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 hair like feathers that grows down thier back and arms--reflecting their particular creeds. 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. Their particular animal nature signifies their creed. 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 nonbinary elf is called a dactyl.  Dactyls share a vague appearance in common with nymphs, but with shorter ears, squarer jaws, and hair like vegetation.  Their skin tones are also more exotic in comparison to their gendered counterparts.  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, and the gendered roles (or creeds) they represent.  In most ases, the elf also gains his or her physical sex during this ritual.
  • High Nymphs (High Elf) are feminine/magical females.  High elves have brown feathers, with the occasional shock of bright color.
  • Dusk Nymphs (Shadar-kai, Tome of Foes) are androgynous/otherworldly females.  Dusk elves have black feathers.
  • Sky Nymphs (Avariel, Unearthed Arcana) are masculine/athletic females.  Sky elves have white feathers.
  • Wild Satyrs (Grugach, Unearthed Arcana) are feminine/magical males.  Wild elves strongly resemble antelopes and gazelles.
  • Dawn Satyrs (Eladrin, Tome of Foes) are androgynous/otherworldly males.  Dawn elves strongly resemble cattle.
  • Wood Satyrs (Wood Elf) are masculine/athletic males.  Wood elves strongly resemble sheep and goats.
  • Shadow Dactyls (Drow) are feminine/magical neuters.  Shadow elves have inky black skin, with hair like moss or lichen.
    • Shadow elves are not the matriarchal, spider (or scorpion) worshiping Underdark dwellers that they are in other worlds.  They have a nihilistic streak, but do not constitute a culture apart from the other elves.
  • Arboreal Dactyls (NEW) are androgynous/otherworldly neuters.  Arboreal elves have greenish-yellow skin with hair like vines.
    • Specific features of the arboreal elves have yet to be determined.
  • Sea Dactyls (Tome of Foes) are masculine/athletic neuters.  Sea elves have bluish-green skin with hair like seaweed.
  • Uncrossed Elves are completely sexless and genderless.  They are hairless, and have pale skin.
    • Uncrossed Elves gain the following trait.  This trait is lost if you should ever undergo the Crossing ceremony.
      • Not So Alien.  Your have advantage on all Charisma checks when dealing with non-elves.
High Nymphs, Wood Satyrs, and Shadow Dactyls are the most common elfish gender creeds outside of Sunnimaa.

Transcendence

Unlike the taintable races, elves are incapable of ascension to sainthood. Instead, they are capable of transcending mortality into a fey state. 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; June 24, 2018; July 22, 2018.

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