|Elves, the Adrift|
|Build||Tall and lithe|
|Height||6'6" - 7'2"|
|Hair||Black, brown, blonde, white|
|Skin Tone||Typically pale|
|Eye Colour||Bright earthen colors, silver|
|Playable Races Category|
The elves, known among themselves as the Elrathyr, are an ancient people native to the planet of Astra. They built the foundation of many grand civilizations and cultures that have since fallen into the annals of history through war and conflict. To this day, the influence of their studies and magic remain in the old decrepit ruins of their past homes. These people now wander in search of a new home, laying down roots wherever their kind are tolerated. Whether within the uncharted wilderness or safely tucked into the vast urban cities of Mankind, they are only a shadow of their former greatness. Some of them seek to restore their race's power through either force or political intrigue, while others are content to assimilate into this new lifestyle of bustling business, agriculture and trade. Through history, the traditional collective of land-dwelling elves have earned the name Elrathyr, but other elven subraces have descended from these people: the Ask'el, Malathyr, and half-elves.
Elven history spans back to the furthest times imaginable. Far beyond recorded history, the trace they've left on the continent of Edriel has been massive. Grand ruins of elven cities, buried beneath sand, laid to waste in war, or vanished entirely. These ruins are the remnants of an opulent empire, now forgotten to most minds and history books. The yellowed pages of old libraries speak of their sprawling cities, how they pierced the clouds and rivaled the Two Moons. Other books would tell of the elves' defeat, how they were toppled from their thrones and brought to their knees by the forces they once scoffed at.
All of these accounts are true. The Elrathyr once dominated the surface of Edriel entirely, their empires spread across the land without restraint. They fought back nature with ease, claiming their true might over the world with fist, and more importantly, magic. Magic was the key to the success of the elves. Without it, they would have been no better than the humans who struggled beside them. All elves were once born with an innate aptitude at casting magic. From the moment they could talk and wave their hands, the potential for greatness had arisen. Whether a rancher, a warrior, or a ruler, they seized control of Edriel without so much as noteworthy defiance. This lasted many years, perhaps thousands. No true number remains for how long their rule remained. There are vague accounts of battles that were nothing more than failed attempts at dethroning the elves. Humans disgruntled with the elven dominance, dwarves seeking wealth or new lands, or adversaries now entirely foreign or forgotten. Yet, there was one group of people who some would say were friend to the elves, others would say were enemies. The Manus Kingdom, a kingdom of humans hailing from obscure origins. They were unique from the other human kingdoms in that they were not shepherded like sheep by the elves. They were separate, holding their own in a mountainous pass that now connects the West and the Orient.
Attempts to bring the Manus under elven control were met with blunt denial, and to the furthest extent, threats. The Manus had no interest in mingling with the elves, instead lingering in the mountains as a group of people far more interested in art, magic and scripture. Compared to the humans who bent the knee to the elves, the Manus were far more advanced. The elves did not take kindly to this denial, they believed it absolutely necessary for humans to be led by elves less the humans be led astray into their own destruction. It was certainly a sort of god complex the elves held, and one that no doubt resulted in some of the early human rebellions. This attitude, combined with the later transgressions of the Manus Kingdom led the elves to launch an assault against the Manus, all with the intention to bring them to heel.
It started around the year 320BE (before Eyrm.) The Manus were taken by surprise, their home brought to flame as they refused to submit even with the massive armies of the Elrathyr on their doorstep. Survivors fled into the night on horse and foot, bringing with them their technology and history. There were few survivors remaining in the city itself, its walls now a tomb for the civilians, nobles, and soldiers. The Manus were not without their faults, nor were they innocent, but even the elves grimaced at brutality of it.
It was a decisive victory on the part of the elves. The remaining Manus were scattered among the lesser human tribes. However with the aftermath of this battle there was a slow, unforeseeable problem that rose with the defeat of the Manus. The submissive humans began to grow more and more discontent, seeing and hearing of the needless slaughter of their brethren. They sang song of the Manus, while the elves attempted to stifle it. A new spirit was born among humanity, a violent one. It sought redemption, to free themselves of their bonds and bring their own race to greatness. The refugees from the Manus Kingdom spoke of evil on part of the elves. Humanity grew hostile, foreshadowing the eventual downfall of the elves that so many modern libraries speak of.
In the year zero after the fall of Eyrm, the elves had been disconnected from their source of magic. Void seeped into the ground, corrupting the lines and wells of magic they once drew from. The wilderness they lived in became dark, withering away. The elves could not muster enough magic to regrow the plants, revive the animals, or continue their civilization as it once had been. For what had been many thousands of years, the elves were invincible, unstoppable. Now, to the eyes of the humans, they were once again mortal. Bands of humans took to forcing the elves from their homes, pushing them back into their homelands with steel. Humans rose to the opportunity for freedom, knowing this to finally be their long awaited chance. The elves could only fight back with the same weapons of man, no longer bolstered by their ability for innate spellcasting.
Mankind had a new champion, one that sought to bring his people to victory: Auros, the human god. He walked beside his soldiers into battle, wielding the same weapons as they. With Auros upon his white horse, he led a group of three hundred thousand humans from the Kingdom of Zoran and into the Illura Dominion, the first target of his crusade. Their success was swift, the humans supported by a deity and their own unwavering spirit spawned by the slaughter of the Manus. Were the elves guilty of such punishment, should they really be judged by a god? The human soldiers did not care. The elves were forced to fight tooth and nail, the war of Auros' mankind versus the Elrathyr lasting nearly two centuries of bitter, bloody combat. It all accumulated into Auros' champions storming the Aeryn Citadel, where the final elven monarch awaited what had befallen all his fellow elves.
Such was the monotonous rhythm of warfare. Blood spilled, territories expanded or lost, and a victor proclaimed. The elves had been atop of the world for thousands of years, now brought back to the same soil they made the humans kneel on. The Elrathyr hold their grudges to this day, some scorning the name of mankind. They're now forced to live beside the humans who dethroned them, assimilating into their cultures, finding solace in the fabled city of Tarial, or returning to the wilderness as wandering tribes. The elves have a bitter history, one that continues to be fuel for the heated tension between elves and humanity to this day.
Elves are a race of tall humanoids resembling humans in face and structure. However, they do not possess the same robust builds as mankind does. They are tall, averaging somewhere in between mid six foot to low seven foot, with women being slightly shorter than the males of their race. The bodies of either gender are incredibly lean, well suited to dexterous acts such as running, climbing and swimming. What they lack in raw strength and power they wholly make up for with speed and agility. Some folk mockingly refer to them as felines, for their narrow cat-like pupils, angular features, and remarkable dexterity. However, others may instead call the elven people uncanny because of their human resemblance, but undeniable uniqueness in appearance. Their eyes have narrow, slit-like pupils that resemble a cat's and are a bright, saturated hue of green, blue, or silver with keen eyesight. There are always variations to this, though only among the races derived from elves such as the Ask'el.
The tell-tale sign of many elves are their long, pointed ears. Where the human ear rounds out, the elf's ear tapers into a long, narrow point. Elves typically stop growing around their fiftieth year of age, but their ears continue to grow for as long as they live, up to a foot in length. Unsurprisingly, the ancient race of elves do not age as humans do. The eldest elves remaining today have lived as far back as six hundred years, while the average elf passes away near their five hundredth year. The signs of aging in an elf are like that of a human's. Their hair begins to grow wispy and gray, and their strength begins to fade away as their body and mind both slowly deteriorate. Old elves are not as stricken with impediment as the elders of other races are. They maintain the ability to walk, think and communicate well enough, though it's vestigial compared to their younger, spry selves.
Sharp reflexes and a sharper intellect define the long-standing race of elves. Elves make for apt mages, acrobats and marksmen. More information on attributes and creating a character can be found here.
Culture and Society
Elven culture, despite their situation, lives on through communities of folk who make the best of what they're given. There's no doubt that much of the current generations of elves are innocent of what some claim they're guilty of. The elves are born into a world that seems to despise them, forced to live alongside the very folk who were their downfall. But regardless of this, they continue on - memorializing their fallen ancestors and looking to the days ahead. They understand there is no progress made by accusations and complaints. They hold on to what remains of their history, clutching it with a tender grasp so that it may once again blossom anew.
Some elves seek peace, others seek to feud with their new neighbors. Like the elves did so long ago in the past, they stick together regardless of their beliefs. Safety and success comes in numbers, not as individuals. Sometimes these elves live together because they're forced to, contained into districts within the human cities they now live in. These districts are often quiet, with little in the way of business beyond the occasional sharp-eared tradesman that may settle his business within it. Elves are known to be great craftsman, for they can dedicate hundreds of years to their craft. Some humans venture into these districts seeking company with elves, whether friendly, romantic, or to simply berate the astray race. Elven districts are generally unguarded by humans, so small councils of unofficial leaders may rise to bring order to the inhabitants of their unguarded districts.
Regardless of what an individual elf may believe or fight for, they are a very proud people. Very few of them hold their ancestors in disdain, and even less would openly admit to such. Some look upon their lineage as pure, meant to be untainted by the influence of the humans surrounding them. Other elves are of a more lax mindset, and are often happy to mingle with the humans so long as there's no aggressiveness present. The disdain of humans some elves hold is not without its foundation. Whether they hold a long-lasting grudge over what the humans did to their ancestors, or believe the humans to simply be lesser than they, a majority of elves simply scorn the name of mankind and keep sole company with their own race.
Religion and Customs
Many elves continue to follow the faith of Anzuism, but few fully dedicate themselves to it like their kind once did. To the chagrin of many elves who prefer the ancient traditions of their heritage, some of their brethren have begun to convert to the humans faiths out of coercion or fear of prosecution by the church's various hands. The most notable of these human churches is The Golden Faith. Elves whom remain loyal to their heritage detest these proselytes, sometimes leading to feuds over religion in streets, taverns, and homes.
Some elves are peaceful folk, not wishing to go the route of warfare like their ancestors. Small shrines in the streets of cities are common, all of them decorated with various flowers, trinkets, and coins to pay respect to elven soldiers who died so long ago in the two-hundred year war to defend their homeland. There are many holidays the elves celebrate ever year, some to memorialize the dead, reinvigorate the struggling populace with festivity, or to bring charity to elves who struggle with finding a job or home.
The modern garb of the elves is an infusion of traditional elven robes with more modern human fashion. They've both amalgamated into loose, practical garments fit well for travel, made less of silk and other fine cloths and more of cotton, wool, or linen. Wealthy elves may find themselves donning ornate robes that drape to their ankles, decorated with a variety of different silver designs, precious gems and embroideries. Even with the influence of mankind's garments, anyone with an eye slightly familiar with the differences between elven and human garments would be able to tell them apart.
Elves wear vibrant earthy colors, saturated with dye and decorated in subtle ways that even the simplest tailor can manage. The ancient robes of their heritage may have once been extravagant to behold, but they've since taken on a more pragmatic design and appearance.
If there's one things humans haven't influenced on the Elrathyr, it'd be their names. Elves have long first names, followed by a much shorter surname.
- Velthimyrius, a masculine name given to a since-deceased elven ruler.
- Illrythim, a masculine name meaning 'the winter's son,' commonly given to white-haired children.
- Telthimus, a masculine name belonging to a murdered Vicar of Anzuism.
- Elrindyr, a unisex name roughly meaning 'ancient one.'
- Elanaril, a feminine name originating from a river that used to run through elven lands.
- Anzia, a feminine name believed to be derived from Anzus.
The surnames of elves function as humans do, with the wife of an elven man adopting his surname after marriage. An elf's surname used to be a good sign of wealth and power, though the fusing of elven and human society has caused old powerful dynasties to lose the grasp of wealth they once had. Now, surnames are more symbolic of history than anything. Some elves have turned to using human names to better blend in with the culture, while others continue their culture's traditional customs. A list of common surnames can be found below.
The elves may have a history shattered by conflict, but they remain stalwart in continuing to acknowledge their past through names and families.
|Full Elven Cultures||Ask'el|
|Creatures of Astra|
|Playable Races||Dragonkin • Dwarves • Elves • Humans|
|Non-Playable Races||Bristlefur • Centaurs • Goblins • Tuskers • Wraiths|
|Last editor: PrepareForDoug|
|Last edit: 24/04/2019|