Elves, Marel (3.5e Race)

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The marels, or "drow of the deep," previously appeared in the 2E Forgotten Realms sourcebook, The Moonsea.


One of the worst races that dwells under the waves are the marels. The marels are a race of aquatic elves, but they are greatly unlike their more placid kin. They are often called "sea drow," though they are definitely not aquatic drow.

Physical Description[edit]

Marels are elves with pale white skin, long blackish-green hair, and eyes that glow an eerie phosphorescent green. The hearts of the marels are blacker than the blackest depths of the ocean, worshiping evil gods of the deep, and the horrendous rites in their honor are the stuff of legend.


Despite their evil natures, marels do not ally themselves with other evil aquatic races: They wish to be left alone. Marels hate surface elves as much as they hate marine races.


Usually chaotic evil.


Sunken ruins are where the marels make their homes. The few scholars who know of their existence say that they used to be normal aquatic elves but as a race they offended the gods; the gods transformed the marels into foul-spirited guardians of the depths, and such has been their lot since.

The marels are thankfully few in number. They dwell in elaborate houses carved from a species of hardy, cold-dwelling coral. The marels have mages and clerics, and their kingdoms are ruled by both a king and a queen.

Marel warbands typically include eight members -- their sacred number. They wear a peculiar form of shell armor, which acts like chainmail, and they wield Shortspears, Longspears, Tridents, Longswords, and Nets.

Marels love to silently board ships at night, slaughter half the crew, steal some valuables, and leave. The survivors awaken to find mysterious wet footprints in their rooms and comrades lying in the hammocks next to theirs with slit throats.



Marels speak Elven and Common.


Marels choose their names from elven names.

Marel Racial Traits[edit]

  • −2 Strength, +2 Dexterity:
  • HumanoidHumanoid (ElfElf, AquaticAquatic):
  • MediumMedium: As medium size creatures, marels have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • A marel's base land speed is 30 feet. She also has a swim speed of 40 feet.
  • Aquatic Subtype: A marel can breathe underwater.
  • Gills: A marel can survive out of the water for 1 hour per point of Constitution (after that, refer to the suffocation rules).
  • Immunity to magic sleep effects, and a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells or effects.
  • Marels do not sleep. Instead, they must meditate in a deep trance for 4 hours a day. A marel resting in this fashion gains the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.
  • Superior Low-Light Vision: A marel can see four times as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • Darkvision: Marels can see in the dark up to 120 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and marels can function just fine with no light at all.
  • Weapon Proficiency: Marels are automatically proficient with the Shortspear, Longspear, Trident, Longsword, and Net.
  • +2 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks. A marel who merely passes within 5 feet or a secret or concealed door is entitled to a Search check to notice it as if she were actively looking for it.
  • +4 racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks.
  • A marel has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. She can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. She can use the run action while swimming, provided she swims in a straight line.
  • Automatic Languages: Common, Elven. Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Aquan, Draconic, Giant, Sahuagin.
  • Favored Class: Rogue.
  • Level Adjustment: +1.
  • Base Effective Character Level: 2nd

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Marel Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
110 years +4d6 +6d6 +10d6
Table: Marel Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
175 years* 263 years* 350 years* +4d% years*
  1. At middle age, −1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  2. At old age, −2 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  3. At venerable age, −3 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
Table: Marel Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 4' 4" +2d6 85 lb. × (1d6) lb.
Female 4' 6" +2d6 80 lb. × (1d6) lb.

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