Saga of the Northlands
The ljosalfar (singular ljosalfr), or “light elves,” are luminous beings, more beautiful than the sun and rulers of all of Alfheim. Their learning rivals that of the wisest priest, their skill at arms that of the most talented warrior, their knowledge of the natural world that of the most well-traveled ranger, and their magic that of the most powerful wizard. They are beloved by the gods and first among their children.
Unfortunately for the mortals of Midgard, ljosalfar are very well aware of all of that. To them, mortals are short-lived objects of pity and delight, to be toyed with and discarded when they fade; they think nothing of turning warriors into foxes or hares and hunting them for sport because they make things more interesting, or luring a bard to Alfheim to sing for a hundred years until they tire of the bard’s voice and return him to Midgard where he ages a century in an instant and crumbles to dust. The eldest of them are like unto the gods in power and play games with entire clans or countries in Midgard.
Ljosalfar speak their own language, and most learn two or three mortal tongues at a Master level as well (and speak them perfectly without a trace of an accent, naturally).
All ljosalfar share the following traits:
- Creature of Light: Ljosalfar are immune to blinding and any light-based effects, and any such effects they use themselves gain a +2 bonus to their caster level and any save DC they may possess.
- Iron Revulsion: Attacks made against ljosalfar with iron or steel weapons are made as if with a bane weapon, gaining +2 to attack and +2d6+2 damage, and when struck by an iron or steel weapon a ljosalfr must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 attacker’s base attack bonus + attacker’s Strength modifier) or be sickened for 1d4+1 rounds; a successful called shot or critical hit forces the same save, but the ljosalfr is sickened on a successful save or nauseated on a failed save for the same duration. Ljosalfar automatically fail wound saves made against wounds inflicted by iron weapons.
The Courts of Alfheim
To entertain themselves and to give themselves something against which to strive—because of course no other beings pose a suitable challenge for such as they—the ljosalfar have organized themselves into three factions, or “courts,” named the Summer Court, the Winter Court, and the Wyld Court. Members of each court abide by a dizzying array of laws on hospitality, courtliness, and the like, and unwary mortals can easily find themselves trapped in the games of the ljosalfar by an offhand promise or a casual bite of food due to ignorance of this code.
The Summer and Winter Courts have taken on those names because their rulers control the seasons in those few regions of the world not overseen by any gods; every year, the interplay of the weather, the turning of the months, and the like serve as the stage for a complex and subtle war between the courts. The Wyld Court is named such not because they are any closer to nature than the others, but because they decided that a three-way conflict was more amusing than a simple two-sided one, and so they serve as a confounding factor in the other courts’ games, switching sides and interfering as they please.
The following ljosalfar have been encountered thus far: