Among the oldest of Meranthis’ races, elves are the children of the fey. Brought into the world from the Feywild by Inaris long ago, the Elvenkind are deeply in tune with the natural world and the magic that lives in all things. They live in the great forest kingdom of Elderwyld, blessed with long life and an understanding of nature unlike any, all the while contending with the Dwindling and the threat of the Shadowfell. Above all, elves appreciate the beauty that lies in the natural world, and they will die to protect the sanctity of nature.
Elves are tall and slender, with graceful physiques, pointed ears, and an ethereal beauty. Elven coloration varies greatly, depending on the type of elf. Regardless of the type, both male and female elves grow their hair long and keep it styled in an intricate fashions, usually in long strands or thin braids. Elven facial and body hair is all but unheard of.
High elves tend to have fair skin, ranging in color from bronze to alabaster white, with hair typically shades of blond, black, or silver-white. Their eyes always possess a tinge of blue, overlaid on gold or green. High elves are the tallest of the elves, though they lack the lithe muscle of the wood elves.
Wood elves have slightly copper skin, tinged with green, with black, brown, and red the most common hair colors. Eye color among wood elves is similar to their skin, with copper and green being the most common. Wood elves, like their disposition, are the middle-ground of the elves, being taller than dark elves but shorter than high elves.
Dark elves have dark grey or black skin, with hair colored silver, white, or pale yellow. They have universally pale eyes, with dominant shades of purple, silver, and red. Dark elves tend to be shorter than their surface kin, with sharper features.
Elven society is somewhat divided, comprised of a people who stand both together and apart. While all elves claim Elderwyld as their home, each of the three elven branches have a distinct way of life that separates them. Despite this, they are all bound by the Dwindling, and the preservation of memory is integral, though each branch as their own unique way of doing so.
High elves as a whole believe themselves to be the true elves, and it is from this belief that elves have earned a reputation for being haughty and self-important. However, they carry a great burden, as the actions of arrogant high elf mages caused the Dwindling, dooming their people to an eternal curse. Because of this, high elves care unconditionally for their people, and seek to do what they can to preserve their memories. Magic is integral to high elf society, and it shapes much of their daily life. The greatest magical artisans in all of Meranthis are high elves, and Silhathen itself is said to be a city made of magic.
Of the three types, wood elves are the most connected to nature and their fey ancestry. Preserving the natural world is paramount in wood elven society, and the druidic tradition is common amongst wood elves. They are the elves who safeguard the Wall. The wood elves do not take part in the argument between the high elves and the dark elves, and they view the Dwindling as both a warning and an opportunity. Wood elves seek a balance with nature and to imprint their memories onto nature itself, leaving behind a subtle, but infinite legacy.
Living beneath the roots of the trees, the dark elves are in some ways the mirror image of the high elves. The dark elves are unique amongst elves in that death plays a much more important role in their society than it does that of their kin. Elaborate and ritualistic funerals are commonplace and dark elves tend to preserve the memories of the dead more than they do the memories of the living. The magical tradition of necromancy began with the dark elves, created by former high elf wizards. Dark elves are rarely seen outside of Elderwyld, so they have earned
a somewhat ambiguous reputation, notably due to their views on death and acceptance of the necromantic arts.
High elf and wood elf adventurers are fairly common, leaving Elderwyld to experience the world and reclaim what memories may have dwindled over the ages. Dark elf adventurers are less common, but not unheard of. The True Kingdom holds the largest population of elves outside of Highvale, particularly Bretyngaard, Kingsmeet, and Meldhaven, where half-elves are a common sight. Most elven adventurers prefer magical paths, especially druids, but elven rangers and ranged fighters are also typical. Many necromancers are dark elves, though other realms may not immediately accept a spellcaster of such a nature.