Updated: Jun 23, 2019
Continuing on our series of race posts, today we're going to talk about the Elves. During our round table, we spoke a little bit about the Elves' place in fiction and what other writers have used them for historically. They're a natural foil for humanity, very similar physically but with a wildly different culture. Of course you can look at all fantasy races as "they're like humans, but," and begin that way, but that simplistic approach doesn't leave them with the depth needed to really make a complete character.
Races in our setting fit a certain theme, that's by design. Having a concept to come back to when faced with a decision helps players to put their race first. Elves have suffered from the same problem orks have, they're left as default, and when that happens they become strange tree-loving fashionistas. We want something better than that, and judging by the round table the players do as well.
As I said in the Drow blog entry (which you can find here: https://uomyth.wixsite.com/website/post/our-races-shadow-elves-drow ) Barlow, the God of Shadows, lured away the passionate and the radicals among the elves and they were cursed. That story is beaten into the heads of every elven child, it changed their culture entirely. It was a selfish act and the drow are a selfish people, in response the elves have become violently communal. They act as almost a hivemind, working together on everything. They see the divisions the other races place between individuals as weakness to be exploited and avoided.
It really does take a village to raise an elf, and everyone comes together to teach what they know. Elven youths have access to the knowledge of their entire clan and community, they have time to learn and grow before they choose their profession and this choice like all others is made with the community in mind. In play, this should mean that the elves take care of their own and players will be able to really work as a unit to put their race first.
This will be different and we believe harder to role play than a standard fantasy race because the knee jerk reaction in most situations will be to put one's self first. The elves who really gain the respect of others by exemplifying their race, however, will always be more successful than any who try to strike it alone. Our Round table was excited to see what people could do if they had the divine directive to work together, and we as staff are excited to see where players will take the politics.
Will elf kind become a world police that keeps the lesser races in line? Or will they be xenophobes who violently guard their borders and protect their own while the world burns? We're leaving that choice in the hands of the players, and staff is stoked to see what people do with it.
Thanks for reading, look out for another race post soon as we work towards finishing our series out!