while we sat to gather our strength, hiding from both the Inquisition and the Col'bhen Cint'nias which would have our throats, my newly found companions broke in conversation. "I have lived in these woods for what you describe as 'half of a millennia'. My existence is tied with the woods around us, with the land beneath our feet. I am the forest and the wind, a force of chaos and freedom." "A nugget of wyrmshit is what ya are, Tiraliveris. The only elvish thing about you's the name, even yer ears are shorter than average." "Hey! That was very speciest you rockbrains!"
Elves are one of the oldest and most prominent races in the Prime Material Realm. They are descendants of the Old Elves and variations of them exists throughout the Material Planes. They are considered to have a natural affinity to magic, nature and other primordial forces. Most elves in the prime material live in, or originate from, ancient or borel forests, but many of them traverse the world or have settled in Humanoid lands.
Elves are shorter relative to humanoids but taller relative to durinians, with the exception of the Sun Elves who are somewhat taller than humans. Most elves stand 5'4"-6'0" (1.6-1.8 m) tall and have a very slim figure, weighting between 130-170 (59-77 kg). They have slightly longer limbs, and are naturally more flexible than other races. These measurements, however, may change somewhat between the various elven sub0races. All elven races, with the exception of the sea elves, have hollow bones, that in appearance look more woven rather than completely solid. The structure of elven bones allow them to slightly bend, yet they can hold far more tension or stress than that of humans or dwarves. Elves has a similar range of complexions to humans but some sub-species have a more coppery, pale or even darker purple and grey pigmentation. Elven hair is often dark, either brown or black. Copper, red, blond and even white hair can also found amongst some sub-species. Orange or even green hues are rare, yet not completely unheard of. Elven eyes are relatively large and are commonly brown, hazel, or green.
Genetics and Reproduction
Elven reproduction is unique among the races of the sapient races in that it is both a physical and a mental process that some compare the method to that of the durinian races. While in the durinian races the newly born is perceived as a new person that is the sum of his heritage, elven newborns are incarnations of elves that have died before. This phenomena is well documented and shapes the personality of the newly born elf, who is carrying the memories of past ages on Arvandor, and of his present self in the Prime Material Realm. This circle of life and death is tied heavily into elven society and most elves rarely sire more than 2 offspring during their entire lives and years of increased birthrates is mostly viewed as a bad omen, sent by the Selnarrin. While this mental connection is required from both parents in order to form a truly pure blooded elf, who is an actual reincarnation that can undergo the Reverie, elves are capable of physical reproduction with some humanoids and orcs. In those cases however, the offspring would mostly be born as an half breed.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
While in the past elves have been spread throughout the continent, the destruction of most of the magical connection with the weave around the southern parts have driven many of them northward, living only 3 independent clans, all of them reside in and around the continent's Northern Forest. Other sub-races, such as wood elves, live in isolated communities within the Humanoid kingdoms. These communities often suffer from abuse by local settlers or by the nations themselves, and past territorial disputes have been the source of past conflicts and even entire crusades. The most common of the elves to be seen in urban or settled areas are the moon elf, and the telasi. While the moon elves culture is heavily tied with traveling and exploration, sending their members far and wide, the telasi have disconnected themselves from elven society, living in humanoid cities and even worshiping their deities.
Moest elven and high elven cultures demonstrate astute understanding of the natural cycles and behaviors of the land they live in and of those they traverse. An elven herbalist in their late 500's may be able to put an entire schools of alchemists and scientists to shame with their extensive knowledge on fauna, flora, medicine and poisons. This accumulation of knowledge is slow, however, and pale in comparison to the rate at which humanoids learn and develop. Elves may have more trouble when picking up a second occupations or when learning new skills, but once learned they will hone them to perfection unmatched by any mortal race, rivaling even the dwarven pursuit of perfection.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Elves have a naturally more flexible body and their bones are capable of withstanding greater stress than most humanoids, this is evident in their natural inclination to live in forests, with some living most of their lives inside a single grand canopy. This also affects their agility, and elves are capable of covering great distances while traveling.
The natural connection between elves and the weave is both a blessing and a burden. It provides elves the ability to difference between shades of grey even in complete darkness, being able to cast Detect Magic even at young ages and living prolonged live with some reaching 700 years or more. This connection is fragile however, and can severing or damaging the link between elves and the weave can result in permanent damage to any magically gifted trait. Some elven sub-races, such as the drow, and the Telasi have lost this connection to some extent, sustaining their magical needs through other sources or developing other traits instead.
Civilization and Culture
OriginsAccording to most elven cultures, they where the original race to appear on Edora, as the Tel'nardil, eventually splitting into the various elven sub races. They predate the dwarves by at least a couple of millennia. According to the Orca, the orcs and other goblinoids predate the elves, yet unlike the Dwarven Saga those accounts can hardly pass as evidence due to mostly being parts of nationalistic or purely shamanistic rites. Furthermore, the ancient rivalry between elves and the various goblinoids is as ancient as the the races themselves. Both racial groups have a cultural and religious duty to eradicate the other, and countless battles, wars and atrocities can be attributed to both throughout history.
Great EmpiresAfter they first appeared on the continent, elves have dominated the landscape. Their natual affinity and connection to Magic allowed their leaders to wield powers and forge great empires. The last elven empire to exist was the Mytharan Empire, covering the entire northern half of the the continent. While the Mytharan Empire is considered by some factions as the peak of high elven society, there is pleanty of evidence it was not the first, nor largest.
The FallDespite their magical might and sophisticated cultures, all elven empires on Edora eventually fell. The capital city of Mythar fell around 9,500 BC after an invasion by crature mentioned in elven lore only as "fiends". What left of the once great empires was several faction, divided by sub-races, who lost much of their history when their leadership shattered. With much of the central landmass being deforested by goblinoids and humanoids the elves lost considerable parts of their teritory and within less than two millennia only 6 major clans were left, mostly consendrated around the Northern Forest and the forsts of the Darsal Crest and even as going south as the Southern Cape.
The Current AgeMost elves living on the continent live in seperated, well hidden communities, fearful and distrusting of outsiders, even if they are members other elven clan. Some elven communities exist withing established nations and their status changes from being treated as racial and cultural reserves to no special treatment at all. Speciesism against elves has always been present, epecially in Human lands. Their longevity and traits makes them envyable in the eyes of shorter living races, who often blame them for plotting or scheming. Some elves assimilated themselves into humanoid society. At first those elves where indifferent from others of their kind but after just a few generation they have lost nearly all their connection with the Feywild and the weave, becoming a seperate subrace known as Telasi or 'lost elves'.
Current Date: 25th of Erlsum 1572
5'4"-6'0" (1.6-1.8 m)
130-170 (59-77 kg)