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Aquatic elves (also called sea elves and Alu'Tel'Quessir in their own tongue), are water-breathing cousins to land-dwelling elves. They live amid the waves and the ocean depths with allies such as dolphins and whales. Aquatic elves fight underwater with tridents, spears, and nets.
Although they are of the same subrace, aquatic elves from the Great Sea have a different appearance to those from the Sea of Fallen Stars. The former have deep green skin, mottled and striped with brown. The latter have blue skin with white strips and patches. Both groups are robust and tall with long limbs, and long, thickly webbed digits. Their hair is usually thick and somewhat stringy, and can be blue, black silver or even occasionally red. The most unusual feature is the gills visible in their necks and over their ribs.
Sea elves are either lightly clad or wear no clothes at all. Their clothes are formed from underwater plants, in blacks, browns and greens. Warriors clip their hair, but other sea elves wear it long and flowing.
Aquatic elves are isolationist by their physical nature, and by choice – though they are not quite as reclusive as the wild elves. They trust only themselves, their clan, and no others. They cannot understand why the surface elves do not understand that community and alliances mean survival, whereas rivalry and factionalism means death. Their alliances with other elves are not based on racial affinity but on gain. A clear example of this is the alliance between the sea elves of Lake Sember and the land elves of Semberholme. The aquatic elves merely want to maintain their colony in Lake Sember and protect Semberholme as part of the deal. However this caution is tempered with curiosity and sea elves can spend much time secretly observing the land bound races.
Aquatic elven society is based on family and clan – and although females can and do wield power they are patriarchal. Noble families rule, but in a benign and loose fashion rather than with an iron fist. Families or individuals may own their dwelling but most other property is held in common. Such communal ownership means theft is almost unknown.
The majority of aquatic elves live in the Sea of Fallen Stars, and the Great Sea. However smaller communities can be found along the western coast and in Lake Sember.
A large community of several thousand sea elves exists around the island of Evermeet. King Elashor, residing in the city of Iumathiashae (or "Mother of Pearls"), holds sway over this realm. The sea elves of this area defend Evermeet from the many undersea threats such as sahuagins and scrags.
Art and leisureEdit
The special acoustics of a watery environment lend themselves to music, and sea elves are exposed to the eerie and beautiful songs of the whales and other denizens of the deep. It is not surprising that aquatic elven bards have a range of powerful and evocative songs.
Magic and religionEdit
Sea elves are the least magical of the elven races, although they still have as many mages as human realms. Those who are spellcasters devote their long life spans to study and become extremely skilled. They have developed a range of waterproof magical items, and a system of writing underwater.
Most aquatic elves revere Deep Sashelas, an undersea god of knowledge and beauty. Some are known to worship Istishia.
Aquatic elves were the last of the elven races to reach Faerûn, and have always kept themselves somewhat apart from their land bound kin. At first they were nomadic wanderers but gradually they began to form separate communities. Sea elves have had a somewhat warlike history. They attempted to stay aloof from the Crown Wars, but this failed and the destruction and turbulence spread to their homes, driving some of the Great Sea elves north into the Sea of Fallen Stars. They have repeatedly battled with the evil underwater races, especially the sahuagin, but at times they have also fought against merfolk, and other goodly races. One such war led to a group of refugees forming the colony in Lake Sember.