When I was writing “Priest-King” a few years back, I ended up locating the module in SW Agyra and started fleshing out the geographic area. The land to the immediate south was Chaal-chu and in Terry’s description (Master Atlas p.34) was this fascinating tidbit:
In an (apparently) unique and frightening aberration, there
are Half-elven Eritari tribes in Chaal-chu who are cannibalistic.
They believe that feeding on their full-mortal cousins the Thesian
tribes will extend their lives.
I blogged about Elves back in June and last year as well, so it’s known that I’m not a fan of Elves in general. It’s hard to beat immortality and although the system tries to balance things with stat bonuses and other mechanics, it still doesn’t feel right. Elves are just too good. However, “Feral” Elves or Cannibalistic Half-Elves–sign me up for that!!
This is another great tidbit that is sprinkled throughout the Master Atlas, the idea of a primitive, regressed, Elven tribe, is ripe for gaming opportunities. Maybe these cannibals are more animal cunning then intelligent and wise. I visual them as Reavers — terrifying!
This trope subversion is another reason why I like the Malazan series so much. In that setting, Erickson has included traditional “monster races” as normal races:
We have racial stereotypes in our real world and so too in our fantasy settings: gruff Dwarfs, barbaric Orcs, flighty Elves etc. Why not flip some of these? Why not have a powerful, peaceful nation be made up of Orcs? For me, I’m going to enjoy my feral, cannibal half-elves! I know my players will too….