Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

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When playing an elf, what do you call other elves of different subraces?

All elves regardless of subrace are brothers/sisters. Half-elves are Cousins
All elves regardless of subrace are cousins. Half-elves included.
All elves regardless of subrace are cousins. Screw the half-elves, those mixed-blooded snuggies.
Elves of similar subraces are brothers/sisters, while differing subraces and half-elves are cousins.
Elves of similar subraces are brothers/sisters, while differing subraces are cousins. Half-elves are nothing to me.
Only surface elves are brothers/sisters, while non-surface elves *coughdrowcough* are cousins.
Only surface elves are cousins. Drow are monsters, just kill them.
Something not listed above (please specify below)
I am drow, and will kill you for participating in this poll.
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Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

Post by The Kriv » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:47 am

I have seen many combinations, and am curious as to the prevailing sentiment.
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Re: Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

Post by Aelryn Bloodmoon » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:53 am

My understanding of the lore is that Corellon is the father of all the elven races, (including the Illithyri who were cursed for their treason and became drow) and the tendency of elves to call each other kin stems from that ancestral divine unity.

I'm uncertain on each individual subrace's view on the matter, but suspect that using the word cousin in this light could actually be somewhat of a snub to someone they view as lesser than themselves (which would certainly justify its use between surface elves and drow) by expressing greater familial distance, while using brother/sister might in some cases reflect exceptional fondness.

Then again, an elf raised in human lands might not ever pick up the habit, either.
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Re: Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

Post by DM GrumpyCat » Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:17 pm

Personally speaking I always pictured that it came down to the individual elf, or at least the elf culture, involved?

E.g. A snobby gold elf might view all elves (even drow) as 'siblings' but half-elves as 'cousins.' (icky human blood ugh!)

A wild elf might view all elves as siblings except drow, who are monsters, and half-elves, who are 'cousins.'

A Moon Elf would view all elves AND half elves as 'siblings' but Drow as 'cousins'.

And so on. That's just my personal take on it though.
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Re: Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

Post by flower » Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:07 pm

Should be noted various elven subraces led furious wars between each other accompanied by terrible atrocities. Some tribes / clans can still keep it in memory.

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Re: Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

Post by Dagonlives » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:39 am

None of these. Elven subraces are very different from each other, as are most elves! It would be like a human going up to another stranger and calling them 'brother.' Not going to ellicit a good reaction, and more likely to produce suspicion.

I've always had my elvish characters react rather poorly to the terms 'cousin' 'brother' or 'kin.' THe reason why is due to their tribal rivalries.

Elves are separated into distinct tribes and castes.

You've the Sun elves, who were traditionally viewed as the more erudite and ruling class of elvenkind. This has changed since the current era partially as a result of the disastrous Vyshaanite empire, as well as corruption seeping in like the Fey'ri mongrel bloodlines. They often lived in a rigid hierarchy with very formalized greetings and ritualized speech. A sun elf typically showed no expression when talking, and spoke in a polite smooth tone. This was to prevent any concept of losing face, because grudges over the smallest mistep can be held for centuries! They were usually only emotionally demonstrative and intimate in private with their families.

You have the moon elves who represented the 'free spirit' of the elven people, often being very adaptable and inclined towards wanderlust and the arts. Moon elves are the most common Adventurer elves because they typically have a built-in-reason to go out and see the world. The current ruling family is a moon elven family after the sun elven bloodline was rejected in favor of a more moderate approach.

Then you have the wood elves and the wild elves, who were often regarded as country yokels by the other two subraces. Wood elves are the 'bumpkins' of the elven race, often not very learned, and given towards simple table manners and etiquette. They disdain arcane magic almost entirely, relying on druidic or clerical arts. They believe in a minimalism lifestyle and remaining close to nature, after their species was nearly wiped out by genocide and all their cities destroyed. Most wood elves see little to no point in building structures or lasting things, as they will just decay in the end.
(To put it in perspective, in the Cormanthor wood, there used to be over 100,000 wood elves prior to the crown wars. After the wars ended, there was less then 700 left in the woods between diaspora and those who died.)

The wild elves are just plain savages, and don't require much detailing.

Finally you have the nobles of the elves who rule over the others, usually succeeding by prowess and blood. They take a hands off approach. The more numerous wood elves were traditionally ruled over by moon or sun elves as higher class administrators, usually benevolent, but not always..

The point I suppose is that the elven subraces are actually quite unique in their approaches. A Sun Elf Wizard, haughty, urbane and cultured is going to have very little in common with a rustic Wood Elf Ranger who lives off the land and chews leaves as chaw for pleasure. This wood elf may in turn have very little in common with the moon elf bard who wishes to mingle with men and other races, adventuring far away in the pursuit of their art and muse.

Overall it's worth considering that there many old grudges and rivaliries between these tribes and subraces. The Crown Wars are not quite a distant memory, and still very painful, an act that decimated elven civilization, and set them to a slow, inevitable and tragic decline. Every elf knows that with a passing century, more of their culture and people fade into history, and this lends a certain tragedy to playing one as a concept.

Hope this helped.
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Re: Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

Post by MissEvelyn » Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:40 am

Most of my elves will not full on acknowledge a half-elf being a cousin. At best they tolerate them, though exceptions can be made if they befriend a half-breed and become close with them, but they will almost never share a kindred cousin bond that they do with other elves.

Obviously all drow are seen as monsters. Some elves might be extra poetic and call drow 'the evil version of our race'.

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Re: Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

Post by vindflickan » Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:29 pm

Doe tends to take the view of calling all elven blood by 'cousin', but there is clear hesitation when using it for drow. 'Dark' or 'fallen' tends to be placed before it in those cases. She's well aware of long histories of in-fighting between elves and uses 'cousin' as a small gesture of attempting to mend rifts by acknowledging a root source for them all. Close familial terms are STRICTLY for her actual family though because she, as a Moon Elf from Highmoon, often finds herself philosophically at odds with many other elves thanks to the nature of her home settlement. The truth she never openly speaks being that she has more in common with your average Dalesperson of Deepingdale than the average elf regardless of subrace.

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Re: Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

Post by Mr_Rieper » Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:33 pm

It's a good idea to remember that each subrace has a different culture. It might just be a sun elf thing to treat all elves like family, and all non-elves as outsiders.

Drow are hated precisely because they were family, and desecrated what it meant to be an elf. This is why all other elves hate them. They didn't just turn their back on goodness and decency, they went far further than that. They betrayed their entire heritage. And if they could betray even their deepest values and loyalties, they could never be trusted.

This is why drow are hated. Not because they've likely done terrible things, not because they are sinister and cruel or because they look different but because they are simultaneously elves and yet so un-elf-like. They represent a twisted mockery of the elven race. Traitors who still wear the colors of those they betrayed. Sun elves treat drow as monsters not out of fear or retribution but out of pure disgust and loathing. They do it because they view being a highborn race as part of their identity, and take pride in it. It's what they respect in other elves. By contrast, Moon elves seem very much more down-to-earth and prefer not to focus on it.

A fun analogy might be that the sun elves think of all elves as like a big family of heroes. Different figures, with different focuses. Some were more heroic than others. The moon elves need to be mentored on how to be proper heroes. But the drow betrayed the family and became a villain. Not only did the drow try to murder their father, but also conspired to take over. Now they continue to wear their hero costume while they disgrace and spit on everything the family stood for. They did not display any remorse or guilt, and continued every act with glee and pure spite. This is probably why the elves regard the drow as monsters, and why Sheverash is so angry all the time.


I think it's a sun elf thing to address other elves as family. They care a lot about being an elf.

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Re: Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

Post by flower » Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:23 pm

You should note that betrayal of Auranshee happened hundreds years before Crown wars.

So drow really did not try to murder their "father", They just returned to Lloth. and this was also partially forced by events, like wiping out kingdom of wild elves who were their close friends and allies. In response, dark elves marched on allied kingdom of Vyshaan empire putting them all to sword and fire…

The banishment was done by sun elven priests and mages, majority of them under Vyshaan empire, so we can speculate how much it was a political movement to get rid of dangerous enemie in war...

The history is written by victors and of course, Sun Elves will never like to remind it was them who started all the shit there.

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Re: Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

Post by Durvayas » Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:36 pm

All elves are cousins to the drow. All elves are one big family.

Fact is, the traditional drow has no compunction against murdering members of their family. And there is no love lost between them.

And anyone who mixes with humans is a deviant, and the abberation that sometimes results from such a union is the definition of degeneracy, and should be purged before it reaches breeding age.

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Re: Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

Post by Rockstar1984 » Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:27 am

I've figured that it's less about each individual subrace's general attitude in FR lore, and more about the culture that has been icly established on Arelith itself which shifts over time. In the past sibling/cousin was extremely common, with some elves even referring to half-elves as siblings. Lately though I've seen much less of this overall.
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Re: Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

Post by The Kriv » Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:27 am

It's an interesting shift I noticed, which was why I created the poll. When I first started playing Myon Elves in 2011, I never heard "cousin" used except when interacting with drow, who called my elf-pc "Cousin" -every elf I encountered in Myon or otherwise referred to each other as brother/sister, or by name. It was easily 2 rl years before my elf was called "cousin" by another elf of Myon. I specifically remember thinking how strange and odd to hear.

Now, when I pilot my elf PC's through Myon, I hardly ever (if at all) hear "brother/sister" being used by other elves, and hear almost exclusively "cousin"

Disclaimer: granted I'm not in Myon nearly as much as I was in years past, so this may just be coincidental on my part.
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Re: Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

Post by three wolf moon » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:37 pm

I just say cousin because actually having siblings is so rare in elven society that I figure it'd seem like "cheapening" it by calling every elf your sibling, but that's just me.

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Re: Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

Post by Memelord » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:13 pm

There's no internal consensus on whether or not 'brother/sister' or 'cousin' is the proper terminology, so I get around it by just calling everyone "COMRADE."

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Re: Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

Post by WanderingPoet » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:38 pm

My elf calls all half elves/elves brother/sister except drow who just need to be stabbed and are monsters.

Many half elves correct him saying they are only cousins, to which he replies that they are still half elf and thus still siblings.
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Re: Elven Subraces: Siblings? or Cousins....

Post by Talvenlapsi » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:17 am

I feel like .. it depends.
I have that OOC ideology of that if I was in the realm, it would be so surface elven are all sister/brother, half-elven are cousin and drows are just ... We do not speak of them.

But then again, i think it highly depends of the character.
Like my druidess is so motherly and familycentered that she calls everyone her sister/brother or if you're younger, a child even.
My peculiar bard.. She wouldn't refer to anyone as her sibling, she would probably opt for cousin for elven subraces, and just ignore half-elves as all together. ( Probably would still refer to drows as "Forgotten cousins" or smth).
My cleric elf then.. She wouldn't refer to anyone as sister or cousin that she doesn't know personally well - and probably shunning half-elves mostly out of that ideology alltogether, thus damned half-blood!
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