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The Color of Elves
The elves in the world of AMD are somewhat different from your familiar fantasy race. In this world, the elves are genetically adaptable to their surroundings. Depending on where and how they live, they may develop certain genetic traits to compensate. As such, a Snow Elf and a Forest Elf are completely different species rather than merely races. Most obviously, this affects the color of their skin, but it can also have more significant effects, such as the chemical balance in their brain (some are bubbly happy while others are perpetually grumpy), how many arms they have, and even whether they have a tail.

Because of the genetic divide between elf species, each group tends to develop their own cultures, beliefs, and morals. For instance, the Snow Elves may value a child born with a new genetic change (they see it as a natural process of elf evolution and do not fear it, they are all optimists), the High Elves tend to exile the children not up to their standards. Pretty much, the only thing they all have in common is the pointy ears, though the High Elves resent it.


The blue-skinned elves that live in the frozen north are known by many names, such as Dark Elves, Ice Elves, Pointy Blue Ears, and even Frost Monkeys, but mostly they are known by the name Snow Elves. Unlike the other species of elves, Snow Elves are much more friendly and easy going with non-elves, and as such there is a much higher percentage of inter-species mingling. Because of the difficulty in saying "Half-Snow Elf" all the time, most outsiders abbreviate it as Half-Snelf, though never to their face - lest they wake to find all their underwear frozen.

Their body temperature operates at a considerably lower temperatures than most other races, allowing them to survive and prosper in the sub-arctic climate. In fact, it is not uncommon to see Snow Elves running around in bikinis while making epic snowmen dioramas depicting famous battles. Though they are able to survive in warmer climates, they tend to complain about it a lot, taking away most of that trademark Snow Elf charm. The Half-Snelfs have the best of both worlds, neither feeling too hot nor too cold at any temperature.

The Snow Elves are a friendly sort, but because of the climate divide between them and most other races, they don't get to intermingle quite as much as they would like. To combat this almost forced isolation, every other year, they host the Winter Games Festival (which is held in summer, because winter in the cold north tends to be dangerous to most other races). This festival is a series of sporting events that all races and cultures are invited to partake in, and has become something of a prestigious event that also doubles as a subversive race war. Some events include snowman archery, skiing, ice sculpting, figure skating, martial arts, and synchronized swimming (the Snow Elves always win the latter). The event which generates the most interest and gambling would have to be the Ice Gauntlet, a frozen obstacle course that has competitors trying to race down Icepeak Mountain in any way possible while avoiding angry yeti, avalanches, and even the dreaded spitting penguins.

Though mostly insular, it is not too uncommon to see Snow Elves or Half-Snelfs walking around in other parts of the world. They tend to be quite adventurous, and it is the dream of many young Snow Elves to get out and experience the rest of the world. Perhaps the most famous Snow Elf is Avrrun Frostblade, the now legendary mercenary and five time synchronized swimming gold medal winner, who mysteriously disappeared one day for absolutely no reason at all. Another famous face is that of the dreaded Half-Snelf vampire lord Fluffy, though they don't tend to put him on the brochures. He was last seen drinking the blood of the innocent and trying to conquer the world through excessive undead force.


The High Elves are the race of elves which most resemble humans. Outside of the pointed ears and the doubled lifespan, one would have trouble telling the two apart - which irritates the High Elves to no end. This is because they feel that humans are loud, stupid, and dirty. Especially dirty. And stupid. Actually, they think that about pretty much all the other races in the AMD world. They tend to think rather highly of themselves and present quite arrogantly, usually dressed in flowing gold robes and accompanied by dozens of slaves wearing gold loin clothes.

The ironic part is that a vast majority of their arrogance stems from the achievements of their ancestors and not because of anything they are actually capable of themselves. They have associated intelligence with being a High Elf and not from actually doing intelligent things, so over the years, they've grown genetically complacent, stupid, and ignorant - and never really noticed. A lot of their technology and customs are ancient and their purposes have long since been lost to time. Even though they no longer know how anything works or why exactly they put on funny robes, light candles, and chant words they don't understand, they still think that makes them smarter than everybody else who know only slightly less about the whole thing than they do. They haven't created or contributed anything to the rest of the world in centuries, but they still believe that they are the caretakers of the world and that the world exists only to serve them.

They live in the fabled Spired City, a towering and technologically magnificent keep, wide as a small city at the base, spiraling and tapering off far above the clouds. It is located in the middle of the Green Grassy Plains, and it's enormous size makes it visible from quite a distance away. It is frequently used as a navigation device by trading caravans, though most of them refer to it as "the big penis". At the base of this spire is a city of straw huts that is populated mostly by Low Elves (High Elves that have been exiled from the spire for being genetically "inferior" or tripping during a ceremony) and human farmers, referred to as the Lowerlings.

Because the High Elves present themselves with such stature and class while exhibiting the grand technology of their ancients, the Lowerlings haven't quite figured out that they are stone stupid and would probably stab themselves in the eye with a fork if given half the chance. Instead of pitying them, the Lowerlings actually worship the High Elves as gods, offering a weekly tribute of food in their honor, creating a symbiotic relationship where the Lowerlings are doomed to a chronic inferiority complex and the High Elves somehow manage to not starve to death - it's a win/win situation for all parties.

The High Elves are ruled by a Council of Elders, whose most recent piece of legislation involved the banning of forks. This council is presided over by the Highest Elf, who is not actually a High Elf at all, but a power mad human with fake ears. Though not a High Elf physically, his attitude and greed are one hundred percent High Elf. In fact, he may be a better High Elf than the High Elves are. He also makes an exceptional leader for them, as being human has blessed him with an average IQ. He is truly the one eyed king in a land of the blind.

The rest of the Humans tend to refer to these types of elves as Plain Elves - not because they are from the plains, but because it tends to piss them off. The High Elves tend to refer to humans as a certain word in ancient Elvish that even they aren't sure what means, but they say it really nasty like, so the point gets across crystal clear.


The Forest Elves are a green, entirely female race of elves that live in the Great Woods (go through the Dark Forest, and take a left at the Not-So-Great Woods) with the Leaf Dwarfs, whom they passionately despise. Trained from birth to commune with nature, the intense deforestation and commercialization that the Leaf Dwarfs have been responsible for is a slap in the face against everything they believe. However, they only kill and destroy when they have to or when it is part of the natural order of things, so they've decided to show their displeasure by waging a war of pranks against the Leaf Dwarfs. They even give out awards to the best ones (the last one involved a whoopee cushion and a three hundred pound papier-mache rabbit).

The Forest Elves live in a variety of small and well hidden villages. They are so well hidden that you could literally walk right through it and never notice. It's actually an ongoing problem with Forest Elf children. They tend to leave the village only to forget where it was. They found a rather simple solution to this, which was simply to erect a small wooden sign that says "You are currently in a Forest Elf village." Most outsiders would read the sign, look around, and think it was a prank. The teenage Forest Elves take way too much pleasure from sitting in the trees and laughing as passerbys become visibly befuddled at the sign. Sometimes they throw rocks.

Forest Elves are trained from a young age to be huntresses and priestesses, living respectfully off the land and its animals. Some of the more mystical Forest Elves have the limited ability to speak to the trees, and even ask them for help on occasion. It is not entirely uncommon to wander the woods and stumble upon a lone elf in the forest playing a game of cards with no one in particular. Those that do not take up mysticism will turn towards nature. These hunters learn an excellent ability to have the pigmentation in their skin change to match the environment, not unlike a chameleon. However, they have not yet managed to invent clothes that can follow suite, so should you happen to actually catch a color changing hunter in action, it would probably make your day.

Because they are entirely female, they have a rite of passage during which they are sent out into the world, using makeup to hide their telling green skin, to find a mate and become pregnant. This rite is to be undertaken before their 100th birthday (they live past 300 due to their healthy lifestyle). Before embarking on the rite, they are trained by the elders in modern day courting practices and taught how the different cultures out there think and act. However, because of the elders' limited exposure to the outside world, they tend to have their facts pretty much completely backwards, leaving the coming of age Forest Elves vastly unprepared to meet the challenge.

Despite requiring the help of outsiders to breed, all babies are born green, female, 100% Forest Elves. It is believed that the genetic material from the father is not so much incorporated into the baby's genetics, so much as it is just used as a catalyst to get the incubation process going.


Very little is known about the Devil Elves, a race of jet black, red eyed elves with four arms, horns, and a forked prehensile tail. They live in the magma caves deep below Mount Fireburp, the largest and most active volcano in the known world. It is far too hot within these magma caves for any normal living creature to breathe, much less avoid spontaneously bursting into flame, so no explorer has ever ventured far enough in to see how the Devil Elves live.

The speculation on exactly who the Devil Elves are is practically endless. Some believe the Devil Elves to be blind, while others insist that they are cannibalistic. Are they intelligent or mere animals? Nobody knows for sure. Not a day goes by that some random explorer doesn't burst into the local tavern to tell outlandish stories about their encounters with the Devil Elves. Nothing more than fairy tales. Nobody has ever seen a Devil Elf, or at least provided any sort of proof that they had. And yet, everybody knows what the Devil Elves look like and that they smell of faint brimstone.

The Devil Elves may or may not be the result of the runaway imaginations of superstitious people, but one thing is for certain: if you peer down a dark cave that leads into Mt. Fireburp, you may just find two glowing eyes staring back at you.


The last of the known elf races would be the ruthless Sea Elves. They live on a small band of islands out to sea just south of the Shortlings' home territory. With gills, webbed feet, and a shiny gray sheen to their skin, the Sea Elves terrorize the ocean surrounding their islands. They are fiercely territorial, so if your ship were to go even a little off course, they may decide to attack, sinking your ship and killing your crew. They always let the captains go, minus a limb or two, as a warning to other sea captains who may fall asleep at the wheel and veer too far off course.

Their villages are found along the mile wide shorelines that circle each of the dozen islands. These villages are made up of elaborate, hardened sand structures, some of which would rival any stone castle in both size and scope. They can be multiple stories tall and sometimes feature advanced architecture, such as catwalks, bridges, or breezeways. The Sea Elf people have managed to tame giant crabs, which they ride atop like steeds, while poking enemies with their three pronged tridents. On the largest island, in the largest part of the largest shore, they've even built a gladiatorial ring where the populace can get together and watch mounted crabriders battle to the death.

Behind their warlike exterior exists a soft and gentle side that is rarely seen by outsiders. They have an intense love of bad poetry, going so far as to actually try to speak at all times in rhyming couplets (some of them are better at this than others). If you visit them at the right time of year, you'll catch them during their annual dirty limerick contest. In fact, the best way to ensure your safety when captured is to tell them the worst poetry you could possibly think of - if they like it, you may be let free (minus a limb or two, of course).

The Sea Elves have a treaty with the Pirate King Caleb, whose own hobby in dirty limericks had saved his life many times. In exchange for terrorizing outsiders, his crew is given unfettered access to the ocean around the islands. Every year, the pirate king is given an honored seat as judge for the limerick contest. He has the distinction of being the first non-Sea Elf ever to win the grand prize, for his epic limerick "Ode to the Whores of St. Bucket". His poetry is truly horrible in every way and has lead to his eviction from many a tavern, so it is good that he was able to find solace in a place that appreciates his low brow mangling of language for what it really is.


There are many races that populate the land, such as the fearsome Lizard Tribe, the adorable Furfolk, the petite Shortlings, the enterprising Leaf Dwarfs, and even the dirty, stupid Humans. But none of these races feature quite the diversity in thought, culture, and ability that the cornucopia of elves out there do. Hopefully, this small guide has been helpful in illuminating some of their many differences and given you some insight into AMD's most genetically flexible race.



Copyright 2001 - 2008 Sean Howard. All rights reserved.