Saturday, July 9, 2011

Races: My Elves and Dwarves are ... Part 1

Like many folks who engage in fantasy world  creation, I want to make my elves and dwarves (and maybe halflings and gnomes) different from the Tolkien / D&D template -- but not too different because:
  1. I might as well do the Talislanta thing and not call them elves or dwarves
  2. they may end up unplayable as races

One way to do that is to dip into myth and legend. And like most folks who've not really spent much money on that kind of reference material and have no easy access to libraries, I turn to the internet and Wikipedia for my research.

High Elves and High Dwarves

You know, this diagram has some things in common with the diagram for the Hollow Earth theory. I'm thinking about
combining the diagrams somehow, but I still have to work out the rest of the cosmology with the races and the deities.
In Enigmundia, the earliest elves and dwarves were set over certain aspects of creation.

The Ælvir -- aka High Elves for typing simplicity -- were set over the living aspects of the earth: the plants, trees, animals and all things that fly and walk and crawl. They were also charged with guarding gates and waypoints throughout the lands and seas of the world that lead to the many hidden Realms and Ages of Enigmundia. In Enigmundian lore, the High Elves are considered part of a pantheon of pagan gods who were strongly identified with Nature, Art, and Innate Talent.

The Duegar -- aka High Dwarves -- were placed in charge of the unliving wealth of the world: stones and caverns and gems and ore and the red and black blood of the earth ("You mean oil?" "I mean black blood of the earth!"). They were also charged with guarding the four main pillars / entrances to the Hollow World and were broken into the Founding Clans: Nordri, Sudri, Austri, and Vestri. In Enigmundian lore, the High Dwarves are considered part of the same pantheon of pagan gods as the High Elves, but were instead strongly identified with Artifice, Craft, and Learned Skill.

But neither of these are player character races -- because they disappeared from the view of the mortal realm during the time of the War in the Heavens.

I think that the Most High would probably have given them
a map very similar to this one. Besides, this is what I think of
when I think of dwarven and halfling thieves: Time Bandits.


  1. I'm finding your Enigmundia posts very interesting, as I'm looking for ways to incorporate all that Gaz goodness into my homebrew world. At the moment, though, Elves are essentially Melnibonians - an ancient decadent race - with their woodland cousins being some kind of late-civilization misanthropic back-to-nature movement. Dwarves still live in mountains and make things from stone, but they are the archivists of the world. They preserve the history of the world on the walls of tunnels that riddle their mountains.

  2. Thanks.

    I like having the High Elves as Melniboneans and the Wood Elves as friendlier throwbacks.

    Makes for a scarier world.

  3. I'm not sure my Wood Elves will be friendlier - they'll shoot you for picking wild flowers!

    The High Elves/Melniboneans, on the other hand, will shoot you because they are bored. So I guess you do have a better chance dealing with a people that at least have an ethos.

  4. Definitely a dangerous breed. Alternately, they could choose to play with you (magically) due to boredom. You could get lost in the forest, made to fall in love...

    ... sounds like a Shakespeare play. Hm.


That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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