Though basically similar to humans in most ways, Elves have several important, if subtle, differences. As a race, they are taller than most humans, although slender. Elven men have no facial hair, and as a rule, they are fairer and have less body hair than humans. A hallmark of elves is also their long and pointed ears.
The Elves revere the Creator and many know their nature well. Still, they have no formal religion; instead they show their respect through poetry and song and gather to celebrate life and the gifts from on high. This respect for the way of things is largely tied to their acceptance of their close ties to fate, although much of it also stems from an understanding and joy regarding the creations of nature.
Elves have incredible endurance. They are capable of traveling 16-20 hours a day. And they do not need sleep. Instead, they receive rest through meditation involving memories, past events they recall with remarkable vividness. Normally they go into this trance-like state for approximately two hours each day. However, when pressed, they can function for many days with little or no relief. While in their meditative state, Elves are extremely difficult to awaken; they rise at a point previously decided.
Elves are able to see on a star-lit or moonlit night, as if it were full daylight. Their vision is restricted with less light - with any light source, they can see 50' perfectly and 100' fairly well. However, in absolute darkness they are no better than humans.
Their sense of hearing is also superb, and no doubt accounts for the Elven skill with music. Their reverence for song is unparalleled and has affected their language and way of keeping precious records. The Elves were the first to use spoken words and have taught the other races the gift of speech. All of their speech has a musical quality when spoken properly, lending itself well to verse. Elven bards, then, have had little trouble in maintaining the histories and epics of their race as a collection of wondrous songs and spoken poetry.
Elves favour rich clothing and fine craftsmanship, and often have the appearance of great wealth. The elves seek to build communities and states in beautiful, guarded places.
Regardless of their lineage, all elves are noble of bearing and carry themselves with assurance. They are haughty and often appear to be arrogant. They are inquisitive and passionate, being full of a desire for experience and expertise in the arts and the ways of the world. Due to their pride, they tend to look down upon non-elves.
They are great craftsmen (and craftswomen), smiths, and fierce warriors on the side of good. They are immortal in the sense that they are not vulnerable to disease, although they can be killed by injury or die of grief, and they do age (at an exceptionally slower rate than humans). They tend to be more beautiful and wiser than humans, with sharper senses and perceptions.
The elves view the sexual act as extremely special and intimate, for it leads to the conception and birth of children. Extra-marital and premarital sex would be considered contradictions in terms, and fidelity between spouses is absolute. Despite their longevity, elves have generally few children with relatively sizable intervals between each child. Their libido eventually wanes and they focus their interests elsewhere, like the arts. Nonetheless, they take great delight in the "union of love", and they consider the period of bearing and raising children as the happiest stage of their lives.
Elves as a rule have a greater depth of knowledge (especially regarding magic) than their human counterparts, due to a racial inclination as well as their extreme age. Typically, they are also capable warriors, especially skilled in archery.
- see also: Half-Elf
Most attuned to the subtle tides of forests, streams, and the creatures who roam the sylvan realm, Wood Elves wear greens and browns to blend in with their surroundings. Adept at moving silently, their presence in the wood frequently goes unnoticed among the shadows of swaying branches. Sandy hair and light blue, green or grey eyes complement their rustic demeanor. They are incredibly skilled archers, and make excellent rangers.
Raven black hair distinguished the High Elves from their fairer kindred, and brown or hazel dominates eye colour. A love of beautiful things, expressed by skill in building and crafting, unites with a curiosity about the nature of all creation to lure the most ambitious from the path of light. Yet, the superb armour, the bright weapons, and the lovely jewellery cherished within their graceful, marble-walled cities seem almost worth the price of a vanquished soul.
The most curious and friendly of all elves, they have golden-blonde hair, blue eyes and pale skin. Melody and song frequent their gatherings, since even the least of them can play the harp or sing, while the more talented compose music or delight the ear with expertise on several instruments. Brightly coloured garments enhance the nobility of the Fair Elves' demeanor.
Elves in Phaara
Though the elves were created through magical means by the Valeri over a hundred thousand years ago, they quickly became their own society and established their own country and political structure. They were allies to the Valeri, and grudgingly even to the dwarves, but could not stop the Cleansing. Most elves retreated to within their own borders to avoid the Wizard Princes, lest the elves be next. Yet many continued to explore the world, and most of those settled a colony on the distant continent of Phaara.
The colony, named M'rat (a contraction of the Elvish word Minatharelrat, meaning "safe haven from the storm of disagreement") has near 100,000 inhabitants, split almost evenly between Wood elves and Fair elves, with a few dozen High elves mixed in.
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