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Elf Stereotypes

Discussion in 'World Building' started by SaltyDog, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. johnsonjoshuak

    johnsonjoshuak Troubadour

    I use Elves and Orcs in my world, but the Elves are modeled after the phoenicians: sea-going merchants (and sometimes pirates). The Orcs live in industrial city-states and have built their successful economy off of legions of mercenaries and a central-location that makes them great traders.
    SaltyDog likes this.
  2. Ayaka Di'rutia

    Ayaka Di'rutia Troubadour

    The elves of my fantasy world (whose real race name is "Unia'a", meaning "stone-weaver," and "elf" is more of a slang term, and some elven races have different names for themselves) have different ethnicities and cultures; while there's a fair share of fair-skinned elves, there's an elven culture that are inspired by native Americans, and have dark skin colors and completely different mannerisms from their cousins. They have different body types and ear types.

    My elves are long-lived, but not immortal, and they're not generally intimately connected to plants and animals like some stories portray. The original Unia'a founded a race connected a lot to stone, which is usually typical of dwarves in the fantasy genre.
    SaltyDog likes this.
  3. mulierrex

    mulierrex Scribe

    I do have elves, and there are a few subraces that vary wildly from each other. One subrace lives predominantly in the open, as they rely on photosynthesis to survive (I admit I'm still working through that). Another subrace is a lot like vampires.

    Though, I don't see a problem with going for the standard elf. It's what people are familiar with after all, and one of my subraces, again, is the typical 'wood elf'.
    SaltyDog likes this.
  4. SaltyDog

    SaltyDog Sage

    Your vampire race sounds pretty interesting, and thanks for your input.
  5. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    My elves are definitely stereotypical. And you know what? I don't care. Love 'em that way.

    Mirovinia is a Slavic-inspired world with an elfen population in a realm to the north: icy seas, long winters, short summers, basically the arctic. Olive skin, dark hair, elegant features. Their magic differs from that of the humans. So, yeah, basically everything is the same as any fantasy elf you'd expect.

    I don't care to change something that's always worked for me as a reader. I grew up playing Dungeons and Dragons with my dad, the DM. Always went with elves and half-elves, so half-elves also exist in my world. It doesn't matter to me that the basic elf is an overused trope/cliche/whatever you want to call it. That's what I love, and fantasy wouldn't be the same without them for me. So that's what I write. Whoever likes basic elves might like what I write. And if not, ha, well that's okay, too. Introduce me to a new twist on elves because I'm always open to that, too.
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  6. SaltyDog

    SaltyDog Sage

    Good attitude!
  7. Netardapope

    Netardapope Sage

    My "elves" aren't called elves. They're considered Aerons (generic fantasy counterpart name). Contrary to the usual elf, they view people that live in nature as being barbaric and they all live in a grand floating city with advanced technology.
    They are prideful and arrogant, but for the opposite reasons of regular elves. Their view of nature is that it is only a resource to be used for achieving technological advances. They are also far from pure in that their politics are heavily machievallian.

    Sent from my SM-G386T using Tapatalk
    SaltyDog likes this.
  8. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    For my current WIP, there's a map. And on this map is a region not too far but not too close to the lands and cities that will feature in the story. And from the moment that I realized I needed to do something with this region, I had the trope elves, elves, elves refusing to leave my mind.

    So instead, I've developed a race of humans that are not quite human–"off-human" in the way that "off-white" is to "white"–that will live in the woods, among the trees, respectful to the trees and the nature that is around them, but who are not elves and will in fact have some dwarf-ish qualities as well.

    Haven't named the race yet.
    SaltyDog likes this.
  9. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

    My elves look like classic elves complete with having dark elves, wood elves, high elves and a dozen or so other types. This was a cosmetic choice using magical genetic engineering way back when, but they don't remember that anymore. They were altered to have an innate connection to the magical internet in their head along with other useful modifications to help them in their role as the secretaries, advisors and servants of the rich and powerful, but they don't remember that either. In the God Wars the infrastructure supporting the magical internet was destroyed. Since they have a connection to that internet in their head, that's bad. Since then they've been afflicted with a condition that causes members of their race to go mad and eventually die, but they don't remember the true cause of their curse.

    What their legends say is that they were the favorite children of the gods. Their priests, handmaidens and consorts. They were blessed with a unique connection to the gods and the heavens. However, when the heavens burned at the end of the God War it was like a piece was ripped out of their soul. Their race was afflicted with a horrible curse that inevitablely lead to death. Being around other Elves relieved the curse as their connection to each other serves as a surrogate for what they've lost. This has lead to the rather insular nature of the Elves since being away from each other for too long is a death sentence. First it was Elven tribes, but now they've condensed further into a single Elven nation.

    Elves tend to be slightly better than humans physically and significantly better magically. Their blessing also gives them natural psychic abilities, in particular natural telepathy. They're also good at dealing with spirits and elementals.

    In summary; they're Elf classic only with telepathy, a curse and an affinity for divine magic over arcane magic.
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