Elves Without Whimsy

The most elusive and difficult to interact with of the elves has long been thought to be the drow (also known as dark elves). In Domum however there is a race of elves that are even more aloof and suspicious of outsiders. Already mentioned as some of the most dangerous natives of Slothjemia’s swampy coreland, shadow elves tend to shun human contact and don’t interact much with anyone except to get their own goals met. They do not produce much artwork in any genre except for their exquisitely crafted bows and arrows. They have little time for music and even less time for idle chatter. Shadow elves are intrinsically linked to two basic truths: death is inevitable and there is money to be made in the process. This leads them into a handful of professions that most people find distasteful or downright wicked. On the rare occasion they are mingled into human societies or those of different elves, shadow elves will work as undertakers, coroners, bounty hunters, assassins, bowyers or fletchers. They also have a natural knack for banking but are almost never trusted by non-shadow elves in this capacity despite there being extremely few instances of fraud or theft among shadow elves.

Shadow elves, regardless of where they live and operate, owe their ultimate allegiance to their own families. Two shadow elves meeting for the first time will be unnaturally pleasant because the one person another shadow elf feels comfortable with is another of their own kind. They will immediately determine which family they are a part of and whether or not their is a feud between them. If not, then they may decide to, in their parlance, collaborate. The lingo used by shadow elves is full of such odd phrases, mainly used as if every interaction was a business negotiation or pending deal. If a shadow elf states that they are “on the outs” with their family it doesn’t mean that they are actually in trouble. It means that it doesn’t matter if they consort with outsiders. If they say that they are “outside the circle” then it means that the family hasn’t yet found them a match for a spouse and the elf is on their own until a match is found by them or one of their family. A common interaction among shadow elves when they encounter strange shadow elves is to see if there is any chance of them either being available for marriage or knowing somebody who is.

Because when you don’t mingle with other elves, and the members of your race produce half-elven offspring that you view as being permanent outsiders, and you don’t travel enough to open up available options for new marital unions because all you really want to do is stay hidden and be left alone, there are few ways to increase the power of your own family much less find ways to ally your group with any other. Let’s face it, folks. Xenophobia isn’t all it is cracked up to be.