Elves Species in Saleh'Alire | World Anvil


The Joyous Hedonists of Saleh'Alire

I was one of several young nobles receiving their investiture that day, and the royal retinue certainly did not disappoint us in our welcome.   Alarsan Castle struck me as the pinnacle of glorious opulence; Pithlan Hall seemed almost practical and brutalist by comparisson ... Amatis and Wisteria were in abundance- their scent heady in the warm Oleannesian air of the Summer. The streets hung with Sunstone polished so well it almost gleamed with its own lustre; and sparkling banners made of imported Milonan Silk and Eriskan Brocade floated in the wind almost as if they were weightless.
— Grand Arcanist Eranar e' Hiladi
  Descendants of the Nom'Yth who fled the Feywild during the first Dragon War, Elves are a relative of the heavily derided (and near-mythological) Fae- though they like to pretend this connected ancestry of theirs hardly exists despite its clear evidence; the longest lived of all Alliran Sophonts, they're a magically advanced people of otherworldly grace who thrive off the most luxurious and beautiful of the world. Known for not only their grand gestures of opulence, lavishness, and generosity- but also for being two-faced. It is well known that Elves have a common capacity to be both callous and cruel in equal measure.

Geographic Distribution

  Elves are found all throughout Salleh'Alire. Depending on where one is in the world, however, one may encounter completely different Elven groups in varying degrees and proportions.   The most reclusive Elves- the near mythical Al'Kaerans- reside high above the landscape in the Floating Cities. Meanwhile both the Thai'lar, Caenala'Vi, and E'Celaena are highly reclusive- with the Thai'lar residing in isolated settlements in Tolara's Talaina'Vao region, and the E'Celaena living in nomadic tribes that wander the mountains. The Caenala'Vi, however, have set down deep roots in norther Tolara, founding the nation of Di'kae Milona. Similarly, the most open (but equally nationalistic) E'inara near completely rule Olienn, while most Ma'aelra find themselves residing within the Tolaran nation of Ar'Lasang Vaerda'Ky- or nomadically among one of the many Alliran shipping vessels; like the E'Celaena, the In'alan also maintain a lifestyle of heavy nomadicism, But where the former are staunch and serious issolationists, the In'alan are perhaps the most jovial of the Elvish peoples, happy to mix and mingle, and trade freely, with the other Sophonts of the world.   Overall they are easily the furthest reaching, most adaptable, and diverse Sophonts- second only to the Human descendants of the Ayeni.  

Physiology & Appearance

  Despite the great cultural variety among Elves, and their regional adaptability, there is little in the way of actual physiological diversity within the species. Instead, most diversity winds up being seemingly aesthetic based- possibly a remnant of their relation to Changelings and other Fae species, related to early environmental camoflauge. Or, at least, this is the prevailing theory.   Physiologically speaking, all Elves are agile and dexterous creatures with long, sleek, and slender frames featuring limbs that are just a touch uncomfortably long to one's perception. Coupled with this is a poise that allows them to move gracefully and hold themselves with an elegance that many creatures would (and do outright) envy. And like all other Fae and their relatives, Elves are hairless- save for their head hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows- and do not develop any form of body hair.   Faces are often long and slim with high, wide foreheads and well defined cheekbones, large wide-set eyes, and slender noses and lips; hair, skin, and eye colors come in a wide array of colors and shades- ranging from the deep shades of blue and black found among the Ma'aelra, to the bright golds and peaches of the E'inara. The Caenala'Vi, by comparison, often have black or silver hair with skin in varying shades of lavender- while the Thai'lar sport earthier shades of copper and bronze.
Genetic Ancestry   Genetic Relations
  • Fae

  • Al'Kaera
  • Thai'lar
  • Ma'aelra
  • In'alan
  • E'Celaena
  • E'inara
  • Caenala'Vi
Common Hair Colors
  Common Eye Colors
  Common Skin Tones
Regardless of the Elf, each has that ethereal ... Something ... Which marks them as always being clearly extraplanar. And it's this ethereal quality which makes them appear hauntingly beautiful to other Sophonts even in their darkest and most brutal moments. Sometimes disconcertingly (or perhaps disturbingly) so.  

Lifecycle & Lifespan

Elves are slow to age, slow to mature, slow to marry, and certainly slow to make life changing decisions such as starting families and bringing new life into the world. For that reason, pregnancy among Elves is rare and families tend to be quite small when they are formed- perhaps with two or three children well spaced by a couple hundred years.
Average Lifespan
700 to 1,000 years
Average Height
5.5 to 6.5 ft
168 to 198 cm
Average Weight
110 to 180 lbs
50 to 82 kg
  When they do go through with them, Elven pregnancies typically last twenty months and are often grueling for the expectant mother to be- with symptoms including not only all of the normal Pregnancy ailments ... But also Wild Magic type flairs and other unpredictable magical effects that occur throughout the course of the pregnancy with increasing frequency as the delivery date approaches. Some Elves have unfortunately even lost their connection to magic altogether as a result of carrying their children to term (potentially another reason they are rarely rushed into).   Once they've entered into the world, however, offspring reach maturity at around 100 years and are considered to have reached their age of majority by about 150 in most Elven cultures; the overall life expectancy of Elves sits fairly firmly between 700 years and a full century, with it not being uncommon to see Elves reaching their 900th centenial.  

Special Abilities

  Despite their lithe natures, Elves are far from being frail creatures. They move slightly faster than other races and possess better senses than most as well. This combination of lithe agility and increase sensory perception often gives them a higher degree of precision when attacking- making them brutal on the battlefield when necessary.   As creatures of magic whose origins lay in the Feywild, too, Elves are naturally more inclined to the Arcane than many other races; regardless of ethnicity and culture, from a young age they show an incredible predilection towards (and competence with) magic that most races can dream of possessing. In many cases this naturally possessed Arcane aptitude even allows them to forgo sleep entirely in favor of a form of magically aided meditation they've developed- and which is widely considered far more refreshing to the body and mind than traditional sleep.  

Social Basics

  Filled with strong but fluid passion, Elves are creatures of pleasure and comfort before and above anything else; from music to art, clothes, jewelry, and even their architecture, they favor a simplistic, naturally integrated elegance that's filled with subtle intricacy- and the brighter, more complex, and more opulent it is? Then all the better.  
Their passion doesn’t stop at just the mundane pleasures, however. It also extends to their emotional natures; moved just as easily from one emotion to another, they’re known among the other Sophonts for their impulsive behavior, and slightly haughty and arrogant natures- giving them a reputation for being flighty, two-faced, and hard to please, and even harder to befriend. Still, Elves are generally gracious- even if in a backhanded way. And regardless of their reputation, they engage deeply with the world around them; they revel in its exploration to the fullest extent of body, mind, and heart- and delight in everything that it has to offer.
No one ever said Elves were nice; the thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake- and if you want to find a snake? Then you look for them behind the words that have suddenly changed their meanings.
Jieria Osa'Teya; Ilerian High Priestess
  When they do they friends, they form strong bonds that are expected to last a complete lifetime (if not longer). But just as they're slow to befirend you, however, they’re also slow to make enemies of others. Yet they’re even slower to forget them, too; they're strong friends and allies to those they’re loyal to- and who’re loyal to them in return.   However, their longer lifespan does tend to give them a broad perspective on world events that often troubles some of the shorter lived races; they think in longer terms, and plan much more broadly than others- and, as a result, often appear to move much more slowly by comparison. They also seem to have difficulty taking some matters quite as seriously as others think they should. The latter is especially true as their passionate natures mean they are also funloving by nature, and so they prefer to wait it out- or to trust diplomatic games over taking direct action.   Despite how unpleasant things such as war are, though? Elves become grimly serious if a threat to their friends, family, nation, or livelihood makes any such action necessary. And the Gods forgive anyone who chooses to make an Elf a proper enemy; they reply to petty insults with disdain- and to serious threats and insults with an unyielding vengeance.

Cover image: Reaching Hand by Min An


Author's Notes

▼ Please Read Before You Comment ▼
I absolutely love getting feedback on my setting and its worldbuilding. I love it even more when people poke and prod at it, and ask questions about the things I've built within it. I want both. I actively encourage both. And it makes me incredibly giddy whenever I get either. However, there's a time and a place for critique in particular- mostly when I've actually asked for it (which usually happens in World Anvil's discord server). And when I do ask for critique, there are two major things I politely request that you do not include in your commentary:   ➤ The first is any sort of critique on the way I've chosen to organize or format something; Saleh'Alire is not a narrative world written for reader enjoyment... It's is a living campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons. To that end, it's written and organized for my players and I, specifically for ease of use during gameplay- and our organization needs are sometimes very different than others'. They are especially different, often-times, from how things "should be organized" for reader enjoyment.   ➤ Secondly, is any critique about sentence phrasing and structure, word choice, and so on; unless you've specifically found a typo, or you know for a provable fact I've blatantly misused a word, or something is legitimately unclear explicitly because I've worded it too strangely? Then respectfully: Don't comment on it; as a native English speaker of the SAE dialect, language critique in particular will almost always be unwelcome unless it's absolutely necessary. This is especially true if English is not you first language to begin with. My native dialect is criticized enough as it is for being "wrong", even by fellow native English speakers ... I really don't want to deal with the additional linguistic elitism of "formal English" from Second-Language speakers (no offense intended).   That being said: If you want to ask questions, speculate, or just ramble? Go for it! I love talking about my setting and I'm always happy to answer any questions you have, or entertain any thoughts about it. Praise, of course, is always welcome too (even if it's just a casual "this is great", it still means a lot to authors)- and if you love it, please don't forget to actually show that love by liking it and sharing it around. Because I genuinely do enjoy watching people explore and interact with my setting, and ask questions about it, and I'd definitely love to hear from you... Just be respectful about it, yeah?

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Dec 20, 2022 04:12 by Han

Oh I adore the Terry Pratchett reference. ♥

welcome to my signature! check out istralar!
Dec 20, 2022 22:03 by Anna Katherina

There's a Terry Pratchet reference? o.o

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Dec 20, 2022 23:01 by Han

Oh, that wasn't intentional?! I thought that the High Priestess's quote was referencing this:

Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder. Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels. Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies. Elves are glamorous. They project glamour. Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment. Elves are terrific. They beget terror. The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning. No one ever said elves are nice. Elves are bad.
— Terry Pratchett

welcome to my signature! check out istralar!
Dec 20, 2022 23:52 by Anna Katherina

You know ... This article's original iteration's so old (roughly 2016 or 2017 at this point, I think) that it might actually be and I've just forgotten. Because that's VERY close; the original quote from the first draft of Saleh'Alire I ever published is  

No one ever said Elves were nice. Elves provoke wonder, create fantasies, project glamour, and weave enchantment... But they also beget terror; the thing about words is meanings can twist just like a snake- and if you want to find snakes? You look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.

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Dec 21, 2022 00:06 by Han

Oh yeah that was DEFINITELY a reference at some point hahah. I guess I just know that quote so well that I saw its traces even today?

welcome to my signature! check out istralar!
Dec 21, 2022 01:05 by Anna Katherina

That's amazing and I love it! I'm glad you caught it so that I can properly credit it, honestly!

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