The Elves - A Race Ruled by Women
In the aftermath of Magna’s creation of the Magic Well, all of his precious elves rejected the leadership capabilities of men in favor of women. Although he had good intentions, Magna’s misguided quest for power nearly annihilated the entirety of the planar. If not for the quick thinking of Severline, a woman, all would have been lost.
Avatars of Severline
According to the elves, all women are like Severline in that they are both the givers of life and the rightful bringers of death. This is why only women can bear children. Executioners and judges in elven society are almost exclusively women. While their militaries are evenly comprised of both men and women, it is exceptionally rare for an elven male to reach an esteemed military rank such as General. It is believed only women could bear the responsibility of governing so many soldier’s lives. As of the present day only two elven generals in active duty are male. One is a member of House Silversea, with the other being one of House Starglass’s generals currently held captive in House Thornfang.
Elven society is arranged quite differently from the other races in a number of ways. None of the various subtypes belong to a particular kingdom or nation, but instead one of many elven Houses. Each elven House—whether they be high elf, wood elf or dark elf—is ruled by a Matron. At some point during her rule each Matron—even the drow ones—chooses a man to be her Patron. Although Patrons of all three subtypes hold a significant amount of power with in their culture, they are almost never allowed to actually rule an elven House. On very rare occasion a Patron from a surface dwelling House has ruled for a short time if the previous Matron’s successor is too young to rule. This has never been allowed in the drow Houses.
The matriarchal nature of the elves goes far beyond their governing system. Bloodlines and property are passed down from mother to daughter. Sons, not daughters, are sent off to other Houses in arranged marriages. Most positions of power are filled by women. Elven couples expecting a child hope for a daughter who can pass on their family name.
The dark elves took this matriarchal structure to a cruel extreme. Most drow men live at the mercy of women, and are barred from holding positions of power, owning property, or running a business. Many revolts throughout history attempted to give drow men more freedoms and rights, but none so far have succeeded.
High and wood elf men of course have way more rights in their Houses than their dark elf counter parts, but even good-aligned societies are not free from harmful stereotypes and traditions that maintain a status quo of inequality.
Some kingdoms and nations of the other races are matriarchal as well, but they are by far not the majority. More often than not men and women hold equal social standing in other societies. No other race is as predominantly female-ruled as the elves.
The Elves on Polyamory & Same-Sex Relationships
Not only are the elves matriarchal, but they tend to form polyamorous relationships far more often than the majority of the other races. It is common for elven women of all three types to have more than one romantic partner at a time. Upper class elven women tend to have more partners on average than lower class women, and drow women typically have more partners than wood or high elf women.
Elven women having same sex partners is socially accepted within elven society, as long as the women have daughters at some point to carry on their family name. Lesbian elves accomplish this in a number of ways, ranging from taking a male partner to using more magical means to have daughters. There’s more pressure on upper class lesbian women of all three types than lower class women to have daughters, especially if they’re the Matron or a close relative of the Matron. If a lower class lesbian is the only daughter in her family she would certainly be pressured to continue the family lineage as well, but not nearly as much as an upper class woman in the same predicament.
It is rare but not taboo for high or wood elf men to have multiple female partners. This is not the case for drow men who aren’t allowed to have more than one female romantic partner. Males of all three subraces having multiple male romantic partners, however, is socially acceptable. Elven males are not pressed to carry on their family name and lineage like elven women are.
Due to their polyamorous nature the elves have a handful of familial terms with no true equivalent to them in Common:
- Melara (Female) / Melaro (Male): Term elven children use to refer to their parent’s lover(s); similar social equivalent to aunt/uncle.
- Melarin (Gender neutral term): Term elven adults use to refer to their lover’s children; similar social equivalent to niece/nephew.
- Melarina (Female) / Melarino (Male): Term elven children use to refer to the children of their parent’s lover(s); similar social equivalent to cousin.