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Climate/Terrain:Fortress/Subterranean City
Frequency:Very rare
Organization:Military Group
Activity Cycle:Night
Intelligence:High to Supra (13-18)
Alignment:Chaotic evil
No. Appearing:5-15
Armor Class:4 (flying), 6 (on ground)
Movement:3, Fly 12 (B)
Hit Dice:2
No. of Attacks:1 or 2
Damage/Attack:By weapon
Special Attacks:See below
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:50%
Size:M (5½' tall)
Morale:Elite (14)
XP Value:270

The Fainil and Telvar originated on the same world, a planet known as Tir. The deadly conflict between the gray elves and drow on Tir occurred shortly after the world was created. The gray elves drove the drow underground, where the dark elves plotted their return to the surface for centuries. One of the questions the drow faced was how to deal with the Telvar, who were certain to side with the other surface races against any invasion from the subterranean drow. The Telvar's mobility could wreak havoc on the loosely organized humanoid tribes the drow planned to use to spearhead their conquest. The drow recognized the need to develop a flying contingent of their own, one that would be both loyal and willing to face the Telvar in their own element.

The Fainil were the result of this strategic necessity. The offspring of a selective breeding process between drow and tanar'ri allies, the Fainil have qualities of both ancestors. When the drow attacked the surface world, the Fainil were at the forefront of the greatest drow victories. This military superiority was proven when the war ended after 50 years and sunlight returned to Tir. While the rest of the drow were destroyed or driven underground, the two Fainil fortresses, Morvan and Moddan, withstood repeated assaults. The Fainil remain in their isolated strongholds to this day, gaining strength and plotting.

Since the war on Tir, the Fainil have spread slowly to other worlds, although the center of their society remains in the fortresses of Morvan and Moddan.

Fainil can be warriors, clerics, thieves, or wizards. Unlike ordinary drow, Fainil males tend toward dominance within Fainil society, although almost all clerics are still female.

Fainil have infravision to a range of 120' and suffer all the penalties from sunlight as do normal drow. Their tanar'ri ancestry gives them a good base AC, and they do not wear the typical drow mesh armor when flying although many wear it when in one of the two fortresses. They have a base magic resistance of 50%, like the drow, but this resistance does not increase as the Fainil advance in level.

Combat: The Fainil, like other drow, use hand-held crossbows (with drow sleep poison) and swords in combat. Because they can fly, their preferred method of attack is by ambush or surprise - always at night. Fainil fly quietly to attack, targeting spell-casters with their hand-held crossbows. There are few Fainil wizards, but they can cast their spells while flying. Most spells are directed at opposing wizards or priests, but when they attack as a small unit, Fainil use spells to protect the most important warriors.

Fainil are quick and agile in flight, but they do not walk well and fight awkwardly on the ground. All Fainil attack at a -2 penalty when they fight on the ground, and their Armor Class rises by two.

Fainil can use the following spells once per day: dancing lights, faerie fire, and darkness. Fainil above 4th level can use know alignment and detect magic once per day.

Fainil are immune to electrical attacks, a legacy of their tanar'ri heritage.

The Fainil resemble their drow ancestors, although they are slightly taller and usually have some distinguishing mark to indicate their tanar'ri ancestry. They all have huge, bat-like wings and slightly elongated fingers and toes. They wear tight clothing when flying elaborate robes and cloaks when in one of their two fortresses.

Habitat/Society: Fainil society is based around their fortresses of Morvan and Moddan. Other than a few individuals who, for various reasons leave Fainil society, all Fainil have lodgings within the vast halls of either fortress. They rarely are encountered in large numbers beyond two days' travel from either fortress.

The Fainil have close ties with the drow and other races of the Underdark but do not feel comfortable below ground. Most trading is done through intermediaries, and their access to the surface world gives the Fainil an advantage in most transactions. They are a rich and powerful race, strong enough that the human and demi-human races cannot drive them from their mountain fortresses.

Life within Morvan and Moddan is full of intrigue and political trickery. Unlike drow society, the Fainil hierarchy is not dominated by females. There are equal numbers of high-ranking men and women, although strong families still wield considerable power.

Ecology: Fainil are despoilers of nature, taking what they desire from the world and discarding anything they feel is no longer useful. They create little, preferring to steal necessities, artwork, magical items, and other treasure from “lesser” races. Fainil view all other intelligent creatures as beneath them and have no morality to speak of.

Fainil require little food to sustain themselves, another benefit of their tanar'ri ancestry. They are constantly improving the defensive capabilities of their fortresses and prefer to use slave labor whenever possible.


Roleplaying Notes

Fainil are universally despised by races who live on the surface world, and they find it difficult to co-exist with any other intelligent beings, whom they would prefer to conquer and enslave. individual Fainil are mistrusted and persecuted in most regions.

Fainil who leave their dark fortresses to become adventurers usually do so for one of two reasons. Either their family has been disgraced and, to avoid death, they flee into the outside world, or they are perceived to be an alykus. These rare individuals, a result of the imperfect breeding program that created the Fainil, have the ability to become powerful wizards (16th-level limit) but lack the normal Fainil penchant for destruction. The alykus are viewed as threats to Fainil society and are ruthlessly dealt with once they have been identified. A few escape, though, to become outcasts of Fainil society.

Fainil are not as long-lived as their drow ancestors, typically living as long as half-elves. They care little for art or entertainment, and it is extremely rare to find one with a sense of humor. Fainil are fanatical in their devotion to the skills required of their class and choose training above all other recreational activities. While they do not trust others easily, Fainil are extremely loyal, particularly to those beside whom they enter battle.

Fainil Magical Items

Aerial Ward

The Fainil fear attack by other flying creatures. They have designed a magical ward that protects their fortresses from aerial assault by any non-drow. The ward is generated by a large crystal located in the central keep of each of the Fainlil's two mountain fortresses. The power of the aerial ward extends 200 feet in all directions of each fortress. Any flying creature that enters the ward's effect suffers 2 hp damage and is thrust backward by a gust of wind spell. Any creature with drow ancestry can pass within the circle at will; the circle can also be lowered for up to an hour at a time from within the crystal's chamber by any wizard of 6th level or higher. The chamber where the crystal is kept also serves as a crypt for the Fainil dead. For every 100 Fainil interred within the crypt, the power of the crystal extends another foot beyond the fortress.

XP Value: nil, GP Value: Nil

Fainil Armor

Fainil armor is similar to drow mesh armor (+1 to +3), masking the heat signature of the wearer, so infravision cannot detect the wearer. The wearer of the armor can still be viewed normally. The armor loses its enchantment when exposed to sunlight for more than two hours.

XP Value: 1,500 (+1)GP Value: 3,000 (+1)
2,500 (+2) 5,000 (+2)
4,000 (+3) 8,000 (+3)

Flare Bolts

These magical bolts were created by dwarves for use against the night flyers. Fired from heavy crossbows, these bolts have two uses in combat. As a typical missile weapon, a flare bolt gains a +2 bonus to hit and causes quadruple damage against Fainil. The favored use of the flare bolt, though, is to illuminate battlefields where Fainil are attacking in force. The bolt is fired into the air and, at the apex of its flight, bursts into bright light, shedding illumination in a circle with a 150' diameter. Attacks against Fainil within this circle gain a +3 bonus, and any Fainil caught in