They live in rotted trees and fens of decay. They build great cities of spider silk and woven trees. They feast on flesh with teeth like broken glass. They dance and sing in puddles of moonlight. They are as every bit wondrous as they are monstrous, for they are the Wild Elves, and they rule the Wyrd and Wild.
Long before man walked the earth, there were the Fae beings of magic and desire. Born of primordial magic and crude life, they populated the land with primal and primitive forms. Their bodies were not yet refined, some bearing too many legs, and others with the bodies of ravenous insects. It would be eons before they became the beings we call fairies and elves today, but even then they laid claim to the Wilds of the world.
Now they build colonies like insects, crafting cities woven from the trunks of trees and bound with their Wyrd powers. They practice great occult magics and make artifacts that no sane mortal could ever dream of. Their power is as wild and terrible as they are, unpredictable and untamed.
Yet along the way something was lost. No longer could they spawn their feral and ravenous children, the march of time rendering them sterile. Long did they weep and suffer, weaving songs of sorrow and monuments of anguish. That was, until, a single primitive creature became lost in their domain. The child was the of the first mortals.
Curious of the little creature, they chose not to eat it, instead raising it and studying it as it slept. It grew so much faster than them, within 20 years it was already an adult and acting in every way as one of their own. The creature would go on to take a spouse and it was then a miracle occured. The creature and its spouse bore a child, as every bit feral an fae as their own.
Now in the dead of night, when the moon is full, they steal the children of mortals and swap them with their own. They hunt those who would try and take their children back, killing them like wild dogs lost in the dark. Slowly but steadily their numbers grow, and now they toy with what to do with the unruly mortals…
The Life Cycle of Wild Elves
Starting life as the byproduct of a union between a mortal and a Wild Elf, the child looks more akin to a goblin than an elf. Their mouth is filled with rows of jagged, needle teeth; their limbs end with fat, clawed hands and feet; and within days of their birth they are able to climb, fight, and scream obscenities, which they do with a degenerate glee. Such “children” are left to their own devices, scampering about the wilds and fending for themselves like packs of rabid coyotes.
It is only after many years of squalid, animalistic life that the Wild Elves begin to undergo a change. At first it manifests in an ennui, the typical ravenous actions ebb from them and they find themselves seeking solitude and quiet, their mind incapable of comprehending the higher thoughts gestating within. Eventually, they find a hollowed out tree or small earthen burrow and wrap themselves in a cocoon made of their own viscous spittle.
A year passes, in this hibernative state; their body and mind growing and warping into something grander. It is during the next spring that they finally awaken and burst from the cocoon, with much ceremony from the adult Wild Elves. Now bearing a lithe humanoid body, with sharp features, fair skin, but the same jagged teeth and claws, they take their place amongst the other adult members, a mind fully formed and brimming with wickedness.
There are numerous mutations that occur amongst the Wild Elves, a byproduct of being so tied to the Wyrd and Wild. Each one is widely celebrated by the other members of their community, referred to “a blessing from the Wyrd.” Most take the form of horns or superficial growths, occasionally some are born with a functioning pair of insectile wings, others a inclination for magic, and some are gifted an unnatural ability to heal from grievous wounds. The most prized of all mutations is the gift of foresight, the ability to read the branches of fate elevates one to the Council of Seers, the most esteemed rank a Wild Elf can receive.
The Wild Elves are monsters from the pages of dark fairy tales. Child-knappers, flesh-eaters, and wielders of terrible magic, they poke and prod at the edges of civilization and take advantage against those who can’t fight back.
They make great calculated forays into villages to reap them of newborns and children to raise as their own. Wielding nets of thick spider silk and hooked weapons carved of bone and steel, they scurry through the streets and houses wearing cowls and cloaks of wrapped skin-leather and beast-pelt. In a matter of minutes they can be in and out of a village, carrying away the still sleeping children and leaving behind only beds and cradles filled with their own animal-like young.
When not scheming against the mortal realms, they are scheming amongst their own ranks. Each member of Wild Elf society is a power-hungry manipulator, willing to bargain and backstab for a chance at power. This makes them susceptible to diplomacy with other mortal folk, so long as they deem it advantageous to their own agenda. Their lives are a constant uphill climb of ambition and vanity.
While they have no inherent desire for art or its creation, they do so to impress their peers and boost their own ego. It is only through their supreme vanity that Wild Elf culture is brimming with wonderous artifacts and pageantry; buildings gilded in designs of silver and gold, great poems and choir pieces that go on for days, and clothing of the most exquisite quality. However, looking beyond the superficial, even their art cannot hide their true nature; the gilding shows scenes of monsters devouring game, their music is self-aggrandizing propaganda of the writer, and the clothing they wear is more than likely made and adorned with pieces of their most recent victims…
Their magic is what terrifies scholars of the Wild Elves the most. Unlike mortal druids and wizards who seek to study and channel the magic of the Wyrd, Wild Elves are free to bend it as they will. They risk no reprieve from misuse and so they conduct great rituals and experiments, bending fate and reality in the darkness of the forests and wilds that surround them.
An attempt at a more “German Folk-tale” style of elf. Horrible child-knapping monsters that bend the very fabric of the world to their whim.