Elf, Grugach

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Elf, Grugach
Climate/Terrain:Temperate/Deep forests
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Night
Intelligence:Average to genius (11-18)
Alignment:Chaotic neutral
No. Appearing:20-80
Armor Class:6 (10)
Hit Dice:1+1
No. of Attacks:1
Damage/Attack:1-8 (weapon)
Special Attacks:+1 with bow and spear
Special Defenses:Traps
Magic Resistance:90% to sleep and charm spells
Size:M (4-5' tall)
Morale:Elite (13-14)
XP Value:120

The grugach are wild elves, akin to sylvan or wood elves, but smaller, lighter, and very pale. When not in their tribal bands, they dress in leather armor decorated with the shapes of leaves or of the animals of the deep forest. Except where otherwise noted, grugach conform to the speafics of wood elves and of elves in general.

While it is true that many bands of wood elves are secretive and even dangerous when stumbled upon, it is the grugach who have given the wood elves a reputation for ruthless xenophobia. As a rule, a party that meets with a band of elves who do not speak common (grugach speak only elvish, treant, and certain other sylvan creatures' tongues) should consider themselves in trouble.

Combat: Grugach are fierce fighters, and they are the strongest of the elven races. Characteristically wide at the shoulders, grugach add +2 to their Strength scores (treat 19 as 18[01] and 20 as 18[51]). They are not as well-versed in the use of the sword as are other elves, as there's little space to swing a sword in the dense virgin woodlands where the grugach live. They make up for this by gaining a +1 bonus to their attack roll with a spear, as well as with a bow.

Grugach are very skilled at setting traps. These consist principally of pits and snares in and around their home territory. All such traps are well-concealed, and there is a 90% chance that creatures passing near the trap stumble into it. If characters passing through a trapped area examine their surroundings carefully (reducing their movement to 3, and taking pains to look where they step), the likelihood of triggering a trap is reduced to 30%. Once a trap is triggered, the character's chance to escape must be weighed on a case-by-case basis, depending upon the nature of the trap and the awareness the victim has regarding his danger. As a general rule, a character should have to roll a saving throw against breath weapon, with a -2 penalty.

Pit traps are normally ten feet deep and spiked at the bottom. Damage is 1d4 (fall onto the earth-floored pit), plus 1d4+2 spikes for 1d6 points of damage each, plus any poison that might have been applied to the spikes. Snares are usually set to encircle and jerk creatures off their feet and suspend them five feet or more above the ground. Some snares can be deadfalls, where a heavy log crashes down for 6d6 of damage and pins the victim as well.

Poisoned spikes and deadfalls are usually employed in case the creature has actually entered the grugach's territory.

Grugach have no wizards, but there are multi-classed fighter/druids. These characters fight to keep the woods clean of civilization, and to keep unwanted strangers away.

Habitat/Society: Grugach are a type of wood elves who long ago withdrew into the deep forests. They welcome no intrusions on their territory, not even by other elves, or such woods-loving people as druids. Two old elven poems cite this as the reason that the grugach enjoy the effects of animal friendship with the animals of the forest. Indeed, grugach might ride stags as steeds.

Bands of grugach consist of about six family units of five to ten elves each, living in a widespread camp of several ground-level or tree-level huts. If intruded upon by well-meaning but innocent characters, the grugach immediately capture the intruders and lead them, drugged and blindfolded, to distant areas of the woods where the intruders might be released without endangering the security of the grugach. If the intruders are evil, or if they offer resistance to the grugach, the wild elves almost certainly attack to kill.

Grugach seem particularly attracted to platinum, a metal they find beautiful and well-suited for their jewelcraft. Grugach are sometimes hunted for their riches, but thieves who attempt this are usually disappointed by the small amount of treasure carried by grugach (thieves are also horrified by the dedication the wild elves demonstrate in hunting down such villains).

Ecology: The grugach live in harmony with their surroundings. They are the only intelligent race in their neck of the woods. They dedicate themselves to protecting the woods against intrusion by other intelligent races.