Updated: Jul 29
When we approached the lore aspect of UO.Myth it was decided we would really take a long time to look at the races in fantasy and what they represent. From the beginning, we wanted everything set and themed around the religious side of the story. Mytharria, the inspiration for our story style, was heavily God-based.
Now, we understand that some people may be more accustomed to the R.A. Salvatore style of Drow found in Forgotten Realms. The elements of style for this race are almost a classic now, but they're not even the only drow found in D&D Campaign settings. Ebberon drow are gender-equal. They worship a male scorpion deity instead of a spider, and their childhood isn't filled with torture and abuse. In play though, this changes little around the table as even they are as a people... racist, churlish and horrible. That personality -type- is what's important.
Now, applying that to our own custom pantheon is easy... we have an obvious place for them to fit. So we want to bring you in on the creation process of this race's changes and how they fit our world.
First, the theme of duality between an original creation and the warped shadow of it thrown against the wall. So in this case we have a pretty clear order of operations. The Goddess of the Sun made the Elves and the God of Shadow made warped versions of them. Cut and dry.
Elves in fiction are always skilled, powerful, ancient beings. They are a sort of paragon of what humanity sees as their greatest traits. Of course too much of anything can be bad, and that's why the pride humanity feels in itself gives the Elves their distinguishing feature: Haughtiness. Our elves here on UO.Myth are also personified by patience, so we have a split we can make there. The first drow in our setting were the brash, arrogant rabble rousers who broke off to find more than the paradise they lived in.
Our underdark, a sort of shadowplane, is also not a single contiguous area. It is a collection of small pockets. There, the retinue of the God of Shadows work to lure just the right people in to be used as tools for their ends. This gives less of a society of dark elves and more clans or factions. Which, for players, allows them to play a wider range of character options and for staff gives us easy fodder for storytelling.
So with that in mind the story becomes easily clear. Early on in the history of the elves, some skilled shadows working for the god Barlow lured away the most passionate and rowdy elves to be used in a grand scheme. They whispered just the right phrases and prayed on their emotions until they were torn from their worship of Aralkor and their connection with their people. For flavor, I think that the reason the elves are dark skinned and light haired is because the elves -themselves- cursed their betrayers. Their looks is the first of countless attacks between the races.
Elven wars are for generations, so we can set our starting positions very easily so that drow have both enough map to play on safely, and enough conflict to be able to let their sinister side show. If you wish to be a drow remember: Your ancestors were the real heroes. They were tricked, tortured, and cursed for having spirit. That's their crime, and the punishment for it makes the world fear you. Strike back at those that revile you, show them the error of their ways with force. Or, use guile, and find a way to sneak into life with them to live in their lap of luxury. Remember, you're the best and brightest of the most perfect race on Terra. That is, of course, -if- You can somehow get away from your demons.
So that's a look at what we're doing for the dark elves. More of these are to follow! Please give feedback in our Discord channel if you have questions or comments!