The First Ones, The Kan-Yow, are the only non constructed beings to know the face of their Creator God. They were born as the world was being made. Tutored by their God (Kanchiyonnaho), they developed a perfect society immersed in the magic of the world. The Kan-Yow breathed magic, they are saturated with it, and they are bound to it as the world itself. As the Gods have withdrawn from the Mythic Lands, as the blessing of Time has graced the World, they have become the guardians of The Magic and The World.
The Kan-Yow have thrived, creating a perfect society from their inherited divine wisdom. It was a utopia where no one wanted anything, all prospered and were free to explore life to its fullest. With their understanding of magic, all the elements and life could be bent to their will. Because they were created akin to the Gods, they are ageless… just beyond time’s touch.
Upon reaching perfection, there was no where for them except stagnation. Their society turned inward. They ignored the occasional touches of the divine upon the world. They ignored the new animals and animals who could speak (like Humans).
Most people think they are a myth. Yet only those who live near one of their golden enclaves, might see a handful in their lifetime.
The Kan-Yow are tall, slender beings, possessing a grace impossible to any other lifeform since they mythic times. They are 5’8” to 7” (1.7 to 2M) in height. They weigh a scant 120 to 200 lbs (50 to 90 Kgs). The eyes of a Kan-Yo are captivating. They are nearly solid shades, with iris being just a shade darker than the sclera (white), with the colors being gold, violet, or a soft green. Their ears are large, pointed, and extend widely from the head (Anime Elf Ears). Their skin tones are exotic (probably self chosen), pale ivory or light pink are common colors. However Kan-Yow of dusty mauve, pastel green, light blue, are all more known options. Hair tends to be pale, white and gold most common, but silver and night black have been seen.
Unaging: This means they have been alive for several thousand years. They also seem immune to all diseases.
They also will have inhuman patience, so they can sit and stare at the flower growing, unmoving, for the season.
Grace: Their dexterity and grace is off the human scale. They receive a plus equal to the maximum natural Human Dexterity bonus to all Dexterity action.
Sense: They can hear almost anything and their sight is so sensitive they can see in low light well and perfectly under starlight. They can also see and hear (and some say feel) things from father away than any Human.
1) When in a calm state, they can tap their vast reserve of knowledge. This allows them a huge plus to any check to know just something about any field of knowledge and lore. In calm times, this will extend to languages as well. (Those they don’t know, they can often figure out or make a good guess at).
2) Given some time to reflect on a situation, they can perform any “non modern” action without negative modifiers for lack of skill. Example: They might of ridden a horse sometime in the last three thousand years, so they just have to spend a moment to remember how. They won’t know how to pilot a new fangled Steam Jack because they are a recent invention.
Experience: First Ones have superhuman proficiency in most things they know. They will have a skill called experienced reflecting that. This skill will add 1/3 its normal skill bonus to all actions the Kan-yow has a skill for or has remembered.
Charms: By concentrating a moment and making a simple metaphysical check, they can add small pluses to any action. These people can weave spells to assist them in performance of an action the way most races breath.
1) No matter what archetype or skill set they might have, Kan-yow can learn magic as if they are a magical specialist.
2) They may “remember” common spells and such much the same way they remember skills.
Kan-Yow are unmotivated normally. They live in a perfect society without want or need. Yet they are guardians of magic and the world. So if there is a threat to magic or the world, they will sometimes look up, sniff, and send something out to “deal with it”.
That is right, send something. The Kan-Yow Humans see are not true Kan-Yow. They are constructs a True Kan-Yow created, as not to risk themselves. These constructs come in two flavors: Copies and Tools. PC Kan-Yow would be either a copy or a tool.
Copies are just that, a magically created clone, sent out to do the job. (They may be the copy of the Kan-Yow as a young self.) If it returns, its memories might be re-incorporated into the original.
Tools are magically created Kan-Yow bodies with various memories and skills from their creator implanted. These are the Young Kan-yow that sometimes emerge from the Enclaves to get some experience.
Both copies and tools will have all the standard Kan-Yow abilities. It is possible that you might encounter one or more copies of a given Kan-Yow out in the world, but their varied experienced will make them different people. Tools of the same creators, will meet and call each other siblings.
Note: Nobody ever tells anyone about the fact that they are “artificial”. It is very impolite.
So Kan-Yow seen are very mission oriented. They have a job to do and it is their reason to be to do it. (Copies might stray a little bit… if some interesting experience comes up). Of course, their mission might be a bit broad (stop the necromancy), so they will accept some down time.
Additional Ideas (4)
They are a bit more chromatically vivid than most Elves, but they aren't that off.
I don't understand the differences between Tools and Copies.
They are somewhat playable. The mechanics reflect abilities that their back story would have. (Since they work as skills in most cases... they are comparable to other specials and gifts).
Motivation... this is always the big one...
I have always found it funny that Elves Must Adventure Outside their walls. If Elven society was so great, why would anyone leave? If their sole motivation was "I was bored, so I decided to walk outside (the Elven lands)... why are they putting their immortal lives on the line as adventurers? Motivation is always a problem with the Elven.
*gear shift toward rant*
I mean the only Elf not in the Elflands was told to join the insane Ring Quest. People hadn't seen an Elf and most not a Dwarf in the story... yet dozens of them are prancing around in your average Tolkein inspirted, psuedo medieval para european fantasy. In most mythological cases, Elves don't leave their lands (and other fey seldom do)... Humans normally stumble into their world.
Seeing an Elf should be a great thing... a once in a lifetime thing. Not a, "oh its an Elf" thing.
*shifting into forth*
And don't get me started on a 90 to 150 year old person, who knows less than a 14-22 year old Human Kid. Okay, I can buy certain things about culture and so on. However, Elves are presented as not being stupider or slower than Humans, so they can't learn BASIC THINGS? A few decades of dilitant practice with a weapon should provide abilities beyond those of a human with a good years worth.
Some people say, The Elven ways are better... they take longer to do... yet the game mechanics they choose to employ do not reflect that. Elves don't get all those bonuses to hit that this excuse for lack of Elven skills
*end rant -shift to neutral*
Mostly their motivations are "threats to the magic" and "threats to the world that might threaten them". This does not lead to lesser adventures, but if your taste runs to the big quest it makes for playable characters.
Sometimes they might send out one if they have some lesser need... get to the magic book and get the info, or keep some kingdoms from going to war, or find all the various kinds of flowers in the Western Marches. This gives someone a purpose besides waundering about trying to make a quick buck to keep being fed.
Can this make them a PC, sure. Can it make them a mindless monster slaying, living from robbery to robbery adventurer? No... not really... unless the Kan-Yow "defects" from its mission. (Then their "parent" might spin off a few violent tools to hunt him down.... ) They should have a purpose... a mission to perform... and a desire to return to the perfect world they have left.
I think a perfect society is incredibly boring, which might be the point, but it doesn't give anybody anything to work with so, really, any RP possibilities are pretty much taken away. The protection of "magic and the world" seems a little forced to me as well especially when it doesn't seem like they have an motivation for it besides containing their perfect world. That is sort of the generic answer to force them to interact. I like the tools copy thing though but not the reasoning. Perhaps they may be able to feel the forces of the magic but for some reason they sometimes can't figure out the exact uses that the magic is going to. Most of the time they know how it is being used because they are so attuned to it. The reason for the use may not be real important, it is more of an inventory thing so they know where the power has gone. When their magic is being drawn on and the use is unknown they send out their copies to investigate the drain on their magic. Since they are the keepers and source they have concerns for unaccounted for magic uses. This could be anomalies of the magic users or purposeful attempts to use the magic against convention.
With the power and understanding they have it seems to me that they would be more suited to actually controlling the magic in the world. It is no longer the gods or nature that gives the gift of magic to others of the world, I think it would be interesting if it was the elves themselves that controlled the magic itself...completely. So the first level mage that can cast a simple spell was given, no, allowed to have this skill by the elves. The chants and motions still harness this magic but it comes from the elves, not the gods.
Since they have been around and were created in the image of the gods then I don't think the neutrality of the gift would be too hard to justify. So 'evil' would get the gift just as 'good' would. This could give them just a little more justification for 'protecting the magic' since any major disruptions or abuse would directly affect them. This gives them a personal stake in the protection of the magic.
The elves may not specifically grant the ability, but they can definately take it away. So if you raise the ire of an elf you will basically become powerless against it. A war gets out of control, destroying much land and disrupting a flow of magic in an area. One elf gets up from observing a river trickle, makes itself visible, and walks in between the two warring sides. All magic on both sides is immediately taken away by the single elf, all attempts to harm it are tossed aside without effort. The elf calls for peace between the two parties or else it will call its brethren to fix the situation however they see fit, whether it is destroying them all or 'charming' them into submission. There would be legends of this happening in the past so the two sides would come up with something if only to send the elf back to where it came from or else create another legend. The point is that, with a thought, the elf can take away the magical ability of any creature in the world and can deflect any attempts at harm. After all, they have had all of time to perfect any defensive abilities they would need to protect themselves from any of the newer races. The elves just want to do their thing and perpetuate their perfect existance and if something is disrupting it, they take care of it.
Also, having them saturated in magic and had all time to master and adjust to this power I would like to think that they would be at least shapeshifters of some sort. I know I would be. Would they really be satisfied in a single form? As each elf grew would they not slowly find a more comfortable form, personalizing the shell they live in? As keepers and creatures of magic perhaps they have their true form still but being timeless I would think they may adapt to their interests.
What if they are children? (Do they still have children?)
A youngster (say, a few hundred years) may be finally recognized as being able to fend for himself and not harm the world too much in the process. And so he creates a few (dozen) copies, sending them to learn everything there is. Even with regular checking this is work for centuries if not millenia, and you have the still-imperfect youth for use.
And: what if they want to know what Death is about? Say, creating a weak or imperfect tool and letting it die/be killed?
There was a movie based on that idea... Brainstorm http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085271/ And the much better Flatliners http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099582/
Kind of neat idea. What happens if the Immortal actually experiences it. He could become an Evil Dark Lords that seems a lot like the PC's friends (who may still have a soft spot for them, see that dramatic potential). He could go granting the experience to others... or maybe he gets off on it... perhaps the experience is addictive the the First Ones start a rampage of murder. Hmmmm.