Monday, 18 October 2010

The Elven Problem

For a long while now, I've been trying to develop a take on the elves of the world of Argos. The problem is that I've managed to create a ridiculous amount of anticipation around these sylvans. Back in -06 or so, when the BoW first started up, the elves first appeared as aloof and enigmatic. Back then, it was but one elf, and the rest of their race was only hinted at.

At the time it seemed like a good idea to have the elf toss prophecies and promises around, most notably the famous words, "when all seems darkest, we will buy [humans] time." Since then I've helped myself greatly by enhancing this prophecy by having it repeated. Well, things are seeming pretty dark at the moment, and the dastardly players are now pushing to see behind the smoke and mirrors.

To make matters more complicated, a while back I threw in a group of pissed off, kick-ass elves, the Frost Elves of Fornost, who stayed behind when the rest of them left the world of man. That did little to lessen the hype.

And of course, I don't want to copy/paste the elves from D&D or Middle-earth. Then the other night I checked out one of the blogs on my blogroll, M.S. Jackson's ..lapsus calumni... I really like the balance he's achieved between originality and familiarity. The post in question discussed the races of his own world, Sylnae, and there, among his Hobbins and Ghim, I found what may well be the missing piece of this puzzle, the Sylari. These elf-like creatures are based on the Sylvari of Guildwars2

I must also beg Jackson's forgiveness for spamming his comment-field with my half-formulated ideas.

Here is what's known about the elves of Argos so far:
  • They are born of a tree (or trees; I’m thinking that the different ‘tribes’ came from individual trees – most of whom have withered and/or died by now).
  • They are the oldest of the Younger Races – Man being the youngest of these.
  • In the previous Age they fought a great war against Man, and lost, thus leaving the World of Man (going beyond the Horizon, or some such). I’m actually thinking something along the lines of the Earth-Minbari War from Babylon 5 here.
  • They have promised that when all seems darkest, they will “buy [humans] time.”
  • The orcs are a corrupted breed of elves. Not particularly original, I know. However, instead of Sauron being the corrupting force, I’ve used Cthulhu.

I still haven't sorted it all out yet, but the elves are taking shape. I expect that sometime during this week I'll put up a post with a more comprehensive description on this, the First of the Younger Races. However, should anyone out there have ideas, or suggestions to where I should look for inspiration, I would greatly appreciate your input.

For now, here are some of the images I'm using to inspire my elves.



Awesome elf by Kerem Beyit


Lastly, here are some links to the most relevant posts on elves so far:
Frostbite - a short story about the Frost Elves' attack on Pendrell.
The Frost Elves of Fornost - fluff-text discussing the elves of Frostbite.
Orbis Hermetica - fluff-text outlining the creation myth of Argos.
The Tower of Heavens - the first document describing the multiverse of the Book of Worlds.

[Picture source: 1 & 2 Guildwars2 Wiki; 3 Kerem Beyit; 4 Silverblade's Suitcase]


  1. I like your information on the race, seems really interesting.

  2. I don't know if you saw it, but I made a comment in the comment section on the other blog just for you...

  3. @ Lone Islander:
    Thank you. As of yet the information is kind of sparse, hence my problem ;)

    I did not catch that one. Did now, and it's added to my stack of notes. Thank's a bundle :)

  4. Interesting. That certainly is an inspirational visual.

  5. I've found that the visuals are very important for me.

  6. Another aspect of the Sylvari that I think I forgot to mention is that they need light. At one point the crew in the novel have been in darkness for a good amount of time and the one Sylvari in the group is having difficulty. After some time in the bright sun, she turns around and is rejuvenated. I REALLY like this idea and am thinking of working it into my version. Perhaps even incorporating some aspects from the Sunrunners of Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince series ( The sun's rays could actually 'power' the sylari and without it, they sort of act like plants in winter, slow down, almost like hibernating. That said however, I do not want to have complicated rules that track hours and minutes....a hard fought balance, if I do say so myself.
    I like what you have so far though, starting to sound very cool.

  7. Oh, and don't worry about commenting on my blog, I just returned the favor! ;-)

  8. That's how things are supposed to work, imo. Mi casa, and so forth.