Elves are a race of humanoids that have long lived alongside humans for centuries. The Elven race has mainly populated parts of Tregaron and the Chain of Fire. Due to thecrusades, Elves have been entirely wiped out or driven away from their old home of Tregaron, and are now left either scattered, or exiled, or living within the Chain of Fire. Elves are notably proud of their lineage tracing back to the Fae, and find a common ground with the Fianni as a result. They are also the longest lived race, despite having long-lost their faith in Zzath in favor of worshiping the Fae.
ReparationsEver since the atrocities committed during the crusades, the Elven people have been closely protected by the Fianni, whom view their people as kindred spirits. The Fianni do this by warding off human travelers that would wander into their isles, forbidding access outside of those that are trusted by the Elven people. Ignan, the kingdom of the Vanks, is known to be the sole exception to this rule. They were the only kingdom that refused to have a part in the crusades, and later even joined to defend the Elven people, culminating into a bloody war victory for Ignan during the Battle of Preacher's Bay. Ignan has always had its borders to the Elven people as well, ensuring their safety from the surrounding nations abroad.
Elves are known for being somewhat adjacent to humans in terms of appearance. Relatively humanoid shaped in terms of body structure, with pointed ears. A common exception to this are those that are Fae-touched. Their eyes are also commonly a solid colour. Fae-touched Elves are never the same from each other. They can be small, tall, wide, or thin, with skin that carries the texture and thickness of mahogany, to hairs that spring out in flowers or roses. About one out of every ten is Fae touched; and are seen as blessed with heritage that shows through their unique traits.
Growth Rate & Stages
Elves develop at a slower rate than most races, reaching adulthood and full maturity at around the age of 35. Despite this shortcoming, they also live a much longer life compared to the rest of the races around the world; Elves can reach up to 200 years, with some cresting just beyond that at around 215~220.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Elves are omnivorous, but are known for being eager meat-eaters. Their preferred side-dish generally consists of various fruits for desert and sugars.
Happily HuntingWith most of them living in the Chain of Fire, they often have plentiful meats from the wildlife and megafauna that live there. Dinosaurs are very common throughout the Chain of Fire; especially sauropods, which are commonly hunted due to one of the beasts being more than capable of feeding an entire village worth of people. Elves take great pride in their hunting prowess; it's very common for their dishes to include meat as a result, typically from game or trapped animals. An Elven dish with meat is their way of proudly showing off a successful hunt. Elves vastly prefer hunting the beasts of the land; fish aren't a common meal for their people and they're often considered a commoner's meal. Elves rarely domesticate animals for their meat. An exception to this are Cockatrices; which are foul-tempered, reptilian avians that are notorious for their ability to petrify those they peck. These magical beasts still provide decent meat, and lay eggs about as frequently as chickens, which the Elves lack ever since the crusades. Cockatrices are typically bound at the beak with a magical sigil or alchemical rubber when they aren't eating, thus allowing them to be more easily handled. Ironically enough, Cockatrices are also raised because their meat and blood can be used to concoct curatives for victims of petrification; a very common ailment found throughout the Chain of Fire. Bees are another well-known exception; Elves raise bee farms and are very fond of honey and sweeteners.
AgricultureDespite their love of hunting, Elves also make use of their land through a variety of different crops. Starfruit, Pineapples, Lemons, Oranges & Citruses are a very common part of Elven agriculture, as are grapes. Fruit is a very important part of the Elvish cuisine due to their love of sweets. Sugarcane is also common for the same reason. Fruits are often made into various jams and marmalades that are used to add flavor to different meals. Other common crops make use of the vast mire found at the heart of Kalni; namely Water Chestnuts, Rice, and Cranberries.
Sweet LoversSweets are a very common thing found within Elven cuisine; whether it be sweets made from cane sugar or from marmalades, jellies, or honey. Honey is a often seen as a cornerstone in Elven cuisine, and is even used to glaze or sweeten the otherwise gamey taste that's associated with hunted meat.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Elves are notably capable of seeing the Fae regardless of whether or not the Fae wishes to be seen or not. This unique talent manifests only in them, and has lead to them forming communities that are often melded in with the Fae.
Civilization and Culture
Elves all have a 'fake name' given to them at birth; these are their 'Middle Names', and were created for the sake of preventing hostile Fae or Yokai duping them into giving up their name. Elves are thus most likely to tell you their alias. Female Names: Nelote, Thalia, Sylvannas, Ryllae, Yunessa Male Names: Sadron, Cannus, Vascan, Sergyn Last Names: Reyrona, Talathel, Yelsandrel
Men are often the soldiers, hunters, and fighters that are found within Elven society. They're expected to serve as guards or soldiers that protect the women, though it isn't unheard of for a woman to be found amidst Elven hunting parties. Women, however, are often taught from a young age to pursue Alchemy. They are frequently raised to serve as not just the doctors and artisans of society, but also strictly encouraged to pursue politics; Elven politics are almost exclusively sculpted and shaped by women in their society. A Queen will always carry more weight and importance than a King in Elven society.
Elves are known to take a long time to open up and trust people. This is due to their long lifespans making them somewhat distanced from 'small' things; objects that only last for a short amount of time have seemingly no value to them, and thus, friendship is often built over time through countless ventures. For an Elf, loyalty is important in friendship. When an Elf considers somebody a friend, they will remain unquestioning to their acts and follow them until the bitter end. Trust is, of course, invaluable to an Elf. Lies and deception are thus often considered an ultimate crime in Elven society, to the point that enough lying can lead to a severed tongue. Backstabbing and betrayal is often seen as the worst act you can commit. In terms of Friendship, Elves see a companion they can rely on. Somebody that they know they can always trust to do their best in order to help leave mutual growth between the duo. With romantic connections, this is magnified far, far beyond that. Elves do not believe in the concept of 'arranged marriage' or 'hookups'; instead emphasizing time and growth between two parties. To have a lover is to assume that you would die for them, and vice versa.
Average Technological Level
Recently, Elven technology has found countless breakthroughs with Alchemy. They are particularly skilled at sigil making; a special art that utilizes unique ingredients and symbols written in the language of the Fae. These sigils allow them to create a unique infrastructure; most notably is their unique 'Sigil Grid'. A sigil grid uses metal pipelines that are etched with a unique sigil to convey a magical current. These magical currents flow into different facilities to leave objects functional by the commoner through just a small amount of mana. At a wave of a hand, one can cause water to begin to flow into a basin for bathing, with endless heating included. A snap of the finger will cause a sigil to glow at the ceiling, filling a room with light. Elves often make use of weapons with these weapons in mind, etching symbols or sigils that are then used to create powerful artifacts that help them fell great beasts. Sigil making aside, Elven technology is often considered a little 'behind'; lacking gunpowder, with reliance on bows, mechanisms, and armour instead.
Common Etiquette Rules
Never tell a lie or foster betrayal in Elven society. Treachery is among the highest crimes you can commit within their walls. Honesty and loyalty are important to the Elves, and it's expected to always tell the truth, be courteous, and polite to those that you speak with. To the Elves, kindness also goes a long way; while it's often seen as 'stuck up' with their procedures and habits, Elves are known to always do their best to present themselves in a positive light.
Culture and Cultural Heritage
Elves are a very aesthetic people. They seek to always create the perfect image or example of something, and only wish to improve upon it as time goes on. Elven Architecture is known for having a painstaking amount of effort taken into the structure of the building, making it as eye-catching as possible. Their love for aesthetics also leads to them making use of decorative plants, and artists are often regarded as important cornerstones of their society. Painting and sculpting is a very serious profession to them, and their cities are often littered with fine art. This comes from their tendency to value things that last longer than others. A long lifespan leads to them viewing simple gifts as unimportant, whereas art can potentially last forever. They aren't too fond of a short-term object and often view such things as expendable or taken as granted, whereas something that can last for years; such as knowledge of a trade, a fine work of art, or a well-crafted object, is much more appreciated.
Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals
Fireflight: The Fireflight festival is an important commemoration of the sacrifices made by Sylvannas, the Queen that reigned before Thalia. During the crusades, Ignan had the only port that could hope to set them free to sail overseas. In desperation, she rode with her men to free settlements across the continent. She and her family were tragically butchered, leaving rule falling upon the shoulders of her friend and close confidant, Thalia. It is also to commemorate the fallen that fought during the crusades. Fireflight is commemorated by gathering unique butterflies called Ashwings; they are red-winged, giving off a radiant glow that ends with trails of cinder-like flecks. After being gathered for the festival and held within lanterns special cages, the Ashwings are let free at midnight, scattering across the skies in a flock of brightly coloured lights.
The first of the Elven people had a culture that was vastly different from the culture they have today. They lived in Tregaron, within a vast kingdom that spanned across the world known as Sahalash; a kingdom that widely worshiped Zzath. The most important thing to note is the fact that during this time, Zzath had blessed the Elven people with perfect immortality, allowing them to outlast and outlive anyone that would compete with their species. This changed shortly after Zzath's rule grew tyrannical, leading to a collapse of the Sahali kingdoms that left the scattered Elves seeking out faith in places that they could find themselves familiar with; the Fae became much more popular for them to worship, and as time went on, faith in Zzath waned. While Elves had became a fractured piece of what they once were, they still formed their own small bands and communes across Tregaron. These little groups became known as 'Clans', living far from human society, but often training mercenaries or hunters that would offer their services to the different kingdoms found across the feudal continent. Elven mercenary bands were widely appreciated for not just their prowess, but loyalty as well. Elves would rarely betray a kingdom they swore fealty to due to their ageless nature; at the time, Elves were incapable of dying through old age and stayed eternally youthful after the age of 35. They rarely betrayed kingdoms and made loyal mercenaries due to a sword still being just as effective at ending their life. Immortal as they were, betrayal would stain their record as a mercenary and risk the merc in question being hunted, thus, they often formed small communities that offered services across the kingdom. It wasn't uncommon for Elven clans to actually send mercenaries to different kingdoms based on the bidder, which frequently lead to Elves being pitted against families. Despite that, the mercenaries saw this as 'sport' and nothing else. Many mercenary enclaves had 'peace zones' that forbade warfare and bloodshed, allowing respite to all sides that was enforced by both trained soldiers and the mercenaries that agreed to walk within the confines of these peace zones. Humans later coveted the Elven lifespan. The three kingdoms of man feared that their immortality would one day allow the Elven people to outlast them, leading towards an inevitable fall of all humanity due to the Elven people being more than capable of simply outlasting them through time. In a bid to even the playing field, the human lords all demanded the Elven people gave them their secret to immortality. The Elves divulged the information through a ritual that is vastly considered by many to be the greatest mistake in every sense; humans learned of the Elves and their ability to stay ever living through the sacrifice of lesser lives, and this later spiraled into Vampirism. The three kingdoms now all had vampiric lords; and only one, Ignan, remained accepting of this fate. Vilstrung and Mordencrast on the other hand, fell with time. This lead collapse lead towards the Church blaming the Elves for swaying humanity into their state, leading towards a coalition of the remaining kingdoms that was now lead beneath the The Faith Keepers. The crusades were grueling and violent, with countless Elven people slaughtered in a warpath that lead to them being driven off from Tregaron in exile. Elves fled in many directions during this time. Many travelled to the Chain of Fire, where they rebuilt their lost kingdoms. Others fled to Ignan, promising sanctity to them so long as they were within their borders. Many more had simply chose to set sail for the ocean, in a desperate attempt to find a new home that would stay outside of the Church's influence. Today, most Elves are found within Kalni; the largest isle amongst the Chain of Fire, and even so, the ones that are found outside of the tropics carry a strong sense of loyalty towards Thalia, the Queen of the Elves.
Sethiriel: When the The Blood Curse ravaged Mordencrast, many had forgotten of the crusades in favor of the much more dangerous evil that festered within Tregaron. Slavering beasts, driven to grow stronger as they relentlessly killed all that stood in their way. Sethiriel is one of the first known hunters of these beasts, forming a guild of beasthunters that dedicated themselves to crushing the curse along with a fellow mercenary; Malachi. Sylvannas: Sylvannas and her family are known for their own valiant crusade to push back against the humans. In an effort to save her people, she and her family travelled across all of Tregaron, gathering every Elf in their path in a massive rescue effort that'd end with their exodus overseas. They failed, however, with Sylvannas and her family being captured and killed in Mordencrast, and many of the survivors being routed and left scattered across the countryside before Verres routed the crusaders in The Battle of Preacher's Bay.
Common Myths and Legends
The Hollow Man: The Hollowman is a myth that's said to stalk throughout the wilds of Kalni. He is said to be only viewable by children, and resembles a man with a hornet's nest for a head. The Hollowman is said to offer children honey and sweets; if they accept, then he will continue to give them sweets until they are smothered and drowning in honey. He is often seen as a cautionary tale; a word of warning to instruct Elven children to never trust a stranger when they're out on their own, no matter how sweet the offer may be. Crooked Crowlady: The Crooked Crowlady is a legend that retells the story of a Hag; She is mostly known for an event within the Elven capital where a Hag had managed to disguise herself as a motherly matron to an orphanage, offering solace to children, only to torment them in grisly ways. The children that were trapped in her orphanage were recorded by her crows, which sang perfect recordings of their screams and sufferings to the people across the capital. By the time she was driven out of the orphanage, countless children had already perished at her hand.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Elves often like to consider themselves as a peaceful mediator, keeping to themselves whilst other nations interact around them. They are firm allies of the Fianni people, whom are often considered to be likened to brothers and sisters to their people. Humans are often looked at with revulsion or disgust, with hatred that still remains bitter and burning even to this very day. The Vank people are an exception to this. Elves, being somewhat isolated as they are now, do not have much of a hand in other worldly affairs.