The Seldarine in Space

Spacefaring elves maintain much the same religious traditions as their terrestrial brethren, and priesthood structure and appearance varies little amongst those spheres nominally under the jurisdiction of the Imperial Navy. Priests can be found serving in high numbers on virtually all Armadas, and most Men-o-War will have at least one amongst their initial crew. Armadas generally have a small shrine dedicated to the whole elven pantheon, while IEN outposts and crown stations have at least one small temple with multiple shrines. Numerous holy orders and priestly sects operate within the umbrella of the IEN, while even more operate independently to further the goals of their deity. Continue reading

Elves of the Stars

Sailing Under Cloak by Silverblade the Enchanter. Copyright (c) 2014. Used by permission.

The Spelljammer setting is unique among D&D settings in that its elves are a very strong force.  The Imperial Elven Navy (IEN for short) is the dominant force in Known Space.  Their uniquely grown ships are among the most effective craft in the Void (by 2nd Edition rules, anyway) and with such powerful mages at their beck and call, they are fast and deadly spelljammers.

Yet even here there is an implication that the elves might be on the decline.  Why, for instance, do they call themselves the Imperial Elven Navy when there is no real empire to speak of?  Was there one in ancient times now lost to history?  Did the various cataclysms and wars that affected the elves on the major worlds spill out into the skies – or were they sparked there?  The presence of spacefaring drow suggests that there was, indeed, at least some correlation.

Also, the elves of space are not nearly as firmly aligned to the forces of good as they are on the Known Worlds.  During the Unhuman Wars, two great conflicts in which they fought against spacefaring orcs, in the first case for hundreds of years, they engaged in a great many morally grey or even evil actions; from secret super-soldier programs who were then abandoned and exiled once the war was over, which resulted in spirit warriors, bionoids and possibly the insidious insectare; to dropping planet-killing Witchlight Marauders on goblinoid worlds and acts of magical genocide that destroyed planets (such as Borka in Greyspace.)  Their domination of space is at best that of benevolent dictators, and at worst is outright fascist.  Yet they do what they do because they believe they must, and their is honour, dignity and tradition among them as well.

Love them or hate them, the Elves of the Stars are a force to be reckoned with in Spelljammer.  This month, we salute them.