General Information: Snow elves are very rare and often do not interact with any other of the intelligent races (including other Elvish races.) Snow elves / sometimes called ‘frost elves’ live in the northern most (and southern most?) reaches of the lands, preferring mountain homes in the icy wilds above the tree lines. They are a xenophobic race known for secrecy, deception and trickery. While not technically ‘evil’ the Snow clans do tend to favor chaos, war, and general mayhem over diplomacy or other such tedious ‘moral’ traditions.
They do not enter into treaties or trade agreements with anyone (w/ the rare exception of Druids, certain Witches, or Drow) and are known to be very protective of their claimed tribal lands. Harsh justice is often dealt for intruders. Snow elves are skilled at illusion, missrepresentation, non-detection, disguise, invisability, and other obscuring or deceptive magics. Having lived in isolation for so long they are misstrustful of outsiders (often preferring to kill unlucky visitors over any discussion or trial.) They have a fondness for blinding prisoners, and rarely let anyone leave their realm alive without the loss one or both eyes.
Snow elves have – at times – shared innovations, spells and geographical secrets with the Drow. The two races have a mutual distrust of all other elves and surface dwellers so have found, a few times, common ground and common cause. Snow elves helped the Drow in the early wars of the 1st age with detailed maps, spying and other recon style assistance. This was many thousands of years ago but some affinity still exists between the races. It is not uncommon that Snow elves and Drow will still share ambassadors or minimal trade arrangements. Most snow elf compounds will have a few Drow allies serving as envoys in their disorganized courts. Brute force, and magical deception (including use of traps, gylphs and other wards) are common tools of snow elves. They rarely venture into the common lands and are generally misstrusted by other elvish racial types.
They are an open-society (as are most elf cultures) and select their leaders from both sexes, for skill and power and beauty – they do not follow a code or keep any formal royalty or bloodline authority. In most cases leadership is determined by assassination – which is generally accepted by the people. Snow elves are tolerant of Free Druids and have sometimes made loose alliances with them (even human druids.) While rare, Snow elves are allowed to play a PC Free Druid. Snow elves are also tolerant of (some) Witches and often practice their own form of Tribal Witchcraft.
Language: Snow elves speak their own dialect of Elvish – called “Kaudyl”. They do not speak common Elvish Findar or common tongue (but may take them as additional languages if intelligence permits.) Snow elves also frequently communicate using small reflective mirrors from great distances – having created a highly sophisicated form of coded signals.
Physical Description: Snow elves are generally light skinned and fair. They are similar to High Elves in size and stature. They sometimes have a tint of light blue in their palor. They prefer unkempt long hair styles, and usually their hair is white, blonde or light blue. They frequently have very dark, jet-black eyes. They often dress in white or snow coloured motifs to add to stealth.
Religion: Little is known of the Snow Elf religious practice (if any exists!?) There are no clerics or preists among their clans (not allowed classes). Snow elves may become druids but remain Chaotic Neutral and may not join the Druidic Circle. Generally snow elves follow a ‘nature’ path and seem to focus on the land as a source of power; they refer to this as ‘tapping the source’ which is allowed by the Eralfast Deity Ghundestrupt (although they do not use that name.) They also practice Tribal Witchcraft gathering power from the same unnamed ‘source.’ They would not worship or bow to any being – supernatural or otherwise.
It is not uncommon to see Snow Elves practicing Tribal Witchcraft as per the PC outline “Witch.” While Druids are rare and uncommon, almost every functioning unit or clan of Snow Elves would have at least one Witch in the mix (Snow elf witches are tribal and exclusively female. They are involved in both ritualistic torture and ceremonies involving reproduction/bonding/death – from marriage to births to burials. They also serve as healers.) Despite their lasting affinity with the underworld Drow, Snow Elves find the Drow religion of Lolth (the spider queen) repulsive and demeaning to all elvish kind. Snow elves view demon creatures as their tools and servants, not the other way around. They are an amazingly confident and haughty race. Being immortal beings they feel quite comfortable in their faith that ‘gods and devils’ are mere peers and not lords of any kind.
Snow elves live in the arctic regions of Eralfast. They prefer living above the tree line and tundra on remote mountain ranges far away from other races, cities, or any signs of civilisation. The majority of Snow elves live in the northern regions of the world, but some very remote ‘lost tribes’ have settled in the southern most mountains at the bottom of the world near the region known as Alderick’s Land. They live fairly simply on the open mountain face. Being immune to the effects of the elements Snow elves live in movable clans carrying tents, and other supplies from one area to another (in a seemingly random fashion.)
They sometimes will employ or tame winter wolves, frost giants, frost dragons or other wild winter creatures/races in their ventures. Snow elves rarely have a camp or tribe that would number over 200 members. The various factions/clans will congregate at certain times for open trade, alliances, arranged marriages (called ‘Thick Blood’ ceremonies) or if confronted with a common foe. There are a few permanent Snow elf fortresses and compounds (3 are known in the northern lands, 1 is rumoured to exist in the south.) The ice fortresses are usually carved (magically) from the the mountain stone and are elaborate and stunning gathering places. Quorums of freely appointed leaders and spell casters will meet on “Star Days” to share news, history, spells, executions and other legal matters. They will then go their seperate ways.
There is no ONE RULER of the Snow elves. They have a losely commited confederation of tribes and as mentioned elsewhere are not wont to bow or serve at any alter, throne or shrine (even of their own making.) Very few visitors are allowed at these compounds. Interlopers and spies are nearly always killed. Snow elves have been known to participate in Druidic holidays/festivals and (rarely) join with non-elf witches in observation of celestial events. They do not allow outside religious practice on their cultural lands: this would include any Drow ceremonies.
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