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Elf - Selere
The Selere are a race of aquatic elves which may be used for player characters. For additional information regarding this race, read their entry in the creature compendium. Presented here are guidelines for the play of Selere characters.
The Selere are reclusive and prize their
privacy. They prefer simple lives where honest effort is returned with consistent and fair
reward. Selere elves are generally neither ambitious, nor forward looking, and prefer to let
the future take care of itself in it's own time. Their days are spent working at the same
inherited lifestyle as their parents and their evenings are occupied with leisurely games,
the pursuit of pleasure, and idle conversation. Selere are content to let their rulers make
most decisions for them and live easy lives filled with the plentiful bounty of the rich seas.
Individual Selere have long green-blond or blue-brown to
blue-black hair which is usually worn short. Longer hair styles are a general indication of
wealth and rank in society. Their eyes are slightly larger than their land-bound cousins,
are almond shaped, and often tinted brilliant and attractive rainbow hued colors. Like other
humanoid dwellers of the oceans, the Selere have increased webbing between their fingers and
toes. Their noses are broader, more sloped, and their ears are larger and more pointed than
other elven races. Selere, like the Tenerthor,
tend to adorn themselves with jewelry and tattoos. Because they must constantly swim through
the water, the Selere are powerfully built. Even the feminine half of the race are typically
substantially stronger than a fit, male-human laborer.
The Selere prefer self-isolation from the surface races and even go so far as to exact extravagant tolls and sink the boats of surface dwellers who enter into their watery kingdoms. They are enemies of the Sahuagin and Kuo-toa, but are close friends with the undersea races of the Locathah, Merfolk, and Triton. Most non-seafarers are unaware of the existence of the Selere elves. Other elven races consider the Selere to be an unexplained race of unknown origin - many do not even consider them to be a kindred race. Sailors of the seas mistrust and fear the Selere for their reputation for raiding surface dweller merchant ships.
As a society, the Selere are lawful, but individuals are typically neutral, willingly obeying the laws set by the higher classes. most display no inner desire to live a life as a benefactor, troublemaker, or extremist. They prefer to take the middle-road and live a life balanced by moderation and slowly made decisions.
Selere dwell in large cities built to form concentric circles. Each progressively interior circle of a Selere city contains a successively higher class of inhabitants, the inner most realms of the city being the gardens and estates of the ruling and leisure class of Selere. These cities are deep under water, on the ocean floor, lit by sorcerous lights of rainbow hues and guarded by trained aquatic predators and warriors. Their homes are built from scavenged parts from ocean surface vessels, magically grown from coral, carved from great blocks of underwater stone, or built from the colossal shells of long dead giant sea creatures.
Selere rarely worship gods, but Selere adventuring priests frequently choose to worship Chishleen, or other gods whose domains are related to the waters, culture, or the Deep. Illustree and Brakah are also common choices among Selere priests. Worshipers of Brakah pay homage to that god's influence over the dark (it gets really dark in the deep ocean).
Unlike many races, the Selere have developed two languages which every Selere knows. First is a musical, spoken tongue whose interpretation is heavily altered with facial expressions and subtle body language. The second language is a complete and comprehensive sign-language by which the Selere can communicate privately with their hands. Since sounds travels easily underwater, most private conversations are held by standing close to one another and using this hand-language. Their first, spoken tongue, is called Jsujulian. The hand-speak is called Jsuclaeleu. Non-natives can never hope to master either tongue and at best will only ever understand about 80% of either of these complex languages.
Selere are given a name suitable to their class. Generally speaking, the longer the name, the higher class they are a member of. As ruling and leisure class names can be quite long, members of those classes may abbreviate their names for use among their class. Most surface dwellers find Selere names difficult to pronounce and so many Selere adventurers take a second name from surface culture for the duration of their journeys through those lands. All Selere families also have a particular hand motion which is special to their home. This is how relatives know each other, even if separated by several generations and great distances. The names presented below assume the character originated from the laborer, artisan, or warrior social class. "Th", "Kuh", "Js" (zhua sound), "Ps", "Yc" or "Ic" (eyc sound, "Qz" (Qoz sound), "kp" (cup sound), "cq" (que sound, and "Ts" or "Tz" (tizss sound) are all common vocal gymnastics in the Selere language. Common male names are Psashen, Ycelian, Jsucai, Orsuasce, Jrezheli, Qzoqucshi, Kuojsalfa, Tzucleniya, Zhrathrosan, and Tsaculathah. Common female names are Psalhan, Ycalin, Jsucua, Koulla, Zhiali, Uskakli, Tzaraspsa, Qskuhsha, Thosazhasha, Tsakpthice, and Jsualcquali.
Selere adventurers are typically the rare few of their kind who are
genuinely curious about life above the ocean's surface. They depart from their aquatic lands
to seek wealth and magical devices, to become knowledgeable of surface cultures, or to live as
outsiders from their race. Most Selere find living above water to be uncomfortable and a
temporary situation because of strangeness of breathing air without water and the itchiness of
dry skin caused by prolonged time out of water. Adventurer Selere are assumed to have overcome
these discomforts and problems, having adapted themselves to live either above or below water
with equal ease. As companions, Selere often take a supporting role in the party. They make
fine warriors, druids, bards, and sorcerers.
Selere Racial Traits