The Nelwyns were one of the intelligent races that lived on the Mother World, along with the Daikinis and many others. Like the Brownies and the Fairies, they were part of the domain of Lesser Faery. By the time of Queen Bavmorda's reign, most of them they only lived in the Nelwyn Valley.
Biology and apperanceEdit
- "At my size, words have to serve as well as knives for weapons. Unlike you Daikini, it's not so easy for us to impose our will on others."
- —Willow Ufgood, to Madmartigan, in Shadow Moon
Most details of the Nelwyn's biology, including gestation, birth, onset of maturity, and life expectancy, matched Daikini norms fairly closely. Although a single population could vary widely in height, build, and even skin color, typical adult Nelwyns measured about three feet ten inches tall and weighed ninety pounds in average. While grown Nelwyns were rarely stronger than Daikini boys aged ten to twelve, they typically were more dexterous.
Society and cultureEdit
Nelwyns tended to be smart and well-spoken. Additionally, many of them showed great skills in craftmanship, including archery, cooking, and weaving. Due to their short size and timidness, they also showed a talent for staying out of sight of those they called "the larger folk." If necessary, they did not hesitate to take up arms to defend their quiet lifestyle.
The Nelwyns were not very politically-inclined. Although each village had a council, its elected members exerted influence, but had little real authority. The council heard the occasional legal dispute, and appointed a Prefect and an archivist. The "real," yet informal, leader of a Nelwyn village was its Aldwin, a sorcerer who served as a spiritual guide and an educator to the villagers.
The other intelligent races of the Mother World often perceived the Nelwyns as unsignificant. Their tales of Creation told that the Great Givers were attentive to more significant races and passed by the Nelwyns. The Mother World was believed to be shaped in the measure of the bigger, more blessed creatures, and it was believed that the Nelwyns were created simply to provide amusement to them. They spent most of their uneventful lives in their homes, and it was said that their stunted legs were not even made for walking. The Daikinis in particular tended to regard themselves as the natural lords of the Mother World, and commonly referred to the Nelwyns as "pecks," much to their annoyance.
The origins of the Nelwyns are shrouded in mystery. According to their archival records, the Nelwyns moved into a valley inhabited by Elves 1,342 years before the fall of Bavmorda to escape constant attacks by troll packs, cyclopes, dragons, and other monsters. The Elves and the newcomers lived in peaceful coexistence for several centuries, until the Elves mysteriously departed this part of the world. After the disappearance of the valley's original inhabitants, the Nelwyns established dozens of villages, and they prospered so well that the surrounding kingdoms began to name the area "Nelwyn Valley" on their maps.
About a century before the fall of Bavmorda, the Nelwyns discovered copper in the hills surrounding their villages, and many community-owned mines were opened. Although miners came to be regarded as respectable salesmen, their work was unpleasant and dangerous. Some villagers advocate closing the mines, but the villages needed metal for cooking pots, primitive water pipes, and coins.
Behind the scenesEdit
Originally, the Nelwyns were supposed to have extra-long earlobes. Accordingly, Warwick Davis underwent make-up test, but the prothestic lobes kept rubbing on his shoulders. Additionally, the filmmakers realized that 200 to 300 other Nelwyns would have to be equipped with these fake lobes during the village scenes. At the end of the day, the long lobes were deemed to impractical, and were scrapped altogether.