From Istaria Lexica
A race of tall slender people who originated on the Eastern Continent, but have made the forests of Aradoth their home for many centuries. They are a militaristic people who favor order and discipline above all else, and as such they tend to gravitate towards the Spearman and Elemental Archer. But they are also closely attuned to nature and magic and closely guard their sacred forest and trees. The Ranger school is still strong and powerful among the Elven people. The Ranger school teaches them about the elven religion and how to fight. The Grean Leaf school teaches them everything else. Their main enemies are goblins, who thrive in the swampy areas and live in groups that occasionally raid the elves.
- Elven Leadership: Elves have a long history of military action and are adept at inspiring troops to strike true in the heart of battle.
- Teachings of Galderos: Elves are highly adept at wielding Bows.
It is said that in ancient times, the Elves of Istaria were a gentle and mystical race, one that was in tune with the forces of nature. While the Elves of today do exhibit significant mystical prowess, their race is far from what one might call gentle. Given their wisdom and dignity, as well as their beauty, it often comes as a shock to outsiders to discover the nearly Spartan militarism of Elven society. Order, structure and discipline, the Elves believe, are all that have made it possible for them to survive the onslaught of the Withered Aegis and the sundering of their great city of Feladan.
Little is known of the Elves a millennia or more ago. Any records they once kept of their own history were lost during the Fall of Feladan. The only remaining reference is a passage in the Dwarven Tome of Kaldon that describes a battle beneath the "great trees". The Elves, it seems, would not tolerate the destruction of their forest, even for such altruistic purposes as the heating of Aughundell and the further expansion of the Dwarven mines. The rule of Kaldon places this contact with the Elves approximately one-thousand years B.R., but sadly little else is known.
While Elven society is nowhere near as brutal and dominating as some other Istarian societies (past and present) might be, the Elves of Istaria know and value order, structure, and discipline. Though Elves by and large are in favor of cooperation amongst the Living Races against the Withered Aegis, they very much try to maintain their own ways whenever possible. All Elves are required to enlist in the Elven Army and to serve within it for a minimum of ten years.
Physically, Elves share the same build as Humans have, though on average they are slightly taller and lankier. Elves have an acute sense of hearing, and their ears are shaped to best channel sound; this gives them their trademark pointed ears. Their skin is fairer than that of their Human cousins, though not so dissimilar as to make them completely different. Elves typically exhibit superior senses of balance and dexterity; many of Istaria’s famed rangers and spearmen have been Elves. Likewise, Elves are renowned for their superior ranged combat skills, especially archery. Elves tend to favor power over focus in the matters of the arcane, making them excellent Mages.
Like many of the other races of Istaria, the Elves do not and have never had a formal system of worship. But they do pray and give homage to members of the Istarian Pantheon, including Galderos the Golden General, Alyssa of the Wood, and Istara the Mother. It is said that long ago the Elves worshipped Alyssa above all and that they followed the Teachings, but for many centuries Galderos has been the most important of the Pantheon in Elven society.
Elves believe that they must be buried within the sacred soil of the Feladan Forest in order for them to reach the Golden Halls. It is this belief and their belief that they must do their filial duty to their ancestors that drive Elven beliefs in the modern world. Elves who fall in battle must be brought back to the sacred forest or they may return to this world as vengeful spirits. The presence of undead Elves within the armies of the Withered Aegis is an affront to the beliefs of all Elves and they feel it is their duty to put their fallen brethren to rest.
Spoken Phrases, Utterings, Prayers, and Curses
- Bark and branch – An expletive, but not one which is offensive, blasphemous, or vulgar. Ex: "Bark and branch, what did you do this time?"
- Leaves fall – A declaration that the world is not a perfect place and that problems are to be expected. Ex: "Don’t worry about it. Leaves fall."
- Squirrel in your heart – A reference to the arbotus. Most commonly used as a question, inquiring if the other person wishes to discuss something. Can also be used to describe having reservations, concerns, intimate desires, and guilty secrets. Ex: "So friend, what says the squirrel in your heart?", "The plan sounds good to my ears, but the squirrel in my heart thinks differently."
- By the Clenched Fist - An exclamation of surprise. In reference to the symbol of the Elven deity of Galderos' who is always depicted with a clenched fist holding a spear.
- The Fruit is Ripe - The times are good; I am good. Ex: "How are you?", "The fruit is ripe."
- The Fruit is Withered - Times are bad; war is starting Ex: "What is wrong?", "The fruit is withered!"
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