Elves and Faeries
Elves and Faeries are recurring races in the Dragon Quest series. Two of the fundamental fixtures of fantasy folktales and literature, the terms are used interchangeably in Dragon Quest to refer to feminine beings of otherworldly nature. Often just outside the ken of men, the are nevertheless as important to the ways of the world as humans are.
Though elves and faeries typically vary in depiction between games, they are almost always shown to be women of supernatural beauty with pointed ears. Hair colors such as violet, emerald, and fuchsia are common, and in official illustrations their clothing is more ornate and distinct from the medieval European rags most NPCs wear.
Exact physical builds vary, though elves are often a head shorter than the player characters and faeries yet shorter than them. The latter have almost child-like bodies kept afloat by dragonfly-esque wings. Both species are extraordinarily long lived, far surpassing the life-spans of humans and monsters alike to the point that some believe them to be blessed with eternal youth.
The faeries live in a hidden village north-west of Norvik. They greatly distrust humans out of fear of being kidnapped, and the faerie queen forbids any interaction between her subjects and humanity. When young love bloomed between a man from Norvik and the queen's only daughter and the two of them eloped, the queen assumed that the villager done away with her as she feared and in retaliation placed a curse upon Norvik that sent the entire village into an eternal slumber.
The only one to escape this morphean malfliction was the boy's father, who traveled to the hidden village to explain that his son had grown angry with his folk's trepidation regarding the fair folk, and had disappeared after announcing his love for the queen's daughter. Both the queen and the old man assume the duo to be in hiding in the depths of a near-by cave, prompting the player to spelunk within. Upon reaching the bottom, the party will find the lover's suicide note--they had drowned themselves to be together in death instead of allowing their peoples' laws to keep the apart. Bearing the tragic news to the queen will cause her to undo the curse on Norvik.
Elves play a substantial role in the story of IV, being the original impetus of the world-shaking events.
In Chapter 2, Alena and co. see an elf named Oopsy and her sister Daisy at the top of Birdsong Tower. Though the pair leaves as soon as they see the party, they mistakenly leave behind a phial of Birdsong Nectar that is necessary to restore the voice of the Tzar of Zamoksva's supernatural silence.
Later, in Chapter 5, the party will meet Rose, an elf who was hunted by humans because her tears transmutate into small rubies. Her lover is Psaro, the game's main antagonist, whose resolve to crush humanity is fortified after saving the lass from a trio of bandits. The master of monsters builds a tower to protect his love, around which the town of Rosehill grows. A few other elves also live in Rosehill, as it gradually became a shelter for dwarves, talking animals, civilized monsters, and other supernatural beings from the machinations of greedy and malicious humans.
Towards the end of the game the party will also travel to Yggdrasil, at the roots of which the elves have built their main city, El Forado. As yggdrasil grows in a vast desert barricaded on all sides by colossal mountain ranges, the elves of El Forado are safe from the worst of humanity and do not shun the chosen ones. Oopsy, Daisy, and an unnamed third elf are also seen again in Zenithia's garden.
After the chosen ones defeat Estark at his tomb in Mamon Mine, one of Psaro's lieutenants will inform him that Rose has been slain, claiming it was done by humans. In reality, it was Psaro's second in command, Aamon, who arranged for the girl's death; he desired for Psaro to give into blind rage and allow himself to become more easily manipulated and thus allowing Aamon to rule monster-kind from behind the figurative thrown. With the loss of his love, Psaro gives into despair and utilizes the secret of evolution to become a hideous beast with enough power to crush all of humanity.
Faeries are considerably more playful than in the previous two games, acting more akin to the mischievous fey of English folktales than the previous tragic figures. Many of them they dwell in the Faerie Lea, a separate world in which their leader, Treacle, initiates and guides the changes in the human realm's seasons. During the hero's youth he is enlisted by the wily Honey to help the faeries retrieve the Herald of Spring, a powerful instrument necessary to put an end to winter, from the villainous Winter Queen. Honey makes a special short cut in the basement of Pankraz's house to enter Faerie Lea, but the main portal between the two planes is hidden in a bewildering forest called the Neverglade.
Years later, the hero and his own children would be tasked by Dr. Agon to seek the aid of the faeries in raising the sunken Zenithia to the skies. The peculiar man states that the golden and silver orbs that power the heavenly castle were the work of fey artisans and the denizens of the Faerie Palace. Not a place detached from the human world, the palace is ensconced by a ring of mountains far from civilization, and rests a top a placid lake hidden in mist. The ruler of the palace, Queen Caramel, aids the party in restoring Zenithia to its former splendor and grants the hero a final chance to speak with his departed father. Additionally, the Princess Robe can be found in the castle basement and one of the faeries within the palace confirms the ancestry of the heavenly bride when spoken to.
If the party returns to the palace after the game has been completed, an additional chance to speak with Pankraz will become available. A gift from a friend in a higher place.
Though unconfirmed by official sources, it is commonly speculated that the young girl who watches over the sapling of Yggdrasil in the forest surrounding Gröndal is an elf. In the 3DS version she refers to herself as a "forest faerie', and her position as guardian of the great tree along with the vine-like accessories stemming from her green hair are reminiscent of classical dryads.
The in the distant past, during the Lord of Darkness' assault on the world, the great sage Kupas saved the lives of an elf and a Gigantes. The elf's name was Raya, and she and the gigantes pledged allegiance to Kupas in gratitude, becoming his inseparable traveling companions. As the lives of humans are brief compared to elves and monsters, the duo honored Kupas' dying wish by founding the village of Tryan Gully, where elves, humans, and peaceful monsters could co-exist together.
The hidden community was also dedicated to preserving the memory of the dark lord reign of terror, with several inhabitants having first-hand knowledge of those infernal times. Speaking Raya herself is also important to advance the game's story, as she bequeaths the darktree leaf to the party in order to track down the fiend before his resurrection can be completed.
Being the sole elf the player can speak to in the game, Raya is a strong departure from former fey, having neither the fearful suspicions of humans as past elves nor childlike mischievousness of the faeries. She has great respect for the seven legendary sages, being awed by their courage in standing up to a world-ending threat, and this as given her a positive outlook on humanity in general. Being the leader of her hidden hamlet, she welcomes the party warmly.
Twin sisters Wanda and Wandine will ask the player for assistance (quests 95 and 96) if there is a Mage at level 15 or higher in the party once they rest at Alltrades Abbey. The plucky pixies have gotten themselves stuck in a peculiar plane all to themselves inside of a wand, and need the player to help free them.
Stella is rumored to be a faerie, and stops herself from admitting as much a handful of times during the game. However, the little lass' backstory is intentionally kept vague by the developers, and trying to make sense of it can be just as aggravating as her air-head attitude.
Elf is a race that can be chosen for the player's character in Dragon Quest X.
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- Until the release of X, all elves and faeries were shown to be female.
- Contrary to popular belief, Ishmahri is not an elf--he is a spirit of the dreamlands.
- Though never outright stated to be an elf herself, Eliza's heritage is speculated by fans due to her sprite having pointed ears. If this were, true, it would mean that the Hero and Psaro are mirror images of one another.
- The stock art of the male elf in X greatly resembles the Eastern Kaioshin of Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball manga, with only the clothing and hair being different.