Sunday, March 24, 2019

Elves of Prace and Xahaca

Getting elves *right* has been difficult in this setting.  Here is my latest attempt.  This post replaces both "Elves of Monvesia" and "Monvesian Culture: Elfish Gender."
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Language Analog:  Finnish (Prace), Hungarian (Xahaca)
Inspiration:  Greek myth, fairy folklore, Wicca
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Tainted Counterpart: none, elves are immune to Taint
Temperamental Association: Vitalist

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 Prace.  Their Pracian homeland is called Sünnimaa, and once included all of Cuorria, Notopoli, and even Inheritance.  It is along the shores of Inheritance that the elves first emerged--from here most branched of the race migrated northwest into Prace, and another migrated southeast into Xahaca.  In total, there are five nations of elves, each associating itself with one of the five Archfey:  four in Prace and one in Xahaca.

Physically, elves are diverse; their primary and secondary physical  sex characteristics do not always "align"--and one or the other may not even develop. As any combination is possible, all are accepted as normal.  As such, elves have neither gendered pronouns nor required mix-gender marriage.  While elfish culture embraces polyamory, gender multiplicty, and pan-romanticism, these factors are not definitive of the race's society.  Unfortunately, these cultural traits do result in humans often accusing elves of being a hypersexual race. This is a direct result of misunderstanding elvish gender roles and identity.

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 (via Faerie). When an adolescent elf passes through one of these rings for the first time, he or she is transported to Faerie, where they experience a vision of their nation's totem Archfey (or their agents).  Sometimes, the elfling receives a vision that transforms them--instead of developing the nations expected traits, the elfing grows into a haltia or a hulder.

Haltias are the guardians of elfish tradition, while hulders are the guardians of elfish secrets.  Both haltias and hulders may be born to any of the nations.  They are treated as special members of society.

Elfish Nations

Elf sub-races generally represent the five nations.  Each nation considers itself the children of a particular archey--and they have physical traits reminiscent of that transcendent parent.
  • Nymphs are the Children of the All-Mother.  They are high elves, appearing as the traditionaly beautiful elf with pale skin and hair ranging from bright red to deep brown.  Nymphs are native to the majortiy of Sünnimaa, the recognized remaining elfish territory--though their homeland extends partly into Inheritance.
  • Fauns are are the Children of the Horned One.  They are wood elves, resembling comely and well-groomed satyrs.  Faun territory overlaps with much of Cuorria.  Fauns are mostly native to Cuorria, and he adjacent portion of remaining Sünnimaa.
  • Drow are the Children of the Witch Queen.  They are dark elves, resembling the typical dark-skinned drow with fair hair ranging across the blond spectrum.  Drow are native to the Granitsan Mountains (both Cuorria and Voztok).
  • Knuckers are the Children of the Shield Maiden.  They are sea elves (Tome of Foes), who have brightly colored hair and shimmering skin.  After the arrival of goliaths and establishment of Inheritance, knuckers were pushed exclusively into Xahaca.
  • Sprights are the Children of the Green Man.  They are grugach (Unearthed Arcana) who are tall and slender, resembling living trees.  Sprights are naive to Notopoli.
The drow of Monvesia are more like the shadow elves of Mystara than the spider-iconic drow of Faerun or the scorpion-iconic drow of Eberron.
Haltias and hulders are mechanically treated as separate sub-races--though they may be born to any of the nations.
  • Haltias are the guardians of elfish tradition.  They are eladrin (Tome of Foes), representing the fluid, pan-gender nature of the elfish race.
  • Hulders are the giuardians of elfish secrets.  They are shadar-kai (Tome of Foes), representing the absence of gender.

REWRITTEN Mar 24, 2019.  Edited Mar 29, 2019; Apr 20, 2019; Oct 7, 2019; Oct 10, 2019; Oct 18, 2019.

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