In the youth of the world, when the peoples of the world were mere wandering tribes, and the use of fire, the bow, and the hammer, were young, already there were those who studied the world about them, drawing forth it’s secrets and the secrets of worlds beyond for their use – and those who sought to be one with the world, calling on the powers of it’s spirits alone. Over the passing ages, most tribes gathered about the Seekers of Secrets, walking the arcane path to agriculture, cities, and civilization.
But there are still a few who follow the old ways, hunter-gatherers who may use the products of civilization, but do not create or depend upon them. Through them still flows the ancient, feral, power of the spirits of the world.
Primal Elves tend to be larger, stronger, and of darker color than other elves – usually showing a variety of animalistic signs such as long, mobile, ears, light fur, slit pupils, and similar signs of their close bond with the forces of nature. By preference they will spend their long lives in small semi-nomadic clusters in the wilds, living in yurts, teepees, or wigwams, but they will sometimes live in cities – treating them as just another kind of jungle – although they will never contribute to their construction or upkeep.
- Attribute Bonuses: +2 Wis (12 CP) and +2 Dex (12 CP). Their primitive lifestyle, and close bonds with the spirits of nature, leave primal elves preternaturally alert and quick.
- Universal (affects both physical and energy damage) Damage Reduction 2/- (3 CP). Primal Elves have not suffered quite as much from the reduced robustness associated with most races self-domestication.
- Occult Sense/Low-Light Vision, Corrupted for increased effect/shows obvious physical signs, such as slit pupils and a reflective tapetum lucidum (6 CP). Primal Elves are quite used to working with little or no artificial light at night.
- Adept (Hide, Knowledge/Nature, Move Silently, Survival, 6 CP). The ancient aptitudes of survival are still central in the lives of the Primal Elves.
- Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills, Corrupted/only for Racial Adept Skills (4 CP). In nature the slow to learn… die.
- Skill Bonuses: +3 Knowledge/Nature (1 CP), +3 Survival (1 CP), +1 Language (usually Elvish, 1 CP), +10 to Hide (Specialized and Corrupted/only when remaining still, unarmored, and in a low-light environment, 1 CP).
- Spell/Power Resistance of 5 + Level (6 CP). Primal elves instinctively use a bit of natural magic to protect themselves – making them somewhat harder than usual to affect with other magics.
- Immunity/Aging (Uncommon, Major, Major, 3 CP). Primal elves can expect to live for several thousand years – presuming that nothing happens to them. Of course, it usually does.
That comes to a total of 56 CP. The entire package is, however, Corrupted: Primal Elves cannot cast Arcane Magic, or use Metalcrafting, Architecture / Engineering, or build or maintain permanent structures without breaking their bond with the natural world – and becoming ordinary elves. At a net cost of 37 CP, Primal Elves would be a +1 ECL race – but they do NOT receive a level one bonus feat (-6 CP), bringing them down to +0 ECL.
In many ways, Primal Elves are to Elves what “Cavemen”, or perhaps the Neanderthals or Homo Robustus, are to humans; stronger – but lacking the eons of accumulated tricks which have made the “civilized” races dominant over so much of the world.
Fortunately for the Primal Elves, even if they cannot build a civilization, they are not so instinct-dependent as to be unable to make use of one.
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