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Green Elf Sketches 2

Posted Jan 26, 2018, 11:03:04 PM

Concept sketches for Green Elf adventuring mage gear and a few sword and dagger ideas.

The setting I'm worldbuilding where Green Elves exist is actually a kind of sci-fi/fantasy blend with magitech, and a (magically-assisted) tech level a bit past our own. Thus, while Green Elves once almost exclusively wore leaves, petals, and vines as clothing, modern Green Elf attire takes inspiration from these roots while working with textiles like cotton and hemp (no leathers or animal-based materials), in some cases reinforced with resinous saps and other plant substances to provide an alternative to hides and leathers for protection. They do also use metal for sword blades and some armor.

Also, unrelated to this particular sketchbook page, but something worth mentioning as long as I'm going to be sharing Green Elf stuff on this site: Elves as a whole (this includes Green Elves, Avian Elves, and all other subraces) in my setting are mono-sex. And by that I don't mean they're all female, because that really misses the point of a mono-sex race in my opinion. They don't even have a concept of sex or gender because their species doesn't have the kind of dimorphism that others do. That said, they do exhibit feminine primary and secondary sex characteristics (breasts, hips, etc) because they do give live birth to their young and they do breast feed them as well, as they are mammals, so if you want to think of them as an "all female" race I can't stop you, but trust me when I say that's missing the point.

They reproduce via a form of abiogenesis. A single elf can choose to be a parent all on their own, with no partner, which will produce a very genetically similar child. They can also take a sample of genetic material (this can be anything with cells--and therefore DNA--from the other parent-to-be; a hair, a drop of blood, a leaf from a green elf's head, a feather from an avian elf, etc) to increase the genetic variation of their child.

They are similar in some ways to the Asari of the Mass Effect series, but without the oversimplification of calling them an "all female" race, and without the--quite frankly--blatant catering to the fantasies of a presumed straight, cisgender male audience.

I also got some inspiration for them from the Sylvari from Guild Wars 2, who are a fairly fascinating race who are born sterile from a mother tree (and the only way for more sylvari to be born is from one of these trees, which grows sylvari in "seedpods"). I always felt Syvlari--while fascinating and amazing--were a big lost opportunity to explore what it would mean to be an inherently sexless race. Instead, they gave them physically dimorphic bodies in binarily gendered options for character creation, which I personally find rather disappointing.

When it comes to gender, the language of my elves has no gendered pronouns, gendered titles, words, etc. When interacting with races who do have these things, and learning their languages, elves tend to simply choose the pronouns that sound the prettiest to them. An elf may ask that they be called she, he, or they simply because they like the sound of one of them. That said, they tend to think gendered pronouns are kind of silly.

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  • Jan 27, 2018
    The swordblades look very LOTR to me. Were you thinking that direction, a bit, or was it just a happy coincidence?

    And noted, on the monogender species! I've run into a couple of kinds of magic folk who come in all-femme but both of them are fairy-variants. It's neat to see it applied to elffolk.
    • Jan 27, 2018
      You caught me. While I don't have the highest of opinions of the LOTR movies (though I don't have the lowest opinion of them either, for me they were just...okay?), I was looking at images of sword props they used in the films when I designed these. I worry they're too derivitave, in fact; I want to make the designs unique, and I added unique elements, sure, but I'm not a swordsmith, so I've no idea how to go about creating blade designs from scratch while keeping them practical and usable.

      Oooh, tell me about these mono-sex fairy folk! Assuming you remember. I love a good all-femme race (not that I'm biased in the least, being a lesbian and all. Hehe...heh. <.< >.> )
      • Jan 27, 2018
        LOTR for me... I'd been a Tolkien fangirl since I was a bitty thing, and it was just intensely important to me to see somebody trying to adapt that world - somebody who wasn't working for Rankin-Bass! I had peeves with it, but I had Strong Feelings about the whole thing even when some of the Feelings were negative. :p

        If you're looking to design swords, maybe googling around for some images of real sword and knife types and finding one that looks appealing before you start adding decorations could be useful?
        ---
        Um - there was one group who were the tiny kind, born from trees adults had merged bits of their souls with although not (I think?) from pods - lived in a kinda edge-of-Renaissance tech country, and had a telepathic bond thing they could do both within and outside of species which had connotations of "I'm picking you as family, we are now eachother's guardians."
        It's believed that historically the bonding was partly a way to recruit allies for fairies to protect themselves in a world with several other magically-endowed races.

        The other group I'm thinking of, reproductive method's unknown - they come in human size, normally have elemental magic (exceptions for a few individuals I'm not sure whether they were engineered somehow, or born as an ordinary element and then magically upgraded to fit whatever the kingdom needed them for, or if once every so many faeries you just get one unique...) Many of them seem to see themselves in some kind of guardianship role over their world, either assigning themselves as caretakers of particular locations (a forest, a mountain, an ancient city -) or bestowing blessings and magical powers on the mortals nearby in exchange for minor favors.

        Neither group's creators, sadly, seemed to think very far through gender and sexuality implications of their cultures.
        • Jan 28, 2018
          *nod, nod* Don't get me wrong, I loved the LOTR books when I was young, too. In fact, my "sperm donor" (what I call the man most people would call my "father," who I've more or less disowned; he certainly has his reedeming traits, but he was very abusive to me, my sisters, and my mother growing up (and yeah, I do maybe have trust issues when it comes to men because of him. I'm working on it.)) would read them with me when I was little. As I matured, I've found a lot of problematic elements with them to be upset about, and admittedly, the mental association between that universe and my sperm donor might be part of the reason I hold the LOTR books and films at a certain emotional distance.

          I'm glad they're so meaningful to you though, and I certainly don't mean to diminish or criticize that. I also enjoyed both the books and the films, in spite of the above. ^^

          And yeah, tbh I'm probably gonna keep the basic inspiration from the elven swords in the LOTR movies simply because I like the aesthetic, but I'll work to distinguish them further and making them into my own original thing as I've no interest in being a copycat. For one thing I need to add evidence of modern technology in their design, like a power source and a slot for elemental "cores" (a fun modern melee weapon bit of magitech in my world) on the blades.

          ---

          Ooooh both of those do sound interesting, lack of thought RE: gender/sex implications aside.
          • Jan 28, 2018
            ...Ah. Yeah, I can understand getting a little burned out on things tied to memories of Difficult People. >.<

            What does an elemental core look like? And how big does it need to be?
            • Jan 29, 2018
              long and thin, cylyndrical. It's basically just a long vial of "essence" of a particular element (fire/earth/water/air/others in my setting like dream, life, death, etc) in liquid form, which adds an effect to the blade based on it's element, With dream, you can actually make your blade phase through an enemy and put them harmlessly asleep; good for those who don't want to kill if they don't have to.
              • Jan 29, 2018
                Oh, right, it does also need a power source to work. The core is slotted into a core-ready blade in the designated core housing, and an elecrtrical current from a small battery "activates" the core, producting the desired effect. The core will eventually run out with use, and need to be ejected and another fitted in.
              • Jan 29, 2018
                Is the vial opaque or transparent? Would you put differentiating markers on the outside if it's opaque, for easier visibility when reloading? If it's transparent, what does the "essence" inside *look* like?
                • Jan 30, 2018
                  transparrent, and the essence is Color Coded for Your Convenience*, but the cores do also have labels (wouldn't be very nice to color blind people if they didn't)

                  The essence is a thick, viscous fluid, like syrup. Inert, it is just a thick liquid with a ditinct color and odor based on the element (fire core might smell like ashes, earth core might smell like soil, etc, etc). Activated, it glows, and uncontained, activated essence could cause serious damage to anything it touched until the electrical charge wore off (thus why it's kept in cores and other carefully sealed containers at all times).

                  Essence-based ammunition for firearms also exists. What makes melee weapons not-obsolete is the prevalence of personal shielding units which allow one to get in close enough to deal damage without being mowed down where you stand.

                  *yes that is a tvtropes reference
                  • Jan 30, 2018
                    ...I think Dune did that. Having shielding popular, at least among the moneyed classes, which could deflect projectile weapons, thus forcing low-tech fighting methods to be a thing. (Not that Dune wasn't seriously screwed up in a lot of ways, but some elements of the worldbuilding were fascinating.)
                    • Feb 5, 2018
                      A lot of sci-fi games and other media do that too. I'm thinking magitech shielding similar in function to the personal energy shields in the Halo series of first person shooter video games (it's a very male-dominated game series, I know, but I went through a phase where I really enjoyed it; especially shattering dudes' fragile masculinity when I wiped the floor with them while using voice chat. They'd get all quiet and grumpy, like they weren't gonna say it bothered them that a girl beat them, but you could totally tell it did...well, when they didn't yell misogynistic slurs at me, but I digress)

                      Anyway the point is that series had shields that would stand up to a number of hits from firearms, but could be punched through with consistent fire, and melee weapons would break shields almost immediately, so it was a balancing act between rushing someone with a sword and getting your shields depleted and shot down before you got there vs playing it safer from a distance with guns. I tended to favor the slice 'n' dice approach whenever I could get my mitts on an energy sword or gravity hammer. Esp when I would drop down from a high alcove right behind some hapless dudebro. Big Smile
                      • Feb 6, 2018
                        Dune was published 1965... I wonder if that makes it old enough to be a trope-establisher?

                        It makes a lot of sense to use it as a game mechanic as well though - add a little extra challenge!
  • Jan 31, 2018
    That is a neat bit about their biology, it reminds me of mers in my headworld- they loosely have two sexes, but they both can carry out either parental role. It still takes an A part and a B part to make a baby, but either parent can carry the eggs as they fertilize. As such, they have almost no differentiation between the sexes and have ungendered pronouns, and are also on the evolutionary route to having one sex that can have a kid with any individual of their race.

    Nice change of setting with how the green elves are, one would think green like nature and think they were very anti-tech, but these ones take a very different approach Smile The abiogenesis bit is nice, it's way different than what most people do with elves and covers the diversity issue that asexual reproduction has.
    • Feb 5, 2018
      Oooh your mers sound very intersting.

      And thanks. Smile My partner is ace, and I think I fall somewhere on the asexual spectrum myself (it's complicated), so I wanted to create a race that not only blatantly defies the sex/gender binary, but doesn't require a sexual act to reproduce. They can "mate" with a partner, but like I mentioned it really just involves taking a bit of genetic material and placing it in the body in a particular place.

      RE: anti-tech, tbh I've always hated it when nature-loving races were adamantly against modern technology. Like it doesn't really make a ton of sense when you examine the logic there. Instead, I wanted to have a fantasy culture that embraced the natural world, technology, and magic in equal measure, recognizing the importance of each and what each brought to the table, and how they could be used in synergy with each other.
      • Feb 5, 2018
        Thanks! I'll get around to posting some art of them here eventually Smile

        Ace people are under-represented, it's nice to hear about more people like myself~ I appreciate when people make efforts to add unique things like that to their races instead of passing it off skin deep with different colors and weird ears or something basic.

        The anti-tech trope is pretty overused, and it doesn't make sense why the people wouldn't want to make advancements that benefit both nature and themselves, like, isn't that what weapons are? If they want to seriously be all natural, say good-bye to person-made shelters, clothes to keep you warm in winter, cooking to keep your food fresh, and on and on. It's good that you thought a way for nature loving people to keep up with science~