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Elves are one of the many races that are found on the world of Krynn. Notable elves include Gilthanas, Tanis Half-Elven, Dalamar the Dark, Porthios, Solostaran (Speaker of the Suns), and Laurana. The organized Elven Nation itself is broken into two pieces: Qualinesti and Silvanesti. There are also many kinds of elves found on Krynn besides those who live in Qualinesti and Silvanesti. Elves are slender, and slight in stature, and most have magical abilities.
In the beginning of time the original elves, fearing the mountains where the evil ogres lived and the plains where the short tempered humans were settling, decided to adopt the woods as home. After battling the evil dragons with the help of the gods of magic, the realm of Silvanesti was founded and named for Silvanos, the first leader of the elves.
As time developed, the Silvanesti elves became more secluded, stopping contact with the other races. Their society divided into different castes, creating a social discrimination that ultimately led to the division of their realm into the Silvanesti and the Qualinesti elves.
In ancient age, the Silvanesti elves were known to have telepathic powers, reserved for the royal household to communicate with subordinates through Silvanesti. After the Cataclysm, its use diminished. By the time the War of the Lance began, the use was restricted to the royal household itself, and disappeared soon after the war.
The Silvanesti elves believe themselves the Firstborn of the gods. Using their magical powers, they twist the trees in the region to shape them into structures of marble and silver, and do not have contact with other races, except for their servants, the Kagonesti.
The authors have defined that, due their extended time apart, the Qualinesti and Silvanesti elves developed different accents. Also, as a trait, the Silvanesti elves have finer features.
The Qualinesti elves are Silvanesti ones who decided to follow Kith-Kanan, the younger of Silvanos' grandsons, to a new land with the promise of social equality and more interaction with the outer world. The turning point for this event came with the Kinslayer Wars, where elves of Silvanesti fought humans and elves in service of the Emperor of Ergoth, to expel Ergothian forces from Silvanesti's western border lands. After the war, Kith-Kanan decided to leave for the western lands, followed by his closest friends.
Kith-Kanan founded the Qualinesti realm based on the premise of freedom and equality, naming himself the Speaker of the Suns, founding a Tower of the Sun in the capital city of Qualinesti, Qualinost, however, was later destroyed, forcing them to begin another journey to another new land alongside the Qualinesti.
Contrary to the Silvanesti, the Qualinesti elves prefer not modifying the trees in which they live. Instead, they construct buildings based on the form of the trees, giving their cities a slightly twisted look. The qualinesti have a broader contact with other races, including trading agreement with the mountain dwarves of Thorbardin and the hill dwarves of the plains, humans of Ergoth, Tarsis and Istar (before the Cataclysm).
Also known as wild elves; elves that are attuned to nature, and considered barbarians by the Qualinesti and Silvanesti. They sport tattoos in different parts of the body, including the face, usually symbolizing their close relationship with nature.
Contrary to the Silvanesti and the Qualinesti elves, the Kagonesti prefer living in the natural caves and trees, and never build unless the situation forces them to. In addition, they dismantle anything that is unused, in an attempt to leave the land as they had found it.
The Kagonesti are considered slaves by the Qualinesti elves. However, the Silvanesti consider them belonging to House Servitor, the lowest class of social status.
Although in some sections of the books they are referred as Kaganesti, Tracy Hickman explains that this is a "problem with phonetic translation", where northern elves pronounce it as Kagonesti.
The seas and oceans of Krynn are home to two distinct races of elves, the Dargonesti and the Dimernesti.
The Dargonest are a race of sea elves. Their name means "Deep Elves", and they live in deeper water. They do not make themselves known to the majority of races in Dragonlance. They share the common elven pride, but differ from their land based cousins in that they are zealous in all they do and fiery in demeanor. They are shy around other races and are wrongly considered uncultured. Dargonesti strive for peace in their communities. They are capable of transforming into dolphins.
Dargonesti are the tallest of all elves, with males reaching 7 feet and females 6 feet. Compared to other elves, they are heavily built, but still thinner compared to humans. Dargonesti have deep blue skin and webbed fingers and toes, along with gill slits beneath the pointed ears all elves share. Dargonesti can have pale gold or dark green hair and the odd black or silver haired one. They have large eyes with narrow pupils, eye color ranging from blue green to indigo. Dargonesti have incredibly long life spans, sometimes reaching 1000 years. Dargonesti wear little clothing, sometimes seaweed underwater. They wear heavy clothing if they ever go to the land.
Dargonesti are extreme isolationists. Sometimes they interact with sentient marine life, but keep to themselves mostly. They are scornful of the Dimernesti, the other race of sea elves. They also harbor distaste for Silvanesti and Qualinesti, who considering both races of sea elves arrogant, for leaving land and going to the sea. They are more friendly to Kagonesti. Non-elven races are interesting to the Dargonesti, known to save ships containing them, with the exception of minotaurs and draconians, who they would rather let drown. Minotaurs are fearful of the Dargonesti.
Dargonesti value freedom of choice, but can be lawfully aligned. Most sea elves are good, because any evil ones are exiled as dark elves. Evil Dargonesti are magically revealed, their shape shifting changing from becoming dolphins to becoming sharks. Zeboim, goddess of the sea, protect these elves, and these "dark elves" often work against their former society.
The Dargonesti country is called Watermere, and the capital goes by the same name. It is ruled by the Speaker of the Moons, and the Speaker is advised by a council of clan patriarchs and matriarchs known as Speaker of the Blood. Watermere is about 2000 years old, having been taken by the Dargonesti from monsters and defended since then. Most of the world's events left it untouched, but the War of Souls ravaged it. They keep small well equipped fortresses throughout the kingdom. These are often occupied by the Dargonesti clans. Recently, many of these have become dilapidated. When the Cataclysm sank Istar, the Dargonesti moved into the ruins.
The Dargonesti are religious, having faith even during the time the gods were absent. They are worshipers of Habbakuk and Chislev, the good god of the sea and the neutral goddess of nature, respectively. They have shrines to Zeboim as a way of placating her. They are also known to worship Branchala, Mishakal, Kiri-Jolith, and Majere, the god of music, the goddess of healing, the god of holy war, and the god of monks respectively. The Dargonesti also revere Solinari, Lunitari, and Nuitari, the gods of magic, for their power over the moons of Krynn.
The Dargonesti language is based on the Ancient Elven, still using the Silvanesti alphabet but much changed. The actual language is much changed, however. In the sea, it sounds like the clicking of dolphins.
Dimernesti elves are located in the shallower waters of the ocean, their name meaning "Shoal Elves". They are strongly independent, similar to the Kagonesti people. Various losses incurred over the centuries have made them surly. They have lost their trust in all other races. They are cool and curt when speaking to other races. They have the power to transform into sea otters.
Dimernesti are very tall for elves, males reaching 6 1/2 feet and females 6 feet. They are heavily built compared to other elves but slim in comparison to humans. Dimernesti have light blue skin, with webbed toes and feet. They have gills beneath traditional elven pointed ears. Dimernesti have silver hair which is often worn long, braided with shells and the like. Dimernesti typically live about 500 years. They wear little clothing, sometimes covering themselves with seaweed, and wearing cloaks and robes if they happen to be on land.
Dimernesti, prior to the Cataclysm, had good relations with the land-based races, even with their Silvanesti cousins. After the Cataclysm struck, they reformed into small, family based groups and cut off ties to the world. The War of the Lance forced them together with the Dargonesti to fight evil, but the Dragon Overlords' coming broke that relation. They have drawn back into their isolation, thinking themselves abandoned to the terrors of Brynseldimer, the sea Dragon Overlord.
The Dimernesti believe in freedom of choice, and generally align with good, as evil Dimernesti are exiled as dark elves. When a Dimernesti is suspected of evilness, they are magically tried and, if guilty, exiled and lose the ability to shapeshift into otters and instead become manta rays. These elves actively work against their old homeland.
The only current Dimernesti city is Dimernost, though before the Cataclysm they had many cities near the coast. The destruction destroyed many of these, and the family groups the Dimernesti split into chose not to build new cities but instead lived in natural formations like coral reefs. Every so often, the Dimernesti raid towns on land for supplies. The Dimernesti are ruled by the Speaker of the Sea, who lives in the Tower of the Sea. It is a hereditary position always held by a female. When Brynseldimer arrived, the Speaker lost contact with the remote families.
The Dimernesti primarily worship Habbakuk and Chislev, the god of the sea and the goddess of nature, respectively. They have shrines to Zeboim in order to keep her ire from them, and sometimes revere Branchala, the god of music, Mishakal, the goddess of healing, Kiri-Jolith, the god of holy war, and Majere, the god of monks.
The Dimernesti language is very close to the Silvanesti tongue, and many Dimernesti speak the language of the people of Ergoth and the minotaur languages.
Dark elves are those who have turned to evil, and they are dealt with harshly if discovered. In Silvanest, once this happens, their names are struck from the records, and they are banished forever. The most prominent dark elf is Dalamar the Dark.
- Harold Johnson, John Terra, J. Robert King, Wolfgang Baur, Colin McComb, Jean Rabe, Norm Ritchie, Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, Jeff Grubb, Doug Niles, Michael Williams (1992). Tales of the Lance. TSR. ISBN 1-56076-338-8.
- Margaret Weis, Don Perrin, Jamie Chambers, Christopher Coyle (2003). Dragonlance Campaign Setting. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3086-1.
- Trampas Whiteman, Cam Banks, Clark Valentine, Sean Macdonald (July 2007). Races of Ansalon. Sovereign Press. ISBN 1931567352.