The concept of “elf” across Altera, as one of the great mythological races, is one of the better documented myth groupings. It is frustratingly however, also one of the more contradictory. As with all mythological groups, elves seem to have limited affinity for shapeshifting which may account for some of the conflicts however, we must use care that this does not become a catch-all excuse when something does not fit an established theory. There does seem to be a ruling class of elf who maintained loyalty of the subservient species, but it is unclear if this was through some sort of magical binding, social structure convention, or other means of control. What is clear though, is that for a race not known for their physical bearing, the hierarchy did seem to be based on stature. Or given their shape shifting nature, perhaps their stature was a result of their social standing?
Every time that the creatures called elf come up in a mythology, they seem to break down into two distinct roles. The ruling class of elf are the epitome of grace and courtly etiquette holding titles such as Lord, Lady, King, or Queen. These are the first and only race to use the concept of such ranked social strata. As such, we scholars must ask ourselves, did we as humanity learn this concept from the elves or is their mythological social structure simply a reflection of our own cultures? Beneath the nobility of the “High Elves” is a significantly more varied sub-grouping. These “lesser elves” tended to be smaller in stature, with some legends claiming they were no larger in size than an acorn. It was said that not only could they change their size to temporarily interact with the human world but could affect a similar change on humans, allowing them access to a hidden miniaturized world that was otherwise undetected.
Adding to the complication of elf classification is a wholly separate grouping that represented both “High Elf” and “Lesser Elf” within each region. Here we see three distinct types of elf cultures however, they still maintained the same general social structure. “Woodland” or “Forest” Elves seem to have homes anywhere a copse of trees could be found and in the denser forests of what is now Calakmel. “Cave” elves or “Dark” elves were found in mines, caves, and the dark places of the world. Finally, there seems to be a third grouping of elf we currently call “City” elf or “Home” elves. Each one seems to have had unique social qualities based on their chosen dwelling, but still maintained the general social structure based on height of all things.
Physically speaking, all creatures that I categorize as “elf” have pointed ears to some degree. This can vary wildly from the mythical Sidhe of Altera who were said to have elegant and slightly pointed ears to the comically long ears of Larana’s Kobolds. Examples of the different elf species are listed below for further study.
- Altera: Sidhe
- Calakmel: Aluxes (Aluxob is the plural), Dimmea
- Larana: Kobolds
- Mathuradu: Ribhus
- Moragon: Domorvoy
Elf Racial Powers
Elf Character Modifications
- Never accept a gift without returning a gift of equal value within 24 hours
- Never offer an apology
- Provide at least 5 minutes of artistic critique (positive or negative) regarding clothing, craft, or building directly to the owner once a day.
- Never use mental magical effects
- Never strike animals of the wild unless attacked first
- Must wear “ear tip” prosthetic of any type
- Cheek highlights of soft browns, greens, yellows, or charcoal
- Eye highlights of soft browns, greens, yellows, or charcoal