Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

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Zendrolion
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Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

Post by Zendrolion » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:58 am

Time ago, in an attempt to define elven ethnicities, I gathered a great number of canon sources about the different appearances of elven characters, and the description of some elven "races" featured in the books. I think these reference could be useful to define some elven "branches" with common ancestry. However, note that I'm not aiming to define different elven races in rule (or AD&D) terms; my aim is to clarify elven history's issues, most of which already appeared in Chimpman' other threads about elven migrations and history.

First, I'll list canon reference, then my conclusions. I've omitted any reference to the Aquarendi, becouse we already know them to be a very different race of elves.

I'll divide the references between the various clans, or "races", or locations, known by canon:

Generic Elves:
* An elf is slender and graceful, with delicate features and pointed ears. An elf is 5 to 5½ feet [1,52-1,68 m] tall, and weighs about 120 pounds [54 kg]. [D&D Basic Set, Players Manual, p. 46]
* Elves live naturally to between 600 and 800 years old. A very few have reached 1000 years old; and more have died of disease or violent deaths before their 600th birthday. Elves take about 20 years to grow to full size, then have a free-spirited “adolescence” of about 80 years. [GAZ5, p. 11]
* Aithne stands 5’2’’ [1,58 m], weighs 101 lbs. [46 kg], and wears her dark red hair free down to her waist. [AC1, p. 20]
* He is of uncertain age and has pale blond hair and a small beard. [AC1, p. 20]
* Blaise is golden-blond and clean-shaven. [AC1, p. 20]
* Cathal stands 5’4’’ [1,63 m] and weighs 123 lbs. [56 kg]. He has light brown hair and wears a small mustache and beard. [AC1, p. 21]
* Dathi’s hair is blond straked with silver, and his mustache hangs below his mouth. [AC1, p. 20]
* Elspeth stands 5’0’’ [1,52 m] and weighs 103 lbs. [47 kg]. Her hair is light brown… [AC1, p. 21]
* Juno stands 5’9’’ [1,75 m] (very tall for an elf) and weighs 120 lbs. [54 kg]. She wears her blond hair long… [AC1, p. 21]
* Lachlan stands 5’5’’ [1,65 m] and weighs 135 lbs. [61 kg]. He is so fair that his hair is almost white-blond, and his gray eyes almost colorless. [AC1, p. 22]
* She is a slender, attractive brunette… [AC1, p. 22]
* Rorie stands 5’8’’ [1,73 m] and weighs 152 lbs. [69 kg]. His red hair and beard are neatly trimmed… [AC1, p. 22]
* Torquil stands 5’6’’ [1,68 m] and weighs 133 lbs. [60 kg]. [AC1, p. 22]
* A silver-haired maiden named Fairleaf… [AC10, p. 21]
* Medriev stands 5’6’’ [1,68 m] tall and weighs 125 lbs. [57 kg]. His hair is blond, streaked with silver. [B8, p. 18]

Alfheim:
* The Alfheim refugees [Chossum, Erendyl, Red Arrow] tend to have fair skin and blond, light brunette, or white hair. [KKoA]

Chossum:
* Unlike most Chossum elves, Carlisan is fair, with light colored hair and no facial hair. [GAZ5, p. 42]
* Lynnwyll is black-bearded and relatively short for an elf, about 5’2’’ [1,58 m]. He is obviously strong and a bit portly for an elf – about 145 lbs. [66 kg].
* Despite his age of over 400 years old, Sharlikran looks like a young man. Like most Chossum elves, he has dark hair, which he wears long. He usually has a mustache… [GAZ5, p. 60]

Erendyl:
* Shalander is 5’4’’ [1,63 m] and strongly built for an elf, with light brown hair and eyes and handsome features. [GAZ1, p. 48]
* Galladin appears as a middle-aged elf, with a slight tan complexion, silver white hair and a neatly trimmed beard. [GAZ3, p. 31]
* Brendian is an old elf, approaching 800 years old. Her face has a few wrinkles and her hair is a lovely silver gray. [GAZ5, p. 41]
* Doriath is and average-sized elf, about 5’5’’ [1,65 m] and 125 pounds [57 kg]. He is fair-skinned and light haired… [GAZ5, p. 44]
* Draugin is a slim, fair elf with no facial hairs. [GAZ5, p. 53]
* Born AC 911; apparent age adult elf… Hair: Pale blond. Eyes: Blue. Height: 5’5’’ [1,65 m]. [PWAI, pp. 137-138]

Feadiel:
* Dyradyl is bent and shrunken, a bare 5 feet [1,52 m] tall. His skin is wrinkled and browned. [GAZ5, p. 53]
* His eyes burn with a fanatic’s gleam from his pale face and he is slim even for an elf. [GAZ5, p. 57]

Grunalf:
* Arloen is tall (for an elf), muscular, and golden-haired. He has no facial hair. [GAZ5, p. 39]
* Durifern is tall for an elf, about 5’8’’ [1,73 m]. His skin is tanned-brown and his hair sun-bleached and moving toward white. [GAZ5, p. 53]
* Taragin is fair-skinned and not as sun-browned as other Grunalf elves becouse his duties keep him inside. He is tall and slim and his hair is a light brown color. He still looks quite youthful, though the problems of his position have given his face more care wrinkles than are commonly seen on an elf of his age (about 650). [GAZ5, p. 61]

Long Runner:
* Beasthunter is remarkably brawny for an elf, standing the usual 5’6’’ [1,68 m] but weighing almost 150 pounds [68 kg]. He is blond and light-eyed […] Part of his long, shaggy, hair is tied into a topknot. [GAZ5, p. 40]
* Starwatcher is short, about 5’1’’ [1,55 m] and square-built for an elf. His hair is prematurely white (he’s only 700 years old). [GAZ5, p. 61]

Mealidil:
* Mealidan is remarkable among the neatly-trimmed elves for a long, often uncombed, white beard. … than it does on a 5’3’’ [1,6 m] elf. [GAZ5, p. 59]

Red Arrow:
* … despite his relative youth, a mere 450 years… [GAZ5, p. 41]
* … he is dark-skinned and red-haired. [GAZ5, p. 42]
* He is swarthy complexioned and red haired (as are many of his people). His built is tall and stocky. [GAZ5, p. 59]

Other Alfheimers:
* Daisy is a thin, pale elf, with rare grey colored hair. [GAZ5, p. 43]
* He is a tall, heavy-built elf (though he looks more like a slim human) with black hair. [GAZ5, p. 55]
* In general she is a slight-built elf woman with long, usually blonde, hair. [GAZ5, p. 60]
* Milaster is young, slim and agile. He wears his dark hair long and flowing. He is clean-shaven… [GAZ8, p. 24]
* His silver hair, tied in a pony tail, bobs behind. [O2, p. 11]
* Crowning her golden curls… [DA3, p. 47]

Blacklore:
* The Blacklore look like other elves, though they tend to be a littler shorter, a little lighter, a little more frail. [HW, Player’s Guide, p. 30]
* Her hair is golden, her eyes green… [HW, Dungeon Master’s Guide, p. 40]

Callarii:
* Callarii elves are robust and healthy, with very pale hair (blonde to white) and blue eyes. [GAZ1, p. 5]
* Callarii elves are robust and healthy, with very pale hair (blond to white) and blue eyes. [KKoA]
* Prestelle is young (for an elf), slender, short […] She has curly blonde hair and deep green eyes. [KKoA]

Flamenco:
* They are similar to the elves of Alfheim, although their skin is darker and their hair is black and wavy. [GAZ3, p. 20]
* In general, the males of the House of Alhambra are rather small, even by elven standards. [GAZ3, p. 21]
* She is a small but proud young elven lady of 180 springs. Her long, black, curly hair cascades down to her waist. [GAZ3, p. 23]
* … a small fat fellow of dark complexion and drooping mustachios. [GAZ3, p. 23]
* After two centuries of life in this cruel world, Don Fernando has white hair, and many wrinkles on his face. [GAZ3, p. 24]
* Coolhands is a dark-haired beauty with bronze skin – a typical Belcadiz elf. [GAZ5, p. 43]
* This Glantrian Grandee is about 5’6’’ [1,68 m] tall and weighs about 120 lbs. [54 kg]. His light skin is offset by black mustachios and a long goatee. [GAZ5, p. 58]
* Born AC 820; apparent age young-adult elf… Hair: Black, worn long and curly. Eyes: Black. Height: 5’ [1,52 m]. [PWAI, p. 135]

Genander:
* … with his silver hair framing exquisitely sculpted features, the almost seven-foot tall [2,13 m] Menander is truly an imposing figure. [DA1, p. 54]
* This tall, keen-eyed, platinum-haired elf is of the blood of the ancient high elves of Genander’s house… [DA3, p. 47]

Gentle Folk:
* The Gentle Folk, also known as Truedyl-Clan, elves look much like any other elves. [HW, Player’s Guide, p. 33]
* Drianna is 18, not yet biologically mature by elvish standards; she looks about the same age as a 12-years-old human girl. Her hair is black, her eyes large, brown and soulful. [HW, Dungeon Master’s Guide, p. 44]

Icevale:
* Icevale Elves are tall, healthy-looking elves, usually blond with green or blue eyes and very pale, fair complexion; they sometimes look as if they themselves were made of ice. [HW, Player’s Guide, p. 34]
* Thiordanna, like most of her kind, is slender and blonde; … Her eyes are a very icy blue. [HW, Dungeon Master’s Guide, p. 46]
* Born AC 672; apparent age elderly elf… Hair: White. Eyes: Pale grey. Height: 5’9’’ [1,75 m]. [PWAI, p. 133]
* Born AC 687; apparent age elderly elf… Hair: White, very fine, wears long beard and mustache. Eyes: Blue. Height: 6’3’’ [1,91 m]. So lean he looks ghostly… [PWA1, p. 153]

Meditor:
* The water elves have formed a more distinctive sub-culture than their wood elf brethren, and are recognized as a group separate from the mainstream elvish race. In this regard, they are similar to the shadowelves of the Broken Lands to whom they bear a physical resemblance that many elves find unsettling. [GAZ9, Dungeon Master’s Booklet, p. 16]
* Water elves are towed-headed or have light blond hair that bleaches almost white in the sun. Their eyes are blue-gray and their complexions are pale in spite of constant exposure to weather and sun. They have a faint resemblance to the Alfheim elves, but look even more like shadowelves becouse of their coloration. [GAZ9, Dungeon Master’s Booklet, p. 16]
* Born AC 839; apparent age adult elf… Hair: Very light blond. Eyes: Blue-gray. Height: 5’7’’ [1,7 m]. Lean, pale… [PWAI, p. 148]

Schattenalfen:
* The Schattenalfen are elves, but somewhat different from the ordinary forest elves people are used to seeing. They average about 5’ [1,52 m] tall and weigh anywhere from 90-110 lbs. [41-50 kg]. They are very, very pale: White-skinned, white- or grey-haired, blue- or gray-eyed. [HW, Player’s Guide, p. 56]
* Carlyldian is a little large for a Schattenalf, standing 5’4’’ [1,63 m] and weighing about 120 lbs. [54 kg]. He has pale green eyes… [HW, Adventure Book, p. 12]
* Trylthin is big for a Schattenalf, nearly 5’4’’ [1,63 m] and 130 lbs. [54 kg]. His hair is an iron-gray, his eyes a nearly identical hue. [HW, Dungeon Master’s Guide, p. 85]
* Born AC 772; apparent age elderly elf… Hair: White, worn long and unbound. Eyes: Ice-grey. Height: 5’2’’ [1,58 m]. Reed-thin… [PWAI, p. 134]

Shadowelves:
* Unlike most Chossum elves, Carlisan is fair, with light colored hair and no facial hair. He is about average elf height and weight. [GAZ5, p. 42]
* Gilfronden is tall, about 5’6’’ [1,68 m], and lean, about 115 pounds [52 kg]. He sports long mustachios in the Belcadiz manner and his hair is white with age. [GAZ5, p. 55]
* Born AC 446; apparent age middle-aged shadow elf… Hair: White. Eyes: Grey. Height: 5’7’’ [1,70 m]. Pale-skinned. [PWAI, p. 140]
* Born AC 214; apparent age elderly shadow elf… Hair: White, receding at temples. Eyes: Grey, slightly watery. Height: 4’8’’ [1,42 m]. [PWA1, p. 143]
* Born AC 273; apparent age young-adult shadow elf… Hair: White, worn long. Eyes: Blue, slightly slanted. Height: 5’3’’ [1,6 m] (tall for a Shadow Elf woman). Porphyriel is ageless… [PWA1, p. 150]
* Born AC 679; apparent age young-adult shadow elf… Hair: White. Eyes: Grey. Height: 5’2’’ [1,58 m]. Wiry and strong; pale-skinned like all Shadow Elves. [PWAI, p. 154]
* Born AC 568; apparent age middle-aged shadow elf… Hair: White. Eyes: Blue. Height: 5’8’’ [1,73 m]. Telemon is tall and powerful-looking for a shadow elf… [PWAI, p. 155]

Shiye:
* Appearance (Drushiye): 5’7’’ [1,7 m], 135 lbs. [61 kg]; black hair and eyes, slight golden tint to skin; … [DotE, Dungeon Master’s Sourcebook, p. 46]
* Born AC 642; apparent age adult elf… Hair: White. Eyes: Pale blue, rather inhuman. Height: 5’10’’ [1,78 m]. Rather overweight… [PWAI, p. 131]
* Born AC 670; apparent age young adult elf… Hair: Black, very fine, worn long. Eyes: Black. Height: 5’7’’ [1,7 m]. Rather husky for an elf. Slight golden tint to skin. [PWAI, p. 137]
* Born AC 899; apparent age adult elf… Hair: Golden-blond. Eyes: Golden. Height: 6’ [1,82 m]. [PWAI, 143]
* Xerdon is a rather tall and athletic elf, bearing a golden tan from his many years of active duty in the Imperial Navy. Xerdon has long, silver hair held back with a leather headband. [Dragon Magazine #171, pag. 44]

Sylvan Realm:
* The elves appeared to be of a different breed than the frail, delicate elves of Alfheim. They were small, but heartier of build, almost stocky by elven standards, brown-skinned and black-haired. [Dragonlord of Mystara]

Verdier:
* Wood elves have hair ranging in color from blond to brown, with green or hazel eyes. Their features bear a distant resemblance to the elves of Alfheim. [GAZ9, Dungeon Master’s Booklet, p. 16]

Vyalia:
* Appearance: 5’7’’ [1,7 m], 130 lbs. [59 kg]; pale skin, black hair and eyes… age 500 years (mature elf). [DotE, Dungeon Master’s Sourcebook, p. 13]
* Vyalia have pale skin, reddish hair, and deep green eyes. [KKoA]
* … a willowy, golden-haired elf maiden. [B7, p. 23; I'm assuming the elves of Rahasia to be Vyalia]
* Very small, even for a female elf… Her long, straight black hair… [M5, p. 28; this pregenerated PC, name Kavva Lindenelm, could be also a Callarii, but as no Callarii with black hair are known, I had her as a Vyalia]

Wendar:
* Born AC 679; apparent age adult elf. Hair: Golden-blond. Eyes: Black. Height: 5’9’’ [1,75 m]. Gylharen is willowy, like most elves… [PWAI, p. 141]


Possible elven ethnic groupings:
Trying to gather similar appearances from the references above, I came up with the following elven ethnicites (I'm not listing the Aquarendi, again):

* Wood Elves: The "classic" elves: they're 5 to 5½ tall, have fair skin who tends to tan under the sun, hair of blonde, brown, silver or white color.
* Silver Elves: Elves of higher stature, from 5'7'' to 6' tall (more or less as humans), with fair or pale skin and hair of black, white, silver, or golden color, with cases of reds.
* Platinum or High Elves: Elves of impressive stature, higher tha humans (6' tall or more), with blonde, silver or white hair.
* Bronze Elves: Tall like wood elves, with darker complexion, and dark hair (usually black).
* Deep Elves: Between 4'8'' and 5'8'' tall, with white or very pale skin, and grey or white hair.
* Water Elves: Slightly taller than wood elves, pale skin, and pale blond hair.

Obviously it's difficult to fit all characters precisely into these categories, as often for each assumed "ethnicity" there's only one representative (and guessing a whole ethnicity out of a single character isn't a careful way of handling things - nevertheless, this is what we have by canon).

Elven Clans by Ethnicity:
Now I'm dividing known elven clans or population according to the ethnicities defined above (I'm keeping out uncertain ones for now, like the Sheyallia and the Geffronell elves):

Bronze Elves:
Belcadiz, Chossum, Red Arrow (red hair on members of this clan could be considered the result of Mealiden's blessings), Sylvan Realm elves (a part - those of DT).

Deep Elves:
Schattenalfen, Shadow Elves.

Platinum Elves:
Ee'aar, Icevale elves, Red Woods or Genander elves (from DA modules).

Silver Elves:
Savage Coast elves (Eusdria only), Shiye, Truedyl (Gentle Folk), Vyalia, Wendar elves.

Water Elves:
Meditor.

Wood Elves:
Antarctic elves, Blacklore elves, Callarii, Erendyl, Erewan, Feadiel, Grunalf (these could be silver elves instead), Long Runner, Mealidil, Savage Coast elves (except Eusdria), Sylvan Realm elves (a part - those of CM7), Verdier.

The ethnic placement of a lot of other clans (Norwold Foresthomes' clans, Graakhalia's clans, Hinterland's and Pearl Islands' clans, Isle of Dawn's clans, Hule's clans, Hatwa, Lothenar's and Geffron's clans) mostly depends on how one decides to handle the issues concerning elven migrations.
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Re: Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

Post by Hugin » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:00 pm

Wow, fantastic Zen!

I have to admit it will take a while to digest all this given all the issues of canon-contradiction we're dealing with. But this will be tremendously helpful in the very near future (not to mention, just simply very interesting). :D

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Re: Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

Post by Chimpman » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:20 pm

Yup, I'm here too reading through this. It will take me a while to digest it all.
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Re: Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

Post by Havard » Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:24 pm

Wow, great research! *applause*

A few things strike me as problematic:

* Is Gylharen a typical Wendarian elf? Some rumour say he is not even an elf at all, simply a human or half-elf who was changed by the Elvenstar...
* Arent the Sylvan Realm elves supposed to be related to the Feadiel?
* Are the Verdier related to the Alfheim Wood elves? I find this somewhat surprising.
* Aren't the Genander elves supposed to be the ancestors of some Known World (Alfheim?) elves?

Have you considered putting the Platinum and Silver elves together? They don't seem too dissimilar.
What do you think of a possible Water Elf/Shadowelf link?

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Re: Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

Post by LoZompatore » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:18 am

Great work Zendrolion! It would be very useful indeed :)

I add a few more quotes I've found in GAZ5, GAZ13 and CM5, see if they can be useful for you:

From CM5:

Tarlyon Elfhome elves: Christov Yetta, 125 years old. Fair-skinned and auburn-haired, Christov is a sprite 5'3'' and 119 pounds. His steel gray eyes and firm jawline present a deadly menace to enemies.

From GAZ5, about the elves of Wendar (?)

History: Gilfronden is an old friend of King Doriath whom he met while adventuring. Gilfronden is actually from another land entirely, the northern elven realm beyond Wendar (see X11, Saga of the Shadowlord).
Appearance: Gilfronden is tall, about 5'6", and lean, about 115 pounds. He sports long mustachios in the Belcadiz manner and his hair is white with age.


From GAZ13, about a distant connection between Gilfronden and the shadow elf Garafaele Galeifel:

Garafaele is nearly as tall as his king at 5 feet 7 inches, and he is muscular and lithe for his 554 years of age. Garafaele is distantly related to Gilfronden of Alfheim.

Could this last sentence be useful in defining the Wendarian elves' traits? They should not be so different from shadow elves' ones, I suppose...

From GAZ13, about an albino refugee from Chossum clan:

Maflarel is fairly tall (5 feet 9 inches) and so walks with a stoop. He has pale skin, white hair, slightly pink pale eyes.

;)

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Re: Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

Post by Zendrolion » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:30 am

Tank you all for your appreciations! :)

Now for some replies:
Havard wrote:A few things strike me as problematic:

* Is Gylharen a typical Wendarian elf? Some rumour say he is not even an elf at all, simply a human or half-elf who was changed by the Elvenstar...
In X11 his origins are doubtful, while in PWAs he's clearly listed as being an elf. So I've gone with the simples and clearer version.
Havard wrote:* Arent the Sylvan Realm elves supposed to be related to the Feadiel?
In CM7 the Sylvan Realm's clans are standard elves (fair-skinned and -haired, short stature), while in the first Dragonlord novel Thelvyn meets dark-skinned elves. So I suppose the Sylvan Realm population is mixed and made up both by wood elves, silver elves, and bronze elves (moreover there are Chossum and Red Arrows, who belong to the bronze elf branch, I think, and come from the Sylvan Realm).
Havard wrote:* Are the Verdier related to the Alfheim Wood elves? I find this somewhat surprising.
Why do you find it surprising? They share all characteristics with them, and don't seem ethnically different. The fact that GAZ9 says they're distant relatives of the Alfheim elves means (IMHO) that their clans separated from Ilsundal's migration, and thus don't come from the Sylvan Realm.
Havard wrote:* Aren't the Genander elves supposed to be the ancestors of some Known World (Alfheim?) elves?
I haven't found any reference about this legacy. Anyway, they're quite different from them.
Havard wrote:Have you considered putting the Platinum and Silver elves together? They don't seem too dissimilar.
Yes, it could be a possibility. In fact, the only exemplar Platinum Elf we have is that NPC in the DA modules, which is 7' tall - too much even for a silver elf (represented mostly by the Shiyes). And in fact the queen of the Icevale elves has a "medium" stature (more in line with that of the Shiyes).
I'll think about this. ;)
Havard wrote:What do you think of a possible Water Elf/Shadowelf link?
I think it can be disregarded as mere rumor, generated by the Alfheim elves disquietude in seeing such pale and "weird" elves. The Verdier, in fact, don't even know about the Shadow Elves - as much of other inhabitants of the KW.
LoZompatore wrote:I add a few more quotes I've found in GAZ5, GAZ13 and CM5, see if they can be useful for you:
Of course they are, thank you! :)
LoZompatore wrote:From CM5:

Tarlyon Elfhome elves: Christov Yetta, 125 years old. Fair-skinned and auburn-haired, Christov is a sprite 5'3'' and 119 pounds. His steel gray eyes and firm jawline present a deadly menace to enemies.
Silver elf, I'd say. It depends on where one wants to put Tarylon. If, as we speculated on the Italian MMB, it's located somewhere north of the Black Mountains, it'd not difficult to explain why a silver elf clan has arrived there.
LoZompatore wrote:From GAZ5, about the elves of Wendar (?)

History: Gilfronden is an old friend of King Doriath whom he met while adventuring. Gilfronden is actually from another land entirely, the northern elven realm beyond Wendar (see X11, Saga of the Shadowlord).
Appearance: Gilfronden is tall, about 5'6", and lean, about 115 pounds. He sports long mustachios in the Belcadiz manner and his hair is white with age.


From GAZ13, about a distant connection between Gilfronden and the shadow elf Garafaele Galeifel:

Garafaele is nearly as tall as his king at 5 feet 7 inches, and he is muscular and lithe for his 554 years of age. Garafaele is distantly related to Gilfronden of Alfheim.

Could this last sentence be useful in defining the Wendarian elves' traits? They should not be so different from shadow elves' ones, I suppose...
No, just becouse Gilfronded tells to be a Wendarian elf, but he's actually a shadow elf (pages 55-56 of GAZ5 - his true homeland is said to be the caves under the Broken Lands)! :o
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Re: Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

Post by Havard » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:13 pm

Zendrolion wrote:
Havard wrote:A few things strike me as problematic:

* Is Gylharen a typical Wendarian elf? Some rumour say he is not even an elf at all, simply a human or half-elf who was changed by the Elvenstar...
In X11 his origins are doubtful, while in PWAs he's clearly listed as being an elf. So I've gone with the simples and clearer version.
He is an elf now, but was he always an elf? This at least gives us some leeway to what the Wendarian elves are like.

Havard wrote:* Arent the Sylvan Realm elves supposed to be related to the Feadiel?
In CM7 the Sylvan Realm's clans are standard elves (fair-skinned and -haired, short stature), while in the first Dragonlord novel Thelvyn meets dark-skinned elves. So I suppose the Sylvan Realm population is mixed and made up both by wood elves, silver elves, and bronze elves (moreover there are Chossum and Red Arrows, who belong to the bronze elf branch, I think, and come from the Sylvan Realm).
Makes sense. All of the Alfheim clans (including Erewan and Callarii) originally came from the Sylvan Realm. The Feadiel are simply the latest arrivals.
Havard wrote:* Are the Verdier related to the Alfheim Wood elves? I find this somewhat surprising.
Why do you find it surprising? They share all characteristics with them, and don't seem ethnically different. The fact that GAZ9 says they're distant relatives of the Alfheim elves means (IMHO) that their clans separated from Ilsundal's migration, and thus don't come from the Sylvan Realm.
Acceptable. IMC I think I will keep them as similar to the Vyalia to more easy distinguish between the two races.
Havard wrote:* Aren't the Genander elves supposed to be the ancestors of some Known World (Alfheim?) elves?
I haven't found any reference about this legacy. Anyway, they're quite different from them.
Thanks to google, I found this:
LoZompatore wrote:1) The Genander elves: these are the elves of Blackmoor, form the description of the pregenerated PC Ismelian Sothadis at the end of DA4 (page 47). Here is the sentence:

This tall, keen-eyed, platinum haired elf is of the blood of the ancient high elves of Genander’s house-those who lived in the Northlands of Thonia centuries before men came to Blackmoor. It is dimly possible that Menander Ithamis, Lord of the Northern Elves in the time of King Uther, is his distant ancestor. Whatever the case, for Ismelian, his trip back through time is a wondrous journey into a past that his people remember far better (and more immediately) than men. Everything in Blackmoor is a delight that reminds him of some story or legend dear to his kin.

Most interesting of all, the Genanders are an "high elves" breed and they are still alive in Mystara as of AC1000 (Ismelian is a modern-era elf, who made his adventures near Selenica. Possibly this "high elves" are tall, with platinum/grey hair and delicate features (this seems to match with the physical description of other elves from DA1 NPC list). In the Italian Message Board we guessed that some modern era elves are related to the ancient Blackmoorians high elves. In our opinion, at least a fraction of the Wendarian elves and, possibly, of the Shyie elves may have the high elves blood .
(The above quote is taken from http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/ ... #337531818 )

If we make Silver and Platinum Elves the same group, that supports the ideas from the Italian MMB which LoZompatore is referring to.

Havard wrote:What do you think of a possible Water Elf/Shadowelf link?
I think it can be disregarded as mere rumor, generated by the Alfheim elves disquietude in seeing such pale and "weird" elves. The Verdier, in fact, don't even know about the Shadow Elves - as much of other inhabitants of the KW.
Makes sense. :)

By the way, the d20 Blackmoor sourcebook describes the Redwood (Cumasti) elves as short (4 1/2-5 1/2 ft) and slender with light colored hair and green, blue or brow eyes. It also features another race of elves; The Westryn, who are 5-6 ft, powerfully built with dark green to deep blue eyes and hair ranging from greenish blonde to raven black. They are however a small group of cursed elves, and might easily have been destroyed during the Great Rain of Fire, if not earlier...

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Re: Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

Post by LoZompatore » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:28 am

Another canon source I found in Dungeon Magazine #21 "The Bane of Elfswood" adventure.
The adventure is set in Norwold, in a small foresthome of the region, so the description below could be used as a refernce for both Shyie elves (accordingly to PWAs the elves of Norwold are Shyie) or Wendarian elves (accordingly to the Dragonlord Trilogy the elves in Norwold come also from Wendar).
Druida Glanadyl: the elf (a female) brushes back her golden brown hair and her green eyes fix upon each of you for an instant... My name is Druida Glanadyl and I come from my family's small settlement of Elfswood (actually she was born in another Norwold elvish settlement called Whispering Grove and moved with her family to form the small village of Elfswood).

You could also take a look to the portrait of the pregenerated elven PC Melissa Moonstar at the end of Karameikos:Kingdom of Adventure module. She is a Callarii elf.

Hope these help! ;)

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Re: Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

Post by Chimpman » Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:09 pm

I'm finally getting back to comment on this. First off great work Zen!

Like some others I think it would be ok to combine Silver and Platinum elves all under the "Silver umbrella". My personal preference would be to have as few classifications as possible.

The other problematic ares is (...drum roll...) the Deep Elves. They seem tailor made to live underground, however they have only been living underground for ~ 4000 years. Not sure what that translates to exactly in elven generations. Given that a typical elf may have offspring once every century (perhaps less often), you could end up having maybe 5-6 elven generations during a single elven lifespan. If we take the typical lifespan as being 800 years, that's what? 25 generations? Not enough generations (IMO) to become adapted to underground life as fully as they are.

To compensate for this I see two alternatives:
1) Deep Elf evolution was helped along by magic (and possibly by emanations/radiations from the GRoF and LRoF).
2) Deep Elves already looked the way they do now (or at least very close to it) even before they sought shelter underground.

If the latter is true, then I think we have to give serious consideration the Havard's previous comment that there might be some connection between Water and Deep elves. This is possible, but I'm not sure if we want to go this route (and it has it's own problems as well).

The other consideration is what kind of elves made up the original Blackmoorian colonists (and would eventually become Deep Elves)? If there were more than one type (for example Bronze and Silver) of colonists, then it starts to look like option 1 above is the more likely.

Just for the record, although I actually like option 2 better, I think given all the information we currently have, that option 1 is more likely.
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Re: Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:37 am

I should think that option 1 might be a bit more workable, from the standpoint of radiation from the GRoF having been the catalyst for their change, particularly when we already know that the radiation is responsible for mutations/deformities among the Shadowelves.
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Re: Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

Post by Hugin » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:19 pm

Zendrolion wrote:Bronze Elves:
Belcadiz, Chossum, Red Arrow (red hair on members of this clan could be considered the result of Mealiden's blessings), Sylvan Realm elves (a part - those of DT).
Well, I've finally begun to investigate this fantastic material, Zen, but I have a quick question first; what does the "DT" stand for?

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Re: Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

Post by Zendrolion » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:26 am

Thank you again for appreciations. :)
Chimpman wrote:Like some others I think it would be ok to combine Silver and Platinum elves all under the "Silver umbrella". My personal preference would be to have as few classifications as possible.
So do I. However, the fact that two of the main NPCs I've listed as Platinum Elves were so damn high made me think to add another ethnic branch. Moreover, there was the hair color range: silver and blonde seemed to be the only color available to Platinum (mostly Genander and Icevale elves), while Silver elves also showed black, and red hairs.

Nevertheless, joining the two groups seems feasible and reasonable enough. As soon as I update this material, I'll list Platinum and Silver elves together (both as Silver elves) unless I find something else against this.
Chimpman wrote:To compensate for this I see two alternatives:
1) Deep Elf evolution was helped along by magic (and possibly by emanations/radiations from the GRoF and LRoF).
This is the one I favor most - radiations as a cause, I mean. The other way, while fascinating to some extent, forces us to find yet another explanation for yet another difference between elve types.

[quote"Chimpman"]The other consideration is what kind of elves made up the original Blackmoorian colonists (and would eventually become Deep Elves)? If there were more than one type (for example Bronze and Silver) of colonists, then it starts to look like option 1 above is the more likely.[/quote]
My ideas here are a little more peculiar, as I like to use the material found in the Dragonlord Trilogy novels.

In particular - but as I promised this part will be better explained when I manage to update my draconic history - I have the Eldars as ancestors of elves. To make a long story short, at some point the Eldars underwent a genetic-magical transformation, after which some of them (the most powerful) became the ancestors of gold dragons, while the others (the rest) became elves. Depending on how much magic they were able to wield as Eldars, they were changed into Bronze Elves (the less-magical) or into Silver (and Platinum) Elves (the most magical). In my Mystaran history, this happened LONG ago, about 2,000,000 years ago.

With time, the dragon-Eldars interbred with other chromatic dragons, spawning the gold dragons and spreading a little Eldar blood into other dragon species (the ability to speak and cast spells - as well as polymorphing into humanoid form - in part comes to modern dragons from little bits of Eldar blood).

A part of the newly-created Elves, however, wasn't able to stand the trasformation into their new form, and began to die. Ordana, at this point, did what later Kagyar would have done to dwarves: she took them, reshaped - effectively re-creating - them, and put them to live sheltered in the Evergrun paradise. Thus, the Wood Elves were born. Later, some Wood Elves developing a particular affection for the seas became aquatic creatures, and the ancestors of both Aquarendi and Water Elves.

Note that, as most of the Eldar realms were locatedin Brun and Skothar, the majority of Bronze and Silver (and Platinum) Elves was found in those continents. Instead, the totality of Wood Elves was taken to Evergrun.

Later, during Blackmoor's age, colonists from Evergrun migrated into the other countries, while whole clans of Bronze and Silver (and Platinum) elves migrated to live with their kins in Evergrun and Grunland. This is the reason why the migrations which left Grunland after the GRoF were ethnically mixed.
Hugin wrote:Well, I've finally begun to investigate this fantastic material, Zen, but I have a quick question first; what does the "DT" stand for?
It stands for Dragonlord Trilogy. :)
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Re: Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

Post by Hugin » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:56 pm

Zendrolion wrote:Nevertheless, joining the two groups seems feasible and reasonable enough. As soon as I update this material, I'll list Platinum and Silver elves together (both as Silver elves) unless I find something else against this.
What about having the Silver elves as a later sub-branch from the Platinum? This would mean the Silver elves were not an original group but rather a later development.
This is the one I favor most - radiations as a cause, I mean. The other way, while fascinating to some extent, forces us to find yet another explanation for yet another difference between elven types.
Something I suggested in another thread was that a limited gene pool was also a contributing factor to Shadow Elf & Schattenalfen developments.

I like the DL inclusions as they seem to be able to be incorporated into other canon. Personally, I'm not a fan of the two million years ago bit, preferring something a little more modest like 30,000 - 60,000 years ago. Is there any particular reasons why you have it so far in the past?

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Re: Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

Post by Zendrolion » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:41 pm

Hugin wrote:Personally, I'm not a fan of the two million years ago bit, preferring something a little more modest like 30,000 - 60,000 years ago. Is there any particular reasons why you have it so far in the past?
For (my) Mystara, I'm following "natural" (or almost so) developement for the human race, which means that "modern" homo sapiens evolved about one million years ago. Evolution of the Neanderthal was contemporary, but the species died out, last members of it disappearing around BC 10,000.

My own very personal cronology is more or less the following:

* Before 4 millions of years ago (perhaps 5-10): Carnifex civilization’s rise and fall.
* 3 millions of years ago: Rise of Eldar civilisation; their kingdoms spread in a vast part of Mystara. Birth of the Garl race; they’re the ancestors of the Giants. Successor races of the Carnifex (the Lizardman races) still rule parts of Mystara.
* 2 millions of years ago: End of the Eldar civilisation – they mostly transform into Ancestral Dragons and Elves. Immortal Ordana takes re-creates a part of the Elves, and shelters them in Evergrun’s forests; other Elves remain isolated in other parts of the world. Birth of the first human species (homo erectus, habilis, and so on).
* 1.5 millions years ago: Rise of the Giants’ races and civilisations.
* 1 million years ago: Birth of the Elder Dwarf race (ancestors of the Kogolor dwarves).
* 500,000 years ago: Birth of the Brute-man humans (homo neanderthalensis species).
* 200,000 years ago: Birth of the homo sapiens humans.
* 150,000 years ago: First Rakasta are created by Immortal Ka.
* 100,000 years ago: The end of the age of Giants is marked by the great war between the Gundirrim and the Bromdignag. Birth of the modern Halfling race.
* 50,000 years ago: Rise of homo sapiens sapiens species; the new human species soon splits between Oltec Man, Neathar Man, and Tanagoro Man branches. First human migrations begin. The Garl race becomes almost extinct.
* 10,000 years ago: Brute-men become almost extinct.

There is no Age of Dragons, as this race's existance spans all the preceeding ages. "Grey dragon" (the race of the Great One) species is born around 5 millions years ago, while Chromatic types around 5 millions years ago. Note that the last member of the "Grey" species die well after the Chromatic dominate the dragons' society: the Great One is one of the last "grey" dragons, and the last of all is a female dragon mentioned in DT and still alive around AC 500.

All in all, as you see, I don't like to explain everything with magic or Immortal intervention. And, if at least humans evolved naturally, other species must be rescaled (unless one wants to have the elven race younger than the human race :P - which I don't).
Last edited by Zendrolion on Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

Post by Chimpman » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:52 pm

Being something of a Spelljammer fan as well, I bring my elves in as colonists from the stars around BC 7000-6000.

Although I'm a biologist by training, (and evolution and genetics are favorite topics of mine), I've never really liked bringing those ideas into my fantasy settings. I prefer much more fantastic explanations wherever I can fit them in.
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Re: Elven Ethnicities: canon sources

Post by Hugin » Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:09 pm

Zendrolion wrote:All in all, as you see, I don't like to explain everything with magic or Immortal intervention. And, if at least humans evolved naturally, other species must be rescaled (unless one doesn't want to have the elven race younger than the human race :P - which I don't).
No problem, but I think I'm going to go with less years for the GazH project (although it will be very easy for anyone to use millions of years instead with GazH). Part of what makes me lean this way is the suggestions that humans and most life in general on Mystara were created. I'm also planning on using the quote from the Immortals set;
Immortals Rule Set wrote:In the active cycle, the megalith is fully awake and Lawful in alignment. It observes its surroundings and examines itself constantly, noting the appearance and disappearance of life forms on and within it aiding their development and defending itself. Of generally good intentions, a megalith will try to avoid unexpected movements while awake, for such can damage or destroy the life forms. The active phase lasts for 10,000-1,000,000 years.
and
The home planet of all PCs is a megalith, now nearing the midpoint of its active phase. The Immortals made special arrangements with this creature, who is known to them as Urt, before starting to cultivate life forms upon and within it.
Given that a megalith's active phase ranges between 10,000 and 1,000,000 years, that provides up to roughly half a million years since this could have occurred. In this manner I plan to explain all creatures on Mystara as being the result of some kind of influence; be it Urt, Immortal, mortal, planar, or Sphere of Power. "Natural" changes that occur (what we'd call evolution) are usually in quick spurts and actually caused by some sort of influence.

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