Elven Lifespans Are a Detriment:
A Case Study on How Shorter Lived Races Are Surpassing Elves
Arvendadven Trafdureth, Scholar of Paragnostic Assembly
University of New Silverymoon, Wyrmwood
Elves, living longer than most other sentient species of humanoid, experience smaller amounts of evolutionary change. Elves can typically live 700 years. During that time from, eight or nine generations of human will span; and twelve to fifteen generations of orc will span. Each generation passes on their traits; through standards of education, the knowledge and experience of each generation prior. Due to a typical lower birthrate of elves, and the longer maturation of adolescent elves, elves are becoming less prepared and adaptable to the rest of the world. This paper will show that the long elven lifespan, in addition to religious circumstances, is a detriment to the future of the elven people.
The elves are a dying breed of humanoid. National atrocities, lower birthrates, and destruction of natural resources, and religious circumstances are causing a preemptive extinction event. The city of New Silverymoon, located in Wyrmwood, is the only known surviving elven population; excluding the Drow of the Underdark, and that population is barely over a thousand. Many of that population are less than highly productive members of a society - the disabled, the very old, and the very young. In this paper, we will explore how the shorter lived races, namely orcs and humans; are exploding in influence and population, how other long-lived races are dwindling in influence and population, namely the gnomes and dwarves; we will explore how Lolth, and Gruumsh are also causing a decrease in elven progeny; and we will explore how the Misty Isle is the last stand - figuratively speaking - for the elves as a whole.
Material and Methods
I. Human Civilization (Rome)
a. History of Rome
i. Rome began as a city state with an agricultural population specializing in wheat, barley, grapes, and olives. Wines, Grains, and Oils became very popular domestic products. Due to the need to protect crops and products, militias began.
ii. Trading Posts and Farmers' Markets gave rise to a city, which was governed by the wealthiest benefactor of wine production, Augustus Roma, in which this new trade city garnered its name. Humanoids from all over the Oerth flocked in droves to this one place to experience the products of this very prosperous farmland.
iii. Expansion, settlement, and population growth contributed to the largest human city in current human history. As a dominating force of wealth and power, came rise to politics, such as empirical hierarchy and national socialistic democracy.
iv. With the need for greater territorial expansion and more natural resources, those militias soon became invading armies. The Roman Empire spanned almost the entire continent it sat on, and also began on the large continent to the south.
b. Time Frames of Rome
i. From Hamlet to City State took 16 years.
ii. Trading Posts and Markets becoming an Empirical Nation took 14 years.
iii. Expansion and Settlement creating the Roman Empire took 80 years.
iv. In a span of 110 years, farmland soon became the most powerful human civilization in Oerth's current history.
II. Orc Civilization (The Horde)
a. History of the Horde
i. The horde began as small groups of clans, commonly at war with each other, in the eastern lands, surrounded by what was once known (to elves) as the High Forest. These clans were once part of a somewhat forgotten civilization of Orcs that lived in the Frostfell.
ii. Ruut the Greyskinned began to rise in power and influence among those orcs. Having learned from human civilizations, especially a wealthy Roman businessman; that a prosperous existence requires civilization.
iii. Ruut declared himself Warchief of the Orcish Horde, after conquering and uniting all of the clans. Conquering territory after territory, and slaughtering all those that were not of Orcish descent; nationalistic fervor and pride took over the primitive bloodlust that orcs garnered prior.
iv. Complete control of the Eastern Lands (High Forest) and surrounding mountain ranges, paved the way for the creation of Skarr, the largest city of orcs this Oerth has ever known
v. Orcs, from literally all over the Oerth, allied themselves with Warchief Ruut, and moved to live in Skarr. Power, wealth, and influence turned primitive orcish clans, into dominating political figures.
b. Timeframes of the Horde
i. Took less than a year for survivors of the Frostfell Exodus to reform under various clans.
ii. Less than a year for Ruut to earn his freedom from humans, and find the orcish clans.
iii. Less than a year for Ruut to come to power, and unite all clans under his leadership.
iv. Less than a year for Ruut to completely conquer the High Forest and displace any and all non-orcish residents.
v. In a span of less than 20 years, The Horde has created Skarr, the most powerful, feared, and seemingly permanent Orcish civilization this Oerth has ever come to know.
III. Declination of Dwarves and Gnomes
a. Eastern Kingdoms
i. Horde Expansion caused the death of several generations of Dwarves - causing the Dwarves to retreat higher into the mountains, diminishing their influence throughout the region and diminishing trade routes; not including the Duergar of the Underdark.
ii. Horde Expansion caused the death of several generations of Gnomes - cause the Gnomes to leave their native homelands in the high Forest, obliterating their influence and trade routes completely.
b. Western Kingdoms
i. Suel Empires of humans caused the death of several generations of Dwarves - causing the Dwarves to retreat higher into the mountains, diminishing their influence throughout the region and diminishing trade routes; not including the Duergar of the Underdark.
ii. Suel Empires of humans caused the enslavement and displacement of several generations of Gnomes - causing the Gnomes to give up their historical identity or leave their homelands permanently. This has greatly diminished their influence throughout the region; and making trade nearly non-existent.
IV. Declination of Elves
a. High Forest
i. Horde expansion equaled genocide and complete obliteration of all elven society within the High Forest. The extremely small number of survivors regrouped in Wyrmwood, causing rise to New Silverymoon.
i. Roman expansion equaled genocide and complete obliteration of all elven society within the High Forest. The extremely small number of survivors regrouped in Wyrmwood, causing rise to New Silverymoon.
ii. Oddly enough, the Roman Empire inadvertently also caused the exodus of the native Orcs - which increased the population of The Horde; and sped up the process of genocide in High Forest elves.
V. Religious Implications
a. Influence of Lolth
i. According to the myths of the surface elves, Lolth was once an elven goddess of weavers and destiny known as Megwandir or Araushnee, dwelling with the other gods of the Seldarine in the plane of Arborea, where her worshippers produced the best silk in the multiverse.After trying to usurp the throne of Corellon Larethian, she was transformed into a demon and cast into the Abyss. There, she slowly regained her lost divinity by corrupting the dark elves.
b. Influence of Gruumsh
i. It was an opportunistic evil indeed that stole upon Araushnee while she lay in the depths of jealousy. A power of vengeance, harboring great enmity toward Corellon: the orc god Gruumsh. With a single dark thread in her web of destinies, Gruumsh planted the desire for revenge in her breast and stoked her evil feelings until they became a raging fire. Gruumsh worked with subtlety and patience, disguising his handiwork with devastating wars that drew Corellon's attentions elsewhere. When Araushnee appeared in his court at Nishrek with an offer of allegiance to take down the father of elvenkind, Gruumsh knew his plan had succeeded.
c. Conspiracy of the Gods
i. Araushnee seduced the wild god Fenmarel Mestarine to her quarter, and with poison turned her child Vhaeraun to evil. Her attacks began with stealth; bending fate to give Gruumsh the edge in a duel with Corellon; convincing the Faerunian power Malar to harry the weakened elven deity and imprisoning Sehanine Moonbow, her greatest rival, who had discovered through a contrite Fenmarel the schemes of the corrupted goddess. Araushnee and her allies struggled against the Seldarine and eventually broke, but she had cornered the still-weak Corellon. Hanali Celanil and Aerdrie Faenya liberated Sehanine and the three joined their powers to defeat Araushnee, whom Corellon stripped of divinity and cast into the Abyss.
d. Aftermath of the Plot
i. The fall of Lolth had farther-reaching ramifications for elvenkind, though, for as Araushnee she held the elven essence of destiny, desire, purpose and artisanry. When Corellon struck away her divinity, he struck all that Araushnee represented out of the elven essence. Now that she has reclaimed her divinity, Lolth still controls a twisted version of her old portfolio but rarely exercises it. The loss of Araushnee's portfolio has been a direct contributor to the stagnation and slow decline of the elven people, and one that Corellon cannot rectify. The only hope for the elves lies in finding those whose essence was not scoured - the few who were taken by Gruumsh when he stole away the Misty Isle.
e. The Misty Isle
i. The Misty Isle is a holy city of the elves that was forever hidden by the gods Gruumsh and Kurtulmak. Corellon Larethian shot an arrow from his blessed bow and famously took out the eye of the orcish god (Gruumsh). The hiding of the isle was Gruumsh's retaliation.
Through this case study, we can see that the shorter lived races, namely Humans and Orcs, have continuously expanding population and societal surges. That directly affects the societies of the longer lived races. The average elf lives 500-700 years. The average human lives 50-70 years. The average orc lives 40-60 years. Elves mature around 110-120 years of age. Humans mature around 16-18 years of age. Orcs mature 14-16 years of age. Mathematically, the shorter lived races are simply multiplying at a rate that is not possible for the longer lived races. Geographically, the shorter lived races are expanding at a rate that is not possible for the longer lived races.
In order to continue surviving, as a whole, the elves must amplify their efforts to locate the Misty Isle. Due to the divine limitations presented upon us from Lolth, and the Divine implications presented upon us from Gruumsh; the genocide presented upon us from the Roman Empire and the Orcish Horde; the elves must find the uncorrupted lands to call our very own - for a chance to rebuild, rekindle, and repopulate. And we must learn from the shorter lived races - about their territorial expansion as a constant throughout their existence. Politically, pacts must be made and honored to prevent the transgression upon the elves that have befallen all on this Oerth.
The author of this paper would like to acknowledge the Paragnostic Assembly for their vast archives of literature. The author of this paper would like to acknowledge Highmage Afghairon Redleaf for his personal accounts of history. The author if this paper would like to acknowledge the libraries of Avalon for their vast archives on regional history and geography. The author would also like to acknowledge the newfound love of his life: Ama'oro Eirtahl; without her - he would have one less reason to keep doing what he does for his elven people.