The War of Night
The elves have tried to separate themselves from the rest of the world. The have also separated themselves into two distinct ideologies. See the City States below for more information on these.
As a rule, very few people are allowed to enter the elven city states. The Couriers are given a free pass once they have reached a particular level of qualification within the guild. All other people wanting to come into either city state must provide exemplary reasons and superb references to be allowed entrance. This frequently means that the applicant must have an elven sponsor.
Because of these incredible restrictions, very little is known of the elves, other than they tend to be long lived, have an incredibly slow population growth and that they craft some of the most beautiful weapons, armour and gifts in the land. A trader with access to elven made items stands to make a fortune, but of course, must ensure they are well protected as they become extremely valuable targets for thieves.
The only other well known fact about the elves is that one faction lives within the forests and protects nature, while the other lives in wondrous, almost magical buildings of sweeping arches, stunning spires and incredible architecture.
The long-lived elves are children of the natural world, similar in many superficial ways to fey creatures, though with key differences. While fey are truly linked to the flora and fauna of their homes, existing as the nearly immortal voices and guardians of the wilderness, elves are instead mortals who are in tune with the natural world around them. Elves seek to live in balance with the wild and understand it better than most other mortals. Some of this understanding is mystical, but an equal part comes from the elves’ long lifespans, which in turn gives them long-ranging outlooks. Elves can expect to remain active in the same locale for centuries. By necessity, they must learn to maintain sustainable lifestyles, and this is most easily done when they work with nature, rather than attempting to bend it to their will. However, their links to nature are not entirely driven by pragmatism. Elves’ bodies slowly change over time, taking on a physical representation of their mental and spiritual states, and those who dwell in a region for a long period of time find themselves physically adapting to match their surroundings, most noticeably taking on coloration that reflects the local environment.
Elves value their privacy and traditions, and while they are often slow to make friends at both the personal and national levels, once an outsider is accepted as a comrade, the resulting alliances can last for generations. Elves take great joy in forging alliances with races that share or exceed their long lifetimes, and often work to befriend dragons, outsiders, and fey. Those elves who spend their lives among the short-lived races, on the other hand, often develop a skewed perception of mortality and become morose, the result of watching wave after wave of companions age and die before their eyes.
Generally taller than humans, elves possess a graceful, slender physique that is accentuated by their long, pointed ears. It is a mistake, however, to consider them weak or feeble, as the thin limbs of an elf can contain surprising power. Their eyes are wide and almond-shaped, and filled with large, vibrantly coloured pupils. The coloration of elves as a whole varies wildly, and is much more diverse than that of human populations. However, as their coloration often matches their surroundings, the elves of a single community may appear quite similar. Forest-dwelling elves often have variations of green, brown, and tan in their hair, eye, and even skin tones.
While elven clothing often plays off the beauty of the natural world, those elves who live in cities tend to bedeck themselves in the latest fashions. Where city-dwelling elves encounter other urbanites, the elves are often fashion trendsetters.