The Unification Wars
Elves are the slender and porcelain version of humans. Slightly taller than a human and with pointy ears, they exude an otherworldly grace in the presence of others (also lack the ability to grow facial and body hair, for some reason. Elves man). Elves are characterised by their aloofness, love for freedom, nature and the fine arts, muted emotions, and the graceful manner in which they compose themselves.
The oldest living of the races, Elves also reach physical maturity at the same time as Dwarves and Humans, yet an Elf does not claim adulthood until they are around 100 years of age, at which they achieve sexual maturity. They typically live for around 750 years, however some that are wary and avoid conflict may live to see a millennium go by. Elves achieve this feat due to their unique births.
When two Elves decide to have a child, they seek out a tree spirit who will nurture their child, often wandering forests until approached. They strike a bargain with this spirit, and upon having the child, the Elf newborn becomes linked with the spirit along with the tree in which it resides. This unique bond means that Elves receive the boon of a longer life due to the lifespan of the tree, and in return, they keep their birth tree protected, lest they meet an early death. If their tree becomes hurt, they become hurt, and vice versa. Custom says that trees with roots touching represents a bond between the respective Elves of those trees. Wood Elves sometimes perform arranged marriages based on this belief, meanwhile High Elves may consider the link a bond of servitude between Elves of different social classes, or a mentorship for Elves where the age difference is large.
Elves defend these trees, keeping the existence of birth trees a secret to other races, and are often located in a sacred grove. High Elves have even been known to build portions of their cities dedicated to plant nurseries, with Elven royalty having their own personal tree garden to produce offspring from the strongest and most well looked after trees.
Elves build and live in a multitude of locations, from giant glass citadels overlooking bays, to small forest villages hidden in the trees, as well as moving into the cities of other races, most notably humans, although here they mostly keep to themselves and are generally removed from society, either by choice or force. They are also known for their innate connection to both the wild and the magic of the world, which they use with their extended lifespans to gain perspective on the world around them, both conflicts and resolutions. While Elves are generally known to be uptight around other races and have high standards for all they meet, they understand that the other races have other goals different to their own, and have a great deal of compassion towards the shorter-lived races. An Elf has a shorter child name, which they then replace with an elongated adult name when they claim adulthood, and their family names generally reflect the nature of the area they claim as home. A friend who has known an Elf since they had their child name are the only people who may call them by that name, and no one is supposed to speak of the dead who have left this world, as it is considered immensely rude.
Elves have lived in their separated colonies for as long as any of the other races can remember, and their race has been divided into many sub-races for just as long. As such, many of the groups of Elves even see each other sub race as another race altogether, and thus tensions may sometimes be high.
Wood Elves have stayed modest throughout all of their years on the planet, being one with nature in the forests they call home. Living in nature they have grown wise in order to protect their home, and stealthily enough to remain hidden amongst the foliage. However with the encroaching cities of the other races, the Wood Elves are the most xenophobic of their race, often shooting arrows out of the darkness at adventurers who wander too far into the woods, or maybe a sickening crunch from a bear trap or two. They are commonly found with tanned bronze skin from being outdoors, as well as sporting a generally darker hair colour.
High Elves are the Elves most known for their magical prowess. Possessing a high intelligence and a natural affinity for spellcasting, High Elves are found most commonly in crystal spires hidden amongst dense forests, and in rich family homes in human cities as tutors to children in magic, swordplay, and the fine arts. Most consider themselves above other races, although treat them with respect and kindness for the most part. They are known for their pink to pale skin and lighter hair colours.
Drow were outcast by the other sub races of the Elves long ago, leading to a distinct difference in appearance. Skin as black as night, and hair ranging from platinum blonde to pure white, they have mostly grown resentful of all life on the planet due to their isolation. Occasionally working with the more darker denizens of other races, the Drow also participate in the slave trade, however they raid much less frequently than they could, preferring to sit and brood in the darkest woods and caves they can build their keeps in and remain undisturbed while eking out an existence. They are sensitive to sunlight, yet still retain the magical affinity of their kin, able to beguile others and create their own magic. The females of this race are historically the leaders of their communities, and due to the low female birth rate present, most of their own males are used as tools, in labour, war, and the bedroom. Male Drow are born with an innate sense of fear of their female counterparts, and a female that achieves a high rank may be shown mysteries of their race thought long forgotten.
The Eladrin are an oft forgotten sub race of Elf, hidden within the heart of magic. They walk the line between the material world and the plane of the fey, appearing in odd locations, disappearing into others. They are marked by their pale white hair and light skin, as well as traditional blue tattoos adorning their face and arms. Little is known about their origins, and they have little knowledge of life in the material plane, both fascinated and frightened by the brutal realities of the physical. They show the most emotion of all the Elves, but can also often be driven slightly mad by the raw power of the feywild in which they travel in. An Eladrin may never see another of their kind their entire lives, regardless of whether they spend their entire life wandering either the world of fey or the world of the material, yet they are all born with a remarkable sense of community to the people they form bonds with.