The first elven culture I’m attempting to engineer is a version of the wood elves, based on my previous discussion about what the game mechanics tell us about elves in the new edition. I want to create a nonhuman culture that’s culturally distinct, and I want that culture to be a logical extension of the existing rules and mechanics.
Often, other depictions of wood elves strike me as driven by simplistic stereotypes, usually fusing Legolas and Santa’s helpers. They’re tree-hugger hippies with pointy ears, an archery fetish, and a slight attitude.
The wood elves below are quite different.
The Einolar, as they call themselves, are part of nature, and can be chaotic and brutal. They believe deeply in the spirits of nature, but instead of being pacifists, these fierce and protective hunters may be as likely to eat you as to talk with you. Bound to their forests by ties of kinship with the trees among them, the Einolar believe, perhaps correctly, that their ancestor’s spirits are still present in the trees nourished by their fallen corpses. They have no central government or nobles — only family ties and an exotic kind of democracy, one characterized both by tradition and the fierce independence of a chaotic species.
What the Mechanics Mean
What the official rules tell us about wood elves is fairly limited:
- They are dexterous and wise, fast and excellent at hiding in the woods.
- They have the standard elven weapon proficiencies as well.