Dark Elf
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Among the elves there were always those who were jealous of the blessings the Silver Lady and the Horned Man bestowed upon their noble rulers by transforming them into the Sidhe, which turned them into magical beings suffused by the power of Faerie and granted them vastly extended life spans. And some of these elves raised prayers to the Shadow Prince in secret so that their commoner children would be given blessings as well.

And the Shadow Prince heard their please and taught them the Taressa Dakar ritual, or "Blessing of the Dark". It was similar to the blessing of the Sidhe, but instead of being cast during the next full moon after the birth of an elven child it needed to be cast during the next new moon, and while it was easier to cast it also required the sacrifice of a sapient being (a sacrifice of a Sidhe is considered most pleasing to the Shadow Prince, but if nothing else is available even a goblin will do - although such a base sacrifice is considered ill-omened for the future of the child.) And instead of bathing the child in an aura of silver proclaiming their kinship to the Fair Folk and the Silver Lady herself, the skin of the newborn turns as black as the night while its hair becomes the purest white. After that, the newly created dark elf will have the same longevity as the Sidhe, and vast powers over all kinds of darkness. As with the Sidhe, this transformation is not hereditary - the children of dark elves will be born as commoner elves and also have to go through the ritual.

Secret cults of elves hiding and protecting their dark elf kin have long existed in Avareen, Tuvareen, and several lesser elven realms, but most dark elves now live in underground realms of their own, only coming to the surface in the darkest of nights. Sometimes they attempt to abduct newborn elves to further propagate their race, raising them as if they were their own and teaching them to hate their surface kin - and even if such children are retrieved by their parents, they are rarely accepted back if they have gone through the Blessing of the Dark - usually, they are slain or exiled from all elven realms and have to fend for themselves in the world.

See Also

Adventure Ideas

Designer's Notes & Resources

More magical transhumanism! I have to admit, a fantasy race with black skin who were "born evil" never sat right with me. But when I came up with the concept of how the Sidhe are created, it struck me that a similar process could be used for dark elves, creating a nice symmetry and neatly explaining why dark elves tend to be evil (after all, a subculture which requires a sapient sacrifice for each newborn will not consist of paragons of virtue) without making it "innate".


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