The Viryuni Elves
This elven tribe separated from their brethren when they reached the shores and sailed into the sea. Called 'sea elves' by other races, they are often confused with the legends about merfolk and aquatic elves, when in reality they are just excellent sailors. Where the landlocked elves feel a kinship to the land and its animals, the Viryuni feel the same with the tides and the creatures of the ocean. They have a series of settlements in an archipelago off the eastern coast of the main continent, united in a very loose organization. Viryuni ships are the fastest and most maneuverable to sail the seas and even seem to move by their own accord. As excellent navigators that they are, these elves trade with almost all of the coastal nations, exchanging information as well as merchandise. Some Viryuni are pirates, and it takes another Viryuni to catch them.
The months they spent at sea stretch to centuries, giving the Viryuni a deep copper tan not seen in any other elven tribe.
The core of Viryuni society is the crew. A ship's crew is like an extended family, with all members expressing a kinship and loyalty that other races reserve to close family. The captain is more than the ship's owner; he is also the ship's patriarch, regardless of age. All Viryuni ships carry with them a sea witch, a sorceress, druid or shaman that specializes in talking with the spirits of wind and ocean. The sea witch is, more often than not, the captain's wife and the ship's matriarch. The positions of captain and sea witch are hereditary, but can be contested in a ritual challenge.
Stable and larger communities are ruled by a retired captain and a small council of elder warriors and sea witches in separate courts. The chieftain is in charge of most major decisions for the community, with the two courts handling the day-to-day business. The position of chieftain is never hereditary, but a Viryuni remains in this position until he dies or steps down.
Roving ships fish and trade, bringing their surplus to the communities to complement the algae they grow and food they catch in the sea.
Player Character Information
Viryuni elf characters have the following characteristics:
Personality: Viryuni are outgoing and cantankerous. They live their lives to the fullest, enjoying every little breeze and every major storm. They are extremely open-minded, given that they must interact with a great number of races and nations in their travels and trading, and it serves little to offend the people paying one to carry their cargo. Although generally trusting, they are no fools and they smile only outwardly until they are sure they can trust someone.
Physical Description: The sailing elves are slightly smaller and stockier than the more common high elves. Their deeply tanned skin immediately sets them apart from their cousins and is a matter of great pride for them, arguing that they carry the sun's blessing under their skin, rather than reflect it. Males have hair in pale whites and blonds, which they grow long and tie back either in a ponytail or in dreadlocks adorned with colored beads. Females have a very strange array of hair color, with green being the most predominant, but ranging also from blue to deep black, which they wear very long and wild. Both genders dress in very scant clothing, with males favoring trousers and a sash with the occasional vest and females using a variety of skirts and rags, with a simple top covering their chest. Tattoos are not frowned upon, but are not a norm either, for the Viryuni respect the purity of their skin as it is touched by the ocean sun.
Relations: Viryuni elves get along with most of everybody. They do not forge nation-wide alliances, as there is hardly a Viryuni nation to begin with. These elves preder to forge relationships with individual cities, treating a trade partner's child as they did his parent when making a deal, given their longer lifespan.
Alignment: They adore their freedom but respect certain rules that help in their survival in the fickle ocean waters, marking them as neutral. Their intentions are mostly good, but there are certain pirates who turn to evil, although they do not last long until another Viryuni ship brings them down.
Viryuni Lands: The Emerald Archipelago is the homeland of the Viryuni, or at least where they have their towns. They build small communities along the islands' coasts but do not consider their collective a kingdom, therefore lacking any central authority. There are times when several chieftains gather into a strong alliance to deal with a common enemy, and the sight of a full Viryuni fleet is enough to deter most invaders.
Religion: Being exposed to a great number of traditions in their travels and crossing the lands of several gods, the Viryuni only give a respectful nod to major deities, reserving their true worship to the spirits. They give a token devotion to half a dozen ocean deities but have no true racial patron.
Language: Viryuni elves speak Elvish fluently but seldom write it, relaying on oral tradition and hands-on experience to pass down their lore.
Adventurers: Viryuni are adventurers by definition, and the roving elf is more the rule than the exception. They do not like to leave the sea but their wanderlust can easily extend to the sights to see inland. They shine when they join the crew of another ship and are a very esteemed addition.
Art and story © 2002-2008 Alejandro Melchor.
Nahast Campaign Setting and Product Identity © 2002-2008 Proyecto Nahast
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