1. Pink-Angel-1992
    Offline

    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    3

    Help with Elves

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Pink-Angel-1992, Oct 29, 2011.

    Okay, so in the story that I'm planning I'm going to have Elves; I want different races. I know there are alread different races out there, but I don't know what these are! I have googled it, but I don't know if they are right or if they are copyrighted! I might just create my own races to be save, but knowing of these that I could possible use, if I wanted, would be a great help, for now and future reference! (From memory) I've heard of:
    • Wood Elves
    • Light Elves
    • Dark Elves
    • and of course there are Santa's little Helpers

    The last can be scratched, but are the others useable, if I wanted to and what others can I add to the list? I'll keep researching for myself, but I'd like some help from anyone who can answer! Thanks!
     
  2. cruciFICTION
    Offline

    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    You're talking just about elf races? What's wrong with just having elves the same way we have humans? You know, with, like, ordinary diversity in one stock race? Because you know you lose points if you make dark elves black.

    I mean that, though. Ask yourself if you really need different "races" of elves. Quite frankly, it's stupid in fantasy when you've got humans with all their wavering morality, then different elf races for good and different elf races for evil.
     
  3. Acanthophis
    Offline

    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    330
    Location:
    Canada
    Basically what cruciFICTION said. Just because many of the more popular books/games/movies have different 'races' of Elves, doesn't mean you need to. Many of the Elves in fantasy are usually considered wise and ancient, it all depends on what you want them to be, it doesn't matter what race they are.

    You should try and create your own races though, it'd be far more interesting as many books and movies all tend to follow the Elves that Tolkien established (at least from what I've read).
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Shinmaru
    Offline

    Shinmaru New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm pretty sure the types you listed are useable but it depends on how you use them. There's a joke in the webcomic Order of the Stick concerning a Dark elf early on. Spoilers, but said elf was battling the elf of the titular team and during that battle a couple of lawyer characters appeared and dragged the dark elf away. The reason/joke being that it was too much like the dark elves from D&D, or something like that.

    I agree with the other posters though, you should create your own races. That way you aren't limited/obligated to follow what people might expect from them.
     
  5. walshy12238
    Offline

    walshy12238 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    3
    All of the ones you mentioned are legit, and I've heard of them before (Mostly from playing Oblivion, but hey).
    I think I've seen blood elves before, and I know for a fact that Oblivion also has High Elves.

    I hope that helps!
     
  6. Jetshroom
    Offline

    Jetshroom Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Australia
    You can use wood elves, you can use dark elves, you can use light elves, you can use turnip elves, you can use donkey elves.
    Your only copyright issue comes when you make direct use of someone elses work. In this case, elves are folklore, you can't copyright them.
    However if you were to try to have a race of "Night Elves" and they worshiped the moon god, lived in a giant tree and could be druids, hunters, rogues and priests, you might get some cease and desist letters from Blizzard.

    However, I'm going to go against the trend and caution you against just making your own race so that you can not have to worry about it. Even as a subgenre of elves.
    Call an elf an elf. Write the characters how they need to be written. Don't bother trying to create a race of humanoids who are beautiful, tall, have long hair, are at home in the trees and have pointy ears. You don't really need to
    make extensive use of subgenres. Also, not trying to use subgenres, you don't expose yourself so much to the rabid fanbase who only want Dark elves to be evil not light elves, or as someone said above, don't want Dark elves to be black.
     
  7. Pink-Angel-1992
    Offline

    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    3
    I don't want different races of elves because of that, in truth I don't play many games and I haven't read or seen many movies that contain Elves. I've seen the first Lord of the Rings movies, but that was years ago. Currently I'm reading a series that have elves in, but, at least from the way it's wrote, there aren't different races of Elves.

    Because of my main Elf character in the story I'm planning, I feel that I need to have different races. See, this character, though feminine looking and normally thought female first, will generally be categorised as a male, when in truth he's a hermaphrodite (I couldn't decided whether I wanted him male or female, hence my dicision). The idea for how this can be is that an horrible advent seriesly 'wounded' the character's people in the past - all women were killed (or those who'd be able to offer offspring), so the Gods of the planet turned them into hermaphrodites to allow them to survive.

    The Light/Dark Elves were just examples that I've heard/read off. I wasn't planning on using them in particualar or anything and I'm not going to make it so that there are races of good and bad elves. No, like I said above, it has to do with my hermaphrodite character. I don't want it to be common/well known among others. I want the race that this character comes from to be rather secretive/secluded due to closed-minded individuals from the past, but that's not to so this race with be a myth or unknown.

    The hermaphrodite Elf race will definatlly be my own, but I want maybe two or three other Elf races that mingle with humans and other race that I have in the story. The type I'd use is High Elves, as someone mentioned, or in the country side, maybe Wood Elves. That's why I'm want research on it at current, so I know what's out there and that I'm not using an existing race, just with my own name!

    Thank for the help and input!
     
  8. Protar
    Offline

    Protar Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    603
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    UK
    I think it's actually a good thing to have different variations of your fantasy species. It never made much sense to me that there would be dozens of different human nations and then only one dwarf nation and one elf nation ect. My WIP currently has several kinds of Elves but they're more different cultures than subspecies. Just try and stray away from the traditional good elves bad elves stereotype. In my WIP for example the dark elves are more gritty than evil, high elves can be xenophobic jerks and wood elves have something of a feral side. Stuff like that.
     
  9. Pink-Angel-1992
    Offline

    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thanks a lot for the advice. I totally have my mind set on having at least three different Elf races, more so because of the idea I have for my MC Elf's people history. I also want to stay away from any good/bad stereotypes for all races in the story! My 'good' characters will have some bad qualities/habbits and I'll make sure that I try to show a redeming qualities about any bad guys I have in the story. I read somewhere to make sure that your good characters aren't all saintly and pure, to give them some faults (or something along those lines). Everyone will have some faults, and to make your characters more realistic, then shouldn't they?
     
  10. Ellipse
    Offline

    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    714
    Likes Received:
    32
    If you are going to use elves, I would suggest giving each race its own name. Something more fitting that simply wood elves or dark elves.

    For one thing, in Norse mythology, depending on the text, dark elves were either actually dwarves or elves.

    Or if you look at Forgotten Realms dark elves, they are an evil, dark skinned, subterrainean race.

    Or in the Elder Scrolls they are a dark skinned elven race, but they aren't really evil.

    If you give them simple names like wood or dark elves, then your readers may assume what they are (you could do that intentionally, as well). "Hey, these guys are dark elves. They must be evil!" Or "Wood elves! THey must live in the forest!"
     
  11. Steerpike
    Online

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,097
    Likes Received:
    5,310
    Location:
    California, US
    You should be fine using those races, and if you want to include various sub-races of elves in your story and give them defined characteristics, there's nothing wrong with that either. Sure, humans vary widely in appearance, morality, &c. all among a singe "race," but that doesn't mean your other fantasy races have to do so. They're not humans, and if in your world they have well-defined and rather standard racial aspect, that's OK. If you were going to make them all like humans, you might as well just use humans :)
     
  12. SeverinR
    Offline

    SeverinR Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    New Madison Ohio
    There was in AD&D, the valley elf, "oh ma gosh, gag me with a wand."

    In reality, a race of elves living underground would be very light skinned, dark skin comes traditionally from sun exposure.

    I do the terrain identifier of elves. Wood or forest elf, Jungle elf, plains elf(nomads), and of course the reclusive Gray elf. (I liked thier style, so inteligent they avoid the rest of the world.) Except for the dark elves(named because of their evil nature not color of skin.) all elves have their own personality.
    Dark elves are more evil, cruel, sadistic, use darker magic. Basically elves with an orc like upbringing.

    I do believe in various races of a humanoid group, based on where they originated.
    Oriental elves?

    There are:
    Silver elves, Moon elves, Sun elves, aquatic elves, High elves, Wild elves, Blood elves, winged elves, half breed elves(half elves)
     
  13. Ettina
    Offline

    Ettina Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    20
    I think the big thing is to remember not to make defining what subtype of elf a character is take place of characterizing their personality. Too often I've seen stories where every high elf acts exactly the same, as does every wood elf, dark elf, etc. (Then again, I've also seen stories were every elf, dwarf, orc, etc acts the same, which is even worse.) I mean, their different origins will impact their behavior, but they'll still be individuals.

    As for what varieties to have, feel free to borrow ideas from other settings, just as long as they aren't exact copies. Or grab ideas from folklore - Germans and Celts for example have many myths about elves.
     
  14. Pink-Angel-1992
    Offline

    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thanks for your advice and Imput!

    The elves that I have will have similarities with humans and other humanoid races that I will have (due to mingling and breading with each other), but I'll make sure that there are plenty of noticable difference so that the just don't look like humans with pointed ears!
     
  15. Pink-Angel-1992
    Offline

    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thanks for your advice and Imput!

    The elves that I have will have similarities with humans and other humanoid races that I will have (due to mingling and breading with each other), but I'll make sure that there are plenty of noticable difference so that the just don't look like humans with pointed ears!

    [Double Post]
     
  16. Pink-Angel-1992
    Offline

    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    3
    I propaby will go down the latter, but I still want to do research for ideas/reference and/or future note. I really need to get motivated and do that research, I like have a paragraph down! Put that seems to just be me, when I don't have a deadline (like course work deadline where you definally can miss or move it!). It would propaby be helpful and get me moving if I did a schedule... :p Don't know, but I think I'm getting distracted again!
     
  17. Ettina
    Offline

    Ettina Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    20
    Remember, all this world-building is great, but don't get so wrapped up in it that you never get around to writing the story...
     
  18. Pink-Angel-1992
    Offline

    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    3
    I can't even do enough of the planning to even start thinking about the story. I need to stop letting myself get side tracked and work on it (when I don't have things I have to do!)
     
  19. Ross M Kitson
    Offline

    Ross M Kitson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Halifax, West Yorkshire
    The detail you need to go in will depend on how much your MC will interact with elves or even be one of them. I agree with prior posts that suggest a common biological origin for your elf but then a varied ethnicity- kind of like Caucasian differ to South-East Asian to Inuit. The common biological theme could allow common abilities (e.g longevity, sorcery) whereas the varied ethnicity may allow more fun with tradition, customs, language, even religion. You dont need to spend ages detailing it (Tolkein wrote a bloody language for his!) just enough for a framework to hand ideas off and expand if your story requires it. New races are fun, but you'll spend a good deal of time in your text explaining them.
    Cheers, Ross
     
  20. Ross M Kitson
    Offline

    Ross M Kitson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Halifax, West Yorkshire
    The detail you need to go in will depend on how much your MC will interact with elves or even be one of them. I agree with prior posts that suggest a common biological origin for your elf but then a varied ethnicity- kind of like Caucasian differ to South-East Asian to Inuit. The common biological theme could allow common abilities (e.g longevity, sorcery) whereas the varied ethnicity may allow more fun with tradition, customs, language, even religion. You dont need to spend ages detailing it (Tolkein wrote a bloody language for his!) just enough for a framework to hand ideas off and expand if your story requires it. New races are fun, but you'll spend a good deal of time in your text explaining them.
    Cheers, Ross
     
  21. Pink-Angel-1992
    Offline

    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    3
    One of my MCs will be an elf from a rather apprehensive race of elves, but that'll be due to a trait (? I think that will describe it, at least for now :D) that they will have. When I posted this post, I was going to create a whole world, and the different elf races where going to be from different parts, but I'm currently contemplating whether I only need to create a kingdom or if I should create the whole world. I've figured out that I need to create somewhat of a firm plot to figure that part out. But thanks for the imput. I'll try to keep that in mind when I come to confirming the races I'll have and the detail I'll need for them!
     
  22. james crofoot
    Offline

    james crofoot Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    michigan, usa
    originally elves came from old northern europe and were only about a foot or to tall, if that. They somtimes did chores at night if you left out a bowl of milk or if you were to do something very good.
    But, to the subject. Creating your own races is commendable and just describe them good. Maybe say something like, "He was of the woodland people, his slightly pointed ears and high cheek bones attested to that."
    I don't know-if you really like the word elf maybe break them down into like Northern elves, or an Eastern elf. You really don't have to put them into traditional elvish (i.e. tolkien) roles. For instance, they could be palins dwellers who are from a calvary society.
    Now sit down and put something on paper for an hour a day. Make one spot in the house your's for writing. If you have kids. Do it after they are in bed. just brainstorm at first, scrible it down on paper, organized after. Do it in the morning before anyone gets up, but do it, just do it. remember the first draft is never good.
     
  23. Pink-Angel-1992
    Offline

    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    3
    I'm going to create my own Elf races, my MC elf will be among one, but I don't know how many races of elves I wanted, so I thought I may use some existing elves. Plus, at the time I asked this question, I was planning a whole planet! Though I've now decided against doing that, so currently I'm planning one of the kingdoms... Though it may end up changing, because that is how my mind work!
     

Share This Page