(EE) Sidhe and Elves in the Emerald Elysium

Written by Andrew.

The Sidhe were brought into the world by the Trolls quite by accident a little over 10,000 years ago. The are fey beings of pure light and goodness, so they say. They were appalled at the treatment of the lesser people by the Trolls and chose to fight the Trolls in the first great crusade. They slayed the Trolls and took control of much of the Troll's former kingdom, renaming it the Emerald Elysium. The people were freed from the shackles of slavery and given a new lease on life as well as new rights and protections under the Sidhe nobility.

Since that time the Sidhe have ruled over an relatively peaceful land, keeping the many threats that would seek to dismantle their work at bay. The Sidhe are few in number and live primarily in the heart of the Emerald Elysium. Many people who live in the outskirts can go their whole life without laying eyes upon a Sidhe, but when they do appear in one of these places, they are treated with unmatched adulation and respect.

The Sidhe are the perfection of body, tall and thin, with fair skin, hair like the sun, eyes like the morning sky, delicate and perfectly even features and move with such grace and ease that one might think them to be floating. They seem literally from story books and often dress in only the finest satin silks, pure white cottons, brilliantly shiny mithril, platinum and gold. Everything about them seems out of this world.

Although the peoples of the Emerald Elysium are said to be free, the Sidhe can be incredibly strict and even cruel when it comes to making laws and enforcing mandates, believing all should live up to their own perfection or unworthy of their place within the Elysium. To have a Sidhe tell it, they are far too lenient upon the people citing then numerous challenges to their rule as proof. They might well have banned the teaching of magic and the wielding of weapons of war among the people of the Elysium if it were not for the fact that while they can lead, they cannot fight all the Elysium's enemies by themselves.

Sidhe do not give birth very often at all, but they are capable of living several thousand years. The Fair King himself may well have been present when the battle with the Trolls first took place. Because of this, their numbers have never grown and the death of any Sidhe is a great tragedy. However, if one ever visited into the heart of the Emerald Elysium they would discover that the Sidhe do in fact grow old and gray after many centuries.

Couplings between humans and Sidhe are not terribly unusual. In fact, there may well be no such thing as a pure Sidhe lineage. If the mother is a Sidhe, the child is a Sidhe will the same appearance of every other Sidhe and nothing of the father to be seen within it. If the mother is human, then the child born is human and tends to have none of the typical Sidhe features but often sharing features of any human ancestors the Sidhe father had.

The Forest Mother and the Dryads
When the Sidhe came through the portal into this world so did a similar being of pure wild fey energy. Closely related to the Sidhe was the Forest Mother. Yet, unlike the Sidhe she did not take a proper physical form. Instead her spirit was bound to a tree. That tree grew ever grander and larger as the years went on. And though she could travel from tree to tree across the endless connected forests of the world, her spirit was truly bound to that one location.

When her tree bore fruit and then seeds, those seeds grew into trees that contained their own Dryad spirits. These Dryads, like the Forest Mother, could travel as far as they wanted so long as there was any tree within 50' of them, however their true forms were still the trees. Although all the original Dryad trees grew close to the Tree of Life inhabited by the Forest Mother, after the first generation she would enlist animals and people to take her seeds far in order to spread the protection of the Dryads to places she could not reach.

All wooded areas in the world are protected by the Dryads to some degree. Furthermore, not all Dryad trees look alike, but rather they tend to take on the appearance of whatever trees they were planted near. Though there is often something quite unique about a Dryad tree, if only a feeling one gets when they draw near. For reasons unclear, all Dryads appear as females with appearances quite similar to the Sidhe, but with more color to their features. The most common ones have reddish brown hair, dark brownish skin and green eyes. However, appearances can vary greatly depending on the tree they are planted near. Furthermore, they are able to transform into a far more monstrous and menacing form when they wish to do battle.

Although the death of their corporal forms are painful and Dryads attempt to avoid this, so long as their tree is left intact they can recover and reemerge after a time ranging from a few weeks to a month. However, if their tree is destroyed, the Dryad dies. But trees can be slow to truly die even if uprooted or poisoned or even lit on fire, which usually means attempting to destroy a Dryad's tree before its corporal form is never effective.

Dryads live as long as trees and never seem to age beyond taking on early middle aged appearances. However, after centuries their trees do wither and when they do, the Dryads die.

First generation Elves are born when Dryads take human lover and then give birth to a child part Dryad and part human. Much like when humans breed with Sidhe, the child of an elven mother is always an elf and the child of a human mother is always a human. It is perhaps more common for an Elf to have a human father than it is for one to have an Elven father. However, unlike Sidhe, the Elves don't have a common appearance and will take on traits of their parents. In fact, beyond the pointed ears, eyes with extremely large pupils, being slightly shorter and usually being underweight, there isn't really much of any difference in the appearance of Elves and humans.

As one could imagine, Elves tend to choose to spend much of their lives in the care of their Dryad mothers and sisters as their fathers grow old and die before Elves even reach adulthood. Even second generation Elves tend to stay with their mothers and live within the forests. However, unlike Dryads the Elves are free to move about as far from the forests as they wish. Those that first wandered off perhaps hoped to come back with tales of what lay outside the forest.

However, enough Elves never returned to their forest and found themselves getting swept up into the cities and life as full citizens of the Emerald Elysium to make them a pretty common sight all across the kingdom. While Sidhe are looked upon with awe and wonder, there is scarcely a person who gives second glance when they happen upon an Elf.

Elves aren't nearly as long lived as their parents, they age perhaps five times as slow as humans, which also means spending five times as long in childhood. However, Elves to continue to age if given enough time. Yet, their curious and adventurous spirit also tends to mean that few Elves ever make it past two centuries of age which is why almost no one has ever seen an old elf.

Moon Elves and Shadow Elves
The magical nature of Elves makes them incredibly easy to corrupt using dark magics. Because they are long lived, they make great servants for those whose other servants don't last as long and aren't terribly reliable.

Two Icons have corrupted Elves into their own images. The first to do so was the Dark Queen. Wanting servants that could compliment her Goblins and do things they could not, she drew Elves into her service and transformed them. Known as Moon Elves, they have bright blue, purple or pink skin as well as similar colored hair. They tend to dress in garish clothing and delight in causing woes for others. They are almost always either working with or commanding Goblins. They tend to have very dark senses of humor and seem to enjoy both causing and often receiving pain.

The second group of corrupted Elves are the Shadow Elves. With stone gray skin and hair, these grim and menacing Elves serve as sentinels and warriors of the Stone Trolls. They live in hidden catacombs underneath the Emerald Elysium and emerge only at night. They can see perfectly in the dark, an advantage they love to use against others. Although they are allies of the Forest Trolls and Orcs, they don't care for the wild, reckless ways of those races and instead act cold and calculating. So while they usually working to make those races more effective in assaulting the Elysium, they are rarely to be found directly associating with them.

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