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D&D: An Adventurer’s Guide to Corellon Larethian

3 Minute Read
Jan 8 2023

Corellon Larethian created the elves. Whether on purpose or accident depends on which stories you listen to.

Corellon Larethian is credited with creating all elves on Faerun. Though not everyone can agree whether or not he meant to, there’s no doubt that this one event kicked off not just a multiversal migration, but an epic tale of betrayal and tragedy.

Though the earliest stories place Corellon firmly on the world of Greyhawk, the truth is that the androgynous, evershifting god existed in the cosmos that touch all realities. And from there, originally, did all elves spring.

Corellon Larethian – Creator of All Elves

In the current canon, Corellon was regarded as the creator of all elves. And while the exact details of how tend to vary, certain stories recur again and again with each telling:

Elves are all descended from a deity, and their origin led to a tragedy that shapes their culture to this day.

The gulf between the elves and Corellon, and the split between Corellon and Lolth, arose from the same transgression. That one incident set all the many races of elves on their present paths, determined their unique life cycle, and triggered an unflagging hatred between the drow and the elves of the Material Plane. No other event has had such momentous impact on elven history as the one that began it all.

It all began long before the elves even existed when Corellon “danced from world to world and plane to plane” existing in a graceful, but mutable state. This may be why many cultures consider Corellon Larethian as a god of change. Indeed, the earliest stories refer to Corellon to without specific gender or even form; Corellon might one day be a school of fish, a flock of birds, a bunch of bees.

This last metaphor seemed particularly apt, as Corellon had a reputation for “loving wholeheartedly” but reveling in pleasure.


Eventually, the wandering deity’s free-loving, free-roaming spirit brought about a conflict with the god Gruumsh (who at this point still had both eyes). During their legendary fight with Gruumsh, Corellon took an eye, but not before Gruumsh could wound them.

And from that spilled blood, were born the elves. These first elves were not the ones common to realms like Greyhawk and Faerun.

No, these primal elves were more like Corellon, mutable in terms of form and gender. They were fey beings who lived in Arvandor with their creator, and as Corellon played favorites, they gave these primordial elves names — names that make up the rest of the elven pantheon, including Lolth.

Lolth and the Fall

But while Corellon was happy to tarry and flit about the multiverse, Lolth had a desire for superiority at the cost of individual freedom. Lolth came up with a scheme to give up the freedom of form in order to achieve total dominance.

And this single thought changed the nature of elves forever. They took “static forms”, following in the wake of Lolth. But Corellon took this static-ness as a betrayal. The nascent elven pantheon handled it the way elves do — with a great debate. The primal elven deities pled their case before Corellon, which gave Lolth the opportunity to try and kill her hated foe.

That went over about as well as you’d expect, and the result is the drow being cast down, Lolth becoming a demon lord, and Corellon becoming the leader of a fractious pantheon.


And that’s just one side of the elven story.

Author: J.R. Zambrano
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