Elves: The Guardians of Nature

As mentioned in the Dwarves post, the Elves are the second group that makes up the Fair Folk category of the Cosmological Beings. Again, the term “elves” is merely an insufficient placeholder, as the Waincraft concept of these beings is not necessarily identical to those spirits considered elves, fae, or sidhe in European cultural mythologies. In Waincraft, the light side of the Fair Folk (where Dwarves are the corresponding dark half) are guardians and rulers of places, generally concerned with maintaining the homeostasis and balance of their particular locale. Unlike their dwarven counterparts, these spirits do primarily associate with particular places – forests, rivers and lakes, seas and oceans, mountains, and the sky.

(As an aside, those who work with the Tribes may recognize particular traits of the Fair Folk present in the Tribes. This is because the Tribes are, to a greater or lesser extent, of the same mold as the Fair Folk, just generally with a wider sphere of influence. Thus, one could say that all Tribes-folk are Elves (or Dwarves, as the case may be), but not all Elves are Tribes-folk. There is a clear distinction in power and influence between the Tribes and the Folk. An example of this is that a non-Tribes elf may be responsible for a forested valley or deep mountain lake and its surrounding environment, where a spirit from the Tribes would watch over a whole region (e.g., the Adirondacks, which feature multiple lakes, mountains, forests, etc., or the Isle of Skye, which also features mountains, lakes, ocean, etc.) Another distinguishing difference is that, generally, the Tribes dwell and work primarily in the Otherworld, while the elves and dwarves mostly dwell and work in the physical world.)

The Elves are more gregarious and welcoming to humans and other strangers than the Dwarves, but they are still wary and easy to upset. Probably the worst thing one could do when dealing with the Elves is cause unnecessary destruction (as opposed to the life-giving destruction that is sometimes necessary, like wildfires in prairies, the breakdown of fallen trees, etc.) in their realms – littering, excessive and wanton logging, polluting, or killing animals for fun and fun alone, as examples. Like the Dwarves, they will remember your offenses, and their retribution is much more easily seen and felt – things in your surroundings will go missing or be destroyed, locations will feel hostile and unwelcoming, animals may turn on you or be hostile where they were previously calm, etc.

The best way to make contact with these spirits is outside, in their particular natural element – forests for forest/wood-elves, lakes and rivers for water-elves, beaches and shores (or even in the ocean itself) for sea-elves, mountains and hills for mountain-elves, and cliffs and other high, exposed places for sky-elves (also, during times when the clouds are lowered, such as in certain types of fog or rainstorms). A good offering would be to clean up any garbage, litter or other human-left debris in that location, as the Elves love beauty and harmony, and appreciate those who help make them.

The lessons Elves can teach humans are less about how to do or make things and more about how to be and live. They can be great aides in helping reconnect people to their environments, sharing the values and uses of various plants or animal products, showing how to cultivate and maintain an ecological consciousness, or even just enjoying the world apart from the technological bubbles most modern people dwell in.

As with the other levels of spirits besides the Powers, Elves are highly individual, rooted to specific places and essences. So be sure to get to know and be on good terms with your local elves, because they are the ones that will be affecting your life, not those from a thousand miles away.