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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Elves

Quick Status — Elves
FoundForests of Dominaria and Rath
Average LifespanHundreds of years

Written by member Yldal

Dominaria is filled to the atmosphere with strange and fantastic species. Minotaurs, merfolk, Viashino, goblins, elves, dwarves, djinns, angels and countless other creatures of fantasy thrive and flourish in Dominaria. The elves of Dominaria are forest-dwelling spirits who guard the fey life from outside forces, ever vigilant and on guard against the forces of darkness and manipulation.

Although the elven races of Dominaria are as varied as the human races, they all have several characteristics in common. Elves are typically smaller and more lithe than humans, and can easily leap from tree branch to tree branch, or sneak through the woods without making a single sound. Their naturally large and pointed ears make for excellent hearing, and their longevity ensures the extended protection for their havens. A lifetime to a human is but a twig to the bountiful tree of an elven lifespan.

In this article, we will order the elves by their place of life, whether it be in the treetops of a magnigoth tree in Yavimaya, or in the barricaded fortresses of Havenwood.

Argothian Elder, by DiTerlizzi Argoth
The Elves of Argoth lived a harmonious and bountiful life worshipping their queen, Titania, allied with the druids of Citanul, and only bothered by the occasional pesky pixie. A thick cloak of stormy clouds that would repel any sane seafarer, and obliterate any insane pirate, hid the island of Argoth. That was before a human who had gotten lost and become trapped in the storms surrounding Argoth, somehow survived the ordeal and crashed into the beach of the island. One of Argoth’s elves, Gwenna, let the human escape from the sylvan island by providing him with wood material for his broken craft. But the human returned, not with allies, but atrocious machines, warfare, destruction and death. These were Urza the artificer’s armies, intent on using the bountiful resources of Argoth to their own end. Although the elves put up valiant defenses against the invaders, even allying with the pixies to achieve this end, nothing could stop the rampaging machines. In the end, only a few elves escaped the obliteration of Argoth by boat, ending up on the continent of Terisiare as the snows of the coming ice age settled, to be the forefathers of the elves of Fyndhorn forest. Argoth was disintegrated by the sylex blast that set about the coming of the cooling climates, and would forever be a model of how little trust can be given to outsiders.

Situated on the continent of Sarpadia, Havenwood was the subject of the cooling climates following the sylex blast of the Brothers’ War. Fruit and vegetables froze and rotted in the suddenly changing climates, and many animals used to the lush temperatures that used to permeate these woods, perished from cold and starvation. The elves of Havenwood lived in barricaded fortresses and organized villages, and survived only by cultivating cold resistant fungi for food. Fungus farmers tended mushroom gardens, and fungi fields. But in tune with the rapidly cooling climates, the fungi were evolving quickly. The production and reproduction of fungus would continue at nighttime, and bigger and more evolved fungi were sprouting everywhere, eventually overgrowing their gardens and fields. In the beginning, the Elves of Havenwood were happy that they had finally discovered a food source that would be even more bountiful as the climate continued to cool, but what they did not expect was the development of sentience in the fungi. The fungi developed sight, motion, and flexibility. The elves named the new species Thallids, after the elven word for nurture. But the Thallids did not necessarily like being the primary food source of what seemed slave drivers. They evolved further, sprouting thorns, growing spikes, gaining poisonous spores, developing teeth and learning the use of weapons. Soon, a Thallid uprising devastated an elven village, and the elves realized too late that what had once been their boon of hope to survive would be their doom, as village after village were laid waste to by the rebelling Thallids. The elves fought back as best they could, but hope seemed pale, as not only were the Thallids not stopped by death, they fed on it. What would be hundreds of dead Thallids after a battle would become thousands of live Thallids by the next month, more evolved, more sentient, more deadly. The elves of Havenwood fought on, retreating to their last barricaded fortresses in the heart of Havenwood, but the Thallids swarmed under walls, through holes, and across branches, eventually overwhelming the elves by sheer numbers and endurance.

Fyndhorn Elder, by Donato Giancola Fyndhorn and Kelsinko
Descendants of the elves who fled the destruction at Argoth, the elves of Fyndhorn forest adapted to the cooling climates better than the elves of Havenwood. The forest’s animals developed fur coating, extra fat and other means to survive the cool, and the pine and fir trees thrived in the chill, soaking their roots in cool groundwater. Worshipping the goddess and planeswalker Freyalise, the elves formed a union with the Druids of the Juniper Order, building shrines of worship and establishing the town of Kelsinko at the edge of Fyndhorn. The elves would teach the rangers of Kelsinko the skills of pathfinding, warding and forestry, and the Druids of the Juniper Order would share their knowledge of magic and spellcasting, all in the name of Freyalise. After their goddess’ casting of the World Spell, the climate changed again, this time growing warmer. Fyndhorn was flooded with the melting ice, and the elves, druids and rangers of Fyndhorn and Kelsinko eventually had to flee the ravaged woods, migrating to another forest on Terisiare, Yavimaya.

Yavimaya Granger, by Henry Van Der Linde Yavimaya
Yavimaya is one of the most ancient forests on Dominaria. Learning from the mistake of Argoth, Yavimaya fortified its defenses, and set up guard against invaders. The welcome they gave the refugees of Fyndhorn was less than warm, the relationship with outsiders strained to the limit. Eventually though, the elves were accepted into the forest, and in time, they abandoned their goddess for the reverie of Yavimaya itself. The forest had given birth to an avatar of Yavimaya, Multani the Maro-Sorcerer. The elves of Yavimaya followed his word, and when Urza Planeswalker, the very same person who had brought about the defiling of Argoth, came to Yavimaya, the elves, gnomes and pixies of the forest sang an endrowsing song for Urza, numbing his senses and cloaking his thoughts in bliss. Yavimaya did what nobody else has done; they trapped Urza Planeswalker for a century inside a living tree, fusing his thoughts with those of Yavimaya. When he eventually escaped his prison, he had shared his soul with Yavimaya for so long, that they had become allies. Multani provided Urza with the Weatherseed, from the heart of Yavimaya, to become the hull of the warship Weatherlight. Yavimaya sped up its mulch rate, developing defenses to prepare for the coming Phyrexian invasion, at a speed rivaling the Thallids. When the Phyrexian invasion commenced, Yavimaya was prepared. The onslaught of Phyrexians was no match for the ferociousness of Yavimaya. Elves, gorillas, giant spiders, druids and kavu, in addition to the forest itself exterminated the threat, eventually even transforming the invaders to protectors of the forest. The victory of Yavimaya would stand as a shining symbol of hope for the other coalition forces of Dominaria. In the later stages if the Phyrexian invasion, Multani teleported a chunk of Yavimaya into the swamps of Urborg, and gave rise to a new species of elf, the Urborg Elves, who fought against Crovax’s minion in the last period of the Phyrexian invasion.

Quirion Elves, by Douglas Shuler Quirion
Originally from the White Woods on Corondor, a contingent the elves of Quirion have adapted to the warm climate of Jamuraa, wearing light clothing and staying in the shade of the lush Uktabi jungle. Here too, the elves have formed an alliance with the druids of the forest, bonding with their common interests to the best interest of both peoples. During the Phyrexian invasion on Dominaria, the Quirion elves and druids had to utilize their best defenses to keep the invaders at bay, getting help from the Uktabi flora and fauna. In Corondor, the biggest population of Quirion Elves remain, separated from their southern cousins by an expanse of ocean.

Llanowar Elves, by Anson Maddocks Llanowar
Llanowar is another ancient forest, situated in the central area of the Domains. The elves living in Llanowar have developed their own unique look with their pale skin and brightly dyed hair. The Llanowar elves wear eye goggles to see heat signatures in sentient beings, which helps them in their zealous defense of the forest. The most celebrous and long-lived Llanowar elf is, of course, Rofellos. Starting out as an Emissary of Llanowar to Yavimaya, Rofellos eventually joined wills with Yavimaya and aided in its defense against the first battle against Phyrexia. Rofellos eventually become crew on the flying warship, Weatherlight, aiding further in the protection against the coming Phyrexian invasion. The elves of Llanowar had received an additional boon in the form of the planeswalker Freyalise, having been abandoned by the elves of Fyndhorn. The most ferocious Llanowar Elves, the Steel Elves adopted Frealise as their Patron Mother and godess. Llanowar had seven elfhames, or kingdoms, each with its own ruler. Their palaces were objects of awe, wonder, and envy, but when the Phyrexian invasion dropped hundreds of plague bombs into the canopy of Llanowar, the king and the other chieftains were slain, and the leaderless elves fled wounded, confused, and hopeless down to the deep caves below the woods. Fortunately, they had received aid from the Skyshroud leader, Eladamri, and desperation turned to hope, tragedy to wonder, and defeat to victory. The elves retaliated, and with the aid of Weatherlight knocking plague ships out of the sky, they bested the Phyrexian forces assaulting the forest.

Seeker of Skybreak, by Daren Bader Skyshroud
The elves of Skyshroud forest were originally from a part of Shanodia, teleported to the artificial plane of Rath by the evincar Davvol. There, they developed an isolated society, ruled over by their appointed leader, the Lord of the Leaves. The forest is situated over a lake of merfolk-infested waters known as Rootwater, and the two nations were continually at war with each other. During the Rathi overlay, Skyshroud forest was overlain into a valley in the frozen nation of Keld, and only an intervention by Freyalise prevented the forest from freezing to death. United again under their current Lord of the Leaves, Eladamri, the Skyshroud warriors joined with the Keldon forces to stand against the invading hordes of Phyrexia.

Whether lone or in an army, elves are a forced to be reckoned with. Their zealous protection of the forests they live in is widely known as one of the most fundamentally natural concepts, and invading their forests could be the last thing you do . . . .

Copyright © 1998 - 2014 and Matthew Manley