Aelatuel is a predestined bond shared between two elves. It is often considered a form of love, and could perhaps be described as "unconditional love" as well as "love at first sight." However, there is no direct elven to common translation for "Aelatuel;" most translated elven myths involving Aelatuel either refer to it as "true love" or "the elven bond," if it is named at all.
It is extremely rare and considered by most elves to be a romantic fantasy created for myth and legend.
Mythology of AelatuelEdit
According to old elven writing, all elves have a single predestined soulmate, who is in turn destined for them. The vast majority of elves will never meet their soulmate in their life, so Aelatuel is never taught as a substitute for other kinds of love, and in fact, is not taught as something one should pursue, since an elf can be perfectly happy having never experienced Aelatuel in their life.
When the two predestined soulmates meet, they will experience aelatuecuiva, the Awakening or Recognition. Stories vary on the requirements for Awakening; some state that it happens when the soulmates first make eye contact, share their first kiss, or feel a strong surge of emotion. Some stories say it is instantaneous, while others say it can take weeks for the elves to Recognize each other.
Recognition is generally thought of as the "point of no return." Before this event, the elves do not realize that the other is their soulmate, and they could return to their normal lives without any change, but in Awakening, the elves are "bound" to each other. Some myths say that their souls merge and become one at this point, leaving the elves able to share thoughts and emotions between them, and begin to truly experience the effects of Aelatuel.
Breaking The BondEdit
Aelatuel, generally considered to be a perfect love, can also be considered a curse. In normal romances, the couple will take time to become friends as they grow as lovers, slowly getting to know one another through continued effort. In Aelatuel, however, the couple will be bound together by the soul and thoughts long before they have become friends, and in some stories, before they know each other's names or have even spoken. It is entirely possible for people considered otherwise incompatible to be bound in Aelatuel and grow to hate each other with a passion to rival their love.
In this situation, Aelatuel can be broken in a process known as Avaraela. There are few stories about this, but most paint it as a painful and maddening thing, since the elves must be Awakened to each other in order to attempt to invoke Avaraela.
Both partners of the bond must put forth a continued effort to sever their ties to one another. They will generally try to get as far away from one another as possible, but will suffer recurring dreams of each other, sometimes even drawing together time and time again unintentionally, victim to the magnetism of their bond. This can make the separation even more painful, and in myth, most elves eventually give in to Aelatuel and join together again.
If the elves successfully break the bond, they will not experience Recognition again in their life, not even with their prior soulmate.
Known Aelatuel CouplesEdit
Canonically, there are NO known elves who have experienced Aelatuel. There are rumours and myths, but never solid evidence or names. It is very possible that some couples choose to keep their bond a secret, or are unaware of what is really happening. OOCly, we know of two couples who are bound in Aelatuel:
- Corellon and Araushnee (Lolth), the first couple to have this bond. They have been trying, since Lolth's banishment, to invoke Avaraela, but have not succeeded. They are unable to hurt each other due to the bond, and must rely on their children and minions to fight their war. This bond is not common knowledge ICly.
- Drea'oth and Lueali. Not common knowledge ICly.
Perhaps it can only be between a sun elf and a drow? lolololol.
I'd like to have this at some point but it will require more research on my part. So these are IDEAS based on how we have been playing things.
Perhaps each time two elves (of any gender, regardless of sexuality, though they must be of similar age--DM discretion) meet for the first time, each of the elves and the DM rolls a d100 (alternately, the DM rolls 3d100). If all three numbers match, they are soulmates and the DM should trigger Recognition at the first available opportunity. Once an elf has matched with another elf, they should never roll when meeting new elves, even if they successfully invoke Avaraela or never Recognize each other after meeting.
All Aelatuel-based abilities have a range limit of two miles unless otherwise noted.
Empathic Link: As with a sorcerer and his familiar, soulmates share feelings, emotions, and pain. This cannot be "turned off" and should be thought of more as a radio than a telephone if you like metaphors. At closer distances, more subtle emotions can be transferred. Extreme emotions will make it past two miles, but "reception" decreases with distance. (DM discretion) Because of their closeness, soulmates have a +10 bonus on sense motive checks made against one another.
When soulmates are together, they both gain a +2 morale bonus to all attacks, damage, saves, and checks. When attempting to invoke Avaraela, this is instead a -2 penalty.
Injury and Death: The closeness of the bond can be dangerous as well. Within two miles, if an elf takes damage, his soulmate will take equal damage in subdual. Outside two miles, an elf does not take subdual damage from his soulmate's injuries. Awareness of his soulmate being hurt decreases with distance.
Within two miles, if an elf dies, his soulmate must make a will save that we haven't really determined yet or die also. Outside two miles, he must make a will save or fall unconscious. DC decreases with distance. On a successful save, the living elf is stunned for one round and sickened for five rounds (or something).
Aelatuel and NonelvesEdit
Only elves (any subrace) can experience Aelatuel. Half-elves are DM discretion, but are only able to Awaken to an elf or another half-elf.