The elven race is one of exiles. The elves didn't originate in this world and they don't belong here. They can't go back to where they came from and they can't move on to somewhere else.
The elves were originally created in another plane of existence, completely outside of this one. In their world they were the companion race of a great celestial being. They were like angels to a god. They were immensely powerful beings in their own right and nothing could or would stand against them.
This all changed when the demons appeared. Somehow corruption had taken root in the world and demons started appearing, tearing the world asunder. The elves sought refugee in their cities, gathering together to try and protect themselves from the onslaught of demonic destruction.
One of these cities was somehow, for some reason, pushed through the fabric of time and space, elves and all. From our end it appeared as if a giant hole opened up in the sky and an entire city came falling through.
...and that is how the elves arrived on this planet.
What is unclear and unknown?Edit
A lot of things are still not entirely clear about the events that leat to the elves ending up on this planet. What caused the demons to appear in the firts place? Were they actively trying to invade the world of the elves or did someone summon them intentionally? Did they arrive through some magnificent experiement gone horribly wrong.
How come their entire city got exiled to another plane of existence? Did the elves intentionally leave their old home behind or did the demons banish the entire city from the world?
Non-elven historians have long pondered these questions and will likely continue to do so. Most of the elves who were there won't speak of it and those few who do give strange and conflicting answers.
Elves are, as far as anyone has been able to tell, immortal. There are no records of any elf dying of old age.
While elves don't die of old age they can still die. Violent conflict or fatal accidents are the most common causes of death among elves. Occasionally elves have died from disease or injury but only when an elven healer has not been able to aid.
The original elves appear to be truly invincible. They are not affected by disease or poison and are able to heal mortal wounds at will. Should their bodies be destroyed their souls are able to create new ones out of thin air. This only applies to the original elves. They were not able to pass these traits on to their offspring.
Elves can go for extended periods of time without food and drink. They do require sustenance though and will eventually have to eat. An elf kept away from food or drink for too long will eventually start to wither away. Their bodies will consume all exess fat and once that's gone move on to non-essentail muscles. It can take years without food and water before an elf reaches this state. When it does, the elf no longer moves or speaks, their heart still beats and their lungs still breathe, very very slowly. Even in this state the elf is alive and concious.
If kept without food even longer the arms and legs will eventually be consumed completely leaving only the head and the torso. In this state the elf is still alive but no longer concious.
What happens if the elf is left without food for even longer is not known. The expirement was discovered and stopped and the researchers handed over to the elves for judgement. All discovered test subjects were able to make a full physical recovery and a majority of the test subjects suffered no permanent mental damage from the ordeal.
A dedicated article about how elves handle their long lives and what they do when they need a break from existence.
The appearance of the elves differ slightly from generation to generation. The different conditions of life in their new world is causing the elven race to mutate rapidly from generation to generation.
Height and BuildEdit
The original elves were tall and slender, with the talest ones reaching nearly three meters (ten feet) from head to heel. With each generation the average height of adult elves decreases. In the modern day the most recent generations of elves are only slightly taller than anfylk. The elves as a race are becoming more muscular though. More recent generations have broader shoulders and hips than their predecessors.
It should be noted that it is the average height of the elves that is decreasing with each generation. The height of individual elves still vary and an elf can easily stand up to a head or more taller than the average height of an elf of the same generation.
The original elves came in all the clours of the rainbow. For skin colour this changed quickly and in only a few generations many of the more colorful variations were gone. The newer generations tend to have skin colour similar to that of anfylk and humans in their respective regions.
The change in hair color was significantly slower and less drastic. Again the tendency is to approach the hair colours of the anfylk and human population. Darker shades of other colours are still not unheard of though and it is not uncommon that elves with hair dark blue or green are born even in this day. Red hair of all shades has become more common in recent generation and is becomming increasingly more associated with young elves.
What is especiall interesting to note is that new hair colours have been added. Before the rice of the Haman Empire no elves were born with white hair. Before the dark ages no elves were born with black hair. Both colors are now common among elves born in the last few millenia.
All elves have pointy ears but some elves have longer ears than others. It is said that among the original elves the length of the ears was an indication of status and high birth - the longer the ears, the more noble the elf’s blood.
Over the generations spent on Aua, the length of the ears have normalized somewhat and since the Eradication of the Haman Empire most elves born will have roughly the same length of ears. As a general rule an elf’s ear is as long as the distance from the base of their hand to the tip of their middle finger.
There are of course exceptions and elves with ears nearly twice or half as long are sometimes born. Long ears are considered beautiful and a sign of good breeding and potential. An elf with long ears is expected to go far and do great things. Short ears on the other hand are the opposite. Some elves may even go so far as to suggest that having short ears is a sign of elven blood mingled with human. If the ears are very short they can be a powerful social stigma and depending on cultural norms short-eared elfs may be cast out or barred from certain elven societies.
Throughout history the practice of cutting off the ears of elven criminals was common. It’s still practiced in certain parts of the known world, but for the most part this form of punishment has been condemned.
An ear that’s been cut off will eventually heal and grow back but while the scar will eventually disappear there is no guarantee that the ne ear will be as long as that which was cut.
Beauty and SexEdit
Ears are considered something of a sex symbol among elves, both male and female. However, contrary to popular human belief the ears of an elf are not erogenous zones.
The elves are outsiders. It is a well known fact that they came from somewhere else and that they did not originate here. According to international law, elves are equal to the other major races, with the same rights and responsibilities. The majority of the civilized nations recognize this and their laws support the equal rights of the four major races.
The law does not always reflect the opinion of the people though. While few are openly hostile many are suspicious or cautious when dealing with elves. This applies mostly to humans and only to a lesser extent to anfylk and dwarves. The anfylk themselves are a young race but they do originate from this world, not anywhere else. The dwarves historically haven't cared that much about those who walk on the surface as long as they don't interfer with their business.
In the pastEdit
Throughout history the alien heritage of the elves has caused them much grief at the hands of humans. On three occasions major purges of elves have been attempted. They failed in that they didn't kill off all the elves they intended but succeeded in that the elves left the affected regions.
More common than the major purges are cases of legal injustice. There have been restrictions on where elves have been allowed to settle or what roads they were allowed to travel. Elves were often not permitted to trade on even terms with humans, or at all. Elven criminals were awarded harsher punishment or convicted on less evidence than humans.
In this day of enlightenment and civilization elves have the same legal status as the other major races. There are organizations promoting the integration of elves within society and cultural exchange programs are encouraged.
Preconcieved notions taught from birth are hard to get rid of though. Many humans still don't considder elves their equals. Open hostility is uncommon but it is rare to see elves alone in areas with a mostly human population, especially after dark. Generally the worst a lone elf will get is curses or insults shouted after them but sometimes accidents do happen.
This varies a lot from nation to nation and city to city, but in general, humans have a hard time accepting the elves.
It's not just members of the other races that may be cautious or suspicious when dealing with elves. The elves themselves are suffering the same kind of issues. The mutual mistrust between elves of different generations is just as big an issue, if not more so, as the other races mistrust of the elves.
The cause of this internal conflict within the race is the rapid evolution it is experiencing. With each generation the elves change/mutate significantly in various ways. The physical changes mentioned previously are but parts of the elven evolution.
It is a common opinion among elves that the race as a whole is becoming weaker with each generation. Older elves look down upon their younger kin with pity, mistrust and despair, sometimes even loathing. The way younger elves view their elders is in many ways similar to how rebellious teenagers view their parrents. The fact that the "parrent" may be hundreds or even thousands of years older doesn't make it any better.
The younger elves generally grant their elders a grudging kind of respect though. Hard as it is to admit, when it comes to elves, older almost always means stronger.
An article about naming conventions and habits among the elves.