Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Grognard's Grimoire: The Eld

(I somehow totally forgot to post any new installments of the Grognard's Grimoire last week. No one complained, admittedly, but I'm a bit surprised at myself nonetheless)

Eld (Red Elf)
Number: 1d4 (2d8)
Alignment: Chaotic
Move: 12
Armor Class: 4 [15]
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1 (weapon)
Saving Throw: 16
Challenge Level/XP: 3/60 XP

Hailing from the Red Planet of Areon, the Eld are both the nigh-immortal progenitors of the elven race and, through their command of black magic, the creators of innumerable monstrous species. Towering above their degenerate cousins at 6 feet tall (or more), the Eld nevertheless retain the delicate features and slight builds typically associated with elves. Their skin has a distinct reddish cast to it and their hair is almost universally dark brown or black. Occasionally, an Eld will be born whose appearance more closely matches that of terrestrial elves. This is deemed a great curse and only the most remarkable of these Eld ever survives childhood; those who do are often among the most powerful and dangerous examples of this species.

The Eld are an inherently magical people and all members of the race can cast arcane spells as if they were magic-users of the same level as their Hit Dice. Most Eld also carry with them a number of bizarre magical weapons and other devices the likes of which are rarely seen on other worlds and whose operation attests to their supreme command of vile sorcery. When encountered in a group of 10 or more, a leader will be present, whose Hit Dice can be determined by rolling 1d6+1.

Cruel and callous, the Eld look on all species other than their own as barbarous and fit only to serve as slaves or as test subjects for their dark experiments. Fortunately, the Eld are slowly dying and are rarely seen on worlds other than their ancient cities on Areon, but rumors persist of hidden enclaves elsewhere, where they hatch plots designed to return them to mastery over many worlds they enjoyed millennia ago.


Coming Next: Eldritch magic weapons, armor, and other equipment.

7 comments:

  1. This is great stuff. They kind of remind me of meliboneans in some ways.

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  2. Yes, that was at least partially the intention. I'm honestly not a huge Moorcock fan -- blasphemy, I know -- but the Melnibonéans are a positively brilliant amalgam of a lot of pulp fantasy traditions and archetypes.

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  3. Holy Cow, I was thinking the exact same thing, when the "Eldritch" post has a comment comparing the Eld to WoW's Blood Elves. I was gonna say, "Hey, this particular theme has been around for a while. For example, how 'bout them Melniboneans Moorcock wrote about?"

    Too bad now I just look like I'm rambling.
    :)

    The Eld sound neat, though I wonder about how they can be portrayed as truly otherworldly, when the PCs first meet them. Does the Eld think on a wildly different level from those in the world? Is it the gear?

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  4. The Eld sound neat, though I wonder about how they can be portrayed as truly otherworldly, when the PCs first meet them. Does the Eld think on a wildly different level from those in the world? Is it the gear?

    I think the key to portraying them properly will be in making sure that they don't come across as "evil" so much as utterly amoral and divorced from the petty concerns of ordinary ethics. The Eld do what they do because they want to, not because they're malicious or malevolent. To feel such emotions, they'd need to be engaged in the world in a way I don't conceive of them as being.

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  5. don't come across as "evil" so much as utterly amoral and divorced from the petty concerns of ordinary ethics.
    which, oddly, was exactly how the Martian emigres from my near future cheap space travel game were shaping up, before I abandoned the campaign and moved to the US.

    I get Melniboneans, but I also get "red elves (evil)," where "red" is Barsoomian red men, "elves" is fey and "evil" is vaguely Moorcockian. Will steal (if I ever get a chance to use any of this).

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  6. ...oh. Ha. Just read the comments to your Eldritch post. I guess you've succeeded.

    So is Ming a king of the Eld, a renegade, or the only red elf ever to accidentally gate to Mungo? In my own FG game he's a traveler from Elsewhere, though I've never known exactly where until now. Thoughts on Ming/Klytusing available on request.

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  7. Ming is far too interested in marrying Earthwomen to be one of the Eld, at least a mainstream one. Those guys generally aren't motivated by lust, at least not of the sort we'd recognize as such.

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