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Bragi
Seeker

USA
88 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2024 :  01:00:44  Show Profile  Visit Bragi's Homepage Send Bragi a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Here is my version of elven origins mostly taken from cannon sources with explanations.

On Arvandor. Some sources list Arvandor as the birthplace of the elves while others list the Feywild.

Olympus aka Arvandor (High Forest in elvish) is the domain of the elvish and Greek pantheons.
- Manual of the Planes pg 92

I wouldn't consider Olympus to be the birthplace of humans. Rather it is the location of the Greek petitioners in the afterlife. In the same vein I would consider Arvandor to be the location of elvish petitioners in the afterlife.

The Feywild is established as the place of origin of Toril's elves and eladrin and their deities.
- Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide pg. 68

At the dawn of creation, elves and eladrin were a single race
-Player's Handbook 4e pg. 41

For my purposes, I'm calling the single race from which elves and Eladrin descend, the Eladrin. In this way, I can establish that the Eladrin were the ancestors of modern elves while not themselves generally considered to be in the family of modern elvish races.

The first elves to arrive on Toril were the green elves. They worshipped the Faerie gods as the Seldarine were unknown at this time.
- Grand History of the Realms pg. 8

Based upon this it is likely that the Eladrin worshipped the Faerie gods (the Seelie and Unseelie Court) and conceivably were created by them.

We also know that the modern elves were born of the blood of Corellon during his battles with Gruumsh.
-Demihuman Deities pg. 93

Given this, it is likely that the battles of Corellon and Gruumsh spilled over in to the Feywild and transformed some of the Eladrin in to elves, specifically sun, moon, and sylvan elves. These new branches of the elven tree were likely not aware of this fact until much later since the Seldarine were virtually unknown until much later.

Queen Morwel of the eladrin resides in the Gates of the Moon
- Player's Guide to Faerun pg. 189

It is possible that a branch of Eladrin known as the celestial eladrin produced children with the fey celestials from the Gates of the Moon who were known as the LeShay. These same LeShay are referenced as the Fey creator race.

c. -27000 DR the sylvan elves arrived via portals opened by the Fey and continued their worship of the Faerie gods on Toril.
- Grand History of the Realms pg. 8

The first elves to arrive in Faerun were the Sy-tel-quessir, Ly-telquessir, and the Aril-tel-quessir.
- Races of Faerun pg. 27

The Ly-tel-quessir (Lythari) were the 2nd race of elves to arrive.

Lythari worship Oberon and Titania of the Seelie Court with the most devotion.
- Elves of Evermeet pg. 124

While this reference also mentions them worshipping Seldarine deities, it is likely they first worshipped the Faerie gods and then much later were introduced to the Seldarine.

The Aril-tel-quessir (Avariel) were the 3rd race of elves to arrive. While not explicitly states there are several hints as to whom they worshipped.

The Raven Queen was once an elf queen, whose people loved her more than they loved the gods. The name of this elf queen has been lost to time. She was trying to forge a pathway from the Feywild to Arvandor.
- Mordenkainen's Tomb of Foes (I only own this on D&D Beyond so I don't know the physical page number)

Auril, the Queen of Air and Darkness, was once a fey princess known as Aurilandur and still retains a portion of her fey nature and power.
- Sword Cost Adventurer's Guide pg. 132

The aril-tel'quessir profess a deep devotion to the ancient archfey Aurilandur.
- Dragon Magazine pg. 64

While the Raven Queen and the Queen of Air and Darkness are distinct entities it is possible that they have a common heritage. The unnamed princess referenced in the Raven Queen could be Aurilaundur. In either event the Avariel were likely followers of Aurilandur and while some may have lost their connection with their queen when arriving in Toril.

In the Evermeet novel, it is stated that war broke out in the gold elven home of Tintageer. This precipitated their relocation to Toril using Elven High Magic.

My interpretation (non-cannon) is that it was during this time that the Seldarine revealed themselves to the elves in order to help their children by teaching them High Magic.

c. -25400 DR the elves of Tintageer fled their home and established communities in Toril which would become the sun and moon elves.
-Grand History of the Realms pg. 8

I believe it was at this time, that these elves, being so grateful to the Seldarine in their survival, abandoned their worship of the Faerie gods and worship of the Seldarine started to spread.

This leaves the drow, llewyrr, aquatic, wood, wild, and star elves. Which I will get to in another post. Here is a preview. There is evidence that the drow, wood, and wild elves all descended from the sylvan elves after arriving in Toril. I believe that the llewyrr elves descended from a combination of the LeShay, moon and sun elves. The star elves descended from a combination of the sylvan elves and Eladrin. The aquatic elves were said to be the last to arrive but I have an alternate theory on their genesis based upon the artifact known as the Sashelan Glass.

In Pursuit of Better Worlds,
Bragi of Erin

Edited by - Bragi on 14 Feb 2024 19:21:44

sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11733 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2024 :  13:35:05  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just some other notes to this based on some of what you are considering canon.

Shadar'kai are relatives of elves as well

On the Raven Queen and QoA&D having relationship... after many thoughts on this particular thing I come back to the idea that they should definitely be distinct with the QoA&D being a being who is somehow tied to the concept of "powerful immortal beings" being "destroyed" by being forgotten. With the raven queen, Kiaransalee, orcus, and several others there's this idea that they went away because they were forgotten through their name being stripped away. There may even be similar ties with Araushnee taking the name of Lolth... possibly a way of being reborn. Lots you can do with this.

in regards the "shadar'kai" being elves .... its worth spitballing on another group of fey folk from Ravenloft... the "shadow fey"/Arak were known as the "ellefolk" before being subjugated by a power of shadow calling itself Gwydion (hmmmmm.... QoA&D hitting yet another fey court power and twisting them up?) and were kept as servants for centuries on the "plane of shadow" before "escaping" to Ravenloft. Conceivably only some of the ellefolk escaped to Ravenloft, and conceivably as well, some may have escaped prior.

On the continent called by the sages of Faerun as "Anchorome" (putting that in quotes as I know its a sore spot... I accept that FAERUNIANS named it Anchorome... much like Europeans were confused that the Americas weren't a part of Asia)... there's a canon race of elves called the Poscadari elves who speak a language that other elves have a problem translating (which is amazing, given magic). These elves are taller/leaner and resemble in practice much like the native american tribes. They also supposedly in canon came from a land of ice and snow. From this, Seethyr and I believe that these are Snow elves that broke away from their tribes in Northern Anchorome (totally homebrew on snow elves being there).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Werthead
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
179 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2024 :  21:35:49  Show Profile  Visit Werthead's Homepage Send Werthead a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The OG dark elves descended from the green elves: the Ilythiiri had already established themselves on the Shining Sea by 27,000 BDR (Grand History) and were extant in Faerun with their great city of Atorrnash being present before the gold and moon elves even arrived from Tintageer (Evermeet: Island of Elves).

It appears that although they were the largest and most numerous, the dark elves of Ilythiir did not represent the entire species, and a northern branch of dark elves also existed under different leadership, the Miyeritari; the interrelationship of the two is unclear. Ilythiir was effectively destroyed in the Sundering, during the creation of Evermeet, and later rebuilt, explaining the enmity of the Ilythiiri towards the gold and moon elves, whom they held responsible (because...they were).

Although not explicitly stated, my take was that the southern drow descended from Ilythiir itself to found Telantiwar (over the ruins of dwarven Bhaerynden) and posed a significant long-term threat to Faerun, but that ended when the dwarves collapsed Telantiwar to form the Great Rift, almost completely annihilating the southern drow in the process; only a relatively small number survived in the outlying fortress of Llurth Dreier. It took many millennia for Llurth Dreier to become the largest drow city in Faerun and start posing a major threat again (at least until its alleged destruction in the Spellplague, but I fanoned it that Llurth Dreier was instead transported to Abeir and has since returned to Toril). The northern drow descended from Miyeritar and its survivors, and from them came the founders of Menzoberranzan, Ched Nasad and the drow under Cormanthyr. Supposition, but it seems reasonable.
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6356 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2024 :  16:37:41  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
General rule, dont take myth as fact.

The elves born of the blood of Corellon is clearly a creation myth, not fact.

The elves may have been born of a conflict involving orcs and elves that resulted in them being isolated from the eladrin and becoming a distinct race, or the elves were transformed in that conflict and became racially distinct.

Corellon was not a god at this point, he was a lord of the fey and probably just a powerful eladrin leader of some sort not unlike a LeShay.

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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
955 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2024 :  12:40:43  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
With all elves being descended from Corellon Larethian, it changed between editions. 1st edition of AD&D, it seemed to a fact, as described in the very first version of Deities & Demigods - though there elves were described to be created as a result of Lolth injuring Corellon.

This story did change, and was at times outright contradicted in other editions. So I think it can be seen as either true, a myth, or a myth with an element of truth.

Perhaps connected to Elven origins, at least 2E's Planes of Chaos states that at least the the Seldarine originally came from Ysgard, persumably Alfheim (and it could be also argued then to be elves place of origin), and forced the Giant pantheon from Arvandor to Ysgard and other planes. Though the same source also states Alfheim is a piece of Arvandor that become too chaotic and slipped into Ysgard.
It could be argued Alfheim was another layer of Arborea (or still part of Arvandor), were elves (or at least Seldarine) originated, but the conflict between Seldarine and Annam's children, caused it to move to Ysgard. Or the original Sedarine's and Elven petitioners more Chaotic natures, caused part of Arvandor fall to the Seldarine's plane of origin.

Edited by - Baltas on 10 Feb 2024 19:33:31
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Storyteller Hero
Learned Scribe

USA
329 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2024 :  06:28:57  Show Profile  Visit Storyteller Hero's Homepage Send Storyteller Hero a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's worth noting that since WotC's official stance is that each edition is its own canon, the different iterations of myths and legends between editions may not mesh cleanly.

In some cases, to make a combination of different editions' lore make sense, a non-canon gap bridger would be necessary.

Another challenging obstacle is that lore is not always consistent even within the same edition.



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Bragi
Seeker

USA
88 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2024 :  09:06:57  Show Profile  Visit Bragi's Homepage Send Bragi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks everyone for your comments and insight. Here is the second part of my topic. In my third post I will follow up with replies to the feedback I have received so far.

---Section 1 Dark Elves---

Although most green elves are content to remain in small scattered tribes, one group known as the Ilythiiri negotiates with the dragons and begins to carve out a small kingdom in the south. The great Ilythiiri capital at Attorrnash remains a shining beacon of elf culture for millennia.
-Grand History of the Realms pg. 8

Nearly 2000 years later, in the Grand History of the Realms, the city of Attorrnash is referred to as a dark elf city. The dark elf ancestors of the drow evolved from green elves within 2000 years after the arrival of the green elves in Toril. I won't repeat the transformation of the dark elves to drow in the Crown Wars since that is a well documented event.


---Section 2 Wild & Wood Elves---

The wild elves were not always the feral creatures they have become today. Ages ago the green elves, as they were then known, were the first elven explorers (along with the lythari and the avariels) to discover Abeir-Toril, and they quickly became entranced with the wondrous young world.
- Races of Faerun pg. 43

In order to differentiate the modern wild/green elves from their ancestors, I have chosen to name their ancestors sylvan elves such that the wild elves evolved from sylvan elves at some point in their history on Toril.

The first copper elves did not appear at once; their race coalesced slowly over the course of several centuries after the last Crown War, blending several of the older elven kindreds.
- Races of Faerun pg. 45

These elves (mostly, moon, sun, and green elves), vowed never again to let internal strife tear their kind apart, retreating to the deepest woodlands to seek shelter from the madness of the world.
- Races of Faerun pg. 45

Wood/copper elves are the youngest of the elven sub-races, having evolved from a mixture of moon, sun, and green elves in the aftermath of the Crown Wars.

---Section 3 Llewyrr Elves---

This is where I pick-up from my prior post regarding the fey creator race, who were descendants of the Eladrin.

Fey take a greater interest in to great archipelago off Faerun's western shore. Using their mysterious crossroads, thousands of fey begin settling the Moonshae Isles.
- Dragon Magazine 362

Over the next several centuries the seas calm, the earthquakes subside, and the volcanoes become dormant. It is thought that the leShay or their gods are responsible.
- Dragon Magazine 362

(during the Crown Wars)
The leShay welcome Llewyrr refugees from the mainland
- Dragon Magazine 362

The fey creator race, was ancient at this point and as the creator of the crossroads, may have eventually sought shelter on the Moonshae as a last bastion of their forgotten civilization. Here they were known as the leShay. It is likely their race was dying out long before the Crown Wars. As the moon and sun elves were migrating away from the High Forest to Evermeet, many of them stopped in the Moonshae. One group of moon and sun elf refugees known as the llewyrr confused Gwynneth with Evermeet and ventured to the interiors where they settled and encountered the leShay. This combination of leShay, moon, and sun elves evolved in to the sub-race now known as the Llewyrr elves.


---Section 4 Star Elves---


Yuireshanyaar is founded by star elves and green elves.
- Grand History of the Realms pg. 21

the star elves, an elven subrace that retreated from Faerun to an extraplanar refuge known as Sildeyuir.
- Unapproachable East pg. 9

Sildëyuir was once a demiplane connecting to Aglarond's Yuirwood. The eladrin of Yuireshanyaar (sometimes referred to as star elves) created it to escape human incursions into their realm.
- Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide pg. 68

We know that the green elves that settled in the Yuirwood and venerated the Yuir pantheon yet the contemporary star elves venerate the Seldarine. The star elves are also referred to as Eladrin. My best explanation is that not all of the green elves which settled in the Yuirwood choose to follow the Yuir deities. Instead, they connected with their Eladrin ancestors in the Feywild. It is likely that the star elves descend both from the green elves of the Yuirwood and the Eladrin of the Feywild.

---Section 5 Aquatic Elves---

Aquatic elves first appeared in the Great Sea untold ages ago, the last of the major elven races to migrate from the elven homeland into Faerun. For many years, these elves lived nomadic lives and spent much of their time exploring the waters of their new world. The aquatic elves did not begin to settle down and form permanent communities in the depths until the time of the First Crown War ... by the time of the Fourth Crown War, many aquatic elves fled to the Sea of Fallen Stars to establish a new nation sheltered from the madness of their kin."
- Races of Faerun pg. 28

Elves fleeing Cormanthyr used the Sashelan Glass to transform into sea elves just as their predecessors had done during the Crown Wars.
-Sea of Fallen Stars pg. 127

The Sashelan Glass is the Eielluran artifact that allows any elf that touches it (and thus passes through it) to transform into an aquatic elf (allowing many tel'quessir to escape the harsh life of the surface)
-Sea of Fallen Stars pg. 128

The War of Three Leaves begins. Ilythiiri spies and assassins incite Syòrpiir, Thearnytaar, and Eiellûr into a three-sided conflict to prevent them from unifying
into a single state.
-Lost Empires of Faerun pg. 71

As stated in my initial post, this is my version of elven origins and here is the greatest deviation I have taken from the published lore. The reference above to the Crown Wars is specifically referencing the War of Three Leaves. According to the lore, the Sashelan Glass allowed some of the elves in the war to escape the conflict by transforming themselves in to aquatic elves. In my version of elven origins, known only to a few, the history of the aquatic elves prior to the Crown Wars is deliberately vague because it did not happen. Several Ilythiiri renegades, who wanted to escape the Crown Wars, made up the accepted history of the aquatic elves and instigated the War of Three Leaves in order to transform themselves in to the first aquatic elves. Perhaps they had foreseen the calamitous end of the Crown Wars or perhaps they simply wanted to live out a peaceful existence. The aquatic elves did not flee to the Sea of Fallen Stars. The dark elves of the Ilythiiri evolved into a new sub-race of aquatic elves and thus escaped the downfall of the rest of their brethren.

In Pursuit of Better Worlds,
Bragi of Erin

Edited by - Bragi on 13 Feb 2024 19:58:38
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Bragi
Seeker

USA
88 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2024 :  21:32:41  Show Profile  Visit Bragi's Homepage Send Bragi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
On the Raven Queen and QoA&D having relationship... after many thoughts on this particular thing I come back to the idea that they should definitely be distinct with the QoA&D being a being who is somehow tied to the concept of "powerful immortal beings" being "destroyed" by being forgotten. With the raven queen, Kiaransalee, orcus, and several others there's this idea that they went away because they were forgotten through their name being stripped away. There may even be similar ties with Araushnee taking the name of Lolth... possibly a way of being reborn. Lots you can do with this.



Just to clarify, what I meant by the Raven Queen and the QoA&D as having a common heritage, is that they could have possibly been sisters, mother/daughter, or cousins. I agree they were two distinct entities. The Raven Queen was said to originally have been an elf queen in the Feywild and the QoA&D was said to originally have been an elven princess in the Feywild. It would be interesting if the QoA&D was the daughter of the Raven Queen.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
Shadar'kai are relatives of elves as well



It is said that the shadar-kai worship the Raven Queen. Similar to how it is said that the elves descend from Corellon's Blood. The shadar-kai may have been Eladrin that were transformed by the Raven Queen. Perhaps the Raven Queen learned of the process from the Seldarine. That would make them related to the elves without actually being elves themselves.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
in regards the "shadar'kai" being elves .... its worth spitballing on another group of fey folk from Ravenloft... the "shadow fey"/Arak were known as the "ellefolk" before being subjugated by a power of shadow calling itself Gwydion (hmmmmm.... QoA&D hitting yet another fey court power and twisting them up?) and were kept as servants for centuries on the "plane of shadow" before "escaping" to Ravenloft. Conceivably only some of the ellefolk escaped to Ravenloft, and conceivably as well, some may have escaped prior to the Shadowfell.



I wasn't aware of this backstory to the shadow fey but it does certainly fit with the "elven ancestors from the feywild" motif. I think it could be adopted fairly easily to the backstory I have pieced together for the Toril elves. I don't want to delve in to a grand-unification theory of all elves across the planes and spheres. That would open up far more elven sub-races and relatives.


quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
On the continent called by the sages of Faerun as "Anchorome" (putting that in quotes as I know its a sore spot... I accept that FAERUNIANS named it Anchorome... much like Europeans were confused that the Americas weren't a part of Asia)... there's a canon race of elves called the Poscadari elves who speak a language that other elves have a problem translating (which is amazing, given magic). These elves are taller/leaner and resemble in practice much like the native american tribes. They also supposedly in canon came from a land of ice and snow. From this, Seethyr and I believe that these are Snow elves that broke away from their tribes in Northern Anchorome (totally homebrew on snow elves being there).



On the question of the Poscadari elves I would simply defer to the work done by the Maztica Alive group. While their work is not considered canon, there isn't enough published material on the Poscardi elves to invalidate what they have already established.

A renegade sect of gold elves flees the Crown Wars and gets as far from the fighting as possible, hiding out in the distant and unknown land which they call Wootenai. These gold elves adapt quickly by making a pact with a renegade deity of the elves named Tarsellis Meunniduin who helps them survive the frigid temperatures. Tarsellis himself sets foot on the glacier and helps create Reluvethel Holamoria, the most populous center of snow elven culture to this day.
- Blacktoe Glacier pg. 4


My home version of the realms deviates mostly from cannon here as I have Maztica in Abeir and would be happy if the snow elves were from the continent of Lhoraun in Abeir. I would rather they be of Sylvan elf descent rather than gold elf and I would connect their origins to Sylvan elves wandering through the natural portals between Toril and the continent of Lhoraun in Abeir.

There is also this tweet from Ed about the snow elves
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1394870013887225856

If we're going to include the Snow Elves we might as well include the Rockseer and ghost elves too.

Here is a tweet from Ed confirming the exist of ghost elves.
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1479270248574500865

Rockseers have been separated from the rest of elvenkind since mythic times. Their own history tells that they were cowards at the great battle of Corellon Larethian and Lolth, fleeing the combat and taking refuge far below ground.
- Night Below

In the fan-made (non-canon) Elves of Faerun Volume I. It is stated that the Rockseer elves were green elf allies of the dark elves during the Crown Wars and that they descended with them to the Underdark. I'm fine with this explanation of their origins if they do exist on Toril.

In Pursuit of Better Worlds,
Bragi of Erin

Edited by - Bragi on 14 Feb 2024 19:21:06
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Bragi
Seeker

USA
88 Posts

Posted - 14 Feb 2024 :  00:10:05  Show Profile  Visit Bragi's Homepage Send Bragi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In Summary

-- The First Five Races and Their Cousins : Sylvan, Sun, Moon, Lythari, and Avariel --

The elves of Toril all descend from a race known as the Eladrin who were created by the Faerie gods of the feywild. They descended from a branch of the Eladrin family tree. Two other branches evolved in to the shadar-kai and the leShay. Sun, Moon, and Sylvan elves along with the Lythari and Avariel all evolved in the feywild from the Seldarine's interaction with the Eladrin. Similarly, the shadar-kai evolved in the feywild from the Raven Queen's interaction with the Eladrin. Another elf cousin, the LeShay, evolved in the feywild from the interaction between the Eladrin and the celestials.

The leShay were the first elf relatives to find their way to Toril and were known as the fey creator race arriving circa -34000 DR. Here they lived for millennia. Circa -27000 DR they opened up portals to the feywild allowing the Sylvan elves to be the first elven race upon Toril. Seeing the success of the Sylvan elves, the leShay Circa -26000 DR opened up another portal allowing the Lythari to become the second race to settle upon Toril. The Lythari however did not venture far from their homeland in the Endless Wastes and the leShay decided to continue their elven portal experiments by opening up a third portal circa -25000 DR allowing the Avariel to become the third race to settle upon Toril. This however turned out disastrously as the Avariel were almost completely wiped out by the dragons inhabiting Faerun at that time. Their plans of opening another portal in another millennia for the Sun and Moon elves vanished and the leShay would open no more portals to the Feywild. Circa -24500 DR the sun and moon elves used their own magic to open a portal near the last known leShay portal and began to inhabit the High Forest, named after the High Forest of the Seldarine.

--- Four Children of the Sylvan Elves : Dark, Wood, Wild, and Star elves ---

Being the first race of elves on Toril the Sylvan elf civilization rapidly spread. Circa -26000 DR the dark elves were the first to evolve, their bodies having adapted to the new environment of the realms. Similarly, sylvan elves that settled in wilder areas abandoned the idea of their more civilized ancestors in order to focus on their survival. Wood elves evolved in the aftermath of the Crown Wars from the Moon, Sun and Sylvan elf survivors. Circa -7000 DR the wood elves through their research in to their history opened a portal back to the feywild and reunited with the Eladrin, leading to the creation of the star elves.

--- The Five Elves of the Crown Wars : Llewyrr, Aquatic, Snow, Drow, and Rockseer ---

Aquatic elves were created via the Sashelan Glass circa -17000 DR (non-canon). Snow elves evolved from gold elves with the help of Tarsellis Meunniduin in -11412 DR. Drow were created during the Dark Descent in -10000 DR (with Rockseer elves evolving shortly afterwards). Llewyrr elves evolved from elves attempting to travel to Evermeet during the Crown Wars in -9800 DR.


Timeline
c. -34000 DR : leShay arrive in Toril and are referred to as the fey creator races
c. -27000 DR : leShay open a portal to the feywild allowing the sylvan elves to settle in Toril
c. -26000 DR : leShay open a second portal to the feywild allowing the Lythari elves to settle in Toril
c. -26000 DR : dark and wild elves evolve from the sylvan elves as their bodies adapt to their new homelands
c. -25000 DR : leShay open a third portal to the feywild allowing the Avariel to settle in Toril
c. -24500 DR : the sun and moon elves open a portal from the feywild and settle in the High Forest
c. -17000 DR : aquatic elves are born via the Sashelan Glass in the Sea of Fallen Stars
c. -11412 DR : snow elves evolve from sun elves with the help of Tarsellis Meunniduin
c. -10000 DR : drow elves are created from dark elves triggering the dark descent
c. -10000 DR : rockseer elves evolve from sylvan elves shortly after the dark descent
c. -9800 DR : llewyrr elves evolve from the leShay and other elven races in the Moonshae
c. -7000 DR : star elves evolve from the eladrin and sylvan elves in the Yuirwood
c. -6000 DR : wood elves evolve from sun, moon, and sylvan elves centuries after the Crown Wars
c. -6000 DR : pure sylvan elves cease to exist

In Pursuit of Better Worlds,
Bragi of Erin

Edited by - Bragi on 14 Feb 2024 19:30:14
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11733 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2024 :  15:11:45  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bragi

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
On the continent called by the sages of Faerun as "Anchorome" (putting that in quotes as I know its a sore spot... I accept that FAERUNIANS named it Anchorome... much like Europeans were confused that the Americas weren't a part of Asia)... there's a canon race of elves called the Poscadari elves who speak a language that other elves have a problem translating (which is amazing, given magic). These elves are taller/leaner and resemble in practice much like the native american tribes. They also supposedly in canon came from a land of ice and snow. From this, Seethyr and I believe that these are Snow elves that broke away from their tribes in Northern Anchorome (totally homebrew on snow elves being there).



On the question of the Poscadari elves I would simply defer to the work done by the Maztica Alive group. While their work is not considered canon, there isn't enough published material on the Poscardi elves to invalidate what they have already established.

A renegade sect of gold elves flees the Crown Wars and gets as far from the fighting as possible, hiding out in the distant and unknown land which they call Wootenai. These gold elves adapt quickly by making a pact with a renegade deity of the elves named Tarsellis Meunniduin who helps them survive the frigid temperatures. Tarsellis himself sets foot on the glacier and helps create Reluvethel Holamoria, the most populous center of snow elven culture to this day.
- Blacktoe Glacier pg. 4


My home version of the realms deviates mostly from cannon here as I have Maztica in Abeir and would be happy if the snow elves were from the continent of Lhoraun in Abeir. I would rather they be of Sylvan elf descent rather than gold elf and I would connect their origins to Sylvan elves wandering through the natural portals between Toril and the continent of Lhoraun in Abeir.




I would veer away from Lhoraun in Abeir having the snow elves (or any elves for that matter). Ed's recent discussion that he sent out describing the continents of Abeir specifically said that there are no elves in Abeir (to note, he also then later adds some "Narren Drow" that worship the "Queen of Chaos"... no idea WHEN they arroved in Abeir... ). Granted, what he presented is uncertain person view, as its presented through the eyes of the halfling Dhalk Marrowsar, and what's known of Lhoraun is very little. I personally viewed Lhoraun as possibly transferred land from Toril based on what Ed said.

It's my view that Ed didn't want Abeir to be very touched by the fey. I personally would have preferred less of a human/demihuman influence in Abeir as well than what he presented, but he does also downplay the supposed influence of genasi as well. I would have preferred the world having more of a sarrukh, Old Ones, Batrachi, lizardfolk, dragonborn, etc... influence. By Old Ones, I mean the reptilian humanoids. I would also welcome the idea that the "Great Old Ones" as in Cthulhu like beings that might inspire insane cults and warlocks ... might be prominent groups that offer the power necessary for some beings to combat the overwhelming draconic overseers. So, like coordinated tribes that might sacrifice captured prisoners to "Great Old Ones" in order to get the power to stave off the dragons that would destroy their tribe otherwise (i.e. embrace one evil to ward off another).

My gathered notes from that discussion are here, and it includes the original link to the video as well. Mainly mentioning it in case it helps aid discussion. If anyone wants to further that discussion in that thread, it'd be appreciated, as I listened intently.... but I still may have had my ears skewed to certain viewpoints.

http://candlekeep.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=24815



Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TBeholder
Great Reader

2399 Posts

Posted - 29 Feb 2024 :  17:57:34  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You are mixing so much stuff here, it's not even clear what you mean. For example...
quote:
Originally posted by Bragi

Based upon this it is likely that the Eladrin worshipped the Faerie gods (the Seelie and Unseelie Court) and conceivably were created by them.

In this case, "the Eladrin" as in humanoid creatures native to CG Outer Planes, or "the Eladrin" as in "Elf Mk II"?

quote:
We also know that the modern elves were born of the blood of Corellon during his battles with Gruumsh.
-Demihuman Deities pg. 93

I believe attempts at theology derived from this passage on the outside of Realmspace sphere already had a good commentary.

quote:
Given this, it is likely that the battles of Corellon and Gruumsh spilled over in to the Feywild and transformed some of the Eladrin in to elves, specifically sun, moon, and sylvan elves.

I don't see how this makes sense, without an implied assumption that either:
A. "Feywild", "shadowdark" and the rest of wikispeak dumped in D&D4 are (carefully designed to be) compatible with the previous lore, even though it clearly does neither care about said lore (you did mention the Eladrin), nor make much sense on its own, nor even appear to be coherent.
B. Not only the origin myth should be understood literally, but those who wrote it predicted and implied that it's supposed to be used with all the contradictory gobbledygook dumped on top of it much later in D&D4.
Otherwise, how?
quote:
In the Evermeet novel, it is stated that war broke out in the gold elven home of Tintageer. This precipitated their relocation to Toril using Elven High Magic.
My interpretation (non-cannon) is that it was during this time that the Seldarine revealed themselves to the elves in order to help their children by teaching them High Magic.

High Magic is not "one cool trick" that one could learn in emergency, Myth Adventures style:
quote:
Cormanthyr: Empire of Elves p.127:
Minimum Requirements: An elf of at least 450 years of age; 17th level or greater wizard; Intelligence and Wisdom scores of 18, Constitution score of 12.
. . .
Just as he is separated from his comrades for his training in wizardly magic, a student of High Magic must undertake a voluntary apprenticeship to a High Mage (who must be at least 900 years old). This apprenticeship lasts for approximately 75 years, though it can last longer; in fact, if a dualist wizard or a multiclassed wizard were accepted for High Magic education, his training might take about 100 years, since his grasp of wizard magic is likely neither as keen nor as broad as is necessary to grasp the basics of High Magic.

And that's just the very start. Thus, looks like they were at it for a long while.
Seeing what desperate applications of HM can do offensively (Killing Storm, Descent of the Drow, Jhaamdath) and defensively (mythals, Evermeet)? If it was indeed a war, to result in exodus for the side that had HM, it must have been either:
A. between HM-using sides,
B. against something at least peer to them in power, or
C. via horrendous, self-destructive level of mismanagement (perhaps due to adopting philosophies so warped that even Int>=18 & Wis>=18 aren't enough to get out of the rabbit hole).
Given the elven history after exodus to Abeir-Toril... IMO, neither of these possibilities can be excluded.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6653 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2024 :  06:24:56  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So what’s the difference between eladrin and leShay? Because let’s be honest and stop contorting stuff: they are products of D&D edition changes and some designers “great idea”, not anything rooted in the lore.

— George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2454 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2024 :  13:54:09  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

So what’s the difference between eladrin and leShay? Because let’s be honest and stop contorting stuff: they are products of D&D edition changes and some designers “great idea”, not anything rooted in the lore.

— George Krashos



Eladrin are elves who are native to the Feywild/Faerie, so it can be said they are "the original elves". That's all. Some moon and sun elves went all snob when a group of eladrin came to Faerûn, and began to call themselves "eladrin" as well, but they are not actual eladrin.

Eladrin individuals aren't particularly old or anything, so I guess that's the difference with the LeShay. Though, some noble eladrin (eladrin individuals of great power) can qualify as LeShay.

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 02 Mar 2024 13:57:10
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1707 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2024 :  20:43:05  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

General rule, dont take myth as fact.



Some great ideas in all this, but Gary's point above is the most important thing to remember when dealing with elven "history" and prehistory.

As someone with a hand in laying a lot of groundwork on the elves and their history in Faerun (and ignoring almost if not all things Evermeet, Feywild, godly, etc.), I'll be the first to say there's bound to be equal parts fact and fantasy among the histories touted by any elves.

Some are done to obfuscate "moral shortcomings" of family or ancestors.

Some are done deliberately, others unknowingly by working from previous works or oral traditions.

Still more can be suspect simply because there might be no actual way to corroborate exactly what happened where, when, why, and who was at fault or to blame or laud.

There are more blind spots and unknowns in elven lore that have been accepted as facts while they might actually need fresh eyes (if it were possible to fact-check and change histories for accuracy).

I'm not trying to derail or diminish anything folks have done—just pointing out that all histories are written by folks with agendas, so the only way to suss out the truth behind a history is to understand what motivated those who recorded history thusly…

Steven Schend
who thinks the restored historical figures in Rhymanthiin will cause some uproar among the learned and political classes if they start talking about historical events the way THEY perceived them as opposed to how history has been taught for millennia….

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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TBeholder
Great Reader

2399 Posts

Posted - 04 Mar 2024 :  04:47:40  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

the restored historical figures in Rhymanthiin will cause some uproar among the learned and political classes if they start talking about historical events the way THEY perceived them as opposed to how history has been taught for millennia�.

As in, Fflar starts with something like a mention of certain court-martial proceedings during the Weeping War, or a law which specifically prohibited tuning unfriendly fireball to "allied races" that Coronal had to write... and from there it just goes the deeper into woods, the fatter owlbears are?

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch

Edited by - TBeholder on 04 Mar 2024 06:09:19
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11733 Posts

Posted - 04 Mar 2024 :  16:48:05  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

So what’s the difference between eladrin and leShay? Because let’s be honest and stop contorting stuff: they are products of D&D edition changes and some designers “great idea”, not anything rooted in the lore.

— George Krashos



I would stress here that THIS is an excellent question to explore for fun purposes. Purely for my homebrew, and not extensively researched, it occurs to me that I would say its worthwhile to mix in a variety of these "mythical" beings from across editions and see what we can come up with for their history OUTSIDE of the history of the "elves".

What do I mean by this (and I'd be interested in people throwing in things I may not know about)

There are the "shadar-kai" who are fey "elf-like" beings with ties to shadow.

From the "Shadow Rift" Ravenloft resource there are the "Arak"/Shadowfey who are a subset of "ellefolk" who are an IMMORTAL fey race (they don't seemingly die of old age). So, what's different between them and the "shadar kai" .... lots... These ellefolk come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can procreate despite these changes (i.e. a "pixie sized" ellefolk can breed with a "human sized" ellefolk and produce a child with no characteristics of either parent). Notably they are HURT by sunlight and live in shadow. There are numerous "subraces" listed in the shadow rift, listed as Alven, Brag, Fir, Muryan, Portune, Powrie, Shee, Sith, Teg

The 2e eladrin are from the Planescape Monstrous Compendium II, and if you look at that, they are SLIGHTLY SIMILAR to the ellefolk to a degree, minus the ties to shadow. They come in a variety of forms <Lesser eladrin are (bralani, coure, noviere, shiere) + Greater eladrin are (firre, ghaele, tulani)>. It should be noted that MOST of these are "elf like"... but the coure are tiny winged fey like sprites. The Noviere meanwhile are closer to aquatic elves, but lacking gills, webbed hands, etc... Also, unlike the ellefolk they're all primarily chaotic and good.

Then there's the LeShay.... no deviation in form.. EXTREMELY powerful albino-pale skinned, white haired, immortal "elf looking" beings with entirely black eyes. One might even wonder just HOW MANY of these there are (i.e. might there be less than a hundred or a thousand throughout the multiverse .... might some of them be something like clones that are still immortal... or might they even USE clones to "appear" immortal)

So, a take on this might be that the LeShay are a "downstream" break away of the Eladrin that came to the mortal plane and began to become more unchanging in form?

The shadar kai might be either a corruption of the LeShay to powers of shadow OR a group of the "Sith" ellefolk who can take on shadowy forms and focus on necromancy, etc....

The "ellefolk" may be a corruption of the "eladrin" that were pulled to the planes of shadow by SOME power(s) of Shadow/darkness (QoA&D, Raven Queen, Gwydion, etc...). It could also be that there's an original "ellefolk" feywild group that was split into the "shadow fey" and the "eladrin" long ago.

Then in the midst of all of this, there's also the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. So, not just the eladrin court of stars... and these courts are filled with what most people would consider "traditional" fey that aren't tied to the elves at all. So, do these two courts predate the shift into these other groups?

In the end, lots of options you can explore, and honestly might be interesting to try and make out THIS story and how it ultimately ties to the elves.

I also agree with the earlier statements that say that the supposed war between Gruumsh and Corellon that caused the arising of elves... it might work best if Corellon's "blood" actually changes some of these immortal beings. By that, I picture that perhaps a "high magic" ritual is used and some of these beings give up their immortality to empower Corellon (in a way similar to how the followers of the Raven Queen supposedly wholly gave up their lives). I picture the big difference being that Corellon's "adherents" give up their immortality and begin to age ... whereas the Raven Queen's followers are more literally touched by cold, death and darkness.

So, I don't necessarily picture the literal "blood of Corellon" falling on and changing them... but more of a "giving up of spirit/energy" that becomes the "life force" of Corellon... and then Corellon "loses" this life force fighting Gruumsh in a metaphysical way.

To create a generic "flow of time" shifting into various other groups just in an order form... it might go something like this

Fey

to

Seelie & Unseelie Courts split off by QoA&D being corrupted by the black diamond ... possibly Tharizdun

to

the QoA&D begins corrupting powerful fey powers, which leads to some fey folk serving them being taken from the feywild to the plane of shadow. These become the "ellefolk", but despite being brought there they are NOT able to be forced to be inherently evil.. in fact they aren't bound to any specific "alignment" and some are even both lawful and good. This is possibly even before the outer planes based on alignments are formed. But they have problems existing anywhere that strong light exists, which precludes them returning to the feywild.

to

Some of these "ellefolk" are RESCUED and taken ... not to the feywild, but rather Arborea. These become the Eladrin and they are firmly tied to Chaotic good.

to

Some of the "Sith" ellefolk choose to follow the Raven Queen and become the Shadar Kai. Also, at some point, some of the "Sith" ellefolk become the LeShay by somehow breaking the bonds of darkness and escaping back to the feywild. These may be totally separate events.. may involve different powers.. etc... Also, the power difference between the "shadar kai" and the LeShay is vast, hinting that the LeShay may be some of the powerful beings that the QoA&D had previously corrupted that somehow threw off her influence.

to

Battle between Gruumsh and Corellon to defend the Seelie Court (maybe) or the eladrin Court of Stars (maybe) which results in some individuals becoming the first "elves".




Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 04 Mar 2024 18:07:43
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

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36784 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2024 :  22:28:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've never quite understood what the LeShay are, and I hate that name.

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Azar
Master of Realmslore

1307 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2024 :  07:06:45  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I've never quite understood what the LeShay are, and I hate that name.



"Paragon" Elves...


...to my understanding.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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nblanton
Seeker

USA
71 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2024 :  04:51:20  Show Profile Send nblanton a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Stumbled upon this when I read about the LeShay (first I'd heard of them) being disliked by the Mulhorandi due to their influence on the Imaskari and the abduction of the Mulan people from not-Egypt in an old "Ask Ed" compilation from 05-16. So, I came here to find out exactly what they are and I'm seeing they are some sort of proto-eladrin?

Well, anyway I'll probably be able to find that answer before I get a reply, but in that same "Ask Ed" George Krashos stated that he thought that the aquatic elves predated the gold and moon elves, or at least the ones in the Shining Sea. This is also repeated here. Seems like a fairly important thing to be kind of dismissing.

One further thing that I've not seen mentioned is the elves in wildspace. Are they of Faerunian origin or wholly distinct? We know they interact with several Faerunian elven nations and maintain a presence on Evermeet. Or has all that Spelljammer stuff been kind of "wink, wink; nod, nod" away at this point?
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11733 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2024 :  15:44:05  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the elves in wildspace, I'd very much NOT link them to the Forgotten Realms (for origin mind you). I basically see the elves spreading all over the place, and the realms was just one place that they went to... wildspace was another by another group.

There WERE some "elves" that supposedly arose on this world as well however (I think the reference were to green/wood elves). Given the idea in 5e that prior to elves being "static" that there was a time that they were shapeshifters, it may be that some elven subspecies on Toril are the result of elves mating with "elf-like" fey. For instance, I coudl see elves born of dryads that then mate back into the elven population and create a new subspecies. Similarly, elves mating with nymphs, nixies, sirines, sylphs, etc...

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TBeholder
Great Reader

2399 Posts

Posted - 18 May 2024 :  10:25:01  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nblanton

Well, anyway I'll probably be able to find that answer before I get a reply, but in that same "Ask Ed" George Krashos stated that he thought that the aquatic elves predated the gold and moon elves, or at least the ones in the Shining Sea. This is also repeated here. Seems like a fairly important thing to be kind of dismissing.

Well... the aquatic elves in the Sea of Fallen Stars were said to be transformed ground elves (all or mostly). The ones in the Sea of Swords / Trackless Sea are not. And there are differences (such as their supposedly total "magic-deafness").
quote:
One further thing that I've not seen mentioned is the elves in wildspace. Are they of Faerunian origin or wholly distinct?

They are in wildspace. So, from every world populated by the elves and in contact at least with EIN.
quote:
We know they interact with several Faerunian elven nations and maintain a presence on Evermeet.

Evermeet (the novel) includes the official elven story of their first contact with EIN.
Anyway, EIN needs to get supplies and recruits somehow, and their main advantage is the great elven pretend hivemind. So yes, they would maintain contact with any groundling elven polity that can be safely reached and is big enough.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch

Edited by - TBeholder on 18 May 2024 10:32:06
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7977 Posts

Posted - 25 May 2024 :  12:29:17  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nblanton

One further thing that I've not seen mentioned is the elves in wildspace. Are they of Faerunian origin or wholly distinct? We know they interact with several Faerunian elven nations and maintain a presence on Evermeet. Or has all that Spelljammer stuff been kind of "wink, wink; nod, nod" away at this point?

The Spelljammer lore asserts that elves originated from another world in another crystal sphere which is now lost to history. They arrived to Realmspace from the stars.

But of course this conflicts with elven myths in the Realms.

And those pointy-eared hippies are all over Planescape - not to mention that they thoroughly infest the transitory Feywild plane which often touches the Realms - they could have arrived in the Realms from multiple directions multiple times.

It's worth noting that elves from Oerth or Krynn are absolutely certain that they originated on these worlds. They have lengthy histories to support their claims.

And it's worth noting that elves everywhere often share the same mythology, the same gods, the same archetypes, the same schism with the drow, etc.

[/Ayrik]
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nblanton
Seeker

USA
71 Posts

Posted - 28 May 2024 :  14:23:27  Show Profile Send nblanton a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

The Spelljammer lore asserts that elves originated from another world in another crystal sphere which is now lost to history. They arrived to Realmspace from the stars.

But of course this conflicts with elven myths in the Realms.

And those pointy-eared hippies are all over Planescape - not to mention that they thoroughly infest the transitory Feywild plane which often touches the Realms - they could have arrived in the Realms from multiple directions multiple times.

It's worth noting that elves from Oerth or Krynn are absolutely certain that they originated on these worlds. They have lengthy histories to support their claims.

And it's worth noting that elves everywhere often share the same mythology, the same gods, the same archetypes, the same schism with the drow, etc.



Yeah, I feel that a lot of these creation stories are more myth than reality. Did Corellon fight with Gruumsh at some point and create elves? Maybe, but it didn't happen on Faerun.

Now that I know that wildspace elves are at least semi-cannon, I don't see that elves "evolved" whatsoever on Toril. Most of the ones who care about such things probably understand this but find this odd fascination of human sages to chronical events rather fascinating and just regurgitate mythologies to them, as in the elven mind, the moral of the story is more important than the historical facts.

Also, given the relatively short timeframes were discussing, tens of thousands of years at best, the elves we see today are physically speaking the same as the ones at this time. With the even lower birthrate of elves and longer lifespans, one would guess that their evolutionary changes would be even slower than that of humans, which is still assumed to be in the 10^6 years range.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7977 Posts

Posted - 29 May 2024 :  15:10:18  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The FR fandom wiki gives a brief account of elven history. Starting with their arrival in the Realms in the Dawn Age (circa -30,000DR) when they arrived through gates from Faerie (the Feywild).

https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Elf#History

I suppose all the other fey also arrived through these gates at the same time? Pixies, sprites, leprechauns, perhaps even goblins?

[/Ayrik]
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