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DM Breeze
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Posts : 25
Join date : 2011-11-16

PostSubject: Silvanesti (High) Elves   Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:23 am

Proud and aloof, the Silvanesti consider themselves to be
the first children of the gods, the oldest and wisest mortal
race, and the keepers of the pinnacle of mortal civilization.
They had grown frustrated with the world and removed
themselves from it as much as possible, hoping to maintain
the purity of their inherent superiority. Recently, however,
Lorac’s nightmare, the sylvan shield, and the minotaur
invasion have thrown their society into disarray.

Physical Description

Most Silvanesti are taller and slighter than the Qualinesti,
noticeably more so than the Kagonesti. The grace and
beauty of a Silvanesti is often described as ethereal;
while humans and many other races find Kagonesti
and Qualinesti elves beautiful, most find the beauty of
Silvanesti entrancing and otherworldly. Their skin is the
color of white pine, with some even fairer still. Their
hair ranges from the light brown of maple to aspenbark
white, and it’s often worn in long, elaborate braids
and arrangements. A few Silvanesti are born with hair
the charcoal black of fire-tested firs; Alhana Starbreeze
of House Royal is a notable example. Alone among
elves, a few very elderly Silvanesti men, even those with
undisputedly pure bloodlines, have sometimes been
known to grow a thin, wispy beard; this is considered the
mark of a man worthy of great respect, and most Silvanesti
scoff at other races whose men dare grow beards before
they reach the ripe old age of six hundred or so. Silvanesti
eyes are usually the rich color of walnut.
Silvanesti dress is designed to showcase luxury. Loose
fitting blouses and trousers with suede slippers or boots
are the norm for men and a full-length gown or dress
for women. Both men and women finish the ensemble
with flowing robes and cloaks—even the commoners
are fond of such fashion. Both sexes wear a great deal of
jewelry; rings, bracelets, earrings, ornately buckled belts,
necklaces, pendants, and brooches are common. Women
add extensive ornamentation in the hair. However, much
of this extravagance had to be left behind when they fled
Silvanost at the end of the War of Souls.
When the situation calls for utility, Silvanesti will put
away the formalwear and use clothing more in line with
what their Qualinesti cousins favor: sturdy leathers for
wilderness scouts, utilitarian yet beautiful breeches and
shirts with vests for artists, craftsmen, and other workaday
Silvanesti, and slightly less ostentatious court clothing for
wizards, scholars, and priests.


The Silvanesti are members of the oldest and, by many
measures, most advanced civilization on Ansalon. Some
of the greatest mages, warriors, and artists ever known on
Ansalon have been Silvanesti. The Silvanesti know this
and take it to heart, leading to a vast cultural superiority
complex. They are among the most arrogant and selfimportant
mortals in existence, and their air of assumed
superiority regularly insults those of other races.
The superiority complex carried by most Silvanesti
has led them to become intensely isolationist, to the point
of xenophobia. For thousands of years, they cut off most
contact with the outside world. The Silvanesti zealously
guarded their borders, often violently expelling anyone
unlucky enough to cross it without permission. In times of
war, they were likely to outright kill any non-elf found in
their beloved forest. Since the minotaur invasion evicted
them from their ancestral lands in the War of Souls, they
have been forced to deal with other races far more than
any time since the ancient past.
Silvanesti pride and assumptions of superiority have
also led to an intense sense of vanity. Before the exile
removed the luxury to engage in such things, Silvanesti
were extremely fashion conscious, and even to this day,
those whose physical perfection is marred by visible scars
or disability are sometimes driven to breach the elven
taboo against suicide.
Recent history has not been kind to the Silvanesti:
their homeland was infested by the Nightmare of Lorac;
they were trapped within a life-draining magical shield
raised by their mortal enemy Cyan Bloodbane; they were
defeated and humiliated by the Dark Knights under Mina,
then were occupied, slaughtered, and driven from their
ancestral lands by minotaur. This string of defeats has left
many Silvanesti bitter. Rather than the depressed malaise
suffered by many Qualinesi, Silvanesti have been more
likely to react by becoming caustic and angry.
In contrast to the bitterness and anger expressed by
some Silvanesti, others have remained undaunted and
optimistic. As caretakers of one of the oldest and most
advanced civilizations on Ansalon, the Silvanesti have
historically been a very confident people. They believe
nothing is beyond their grasp as long as they expend
enough effort and patience. Lorac Caladon, the Speaker
of the Stars during the War of the Lance, personified this
confidence when he unsuccessfully attempted to master
the dragon orb. Surprisingly, even after being evicted
from their lands, the morale of many Silvanesti remains
fundamentally strong.
The Silvanesti are quick to anger. Over the millennia,
their highly regimented and precise social structures
evolved an overdeveloped sense of etiquette and political
protocol; offense became easily given and quickly taken.
Public airing of grievances and litigation were common
ways for Silvanesti from different Houses to resolve
disputes. Within the same House, Silvanesti pride
sometimes drives escalation of disputes to the point
where only a duel can resolve it. While dueling is usually
forbidden between members of different houses, two
members of the same house can resolve a dispute this
way. The antagonists agree on a weapon—usually a rapier,
but sometimes a longsword—and fight to the first cut. The
duel is meticulously refereed; great care is taken that the
fight is not fatal and permanent scarring does not result.
Purposely attacking the face or hands, for instance, is
grounds for immediate disqualification and disgrace.


Silvanesti are unusual among elven cultures in that many,
especially among the nobility, have surnames. Men and
women usually follow different traditions in the selection
of a surname. The determination of men’s surnames is
straightforward and follows a simple patronymic system;
the son of Maradoc Caladon was Lorac Caladon, as the
father of Jahran Kaldeist was Yilan Kaldeist. Women’s
surnames are a bit more complex. One method is a
matronymic system, where the daughter takes her mother’s
surname. Another fashion is for the mother and father to
each choose a one-word descriptor of the environment
as it is during the child’s birth. Names like Oakleaf,
Starbreeze, and Moonborn are chosen this way. Further
confusing matters is that these systems occasionally cross
gender lines, and a boy may acquire a name like Swiftcloud
or Brightwind; a daughter may take her father’s less poetic
name. Examples of given names for Silvanesti include:
Lorac, Silvanoshei, Avonathalonus, Pellarin, Silvanas, and
Terevalis for men and Aleaha, Ladine, Lisindrela, Maleesa,
Roselenna, and Telisina for women.

Magical Practices

Silvanesti have a long and proud tradition as spellcasters.
White-robed wizards and clerics of the gods of light have
called upon the power of magic for thousands of years.
House Mystic regulates the use of arcane magic among
the Silvanesti. They do not maintain a monopoly on the
use of wizardly magic, although they might wish they did.
Many other Houses use minor arcane spellcraft in their
work, and a few of other Houses have even taken the Test
of High Sorcery (with special permission of the Speaker)
and been awarded the white robes. Typically, however,
House Mystic is the only one to routinely produce wizards.
Even now, in the exile, they have restarted their education
of young wizards, teaching the precepts of magic in dustfilled
tents in Khur. Silvanesti wizards who pass the Test
of High Sorcery and do not earn white robes are typically
not welcome to return to Silvanesti society. One who earns
the Red Robes may sometimes avoid being branded a dark
elf if he voluntarily stays away, but he can expect to be so
labeled if he forces the issue. See the Dark Elves sidebar
for more details. A Black Robe will be afforded no such
benefit of doubt and will be banished as soon as word of
his Test’s outcome gets back to the Speaker. Currently,
with Silvanesti society in a state of disarray, many of these
formalities of the regulation of arcane magic are not being
Divine magic has, in the past, been wielded most
powerfully by the priests of House Cleric. As formal
representatives of the gods, they dominated the use of the
gods’ power among the Silvanesti. A few of other Houses
have also sometimes found favor with a god; healers
of Quenesti Pah have sometimes appeared in House
Protector, druids of the Blue Phoenix have sometimes
arisen from Houses Woodshaper and Gardener, and the
Winged One (Shinare) has been known to bless minor
priests among House Advocate. With the War of Souls,
however, most of House Cleric was wiped out, and the
tradition of divine magic among the Silvanesti seems to be
Ambient sorcery was never embraced by the Silvanesti;
few Silvanesti have the talent to wield it, and fewer still the
inclination to challenge the traditions of House Mystic.
Mysticism was more successful, with some members of
House Cleric learning the art after the Chaos War, and a
tiny handful of Silvanesti continue to study the Power of
the Heart in exile.


For millennia, Silvanesti religious practices were
dominated by reverence for E’li. They looked to the king
of the gods for inspiration, protection, and guidance.
His his acceptance of mortality in order to protect his people
from Queen Takhisis once and for all, did not dim
the love of the Silvanesti for him. Many exiled Silvanesti
still light incense before their small shrines to the
great god, revering even his memory.
Quenesti Pah, E’li’s wife and companion, has
now taken primacy among the gods of light from the
Silvanesti point of view.
Many despairing Silvanesti widows and widowers, their
husbands or wives slain in the slaughter of the War of
Souls, now see Quenesti Pah as a kindred spirit. While
most of the universe may be cold and uncaring, surely
the Grieving Lady will hear, understand, and answer,
many Silvanesti believe, for surely she weeps as they
do. Other Silvanesti take refuge in Astarin, the Song
of Life, who inspires joy and determination among his
The peace and serenity offered by
the Blue Phoenix, Lord of the Land, Sea, and
Sky, and Matheri, friend of E’li, comfort many. Silvanesti
devotees of these gods believe the way forward is to accept
what has happened and work tirelessly to set things right.
The more militaristic Silvanesti turn to Kiri-Jolith, son of
E’li and the bringer of righteous fury from the heavens.
Silvanesti steel and Kiri-Jolith’s might, his followers believe,
will someday drive the foul bull men from their beloved
homeland. While many Silvanesti favor one or another
of the gods of light, almost all Silvanesti publicly show
reverence for the entire pantheon. Even Solinari, usually
only acknowledged by wizards, is given a place of honor by
the Silvanesti people.
Silvanesti ritual tradition is in disarray. Most of House
Cleric perished during the War of Souls, defending their
temples from minotaurs, so traditional leaders of divine
services are gone. Lay Silvanesti have tried to put things
together as best they can; most Silvanesti households in
exile, whether in Khurinost or scattered in the Diaspora,
have a simple shrine to one or more of the gods in their
home. Communal services have just recently resumed,
presided over by devoted laypeople rather than priests.
A small but growing minority of Silvanesti have
declared themselves secular. The high ritual of the realm’s
glory days masked more religious indifference than most
outsiders would have believed. Now, with their forest
homes lost, their people decimated, and the society’s
priestly class nearly wiped out, more Silvanesti are publicly
turning away from the gods, believing they would be
foolish to trust in them only to be abandoned yet again.
A small number of Silvanesti find patronage in one
of the gods of neutrality. The Winged One is sometimes
invoked by bureaucrats, lawyers, and merchants.
Chislev is revered by some of the members of House
A tiny but growing cult of Kinthalas (Sargonnas)
exists among the Silvanesti. Some of those whose
hearts were twisted by the terrible events of the War
of Souls have turned to the Lord of Vengeance for
strength, forming the Cult of the Bloody Condor. These
dangerous elves have no patience with the Speaker or
the rest of the community; they lash out violently and
with terrible skill when someone stands in the way
of their schemes.


Silvanesti folklore is largely
centered around two
periods of time: the creation
of the elves and the reign
of Silvanos, founder of the
Silvanesti nations. Elven creation
mythology generally credits Chislev
and Reorx with creating the world
and the High God with populating it. The
Silvanesti forest is, according to myth, the place
where life first appeared on Krynn. The elves themselves
awakened in the Age of Dreams, even before the dragons
(according to many Silvanesti legends, anyway), taking the
forests for their home.
Silvanos unified many of the elves, bringing them
together as a nation rather than scattered tribes of forest
folk. Legends of his prowess as a warrior are many; tales
of daring raids against the ogres, valiant battles against
human barbarians, and failed assassination attempts by
jealous compatriots are numerous. His first calling of the
Sinthal-Elish, on the hill of Sol-Fallon, is the stuff of legend
among the Silvanesti as the first true organization of the
nation. As detailed in the Chronicles of Silvanos, Silvanos
became much more than a charismatic warrior that
night—he became the Speaker of the Stars. His brilliant
oratory under the crystal-clear night sky inspired the clan
chieftains to join him; for centuries thereafter, the heads
of what became the great Houses of Silvanesti boasted that
they were there the night the great Silvanos united the
Further legend tells of Balif, a close friend of Silvanos,
who led elven armies in battle during the First Dragon
War. As written in the Song of Home Coming, Balif and his
Cloud-Legion, later to become the Windriders, fought on
griffon-back for the first time and captured the spirits of
great chromatic dragons in runestones. Folklore says their
bodies formed the Khalkist Mountains. Other Silvanesti
legends speak of the Pit of Nemith-Otham, where Lord
Balif cast these runestones.

Racial Traits

• +2 Dexterity, –2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, –2
Charisma. Silvanesti are graceful and cerebral, taking
pleasure in beauty and knowledge. They are frail
compared to other races, and their arrogance is often
abrasive—even to other Silvanesti.
• 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.
• +1 racial bonus on Knowledge (arcana) and Spellcraft
checks. The study of arcane magic is considered the
highest calling for a Silvanesti, and all young Silvanesti
are given basic instruction in magical theory.
• Automatic Languages: Elven. Bonus Languages:
Common, Dwarven, Ergot, Goblin, Kenderspeak,
Kharolian, Khurish, Ogre, Sylvan. Note that Silvanesti
do not automatically speak the Common trade tongue
of Ansalon.
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