Elves are one of the Elder Races of Morvia and indeed are considered the oldest and possibly the first race to call this world home. Known for their innate ability to utilize arcane magic almost as naturally as they breathe, elves are considered the pinnacle of wisdom and beauty. Elves however are a sundered people, caught between two worlds, one of the immortal and one of the realm of men. Two worlds separated by a thin veil of magic that acts as a barrier, protecting the immortal elves from the influences of the mortal realms.
The elves of the mortal realm who dwell amongst the nations of men are the most common type of elf that one encounters. They have come to accept their mortal fate and as such adopt (to a degree) the trappings of life that the world of men have to offer. As such, these elves are corruptible, vain, brash and emotional beings similar to the rest of the denizens of Morvia. Although, despite their failings, mortal elves still carry within them a touch of their immortal kin. The power of the Eldar still shines within them, granting them unnatural long life and the gift of the arcane.
The immortal elves, protected by their mystic barrier dwell in a state of perfection, are forever living, never dying. It is from this realm that the nation of the Eldar is preserved and protected from the influences of the mortal world. These elves spend their days unraveling universal secrets, philosophical quandaries and pushing the limits of arcane understanding. They are as close to their gods as one can attain without ascending to the heavens and joining the Realm of Shelfeyah, The Boundless Lands where the creator of all life resides.
What follows are details on the elven race in Morvia. Their culture, beliefs, history and attitudes are explored to further understand their origins and place in this world.
Mortal elves, the most common type encountered by men are more muscular and slightly shorter than their immortal kin. They range in height from 5’5" to 6’0" with few falling slightly below or above that range. They have a darker skin colour, ranging from olive to tan depending on where in Morvia they reside. Their eyes are their most striking feature as they tend to be somewhat larger then those of other races and are coloured in deep blues, rich browns and some a bright yellow. Green eyes are also very striking, almost as though they are of an unnatural hue. The ears of the elves are subtly pointed and are not long, large or garish. Hair colour includes all of the colours common to most races. However elvish hair does not have any natural curl or wave, tending to be straight. Elves cannot grow beards.
Immortal elves differ from their mortal cousins in that they are taller (some 3-5 inches taller on average) and are more lithe and graceful. They wear their hair long. Their skin is more of a pale cream or alabaster which rarely shows any blemishing. Their eyes seem to shine with an inner magic that forces one to become transfixed by them when looking upon their faces.
When one is as long lived as a mortal elf, one tends to keep their emotions about other mortals at arms length. Elves tend to see the world buzzing by in a hurried frenzy and realize that the relatively short life spans of men is the driving force behind this rush. As such, the elves tend to leave the races of men to their busy-work while they continue to remain patient. However this patience is usually perceived as holier-than-thou pretension by men, which can cause friction between the two races. Mortal elves of course, never seem to debate that assertion, fueling the belief even further.
Elves seek balance in their lives as they are lovers of nature and hope to bring this esoteric equilibrium to the rest of Morvia. They are slow to anger and but quick to annoy when they deem one is not as quick-witted as they. Elves tend to be judgmental to those who do not seek wisdom. Elves love to read, to study art, literature, music, and have a love for adventure. More than most races, mortal elves have a wanderlust and rarely ever establish nations themselves. They prefer to reside in nature, and seek quiet places of the world where they can hear the whispering of the trees in a cool fall breeze, the chattering of small burrowing animals and the warm kiss of sunlight upon their faces.
Immortal elves however see their mortal counterparts as impulsive, emotionally driven and short sighted. They also see them as somehow lesser than they, then of course, they are not immortal and therefore eventually die. The Immortal elves see time as an endless wheel forever turning, with themselves at it’s centre. Naturally as they are the first and chosen by the gods surely the rest of the material universe revolves about them. They see their place in this world as a chronicler. Detailing all of the world’s events, be it the rise of a new nation, or the lateness of autumn in a given year. Their record of the world is their purpose and they examine it as a means to gather insight in to where the world is headed. All other races are a dangerous thing, to be kept away from the purity that is their realm. They remain passive, seldom interfering but always watching, always recording in their massive scrolls and tomes.
The mind set of an immortal being is alien to the rest of the mortal races in Morvia and as such, when an immortal elf meets any mortal creature be it mortal elf or man, or dwarf, it frequently ends with both parties leaving frustrated and feeling woeful for the other. Rarely do the immortal elves see eye to eye with the rest of the mortal races.
The elvish race is indeed long lived and has had many eons to perfect itself. To that end, elves tend to push their culture on other races as though it would be natural for them to want to accept the elvish way of life as the best and only way to live. However as there are two distinct types of elves, one being immortal and the other mortal, their cultures differ enough to require separate headings.
The Mortal Elves (Elves)
On the surface, it would seem that mortal and immortal elves share similar ways of life. They love music, beauty, poetry, art and nature. Both have a propensity for the arcane, normally taking on the mantle of the sorcerer as their blood carries within it the innate ability to naturally cast magic. However, similarities tend to end there. Mortal elves (or just elves as they prefer to be called as no one wants to be reminded that they’re going to eventually die) have a zest for life similar to the races of men. Elves are born to elvish parents where they are reared until they reach the age of 25 years. At this age they are considered adults and are expected to make their way in the world. Typically an only child, as multiple births in an elvish family are unheard of with female elves bearing only one child throughout their long lifetime, elves tend to gravitate to their own. They are taught the origins of their race, their mythologies and beliefs as well as their place in the world.
Elvish families tend to remain in the wild places of the world where they can surround themselves with nature without the hustle and bustle of the cities and towns of men to distract them. In the forest, elves learn to control their innate arcane abilities, learn of their connection to nature and seek to strike a balance in their lives. Male elves tend to the chores of the home, repairing, tending to the land and taking care of the animals that also live close by. The women tend to the young, teach them to use their arcane abilities, and also perform the hunting for the family. The female also teaches their child how to hunt, clean and cook their catches.
Immortal Elves (Eldar)
The immortal elves or, the eldar as they prefer to be called by the outside races, lead very esoteric lives. Forming large settlements throughout the world without being a part of it, the eldar have a unique outlook on life and the world around them. With the luxury of time on their side the eldar take the time to perfect something before considering it done. As such their culture has moved to, at least in their estimation, a state of perfection and unison with nature. The eldar toil rarely unless required, preferring to seek their own furtherance in whatever pursuits they wish. Be it art, music, literature, philosophy, magic, or science, elves always strive for a level of complete understanding of the world around them.
Eldar families tend to be small similar to their mortal kin, although in theory a female eldar could give birth to an endless number of children over an immortal existence, however at any given time, one child is the norm. Children, although born to immortal parents may not always be so. Some children are born mortal which is realized when the wanderlust strikes them and the need to see the world overwhelms them. It is at this time that the child is sent out to the mortal realm to live amongst the elves. As cruel as it sounds, the removal of an elf is amicable with the child always welcome to return to visit their immortal family. Those children who are born immortal however tend to remain with their parents for what would be considered an extremely long period of time. For some, nearly 500 mortal years will pass before a child will leave the care of his parents. By this time they have a firm understanding of many arts, sciences and magics.
The eldar are mysterious, not because they are secretive, on the contrary, they will share their ways with any who have the time and patience to learn. Their mystery comes from a fundamentally alternate and alien view of life, emotion, and existence which can seem confusing and even unsettling to most mortals. It would appear that immortality skews their psyche in a direction misunderstood by most mortal races.
There are three specific elf languages spoken by both the elves and eldar. All were developed and share a common base.
This is the language of majority for both elves and eldar alike. It is considered the first tongue and as such has influenced all languages that followed by every race and creature that speak a common tongue. A very fluid sounding language, it is populated with many l and th sounds with most words sounding nearly like a subtle breath. Rarely do hard consonants enter this aged and classical language. All eldar speak Theldara while some elves speak it as well.
Considered to be the language of the scholars among the eldar. This language is the basis of arcane magic when spells are read and is used by philosophers and students. Elthairan has at it’s base the Theldaran orthography but utilizes seldom used phrases in the common language of Theldara. Only the eldar as well as those who study magic can speak and understand Elthairan.
Evolved over many centuries, the tongue of the mortal elves has moved away from the lilting sounds of Theldara and has formed into it’s more practical linguistic pattern known as Thelindir. Considered a form of slang from the point of view of the eldar, it contains within it a marriage of Theldara, Hewnish and the tongue of men called Morvian. Nearly all elves in the mortal world know Thelindir.
Elves tend to take on names that represent an aspect of some form of art, music, or subject that is near and dear to the mother and father of the child. This is often true for both the elves and the eldar. Most names are Theldaran however some have been in Elthairan. A single name is granted to the child once they display an interest in some aspect of elvish culture. For example, an elf child who shows an aptitude for sculpture would be given the name Elohtheriel which in the Theldaran tongue means Shaper of Stone. Over time however, many elves will also grant themselves a name, one that reflects their own self image. Elohtheriel may be addressed by her parents in that familiar name but when she meets strangers she may refer to herself as simply Elniath, meaning ‘of the earth’.
Mortal elves may at times adopt human sounding names in order to blend in with their surroundings but they still retain their elvish names given by their parents.
Elves and Magic
It is known throughout Morvia that elves know magic, specifically arcane magic, and none in the world wield it better than they. Both the eldar and the elves wield arcane power the way dwarves can swing a hammer or shape stone. It is believed that elves were the by product from the arcane magics utilized by the gods when they created the world. Others suspect that their magical gifts come from some other long forgotten means that even the broad memories of the eldar have now forgotten. There is no doubt however that the mastery that the eldar and elves have over the arcane is unquestionable.
In the Dreylands, where the eldar dwell, all that they make is suffused with magic. Their homes are strengthened and support with magical spells that never seem to falter. Their clothes, musical instruments and all other tools and implements have some touch of the arcane within.
Elves and eldar are all capable of casting some form of arcane magic without any study. Their ability is inherent in the race and as such no eldar studies magic the way wizards do. In fact, there are no eldar wizards at all. Any arcane casting eldar are sorcerers. Elves on the other hand who reside amongst men have been known to follow the path of the true wizard but most are sorcerers. They carry within themselves the skill to cast spells as a natural ability.
The Dreylands is the name of the eldar realms that is separated from the realm of the mortal world. Within, the eldar live their immortal lives, untouched by the happenings of the outside world thanks to The Veil. A shimmering magical barrier that conceals the Dreylands from all mortals. If one were to point to a map, one could not exactly locate the Dreylands as a fixed point as it occupies the same land but in a different dimension.
Originally, the Dreylands were located in what is known as the Dreywood in south Eresbor. Before the Dreyland was created as a means to preserve the eldar race, the elves inhabited this ancient and vast forest. Although theoretically one can enter the Dreylands from any point in Morvia, most enter while in the Dreywood. Access to the Dreylands however is a difficult thing to do. If the elves do not wish to allow one entry, no amount of exploration will enable that person to locate it. Many rangers and druids have elucidated on how one could gain entry to the Dreylands, however it requires patience and coming upon the proper place to await their invitation. A stand of young saplings, where a tributary meets a river, or a natural clearing or grove are all areas where the eldar have come to mortals who patiently waited from them to come.
In the Dreylands, the world of the eldar slowly changes. Its seasons are controlled by the will of the eldar to ensure the viability of the realm. The great eldar city of Fallelthiel stands at the centre of this magic land. Comprised of wooden structures that seem to include the surrounding forests, Fallelthiel is home to both the Coronal Queen and the largest population of eldar. Floating spires serve as watch towers and observatories for the master sorcerers while the surrounding forests are comprised of large fir trees known as Delthens. Other smaller settlements can be found throughout the Dreylands. All are similar to Fallelthiel in appearance and form.
History is written by the victors, some would say. There is truth that in the accounts of men, history is written by their narrow and short sighted perspective as far as the elves are concerned. History is only as useful to those who believe in its contents. The eldar, with their immortal lives believe that history is not meant to tell one side of the story. As such, the eldar look to chronicle the world as it unfolds no matter what happens.
To this end, the eldar agreed that to accurately record history, they would create a chronicle that would be exhaustive in its completeness. The 1st Coronal of the Eldar, King Deriathel decreed that the Recount of the Dreykin shall be created to chronicle the ages, not just of his own people but of the whole of Morvia. During this time nearly 40,000 years ago, the eldar did not live in an alternate land, but dwelled in the mortal realms. Every settlement was ordered to create an Office of Recount where their chronicles could be drafted and kept safe. Each year, the Coronal’s personal scribes would collect these recounts and would commit them to the Lorescrolls. An endless ream of parchment upon which the telling of the events of the world were written out from the first day of the Coronal’s rule to the last. To this end there are 21 Lorescrolls. The largest, the 11th Lorescroll of King Galathrim accounts for nearly 6,000 years of continuous rule. It weighs nearly 2 tons and is spooled on a large granite wheel.
History of the Elves
The history of the Elves is practically a history of Morvia itself. Such a tale is kept in a tome known as Theldara Albieth. This thick, ancient record contains the story of the gods and the creation of the world as told by their creation myths. The Theldara Albieth is more than a mere collection of fables and parables, it also details the source of magic in the world, something that is jealously guarded by the Eldar.
In the beginning there was Thorebrin Morvios, the father of gods and creator of the land. His will was made into form and where once was void, now swirled the stars, the heavens and the world. But deep within Thorebrin Morvios was alone and became aware that he required companionship. Deep within from himself, Thorebrin brought forth his beating heart and sundered into three, each becoming the beating heart of his three children; Beruthiel, Ethelbrin, and Dellabrine. When his children took their first breath, Thorebrin bore them their names and showed them the wonders that was his world. While taciturn Ethelbin and earthly Dellabrine shared many traits from their shared father, Beruthiel did not. Where Ethelbrin and Dellabrine were well muscled and gruff, Beruthiel was tall and lithe, with large brown eyes. Thorebrin, however did not see these differences. He saw his children only and loved them each equally. Beruthiel and his brother and sister were each shown the world that their father had made and each yearned to go and explore it’s riches. Ethelbrin was enchanted by the rugged and lofty mountains whole Dellabrine loved the hills and rich earth. Beruthiel, loved the lush forests and the creatures that lived there.
Beruthiel so loved the forests and the animals that he sought to bestow a gift to the land so that it may remain perfect forever. Beruthiel began to sing into the wind and where the winds carried so did the magic of Beruthiel. Trees became stronger and taller, animals flourished and the rivers carved their courses from the pristine lakes to the deep oceans. However something happened that Beruthiel did not intent. For into the wind that Beruthiel sang lovingly into carried the influence of a god. The magic of that song brought to bare a new people into being. Beings that bore Beruthiel’s likeness and seemed to be attuned to the forests and realm they were born into. The Eldar were born.
Beruthiel walked among these people. Showing them magic, art, song, beauty and poetry. He taught them to care for the land and to live in harmony with nature. Beruthiel so loved his people that he gave them the gift of immortality along with ability to wield great magics.
The Eldar are a mysterious race and though they are one of the Elder Races, the Eldar are the least known. Historians who have had the opportunity to study the Eldar have learned that they are most likely the oldest race living in Morvia, and predate Dwarves and many other races well into a time before records were kept. Scholars believe that the Eldar have been around for many thousands of years although the exact amount of time is not known.
According to the Recount of the Dreykin which begins some 40,000 years ago, the elves were an immortal people who dwelled in the forests of the world. The world was called the Dreylands and within, they lived in harmony with nature. Prior to the 1st Scroll of the Recount of the Dreykin, there are little to no surviving written records. However, during that time it was believed that life then was little different from how the Eldar live now. What was different was the lack of barrier between the immortal and mortal realms. Eldar and Elves lived together and the Dreylands was a vast expanse that covered nearly all of Morvia itself. By the time the elves decided to keep records, they had already had a mastery of magic and an understanding of the natural world.
The Dwarf/Elf Wars
At a time when peace was a way of life for the elves and strife was a long forgotten concept told in tales of old, the Dwarf/Elf Wars were a reminder that peace always came at a price. When a chance meeting with a band of rough and angry dwarves who came to the surface from the Mid-Scar Range in a spot of wood in the area now known as the Duchy of Kenza. Unable to communicate, the elven mage in the group attempted to use magic as a means to overcome the obstacle. He was beheaded by the dwarfen captain before the elf could complete the incantation. The elves, unaccustomed to such rage were slaughtered. The dwarves quickly spread and grew in number as they took hold of the forest, burning and cutting as they went. Elves everywhere came to the defence of the land but it was for naught. The dwarves with their ability to withstand assaults and their curious war machines halted at nothing. The elven city of Fallelthiel was the first to become besieged. Two years of constant siege drained the elven people. They hoped that the winters would cause the resolve of the dwarfen armies to falter but they proved to be more adaptable than anticipated. Fallelthiel was defeated and its outer wall was finally breached; It’s elven Coronal, beheaded. The dwarves burned the entire city to the ground and moved on. Elven attempts to slow their march failed at every turn. Sorcerers were brought in from the northern reaches to act as a line of defence in case the great capitol of Dreyland was ever threatened. Elven emissaries were dispatched to speak with the dwarves but to no avail. Emissaries were beheaded and the remains returned to Elven Coronals. For ten years war raged. It moved from the south to the north and elven settlements were being overrun. It wasn’t until the elves made a bold move to end the strife and send the dwarfen people back to their mountainous lands once and for all. Utilizing age old magics and arcane secrets created long ago by the elven gods themselves, the elves created a magical weapon that would shift the battle, for better or for worse. Dwarves had marched for over a decade and penetrated deep into the elven territories. Their goal was at hand and the native home of the elves, the Dreylands, was in sight. The final battle was not to go as planned however. The skies above the dwarves had darkened and for the first time they felt fear. Above, the heavens were filled with winged dragons. Creatures of such immense power and strength that in one battle, the dwarfen armies were quickly in retreat. The elf weapon was unleashed and brought an end to the dwarf/elf war, but it did not have the result that was intended. The dwarves had retreated to their mountainous homelands and there wallowed in their loss.
Dragons – The Great Weapon
During the Dwarf/Elf Wars, elven sorcerers were brought in from the north to aid in defending against the dwarven onslaught. It was difficult for the elves to understand the mental condition of their enemy. The dwarven view of war was wholly alien to the orderly and organized manner in which elves conducted warfare which was something that they had not known for many eons. With their cities under constant threat of siege and destruction, the elven sorcerers formed a cabal that would create a great and terrible weapon. Utilizing ancient and forbidden magics this cabal of sorcerers succeeded in spawning he first true dragon. A closely guarded secret, the first dragon was a wonder to behold. Gifted with the power of the arcane and a high intelligence, not to mention the ability to instill fear in mortals, the dragon was a true weapon of power.
Released unto the dwarven hordes, it did not take long before the flights of dragons dominated the battlefield and pushed the dwarven invasion back to the Mid-Scar Range. War soon ended and the peace that the elves so cherished was hoped to have returned.
However the elven sorcerers did not anticipate what was to follow. Once the war was over, the elves tried to return to their immortal lives and rebuild what was lost. The dragons however were forgotten by their masters. These beasts were not engineered to a life of music and art. Their sole purpose was to wage war. One particular dragon named Deverieveerixx saw the elves as passive creatures that were not her masters, but her slaves. Deverieveerixx, a large red dragon of near unlimited power and mastery over magic gathered the remaining dragons about her in a cause to dominate the world that they won for the elves. And that domination would begin with those who created them to begin with.
For the elves the attack by a war host of dragons bent on destruction and pain struck a near fatal blow. Many elven cities fell under the terrible wave of red dragons. The might of the elven armies was broken and time after time, they retreated. From the south, north near The Territories the elves attempted to strike at Deverieveerixx herself, in hopes top break the dragon morale and gain control over their own creation. Many magics were utilized to stem the onslaught, with many dragons and elves littering the fields. But it was not enough.
For 200 years the war continued. The Eldar were close to ruin, and the dragons seemed to be multiplying at an alarming rate. Soon new types of dragons appeared. Black, white, blue, and green seemed to develop. Their origins were unknown but many elven sorcerers suspected the work of Deverieveerixx herself.
The tide however was to turn. A large party of dwarves had returned lead by a warrior queen named Gedrelle of the clanKhalid-Zur. Assumed to be defeated by this emerging army of the dwarves, the elven coronal was about to accept defeat when the dwarf queen extended her hand in friendship and formed an alliance to defeat the dragons. Thus began the great alliance between dwarf and eldar. What followed was a hunt for the ages. Dragons were brought down by the valiant efforts of the dwarven queen and elven sorcerers. Great were their deeds and heroic were their adventures. When the dragons were driven out of the elven lands, the two races proclaimed an alliance that would forever stand.
As ancient as the race itself, the gods of the elves were some of the first to walk upon the land. And as one of the Elder Races, the elves can trace their pantheon of gods to Thorebrine Morvios himself. Listed below are the more widely worshiped elven gods.
Beruthiel (Bur-ew-thee-elle) Creator of the Elves, Lord of the Eldar
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Domains: Community, Creation*, Glory, Good.
Notes: Beruthiel is one of the Elder Gods and is the creator of the Elves. Beruthiel is worshipped by both Eldar and Elves equally.
Melanethnin (Mel-a-neth-neen) Goddess of Magic, The Arcane Mother.
Domains: Knowledge, Magic, Protection, Rune.
Notes: Melanethnin is the venerated by those who utilize magic and the arcane arts. Worshipped by Elves, Melanethnin represents all magic found in the world. She remains a neutral force, ever balanced in her response to those who pray to her.
Dierdriar (Deer-dree-are) Elven God of Nature and Wild Things
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Domains: Animal, Liberation, Plant, Strength
Notes: Considered to be the patron lord of the forests and woodland realms of the elves. Nature is Dierdriar’s domain and he rules over all things wild. Dierdriar is believed to be the son of Beruthiel and Melanethnin.
Gorshebah (Gore-she-ba) Lady of the Seasons.
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Domains: Chaos, Earth, Plant, Weather
Notes: Gorshebah is the lady of the changing seasons. She is master over the green freshness of spring, the hot wildness of Summer, the coloured coolness of autumn and the frozen clutch of winter. She drives the growth of plants and the cycle of the seasons.