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August 9, 2013
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Fantasy Races: [2/4] Elves by Tyshea Fantasy Races: [2/4] Elves by Tyshea
WOW THIS TOOK LIKE TWO WEEKS? Well maybe more like 4 days overall, since I only worked on them over the weekends.

I'll probably be making more (as well as environments and creatures), but first I wanted to explore the races I had in mind for the world me and *Ai-Bee are building for this.
This project is currently unnamed, but it's something I've wanted to do ever since I was in middle school.

A lot of High Fantasy is very overdone and all the designs are inbred, so as a kid I wanted to see a fantasy world that was more diverse, but used a lot of familiar things from the genre.
I realize I'm taking a lot of liberties with the typical interpretations of High Fantasy...but it's fucking fantasy, dude.
What's fantasy without imagination? I always thought the "rules" some people ascribe to were bullshit anyway.
(sorry any Tolkien/D&D-die-hards, this project probably isn't for you)

I reference a lot of cultures and plan to mix them with more typical fantasy elements, but if anyone who belongs to the cultures that inspired me, by all means please let me know if I've done anything seriously wrong or offensive and I will look into it and fix it as best as I can. And yes, I know where the names I'm using came from.

No body shaming will be tolerated. (ʘ‿ʘ✿)

So without any further ado, here is some thought-vomit on each of the races and sub-races!


    Jotun: Famous for their mining, wrought iron, rich ore, and music, the Jotuns are a proud but crude people with hints of their Elven pompousness. Derogatorily known as the Dark Elves, the Jotun are on horrible terms with the Western High Elves, having never let go of a bad blood feud that split the two cultures apart just a century ago. The Jotuns were chased up north, where they developed a new capital city underground and developed surprisingly good relations with the native Ogres, who they currently coexist with peacefully. They have strong military prowess, led by a warrior king or queen who earns the throne through strategic superiority in battle.
    Inspirations and notes: Traditional Russian culture with influence from Medieval Gothic. Sleek and athletic, biggest elf race. North-to-Eastern European features.

    Naiads: Elegant, sophisticated, and snooty, the High Elves are a technologically advanced nation that hold a majority of the influence in the West. While they trade freely with the Myr and Gnomes, they view themselves as culturally superior. They’re known for their alchemy and automated armors, which are employed for all menial jobs in their society. The Goblins were once heavily employed by the Naiads for lower level work, but ever since the invention of their mobile armors, they’ve since freed them, though their menial employment is still apparent in the western sector of the world. Lavish and peaceful, Naiads hold intellectual, magical, and philosophical pursuits in high regard, and are led by a council of elected officials.
    Inspirations and notes: Art Deco era and Decopunk, American Roaring 20’s. Thin fashion-model bodies. White-American features.

    Dryads: The Wood Elves are a carefree people living in the upper branches of the Eastern forest-marshes, which are known to many as a tropical paradise. Good-humored and creative, they’re famous for their artistry in painting, calligraphy, pottery, and sculpting. Over-indulgent in the fine arts and simple pleasures, they’re an open and polyamorous culture that values fun and comfort, earning them the nickname “Nymphs”. While their laissez-faire attitude can come across as insanely irresponsible, their playful, youthful nature makes it hard to dislike them individually. Other than trading with the Garuda, the Dryads tend to keep to themselves. Their expertise in magic is rivaled only by the Fae.
    Inspirations and notes: Ancient Chinese culture, Qing Dyasty. Petite, skinny physiques. Central-to-East Asian features.

    Djinni: A gender-segregated but matriarchal society, the Djinni are a generally peaceful, scholarly culture. Djinn women are the spiritual leaders, politicians, and scientists, while Djinn men are kept to physical work, like smithing, dancing, and military. They believe the female mind is the greatest asset, promoting them to be physically modest; their men, on the other hand, are visually flamboyant and beautiful. Nationalistic and proud, they also greatly value families, and healthy births are celebrated for days on end. The Djinni live in harmony with the Giants, and are well-known traders throughout the world.
    Inspirations and notes: Ancient Persian and Arab culture, mainly Ottoman. Lithe but pronounced/curvy bodies. South Asian/Middle Eastern features.

The other races:

To see more of this world, please visit this gallery!
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Always loved the idea of jötunn as elves. (Pretty sure the Snow Elves in Skyrim are inspired by jötunn as well.) Glad to see there are more people who feel the same.
sunshineLEMONAID Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Just out of a personal curiosity, are there genetic variations within the races? As in, are there dark haired/slightly more olive-skinned Naiads to the southwestern parts of their country, and maybe darker blue Djinni the more within the desert I imagine them to live in?
Tyshea Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Yes! There are quite a few genetic variations. I think with more characters we pop out it'll become more apparent ://>
Thanks for the question!
sunshineLEMONAID Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
A friend and I have an uncle/niece (also adopted father/daughter) pair that would fit so well with the Naiads. Even though they'd be mafiosi hAHA;;;
Tyshea Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
DUDE if you ever wanted to envision them in this world, by all means please! :D
sunshineLEMONAID Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you :D
KimikotheLexicon Featured By Owner Edited Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You know everytime I read about Elves in any story or character profile, they always be known for being snobbish and uppity.

Glad the Dryads broke that rule!
TameTheHarpie Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2014  New member Student Traditional Artist
How do you feel about people making OC's of these races? I /totally/ understand if you would prefer otherwise, but I thought I'd ask, because I just love these races, they're so interesting. but I mean, only you know everything about them and how they should be, so I understand if you don't want others making characters. 
Tyshea Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Oh we'd love it honestly! We put these up in hopes that people would jump on it!
As long as you're patient with us as we work out the world and magic system and all that, we'd both love to see :la:
TameTheHarpie Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  New member Student Traditional Artist
oh wow, that's wonderful! okay great!  : D oh man, that makes me excited, okay well I can't wait to show you guys what I come up with ~ 
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