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5E Elf Clones/ Bioengineering

Zardnaar

Legend
On my works the Elves rule the UK +I'm using earth map). They're not nice and the majority of the 7 ruling houses are evil aligned.

Drow Elves are like Eberron ones and live in the Amazon, Wood Elves in Africa.

House Jerith 'Kor is one if the big bad houses and the Elves are outnumbered around 1000-1. Even in their homelands they're outnumbered by half elves.

A few centuries ago House JK was corrupted by the Yuan Ti and the slave traders basically feed them in the Yucatan.

PCs are based out of Sasserine from the Savage Tide AP which I've been mining.

Anyway my rough idea is house JK are willing to resort to unnatural practices to create more elves. I'm thinking magical cloning tanks or they use other races as incubators and use them as cloning tanks.

The Yuan Ti have a role here. Gnome Artificers invented Warforged, Elven ones have invented these things.

Or should I just use a small group of wizards or something using a variant of cline spelks to create more elves?

Added bonus perhaps the clones are elven yuan ti or are corrupted with snake blood.

Thoughts? How would you do this?
 

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Arvok

Explorer
OK, first here are a few of assumptions I've made which may or may not be true in your world:

1. The Elves' power has been on the wane for several centuries (or longer) and this decline is general knowledge.
2. This decline in power is due, at least in part, to the Elves' slow reproduction rates. Some also see a dilution of Elven blood (i.e. creating Half-Elves) as part of the problem.
3. The Elves (at lest the house of JK) believe population growth is the key to re-establishing Elven dominance AND they are working hard to keep their plans secret.

Depending on how evil the Elves are and how much control they have in the UK I think using Half-Elf women as incubators would be an option the powers that be would favor. First, if they rounded up a bunch of young, healthy Half-Elf women to be used for this purpose it would slow the rate of Half-Elf population growth. Second, it would keep Elven women from being exposed to the pain & hazards of childbirth (which are not insignificant in a pre-modern world). I'm thinking here of something like a 3rd level necromancy spell that transfers a fertilized egg from one willing woman to another willing woman. The recipient might only be willing because she faces torture or worse if she doesn't accept the transfer, but that's not really an issue if the people running the program are evil.
This also gives you some options as a DM to drop hints to the PCs about strange goings-on that they investigate. This leads to them finding more clues and eventually (maybe) put the pieces together. For instance, they might hear rumors that a decade ago riders from the house of JK descended on a few small villages and hauled off all the Half-Elf women of child bearing age. This was the start of the experiment and now that things are going well with the program, Half-Elf women are being recruited with incentives to their families if they come willingly. The party might also find a large, walled-in settlement where food and other necessities are brought in from the surrounding area. This would be the area where the children are being raised, commune-style so as to better instill in them the virtues of the Elven kingdom and the House of JK.

The clone spell is also a good option (and there could be two programs running simultaneously) if they have a way to get around the requirement that the donor die before the clone is activated. The other problem is that most people (I would assume) do not like the idea of their clone(s) running around in the world. Our uniqueness is something we value, so it seems unlikely to me that those in power would allow themselves to be cloned for the purpose of increasing the population. If they cloned the youth created from the incubator project discussed above, however, that's an easy way to increase numbers AND the youth would be much more accepting of it because they don't know it's not normal. Even if this modified spell is still 8th level, a few high-level casters could take a population of a few dozen kids and double it in a few months. A 15th level caster can only cast it once per day, but that's 30 new Elves every month.

Of course, it will be decades before any of these children are of reproductive age but that shouldn't be an issue for the Elves. If you're playing them as old-school with life spans measured in millennia (and if you're going to use this plot I highly recommend it), a few decades wouldn't seem like that long of a wait for them. If you've already established that Elves have the (shorter) 5e life spans, the PCs might learn that there is a small minority of Elves with pure blood whose lives span thousands of years. All the other "Elves" are impure, with human blood running through their veins. As long as there are at least 30 or so pure Elves, the incubator plan could work.

This type of situation leads to a whole bunch of issues which you and your players might not be comfortable with. There might be relatively new laws preventing the intermixing of the races, limits on the number of children non-Elves can have, etc. Sadly, there are all kind of real world examples you can draw from for inspiration. The one upside to this dystopian game setting is that the PCs get to take an active role in dismantling it (the appeal is something like Inglorious Basterds).

One other suggestion: the modified clone spell and the incubator spell are available to wizards and clerics (or maybe only clerics), at least Elven clerics. This means that the officers of the religion of state have an active role in the plan. The spells should probably also have a high value material component. Either a rare and costly item that must be imported or maybe some sentient being's vital force. The vital force might be drawn out of a "willing" being during the casting and age him like a ghost's effect. Either one of these options provide more opportunities for the PCs to pick up on clues they can piece together to figure out what's going on.
 

Voadam

Hero
Magical vat clones make me think of the Vancian Primer of Practical Magic.

Your description does bring to mind narcissistic evil elves with a magic program mass using humans or half elves as surrogates to produce clone genetic copies of themselves.

I would definitely try to go with something descriptively evocative rather than just say they use an 8th level wizard spell.
 

squibbles

Explorer
Anyway my rough idea is house JK are willing to resort to unnatural practices to create more elves. I'm thinking magical cloning tanks (1) or they use other races as incubators (2) and use them as cloning tanks.

Or should I just use a small group of wizards or something using a variant of cline spelks (3) to create more elves?

Added bonus perhaps the clones are elven yuan ti or are corrupted with snake blood (4).

Thoughts? How would you do this?

Why not do all four!

Idea:
Elves use a modified version of the simulacrum spell, with sentient bio-matter replacing the snow & ice component. It allows them to have unlimited active duplicates. As part of the 12-hour casting, the (usually unwilling) sentient creature liquefies and reassembles as a clone--just like a caterpillar metamorphosing into a butterfly. Since the spell doesn't create a chrysalis, the caster needs to use a glass tank (or it's super gross and messy). The yuan ti have convinced JK to use snake blood as a spell component (+10 HP?), but this builds a secret failsafe into the clone (they can't save vs yuan ti suggestion).

Natural born elves are quite bigoted against clones, since clones lack the ability to learn and are made from "lesser" peoples' bio matter.

Like a normal simulacra, clones that are reduced to 0 HP revert to their constituent bio matter and melt instantly.
 

aco175

Legend
First reminded me of Dungeon Magazine 69. This was their "Into the Mere" series based in FR, but can be mined and updated from 2e. When I ran a check for this in Google a PDF of the whole magazine came up and you could copy the section you needed.
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1603387705971.png
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
In my own setting, elves created and cloned orcs by infusing trees with humaniods essences. Original orcs came from the tree's fruits.

Steal if you want for elves.
 

MarkB

Legend
How do these clone elves fit into the rest of elven society? Typically, evil empires don't go around saying "Hey, let's make 50 more of me so they can all share my wealth and power!" So, are they essentially intended to be simple footsoldiers, the equivalent of the clone army in Star Wars?

If they just want muscle, they can afford to use cheaper processes to mass-produce them. If they want fully functional elf citizens, they'll want to stick to the most reliable methods.

One alternative to force-growing clones or creating fully adult bodies is to use planes or demi-planes with altered passage of time. Send a batch of elven babies to a planar creche/academy/boot-camp for 50 subjective years, and have them pop back fully grown and trained only a day later in prime-material time.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
How do these clone elves fit into the rest of elven society? Typically, evil empires don't go around saying "Hey, let's make 50 more of me so they can all share my wealth and power!" So, are they essentially intended to be simple footsoldiers, the equivalent of the clone army in Star Wars?

If they just want muscle, they can afford to use cheaper processes to mass-produce them. If they want fully functional elf citizens, they'll want to stick to the most reliable methods.

One alternative to force-growing clones or creating fully adult bodies is to use planes or demi-planes with altered passage of time. Send a batch of elven babies to a planar creche/academy/boot-camp for 50 subjective years, and have them pop back fully grown and trained only a day later in prime-material time.

More for the army but they may not be duplicates espicially off they use other races as tanks.

Some sort of flaw or corruption not a bad idea. I've also looked at Simic guild in Ravnica.
 

MarkB

Legend
Thinking of the concept of disposable clones, one image I'm getting is of an elf waking up to find that they're a clone copy, with all the memories of the original, but now trapped in a far less durable body, one with a pitifully short lifespan, lamenting that they can already feel their imperfect flesh withering away.

And then eventually you find out that these flawed clone bodies are 'only' able to provide a lifespan comparable to that of a human.
 

grimslade

Adventurer
House Jerith 'Kor is one of the ruling houses in the Elven UK, yes? This new cloning is being developed in the homeland or in Sasserine?
I will assume is being developed in the Yucatan as a pilot program with Yuan Ti assistance. I am reminded of the horrible line in Braveheart, "The problem with Scotland is it is full of Scots." I could see the elves seeking to 'purify' the half elves, by removing the filthy round ear lineage from half elves. Elves don't feel like they would use vats and beakers to grow their clone army. I could see them trying to distill the perfect elvish blood using plants with vines and pods. Scores of half elves connected to vampiric rhizomes breaking down their genetic composition to be reborn in a new pod as the perfect elven warrior.

But what about the rest of the genetic material, the human and muddled half elf cast off? Waste not, want not. The rest are combined in other pods to form abominations of flesh and alchemy. A suitable payment to the Yuan Ti for their assistance and valuable shock troops for House JK.

The Yuan Ti might convince the elves to 'improve' their elven warriors. Make them immune to poison, not need the reverie, stronger, faster. The amount of corruption that could be introduced by Yuan Ti is limitless. It really depends on the motivations of House JK. If they are looking to repopulate the Elvish UK with elves, they are not going to want any pollution of their uber-elves with snake juice. If they are looking to create an unstoppable elven army, some enhancement might be sought out.

I have this image of a ziggurat in a deep jungle with each tier ringed with vines and giant spiny, melon-like fruit the vines attached to dozens of withered half elf bodies writhing under the tendrils while the fruit on the vine pulse with a dark intensity. Horrible mutated beastmen guard the paths to the ziggurat, controlled by elven warriors that looked like statues of heroes come to life.
 

squibbles

Explorer
I have this image of a ziggurat in a deep jungle with each tier ringed with vines and giant spiny, melon-like fruit the vines attached to dozens of withered half elf bodies writhing under the tendrils while the fruit on the vine pulse with a dark intensity. Horrible mutated beastmen guard the paths to the ziggurat, controlled by elven warriors that looked like statues of heroes come to life.
Magnificent! Just magnificent.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
House Jerith 'Kor is one of the ruling houses in the Elven UK, yes? This new cloning is being developed in the homeland or in Sasserine?
I will assume is being developed in the Yucatan as a pilot program with Yuan Ti assistance. I am reminded of the horrible line in Braveheart, "The problem with Scotland is it is full of Scots." I could see the elves seeking to 'purify' the half elves, by removing the filthy round ear lineage from half elves. Elves don't feel like they would use vats and beakers to grow their clone army. I could see them trying to distill the perfect elvish blood using plants with vines and pods. Scores of half elves connected to vampiric rhizomes breaking down their genetic composition to be reborn in a new pod as the perfect elven warrior.

But what about the rest of the genetic material, the human and muddled half elf cast off? Waste not, want not. The rest are combined in other pods to form abominations of flesh and alchemy. A suitable payment to the Yuan Ti for their assistance and valuable shock troops for House JK.

The Yuan Ti might convince the elves to 'improve' their elven warriors. Make them immune to poison, not need the reverie, stronger, faster. The amount of corruption that could be introduced by Yuan Ti is limitless. It really depends on the motivations of House JK. If they are looking to repopulate the Elvish UK with elves, they are not going to want any pollution of their uber-elves with snake juice. If they are looking to create an unstoppable elven army, some enhancement might be sought out.

I have this image of a ziggurat in a deep jungle with each tier ringed with vines and giant spiny, melon-like fruit the vines attached to dozens of withered half elf bodies writhing under the tendrils while the fruit on the vine pulse with a dark intensity. Horrible mutated beastmen guard the paths to the ziggurat, controlled by elven warriors that looked like statues of heroes come to life.

I haven't thought that far ahead. Maybe Isle of Dread.

JK and co they're not really elf supremists more Elf imperialist. Half elves being way more numerous tend to make up the middle ranks.

Rank and file usually mercs or whatever fodder they can con into serving them.

I was thinking a vat being in a boat but not the main facility.

They've transformed Vanthus Vanderboren into a Cambion so I'm using the Savage Tide AP for inspiration but going elsewhere plot wise.

Using two half elves to make a barely sane full elf with added snake juice could work.

Human sludge could be worked into flesh golems or living zombies or something. Or Simic hybrids from Ravnica just give them snak scales and play up the yuk factor.

Other elf houses won't approve though even the Evil ones. House Kueryll is allied with JK, they're more like LE militarist types.
 
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Stormonu

Legend
A side take - because of problems with reproduction (low birth rates, infant mortality, etc.), most of the elf society is in fact, simulcrum (of a sort) to fill out the ranks. Instead of snow, the elves used snake blood because of the reputed long lives of snakes - which is slowly corrupting the simulcrum line. These elves simply aren't aware they're not "real elves". Only an elite few know the truth and they rely on clones to ensure the purity of their house and replace themselves when they either become infirm or die to injury or other happenstance.
 

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