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t u a t h a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s
by Rhianna SilEl
What is the discernable difference between elf, sidhe, and tuatha? You are all scrawny pointy-ears to me.
Elf seems to be somewhat of a generic term these days. There are many different kinds of elves -- Listari, Tulari, Wood Elves, and Tolkien Elves, just to name a few. Racially, I think that most of the elves are for the most part the same and the major differences tend to be cultural. Very few, if any, of the elven cultures tend to be anything like the cultures of either the Sidhe or the Tuatha and the variety amongst themselves can differ to a large degree as well with some being extremely honorable and easy to deal with and others being dishonorable pains in the arses.
The sidhe, from what I can tell tend to physically be something like a cross between the fae and one of the elven races, but culturally they aren't particularly attuned to either race. They're far too political to really be fae and their system of government is closer to the House structure of the Tuatha than the freestyle of the fae or the elven systems. The main difference between the Tuatha and the Sidhe, despite the obvious racial ones, seems to be the way in which their Houses function and inter-relate. From what I can tell, the Sidhe version of the House structure is far more simplistic than the Tuatha one.
There was a time when I would use the generic term "elf" to apply to the Tuatha, but it just doesn't really seem to fit anymore. We have a few physical traits in common with elves, but many of us tend to be a bit more physically solid and we have a few additional physical organs that the elves don't seem to have from what I've heard. The term "sidhe" has often been ascribed to us, but that doesn't really fit, either. I suspect that we got this title from the myths of humanity where many different groups are often lumped into one giant group whether they're the same or not. So, I think the accurate way to put it is that the Tuatha are just the Tuatha and leave it at that. While we can have some racial characteristics, and, undoubtedly even share some DNA with the other groups, we are not in fact completely the same. Our system of government and laws vary drastically from both groups and much of who and what we are is hardcoded on a cellular level (we wear our House on our DNA x-helix -- with x being the number of strands in our DNA helix, since there are most likely more than two and I don't recall how many, exactly, there are, I'm using "x"), which, from what I can tell, doesn't seem to be the case with either Sidhe or Elves.