Not 'elves'. Please stop calling us that.
Like all people on Neyush, the vena share the same basic bipedal skeletal structure as the oldest intelligent species, the Tilkens, with two legs, two arms, and a head. As mammals, they are most similar to Humans, standing on average a few inches taller.
They are easily distinguishable from humans thanks to three characteristics. The first two are their usually snow-pale skin and almost black hair. The third is the most striking - vena ears are longer, stretching out almost horizontally from the head. They also end in a slight point, emphasised by a tuft of hair reminiscent of a lynx.
Vena tend to be slightly taller and slightly thinner than humans, despite the cold environments in which they thrive.
The most distinguishing biological feature of vena is their life span. All other species struggle to reach a century, but vena regularly live for multiple centuries. Although they only mature slightly slower than humans, they are usually not expected to take on adult responsibilities until their 50th birthday.
Due to this longevity, vena tend to count their age in decades instead of individual years. The oldest vena currently alive on Neyush is either 130 or 140 decades - they themself have lost count.
The vena are perhaps the only people on Neyush who remember the War and the Blink. Seeing as they also lost the most people during it, many hold familial grudges against other species.
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. 7 decades old, barely a young man.
Vena operate on entirely different timescales to other species. Most feel some sense of pity that other people live for such a short time, while some think that they are the superior people; adults in a world of children.
A whole line of human descendants may keep in touch with the vena who was a good friend of their great great great (etc) grandmother, and it is not unusual for a vena to spend decades travelling on a sabbatical. What might be a life's achievement for a monoduga engineer may just be a chapter in a curious vena's life.
On the subject of monoduga, only one person outside of their society has ever studied their impossibly complex Newprints well enough to understand them without a psychic link, and they are a vena. Granted, they are also a Seeker Speaker, but they would likely not have been able to achieve such a feat without the length of study that a centuries-long lifespan allows.
Despite their slender appearance, vena are incredibly well-suited to cold temperatures. Pale skin helps to make use of as sun as possible, and a thin but insulating layer of body hair keeps more heat in (this hair is particularly noticeable on forearms and ears). There may also be a magical reason for their aptitude for the cold, but no vena does this consciously so such a theory is very difficult to test.
Most methods of Channeling require one to either be born with an innate talent, or to spend years studying to become a Speaker. Both methods can be honed through further practise and study, as the budding mage becomes more and more familiar with the specific Plane from which they draw their power.
Knowing this, it makes sense that vena would be naturally-inclined to be proficient mages. Tilkens are still the most magically-adept people on Neyush, but this is arguably only because they have historically been using magic for much longer and have therefore developed a stronger innate biological link to the planes.
Of those vena who do use magic, most find a natural affinity to the Hand. This was evident during the Great War as the mythical Vena Berserkers tapped into Hand magic to enter a brutally powerful battle state, gaining the power to single-handedly take on dozens of enemies each.
Civilisation and Culture
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The vena are currently small enough in number that they mostly share the same main language, Elveña. As this modern language shares many of the same roots as the Common Tongue, most vena pick it up easily, except for some who choose only to speak their native tongue, fearing that it would die out if they did not.
With such long lifespans, vena naturally go through changes in tradition and language slower than other species. Before the Blink, this also meant that vena culture was more homogeneous than some of the other species (aside from the monoduga, most of whom see individuality as a negative trait).
When the Blink happened, the vena were obviously the most-affected. What seemed at first like a magical genocide has only become more mysterious over time, as it slowly turned out that, while a lot of vena did die during the event, many were spread across the planet and even to the neighbouring planet of Rudeska.