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 Dark Elves "Cast from the Light"

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DM Breeze
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PostSubject: Dark Elves "Cast from the Light"   Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:32 am

There are no Drow elves in Dragonlance. The meaning of Dark in this topic refers to an elf of any subrace having been disowned from his/her people.

Elven justice tends to be very merciful. Elves extend
every effort to bring elven criminals back into
the fold. Punishment is certain, but for most elven
criminals, if repentance is genuine, forgiveness is
certain as well. One of the strictest taboos among
elven nations is that one elf may never intentionally
slay another; even the most heinous elven criminals
are allowed to keep their lives. The gallows and the
headsman are saved for non-elves: ogre brigands,
minotaur spies, human lumber thieves, and similar
foreign criminals.
There are a small number of irredeemable
criminals among the elves—those who will not reform
or those crimes are unforgivable. Those worshipping
the gods of darkness, wizards who take the black
robes, unrepentant murderers, traitors, those who
consort with the enemy, and those who repeatedly
defile the forest are among those for whom the
ultimate punishment in elven society is reserved:
banishment and exile.
Elves are an extremely communal race. Without
the support of their culture, history, and peers, elves
succumb to despair, as many in the Diaspora have
discovered. Elves who are banished as punishment for
unforgivable crimes are labeled dark elves. This term
is metaphorical, not literal—they are “cast from the
light.” They are forbidden from any contact with any
elf of any nation and are warned never to return.
The different elven nations have different
techniques for declaring a dark elf. A Kagonesti
banished as a dark elf faces a council of his clan’s
elders. They put the accused through a sacred trial;
those who fail find their tattoos twisted and ugly,
now a permanent reminder of their guilt and their
lost heritage. A Qualinesti is tried in a setting many
humans would find familiar; a legal scholar and
representative of the Speaker preside, witnesses are
interviewed, and an impartial panel of the accused’s
peers determines his fate. The Silvanesti use a more
mystical ceremony called the Ceremony of Darkness.
Through magical means, the accused is forced to view
his crimes through a mirror while bound tightly by
a platinum chain. His reaction is observed carefully
through divination magic. Representatives of House
Cleric, House Protector, and House Mystic vote on his
punishment. If banished, House Advocate removes his
name from the birth records and adds it to the roll of
dark elves.
Once an elf has languished in exile for a length
of time commensurate with his crimes, his home
nation may entertain a plea for forgiveness. If the
supplicant is determined to be sincere, the dark elf
may—may—be provided an opportunity to redeem
himself. The Kagonesti usually require the dark elf to
combat a terrible evil or undertake a dangerous quest.
The Qualinesti and Silvanesti may require a test of
combat, a dangerous quest, or may instead require
some act of selflessness on a grand scale; each case is
tailored specifically for the dark elf in question. Even
those who do not survive their redemption ordeal
sometimes have their names cleared anyway, if the
judges determine the dark elf had purified himself
through his actions and intent.
Dalamar the Dark, the powerful Silvanesti Black
Robe mage who studied under Raistlin Majere, is
perhaps the most famous dark elf. Even his calloused,
granite-cold heart still occasionally longs for the
verdant hills of his homeland. Alhana Starbreeze was
banished for marrying a Qualinesti, as Porthios, her
husband, was banished for marrying a Silvanesti. Her
name was restored by a people desperate for a strong
leader during the War of Souls, but she still blames
herself for the loss of Silvanesti. Alhana retired for a
while to Schallsea Isle, but has recently rejoined the
efforts to recover the elven homelands.
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