The_Gnat wrote: All elves in wesnoth are wood elves.
high elves would be good additions.
Back in time of The RIse of Wesnoth there were two superpowers on the COntinent, the Evles and the Dwarves. The Elves were not homogenous: there were actually two "tribes" of Elves, the so-called High Elves, and the so-called Wood Elves. In their society, the High Elves were less numerous than Wood Elves, but were guaranteed elite status due to their provenance. Most physical labor, military work, hunting, growing/gathering food was the job of Wood Elves; most administration, politics, science, was the job of High Elves. When a building was to be erected, a High Elf would typically draw plans for that building, and a few Wood Elves would assemble it.
In times of Heir to the Throne this distinction became even more striking. The two "tribes" parted their ways and developed very distinct ways of accomodating to the reality.
The High Elves are very isolationistic. Even despite their kingdom has long lost its status of a superpower, they still perceive their civilization as superior to others, and feel they must protect it from becoming "corrupted" by external influences. In fact, this is some sort of a vicious circle: their isolationism allows them to live by their delusions of superiority, but also contributes to further weakening of their kingdom, a fact that they must compensate by becoming even more isolationistic and delusional.
Not all of them feel this isolationism is a good idea. Some in the history dared to break this taboo and enter into some limited contact with the external world (The SOuth Guard). But these attempts were, paradoxically, prompting the vast majority to fall to an even more dogmatic sort of isolationism (again, The South Guard). As a result, generally no High Elves venture outside the remains of their former empire, and any non-elf who dares to enter this realm is usually promptly executed for this boldness, often without even giving them any chance to speak.
High Elves are usually sedate, not prone to emotional outbursts or jumping to physical violence. They are usually educated and well-read in works of their civilization. As a result, when they speak their language tends to be sophisticated, formal and literate. Most know how to seem to be sages, whether or not they indeed possess any actual wisdom. Also, High Elves usually have many beautiful words in their mouthes; actually, however, many but not all tend to be duplicitous and Machiavellian, and also indolent or slothful under pressure (again, The Rise of Wesnoth).
The High Elves have an ancient battling style that dictates men to line up in battle formations. Even despite the High Elves themselves rarely do actual combat, either because of the aforementioned isolationism or because they have Wood Elves for that, this knowledge is being guarded there and applied in dire need, or taught to Wood Elves to be used in conjunction with their own battle style. Kalenz, who was a High Elf, was such an effective commander in no small part because he mastered both battling styles (the one of High Elves and the one of Wood Elves) and learned to blend them, thus fusing them into a new, extremely effective style.
The Wood Elves, by comparison to High Elves, are not homogenous. Some of them remained with High Elves and do these same jobs their tribe was doing in times of grandness of the Elvish Empire.
Others live at the borders of the remains of this empire, enjoying the permission to enter the realms of High Elves, but also maintaining contacts with other nations. These elves are typically huntsmen, merchants, peasants, craftsmen, or even mercenaries at the service of foreign powers or bandits. (Wood Elves would make excellent highwaymen preying on non-elves who need to travel through forest tracts). They tend to socialize reasonably well with the non-elves who live in close proximity of woods. Some even, led by curiosity and hunger for adventure, choose to leave these lands and hit the road and travel to distant lands. Hence the occasional (by no means common) view of elvish adventurers, travelers or small elvish communities in surprising environments like deserts or hills or as sailors or fishers.
These Wood Elves, who are not at servitude to High Elves, usually hate to be bossed around. They do not form any sort of "alternative state" to this of High Elves; rather, typically every village is on its own. Hence their attitude can differ dramatically. Most despise the "snobism" of High Elves. SOme are content with doing works for High Elves, but only if paid and are always keen to leave should they find it more suitable. Those who are craftsmen or hunters can typically sell fruits of their labor to Wood Elf merchants, who can then sell these goods either to High Elves or to neighboring non-elfs. These merchants can also provide some very limited contact between High Elves and the outside world. Some villages are more aggressive, causing small skirmishes between Wood Elves and other Wood Elves or Wood Elves and neighboring non-elves; this aggression, however, stems not from isolationism, but rather because they think it gives them some opportunity to advance their selfish needs (for example the aforementioned highwaymen; or perhaps squabbling with other elvish or non-elvish villages over terrains for pasture).
In comparison with High Elves, Wood Elves, whether or not on High Elves' service, are typically more frank, more impulsive, less stark and unsmilling, more prone to laughter, but sometimes also more aggressive. Hence it is not uncommon to see Wood Elves joking, drinking in a tavern, unfortunately also sometimes brawling in this tavern, or for some of them becoming the aforementioned mercenaries or bandits.
The traditional battling style of Wood Elves, in contrast with the one of High Elves, is to avoid open battles, and instead to adopt a guerrilla style of warfare, harassing their opponents to achieve prevalence. They do this exceptionally well if covered by woods.
The forest is the "natural environment" of all elves, be it High Elves or Wood Elves. The difference is that Wood Elves typically live closer to nature, rarely erecting larger structures, mostly limiting themselves to build tree-houses and/or sheds, and typically having their population fairly dispersed, while High Elves are the founders of their jealously guarded art of erecting large stone structures, entire cities and fortresses, inside a dense forest and without cutting the trees. Raising such structures is very difficult, far more costly and difficult than building analogous structures on flat ground. Elves, both High Elves and Wood Elves, are also guardians of a another, similar but distinct art of growing and shaping trees so that the walls, routes, floors, roofs literally are branches of living, growing trees. Utilizing this technique the Elves are able to build towns or fortresses that are indistinguishable to any non-elves from a regular forest. Erecting structures with such a technique is even more difficult and costly than building stonework inside the forest, require and even hundreds of years to complete (this is because trees' growth cannot be sped up), and also require constant care, or else such structures will soon become "raw" or "vanilla" forest again. (In similar fashion the Mermen are able to erect underwater structures out of coral reef). But most sophisticated elvish structures are erected by blending those two techniques.
Few elves, both High Elves and WOod Elves, gifted with special magical abilities, choose to become rogue mages, twisting and corrupting the special elvish magic to some forms of black magic. (Mal M'Brin, Landar). Those who do this can become very powerful dark sorcerers, sometimes threatening even their home forests, spreading mysterious diseases affecting trees and poisoning the lands. However, this only rarely happens, mainly because regardless of the moral level of any particular individual, the vast majority is well aware of the threats of pursuing black magic, that practicing it invariably leads to loosing free will, to becoming incapable of feeling any joy of any kind. Unlike humans who can sometimes be deluded with the power black magic promises (Descend into Darkness), the elves, tend to correctly and accurately know that in fact any successfull practitioneer of black magic, whether elvish, dwarvish, humane, or of any other race always, with a stress on "always", for very fundamental reasons, ends up like that:
Many people from nearby dwellings disappeared, leaving their families in despair. The undead lord, however, continued to grow in power, feeding his dark magic with tears of the alive and torment of the dead; and soon, he had a whole undead army to his disposal. Fables and tales soon grew up, telling about the unimaginable horrors dwelling in this place - still, thanks to the absence of any strong nearby state, no challenger powerful enough to possess any threat showed up. Yet, the undead lord could not enjoy the fruits of his hard work. The fact was, his soul was actually unable to feel any joy. In theory, the rituals he had performed to unnaturaly prolong his life allowed him to retain his mind and consciousness; however, as the practice quickly proved, not much more. Soon he found himself not less enslaved and tormented then his own minions. For his soul was torn apart by the unnaturalness and unholiness of the state he was in, hence his suffering. The worst thing was, he knew his misery was to never end, for he was - at his own wish - nearly immortal. Yet, he didn't want to straighten things up, and take away his unholy un-life; things had gone already too far, and his free will had already been already damaged beyond repair. For he now had only his own pain, and the hatred to all that lives - and the insane desire to make everyone suffer at least as much as he did.
(the above is an excerpt from a campaign I had in mind, but never finished).
Also, many elves, again correctly and accurately, perceive black magic as inherently evil.
More units would have to be added for such a storyline. Out of the existing units, E. Rangers and Avengers would probably be purely Wood ELvish units, while E. Lord and E. High L. would probably be limited to High Elves. Other units would probably be shared between both tribes.
One idea for such a new elvish unit would be an evil version of E.Shaman – maybe E.Dark Shaman -> E. Dark Sorceress -> E. Warlock (winged) -> E. Lich? E.Dark Shaman is chaotic, has very low HP, less-than-awesome defences even in the forest (50% maybe, to 40% on flat?), no melee attack like dark adept, and a 2-2 ranged impact attack that both slows and poisons. E.DarkSorceress: similar, plus a relatively weak magic cold attack. E.Warlock: similar, plus increased defences and movement, and plus a magical melee arcane draining attack, relatively weak for a lv3 unit. Lv. 4 E.Lich: Reasonable but still not awesome HP, lich-like resistances, same defenses, plus this draining magical melee arcane attack and ranged magical cold attacked cranked up to lv3 -like strength. Ranged non-magical poisoning and slowing attack perhaps sth like 4-3 maybe?
What do you think about this?