Monday, June 29, 2015

Elves of Monvesia

   

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Language Analog:  Finnish
Inspiration:  Greek myth, fairy folklore, Wicca
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Tainted Counterpart: none, elves are immune to Taint
Temperamental Association: Dynamist

Male Names: Aatos, Ahti, Aimo, Armas, Armo, Arvo, Aulis, Eino, Ensio, Into, Jalo, Kai, Kaleva, Kauko, Mainio, Oiva, Onni, Otso, Pyry, Sampo, Seppo, Sulo, Taisto, Taipo, Tarmo, Tauno, Terho, Toivo, Ukko, Urho, Veli, Vesa, Vieno, Voitto

Female Names: Aamu, Aino, Alli, Ansa, Eija, Hella, Hilja, Ilma, Ilta, Impi, Kielo, Kirsikka, Kukka, Kyllikki, Lahja, Lempi, Lumi, Maire, Meri, Merja, Orvokki, Paiva, Pilvi, Rauha, Ritva, Sade, Satu, Seija, Sini, Sirpa, Sisu, Soile, Suoma, Suvi, Tahti, Taika, Taime, Taru, Terhi, Terttu, Tuija, Tuuli, Tyyne, Vanamo, Varpu, Virva, Vuokko

With Dwarves and Rakasta, Elves are one of the original races of Monvesia.  Their homeland is called Sünnimaa, and once included all of Cuorria, Notopoli, and even Inheritance.

A female elf is called a nymph. Nymphs are the idyllically beautiful, fair haired and skinned, long eared beings typically thought of as elves. They have minor, floral traits—typically fern- or seaweed-like hair—that reflect their sub-race. Nymphs typically live in cohorts of 3 – 13, which may include any number of children (called elflings).

A male elf is called a faun. Fauns have the lower bodies of hoofed animals (goats, deer, bulls, etc.), human-like upper bodies, and animal-like horns & ears. They have dark complexions, in stark contrast to their female counterparts. Adult males are solitary beings, but may be found with an adolescent “student.”

Fauns are driven out of nymph cohorts upon reaching adolescence. The faun is expected to fend for himself, or to find an older mentor. It is not unreasonable to assume that some fauns come under the mentorship of their own fathers.

Elves are hypersexual beings. When a faun comes upon a group of nymphs, it is not uncommon for him to mate with all of them. Some nymph parties welcome this (and even endeavor to attract multiple fauns), while others may try to flee—sometimes in the interest of protecting their children. Even the mentorship of adolescent fauns has implications of pederasty.

The Crossing

There is an elvish coming-of-age ritual known as the Crossing, during which a young elf passes through a faerie ring. Faerie rings are naturally occurring ring of fungus, flora, or stones. These rings form around regions of the world which retain their ancient, idyllic state (the "Feywild"). When an adolescent elf passes through one of these rings for the first time, he or she is transformed by it.

Elven sub-races represent the transformations an elf can experience during the Crossing.
  • Wood Elves are those who reach adulthood without experiencing the Crossing. 
  • High Elves are those elves who make the Crossing in neutral regions. 
  • Eladrin (DMG) ("Light Elves") are those elves who make the Crossing in seelie (celestial, holy) regions. 
  • Drow ("Shadow Elves") are those elves who make the Crossing in unseelie (fiendish, unholy) regions. 
Shadow elves are not the matriarchal, spider (or scorpion) worshiping Underdark dwellers that they are in other worlds.  They have a dark/evil/nihilistic streak ("unseelie"), but to not constitute a culture apart from the other elves.
Since nymphs do not typically venture far from their childhood cohorts before adulthood, they typically share the same sub-race as their mothers. Fauns, on the other hand, are encouraged to wander off, so typically share the same sub-race as their mentors.

Transcendence

Unlike the taintable races, elves are incapable of ascension to sainthood. Instead, they are capable of transcending mortality into a fey state. Such elves are capable of experiencing the Crossing later in life. The fey forms that an elf can assume reflect the archfey: nymphs (maiden), dryads (mother), satyrs (horned king), treants (green man), and hags (crone).

Edited July 29, 2015; July 30, 2015; August 15, 2015.

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