Today I share the first of the racial variants of Liafa. A few notes on these. First, the races are presented in a way that would easily integrate with DND Beyond, since that’s what my groups are using for character management/integration. I fully support the newer models of racial attributes and features, so just being super clear.
Anyway. Eladrin are the only elves in this world, tied to the Arch Fey of Liafa. They align to the fey mythos of the world, tied to the Sorrow Trees – one of the main campaign setting features, serving as strongholds of the Arch Fey in the material world.
There are a lot of variant races in this setting, because I have no self control.
There are no elves on Liafa, there are only eladrin. They are the children of the Arch Fey, appearing soon after the five Sorrow Trees were born. Like their Arch Fey creators, the eladrin are divided into the Living and Deathly Courts, expressing their allegiance in their appearance and in their abilities.
Children of Sorrow
As long as there have been Sorrow Trees upon Liafa, so too has there been the eladrin. The eladrin, like the Sorrow Trees, are inextricably linked with the Arch Fey of Liafa. The eladrin are seen as the servants of the Fey Courts of Liafa, accepting patronage from the courts in exchange for their service when they come of age. There are stories that say the eladrin were once independent of the Fey Courts of Liafa, but those stories exist only in spoken tales, save, perhaps, deep within the Tree of Secrets.
When they are young, eladrin tend to look much like humans of the surrounding area, save for their lightly tapered ears and slightly larger frames. On the first day of their twentieth year, all eladrin begin to have dreams where emissaries of the Fey Courts of Liafa approach them with offers of patronage. None can remember these dreams in any detail – save that they received a formal visitation. In the time before the Censure, there was a great festival held in honor of the Arch Fey of Liafa, and there eladrin who were not yet pledged would be made overtures until such time as a court was chosen.
Should an eladrin accept one of the offers, they find themselves changed when they awake the next morning. They begin to exhibit characteristics of the fey of the court to which they are now pledged. If one accepts the offer of the Deathly Court, they may find their skin becomes ashen, their features sharper, and their hair may become jet black or bright white, and their face may take on a more gaunt appearance. Should they instead choose the Living Court, they may find blemishes or birthmarks now sparkle golden or silver, their hairs becoming rich, honeyed hues or vivid colors, and their skin taking on a youthful, almost ageless look. If an Eladrin refuse the offers of the courts, they may instead find themselves in service of the Dutiful Giant, and serving both courts yet neither. However, since the time of the Censure, eladrin who do not choose a court instead enter a sleep from which they do not awaken on the second day of their twenty-first year.
Regardless of court, Eladrin tend to average slightly over six feet in height, and weigh slightly less than it would see they would otherwise weigh. They have such names as Llewellyn, Alourna, Efa, Lowry, Gareth, Carys, and Emyr. Many eladrin are students of the arcane arts of all sorts, but that is more a matter of local tradition than anything else. While some may see the eladrin within the empire at odds with the Arch Fey they in turn serve, most don’t see it that way. Instead, the eladrin within the empire tend to look at the Arch Fey as servants of the Holy Cobalt Queen. To serve them is to serve the Cobalt Queen, and there is no meaningful difference.
Eladrin and vedalken working together in Shatterstone discovered the mysteries of moonworking – the creation of fantastic magical items and machines. The credit for the first moonworking goes to Aulorna of the Arches, former Archmage of Shatterstone, and one of the most historically successful eladrin rulers the world has ever seen. Under their guidance, Aulorna converted Shatterstone from a town of black dust and secrets to one of splendor and learning. Aulorna is credited with the mastery of obsidian, while Archivist Leppo, a vedalken wizard and chief archivist of the Library of Shatterstone, is acclaimed as the first to shape reefcopper. Aulorna and Leppo jointly discovered the uses for titanspur, though Leppo’s own notes given most of the credit to Aulorna – in public records, Aulorna announced it as a joint discovery.
Of the few moonworkers remaining after the Blood Moon and Censure, most are found within Shatterstone, the empire, and Wraitholm – and most are eladrin. There was once a large community of moonworkers in Snowheim, but it has dwindled since the Censure, as the town has become more and more focused on shipping and the sea. Moonworking can be practiced by anyone who possesses the skill to do so, but it has largely fallen out of favor outside of those in the eladrin and vedalken communities who keep the tradition alive, taking on apprentices and working in secret where required.
Bound by Censure
When the Arch Fey were Censured by the Cobalt Queen, the courts became distant from the world. The least of those who held courtly status could communicate with the outside world, but the more powerful the fey, the more tightly they were bound by the proclamation. This irreparably changed those who saw the Arch Fey as the progenitors – the eladrin, goliath, and vedalken.
All three lost connections to the Hidden Lands and Mirror Lands, removing some of the command of fey magic that was once so easily accessible to them. Not only that, many lost their homes, companions, and possessions when those lands lost most of their entry points. Still, it is the eladrin that have it objectively the worst. While all were impacted to various degrees, neither of the other two face the same endless dreams leading to starvation when they turn twenty-one.
As the years have worn on, the eladrin have become somewhat muted. They no longer have the powers and freedoms they once had. The choice to join the Dutiful Giant has been removed entirely, as they have no court to call upon in their absence. The courts are more divided than ever, as a result.
Liafan Eladrin Traits
Your eladrin character has a variety of abilities, all believed to be tied to the Arch Fey of Liafa
Ability Score Increase
Your Intelligence score increases by 2.
Liafan Eladrins are no longer lived than anyone else, reaching maturity in their late teens, and living around a century or so.
However, all eladrin begin to have dreams of visitation the first day of their 20th year. These dreams continue regularly until they reach the second day of their 21st year. The eladrin must accept an offer of patronage by either the deathly or living court before that time, or they fall into a deep sleep from which none have ever awakened.
Liafan Eladrin are given to the same impulses, challenges, and ways of thought and behavior inherent in all mortal creatures. Liafan Eladrin are no more orderly, chaotic, goodly, evil, or self-centered than any one else. In other words, all alignments are represented by all the people of Liafa.
Eladrin are on the taller side of average, ranging from roughly 6 feet to around 6 and a half feet tall. Eladrin tend towards slender, muscular builds, but come in all shapes and sizes. Your size is Medium.
Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Light of the Pale Moon
Once, eladrin could see into darkness without the need for light. Since the Censure, however, this has not been true. Eladrin lost the ability to see in the darkness when the Arch Fey were punished, leaving them fearing darkness for the first time. The Pale Moon took pity on them, and granted them a blessing – a small portion of their light to take with them.
You know the light cantrip, and can cast it as a bonus action. In addition, both distances illuminated by light are extended an additional 10 feet. This light is the cold, pale light of the full moon. Intelligence is used as the spellcasting ability for this granted spell.
You gain proficiency in your choice of alchemist’s Supplies or moonworker’s instruments. Additionally if you make an ability check with this chosen proficiency, you may reroll a check when the die shows a result of 5 or lower, but you must take the second result.
Eladrin find sleep relaxing and refreshing, thanks to their fey ancestry. Eladrin awaken from nonmagical sleep less weary than many others, allowing their bodies to shrug off minor cuts and bruises more easily. You regain an additional hit die when you finish a long rest, as long as you have additional die available to recover.
Additionally, Eladrin have only a passing relationship with magical sleep, awakening at the end of their next turn after being put to magical sleep, unless they are awakened first through other means.
Legacy of Sorrow
While the strength of the protections granted by the Fey Courts of Liafa has waned, some of it still lingers. Whenever you make a saving throw against the charmed or poisoned condition and the source is not fey, you may roll a 1d6 and add the result to the saving throw.
You can speak, read, and write Common and Sylvan.
Deathly Court Eladrin
Deathly Court eladrin take upon the nature of the court when they pledge their allegiance in their dream visitation. They appear paler, gaunter, more ethereal, and less vibrant than their Living Court kin. The Deathly Court is responsible for overseeing the Mirror Lands, and are the custodians of the dead. They ensure the cycle of Liafa continues as intended by Liafa, and that old gives way to new when required. The Deathly Court is overseen by the Corvid Choir and the Horned King, who bear the weight of regret and dreams as sigils upon their mantles.
Deathly Court Eladrin Traits
Ability Score Increase
You increase your Charisma or Wisdom ability scores by 1.
Mantle of the Deathly Court
Your allegiance to the Deathly Court grants you a modicum of their blessing. Whenever you suffer fire or radiant damage, you may roll a 1d4 and reduce the damage by the result. This occurs prior to resistance or other damage reduction.
As a bonus action, you create two reflective pools of magical liquid, one at your location and one up to 30 feet in an unoccupied space you can see. You may travel through these pools as if they were connected. You or any one other creature you can see when you create the pools may travel through the pools. These pools last until the start of your next turn, or until someone travels through them. When you do so, the pools collapse and disappear. Once you use this trait, you can’t do so again until you finish a long rest.
When you reach 3rd level, your Mirror Pool gains an additional effect. You may choose to either bring the presence of the Corvid Choir or the Horned King with you.
Presence of the Corvid Choir. When you travel through a mirror pool, you bring a lingering regret with you. Choose two creatures; each of which must be 10′ from one of the pools. You cast vicious mockery on each of these creatures when you exist. Your spellcasting ability for this is Intelligence.
Presence of the Horned King. When you travel through a mirror pool, you bring a blast of bitter cold with you. Choose two creatures; each of which must be 10′ from one of the pools. You cast frostbite on each of these creatures when you exist. Your spellcasting ability for this is Intelligence.
Living Court Eladrin
Living Court eladrin take upon the nature of the court when they pledge their allegiance in their dream visitation. They appear rosier, healthier, more well-defined, and more vibrant than their Deathly Court kin. The Living Court is responsible for overseeing the Hidden Lands, and are the custodians of the living world. They revel in the things they claim make life worth living – art, beauty, drama, love, and nature. The Living Court is overseen by the Silver King and the Green Princess, who bear the weight of secrets and fates as sigils upon their mantles.
Living Court Eladrin Traits
Ability Score Increase
You increase your Charisma or Wisdom ability scores by 1.
As a bonus action, you instantly travel a hidden path to a location you can see within 30 feet. When you do so, pick out the path you would have walked to get there, had you walked, ignoring any obstacles or creatures along the path. You may take one willing creature within reach along the path with you. Once you use this trait, you can’t do so again until you finish a long rest.
When you reach 3rd level, your Hidden Path gains an additional effect. You may choose to either bring the presence of the Green Princess or the Silver King with you.
Presence of the Green Princess. When you travel through the hidden path, you bring a rush of life and warmth with you. Creatures of your choice along your path gain temporary hit points equal to 1 + your Intelligence ability modifier.
Presence of the Silver King. When you travel through the hidden path, you bring a cherished secret with you. Creatures of your choice along your path gain a 1d6 bardic inspiration die they can roll and add the number rolled to one ability check, attack roll, or saving throw they make. The creature can wait until after it rolls the d20 before deciding to use this die, but must decide before the DM says whether the roll succeeds or fails. This die last for 10 minutes, or until used.
Mantle of the Living Court
Your allegiance to the Living Court grants you a modicum of their blessing. Whenever you suffer cold or psychic damage, you may roll a 1d4 and reduce the damage by the result. This occurs prior to resistance or other damage reduction.