The High Elves stand firm in their ways. Once upon a time they were beacons of progress, a lack of innovation and refusal to get with the times has seen the High Elves go from the cultural elite of the realm to archaic conservatives.
Across the north, High Elven Revivalists become more prominent in politics as each sign passes by. The revivalists want to return to a glorious mythical past of High Elven culture. Some advocate for Elven Unification
, others for the exaltation of their cousin elves, the Wood Elves
Elves are from the northern regions of the realm. Some linguists believe the name of the ancestry itself, "elf" is related to the Villersian
word "elv" meaning river. In the Alltongue
"alb-" is used for both elves and rivers. Some historians take this even further and speculate that the elves originated specifically in Alfheim
, a theory that is supported by some Wood Elf oral tradition.
High Elves are the tallest humanoids, often pale, and they have pointed, upturned ears. Their faces are typically longer. High Elves have a reputation for being almost unearthly symmetrical, something that could be attributed to the focus on personal grooming and generations of selective breeding, or perhaps to the prevalence of cosmetic sculptors in High Elven cities.
High Elven beauty standards are strict, with no deviation from the ideal going unmissed. Many go to great lengths to live up to these standards. Young high elves have their ears bound while they are still soft to prevent them from drooping, and many elves continue to bind their ears during the night and through the morning. It is also very common to practice pinching and massages intended to encourage facial symmetry and elongated elegant features.
Community & Traditions
The culture of the High Elves has long been defined by Voiety or "The Way", a philosophy that emphasizes filial piety and stoicism. The Way is hierarchical, and emphasises the importance of respecting others, and the moral duty to guide those beneath you.
High Elven society has strict gender roles, but gender is ultimately seen as fluid. Voiety emphasies the duty of a father to his sons and daughters, and to his wife, and the respect that his family should give him in return. Mothers are expected, however, to step into the role of the father when necessary.
High Elven Cuisine is complex, with a emphasis on laborious recipes and rare ingredients. Enjoying a meal is more than just taste and texture, the history of the ingredients and the work it took to process it are also important to the experience. A proper dinner has at least four courses, and any high elven family of note would be embarrassed to serve less than seven courses.
An elven meal is not seen as complete without a pungent
, which is usually served after the main course but before the dessert. Pungents are named after their typically strong smells, and usually consist of matured cheeses or fermented food. Some of these foods have been fermenting for generations, and are very much an acquired taste.