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 Kagonesti (Wilder) Elves

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DM Breeze
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Join date : 2011-11-16

PostSubject: Kagonesti (Wilder) Elves   Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:50 am

Truly Children of the Wood, the Kagonesti, of all the
different varieties of elves, are the most at home in the
deep wilderness. Their lifestyle has changed little in four
thousand years of elven civilization.

Physical Appearance

Kagonesti look the least like the stereotypical elf. They
tend to be shorter in stature but more muscular than other
elves. Their skin is usually a rich brown—darker than their
more civilized cousins—ranging from the hue of honeystained
oak to the deep bronze of weathered mahogany.
Their hair is often darker than other elves’ as well, with
shades from the silky red-black of ironwood to the sandy
tan of pine. Some Kagonesti have been known to have
silvery white hair, starkly contrasting with their darker
complexion. Many women wear their hair in a long single
braid, a fashion popularized by Kerianseray. Their eyes are
almost always the brown of hazel nuts. Their faces tend
to be more weathered than other elves, a consequence
of spending so many years in the elements. Despite this,
even the most rugged and weather-beaten Kagonesti face
appears the very picture of perfection compared to most
humans.
Kagonesti frequently decorate themselves with
body art. They love designs inspired by life in their
native forests, and they often fuse geometric patterns
with smooth organic shapes. The geometric shapes are
usually surrounded by stylized vines, leaves, or indistinct
long flowing strokes suggesting life; this symbolizes to
them that artificial constructs, whether manufactured
buildings or cultures and societies, can never truly escape
their natural roots. Sometimes these designs are applied
temporarily using natural dyes and inks. Other times,
they are permanent tattoos. They serve purposes ranging
from simple vanity to deep spiritual expression. Most
who receive body art favor the forearms, the back, and the
face, but the entire body is a potential canvas for a skilled
Kagonesti tattoo artist.
Typical Kagonesti clothing consists of sturdy buckskin
or other leather, but it is far from primitive. Kagonesti
tanners often embroider intricate patterns into the
material, usually a combination of geometric designs
surrounded by smooth, organic lines inspired by the
natural world, similar to the designs used in Kagonesti
body art. An elaborately embroidered sleeveless leather
tunic is very common among Kagonesti, often adorned
with heavy fringe and closed by a leather belt either tied
or clasped with a silver buckle. Both sexes typically wear
leather or linen leggings and supple deerskin boots. In
colder months, they might add a long sleeved shirt of linen
or silk under the tunic and don fur-lined oilskin cloaks
to keep warm and dry. Kagonesti often add feathers and
jewelry made from silver and semiprecious stones; some
believe these to be talismans, warding off danger. Sturdy
leather bracelets or laced bracers are nearly ubiquitous
among the archery-loving Kagonesti.
When dressing for comfort rather than ruggedness,
Kagonesti usually wear loose, airy blouses and trousers of
linen and silk. Kagonesti men and women wear similar
loose-fitting tops and frequently go barefoot. When
attending joyful communal celebrations, some Kagonesti
women will wear colorfully dyed and embroidered skirts
rather than leggings.

Psychology

In many ways, Kagonesti are the variety of elf most similar
to humans psychologically. Kagonesti tend to be impulsive,
quicker to act on their emotions than their more
circumspect kin; many Qualinesti and Silvanesti find them
little better than humans in this regard. The Kagonesti
are less likely to take the long view—sometimes to their
benefit, other times not. Given the chance, a Kagonesti
might kill an enemy soldier occupying his forest, where as
a Qualinesti or Silvanesti might first ponder the political
and military consequences. Wounding a Kagonesti’s pride
is a very dangerous thing for anyone to do, especially an
outsider.
Stubbornness is another trait shared by most Kagonesti.
It’s said by some that there are only two creatures more
obstinate—a drunken dwarf and a sober ogre. This trait
has helped the Kagonesti immeasurably during the past
seventy terrible years of their history, as enslavement by
their elven cousins and domination of their homeland by
Gellidus threatened to wipe their culture and society out
of existence; they dug in their heels and refused to fold.
On the other hand, individual Kagonesti with this trait
sometimes find themselves in over their heads.
Kagonesti often have a more pragmatic moral outlook
than the Qualinesti and Silvanesti. Sometimes willing to
let the ends justify the means, Kagonesti are less likely than
other elves to have a problem with committing violence
against their enemies. Many of the elves’ human allies, who
sometimes bristle at the Qualinesti’s unwillingness to bend
their principles to get the job done, find kindred spirits in
the Kagonesti.
An intensely spiritual outlook on life is very common
among the Kagonesti. Living so close to their forests, they
don’t see nature as a gift from the gods; rather, they believe
it is a manifestation of the gods themselves. Animistic
beliefs have blended with respect for the gods manifested
as the natural world. As such, Kagonesti have a sense of
relationship to Krynn—it is simultaneously their mother,
their brother, and their ward. See Religion for more
details.
Nearly every Kagonesti on Ansalon can be described
as suspicious. For thousands of years, this was simply
the natural xenophobia of a primitive people fending for
themselves. In recent decades, however, enemies ranging
from the servants of the Dark Queen to titanic dragons
and their own flesh and blood have conquered them,
slaughtered them, and enslaved them. In the minds of
most Kagonesti, suspicion of outsiders is not a flaw to be
overcome but a necessary tool of survival.

Social Structure

Kagonesti tend to live in small, isolated communities
scattered across the continent. As such, they have no
institutions that supersede the importance of the family.
This is even more relevant now that most Kagonesti
are in exile, either in Khur with Gilthas Pathfinder or
individually in the Diaspora, trying to survive alone
somewhere on Ansalon. The tragedies that have befallen
the Kagonesti since the War of the Lance have most often
strengthened their familial bonds rather than weakened
them. Their families are the only people the Kagonesti can
truly count on to stand with them and defend them to the
bitter end.
Kagonesti families generally prefer to live together
in groups called clans. The clans take on nature-inspired
names such as White Osprey (the clan of Kerianseray
the famed Lioness). Often, Kagonesti clan communities
are small; rarely do more than one hundred elves live in
the same village. Those in exile try to make the best of
it; Kagonesti clan communities have formed within the
Pathfinder’s refugee camp in Khur, and Kagonesti band
together where they can in the ghettos of strange towns
and cities far from home. Clans are led by elders who
also carry the title Pathfinder, a title passed down from
Kagonos Pathfinder. The title is used somewhat loosely;
clan elders as well as the chief elder bear it.

Names

Kagonesti are given a name at the ceremony of their
Life-Gift. These names are usually evocative of nature;
the Kagonesti Elven words for Greenleaf, Nighthawk,
Whitestag, and the like are common infant boys’ names,
while Ashwood, Running Brook, and Star-Eyes are
acceptable little girls’ names.
During their rite of majority, Kagonesti will take on a
new name, each related somehow to the individual’s life at
the time. Some Kagonesti will further change their names
as the circumstances of their lives change. They do not
take on surnames or family names, instead referring to
themselves as being of a certain clan (Kerianseray of White
Osprey, for instance). Kagonesti love nicknames, and each
can expect to have many applied to her throughout her life.

Folklore

Kagonesti folklore is dominated by tales of the heroics of
Kagonos Pathfinder, the legendary first patriarch of the
Kagonesti people. Tales are told of Kagonos battling the
mighty Quithas Griffontamer, who is variously depicted as
a vicious and evil general serving the hated Silvanos or as
a sympathetic foil for the great Kagonos, highlighting the
tragic aspects of elf forced to struggle against elf. In almost
every one of these tales, Kagonos is defending Grandfather
Ram, who is actually a silver dragon called Darlantan.
In return for saving his life, Darlantan gives Kagonos the
Ram’s Horn of the Elderwild, symbolizing the friendship
between metallic dragons and Kagonesti, an artifact which
has recently resurfaced.

Magical Practices

Few, if any, Kagonesti practice arcane magic. A few have
taken the Test of High Sorcery over the centuries, but the
academic work necessary to begin that life is usually not
practical for a young Kagonesti. Even with the return of
ambient magic after the Chaos War, very few have learned
sorcery.
More common, but still rare, is the practice of divine
magic. The Mother of Forests and the Blue Phoenix both
bless Kagonesti druids. Additionally, some Kagonesti have
learned the arts of mysticism, most believing their magical
ability is a manifestation of the spirits around them. Divine
magic, with its healing and providential abilities, may well
be the art that can pull the Kagonesti back from disaster.

Religion

In general, Kagonesti revere the gods of light and balance.
Astra (Branchala) and the Blue Phoenix (Habbakuk)
are traditionally thought of as patrons of the Kagonesti.
Devotees of the Blue Phoenix in particular believe firmly
in reincarnation and live their lives fully expecting to
return after death. The World Tree (Zivilyn) has followers
among more contemplative Kagonesti. The Mother of
Forests (Chislev) also has a strong hand in Kagonesti
beliefs. Her cult is growing among Kagonesti, as druids
devoted to the Mother begin to encourage the people to
embrace their predatory instincts and retake their rightful
place in the order of nature as Children of the Wood,
driving the invaders out once and for all.
The gods of darkness take an interest in the Kagonesti
when this predatory instinct crosses the line into
vengeance and bloodlust. The Red Condor (Sargonnas)
rejoices when Kagonesti let enraged desperation rule their
emotions. Cults of the Bloody Condor have begun to
appear in Kagonesti communities as they yearn for lands
of their own. While Kagonesti grudgingly respect the gods
of darkness, any Kagonesti found to actively revere the
Red Condor, or any of the dark pantheon, is cast out of the
community as a dark elf—one banished from his people.
See the Dark Elves sidebar for more details.
Most Kagonesti who are granted divine power by the
gods are druids or rangers. Due to the isolation of most
of their communities, Kagonesti generally don’t have the
opportunity to join a Holy Order. Kagonesti paladins are
even more rare than clerics; no known examples exist.
Kagonesti faith in any of the gods tends to be a
shamanistic faith. To the Kagonesti, the gods aren’t
entities separate from nature—they are nature. They see
the Mother of Forests when they look at a mighty oak.
They see the Blue Phoenix when they look at a trout-filled
mountain stream. They hear the sweet voice of Astra when
the wind blows through the leaves of the trees. They see
the wrath of the Red Condor when the grizzly attacks a
village without provocation.
In addition to respect for the gods, a great deal of
animism colors Kagonesti beliefs. Most believe strongly
that the world is full of spirits, and every animal, tree,
creek, river, spring, every rock, hill, and mountain has a
spirit of its own. Ordinary Kagonesti are as likely to offer
a prayer to the local spirits to aid them in their tasks as
they are to pray to the gods. Many humans often assume
animism of this sort might lead a people to disdain
hunting and consuming meat. Quite to the contrary,
Kagonesti revere the hunt. They believe every mortal
creature has its rightful place in life’s grand circle, and as
some are fated to be predators, others are fated to be prey;
the Kagonesti embrace their role as predator.

Racial Traits


• +2 Dexterity, –2 Intelligence. Kagonesti are shorter but
more muscular than other elves, with a tendency to
focus upon the physical over the cerebral.
• Elvensight: Krynnish elves have low-light vision and
can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight,
and similar conditions of poor illumination. They
retain the ability to distinguish color and detail
under these circumstances. Elvensight also includes
darkvision up to 30 feet. Darkvision is black and white
only, but it is otherwise like normal sight.
• Weapon Proficiency: Kagonesti elves receive free a
Simple Weapon Proficiency feat with the spear, short
spear, longspear and Martial Weapon Proficiency feats
with the short sword, shortbow (including composite
shortbow), and longbow (including composite
longbow). Kagonesti are hunters and warriors, so all
Kagonesti are familiar with these weapons.
• +1 racial bonus on Knowledge (nature) and Survival
checks. At home in the forest, the Kagonesti possess an
intimate understanding of the ways of nature.
• Automatic Languages: Elven, Sylvan. Bonus Languages:
Common, Ergot, Gnoll, Goblin, Khurish, Ogre,
Solamnic.
• Favored Class: Ranger.
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