Mortal and Immortal MentalityEdit
Humans and anfylk are fully mortal by nature. Their lives will eventually end and the knowledge of this is part of their nature, whether they like it or not. Dwarves are individually mortal but collectively immortal. What this means is that each individual dwarf will die, usually after quite a short life, but that they will pass on all of their memories to future dwarves not yet born. In this way each dwarf carries with them the memories of all dwarves that lived before them, back until the moment the first dwarf sprouted. Because of this dwarves generally have a rather special outlook on life and it can sometimes be hard for members of the other races to relate to them.
The elves generally assume that they will not die of old age. They know that they can die from physical harm and are often careful to stay out of harms way. The exception to this is the original elves whose bodies will spontaneously recreate them selves from the aether if they’re destroyed.
Humans and AnfylkEdit
An average human will usually live roughly the same number of years as an average fylk. As such their attitudes towards life are roughly similar. They grow up, they mate and breed, they live and work and eventually they grow old and die and that’s about it. The cycle of life is well-defined and really only changes in exceptional cases.
With lives being finite the need to enjoy them while they last is significant. Humans and anfylk are the driving forces behind technological progress. They are the ones who come up with new ideas and find ways to apply them in their daily lives.
The fact of death often instills a desire to leave a mark on the world, a reason for the living to remember a person after they’ve passed away. As such human and anfylk art is often created to deliver some kind of message; it’s made to be something for others to see and react to.
These days the average dwarf will die before they’re fifty years old. The first halves of their lives they spend working the digs and the second half seeing the world, gathering memories for future generations to enjoy.
The dwarves don’t feel the same need to leave a mark on the world that human and anfylk do. They know that their memories will live on forever with future dwarves and this is the mark they leave behind. As such dwarves are more focused on doing and experiencing. They strive to see and take part in new things, ideally things no dwarf before them has seen or done before.
With the memories of so many previous generations to draw from most dwarves are benevolent and friendly. They don’t want their legacy to be one of bad and selfish deeds, but rather something for future generations to be proud of. Dwarves often engage in charity work of various kinds. Whenever there’s been an earthquake or other disaster dwarves flock to the area to help out.
The immortal elves have no sense of urgency when it comes to achieving something with their lives. This doesn’t mean they don’t achieve things, they just take their time going about it.
Young elves are often eager to explore and see the world, but once they get older and have seen things they generally calm down and start living their lives at a slower pace. It is during these early years, usually from a few decades up to a century that the elf shapes their initial view of the world and where they develop the habits and behaviors that will shape the rest of their lives.
After this time the elf generally becomes more set in their ways and they no longer embrace change as eagerly as they did while younger. They’ve had time to learn to live their lives in a way they’re comfortable with and they have little to no interest in changing it.
The only time an elf will change their behavior in any significant way is during times of war and when they move to new lands. The process of moving is one of the constants within an elf’s life. This is due to how if the elf stays too long in one place their soul will eventually merge with that of the spirit of the land. Once this happens the elf is effectively locked to the land they live on and unable to leave it. Locking with the land significantly increases the elf’s shamanistic powers, beyond what’s ever been achievable by mortal shamans. However, while the power is great the thought of never being able to leave the land is a daunting one for someone who’s destined to live forever. As such, depending on their affinity for the spirit of the land the elf will eventually have to move somewhere else. Usually elves move every five hundred to two thousand years, depending on how closely they relate to the spirit of the land.
When an elf moves to a new land they usually change their way of life to one fitting the locals in the area, be they elves or mortals. In this way, the elf can change their way of life from a primitive one to a modern one to a medieval one over the course of their existence.
Throughout this, the one constant in the elf’s life is their self. Their body and their soul is the one thing that they’re always bringing with them wherever they go. Over the centuries they see mortals come and go and they experience first hand how everything that is created eventually also will be destroyed.
This perceived lack of permanence means that elves have very little desire to make their own mark on the world. They know that no matter what they create it will eventually be destroyed. The thing that matters most to an elf is who they are.
This doesn’t mean they don’t care about their material needs or the material world; they just don’t get too attached to it.
The attitude towards life among the different races can be summed up with the following quotes:
- Humans and anfylk: “Look what I’ve done.”
- Dwarves: “I was there.”
- Elves: “This is who I am.”