Elf Ethnicity in Runetalras | World Anvil
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Elves are among the longest lived of the mortal races of Runetalras. Elves are not native to Runetalras, and migrated to the Prime Material Plane from the Feywild thousands of years ago during the Age of the Elder Races. The elves have created great kingdoms, often with the forest gnomes, all who live in the shadow of the Elventine who greatness they seek to restore, emulate, or outshine. Like other nonhumans, elves are often persecuted by humans within the Human kingdoms, Because of that, many elves join the Tee'Chaher.  

Physical Description

Elves stand on average 5′4″‒6′0″ (1.63‒1.8 m) and weigh 130‒170 lb (59‒77 kg). Full blooded elves are a naturally slender and athletic race. Elves have a range of complexions far in excess of that of humans, with wood elves ranging from coppery to pale skins, wander elves having ebony to pale, city elves commonly sharing the skin tones of the local humans ebony to pale, and high and blade elves possessing skin tones from violet, copper, to pale pigmentations. elven hair is dark, either brown or black, with copper red or blond hair is also found amongst wood elves, although orange or even green hues were not completely unheard of. Elven eyes are commonly brown, hazel, or an emerald green. Elves are typically fair, beautiful, and handsome creatures, with a slim frame, elongated pointed ears, and little body hair beyond eyebrows, eyelashes, and hair.  

Lifespan and Maturity

Elves mature at roughly the same rate as humans, go through their menopause at the age of about 90, and not usually considered past adolescence until they reached 60 years of age. Unlike humans, elves do not visually age dramatically as their lifespan came to a close, with the most obvious changes being a change in hair color, alternatively graying or darkening. Most elves remain healthy and full of life up until their death, which, if age-related, is usually between three centuries.  

Elven Abilities

The elves have a number of abilities that set them apart from other humanoid races. Elves do not typically sleep, though they are capable of it, and instead find their rest through a meditative trance. The trance is capable of providing rest equal to eight hours of sleep within four hours. Unlike sleep during their transe elves are as aware of their surrounds as they would normally be.  


The elves can be divided into a number of ethnicities, most of which possess minor biological differences as most differences are social .   Blade Elf The blade elves are biologically similar to the high elves, however, they live in a highly structured society and militant society, have a broader frame and more muscular body.   City Elf The city elves are typically smaller and shorter that their brothers, living among Human societies, typically in slums or ghettos.   EladrinThe eladrin are the race of elves most similar to the primorial elves, and are native to the Faywild.   High Elf The high elves are biologically similar to the blade elves, the high elves live in a society built around magic, and believe themselves to be racially superior to other races and even elven subraces   Wandering Elf The wandering elves are also known as the reclamation elves are spread wide and thin in their efforts to rediscover and restore the old elven way.   Wood Elf The wood elves are the most in touch with nature, and typically have a deep kinship with the forest gnomes, dryads, and firbolgs.   Wild Elf The wild elves only exist in any numbers within the Wild Isles, and are typically shunned by most other elves as savages.   Drow The drow are spoken about in hushed tones by the races of Runetalras, they are slavers, raiders, and live in cities within the Underdark.  

Kingdoms of the Elves

The Kingdom of Selu’Qidar Selu’Qidar is the high home of the high elves, and the longest standing kingdom of the elves.   The Kingdom of Elnusari Elnusari is a kingdom hidden within the Elnurian Forest, and strives to be in tune with nature, Elnusari is a Wood Elf dominated society.   The Kingdom of Legarvren Legarvren is the newest of the kingdoms of the elves, and is unlike all other elven surface kingdoms, as Legarvren is an ordered and militant society built in opposition to Human kingdoms.  

Elves in Human Kingdoms

Elves have spread far and wide among Runetalras, during the last three Ages, of Conquest, Blood, and Contempt, elves have increasingly become subordinated into Human Kingdoms, and as such it is important to discuss the appearance and treatment of elves in predominantly Human Kingdoms  

Kingdom of Thaxnoria

Within the Kingdom of Thaxnoria elves are a common sight, however only the city, wood, and wandering elves are present in any great numbers, with blade and high elves being a rare sight. There is board discrimantion against the Elder Races within Thaxnoria, but almost none face as much as the elves; elves are not able to join the army, guard, and most civil service professions, elves cannot act as representatives of communities, and elves face a disproportionate amount of tax upon them under the justification that the elves refuse to conform to Human traditions, religion, and practices.   City elves are the most populous of all elves within Thaxnoria, with significant populations within all Thaxnoria cities. The large populations of city elves are, largely, segregated into slums or ghettos, with little or no possibility for social or economic advancement. The communities of city elves tend to be very strong, with community members aiding those in need even when they themselves have very little. Spirits are generally low in the dismal ghettos, however the communities come together for celebrations of weddings, births, and holidays (human, elven, and gnomish). Both rebellions and pogroms have been shamefully common in the history of Thaxnoria, and with the rallying cry of the Massacre of Blackborough both seem set to increase in frequency.   Wood elves are the second most numerous population of elves within Thaxnoria, the wood elves as a group refuse to conform to Thaxnorian society; instead living off the land, and creating autonomy areas where the wood elves reject the political authority of local Lords. The wood elves are perhaps the group of elves that create the largest and most sustained political crisis. The conflict is created when tax collectors attempt to collect against the wood elves who refuse to play, when Lords attempt to reassert their control of their land, and when loggers attempt to clear the lands where wood elves reside. The wood elves of Thaxnoria typically form clans within the great woods of thaxnoria, the Cildarth Forest, Heartland Forest, Wolf’s Woods, and the Broken Woods, who live as collectives. Within these woodland communities. It is not uncommon for other races to become a part of these clan, with gnomes, dryads, and firbolgs being the most significant.   The wandering elves have no permanent settlements and instead travel in large sects comprised of anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred elves. These elves both search for artifacts of the fallen Elvantine Empire, objects of power, and resources to sustain the sects. The sects create a significant drain upon the resources of the land, as the aggressively forage and hunt, causing significant political tension, and even violent outbreaks between cities, Lords, and in the case of larger sects even whole Kingdoms.   Blade and high elves are exceedingly rare within Thaxnoria, and typically only serve diplomatic functions within the capital cities of Thaxnoria. It is a rare sight of a highborn wealth elf within Thaxnoria, when one does appear they are regarded with suspicion, and typically questioned by authorities as to where they stole their wealth from.  

Velgan Empire

Elves within the Velgan Empire face and have faced economic, social, and political discrimination for centuries. The elves of the Velgan Empire are legally required to work while employers have no legal, nor indeed social obligations to pay the elf workers. The elves have virtually no legal status within the Velgan Empire, cased are found in favour of humans without a trial where no Human sides with an elf, and they are disallowed from creating their own businesses. What income the elves are able to gain is taxed at a rate of fifty percent, creating vast squalor and poverty among the elves. Violence is common between the elves and humans, which only reinforces the hatred between both races. It is the city and wood elves that are common within the Velgan Empire, with a small population of blade elves, while high and wandering elves are uncommon to the region.   City elves face perhaps the greatest prejudice as it is they who are put into the greatest degree contact with the humans of the Velgan Empire. The elves, and nonhumans in general, act as scapegoats for economic, ecological, and political problems, and as a result pogroms are retine, while rebellions by the nonhumans are put down violently. The city elves of the Velgan Empire are melined to appear in public in significant groups for fear causing fear of causing a panic among humans, they do however, have small tight knit communities and even resistance cells, pledged to defending their people with subterfuge and subversion as open resistance only brings blood.   Wood elves are the most resistant of the elves within the Velgan Empire, and still possess their own province, though this does little to stem the conflict. The wood elves of the Velgan Empire are primary found within their forest fortress of Caedvin, though significant settlements can be found within the Danewoods, the Maskic Woodlands, Reach Forests, and both the Island Grove and the Bleeding Isles. In the most congruent situations the wood elves of the Velgan Empire pay tribute to local authorities, and in the worst elves use violence to resist violent methods of tax collection. The majority of the Wood Elf population has some link to the Tee'Chaher.   There is a not insignificant population of blade elves within the Velgan Empire. What blade elves do exist are either military envoys or the descendants of them, sent to arm and train the elves to resist and revolt against the Velgan Empire. The blade elves fit within the societies of the wood, city, and even Elder Races, to agitate and propagate, and as such they have not formed a coherent culture or society of their own. Much like the blade elves of the Kingdom of Legvaren, the blade elves within the Velgan Empire are viewed as head strong, ideologs, and just as arrogant as their High Elf brothers. The blade elves have a mixed reputation among the elves and Elder Races, some believe them to be strong leaders who choose a hard life of fighting for the freedom of elf-kin, while others, and most of the other Elder Races believe the blade elves to be foolish and nievie, who are far more likely to get people killed than effect real change.   As a result of system oppression and violence it is rare that one can come across either high or wandering elves, as neither thrive in such conditions.  

The Kasari Dominion

The elves of the Kasari Dominion, much like the other Elder Races, are considered equal members of society, legal, socially, and economically. The elves possessing their own autonomous region, Ill’avan, though the region is only a province and receives no Elector-Prince nor vote for the High King. The most common of the elves within the Kasari Dominion are city and wood elves, followed by high and wandering elves, while blade elves are uncommon. There is little inter-racial violence, however scapegoating does exist and while the wealth gap is significantly smaller than most other Human kingdoms there are proportional few elves among the richest of the Dominion.   A significant proportion of the elves within the Kasari Dominion live within the Kasari Elector-States, in their villages, towns, and cities. The largest proportions of elves that live within these settlements are city elves, though increasingly the populations of high and wood elves are increasing, but it is the city elves that truly thrive in these environments. The elves within the Elector-States have no restrictions on their professions, or where or how they live, legally unlike most Human kingdoms the Elder Races are equal in the law to humans. Additionally it is possible for elves to rise in social and economic status within the Kasari Dominion, though it is rare. It is the high elves of the Kasari Dominion that receive the high level of stigma, being viewed as high and mighty, arrogant, and distant; similarly the city elves is viewed as unfortunate pauper, and the wood elves as distant savages.   Province of Ill’avan was once an independent kingdom, now however, it is an Imperial Province of the Kasari Dominion. Ill’avan has an unequal status within the Kasari Dominion, the Elector-Kingdoms possess the right to vote for the Kaiser, or High King, while the Province of Ill’avan get no vote in such elections. Ill’avan is also required to pay taxes for its citizens directly to the Kaiser. Ill’avan is at its heart a province of the Elder Races, but primarily the elves, city, high, wandering, and wood who practise self governance; it is a rare instance where most of the elves have come together to build a new kingdom, though there most certainly is social tension among the elven subraces.  

Yhess Kingdoms

The Yhess Kingdoms are unique, race rarely matters, what matters is power and wealth should an individual have one or both their races is of no importance. All of the subraces of elves are present within the Yhess States, as both slaves and masters, among them the city and wandering elves are the most prominent. The majority of elves are slaves within the Yhess Kingdoms, however the majority of all races are slaves within the Yhess Kingdoms. The elves within the Yhess can be viewed socially as one in the same, as all within the Yhess can be broken down, broadly, into two social and cultural orders, slaves and masters. When one becomes a slave of the Yhess their cultures and religions are gradually eroded away from them, while the culture of breaking peoples are only concerning oneself with profit has the effect of breaking the master’s own morality and belief system. Elves are masters within all of the Yhess Kingdoms and have a reputation for being cruel and exceptional ‘breakers’, and in the Yhess Kingdom of Vithralv elves form the majority of masters. It is also noteworthy that within the Yhess internal tension between the races is exceedingly low.  

The Atarsid City-States

Only the politically, religiously, militarly, and financially powerful have any form of rights within the Atarsid City-States, and slavery runs rampant. Most elves within the Atarsid Isles are slaves, but elves are also slave masters and free peoples. The most numerous elves are blade, city, and wandering, with high and wood elves being a rare sight.   The city elves of the Atarsid City-States are, for the most part, enslaved and forced into varied activities from labour in mines, to agricultural work, to house servants and bed slaves. The ‘lucky’ city elves are able to live within their master’s houses, while most live in squalor and slums. There is little hope for social or financial advancement for city elves within the City-States, a City Elf’s best hope is being freed by their master though good service or via a master’s will. The city elves can be found throughout the largest cites of the Atarsid Isles, though they are rarer in the deserts as racial violence regularly occurs over the consumption of precious water.   Wandering elves are a prominent source of new slave stock to the Atarsid City-States, as the wandering elves travel to the Isles in sects of a few dozen to a few hundred elves. When the wandering elves come into contact with the Atarsid City-States they face violence and enslavement. There is however an abnormally large population of wandering elves searching for relicts of the Elventine Empire and artifacts of power, who ebb out an existence in the harsh environment, and come into conflict regularly in battles over resources.   Blade elves are common as the Kingdom of Legvaren believes the Atarsid City-States are a key battleground in the fight to restore the rightful place of the elves in the world. The blade elves within the Atarsid City-States tend to be combatants in a war to overthrow the current rulers of the Atarsid City-States, and replace them with the slaves.  

The Subterranean Kingdoms

Elves are not common throughout the subterranean kingdoms of Aran'Nack, and the Craglands, however, the elves have established a significant present within the Kingdom of Makthoria.

Elf Traits

Ability Score Increase. When determining your character’s ability scores, increase one score by 2 and increase a different score by 1, or increase three different scores by 1. You can't raise any of your scores above 20.   Size. Elves range from under 5 to over 6 feet tall and have slender builds. Your size is Medium.   Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.   Darkvision. Accustomed to twilit forests and the night sky, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.   Fey Ancestry. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can't put you to sleep.   Trance. Elves do not sleep. Instead they meditate deeply, remaining semi-conscious, for 4 hours a day. The Common word for this meditation is "trance." While meditating, you dream after a fashion; such dreams are actually mental exercises that have become reflexive after years of practice. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit a Human would from 8 hours of sleep.   Keen Senses. You have proficiency in the Perception skill.   Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Elven.


Superior Darkvision. Your darkvision has a range of 120 feet, instead of 60.   Drow Magic. You know the Dancing Lights cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the Faerie Fire spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the Darkness spell onceand regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.   Drow Weapon Training. You have proficiency with rapiers, shortswords, and hand crossbows.

High Elf

Cantrip. You know one cantrip of your choice from the Wizard spell list. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for it.   Elf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.   Extra Language. You can read, speak, and write one additional language of your choice.

Wood Elf

Elf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.   Fleet of Foot. Your base walking speed increases to 35 feet.   Mask of the Wild. You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena

Elf, Eladrin

Ability Score Increase. When determining your character’s ability scores, increase one score by 2 and increase a different score by 1, or increase three different scores by 1. You can't raise any of your scores above 20.   Creature Type. You are a Humanoid. You are also considered an Elf for any prerequisite or effect that requires you to be an Elf.   Size. You are Medium.   Speed. Your walking speed is 30 feet.   Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. You discern colors in that darkness only as shades of gray.   Fey Ancestry. You have advantage on saving throws you make to avoid or end the charmed condition on yourself.   Fey Step. As a bonus action, you can magically teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. You can use this trait a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.   When you reach 3rd level, your Fey Step gains an additional effect based on your season; if the effect requires a saving throw, the DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier (choose when you select this race):   Autumn. Immediately after you use your Fey Step, up to two creatures of your choice that you can see within 10 feet of you must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by you for 1 minute, or until you or your companions deal any damage to the creatures.   Winter. When you use your Fey Step, one creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of you before you teleport must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of you until the end of your next turn.   Spring. When you use your Fey Step, you can touch one willing creature within 5 feet of you. That creature then teleports instead of you, appearing in an unoccupied space of your choice that you can see within 30 feet of you.   Summer. Immediately after you use your Fey Step, each creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of you takes fire damage equal to your proficiency bonus.   Keen Senses. You have proficiency in the Perception skill.   Trance. You don’t need to sleep, and magic can’t put you to sleep. You can finish a long rest in 4 hours if you spend those hours in a trancelike meditation, during which you retain consciousness.   Whenever you finish this trance, you can change your season, and you can gain two proficiencies that you don’t have, each one with a weapon or a tool of your choice selected from the Player’s Handbook. You mystically acquire these proficiencies by drawing them from shared elven memory, and you retain them until you finish your next long rest.   Languages. Your character can speak, read, and write Common and one other language that you and your DM agree is appropriate for the character. The Player’s Handbook offers a list of Languages to choose from. The DM is free to modify that list for a campaign.

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