Dark Elves Ethnicity in The Morning Realm | World Anvil

Dark Elves

  The Old Ones fell, and the Dark Elves were all that remained. They emerged from the ruins a broken people. The dark elves are named both after their dark appearance, dark countenances, and dark past.  


  Dark elves are the shortest among the elves, especially the older generations due to malnutrition. They still easily match the height of humans. Dark elves are known for their unnatural skin colours, ranging from grey to blueish or purple. Their hair and eyes are usually white, black or red.   There is an honest appreciation for a weathered appearance among the dark elves. Wrinkles are called lines of wisdom, scars lines of honor. Vibrant red is considered the most attractive hair colour, but a glossy rich black is a close second. Many dark elves dye their hair to either effect.  


  Sometimes described as hostile or even xenophobic, the reality is that dark elves are guarded and see no reason to put on airs with strangers. Smiles without reason are seen by dark elves as hallmarks of the untrustworthy or foolish, and warmth is earned rather than freely given. Those who do get to know the dark elves get to know some deeply wounded souls. Whatever happened to make the old ones fall changed the elves forever, and the burden wears heavy on them all, from the tightlipped elder who refuses to speak of it, to the generations later who carry an inherited pain they do not know how to speak of.   It is not surprising then that the dark elves have a reputation for vice. Many traditional rites of the dark elves involve the use of various potent herbs. Stimulants, narcotics and hallucinogens are all used for their own purposes, be they spiritual, medical or recreational.  


  The conventions for dark elf names are complex. When one is familiar with the family, the parent is called Tel Surname, the parent who married into the family Tel Maidenname Surname, the eldest unmarried sibling goes by Val Surname, and the younger unmarried siblings go by Val Firstname Surname. If one only knows an individual, Tel Surname is preferred for anyone older than you, and Val Surname for anyone younger.   Val - Informal, used for unmarried and young elves.
Valen - Same as Val, but used when the last name is unknown.
Valenna - Feminine version of Valen not traditionally used.   Tel - Informal, similar to Mr.
Telen - Same as Tel, but used when the last name is unknown.
Talenna - Feminine version of Telen, not traditionally used.   Magus - Any magic user.   In traditional dark elven society, a child is given a false name at birth. This false name is almost always derogatory, for the protection of the child. There is a superstition that not doing so will lead to an early death. The true name is bestowed when the young elf starts showing the wisdom expected of an adult. Petulantly demanding a nicer name is a surefire way to be stuck with the false one for quite a while longer.   The true name is often discussed both with an astrologist and with the ancestors.

See Also

Ancestries of the Morning Realm

HumanoidDark ElfDwarfHalflingHigh ElfHumanWood Elf



Portrait Placeholder - Man

Placeholder Man by Annie Stein

Total population
Sum of total population

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Regions with significant populations
List related languages here

The Dark Elves usually live three and a half centuries, but a few
Average Height5 - 6ft
LifespanUpwards of three centuries.
Total population
3 370 000
Regions with significant populations
~800 000
Lichen Marches
~590 000
~420 000
Castellan Kingdoms
~ 410 000

Cover image: by Annie Stein


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