Roses of Britain
Ability Scores: +2 Intelligence; +2 Dexterity or +2 Charisma
Speed: 6 squares
Languages: English, Elven
Skill Bonuses: +2 Arcana, +2 History
Eladrin Education: See Player’s Handbook pg 38 or Heroes of the Fallen Lands pg. 254.
Eladrin Weapon Proficiency: See Player’s Handbook pg 38 or Heroes of the Fallen Lands pg. 254.
Eladrin Will: See Player’s Handbook pg 38 or Heroes of the Fallen Lands pg. 254.
Fey Origin: See Player’s Handbook pg 38 or Heroes of the Fallen Lands pg. 254.
Trance: See Player’s Handbook pg 38 or Heroes of the Fallen Lands pg. 254.
Fey Step: See Player’s Handbook pg 38 or Heroes of the Fallen Lands pg. 254.
Legend holds that the eladrin, elves, and drow diverged ages ago from a single race of mighty fey lords, creatures known only as the Youthful Ones. Beings of stunning beauty and tempestuous hearts, this race wandered the primeval thickets and enchanted glades of the Feywild when the world was newly born, and the boundaries between Earth and Faerie were indistinct. In most tales, the creator of the Youthful Ones was a deity with deep bonds to the Feywild, although the name of this god has long been forgotten in England. Pagans from Ireland claim that it was their lost mother-goddess, Danu, that gave birth to the Youthful Ones. The marauding Northmen that once descended on Britain named the creator as Freyr, their lusty god of the fields and rains, who still sits as regent on the throne of the golden Alfheim, deep in the Feywild. The eladrin, for their part, usually grin to themselves when a human suggests this or that deity as the probable creator of their ancestors. Most of the gods worshiped by humankind were not even born when the Youthful Ones walked the Feywild. Whatever power gave life to the ancestral race most likely withdrew from mortal concerns long ago. One legend that is popular among some scholars of the ancient world asserts that the creator of the Youthful Ones was actually a magnificent fey overqueen, a being who still secretly claims the entire Feywild as her dominion and who is herself the bastard daughter of the air primordial Uranus. Perhaps tellingly, the eladrin are not as quick to dismiss this theory.
Primal magic has clouded and fragmented the ancient history of the Feywild, and sages are uncertain about the events that led to the splitting of the Youthful Ones into the distinct races of the eladrin, elves, and drow. Most eladrin and elven scholars believe that one faction of the Youthful Ones perpetrated a fearsome betrayal on their kin, triggering a civil war throughout the Feywild. The drow are said to be the descendants of these traitors, banished to the Underdark of Earth as punishment for their allegedly heinous crimes. It was at this time that Earth and Faerie began to drift apart, although tales differ as whether the treachery of the drow was the source of this shift, or merely one of its effects. Many fey crossings began to vanish forever, and the Youthful Ones who opposed the drow were forced to make a momentous choice. Two factions emerged, with the eladrin remaining in the Feywild, and the elves electing to settle on Earth.
The strongest bastions of eladrin power have always been located in the Feywild, but the race did not abandon Earth entirely after the war with the drow. Ruins and relics of distinctly eladrin origin attest to the race’s presence in Albion for at least six thousand years, and possibly much earlier. Drawn to sites of natural beauty and arcane power, the eladrin ventured into the island’s densest forests and most forbidding dales, constructing wondrous Earth-bound sanctums called brightholds as a testament to their race’s might and prestige. However, eladrin strength in Albion reached its zenith early, and the history of the race for the past five millennia has been one of decline. Over the ages, their brightholds fell to more warlike races, especially orcs and giants, who struck the eladrin with unsettling ferocity and maliciousness. Due to such losses, the presence of the eladrin in England has ebbed gradually but steadily for millennia. The arrival of Christianity in Britain served to ensure the seclusion of the remaining members of the race. Due their people’s pride and vanity, the eladrin never submitted to the authority of Britain’s human rulers, whether they were Welsh god-kings or Roman governors. However, as the old Anglo-Saxon kingoms of the Heptarchy converted to Christinaity in the seventh century, the eladrin of Britain were commanded to do likewise, often at the tip of a bloody sword. This galled the eladrin, hastening their retreat from the world and souring the race on England’s human rulers for generations. Today, the eladrin hold only a small number of their ancient brightholds in England, although these have weathered thousands of years of conflict and are unlikely to fall while the eladrin still breathe. Moreover, most of these remaining eladrin brightholds are located in remote areas and cloaked with arcane trickery, the better to shield them from the gaze of jealous human nobles and bishops.
Place in the World
Despite King Henry’s open hostility to the fey in his kingdom, the eladrin have been spared from much of the Crown’s wrath. The king has arrayed the bulk of his resources against the elves, who are more numerous than the eladrin and more likely to clash with human settlements, often over the valuable resources of their forest dominions. The eladrin, in comparison, are much more reclusive, not to mention well-protected from human aggression within their ancestral brightholds. Most eladrin lords are content to wait out King Henry’s rapacious rule, but some whisper than when the House of Tudor has brought all the elven enclaves under its control, the king will turn his attention to the eladrin and their vaults filled with arcane secrets.
The population of eladrin in England has declined significantly in the past thousand years or so, but the race can still be found in small numbers in almost every corner of the Kingdom. The race has no settlements of its own in England, apart from the few ancient brightholds that are still under their control. Hidden away in locales of breathtaking natural splendor far from civilization, these brightholds serve as sanctuaries where the eladrin can pursue their passions and hone their abilities in secret. Despite the seclusion and protection afforded by their brightholds, many English eladrin elect to pursue a wandering existence, seeking out arcane lore and lost treasures wherever they might be found. The Crown regards organized fey forces as a threat, but a solitary eladrin can move through most areas freely without fear of persecution at the hands of human authorities. The common folk, however, are another matter, as they almost always respond to the sight of an eladrin with a blend of awe and fear. Most English humans regard eladrin as remnants of the vanishing heathen world, and believe them to be decadent beings who command unearthly arcane and primal power. Exacerbating this perception are distorted Irish tales of eladrin nobles who once served the pagan gods as terrifying knights-errant and bathed in the blood of children. Fantastic stories such as these amuse English eladrin, who are not above using the misconceptions of foolish humans to their advantage.
The majority of English eladrin heroes are wizards, as the class suits their natural inclination towards rigorous study and their talent for delicate manipulation of arcane energies. Other eladrin elect to pursue the path of the artificier, ranger, rogue, or swordmage. Christian eladrin are nearly unknown in England, and most members of the race make no secret of their disdain for the Son of God and his saints. Those eladrin that worship a deity usually devote themselves to one of the Mabinogi, most often Lleu, out of admiration for his excellence in every endeavor he pursues. However, many eladrin do not venerate any higher powers at all, preferring to place their faith in their own abilities rather than otherworldly entities.