Deep Elf Species in Rolara | World Anvil

Deep Elf

Subterranean Shades of Elven Gloty

In the shadowy depths of Rolara's underworld, a mysterious and enigmatic race of elves thrives in the eternal darkness – the Deep Elves. These elusive beings, once driven into the Abyss by the extinguishing of the Stars of Power, have forged a hidden realm of beauty and intrigue, shrouded in darkness and concealed from the prying eyes of the surface world.   The Deep Elves, as they introduced themselves to the famous Starfinders, harbor secrets of their harrowing past, tales of twisted evil and unspeakable truths that they dare not share with outsiders. Yet, in the wake of the Star of Illusions' rekindling, a profound transformation has swept through their ranks, casting off the veil of madness that once gripped them and instigating a fragile truce with the surface-born.   Within the labyrinthine caverns of the Deep Dark, the Deep Elves have established a complex matriarchal society built upon communal bonds and resourceful adaptability. Guided by the wisdom of their chief matriarch, they navigate the challenges of their subterranean existence, mastering the art of cultivating shadowy mushrooms, taming dark mounts, and farming the fearsome cave spiders that lurk in the depths.   Dive into the enigmatic world of the Deep Elves and discover a race whose tumultuous history and fierce determination have shaped them into an extraordinary people, equally captivating and inscrutable. Unravel the mysteries of their past, explore the wonders of their hidden realm, and forge new alliances or rivalries in the ever-shifting landscape of Rolara's underworld.

Basic Information

Biological Traits



The Deep Elves possess a distinctive skin tone, ranging from hues of deep blue to dark gray, which serves as natural camouflage in the perpetual gloom of their subterranean domain. This adaptive pigmentation allows them to blend seamlessly into the shadows and rock formations, providing them with a vital advantage in both hunting and evading potential threats.  


In response to their lightless surroundings, the Deep Elves have developed exceptional night vision. Their eyes, often a vivid shade of red, violet, or silver, are capable of discerning even the faintest glimmers of light, granting them unparalleled visual acuity in the darkness. This extraordinary sight aids them in navigating the intricate depths and detecting hidden dangers.  


Much like other elves, the Deep Elves possess elongated, pointed ears that grant them heightened auditory perception. However, due to their subterranean lifestyle, their hearing has become particularly acute, allowing them to detect the subtlest of sounds echoing through the caverns. This keen sense is vital for their survival, as it enables them to listen for approaching enemies or impending cave-ins.  

Agility and Reflexes:

As a natural consequence of their perilous environment, the Deep Elves have honed their agility and reflexes to near-perfection. They are nimble and quick, able to nimbly traverse the treacherous cavern floors and scale sheer rock faces with ease. This heightened dexterity and grace afford them a significant advantage in combat and exploration alike.   The Deep Elves of Rolara represent a prime example of biological adaptation in response to environmental challenges. Their distinctive traits have not only enabled them to survive in the unforgiving depths but have also forged them into a formidable and resilient race that continues to thrive amidst the shadows of their subterranean world.

Civilization and Culture

Culture and Cultural Heritage

Pre-Extinguishment of the Stars of Power:

Prior to the extinguishment of the Stars of Power, Deep Elf culture was defined by a deep connection to their magical heritage and the natural world. They were known for their art, music, and craftsmanship, with a particular focus on the manipulation of light and shadow. Deep Elves were also known for their exploratory nature, venturing into the depths of the Deep Dark to discover its secrets and expand their knowledge.  

During the Extinguishment:

The extinguishment of the Stars of Power marked a dark period in Deep Elf history. Over the course of 1523 years, their culture underwent significant transformation as they retreated further into the Deep Dark. Their once vibrant and exploratory nature gave way to a more insular and cautious mindset. Deep Elves focused on survival and adapted their customs to suit the harsh environment they found themselves in. They relied heavily on their mastery of illusion magic to protect their communities from the dangers of the Deep Dark, and their society became more secretive and cautious.  

Post-Reignition of the Stars of Power:

With the reignition of the Stars of Power, the Deep Elf culture began to experience a renaissance. The once lost connection to their magical heritage and the natural world was rekindled, and their artistic expression and craftsmanship started to flourish once again. The renewed focus on exploration and discovery has led to an expansion of knowledge and interaction with other denizens of the Deep Dark.   The Deep Elves have started to reestablish the bonds that once connected them to the surface world, engaging in trade and diplomacy with other races. While they remain cautious and secretive to some extent, the reignition of the Stars of Power has brought a newfound sense of hope and optimism to their society.   Today, Deep Elf culture is a blend of their ancient heritage and the adaptations made during their time in the darkness. Their customs and traditions reflect this unique history, combining elements of their past with the lessons learned during their centuries of isolation. As they continue to navigate the changing landscape of the Deep Dark and the broader world, the Deep Elves strive to uphold their core values of trust, cooperation, and unity, ensuring the continued strength and resilience of their communities.

Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals

Fuma Gatherings:

Deep Elf fuma regularly convene for communal meals, discussions, and decision-making. These gatherings serve as a platform for fostering unity and solidarity among fuma members, as well as reinforcing the values of open communication and mutual trust. During these gatherings, personal achievements and community concerns are shared, and collective decisions are made to address any issues that may arise.  

Rite of Trust:

Within Deep Elf society, trust is a cornerstone that binds the community together. The Rite of Trust is a significant ceremony in which young Deep Elves pledge their loyalty and commitment to their fuma and commune. This rite typically occurs around the age of 50, and it marks the individual's transition from childhood to adulthood.  

Festival of Lights:

The Festival of Lights is an annual celebration held in Myth Shaeras and other Deep Elf communes. During this event, the magical, glowing fungi that light their cities are cultivated and harvested in an elaborate and mesmerizing display. This festival serves as a reminder of the Deep Elves' connection to their environment and their reliance on the natural world for sustenance and illumination.  

The Exchange of Shadows:

Trade and diplomacy are essential aspects of Deep Elf society, and the Exchange of Shadows is a practice that exemplifies this. Deep Elves engage in trade and negotiations not only with other Deep Elf communes but also with the various denizens of the Deep Dark, such as the Duergar. This custom promotes a sense of mutual respect and cooperation among the different races inhabiting the depths, fostering a tenuous balance in an otherwise harsh and unforgiving environment.  

The Art of Illusion:

Deep Elves are renowned for their mastery of illusion magic, a skill that has become deeply ingrained in their culture. The Art of Illusion is practiced and celebrated through various means, such as performances, competitions, and even as a form of meditation. This tradition not only showcases the Deep Elves' magical prowess but also serves as a reminder of their unique history and their journey from the darkness into the light.   These customs and traditions encapsulate the essence of Deep Elf society, highlighting their communal values, connection to their environment, and the importance of trust and cooperation in their daily lives. In the ever-changing and perilous world of the Deep Dark, these practices serve as a beacon of stability and unity for the Deep Elves, ensuring the continued strength and resilience of their communities.
Genetic Ancestor(s)
Scientific Name
550 (upward limit near 1000)
Geographic Distribution
Related Organizations


Author's Notes

Deep Elf on A subscription or purchase may be required.  

Note from the Author: I do not use the term 'Drow' to describe the underground fey. In Rolara, the term drow doesn't exist, and the term Dark Elves refers instead to villainous elves who abuse nature to achieve their goals. Deep Elves, by contrast, fill the role of Subterranean Elves with the abilities and features of the more familiar Drow of the Forgotten Realms.

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