airwalkrr's Out of the Abyss
The elves of Greyhawk share a common heritage going back eons. However, they have diverged over time.
There are three high elf varieties in Greyhawk, high elves (standard), gray elves, and valley elves. Player characters are limited to playing the high elf (standard) variety.
High elves (standard) are the elves most commonly encountered by other races, and the most open and friendly of their kind. They travel to other lands more than other elves. They’re generally dark-haired and green-eyed, with very pale complexions the color of new cream. They simply do not tan, no matter how much time they spend under Oerth’s sun. High elves prefer to wear light pastels, blues and greens and violets, and often dwell in homes built into living wood, high in the trees.
Gray elves are the most noble of elves, yet also the most arrogant. They are of higher intellectual capabilities than other elves, but, despite the fact they are taller than high elves, they are physically weaker. They live in isolated mountain strongholds, and rarely allow access to outsiders. They have silver hair and amber eyes, or gold hair and violet eyes, and wear clothes of white, silver, yellow and gold, and usually wear regally colored cloaks. Those with gold hair are generally called faeries. They worship the standard elven pantheon. House Rule: gray elves have +2 to Intelligence and -1 to Strength instead of +1 to Intelligence.
Closely related to gray elves, valley elves are the tallest of their kind, as tall as humans. They dwell only within the Valley of the Mage, though agents are occasionally sent outwards on missions for the master of the Vale. Because of their height, they can often pass as and infiltrate the societies of humans. Other elves despise valley elves, believing they’ve sold out their dignity and independence for the fleeting protection of a human wizard – even worse that his lieutenant is a drow. They call the valley elves by a disparaging name in their own language that connotates to “automaton” or “slave.”
There are two varieties of wood elves in Greyhawk, wood elves (standard) and wild elves (Grugach). Player characters are limited to playing the wood elf (standard) variety.
Wood elves (standard) are a reclusive subrace. They place more emphasis on strength than learning. Wood elves are considered by other elven subraces (particularly the austere gray elves) to be boisterous and hedonistic. They have a zest for life and pleasure. They are more neutral than most elves, except the valley elves and grugach. Their complexions are fair, their hair is yellow to coppery red, and their eyes are light brown, light green, or hazel. They wear russets, reds, browns, and tans. Their cloaks are usually green or reddish brown.
The most reclusive of all the elves, the wild elves (also known as the Grugach) pride themselves on their isolation and skill at keeping hidden. Their skin tends to be brown and they have similar colored hair which lightens with age.
Dark Elf (Drow)
The “black elves” are only legend to most in the Flanaess. They are as dark as gray elves are bright and as evil as the latter are good. Once surface elves themselves, they were transformed into drow and banished to the Underdark when they fell to the worship of demons and gods of elemental evil. Of all the elves they are the only ones that are inherently malevolent, and they hate their cousins with an undying passion. They are smaller than their cousins, both shorter and thinner. In addition, their skin resembles polished obsidian, and their hair is snow-white or silver. House Rule: drow are universally evil. The only exception is drow whose alignment has been transformed by powerful magic, such as a cursed magic item of opposite alignment. Such exceptions are extremely rare.
House Rule: due to the nature of the campaign, players of drow characters should develop the background of the character with the assistance of the DM. Drow player characters will generally have a background of being dishonored, downfallen, or otherwise disassociated from drow society in some form.
House Rule: male drow have +1 to Intelligence instead of +1 to Charisma. Female drow are unchanged.