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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

WBM: Bestiary--the Ellefolk

Location and General Information
Creatures who inhabit the forests of Altern, particularly around the area of Barksville. They are generally considered beings of folklore, rather than reality.

Males are generally shorter than the females, have giant noses, white hair, and large heads. They wear robes or suits and sometimes walk with a cane. They also have eyes that are narrow and yellow; much like a bird of prey.
Females are tall and unusually beautiful in a more "strange" way than a "typical" way. Their beauty is cause for intense curiosity from human males. They are tall, generally long-haired and blonde, and have piercing eyes.
Both male and females have gaping holes where their backs should be, as if their fronts were created to seem human, but the rest of them were left mostly unfinished (although they do have bottoms and legs, just no backs).

The Ellefolk are primarily masters of the art of manipulation, and mainly the manipulation of males. Their magic is exceedingly effective against human males, who tend to be more inclined to curiosity and, unfortunately, weaker willed when it comes to temptation. One of the key magics of the Ellefolk is the use of magic as a means of controlling by inserting emotion or sensation. They are capable of controlling men by making them genuinely obsessed with pleasing the ladies of the Elle, which can sometimes spark intense jealousy amongst the affected males. Generally, this magic is difficult to break. One must wait quite a long time for the magic to wear off or someone must kill the lady whose magic has hold of an individual. The easiest way to break the spell is to keep knots, holes, and cracks in trees covered up or stuff full of clay or some other substance
Women are rarely affected by the Ellefolk, though they can be, on rare occasions, struck by a similar manipulative magic found within Ellemen. This magic, if it works on the individual woman, will be instantaneous, but less difficult to break than the hold the ladies of the Elle have over human men.
The limiting factor, however, is that the Ellefolk's manipulative magic is only effective when the target looks through the knot, hole, or crack in a tree. Other magic includes creating a genuinely pleasant environment that glitters. Their homes in the forest are filled with glittering gold particles that make anyone caught within it happy by default. This isn't so much a spell as an environmental thing, as the Ellefolk are not actually in control of this so much as just living in it.
The breath of a lady of the Elle is like a corrosive acid. It causes death in seconds and melts the skin and tissue from the victim's face, causing agonizing pain.

The Ellefolk are not born normally, as most creatures are in Altern. While humans breed through intercourse, the Ellefolk do not breed at all. All the Ellefolk on Altern were there from the beginning, or what seems like the beginning, and as such there is a finite number of them. They cannot create new Ellefolk, nor can anyone else. As such, the Ellefolk are essentially immortal, part of a spiritual/faery world rather than what one might consider the human world of mortality. They can be killed, of course, and generally this is pretty easy as thy are subject to the same physical weaknesses as humans.
Ellefolk are born in giant stone eggs found buried in the Earth. The Ellefolk are constantly searching for their kin, digging wherever they can find them. This is a constant preoccupation, which goes hand in hand with their ability to manipulate human men, providing them with free labor. The stones are brought to the surface, dipped in enormous containers of water, and left to sit. Eventually the rock softens and becomes more like a boiled chicken egg without a shell and then the Ellefolk inside breaks out and is born. At least, that's how the folklore goes; nobody actually knows how they bring out their young from the stone eggs.

The Ellefolk never have any wars. Because there are a limited amount of them across all of Altern it is not considered worth dealing with the complications and ramifications of war. Why fight your own kind when you can move and maintain the population? Whenever a dispute arises, members of a particular group assess the situation and make a mutual beneficial decision (usually one group moves elsewhere with the help of the group that gets to stay). This may seem quite civilized, but it should be known that if the Ellefolk reproduced normally, no such peaceful decisions would be made. It's simply thought as better for the species not to fight over anything, no matter how horrible or annoying.

The Ellefolk have a very simplistic culture in comparison to the cultures of mankind. They are dominated by the desire to essentially dig up their own kind. This prevents them from developing cities or separate cultures. In a way they are like animals--lions might be a good example. Their young, once dug up and brought to life, either remain with their "parents" or move on to other groups or create groups of their own, expanding and seeking to hunt down their kind from other locations--to be released, of course. Beyond this, the Ellefolk lack any sort of complex culture. They do no create music, except in certain regions where non-human, sentient creatures exist who are not so easily swayed by Ellefolk magic--and music has a higher success rate with certain creatures, and a lower success rate with human beings. They are not, by default, an artistic people, creating little art, except the glittering gold air of their woodland homes that produces bliss for anyone within its grasp, which might be considered artistic. In fact, the only thing that makes the Ellefolk more than animals is the fact that they are sentient, capable of intentionally luring humans (and other creatures) into their grasp and subjecting them to threats of death to get the labor they need to find their fellow people of the Elle. They can speak, and seemingly are limitless in their linguistic skills, being able to use most any language known with ease. They even have emotions that span the entire range of human emotions, though they are more prone to deceptive modes and emotions related to anger.

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