Pc elffemale 03b magebraids.png

Elves (lat. Homo sapiens nobilis) are a metatype of metahumanity. They are the third most common metatype after humans and orks.[1] The singular form of "elves" is elf.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

Elves (Homo sapiens nobilis) appeared for the first time in 2011. Starting from this year, some human mothers bore dwarvish or elvish children.[3] Medical researchers called the transformation of these babies Unexplained Genetic Expression (UGE). The designation as "Elves" was first coined by the print magazine Newsweek, in an editorial published on March 14, 2011, which American and world media picked up and spread worldwide.[3]

Biology[edit | edit source]

Elves are one of the early metatypes, and thanks to their perceived desirability and above all their impressive longevity, the best-researched metatype.[1]

Phenotypical characteristics[edit | edit source]

Adult elves are on the average slightly taller than humans (≈190cm), and they are usually somewhat more lightly built (i. e. thinner with an average weight of 72kg),[2] giving them narrower frames than humans', which is especially pronounced in their narrow facial features.[4] This slenderness is particularly pronounced in elves of Polynesian and Australian descent. Elven physique is leaner and lighter than that of Norms, even though muscles, tendons and bones are of comparable strength.[2]

Their skin color varies, similarly as with humans, from white to black. Elves have 32 teeth, women two breasts, and ears that end in a prominent tip. [2]

Elven body hair is sparse, [2] almost non-existent in individual cases.[5] Head hair, on the other hand, is thicker than a human's, even if the hair follicles themselves are much finer,[2] giving the hair a "silky" texture.[4] In most elf populations, the hair is straight or slightly wavy, but in some it can also have very tight curls.[2] 

Elves generally have an eyelid crease, which gives their eyes an almond-shaped appearance. Especially in dark-skinned elves, the eyes are often prominent. Like Orks, Elves are endowed with more, and more sensitive, rod cells in their eyes, giving them adequate visual performance with a sixth of the amount of light that a human would need, if not sufficient color perception. For that, they were believed to be naturally nocturnal,[2] but with the exception of the metavariant of the Nocturnes,[6] this claim was not substantiated. [7]

Reproduction[edit | edit source]

Elves usually give birth to a child, but twin births are common, although both twins are not always viable. The normal gestation time for an elf is 360 days (12 months). The average birth weight of an elf as a percentage of the mother's weight is 5.2% and the medically suggested minimum breastfeeding period is 25 months.[2]

Elves mature physically and mentally at the same rate as humans do.[8]

Lifespan[edit | edit source]

Elves' life expectancy is surrounded by much controversy. While early to metabolic testing, it has been shown that Elves have a potential lifespan of several hundred years or more, in the 2050s the theory assumed some 125 years.[9] There are claims that there were elves born before the Awakening, which suggests a lifespan of several centuries,[2] with certain unexplained genes (usually found in powerfully magical elves) giving some an even longer lifespan.[8] This also informs unsubstantiated rumors of Immortal Elves, which supposedly do not age at all, and of whom some are said to be over 10,000 years old [10]. However, these claims are unproven and metabolic studies on the subject are ambiguous. [2] But it is fact that even the oldest elves, born in 2011, still look like they are in their mid-twenties.[10]

Research into elven longevity is quite politicized, motivated by both racism and elven fear thereof, in no small part due to government and private actors of Tir Tairngire and Tír na nÓg intervening.[11] By now, longevity research into elves is a fairly touchy subject.[9] Schools in Tír Tairngire teach, however, that elves can expect a lifespan of some 400 years, barring disease, injury or disaster.[8]

When Elves reach an age of about 25, though, their aging "freezes", as a genetic compound called the "stopwatch complex" (a gene complex in the intron between loci telev and ince31 on chromosome 4) activates. By altering several metabolic and enzymatic functions, elves with an active stopwatch complex cease physical and mental aging. The effects are said to gradually return in the last 100 years of an elf's life, but so far there are no known elves old enough to substantiate that. The stopwatch complex appears to be triggered by ambient mana.[8]

The stopwatch complex doesn't seem to have a deactivation mechanism, and barring old enough elves to study, the mechanism of elven aging remains a mystery - and even immortality can't be ruled out.[8]

Plausible Age table: Elves[edit | edit source]

year / 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
2030 2031 2032 2033 2034 2035 2036 2037 2038 2039
19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
2040 2041 2042 2043 2044 2045 2046 2047 2048 2049
29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38
2050 2051 2052 2053 2054 2055 2056 2057 2058 2059
39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48
2060 2061 2062 2063 2064 2065 2066 2067 2068 2069
49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58
2070 2071 2072 2073 2074 2075 2076 2077 2078 2079
59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68
2080 2081 2082 2083 2084 2085 2086 2087 2088 2089
69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78

Immortal Elves[edit | edit source]

Immortal Elves are a small group of Elves immune to aging. Most are thousands of years old, surviving from the Fourth World to the Sixth World. They can be killed, but will not die of old age.[12]

Metavariants[edit | edit source]

Image of Elf Variants From Left to Right Xapiri Thëpë, Wakyambi,A Night One and Dryad

Elves are the third most common meta type and were found in every, even very isolated, human populations. There are elves in one form or another on all continents and among all ethnic groups. In addition, their metavariants show a smaller deviance from the standard type than is the case with other metatypes. Some, like the Nocturnes, stand out a bit, but even with them, anatomical deviations are limited.[1]

There are five known elven metavariants, but they are all rather rare and geographically limited. In no known case is a local elven metavariant more common than the normal type. [1]

Metavariant deviant characteristics height (⌀) weight (⌀) commonness


1,9 m[13] 80 kg[13] Philippines




  • supernatural charisma and grace[14]
  • close, almost symbiotic relationship with their environment[14]
1,75 m[15] 63 kg[15] global occurrence[1]
Nocturna [16] (also Night Ones)[6]
  • short-haired, black to violet/blue fur, in some cases dark green or orange tint[16]
  • high sensitivity to sunlight[16]
  • nocturnal body rhythm[16]
1,9 m[15] 80 kg[15] Europe,[16] Anatolia,[16] North America[17]


  • very leptosomic physique[16]
  • dark brown to black skin color, rare albinism[5]
2,3 m[15] 145 kg[15] Africa


Xapiri Thëpë


  • Skin has green spots, photosynthetically active tissue[19]
  • high susceptibility to environmental contamination[19]
1,7 m[15] 57 kg[15] Rain forests of the Amazon basin[18]

HMHVV-infected Elves[edit | edit source]

Elves, infected with HMHVV-1 will become Banshees. Elves infected with HMHVV-2 will become Harvesters. Elves infected with HMHVV-3 will become ghouls like any other metahuman.[20]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Elves make up 15% of the world's population. [21] This value varies widely though, depending on local circumstances. While the majority[22] or at least minority-majority[23] by natural expression in Tír na nÓg [23] and the Zulu Nation,[24] and primarily through post-Awakening migration in Tir Tairngire[22] and Pomorya,[25] elves expressed only rarely in countries like Hawai'i,[26] Russia[27] and Austria,[28] and are also rare in Japan,[29] where, as in other countries like the CAS [30] and the California Free State,[31] they suffered various degrees of persecution,[31] deportation[32] and genocide.[29]

Cultural influence[edit | edit source]

No other meta-race has had such an obvious effect on the majority cultures of the Sixth World as elves. They have several ethnic states, their own ethnic quarters in almost every major Sprawl, and many prominent personalities and celebrities belong to their metatype: Elves tend to be quite present in media and culture, politics and society at large. And while they get their share of prejudice, they have to deal with idolization and fetishization as well.[4]

Elven culture[edit | edit source]

More than other metatypes, elves have developed their own culture.[33] This "elven" culture seems influenced by unknown sources, and appears to have roots several thousand years old, based on some prehistoric elven civilization (or so they claim). [34]

And further, elves from different parent, pre-awakening cultures, both independent from elf countries and local subcultures, actually show some pretty interesting similarities. An inclination to respect age and experience more than youth and determination is one of them. A high valuation of artistic expression and beauty is another, both of one's own and that of others. And the spread of the Path of the Wheel, specifically among elves, is a third.[4]

Another commonality is a tendency to be drawn to one another, and to isolate oneself from the rest of metahumanity. Of course, this is also due to the experience of prejudice, rejection and fetishization, but even factorin that in, there is an isolationist trend among elves. They seem to just enjoy each others' company a bit more.[4]

But Elves are not only the centerpiece of "elf culture". Elves are an important part of wider pop culture in Sixth World. Here they are more present than any other metatype, with the exception of humans. To a large extent, this is due to their exotic and appealing appearance, partly also to the mystery of their "old" elf culture and the Elven language, Sperethiel. Elves appeal to other metahumans, whether they like it or not. Many media icons - from models to musicians to star lawyers, politicians and porn stars are elves.[35]

The elven language[edit | edit source]

The language of the elves is called Sperethiel. This language was allegedly reconstructed from an ancient language of a long gone, prehistoric elven civilization, from millenia before the Awakening.[35] This claim is unproven and also questionable on many fronts; nevertheless, Sperethiel has taken root as a language among elves that is astonishing.[36] Sperethiel is known for his complex, song-like inflections and a unique speech melody. [37]

However, Sperethiel undeniably is a complex and organically structured language and has many features of linguistic evolution that an artificial language should not have. It is also apparently unrelated to any living or known dead language. Sperethiel puzzles linguists.[38] Initial research was made difficult by the caution with which the language was taught,[39] but in the 2060s, at the latest there were simply enough speakers that Sperethiel became a language like any other, Linguasofts included.[38]

Even though it is dubbed "Elf Language", not every Elf speaks Sperethiel, [40] nor are all speakers Elves. [38] It is particularly widespread in the Elven nations, as it is the official or, at least, a commonly spoken language there.[41] But among non-elves, Sperethiel is not particularly widespread. Those who still master it often are Elf posers or grew up in one of the Elven nations. [42]

Integration in majority societies[edit | edit source]

Among the metatypes, Elves are best integrated into human majority societies, comparable only to Dwarfs.[33] This is, of course, in no small part due to their perceived physical attractiveness.[4] However, elves do not have to fit into the majority society all that much anyway, because it adapts to them and wants to adopt their characteristics.[43]

Nevertheless, this desire is of course a major contribution to the fact that elves have the opportunity to achieve a good standard of living, and there are many opportunities open to them that other metatypes can only dream of. their presence in the field of media and entertainment is particularly high; and generelly, Elves often take on public roles, where their desirable appearance and natural charm come into their own.[43]

In short, elves mainly work elf jobs. Elves are rarely seen getting their hands dirty. They are more likely to be found behind reception counters than on construction sites. They often are PR consultants, lawyers, politicians, trideo anchors, salespeople, teachers, first violin in the orchestra, band leader, models, or simsense Actors.[43]

Even at the bottom of the social ladder, this is how it works - elves make up a proportion of the prostitutes well above their share of the population, but rarely work at Stuffer Shack. [43]

Fetishization[edit | edit source]

Ever since the first Elves attracted media attention - actually since 2011 - there has been an idealization and fetishization of their metatype. For example, Elven fashion is often copied by other metatypes - and Elven designers are particularly valuable and considered desirable, no matter what they design. [43]

Elves are marketed as eternal winners in the media. They are nicer, more appealing and more popular than humans, let alone other metatypes. Therefore, it is a dream of many a human (and other metatypes, especially Orxploitation-savvy Orks) to adorn themselves with an Elf woman or several, to show off their social standing (this is less often the case with an elf male, but it happens, too). Reality shows like Date or Dump with Keely, the allegedly available "next door elf" exploit this desire. If elves are not as available as suggested by such shows, they of course are perceived as typically arrogant. [43]

But some go a step further. Above all, some humans try to imitate the Elven appearance as best as possible and to completely pretend to be elves in public in order to increase their reputation, but in some cases to be closer to the idealized "being". This subculture is colloquially called Elf posers. [44] The most radical Elf posers actually see themselves as more elven than the elves, some going so far as to insult, attack and even kill Elves who dare to not fit their own, idealized image of what Elven nature supposedly is.[45]  

Clichés[edit | edit source]

According to cliché, elves are either snobby would-be aristocrats, homosexual, tree-hugging "dandelion eaters", or all of the above combined. [35] These clichés certainly have some truth in them - for example, Elves are generally considered vegetarian, and at least many Elves do shun meat.[2]

Other things, however, are rooted primarily in prejudice and misunderstandings. Elves have no particular natural affinity for plants or forest life, are not especially in tune with nature, and they are no more technology aversive than other metatypes. [33]

The proverbial elven arrogance is a more complex issue. [4] Elves, as the "best" metahumanss, are viewed with envy and suspicion by many other metahumans, which can quickly turn into hostility. [33] In particular, Orks and Trolls resent the ease with which Elves fit into and are even celebrated by mainstream (human) culture.[46] A general envy for their longevity certainly plays a role here, too.[34] And elves feel this, both through open rejection [47] as well as by being let down when other members of their friends' own metatype are in the mood to "take the pixie down a peg".[46] Bullying and malice, especially when Elves suffer professional or private setbacks, are a pretty common environmental reaction - Schadenfreude over the perceived impossibility that an elf may have problems. Complaints are often answered with suggestion to "to move to where your kind belongs".[33]

A different take, more openly hostile and popular especially among Newsfaxes in North America, is the allegantion that Elves, following a supposedly ancient tradition, abductbrides to the elven nations, usually via intermediaries from the Ancients. In the Elven lands, they are then forcibly married to an Elven Prince during a ceremony called "Seelie Honeymoon". Rumor has it that other elves in particular, but also attractive human women are threatened. [48]

Naturally, there is no shortage of slurs for elves. "Knife-eared Freak," "Dandelion Eater,"[49] "Pixie,"[50] "Tree Hugger," "Fairy," and "Keeb" (short for Keebler) are among the most common slurs to throw at elves.[50]

All of this leads Elves to distance themselves from other metatypes, and feeds into their perception as arrogant. However, it's not that Elves are entirely innocent in this; just like Dwarfs, Orks and Trolls, it's easier to live with metatypes with the same properties, and often also more comfortable to not have to deal with them. This isolationist tendency (which is also quite prominent with Orks) is generally taken more as an offense when practiced by Elves. And, of course, there are many Elves who are very aware of their longevity and their effect on other metatypes and use both in a targeted manner, to make certain others know they consciously reject them[43] - in Tír na nÓg, for example, other metatypes are treated much worse than humans.[51]  

Elven Nations[edit | edit source]

Elves have created their own countries: Tir Tairngire in western North America, Tír na nÓg (the former Ireland), the Zulu Nation in the Azanian Confederation (formerly South African Republic) and the Duchy of Pomorya in the Northeast of the Allied German States. All those states are more or less strongly isolationist.[43]

Duchy of Pomorya[edit | edit source]

The Duchy of Pomorya is the oldest of the elven states (founded 2030)[43] and one of the most polarizing states of the Alliance of German States. On the one hand an ecologically advanced, technically developed, safe and organized state (which not all parts of AGS can say about itself),[52] on the other hand a dictatorship sustained through terror by racist Elves who violently suppress democratic dissidents. Both notions are true to some extent. After the Second Crash, the system of Elven rule in particular faltered, though[53] - former ruler Jaromar Greif had to abdicate and was replaced by a reform-minded successor.[54]

Tir na nÓg[edit | edit source]

Old Ireland has undergone drastic changes since the Awakening: the country itself has awakened, rapidly growing forests and boglands have pushed the population back, places of power have manifested, and the island has been able to celebrate reunification. But the joy lasted only briefly, because in 2034 an alliance of all-Elf IRA alumni overthrew the old church-borne order, and Ireland became a state dominated by the Elven Danaan Clans, [55] even if elves are only the largest minority, not the majority, of the population.[23] Hidden behind a magical construct called "The Veil" and controlled by the Danaan families, although still nominally a representative democracy,[55] Tír na nÓg is the center of the religion of the Elven relition, the Paths of the Wheel[56] and seat of the mystical Seelie Courts. [57]

Tir Tairngire[edit | edit source]

Tír Tairngire, also known as the "Land of Promise", is a North American state founded by Elves in 2035, inhabited by an Elven majority. The elven state was ruled for nearly three decades with surprising success by the High Prince and Prince Council who had established a neo-feudal system. [58] At the end of the 2050s, conflicts arose within this closed society,[59] and as a result of the Second Crash (and with active help from upstart megacorp Horizon[60]) the High Prince's regime was overthrown. The country has become a more or less functioning democracy since.[61] Many Tairngire elves are less than happy about this, and the regime is still quite unstable. That doesn't seem to impair the nation's economic recovery since the Crash much, though.[62]

Zulu Nation[edit | edit source]

The Zulu Nation elves are best known for the Wakyambi among their ranks, and their status as very isolationist, world-shunning enclave, but also the largest Elven nation, and the only one in Africa. Zulu culture valued the arts and age and wisdom well before the Awakening, and their belief system was astonishingly similar to the Paths of the Wheel, too. Their enormous expression of Elves sealed the deal for the nature of their place in the Sixth World.[43]

Other enclaves and tribes[edit | edit source]

In many other states there are Elven enclaves, such as the Manitou in the Algonquian-Manitou Counchil, own tribes, such as the Sinsearach in the Salish-Shidhe Council, or the Elven Quarter in Seattle. [4]  

Personalities[edit | edit source]

Corporate world[edit | edit source]

Politics[edit | edit source]

Sport[edit | edit source]

Media and Art[edit | edit source]

Underworld[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

Game Information[edit | edit source]

Third Edition Game Statistics: +1 Quickness, +2 Charisma, Low-Light Vision.

Fifth Edition Game Statistics: 2/7 (11) Agility, 3/8 (12) Charisma, Low-Light Vision.

References[edit | edit source]

This page was translated from Shadowhelix's Elfen page

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 o22649160Runner's Companion p. 51
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 o10798697Shadowrun p. 26
  3. 3.0 3.1 o34954845Sixth World Almanac p. 20
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 o02196230Run Faster p. 48 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "rf048" defined multiple times with different content
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 o21216589Shadowrun Companion Revised p. 41
  6. 6.0 6.1 o02196230Run Faster p. 96 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "rf096" defined multiple times with different content
  7. o90387045Shadowrun Second Edition p. 38
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 o21639523Tir Tairngire S. 147
  9. 9.0 9.1 o21639523Tir Tairngire S. 145
  10. 10.0 10.1 o35238545Shadowrun Fifth Edition Core Rulebook p. 50
  11. o21639523Tir Tairngire S. 146
  12. ?The Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia p. 64
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 o98082743Cyberpirates! S. 158
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 o02196230Run Faster S. 95
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 o22649160Runner's Companion S. 48
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 16.7 o22649160Runner's Companion S. 52
  17. o21216589Shadowrun Companion Revised S. 43
  18. 18.0 18.1 o22649160Runner's Companion s. 53
  19. 19.0 19.1 o02196230Run Faster S. 97
  20. ?The Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia p. 66
  21. o02196230Run Faster p. 45
  22. 22.0 22.1 o38715534Shadows of North America p. 143
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 o30783549Shadows of Europe p. 148
  24. o34954845Sixth World Almanac P. 104
  25. Deutschland in den Schatten II
  26. o62306017Paradise Lost p. 65
  27. o70096438Shadows of Asia p. 126
  28. o30783549Shadows of Europe p. 61
  29. 29.0 29.1 o70096438Shadows of Asia p. 74
  30. o38715534Shadows of North America p. 59
  31. 31.0 31.1 o38715534Shadows of North America p. 47
  32. o88144837Seattle Sourcebook p. 17
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 o35702881Shadowrun Third Edition p. 48
  34. 34.0 34.1 Trau keinem Elf p. 131
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 o12707240Shadowrun 20th Anniversary p. 71
  36. o12707240Shadowrun 20th Anniversary p. 130
  37. o35238545Shadowrun Fifth Edition Core Rulebook p. 150
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 o35702881Shadowrun Third Edition p. 91
  39. o10798697Shadowrun p. 61
  40. o35238545Shadowrun Fifth Edition Core Rulebook p. 88
  41. o35238545Shadowrun Fifth Edition Core Rulebook p. 92
  42. o35238545Shadowrun Fifth Edition Core Rulebook p. 11
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 43.4 43.5 43.6 43.7 43.8 43.9 o02196230Run Faster p. 49
  44. o35238545Shadowrun Fifth Edition Core Rulebook p. 81
  45. o51219152Harlequin p. 21
  46. 46.0 46.1 o02196230Run Faster S . 50
  47. Trau keinem Elf p. 23
  48. o32262117Ivy & Chrome p. 18
  49. o10798697Shadowrun p. 161
  50. 50.0 50.1 o35238545Shadowrun Fifth Edition Core Rulebook p. 9
  51. o89952224Tír na nÓg p. 35
  52. Reiseführer in die deutschen Schatten p. 41
  53. Reiseführer in die deutschen Schatten p. 42
  54. Reiseführer in die deutschen Schatten p. 43
  55. 55.0 55.1 o34954845Sixth World Almanac p. 152
  56. o89952224Tír na nÓg p. 66
  57. o89952224Tír na nÓg p. 49
  58. o35702881Shadowrun Third Edition p. 321
  59. o38715534Shadows of North America p. 141
  60. o47023441The Twilight Horizon p. 61
  61. o76933476System Failure p. 107
  62. o07914318Corporate Enclaves p. 42
  63. 63.0 63.1 63.2 o89952224Tír na nÓg p. 61
  64. o53359571Seattle Sprawl: Ruling the Queen City p. 25
  65. o89952224Tír na nÓg p. 113
  66. o89952224Tír na nÓg p. 30
  67. o53846041Spy Games 131
  68. o89952224Tír na nÓg p. 10
  69. o89952224Tír na nÓg p. 31
  70. 70.0 70.1 o89952224Tír na nÓg p. 60
  71. o30783549Shadows of Europe p. 186
  72. o82289667Celtic Double-Cross p. 8
  73. o47023441The Twilight Horizon p. 5
  74. o8315456510 Jackpointers p. 29

Index[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

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