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species:elf

Elf

The Elf species is from Planet Yamatai (formerly Geshrintall). The are closely genetically related to the Human species, and are one of the species created by AVANet.

Elves have been native to Geshrintall since before the original colonists arrived. In the year YE 12, the remnants of the Army Of Uesureya forced the submission of the Republic of Xiuluria, raising them to that status of Yamataian citizens and outlawing the ownership of elves as a part of the ensuing treaty.

Since then, the elves of Xiuluria have been allowed to run with effective autonomy, save for foreign affairs, in which they are considered a suzerainty of the Yamatai Star Empire. Elves are renowned for their high level of special abilities. Many elves devote immense amounts of time to the study of “magic”, or to individual pursuits which often singularly consume their long lives. As a result, most elves are master of a single, or several crafts, and are highly sought after advisers in their chosen fields.

Core Concepts

  • Elves are savants; each elf has a specialty which they devote their lives to the study of.
  • Elves are xenophobic and haughty. Their main city, Xiuluria, practices a closed-gate policy.
  • It is rare to encounter elves outside of Xiluria.
  • Elves are long-lived, and ageless, but mortal.
  • Elves are immune to most non-manufactured diseases.
  • Elves are marvelously and alluringly beautiful; ugly elves do not exist, unless physically marred.

History

The history of the Elves, much like the history of the Elysian, is mostly shrouded in mystery and legend.

The effective history of the elves begins in a period shortly before the formation of the Yamatai Star Empire, during the expansion of a previous empire. After colonizing Rok'Veru, the Pre-Imperium Nepleslians from the Uesureyan Star Empire marked Geshrintall for colonization, and Uesureyan Horizons, a small company at first, took on the task of gently doing so. What they found, among other things, was a planet full of resources for the taking and an atmosphere stewarded by the quantum computers of AVANet.

The elves themselves, it is presumed but not strictly known, might have come to the planet on the same ship that brought AVANet. They could have been transplanted there, as well—certainly the ability was not outside of the powerful computers’ abilities. Or, further and most likely, they could have simply been created by AVANet out of the cultural memories of the humans who eventually settled upon Geshrintall, for the creation of life was within that Quantum Computer’s ability as well and the Avatars who represented AVANet all presented themselves in humanoid forms.

Indeterminate Origins

Whatever the truth, the fact of their existence at the time of their discovery made them vulnerable to the people who would eventually be PNUgen Corporation, and when the Nepleslians and their clones began flooding into Geshrintall, they found not only elves, but trolls and other similarly fantastical creatures living native there to meet them – with ruins and history that seemed to suggest that they had been there nearly forever.

However, if the elves know where they came from, they have not sought to share it, and it seems to be a point of huge racial sorrow for them.

What is known is that there were two general species of Elves; the elves of Xiuluria, and the elves of Tysalvania. The former, known as Wood Elves, had organized themselves into a series of noble Houses, led by elected Elders, and at the time of discovery had progressed only so far as what could be considered the ‘bronze age’ in other species. The latter, Mud Elves, were spread out across the continents and existed particularly in nomadic tribes and clans, though in their rush to colonize the planet, the Uesureyan Horizons company—later to become the first Uesureyan Star Empire —did not bother to record or study their disposition.

At the time both species of elves had access to what might as well have effectively been magic. The same sort of strange, quantum abilities that allowed AvaNet to create and destroy matter and energy seemed freely available to the elves, and it is for this reason that their technology seemed not to have evolved beyond what was required despite the apparent length of their lifespans and society – there simply wasn’t any need for mechanics, for computers, for technology. The elves at this time worshiped several nature deities which seemed to coincide with AVANet’s Avatars—the same Avatars as the Yamatai Star Empire eventually co-opted to operate their ships. These godlike beings were seen by the elves, it seems, as true divinities, and this eventually became a source of derision and mockery between the two races.

The End of Tyslvania

Alone, the Mud Elf clans were not powerful enough to contend with the visiting Nepleslians, magic or not, and though the conquest was largely peaceful, clan by clan they merged with the Nepleslians as servants, slaves, and were largely considered to be less intelligent due to their lack of familiarity with technology. At the time, the Nepleslians thought it humane to enslave them, as they did not fit neatly into the human version of society and as their customs were strange and quite barbaric. When integrated into human society, it was found that not only could the elves be integrated effectively, they could also bear children with the best traits of both parent races; elves are the distant cousins of humans, and Nepleslians found them ready partners, a trait which soon saw the Mud Elves of Tyslvania into something resembling extinction, as much as their unsuitability to civilized life, and which notably led to the eventual popularity of elf-styled ears among modern Nekovalkyrja.

Though some Tyslvanian elves still remain, they are even more uncommon than the Xiulurians, and have largely taken refuge within that country.

The Wood Elves of Xiuluria

By contrast, the Wood Elves of Xiuluria had formed together into something like a civilization that maintained its sovereignty until PANTHEON replaced AvaNet. However, the first blow to its sovereignty was the The Great Plague of YE 08, which took with it almost all the remaining mud elves, most of the trolls and other indigenous peoples of Geshrintall, all the genetic Human Geshrin, but not the biologically enhanced Geshrin. The Republic of Xiuluria survived by shutting its gates, and did not open them until its treaty with Yamatai Star Empire in YE 12, where they limited foreign travel into their capital to official business only. One by one, each elvish settlement outside of Xiuluria fell to plague, or to war, or to famine, and in the end only Xiuluria remained.

In YE 14 and after the treaty with Yamatai Star Empire, AvaNet was replaced by PANTHEON, and it appeared the elves had lost their magic forever. Though they are still known for their ‘magic potions’ and their preternatural grace and composure, the last fireball, so to speak, had been thrown. Magic was dead in Geshrintall and the elves greatly reduced in prominence.

Modern Day Xiuluria and Fourth Fleet

In the modern day, Xiuluria remains one of the most prominent gated communities among the stars, rarely involving itself in Yamataian politics, and never involving itself internationally, as it is a protectorate of the Yamatai Star Empire.

Star Army 4th Fleet notably plays host to many elves who wish to defend their homeland and support their protector state.

By nature, elves are a peaceful race and considering their long lifespans are quite conservative in the face of potentially violent deaths.

Physiology

There are two types of elves on Geshrintall: mud elves (Tyslvanian Elves) and tree elves (Xiulurian Elves).

Regardless of the type of elf, most elves present as slender and willowy, ranging up to lithe and lean; they can be more slender than even the most waifish of humans, and even at their most muscular, their men can still be described, jokingly, as effeminate. There is a slight dimorphism between their sexes, enough to distinguish between them, but it is less prominent in elves than in humans.

It is notable that the wild and sometimes fanciful coloring of these elves may have inspired the later coloration of Nekovalkyrja, but no official correlation has been recorded beyond simple observation.

Mud Elf Appearance

Mud elves have pale blue, green, gold, or gray skin, with dark hair (brown or black). Mud elf ears are short, just a bit longer than human ears, and are almond-shaped.

In height, Mud Elves range from around 4'4” to 5'6”, and can weigh around ~88lbs on average.

It is notable that Tylsylvanian elves preferred warpaint, and identified themselves tribal through its use during armed conflicts. It is also notable that the savage Tyslvanians were not particularly fond of clothing, and instead preferred body paint and piercings for ostentation.

Tree Elf Appearance

Tree elves have brown, tan, gray, or flesh colored skin, and in contrast to their shorter cousins, their ears are long and pointed. Sometimes, they are called 'brown' elves, though there are as many pale Xiulurian elves as darker. They bear a wide range of natural hair colors, except for purple and blue, but are known for their use of dyes and ostentation.

In height, Tree Elves range from around 5'4” to 6'6” on average, tending to the taller. It is uncommon to find shorter Xiulurians, but exceptions are possible as with any species.

Rather than warpaint, Xiulurians are notably fond of jewelery, and though the cut of their clothes is often simple they embroider in intricate patterns and embed jewels or pretty baubles to lend their garments and appearance austerity.

Diet

Elves are omnivores and are capable of eating most things that the average human would be capable of eating. Although their religion involves a deep respect for nature and the natural world, they do not prohibit the consumption of any particular thing on moral or ethical grounds, and possess individual palettes.

Environment

Elves typically live in temperate zones. There are no records of elves ever living anywhere other than Planet Yamatai, which boasts a variety of seasons and less extreme climates.

Life Cycle

Elves are ageless, meaning that they do not die of what most species would consider to be natural causes. They follow a standard male/female patterning, with exceptions being excessively rare. 1)

There have been instances of elves, however, feeling that they have reached the pinnacle of their art, or who have suffered great losses of family or face, choosing to lay down and die instead of living. In this case, they typically choose to die in a ritualistic suicide assisted by a priest of their chosen faith. Some of them, for no particular medical reason, simply lay down one day and pass away. It is the observation that an elf who no longer finds value in life quits it peacefully, leading to what might be considered a natural death for the species, but no biological reason exists for this phenomenon.

Elves who are old enough, and self-disciplined enough, can often forego sleeping for several weeks, if not months. This is more common in elves who choose to live active lifestyles. Younger elves typically, however, must sleep.

Elves reach physical maturity around the age of 36 2), and begin to show signs of later aging around the age of 100, mostly in their hair and in their eyes, both of which lose their pigmentation as the elf advances in years. However, due to their ageless physiology, they do not generally lose strength or mobility as they age.

Elves who are physically mature can have children, although there is a notably low rate of conception among elven couples. It is common, culturally, for an elf to choose a single partner carefully, as the child that results from the union will most often be their only child for centuries. Although it is often common for an elven child to be raised communally, due to their rarity, the parents are afforded primacy as primary caregivers.

Elven reproduction typically begins with copulation, followed by around one year of pregnancy.

Half Elves

As has been mentioned before, the Tysylvanian elves often intermingled with Nepleslians, and the result were half-elves; a mix of the two races, and living proof that the two are closely genetically related. Half-elves run the gambit and may have traits of either of their parents, depending on the species of the mother. In sexual relations between humans and elves, children are much, much more common than between elves, and this largely contributed to the swift introduction of Tysylvanian elves and half-elves into early Geshrini cultural centers - and may have even led to the proliferation and normalization of elven ears among later Nekovalkyrja, Geshrin, and the other humanoid species.

Half-elves, however, do not make up a notable percentage of the population; if anything, they are even rarer than the elves are in Yamataian culture, to the point of being nearly mythical.

Half-elves of either species of Geshrini Elf died out with the Geshrini who fathered or mothered them during The Great Plague of YE 08, and the scarcity and xenophobia of elves afterward have made this cross-lineage almost completely extinct.

Culture

According to elvish annuals, the culture of the elves goes back for thousands of years. However true that claim might be, it is true that elves are highly respectful of their traditions and place a high value on wisdom and the exercise of moderation gained thereby.

While most humans go through their short lives living small bits of wisdom - such realized maxims as 'one cannot always trust others', or 'one should not talk too much', or 'covet your friends rather than coin' - elves learn these lessons with sharp regularity and, presumably, for as long as their excessive lifespans permit. As a result, elves are by and large nonviolent and patient, with the exceptions being notable for their abnormality and proving the rule.

Modern elvish culture, as in ancient times, focuses heavily on self-expression and the expression of one's craft or trade. Beauty can be found everywhere for an elf, but most often in the expression of their own talents or gifts. A comfortable balance exists between every elf and his or her community; the finest craftsman of wood will work, hand in hand, with an elf who has embraced the technological craft to produce a ship as beautiful as the boughs of the most expressively blooming cherry blossom tree. That same woodsman might share their knowledge with a gardener, and over many years cultivate trees that seem to jump alive when the craft and hew of the saw and awl is set to them. For this reason, the productions of elves can seem as though they are magic, and there might be a sort of magic in that sort of dedication; it might take a human a lifetime to master his craft, but for an elvish master craftsman that mastery might fall far short.

A comfortable balance also exists between an elf's family and the elf, and that family and that community. For elves, while the individual is respected, the family is considered one of the central units of an elf's function in society. They, like many other enlightened cultures, recognize an elf's kin and lineage as a defining characteristic of their lives. It is peculiar to find an elf that is a poor son or daughter, and elves worship their elders with the same respect as they might worship their deities; indeed, for some families, there is little difference between an immortal ancestor, and the immortal truths of the universe represented in their divinities and worship of nature.

The elves are notable for maintaining a religion, along with several temples upon old Geshrintal.3) Their deities coincide with the Avatars of AvaNET, their practical creator.

Clothing

Elves do not generally have gender distinctions in their clothing selection, and so unlike most Yamataian and Nepleslian 4) styles like robes, jackets, skirts, sarong, slacks, pants, and many other forms of attire are typically used at whim by any elf who favors them. Elves usually subdue their preferences while interacting with other species to ease understanding and often to define their genders, but otherwise they do not hold inherent biases.

Elvish clothing is typically loose and light; though historically Tysylvanian elves went about next to naked, in hide or close-woven hempen cloth, modernly the Xiulurian fashion of silk and light linen and blend clothing, even clothing made from fabrics imported from Yamatai, is dominant. Elvish clothing is usually simple in concept. It is not uncommon for an elf to favor a simple robe or shift that, nevertheless, has been woven to catch the light in a dozen threads of some reflective, but subtle metal, like silver or Xiulurium.

An elvish garment can be infinitely complex, or it can be as simple as a single tunic - but whichever path the clothier takes, each piece of clothing, even work clothing, is a matter of presentation to be taken seriously.

Food

Elves are known to have a wide variety of tastes, though usually when a person thinks of elvish food they think of lighter dishes such as salads or artistically prepared fish or birds. By and large, elvish foods can be considered sweet to most humans or human-derived species, and oftentimes surprise with the blend of presentation, texture, and flavor.

Though elves conceivably cook anything that suits their whim at the time, they treat the art of cooking with the same seriousness as they treat all their other endeavors, and an elvish cook who has studied his or her craft can often surprise with even the simplest dish.

Language

There are two major dialects of elven, which follow the biological and cultural dichotomy of the species.

Xiulurian has a full written alphabet that contains 48 characters, representing sounds and modifiers. It is written in a flowing and often artistic script that might originally have been based on singing. Distinctions in diction and tonality are recorded with special sub, or superscripted characters, which are included in the character count. It is notable that elvish can often sound like music or singing, leading to the previous assumption.

Tysylvanian does not have a written language, and borrows the Xiulurian alphebet.

The two dialects of elven are branches from the same tree, and though they are different, they are spawned from the same original dialect which exists only historically.

Naming

In their own language, elves usually have a given name and a surname, which can reference their family, their location of birth, or some augur at the time of their birth. Although the given name of an elf is usually static, the surname is often vestigal and can be updated with deeds, accomplishments, marriages, or similar actions. It is for this reason that most elves that travel outside Xiuluria choose names in trade that they find pleasing, or that they feel describe themselves.

It is for this reason that their first name often carries an elvish meaning, while their second name is descriptive in an appropriate language (either Yamataian or Trade).

Some name examples;

  • Firiel Morningmist5)
  • Esaria Oceansong
  • Cysrai Seaheart
  • Kamenya Blackfire

A few examples of elves who have kept their elvish names;

Politics

Prior to YE 14

Prior to YE 14, the elves were beholden to the Lord Emperor Ketsurui Uesu and his Imperial government, following a tradition of tiered nobility that ended in what was meant to be an enlightened dictator; the Emperor, or Empress. Even so, most Xiulurian elves during the period of their discovery until the plague owed their highest allegiance to their families, with noble families rising over a series of several decades. Elves are not naturally violent towards other elves, though it was notable that the two species of elf - mud and tree - were commonly in conflict.

The practice of slaving elves, commonly referenced as one of the Xiulurian elves' greatest sins, began because of a cruel sort of mathematics. The Xiulurian elves often kept their smaller, less culturally developed Tysylvanian cousins in a manner of indebted servitude rather than slaying them in conflict. The practice of taking war-slaves in this way, and binding them to the Xiulurian houses that took them, eventually bled into the idea that war-servants could be traded between the houses. It became a status symbol. When the humans arrived, it became natural, culturally, to view their taking of the Tysylvanians as slaves in a similar way to the Xiulurian custom.

Something can be said for the institution of slavery created by the elves, for the elves; it was at least a way out of killing their fellows. The subsequent treatment of these indentured elves at the hands of their human masters, compared to the way that elves treated other elves under this institution, is a difficult comparison. The elves cannot be held up as an enlightened species in this regard; like most of the species of the stars in the dark ages of war and violence that existed before the modern age, this should be judged on its own merits as a point of history.

Ironically this practice may have saved the Tysylvanian species during The Great Plague of YE 08, trapping many of the still-held servants in the City-State of Xiuluria after the gates had been shut.

The Tyslvanian elves had a tribal council which met at a moot, periodically, where many clans, often related, would come together to decide major changes in habitation, seasonsal changes in hunting and gathering, or military affairs. Not much is known about Tysylvanian culture, being difficult to trace back through the subsequent changes in culture brought on by their absorption by the Xiulurians and Geshrini humans.

After YE 14

Xiulurian elves, by family, vote on family elders, who vote on a village elders, and the village elders have a conclave in which they vote on matters based on the population on their villages. Xiuluria is a part of the YSE, but is generally left alone to govern itself as a protectorate.

Rather than terminating at the top, with a Lord Emperor6), the highest ranking elf in Xiuluria is the single courtesy senator that they provide to Yamatai.

Technology

Although elves are in most regards no more or less physically capable than their human counterparts and species-cousins, they have a notable affinity for the use of technology which might come from their status as a created race, or perhaps from their intuitive familiarity with the technology that previously gave them easy access to Geshrintal's magical atmosphere. Whatever the case, most elves have a peculiar relationship with and affinity to technology, and usually manage to understand it swiftly.

Traditional beliefs on technology and the use of technology stymie its widespread acceptance in elvish domestic culture, but most savvy elves, particularly the elves in Fourth Standard Fleet, are quite comfortable using any type of technology publicly available. Some elves even quietly design technologies or starships, though they rarely take public credit for the acts, as they are rarely done for-profit.

Aside from the “magical” potions mentioned earlier, elves have not come out with any new technological advances of their own since their incorporation into Yamatai.

Economy

Xiuluria does not often conduct trade with outside nations except in one particular circumstance; magic potions.

Lake Xiuluria's Bounty

While it might be easy to say that “magic is completely dead”, and while the origin of that magic 7) might be gone, some of it still remains in a single place on the planet; that place is Lake Xiuluria. As Xiuluria sits upon its shores, and as Yamatai Star Empire recognized this as the nation's sovereign authority, it is one of the country's only remaining resources.

The art of turning this femtomachine-suffused water, which is normally quite mundane, into the sort of magic potions that can produce various astounding and interesting affects, is an art that is guarded jealously by the Xiulurians to the point where it is almost never performed for profit or traded. In the rare instances that it does become a commodity, the price that is paid for it is excessively high - to the point where only one or two potions are traded a year. These potions are such miracles of technology that the actual engineering and science involved has eluded every major national understanding to date. To purchase an elvish potion is essentially to buy a small act of God.

Other Trade

Yamatai typically buys specialty goods such as wine, furniture, artistic works, and clothing from Xiuluria.

Xiuluria imports most of its food and basic commodities from Yamatai.

OOC Notes

Gallant created this article on 2017/09/15 19:50.
This article uses artwork from Nyki.
This article was approved on 2017/09/29. https://stararmy.com/roleplay-forum/index.php?threads/elf-species.59921/

1)
It is notable that there are no gender stigmas in elvish culture; men can wear dresses and makeup, women can wear slacks and dress boyishly; life is too long for that sort of nonsense to govern one's perceptions. Therefore, it is rare for elves to wish to change sex, as much less emphasis is placed on sexuality accounting for any role in their society.
2)
Ages are in Yamataian years
3)
These temples, the Temple of Ages, the Temple of Flame, and so on, bear their own stories elsewhere - and are part of their creation story and mythos.
4)
Listed here because they are the quintessential “Female” and “Male” distinctions in the Kikyo Sector.
5)
This character is played by Fred and appears in the YSS Byakuren plot. She is notable as the creator of the Himiko-class Light Escort.
6)
Or Lord Empress; in elvish, Lord Emperor is “Sal Tereval”, and bears no gender.
7)
AvaNet, in this case, suffusing the atmosphere of Geshrintal with femtomachines that made it possible to do things like throw fireballs and fly
species/elf.txt · Last modified: 2018/03/10 07:24 by wes