Welcome to the Otherforest!

Conceived around 1983 when I was in high school, just after begining to read the Elfquest comic on a regular basis. The Otherforest is my own world, but could never have existed without that fine comic. Please go read it. Spend money on it. Praise it. Enjoy it!

The Otherforest is a large land on a smallish planet very far away from Earth. It has many secrets - some thrilling, some scary, and some just weird. One of the weird ones: every living thing on the planet came from somewhere else, through a portal in space, and used to be in another shape.

Elves, for instance. Humans from Earth come through portals to this planet, as elves. Smaller and lighter, with magical power in exchange. Their companions, the wolves, bore some faint resemblance to kangaroos on their own homeworld. Every spore, fish, seed, bird and worm that has drifted through a portal winding up here, has put down roots, bred successfully, and created a unique biosphere.

Dinosaur-like creatures roam the immense plains along side crickets the size of houses. (Well, to be fair, the crickets were created by an elf named Redhair, but that's her own story!) The elves share their hunting grounds with exotic peoples - the squat, technologically advanced Ice Traders, the exceptionally magical shapeshifting Deer Folk, the Avi of the deep jungle, the insectoid Hive, and the terrifying Urai. All manner of terrain and climate are inhabited by elves, and many different cultures have evolved around their small villages.

On the sidebar are the different locations, Holts and stomping grounds that the Elves call home. They are arranged roughly in chronological order of foundation. Here is a MAP of the Otherforest, with its Holts plotted out. The other thingies? Only time will tell if you find out. (The spread out stars are 'wandering grounds' for nomadic tribes, while the stars are for stable Holts, and the circular ones are the other races.)

There are two points of human entry to this world - the First Holt's portal, and the Hall of Portals on the eastern coast. Others may also exist... That's where all the myriad other characters created may have come from.

Upon arrival to the Otherforest, once the shock of realization wears off (hey - my ears are long! wow, look I've lost fingers and toes! whoops - I'm naked!) most elves experience a strong 'calling' toward a particular direction. While some are merely nudged gently, others are almost obsessively compelled to settle in their new home - and that home may be hundreds or even thousands of miles away!

Fortunately, their journey is rarely as difficult as that may seem. The wolves which prowl around the First Holt's portal and lands have settled populations in other locales, and eventually one or another - or sometimes two - will find the new elf to aid them on their journey and in life. Joined in mind and soul, most elves bond a wolf. Some choose no bond, and some another animal. Rarely, earthly animals that come with their owners experience the change similar to their human, and become something new and unique.

Almost every elf can perform some kind of 'magic', be it manipulation of physical forces such as fire and wind, or mental ones which cause illusions in other's minds, or even the ability to cast themself out of their own body and visit spirits astrally. Some are stronger than others, some better at their chosen magics than all the rest. Usually in every location, there are people who concentrate on specific-needs magic: 'far seeing' astral projectionists often serve as the newsbringers to other Holts, while 'finders' aid hunts, healers of course keep everyone healthy and assist births.

There is little or no death involved in becoming an elf. Elves have died, it's true. But with their ability to fend off disease, and the magic of healing available to nearly everyone, their immortality is almost assured. Elves have been known to fight with one another - even to the point of waging violent wars in small numbers on each other. But very rarely do these fights involve more than a dozen on either side - territorial battles and personal vendetta at best.

In elfin communities, there is no electricity, plumbing (in general) and transportation is limited to personal abilities and walking/riding. There are some locations where even planting a garden is rare, prefering to forage instead; while in others, a harvest festival and orchard picking dominates the late fall activities. Music is pervasive, but primative. No keyboards, or complicated valved instruments are used - though there may be some having come in trade from the Ice Traders.


Now, of course, times have changed a bit. For some time, elves just weren't coming to the Otherforest like they used to. (read: I wasn't making my friends into them compulsively any more) Time passes very differently through the Portals. For every 3 months or so here on Earth, almost 2 years might go by. Therefore it's been ... a really long time there. For me too - I've changed tracks and moved from elves to dragons. Not so big a change, in theory. In practice of course...

So now, without further ado, the Elves of the Otherforest ... as Dragon rider candidates.

If you'd like to create a random character (using whatever parts of it you like - name, appearance, powers, location, or none at all) please click here! Right at this moment I don't have the html experience to make a real 'pick your own' page - but I will. I'm learning and I really do want to have one. It was the first thing I really wanted to put online, in fact, but I never got around to it because it was just so far over my head. Things have changed, and eventually there will be a nice 'click here if you like X and Y' form that will produce a custom made 'you as an elf' page.