Jason Malone
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On Elves

Feb 19, 2024

Originally published on August 3rd, 2020 on talesfromardonn.com

A treatise on elves by Edward of Oldford, from his ‘Godspeaker’s Guide to Otherworldly Beings.’

Before Man and Elves existed, and before the Mirror World split to form the World and Otherworld – the Mirror Worlds – there existed only four races: Gods, Edan, treacherous Thorns, and the Edanian Men, or Old Folk.

The Old Folk were created by the Edan, those perfect children of Gods, for mundane tasks – labour, commerce, entertainment, and later on, fighting. The bodies of the Old Folk would age and die after lifetimes lasting several centuries, but their immortal souls would be reborn in a new body, retaining all the memories of its previous life.

However, when the Shadow-God Vylan betrayed his brethren, the Mirror World split in two. Thus, the World and Otherworld, originally unified, were created. The Old Folk were wrenched apart. Those engaged in worldly pursuits or possessing fouler hearts became the race of Man, while those purer in heart and engaged in more godly pursuits became the elves.

The Elves lost their bodily forms, but still retained a worldly appearance visible to worldly eyes. Yet this is merely an illusion, and cannot sustain them in the World. Thus, they were forced to reside within the Otherworld, and leave the rule of the World to Man, holding sway only over wild or liminal places.

Elves are therefore the souls of our noble ancestors from the days before the Split. Some lucky men and women, however, are able to become elves by being pure of heart and receiving invitation from these beings. These few, called ‘young elves,’ have particular concern for the affairs of Man, and will often keep watch over their descendants and lands from beyond the borders of our World.

Elves, like us, have their own cultures and customs, and societies modelled on those of the Old Folk. All elf societies are kingdoms ruled by a lord or lady, with many of these nobles acting as vassals to the mighty Edin son of Hundin and Falca, known as ‘the Lord of the Forest.’ A few independent kingdoms exist, however, each ruled by Edin-Lords maintaining loose alliances with Hundin’s son.

It is important to give gifts to these beings, when using their spaces or passing through their territories. Care must be given when meeting elves, as they care little for our worldly attachments and, not understanding their importance to us, may whisk us away without warning.

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