One of my goals with Stockings & Steam is to create an interesting take on both steampunk and noir, and I decided to use nor-human races to explore themes of difference and racism. The first one to be included was of course elves, but I didn’t want them to be the traditional pointy-eared adventurers we all know and love from the dungeons of dragons or the running of shadows.
Today I’m presenting a very general overview of the elvan, and provide rules for playing one via the Races extra (more on that later). We’ll be looking more in-depth at the various tribes of elvan, and the concept of the Elvarii Nation, in tomorrow’s update. The day after that will be notable Factions, NPCs, and Locations centred around the elvan in Victoria City and Ayellon at large.
Juicy details after the break.
The elvan are the recognised First People of Ayellon. They are willowy, sometimes lanky, and humans always find their presence mildly disconcerting. It is hard to maintain eye contact with one, and every aspect of their culture and body language feels slightly off. Their skin tone are shades of silver and grey, with hair and eyes of earthy browns and oranges.
Originally they lived deep within the dense and shadowy forests of the Inner and Outer Dales. When the Anglean Empire was founded the Treaty of Marlon gave them the rights to live outside of imperial law and keep their own religion.
Two hundred years ago their god Cy Cwynhule fought a great evil in the heavens, dying in the process. His divinity split into four distinct elvan exalted: High Cwyn, Celador Summer Stag, Elalie the Burning Maidne, and The Morrighan.
The wild Maswy chose to stay in their homelands with Celador. The Star Elvan followed High Cwyn out into civilisation and flourished as imperial citizens. The Kal-Varathi wander in family tribes under the watchful smile of Elalie. Lastly the Shandowel under The Morrighan are oppressed by the Star Elvan but otherwise accepted by humans.
In their day to day lives the elvan are best described as lackadaisical, seemingly taking everything at a much slower and much more deliberate pace. Why do something now when you can do half today and the rest tomorrow? To humans this can come across as lazy and arrogant, but there is much more complexity than that. An elvan will often have up to a dozen projects slowly boiling away, each one bubbling to the surface to receive more attention before sinking into the background again. Because of this elvan tend to work two jobs part-time or change jobs on a regular basis.
Playing an Elvan
Permission: A racial aspect identifying you as an elvan.
Cost: One refresh. Zero or more stunts.
Invoke your racial aspect to notice what others would miss. Compel your racial aspect when you abandon what you know for something new.
Racial Stunts: When you identify as elvan, take one of the following stunts for free. The rest may be purchased as normal.
- Arcane Sight (Use Lore or Awareness when detecting the presence of magic.)
- Factotum (+1d when rolling a mediocre or average skill if you can tie it into a job or hobby you used to have. You cannot use the same reason twice.)
- Strange Psyche (+1d when defending against [Enchanting] magic. Invoke your racial aspect to prevent becoming [Dominated].)
Today’s Lesson: Do something different.