Once the Jewel of Cairne, some could say the greatest treasure lost to the Blight were the elves and their lush forests and astounding culture. While the both elves native to Cairne and those that were trapped here by the cataclysm still remain, they have changed drastically from what they once were, and both the ethnic divisions of this particular species have lost their culture in the shifting tides of Cairne following the Blight.
Generally lithe of frame and fair of feature, elves are a species with an inherent grace and presence that persists even now despite the changes that have occurred over time. While their features may vary between the ethnic groups, with the Syllandyha tending towards extremely pale feature and light colored hair almost exclusively, the Gauldowhynna are far more varied depending upon their environment and way of life, generally reflecting both in their features. The elves have long pointed ears and graceful, expressive faces that still hold powerful traces of the beauty they once were famed for.
Genetics and Reproduction
At their core, elves are mammalian by nature, and their reproductive cycles, though having a much longer gestation period than humans, remains largely similar. The biggest divergence in the elven life cycle is that their population tends to grow very slowly, if at all due to the unique relationship they share with the land of their origin, and more importantly, the tree that houses their collective spirits. Due to this, their numbers tend to hover around a steady constant, only falling when a spirit is unable or unwilling to return to the source to be born anew. With the deterioration of the native Gauldowhynna spirit tree, and the removal of the one that the Syllandyha were once tied to, both lines of elves no longer retain this ability, and as such remain in a slow but steady decline in population.
Growth Rate & Stages
Elves mature at much the same rate as a human, reaching maturity usually between eighteen to twenty years of age, but from there their rate of aging slows to nearly a halt. Elves seldom die of old age, rather opting to return to the source when they feel they have done their due and fulfilled their purpose in that incarnation, but without the guidance of their divine progenitor or the spirit trees to return to, the longest an elf will generally survive is approximately a thousand years.
Ecology and Habitats
Elven life reflects their environment in a drastic way. Originally hailing from lush and fertile forests and glades, the elves of old had the ability to work within and manipulate the world around them, allowing them to exist in a unique position where their needs were met on a whim, their environments proving their needs as if on request, and they in turn protecting and invigorating the world around them in such a way that it never faltered or suffered through droughts or disasters. While to a degree these factors remain to a point, the lands the elves once called home is now a desolate and barren desert waste, forcing the elves to turn to more violent and carnal methods of procuring food and water, mostly by raiding and killing those unwise enough to roam within their boundaries, and occasionally beyond. They move through their environment and can still even manipulate it to some degree, but long gone are the days of feasts and banquets.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Pre-Blight Gauldowhynna elves were generally vegetarian, mainly due to the forests of their homeland providing their needs and never needing to seek sustenance elsewhere, instead respecting and protecting the lives of the animals that shared their domain. As the natural resources dwindled and the madness overtook them however, this preference was lost entirely, leading to a new emergent culture that subsists on meat from both hunting and scavenging. The drastically altered Syllandyha on the other hand, have modified themselves to the point where food is almost no longer a biological need at all, existing on very little and able to absorb their needed nutrients from virtually any edible source.
Having originally been very detached and aloof from the rest of the world, the native elves of Cairne were content to keep to themselves for the most part, barring interactions their divine order and ruling class dictated as needed for the safety, security, and betterment of their people overall. Their long lives and world views generate a great deal of misunderstanding between them and shorter lived cultures, as there remains very little sense of urgency in most aspects of their lives, a concept very alien to most others. As the spirit tree withered and the Spectral Fragmentation that occurred as a result settled in, the Gauldowhynna began to fracture mentally and emotionally, causing their entire culture to fall apart into marauding groups and half crazed individuals who's only tie that remains is their queen, Sharvisal Gwhynndahris , who only serves to further press their deterioration deeper into dark places from below the dunes where she resides in secret. The Syllandyha , having come from a long line a outworlder elves, were a unique case of exploratory cultures that had been heavily influenced and altered by the other races and ways of life they had encountered over centuries of travel and discovery.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
The despite the mentally deteriorated states of both the ethnic branches of this species, they retain an exceptional intellect, though they struggle to make the full use they once had of it now. Their long lives and efficient memories allow them to pull from experiences from not only their lifetimes, but in some cases, previous ones as well, depending on the mental state of the individual.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Elves have heightened awareness in both visual and auditory senses, and are able to navigate in near complete darkness with ease. This has been enhanced in the Gauldowhynna due to their continues close proximity with the Blight to the point of being able to see clearly in complete darkness, while the mechanically modified Syllandyha , now known as the Bonedancers rely more on enhanced device driven senses rather than any natural propensity they once enjoyed.
1.5 to 1.8 meters
63 to 90 kg