Before all other forms of intelligent life, there were the elves. There first origins date back to some time 2000 years before the Age of the Idols. They were the first humanoid race given life by the Gods of Etherlen. The divines, now having been at peace for 4 millenniums, wanted their first intelligent life to reflect their godly visage. The elves were given more slender and attractive features, alongside natural intelligence, in order to better reflect how the gods saw themselves.
The first elves appeared on the. It was a harsh time to be alive. Though the gods had been at peace, there conflicts had still scarred the world. The terrain was uneven and chaotic, alongside it were the horrific first forms of life the gods had created. Much of the first elves would die to the natural elements of the world. The small portion that carried on would herald in the first elven civilizations. It would take serval centuries, starting as elven tribes. Then slowly growing into villages, towns, and then cities. Luckily for the elves, they had been blessed with long lifespans, and so death by age was not much of a concern. The things they had learned were easily passed on and remembered. This helped them to progress and evolve, discovering new technologies and harnessing the magical ways of Etherlen.
The elves first appearing on the Origin continent is exactly how the continent received it's name. It was the origin for where the first forms of intelligent life would appear.
For the first millennium, the elves only struggled against the elements of nature. Even so, they had grown. Their settlements now spread across the whole of the. However, with this many elves came differences in ideas and how to continue. See, since their creation the elves had been dedicated followers of the divines. Primarily , , and . All good aligned and nature centric deities. This worship had made it so the elves dared not use any thing unnatural. They harvested from nature, and that was all. Metals never reached their hands.
Elven Civil War
Alas, this ideology would come under questioning from other elves. Why not use metals and other things harvested from below? Why worship only these deities when there are so many more? These questions would grow into conflict, as the elves could not amend this difference in ideas. Thus the Elven Civil War took place. It would take place across two centuries with no defined victor at the end. The war was bloody and brutal, resulting in the deaths of thousands of elves. It left scars between all the elven groups. After all sides declared a truce, they all splintered and began the creation of their own smaller civilizations. As time came and went, these different groups of elves would come to change and adapt to the environments they had settled in.
High Elves These elves were among the group that stayed loyal to the divines, and primarily still reside on Origin. Unlike some of the other elves who stayed faithful, these elves leaned into their natural intelligence and took to their affinity for magic. This making them excellent magic casters.
Wood Elves Wood elves also stayed loyal to the divines. However, they never formed a cohesive civilization, and so their numbers are spread across Etherlen. Wood elves leaned into their love for nature and began to master it.
Sea Elves Sea elves were among those who stayed faithful. Unlike all others, they left the land and fell in love with the natural ways of the ocean. They have evolved to survive in the oceans, and all their settlements lie below the water.
Snow Elves These elves were neither faithful or non-faithful. They stayed devoted to the original deities, but explored the world of metals. They would inhabit the northern icy strip of Origin, adapting to its harsh climate. The Snow elves did not grow into immense power, rather they stayed small and quiet, attracting very little attention.
Eladrin Eladrin took their love for nature to the extreme. They discovered a way onto the Feywild, and they they stayed. Quite literally becoming one with nature. Some consider them to be the purest form of the old elven ways.
Shadar-Kai Shadaar-Kai are the Eladrin's counterpart. They abandoned the good aligned gods. They also discovered a way onto the Shadowfell, and there they stayed. They attuned to the lifeless ways of the shadows, and it reflects in their appearance and abilities.
Dark Elves (Drow) This group of elves were the largest counter-voice to the old ways in the civil war. Afterwards, they dug down and down to find the strongest metals they could. In the process, they discovered the vast labyrinth that is the Underdark. Here they resided, adapting to the absence of light.
Pallid Elves These elves were not present during the days of old. It is believed they were a sub-sect of the High Elves that grew with the light of the moons rather than the sun. They reappeared into the world nearly two millenniums after the civil war.