Gelfling were the people of Thra. Aughra described them as innocent, naive and forgetful. Their society was composed of many Gelfling clans during the Age of Harmony. During the Age of Division, with the help of the Skeksis, they formed a high civilization of seven great clans, led by a matriarch called the All-Maudra.


The act of etching thoughts and ideas into physical shapes. Often used by literate Gelfling for writing, but also used for drawing and abstract divination. The more Gelfling involved in a dreametching, the more powerful the creation.


Sharing of memories via physical contact. Gelfling are able to dreamfast, as is Aughra.


The act of attaching, or stitching, a dream into a dreametching. Any Gelfling who touches the etching is able to dreamfast with the etching and experience the dream that was stitched there. A skill passed on by the Spriton clan.



Gelfling were the people of Thra. Aughra described them as innocent, naive and forgetful. Their society was composed of many Gelfling clans during the Age of Harmony. During the Age of Division, with the help of the Skeksis, they formed a high civilization of seven great clans, led by a matriarch called the All-Maudra.

The Seven Gelfling Clans

The All-Maudra, ordained by the Skeksis, was known as arbitrator and ritual guardian of all Gelfling clans. The seven clans are known to be:

The Dousan Clan

This clan made their settlements on sandships—amazing constructs of bone and crystal that navigated the Crystal Sea like ocean vessels. Their culture was shrouded and unsettlingly quiet, their life stories told in the intricate, magic tattoos painting their bodies. The Dousan (doo-SAHN) were more focused on the afterlife than their living life, immaterial and simplistic in their habits and lifestyles. Their musicality was unequaled, said to invoke the very Song of Thra which knits the realms of the living and the dead together.

The Drenchen Clan

The Drenchen clan was a clan of amphibious Gelfling who lived in the overgrown Swamps of Sog, deep in the southernmost reaches of the Skarith region. Larger and stronger than other Gelfling, the proud Drenchen were powerful in combat, though they generally preferred to keep to themselves. The Drenchen were so remote and inconveniently located that not even the Skeksis visited during the Census or tithing.

The Grottan Clan

A mysterious, secretive breed who dwelled in perpetual darkness in the Caves of Grot. Generations in the shadows left them with an extreme sensitivity to light—and solid black eyes that could see in the dark and large ears to make out even the faintest of echoes. The Grottan clan is said to number less than three dozen, and their life span is told to be unheard of, lasting three to four times as long as other Gelfling.

The Sifa Clan

Originally one homogenous clan, the Sifa (SEE-fah) would allow any Gelfling into their tribe who was willing to complete their joining ritual. These Gelfling worship the wind, whose changing whims can mean life or death on the open sea. They are merchants, well-traveled and the only Gelfling to harvest the bounty of the ocean. When in port, they’re happy to trade anything and everything – including wisdom. Sifa charms enchanted with different spells were highly desired by travelers, craftsmen, and warriors of all clans.

The Spriton Clan

Age-old rivals of the Stonewood clan, the Spriton (SPRY-ten) were a warrior race inhabiting the rolling fields south of the Dark Wood. With such bountiful land to raise crops and family, this clan’s territory spread to cover the valley in several villages. Counted among the most fierce fighters of the Gelfling race, the Spriton were often called upon to serve as soldiers for the Skeksis Lords and guards at the Castle of the Crystal. The Spriton were also skilled at artisanal crafts, such as stitching, fabric and textile working, and beading. Their handiwork was unparalleled and widely sought.

The Stonewood Clan

Known in ancient times as the Woodland Folk, this clan was a proud and ancient people who dwelled on the fertile lands near and within the Dark Wood. They made their main home in Stone-in-the-Wood, the historical home of Jarra-Jen. His courageous and daring exploits fortified the Stonewood’s perception of themselves as warriors, heroes, and adventurers. Many Stonewood Gelfling were valuable guards at the Castle of the Crystal. They were farmers and cobblers and makers of tools. They were inventive, but pastoral; like their sigil animal, they were peaceful but fierce when threatened.

The Vapra Clan

The Vapra (VÆ-prah) clan was a beautiful race with white hair, fair skin, and gossamer-winged women. Considered the oldest of the Gelfling clans, the Vapra reside in cliffside villages along the northern coasts, making their capital in Ha’rar. The Vapra’s maudra at the time of The Gelfling Gathering, Mayrin, doubled as All-Maudra, matriarch leader of all the Gelfling clans. Vapra were skilled at camouflage; their vliyaya focuses on light-changing magic, allowing them to become nearly invisible.

Gelfling Gathering

In their constant quest for eternal power, Skeksis Lords discovered they could harness the power of the Crystal to restore their youth and vigor. skekTek the scientist created a machine that, by way of the cracked Crystal, could extract the life-force from living things. The Skeksis drank this life-force – this essence – and felt their wounds healing, their vicious energy restored. They became obsessed with essence, and sought a bountiful source from which to steal it, soon choosing the Gelfling as a most bountiful source indeed.

In the beginning, the Skeksis selected and drained Gelfling in secret. But early on, their dreadful secret was discovered by a young castle guard named Rian. Not only did Rian see what the Skeksis had done – to the Crystal and to his fellow Gelfling – but he managed to steal a vial of essence as proof before escaping the Castle of the Crystal as a wanted criminal.

Though the Skeksis tried to contain the horrible news that Rian brought to the Gelfling, in the end they were unable to keep their wicked secret. Word of what they had done began to spread far and wide. And so, in order to maintain control over the land and the Gelfling, the Skeksis abandoned their plans to harvest the Gelfling in secret. They turned on the Gelfling, killed the All-Maudra, and ordered the Gelfling to submit or be destroyed.

The Gelfling chose to do neither and, led by Rian and other heroes from amongst the Seven Clans, they united to resist the Skeksis. And thus this age became known as the Age of Resistance.

The Wall of Destiny

Once the Gelfling Clans decided to unite, they came together to face the Skeksis. One by one, the flames of their resistance burst forth, inscribing upon stone and earth the many stories of their courage, their valor, and their perseverence. During their final confrontation with the Skeksis Lords, the Gelfling united in dreamfast, and their collective dream was emblazoned upon every surface it touched. Not only did this dream show the heroes who had come to lead their resistance against the Skeksis, but the flame-touched engravings showed images of the future, as well: Of the division of urSkeks into Skeksis and urRu; of the Triple Sun in the sky; and of a young Gelfling holding a Crystal Shard, healing the Crystal and putting an end to the Skeksis’ tyranny once and for all.

The Prophecy and Garthim Wars

The Gelfling sought to know if the Crystal might be healed and if the Skeksis rule must continue. They lit the fires of rebellion and their dreams were made into stone. There, in the ruins wrought by the Skeksis, the Prophecy etched into the Wall of Destiny stood for all to see.

In the Prophecy, the Gelfling were shown the quest for the lost shard, and they were shown the healing of the Crystal by Gelfling hand, replacing the Shard by the light of a Great Conjunction. They were shown the ruin of the Gelfling and the fall of the seven clans.

When the Skeksis learned of this prophecy, they immediately sought to thwart it. In their madness and paranoia, they created the Garthim soldiers and Crystal Bat spies, dispatching them to hunt down and exterminate the Gelfling. They even manufactured false shards to hinder the Gelfling in their quest to heal the Crystal.

Thus began the Garthim Wars. Only two Gelfling, Jen and Kira, are known to have survived.

Some Known Gelfling, in Alphabetical Order:

All-Maudra Mayrin

Mayrin (MAY-rin) established her reign as Vapra Maudra during the time of the Sifan separatist movement, and was later All-Maudra at the beginning of the time known as The Gelfling Gathering. She believed that working with the Skeksis was the best way of ensuring safety and stability for the Gelfling.


Amri (AHM-ri) was a member of the Grottan Clan. He left the Caves of Grot as an ambassador when Naia and Kylan brought the news of the Skeksis betrayal to his Clan.


Amri (AHM-ri) was a member of the Grottan Clan. He left the Caves of Grot as an ambassador when Naia and Kylan brought the news of the Skeksis betrayal to his Clan.


Bellanji (bell-ÆN-jee), Naia and Gurjin’s father, was husband of Maudra Laesid of the Drenchen Clan.


Brea (BRAY-uh) was All-Maudra Mayrin’s youngest daughter. Curious, brave, and intelligent, Brea was often in trouble for ignoring tradition, rites, and ceremonies. However, her insatiable hunger for the truth would lead her to make many important discoveries and allies that would help the Gelfling in their resistance against the Skeksis.


Carn (KAHrn), an early Maudra, was leader of the Spriton clan of Gelfling and mother to Thall.


The royal advisor to All-Maudra Seladon (Sr.) and All-Maudra Mayrin.


Fenth was a Sifan Captain and advisor to the Sifan Maudra during the Age of Division who led the Sifan separatist movement known as the Age of Sifans.


Gurjin (GUR-jin) was an friend of Rian‘s and a member of the Drenchen clan. He is the twin brother of Naia, and one of the first Gelfling to uncover the Skeksis’ plan to drain Gelfling essence.


Gyr was a traveler and a song-teller. He wandered the lands of Thra, roaming from tribe to tribe, learning their songs and sharing his own. It is said he created a firca from the bones of a Bell-Bird, which allowed him to sing his songs into written form across the walls in the Caves of Grot.


Jarra-Jen was a legendary figure in Thra. They say that lightning raged when he was born. As he grew to be an adult, lightning was the only force that could match his intensity. He was fearless, curious, and overwhelmingly charming. 


Raised by the urRu in their valley, Jen believed he was the last survivor of the Gelfling. But when his dying master sent him on a quest, he discovered he was not alone. The Dark Crystal is the story of the terrors and final triumphs of Jen’s quest. 


Jul was an ally of Rian‘s and a member of the Spriton clan.


Kam’lu was a Sifan Captain of the Scalene Anchor who had previously survived the Arathim Wars and had later become a follower of Fenth who supported the Sifan separatist movement. Later, however, after meeting and adventuring with All-Maudra Mayrin and seeing Fenth’s true colors, he renounced his secessionist beliefs. He later married Mayrin.


Kensho (KEN-show) was a young Gelfling acolyte to the Gelfling Crystaline Eminence who oversees the delivery of offerings from the Gelfling and Podling races to the Crystal. He aids Thurma on her quest to re-ignite the dying sun at the very heart of Thra.


Like Jen, Kira survived the attacks of the Garthim on the Gelfling. Rescued by the Pod People, she learned to live in harmony with the woodland creatures who inhabited the swamps and forests surrounding the Podling village. When fate brought Kira and Jen together, she joined him on his quest. They gave each other strength, encouragement, and the will to succeed. 


Kylan (KYE-len) was a Spriton Song-Teller and friend to Naia of the Drenchen. His dream was to become a hero like the legendary Jarra-Jen, until discovering his abilities in song-telling and dream-stitching might find him a greater place in Gelfling history.


Lahr (LAR) was a shepherd and music maker. He was the first Gelfling to have ever killed a Garthim. He was strong and compassionate, and regarded as brave by the other Gelfling. When his village is destroyed by Garthim, he set out to save others from the same fate. He and Neffi aided villagers in fighting off Garthim attacks, and journeyed to the Castle of the Crystal to free the Gelfling prisoners. Lahr married Neffi.

Maudra Argot

The oldest of the Maudra a the time of The Gelfling Gathering, Maudra Argot (AHR-got) led the Grottan Clan out of their hiding to join the other Gelfling in resisting the tyranny of the Skeksis.

Maudra Ethri

When the news of the Skeksis betrayal reached the Sifa, Maudra Ethri (EH-three)had only recently taken the role of Maudra. Though she was beloved by her clan, she was inexperienced when it came dangerous politics.

Maudra Fara

A veteran of negotiating with the Skeksis, at the time of The Gelfling Gathering, Maudra Fara’s (FAIR-ah) resilience and resourcefulness was second to none.She had strong opinions about how the Gelfling Clans should be governed, and wasn’t afraid to say so.

Maudra Laesid

Called the Blue Stone Healer, Maudra Laesid’s (LAY-sid) healing abilities were unparalleled. A proud and trusting mother, she believed her children, Naia and Gurjin, when they brought news of the Skeksis betrayal. She was one of the first Gelfling Maudra to turn against the Skeksis.

Maudra Mera

Knowing the Spriton lands were close and that her people would be easy picking for the Skeksis, Maudra Mera (MEH-rah) was quick to avoid confrontation with the Lords of the Castle of the Crystal.

Maudra Seethi

The Dousan’s fixation on death was honed by their Maudra, Seethi (SEE-thee) the Skin Painter, whose transcendental dream-etchings were said to be glimpses into the afterlife.


Mira (MEE-ra), a Vapra and friend to Rian and Gurjin, was a guard at the Castle of the Crystal. Her bravery and curiosity led her to be one of the first Gelfling to discover what the Skeksis had done to the Crystal.


Naia (NYE-ya) was a Maudra-in-Training of the Drenchen Clan, with the special ability to dreamfast with creatures other than Gelfling. She left her home in the Swamp of Sog in search of her missing twin brother, Gurjin. After traveling all the way to the Castle of the Crystal, Naia was one of the only Gelfling to discover the darkened Crystal and survive to sing the tale. She would later become Maudra of the Drenchen Clan and join the Gelfling resistance against the Skeksis. 


Neffi (NEH-fee) was a weaver from the village of Greengrove. She was kind and playful, and loved children. She was also very resourceful and courageous. She and Lahr, both victims of the Garthim Wars, ventured together to warn the other villages of the danger. With Lahr, she aided villagers in fighting off Garthim attacks, and journeyed to the Castle of the Crystal to free the Gelfling prisoners. Neffi married Lahr.


Onica (ON-ih-kah) was a Sifan Far-Dreamer who occasionally visited Ha’rar to trade and visit Tavra, with whom she had a secret romance. She was later involved in the Gelfling Gathering.


A proud Stonewood warrior and long-time ally of Maudra Fara of the Stonewood Clan, Ordon (OR-dahn) became most well-known in his role as Captain of the Guard at the Castle of the Crystal. He would later join his son, Ri’an, in the rebellion against the Skeksis.


A Dousan skiff-pilot and younger brother to Sandmaster Rek’yr, Periss (PAIR-iss) disagreed with his clan’s unwillingness to take action to save their home when it became endangered by violent storms. After leaving to find outside help, he later became allies with Naia, Kylan, and Amri, and helped save the Wellspring during the Gelfling Gathering.


Rek’yr (reh-KEER) was a Sandmaster of the Dousan Clan who helped Rian, Brea, and Deet reach the Circle of the Suns during the Gelfling Gathering.


Once a loyal palace guard serving with his father, Rian (ree-ÆN) was a skilled fighter and a member of the Stonewood clan. It was Rian who discovered that the Skeksis drained Gelfling for essence.


Seladon (SELL-ah-dawn) was the eldest daughter of All-Maudra Mayrin, who initially sided with the Skeksis at the beginning of the Gelfling rebellion. She succeeded her mother as All-Maudra and made a failed attempt to negotiate with the Skeksis after their true nature was revealed. Later, she joined the resistance to fight the Skeksis.


Tae (TAY) was an advisor and Sifa captain serving Maudra Ethri during the time of the Gelfling Gathering. She was good friends with Onica and would later join the Gelfling resistance against the Skeksis.

Tavra (Katavra of Ha’rar)

Tavra (TAH-vra) was a Vapra warrior and daughter of the Gelfling All-Maudra. Tavra was originally sent by her mother to find the Gelfling traitors Rian and Gurjin, but later came to realize the truth of the situation and tried to protect them instead. She was named after a Gelfling of myth who was said to be a friend of Raunip.


The daughter of Maudra Carn who loved spending her time in the forest. She was the first Gelfling to encounter the urRu UrSu. UrSu, Thall and Raunip help the underground dwelling creatures find their way back underground.


Thriya was a Stonewood Song-Teller who lived in the early Age of Division. She made it her life’s work to travel the Skarith Lands and collect the songs of the seven Gelfling Clans.

See Also