Return of the Godspell
The elves were the third race created by the saldrash. According to the most popular Cilidian tale concerning the elves, they were made in the image of their creators after the errors were worked out of their predacessors, the chirpto and the kin. However, so much enthusiasm was put into their creation that the energies used spun out of control. As a result, although elves are doubtless the most beautiful, graceful race, virtually immortal, in touch with The Word, and possessing of almost universally excellent insight, they were lacking in attention and commitment. Another of the Cilidian tales says that the elves were not created as one race, but as variations on the same theme, like musical notes; this is why the elves possess distinct “families.”
Excepting a few families, elves on the whole are friendly, open people, dedicated to harmony, passion, and pleasure for all. Elves value their liberty and do not feel it necessary to develop traditions and laws that stifle the individual. Elves believe that each individual has the right to do what he or she feels so long as another is not hurt in the process (evil elves tend to believe that there are no limits in one’s behaviors and tend to take pleasure in imposing their desires on others). Each elf is a king or queen and each can do as he or she pleases so long as others are not adversely affected. Still, there are elven nobles. These kings and queens of elven-kind are descended from great elven heroes; they are more like well protected celebrities than anything else, and it is not unusual for a royal family to simply quit and give its authority to another family. When elves do select rulers, they tend to do so based upon the wisdom and charisma of the candidates and upon the current needs of the immediate population.
Elves are aggressively sexual. Elves value mutual pleasure; they love eating with others, dancing with others, and singing with others. Elven settlements have been described as eternal orgies of revelry and seduction, and this does not begin to approach the truth. Elves marry whoever wants to marry them, and most elves have multiple husbands or wives. Fortunately for elves (and, as dwarves would say, the rest of the world), elves have extremely low birthrates. Elven children tend to only know their mothers , thus lineage is matriarchal. Elven children are encouraged to explore and learn on their own and to let their hearts guide them.
As a whole, elves seem imbued with magic. However, elves are not the progenitors of magic nor did they teach magic to other races (the dwarves did that). Instead, elves seem to be blessed with knowledge of the Inborn Word. There are few elven wizards as elves often find the studying of old tomes boring; most elven arcanists are either bards or sorcerers.
Elves appear to be truly immortal in terms of age. Elves do not die unless they fall ill, are killed, or will themselves to die (the deep slumber is one of many terms for this act). As a result, elves do not rush for anything or anyone. To an elf time is always negotiable. Surprisingly, elves have done little with their long-lives as a race and are often viewed as lazy by dwarves and hobgoblins. Elven tradition is almost exclusively oral (and often told in song); the elven alphabet is an adaptation of the dwarven alphabet (a poor imitation if one asks a dwarf). Elves do not remember actual historical events so much as they remember what was learned from said events and how the past translates into the present and may shape the future.
Elves are comprised by what most non-elves refer to as “families.” These families are large sub-groups of elves that share many similar physical and ideological traits; scholars refer to these “families” as sub-races. In spite of the fact that there are different elven families, elves do share a number of characteristics.
Elves are usually tall and slender, all have long, silk-like hair. Elven facial features are elongated and angular, much like that of certain felines; elven faces are extremely dynamic, changing from a dour frown to a sultry smirk in a matter of moments. All elves exude sexuality to a degree beyond that of any other race.
Although there are certain Familial influences regarding relations with other races, as a whole elves want to get along with everyone. However, elves seem to instinctively know that duruban and hobgoblins hate them, that chirpto view them as competition, and that dwarves find them aggravating and irresponsible. While elves regard dwarves as moody, taciturn, and dull, they respect and appreciate the innate beauty of most dwarven wares and the dwarves’ dedication to building things. Generally speaking, elves find the greatest value in dwarven relationships that those with other races. Elves get along very well with kin, seeing kindred spirits in the little people. However, elves do not appreciate the fact that the kin often indulge themselves in behavior that brings harm, like theft. Elves are not sure how to feel about gnomes, as they sense something of bizarre twist of themselves in the woodland folk. Likewise, elves are cautious around sapiens. Although elves greatly enjoy the intense pursuit of the race when it comes to pleasure and adventure, elves are troubled by sapien aggression and assertiveness. It is safe to say that elves pity all other races, but seek to make the best of their need to interact with and live among them.
Excepting a the D’Alicar and the Z’Ythral, elves are almost always Chaotic Good. Elves value independent liberty and freedom, but are convinced that all acts must be made for the better good. The D’Alicar and Z’Ythral tended to be Chaotic Evil, relishing the opportunity to bring woe to others in pursuit of their pleasure.
Elves worship the Children of the Glade, a pantheon of gods set apart from the Aldra. The Children of the Glade are led by the god Talamas, an androgynous being dedicated to pleasure and a commitment to nature. Elves consider themselves spiritual but do not make a huge fuss over religion. Elven clerics tend to be among the most attractive elves in a community; interestingly, most never marry but most have children. Elves also worship Aurlarist, Nemaria, Ausarii, and Ganlarid of the Aldra (the D’Alicar and Z’Ythral were known to worship a demon queen called Lolth and the Aldra, Ostensis).
Elves speak Elven, although there are not only Family dialects, but regional dialects within various families. All forms of Elven are graceful, lyrical, and musical; however, all forms are filled with shades of nuance and subtleties that will often distinguish those that grew up with the language and those that learned it over time. Even the D’Alicar and Z’Ythral dialects were glorious to hear despite their decidedly grimmer, more sinister undertones. Elves are also prone to know other language. All elves know Dwarven, Kin, and most are familiar with Gnome (which is strikingly similar to both Dwarven and Elven). All elves speak Common.
Interestingly, despite their disinterest in formality, elven names follow a number of rules. Each Family seems to have designated norms for names to distinguish between men and women. For example, among the K’Rystas family, male names often begin with G or Q while female names are prone to begin with an S or T. Conversely, in Sal-Talimar, many male names begin with S and many female names begin with T. Additionally, many elven names possess an apostrophe somewhere in the spelling (often after the first letter); the origin of this is unclear, but some suspect that when elves adopted the dwarven alphabet as their own, they took a liking to the appearance of the mark. Although elves rarely adhere to the practice of family name, those that do follow the mother’s line.
Of all the races, only the sapiens exceed elves in their lust for travel and adventure (while kin seem to equal them). Elves greatly enjoy challenging themselves as they explore the world around them. Despite their long years, elves never bore of the wonders of Drm and seem to have an inherent understanding that there is always more to experience. As a result, elves rarely remain in one place for too long, especially among other humen. However, elves are not nomadic like kin. All elves have homelands in the various forests of Drm and all return to these places of solace every two or three decades.
Elves love heavily forested areas, especially very old woods and sylvan glades. They prefer areas that are midly enchanted (i.e. are occupied by fey creatures). Nature seems to twist itself to elven pleasures and desires while simultaneously existing in harmony. Even the D’Alicar and Z’Ythral were said to value nature, although they preferred the darker aspects. Of all the Humen races, elves are the closest to the natural world and have done the least to change or interfere with nature in spite of their immortality.
Among the families, there are modest differences; these differences are so minor in some cases that many non-elves seem incapable of distinguishing between some groups. The Families are:
• S’Grieyl – (Grey and High)
• T’Alimar – (High)
• Z’Ythral – (Drelves)
A’Grabath (Wild): The A’Grabath elves are the heaviest and most robust of the Families. A’Grabath tend to be isolationists and somewhat xenophobic with regard to non-Elves; still, they are will not seek to harm passers-by in their woods nor will they leave another in pain or near death. A’Grabath elves have bronze highlights in their complexions and hair, relatively thick torsos and arms, and tend to have an almost rugged look. A’Grabath wear little in the way of clothing.
Regions: The A’Grabath are found throughout the Wyrmspine Hills, southern portions of the Vast, the eastern most stretch of the Wyrmspine Valley, and across the eastern reaches of the Zalphan Forest.
B’Ain (High): The B’Ain elves are among the most affable of the Elven Families. They are incorrigible and notorious flirts. B’Ain elves possess greenish highlights to their complexions and hair. They often wear clothing that extenuates their physiques and all like green; males tend to wear tops that broaden their shoulders and reveal their arms, and females steer towards mid-rifts and form-fitting leggings. Of all the Families, B’Ain get along with the others the best, including the A’Grabath and L’Istona.
Regions: The B’Ain are found throughout the Wynding River Valley, Worm’s Wood, and the central parts of Zalphan Forest. There are rumors that B’Ain also live in the Golden Plains.
D’Alicar (Dark): The D’Alicar elves are thought to be extinct and this is a rumor all good elves are happy to accept. Uniformly evil and corrupt, the D’Alicar ruled a tremendous empire in what is now called Bleakwood Forest in the Desolate South. Through some great calamity, the empire was sundered and the D’Alicar have not been seen for over 8,000 years. Legends insist that the D’Alicar were ash-white with large white eyes and dead-white hair; they were also cadaverous in a strangely erotic manner. It is said that while a large portion of the D’Alicar were matriarchal, there is plenty to suggest that this assumption may have been only partially true. They tended to wear silver and black clothing complete with spiked phallic symbols and vice-like feminine accoutrements.
Regions: If the D’Alicar persisted after the calamity that destroyed their empire, most scholars believe that they would have gone underground in the Desolate South. It is also possible that they have trapped themselves in the Lands Below.
K’Rystas (Grey): The K’Rystas are the tallest elves, tending to reach heights just under 7 feet. Most non-elves that deal with the K’Rystas perceive them as simultaneously puerile and vapid, while other elves (even grudging Z’Ythral) hold them in high esteem. Although not precisely haughty, K’Rystas lose interest in things very quickly as their fast minds move from one subject to another. They also possess very dry senses of rather infantile humor that is in stark contrast to their stately demeanors. K’Rystas elves have silver and platinum highlights in their hair and complexions, and favor the same colors in their clothing. Males often wear long, straight robes that reinforce their shoulders and slender waists, while women wear tighter fitting robes with little room across the chest or waist.
Regions: The K’Rystas are the only elven Family that still lives in one isolated area in the forests at the base of the Crown of Burquebain. Their homeland is known as the Crystal Forest.
L’Istona (Wood): The L’Istona elves are the shortest of the Families, few exceeding 6 feet. The L’Istona are often called drelves by non-Elves, an unimaginative mixture of dark and elf. Unsurprisingly, Drelves are indeed very dark colored, often achieving an almost charcoal black complexion with dark-gray highlights and white eyes. L’Istona are dour and have macabre humors; they tend to see the world as a huge farce. Unsurprisingly, they do not get along well with any other race, and are only tolerated by the other Families. However, they are not uniformly evil, although it is difficult to claim that most are of good bend. Both males and females like dark, form-fitting attire, although males often try to extenuate their arms and shoulders, while females attend to their hips and legs.
Region: L’Istona elves dominate central Zalphan Forest and there are settlements in the Vast and in the northern portions of Agrabathor Jungles.
S’Grieyl (Silver): The S’Grieyl elves were once the greatest of the Families and created the second of the Great Empires. They are mercurial and somewhat haughty, although they still exhibit a degree of frivolity. Other elves, save the L’Istona and Z’Ythral, perceive the S’Grieyl as natural leaders. S’Grieyl are very similar in appearance to their K’Rystas cousins, although they tend to have golden highlights and bright purple eyes. Likewise, they dress like K’Rystas Elves with the added tendency to bind their long hair. The S’Grieyl Empire rivaled that of Vhendimmoth for centuries until the First Family War between S’Grieyl and D’Alicar ripped the Empire apart. S’Grieyl fell and most of the Family perished.
Regions: S’Grieyl elves just barely cling to existence in smatterings of land in the Desolate South.
T’Alimar (High): T’Alimar elves are the most abundant and prosperous of the elven Families. Descended from the S’Grieyl and B’Ain Families, the T’Alimar combine the best of both groups. They are simultaneously confident and approachable, especially when there is a significant possibility of romance. Most of the best known elves among the other races hailed from the T’Alimar. T’Alimar tend to have slightly darker complexions (almost creamy beige) and golden highlights, although silver is not uncommon. Males tend to wear clothing that enhances their buttocks, shoulders, and arms, while females prefer clothing that flatters their buttocks, waists, legs, and stomachs.
Regions: The T’Alimar dominate the Eternal Forest where their homeland, Sal T’Alimar, is found. They also inhabit western portions of the Wynding River Valley, the western most portions of the Vast, and are believed to have oasis settlements in the Great Kharsis Desert.
Z’Ythral (Dark): The Z’Ythral elves are as feared as the Elves considered to be their ancestors, the D’Alicar. The Z’Ythral are the most slender of the Families, at least 10 pounds lighter than comparably tall counterparts among the T’Alimar. Like the L’Istona, they have dark skin, although in their case, it is a midnight blue-black; their highlights are silver and white and their eyes steer towards red or yellow-orange. The Z’Ythral wear clothing that leaves little to the imagination, but tend to cover their bodies in billowing cloaks; they prefer black attire.
Regions: Z’Ythral elves are consigned as a race to the Lands Below, presumably by the other elven Families during the Second Family War. Prior to their banishment, they dominated the northern most reaches of the Eternal Forest, lived among the Barren Peaks, and had settlements in the Agrabathor Jungles.