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The Dusk Elf is a player character race in 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons. It is an elf subrace represented by taking the Dusk Elf Stealth feat, but are otherwise mechanically identical to normal elves. [Dr382:68]

History

During the great elven civil war, when the machinations of Lolth against Corellon and Sehanine saw the eladrin and elf races fighting each other in emulation of their gods, there were elf-kin who refused to take part.[Dr382:68] [1] Their reasons for doing so were manifold, and thus their numbers included elves who had once favored Lolth's overbold teachings and others who had loved Corellon best. [2] Ultimately, these neutral elves chose to escape the conflict by fleeing to the mortal world.[Dr382:68] [3] They were, in fact, some of the first elves to settle in the mortal world. [4]

Despite their reasons for departing, their flight angered the elves and eladrin who remained locked in their civil war, with the neutrals being denounced as traitors and Corellon declaring he would have vengeance for their cowardice. Only Sehanine took mercy on them; their actions were fitting for those who embraced her tenets. So, when the war ended and the victorious elf-kin began seeking vengeance on the former neutrals, Sehanine intervened; she gathered them into hidden enclaves and sheltered them from discovery with her magic, declaring them her chosen people.[Dr382:68] [5]

Over the generations, the wrath of the elf-kin towards this lost tribe, now known as the Dusk Elves, has largely cooled, and even Corellon's anger has dimmed; individuals may still bear ancestral grudges against the dusk elves, but there is no cultural antipathy towards them anymore.[Dr382:68] [6] The exception is amongst the drow; Lolth still resents the dusk elves for not fighting on her side, goading her followers to deliver her dusk elf blood in retribution, and the dusk elves hate the drow for causing their flight in the first place; the enmity between these two races is more intense even than the normal enmity between drow and eladrin or elves. [7]

Physical Qualities

Dusk elves resemble elves in most physical details, save that their coloration is much paler than their primal kinsfolk. Dusk elf complexions tend to be pale as moonlight, with fair hair and light blue or violet eyes. They favor subdued colors and are rarely ostentatious in their apparel.[Dr382:68]

Characteristics

Dusk elves are a furtive, haunted and suspicious people. (source: Drg382) Their staid and cautious personalties can be very surprising to those more familiar with normal elves, and they are also given to darker moods and emotions than most elves. (source: HOS) Although culture dictates that they restrict their emotions to a narrow range, showing little joy and less grief, they are actually a people of deep feeling - only when alone or among a trusted few will they fully express the intensity of their feelings. (source: drg382) They value their privacy, both personal and territorial, and are prone to reflections on nature, their people's history, and the plans Sehanine has for them, which often gives way into full-fledged melancholy.[Dr382:69]

Dusk elves, especially adventurers, tend to be sensitive about their reputations, and might go overboard in efforts to prove their loyalty.[Dr382:69]

Common Dusk Elf Characteristics: Constant, detached, furtive, melancholic, quiet, reserved, secretive, sly, somber[Dr382:69]

Culture

Dusk elf culture is heavily shaped by the reasons behind their withdrawal into seclusion and their flight from the Feywild.

Unlike other elves, who are defined by their closeness to and appreciation of the natural world, dusk elves view the mortal world as a prison, albeit a beautiful one. As a race, they pine for the Feywild their ancestors were driven from and yearn to return there.[Dr382:69]

Due to the wrath of Corellon, and the protection of Sehanine, dusk elves have all but abandoned the former in favor of the latter. Sehanine is the supreme deity of the dusk elf enclaves, whilst worship of Corellon is actively forbidden.[Dr382:68] [8] A dusk elf will traditionally never lift prayer or song to Corellon, due to his rejection of them. [9] Despite this, there are still a few Corellon loyalists within the dusk elf enclaves, although they keep their beliefs to themselves to avoid ostracism and exile.[Dr382:69]

Other deities worshipped in dusk elf society include the Raven Queen[Dr382:68] [10], Melora[Dr382:68] [11] and Ioun[Dr382:69]. There are persistent rumors of hidden Lolth cultists amongst their ranks as well.[Dr382:69]

Amongst other defenses, dusk elf enclaves are guarded by a dedicated order of protectors called "gloaming guardians", whose job is drive away or stop potential interlopers into dusk elf lands at any cost. Gloaming guardians are the dusk elves with the most contact with outsider races.[Dr382:69]

In addition to the gloaming guardians, dusk elf society trains an elite caste of warriors called the "darkening blades", whose role is to avenge wrongdoings done to dusk elf society. They are most likely to be deployed against forces whose threats have forced dusk elves to flee one of their enclaves. The Darkening Blade Paragon Path mechanically represents membership in this order.[Dr382:69]

Dusk elf adventurers favor illusion, trickery, stealth and shadow magic over more traditional elven methods. [12]

Trivia

  • Whilst dusk elves precede the retcon allowing elves to take +2 Intelligence at character creation instead of +2 Wisdom, their racial association with arcane magic (illusions) and shadow magic suggests that a Dusk Elf character would be best served with the Intelligence bonus.
  • Whilst it is inferred that dusk elves use arcane and shadow magic illusions to protect their holdings, it is not explicitly stated in either version of their lore.
  • The article index for Dragon #382 refers to dusk elves as "twilight elves". This name, which might be an alternative nickname or an early-development title for them, is not referenced anywhere else.
  • Player's Option: Heroes of Shadow implies that there are dusk elf enclaves either in the Shadowfell or close to Shadowfell planar crossings, but this is never explicitly stated.
  • The adventure Fair Barovia in Dungeon #207 states that there is a small enclave of dusk elves in the Domain of Dread of Barovia. This enclave consists of a single clan, the Velikovnas, who reside in the woods near the town of Vallaki and make up 5% of its population of 1,500 (with half-elves, presumably of dusk elf heritage, making up another 5%).

Dusk Elf feats

Dusk Elf Paragon paths

  • Heroes of Shadow 135
  • Heroes of Shadow 135
  • Heroes of Shadow 135
  • Heroes of Shadow 135
  • Heroes of Shadow 135
  • Heroes of Shadow 135
  • Heroes of Shadow 135
  • Heroes of Shadow 135
  • Heroes of Shadow 135
  • Heroes of Shadow 135
  • Heroes of Shadow 135
  • Heroes of Shadow 135
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