I’m working on a blog post of alternative takes on elves. Not sure how many I’m going to do, but here are three of them to give some idea of what I’m going for.
My goals are that they should be interesting, subvert expectations while still being thematically appropriate, and it should be intuitive how one might use them in a game. Would be interested to know what you all think:
High Elves (Uruk)
A brutal empire dominated by a Lich God-King. The centuries-old warrior caste, Uruk, wear into battle enchanted skins such as those of giant bats, lizard-men, wild boars, and dire wolves, making of themselves as monsters. However, reports from spies who have witnessed them at rest, depict the Uruk as gorgeous underneath their skins, as prioritizing beauty and aestheticism, valuing romanticism, consuming psychedelic mushrooms, and engaging in social grooming and other acts of camaraderie and companionship.
They are to elves as deep ones are to humans; an intelligent species from the deep oceans with the mysterious ability to hybridize with their land-dwelling others. Whereas deep ones often have fish-like appearances, the dark elves are more like cephalopods. Unlike humans and deep ones, the relationship between elves and dark elves is one of communication and collaboration. This often creates tension between the elven and human kingdoms, as the human kingdoms and deep ones are in a perpetual cold war, and they see the dark elves as a potential information leak to their enemies.
These predators appear nearly indistinguishable from elves, although they are more closely related to birds. They prey on elves, especially babies, replacing them with their own young to be unwittingly raised by the elves. They are boogeymen and the stuff of urban legends; so well adapted to their craft that most elves don’t even believe them to be real.