People have spoken about fluffing out the "elven homeworld" or at least the homeworld of the Elven Empire for some time, but there has never been much of an agreement about how that should be done.
But after skimming thorugh PHBR8 The Complete Book of Elves, I had a bit of a flash. What if we take chapter 13 of PHBR8 as our sphere's system, and then reverse engineer every idea from every page of the book and use those ideas to flesh out the six planet concepts that Colin McComb suggested. I'm sure he wasn't intentionally designing THE elven crystal sphere, but if we are going to invent a sphere, why not invent the sphere that he has prefabricated for us.
EDIT: Full title of PHBR8 added to above paragraph, for clarification.
Anyway, here is the important part of my post over there:
If you want to read more, please see the Q&A with Colin McComb thread.Big Mac wrote:I think this is definitely an idea that a number of the fans want to pursue. Beyond the Moons has official site status and we could turn a number of unfinished TSR outlines into netbooks and seek approval for Beyond the Moon canonisation. At the moment, I'm gathering facts for the wiki in an attempt to make sure that everyone that wants to work on fanon has a full understanding of where the original canon leaves off. It is a bit of a slow (and sometimes boring) process and I keep getting busy at work, so I've not as much progress as I would like to. I could actually spend less time doing this and more time churning out concepts for fanon, but I have made minor continuity errors in my LARP work in the past, and they bug me to this day. So I would rather see the maze of canon simplified instead of made more confusing. Hopefully, one day soon, I'll be able to get enough of the big picture together to start inferring a ton of new fanon from unrelated canon that just asks to be connected.Colin McComb wrote:This one I remember. Backstory: Jeff Grubb, Thomas Reid, and I used to take lunches and kick around the idea of a world of pure elven hegemony. This was a reference to that, playing it out further. I thought the idea of an elven sphere was incredibly cool, but because of the issue of core canon, it didn't go any further. Making decisions like this without the consent of the affected groups would have earned serious bad consequences. Instead, I got to make an allusion that could be interpreted without definitively saying "THIS IS HOW IT IS".Big Mac wrote:The Elven Homeworld: Various SJ sources speak of homeworlds for races, but (as far as I recall) your reference here is the only reference to an elven homeworld. I've always wanted to go with this (as gospel), build up an Elven crystal sphere around the small throwaway reference you have given us. Other SJ fans dislike the concept of single homeworlds - I believe they see it as potentially conflicting with the canon of individual campaign settings. However, I can't see a better way to explain the Imperial Navy than to make the world you touch on into the centre of an Elven Empire that once dominated the Known Spheres and have an Emperor or Empress. Was there ever any more to this sort of thing?
That being said, these are your campaign worlds. Once they left TSR, they were designed for you to play with as you wanted. There's no reason you couldn't take the idea and make it whatever you wanted.
(though again: Elves defending their sphere against beholders and illithid invaders, fleeing across the Known Spheres is a damn cool creation myth)
But I would like to know more about "a world of pure elven hegemony" (if there is any more). Perhaps it might be more appropriate to make a thread about this in the Spelljammer forum (instead of hijacking your Q&A thread for questions about this implied world/sphere).
One of the things about the creation myths (the generic ones) that you have in the Complete Book of Elves is that they don't really work if you have elves springing up on different worlds...but if you have some sort of shared root (as your tree-like diagram suggests) then the early elves can have a shared mythology. You can justify a single set of gods and all the nuts and bolts stuff that go with it. And the same sort of thing applies to elven legends (like the story of Jarsali and the Treant). If a GM runs a game that uses more than one planet, I think the only way to deal with those "shared legends" is to invent that world that you spoke about with Jeff Grubb and Thomas Reid.
I suppose that an alternate plane is another way to go for a source of elven origin myths. I think that is what 4e has been trying to do with the Eladrin. But I would much rather lift the various "elven worlds" that you suggest in Chapter 13 of PHBR8 and stick all six of them into a single crystal sphere. A sphere like that could probably find a way to milk every single suggestion out of your sourcebook and give each concept a bespoke land, country or place where the setting fits the story like a glove. If that was done, then even stuff that might not be appropriate for Dragonlance elves, Forgotten Realms elves or Thunder Rift elves is going to be totally appropriate in the context of a bespoke sphere is built entirely around your work. Even things like your Undead Slayer kit can be reverse-engineered to infer a land, continent or moon where the forces of undeath are the main threat to elven life. And the one single linking mechanism could be Celenaress (your grey elf city from page 64) which could, over time, be the capital of a nation, continent, world an entire sphere and then the Known Spheres, themselves.
I think the only thing missing is a "scattering of the elves" myth. Something that shows the elven gods wanting their people to see the entire universe...or somesuch thing. But perhaps that sort of thing could be left a bit vague in order to allow the creation myths of D&Ds various settings to be slowly woven together.
Anyway, if anyone thinks this idea has legs, we might end up combining it with a bunch of stuff about the navy and turning it into a netbook.
One important thing - that PHBR8 doesn't tell us - is how we can design the home sphere of the elves and then hide it so well that nobody even knows it exists. But we can deal with that as we go along. I'm thinking that this sphere would be so old that it was visited by races like the Juna and that the sphere would be so old that people would have forgotten more of its history than they remember.
EDIT: I've decided to change the name of my thread from "Milking PHBR8..." to "Raiding PHBR8..." as it sounds less weird. I'm going to ask a moderator (me) to edit the other posts.