World in Progress
Children of the Feywild
Eons ago, the first elves arrived on Adra, emerging from thin boundaries between the Feywild and the material realm. They were wilder then, though not as barbaric as the tribal humans that wandered the continent. As their society evolved, they settled near the portals to the Feywild and prospered, particularly in a land they named Alta Menel’wyr or “The Land of Big Sky”.
As primitive humans began to develop their own societies, the elves of Adra began to build their cities. Elven cities are renown for their beauty, and still remain largely intact, constructed from an impossibly hard stone and enchanted with powerful and ancient magic. Rather than build kingdoms or empires, these cities developed into independent city-states, though they will cooperate with other elven cities (although sometimes begrudgingly). It is said that no war has ever claimed an elven wall, though the Empire did try at the height of its power. According to legend, the walls turned aside the largest catapult stones, and entire Anarion legions were cast aside by the powerful magicks the elves wielded. Over time the Empire learned to leave the elven cities to themselves, and began peaceable trade with the elves.
Occasionally an elven couple will give birth to a special child, called an eladrin (the elven word for blessed). These elves are destined to lead their people, and are taken from their families at a young age to learn the position of nobility. These blessed children are the emissaries of the elves and maintain their people’s contact with the Seelie Court of the Feywild.
Elves are born into a rigid caste system, with few opportunities to advance outside the place of their birth. Despite this, most elves are content to stay within their limitations, as they still serve the greater good of their city. However, not all elves appreciate the structure of their culture, and long ago a group of elves rebelled against society and escaped the chains of their caste. These rebels settled in the wilderness, choosing to commune with nature free of the chaos of city life. Over the centuries, these became known as wild elves.
Wild elves are much more savage than their counterparts. Many warriors will sharpen their teeth and adorn their bodies with tribal tattoos, and are known as fierce warriors.
Drow (Dark Elves)
If the eladrin represent the highest caste of elven society, the drow represented the lowest. In fact, the name itself means “Unseen” in the elven language. The drow lived under the cities and toiled in the mines almost as slaves. After enduring generations of abuse from elven society, and witnessing the schism that created the wild elves, the drow chose to do the same.
The drow fled into the Underdark and created their own society, ferocious and (at times) bestial. To spite their one-time masters, the unseen took the name – drow – to describe their new society.