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

Names (any gender): Aamu, Aatos, Ahti, Aimo, Aino, Alli, Ansa, Armas, Armo, Arvo, Aulis, Eija, Eino, Hella, Hilja, Ilma, Ilta, Impi, Into, Jalo, Kai, Kaleva, Kauko, Kielo, Kirsikka, Kukka, Kyllikki, Lahja, Lempi, Lumi, Mainio, Maire, Meri, Merja, Oiva, Onni, Orvokki, Otso, Paiva, Pilvi, Pyry, Rauha, Ritva, Sade, Sampo, Satu, Seija, Seppo, Sini, Sirpa, Sisu, Soile, Sulo, Suoma, Suvi, Tahti, Taika, Taime, Taisto, Taipo, Tarmo, Taru, Tauno, Terhi, Terho, Terttu, Toivo, Tuija, Tuuli, Tyyne, Ukko, Urho, Vanamo, Varpu, Veli, Vesa, Vieno, Virva, Voitto, 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 before the Crossing, see below).

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 fauns are solitary beings, but may be found with an adolescent “student.”

A sexless elf is called a dactyl.  Dactyls resemble "half-elves" of other settings.  They share a vague appearance in common with nymphs, but with shorter ears, squarer jaws, no floral traits, and more body hair.  Adult dactyls can be found living solitary lives or among the cohorts of nymphs.  They are honored as shamans among their people.

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.  With the exetion of half-elves, the elf also gains his or her physical sex during this ritual.
  • Half-Elves are those who reach adulthood without completing the Crossing. All elves are half-elves at birth; they take on traits of flora (female) or fauna (male) upon completing the crossing.  
  • High Elves are those elves who make the Crossing in urban, neutral regions.  They are mildly seelie. 
  • Wood Elves are those who make the Crossing in rural, neutral regions.  They are mildly unseelie.
  • Light Elves (Eladrin, Unearthed Arcana) are those elves who make the Crossing in seelie (celestial, holy) regions. 
  • Shadow Elves (Drow) 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 do not constitute a culture apart from the other elves.

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: corybants (maiden), dryads (mother), satyrs (horned king), treants (green man), and hags (crone).

Edited July 29, 2015; July 30, 2015; August 15, 2015; June 28, 2017; July 14, 2017; August 29, 2017; September 3, 2017; September 23, 2017.

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