The World of Icathia has the well-known basic set of fantasy races. While I have no uniques of my own design (I can still possibly add some), at least I made a few changes to THAT traditional background. Ideas welcome!
OK, gods built the world with the usual features, created some life on it and were content. For a while at least. Then they came up with the idea of creating some lesser creatures, to have the same fun with the world they have, and to provide some amusement for the gods themselves. Countless worlds created by RPG fans show this is a bad decision. ;)
Sooo… the gods came together to create new, thinking creatures. Elves were these beings called of old.
Elder and Elven History
When the Elves woke up, the world was still young and beatiful, and this beauty still remains with them. The world was never easy to live in, and they learned how to survive. They bred fast as the Humans now do, and while they sometimes fell prey to animals and other threats, they also found they do not die of old age, like all the other living beings do. This made it easier to collect wisdom and settle the world.
What the gods surely did not plan, was that their powers invested remained in some form within the Elves. The power to change the world only with one’s mind, called Magic.
The Elves soon found this power of their kind, and being useful, they learned all they could greedily. Knowledge grew and Magic was widely employed for all needs. Indeed, any Elf could master it, unlimited life span giving the time. But spending time on one matter gives little time for other things. Any young Elf could see the Power one can attain, and strived to learn it from childhood. The society changed: for all were too concentrated on what one can do with Magic, few sought lasting partnerships. Although having fun was acceptable, children were generally considered a burden. Magic solved also this problem with birth-control, and the number of births dwindled dramatically.
A race that feels it can control anything in its life, or will sooner or later find the right spell, has no need for gods. Gods liked the Elves at first, helping them to grow, teaching and admiring the baby’s first steps into the big world. But the children grew up and lost the need for their parents. Gods soon abandoned these children.
Once developed,a parental instinct is strong, even gods could not resist for long. They decided to create new races, intelligent but never so powerful with Magic as Elves are, for only with their hands shall they change the world. So were the Dwarwes born, and the Humans, Orcs and maybe others. The teaching began anew.
In the meantime the Elves formed a rigid society, and grew bored of all that magical toys. Then they found those new young races, talking oddities walking the world they deemed to know. A plaything most popular! They were so weak, so easy to surprise, and so short-lived. A child that always gets new toys does not value any. The Elves already adopted certain
views on the world, being a place one has to arrange according to his wishes.
The toys became boring, and Elven society gained new qualities, leading to new comfort and fun:
slavery, gladiator games, working in mines, bed-time companions, you know it…
...some more time has passed. The inevitable break-up followed, a revolution. All Races united themselves against uncaring Elves. Some Elves were actually killed. Others decided to erase anyone of non-elven origin, thus being secure forever. But gods intervened, and Elves had to let them go. Races have spread freely and Elves live even now in their kingdom, separated by vast mountain ranges.
Thus ended the First Age.
Additional Ideas (6)
(Note: these times are they called The High Elves or The Right Elves or Those Bloody Elves.)
More Elvish than any other race, easiest to recognize after overhelming physical beauty and arrogance. Little love for them, accept other races (like Humans, Dwarwes, or Orcs) only as slaves. Actually used them as slaves for a long time.
Long-living, maybe immortal, great talent for magic. For these reasons are even lone individuals respected and silently hated. Consider themselves direct descendants of Gods and behave like that. A High Elf is the only master of its land, surrounded by comfort and servants, living and magical. Lives in very small closed communities. Very few births and deaths alike.
Important note: should be considered highly dangerous. Reasons?
- like to experiment with magic, may result in sudden destruction of vast territory, or something worse
- few want to harm people directly, but are VERY moody
- often see people as interesting bugs (some are collectors...)
- sometimes they settle away for a time (a few centuries), may be in the middle of other races territory, to have some privacy
For all this reasons it is wise to evade them. Secure distance is estimated at about 100 miles.
Are born with great magical powers, that grow through the ages. Have a reputation everyone evades them for (even Orcs). Racists absolute, unwilling to adapt to anything not 1000 years old
Last Note: Not available as a PC race. Period.
The humans are one of the first races. Humans claim to be peaceful, eager to explore new things, adventure-loving and able to settle everywhere. They also claim to be tolerant to other races, freely sharing their living space. Besides adventurers, they like to be seen as merchants. Humans have more sub-races (I may detail them later).
It is important to note that religion has from all the races the biggest place in a humans' every-day life. They are often superstitious.
(Note: there is a lot more detail on these; just needs sorting and posting.)
The Bearded Folk, another old race. Strong and independent, even the High Elves could not conquer them completely. Dwelling underground, known as experts with stone and metal. They have a strong sense for pride. Do not haggle for prices, they take it or leave it, but demand quality.
Besides that, dwarwes are usually organised in clans, and are very family-oriented.
(Note: needs more detail, also a change of focus is in place. Also add Rune Magic.)
Last of the old races. For being even uglier than Humans, the Elves made them slaves. The original orcish society was matriarchy, one of hunters and gatherers. Formerly peaceful, they abandoned old ways and favoured the strong over the wise, man over woman. Became a major military power, and still would be if they stayed united. Few live the original way of life now, most tribes must steal to survive, or be mercenaries.
(Yup, needs much more detail.)
The Lower Elves, or only Elves, as they are known, are a fairly young race. Because the High Elves liked to have fun with Humans, they often produced offspring. Elven parents did not care, so it were Humans who raised them.
They had problems of many cross-breeds:
Distrust to outright hostility of others, problematical inheritance of their parents and physical frailty. Would probably not survive, were it not for their magical potential.
All this leads to certain psychical problems, and are even now known for that. Elves began to cure their instability with the help of Nature. Contrary to the High Elves - nature is to be shaped according to the mood and whim - Elves enjoy Nature as wild and unrestrained.
(Also needs more detail, but I am content with their kind.)
I think this would be a great idea if you expanded on it a lot more. This version of elves, while seemingly more like half elves, can be worked with the few ticks you have already put on them. Frail and unrestrained... good thoughts.
Contrary to popular belief, the happy-go-lucky Hobbits are not some mysterious offspring of Humans, as all seems to indicate. In truth, they are Dwarwes changed by the High Elves, as they could not find another way to insult them. The weakened instinct for living underdground makes them live in holes. There the similarity (except for the size) ends.
Thus the average proud and self-assured dwarf gets a bit unsure around hobbits. See The Hobbit, where a band of Masters of the Deep in a way recognizes a Hobbit farmer as their leader. Hardly possible with a Human.
(Clearly a turning of the stereotype on its head. Couldn't resist.)