This page serves as a source for information about how this subject is applicable to World 42 Roleplay. It may contain Lorebending information and such should not be considered 100% Jagex canon.
A Brief History
TarddiadThe Elves come from a world known as Tarddiad (pronounced 'tarðiad), also known as the Crystal Plane, a world described as being "covered almost entirely by trees". Early in their history, the goddess Seren, after leaving her creator, Mah, on Freneskae, came across the Elves and their world; and as she revealed herself to them, they adored her, and she in turn adored them. The Elves took Seren as their god, and Seren in kind took the Elves as her favoured people; she then began her long journey of discovery as she settled in among a mortal race. It was from the Elves that Seren learned much of what she came to know, and it was from the Elves that she learned of something she had no concept of, had thought impossible, something horrible and yet fascinating at the same time: death. As she learned of death, Seren was captivated and yet afraid of it, and came to heavily grieve as individuals she knew passed on to the next life.
In her grief, she sought a solution to stave off death for her Elves, and found it in her own energies. She harmonized the Elves with herself, merging her spiritual energy with theirs, and so the Elves were born as we know them: a long-lived and mystical race, deeply tied to their god. Though Seren had successfully prolonged the lives of her Elves, it came at a terrible price she had not foreseen: her Elves were bound to her, and if she left them they would fall sick and die. She was wracked with guilt, and began searching for a way to cure them of this curse; and it was not long before she came across someone who would change her life, and the fate of her Elves, forever: the god Guthix.
With the help of Guthix and the World Gate, Seren led the Elves forth from Tarddiad to Gielinor at the start of the First Age. The Elves overwhelmingly followed her, although some of them, in particular a good majority of the Cywir clan, refused to leave their home. She and Guthix watched over Gielinor, though Seren continued her silent search for a cure to what she did to her followers. Relatively little is recorded of the deeds of the Elves in the First Age, save that that is when they founded their great capital city of Prifddinas.When Guthix took to sleep and the Second Age began, things started to take an interesting turn. As gods began to quarrel over land and followers, Seren, as the most powerful god since Guthix took to slumber, erected a barrier over Tiranwnn. This barrier kept the other gods out of her Elves' land, but not their followers, and the Elves began to shut away their territory from other races, keeping them out of Prifddinas and the surrounding country of Isafdar. When word reached Seren of a new god on Gielinor forming a great empire, she was initially fearful, but this was dispelled as she learned it to be her long lost sibling: Zaros. She came to Zaros with her troubles involving her accidental curse upon the Elves, but Zaros only had his own troubles to voice to her, and so they parted from one another. Though Seren was fearful of how they would affect one another; the feelings Mah had given her two creations towards one another had faded with the time she and Zaros had been apart, and Seren believed she had found her answer as she left Zaros to his own problems: she decided to slowly wean the Elves off of her energies.
As the Third Age began with Zaros's death, Seren was enraged, grief stricken, and confused as to how beings such as Zaros and herself could die, though she did not know the truth that he had survived. Seren became still more protective of her Elves and her land as the God Wars began, and she sent out clan Cadarn to defend the borders, along with some of clan Iorwerth. It was in this tumultuous time that an Elf lord of clan Cadarn, named Baxtorian, founded his kingdom North of Ardougne. As the fighting grew and Forinthry was destroyed by Zamorak, Guthix awoke and established the edicts. It was from the edicts that Seren had come to be shattered. She had not weaned her Elves from her yet, and was unwilling to leave them behind to die as Guthix established the edicts, and so she shattered herself into thousands upon thousands of shards so that the Elves might live, even if she was no longer among them in whole.It was after this time, during the Fourth Age, that clan Iorwerth began their ambitious assault on the other clans. Clan Iorwerth had always been a combative clan, and their leader at the time grew in jealousy of clan Cadarn, due to Seren choosing them to maintain the majority of the military while clan Iorwerth was forced into the sidelines. In a great uprising, clan Iorwerth seized control of Prifddinas, and ruled from the city with an iron fist. Baxtorian marched back to the capital from his eastern and laid siege to it, but, realising that he could neither starve it into submission nor mount a frontal assault, he was forced to resort to subterfuge: Baxtorian sent in a small team to infiltrate Prifddinas and rescue the other clan leaders, and with their help, Baxtorian and the lords and ladies of the clans reverted the crystal city, along with most of its inhabitants, into the crystal seed form from which it was grown. Clan Iorwerth remained in control of the site of the city however, and sought a way to regrow it, forcing what was left of the other Elf clans to scatter across Tirannwn.
Since then up to the beginning of the Sixth age, the Elves continued their civil war; and the settlement of Lletya was founded as a base for the rebel Elf clans. At the very end of the Fifth Age and the start of the Sixth, with the aid of a human adventurer, the future World Guardian, Clan Iorwerth were eventually defeated, along with their human allies in Ardougne and their Dark Lord; the city of Prifddinas was regrown from seed, and peace was brought to the Elven clans once more.
The Elven Clans
All Elves belong to, or at least come from, one of the Elven clans, of which there are nine. An Elf born into a clan often specialises and excels in the skills for which that clan is known, however they are not limited to those skills. See the gallery below the clan list for a view of the clans' symbols.
Of these nine Elven clans, eight came with Seren through the world gate, settling in Tirannwn and founding Prifddinas. These eight clans were traditionally grouped into four vocations: the Naturalists (Crwys and Meilyr), the Artisans (Ithell and Trahaearn), the Military (Cadarn and Iorwerth), and the Spiritualists (Hefin and Amlodd). Each of these groups was most strongly associated with one of four key values from Serenist philosophy:
- Harmony: the Naturalists
- Prudence: the Artisans
- Integrity: the Military
- Wisdom: the Spiritualists.
Of old the clans in each group were particularly close allies with one another, but those alliances are now largely a matter of history.
Skills: Summoning, Divination
Clan Amlodd is a peculiar bunch; well versed in the art of summoning and the recent skill of divination. While they are a spiritual clan, they are not the religious leaders of the race; clan Hefin holds that honor. Elves from the Amlodd clan are distinguished in their familiarity with beasts and spirits, one Elf has even taken it upon himself to collect and study implings.
Skills: Ranged, Magic
Clan Cadarn forms a large portion of the Elven military; their battlemages and archers are the stuff of legend. Clan Cadarn formed the largest percentage of the population of the rebel Elves during the fight against the Iorwerth. While the rivalry between Cadarn and Iorwerth still continues to this day, the relationship is now competitive, instead of deadly like it was during the civil war, though members of either clan would likely still have some old emotional scars against one another that will take time to heal. An Elf from clan Cadarn would likely be a mage or archer, and take military life very seriously.
Skills: Farming, Woodcutting
Clan Crwys are a humble bunch; farmers and woodcutters by majority, as they supply most of Prifddinas's food and lumber supply. Out of all the Elven clans, members of clan Crwys are the most in-tuned to nature. Elves have always been linked to trees, and lord Crwys embodies this quite literally as he blurs the line between tree and Elf. An Elf from clan Crwys would not likely be very combative, and would probably rather spend time tending to plants.
Skills: Hunting, N/A
The Cywir are the forgotten clan who chose to remain on Tarddiad after the great exodus from the plane to Gielinor. The Cywir were the Elves that honored and performed the old Elven traditions; the pieces of their culture that came from the time before Seren arrived on Tarddiad. So culturally connected to Tarddiad they were, that they chose to remain behind during the exodus to Gielinor. Unfortunately, they were still connected and addicted to Seren's energies heavily at the time, and her sudden departure left them in a very sorry state. They turned to Tarddiad's natural crystal formations, which still had traces of Seren's energy, in order to survive. They infused the crystals into their bodies, and although the pain of Seren leaving them was alleviated from doing so, as well as finding that the crystals allowed them to transform their own bodies, it left them more and more addicted to the crystals.
Eventually, this insatiable hunger for the crystals degenerated most of their numbers into a bestial and insane state, and clan Cywir fell to become the crystal shapeshifting monsters that now roam Tarddiad. Very few crystal shapeshifters managed to resist the urge for more crystals, and thus stave off insanity. These rare few seek to wean their fallen brethren off the crystals, and save their clan. Today, the few Cywir that are left clairvoyant resent Seren for her abandonment of them, even though their clan chose to stay on Tarddiad. Almost nothing remains of the Cywir's culture, and the few remaining sentient ones have little to say of their traditions. Due to the horrific effects Tarddiad's crystals had on their bodies, it is dubious whether they may still be classified as Elves at all; they are generally now called crystal shapeshifters.
It was however later revealed that some members of clan Cywir had traveled with Seren, only to regret this action, and attempt to find a way back to Tarddiad. As of today they are in the Heart of Gielinor fighting for the Anima pool for their goddess, and those in Tariddiad. This is however the only clan that has two clan leaders; one on Gielinor, and one on Tariddiad. Today, it is only those few Cywir who took part in the great exodus that remain intact, and did not become crystal monstrosities.
Skills: Prayer, Agility
Clan Hefin holds the distinguishing honor as the religious leaders of the Elven clans; having a grand temple and an agility course dedicated to physical health. Clan Hefin takes their duties very seriously, not only their religious health but physical wellness as well. An Elf from Clan Hefin would likely be very religious, and physically fit (not muscled like an Iorwerth soldier, but lean and quick like a skirmisher).
Skills: Slayer, melee combat.
Clan Iorwerth is the embodiment of strength and prowess to many Elves; for clan Iorwerth Elves are famed for their melee skills and slaying capabilities. Despite clan Cadarn's long history of military service, it is actually clan Iorwerth that forms the unbreakable backbone of the Elven military; such was their prowess that the Iorwerth forced all other clans into submission or exile during their civil war campaign. Although sometimes viewed as evil by other races (due to their actions and their clan symbol), clan Iorwerth was actually driven into civil war out of their own desperation for Seren, and their clan symbol in Elven culture is an icon of strength and nobility, not of any hint of malice or evil.
While the Cadarn hold battlemages and archers, the Iorwerth are the true warriors of the Elven clans, and they are not shy when it comes to showing off their might. In the olden days, before the civil war, they were a valued and highly esteemed clan; their warriors protected many other clans from threats both inside and outside of Tirannwn, including the ferocious dark beasts. Though their reputation has since fallen from glory, the Iorwerth are slowly regaining the respect and confidence of the other clans, and have been welcomed once more with open arms among the population of Prifddinas. An Elf from clan Iorwerth would likely devote their lives to combat and the sport hunting of dangerous monsters.
Skills: Crafting, Construction.
Clan Ithell are the architects of Elven society; famed craftsmen and builders, the Ithell are the Elves that are the most talented at crystal singing. It was from their efforts that much of Prifddinas was restored, as they sang the buildings back into shape and coaxed the inhabitants back out of the crystal seed. An Elf from clan Ithell would likely be adept in the creation of non-metallic items, and would be proud to sing forth crystal weaponry for the Cadarn and Iorwerth.
Skills: Herblore, Dungeoneering.
Clan Meilyr are the herbalists and explorers of the Elven clans; as they concoct strange potions and forge ahead to new places in the search of yet more herbs (this includes perilous Daemonheim). An Elf from clan Meilyr would likely be an adventurous sort with a head for herbal effects. In the past, the Meilyr used to be concerned with farming as well, much like clan Crwys, but their focus shifted over time.
Skills: Smithing, Mining.
Clan Trahaearn is the industrial backbone of all Elven society; they are famed miners and blacksmiths, if any Elf knew how to forge something legendary out of metal, it would be a Trahaearn Elf. An Elf from clan Trahaearn would likely be adept in metallurgy and prospecting, and spend their times busying themselves with complex projects.
In the game, the Welsh language is fairly consistently used to represent Elvish, and almost all Elvish names are in fact Welsh names (with one or two notable exceptions, such as Baxtorian and Glarial, and the odd Gaelic name). Many players however choose not to use real-world Welsh names for their Elf characters, and this is universally accepted in the community; however reading a quick online guide on modern Welsh pronunciation to get an idea of how Elvish names sound may be helpful.
Elvish names focus heavily on vowels, along with the letters N, Y and W, though other consonants are not uncommon; double consonants are very common, examples: Briallen (double consonant), Eoin (heavy focus on vowels). Elves most commonly have only first names, followed by the clan name, but some Elves have family names used in place of or as well as their clan names.
A useful and lore-friendly way to create a unique name (for almost any race) is to mix and mash tidbits of other names to create your own. An example would be Haluwyn (a mix of Haluned and Ysgawyn). Below is a list of nearly all Elf names mentioned in lore, see if you can create something unique out of them!
Examples of Elvish names from lore
Adwr, Adyna, Afenen, Alfon, Amaethwr, Arianwyn, Arvel, Auron, Baxtorian, Berwyn, Briallen, Bronwyn, Ceidwad, Cerddi, Cerridwyn, Daffyd, Dai, Daiglolas, Dalldav, Edern, Eifion, Eilwynn, Eirlys, Elen Anterth, Eluned, Emlyn, Endwyr, Eoin, Essyllt, Eudav, Finda, Gethin, Glarial, Goreu, Gruffydd, Gwir, Haluned, Heriau, Idris, Iestin Edern, Ilfeen, Iona, Islwyn, Mawrth, Meredith, Morvran, Mwynen, Nissyen Edern, Oluien, Oronwen, Rhiannon, Sior, Teclyn, Tiwlip, Trevelian, Valis, Wythien, Ysgawyn.
- It is stated by Lady Meilyr in The Voice of the Elders that Elves generally live to be around 500 years old; while according to Mawrth in Lletya, her two children are 34 and 38, which is "far too young to be left unsupervised"; the children in question are playing tag. Taken together, this suggests that Elves develop and age at about one sixth of the Human rate.
- Elves can extend their lives considerably, perhaps indefinitely, beyond the usual span of years by using a wide range of methods, such as potions, machines, magic and fastidiously clean living. However, these methods are extremely complex and obscure and are not accessible to the vast majority of Elves.
- Elves, male and female, are known for their exquisite beauty. It would be strange for a human not to notice.
- Elves have long pointed ears, and partly because of this have sharper hearing than humans. Their other senses are not superior to those of Humans on average.
- Elves are slightly taller than Humans, and overwhelmingly of slender build.
- The average Elf has far greater natural agility and nimbleness than a human, but not so much that a formidable and trained human couldn't overcome an Elf. This applies especially to physical strength, as seen with the Tyras Guard. Clan Hefin are the agility experts of the race, it would take a high amount of training for a human to hope to match a member of the Hefin.
- Typically, Elves are "much more observant" than humans and are very difficult to steal from, sneak up on or ambush.
- Elves can have any natural skin colour, and a wide range of hair colours: Lady Meilyr's is dark green.
- Elves from Tirannwn wear their hair long and often loose. If they style it, they may tie it into braids, or the elaborate Flower of Lletya for women.
- Elves mostly dress in varying shades of green, and/or their clan colours. Rarely does an Elf wear a hat, preferring hoods or circlets; by and large however they go bareheaded.
- Most Elves have colourful, swirling tattoos, often on their faces.
- Elves do not adapt quickly to change or to foreign environments and customs. This is a drawback of their longevity.
- Elves fear the Underground Pass.
- Due to their longer lifespan, any adult Elf would generally have much greater experience and skill at any art or trade than an adult human.
- Elves of Tirannwn follow Seren, the goddess "of light and life". From the Fourth Age until the restoration of Prifddinas, some of the Iorwerth clan worshipped a "Dark Lord", which was in fact a part of Seren, obsessed with death, which she had cast-out of herself. A small number of Elves remain true to the cult of the Dark Lord in the Sixth Age, even after its destruction.
- A "Dark Elf" is a follower of the Dark Lord, or any death cult.
- Apart from crystal singing, Elves need runes for magic just like other races.
- Elves used to require a crystal in their travels to avoid the Sickness if they ever traveled far from Tirannwn, but from the Fourth Age onwards this was no longer necessary. This is something they would not know themselves though.
- The crystal shapeshifters on Tarddiad deeply resent the Elves of Gielinor for abandoning them, even before the World Gate was lost, and refuse to accept their aid.
- Despite the recovery of the World Gate, Tarddiad remains too dangerous to travel for the most part.
- Crystal magic is restricted to crystal singing (e.g. bows, saws, chimes); more advanced crystal singing extends to object enchantments (e.g. teleport crystals, warding spells (also known as "chants") on crystal doors or containers).
- Some (but not all) Elves, especially those of the Ithell Clan, are gifted with the ability to sing crystal seeds into new shapes, including tools, weapons, and armour. The ability is rare among Elves of other Clans.
- Crystal singing is time-consuming and exhausting, requiring sustained concentration and many years of training and practice - decades to do well. Unless a character has a strong personal relationship with a crystal singer, or has some other privileged access to crystal equipment (for example, equipment requisition as a member of the Prifddinas garrison), having a seed sung would be prohibitively expensive for most people.
- Elves do use native Gielinorian alongside crystal-derived technology (the murdered Elf ranger in the quest "Missing, Presumed Death" was carrying a wooden bow). They are careful not to waste their crystal, as there is only a limited amount on Gielinor.
- The crystal singing of the Elves on Gielinor uses crystal seeds. The ability to sing crystal shards, such as are found on Tarddiad, is "almost lost"; Angof is the only known practitioner in lore.
- Crystal bows "degrade" (revert to seed) faster than other crystal equipment, due to the need to generate their own ammunition.
This section addresses details about Elves that are still the subject of disagreements.
- Elves can mate seamlessly with humans. It is canon that all humanoids in RuneScape can produce crossbred offspring, and many players create Halfelves - the children of one Elf and one human. However, the compatibility of their genetic structures has been questioned; and some believe that, like mules and ligers, Halfelves themselves are sterile and cannot produce children of their own.
- As a result of their long lives, it is unknown if Elves are able to maintain courtship emotions with their chosen partners as they age. The few examples we have seem to indicate long term courtship and marriage, as shown with Baxtorian and Glarial. As with any race, there is considerable individual variation, but it is not clear what would be considered the norm (if there is one).
- Cadarn Elves have been associated with Mobilizing Armies, particularly the mages; this would make sense, given the Cadarn clan's affinity for military work. It would not be entirely out of the question to see a Cadarn Elf at the armies' command center.
- Crystal "magic" was never presented in-game as combat magic, except indirectly through crystal weaponry. For other kinds of magic Elves use the same spellbooks as the other races. In the Light Within, it was shown there are several offensive spell that involves crystals in different colors to determine elements.
- Elves within Tarddiad would be a sort of abomination to those in Gielinor. While the Gielinorian Cywir Clan are safe from the Sickness, those in Tarddiad that travel to Gielinor would probably be a bit more at ease thanks to Seren's presence.
- This would depend on their mental state, those who finally dub the name, crystal shapeshifters would probably aim where the more source of crystals reside and attack who ever is in the way. Those who were fighting to remain somewhat sane, would be more relaxed, not cured, but wouldn't have trouble thinking straight.
This section addresses traits that unexperienced roleplayers often bestow their Elven characters but that aren't actually seen in Elves on RuneScape.
- Elves do not have strange magical abilities like telepathy, telekenesis, etc.
- Elves cannot cast magic without runes and, with the exception of the Cadarn, are not especially skilled with combative magic.
- Elves do not have supersenses. Their hearing is sharper than humans, but their sight, smell, taste, or touch senses are the same, on average.