2021-09-07, 10:57 AM (ISO 8601)
Re: What's Your Most Off-Beat Setting Detail?
Hmm, I'm not certain if it's off-beat. But I think what I've done with elves is somewhat interesting in a way that explains them.
Elves, in my setting are Tolkienesque so they don't die of old age. Some powerful diseases and weapons can still ravage them, of course. Over the centuries they have been warped by essentially the equivalent of the Feywild to feel emotions deeper and wilder than any of the other race. When they find something happy they will cheer and holler as loud as a child. But when something sorrowful occurs they fall into deep and terrible depression.
Over the centuries, these sorrows inevitably build up. Causing the elf to shrivel away unable to move or eat or think other than to dwell on their misfortunes and losses. So elves systematically cut themselves off from their path. Forcing decades or centuries of their own lives into the deep subconscious parts of their mind. Along with all the experiences and skills they've accrued that have now been tainted by their sorrows. It is not impossible to see a master craftsman or great warrior one day, only to find they have cut off all their learning about their craft or skill at arms because of something they've experienced that tainted what they once dedicated their life to.
And to be certain that they do not have their subconscious mind bring their burdens on them unwanted, the elves have cut themselves off from sleep.
But those skills and experiences are still in there. And when the need is dire, an elf might try to call upon the skills they've locked away. But in so doing they risk having all their sorrows return to them. And if these sorrows prove too much, an elf may choose to end their misery. Many choose to go wandering so their grief does not affect others, but sometimes an elf is more direct and obvious, and their grief then spreads through the elves that knew them like a wildfire.
There is only one elf that seems unaffected by this. One who claims to be the first and oldest of all elves, the Eternal King. Who may be the most powerful and knowledgeable character in the world, who remembers everything he's seen and done throughout his life. And that's because the sorrows of others does not effect him at all. Because he's a sociopath.