Idea about darker and edgier elves (scratchpad???)

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Vlürch
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Idea about darker and edgier elves (scratchpad???)

Post by Vlürch »

I'm not sure if this thread is even worth making, but I've been sick(er than usual) lately and haven't had the motivation to even turn my laptop on most days, and I've had more time to just think. One idea felt interesting enough that I want to post about it, which is what I'm doing now. Maybe it's not in-depth enough, especially since I probably won't end up doing anything with it, but eh...

Basically, I started off by thinking of ways to make various stereotypical fantasy creatures darker and edgier, with the explanation being that there had been a time when they were just like the typical fantasy creatures but there had been an "end of the world"-type event. Unfortunately, I don't even remember most of the ideas I thought of and only the elves really stuck to me because I thought it's a good idea... well, there probably have already been elves just like that somewhere before and I just don't know about it, since my ideas are never original. :roll:

Naḩļ /naħɬ/ - Elves

Nocturnal humanoid creatures with translucent skin that makes them look skinless with a "shimmer", with large cat-like eyes that are completely pitch black and wide mouths seemingly devoid of teeth; their sharp teeth only come out of their gums when they're about to eat. They have sharp claws used to tear flesh off bones. Of course, they have long ears and have great hearing. They have no hair whatsoever anywhere on their bodies or heads, and tend not to wear any clothing.

They can live up to a thousand years or more without ageing (at least visibly) and can regenerate lost bodyparts within a day. They have a small "orb" in the centre of their brain that's responsible for maintaining the "blueprint" of their body; if damaged, they will begin to regenerate in unpredictable ways, for example growing an arm in the place of a leg or an entire hand from a broken fingertip. This is accompanied by the appearance of a third eye in the middle of their forehead, which is white instead of black. If the "orb" is removed entirely (or damaged badly enough), they won't be able to regenerate at all (with the exception of minor injuries that even humans can recover from) and will begin to visibly age (ie. the translucent layer covering their body will begin to get cloudier and lose the shimmer), dying at most a century afterwards. Decapitation won't kill an elf, but it takes a pretty long time for them to regrow their entire body; destroying the head, however, does kill them, and bad enough burns also won't heal.

They live in forests, building simple more or less spherical nests in the canopy using branches. Their communities are traditionally led by rônaḩļ (great elves), elves from noble bloodlines going back to a time before the elves lost their empire and scattered into the woods, but some have developed drastically different hierarchies while others have abandoned all conventional social structures. While in practice the average lifespan of an elf is 100-200 years due to violence, every rônaḩ tends to live significantly longer not only because they have elite bodyguards and seclusion but because their regenerative capabilities are even better than those of other elves and their lifespan has seemingly no natural end, as the oldest are so old that they were alive during the collapse and their skin is only barely translucent (but extremely wrinkled), which puts them at an age of 20,000+ years. They wear robes stitched from the skins of dead elves, usually dyed in neutral or muted colours. Most of them, however, are 1000-2000 years old and also have non-noble blood.

These elves' eyes are very sensitive to light, which is why they spend the days in their nests sleeping and only come out at night. Although they need to eat only once a year, they won't gain weight no matter how much they eat and take great pleasure in dining. They regularly go out to gather plants and mushrooms and whatnot for medicinal purposes, and also spices. They hunt animals using bows and arrows and spears. Humans who have tasted elvish cuisine tend to agree that it's the most delicious type of food they've ever eaten, but unfortunately for many the elves tend to eat them afterwards. If an elf invites any other sentient lifeform to its nest for dinner, it's almost guaranteed that they won't be coming out alive unless they were already prepared to make an escape.

Although some elves hibernate during the winter, the common misconception that all do is incorrect and rooted in the fact that they rarely leave their community when there's snow on the ground as they're sensitive to cold and it slows down their regenerative abilities. During the winter, they become extremely aggressive towards any and all "annoyances", which is why the rônaḩļ go to seclusion from the first snowfall to the time all snow has melted from the ground. During this time, the bloodiest tribal battles are fought and community-internal tensions regularly escalate in violence that the outside world rarely hears about. It's not uncommon for elves to practise cannibalism on particularly cold years.

In spite of all this, they still maintain some aspects of imperial-era elvish culture. When Boʿoruva Naʿhala (the Elvish Empire) collapsed, they repurposed the name for the Dark Forest (a very original name, I know :roll: ), now called Bôrv Naḩļ (Land of Elves) since that's where they first moved to live after the collapse. Also, they still hold a lot of festivals that came about during imperial times.

~

So yeah, it's probably a shitty idea and also unoriginal, but well. If I still had the motivation to write fantasy, I'd try to write a book involving this type of elves (and other stuff), but since all my attempts to ever write fantasy failed horribly... well, yeah. It's just yet another idea that I'll never do anything with. And I mean, sure, maybe a short horror story about elves like this could work, but fantasy horror is still something that requires more arsing than just horror since finding the right balance between the story and boring infodumping on the world is hard. I put "scratchpad" in the thread title because I'll probably post any other bad ideas I might have in this same thread.

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Re: Idea about darker and edgier elves (scratchpad???)

Post by Keenir »

Vlürch wrote:
30 Dec 2019 00:49
So yeah, it's probably a shitty idea and also unoriginal, but well. If I still had the motivation to write fantasy, I'd try to write a book involving this type of elves (and other stuff), but since all my attempts to ever write fantasy failed horribly... well, yeah. It's just yet another idea that I'll never do anything with. And I mean, sure, maybe a short horror story about elves like this could work, but fantasy horror is still something that requires more arsing than just horror since finding the right balance between the story and boring infodumping on the world is hard. I put "scratchpad" in the thread title because I'll probably post any other bad ideas I might have in this same thread.
this doesn't seem like a bad idea. (I wasn't sure what you were going to use for edginess, but I really like the hibernation idea)

the only part that strikes me as something lots will say is derivitive, is the bit about huge eyes and teeth that can be hidden away - because they will think that only Toothless the dragon can be like that.
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Re: Idea about darker and edgier elves (scratchpad???)

Post by WeepingElf »

I like this. It's a quite original treatment of this concept that has fallen to clichés, brushing it against the stroke. You know, I have my own ideas about Elves, and while my Elves are also not really like Tolkienian or most post-Tolkienian Elves, they are very different - they are just a human ethnic group.
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Re: Idea about darker and edgier elves (scratchpad???)

Post by Vlürch »

Keenir wrote:
31 Dec 2019 08:07
the only part that strikes me as something lots will say is derivitive, is the bit about huge eyes and teeth that can be hidden away - because they will think that only Toothless the dragon can be like that.
Never heard of that before so I had to google it, but I mean, the tooth idea came from snakes. If something exists in real life, I'd expect it to be okay in fiction, but I'm probably just being naive. Well, anyway, like I said, I most likely won't actually do anything with the idea, so a forum post describing something that'd count as plagiarism if it was in a story or whatever is probably not that big a deal.
WeepingElf wrote:
31 Dec 2019 17:16
I like this. It's a quite original treatment of this concept that has fallen to clichés, brushing it against the stroke.
Thanks. Something I want to mention even though nobody cares is that it was a coincidence that the word meaning "Elves", /naħɬ/, is similar to the Arabic root ن/ح/ل, which meaning-wise could be etymological for these Elves... including the "plagiarism" thing, apparently, hahaha. I mean, I just thought of some word that sounds like it could have descended from a word that sounds like it means "elf" and then decided that the /ɬ/ is a plural suffix. :roll:
WeepingElf wrote:
31 Dec 2019 17:16
You know, I have my own ideas about Elves, and while my Elves are also not really like Tolkienian or most post-Tolkienian Elves, they are very different - they are just a human ethnic group.
You've mentioned that before and I always wish you'd elaborate more, haha. Like, if they're 100% human, are they Elves because they consider themselves to be Elves or because others consider them to be Elves? Or both? If you've already explained that a dozen times before everywhere, sorry, I haven't seen those posts. [:$]

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