Aquatic elves (also called sea elves and Alu'Tel'Quessir in their own tongue[9]), were water-breathing cousins to land-dwelling elves.[7] They lived amid the waves and the ocean depths with allies such as dolphins and whales. Aquatic elves fought underwater with tridents, spears, and nets.[5]


Although they were of the same subrace, aquatic elves from the Great Sea had a different appearance to those from the Sea of Fallen Stars. The former had deep green skin, mottled and striped with brown. The latter had blue skin with white stripes and patches. Both groups were robust and tall with long limbs, and long, thickly webbed digits. Their hair was usually thick and somewhat stringy, and could be blue, black, silver, or even occasionally red. The most unusual feature was the gills visible in their necks and over their ribs.[7]

Sea elves were either lightly clad or wore no clothes at all. Their clothes were formed from underwater plants, in blacks, browns, and greens. Warriors clipped their hair, but other sea elves wore it long and flowing.[8]

A certain type of mutated sahuagin, called a malenti, looked like an aquatic elf. These occasionally infiltrate sea elven society.[10]


Aquatic elves were isolationist by their physical nature, and by choice, though they were not quite as reclusive as the wild elves. They trusted only themselves, their clan, and no others. They couldn't understand why the surface elves did not understand that community and alliances meant survival, whereas rivalry and factionalism meant death.[7] Their alliances with other elves were not based on racial affinity but on gain. A clear example of this was the alliance between the sea elves of Lake Sember and the land elves of Semberholme. The aquatic elves merely wanted to maintain their colony in Lake Sember and protected Semberholme only as part of the deal.[9] However, this caution was tempered with curiosity and sea elves could spend much time secretly observing the land-bound races.[5]


Sea elf and sahuagin-5e

Two sea elves fighting a sahuagin.

Magic & ReligionEdit

Sea elves were the least magical of the elven races, although they still had as many mages as human realms. Those who were spellcasters devoteed their long life spans to study and became extremely skilled. They developed a range of waterproof magical items, and a system of writing underwater.[8]

Most aquatic elves revered Deep Sashelas, an undersea god of knowledge and beauty.[5] Some were known to worship Istishia.[11]


Aquatic elven society was based on family and clan, and although females could and did wield power, they were patriarchal. Noble families ruled, but in a benign and loose fashion rather than with an iron fist. Families or individuals might own their dwellings but most other property was held in common. Such communal ownership meant theft was almost unknown.[7]

The majority of aquatic elves lived in the Sea of Fallen Stars and the Great Sea. However, smaller communities could be found along the western coast[7] and in Lake Sember.[9]

A large community of several thousand sea elves existed around the island of Evermeet. King Elashor, residing in the city of Iumathiashae (or "Mother of Pearls"), held sway over this realm. The sea elves of this area defended Evermeet from many undersea threats such as sahuagins and scrags.[12]

Arts & LeisureEdit

The special acoustics of a watery environment lent themselves to music, and sea elves were exposed to the eerie and beautiful songs of the whales and other denizens of the deep.[citation needed] It was not surprising that aquatic elven bards had a range of powerful and evocative songs.[9]


Aquatic elves were the last of the elven races to reach Faerûn, and had always kept themselves somewhat apart from their land-bound kin. At first, they were nomadic wanderers but gradually they began to form separate communities.[7]

They attempted to stay aloof from the Crown Wars, but this failed and the destruction and turbulence spread to their homes, driving some of the Great Sea elves north into the Sea of Fallen Stars.[7] They repeatedly battled with the evil underwater races, especially the sahuagin, but at times they also fought against merfolk and other goodly races. One such war led to a group of refugees forming the colony in Lake Sember.[citation needed]

Notable Sea ElvesEdit


Further ReadingEdit



  1. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 62–63. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 101–103. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  3. Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 110. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  4. Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 39. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 30. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  6. Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 109. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 28. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 29. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 19. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
  10. Elaine Cunningham (May 1998). Tangled Webs. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 228. ISBN 0-7869-0698-7.
  11. Walter M. Baas and Kira Glass (1991). Nightwatch in the Living City. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 1-56076-068-0.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Anne Gray McCready et al. (March 1994). Elves of Evermeet. (TSR, Inc), p. 28. ISBN 1-5607-6829-0.
  13. Elaine Cunningham (March 2003). Tangled Webs. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-2959-6.


High elves
Moon elfSun elf
Aquatic elfAvarielDark elfDrowPoscadar elfStar elfWild elfWood elfSnow elf
Related races
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