Noviere and the Eladrin

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The Locals Noviere and the Eladrin [Race] Copyright © 1999 by Galen Musbach

DescriptionNoviere are the aquatic form of the Eladrin, a chaotic good planar race. Their principal habitat is Ossa, the green sea, which forms the second layer of Arborea. Ossaen Noviere are semi-nomadic, forming only temporary settlements. Noviere in Ossa may appear as Nereids, Sea Elves, Merfolk, Naiads (Nymphs), Sirines, Nixies (Sprite), Selkies, or Tritons, as well as any other aquatic hominids - even Sahuagin, although they do so very rarely. In Element form, Noviere are often mistaken for dolphins.

Ossa supports a tremendous population of plant and animal life (as well as the occasional monster to challenge heroes), while the many islands are a popular retreat for people who dislike company. The Noviere tend to show up when their presence is needed, but it would be presumptuous to depend on them.

Noviere are also found in the Oceanus River, where they travel steadily; there doesn't seem to be a specific destination for these travels, but it's in the nature of Oceanus to encourage travel, so they comply.

The Blue Sea of Thalassia is more civilized than most Noviere seem to prefer, but they are nevertheless sometimes found here. Noviere in the Blue Sea scavenge from underwater wrecks and trade salvage to the surface dwellers; they don't appear to actually need anything that they can't get for themselves, but it's in the nature of the Thalassian Sea to support trade, so they comply. Noviere in the Blue Sea have been known to impersonate Sahuagin and members of other evil aquatic races while punishing those whose actions, while perhaps within the law, fail to show proper compassion for others; they are especially likely to punish crimes against the innocent. [Sharp trading is the most likely offense; or crimes of the heart, such as an arranged marriage or the dishonorable exploitation of a young girl's affection.]

Noviere found in the lakes of Bytopia are usually of the Crafter Kit (50%), and are typically in a cooperative association with a surface community of some other race. While the Noviere settlement may be long established, individual Noviere are usually apprentices, and return to Ossa when they reach Journeying rank.

Noviere in the Silver Sea are often solitary Greater Eladrin; a community of Noviere found here will often be led by an Elder Noviere. The Lawful influence of Mount Celestia tends to make these Noviere wax philosophical; eventually, this induces a retreat to a solitary hermitage on Ossa. It is has been claimed that Noviere advancement (Lesser-Greater, Greater-Elder) is most likely to occur during this isolation.

Noviere on the Prime are either Greater (or Elder) Eladrin, or are closely connected to a community led by one; Lesser Eladrin are unable to survive unassisted on the Prime, and will die (as of 'thirst') if deprived of Celestial Energy. Employing their spell-like abilities or granted powers will consume this energy quickly. Greater Eladrin are able to retain a connection to the Upper Planes almost everywhere, even on the Inner Planes, although they do suffer casting level loss as would a cleric whose Power is in the Upper Planes.

Like all Eladrin, Noviere possess an Element form; in their case, a size M ellipsoid of water and non-corporeal magical force. In air, this form maneuvers at Fly24A; when travelling through the water, this form assumes the streamlined appearance of a dolphin, and can move at SW24. The hominid form of a Noviere has MV15, SW15, Fly9C [they can alter self to add ribbed wings between their arms and their bodies, and extend oversize flippers from their feet]. Greater Noviere are somewhat faster in Element form, at Fly30A, SW30; Elder Eladrin have Fly48A, SW48 in Element Form, and MV18, SW18, Fly12C in hominid form.

Defenses: Like all Eladrin above the Coure, Noviere are immune to injuries from electricity and magical force, and are not harmed by non-magical weapons not cold-forged from iron. Magical weapons require a +1 or better to hit Lesser Eladrin, +2 or better to hit Greater Eladrin, and +3 or better to hit Elder Eladrin. [In hominid form, attacks from ordinary weapons heal too quickly to be considered harmful; in Element form, such attacks have no effect at all.] Eladrin are able to injure creatures whose weapon immunity does not exceed their own by any successful direct attack. They are unaffected by Aging or Withering attacks; while in Element form, they are also immune to severing attacks. Greater and Elder Noviere are also immune to acid damage, while Lesser Eladrin take half-damage (saving throw for quarter damage).

Noviere also take half-damage (with a save for quarter damage) from cold or gas attacks, but are immune to normal aquatic environmental cold or gas damage, such as from near-freezing water or 'Bends' from depth excursions or depth changes.

All Eladrin are vulnerable to attacks from cold-forged non-magical iron weapons; Lesser Eladrin sustain double damage from such attacks. Noviere are also vulnerable to fire attacks, although their aquatic environment provides considerable protection (note that a lightning bolt spell used underwater is still an electrical attack). Lesser Eladrin take full damage from poison attacks, but Greater and Elder Eladrin sustain only half-damage from poison (with a save for quarter damage).

Lesser Eladrin have a base AC of 4, which otherwise functions as the armor spell (W1), except that it has permanent duration; most Eladrin receive dexterity adjustments to AC as well. Greater Eladrin have a base AC of 0, which consists of an armor effect (W1) at AC2 and a +2 Protection bonus (as the Ring); Greater Eladrin also have an enhanced dexterity of 17, which applies a -3 AC adjustment. Elder Eladrin receive a +4 Protection bonus, for a base AC of -2, and also have the -3 dexterity adjustment (AC-5). In Element form, Lesser and Greater Noviere have a base AC of -3, while Elder Noviere have a base AC of -5.

Eladrin have magic resistance at 5% per HD (not casting level); they can lower this resistance at will, but are normally reluctant to do so.

Lesser Noviere can wield magic as a priest of the same level as their HD in any aquatic region of any Upper Plane; this includes the Silver, Blue, and Green Seas, as well as the river Oceanus and Bytopian lakes. It also applies to aquatic regions of Ysgard and the Outlands. In regions without large bodies of natural water, Noviere lose casting levels as would a priest whose Power is based on Arborea (Ossa); this also applies on planes which are not Upper Planes. [Noviere who have actually entered the direct service of a Power follow different rules.] Lesser Noviere are unable to acquire clerical spells on the Arborean layer of Pelion, but this does not affect the use of any spells that they may already possess.

Noviere Eladrin typically have major access to spells from the following clerical spheres: All, Animal, Astral, Charm, Combat (cloud of purification replaces flame strike), Creation, Divination, Elemental Water, Healing, Necromantic (positive only), Plant, Protection, Summoning, Sun (light only), Travelers, Weather.

Like all Eladrin, Noviere can cure light wounds, detect evil, or comprehend languages at will; they can alter self, vox, or generate illusions at will as well. As Lesser Eladrin, they can surround themselves in a 60 ft aura of light which is as bright as daylight at will.

Noviere also have the type-specific abilities to charm person at will, or to mirror image themselves. They can induce a slow effect that causes the subjects to feel as though they are moving through partially congealed water, and which affects all beings within a 20 ft radius of the center of effect, which can be up to 120 yards away; any particular evocation of a slow bubble lasts 1 turn, but each Noviere can invoke another slow bubble 1/round. [Noviere are the only Eladrin besides the Coure who cannot generate a true wall effect as an innate ability.]

A Lesser Noviere can bestow water breathing 1/day at a duration of 1 hour per casting level, a Greater Noviere can bestow water breathing 1/day for a day, and Elder Noviere can bestow water breathing at will with a duration of a day.

Noviere can also invoke a lance of disruption (W3, PO:S&M); Lesser Noviere can use it 1/day, but Greater and Elder Noviere can employ the effect at will. In air, the lance is a cylinder of 5 ft diameter and 60 long; in water, the lance is 25 ft in diameter and 80 feet long. In either environment, the lance inflicts 5d4 points of conclusive damage, plus 2 points per casting level of magical force damage (as magic missile). Other Eladrin caught in the area of effect are immune to the magical force damage, but sustain full damage from the concussion (save vs spell for half) unless in element form, in which case they sustain half-damage (save vs spell for quarter damage). The effect of the lance can be blocked by heavy cover, which can absorb the blast damage; light cover would simply be destroyed.

Greater Noviere have the abilities common to all Greater Eladrin: They can become invisible (W4, Imp. Inv.), and can detect invisible (W2) or employ ESP (W2) at will; they are also surrounded by a continuously active protection from evil 10 ft radius effect. The Gaze attack of a Greater Noviere inflicts blindness for 2d10 rounds on any evil opponent of 5 HD or less that meets her gaze and fails a saving throw vs PPDM. Greater Eladrin cast spells at 2 levels above their HD; they have enhanced strength [18(00)], and dexterity [17].

Once per day, a Greater Noviere can summon a 15 ft radius sphere of holy water; against vulnerable creatures immersed in the effect, this causes 8d4 points of damage (MR does not apply; a successful saving throw indicates partial immersion). This ability functions in air or water [for that matter, it functions in the fires of Muspelheim, but causes a secondary steam explosion]. The sphere of holy water can be summoned with a center of effect up to 60 yards away.

Elder Noviere have the abilities common to all Elder Eladrin: aura of power, 20 ft radius; charm monster (W4), hold monster (W5), dispel magic (P3), teleport without error (W7), or polymorph any object (W8) at will. Elder cast spells at 4 levels above their HD; they have further enhanced strength [19], and enhanced dexterity [17]. The Gaze attack of an Elder Noviere kills any evil opponent of 5 HD or less that meets her gaze and fails a saving throw vs PPDM; if the save succeeds, the opponent is still blinded for 2d10 rounds. Non-evil opponents, or opponents of more than 5 HD, are blinded if they fail their save and unaffected if they succeed. Elder Noviere can evoke a 15 radius sphere of holy water at will, as discussed above.

Noviere are more likely to avoid a fight than they are to engage in one, so most of their common weapons are tools used underwater: nets, tridents, and long daggers being most popular. Noviere are not restricted to these weapons, and often employ javelins if provoked into a planned attack- including Javelins of Lightning. They can construct underwater crossbows, and sometimes use a heavy variant to launch grapples against a ship, but are more likely to move away from a hostile community than fight it-unless they consider the nature of the affront to be insulting, in which case they may decide to inflict serious reprisals.

All Noviere have exceptional strength, and inflict bonus damage accordingly. Noviere in Element form can choose to envelop an opponent of size M or smaller, and then hold them with tremendous effective strength [Lesser, 20; Greater, 21; Elder, 22]. This hold causes no damage aside from the risk of drowning.

Noviere Warriors often have an associate/follower (a Giant Otter is common), and have weapon specialization; while they rarely employ permanent magical weapons, they do employ potions or oils which grant temporary magic to weapons as needed. Noviere have a rare viewpoint among good beings in that they have no objections to employing poison on their weapons [this practice is kept quiet in the interests of preserving harmony]. Warriors use d10 for hit dice, use warrior combat tables, receive bonus hit points for exceptional constitution, and can become proficient in any weapon; they have animal empathy with animals of the species of their associate. Greater Noviere Warriors can attract a company of Lesser Noviere Warriors with reasonable effort.

Noviere Crafters tend to be alchemists. Some Noviere can employ the Eladrin Spellsong ability; they are known as Bards, but are not of that character class.

Noviere "mages" can add wizardly aquatic spells as an additional priestly sphere; this does not include spells of cold, but does include spells of fog. [Since these are priest spells, they do not require spell keys.] Identified Noviere 'Mage' spells:

Metamorphose Liquids (W1) Wall of Fog (W1) Fog Cloud (W2) Insatiable Thirst (W2)/Protection from Thirst (W1) Stinking Cloud (W2) Alamir's Fundamental Breakdown (W3) Wall of Water (W3) Water Breathing/Air Breathing (W3) Watery Double (W3) Conjure Water Kin (W4)--variant spell-summons a Lesser Noviere from the waters of the Upper Planes. Solid Fog (W4) Vitrolic Sphere (W4)--variant spell-employs holy water instead of acid; material component is a potion of sweet water. Airy Water (W5) Cloudkill (W5) Conjure Pseudo-Elemental (W5) Rusting Grasp (W5) Transmute Rock to Mud (not reversible)(W5) Vile Venom (W5)(Material component is from an aquatic snake) Death Fog (W6)--variant spell-employs holy water instead of acid Improved Create Water (W6) Acid Storm (W7)--variant spell-employs holy water instead of acid

Society: Noviere family groups usually consist of 2d8 Lesser Noviere, with 2d8 families forming a Tribe, and 2d8 Tribes forming a Clan; the Clan Leader is typically a Greater Noviere. Clans away from Ossa tend to be smaller than those of the Green Sea. Green Sea clans sometimes include Aquatic Coure within their families. Clan membership tends to be geographical; for example, all Noviere families in Lake Gitchee-Gumee, a region of Ossa, currently belong to Clan Nekomis. [Noviere families are more often formed by ties of friendship than ties of blood.]

The families of a given tribe meet in council whenever any of the family heads calls for one; this usually occurs at the end of the fall season, and at the start of the spring. Matters of common concern are then discussed by everyone in assembly; decisions may be arrived at through consensus, or the decision could be passed to the individual considered best qualified to make it. Sometimes the decision is made to postpone making a decision. Sometimes each person makes their own decision. Sometimes no decision is made, or the decision is made to pass the decision to the Clan as a whole.

The tribes of a given Clan meet in council only a few times in a century; more commonly, the Clan Leader makes the rounds with his own family and meets with one of the tribes during their seasonal council meeting. While the Clan Leader and company can join the discussions, they don't have a vote in tribal matters.

Ecology:It has been proposed that Noviere develop from Aquatic Coure or from other Eladrin types by a process of adaptive mutation; Eladrin who will answer at all do not appear to have any consistency in their replies to such questions.

Encounters:Player Characters are most likely to encounter recognizable Noviere if they have been shipwrecked; the Noviere will probably have no interest in rescuing them, but may teach them survival skills such as fishing or fire building. (PCs should already know how to build a shelter.)

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