Welcome to another month’s Tough Travelling, this time with Elves!
Tough Travelling is a monthly feature, which has a new home over at the (very swish) Fantasy Hive (hence the new graphic…)
Shall we see what The Tough Guide to Fantasyland has to say on the subject?
“Elves claim to have been the first people in Fantasyland. They are called the Elder Race. They did not, they claim, evolve like humans, but sprang into being just as they are now.
“The Elves’ claim is borne out to some extent by the well attested fact that their flesh is less gross and substantial than that of humans.
“In looks, Elves are taller and more slender than any humans, and very beautiful. Most of them appear youthful.
“All Elves feel themselves superior to humans and make it very clear that they do not operate by human rules. This is true, in that many of them can do some MAGIC.
“If you meet Elves, expect to have to listen for hours while they tell you how great numbers of their race have become so wearied with the thinning of the old golden wonders that they have all departed, departed into the West. This is correct; many Elves have indeed gone West, to Minnesota and thence to California, where they have great fun wearing punk clothes and riding motorbikes.”
– The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones
Hmm. Elves… *scratches head* … where shall we go to first?
Arwen, Legolas, Glorfindel etc
Lord of the Rings
As if there was any doubt.
But in my defense, you cannot talk about elves and not refer to Tolkien.
Tolkien’s elves are the embodiment of the elves described above; immortal, wise beyond our capabilities of understanding, beautiful in a mournful way.
Please take me to Rivendell!
I raided our Lord of the Rings The Card Game box as the artwork is beautiful
Enna Summerlark and Erasmus
The Summerlark Elf by Brandon Draga
In Draga’s Hallowspire, a deep-seated fear of anything fae and magical is distinctly unwelcome. Enter Enna, an elf, and Erasmus, a half elf. In appearance, the only thing to give them away are their ears. However, Draga’s elves are also intrinsically magic and as such have different talents they can call upon.
The Discworld is always a great place to visit on our Tough Travels, in fact I’m pretty sure I’ve referenced them every month so far.
Lords and Ladies features elves heavily; and in the Discworld, they break through from another realm. They are capricious creatures who use “glamour” and cause destruction, viewing mortal creatures as inconsequential. Incidentally, they also pop up in The Shepherd’s Crown.
I’ve also decided to feature Imp Y Celyn; although he’s not an elf, the following lines have stayed with all these years (in the way many of Pratchett’s lines have a tendency to do):
Finally, the dwarf said, “Are you elvish?”
“You look a bit elvish around the hair.”
“Not ellvish at allll. Honestlly.”
Name The Beast by Samuel Sykes
Described as a shict, Kalindris puts me in mind of an elf; with her pointed ears, her connection to nature. She is a huntress, an elder race, and similar to Pratchett’s elves, treats humans as beasts;
“Because we are shicts. Our tribes came to this world from the Dark Forest. Before humans, before tulwars, before any monkey learned to walk on two legs, we were here. And we will be here long after them. Because to protect this land, they all must die.”
Next month, Tough Travels are looking at shapeshifters! Thinking cap on once more…
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