Elves are a race which in appearance are very similar to that of humans. They do, however, tend to be somewhat shorter than humans and they are often much lighter than humans due to their hollow bones. By most they are considered to be rather lazy and whimsical creatures and since they lack any kind of permanent settlements, this is not a claim without virtue.
Elves are short, though they still manage to appear thin and elegant. Many are tall enough to be mistaken for adult humans. Their ears end in points, rather than round off like human ears, though this gives them no special advantages when it comes to hearing. Their skin colours range from a pale white to a dark black without this having any kind of cultural significance among them. They tend to move in quick bursts of speed rather than continuous movement. This serves them well in catching small animals. Their hollow bones also mean that they are lighter than a human of the same size and elves have been shown to be capable of feats of acrobatics which may astound any human. Their lifespans tend to be much longer than those of humans, some living up to 200 years.
Culture & OrganisationEdit
Elven organisation is the potential butt of many human jokes, who do not see any organisation in their nomadic nature. Despite this, the elves are separated into several tribes which all have designated territories that they choose as their wandering, even though these frequently overlap. They often follow certain patterns in their constant migrations, where they choose to go to one area after another.
Elven society is ultimately a mobile one. They are nomads which travel from area to area, where they help themselves to the resources of the wild, before they move on once more. Elven tribes move over such vast territories that though they never stay longer than a single season in one place; it may be decades before they return to it. The sites elves use for their camps are usually deep within forests or places which are otherwise outside what many consider the civilization of humans. Elves do trade with human settlements, offering treated skins of superior quality and cured meats and delicious fruits for goods which they are not capable of producing on their own, though on the whole they prefer to stay out of the way of humans.
They mainly live in tents and abodes in the trees themselves, if they do not simply choose to sleep beneath the open sky. They rarely bring with them anything they do not need and this need to pack light means they rarely collect items such as a human might. They treasure small and light valuables which are easy to move. Their culture remains enigmatic to most humans, who rarely see any of it. Certainly they price music and dance highly and many of their more elaborate ceremonies deal with this. Their religion often seems to centre around Adienna, Il’unno and the Green Man. Which way they are going often depends on the Shaman, who is something of a mix between a priest and a mage. The Shaman uses a kind of scrying magic coupled with mantra to decide where to go next.
Elves rarely practise Low Magic, the amount of tools necessary for such a practise is usually contrary to the nomadic lifestyles of the elves. The exception to this rule is the Shaman, who practices simple scrying and mantra magic. High magic practitioners among elves are more common than among humans. However, the majority of these have Plant Talent, which allow them to manipulate plants around them. All elves possess a talent similar to High magic however, which is usually referred to as Glamour. These Glamours which elves cast are, at least in the beginning, fairly simple illusions. Usually they make the caster seem more elegant, prettier and generally better than they would without it. If the caster should choose to become more proficient in the use of Glamours, they have proven to be able to create great illusions, some trapping humans in snares of illusions which they are never able to get out of, forever chasing after sounds and figures which do not really exist. Because Glamours are disrupted by iron, it is considered incredibly offensive to give an elf a ring or necklace or something similar of iron. Of course, the mere presence of iron on an elf is enough to keep it from casting Glamours, yet wearing a ring of iron or similar will not protect a human from Glamours. However, touching an illusion with iron will shatter it.
Occasionally elves may produce offspring with humans, though this does not happen often. As all half-elves are infertile, no such thing as a quarter-elf exists. Half-elves usually end up somewhere in between humans and elves; they are usually stronger and larger than elves, but lack some of the speed and agility which serve the elves so well. Their ears take on a more rounded shape than those of the elves, but do not entirely lose their points. No half-elves have the ability to produce Glamours. Half-elves lead curious lives wherever they go. If they are born to human society, they will often long survive their peers and outlive their children, whereas if they live in elf society, they will age much faster than anyone else present. Due to the relative rarity of half-elves being born, half-elves rarely meet any of their own kind.