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Pucette
08-28-2001, 03:45 PM
Wherein Doperstm construct and discuss the origins of the Dark Elves.

All resemblances to pre-existing mythologies should be purely coincidental, with a few exceptions...

I'll start:

Ogre and I were discussing that we were fascinated by the Dark Elves of Dungeons and Dragons lore. We began talking about their origins, since all the world knows that Elves are Good People. It must have been a dark tragedy indeed to corrupt and twist such Children of Light.

I've always pictured Dark Elves as having the physique of Tolkien's elves, with dark grey skin and silver white hair. This is stereotypical, I know, but perhaps we can figure out an original explanation for these traits in our story.

Contrary to traditional opinion, I never think of Dark Elves as being patently evil. Sure, they have their bad points like anyone else, but they shouldn't be victims of an over-arching character trait.

So how did Dark Elves come to be? An easy answer would be to say they were created at the same time as every other type of elf (which raises the entire theology question...). Or that all elves who preferred to live underground eventually evolved into this physique. I'm leaning towards more of a specific event that "turned" the elves, an action that causes a series of more or less dramatic changes in the lives of all involved.

Let us say it started with a regular elf who finds a puzzle one day. And as it turns out, someone, or something, was very interested in seeing who would be the one to finally solve the puzzle...

Remember that we're creating a mythology here. We hope we won't see interpretations of Tolkien's mythos or recycled Dungeons and Dragons material. That's too easy and formulaic. We want a legend, complete with shadowy figures, struggles, hubris, heroic deeds, and finally, tragedy. One should feel free to refer to the "High Priest of the Shifting Worlds" or "the eleven lost gems of Balance" or other such constructs with impunity. Let's have an entertaining and intriguing story here, not an analysis.

Athena
08-28-2001, 04:09 PM
C'mon, everybody knows Innoruuk made 'em.

Kilt-wearin' man
08-28-2001, 04:09 PM
I always thought that dark elves would be fat, besequined, and have ridiculous sideburns and red, glowing eyes...

Oh, whoops..I was thinking of dark Elvis.

Are dark elves like Velvet Elves?

bughunter
08-28-2001, 05:53 PM
Originally posted by Pucette
Ogre and I were discussing that we were fascinated by the Dark Elves of Dungeons and Dragons lore.
Gah. More drow obsessed munchkins! Tymora's teats, I thought I had escaped them...

I'm sorry, you won't see me deride someone very often here. I have a lot of tolerance and seldom rant about things, but I used to co-operate a MUD set in Forgotten Realms and it seemed like every other newbie wanted to run a Drizzt Do'urden clone Paladin of Tempus or some other completely illegal deity, with twin scimtars +5 and mithril chain +4 and would whine and complain about how we didn't allow this in the rules, and then get pissed at us and storm off pouting when we held our ground. It caused us to from a bitter and long lasting distaste for anyone who is fascinated by drow, but doesn't seem to have the first clue as how to roleplay one.

Look, there's a reason they published The Drow of the Underdark: to establish canon. Ed Greenwood already went to the trouble of detailing aeons of history for the Dark Elven race. If you don't like what he invented, then don't steal his elves and make up your own sociology and history for them, invent a new race. The more original it is, the more points you get.

Jophiel
08-28-2001, 06:07 PM
I rather liked the 'dark elves' from Elizabeth Moon's books. The Unsingers were much like the Singers, looked beautiful, had a lilting voice and if you didn't know anything about elves, you'd easily mistake one for the other. They were just twisted and evil. No black skin and ultravision though; just a bunch of nasty elves who followed dark gods.

I will admit though, that next to Raistlin clones, Drizzt clones get a prize for most annoying. Or maybe they tie.

Balance
08-28-2001, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by Pucette

..."the eleven lost gems of Balance"...
I knew those would cause trouble, but I just couldn't remember where I left them...

bughunter, I had dark elves--which looked nothing like Drizzt, BTW--long before I ever saw any of Greenwood's work. I'll get into their attitudes and origins later if I have the time. I understand your grudge against the munchkins, but if we want dark elves, we'll make dark elves--you don't have to read it.

But you know you will. ;)

Diceman
08-28-2001, 06:37 PM
In Tolken's Lord Of the Rings books, Dark Elves are just regular elves, excpet that they follow the evil one, Sauron.

MrVisible
08-28-2001, 06:52 PM
Dark elves are 10 per cent alcohol, brewed from pale, amber and black malts, with a touch of Pilsner malt, and around 24 pounds of Target hops per barrel -- that's four times as many hops as are used in a conventional elf.

Light elves, of course, taste great. And are less filling.

Ogre
08-28-2001, 07:39 PM
Originally posted by bughunter
Originally posted by Pucette
Ogre and I were discussing that we were fascinated by the Dark Elves of Dungeons and Dragons lore.
Gah. More drow obsessed munchkins! Tymora's teats, I thought I had escaped them...

I'm sorry, you won't see me deride someone very often here. I have a lot of tolerance and seldom rant about things, but I used to co-operate a MUD set in Forgotten Realms and it seemed like every other newbie wanted to run a Drizzt Do'urden clone Paladin of Tempus or some other completely illegal deity, with twin scimtars +5 and mithril chain +4 and would whine and complain about how we didn't allow this in the rules, and then get pissed at us and storm off pouting when we held our ground. It caused us to from a bitter and long lasting distaste for anyone who is fascinated by drow, but doesn't seem to have the first clue as how to roleplay one.

Look, there's a reason they published The Drow of the Underdark: to establish canon. Ed Greenwood already went to the trouble of detailing aeons of history for the Dark Elven race. If you don't like what he invented, then don't steal his elves and make up your own sociology and history for them, invent a new race. The more original it is, the more points you get.

Look, I couldn't give a rat's flying posterior what's been written before. It's hardly possible for me to be a "drow obsessed munchkin," as I haven't played D&D in 15 years and I'm 6'1" and 220 pounds.

I don't care about established canon. It matters not a bit to this thread. Pucette and I were talking about how we were interested in the so-called Dark Elves and how they got that way. We quickly decided to use D&D Dark Elves as a fast baseline, but to strike out on our own from there.

I couldn't care less about +5 Armor of Felching or +4 Ugly Sticks. If we wanted numbers, we'd have gone to the RPG. We were primarily interested in LEGEND. Mythology. An entertaining story, with deep mysteries and half-explained truths.

Finally, this has got not one thing in the world to do with RPG's. I don't game. Haven't in years. I just thought this would be a fun mental exercise.

So join in and have some fun, or lurk derisively. Suits me either way.

I knew those would cause trouble, but I just couldn't remember where I left them...

bughunter, I had dark elves--which looked nothing like Drizzt, BTW--long before I ever saw any of Greenwood's work. I'll get into their attitudes and origins later if I have the time. I understand your grudge against the munchkins, but if we want dark elves, we'll make dark elves--you don't have to read it.

But you know you will.

Thanks, Balance. I do believe you get it. I'll post my own thoughts later to get started. Right now, a Murphy's Stout calleth my name. :)

Just put your world-changing toys up when you finish with them, OK?

Ferggie
08-28-2001, 07:48 PM
Ok, now someone MUST invent a mixed drink called the Dark Elf. Assuming someone hasn't already.

Flutterby
08-28-2001, 08:23 PM
Originally posted by Jophiel
I rather liked the 'dark elves' from Elizabeth Moon's books. The Unsingers were much like the Singers, looked beautiful, had a lilting voice and if you didn't know anything about elves, you'd easily mistake one for the other. They were just twisted and evil. No black skin and ultravision though; just a bunch of nasty elves who followed dark gods.


That actually sounds a lot like the Seelie and Unseelie Sidhe.. both very much alike and hardly any differences except that the Seelie generally are good sorts while Unseelie are more dark and evil.

As seen in Mercedes Lackey (The Chrome Born etc) and LK Hamilton (Kiss of Shadows) books btw.

capacitor
08-28-2001, 08:31 PM
I consider the concept of Dark Elves to be quite racist (black=evil oh please!). I told my DM that as well.

Psi Cop
08-28-2001, 09:54 PM
You know, capacitor, the concept of "black = evil" is hardly racist. Think about humans... we're primarily daylight creatures. We are more active in the daytime, we live most of our lives in the day, etc. It stands to reason that if we spend most of our time in the light, we're going to be most happy in the light.

Night, on the other hand, is more "scary" (look at young children, for example). While "dark" may not mean the same thing as "black," it's close enough to mean the same thing to nearly all people. Bad things happen in the night -- you can't see where you are going and trip, you get lost in the forest, and the tigers come out to eat you (well, maybe not the last one). Have you ever heard of the giant sasquatch coming to eat you at 2 PM in the afternoon? I certainly haven't. The giant sasquatch usually comes to eat you at midnight.

Skin color aside, humans as a whole prefer the lighter day as opposed to the darker night. THAT is why we associate black with evil... the sasquatch comes when it is black (dark). It has nothing to do with one's skin.

As for the original post, I like to think of dark elves not being a seperate "race" as such... rather, I prefer to think of a dark elf as one that has left the path of "light." One that has been exiled by his own people because of his deeds. Drizzt Do'Urden is a perfect example of a renegade from his people... though he chose to leave, they clearly do not accept him as part of their people anymore. Making him, in essence, a "true" dark elf in my eyes. Or maybe, since he was a dark elf originally, he's now a "light elf."

-Psi Cop

Katisha
08-28-2001, 10:06 PM
Originally posted by Diceman
In Tolken's Lord Of the Rings books, Dark Elves are just regular elves, excpet that they follow the evil one, Sauron.

No, not really -- the Dark Elves are the ones who refused to return to Valinor in the First Age, or started out but didn't make it there, and hence hadn't seen the light of the Two Trees, Laurelin and Telperion. They certainly weren't followers of Sauron or Morgoth, though. In fact, Legolas may have been a Dark Elf, though I'm not entirely clear on that point...

Badtz Maru
08-29-2001, 01:22 AM
For an interesting variant, check out the Blood Elves of the underrated RPG Earthdawn.

The world had fairly typical Tolkienesque elves, but then it was invaded by the Horrors - extradimensional nasties that crossed over whenever cyclical magic levels got high enough to sustain them. Most of the races built heavily trapped and tightly sealed redoubts, usually underground, to wait out the few hundred years it would take for magic levels to go down. The elven court decided their magic was strong enough to keep the Horrors out of the forest with walls of thorns and various magical wards. They were wrong, and it wasn't long before the Horrors got in. Some of their mages figured out that the Horrors fed on pain and suffering, but it had to be suffering they inflicted themselves, they ignored people who were in constant torment for other reasons. They cast a spell on all the elves who were still in the forest that caused thorns that drew on blood magic for sustenance to grow from under their skin, which kept them in constant excruciating pain. It worked, the Horrors left them alone and went to find better prey. By the time the game takes place the Horrors are mostly gone, but the elves that stayed in their forest still have the thorns. They aren't particularly EVIL, but now they have an even lower regard for other races than is usual for elves, and a strong sado-masochistic streak.

Kamino Neko
08-29-2001, 01:45 AM
Originally posted by bughunter
Gah. More drow obsessed munchkins! Tymora's teats, I thought I had escaped them...

I happen to really really like the Drow, and I'm definitely not what you would call a Munchkin.

I've never even read the Drizzt Do'urden novels. Nor would I want to play a character like him. Too much milti-classing for my tastes.

I just happen to think the Drow are neat (and quite beautiful).

And, BTW, the D&D Canon on the Dark Elves' origins is quite good enough for me, I don't need to reinvent the wheel in this case.

Ogre
08-29-2001, 01:50 AM
Lord, how they don't get it.

Ogre
08-29-2001, 02:05 AM
Beer gives a -5 to any saving throw against acting snippy.

But come on, people, we have a mystery. There are former Children of Light who have been twisted into followers of the darkness. What happened?

Let's not talk about the Moriquendi. I understand their situation.

Let's not have any blather about the Drow and Lolth and driders. Forget that junk.

Tell me a STORY. Invent for me a mythology. Tell me why the Elf Lord succumbed to the temptations that the Midnight Raven whispered into his ear. Tell me why the Jewel of Eternal Starlight cracked that fateful night. Tell me why the Scrying Pool in the the Center Glade dried up and filled with sand.

I'm interested in hearing about your imagination. Forget all that other stuff. There's a tale of heroism and tragedy to be told.

MrVisible
08-29-2001, 02:19 AM
Look, I've got a dragon to paint, a lair to populate with treasure, a talking lute to flesh out, and a mountain range to map.

Then I've gotta come up with all the changes the war has brought to the Burin Hills, and design the capital of Burin. I have to wrap up the first branch of the campaign, originally slated for three weeks of game time, in one short session, and unite that with the current branch of the campaign, and weed out the excess characters for overlapping players.

I have to come up with the royalty of the lands surrounding Burin, and their escorts to the treaty conference. I have to paint figures for all of them, too. Then I have to plan out, in detail, a political assassination, and frame a party member.

And that's all before the stand at the pass, against the invading Kedullan army.

I'm swamped.

Besides, Dark Elves? Bo-ring. Evil is boring. I'm more interested in what happens when you mix elves and gnomes. Or elves and dwarves. Dwarves and orcs! (Dworcs?)

Barbarian
08-29-2001, 03:20 AM
Originally posted by Ogre
It's hardly possible for me to be a "drow obsessed munchkin," as I haven't played D&D in 15 years and I'm 6'1" and 220 pounds.


Hah! Being a munchkin has nothing to do with physical size, Ogre. It's got everything to do with being a complete weenie obsessed with +5 Girdles of Misguided Studliness... :)

As for dark=black=evil, that's a holdover from Tolkien. Everything bad in Middle Earth was ugly, dark-skinned, and talked a twisted version of the nice-guy languages. Read into that what you will.

But Ogre wants a reason for light fluffy scions of goodness elves to go bad. So I'll tell you what's up in my gameworld of Phylogenia.




To make a long story short, all elves on Phylogenia are semi-magical beings. They know all the secret words to make vermin vamoose, slip through the forests without being seen, and live much, much longer than other humanoids.

Except for the retards. Some elves are clumsier than a sthondat in heat. Some elves can't master the easiest cantrip. Some elves get wrinkles by the time they're 50. And that totally repulses standard elven society. Sure, elves can appreciate that dwarves and humans and orcs and goblins and gnomes and whatever may not be as graceful, intelligent, and as tune with the wonderful oneness of being as they are, but it's unacceptable for an elf to be that way.

So the retards are exiled.

I recognize that some of you make take offense to the word 'retard'. To those who do, please take into account that this is an imaginary world and an imaginary society I'm talking about here. We're also talking about a reason for people to get all twisted, evil, and obsessed with revenge. I think being exiled and called a retard qualifies. If you don't like this, take it to the Pit.

Steve Wright
08-29-2001, 07:25 AM
Can't let this one pass without remarking that the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology included Alfheim (home of the elves) and Svartalfheim (home of the dark elves). The dark elves being something like the Unseelie Court which Obsidian Flutterby mentioned earlier... the idea of supernatural beings with a dark side and a light side is common in Germanic and Celtic mythology (in which fields Tolkien was something of an expert).

Tolkien may have come up with an origin for elves that fitted his own invented cosmology (didn't the elves that Morgoth corrupted become the ancestors of the Orcs?), but the root stories are clear: if you have "light" elves, you have to have dark elves too, they're two sides of the same coin.

Ethilrist
08-29-2001, 08:33 AM
Originally posted by bughunter
[QUOTE]Gah. More drow obsessed munchkins! Tymora's teats, I thought I had escaped them...

No such Luck.

(ducking and running...)

Kamino Neko
08-29-2001, 11:25 PM
Since I'm in a creative mood, I'll take a stab at it.

On the other hand, I'm not in THAT crative a mood, so in order to creat an origin for Dark Elves, I'll need some information:

What is their world like - what other races exist?

What are the 'Light' Elves the Dark Elves stand in contrast to like - are the highly civilised city dwellers, quaint pastoral folk, truely wild, or something else?

capacitor
08-29-2001, 11:34 PM
Originally posted by Psi Cop
You know, capacitor, the concept of "black = evil" is hardly racist. Think about humans... we're primarily daylight creatures. We are more active in the daytime, we live most of our lives in the day, etc. It stands to reason that if we spend most of our time in the light, we're going to be most happy in the light.

Night, on the other hand, is more "scary" (look at young children, for example). While "dark" may not mean the same thing as "black," it's close enough to mean the same thing to nearly all people. Bad things happen in the night -- you can't see where you are going and trip, you get lost in the forest, and the tigers come out to eat you (well, maybe not the last one). Have you ever heard of the giant sasquatch coming to eat you at 2 PM in the afternoon? I certainly haven't. The giant sasquatch usually comes to eat you at midnight.

Skin color aside, humans as a whole prefer the lighter day as opposed to the darker night. THAT is why we associate black with evil... the sasquatch comes when it is black (dark). It has nothing to do with one's skin.

-Psi Cop

Then why are the Dark Elves, the only group of elves marked as evil, drawn and depicted as having black skin, if it is not meant for racial overtones? Then couple that with the very light-skinned High Elves.

Ogre
08-29-2001, 11:40 PM
Please let this ridiculously hijacked thread die in peace. No one ever bothered to address the OP, so could you guys take your little racial debate and move it somewhere else?

Psi Cop
08-30-2001, 12:22 AM
It's a visual metaphor. If you're going to call them "dark elves," they should probably be marked as "dark" in some way. As I pointed out above, dark = black, for all practical purposes. Besides, when have you ever seen an evil creature in light fluffy colors? (Aside from the snow Yeti). They're not always black, but they're usually in dark colors.

If you're going to make the dark elves a seperate race, you should probably have some way of distinguishing them. They are still elves, so you can't change their physical structure. Skin color is an obvious target. You could always make them light-skinned, I suppose, and the "fair" elves dark-skinned... but then who would really be the "dark elf?"

-Psi Cop

Gozu Tashoya
08-30-2001, 03:49 AM
They start out as "typical" elves. They live the "typical" elf long lifespans (what, 2-3 hundred years or so?), and have very strong family values, as well as being fiercely loyal to both their families and traditions. (After all, when you live for a couple hundred years at a stretch, those traditions get pretty ingrained.)

They are also incredible warriors. Not the "swift yet dainty" fighters from AD&D lore, but true badasses - think an army of Jet Li's in pissed off, "you die now" mode, with swords.

At some point in elf history, they take over the Great Forest (which they named something appropriately elvish and isn't on a discarded draft from the Princess Mononoke script), ridding it of the goblins, wild dire wolves (an elf ranger w/ a domesticated dire wolf, on the other hand, is a terrible thing), trolls, and other undersirables, and rule it in piece and relative isolation for generations (read: a millineum or two).

Despite the size of the Great Forest - roughly the size of Los Angeles, though with a smaller population - the cities start getting a tad crowded, as elves live for a pretty damn long time. This, combined with generations of peace (this is before humans became the imperialists of the world), leads to restlessness among the "younger" elves (insert your "he may look young, but he's really ___ years old" dialogue here), who long to test their skills against the occasional band of orcs or testy duergar (a thread in themselves, no?).

Enter a young and, of course, charismatic prince, an imperialist in his own right, though too young to have any political clout or notable rights of inheritance. He wants to go and conquer lands beyond those of the forest - after all, what's the point of a standing army when all you're fighting is trolls? - but tradition is against him. Tradition says you stay home, take care of your families and the forest and its more benevolent residents (nymphs, those sentient tree guys, etc.), which is honorable, if boring.

He is a favorite among the younger soldiers, as he has a way with the sword that they envy and admire. An impromptu fan club starts, as he spars with and teaches any young warrior who asks. As he spars, he bitches (hey, he's young), and spouts his imperialist ideologies. His sparring earns him friends who share his ideologies, and his idealism, even as radical as it is, earns him the similarly idealistic heart of a young female elf of, of course, a noble house.

And did I mention that the king was getting old? And that the ceremony of ascension was coming up? No? Well, it was. And though tradition favored the eldest son, as traditions tend to do, the young (and apparently yet to be named) prince's ideals win him many followers. They argue vehmently that the young prince would bring the elven nation a new and unprecedented era of adventure and prosperity.

The eldest son, though not as ambitious as his younger sibling, is a very calm, composed statesman who has long since gained the favor of the ruling council, and this cements his position and quashes his younger brother's dreams before they can start.

The younger and elder brother meet in a heated argument, with younger extolling the virtues of expansion and condemning the stagnating "older ways" and older brother (hey, look, symbolism!) arguing that a break with tradition (such as younger brother ascending to leadership) would cause irreparable harm to their nation.

Though a coup d'etat seems certain, younger brother sees the damage it would cause (though he would have won), and he and his followers (including, of course, the beautiful young noblewoman) pack up and leave, a small and formidable army in their own right.

They journey for thirty days and thirty nights and, predictably enough, end up settling in another forest (come on, they wouldn't live in caves, would they?) hundreds of miles away from the Great Forest and bordering a great empty (though green) plain. They name this new forest something appropriately elvish, and live there for fifty years or so until human civilization encroaches upon them (or vice versa, depending on how you look at it).

In the meantime, young, exiled prince and similarly young and exiled young noblewoman become married and have a beautiful, fair-haired son. He's set aside to grow older and more important over time.

Across the plain is a great walled fortress of a city, manned by knights, mercenary bands, and thousands of dirty, smelly humans (elves consider all humans dirty and smelly, you know?). Early attempts at communication go poorly (the lord of that city being an egotistical and, as it turns out, racist boor) and an air of general dis-ease grows between the two settlements. Time passes, skirmishes between the two grow larger and more fierce and soon there is a great and horrible battle.

The human army is immense, composed of both knights and large mercenary companies looking for glory and the doubtlessly rich loot of the (upstart) elvish kingdom. They camp several miles from the elvishly named forest, sending out various sorties and scouting parties to ascertain the weaknesses and best ways to attack the elves.

The elves, who have no calvary (early calvary attempts were met with broken necks as horses tend to not "thunder" very well in forests) employ quick surgical strikes at night, when their night vision allows them a great advantage over the humans, and when they can employ their fighting techniques to their greatest advantage (they're better at man to man than man to horse, of course).

To best add to their advantage, they magically (or not, depending on your tastes) darken their armor and weapons so that they're black as (insert name of really dark object/substance here), and attack to great effect. Needless to say, they win and end this little mini-war (despite their leader's imperialist tendencies, they see little point in attacking a walled city from a field that is prone to being overrun with ponies and bearing large metal men).

As the surviving soldiers/mercenaries/random guys trying to get laid relate stories of being set upon by bloodthirsty, doubtlessly vampiric, elves, the term "dark elf" is used liberally, and the name eventually sticks.

And, just for the hell of it, elf scouts learn that the term is being used to describe them, and the new kingdom of elves quickly adopts the name as their own, as it matches their generally grouchy outlook (there are few happy exiles from the land of their birth and raising, regardless of the circumstances). Some of their people who still communicate with those in the Great Forest (even great warriors get homesick) carry word of this new moniker back and soon everybody knows them as the Dark Elves.

Gozu Tashoya
08-30-2001, 03:52 AM
Christ, let's pretend I proofread that, okay guys?

Pucette
08-30-2001, 04:16 PM
Welp, sorry to not have replied sooner. I think I'll ignore the uninterested parties...

Originally posted by Tengu
What is their world like - what other races exist?

What are the 'Light' Elves the Dark Elves stand in contrast to like - are the highly civilised city dwellers, quaint pastoral folk, truely wild, or something else?

That's entirely up to you, and part of the point! There could be many different types of elves, as with Tolkien and others... wood elves, high elves, grey elves, sea elves, etc... As KKBattousai suggests below, the Dark elves could be members from any and all or none of these groups.

Speaking of KKBattousai, I think his one way to make the Dark Elves not be about good=light, dark=evil. In fact, I very much like the explanation.

Which leads me to a great big thank you :) (unless I'm being whooshed. I'm very paranoid about whooshdom...)

So more about the forging of this black metal. More about the fair-haired son. More about this forest. Any theology involved? Any other deep, mysterious theories lurking about?

PS - Feel free to discuss the druegar, or any other "mysterious" races, like where did dragons come from? that sort of thing. When you are in a mood (that some people obviously don't appreciate) all these things can give you shivers if you let your imagination run wild...

PPS - mods: would this thread maybe fit better in the new forum?

Coldfire
08-30-2001, 05:30 PM
Allllrighty then, off it goes to Cafe Society!

Boy, that felt weird. :)

Kamino Neko
08-30-2001, 10:32 PM
Well, I've given this too much thought to get lazy and leave it alone, so...

[Narrative mode.]

The Dark Elf looked up at me, his back against the rock.

'What...did you call me, HUMAN?' He spat the last word.

'A...D...Dark Elf...'

He snorted and returned to his book. 'Disgusting appelation, given by those traitors to Elvenkind. We are the True Elves.'

He brushes a finger along his nut brown cheek - so different from the silver skin of the elves I knew - and sighed. 'Those pale imitations of Elves took away our homes... Built their cities over our ancestral groves, forcing us into the caves since we refused to leave nature, or go too far from our homelands...'

He put down the book and looked at me. 'Its your fault you know. No, not yours personally, but your people.'

I looked on quietly.

'We - the Elves - were the only people in these lands for millenia. Then you humans, and the Dwarves came in and began to build your cities. The others...they saw the splendour of your palaces and arenas, and they wished to imitate it. They built, our ancestors objected, the Pale Ones drove us out.'

He returned to his book. 'Now, please, leave me...'

[/Narrative Mode]

I think I WILL take your challenge about the origins of other races (Not neccessarily the 'mysterious' ones), though I need to give it a little thought.

erislover
08-30-2001, 10:55 PM
Originally posted by bughunter
I have a lot of tolerance and seldom rant about things, but I used to co-operate a MUD set in Forgotten Realms and it seemed like every other newbie wanted to run a Drizzt Do'urden clone Paladin of Tempus or some other completely illegal deity, with twin scimtars +5 and mithril chain +4 and would whine and complain about how we didn't allow this in the rules, and then get pissed at us and storm off pouting when we held our ground.Isn't that the way with everything? :p

Lemur866
08-30-2001, 11:16 PM
Everyone knows that the light elves are the elves that have decided that exterminating the verminous infesting humans is impossible and that some form of cohabitation must be reached. The dark elves still hold out hope that every human can be wiped out.

Wumpus
08-30-2001, 11:51 PM
I've always found it indicative of the D&D mindset that when they wanted evil elves they had to invent a *whole new race.* They couldn't possible imagine an ordinary elf doing anything morally dubious. ("No way, dude! It says elves are Lawful Good right in the Monster Manual!")

Trucido
08-31-2001, 12:06 AM
There's a mountain, out past the River Snake, visible right through the top of Horsekiller Pass, that the local Gamogan tribesmen call the Needle. The Gamogans think that their god of strife lives on the Needle, and sends his spirits out to punish them when they don't leave enough tribute. It's easy for me to laugh at them now. Not that what lives there couldn't be called a god of strife, but the Needle sure as hellfire ain't a mountain.
We were passing through there, about five years back, with that elf Isandar trailing along. You know elves, they don't like to associate too closely with us. We camped in easy sight of the Needle, though the way the moon hits it the cursed thing's hard to avoid. Isandar stayed unusually close to us that night, like he was afraid of something. I didn't even want to think about what could make a fighter like him so scared as to share a campfire with us. Even so, he talked a lot, told a lot of old and very strange stories.
The Needle, you see, is a fortress. A very old one, made without a single chisel touching stone. The thing was literally called into being by Elven Magi, a shining white testament to their greatness. Back then, said Isandar, the pennants of all the Elven houses were hung from the battlements, with the cloth-of-gold flag of the Sun King topping them all. Tribute and ambassadors flowed in from around the world, with every nation of any consequence bringing fine things and precious creations to the Sun King's court. There was magic there, too, magic such as is never seen today. Strong, and old, magic that permeated everything they brought in, and everyone who touched it. Isandar saw it; for all his youthful cast he's not a day short of twenty-five hundred years old. When he would talk about the art, the carved wood that seemed to live yet, the gardens that stretched for miles along the terraced heights, his eyes would brim with tears. Such beauty, such wonder, he was sure that the world would never see again.
It was a rare sort of thing for the Sun King to leave the court, but the need was great. Every child knows the story of the Crusades, of the fanatics who wore the blue star and came down to wreak their bloody religion on all who they could reach. We fight them still to this day, though they are a shadow of their former strength, and dying fast. In their initial might, though, they crushed kingdom after kingdom. Only the Dwarven holds at Khaj and Khalag dared defy them. As human nations fell, the Sun King saw what misery the Saved would bring the world, and knew he must fight them. He and his council, mages of unimaginable power, marched at the head of the army. Isandar couldn't speak through the tears, but we could all picture what a glittering majesty that army must have been. Imagine the gold and silver pennants, snapping over rank after rank of elven warriors. Their cavalry shook the earth with its charges, while mountains could take lessons in steadfastness from the disciplined formations of their infantry. They were to our human armies what wood is to steel.




And I'll continue it, if anyone's interested...

RickJay
08-31-2001, 12:41 AM
Originally posted by Athena
C'mon, everybody knows Innoruuk made 'em.

Damn inkies.

I never got the impression the good elves were all that good, at least within the context of EverQuest, which IMO is THE canon. :) Elves strike me as being cold and cruel - the drows aren't as far from your regular elves as the regular elves would like you to believe...

Kamino Neko
08-31-2001, 01:14 AM
Originally posted by Wumpus
("No way, dude! It says elves are Lawful Good right in the Monster Manual!")

Actually, Elves are usually Chaotic Good. Evil is uncommon but not unheard of - and the reverse applies to Drow, they're usually Chaotic Evil (They actually strike me as rather Lawful, but that's just me...), but there's good Drow as well.

And, of course, the Dark Elves aren't a D&D invention (though the Drow-trappings-thereof are.).

And Rickjay - cold definitely describes the D&D Elves (the version which includes Dark Elves that I'm most familiar with) - many of whom really come off as horridly racist (the High Elves of Greyhawk or Moon Elves of Faerun are generally nice, but some of the others (Grey and Gold) are really bigotted.), but cruel...not really.

Badtz Maru
08-31-2001, 02:10 AM
Well, since we are going into other race origins, I'll give you the mythos I created for a D&D 3E campaign I made. It had elves, but not dark ones. I tried to incorporate a lot of the D&D races and monsters but give them new origins.

After O the Creator made the world he wanted to share it with other minds. He first created two - Ab, God of Order and Sil, Goddess of Chaos. Ab and Sil soon got the idea that it was possible for one to overcome the other, and ignored O's creation and instead spent all their time fighting each other. This disgusted O, who banished them from his world and decided to create beings more closely tied to his creation. He made three races - the elves, who lived in the rivers, lakes, and seas, the gnomes, who lived under the ground, and the dragons, who lived on the surface and in the air. For millenia they lived in peace, rarely interacting with each other, but Ab and Sil had been growing more powerful in their exile and eventually were able to reach back into the world, if only to whisper into the minds of O's newer creations. Neither deity was happy with the state of the world, Sil found the non-changing balance revolting to her chaotic nature, while Ab has similar problems with the disparities between the ways of life of the three races, and it's relative lawlessness. They began manipulating the three races, making them question the natural order.

The dragons were taught how to use magic to change the form of their unhatched young, and were tempted with tales of huge rich hunting grounds beneath the sea. Being undisputed lords of all they knew, the dragons felt that if they sent their young to live in the sea nothing would oppose them. The first generation of sea dragons were slaughtered by the elves. The dragons gave up on colonization of the seas when they realized that they could not replace their numbers fast enough to fight the elves in a protracted war, due to their long reproductive cycle - a female elf could give birth to a set of twins every two years, while dragons would spend a decade tending a single egg. They used the same magic they used to create the sea dragons to create a race of warriors to fight the elves, by combining elf blood with that of sharks. The new race, called the sahuagin, had the intelligence and agility of the elves and the fierceness and toughness of sharks. The elves lost, and the only ones who survived were those who lived in the fresh-water streams and lakes where the sahuagin could not venture. By this time the sahuagin were no longer loyal to the dragons, however, and the dragons still could not claim the sea.

The elves tried to adjust to their smaller home by slowing their reproduction, but due to their long lives the waters were becoming crowded, and elves began to starve. Then the elven rulers were visited by a spirit or deity that would not reveal it's identity. It told them to use the body-shaping magic of the dragons to transform themselves into a race capable of leaving the water and living on land. They protested that they would stand little chance even if they could survive living out of the water, because the dragons had the gift of flight and could slay the helpless elves from afar. The being told them that when they left the waters they would find a solution in the forest. Some elves believed that doing this would bring about the extinction of their race, while others felt that they were doomed if they stayed in the dying lakes and rivers. They fought a short but bloody civil war over this, and the faction in favor of becoming landdwellers won. They raised a new generation who lingered by the shores while their parents sang to them the old songs from the water. Eventually the older generation could no longer feed their children, who had to venture forth and find a new way to live.

The new elves were weak on land, and could not hunt the fauna of the land nearly as well as their ancestors hunted the waters. They began to study the plants, and learn how to get food, shelter, and clothing from the bushes, trees, and vines. The dragons found them so pitiful that they mostly ignored them, only occasionally coming to burn out their villages to remind them who truly ruled the surface world. Then one day an elf was inspired by a bending branch and invented a new weapon - the bow.

The elves learned to use the bow to hunt, and now they had plenty of food and were able to begin breeding at the same rate as when their ancestors lived in the sea. Their numbers increased and their reach expanded. When the dragons entered the forests they were shot with hundreds of poisoned arrows, unable to escape swiftly enough to the safety of the skies because of the entangling branches of the thick woods. The dragons considered creating a new race to fight the elves, but had not forgotten the mistake they had made with the sahuagin. They decided to leave the elves alone as long as they stayed in the forests. The elves found the open plains and mountains ugly and alien anyway, so they rarely left the safety of their new domain.

Well, there's a lot more, but I have to stop for now. I may finish this later if anybody is interested. I haven't even got to the creation of orcs, dwarves, and kobolds, nor the arrival of the halflings and the humans.

MrDibble
08-31-2001, 08:29 AM
Elves? Ha! We made them. My brother Fafnir and me, that is...back in the Dawn Time, that was.

Do you mind if I stretch my wings a bit, this mountain gets cramped, and a mountain of gold is not the softest...oh, yes, you're right, we WERE talking about Elves, sorry, the mind goes after the second million years...now where was I?

Ah yes, Fafnir and I invented a new Great Game, you see, but after playing with pieces of stone (I think we left them on an Island in the Peaceful Sea), we decided that animate pieces might be better - certainly more fun, more ... 'surprising' is the word, I think, what with free will and all.
Anyway, we took some of the talking monkeys that were getting thick on the ground in parts, and we ... 'improved' them. Took quite some High Sorcery, I can tell you, genetic manipulation and bodily improvements all round. You don't get Magick like that any more, I can tell you - not enough Mana to go around. So anyway, we improved them alright -Live longer (no one wants a Game set that wears out!), better senses, better looking. Then we took to Gaming...
Oh that...Fafnir always liked Black...it was his way, right up until that George did him in. Still, we only played for a few millenia - Fafnir was always cheating...hiding his pieces underground, getting extra Mana out of the Bank with deliberate sacrifices and Dark rituals, I swear if I hadn't interfered with your lot on our side, my pieces wouldn't have stood a chance. Still, after that first game we lost interest...withdrew our Almighty Will from the pieces, let them get dusty, you know how it is. And that's all you need to know about Elves. Now let me get back to Sleep.

That comes from my GURPSlite campaign background mythos(immortal dragons are the ultimate power, subtle manipulation of original primate stock by various dragons to produce different races) filtered through a Tom Holt looking glass, methinks.