Wood Elf Species in Belkora | World Anvil
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Wood Elf

When you hear about elves, you generally picture some kind of mystical child of the forest, in tune with nature and all of her creatures, but the reality is that elves are very similar to humans. They eat like humans, breathe like humans, even hate like humans. That's the secret they don't want you to know.
— Flip, The Great Book of the Races

Basic Information

Anatomy

Wood elves have similar morphology as humans, with two arms and legs, along with a similar bone structure. The only major difference is that wood elf bones tend to be more slender while being the same length.

Biological Traits

Wood elves are known for having extremely long and pointy ears, as well as their noticeable slenderness when compared to humans that are the same height. They also tend to have a low muscle mass, with their muscles usually being more defined rather than bulking up.

Genetics and Reproduction

Elves reproduce via the same method as humans, except that they gestate for 14 months before a live birth.

Growth Rate & Stages

Elves grow incredibly slowly with no puberty period. They reach physical maturity by age 50, but are not considered adults until 100. They are then considered middle-aged at 450 years, and old aged at 800.

Ecology and Habitats

Wood elves prefer to live in forests, especially old-growth ones, although they mostly live in the secondary-growth Eastern Forest.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Wood elves have a diet in equal measures meat and vegetation, often going out and hunting and foraging for meals.  However, when among other races, they will usually focus more on a vegetable diet for appearance purposes.

Additional Information

Social Structure

Wood elves mostly live in small household units with one parent in charge, usually the father.  Households will usually meet with each other for important holidays and the like, but otherwise households are fairly separated from each other socially.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Most wood elves live in the Eastern Forest, although some have moved out west into human society and even beyond.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Wood elves have a decent night vision, being able to see well in the large shaded regions under the thick canopy of leaves in the forest.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Wood elves are generally named with softer sounds. Female names will often end with a vowel or “s” while a male may end in a hard sound or an “n”. They will then have some kind of extended family name that harkens back to days of old.

Major Organizations

The Elven Kingdom is the primary political organization of the wood elves. There is also a terrorist organization known as the Rising Vengeance Clan that seeks to instill elven hegemony.  While there are several different kinds of elves in the Clan, it is primarily made up of wood elves.

Beauty Ideals

Wood elves tend to view less-human characteristics as attractive, like being slender or having silky hair.

Gender Ideals

Males are expected to take charge in situations while females are expected to be docile and subservient to the males. However, the one exception is with magic, as females are allowed into the College of Sorcery and are considered equal to men.  In fact, especially recently, magic is seen as a more female-dominated art.

Courtship Ideals

Courtship is a process between the suitor and the father of the lady where the suitor attempts to win over the father. Generally the lady won’t meet her suitor until the father decides to set up the marriage.  This has shifted in more recent times to a mere formality, but some old-fashioned families may still adhere closely to this practice.

Relationship Ideals

A good wood elven wife is expected to care for the children and remain in the domestic sphere. They are expected to refrain from sorcery except when it is necessary in housework.  In fact, elven woman who enter the College of Sorcery will often be expected to refrain from a normal relationship with another.

Average Technological Level

Elves have relatively low technology levels as they prefer to focus on honing their sorcery and finding new ways to incorporate sorcery into their everyday lives.

Common Etiquette Rules

Wood elves believe that decorum comes before all else, and that one should be cordial even to people that one may despise.  This decorum falters only when it comes to humans, which elves have always held a special disdain for.

Common Dress Code

Wood elves often wear dark green are other earthy hues to blend in with the forest easily while hunting.  Sorcerers among elves will instead wear flowy robes of similar colors to other elves, but usually with some threads woven in meant to imitate precious metals in appearance.

Culture and Cultural Heritage

So much of wood elven culture is subsumed by their mastery of sorcery.  Even among elves, wood elves are generally considered the race with the most expertise in twisting their own souls to create magical effects.  As such, almost of their entire cultural identity is built around this, despite most elves not learning how to tap into that gift.     They also have a particular propensity to hold onto traditions from their days with the ancient elves, but they do not seem to understand the reason they did it.  One example is the stripping of family names for exiles, as family association is not an important part of modern elven society.  There are more than other races these odd little holdovers from the past.

Common Taboos

There are various strict societal expectations that elves must follow within the Elven Kingdom.  Breaking them will often lead to the offending elf to be exiled from the Kingdom, which involves being stripped of their family name and being arrested on sight if they enter the Eastern Forest again.

History

The wood elves first became genetically distinct from ancient elves during the Archaic Era, when the Human Empire was in power. Ancient elves claim it is from interbreeding with humans while wood elves claim it was just evolution taking place. They continued as one political entity with ancient elves for centuries though, being known as the Great Elven Clan. Together with the orcs and the dragonborn, the elves defeated the Human Empire and took complete control of the forests to the east again. Overtime though, the wood elves became more and more militaristic, developing their sorcery more and more, until eventually invading the orcs to the west when the soldiers were away fighting the dragonborn.   After taking control of the Central Plains, the ancient elves officially broke off from the wood elves politically, sealing away The Ancient Woods with a magical barrier that only the pure of heart could pass through. The wood elves became the Elven Empire and began to consolidate power over any orcs that remained in the plains until eventually they all left.   When the Great Migration happened, humans came to the Central Plains and Eastern Forest, just wanting some land to live on. The elves, still paranoid after the Great War hundreds of years ago refused to let them settle down. After a conflict over several decades where the humans were nearly entirely slaughtered by the elves, they decided to allow the humans live under their rule in the plains, but never enter the forest.   After decades of oppressing the humans like they did the orcs before them, the human king Boden I rose up and declared open war on the elves again. This time, human tenacity overwhelmed elven sorcery and the humans won their freedom. Realizing that they resembled the Human Empire of old, the elves decided not to retaliate and replace their emperor with a king, changing the name from the Elven Empire to the Elven Kingdom.   From then on, the elves have had shaky relations with the humans and the recent Mad King's War only shook things further.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

Wood elves tend to view most other races as inferior in some way, but especially hate humans.
Scientific Name
Feyus florestine woot
Lifespan
850 years
Average Height
4'10''-6'6''
Average Weight
70-200 lbs
Average Physique
Wood elves tend to be incredibly slender with little muscle mass.  Those that do train their muscles tend to have a slim muscled look rather than bulking up.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Wood elves have similar skin to Centrum humans, but tend to be a shade tanner.
Geographic Distribution
Related Myths

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