Isolated from the rest of their kind after the great war, their homeland set ablaze, on the run through hostile territory, and beset on all sides by orc war bands, the small tribe of elves that would become ash elves turned to the only source of aid in the dark wilderness they now called home: the dark powers that inhabited the Grey. All too happy to gain foothold in the material realm once again, the shadowy fiends held up their end of the bargain. The ash elves not only survived; they thrived in their new homeland and slowly established a sprawling nation in the frozen north.
Ash elves dwell in the furthest northern reaches of Adra, a place few others dare to travel. These frozen plains are known as the Frostlands, but the ash elves call them Ael-Kar: New Home. There was a time that these realms were summer hunting grounds for the nearby orc clans. Since the great war, they have been settled by ash elf refugees who slowly turned the inhospitable lands into a small kingdom.
Relationship with Elvenkind
The elves of Ael-Kar have a cold relationship with their kin. When they were originally cut off from their homelands by the orcs, the ash elves sent messengers to the elven kingdoms for aid. None came. Unable to defend themselves from the overwhelming numbers of orcs, they made fell pacts in order to defend the remnants of their tribe. Despite having saved their people, the rest of elvenkind did not look kindly on their intermingling with fiends. Though they are not openly hostile, most other elves now consider the ash elves to be the among basest of creatures, below even non-elvenkind.
Though they have made deals with evil creatures, the ash elves do not consider themselves evil, nor do they sink to the levels of depravity of the drow. Instead, they are highly pragmatic and most are quite lawful compared to other elves. They do what they must to survive, and pay the price when it comes due. They do not, however, speak of the price that was due for the pact that would taint their bloodline, though hushed whispers among other elven races speak of a dark tithe paid in innocent lives and an eternity of servitude in the hereafter.
Ash Elves Traits
When you create a elf character, you may select the ash elf as an alternative to the subraces in the Player’s Handbook.
Ability Score Modifier. Your Charisma or Wisdom score increases by 1.
Arctic Camouflage. You have advantage on Dexterity (stealth) checks to hide in snow covered terrain.
Fiendish Resistance. You have resistance against fire and cold damage. You automatically pass saving throws to resist extreme heat or cold.
Dark One’s Curse. You can cast the hex spell once using this trait. You regain the ability to do so when you finish a short or long rest.
“Dark pacts always have a price.”
- Seamus the Bard