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bubbleheaded

Preserver (Elfquest)

Preservers are a fantasy race in the comic book series Elfquest.

Characteristics

Preservers appear somewhat fairylike: small winged humanoid creatures, who come in many different colors. Preservers are genderless, immortal, and nearly invulnerable except for their relatively fragile wings. They have four fingers (three fingers and one thumb) on each hand, and four toes, three pointing forward and one backward, giving them birdlike feet. They are intelligent, although compared to humans, elves or trolls they seem rather bubbleheaded and naive. They wear hats, but no clothes.

Preservers see their vocation in protecting elves. Their most useful ability toward that goal lies in being able to produce wrapstuff, a substance similar to but much stronger than spider silk. Anything (or anyone) enclosed in a cocoon of this substance is "outside of time". It has been used, among other things, for preserving food and to prevent gravely injured people from dying until a healer can take care of them. While an elf sealed in wrapstuff does not need food or air, he or she can still work magic; thus wrapstuff is used to enable elves to spend some time concentrating on their magic alone.

Preservers also can tell at any time in which direction the Palace of the High Ones lies.

History

The ancestors of the Preservers were butterfly-like creatures the High Ones took with them from their dying world.They evolved into what they are now under the influence of the magic of the Palace, and in the end became essential to the High Ones. The guiders of the Palace and Orolin, the keeper of the Scroll of Colors, were sealed in wrapstuff to concentrate on their tasks, and some doors in the Palace were built so that only a preserver could open them.

Since neither the Wolfriders nor the Sun Folk nor the Go-Backs knew of preservers, it seems most, if not all preservers stayed with the group of Elves that would later become the Gliders. For a while, the existence of the preservers kept Lord Voll's memory of the Palace and the outside world fresh, but to prevent this remembering, Winnowill sent them out to catch animals and wrap them in webstuff for the Gliders to collect later, although in fact she planned never to have the Gliders do so.

After the Wolfriders "discovered" them, the Preservers spread out some more, some staying with the Sun Folk, others with the different groups of Wolfriders.

An early chapter of WaveDancers shows a Preserver, but since none was featured later, this seems to have been a slip.

Individual Preservers

Apart from Petalwing, most preservers are not depicted consistently throughout the comics; often colors were switched around or randomly changed, or even the entire design switched with another one, or the same design used for two different preservers.

  • Petalwing (green body, yellow wings with pink veins, hat apparently made from rolled treebark) It is the closest to a leader the Preservers have, probably due to its big mouth. It is the only preserver to accompany the Wolfriders on their quest for the Palace, and leads their way. During Siege at Blue Mountain it stays with Rayek, but afterward it mostly remains with Cutter's tribe.
  • Berrybuzz (purple body, blue wings with yellow veins, hat made from the top of an acorn) It accompanies Cutter at the beginning of Siege at Blue Mountain, but later is among the Preservers who protect Dewshine from Winnowill. During Shards it goes with Ember's tribe.
  • Bitterscreech (purple skin, yellow-green wings with dark green veins, blue hat) goes with Cutter's band of warriors during "Shards."
  • Bumbleclaw goes with Ember's tribe during "Shards."
  • Littlesky (light blue skin and wings) - one of the Preservers who stay with the Sun Folk.
  • Tickletoe (violet body, yellow-green wings, hat made from rolled bark) It is in the Palace when Winnowill destroys the Palace, and leads the other Preservers to the site of the disaster. During the Shards war, it accompanies Aroree, Mender and Flam.
  • Tittersweet (first depicted with orange-red skin, blue wings and orange hat, later looking identical to Bitterscreech) During the Shards war it accompanies Strongbow, Skot and Krim. It calls the Wolfriders to help when the Djun is attempting to execute Shuna.
  • Willowsnap (magenta body and wings) - Stays with the Sun Folk, accompanies Dart's Jackwolf-riders to the Forevergreen, and later goes with Jethel and Chot.

Rosie

Rosie, a character from Elfquest's space age, is genetically engineered from material from a tiny corpse found near Sorrow's End, with added human material (about 10 percent of the total) donated by Dr. Shayalla Beneir. She's about the size of a small human, has green skin, four fingers on each hand, but lacks wings (though she can jump much farther than humans or elves). She is able to produce wrapstuff.

The humans who bred her had planned to dissect her, but with the help of her android friend Shimmer and the toleration of Dr. Beneir, she is freed by the Rebels, and stays with them. Her behavior seems childlike, but she has access to at least some of the memories of the original Preserver she was cloned from.

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