Scores of millennia before the first tribes of humans scoured the northern portions of the lands beyond Valencia , a mystical race lived in harmony with both the natural world and the magical essence of the cosmos. Feared as evil woodland demons by the barbarian tribes and seemingly always at odds with the newer nations of humanity, and always viewed with suspicion and sometimes animosity by the Dvergr, these fey folk are known in the human tongue as Alfar, or elves.
The elfin folk are smaller in stature than most humans, standing roughly 5 feet tall, almost always light and lithe in body, with creamy pale skin. Their eyes tend to be blue, gray, and sometimes even hues of violet; with a hint of slant and usually flecked with traces of gold or silver. Their hair is typically fine and straight, and their poise and posture is effeminate; graceful, and smooth. To even the most rustic human eye, the Alfar are elegant, graceful, and beautiful by any standards.
Humans consider elves to be haughty, aloof, and to generally act as if they are superior to humans. To the Alfar humans are flighty, lack discipline, and are violent, crass, and primitive. They see most of humanity as little better than the beast men, living short and unfocused lives out of harmony with their surroundings and destroying every land they inhabit.
The Alfar live for several centuries and reproduce at a much slower rate than humans, or even Dwarven
dwarven kind. Because of their longevity, they tend to have a much more calm and balanced outlook on the world and their personal lives. Very few Alfar feel the need to rush into anything and their arts, crafts, and even society in general reflect this patient and balanced focus in all things. Items of Elven manufacture tend to emulate naturally occurring patterns, nature, and be sleek and delicate in appearance but built to withstand centuries of use. It is not uncommon for an elfin artisan to spend years or even decades to make one perfect item. Their very lifestyle tends to reflect the slower pace of the seasons rather than the humans accelerated pace of days.
While very few dwarves and even fewer humans have ever set eyes upon the lands of the Alfar within the great southern forests. Most are not welcome there and the few souls brave enough to seek out elven lands have never returned. The Alfar build their homes in the boughs of great trees, in natural caves, or integrate their hand-made abodes into the landscape. Even their constructed dwellings follow the contours and natural rhythms of their natural surroundings, blending in seamlessly with the landscape.
It is rumored that the children of the Alfar learn to pull a bow before they can walk, this is actually unknown although every elf humankind has encountered seems to be extremely proficient in both the bow as well as the slim and delicately decorated longswords they all tend to carry.
The only elves encountered in Valencia have always been within or just on the outskirts of the great forest on the eastern border of Valalfar. Most humans will live their entire live and never set eyes upon an elf; some people even think they are a mythical race, not actually existing.
Before the first humans settled in Valencia , the forest fey had encounters with some of the more brutal and warlike humans of the northern barbarian tribes. Their capacities for wanton destruction and violence were not forgotten and the stereotype of humans as reavers and marauders tempers elvish views towards humans in general. Their encounters with the dwarves fared little better as the Dvergr are almost antithetical to the Alfar in nature, culture, and society.
Nonetheless, a handful of humans have successfully acquainted themselves with one or two groups of elves and some minor interactions and trade have taken place. One of the main barriers between a serene coexistence between humans and elves is the fact that the Alfar are magical in nature and have integrated magic, sorcery, and cosmic energies into their existence and culture whereas humans shun all things magical and look to destroy anything related to magic. In Valencia the phrase ‘may your daughter marry an elf,’ is a curse. Additionally, the alfar are slow to trust humans in general as centuries of violence have proven that the nature of humans is to raid, pillage, and to destroy. Because of this, the few elves that venture close to human territories tend to be ready for battle in much the same manner as humans would be if they were traveling through a monster-infested area. The few humans that have managed to parley with the elves soon realize that it could possibly take decades before the Alfar would begin to trust them as peaceful peers. The few humans that have interacted with, or even befriended one of the Alfar, tend have first encountered them in their youth and have been known and familiar to the elves for decades.
The human misconception of elfin society is that they all speak a common language, worship the same deities and are of one mind and temperament. This is solely because the few Alfar that have been encountered are primarily of the Elfin nation of Teuivae Sehaness. Roughly translating into the common tongue of man as Travelers of the moonlight, this society of Alfar tends to be more nomadic hunter gatherers and they both claim and travel the Northwestern portion of the elvish lands, the great forested area that humans call the Endless Green. Their language is what humankind has mistakenly assumed is a common tongue for all elves.
In truth, the Alfar populate, in sparse pockets, a great land of natural and untamed beauty that is several times the size of Valencia; it is just that human are ignorant of the diversity and expanse of the entirety of the Alfar. The forest of the Endless Green is actually just a small piece of the wild lands of the elves with the Teuivae Sehaness being merely one small nation of elves that just happens to be on the edges of human lands.