Elves

Elves

Elves claim to be the oldest race on the planet, but there is no evidence to support that. Elves are the longest living humanoid races, and many feel their race is immortal.
There are three races of Elves. The Ellasti (el-A-stie), known to the humans as High Elves. These Elves are the longest living and the most aloof. They are the mystical powerful Elves of Legend. The Terrasti (Ter-A-stie), called Grey elves by Human, and by other elves as a derogatory term. The Terrasti are elves who have adapted and become much more like their human neighbors than their High Elf Cousins. These elves are the shortest lived. The last are the Tarrvasti (Tar-VA-stie), also known as the Wood elves. These Elves are wilder and closer to their instinctual nature. They seem to be tribal and lie in between. The other two races.

There is some commonality to all three races of elves. The first is their aloofness. Due to their long lives, many Elves have seen much more change than then the other races. The fact that the elves have lived through it all, mostly unchanged in their culture or way of living, means that they see situations that differently. Things that greatly affect a human’s lifetime, is only a passing storm to an Elf. They do not have the same urgency that a human of halfling may have. They know most problems work themselves out in a few hundred years and they just stay out of it. It takes a lot to get the Elven people as a whole interested in events in the world. That is not to say individual Elves may not feel passionate about issues, but usually it is the younger of the race that get involved in the world around them.
The second is their love and reverence of nature. All three races of elves have a love for all living things of nature. Even the animals they hunt and plants they harvest for food are revered. They feel they have a connection to all living things and treat that connection with the utmost respect. They do not hunt for sport, and they take only what they need to live. They build their homes in concert with nature and defend it vigilantly. They have a strong hatred of things that tend to be a perversion of nature, of that are wantonly destructive of live. They have a deep hatred for Orcs and goblin kind, who destroy nature and life for perverse pleasure. They see magic as a force of life and hate Dar magic, like necromancy and some dark conjurations.
Third is that elves are emotional. While there are exceptions, most elves are much more emotional than humans. They feel emotions deeper, and fins it harder to keep themselves detached that other races would. Elves cry easily and love easily. This causes them to try to keep their distance from on elves, aa other races simply don’t understand the emotional toll that situations can have on elves. This is one of the reasons that elf-human relations are discouraged. Humans find it much easier to leave a relationship than an elf, who will feel the emotional discomfort of a breakup much more strongly than a human, not to mention when a human grow older and start to deteriorate, while their elven partner is still young and hale.
Last is their ability to withdraw from the world. This is mostly seen in High and Wood Elves, but Grey elves also have a tendency to do this too. Due to their long live most elves are isolationists, preferring to live their own way without outside interference and without getting involved in outside affairs. Very few events have caused the elves to get involved in the world's troubles. They do, however, recognize the ability of humans to take what they have and turn it industrious. Because of this, elves have trade relations with most cities, letting the human do most of the work for simple goods, and then trading things that can only be made by elves. While elves are content to trade with nearby civilization for goods such as leather, food, etc., they have the ability to be completely self-sufficient, replace the good they receive through trade with alternate homemade versions. This is a great defense for the elves, for they can withdraw themselves from the world when danger threatens it. It is also the main reasons human and Elven relations are not much stronger. Several times in the past as trouble has threatened the people of Nor, the elves have left them to their own devices.

High Elves

Ellasti are the Eldest of the Elven people. They are shorter than Humans, though taller than Dwarves and Halflings. A very tall Elf would stand around 5 and a half feet tall while the average is closer to 4 feet 9 inches. They are slender and seem fragile though an elven warrior would surprise people with his strength. They are wiry and dexterous. Their skin is pale with an almost golden tint to it. They have silver to copper hair, with a metallic shine to it. Most High Elves have grey eyes, though there are some bloodline known for having gold or silver eyes that contain a faint luminescence. They usually dress in soft leather with color that match the forest. Females are slightly smaller than males, thought there are exceptions.
Ellasti are an enigma to many, as the way they act is a contradiction in nature. They are both serious and frivolous at the same time. Listening to an Elder speak of the dalliances of a local noble, and the status of a war with the same amount of seriousness can be disconcerting. For Ellasti, some who have lived over a thousand years, very little in the word causes them much excitement. While this may seem like a recipe for disaster, the unique viewpoint of Elves makes this type of attitude a benefit. Elves can look at a situation and decided how much to invest themselves in it. This gives them a reputation for being aloof and disconnected. This actually allows them to make decisions based on experience rather than emotion, which is very important to a race that feels emotions much more strongly than human. When an Ellasti decided to invest in a situation, they will do so wholeheartedly, and without holding back.
Ellasti do not die of old age. Once they have spent a number of years on Nor, (usually 800 to 1000), they feel a pull to move on to the next world. They then leave Nor and enter the elven Realm of Arvandar. There is no body left behind, and other elves do not see this as a passing, only a momentary goodbye, knowing they will meet the elf again when it is their time to pass through. Not all elves pass through to Arvandar though. Only elves that have stayed true to the elven teaching to respect all life are allowed to return to Arvandar. This test governs how many elves live their lives.

Habitat
High Elves live in tree cities in the great forests. The most common one if Elvenhome. Though there ae said to be other that exist. The homes of Elvenhome are built in the Trees of the forest, each one high off the ground. The elves have developed a society where they very rarely have to leave their homes in the upper branches. Walkways connect houses and major buildings. Some of these are merely thick vines, but the elves with their unnatural dexterity and magical nature are able to use these are humans use roadways. While elves do trade for goods, they do not make themselves, they do not need them to survive. The elves of Elvenhome, do not cultivate ground crops, but they do have an extensive tree farming society. The variety of fruit, and nuts makes it seem as if the Elves grow foodstuff on hidden farms. Bread made from elven nuts, can be indistinguishable from one of flour. They also hunt fowl that fly over the forest or nest in the trees and hunt animals that live on the ground. Their homes are built using magic to alter the trees forming huts and platforms. While some may think this is the elves forcing their will on nature, they actually do this in concert with the forest. They have an innate connection with the trees and the wood allows itself to be manipulated by elven magic. The work is so well done that from the ground a person could walk under the city, and not even know it was above them.
Not that that happens, as the elves defend their cities vigilantly. There are powerful enchantments they cause people not specifically looking for the city, to simply walk around it, without even realizing they are doing it. Elven warriors are also skilled at misdirecting travelers by placing obstacle, or using other subtle ways to discourage outsiders from getting too close. If all that fails, elven archers are deadly with their long bows.

Religion
The Old Pantheon as it is now known is not old to Ellasti , who claim to have been here before the Gods ever came to Nor. They believe the God have great power but are truly not gods in the old sense, but rather Powerful beings who have gained immortality and power. Ellasti priests see their worship as more of a partnership with a higher power. They agree to do a god's bidding in return for the power the God can provide to help the elven people. The exception to this is the worship of the One. The elves see the One as a true god, who held dominion of Nor long before the coming of the Human Gods. Some have taken to his worship, and devote themselves to his teachings.
Military
Ellasti are trained in the art of war from when they are a child. Each Elven child, male and female alike are taught sword and bow from the time they can hold them. While the elves do not like violence and they abhor killing, unless it is of the evil races, then prepare for it constantly. Their martial skill is as important to them as their other skills. Due to their long lives, elves have a lot of time to master their chosen weapons. Additionally, they usually serve as elven soldiers for a time, before they move on to learn a skill. Unlike most human armies, many elven warriors have seen battle and have been tested on the battlefield. They are a favorite enemy of many of the evil races such as goblin, and orcs who are constantly testing them. Most elves have had some type of combat experience before they reach 150 years old. When an event causes the elves to gather their army, most enemies are surprised to find that rather than face a group of aloof, frivolous elves, they instead face a group or serious determined warriors, who are all hardened veterans. Not only do the elves have a strong conventional army with expert swordsmen and archers, but they have the power of the Elven People’s magic. Indeed, when the elves go to war, very little can stand in their way.

Society
Many outsiders have tried to explain the way elves interact with each other, and have failed to do so. Just as you think you know what will happen, they do something different. Again, this is due to the Ellasti’s uncanny ability to decide whether or not to invest themselves in a situation. It is because of this, that it is possible (though unusual) for an Ellasti uncle to be completely invested in his nephews training and not at all be interested in his own son's. Rather than blindly follow in their parent’s footsteps, most elves seem to gravitate to a relative whose interest most suit their own. Likewise, an elder who take responsibility for an elf does so with full intention. To outsiders this may seem like the elves have no real familial ties, but to High Elves it is just another aspect of their dual nature. Elven children are very rare and blessed events. An Elven female, if lucky will bare only two children, in her long life span. Because of this, every child is considered a blessing for the whole family, and they often share the responsibility of the child’s upbringing.
High Elves are governed by a king, and there has only been one in recorded history. He is the eldest known elf alive today. There are High Elven noble houses but the distinction seems to be on deeds rather than blood. Elven nobles are elected rather than born to their role. The Elven nobility is designed to provide a succession in case the king ever falls without an heir.
Another place where a long lifespan has a great effect is in elven relationships. Over their lives Elves will have many relationships with many people. They don’t limit their relationship like humans due. Humans have one set of parents (usually) then they do some courting then limit themselves to one partner for the rest of their life (ideally). Elves lives are so much longer, and they feel emotions so deeply that simply being in a loving relationship can be draining. That is why they have such extended familial relationship. The spread their love among their extended families, sometimes living with a parent, then a cousin, etc. They will also have many romantic relationships. Some may last decades and some may be short lived, though usually both partners can feel when it is time to move on, and they do so with no hard feeling. Elves also don’t need to be committed to have sexual relations. Most elves in a romantic relationship tend to confine these acts tot hoes they are in a relationship with, when not in a relationship, they are much freer to have intimate encounters. Since elves rarely get pregnant the change of anything resulting from these encounters is quite rare, and even when it happens, it is easy for an elven child to maintain a relationship with both their father and mother, even if they have moved on to other partners. Elves tend to experiment sexually much more than a human would, allowing themselves to maintain that emotional detachment when needed.
There is an exception though. Some elves find partners that they form a life bond with. This is extremely rare and can be a wonderful even or a tragic one as the life bond passes through the mortal world to Arvandar. If an elf finds a another whose soul so matches theirs, this bonding can happen, and they are essentially one person sharing the same soul. They tend to leave the material plane and travel to Arvandar together. This can be a tragic story, if one of them somehow is unable to transition to Arvandar, for the they will pass to the human afterlife, while their partner lives in Arvandar destined to be alone for eternity.

There are three absolutes that would help outsiders in dealing with High elves. First, is that an Elf knows his time on Nor is finite, and is merely a step in a greater journey. When it is time to leave, he will be reunited with family and friends in Arvandar for the next stage of the journey. Arvandar does not automatically except any elf. There are spirits of the blessed realm who may bar entrance to Arvandar. Any Elf that has been exiled is not allowed to transition. For these elves their life on Nor is their last stop. The threat of being barred from Arvandar is a check on the power some elves. The more powerful you are, the more responsible you become, and the more harshly judged you are by the powers of the blessed realms. It is this reason the most powerful elves rarely commit themselves to action, as they do not wish to lessen their chance of transition.
Magic
Ellasti Magic comes in two varieties. Human Wizardry, and Ellasti sorcery. Elves can learn magic just as any other race can, thorough study and hard work. In fact, elves are known for it, as they have a much greater time to learn. Some of the greatest wizards on Nor are Elves. There is another magic however even older than human Magic. Ellasti Sorcery is as rare as it is powerful. No elf born past the age of the Shadow has been gifted with the power of Ellasti Magic. Only the eldest of the Elves still know it. Unlike human wizardry, it is an inborn talent, that requires no spellbook, nor spell casting. It is unique to elves and unfathomable to humans. It is however very powerful, and very difficult to counter. Fortunately, the elves use it so rarely (as they do not wish to threaten their chance to enter Arvandar with misuse) and it is almost always for the defense of the elven people.
Some elves have been born with the power to cast human wizardry innately, like human sorcerers. The power is believed to come from their connection with the old magic, as most who can do this, are descendants of Elven High Sorcerers.
The last is the nature of elves. Though they may seem frivolous, and not to take things seriously. Though they may seem promiscuous and move from relationship to relationship, never doubt their commitment once they have advocated for a cause. They do not do things in measure. When an elf commits to a course of action, they will use everything at their disposal to see it through, and most elves have long years of experience over other races. Do not underestimate them.
Relationship with other races
Like any other free race, any High elf's feeling towards another race are an individual thing, however there are some general feelings of the majority of the race toward certain other races.
Humans — High Elves have a strange relationship with humans. There feel human are reckless, dangerous, and foolish, but they also have a good amount of jealousy toward the race. They look at how much humans accomplish in their short lives, and see the difference between what an average human does and what an average High Elf does, even though the elf lives a much longer span. Human quickly went from a new race compared to the elves, to a dominant one. Most High Elves see Humans heading toward a messy end, and are afraid of the damage they may cause on the way out.

Dwarves — The relationship between High Elves and Dwarves has always been a complicated one. During the time of the Runic Overlords both races were enslaved, but the dwarves were used for hard labor, while elves were often given high positions over the dwarves as overseers. They often received the easy work also, that required their mind rather than their body. When the Praxites ended the rule of the overlords, they saw Elves as a threat and tried to exterminate them. The also enslaved the dwarves, but the stout race was often used to hunt down elves and destroy them. When the Gods arrived and freed both races, old animosities did not die easily, and even today there are those among both races who still feel the old hatred strongly. Even the most accepting have an innate distrust of Dwarves, not only because of the history of the race, but also because their thought patterns are so different.

Halflings — High Elves look at Halfling almost as parasites, living off of whatever community they can find. They are usually beneath notice, or an annoyance.

Orcs, Goblins, Trolls — High Elf Hatred for these evil races are unmatched, as it was these races that almost hunted elves to their extinction during the time of the Praxites. Even though dwarves participated, it was these races that did so of their own free will.

Grey Elves

Terrasti commonly known as Grey elves are the closest to human of the elven races. They are about the same height as Ellasti, though there are less that fall on the tall side. Their skin is pale with a blue of grey tint. They have blonde to red hair and light eyes usually blue or green, though paler than you would find on a human. Like other elves, they are slim, and wiry and dexterous. Their closeness with humans could be because the Terrasti bloodline and human bloodline are more intertwine than any of the other races of elves. If fact, Terrasti culture is the only one of the three that does not disdain human-elf relationships. That being said, Terrasti have paid a great cost. They are not able to enter Arvandar. When a Grey elf dies, he dies as a mortal, passing on to Grazon to be sent on to the outer planes. They are also the shortest lived of the race of elves, having an average life span of 550 years. Whether it is their closeness with humans that cause their similarities, or the similarities that caused their closeness, Grey elves are the only elves that tend to get involved in human issues and politics. This is often a mark of contention between the races of elves, as the grey elves often push their sister races to leave their isolationism behind and get more involved in the world.

Habitat
Terrasti prefer wilderness living, especially woodlands. Like humans, they cultivate land, and build communities. The largest of these is Esendar. The main City of Esendar is a small forest, where the bulk of the elves live. The home of Esendar are made to looks like natural structures, and in many cases blend seamlessly with the trees of the forest. Around the forest, the elves work the land in large communal farms. Unlike humans, these farms are not owned by single elves. They are instead worked by those in the community who enjoy farming. Inside the city the elves live much as a human community would, with craftsman, laborers. While there are Elven merchants, they do not own the good they trade, but rather trade for the community.
Religion
Terrasti do not follow the traditionalist value of other elves. They worship Human Gods, and some have even taken to worship of the One. Elven Priest are not uncommon, and have no real discern able differences from Human priests. Elves are much less likely to worship darker gods such as Bennetar, or Tahkene, but it is not unknown.
Military
One tradition Terrasti have not turned away from is ensuring that every elf is trained with a bow and sword. This mean that in addition to any permanent military force a High Elf Community will have, they can call on any of the race to battle if need be.
Society
Grey elf society is much the same as High elves but there is a human element evident. The Elves Dual nature is also strong in Grey elves, they seem to invest in causes more readily. They do not have the burden of judgement on them and are freer with their actions than High Elves. High elves thing them hasty and too quick to action, a trait most do not admire of humans.
Grey Elves still have large familial ties, that stretch to the extended family, but the families seem smaller and closer knit. Grey elves also have less relationships and tend to stay in them longer.
Elder Grey elves seem to grow closer to their High elf cousins as the age, understanding the burden of their long lives, and they try to instill caution to their younger kin. Younger grey elves though tend to gravitate toward humans, and throw themselves around ideas. They support actions that their elders would rather wait and see the way the situation plays out. Grey elves have no King, but instead they are governed by the Grey elf elders. The top ten oldest make decision for the community. (Though sometime the “council” of elders may be smaller in smaller communities.)

Magic
Terrasti are much less magical in nature than the older Elven races. Their Elven blood makes natural born sorcerers much more common than human sorcerers, but they are still rarer than Terrasti Wizards. Most Wizards of the Terrasti, learn magic the same way a human mage would. Through a spellbook, and study. The Powerful Magic of elven elders has been lost to Terrasti, and is one of the few regrets that they have.
Relationship with other races
Like any other free race, any High elf's feeling towards another race are an individual thing, however there are some general feelings of the majority of the race toward certain other races.
Humans – Grey elves are much more friendly with humans, and often have good relations with them. Elders try to caution the young against growing to attached to the relatively short-lived men and women, but often young Grey elves have to learn their lessons on their own. The elders are afraid that the humans may involve them in something that could harm the elves, and try to keep as much distance as they can, but with many younger kin pledging their support it is difficult to stay out of human affairs.

Dwarves – Grey Elves were not around during the time of the Runic Overlords or the Praxites, and do not understand the animosity between the dwarves and their race. They have a difficult understanding the thought of a dwarf and that causes them to be naturally suspicious, but they do not feel the deep-seated anger that other elves do for the race.

Halflings – Grey elves do not trust halflings. Their small race has carved out an existence among the rest of society often in ways that may hurt the larger community in the end. They see them as self-centered and selfish, thinking their survival is more important then the survival of the whole. This wars with their feeling of pity for the race. They understand that being small can mean being weak, especially when the halfling do not have the same warrior or magical aptitude as the elves do. They have to get by on their cunning, and while the Grey elves understand that, they still do not like the larger hurt their actions can cause a community.

Orcs, Goblins, Trolls — Grey Elf Hatred for these evil races are almost as strong as their High elf cousins. These races are known to hunt elves for sport and that alone is reason enough for the elves loathing. They also understand that these races are out to destroy everything the other good races of the word have built, and they will oppose them with everything they have.

Wood Elves

Very little is known about the Wood Elves of Ebb. Some say they are wild and savage, but others say they are simply more reclusive. Scholars are willing to pay a lot of gold however for information about these mysterious elves.

Wood elves are currently unavailable to play as PC

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