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Dalish by Woodsie-One Dalish by Woodsie-One
We are the Dalish: keepers of the lost lore, walkers of the lonely path. We are the last of the Elvhenan, and never again shall we submit.

Don't get me wrong - I am no real fan of Dalish elves. I like the idea behind them, always looking for lost lore, I absolutely love their design and appereance, from vallaslin and clothing, to the halla and their ship-like wagons. I also like their accent and myths of the Creators.
But Dalish elves themselfs are a bunch of asses, actually. I mean, they are like qunari in Kirkwall - you can bring them a chest full of gold, and they would complain how heavy it is. And exactly like qunari, they all believe that their vision of world and their lifestyle is the only good one. Well, at least qunari are not racist. And Dalish do not try to convert everybody around, so I think one may say that they are all equally horrible.
Still, this is also what I like - elves shown as a different culture, with it's highlights and shades, not as absolutely perfect and nice bunch of cuties roaming forests and helping lost travellers. I absolutely love roleplaying them - blaming shemlen for everything, constantly expressing hate, ignorance and reminding everybody how they used to be slaves to the Tevinter. It's so damn entertaining, not to mention pretty armors.
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:iconpierzyna:
pierzyna Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2014
uhuhuhu, jaki ładny las! Ta brzoza fajnie Ci wyszła. 
a narysuj kiedyś stary cmentarz w lesie :) 2 w jednym !
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:iconwoodsie-one:
Woodsie-One Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2014  Student General Artist
A wiesz, że teraz to robię? Znaczy się, od kilku dni smaruję cmentarz w lesie xD
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:iconpierzyna:
pierzyna Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2014
widzisz :P Parias jak ten wieszcz, czy też inna Kasandra, przewiduje przyszłość. 
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:iconjacob-cross:
Jacob-Cross Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014
Amazing :)
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:iconwoodsie-one:
Woodsie-One Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2014  Student General Artist
Thanks)
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:iconjacob-cross:
Jacob-Cross Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2014
Not a problem ^u^
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:iconchrispy92:
Chrispy92 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014  Student Writer
I think the conflict, or rather dichotomy created between the Dalish and the City Elves is quite fascinating. They are both different yet very alike at the end of the day.
On one hand, you've got the free roaming dalish who don't bow to anyone, but in many ways that's only because they refuse to be a part of anything that could make them more than what they are. Instead of building alliances and finding prosperity they skulk in the background seemingly content to let their wounds of oppression fester.

On the other hand, you've got the city folk who have to spend their daily lives with discrimination and oppression. They are elves just like any other with their own pride and knowledge, but they sure as shit don't like being told they're a flat ear. And in many cases, that discrimination causes hatred and rage to fester in itself.

Put it this way, there is a difference between wanting 'Justice for the Future' and 'Revenge for the Past.' If there's any one word to describe the elven people, it's Resentment.
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:iconwoodsie-one:
Woodsie-One Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2014  Student General Artist
Sorry for the late reply ^^;

Yes, you're definitely right here - both with the way you describe the two kind of elves in DA uniwerse, and with noting how resentful they are. I guess this is one of things I really like about their design - how Dalish are so obsessive about their heritage, that they never look ahead, never try to build anything new or even try to exist in the changing world. They are trapped in their own vision of world, idealistic and impossible to acchieve, being rather an idealised memory, than actual goal. None of them ever saw Arthalan, they only have stories, told from generation to generation, describing it and how great they used to be. Question is - how true they actually are? These stories... they may as well be dreams of slaves from Tevinter imperium, those who barely remembered freedom, but heard stories about it. And they passed these stories, more beautiful with every telling, so after few centuries nobody really knew Arthalan, but every elf knew how great it used to be. They needed these stories, to keep rests of their pride and identity - as almost every enslaved nation ever did. Many of such tales are exaggerated, they are something between hope and comfort, not real history.
And then, when the Dalish were free again, they sacrifaced everything in order to try to reclaim this Arthalan of tales. They seek every single text, every trinket, every information, clutching it like it was the most precious thing in the whole world. And at the same time  they never will be able to reclaim even a portion of what their ancestors had. So they do the same what slaves did - they tell themselves how amazing and "true" they are, how important is their role and how much they do. They have to believe it themselves, in the world that has no need for proud keepers of the long lost lore.

And there, are the city elves - ones who abbandoned their past, their roots and stories, trying to fit in. They are focused on surviving or getting more - better position, serving in higher places, becoming a magisters instead of mere servants... they are aware of their position, how they are treated and seen, and it makes them bitter, disappointed. Many just try to live another day, but some manage to get something more, to earn something, to became a lady-in-waiting or a scout in service of somebody important. They will never be seen as equal to humans, but they still can acchieve a lot, when they swallow thei pride. They care not for the past, and many see Dalish as naive, closed in their own small world. Also, some city elves note that they find idea of living like the Dalish do horrible. They forgot who they were, they do not try to learn ancient language or seek out pieces of history, but at the same time they became somehow lost, not being albe to connect with their culture and history. It's hard to be proud and stand tall with nothing behind. Still, these are city elves that will eventually survive, build their culture and history anew - ironically, by leaving the mystical Arthalan behind - while Dalish will only be able to find small pieces of the world long lost, frozen in their resentful role of eternal victims.
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:iconchrispy92:
Chrispy92 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2014  Student Writer
You said it. I wonder what a campaign involving the elves getting the Dales back again would be like.

I imagine that it would be less like Israel-Palestine, and more like Dutch independence from the Spanish. A group of elves whom everyone laughs off as being a bunch of beggars suddenly manage to get Orlais to leave the land for real. Only problem is what this new land would be like? There would still be plenty of Orlesian humans there who have lived on the Dales for generations. Surely wouldn't they have a right to the land as much as any other elf? And what would the government be like? Would it be like the old Dales was, an isolated, close minded oligarchy more concerned with shutting the shems out than being a player on the international stage? Or would it become a humanist society where people can live their lives more or less free from oppression and discrimination?

But I imagine that the actions of the player would make the difference between an aftermath like Israel and Palestine, or a reconciliation like in South Africa. A lot could happen.
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:iconwoodsie-one:
Woodsie-One Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2014  Student General Artist
I think that already happened, partially. From what little I remember from my playthrough as a Dalish elf in Origins, my warden helped his people to get some land and govern on their own, with an emissary in Ferelden council... or whatever is called this assembly of arls and other aristocrats. They did well. For few months, and later they fucked it all up and again went nomad, because they couldn't handle it all.
And it made pretty much sense for me. Dalish don't have any organised form of government, they live in small clans with keepers which tell them what to do, more like big families, than a society. They are nomadic, and it worked pretty well when they had no land of their own. But when they were forced to govern it - they had no idea how to. And even if they did... such land, with no real leader, but a bunch of scattered clans roaming around, would be conquered fairly quickly by some better organised nation. Like Tevinter. Or Orlais. Or almost every other land. Dalish may win against villagers, scouts or small units, but against real military power? Unlikely. They would need powerful allies, who would protect them. And Dalish probably wouldn't even try to work something out with humans.
The world has changed too much for their ways to work, they exist mostly because nobody was really interested in hunting them down. And if they had an independent country - especially if it was taken back from Orlais - suddenly a lot of lords would be interested in hunting them down. To stand any chance against others, they would have to alter their lifestyle and abandon some traditions, in order to fit in - unite, start some form of organised leadership, become allies with other nations... and they would rather take their pride and go on the way they did.
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:iconchrispy92:
Chrispy92 Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2014  Student Writer
I always got the feeling that the land given was small and more of an experiment. And that it was pressure and tensions from the nobility (or Parliament) that caused the whole thing to fold on itself.

As for the Dales, I think that would be a slightly different story. Halamshiral actually has a majority elven population. Perhaps the future lies not so much in the dalish, but those who live in the cities.
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