Elves are a humanoid race, split into distinct variants, with pointed ears who are known for their grace and power. Commonly associated with the forests of the Realms, many elves live close to nature and have an uncanny knack for stealth and secrecy. Most races tend to think of the high (Heartwoodian) elves when thinking of the race as a whole, though wood elves and dark elves are just as common.
Average Lifespan:: Immortal
Average Height:: 6 feet
Average Weight:: 120 pounds
Location Found:: Forested areas, mostly - though can be found abroad.
*all statistics based on averages; extremes in any direction, or found in odd locations, are always allowed.
Body Types While most elves are tall, slender, and physically fit, elves who do not fit this stereotypical shape do exist. However, most of these are looked down upon by their kin and face some prejudice within their respective cultures. High elves are the most common to snub an elf based upon their looks, while dark elves - especially of the younger bloodline - will accept them no matter their appearance or level of physical fitness.
Halgian Hybrids Due to their similarities with the Halgians, high elves of Evylon often pairbond and form ties between the two species, with children being called 'dawnlings'. Most often, dawnlings will be gifted with light magic, though appearance and other such powers are left to the individual. They are usually physically stronger than most pure Halgians and elves both.
Diet This is what this species, and any variants, may eat at any given time.
High Elf, Wood Elf-
fruit, nuts, vegetables, grain.
fruit, nuts, cheese.
High Elf, Wood Elf-
mushrooms, tubers, cheese.
tubers, grain, fish.
High Elf, Wood Elf-
red meat, white meat, fish.
white meat, mushrooms.
Elves are omnivorous, but most, particularly the high elves and wood elves, only rarely eat meat of any kind. Dark elves are more apt to add meat to their diet. Both favor dishes prepared with a variety of spices and herbs, often differing region to region wherever these variants may dwell. To outsiders, these meals may seem both rich in taste and richly presented, no matter the class or rank of the elven cook who prepared it. Elves are generally delicate eaters, priding themselves on manners and class. Most offer prayers to their chosen god or gods before partaking in a substantial meal, common at dinner.
Night elves tend towards a diet higher in fish, mushrooms, and subterranean plants that their surface-dwelling cousins. Ristellan elves lean towards a similar diet, though they tend to have more access to red meat. Pure elves have a diet largely indistinguishable from that of high elves and wood elves.
Species info credited to Verridith, Aehryn, and Fyfergrund.
Appearance Heartwoodian elves/High elves; The high elf, or Heartwoodian/Evylonian elf, is perhaps the most fair of all elven races; taller than the Vystrian with commonly light-colored hair and brightly-hued eyes, though skin color can range from very pale to very dark. High elves tend to have the longest, most slender ears of all the elven variants.
Most high elves are usually garbed in green or gold vilam fabric or silk, delicate and well-made clothes that are often elegant and pleasing in design. Some elves, though especially Heartwoodian rangers and those dedicated to soldiery, will often wear gilded armor underneath thick traveling cloaks, inlaid with various types of metal. Many elven weapons are hand crafted by skilled smiths and designers, with skill matched by very few. Highborn elves often sport jewelry made in platinum, gold, and silver, uncommonly divine metal or mithril, and rarely dragonsung steel or gemsteel.
Vystrian elves/Wood elves; A relative of the high elf, Vystrian elves are often called wood elves, or forest elves, and reside primarily in the forests of Vystriana, Felnova. Darker-skinned elves may be found more often in the forests of Felnova than other places, especially beneath the trees of Song. These elves usually have hair of brown or black, shades darker and somewhat shorter with ears not as pointed as the Heartwoodians, allowing them to masquerade as humans more often than any of their cousins. Many choose to be clothed in garments of silver and grey, with little footwear and sparse armor, often decorating themselves with natural adornments. Nobles and royals tend to wear gold above most other metals, accenting clothes in a vast array of beautiful colors.
Dark elf (elder); The elder bloodline of the drow, or dark elf, is a unique one; descended from high elves in Evylon, elder drow have hair in the darkest shades of brown and black, with eyes lightly colored and not nearly as intense. They are tall and pale-skinned, and trend towards wearing darker colors, as well as darksteel or dragonsung steel armor. Elder drow are fond of silver jewelry and subtle accents, as well as intricate and beautiful arms of all types.
Dark elf (younger); Born of a cataclysm across the Yorijian sea, the younger bloodline of dark elf are dark of skin and light of hair, with very bright and intense color in their eyes. They are tall and lanky, with long hair and a great variety of clothing and armor, though they seem to be most fond of using gemstones in bright colors in any jewelry they craft. Masters of stealth, able to see even in the darkest shadows, youngblooded drow often employ Kuraian weapons hidden within their clothes.
Culture High elves; High elves, though peaceable and warm in times without war, are greatly protective of their families and wherever they have made their home. When those they care for are threatened, they will rise to war or fly to the aid of allies, using their swift arrows and keen blades to sever life from those who threaten what they hold dear. The Heartwoodians are noted to be one of the most caring types of elf, and the most loyal, though they are proud and strong among their own kind. The sense of honor most high elven settlements hold is as strong as any Halgian's.
Wood elves; The Vystrian elf is a secretive and mysterious race. Straying from war and sometimes ignoring the cry of allies in need, they are fiercely protective of their own lives and hold pride and honor above all else. Because they have suffered many losses to the ravages of war, the Vystrian elf will avoid it at all costs, though to gain the trust of one is to gain a great ally. If the need is dire, they will come to another's aid.
Dark elves (elder); Despite their history of violence with their Heartwoodian brethren, the elder line of drow is noble and takes their highborn brothers' compassion deeply to heart. Many are kind, and wish only to live in peace where they have settled. Many of these become dragonriders, honored among all. Both bloodlines hold a dark centuries-long feud with the deathcats to the south, and all vow vengeance to their destruction.
Dark elves (younger); The youngblooded drow generally value the ability to fight above all else, many joining the regimented military ruled over by the Authoritarians of D'issan, some of the most skilled fighters in Vystrian history. Some of these drow are rumored to have the weapon-making skills rivaling that of the dwarves and dragons, and they are known for always marking whatever they may craft. Both bloodlines hold a dark centuries-long feud with the deathcats to the south, and all vow vengeance to their destruction.
Abilities High elves; It is known that Heartwoodian archers are unparalleled in the art of the bow, rivaled by none; not even other elves of different bloodlines. Their skills at magic are very great, especially in the element of light, and many great healers have come from high elven blood. Heartwoodians are noted for their stealth, and the rangers of Evylon's elven armies train for years to become such. They can move undetected beyond most races' ability to sense them, and their skill with other weapons can be honed to match most.
Wood elves; Vystrian elves value magic above all else in war, and many become mages, mastering anything from the arcane arts to elemancy and more. Seers are prolific, as well as enchanters and disenchanters, including those who have learned to craft and bespell types of metals and gems. Wood elves are also as stealthy as their high elf brethren, though not as fast or physically strong.
Dark elves (elder); The elderblooded dark elves specialize in elemental magic and reiatsu use over all, and were the first to craft Leanfir: an elemental magic bound to the drowish language. Physically, the elder dark elves are weaker than the other variants, but have been known to grow into capable warriors fleet of foot and swift of mind.
Dark elves (younger); Unlike their elderblooded cousins, the ability to wield a sword with utmost skill falls to that of this bloodline. Most train from childhood to wield a variety of weapons, and hone their skills in an assortment of techniques that span the many Realms. They are stronger physically than most other elves, though not quite as fast, favoring strength over speed.
After the destruction of the One and the split from a single god into the Ten, the gods laboured in secret to craft new species into their war-torn world. Scylla, mourning the darkness of the skies, was approached one evening by Balion - the god of nature and all living things. He proposed something that might drive away her despair, and give light to the tortured world around them. A race of beautiful, arcane beings; a race that, though physical, was as graceful and ethereal as the gods themselves.
Balion wound a slender form from vines and leaves as Scylla agreed, excitement coloring her luminous eyes. She took the raindrops that fell and caught the sunlight that streamed through the clouds, and brought them back in a bowl made of clouds. Weaving the water, she softened the sharp edges that Balion had crafted, and painted the form with sunlight, giving the first elf fair skin and hair. She plucked a little of the sky's aura to give the elf bright, keen eyes, and spun a little of the wind for speed and strength.
Balion smiled as the first elf beheld the world, shocked at the chaos that reigned outside. Embrace beauty, and walk not in darkness, Scylla cautioned, You are the light that guards the forests, you are the keeper that protects those under the trees. Build your armies strong, young elf; and await our command.
Your hardships will be many, and last for some time, Balion rumbled quietly. I have but one gift left to give you. You, and all of your people, will find kinship with animals great and small - and a small number of you may kindle within yourselves the spirit of one such animal, to help you through the great night. To you, I will grant the affinity of the stag; let his light guide you, always.
The first elf was also a druid, with the affinity for a beautiful white stag; he was granted people to rule over, woven by Scylla's and Balion's claws. A King for many years, it is said that his bloodline is lost forevermore, though his power echoes still in Heartwood's deepest depths.
The elven Ancient First is an old, wrinkled druid-elf affiliated with the spirit of a great stag. He has a long white beard tangled with vines, and slightly tinted green skin; antlers poke from long, white hair tangled with vines and leaves and branches. Moss crawls along his hands, arms, chest, and legs. He wears robes made of giant, woven leaves, spelled to be as flexible and sturdy as fabric, with wooden bracers on both arms. His eyes are white and blind, almost always closed, in a near-constant state of meditation. When standing, he's seven feet tall, eight and a half with the span of his white, vine-and-moss covered antlers.
As the First Elf, he is incredibly old, and can often be found meditating within the Tree of Memories, guarded by his Sage. His thoughts are swift, but actions and decisions slow, consciousness split through the lives of all trees, plants, and animals covering miles and miles of Heartwood and the surrounding countryside. His influence has a focal point in the tree that's grown up around and over him; the Tree of Memories stores mental images within its vast consciousness, allowing visitors to view visions of their past by touching its gnarled bark. Cannot be easily roused, and does not move when he is; speaks through telepathy, unless in extravagant need. Very, very rarely opens his eyes.
Classification: deep-dwelling drow. Location: subterranean, unlighted places; though otherwise abroad.
Deep beneath the surface live night elves, or deep drow, known for rejecting the light that even their dark elf cousins still sometimes utilize; thus, their skin is far darker than that of the youngblooded dark elves. Their skin would appear to absorb light, if there were any light to shine upon them. Their hair ranges from the soft oranges and reds of a new flame, to the bright whites and silvers so common among their cousin race. Other hair colors are uncommon, though blacks, blonds, and browns are impossible. It is customary for night elves to wear darker hues, often accented with reflective accessories or jewels to stand out.
The most well-known feature of the night elves is their night vision. They eyes, which are found in an assortment of colors save for red, shine a glowing scarlet when they use their ability to track heat signatures in the darkness. They have adapted well to pitch blackness and are reluctant to use magic, primarily out of fear that visible reiastu may damage their vision. This has resulted in a more conflict-avoidant culture. Due to their small stature and delicate vision, they favor more subtle techniques. Though night elves detest the light, and their eyes may become damaged in direct sunlight, they can - over time and with practice - learn to walk aboveground in low-light conditions, such as dawn or dusk, or when the sky is overcast.
Many night elves deal in poisons. They often begin the process of immunization very young, consuming small amounts of poisons from the flora and fauna found deep below in order to develop a resistance or immunity. Night elves are also often trained in lightweight, often long-range, weaponry tipped with such poisons. Those who have more prowess in the communities, where there is an emphasis on feats of speed and endurance, are rewarded with glittering or reflective trinkets.
Classification: pure light-infused elf. Location: primarily Felnova and Evylon, can be found elsewhere.
Once, pure elves predated the present-day younger bloodline of drow; they spread across northern Alubria, teaching that the light they immersed themselves in was everything. However, when a great cataclysm rocked Alubria and gave birth to the enchanted sky-kingdom of Stroen'na, every pure elf was affected by its magic, and turned into the dark-skinned drow we know today. Now, they are found most often in Felnova and Evylon as rare births among dark elf couples, evidence of a recessive gene that has persisted through the years. Known for their commonly merciless condemnation of even the slightest shade of darkness, these descendants of youngblooded drow seek to renew light wherever they may.
While their pale skin make a stark contrast to the dark elves they hold familial ties to, and their features can be said to be reminiscent of high elves - particularly their long, thin ears and porcelain skin - their eyes, which come in many colors, frequently deep blues, pinks, and violets, are bright and glow softly, matching the intensity of their close relations. Pure elves often wear colors that complement their eyes, focusing on solid colors or gradients as opposed to patterns, accented with delicate jewelry.
Most pure elves have a strong control over light, but may control other elements as well. They cannot control darkness and shadow, though few would have a willingness to if it were possible. Their abilities to eradicate darkness have earned them respect, even among the drow, though the tension between pure elves and drow have caused most pure elves to seek their place on the surface as soon as they are old enough.
Classification: long-eared elves adapted to living underground. Location: Ristell's Underground.
High elves, unable to withstand living on the harsh surface of Ristell, found themselves taking shelter beneath the ground. As they moved further and further from the surface, these elves began to subtly change, evolving to live in the Everdark alongside dwarves and humans. In time, the darkness rendered their sharp eyesight largely ineffective, so to compensate they began to rely more on their hearing, and children began to be born with larger and more sensitive ears.
Being a vain race, as their large ears began to resemble those of some xeriin, the elves used their magic to reshape them, making them longer and more slender in appearance, three to five times as long as typical elven ears. These have allowed them to hunt effectively even when they can't see their prey, but it’s also made them sensitive to loud noises, and other elves tend to look down on them for their “flawed” appearance. Within their own communities, however, Ristellan elves take great pride in their ears, often decorating them with small pieces of jewelry, and longer ears are thought to be more attractive than shorter ears. The length of one’s ears is also said to correlate to their hunting and fighting skills, as well as their magic prowess, so those with the longest ears are naturally expected to outperform their shorter-eared peers.
Although their strong but sensitive hearing can act as a weakness, it’s instilled in Ristellan elves a deep love for music. Many of them grow to become great composers, song-writers and musicians, able to learn to play any and all instruments, for their ears are fine-tuned to rhythm, and they can easily string together notes and such that sound the most pleasing. Because of this, music is a staple in their all festivals and celebrations, if not the main focus of such, and they like to perform in large caves that carry sound especially well. It’s during these events that they also tend to mingle with other underground races, welcoming all into their various hidden cities. In Volnjrr, a city they share with both humans and their dark cousins, the drow, they often host friendly, skill-based contests that test their hearing against the dark elves' superior sight.