• Sun Elves, High Elves
• Pronounced “eh-rin TARR”
In the mountainous, isolated kingdom of Rendayn, the struggling remnants of an ancient people strive for mastery over themselves, the world around them that slips a little farther into darkness every day, and over the very forces of creation itself. These are the Erin’Tar, the last pure descendants of the faerie folk cast into the mortal world thousands of years ago.
The High Elves are the keepers of ancient wisdom-- the mightiest magic users of all the races. Their spellcasters and loremasters are unparalleled among the mortal races, and they have melded the warrior arts with spellcasting seamlessly with a philosophy that stresses reason, emotional control and mastery of self. They call themselves Erin’Tar, which in their musical language means “Lost Ones”, for they see themselves as a refugee people, cast out from the Faerie Realms and stripped of much of their former power. It has been many generations since the Sundering, but every single Erin’Tar keenly feels the part of herself left behind in the Fae Kingdom.
The Sun Elves hold themselves separate and apart from the rest of the mortal races, for they truly believe themselves to be not of this world. They seek mastery of themselves, the world around them and the forces of magic in order to prove their place in this ever-darkening world.
Keywords: Serene, Driven, Refined, Ambitious, Elegant, Distant, Graceful, Wise, Mystical
What Erin’Tar Are NOT
- Four Things to Remember About the Erin’Tar
Circles of Black, Silver, and Gold. The High Elves seek perfection in all aspects of life, but the three highest forms of mastery are represented in Erin’Tar art and culture by three interlocked circles. The black circle represents the mastery over the body and physical aspects of life including weaponry, crafting, and physical perfection of form. The silver circle represents mastery over one’s inner self—public displays of emotion, acting on instinct and impulsive behavior are considered the domain of the lesser races and displaying such things indicates a lack of self-control and therefore a lesser being. The third and most difficult to master is the golden circle, symbolizing mastery over one’s environment and world. Elven warlords leading troops or commanding noble houses, mighty archmages commanding the forces of creation and reality, or priests calling down the miracles from the gods or mighty archfey patrons all represent mastery of the gold circle. These three types of mastery are the founding pillars of Erin’Tar society.
- Bargains, Promises, and Trade. Erin’Tar are far closer to their fae heritage than the nearly-feral Gael’Dar. One of the things that they retain from their Archfey ancestors is the compulsive need to turn every personal interaction into a bargain of some kind. This emphasizes their drive for mastery—if you have something and someone else wants it, you have mastery over them, however brief and ephemeral. Erin’Tar NEVER give anything for free—and she might not necessarily even mention the debt she perceives between you till she comes calling that debt in. Gifts carry the implication of debt and obligation, and any conversation is likely to become a give and take of questions and information. An Erin’Tar is ALWAYS trying to come out on top, even in simple conversation, though the definition of victory or success varies from elf to elf.
- “Debt is like iron.” This common High Elf saying has a triple meaning, as should be unsurprising to anyone accustomed to the double-talking elves. First, it should be noted that both subraces of elf are still bound by the faerie geas that prevents them from lying—and as such, both kinds of elves are famous for double-speak and lying by omission or leading an enemy to their doom through assumption rather than outright falsehood. Thus, if an elf makes a promise or concludes a bargain, they are by definition telling the truth. Thus, once given, an oath or promise is sacred to the Erin’Tar and if elven legends and myths are to be believed, calls down the wrath of the gods and/or Archfey on the oathbreaker. Second, the elves react poorly to “blood metal”—iron and its ferrous alloys. In small quantities, it is merely annoying like a strong itch, but in large amounts (like armor, shackles or manacles) it can be injurious or downright deadly. Elven horror stories tell of those bound in iron for long periods of time going mad. Because of this association, it is unsurprising that elves who find that another has mastery over them (whether intentional or otherwise) seek to rectify the imbalance as fast as possible and usually in such a way that the situation will be reversed and the elf will have his former creditor in HIS debt. Third, iron is of course a strong, durable material and the elves do not believe in a statute of limitations on debt or obligation—if your father made a deal with one of the long-lived elves, you inherit that debt upon your father’s death. Likewise if your great-grandfather made a deal with the ancestor of an Erin’Tar; that debt does not die until it is paid in full.
- A Perfect People in a Perfect World. The High Elves have never forgotten themselves as the true descendants of the Archfey; they know in their mortal bones that their ancestors are immortal beings of incredible power and majesty. The Erin’Tar seek nothing less than the re-creation of a paradise in the mortal realm to rival that of their ancestors in the Otherworld. Because of this, they constantly seek to master new skills, gain new knowledge, and learn new magics that will help them reshape Aerys into a land that more closely resembles their lost faerie homeland and reshape themselves into beings closer to the perfection they see in the Archfey.
- Humans with pointy ears. Both races of elf are literally alien to Brittanis. They are the descendants of immortal beings of faerie exiled to this world thousands of years ago; they have adapted to the natural world, but NEVER forget that their culture, outlook, and mindset are not human. When playing or interacting with an elf, never forget that they are not, in fact, human at all.
- Tolkien-esque. The elves of Brittanis take some of their visual cues from the Lord of the Rings, but other than that they harken to the ancient tales of elves (alfar) from mythology far more than the writings of Tolkien. They can appear calm and detached, but they are not the near- angelic, fading beings of Middle-Earth; they are a people fighting every single day to recreate the homeland they lost and achieve mastery over their physical being, emotional impulses, and the world around them.
- Star Trek Vulcans. The Erin’Tar seek to master all aspects of their lives, not just emotions. They are not slavishly dedicated to logic, but instead acknowledge that mastery over their existence is rarely served by making rash, emotional decisions. Elves do display emotions, but usually only with those closest to them—those who are least likely to take advantage of what they see as a vulnerability that can put them at a disadvantage to someone less trustworthy. This is the root of the Erin’Tar reputation for being aloof, distant, and seemingly arrogant; they believe that showing emotion to a potential enemy is a weakness that can be exploited as easily as a gap in armor.
When they were exiled from Faerie to the world of Aerys
, the ancestors of the elves found their very existence was at odds with the world itself. The elves reacted poorly to the Deep Magic that infuses the natural world; many went instantly mad and unleashed terrible destructive magics into the world while others simply dropped dead where they stood, seemingly at random. Elven sages and scholars studied the problem, but more and more elves went mad or died for no known reason. Eventually, the problem became clear: a native beings of Faerie, the ancestors of the elves were literally lacking the one thing all sentient mortal creatures possessed, and the thing to which the Deep Magic was tied.
The elves had no souls. Intelligent creatures born in the natural world are possessed of a soul that passes into the Otherworld upon Final Death. Because the exiled elves were born in Faerie, but were still intelligent, thinking beings, the Deep Magic was tearing them apart because they represented a magical paradox.
solved this issue by four of their greatest leaders sacrificing themselves in a mighty ritual that created a buffer between the Wild Elves and the Deep Magic. Eventually the slow elven birthrate caught up and the next generation born to the natural world had mortal souls. The Erin’Tar, however, had no such protection.
The High Elves chose a different path to salvation. They did not rely on the sacrifice of their leaders; instead they worked together to create fortresses warded with the mightiest protective magics they could create and isolated themselves within their wards until the first generation of Erin’Tar born to the natural world were proven to not have the same crippling weaknesses as their parents. The last remaining citadel warded by these magics has been turned into the Arcanum, a school of magic, history and learning. By using their mastery of magic, the elves who became known as the Sun Elves had mastered their environment and mastered themselves in the process. This was the defining event of their culture and influences them to this very day.
The rocky, mountainous island of Rendayn
is the homeland of the Erin’Tar. Millenia ago, when the Sundering cast the ancestors of the Wild Elves and Sun Elves from the realm of Faerie, according to High Elf legend the elven hero Aenryia led her followers to the island and they settled there. Later, the Arcanum was built in the capitol and remains the greatest center of learning and magic in Brittanis
today. Anyone who wishes to learn how to master the forces of arcane magic eventually finds their way to the Arcanum to study, read from the great Library, and pursue the study of magic. Three great Erin’Tar cities lie nestled in the mountainous valleys and treacherous peaks of Rendayn, forming natural barriers, chokepoints, and defenses that the invading Fomorians have yet to navigate.
Twice the invaders have assaulted the Sun Elf kingdom, and the elves have pulled back their northern borders as a result of the savage onslaught. It is of great concern to the Erin'Tar that the Fomorians might be descended from the same stock as they themselves; though the Fomorians continue to assault the Sun Elf lands, the ruling council of Rendayn has decided that the truth of the matter must be decided before all-out war can be declared.
Erin’Tar Look and Feel
Be sure to check out the Brittanis
Pinterest page for the Erin’Tar HERE!!
The look of Erin’Tar costuming is based heavily around images of high elves and wizards. Robes and long, draped garments predominate. The High elves are refined and cultured people, and their garments reflect a culture that is focused around learning and academia.
The most common garments are layered robes (pull-over or side closure) or coats (front closure) worn from the shoulders. Often a fitted under-robe is worn with a looser, full-cut over-robe worn with wider sleeves. Robes are almost always tied or belted at the waist and cut so that the garments flare out below the waist. Cloaks, mantles and hoods are worn to protect garments during inclement weather.
Smooth curves and points are the most common designs for jewelry, embroidery and embellishment. In clothing, these are almost always in a complementary color to the base fabric. Contrasting colors are never used. A pale blue robe might have darker blue or cream embroidery in a curving, looping pattern, for example, but never orange or red.
High Elves, Saruman & Gandalf (Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings series), Nuada & Nuala (Hellboy II movie), Therns (John Carter movie)
Just about any color is appropriate to the High Elves except the harshest, brightest shades—typically the Erin’Tar prefer subtler shades than more garish colors. Deep, bright colors have associations among the mortal races to powerful emotions, which the Erin’Tar do not show in public. Thus, colors like bright red, pure black, Most important, however, is the tendency of Erin’Tar to make an entire outfit from varying shades of a single color. For example, an outfit made in blue might include a deep blue high-collared under-tunic and lighter blue robe, accented with boots, fabric belt-sash and jewelry in yet another shade of blue. The tendency to design in differing shades of the same color is a defining Erin’Tar costume trait.
As you’d expect from their refined tastes and cultured nature, the High Elves primarily use linen, silk, and cotton for their clothing. These three fabrics have a variety of finishes and textures, so many different looks can be achieved with little effort. Wool is sometimes used for outer garments in inclement weather, but fur is considered vulgar (and used by the Gael’Dar
), so avoid it in High Elven costume. Leather is used exclusively for armor and accessories such as belts and quivers. It is not used for clothing.
Erin’Tar, like their Wild Elf cousins, have a racial allergy to iron and its alloys. This means two things: Erin’Tar use leather just as much as their savage cousins and they are exceptionally skilled at crafting armor from metals other than iron. Erin’Tar smiths are especially famous for their work in argentum and mithril.
High Elves prefer armor that does not compromise mobility and speed, so large pieces of solid armor are uncommon except in the heaviest protection. Elven platemail is not unheard of, but it is exceptionally rare and ruinously expensive because it is always made from a rare metal.
The most common types of elven armor are banded and scale. They protect well and allow maximum agility. Under-garments of scalemail with additional protection layered on top are the most common armor style in Rendayn
. Long skirts of scalemail and interwoven banding are seen frequently, and the elven preference for smooth, curving lines continues into their armors as well. Decoration continues the elven patterns of graceful, intricately twined etching, filigree, or other ornamentation.
Weapons & Shields
Continuing their cultural bias towards graceful, beautiful curves, all High Elf weapons have these lines. Swords and polearms tend towards long, curving scimitar or katana-style blades with ornate, organically styled handles and guards. The cruciform –style blade is a carryover from the humans, but even they tend to have smooth curved silhouettes when made by High Elves. Blunt weapons such as hammers tend to be almost nonexistent, while axes are reserved for the deadliest, most skilled warriors. The elves consider the axe to be a brutish, uncultured weapon, so an elf wielding such a weapon is declaring that he has the prowess to make such a weapon fit the elven concepts of mastery, grace, and skill.
The mountainous terrain of Rendayn
lends itself well to the shield-wall, and High Elves have mastered this form of war. Their shields are shaped for maximum protection and versatility, tall and shaped like teardrops or elongated versions of the Brittanic
heater-style shield are common.
ERIN’TAR MUST WEAR PROSTHETIC EAR TIPS.
Erin'Tar typically have larger, more prominent ears than their Gael'Dar
cousins. Erin’Tar must wear a race band of yellow fabric. These must be worn on the left forearm and may not be less than 4 inches wide.
All racial identifier bands (or simply “race bands”) should be a pure representative of their color. Therefore the yellow race band worn by Sun Elves should not be mustard, orange-red, fluorescent yellow, pastel or any other variation. All effort should be made to keep it as purely YELLOW as possible. This armband should contrast the character’s costume and should be obviously a marker of the race and not a costume item. This ensures that it is easily identifiable on the battlefield and keeps “What race are you?!?” to a minimum. Help your fellow players out.
See Appendix A
for High Elf name inspiration.
The majority of elves pay homage to one of the Archfey instead of the gods of the mortal ream, but some few do serve the gods. As befits their character, Eldrea the goddess of magic is the primary deity of the Erin’Tarni, though Sarai and Liriel follow closely for the elves revere both the wild places and beauty in all things. No churches of the White Court exist within the borders of Rendayn, though the occasional shrine built by travelers of faith do exist.
Sun Elf characters gain the following Racial Traits: Hero, Elf, Sun Elf, Fae.
All Erin’Tar have -1 Vitality per Tier, but gain +2 Stamina at 1st Tier, and +1 Stamina per Tier after.
Cold Iron Sensitivity: When wearing armor that has Iron or Steel as the Primary Material, that armor has -3 armor points. If Iron or Steel is the Secondary Material, that armor has -2 armor points. These penalties only apply when the elf is wearing them; it is an effect of the wearer, not the armor itself.
Bonds of the Sidhe:
The Fae nature of the elves has faded greatly since they came to the mortal realm-- but not entirely. One piece of their ancestors’ nature that follows the elves to this day is the inability to tell a lie. You cannot lie. When asked a direct question, of you answer you must always tell the truth to the best of your ability. However, this means that the elves, like the sidhe before them, have become masters at telling part of the truth, or of misdirecting or misleading an enemy by choosing their words carefully.
Once per watch you can call “With [Heroic Trait], Complete” When you either fail to complete the incantation of a spell or are struck for damage while casting a spell in order to finish the incantation and have the spell cast as normal. Though the skill name says "arcane", this skill can be used with any skill that has the Spell keyword.
Children of Magic:
High Elves depend on their inherent magic far more than they rely on aid from outside sources such as gods or primal spirits. Erin’Tar pay .5 extra CP for all Otherworld and Primal skills. This only applies to the Source skills themselves—Class header skills do not have this penalty.
Cultural Weapons: Erin’Tar pay 1 less CP for all Blades as well as Large Spears and the Staff.
High Elves may choose THREE of the following skills without paying CP at character creation, and can purchase others during character advancement with CP like normal skills. Only the 1st Purchase can be bought at Character Creation.
Arcane Resilience (3, 3 CP; 1 Stamina; Battle)
The blood of the Erin’Tar flows with eldritch energy, and you have harnessed it enough that you can use it as an active defense. Once per battle, you may spend 1 Stamina to call “Resist by Magic” when subject to a packet attack.
2nd Purchase: Usable 2/battle
Grounded and Guarded (3, 3 CP; Day)
You studied at the Arcanum long enough to train your spirit to resist the kinds of attack that would take control of your mind from you. Once per day, you can call, “Resist by [Heroic Trait]” when subject to a Mental attack effect.
2nd Purchase: Usable 2/day
Precision Mind (3, 3 CP)
You have learned how to focus your mind and swiftly rid it of thoughts or influences that are detrimental to you. You need only 1 minute of rest instead of 5 to negate a Mental effect.
2nd Purchase: You need only30 seconds of rest
Pure Fey (3, 5 CP)
Similar to your ancestors’ ability to shape their body to their will, you have learned how to master your flesh and make it obey your commands. Once per day you can call, “Purge by [Heroic Trait]” when subject to a Drain, Stun, or Paralyze effect.
2nd Purchase: Usable 1/watch
Arcane Shield (3, 3 CP)
You know how to harness the raw stuff of magic in order to protect yourself. Each time you purchase this skill, you gain a point of Armor that can be refreshed by 1 minute rest. This armor will not refresh if you are wearing physical armor of any kind. You may pick this racial skill 2 times. This armor stacks with other skills giving you non-physical armor, but still can only be modified by one temporary Modifier at a time.
Deadly Grace (3, 5 CP)
Your movements with a blade are as deadly as they are beautiful to behold. When you make a melee weapon attack with an Erin’ Tar Cultural Weapon dealing 3+ damage, add 1 to the damage total. This ability stacks with all other damage enhancements.
2nd Purchase: add 2 to the damage total
Weapon of Choice (2, 2, 2 CP, 1 Stamina, Battle)
When wielding a weapon from the Cultural Weapon list, an Erin’Tar character may make 2 melee or missile attacks for “X Damage,” where X is the character’s Tier+1. You must rest for 5 minutes before using this skill again.
2nd Purchase: Usable 2/battle
3rd Purchase: X is Tier+2
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