Beautiful. Wise. Mysterious. And, oh so alien. Elves have existed in many forms throughout human history and mythology. But as the Cataclysm revealed, only a few conceptions were accurate. Not to say that other interpretations of elves were completely fallacious. The short, hard-working elves of Santa’s workshop ended up being fae. Gnomes, in particular. Very distant relatives of some elves – who still hold their connection to the fae as sacred.
Like many categories of creatures, elves are diverse. But they do tend to have some commonalities. All the elves that humans have experienced on Earth possess an agelessness – living for a long-time and rejecting some of the more obvious physical signs of aging. Almost all of them also possess pointed ears but can be of varying lengths and shapes.
During the early days of the Cataclysm, it was believed that elves also possessed a natural penchant for magic. But this was soon revealed to be a bias – as the majority of elves entering the public eye happened to be mages. In actual fact, elves have the same basic affinity for magic as humans – but their worlds have experienced magic for longer and their mages have lived for far longer. Both leading to elven wizards and spell languages possessing a lot of arcane power.
All the elven languages also have a commonality – suggesting a common heritage or some cosmic, cultural predestination.
Past these similarities, elves are perhaps even more diverse than humans. For while human racial groups are purely aesthetic, elven races possess far more meaningful differences.
The Sintari are the most common elves to settle on Earth. Characterised as beautiful and graceful, these elves of quiet and gentle wisdom possess the greatest affinity with the fae – allowing the fair folk to guide and protect them.
Sintari look the most like humans but do possess eye and hair colours impossible among humans. Many Sintari possess blood-red, green or even blue hair, and eyes that look like star fields.
Sintari are born into courts, ordained by destiny, that dictate their values, principles and even personality. That is not to say that they have no freedom. But that they fall into an archetype reflecting the court they’re born into.
Being born into a court is a matter of destiny and doesn’t depend on ones family at all. Many Sintari refugees, separated from their communities, have been born on Earth without knowing their court – yet will come to reflect its values unconsciously.
There are many courts, but some of the most prominent are:
- The Star Court: The court of leaders, ordainers of destiny, great mages and the wise. Those of the Star Court put the will of the fae and cosmos above that of themselves and those around them. The bigger picture is what matters.
- The Earth Court: The court of the farmer, the cultivator, the doctor and the virtuous small folk. The Earth Court believe in coexistence between fae, elf and nature. Most of all, they desire peace.
- The War Court: The court of soldiers, revolutionaries, protectors and destroyers. This complicated court is full of warriors, who believe violence is necessary to achieve great ends. For good and bad.
- The Quicksilver Court: The court of experimenters, scientists and inventors. Those of the Quicksilver Court are obsessed with innovation, invention and driving forward the technology of the Sintari. This is the rarest of all the courts and usually oppressed by the others due to the dangers they pose to tradition.
- The Shadow Court: The plotters, the politicians, the assassins and the thieves. This hated court is full of the scoundrels and conspirators of the Sintari. They seldom reveal themselves, often posing as other courtiers. What they desire is power for its own sake.
The Sintari are scattered upon Earth but have established a home for themselves. New Sintar, a troubled homeland surrounded by enemies. For those who have found themselves among humans, life varies from peaceful coexistence to heart breaking poverty and oppression.
Often called dark elves. Drentari possess pitch-black skin and eyes, often contrasting with light-coloured hair. They cannot be sensed if they don’t want to, possessing no smell and making no sound unless deliberate.
Drentari inhabit a dark world full of monsters, inhabiting clan-cities known as ‘korax’. Every member of a korax treats another like family, but still following a strict hierarchy where every Drentari is expected to know and fulfil their duty. To shirk or to disobey is considered the height of evil.
Drentari and Sintari have fought in the past, when their realms have crossed over and they have attempted to fight over similar colony worlds across the In Between. This conflict was exacerbated by the Drentari’s disdain for the fae as chaotic and carefree.
Drentari are rare on Earth, and often aloof. They are a communal people and the riftborne found on Earth soon perish without their kin.
The sea elves. These elves are relatives of sea fae, possessing fins that make them similar to the mer. They can breathe underwater, but tend to live just above sea level, travelling the oceans on ships and boats, or living on floating platforms.
There are few of them on Earth, and those who have found their way here tend to live with the mer, or get jobs as deckhands, never leaving their ships. They have found kinship with the Greyak’ta, the sea dwarves, who hold similar values.
Known as white, snow, ice and, derogatorily, ape elves. Juktari inhabit freezing cold realms. To adapt to these environments, they possess a thin layer of fur, lending them a similar appearance to humanoid apes. There are very few Juktari on Earth, as they are unfortunately hunted by alchemists for body parts.
Elves of Earth
Upon realising that they can’t return home, many elves have pursued a life on Earth. Sintari mages, in particular, have gained much respect among scholars and human wizards by sharing their spell language with humanity. Elftowns exist in most major cities with some level of tolerance, where elves can practice their culture in relative peace.
By happenstance, most of the Sintari appeared in New Zealand after the Cataclysm. Many more flocked there, upon hearing that Queen Allandrea, the leader of the Star Court and possibly the ruler of Sintari kind was there.
After a complicated and bloody conflict, New Sintar declared independence from New Zealand, taking the north island for itself. This did not endear human governments to the Sintari, causing pogroms to erupt around the world.
More can be read about New Sintar in its own article, here.
The Dual-Republic of Ireland
Second to New Zealand in terms of elven population was Ireland. But rather than conflict, the nation embraced coexistence. But Sintari and human cultures do often clash, leading to the establishment of the Dual-Republics.
While elves and humans live amongst one another, their lawmakers are separate. Only when one affects the other do both governments meet.
This has caused problems in the past, particularly due to racist humans and vainglorious War Courtiers, but has managed to sustain itself. Ireland has become a beacon for coexistence to the world as a result – a model in overlapping governance and tolerance.
Sintari in Hope City
The elves of Hope City are protected by the Spirit of the Law but are often isolated from their kin by the seas of slums. Elftowns have formed, where Sintari and other elven customs are followed, but many other isolated elves are born into communities where they do not understand themselves or their heritage.
Many turn to crime, unable to channel their unknown Shadow or War court heritage. Others are declared insane, as humans and ignorant elves (born on Earth and into ignorance) do not understand their divine prophecies as Star Courtiers.
Despite this, Hope City is still a haven in the region. The Zulu Empire actively hunts down Sintari, putting them in ghettos so to avoid a New Sintari incident. The Magocracy pays lip service to tolerance, but secretly hunts down Sintari in a quiet genocide led by the Extermination Corps. All the while the Badlands teem with monstrosities.
Despite the cultural clash, Hope City remains the best place for elves in Southern Africa.
An Elven Future on Earth
While many elves are trapped by tradition or left alone and ignorant of their heritage on this new world, there are others who are not content to be a secondary race to humanity.
The Steel Elves, as they call themselves, is a new race, formed by creed rather than heritage. Somehow, the will of its members has been enough to unite various types of elves into a united force.
The Steel Elves aim to master the technology of Earth and use it to achieve dominance over humanity. They see New Sintar and the Dual-Republics as weak and stupid.
For them, the past must be left aside. The future is what matters. An Elven Future – reigning supreme above all the lesser races.