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  2. Elves


Elves

Basic Information
Falwood Long, ~800-1000 years Omnivores Many
Physical description
Taller than Humans, shorter than Orcs Lithe, graceful, legendary longevity
Cultural
Mages? Elvish and Common
Out-of-character information
Nissa, Worldwaker

Elves are one of the cornerstones of Arethil. For as long as anyone can remember, the Elves have existed. For this they have always held a certain amount of influence among other species. Though not as prolific as the Dwarves, Humans, or even Orcs, there seem to be dozens of different Elven races and cultures found all over the world.

The variance among these tribes is massive, with some of them standing directly opposite their brethren. These differences were wrought through many means, both magical and simple nature. Over time many different tribes have split off and formed their own ways, though by and large all races retain some common features.

Overview

Language

The Elven Language is one of the more complex and ancient languages that exists within the world. Though not even the Elves themselves are entirely sure where it originated, Elvish has been around for as long as anyone can remember.

Many ruins around the world are decorated or marked in Elvish, and the oldest records that can be found are all scribbled within this ancient tongue. Unlike Common Tongue or Dwarvish, there is something deliberately difficult about Elvish itself. Learning to speak this language is notoriously difficult, with many of it's words equating into near tongue twisters for common folk.

Even understanding Elvish can be quite difficult to the untrained ear, and quite often it can take someone years just to grasp the most simple phrases.

There is an obvious sort of arrogance to the Elves that partially comes with their language. The way they speak, how they address others, and even the way they look at other species is partially born of the complexity of their society. This reflects heavily within their language.

Appearance

Though over the millenia many Elven tribes have split off and come to appear vastly different, there are a certain few truths that hold true for even the most far reaching Elven Races.

Among the common species within the world Elves are easily considered to be the most graceful and lithe. Though shorter than most Orcs and more lithe than Humans, there is an odd sort of mix to just how large the Elves tend to be. They do not tower over other species, but instead almost carry their height with a certain regal baring. Even with races that are larger than them Elves seem to have a way of standing tall at all times. Even within a crowd it is fairly easy to tell the difference between a Human and an Elf simply by the way they carry themselves.

More often than not Elves have a more regal nature to them, something that seems to be born right into the species. Along with this poise Elves also seem to hold a certain natural beauty. They are rarely marked with blemishes or deformities, though this doesn't hold true for all tribes that have been created over the years.

Of course the largest distinguishing feature of the Elves are their long pointed ears, a quality that can be found among all of them.

Largely, most Elves appear close enough to Humans but with slight differences that allows one to pick them out quite easily. Many Elves also take great pride in their appearance and how they look to outsiders, taking great care to put up the right image for outsiders and even friends.

Habitat

In the beginning of their society, and still mainly holding true today, the Elves thrived within the Forests and Groves of the world. They are, and always have been, great lovers of nature. Friend to both wildlife and the trees themselves most Elven Civilizations can be found deep within the jungles of the world.

Though this does not apply to all the Elven Races, it is more or less trues that the woodlands is their home.

Over the Millenia the Elves have created and 'grown' massive city like complexes within many of the worlds largest forests. These pseudo cities are born of the trees themselves, with homes, meeting halls, and even walls all shaped either through magic or by more natural means. These complexes are truly a sight to behold, and the Elves take great care to defend their homes.

This of course does not mean that all Elves live within the forest, and it should be noted that Certain Tribes and off-shoot civilizations have adapted to different kinds of environments. Famously the Sharathi, or Dark Elves, have built a great fortress of stone within the Mountains.

Though these Elven Races have forged their own path, by and large most of the Species make their homes within the great Forest cities. It is here where they are most secure and thrive.

Traits

Elves are of course one of the longest lived species within the world. Though uncommon, some elders of the Tribes have been known to live for nearly fifteen hundred years. These men and women are incredibly rare, and thus are almost revered within Elvish society.

This long life-span factors into almost every part of Elven Culture. As one might expect Age often leads to seniority, and the younger an Elf is the more likely they are to be considered brash and undisciplined. This can often lead to younger Elves leaving their homes and breaking out into great nomadic journeys.

Of course because of their long lives and the fact that they are considered to be one of the eldest Races the Elves also hold a certain amount of Arrogance. Even when working with Allies the Elves more often than not believe they hold the upper hand in almost every way, and sometimes this can lead to conflict even between friends.

This doesn't just apply to mentality either. Many practiced and skilled Elven warriors underestimate opponents, believing their greater strength and speed being enough to best anyone. There are more than a few tales of Famous Elven heroes falling at the hands of a regular Humans, cautionary tales told to arrogant young Elves who think themselves better than other Species.

The Elves are a species hold many grand qualities, but each of these is detracted by their own nature and must be carefully considered when interacting with them.

History

Background

Of the most common races Elves are considered the most ancient and oldest. They, many think, alone have been around since the beginning.

Though their memories are long even the Elves do not know the exact histories. Like Humans and Dwarves the Elves have forgotten much over the last few millenia, and it is not uncommon for them to uncover ruins of one of their own lost societies.

Despite this the Elves are still one of the, if not the, longest lived Species within the world. They are generally considered to be more knowledgeable and well tempered of the Races. Unlike Humans they do not rush in and just do things, instead the Elves have always practiced a powerful amount of patients. Though the Species has been involved in many wars, the Elves take great pains never to go too far.

That is not to say they do not make mistakes, but by and large they are a more careful Species than most. Their actions are thought out and planned. The wars they enter are chosen carefully, and their allies picked with much deliberation.

This has allowed the Elves to thrive. Many of the worlds greatest cities were built by the Elves or with their assistance, and it is not an understatement to say that they have more than made their mark.

Of course, this does not hold true for every Elven Race. Throughout the years there have been several Schisms, Civil Wars, and even peaceful breakaway. There are dozens of tribes and sub-races of the Elves just as there are with Humans and Dwarves. These Races range from peaceful to utterly villainous.

Lore

"They're alright you know, the Elves. My father never really liked em, said that they were too high and mighty for their own good, lording over everyone with how long they been aroun'. Not sure the truth of that, I mean look at us Dwarves. We live three times as long as most Humans and I'm sure they think the same of us.

Point is, Elves aren't all that bad really.

Some of them are a bit uppity, sure, but I've met a few who enjoy a good ale as much as any of my kinsmen. They're a stoic folk, smart, and more than willing to fight alongside you for the right cause.

Of course there's bad ones too, not sure what they call em but they're out there. Can't say I've ever had the displeasure of meeting one. I suppose it don't really matter though, there's always good, there's always bad. You just have to know how to navigate.

True for everything I find."
- Belgrew, Son of Thron

Elves in the world of Arethil are viewed mostly positively by people of the world. They generally do not tend to be aggressive or xenophobic, and most species consider them to be friendly enough.

Within most scholarly circles Elves are thought to be the longest lived species, and thus they take on a certain amount of reverence. It is not uncommon to see Human and even Dwarven Scholars studying and spending time in Elven Cities, collecting knowledge and internal histories.
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