Saturday, January 2, 2010

Elves of Blacklore: A New Look



As most of you will know, the majority of the Classic D&D products which featured Mystara, also included Blackmoor references. This is also true for the greatly underrated Hollow World Boxed Set, by Aaron Allston, which featured an entire culture with ties to Dave Arneson's Blackmoor; The Elves of Blacklore.

Mystara is a possible future of Blackmoor, one where Blackmoor first grew into a powerful technomantic Empire, due to discoveries from the City of the Gods, but which then destroyed itself in the Great Rain of Fire, since combining magic and technology is a tad too unpredictable. 

The Elves of Blacklore were elves from the southern continent who had made contact with Blackmoor some time before its destruction and had become fascinated with the technology of the humans. Being a fairly naïve lot, they quickly abandoned their own culture, absorbing as much as they could of the new technologically based way of life.




Unfortunately, the Hollow World Boxed Set treats the entire Blacklore culture as a joke. Having jokes like this within the gaming products was quite common back then, but although it was a fun read, I think there was an opportunity missed here in this otherwise excellent product. In the past I have presented a more serious take on the Hollow World version of the Blacklore Elves.

What struck me the other day was that the Blacklore Elves could be a factor even in the classic Blackmoor age. We do not need to limit them to elves from afar, but any elf who becomes so fascinated with City of the Gods artifacts or steamtech and clockwork devices can become a Blacklore Elf. I predict some critical comments: "Bah, another elven subrace?". But this isnt really about subraces (at least at this point). These are individual elves who go directly against their own nature to pursue technology rather than living in harmony with nature. Which consequences will this have on the elves themselves. I imagine something sinister, almost like a human selling his soul...






(Elf Image from: http://www.designyourway.net/blog/wallpapers/collection-of-over-70-excellent-dark-wallpapers/ )



-Havard

4 comments:

  1. Havard, I've just reached the, AC1010, Thaumont 19: Aliens in the Trench of Ka?, entry of the .pdf document.
    --Bravo! :D

    Thanks, also, for subscribing to TGT. :)

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  2. Any time! Thanks for your comments as always TS :)

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  3. This is a very cool idea Havard. Its kind of like a Blackmoor version of Drow - but much better. I mean Blacklore Elves would be percieved as "evil" by regular elves. A lot could be developed from this idea!

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  4. Dan:
    Thanks! Glad you like it! I agree with you that these elves would be seen as evil, perhaps traitors to their own race. Most Blackmoor Elves might not hate technology, but they will see it as something they themselves should not dabble in.

    In terms of Dark Elves, the Westryn also sort of fill that role, but I see what they are beeing drawn into is something of a more magical nature. The Grim Winter PbP had some interesting ideas on this...

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