Friday, June 24, 2011

Elves - A Great and Terrible Thing

You'd think that countless years and countless lifetimes would lead the elves toward a greater understanding of forgiveness and allow them to develop the ultimate live-and-let-live mentality, at least you'd hope. Sadly, those who have had the ill luck of crossing paths with one of the lords of the forest know better. The elvenfolk are vindictive, vain, petty, and above all, powerful.

Some say their immortality has fostered a kind of madness known only to those who need not fear death. They believe the long, drawn-out, almost ritualistic ways in which they plot revenge and carry out personal vindication against those who have wronged them. Those few who have survived an elf's retribution and payment on what they whimsically refer to as a "life debt" often have no idea what they even did to wrong the fae creatures in the first place. They claim to have in fact offered the greatest hospitality and courteousness toward the fae lord or lady they encountered. Only a madness, those who have been repaid by an elf claim, such as that possessed by dragons and other creatures from before time could so cloud the eyes of those with such power.

Alas, if only this were the truth. While those born before time itself began are indeed possessed with eternal madness, the elves represent the extreme polar opposite end of the spectrum. They are incredibly rational - rational to a fault. The problem is that they share their own unique rationale that often is mismatched with that of the natural world. Because they have all the time in the world to even the scales, they take note of every small gesture, small twitch of the face, and any variation of tone of voice. They are obsessed with the concept of equilibrium and believe that they are the instruments of natural revenge and setting things right.

They plan for years, decades even, and often spring their traps only near the end of an individual's mortal life. The thirst and drive for evening the odds comes from a rationalization that, although they may not have been slighted severely by the offending party, the offending party must be guilty of much, much more than even the elf could ever imagine. With each life debt repaid on the his or her victim, the fae grows more paranoid and more justified in the quest of fixing what went wrong in the world. They see themselves as the true inheritors of this world, and they intend to make it a just one.

Happy Friday! (Art borrowed from this fantastic resource of Magic:TG art all about elves. Need an image for your elf character in your next campaign? You can't do better).


  1. I'm a huge fan of the interpretation of elves (as elorii) in the world of Arcanis. Elemental affiliations (in fact, powerful elementals were instrumental in their creation,) differing opinions concerning humanity, and a vow to never be enslaved again. Great stuff.

  2. *sigh*- another idea from you I have to thieve for my next campaign!


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