The Elvirim look much like humans, but are somewhat shorter (an average male elvirim is roughly 5' 6" (168 cm) in height), generally have a slighter build than humans, very little or no body hair, fine features, and pointed ears.Their skin is grayish-brown with pink overtones, ranging from very light pinkish-gray, nearly white, to a deeper gray-brown. Their eyes are generally bright blue or green. In general, they are less gregarious than humans, and live in small tribal communities or villages that are far removed from human settlements. Some even live alone; however, travelers that have encountered solo Elvirim say that they do not seem lonely. Rather, they are congenial, but calm. They smile often, but do not laugh. Elvirim are said to live very long lives - hundreds of years - but are not actually immortal. Their birthrate is also said to be very low, so the death of an Elvirim individual is greatly mourned, and the birth of an Elvirim child is greatly celebrated. There are subraces of Elvirim that have been encountered, but less is known about them. Some are said to live only in the deepest mountain forests, and are rumored to be less reserved than the more commonly encountered Elvirim. Even less is known about a subrace of Elvirim rumored to live in deep caves, and are said to only venture out to the surface at night, and even that very rarely. The Elvirim are said to be able to talk with most Okkurim and some are said to have Okkurim companions.
The Elvirim look much like humans, but are somewhat shorter. An average male Elvirim is roughly 5' 6" (167 cm) in height, while females are on average 5'1" (155 cm). They also usually have a slighter build than humans, An average male Elvirim weighs about 120 lbs (55.5 kg) and a female weighs on average 85 lbs (38.5 kg). They have very little or no body hair, fine features, and pointed ears. Their skin is grayish-brown with pink overtones, ranging from very light pinkish-gray, nearly white, to a deeper gray-brown. Their eyes are generally bright blue or green. Their hair is light blondish-brown to silvery-blond and is usually worn long. Elvirim are often considered very beautiful to humans.
Genetics and Reproduction
Elvirim children are not born often. It is rare for an Elvirim female to have more than two children in her lifetime, and her children are usually born many years apart. Because of this, the population of the Elvirim on Derkomai is relatively stable, with deaths roughly equal to the number of births. Because children are not born often, the birth of an Elvirim child is greatly celebrated by the tribe. Some have noted that reproduction among Elvirim seems to be as much a matter of love and connection as biology. The Elvirim female must greatly desire to have a child with her partner before she can or will become pregnant. The same is true for Elvirim males; if an Elvirim male does not feel a deep bond with an Elvirim female, he will not desire to mate with her. Surprisingly, Elvirim are able to mate and reproduce with humans. Half-Elvirim, half-Human individuals, while rare, are known to exist. Most such individuals have a human father and an Elvirim mother, but there are some with Elvirim fathers and human mothers. Typically, the parents of those half-Elvirim people have a very deep love for one another, as deep or even deeper then the bond between two Elvirim partners.
Growth Rate & Stages
Elvirim children mature more slowly than human children, with full physical and mental maturity not reached until between 30 and 40 years of age. When as Elvirim child is adjudged by the elders of the tribe to be mentally, physically, and emotionally mature, the elders will plan and carry out the child's Ceremony of Ascension. Very old Elvirim become detached from the rest of Elvirim society. Their physical needs become very minimal; they are able to maintain their health with very little food or material comforts. They dwell somewhere away from the rest of the tribe, in mountain forests, marshes, or other isolated places. They spend their time in meditation, creating pieces of artwork, or wandering through the wilds. They are known for having great wisdom and insight and occasionally some powers of magic, even quite powerful magic. Their magic seems to have a different basis than that of human Magi. It is not based on passionate emotions.
Ecology and Habitats
Elvirim typically live in mountain forests and other wild areas away from areas populated by humans; though some live near and even in human villages, towns, and cities. Such cases often occur because an old Elvirim village became surrounded by a human settlement, and the Elvirim there simply choose to remain there, adapting to the circumstances. Those Elvirim that live close to humans usually maintain separation from human society and do not associate often with the humans around them.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Most Elvirim are vegetarian. They abhor killing, and that stricture extends to animals as well as sentient beings. They eat vegetables, mushrooms, fruit, eggs, nuts, and other natural products they grow and gather, from which they also make other food products. They keep some animals for milk from which they make cheese-like products. They also make a bread-like food that keeps for a very long time and is extremely nutritious. They make delicious and nutritious juices and wines from fruit they grow and gather. Elvirim are said to be fond of food and drink, and eat often at times of plenty, but are able to survive on very little when the need arises. Some races of Elvirim do not share the revulsion for violence and killing that most Elvirim have. They are said to eat meat and are devious and violent. Little else is known about them.
Elvirim gestation is seven months, similar to the human gestation period (a month on Derkomai is 40 days). Elvirim babies are usually very small compared to average human babies, typically not more than four pounds (under 2 kg), and Elvirim women generally give birth easily, without the pain and struggle many human women experience giving birth. Elvirim children mature more slowly than human children, not reaching full adulthood often until between 30 and 40 years of age. It is not unusul for an Elvirim young person's Ceremony of Ascension to take place not until the Elvirim is nearly 40 years of age. Elvirim adults also age much more slowly than humans. An adult Elvirim is considered old when they reach 400 years of age, and very old when they reach 500 years. There are some Elvirim that are said to have reached 1000 years old. Very old Elvirim are said to not actually die; rather, they seem to simply fade from mortal existence. They will separate themselves from society, dwelling away from others in some isolated place. They spend more and more time in meditation, communing with Eia’au, neither eating nor drinking, until one day their heart ceases beating and their body seems to just evaporate into nothingness, leaving behind just whatever clothes they were wearing and their Bharana jewelry. Elders of the tribe keep watch over those very old Elvirim, and when they pass away from existence, they gather their belongings, especially the Bharana jewelry, and a shrine in the tribe's village is created that incorporates the jewelry. The Elvirim say that those old Elvirim have finished walking their path and have returned to Eia’au.
Most Elvirim are soft-spoken, calm, and rather serious and formal. They smile, but do not laugh. They are deeply spiritual and spend a good deal of their time worshipping their god, Eia’au and meditating. As they get older, Elvirim devote more and more time to worship and meditation, leaving growing, gathering, and other day-to-day work to the younger generations. The Elvirim most often encountered by humans deplore violence of any kind, though they can and will effectively defend themselves when they must. They trade with humans and occasionally even with Dwarvirim for metals from which they craft very high quality goods, even some weapons. Most every Elvirim carries a beautifully made, very sharp knife used for gathering, carving, and as a general tool. Some of those knives are nearly as long as a short sword.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Elvirim are found throughout Derkomai, but mostly in mountain forests and woodlands far from human settlements. There are some that live close to humans or even in human villages, towns or cities, but those that do maintain their own separate culture, living in Elvirim enclaves among humans.
Elvirim are highly intelligent, but in a way quite different from humans. Most are empaths and deeply connected to the natural world.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Elvirim are very observant and most have excellent eyesight and hearing. Their hearing is more sensitive than human hearing (which leads to them being soft-spoken and quieter in general than most humans). Their eyesight is at least as good as human eyesight, but they are said to be able to see much better in the dark than humans. They tend to be somewhat far-sighted and able to make out details of objects at distances where most humans would struggle. On the other hand, humans seem to have better color perception and are better at seeing close-up, small details. The Elvirim of the forests and mountains (which is most of them) are attuned to the natural world, able to feel if the forest and wildlands are distressed. Some have befriended the Naiadrim , Dryadrim, and other Okkurim protectors of the world and can speak their languages. Most Elvirim are highly empathic and can have almost telepathic connections with other Elvirim, people, and animals. Many have pets - foxes, forest cats, birds of different kinds, even wolves, bears, and larger animals - to which they have a deep bond. Because they are so empathic, Elvirim often are able to make quick judgments on the character and intentions of another person. The friendships they have are usually long-lasting and profound. Marriage relationships are lifelong and monogamous, with break-ups and betrayals very rare. The untimely death of a marriage partner is devastaing to an Elvirim, often leading to the early fading and death of the partner left behind.
Civilization and Culture
Major Language Groups and Dialects
All Elvirim speak Elvrimkou, though there are many dialects, some with significant differences in pronunciation and vocabulary from the "standard" form of the language.
Roughly 500-600 years, with some much older.
For males, about 5'6" (167 cm). For females, 5'1" (155 cm).
For males about 120 lbs (54.5 kg). For females, about 85 lbs (38.5 kg).