The Ilverani, known among outsiders variously as snowcaster elves, snowcasters, or snow elves,1 are an elven ethnicity that live in the far north of Golarion, in the mountains of the Crown of the World.
Ilverani share many physical features with their elven cousins. They are uniquely pale-skinned, and most have white hair that matches their snow-coated homelands, and prefer blue and silver clothing.23
The Ilverani are descended from a group of Mierani elves who chose not to flee underground or to Sovyrian in the face of Earthfall. Instead, they remained above ground to build shelters and save as many others as possible, before travelling north and becoming Ilverani. While these shelters are no longer necessary, the Ilverani continue to view helping others as an honor to that legacy.2 Nevertheless, as a group Ilverani also maintain a distrust of strangers, which may speak to some unknown historical betrayal.3
Habitat and society
Ilverani are generally good-hearted but cold and unyielding and do not like intruders. Peaceful travellers can usually pass through Ilverani territory unharmed, but often have to pay a toll when doing so. Some claim that Ilverani are nomadic demon-worshipping cannibals who can freeze a man's blood with a glance; however, these traits are false, spawned from tall tales in absence of contact with the rest of the world. Their xenophobia has been attributed to a great betrayal in the past.2435
Ilverani live in close-knit isolated tribal villages, often near ancient ruins or holy sites. They revere their homes and families, and the most devout among them worship Findeladlara, though in ways that sharply diverge from the rest of elven society. Indeed, their obscure traditions confound any who claim familiarity with elven ways—a quirk that savvy Ilverani use to their advantage in their rare encounters with outsiders.26
They respect shows of force, however, and generally do not resort to violence unless provoked.4 Their sentries are talented survivalists and guardians skilled in using their environment to scare or kill targets and carry messages.6 They have an active elf gate in their territory known as Icegate, but the Ilverani's brusque, suspicious behavior prevents it from becoming a popular destination.4
Ilverani mistrust of outsiders runs deep enough that they guard even their names from revelation for fear of drawing bad luck. Snow elves consider it rude to ask for their names without sharing one's own name first, and in response to outsiders, they share cryptic sobriquets such as "Daughter of Twilight" or "Sunset's Blood" in place of their true ancestral names.2
Despite their insular nature, Ilverani train and employ a handful of their own, known as twilight speakers, to interact with outside races as a religious duty to their favored deity, Findeladlara, while watching for signs of potential future cataclysms that could endanger their kind. While many are devout, and all are conditioned to resist the allure of the world past their cold homes, a handful stray from their path and into permanent exile.67
Snowcaster half-elves, sometimes called snowborn, are half-elves descended from Ilverani. The Ilverani parent of such children are often twilight speakers, and their birth often leads to both the parent and child being permanently exiled from Ilverani society.7
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- “Elves of Golarion” in Elves of Golarion, 13. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Snowcaster Elves” in People of the North, 8. Paizo Inc., 2013 .
- “Elves” in Character Guide, 23. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- “A Memory of Darkness” in A Memory of Darkness, 20. Paizo Inc., 2009 .
- “Crown of the World” in The Hungry Storm, 73. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Erages” in Bastards of Golarion, 9. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- “Half-Elf Heritages” in Bastards of Golarion, 7. Paizo Inc., 2014 .