I wanted to finish of the three elven races of Eska, but struggled a bit with my non evil dark elves. I was stuck on them, and then one morning in my half-sleep/half awake came up with about half of what is written. I'm still not 100% happy with this version. I feel it's still...missing something. I want to play on the tropes of the dark elves, but different, and not in the Eberron way.
On Eska, there are only 10 main humanoid races. Gray, wood and dark elves, rock gnomes, surface dwarves, goblins, hobgoblins, huan'apan, humans and saurians. None of them are going to be evil. Sure, they have their differences and fight each other, but not evil. There are enough monstrosities, abominations, and fiends roaming the land to fill the evil niche.
I also like each race having a distinctive slightly magical weapon unique to them. The gray elves and their charge blades, and the wood elves lightning arrows. The gnomes have the warforged as their "weapon". The hobgoblins will have their shocklances, and humans will have cannons. I haven't decided on what the other races will get yet. I'm keeping the power level low, either causing a different damage type, or functioning like a cantrip. The mori'edhel get the spider wands, which function like the thorn whip cantrip.
Dark Elves of Eska (Mori’edhel)
The dark elves served as the military arm of the elven empire. Before the wars they were called the ohta’edhel, or “war elves”. They specialized in nighttime fighting, riding giant lizards. Since being driven underground they have been called mori’edhel, or dark elves. They also use their liante’temol to great effect, using the webs to grapple and move their opponents.
When things started to go bad for them in the Kinslayer Wars, they were cornered and the only way left for them to go was down, and the dwarven halls of Drukat Khaz fell to their onslaught. They drove all of the dwarves out to the surface (though some say a few dwarven clans were driven deep into the Kulaz Dharkhangron). Now the dwarven mines and feasthalls have become the strongholds for the mori’edhel. The mori’edhel adorn themselves with dwarven gems and gold, and arm themselves with dwarven steel. Their goblin servants continue to work the dwarven mines, though production has dropped considerably.
Like many other races of Eska, where they live has a direct influence on their appearance. Out of sight of the sun the majority mori’edhel have taken on a dark, nearly black skin tone, with pale white or silvery hair. A few, the iska’edhel (pale elves), have become albino, and greatly resemble grey elves with red eyes. While the mori’edhel revel and enjoy their newfound home, the iska’edhel long for the return to the surface world, and have become forlorn and despondent.
The worship of Araushnee, the Weaver of Fate has also led them to using spiders and their kin not only in their iconography, but as warbeasts and companions as well.
While they have fought, and many times still fight the gray and wood elves, the still wish to reunite with their brethren. They hold no enmity with the dwarves, but have no desire to give up their new found home, so still fight them when attacked. Like most other races, they are happy to see the gnomes, who bring reliable trade, but dislike the warforged because they see them as unnatural. They also use goblins as servants, but they are generally looked down upon, though some household goblins are treated like family.
The hobgoblins were ferocious foes during the Kinslayer Wars. They are hated by the mori’edhel for all the deaths they caused, but still hold a certain respect for their foe. They think that the huan’apan are “cute dogs” in a condescending way. Humans have proven to be both friends and foes both before and during the Wars. They respect their prowess in battle, and still employ them as mercenaries. The mori’edhel think that the lizardfolk are brutish.
The mori’edhel use the same stats as the drow elf in the Player’s Handbook.
Liante’temol “spider wands”
Ranged Martial Weapon
This wand creates a long, sticky web that lashes out at your command toward a creature in range. Make a melee spell attack against the target. If the attack hits, the creature takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage, and if the creature is Large or smaller, you pull the creature up to 10 feet closer to you. You can only make one attack per round with a liante'temol.
Simple, light, range 30