be at least one fighter of at least 3rd level. For every 10, there will be a mage of equal level to the fighter. Groups of 20 have a 7th-level warrior/7th-level mage leading them, as well as a 6th-level fighter, a 5th-level mage, and a 6th-level cleric. This roster also includes the four groups of 5 and the two groups of 10.
Habitat/Society:In some areas, the avariel are known as "Al Karak Elam," and non-elf races have built mythologies around glimpses of these reclusive beings. To propagate this foolishness, certain mischievous avariel have contacted humans, pretending to be agents of a higher power. The older avariel object to this because it leads the humans to search for them, but this ban has not yet stopped any of the younger winged elves. However, as the avariel become more common, the instances of this activity have lessened dramatically.
As among the other elves, the avariel have adapted themselves and their communities to their environments. There is no exclusion based on gender; females often hold as many, if not more, positions of power within an avariel community.
There are two types of avariel society that are especially common no matter what the environment. Both have drawn on aspects of their elven heritage, to the exclusion of others. However, these two types of society are never found far from one another, so that they may more easily communicate.
It seems that many of the avariel have bred themselves for combat. Much of avariel society is based on a warrior code of honor, seeking greater glory for themselves and their allies. Their lives are geared around war and battle, and they answer to their war chiefs. These are the avariel that are feared by the humanoid nations, for they are a deadly foe. They have little of the respect for lives of others that landbound elves have; instead, the avariel live for the fight and the destruction of their opponents. They are a proud, hearty group, and they form eternal friendships with those who earn their trust. Though they care little for the lives of their enemies, they try to live theirs to the fullest.
The other half of avariel society knows little of war. These avariel have focused mainly on the arts and the intellectual aspects of life rather than the warlike facets. Where the other avariel make much of war and manhood ritual, these avariel rely solely on their brains and diplomatic ability to get by. They are a population of artists and philosophers, creating for the sheer joy of creation.
The relations between the two halves of avariel community are perfectly harmonious, and they stay in constant communication. Both respect the other greatly, often trading their youths in cultural exchange programs. Since their children are often curious about the other aspect of their culture, they are given the chance to participate in that feature for a time, leading to a well-balanced elf. Strangely, after experiencing the other side of life for a few decades, most avariel are eager to return to their original homes and lead the lives to which they were born.
Of course, there are more than just these two avariel societies; these are just the most common. There are others that have a more equal footing between the aspects of their societies, others that are better balanced. However, none of these seems to have flourished so well as the warrior/thinker combination. These two have somehow achieved a harmony that makes their civilizations greater than others. The creative and destructive impulses, when paired, make the avariel a formidable opponent.
The avariel are a particularly religious sect of elves, although they are not fanatical about promoting their beliefs. They worship Aerdrie Faenya, the elven goddess of air and weather, almost exclusively. They believe that it is due to her intervention that they are able to survive at all, and they make their obeisance to her accordingly. They also believe that she takes a more direct involvement in their lives than the gods of other elves. It is due to worship of her that the warrior avariel do not become enamored of law and thus remain elves at heart.
The weapons crafted by avariel are usually of glass or obsidian. The open forges used by other races to shape metal can singe their wingfeathers; the avariel tend to avoid these. Thus, they use furnaces to shape glass into workable, durable weapons. Avariel glassmiths are master crafters. Any metal weapons that the avariel have are the result of trade with other races or other elves. Glass weapons designed by avariel may occasionally break in combat. (On a natural roll of 1, roll 1d6; the weapon shatters on a roll of 13.)
Ecology:No one knows whether the avariel are a natural offshoot of the elven line or the result of powerful magicks. There are those who claim that the avariel are the original elves and that the other elves have fallen from this high state. Most, however, maintain that the avariel are the result of magic that combined elves with their beloved giant eagles. Some few think the avariel are simply the offspring of elves who had wings of flying permanently attached to their backs.
The avariel keep in contact with other elves, but the winged elves tend to be somewhat above the affairs of the world. Nothing concerns them overmuch, unless it impinges upon them. They usually try to avoid contact with other races, despite the fact that some insist on seeing the world.
Avariel do not lay eggs, contrary to popular speculation. However, like birds they do have hollow bones, making them more fragile than a typical elf. This is the price they pay for their wings for, without hollow bones, they could not fly. Even flying causes some discomfort because it is strenuous exercise to keep so much weight aloft. However, they find the pain a minor inconvenience, for the sheer joy of flight is so intoxicating. Each hour of flight, the avariel must make a successful Constitution check. If they fail, they cannot continue to fly for at least half an hour for each two hours of flight previous to the check.
Avariel wings are sought after by mages and evil giants. The mages prefer to use these wings in creating potions and wings of flying, and they will pay huge amounts for any brought to them. The giants, on the other hand, use the avariel's wings as decorations for headgear. They think it looks particularly fine to have a beautiful pair of wings on their war helmets.
Avariel do not remain in the world as long as most elves. Their typical lifespan is only 300 years because they feel the call of the unknown so much more clearly than other elves. Thus, they tend to act more human than other elves because they know that they have less time than other elves. They take things more seriously and try to fit as much living in as possible. This is not to say that they are as frantic as humans, but they do try to accomplish many things before their departure.
With the DM's permission, the avariel may be used as a PC race. Their ability adjustments are -2 Con, due to their hollow bones, and +2 Dex for their speed.
The Avariel originally appeared in DRAGON® Magazine, issue #51, as "The Winged Folk." The race has been modified here.
CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Elven Lands
ORGANIZATION: Pack or Solitary
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Any
ALIGNMENT: Neutral (good tendencies)
NO. APPEARING: 18
ARMOR CLASS: 5
MOVEMENT: 18, Sprint 24
HIT DICE: 3+3
NO. OF ATTACKS: 3 (claw/claw/bite)
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Overbearing
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Camouflage
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil
SIZE: M (4' at shoulder)
MORALE: Steady (12)
XP VALUE: 270
The cooshee, or elven hound, is a huge, long-lived dog. It is most commonly found in the company of sylvan elves, who use it for both hunting and guard duties. Occasionally, high or grey elves will keep kennels of these dogs, but these are generally few and far between.
The cooshee has a thick greenish coat, often spotted with large brown spots or patches. This coat allows it to conceal itself in the forests and fields near its home with a 75% efficiency. Where most dogs crash through the forest, the cooshee moves as silently as its elf masters, gaining a +4 bonus on surprise rolls.
Cooshee weigh more than 160 pounds and often weigh as much as 300 pounds. Their huge paws house equally huge claws, which are curved to ensure better traction in the soft loam of the forestlands. Their tails generally arc over their backs, though they hang between their legs when they are being scolded. Their ears come to a point on top of their heads, giving the cooshee an attentive, intelligent look.
Combat:In combat, the cooshee is a fearsome opponent. Its powerful jaws are enough to frighten any normal person; coupled with its fierce claws and demeanor, the cooshee is a very effective fighting machine. With a party of elves providing distraction with their arrows, the cooshee can become a creature from a nightmare for its prey. Elves say that one cooshee is worth five orcs.
Although cooshee can go head-to-head with many creatures, their strength lies in the chase. When they are pursuing an opponent, whether it be game or humanoid, the cooshee can begin an all-out sprint, increasing its speed to 24" for five rounds. At the end of this time, if it didn't catch its prey, it slows down to 15" for at least five additional rounds while it catches its breath.
When they draw within range of their foe, cooshee may attempt to overbear their enemy. If this opponent is fleeing, the cooshee gains a one-round size bonus. That is, it becomes Size L for the purpose of the overbearing attack roll and thus gains +4 to attack rolls (see "Overbearing" in the Player's Handbook, p. 98). If it rolls a successful attack roll, the cooshee has successfully dragged or knocked its opponent to the ground.
If it attempts to overbear, it must forfeit all its other attacks during that round. In the round following, it automatically pins the quarry and may make its ferocious bite attack on the helpless prey. The victim may attempt to break the pin by making a successful Strength check. If it fails, the victim loses any Dexterity bonus to his or her Armor Class. Further, the cooshee gains a +4 to attack targets so pinned. They tend to favor the throat of the creature over any other target. If the cooshee have been ordered to subdue their target, they simply close their jaws over the quarry's throat, resting their teeth against its skin. This tends to be an effective method of forcing surrender.
Habitat/Society:Cooshee mate for life. If one of the pair is killed, the other generally wastes away. Cooshee puppies bond strongly to their parents, and the parents are highly protective of their offspring. Only a fool comes between an adult cooshee and its children.
Cooshee tend to avoid other "normal" dogs, seeming to find them inferior. In this regard, the cooshee echo their elf masters, refraining from much contact with other races.
The cooshee have an incredibly loud bark that can be heard more than a mile away. However, they only bark to warn their masters or packmates. In almost no other circumstances will a cooshee emit noise.
Cooshee often live to be more than 100 years old.
Ecology:No one seems to know whether cooshee are a naturally occurring creature or if they are a creation of the elves. The cooshee seem almost too perfectly designed for their tasks to be anything but created beasts. However, their affinity with nature, closely mirroring that of the elves, leads one to believe that they are, in fact, entirely natural.
Although elves have had much success in gaining the trust of the cooshee, few other races have been able to establish a rapport with the hound. Even experienced animal handlers of other races find it incredibly difficult to approach one of these magnificent creatures. Thus, unless the cooshee has been magically charmed (it saves at +3 vs. any charm spell), it will only be found in the company of elves.