Wood Elf

Elves are slight and elegant, averaging 5 feet tall and typically weighing just over 100 pounds. They live on vegetables, fruits, berries and grains, and nearly always adhere to a strict vegetarian diet, due to their affinity with the natural world. Elves prefer clothes with colours that match their surroundings, usually with a green-and-gray cloak that blends well with the colors of the forest. Wood elves are the most common variety of elf and can be found throughout many of the forests of Arrasia. Wild elves are the second most common variety of elf, though due to their nomadic lifestyle are more likely to be encountered. There are also several additional varieties - high elves, who only live in Henipur, jungle and desert elves, and those who follow Tettungba and are the enemy to all other elves, the dark elves

Shylar sent the first elves to Arrasia from her home in Damarkan, the beautiful forest of Henipur, to help Kavak when the inevitable betrayal of Voln occurred. Unfortunately, Orphus, one of Shylar's minions who was given the charge of the elves on Arrasia, mistook Graxber's dwarves for the enemy and had his elves rain their arrows down upon them, helping to bring about both defeat and the fall of Lima, the great dwarven citadel. The dwarves have never forgiven the elves for this betrayal and tensions have existed between the two races ever since.

During the War of Chaos, Shylar sent more elves to Arrasia to aid the fight against evil, but most were waylaid and many were eventually driven south, where they built the great kingdom of Layagat; a place of high culture, philosophy and discovery. However, in the desert that surrounded them they found a new enemy - the Keradinn - who destroyed Layagat. At the same time, the dwarves sought revenge for Orphus' error and sacked Urth, sparking a war between the two races. Layagat was destroyed and the elves driven from their homelands. It was also during this time that Tettungba, who had long dwelt in Layagat where she had corrupted the minds and souls of many of the elves who dwelt there, rose and made war in The First Elven Strife, which saw elf fight elf. Eventually Tettungba was defeated and her followers driven into the darkness of the underworld, where they would evolve into dark elves. Later, they once again came to the surface of Arrasia to make war on their hated brethren, and though they stood on the cusp of victory, were eventually defeated and forced to return to their own deep and dark homes.

The Great Trail of Tears saw the elves dispersed from Layagat roam Arrasia until they found their new spiritual homeland in Hir'vassäl Eduth, a great forest where they made their communes deep within the canopy. Many elves, however, remained in the desert to fight their old foes, while others became wild and nomadic and would traverse the plains of Arrasia on endless migrations. The elves were also instrumental in the defeat of Amman, posing a constant threat to the north and forcing them to use precious resources. This allowed Fandor and his armies to march through Amman and, eventually, secure their own freedom and the end to the reign of tyranny.

The elven language is rich and musical and common to all elves, meaning elves can communicate with one another no matter what their variety or where they are from. They are also astute and quick learners and most also know at least one human tongue and usually more.

Elves are the longest living of the humanoid races, with an average life span of 650 years. Once an elf has found a partner, they will normally stay with them throughout their life. Female elves can have only one child and once they have given birth it is not possible to have another.

Elven Homelands
Hir'vassäl Eduth, otherwise known as The Endless Forest, is the spiritual homeland of the wood elves and where they are found in their greatest numbers. The elves tend to live in small communities - communes - in finely constructed buildings amongst the trees, which are linked with rope and vine bridges. Elven communes are sprinkled around Hir'vassäl Eduth and wherever they are found, so the wood is filled with elven faerie lamps and the sound of elven whispers and song.

Over the centuries, however, several large communes have emerged. The greatest amongst these is Neyavion, which sits in a valley through which flows Rayan Melith. Here resides the Spirit Guardian of the Wood, who is revered by all wood elves. Exquisite buildings, including vast majestic halls, hug the vast trunks of the trees, as if extensions of the branches and foliage. Great vine bridges act as walkways linking the many layers and trees that support the vast and wonderful city, which is accessed by rope ladders and organic elevators. Other splendid wood elf cities of Hir'vassäl Eduth are Andor, Ayvillus, Fey'erusur and Val'assur.

Some wood elves also live amongst the forests that have grown up on the steep cliffs of mountain sides. Unlike those that live in the ordinary forests, mountainous communes tend to be larger communities, amongst the dense trees that hug the mountain slopes, though in magnificent wooden buildings constructed amongst the trees, rather than in them. Eiras and Farfanweah have emerged as two evlven cities located on the mountainous slopes, with layers built like steps down vast tracks of the mountainside. However, by far and away the greatest city of this type is Atheus, which sits almost at the very heart of the forest.

Fayn Eduth and Gal Eduth are also home to large numbers of wood elves and Gal Eduth especially is a wondrous wood, where magic hangs heavy in the air and is filled with a sense of wonder and amazement. In the heart of Gal Eduth is the wood elf city of Feyanapey, which is greater even than Neyavion in beauty and mystique, though not it size. In the south, Greenwood, Ouicillith Yamuth and Badathur Forest are all home to the wood elves, though only in Yander Hothinbelim in any great numbers.

Wild elves can be found throughout Arrasia, following the migratory routes of their forefathers. They will often form temporary communities, where they will stay for several weeks or even months, before moving on to the next location along their route. Wild elves have no permanent settlements or homes, living off the land as they pass through it.

Desert elves are most numerous in the Kera Desert, where the ruins of the once mighty elven kingdom of Layagat still stand, destroyed by their hated enemy, the keradinn. They can also be found in The Sea of Dust and Marrabrak Desert. Like their wild elf cousins, desert elves are nomadic people who endlessly traverse the baking sands without putting down roots, though can often be found at oases around which desert gnomes have made their homes.

Jungle elves are similar to wood elves, living in small communities high up in the trees of Femmen Verraba, Femmen Thirl and even The Dead Jungle, though not in great numbers. Jungle elves tend to be few in number and so live far apart from one another, making each community generally insular, inward looking and distinct. Whenever members from another community arrive, there is always great feasting and revelry.

The dark elves have made their homes in the darkness of Arrasia's underworld, where they live in great cities carved out of the rock. The cities are always large and filled with great numbers of dark elves, for the dark depths are too dangerous for small groups, who would be quickly overwhelmed and slaughtered. There are many such cities in the depths of Arrasia, each with a central temple dedicated to Tettungba, around which the city is built.

All of the elves of Arrasia are descended from their cousins in the outer planes of Henipur, the high elves. Created by Shylar to populate Henipur and tend her gardens, the high elves are more whimsical than those found in Arrasia, being more playful and full of glee. They are rarely found anywhere but in their beloved home of Henipur, under the watchful eye of Tannun Maruth, where they are especially skilled magicians who use their arcane arts to help tend and defend Henipur. They are usually only found outside of Henipur when sent by Tannun Maruth on a specific task, after which they will return to their homeland.

Elven Politics and Society
Wood elves tend to live in communes, where decisions are made through communal debate, reason and agreement. Every elf in a commune plays a part in the decision making process, with the majority having the final say. Of course, it is not compulsory for everyone to involve themselves in the politics of the community and many - indeed, the majority - don't, allowing the politically minded to dominate and make decisions on their behalf. The Spirit Guardian of the Wood is the spiritual head of all the wood elves and lives in Neyavion. She is considered a great oracle, whose advice is sought and revered and many decisions are made on her slightest utterance, which are often cryptic or mysterious in nature.

Wood elves live simple lives amongst the trees and flora and fauna that they love so dearly. They enjoy feasts and song and lore and believe Hir'vassäl Eduth was a gift from Shylar, for it was carried as seeds on the feet on the unwitting Kavak, like all that now grows on Arrasia. Wood elves harvest berries, fruit and grain, which they care for and tend. They especially love wine and will spend hours telling the tales of old while merry from the sweet and potent wines that the elves are famous for. Wood elves are also superb craftsman and have forged many of the most powerful artifacts, which they have infused with their powerful arcane magic.

Wild elves and desert elves, who live in nomadic bands, traversing the plains and deserts of Arrasia, require more direct leadership than their wood dwelling cousins, where decisions are often required immediately and the fate of the band often relies on the outcome of that decision. As such, for both wild and desert elves, it is usually the most powerful or most wise amongst them who leads them. Jungle elves also tend toward this political structure.

Life is hard for wild and desert elves, who live similar lives in wildly different environments. All too often they are fending off the large number of dangers they encounter on a daily basis. Wild elves scour the lands for wild vegetables and fruit, which consumes much of their time. They scavenge in packs, even as their tribe make their endlessly journey towards their next camping spot, where they can be for a single night to several months. There is far less time for enjoyment than experienced by wood elves, but their camps are extravagant affairs, filled with faerie lights and wind chimes and large fires, around which they sit and eat and sing of the trials of their forefathers.

Wild Elf Ranger Desert elves are not too dissimilar, except for them the oases that are dotted throughout the deserts are central to their migratory routes, for they supply much of the food and water that is necessary to their continued existence as they make their nomadic journeys. Desert elves scavenge the deserts for anything they can trade with the gnomes, who control many of the water holes and with whom they have good relations. They are also exceptional with their hands, crafting exquisite tools, jewelry and ornaments, which they sell on. They are exceptionally communal and their feasts are extravagant affairs, though not as ostentatious as either the wild or wood elves, for they do not wish to attract the attention of the many powerful beasts that live in the baking sands, especially the keradinn, who will nearly always attack them.

The jungle elves' daily routine is dominated by the growing and harvesting of food and keeping the creeping jungle at bay. Like all elves, they are exceptional craftsman and look for trade with the denizens of the jungle (that are friendly towards them) wherever possible. Small bands of jungle elves will wander far from their home to trade and seek out new sources of food and are sometimes gone for days, even weeks. Jungle elves are very social and enjoy communal gatherings where feasts are had and stories are told.

Dark elf societies are strongly tied to the priests of Tettungba and the Great Thane, who represents Tettungba on Arrasia and who is chosen by her. Every dark elf city is ruled by a High Priestess of Tettungba, who is always female and head of the most powerful house within the city. They rule absolutely and without impunity and are both revered and feared in equal measure and their acolytes, through whom their decisions are enforced, are both powerful and evil. The many political houses of the dark elf cities continually vie and jostle for power and no High Priestess is ever safe from her enemies. Murder is commonplace within this tumultuous political structure, with the many High Priestesses all the deadliest of enemies and each seeking to gain the influence of the Great Thane and Tettungba herself.

Life is hard in the darkness of the underworld, but not without rewards, and the dark elves are exceptional traders who will trade with almost anyone (when they are not fighting them). Competition between dark elves is fierce and trust not given lightly, as they are always suspicious of those that would make friends with them. They also use slaves for the hard labor required in their cities and the slave trade represents big business, in which the most powerful houses all have a significant stake. Murder, political intrigue, deception and betrayal are ways of life for the dark elf.

High elves live amongst the wonderful gardens and forests of Henipur, which they defend when attacked or otherwise spend their time tending. Their homes are built in and around the huge and magnificent trees and other foliage and much of their time is wiled away in song and merriment. However, high elves are conscientious and hard workers who love Henipur and all the wonders that fill it and need little urging to carry out their tasks. For the less inclined, the minions of Tannun Maruth are there to urge them on and chide them when necessary. High elves otherwise have no particular political structure, though the more powerful amongst them tend to emerge as natural leaders, who will often work closely with the servants of Tannun Maruth and even, for the most powerful, with Tannun Maruth himself

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