Moon Elves - (M)140-160 lbs, (F)120-140 lbs; Wood Elves - (M)150-175 lbs, (F)130-145 lbs
(M&F) 5' 8"- 6'2" (Males are usually taller than females).
400 years and onwards.
Millions; 2/3 Wood Elves, 1/3 Moon Elves.
Largest population in Kyrheim but may be distributed all over the world.
Assasins of the Mist, Ashen-faced Ghosts, Pointy-eared, Nature-loving, Best at Magick, Quickest, Fierce warriors.
Tall, lithe, slender eyes, long beautiful hair, pointy ears and vibrant hair and eye colours.
Magick use, Quick and agile, Keen smell, sight and hearing, Very Intelligent, Immunity and seemingly Immortal.
This is a composite article of the Elven race with Moon Elves and Wood Elves being the sub-species.
The Elves are the prime magickal species of Nyxheim, a race whose power and understanding over magick has been untainted despite the corruption and renewal of worlds. As a race they are entirely conservative and their unique culture, mannerisms and philosophies lay etched in their deep and rich history. They have sacrificed and suffered much in their long years of life; the harsh reality of war, famine, death and their impending doom has weathered them into a strong, independent and united race. The Elves were the first to abolish the worship of Gods and instead turned to the comfort of their books and magick. Daevas have always been looked upon kindly by the Elves as teachers and leaders but never the objects of blind devotion. Today in Nyxheim, these Elves stay ever vigilant in guarding their lands from their foes.
Often it is the littlest creatures who fall prey and such was the case with the Fae. Humans destroyed their homes and in the wars between the Elves and Men, these little creatures found themselves compelled to choose sides. The Wood Elves were the obvious choice and today these little creatures can be found as companions to warriors, mages and especially Wood Elf children. The Fae are a race with a rich, often obscure culture that has been guarded and kept secret by its members. They still practise their arts and rituals in secret and they still remember their old ways of life from Arcadia.
- Tall, slender builds
- Fair skin
- Distinctive pointed ears
- Long hair and almond shaped eyes
- Wood elves tend to be of a more muscular build
Moon Elves are exceptionally tall and lithe humanoid creatures clearly identified by their pointy-tipped ears, long, luxurious hair, slender almond-shaped eyes, soft, high cheekbones and fair, almost shimmering, skin. These features set them apart from the other humanoid races albeit they share similarities between their Wood Elf cousins. An average male Moon Elf is often more muscular and slightly taller than the average female yet the distinction between this dichotomy is often lost upon foreign races. Their hair colours may be of any pigment though lineages have shown that gold, silver and the occasional sable hair are common varieties. Eye colour is a tricky task to determine as it has been known to often change. Mages, witches, wizards and sorcerors have shown varying changes in eye colour as their power has grown. Some have even linked eye colour to the use of their specific elements as children while others believe that it is a genetically variant trait. As a magickal practitioner grows stronger in his or her art, their eye colour will gradually fade into a soulless swirl of white energy at the utmost peak of their power.
Similar to their Moon Elf cousins, Wood Elves have a tall and slender build and all the identifiable features of an Elf with the more muscular build and darker tones of skin colouration. An average Wood Elf male is more muscular than an average Moon Elf male; this contrast is also depicted in the females of the race.
Speed and Agility: Elves pride themselves on three important abilities with speed and agility as one. Being a race of individuals not naturally gifted in terms of physical strength by human standards and being looked upon as frail, delicate and ultimately weak beings, the Elves honed the abilities they had till they not only excelled at it but also overwhelmed the other races with it. An Elf is able to run, jump, climb and swim like the wind; often their movements are too quick to percieve unless with a trained eye. This speed comes not with just physical ability but also with a mental and magickal quickness.
Superior hearing: Elves have a superior sense of hearing, almost magickal. They could hear the faintest whisper of the winds through the leaves or the splash of a droplet of water in a deep, icy chasm. They can even hear the voice of the spirits, the Muses, if they can listen hard enough.
Superior smell: An affinity for nature has gifted the Elves with a unique sense of smell. They are able to pick up scents much better than a human nose though not as keenly as an Efferus might.
Superior sight: Superior eyesight has granted the Elves the ability to percieve that which is impossible to percieve with human eyes alone. They can see spirits, the faint residues of magick as well as the flow of energies from one form to another. They also have superior physical eyesight but lack the ability to see in the dark.
Naturally superior intelligence: The second of the Elf's prized abilities; their intelligence is far superior to that of an average human's though not on a superhuman level. This has lead them to build the most beautiful cities, to craft the most beautiful of weapons, to have drawn, sung or sculpted great works of art as well as to have pursued the various fields of magick to their limits, broken them and defined new ones.
Advanced capability of Magick: The last of the Elf's superior skills but certainly not the tamest. Their skill with magick is reknowned throughout the lands as being the most ferocious yet entirely disciplined. Most creatures know to never battle a Moon Elf mage with magick alone. Wood Elves lack the superiority in magickal ability when compared to their cousins but this is compensated in their superior physical strength on par with humans.
Immunity/Regeneration/Aura of Healing:
"Elves are immune to all diseases, and they can recover from wounds which would normally kill a mortal Man. However, Elves can be slain, or die of grief and weariness'." - Tolkien
(Therefore: a happy elf is a healthy, long-lived elf).
Poisons of a magickally corrosive nature may harm them but those of a physical nature have almost no effect. The Elves have a high regeneration rate but not something which may be considered superhuman. Their wounds heal faster over time, simple cuts and bruises taking a day while deep muscle trauma and bone injuries take a few weeks. They have an "Aura of Healing" which may influence creatures around them to boost their healing rates. This natural ability has made them avid healers and practioners of healing magick. It also has made them avid drinkers since this cycle of healing prevents them from getting drunk. (Hence why an Elf can outdrink anyone else).
(More is explained on "Magick" under the "Magick" section.)
The Elven diet consists of fresh berries, nuts, succulent fruits, oats, honey, spices, fresh vegetables and rootcrops. Their ingredients are entirely provided for by nature and many unique and delightful dishes are known to be commonplace at the feasting table. Elven bread with honey and milk is nutritious enough to provide a burst of energy that may last throughout the whole day. However, a distinct different in diety lay between the sole practioners of magick and the commonfolk. Old magickal practioners are strictly vegetarian and avoid even the smell or sight of raw meat while commonfolk prefer a little meat on their plates. Small fowls, venison as well as seafood add to the diet of the commonfolk.
Food is often grown, gathered or hunted for. Women as well as men partake in providing for the various households. However, the Moon Elf's habitat is not suitable for growing food and hardly anything can be gathered or hunted in the harsh wilderness. To combat this problem, common livestock have been kept in herds and cared for while entire orchards, gardens and fields have been cultivated indoors in a state of perpetual greenery with the aid of magick.
Wood Elves live in a naturally evergreen environment and so food is abundant. Livestock kept are very few in number and that only in wild herds. They often supply their Moon Elf cousins with fresh dietary supplies.
"Their lives were counted to begin at conception rather than birth, and though their minds sharpened much earlier in life than in the race of Men, their bodies grew more slowly. They were considered fully-grown at about a century. They married usually only once in their lives, and their children were often few and far-between.
Elves are born about one year from their conception. The day of their conception is celebrated, not the actual birthday itself—since for them, life begins at conception. Their minds develop quicker than their bodies; by their first year, they can speak, walk and even dance, and their quicker onset of mental maturity makes young Elves seem older than they actually are. " - Tolkien.
A logical sense would be that the first cycle is childhood and adolescence (1-200 years), the second is adulthood (200-400 years), and the third is for extremely old Elves (400 years-onwards).
An Elf ages differently than a normal human. Elves reach mental maturity at the age of one hundred years where they experience a bloom in their magickal powers marked by the onset of adolescence. By the age of two hundred years they are sexually and physically mature (aging halts) and ready to choose a spouse and sire children. By the age of four hundred years, the more magickally gifted of Elves will experience a second bloom where their libido wanes and they pursue other things. Magickally gifted of Elves have lived for thousands of years till the end of the world and moved on to the next.
Being an elf is a magickal quality since Elven physiology is governed by their emotional state of being. Their existence is almost binary; either you are an elf or you're not. This applies to half-elves with a non-elven parent. Their elven traits will not show until they overcome the other side of their lineage and accept becoming a complete elf at which point their traits will blossom. Similarly, if an elf chooses to become "human" through emotional trauma, his or her "aura" will leave them, making them susceptible to normal aging, diseases and many of the mortal woes.
Social habits: Elves are very social creatures when dealing with interactions within their own race. They enjoy singing, dancing, sharing stories or scholarly secrets with each other. An Elf living in isolation would soon die of sorrow than anything else.
Racial discrimination: Elves have a binary understanding of their race and half-breeds; either you're an elf or you're not. An elf is looked upon as a brother or sister and warmly accepted into their society while a non-elf is treated with caution and alienated in their society. The recent atrocities against their race have left a deep hatred for humans while races apart from the Fae, Efferii and Silver Dragons face a similar prejudice. They believe that non-elf races have the great potential to do evil as they have demonstrated many times in the past. Their hunger for power is to be kept leashed and if they step out of line they are to be eliminated for the good of the world.
Pride: The Elves are a naturally proud race. They have a rich culture which spans several thousands of years and ideals and philosophies that have remained untainted despite the destruction of their worlds. They pride themselves on their lineage, their society, their knowledge, their virtues and their intelligence. However, this should not be mistaken with hubris. They are neither arrogant nor have the overpowering need to belittle other races for being inferior (though they are quick to point out some obvious racial flaws but that's the bitter truth!). Their pride in themselves has lead them to being vigilant in guarding their secrets, to developing and bettering themselves and to nurture and instill their values into their offspring so that they may carry on their legacy.
Abolishment of religion: The Elves had faced a betrayal from their Goddess in the Elder World of Celestia after which their faith has never reached such a blindless devotion. Steadily a shift was seen in the elven mindset from the thought of submitting to a deity to a more scholarly, spiritual and more fulfilling approach. Hence they abolished the worship of Gods and adopted a new, independent way of life. Daevas have always been regarded as teachers and helpful guides but nothing more.
Tolerance: Despite their dislike of other races, Elves are quite tolerant beings. They would much rather resort to a calm and productive solution to a problem instead of finding a more violent and aggressive one. However, their tolerance should not be mistaken for weakness. They have shown many times that they are more than capable of waging wars when driven to the limits of their tolerance. Humans have sadly waned their patience and they are now more aggressive in their approach to guard their homelands.
The value of life and sacrifices: The Elves value life in all of its forms. Even when hunting they will offer respect and a solemn prayer for their fallen prey. However, they also know the value of taking a life. Humans have taught them much and one of those things was to extinguish one life to save many others.
Stasis; a balanced way of life: The Elven way of life is fun and joyous. They do not fight all the time nor do they wage wars on a daily basis. They have a more relaxed view on life since Elves tend to live for very long years at a time. They do not engage in petty squabbles over things that humans do (such as wealth, fame etc) and neither do they waste the precious years of their lives in pursuing human goals. They choose to remain in stasis (in stability) while the world around them blooms, withers and dies to be born again.
Inquisitiveness: Elves are naturally inquisitive creatures who strive for knowledge and understanding. Often one will notice that they are inspired or captivated by things around them. Mechanical inventions strike their fancy the most and often children will take it apart to see just what makes it tick before trying to re-assemble it back together.
Anti-industrialisation and anti-pollution: Elves do not have a hatred for technology but they do despise industrialisation. Stripping the land of its precious resources and leaving it barren is not a wise task and especially not polluting the environment with careless disposal of waste. Elves tend to take a "nature-based, recyclo" approach where they give importance to nature and recycle their resources. This behavioural trait is even seen in the way they build; humans tend to rip through the heart of a mountain to build roads while elves build their roads around the mountains, humans tend to deforest a piece of land before building while elves will build with nature and conform to it.
Habitat & Architecture:
[ A little prereading: Altamira was the city of magick and the capital kingdom of Nifredil, the land of the Moon Elves. Novgorod was the larger kingdom under which came the Northern shores (ports of entry and trade for Nifredil-Amar), Cape of Falmari (which housed the naval fleet of elven ships), The White City (which was the heart of Novgorod), Talath-Dirnen (the guarded plains with major trade routes about the kingdom), Nan-Tathren (the Land of Willows which served as the agricultural sector of Novgorod) and Nargothrond (a stronghold built deep into the mountain ranges around the border between Nifredil and Amar, now called "Nifel Loren"; it housed the fabled dragon-riders, aerial fleets and houses of dragonblooded Moon Elves.) The White City, the Northern Docks and the Cape of Falmari have been destroyed by humans. ]
Moon Elves inhabit the icy tundras of Kyrheim which is largely uninhabited due to its harsh terrain. With Novgorod destroyed, the Moon Elves are now largely concentrated around Altamira, their oldest remaining city, which sits guarded by the Nifel Loren mountain range . This city protects them against the harsh blizzards, constant storms and subzero climate. Rain, snow, hail and strong winds are common and periodic though a bright, crisp and chilly sunny weather is constant all around the year. The land of the Moon Elves is a white blanket of pristine and unyielding ice which may seem docile and favourable as one enters the lands but brutal, harsh and bleak as one journeys deeper.
Nargothrond, Talath-Dirnen and Nan-Tathren also serve as strongholds for the Moon Elves though the plains of Talath-Dirnen are bleak and lifeless and Nargothrond largely abandoned by its original occupants. Nan-Tathren is now Riv Amar, the second city of the Wood Elves.
Wood elves inhabit the cities of Asrai and Riv Amar situated in the forests of Evergreen. The destruction of Athel Loren forced the Wood Elves to retreat deep into Evergreen where they co-founded Riv Amar with their Moon Elf cousins on the lands of Nan-Tathren. The Wood Elves prefer a warmer climate and so this served well for their purposes. The forests are often hot, humid and dense as one approaches the threshold of human civilisation but the weather turns cool, calm and windy as one journeys deeper towards Riv Amar and Asrai. Their habitat consists of vast plains, deep valleys, large mountains and hills as well as many small and large lakes at the heart of Evergreen. Evergreen experiences a hot and wet tropical climate year round with thunderstorms, cyclones and hurricanes. Rainy, sunny, windy and cloudy weather are common under the protective canopy of Evergreen though at times snow may fall across the lands from Nifel Loren and a chilly weather consumes the forest bed.
Following the acts of the humans have led the Elves to build their cities in secret and with magick. A thick cover of mist envelopes their lands and forests which makes it impossible to see through and certainly impossible to fly over due to the blizzards and thunderstorms. A ward serves as the second defense which magickally guards their cities; one may only enter a city if they know it is there, otherwise it will go unnoticed.
The Elves tend to build beautiful cities depending on their environment and availibility of resources. They build with carved stones, metals, wood as well as with magick, however, there is a distinct difference between Moon Elf and Wood Elf design. Moon Elves rely more on stones and metal due to their need of a fortified stronghold while Wood Elves rely more on wood and large trees to make their homes. Both forms of architecture are commonplace in Moon Elf and Wood Elf societies from their interactions.
The Elves have a very different form of economy from a human point of view. Children are taught basic survival skills at an early age along with personal discipline. They are able to make their own clothes, shoes, weapons as well as hunt, forage and scavenge. This basic foundation has removed the need for simple jobs such as cobblers, tailors, potmakers, etc. Often the elves in a household will craft their own tools from a forge and skills in crafting weapons are passed down through strong family lines. Whatever they have in excess is often shared with the community or traded for something of equal worth. Elves do not place monetary value on objects. Objects are praised for their beauty, for their usefulness and for their power not for how much gold you can pawn it for. A common bartering system has been established where trade is based on equivalent exchange. Production of goods for the community is based on providing for the masses instead of mainstream capitalism which is often seen in human societies. An elvish household is always capable of sustaining itself since large families own land and engage in farming and raising livestock.
Not everyone can be the best farmer, weaponmaker, armourmaker or tailor and so there are a few elves who specialise in such jobs to provide for their brethren.
Objects of value include metals, jewellery, books, tools, fine fabrics, weapons and basically anything that an elf could need. Crystals have become the most useful of objects next to metals. An elf could do almost anything with crystals: you could store a library's worth of knowledge in them or store memories, music or use it to simulate spells, draw up blueprints for ships, buildings, bridges. Someday, a separate article will be made to further explain its concepts.
Power comes with wisdom and old age. As a result the elders are often the governing figures of an elvish society. Both Altamira and Asrai have monarchs who rule over their specific species but they take guidance and counsel from the elders who have seen much and lived to the end of the worlds. Elves do not need much guidance or governance and the only thing setting apart the royalty and common elves is the high amount of respect given to the former. Land is divided among the great elvish households after which there isn't much division since Elves tend to live in closely knit families. The monarchs are offered the commoner's fealty and it isn't mandatory for an elf to join the military forces; this decision is entirely voluntary and many an Elf may choose this path to serve his people and his lands. The monarchs act as the righteous upholders of their elvish ideals and the driving force of the kingdoms; decisions regarding war, trade, acceptance of other races as well as management of manpower and resources lay upon their shoulders. If a monarch is unable, they are stripped of power and this power is given to someone who is able to honour the crown though this has never happened in their history and shall never take place. It is a monarch's duty to elect an heir who will honour the throne and live up to the expectations of his/her people. Often the monarch also wields great magickal power since the royal lines stem from great wizards and witches; this power is also a source for the people's respect.
Social status is non-existent since Elves tend to live in large families; a person's rank in a family will depend on their relation to the house elder though rank may be synonymous with responsibility and duties.
Family Life & Education:
"The Elves view the sexual act as extremely special and intimate, for it leads to the conception and birth of children. Extra-marital and premarital sex are unthinkable—indeed, the Elves would regard them as contradictions in terms. Because adultery is also unheard of and fidelity between spouses is absolute, spouses can sometimes live separately for extended periods of time. However, a sundering during pregnancy or during the early years of parenthood (caused by war, for example) is so grievous to the couple that they prefer to have children in peaceful times.
Elves have few children, as a rule, and there are relatively sizable intervals between each child. They are soon preoccupied with other pleasures; their libido wanes and they focus their interests elsewhere, such as the arts. Nonetheless, they take great delight in the union of love, and they cherish the days of bearing and raising children as the happiest times of their lives." - Tolkien
Children are taught basic survival skills and self-discipline from the age where they develop an understanding of the world around them. They are taught how to hunt, forage and scavenge, how to fight, how to climb, how to swim, how to ride, how to craft basic weapons and clothes and how to take care of themselves in the wild. They are taught these things by their parents, brothers, sisters or kinsmen in their respective households. Children are their greatest treasure and they take much delight in teaching them their ways. Once a child has reached the age of ten (in human years) they attend special schools where they are taught their basic knowledge in magick, weaponwielding, academics and the arts. This form of training continues till the age of one hundred where they graduate from their schools and pursue knowledge in the fields which strike their fancy. Of course these younger years are not solely for the pursuit of knowledge. From one hundred to two hundred years, the elven children are the most capricious and may be a handful for any household. Once mature at the age of two hundred, these young adults may choose a spouse and have children of their own. Contact between their families is never severed and children learn important life lessons and skills from their elders which will aid them in becoming better parents for their children. Two hundred is also the legal age for an elf to offer his or her services to the kingdom and its military. Separation between parents and children is shortlived since they percieve the passage of time differently than humans do. Often parents will weigh their children more over the kingdom and will wait till they reach the age of fifty before being separated.
Culture & Arts:
Arts: Elves tend to appreciate the importance of music, singing, dancing, painting, sculpting and story-telling more than the other races. These forms of expression are very pleasing to the Elves since it is both a method of satisfying their senses as well as putting their creative energies to use. Their language is beautiful and pleasing to the ears hence why they sing and dance and play music. They find themselves and the world around them beautiful hence why they draw and sculpt. Their rich history is filled with tales of bravery, virtue and grief hence why they share stories and tell them to their young.
Altruism: Altruism is a major part of their culture for it harbours good will within their society. An Elf will strive to help his brethren or any creature for that matter without the need of a reward or compensation.
Gender equality: Males and females are treated in the same manner without any special priviledges or any prejudices regarding sex. It has been shown in their past that mothers are just as capable of protecting their children as fathers are and female warriors and practioners of magick are just as powerful as their male counterparts. Women are also able to rule entire kingdoms as shown by Christable who ruled Altamira after her husband's death.
The Ash & The Mist: The Ash and the Mist have become two of the greatest symbols of the Elves and has become part of their identity which is well-recognised by the other races. The Ash stems from the bombings of Novgorod and Athel Loren which killed millions of their brethren. When those who escaped returned, they found only the ashes of the fallen. The Elves who were present smeared this ash upon their faces and swore an oath to punish the humans for their atrocities. Then they solemnly turned and disappeared into the wilderness. The Ash acts as the mark of a warrior going into battle, which the Elves believe is blessed by the fallen and armed with their vengeance. Some warriors choose to erase this mark with their enemy's blood which is why this is a serious and ritualistic affair. Many of their foes have remarked that the Elves resemble ashen-faced ghosts and spirits on the battlefield with how swiftly and silently they attack. The Mist stems from the Elves' need to conceal themselves. The mist is cold, heavy and it reduces vision of their enemies as well as preventing some of their weapons from working. There is a perpetual mist that lingers about the Elven lands which prevents their enemies from stepping foot in their territory (at least without some courage). The Mist also acts as a shroud for their attack since the Elves prefer to remain unseen and unheard. Humans are often wary of the mist and are fearful and protective whenever a mist or fog rolls into their cities though many a times this has been due to weather conditions or the Elves sending a reminder to their foes. This keeps their enemies fearful, maintains their image and keeps them guessing.
Mercy and Wrath: Elves wield mercy and wrath with the same blade; it is the mark of a true warrior who can be wrathful and punish his enemies while being merciful when it is due. Elves believe that this prevents them from becoming savage, war-mongering creatures like their many neighbours.
Choosing a spouse: Elves have a hatred towards humans and are wary of the other races. As a result, half-elves are very rare in the current age. Half-elves with a human parent will often be scorned, however, Elves are not cruel creatures and understand the atrocities done to them by humans (rape being one) and are willing to assimilate the half-elf into their society; still, one can choose to only be an elf or a human, not something in between.
Eldarin is the old language of the Elves that is used in everyday life. It is both fluid sounding and poetic, making it seem like one is singing the lyrics to a song during casual speech. Unfortunately, most of the world can speak Eldarin and their secrets have become harder to conceal. Thyrsar is another language which they have brought back from the ashes of their civilisation and it is their secret language which they do not share with outsiders. In Thyrsar, the name of a particular object holds power over it and may be incorporated into spells to influence these objects in both positive and negative ways. In Thyrsar, the name itself is the object and the mere utterance of the name with an excercisable will can create the object, summon it or transfigure it. For example, Brisingr means "Fire" and uttering the word will create fire or set an object on fire. (Shameless stealing, I know, but it is a very good example.) Some Elves are so skilled with Thyrsar that they can influence inanimate objects such as 'asking' doors to open or rivers to 'split' and allow passage. (Another shameless yet very good example.) Some may even force others to tell the truth if they know their secret names. However, names cannot be "known"; they have to be "learned" the old fashion way like asking someone. Thyrsar names and words are not used in common speech and all everyday elvish names are in Eldarin.
An Elf may be named after his or her grandfather or grandmother or after their parents with a denomination of "second" or "third" or they may have an altogether unique name. A common trait is to have prominent vowel sounds, usually two, three or four. Their last names may be taken from the household they belong to from their paternal or maternal side. Their middle names are the most unique since they are given through a person's skill or temperament and often become their last names in everyday speech (family surnames are kept for formal occasions.) Windrunner, Stormrage, Shadowsong, Whisperwind are some common examples.
(See "Behavioural Traits" and "Culture & Arts" for more details.)
Elves do not worship Gods but they have a very strong spirituality. They believe that the universe exists in a balance; morality, emotions, elements are all in a balanced state. Often someone will try to upset this balance but it is wise to quickly restore it before it is too late. Two worlds have already ended because of upsetting this balance and they are keen on not letting it happen again.
Elves value nature because she exists in a balance and is both nurturing and harsh. She provides for them and when need be, she places obstacles and difficulties in their way. This duality has made Elves quite attached to nature as they learn many things from her. Humans however sought to defile nature and to oppose this imbalance, the Elves rose to the occasion of being her guardians. They value life in all of its forms and do not desecrate it because their elders say that taking a life will mean someday paying it back with your own. However, sacrifices are another part of their spirituality where they understand its value; for many to live someone has to die. Nothing lasts forever and death is seen as a passage into another form. If you are reborn as a human then such is your fate and is unavoidable. Each life means a new experience and a clean slate.
Adopting a balanced viewpoint means that they do not see things as strictly "good" or "bad." They weigh things with their actions, deeds, usefulness and appropriateness. If one helps another, cares for another and is virtuous then he will be rewarded by the primordial forces of the universe. The opposite is equally true. In this way they also believe in rebirth and that one's actions in their previous life will determine what form they take and what course their life will take in their next life. Being reborn as an elf means that one has done good deeds and has been rewarded and should continue to do good deeds in order to live a fruitful and joyous life. Being reborn as a human means that one has done bad deeds and will stay troubled throughout their lives with vicious worldly problems (such as worrying if your wife has been sleeping with your neighbour). Being blessed with a troubled life does not mean one should stop doing good deeds; accept this as a mistake from your previous life and continue down the righteous path. At times this may be seen as a comical effect when a clumsy elf is said to have been a human in his previous life.
The soul in itself is without worth. What gives it worth are virtue, bravery, intelligence and cunning. These are present within the mind which links the body to the soul like energy linking matter and aether. The mind exists as a stagnant energy with willpower being this energy given direction. This is why willpower encompasses all four of the cardinal pillars and is strengthened by it. If one of these pillars were to crumble or not exist, then one's willpower will also crumble beneath its own weight. The Elves believe that these four pillars should exist in a balance within everyone. Some have more of one than the other while some are lacking in one or many of them. A balanced state will create a soul empowered with one's will; a pure spirit and there is no force in the world that can corrupt it.
Immigration & Emigration:
Foreigners are treated with wariness and isolated from their society. They do not prefer other races in their midst apart from the Fae, Frost dragons and a few Efferii tribes (especially the Northern Wolves). Dark Elves, Angels and Demons are treated with a neutrality though they are never to be trusted and watched constantly for signs of betrayal. Humans, Fire dragons, Gorgons and the Undead are looked upon with either terror or revulsion. They pervert life or nature and have no regard for anything else.
- Dark Elves: The Dark Elves suggested a truce between their races which was acknowledged and has been kept ever since.
- Angels: They seem sensible and righteous enough. As long as they do not have their cravings to launch another worldwide domination to establish another "Sacred Empire," the Elves are more than happy to count them as allies.
- Demons: They are considered savage creatures akin to animals. Elves do not bother in their affairs except when hunting for resources and only then do they strike, just as a cobra would strike if you upset her nest. The fault does not lie with the cobra.
There are few Elves born and raised in the forest living in the human metropolises, often under diguises or resorting to the nightlife, mainly outcasts, spies or assasins. They are scarce and widely distributed to avoid detection. These Elves do not practise magick as it is forbidden in the cities but most often they have no bonds with a muse and must sacrifice pieces of their soul to do so.
Nevertheless, there is also a large population of Elves that were born and raised in the metropolises and have been there for many generations before the fall of the Old World. These are very assimilated and have more with similarities with human culture than elven, although they never forget their roots. Some leave the metropolises and human cities to try to find the great Elven cities, as if the leaves and the wind were calling for them to return to their origin.
Information on Key Locations and Major Elvish Houses
One of the three major elvish cities in Kyrheim. Home of magick schools, magickal practioners, moon elf houses and the moon elf royal family. It is a major moon elf stronghold (one of the only three remaining) and is warded by a spell that will only allow one to see the city if they know it is there. The city is made out of a very special tree with the seed being planted by Christable thousands of years ago in Nifredil. The tree grew tall and strong with the strength of a mountain in its roots and with its branches scraping the belly of the heavens as if supporting the weight of the sky. They built their city around this tree in a complex tower made of stone, metals and magick that rose high into the sky, nestled safely between mountains equally high. Beneath Altamira are vast caverns that stretch into icy chasms and ultimately fall into pits of flowing lava. An river flows through Altamira from the mountains of Nifel Loren that ultimately empties into Lake Cenedril.
- Major houses:
- House of Earendil I (Royal family) - The line of kings, descended from Earendil I who was the son of Christable and Oronwe, the rulers of Altamira. Earendil I was the grandson of King Isgarith, the dead king of Novgorod. Now his first son Earendil II rules Altamira after Earendil I passed on the crown with the death of his wife Elenwe and disappeared.
- House of Anandil (from Talath Dirnen) - The line of stewards of Novgorod. Sir Anandil is the Lord of Talath Dirnen, one of the six stewards of Novgorod, uncle of King Oronwe and Lord Tulan. The House of Anandil is that of the riders of Talath Dirnen, the "Howling Wolves", brave and skilled knights who protected Novgorod.
- House of Aegnor (survivors of Novgorod) - The line of stewards of Novgorod. Lord Aegnor (now deceased) was the Lord of the White City (capital of Novgorod now destroyed), the keeper of justice and the twin brother of Lord Maedhros. He was also the weaver who wove the history of Nifredil in a great tapestry that still remains in Altamira's great libraries. He was also a great teacher of magick being the most magickally gifted of the stewards; his line continues to teach magick in Altamira and most of the magickal practioners one can find will belong to this house.
- House of Turin (from Nargothrond) - The line of stewards of Novgorod. Lord Turin (now deceased) was the Lord of Nargothrond (now abandoned), the first dragon-rider and a kinsmen to Queen Christable. His mother was King Isgarith's sister making Turin Christable's first cousin and Earendil I's uncle. The House of Turin is closely related to the royal family and now serve them. This House is also fabled for its dragonbloods, Elves who are descended from Frost dragons or those who had a dragon parent.
- House of Tulan - Chieftains of the North and the proud family of Rangers who served under Lord Tulan. These Rangers were once stray elves who lacked a purpose but united under one banner to serve the lands. At first they lacked any form of relations, being Moon Elves and Wood Elves alike, but soon they intermarried and founded an elvish house. Only the elders and the young reside in Altamira while the adults serve in the military at Riv Amar. Lord Tulan has long since disappeared.
Talath Dirnen - The guarded plains and second of the Moon Elf strongholds. A major underground complex was built beneath the plains to house the riders and to cater for their training, beddings, rations and storage of weaponry, armour and treasures. The complex has been sealed with a magickal ward similar to Altamira and large metal doors that require the howling sound of a "bladesong" to open.
Taur-en-forn - The Woods of the Hunters or the Crystalline woods were once the stronghold of the Rangers. Having been abandoned to trap something within, this secret underground complex remains sealed with a ward similar to Altamira and one which requires an arrow being shot at a medallion hanging from a tree through three hundred yards by a darkwood arrow. An impossible task for anyone but a veteran Ranger.
Nargothrond - The fabled keep of the dragonriders and the third stronghold of the Moon Elves. Nargothrond is a large complex of ice, metal and stone built into a mountain's core high above the ground. It has towers that are shrouded by the icy clouds above and it has bellfries that housed the most powerful of steeds. A clear view of Lake Cenedril is seen from the towers and also a view of the ruins of the White City far towards the human lands. It's large iron doors that Turin was said to be able to open alone (otherwise it requires ten strong elves to open) are sealed with the spell similar to Altamira and requires the breathweapon of a Frost dragon or the blood of a dragonblooded elf to open.
The second of the three elvish cities in Kyrheim and the largest out of them all. Riv Amar lay on the bountiful lands of Nan-Tathren which stretches wide to the base of the mountains of Nifel Loren and down towards the threshold of the human lands. It largely consists of flora and fauna, but hidden from the human eyes lay the frontlines of the elvish military force. Ruled by King Maedhros, the Thorn of Iron and Lord of Nan-Tathren, Riv Amar is a city bustling with both magickal practioners, soldiers and commonfolk alike. The city is built into many tall oaks planted by Lord Maedhros that stretch towards the sky and dwarf mountains with their height. The city itself exists beneath the protective canopy and consists of many layers built at different levels along the trees. Cleverly designed "elevator" mechanisms and "ziplines" allow easy travel above, around and below the city. Deep beneath the ground is another enormous complex as equally large as that in the sky, made of stone and metals. This part of the city houses the mining, crafting, military sectors, science testing sections and also holds enough space to effectively house the entire population of Riv Amar for a month. Tunnels from the underground sectors stretch in all directions which act as trade routes and hubs for transportation of resources throughout the kingdom. Water is delivered to the city through great romanesque aqueducts from Lake Cenedril. Riv Amar experiences only spring, summer and autumn weathers, never winter.
- Major Houses:
- House of Maedhros - The line of king Maedhros, former steward of Novgorod, current Lord of Nan-Tathren, twin brother of Lord Aegnor (deceased) and commonly referred to as the Thorn of Iron or "Eldest" by the other stewards. King Maedros' house has given Riv Amar many powerful 'green' magick users. Through inter-marriages, there are many Wood Elves in his house and fewer Moon Elves.
- House of Falmari (assimilated the House of Niessa) - The line of stewards of Novgorod. Lady Falmari, also called the Tempest and a powerful water-magick user, was in charge of the elven naval fleets and the faction of aquatic dragon-steeds. Her way was militaristic and she despised humans and foretold that one day they would hunt her people. This came true the day Novgorod fell. She sacrificed her life and doused the flames over Novgorod. The survivors of her house were assimilated with that of her daughter's who took on her mother's ideals as penance for doubting her and believing that humans held any potential for reform.
- Lady Niessa was in charge of the northern docks and held the power of the trade between the northern kingdoms and the lands of the east and south. She once believed in the potential of humans to do good but that crumbled once she beheld the sight of Novgorod burning. Her people were traders and sailors until the humans struck their blow and they were forced to flee. Now the survivors join the greater elvish forces, consisting of agile bladedancers, excellent spearmen and powerful water-magick users.
- House of Tulan - The more able-bodied descendants of the Chieftains are found living in Riv Amar and serving in the elvish military forces. The Rangers have etched an identity for themselves among the elven society which places them as the elite of the forces. The elders retain their rituals and rites of passage which the youth are subject to if they wish to join the ranks of their forefathers. Rangers often make the journey to Altamira to visit their families but their lives are still very much nomadic about their territory.
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[ Note: An Elf's source of magick may stem from any source; by default it will stem from a regular muse if an Elf has not made a personal pact with the following sources (the Elvish Pantheon):
Evergreen (the muse of the Evergreen forests with power that is as great as a Daeva), Cenedril (the muse of Lake Cenedril who is second in power to Evergreen), Auberon (the Daeva of Earth), Oronwe (the first King of Altamira and an Ice Daeva) and Christable (the first Queen of Altamira and also an Ice Daeva.)
Becoming a mage is the first step towards learning magick since they both master elemental forms as well as weapon forms. A mage is classified based on the elements he or she uses. One-elemental, two-elemental, three-elemental and so on are common titles.
Once an individual has "graduated" from this stage they are free to pursue the more arcane forms of magick based on their preference and/or tutelage and whether they can win the favour of the aforementioned pantheon. Graduated mages are referred to as "wizards and witches." They are also able to join the military which some prefer over pursuing pure magick. The shift towards gender equality has ensured that men aren't the only warriors while women aren't the only practioners of magick.
Sorceror and sorceress are the highest titles one may bestow upon a magick user. Often this denotes a complete mastery of at least six different forms of arcane magick. Arcane magick is classified as magick without using words, books, symbols and objects of power. It is magick carried out through your will alone.
For example: sometime in his or her life an Elf may begin to realise that words, runes and symbols, books and objects of power act as "messengers" with magick being the "message." Once you have the grasp of the message, the messenger is no longer needed. Magick can happen through excercising your will alone.
Magick is simple enough for an elf-child to understand while also being complex and obscure that it baffles the most powerful of wizards. To better understand magick and to teach it to their young, the Elves have designed a training method that spans their entire lives.]
Children are the most innocent and the most magickally gifted; they are able to form bonds with muses more easily than adults because of their purity and innocence. It is during their childhood that children first begin to show signs of using magick such as setting objects on fire, tripping someone with an outgrown rock or dousing someone with a stream of water. The first step is to grasp elemental magick since this is magick's most basic form. Children learn to choose their own elements based on their personalities while some wizards have said that the elements choose the child. For example a brave and courageous child develops an affinity for the fire element but the elements work in mysterious ways and the fire element may choose a weak-willed and cowardly child to make him brave. The elements are regarded as basic philosophies which the children must master in order to progress with magick. Many Elves use multiple elements but they all start off with one. Those who pursue a single element progress more in that philosophy while those who pick multiple may find themselves overwhelmed with the elemental balance and the element's need to oppose each other.
The next step is to choose a partner. Partners are assigned based on the child's temperament and their use of element(s). A fire mage may be paired with a water mage if their elders believe that they can help each other. This "help" stems from their ability to negate, oppose and balance each other, to overcome the other person's weaknesses (and their own) while nurturing their partner's strength (as well as their own). These pairings often form deep bonds that last throughout their lives and often they result in marital bliss. Once a mage has shown his competency, he or she "graduates" and becomes either A) a wizard or witch on his or her path to study more elaborate and arcane magick or B) a soldier in the elvish alliance and a master of weapon-form magick and combat. The first path involves searching for at least one member of the Elvish Pantheon to win their favour and this may further involve performing quests or fulfilling certain requirements. This path proves to be further difficult after one has won their favour because it now involves going on a journey to see a master willing to teach them. This task may be easy or difficult based on the type of magick they wish to learn and the personality of their master. Some sorcerors may be kinsmen or brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers willing to teach them magick while some sorcerors prefer isolation than to have an inquisitve young elf poking about their laboratory.
Once a master willing to teach has been found, the Elf may spend a large period of time learning arcane magick. Learning never stops and an Elf may learn till his last breath.
The second path involves enlisting in the elvish military alliance and learning to master the wide array of weapons of elvish design. Some may choose the path of the spellbow or spellblade (which the Elves are famous for) while others may choose other weapons based on their personal choice. This lifestyle comes with its own discipline and harsh survival training as well as a nomadic lifestyle in their territory.
The use of magick came with its guidelines in the "Mages, Wizards and Sorcerors Codex." These rules are well-known and constitute the safe use of magick.
- Rule 1: You cannot create something out of nothing. You can summon something if you know where it is, you can transform it into something else and you can enlarge it or make it smaller but you cannot create something out of nothing. For example: summoning a ball of flame is easy if you use a pre-existent flame or use your mana to give rise to the flame but you cannot create it without giving up something in return.
- Rule 2: Magick is tied with emotions which is why magickal practioner's are taught to keep their emotions controlled. Often their magick may act involuntarily or in wild ways if they are troubled by negative emotions. This rule isn't strictly enforced since emotions are a natural thing and certain freedom is given regarding this.
- Rule 3: It is forbidden to use magick for any of the cardinal sins and for personal gain.
- Greed: You cannot use it to make wealth (though transfiguring metals and precious resources for the community is allowed)
- Lust: You cannot use it to slake your lust.
- Pride: You cannot use it to force others to obey you, to serve you or magnify your presence through the use of magick.
- Envy: You cannot use magick through envy. It is improper to steal things using magick though you may create something similar of your own if you can.
- Gluttony: You cannot use magick to create food. You can use magick to cook, transfigure ingredients or follow Rule 2 but you cannot create food.
- Sloth: You cannot use magick to be lethargic. Magickal practioner's prefer walking and riding to flying while they prefer to do their own work instead of using magickally created servants.
- Wrath: You cannot use magick in anger, wildness or carelessness. Anger is the enemy of reason and often one may do things out of anger that they will regret. However, see Rule 3 (since most magick users have powers that stem from emotions): magick -can- be used in anger and while feeling strong negative emotions, especially on the person that caused such emotions, but it is improper to be wrathful to someone who does not deserve it.
- Rule 4: Anything that you create will not last forever; spells are known to deteriorate over time if not fed constantly by the user. Once a mage, wizard or sorceror dies, their spells become undone. Death is regarded as the utmost destruction of one's soul; if a magick user still lingers past his death, then his spells will remain.
- Rule 5: You cannot use magick to resurrect the dead or to reanimate corpses. You -can- use it to contact spirits or bring them back from the afterlife for short periods of time but you cannot revive them. This act is against the laws of nature and often a soul may feel tortured if placed in a body not of its own or one that it has given up and may prefer death over anything else.
- Rule 6: Only the most absolute of practioners follow this rule: you cannot use magick to directly kill. You can create an inferno or a blizzard or a tsunami that will burn, freeze or drown someone but you cannot strip their soul from their body. This act may lead to the creation of a wraith or it may even backfire against the user and turn them into a wraith.
- Rule 7: The most important of rule of all is that you cannot use magick to destroy something. You can burn it, chop it, freeze it, crush it but you cannot use your will and say "Be not." Attempting to destroy something in this manner will result in the spell backfiring leading to your own annihilation. Instead of the object, you yourself will cease to exist.