Elves: Night-Highborn-High-Blood

TL:DR: All elves are single species.

The night elves and blood elves are only seperated by about 10,000 years. Prior to the sundering, Highborne (the ancestors of the blood elves) were a caste of nobility that held themselves aloof from from low born elves but they were both part a single society, and were not two seperate species living side by side; they were like nobles and commoners in a feudal culture.

A seperation of only 10,000 years is less than the period that various human races in the real world have been separated from each other, but all human races that currently still exist area single species ho-mo sapiens sapiens.

Genetic and fossil evidence is interpreted to show that archaic ho-mo sapiens evolved to anatomically modern humans solely in Africa, between 200,000 and 150,000 years ago, that members of one branch of ho-mo sapiens left Africa by between 125,000 and 60,000 years ago. The date of the earliest successful "out of Africa" migration (earliest migrants with living descendents) has generally been placed at 60,000 years ago as suggested by genetics, although attempts at migration out of the continent may have taken place as early as 125,000 years ago according to Arabian archaeology finds of tools in the region. The earliest divergent brances of humans are the khoisan of Africa, the andamanese in the indian ocean and the Australian aboirigines, all about 70~50k years diverged from the other out-of-africa humans (European/Asian/American races).

Africans, Eurasians, Australians, Austronesians are all races of Humans, but they are a single species of human. Blood elves and night elves are both races of elves; but blood elves and night elves are a single species. The same is true forest trolls and ice trolls and desert trolls, etc.
Edited by Triibreza on 1/11/2012 9:40 AM PST
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90 Human Paladin
9055
Sunwell had a large influence on them. It was arcane energy and it spread throughout Quel'thalas, just as how the original Well of Eternity affected the dark trolls who would become Night Elves.
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85 Tauren Shaman
6230
Magic made them separate species basically, I think arcane and fel exposure mutates cells and causes them to be carried on to any cells that come from those, and so on, vastly increasing the rate of diferentiation.
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100 Night Elf Druid
15310
This is a problem of the fantasy genre's uncertain usage of "race" across various different franchises. Each fantasy series uses "race" in a slightly different way- but the Warcraft setting uses it more closely to mean "species of intelligent being" than "genetic variation within a single species".

High elves, like every single evidence of "evolution" or "mutation" in the Warcraft setting, did not diverge from their ancestors according to how evolution works on Earth. In fact, I can't even think of a single instance of evolution working like it does on Earth in Azeroth- pretty much all of its biodiversity is the result of various alien beings (Titans, Old Gods, Burning Legion) using the planet as a petri dish, to say nothing of the convenient ability magic has to change one species to another.

But as I said in the other thread, Blizzard clearly considers high and blood elves to be different species than night elves, as evidenced by the chart in the fifth issue of the Warcraft magazine (which places them in the same family as various species of troll, or are you arguing that high elves or even naga are the same species as a troll?) and the WoW encyclopedia article which clearly states they are physiologically distinct from night elves (http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/encyclopedia/339.xml)
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i have my doubts that elves are in fact trolls altered by the well of eternity.
for ideological reasons
Edited by Triibreza on 1/11/2012 9:42 AM PST
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85 Tauren Shaman
6230
i have my doubts that elves are in fact trolls altered by the well of eternity.
it's not very well documented.


Brann documented it in Magazine five, with sources like Freya.

It's true.
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85 Night Elf Hunter
4980
I'm of the opinion that trollish cellular stuctures are remarkably mutable when exposed to outside energies.
Race of trolls(apparently) + massive Well of Eternity arcane infusion and possible divine intervention= Kal'dorei.
Kal'dorei Highborne arcane addict+ fel magic= satyr subtype
Kal'dorei Highborne arcane addict+ Old God energy= naga subtype
Kal'dorei Highborne arcane addict+whatever was in Tirisfal Glades= high elf subtype

High elf subtype+ fel energy= Blood elf subtype

Blood elf subtype+ supsersaturation of fel= Felblood elf subtype
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91 Night Elf Druid
9065
i have my doubts that elves are in fact trolls altered by the well of eternity.
for ideological reasons


Its really beyond that phase now..
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HollywoodEvolution
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100 Night Elf Druid
15310
I should note that the highborne who were exiled to the eastern kingdoms, while considered extremely similar to normal night elves by Brann and not a distinct species in their own right, did indeed have some genetic differences. The sunwell triogy, when reprinted in color, showcased purple night elves with red/orange hair, a color that normal night elves have never been shown to have. It could be that the populations had already began to diverge due to selective breeding and the highborne would've become high elves had they remained on Kalimdor, and something in the Eastern Kingdoms (some people say the Sunwell, but my personal theory is that the old god they possibly encountered in Tirisfal Glades did something to them, hence why they have a skin tone similar to humans, dwarves and gnomes) accelerated their change into a distinct species.
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85 Tauren Shaman
6230
I'm of the opinion that trollish cellular stuctures are remarkably mutable when exposed to outside energies.
Race of trolls(apparently) + massive Well of Eternity arcane infusion and possible divine intervention= Kal'dorei.
Kal'dorei Highborne arcane addict+ fel magic= satyr subtype
Kal'dorei Highborne arcane addict+ Old God energy= naga subtype
Kal'dorei Highborne arcane addict+whatever was in Tirisfal Glades= high elf subtype

High elf subtype+ fel energy= Blood elf subtype

Blood elf subtype+ supsersaturation of fel= Felblood elf subtype


And yet we have few other offshoots of trolls themselves, i mean we have lots of different KINDS of trolls, but we don't have trolls turning into other races when exposed to various energies, save the elves...


I'm thinking all trolls have some degree of biological regeneration, which makes it so they adapt to their surroundings within a few generations (making forest, island, ice, etc... trolls), but when exposed to arcane energy whatever biological mechanism allows -that-, goes haywire, so that when they turn to elves, they're more mutable -then-.
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85 Night Elf Hunter
4980
That makes a lot of sense actually, Sky, and I fully agree, Omacron.
Either way, 'elves', be they a very mutable variant troll race originally, or due to Sky's logical suggestion, are crazy prone to mutation.

...

ow.

My brain just handed me a mental image of a blood elf after supersaturation by the Light, and I had a Final Fantasy-esque anime moment.

And it hurt me.
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100 Night Elf Druid
15310
The light has never been shown to have mutative properties, thankfully.

Only arcane and fel, due to them essentially being "alien" sources of energy
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85 Night Elf Hunter
4980
True.
So only forms of energy which originate in the Twisting Nether primarily possess the ability to warp elf genes?

The alien origin of the arcane has always struck me as a little dubious what with one of the dragon Aspects being designated the one to oversee Azerothian magic, admittedly.
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100 Night Elf Druid
15310
Well, first you have to understand that I categorize magic into three major camps, based on a conversation in the Warcraft comic- "arcane, nature and divine".

Of the three, two are well represented phenomenon present on Azeroth since time immemorial. You'd expect, for instance, a creature that evolved on a planet that has high levels of radiation to be relatively resistant to radiation, would you not? Similarly, a planet with ambient and abundant nature and divine magic would be something that many creatures have evolved with (and in a few cases, even non-intelligent animals have been shown to use nature magic) and are resistant to. Arcane magic, being something that's really only present naturally on Azeroth in specific places (leylines) but in large quantities always comes from the nether, is something that the creatures of Azeroth would not be used to and could thus have strange effects on their biology. Look no further than how the organisms of Draenor changed after it became outland for an example of what would happen if Arcane magic was present in a larger amount.

EDIT: Also, bear in mind that the dragons were created by aliens. Of course the titans would be well aware of arcane magic as a phenomenon, and also have the foresight to understand that intelligent species, once they arose, would come to use it. But that doesn't make arcane magic any less alien, simply because its main source is the twisting nether.
Edited by Omacron on 1/11/2012 10:21 AM PST
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85 Night Elf Hunter
4980
To your edit, I understood the dragons to be native, but then to be later modified by said aliens.

And fair enough. I just figure that it's interesting to note that ambient arcane magic is a part of the tapestry of Azeroth. Fel magic is clearly not, as it is demonically infused/corrupted arcane magic which originates without question in the Twisting Nether.
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100 Night Elf Druid
15310
Well, "proto dragons" are native. Dragons as we know them are only as "native" as humans, dwarves or elves, which is to say, they would not exist without significant alien meddling. Were the titans never to come to Azeroth there would be no blue dragonflight to guard arcane magic.

Arcane magic originates in the twisting nether, that much we know. What I don't, exactly, know is how it also got into the leylines (perhaps it got trapped in the planet's crust when it was still forming?), but the leylines cover a very small amount of Azeroth and you wouldn't even know they were present unless someone pointed it out.

Fel magic comes from demons. Now, demons live IN the nether, but that doesn't mean all of the nether is demonic. My theory, based primarily on the fact that Archimonde wanted to absorb the magic of the second well, is that demons take in arcane and their bodies process it into fel- living in the twisting nether ensures they have plenty of magic to feed on at any given time.
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100 Undead Warlock
7010
One interesting thing I noted: the Unbound satyrs in Crystalsong Forest are listed as humanoids, not demons. This may just be a developer error, but it's made me wonder if blasting a demon with so much arcane power as was released in the Unbound Thicket may dilute the fel energies within them to such an extent that they're no longer considered demons.
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100 Night Elf Druid
15310
There are a handful of satyr listed as humanoid in other areas, it's almost certainly an oversight, especially considering Crystalsong was never properly finished.
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100 Undead Warlock
7010
Drat. Well, not so interesting, I suppose.
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