Elves vs. Humans Part 1– The Elves of Aviandria

This week is supposed to be something about Aviandria or the people who live there. I had planned to do some things with a few of the characters in the next book, but I’ve had some interest expressed about the difference in culture between the Elves and Humans in Aviandria, so I figured I would address that. The answer itself is simple, but the explanation is a bit more lengthy. To really set up the answer, it is helpful to know more about the Elves of Aviandria, as well as a bit of the early history of Aviandria. Together, those could make a long post, so if it gets too long, I’ll break it up into at least two parts. To begin with, I’ll try to give a concise explanation of the Aviandrian Elves.

For those who have read the books, you already know that the difference between Aviandrian Elves and Humans are much more subtle than in other fantasy worlds. In case you haven’t read the books, here is the basics you should probably know about.

1- In many fantasy realms, the Elves are immortal, or at least live much longer than Humans unless they are killed in battle or something. In Aviandria, the Elves have about the same lifespan as humans. They are susceptible to disease, old age, or any other ailment common to humans. Children are just as common among Elves as Humans. Elves and Humans are similar enough that they can marry and have children without any genetic complications.

2- The physical characteristics of Elves make them stand out from Humans in most stories. This is only partially true in Aviandria. In many other realms, the pointed ears, height, and bearing of the Elves will cause heads to turn. Some of the exact features vary between different fantasy realms, but one thing remains the same. The Elves are very distinctive from Humans. In Aviandria, the differences are there, but they are more subtle. Yes, they have the pointed ears, but they aren’t sharply pointed, bigger than a humans, or dramatically turned up. An Elf could easily hide the point by combing their hair over the very tops of their ears. (I may or may not have employed this tactic in high school to hide the fact that I did NOT have Elf ears.) Even if an Elf did find themselves in the middle of a crowded supermarket here in our world their ears would likely just be taken for a unique ear shape. The Aviandrian accent would probably draw more notice than their physical appearance. The only other physical difference besides the ears that might be worth mentioning in Aviandria would be that Elves yes have at least two colors to them, which tend to shift dominance depending on their mood or the lighting. That’s actually not all that uncommon here in our world. We just call in hazel. However, in Aviandria it only happens among the Elves. Humans have one very distinct eye color that doesn’t change. The thing is, in Aviandria there are enough elves (since the population is split fairly evenly between Elves and Humans) that while the difference in features might be noticed, they don’t really draw any more attention than whether a person has curly or straight hair in our world.

3- In many fantasy worlds, Elves possess magic and/or knowledge that Humans don’t, or at least that is very uncommon in Humans. In Aviandria, magic is equally uncommon for Elves and Humans. Many of the folktales or legends containing magical elements may have originated with the Elves, but that was far enough in the past that the Humans have adopted them and consider them just as much their own. Besides that, nearly everyone in Aviandria believes them to be just stories and nothing more. Elves and Humans alike had just as hard a time believing Ashlynn was magically transported from another world. Any magic in Aviandria is impartial to race.

4- The last thing about Elves, and possibly the one thing that sets them apart the most from Humans in Aviandria, would be their sense enhancement. It’s hard to forget about Legolas’ incredible vision if you have ever read or watched The Lord of the Rings. Aviandrian Elves do have sense enhancement to some extent. It isn’t nearly as exaggerated as the Middle Earth Elves, but it is there. While Legolas can view things almost as if looking through a telescope, the Aviandrian Elves might view things like they are seeing through binoculars at best. Probably not even particularly strong binoculars. Just as it would be with binoculars, their better vision doesn’t help them much in the dark, or under the water, or in any other situation normal binoculars wouldn’t help us here in this world. The same type of rules go for their other senses. The Elven sense of touch, smell, taste, and hearing are also enhanced, though not to the extent of many other versions of Elves in popular fantasy.

These are pretty much the biggest things you need to know about Elves in Aviandria. They are different from the Humans, but not so different that it causes a large divide. They usually (there are always exceptions) don’t have any trouble living among one another and seeing past any differences. Next month I will try to explain some of the history of Aviandria. Between these things, hopefully, the answer to the difference in Elven and Human culture in Aviandria will make more sense. Until then, keep having an awesome holiday season!

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