in this site (http://www.dracheninsel.de/dracheninsel/add/greyhawk/celene.htm), it is sad that there are Houses of High Elves, but i cant find any additional information about this.
Any clue about high elves and Celene?
(i have a high elf player's character from there. i know the game is mine, and i can do anything i whant and so, but if theres no high elf House in Celene, i would prefer to make it from Gnarley Forest, instead)
It does not seem to have many -- if any -- High Elves; the High Elves seem to all be in either the Gnarley Forest (to one side) or the Duchy of Ulek (to the other); Celene is listed as Gray and Sylvan going all the way back.
If there are any houses of High Elves, they'd represent a vanishingly small proportion of the population, apparently.
The way I've always run it (and unfortunately I can't remember if it was something I came up with on my own or had found somewhere) was that each elven subrace had their own nations and tended not to intermingle much.
The Grey elves in particular were nation and city builders establishing their five nations, only of which Celene survives today (the others being destroyed by Vecna). Additionally, the Grey elves are one of the most standoffish and arrogant races which aided in preserving Celene's 'racial purity' while the other subraces mingled with the humans or withdrew from the scene.
The High elves also initially established several kingdoms, including Ulek and Highfolk. More gregarious than their intellectual cousins, rather than repulsing or being swarmed under by the human migrations the High elves allowed their lands to be colonized by humans. Gradually this led to the loss of the purely High Elven kingdoms which were replaced by multi-racial nation states.
Slyvan and Wild elves never held much truck in politics and nation building and tended to live by clan or tribal organization rather than as nation builders. As the human migrations began they retreated deeper into woodlands were they could hold the humans off or in the case of one tribe moved into Celene and subjugated themselves the the Gray Elf queen in return for her protection.
Only the Gray Elves developed a society with a formal aristocracy and their "houses." The High elves probably have houses and maybe even had an aristocracy before the human migrations, but they never took it to the extremes the gray elves did. With the Slyvan and Wild elves family is just as important as with the Gray elves but for clan/tribe identity rather than bloodline and nobility aspect.
I have had the same dramas in my campaign. At first blush, it seems rather silly to have the most common of the elven subraces be absent from the most famous of elven realms. I came up with the following rationalization for my group, one of whom was playing a noble historian of Celene. I hope it is of use. Much of the inspiration came from the Adri Forest chapter in Carl Sargent's Ivid the Undying. Warning, this is a long response.
Prior to the rise of Keoland and the Great Kingdom, the land which is now known as Celene was much larger, encompassing the present day boundaries of the realm, plus all of the Welkwood and Gnarley forests, parts of the Suss, contested areas of the Lortmils and much of the plains immediately west of those mountains to the banks of the Lort and Sheldomar rivers.
The central plain of the country and the eastern foothills of the Lortmil mountains were one of the ancestral domains of the grey elves, who had grown deeply suspicious of humanity owing to the depredations of Vecna and the Ur-Flan tribes. Nonetheless, the lords of Celene did take in Suel refugees who had been driven into their lands by the more warlike Oerids during the course of the Great Migrations. In return for renouncing violence and swearing fealty to the elves they were allowed to remain.
These Suel remain on the plain of Celene, comprising a defacto second class minority beneath their grey elven lords and their sylvan elf protectors. After many generations of living among the elves, they have adopted quite a few elven traits, most notably a respect for nature. They worship the Seldarine, Ehlonna or Phyton, the Suel god of nature and farming. Although talent is often found for arcane magic among the suel of Celene, the grey elves discourage the training of human wizards owing to a deep-seated fear that any suel mage would be irresistably drawn towards the evil of their ancestors. The majority of Celene's suel make a living working the land.
The sylvan elf clans of the Gnarley and Welkwood were tasked with defending the border forests from wild humans and humanoids of the southern Lortmils. They accepted then, as they do now, the suzerainty of the grey elven lords but relied on their own chieftains for local leadership. Most of Celene's soldiers and scouts are sylvan elves, and their few nobles stand equal with the grey elf aristocrats, at least in councils of war.
The high elven clans were originally responsible for holding the western Lortmil mountains and Kron hills against the humanoids and now, the seemingly endless tide of humans. This is thought by some sages to be the origin of their name among the non-elves, who were always encountering them in the heights bordering the mysterious and isolated lands to the east. Generations of working with the gnomes of the Kron hills, the halflings of the Sheldomar and the dwarves of the Lortmils and Drachensgrabs had given these elves a kind and tolerant spirit. In time, this tendency to be approachable and generous towards the other races led to another meaning for the term high elf, signifying lofty ideals rather than a simple matter of geography. In the years to come, many of these high elven clans expanded into the Kewl and Sheldomar basins, pursuing trade and gradually growing more autonomous from their lords in Celene.
With the founding of Keoland and their later expansionist phase even Celene was forced to bend the knee for a time, albeit grudgingly. Although they never had much interference from their Keoish masters, and never had to endure the tread of foreign boots on home soil, the grey elves secretly chafed under the realities of the human empire. Not so the high elves, most of whom had now emigrated to the human lands. They had enjoyed their new opportunities and prospered in company with the other races. The most powerful of the High elf clan lords was made Duke of a new province of the Keoish empire, and bonds of loyalty to Celene, while remembered with warmth, began to fade.
When Celene later declared independance, the High elves of the Duchy saw no need to follow suit. They had already negotiated palatine status with Keoland and while Celene would be a difficult conquest for the humans, the Duchy was just across the river. And so they stand today, with one foot in the feudal tradition of Keoland and the other in the culture of an older, elven realm, belonging truly to neither but benefitting from ties to both.
So there you have it. Feel free to use it or blast it to pieces.
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