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Guide to elven subraces by Valkyrie

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1 Guide to elven subraces by Valkyrie on Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:03 am



This should help any player new or old to the roleplay of Elves. Even a quick glance at just your own racial category can save you time hunting down many of the old books. Special thanks to "Rinvarin", whose eagerness to roleplay encouraged me that people do care.

Moon Elves: (Teu'tel'quessir) Though you have more in common with Humans than the other Elves, you are not Human. If the blue skin isn't a giveaway, then your tendancies towards bisexuality and polygamy/poyandry is. Many of you can, and have mutiple consorts and love them equally. (Read Book of Exalted Deeds, "Court of Stars" if you need a 3rd Edition verification.) Now your people are in prominence, after having stopped the Gold Elves from their genocide. You will not brook being looked down on, and being called a "Grey" Elf is an insult which is never forgiven for decades. (Reference to the Gold Elven myth that Corelleon forged the Elves out of purest gold, and the grey ash left behind was molded into fitting servants.) Sun Elves have much to offer you, but some can be unforgivably scarring in their condescension. Wood Elves are your close bond to the wilds, but they could stand to keep a more open mind about outsiders.

Sun Elves: (Ar'tel'quessir) Congradulations! Your race used to be the kings and queens of all Elven kind. But after a nasty series of five wars, your most noble house of Vyshaan managed to eradicate the surviving goodly Drow nation of Ilyrathii in a single night with a High Magic cloud of unbearably agonizing death. But they didn't stop there. You lost your prominence to the Moon Elves, and get to keep all your Noble Houses with a Moon Elves royal family in the lead. Not only that, but your using High Magic to cause that genocide perverted it forever-you are the reason Elven magic is no longer at its pique. Because of your generational guilt (for essentially screwing over the world) most of you have an unwavering drive towards heroism. Or at least maintain a noble bearing, to prove you really are one of the better pedigrees. Perfectionists are more the rule than the exception among you, often causing you to take years in crafting where even Moon Elves would be finished. But when you are done, it is fully as you envisioned. Matriarchy is common among your people, and arranged marraiges have been known to happen. Most of you are, at least publicly, heterosexual and monogamous. However, dalliances outside the bounds of your relationship have been so often a source of intrigue, infidelity is more than quietly expected. Moon Elves have taken the lead for better or worse, and whether you are jealous of their success, or joyfully accepting of their contributions is a matter of personal choice. Wood Elves are your loyal friends, and you admire their rapport with the natural world. If only they would realize what they can gain from outsiders (N’tel’quessir).

(The Elf on the left.)
Wood Elves: (Syl'tel'quessir) Not to be confused with Moon Elves with leafy clothes, you are more at home in nature than either of your two cousins. When you step through the tall grass you feel a warmth in your heart grow, the wind of the glades is your breath. Awakening is not realizing the sunrise; you are the cycles of sunrise and moonfall. You love whom and when you wish, but woe betide those whom dare call you fickle! Loyalty is foremost to you; to the spirit of your ideals and not written word. Loyalty to your gods, loytalty to your people, loyalty to your lover. You tend not to trust Humans because of thier history of attempting to enslave (Tethyr) or eradicate you (Zhents). Moon Elves have your respect as the most tolerant, but thier willingness to assimilate among Humans is naive. Gold Elves were the heroes of your people once, and the noble of them can be again...if only they would remember you fight out of devotion to The People, not them.

Wild Elves: If you are among people outside your race, you are already outside the norm. Tightly knit into tribes, and xenophobic almost to a fault, you trust races beyond the Elves even less than the Wood Elves. Whereas the Wood Elves are at peace with the wilds, you are a primal expression of it, pure and unfettered. Few know of your shamanistic ways, or the intricacies of your tribal culture. When you claim your mate, it is for life, and you jealously, even violently protect him. Due to the need to keep small tribes alive for generations, heterosexuality is the most commonly practiced expression of intimacy.

Elandili: (Half-Humans) Born to Human and Elven parents, the longer these two races spend with each other, the more of these arise. Half-Moon Elves are more common than all the rest due to the racial proximity of would-be parents. Half Gold Elves are highly uncommon due to the elitism and eugenic outlook of the race. Half Wood Elves do occur, and sadly have arisen from the abominable crimes committed to your people by the Humans in Tethyr. No Wild-Elf has been known to ever trust, let alone touch, a Human long enough to even tryst. Passionate human beings can often inspire wonderment and adoration from an Elf. With eclectic adventuring parties wandering the earth, unorthodox pairings born of trust and blood are far from uncommon. Near native Aglarond, in the Yuirwood there is even a stable community of Half-Elves whom have been so for multiple generations. There they have developed a unique and personable culture wholly a middle ground between Human creative and Elven druidic respectfulness. Some of you do join the Elven People in reviree, while some of you fall to sleep as Humans do. Depending on how you were raised, or where, you may empathize with one culture over the other. However, despite fanciful bardic tales (which you likely find degrading), it is rare for those among you to honestly wish to be only of one race or the other.

Ears are a private and erogenous aspect of Elven anatomy. Caressing of ears is a private act between those with an unquestioned commitment. Needless to say, this is an affair not for the public eye.

Reviree: You are immune to “sleep”, and likely have never experienced it. As you drift away, you realize that the waking world is a quiet lie. This is how everyone was meant to be; communally sharing in unending mirth and joys in dream. Your heart is not alone, your mind is comforted with the entire race alongside it. Watches of reviree keep this perpetual peace; they are the talented, chosen, and voluntary few who take on the entire race’s nightmares. They face those negative experiences, overcome them, grow stronger for them, and share them back with the people. The only time an Elf ever truly knows sleep is when dangerously near a coma. (Complete Book of Elves)

Bonding: When two Elves, or one Elf and a Half-Elf, are so in love that they trust without question, it is a miraculous thing. Marriage is a loving commitment indeed, but that only starts the unification. Some rare and precious few have developed such an unspoken rapport, that their hearts complete the other without conflict or reservation. Under the gaze of the gods, they share in their ears and open themselves wholly to each other. As their flesh is transcended, they realize that separation is the unnatural state, and togetherness is truth. Minds and hearts flow together irreparably as though an ice floe between halves of a lake melted away.

Crown Wars: This series of five successive wars is an unspeakable tragedy of your people. All the races involved, save the Drow, have been forgiven for past deeds. You would no more speak of it aloud, than one would IRL walk into Berlin and mouth off about the Holocaust.

Drow: Monsters. They are the irredeemable enemy of your people. They tried to, and came the closest of all foes, to murdering your god. When the Elven gods fought the Ogre Pantheon, Eilistraee shot the Ogre gods down one by one with her bow. Aurshnee (Lolth) diverted one of the arrows with a spell into Corelleon, nearly killing him. Eilistraee never forgave herself and swore never to raise bow again. But Drow are against Eilistraee by default. You do not believe exceptions, especially since one Lone Drow, (Drizz’t Do’Urden) out of thousands of years of mutual war is the only example most people can point to. Vhaeraunites enslave and rape Elfmaidens in the High Forest to balance their skewed mostly-male population (Tangled Webs, Elaine Cunningham)

Orcs: Corelleon personally removed Grummnsh’ eye in one of many climactic battles. While you respect and tend to the natural world, they trample it underfoot, devour, despoil, and plunder by second nature. They lack the compassion, wits, and nature to even begin to act as anything but cunning animals.

The Complete Book of Elves (Age Categories):

For age purposes, treat "Sylvan" as both Wood & Wild Elves.

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