The Fair Folk Edit
The longest lived of all the mortal races, elves are an enigmatic and aloof people. They are very attuned to magic and nature, and seem to blend the two in themselves. They are reserved when around other races, and tend towards haughtiness and arrogance. Elves live for well over six hundred years, and the very longest lived among them can reach a thousand years old before death overtakes them.
Although all elves share similar lifespans and a strong connection to nature, there are two major divisions among the elven people. These races share the same ancestors, but countless thousands of years have separated them from one another very drastically. These two sub-races are known as the Sea Elves, or Qualinosti, and the Wild Elves, or the Silverosti.
Sea Elves Edit
The Elves of Stelyth are known to the world as Sea Elves. Their graceful ships cut through the waves unlike any other ships in the world, and only the wildest storms can sink them. Even the pirates of the Summer Sea know to avoid the Stelythian flag.
Stelythian elves have dark skin, ranging from tan to dark brown, and tend to have vibrant hair, usually fiery red, although green-tinged blonde and blue-black are also fairly common. Their eyes are usually green or hazel, but sea blue and gray are common as well. They are taller than most humans, and very light of frame. "As likely as a fat elf" is an expression in Theyonwy for something that is impossible.One in a thousand Sea Elves is born with grey skin, white hair, white eyes, and a sensitivity to sunlight. These "snow-touched" are viewed by the Sea Elves with pity, but also distrust, as they tend toward madness. They are not allowed into Qualinosti society, and are not allowed to hold titles or land. As such, many leave their island home and travel through the world, trying to find a place.
Wild Elves Edit
Roaming the wilds of the Freelands, the Wild Elves, or Silverosti, are a hardy and barbaric people. Holding freedom as the primary good, the wild elves have very little time for authority. They live in small groups of two or three families, and range across the plains and woods, staying in one place for only a short time.They are shorter than humans, averaging just over five and a half feet, but much more muscular than their seafaring kin. Most have tan skin, with brown or hazel eyes and hair of earthy, quiet tones, like brown, red, or sandy blonde. They mark their faces and bodies with tribal markings, which is nearly the only organizing principle they adhere to.
The Elven Realms Edit
Elves live primarily in two places: the Isles of Stelyth, and the Freelands, with sea elves in the former, and wild elves in the latter. Most elves prefer the company of other elves, or no one at all, and so most who make their way into the rest of the realms tend toward isolated places. There are quite a few elves from both birthrights in the Grand March. Many of the snow-touched, or "dark elves", as they are called by the humans, make their way north, to the top of the world in the northern Grand March, where the sun shines less aggressively than it does in the south.
Relations With Other Races Edit
Elves tend towards isolation, and many have contempt for the short lived races. Still there are some among them who engage well with the other mortal races and it is these few who usually leave their remote homes and enter into society.
- Humans - Elves view most humans with a mixture of curiosity and contempt. The drive and ambition that humans embody is felt by few elves, and so is confusing to them.
- Dwarves - Strangely, elves and dwarves get along surprisingly well. They share an appreciation for nature, for art and architecture (even if they disagree with the styles of the other), and the long life of each helps them to understand the importance of family and the clan.
- Halflings - Elves find halfings a curiosity, and then think about them little more. Halflings have not the same drive that makes humans interesting to the elves, and neither do they share the long life which dwarves or gnomes do. Still, elves find halflings tolerable, since they are friendly enough and seem to know their place.
- Gnomes - Of all the mortal races, elves are the most interested in gnomes. They share a similar connection to the Feywild, and they both seem to blend magic and nature into one thing. However, gnomes are too foolish and flighty for elves to take them really seriously.
- Dragonborn - Elves view the Dragonborn as little better than beasts, devoting their short lives as they do to warfare and personal honor.
Relations between Elves Edit
Sea elves view other sea elves outside their islands as kin, no matter where they are found, and will usually trust them until given a reason not to. The same is not true for wild elves, however. They only trust their own families and tribes, and are cautious around other elves. Sea elves view their barbaric kin as uncultured and hardly better than the other races, while the wild elves see their seafaring cousins as enslaved to their finery and culture. Still, each would prefer the other to any member of another race in a pinch.
Religion and Magic Edit
Sea Elves are divided in their worship. Those on the mainland tend to join with those around them in the worship of Istra, while those on the home isles place Ardon the Grim at the head of their worship, believing him to be the Father of the Gods. The wild elves devote themselves to the Primals, but reserve the highest place for Ea.
Magic is a part of daily life to the sea elves. Most of them are trained in some small way in the arcane arts, and many of their greatest leaders throughout history have been great sages and wizards. They practice True-Name magic only rarely, believing it to be less precise and worthy of attention than the arcane arts.
Wild elves rarely, if ever, devote themselves to the arcane arts. Instead, many spend much of their lives devoted to finding the true names of the things of the world. Great druids have arisen among the wild elves, although none have traveled west to the civilized realms.
Many elves, from both kins, exhibit wild arcane magic, and unlike the other races, elves cherish such individuals, holding them in high honor.