IMPORTANT: Zoveri are a class level + 1 race: a zoveri's level is one less than her experience point total would indicate. A zoveri character must have at least one class level, so may only be created when a second or higher level character could normally be created.
The race of zoveri was created (and is still created today) by Corellon Larethian, who mingles his bloodline with that of certain sahuagin, locathah, and other undersea dwellers who renounce evil and seek to improve themselves morally, so that their children are born as zoveri. In modern times, most zoveri are hatched of eggs from other zoveri, but a few fortunate and repentent creatures are still blessed with the embrace of the elven god.
Personality: Zoveri are, on the whole, good people. Like their divine ancestor, they value personal freedom and individuality, and therefore produce some notable eccentrics (who color the reputation of the entire race), but rarely produce psychopaths, megalomaniacs, sadists, or even self-absorbed gits. They all have at least some of the hunger for "Golden cities far", but though chaotic are too conscientious to neglect home and family for such ill-defined longings, so it is mostly the younger ones who travel in search of trouble.
The other quality for which zoveri are known is a strong fondness for physical affection without particular discrimination on the basis of species, or an overwhelming regard for martial fidelity. It is even not unknown for zoveri to marry members of other races, to cement alliances, although these unions cannot bear legitimate offspring.
Physical Description: In appearance, zoveri are like well-built elves down to the hips and reminiscent of octopi below, with eight long graceful tentacles and a siphon used to jet about quickly underwater. Though a zoveri's fine skin and silken hair can change color to camouflage her against various backgrounds, each individual has a "resting" color and pattern, which can vary from solid blue or green to a wild tiger-stripe of black and red or elaborate golden markings like ritual tattoos on a white background. The zoveri of each region tend to a certain few colors and one general sort of pattern, but variation is common.
A zoveri's normal swimming posture is horizontal, with the upper body in the same plane as the tentacles, but her whole body is quite flexible and capable of contorting into a variety of positions, including, if she is on dry land, holding her torso erect in the human fashion.
Although some work can be done with underwater volcanic vents, zoveri must get most of their metal tools and weapons through trade with surface dwellers. Most of their belongings are therefore made from materials found in the undersea world: armor of shark-hide and the chitin of giant shrimp, shark-tooth spear tips, obsidian knives, fish leather rucksacks. Zoveri wear minimal clothing, if any, but are fond of jewelry of all kinds and materials. Zoveri of higher status (as determined by how many airs they can put on before their friends mock them) wear their hair longer, in more impractically elaborate styles that, at the upper end of self-image, may reduce swimming speed to 25' or even 20'.
Relations: Zoveri have the xenophilia common to chaotic creatures, and will happily engage in commercial, social, and physical relationships with all manner of creatures, even fairly unsavory ones such as sahuagin and locathah (who they hope to redeem). Although they share a patron deity and typical alignment with sea elves, relations between the two peoples are often somewhat strained as sea elves emphasize their chaotic nature while zoveri are more concerned with good.
Alignment: Almost all zoveri are good, and most tend toward chaos, or at least not toward law. As free-willed beings, however, they are fully capable of committing the worst of acts with the best of intentions.
Zoveri Lands: Zoveri live in the shallows off most known continents, and on the upper slopes of oceanic atolls, pursuing lifestyles as varied as those of any other race: nomadic hunters or fish-herders, sedentary kelp-farmers, and occasionally dwellers in fantastic coral cities. Like their patron deity, they value personal freedom and individuality, so large-scale organization is rare, but not unheard of.
About three times as many female zoveri are hatched as males, so the fundamental unit of zoveri society is rather like a pride of lions: an adult male ruling a harem who do most of the real work and their children. Even among the most civilized zoveri, this pattern is considered as natural as marriage is among humans. Male children are ejected from the pride at adolescence, and often congregate in uneasy gangs to cause trouble (though the innately good nature of zoveri keeps the worst outrages rare); females who reach maturity are generally married off to another pride, but sometimes follow some dream of their own. These prideless young adults are most likely to travel the world and fight against genetic isolation, but any pride might be stricken with wanderlust and become wandering merchants or even mercenaries.
Religion: Because they are all descended directly from a god, the zoveri are not as religious as one might expect. They do venerate their Great Ancestor Corellon Larethian, and pay homage to other beneficient gods of the waves and of chaos, trickery, and animals. Their worship is usually personal, but some charismatic preachers drag whole congregations into their belief systems.
Some zoveri who dwell on the borders of the Middle Deeps worship the dark gods of that unpleasant realm, hoping to keep on their good side. Although this practice is arguably effective, it is not well thought of by zoveri who don't have to live with that looming threat.
Language: Zoveri have no language of their own; like their mortal ancestors they speak Sea Tongue, and also the Elven language bequeathed to them by Corellon Larethian.
Names: Zoveri names are much like elven names, but with epithets appended to brag about some superior quality or great accomplishment. It is considered the depth of boorishness to make up one's own epithet, but a zoveri can usually count on her friends to name her fittingly. Sometimes, the fitting epithet is not as complimentary as the wearer might like, but there's nothing to be done about it except earn another one.
Adult male zoveri style themselves either "<name>, head of his pride" or "<name>, of no pride"; adult females are usually "<name>, of <husband>'s pride". Children are "<name>, daughter of <father>" or "<name>, son of <father>" Some zoveri believe physically mature but unmarried females still count as children, and address them as such, but most accept them as "of no pride".
Zoveri who have assimilated into land-dweller culture instead style themselves "of <whatever organization>", eg, "of House Montefoglia", "of HNS Voice of the Emperor", or "of 3d platoon, company A, 14th battalion, Her Divine Radiance's Own SEALs".
Zoveri Male Names: Aramil, Geluliral, Ilthurien, Ivellios, Lequierel, Menobaris, Paladirin, Quiavor, Saralacar, Zenothian
Zoveri Female Names: Amarielle, Berendi, Elicissa, Lequiera, Lilivori, Rimiqui, Silmaro, Valanthe, Vilani, Xanaphia
Zoveri Epithets: Starcatcher, the Turtle, Nine-tentacles, Shark-eater, Far-seer, the Unseen, Hundred Heads, the Learned, Hand-of-Lightning, Witch-hammer
Adventurers: Young zoveri males not yet cool enough to get babes, and young females not ready to settle down often travel the world to see the sights, and can be found almost anywhere working in a variety of capacities including undersea scouts, explorers, and mercenaries. Even stay-at-homes can find excitement in border skirmishes with under undersea races and exploration of unsettled areas on the forefront of the diffusing zoveri population.
This file was last modified at 0900 on 12Apr01 by firstname.lastname@example.org.