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Original Elves

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Eclipse Sovereign, May 20, 2020.

  1. Eclipse Sovereign

    Eclipse Sovereign Dreamer

    I’ve been thinking about elves recently, especially the Norse Light Elves, and used that in my writing. My elves are ethereal beings, who live in a parallel world. It’s similar to the world of the wraiths in Lord of the Rings, with objects twisting and flapping like flags in a storm. The elves create bodies for convenience, frosted, misty and pale. They’re practically malnourished in appearance.

    Iron destroys their bodies, forcing them to slowly reform it over time. They will eat anything, including human flesh. The elves aren’t evil, just amoral.

    What do you think? What are your elves like?
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  2. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

    I always like new plays on the elves. My own come in several varieties and can be quite terrifying. They also are not dying a long slow death, in fact, they match or exceed humanity in the world. They tame a bit as the world moves on. In minor order of sorts:

    My Wood Elves will eat people, though most in Eld do. They just do it more. They also aren't averse to cannibalism and are frequently at war. If it was not for the apocalypse happening, they would have likely continued in that state. They're also the only ones to not only be at war with three different factions, but get into a civil war in the middle of doing that.

    The Snow Elves are basically Viking Elves who ride bear and wolf calvary's and raid down from the cold north and also form armies under the great Baba Yaga. They and the wood elves are usually constant enemies and one can count on their raiding in a timely manner. They are more warrior to the wood elves soldiers and berserkers to the knights.

    The High Elves are kind of asshole rulers and nobility who do not shy away from blood sacrifice, magical enslavement and mind screwing. Even at their nicest they are manipulative pricks. One of their High Queens tried to become THE sun goddess and that led to a civil war.

    The Sea Elves are basically pirate merchants, though the line is thin between both and how the law falls. They are generally nicer and more open then the above two, but they can be incredibly ruthless. And some are stuck in rote traditions that aren't helping anybody and they can be as greedy as delvers.

    The Drow, are well, they were terrible and then the High Elves happened. They have mostly been reduced to tricksters with a juvenile mind set and an addiction to hard drinks and drugs. They are still supremely ambitious and they tend to do the impossible because why not? They are responsible for most of the monsters that show up in the world with their alchemy. They also have clown assassins and are still quite dangerous, but it's hidden behind the veneer of fun loving druggies.

    The Gold Elves are mostly rugged country types and the bruisers of the elven world. They are also amongst the most peaceful, but even they have several paladin orders. They are the most peaceful out of all of the elves in general, but when roused to anger the earth will shake and like their cousins the High Elves, they can and will call down the sun too.
  3. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    I have an old worldbuilding project all about elves https://mythicscribes.com/community/threads/theological-dark-fantasy-weird-fiction.19616/

    The gimmick I went for is that all Elves were cursed in some unique way, with all the curses being connected to the knowledge of sin existing. The deep elves were not able to go into the sunlight, the dark elves could not show pity, the dawn elves could not become disfigured, the painted elves could not show anger and so on and so forth. If these elves crossed their racial curse they would be turned into 'Orcs', which in this world were chaotic spirits of continually changing forms and desires, thus losing all individuality and personality the elf once retained.
  4. D. Gray Warrior

    D. Gray Warrior Troubadour

    I was never a fan of your standard Tolkien elves, but I do like the Elder Scrolls' take on the Bosmer (Wood Elves.)

    My setting only has dark elves, and they live in the arid regions of the world. They are the world leaders in science and philosophy, but that is all I have for them so far.
  5. Patrick-Leigh

    Patrick-Leigh Troubadour

    My Elves are inspired by a variety of sources, including Norse mythology. They're broken into three main categories - Light, Wood, and Dark Elves. Light Elves are all fair skinned and have the strongest aptitudes for Arcane Magic but are physically the weakest. They're subdivided into Sun Elves, Moon Elves, Star Elves, and Snow Elves. Wood Elves have tanned or brown skin tones and are the weakest with Arcane Magic but the strongest physically. They're subdivided into the Forest Elves, Jungle Elves, Wild Elves, and Sea Elves. Wood Elves are also the only variety of Elves who have men capable of growing facial hair. Wood Elves are very proud of the fact that they can grow "moustaches."

    Dark Elves have dark skin tones, usually with purple or blue undertones, and are the most balanced between magical and physical aptitudes. They are subdivided into the Desert Elves, Deep Elves, Night Elves, and Shadow Elves.

    There are also some varieties of Elves that are a result of interbreeding between the three main groups. For example, Dusk Elves are a cross between Sun Elves and Night Elves, I think. I'm still working out all of the groups, but these are what I have so far.

    Another aspect about my Elves is that they tend to be rather androgynous looking. Since only Wood Elves seem to be able to grow facial hair, male Elves usually don't have beards or mustaches of any kind. Meanwhile, Elven women are usually small breasted and willowy in terms of physique. As a result, the sexual dimorphism of Elves tend to be more subtle than it is in other races. This is actually why most of my Elven cultures have rather strict dress codes when it comes to the sexes. Even they can have a hard time telling the sexes apart (at least from a distance) so having different styles of clothing for men and women is a means by which they can avoid awkward misunderstandings. It's also why so many of their comedies involve cross-dressing, like you see in some of Shakespeare's works. They're making fun of the fact that an Elven man can so easily impersonate an Elven woman and vice versa. So, there's usually bits like this:

  6. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

    I like your idea. It feels pretty old school, like something you’d see in Northern European folk tales but it also sounds like your elves are meant to be an aspect of the world rather than a set of three dimensional characters within the story. Which is fine if that’s what you’re going for.

    On my end, I took the elf stereotypes and imposed them on humans. So my humans are elves (or vice versa).

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