Rise of the Stone Lord
The elves are one of the three elder races who first laid eyes on Vilveis. They are the longest lived of the three, with Dwarves being barely adults in their eyes and the race of Humans only infants. They consider themselves the oldest race and therefore the strongest and wisest of the three. Elves live to be centuries old, so their perspective is much different than that of a dwarf or human. Time seems slurred together to many of the venerable elven sages. What is a few extra years waiting when most elves live for hundreds.
The elves have spread far and wide since the world began and have evolved into many subraces. The most common elf is usually a high elf. The standard high elves are short and slim, standing anywhere between four and a half feet tall to nearly six feet tall. The typical weight for a high elf is between 95 to 140 pounds. Elven men are only marginally heavier and taller than elven women. The elves are thin in stature, for they are a graceful but frail race. Elves reach adulthood after their hundredth year and can live to be more than 700 years of age. There are countless other variations of the elven race, including the common: Aquatic Elves, Sylvan Elves, Wild Elves, and the less common; Sun Elves or Moon Elves. The only race of elves regarded by many as innately evil are the Drow, the Dark Elves of the Underdark. Legends tell of bizarre elves that live in impossible environments, nobody has ever seen one of the: Dragon Elves, Magma Elves, or the Snow Elves.
Nearly every elf pays respect to their patron deity, Corellon Larethian. He is the god of the elven race and he created them from his blood, shed during a battle with his enemy Gruumsh. Temples and shrines built to him are common in many of the permanent elven settlements, and statues of the deity are found in the forests where he is loved. The drow, however have a different take on things. They believe the spider goddess, Lolth will aid them in taking their rightful place as rulers of all the elven empires. The elves have many Legends on their creation and the formation of the world.
Elves strongly believe that freedom and independence for the individual are more important than the rigid structures found in most civilizations. While elven communities may have laws, the elves broad lifespans give them a patient view on lawbreakers who may find spending centuries in an elven jail is more than fair punishment. The elves are master craftsmen and very skilled in the arts. Many elves find pursuing artistic careers quite fulfilling and their long lifespans allow them to truly master any given craft. Elven literature is rich thanks to the elegance of the Elven language and the master artisans that often take up poetry. Elves work with the bounty of nature and see its beauty in everything they do. Elves make some of the best bowyers and metalsmiths around due to centuries of perfecting their techniques.
Elves eat little, but are omnivorous. They scarcely eat meat except to conserve their strength and when there is a shortage of plant foods. They feel a strong affinity for nature and believe that eating plant life disturbs nature less.
On occasion a bond between an elf and a human will form, resulting in a half-elven child. These children find lives hard, having no one place to belong. They live much longer than any human would and age slower than a human child. On the other hand, they mature faster than a true-blooded elf and can find no friends among either race. As such many half-elves spend their lives feeling separate from the others, however some use their mixed heritage to their advantage and become diplomats between the two races.
The elves are the oldest of the races, their family lines trace back to the beginning of time. As such their royalty often have a rich history and a reputation that may date back centuries and even a millennium. Elves are a race with a rich culture and they keep detailed records of nearly everything. As such, Elven lineages are well recorded. In addition, elves may have grudges that date back centuries, so feuds between families may very well be eternal.
Liadon- The Liadon elves are the sole inheritors of powerful ancient elven magic. They are one of the oldest families of the elven people and have a long history of leading their fellows in the right direction. They are revered as honest and loyal elves who do their utmost to further the causes of the elves. They are naturals at manipulating magic and leading their people, so as such many Liadons have risen to the top of elven governments and therefore are often found in positions of power. For centuries the Liadon elves have been the guardians of the Ruby Forest and the cities within it. Princess Mialee is the local monarch, her rise to power is thanks to her status as a Liadon and her prowess with magic. The Mage’s Council of Homilion supports her in defending the elven realms.
The Liadon family crest is a field of azure blue upon which is a silver decrescent to symbolize the Liadon’s family favor with Corellon Larethian and three silver starts which represent the leadership, loyalty and divine favor with which the Liadon’s lead the elves. The Liadon family colors are a royal blue and bright silver, and a majority of the flags of elven nations bear the Liadon family colors and crest as their name is nearly synonymous with leadership and loyalty.
Rianti- The Rianti are a family of elves who are extremely concerned with honor and chivalry. They uphold a strict code of ethnics within the Rianti forest which they once shared happily with the Lorukeryn. They are one of the few elven families that prefer a strong and rigid government, they have established a powerful republic with a well-organized senate. They occupy the Southern Rianti forest and protect it with a well-organized elven militia. Travelers within the region may find their steps traced by nimble Rianti rangers, great caution must be taken to prove that they are not a threat to the forest. Any with allegiance to the Lorukeryn will find themselves swiftly thrown out or worse…
The Rianti family crest is an Elvish fox-hound. The Rianti colors are red and gray, most elves stray from such vibrant colors, but the Rianti are anything but subtle. The red is to symbolize their powerful military sway and the dog insignia represents their belief in honor and loyalty. Not to mention that the Rianti do train excellent guard dogs.
Lorukeryn-The fierce and free-spirited elves of the Northern Rianti Forest, the Lorukeryn were once allied with the Rianti and did everything with them. Then after some great misunderstanding the two families turned their separate ways and agreed to disagree. The Lorukeryn are too proud to apologize for their mistakes and have vowed to thwart any efforts by the Rianti to control the Southern Rianti Forest. The Lorukeryn are known for their pride and on occasion, their arrogance. They will not suffer anyone who doubts their honor.
The Lorukeryn family crest is the image of a wolf howling as a comet streaks across the sky, the wolf itself is a leftover from the days when the Lorukeryn and the Rianti were close allies and it represents loyalty and pride. The comet passing represents the event that tore the two families apart, the wolf is lamenting the loss of their closeness. The Rianti typically choose maroon and brown as their colors, to symbolize their stubbornness and undaunted will.
Galanodel- The Galanodel elves were once a proud and regal royal family. They were strong negotiators and bargainers, widely renowned for their flourishing merchant enterprises. They made many deals with all kinds of merchants and quickly found themselves in a rough situation. To cover for themselves they made pacts with the Drow. This proved to be a grave mistake, soon after they went behind the backs of the other surface elves they found themselves digging deeper and deeper into a terrible situation. Soon it got to the point where they had no choice, they allied themselves with the Drow and waged war upon the rest of elven kind. In 468 1E the Drow were supplied with massive quantities of quality elven weapons and together with the Galanodel made war with all surface elves. As the stories tell, the Galanodel were no match for the other powerful elven families and were exterminated. The Drow were driven back and life returned to normal. Galanodel elves have resurfaced throughout the years, perhaps remnants of the original family that betrayed all of elvenkind but one thing is certain they are always hated and mistreated among true elves.
The Galanodel symbols and colors have been stripped from all records, but the tales do say that they were one of the chosen of Corellon Larethian and bore the silver raven on their arms as a sign of their divine providence. Nobody can confirm this, but any elves who wear the colors black and silver or use ravens as their sign are immediately turned away from elvish settlements.
Kiirynodel- The Kiirynodel are few and far between, they are a quiet and reflective family of elven craftsmen. Their craftsmanship is unmatchable by any of the other elves or races of the world. Each member of the family chooses his craft at adolesence and never practices with another. It is quite difficult to acquire the craft of a Kiirynodel because if it isn’t perfect, they destroy their own work and start over. The most famous of the Kiirynodel were weaponsmiths or bowyers who crafted weapons for the elven nobles.
The Kiirynodel family symbols are the sceptre and hammer, together they represent proper and just work. To an elf, only a Kiirynodel does a craft true justice. The color that best represents a Kiirynodel elf is the orange of autumn that means worthy ambition.
Xiloscient- The Xiloscient are a unique offshoot of the elven people. They have several characteristics that make them easily identifiable to outsiders and elves alike. Firstly they all have fair silver hair which they keep well groomed and frequently braid. Secondly their eyes are a rich golden color and seem to glow with an inner force. Lastly, they are completely incapable of using arcane magic of any kind. It seems that somewhere down the line, the Xiloscient family were completely stripped of their magical talents and now any elf with just a drop of their blood in them finds that they cannot cast arcane spells in any way, shape, or form. This handicap doesn’t extend to divine spells, so many Xiloscient elves find their calling among Corellon Larethian’s faithful.
The symbol of the Xiloscient is a golden moon, this represents their natural color as well as their serene power over the mundane world. They are also typically found in the blue and silver of Corellon Larethian’s faithful.
Eldonis-One of the first noble families among the elves. The Eldonis elves first rose to the top by becoming a fierce military power within elven lands. They began sending their children to military or magic academies to teach them military strategy and give them valuable battle skills. Then as time progressed they approached the political aspect of elven culture as well and found that it was even more rewarding. Since then, the Eldonis have been known as clever politicians who can weasel their way out of any sort of trouble. They are often seen as haughty and vain, but they are among the richest elves because of their old age and noble status.
Their symbol is a rooster with a dagger underneath its talons. The dagger represents the military power they once were, while the rooster symbolizes the political and trade power that they are nowadays. The Eldonis take the royal purple color for their personal coats.
Nailo- The Nailo are not quite so famous among the elven people because their accomplishments are few and far between. However they are one of the older elven families and have survived many wars. The Nailo often find themselves called to monasteries, they find that they are well suited for hand to hand combat. Many a Nailo elf has found his true self by studying at a monastery and discovering the art of turning his body into a weapon of destruction.
Iriandi- The ancestors of the Iriandi were apprentices to the Kiirynodel in the olden days. They then separated from the Kiirynodel because they saw no value in wasting their talents on the arts, instead they focused purely on making weapons. The Iriandi became some of the elves first engineers and true metalsmiths. They made warblades for the great elven war leaders of the past and continue to make some of the finest elven steel weapons available today.
Ilphukiir-The wanderers of the elven people, in the elven tongue Ilphukiir is synonymous with the common word gypsy. They are the elven people who are most affected by wanderlust and to them it is a constant pull. Incapable of resisting the lure of wandering, most Ilphukiir become traveling bards or join meandering caravans of merchants. They are rarely found staying in one place for too long and if they are, perhaps they posess extraordinary willpower unlike their relatives.
Melianme- The overly nature loving faction of the elves. The Melianme are the reason most dwarves think that all elves are obsessed with loving nature. They are almost always druids or clerics of the nature gods, it is a blood tradition among them to become a part of some nature cult or another. Truly rare is a Melianme who calls a town home and even rarer is one who doesn’t live in tree or ditch somewhere.