Elf, Marsh (3.5e Race)

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Marsh Elves[edit]

Personality[edit]

Unlike the standard variety of elves, marsh elves are much more somber and secluded, keeping their existence hidden for the most part. With a life span that is usually shorter than a normal elf's, either due to the hazards of the marshes they call home, or due to some unforeseen mishap, these elves have a much darker outlook on life. Much like their forest dwelling cousins, however, marsh elves are extremely goal oriented almost to the point of obsession. Once they have their mind set on something, nothing stops them, save for a swift death. Reluctant to make friends, , they deem allies as a necessary precaution, especially when adventuring. To them, enemies and insults are but grass underfoot; trampled.

Physical Description[edit]

Marsh elves are a bit shorter than their treedwelling cousins, typically about 4 1/2 to 5 feet tall and weighing in between 100 and 150 pounds, with males usually shorter than their female counterparts. The are also much hardier than other varieties, often having more muscle definition than other elves. Their skin usually varies in color, usually in shades of white, grey, and tans, with hair in darker colors like brown, black, and sometimes darker shades of green. Males grow scant facial hair, usually no more than a small beard, trimmed to their liking. All adults have tattoos as well, spreading the spans of their body, usually done in a tribal style, with a symbol representing their chosen 'guardian' creature on their back, show to them by village elders through a 'vision quest'. The exact nature of these quests is unknown and a very closely guarded secret. Their clothing is very simplistic in nature, made of the hides of the various animals that dwell in the marshes with them, but never wearing anything that covers their face, as this is a punishable offense in their culture, seen as an attempt to deceive others. These elves can live just as long as their cousins, but usually live much shorter lives due to hazards in their homelands or dying during an adventure. Unlike their cousins, these elves do need to sleep. However, due to years of having to sleep lightly due to swampland hazards, they have evolved the need to only sleep for 4 hours to benefit like other races do from 8 hours rest.

Relations[edit]

Marsh elves can get along with any race, provided the individual can get through to the elf. Marsh elves are a largely distrusting race, especially as far as their elven cousins are concerned. They find most races too boisterous or lighthearted for their liking, usually finding comfort and solace in solitude. However, when adventuring they 'get along' to the best of their abilities with their party members and usually not much of anyone else. The only exception to this rule is when other elves are involved. They have an inbred hatred of their "high and mighty" cousins in the trees, and an even greater hatred of their subterranean cousins, denying they exist for the most part unless one is right in front of them.

Alignment[edit]

Marsh elves tend to lean more toward the neutral and evil parts of things, usually due to a lack of any sort of moral high ground at all, though they can be chaotic as well. Law tends to restrict them more than they would like, and good deeds seem to leave a bad taste in the mouth, though an odd marsh elf of these alignments is not unheard of, merely a rare oddity.

Lands[edit]

Marsh elves prefer dank swamplands and marshes for their homes. They usually inhabit them and make them seem haunted or cursed just so others will leave them in peace. They live in small villages with a chieftain as the leader, and a shaman as a spiritual adviser and guide. They do whatever they can to survive, boiling swamp water to drink, killing crocodiles for food and clothing, and eating whatever native plants grow there. Outsiders are usually scarce or nonexistent in their society, usually driven away just as quickly as they arrive. Marsh elves outside of their homelands usually stick to seedier parts of the places they're in, feeling more at home in the shadows and filth. A few notable marsh elves have made quite the living as bounty hunters or mercenaries.

Religion[edit]

Like their brethren, they worship Corellon Larethian, but also worship other deities and spirits of the land and water.

Language[edit]

Marsh elves speak Elven and Common, remnants of their origins, but also speak a language invented and known only by their kind, refered to as Marshspeak, which is a strange mix of elven and guttural animal noises.

Names[edit]

When a marsh elf reaches adulthood, they choose a name after going on their vision quest, with a surname being derived from their guardian spirit and a prominent feature of that spirit. These 'adult' names are usually spoken to them in the quest, and often in a language they do not speak, so the elf can interpret it themselves. Examples include:

Male Names: Aruvel, Garuk, Kuverani, Melatok, Veverous Female names: Divel, Gura, Melanor, Vivion Surnames: Ashviper, Badgerclaw, Dragonbreath, Gatormaw


Racial Traits[edit]

  • +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma: Living in a swamp has its advantages, making the marsh elves more hardy, but also disadvantages, making them less sociable outside of their own kind
  • Humanoid (Elf): Marsh elves are considered elves for the purposes of effects and magical items pertaining to elves.
  • Medium size
  • Marsh elf base land speed is 30 feet
  • Marsh elves have a +2 racial saving throw bonus against poisons and disease
  • Low-light Vision: A marsh elf can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, or similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • Weapon Proficiency: Marsh elves receive the Martial Weapon Proficiency feats for the longsword, longbow (including composite longbow), and shortbow (including composite shortbow) as bonus feats. These weapons were crucial to their initial survival when they first came to the swamps they now dwell in.
  • +2 racial bonus to Listen, Search, Spot and Survival checks. Unlike their cousins, marsh elves cannot detect secret doors.
  • Automatic Languages: Common, Elven, Marshspeak. Bonus Languages: Any except for secret (such as Druidic), provided it is taught to them.
  • Favored Class: Hexblade.

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Marsh Elves Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
75 years +2d6 +2d8 +3d6
Table: Marsh Elves Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
200 years 400 years 600 years +10d10 years
  1. At middle age, −1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  2. At old age, −2 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  3. At venerable age, −3 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
Table: Marsh Elves Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 4' 3" +1d8 125 lb. × (2d6) lb.
Female 5' 0" +1d6 125 lb. × (2d6) lb.

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