- "A'varay." is the common Elvish greeting, generally followed by an honorific to identify who is being greeted:
A'varay i'Nolar. "Greetings to one of the Grey Elves." or
A'varay en'Telnari. "Greetings, Lady of the High Elves."
Varay'an. "I greet you as well." when answering a greeting or when echoing someone else's.
- This makes the Elven Mage a formidable character for role-playing. An Experienced Character with Elven Abilities(1) and Mage Adept(3) - 4 selections - has spell-casting ability at Power Level 4, Heroic Agility, enhanced senses and Mindspeak.
- The current Avaya is believed to be nearly 1000 years old. She has witnessed the rise of human civilization in the North and the slow decline of her people across Mythandar. Renowned for her wisdom and divine Power, she is one of the most ancient and important personages in Mythandar.
The Elves are one of the major races of Mythandar, far older than mankind. In ancient Imperial records, they were referred to as the Elder Race and characterized as wise, graceful and Powerful. Physically, they are nearly as tall as humans, but more slim and agile, with super-humanly keen senses and a natural talent for magic. They have the traditional characteristics – narrow features, almond-shaped eyes and pointed ears. Unlike men, the elves are fundamentally good in nature. Cruelty, greed and violence are foreign to them, though they are formidable fighters and quite capable of killing in defence of themselves or their lands.
Elves live for hundreds of years, maturing slowly and remaining in their prime for at least a century. The oldest surviving High Elves in Mythandar are a thousand years old. They reproduce slowly and tend to have few children, making disaster and warfare more devastating to their populations.
High Elves (Telari) are tall, blonde and blue or green-eyed, known for their
beauty and intelligence. They are the nobility of elven kind and are deferred to
by other elves in councils and in the decisions that effect all of the Elder Race.
The greatest and oldest elven lords in Mythandar are High Elves and High
Lady Aravel, in Wildewood, is the acknowledged ruler of the Elves of the West.
Grey Elves (Nolari) have midnight black hair, very pale skin, and gray or pale
blue eyes. They are more open and adventurous than High Elves and most
often found living or traveling among humans. In the councils of the Elder
Race, Grey Elves are often deferred to regarding the motivations of men.
Eastern Elves (Solnari) dwell in the distant, Mysterious East and have little or no
contact with their western kin. They are said to have reddish or auburn hair
and green eyes. The Solnari are legendary for their reclusiveness, guarding their isolated mountain homeland, the Golden Vale, against any intrusion by humans and even other elves.
Drow (n'ur), or the Lost Ones, are an offshoot of the Elder Race who were corrupted
by evil long ago and went underground. They have black skin, white hair and
pale eyes and an intolerance for sunlight. Unlike "true" elves, drow
are utterly evil, cruel and violent in nature. They bear a vicious hatred for other elves, whom they blame for driving them from the surface world. In turn, drow
are regarded as an abomination and ruthelessly hunted down and destroyed
by their surface kin.
Half-Elves (Inari) are rare (the odds of an elf and human conceiving are poor under the best conditions). Most can pass for human, except for the pointed ears and slim physique. They are smaller than the average human of the same age and gender, physically weaker but more agile. Commonly discriminated against in both elven and human society, they are often outcasts and wanderers. As hybrids, half-elves are unable to produce children.
Dark Elves is a misnomer often applied (by men) to the drow. In reality, a Dark Elf is one of the Elder Race who has been corrupted by greed or magic power and turned to evil. Such elves are renegades and outcasts from elven society. They are pursued by their own kind with even more zeal than the drow.
Sea Elves are a popular myth among seafarers - a race of green-skinned, web-fingered, water breathing elves who live in fabulous underwater cities. There is no evidence that there are or ever have been aquatic elves in Mythandar.
ELVEN & HALF-ELVEN CHARACTERS
The elves are, in many ways, superior to humans. Though not as physically strong, they are quicker and more graceful, very intelligent, and possess innate magical abilities. Elven warriors rely on skill and speed rather than brute force, and are renowned as expert archers and sword-fighters.
Drow have the same abilities and restrictions, though they tend to focus more on magic Power than combat skills.
THE ELVEN MAGE
Elves do not generally practice the Magic Arts as do humans. Wary of the perils, they remember all too well that it was the seduction of Power that drew the Lost Ones to evil. By their very nature, elves are more adept at magic. This also makes them more vulnerable to its misuse. However, there are a few elves who dare to delve into magic lore and practice it for the sake of good. This is a dangerous course for an elf, and elven (and half-elven) mages are regarded as reckless and less than trustworthy by their kin.
For drow, there are no such taboos. The Lost Ones secumbed to temptation long ago and many of them vigorously practice the deepest and darkest aspects of magic.
Elven mages (by selecting a Mage Ability from the ABILITY LIST), have the same abilities as human mages, in addition to their innate abilities. Note that Power Levels are combined - the Character recieves the Power Level for Elven Abilities and Mage ability, added together.
As a people, the elves overwhelmingly stand on the side of good. However, they do not engage in god-worship in the manner of humans and other races. They do revere the Great Mother and respect the beliefs of those who worship good deities, but they have no priestly orders nor do they maintain temples and shrines. Their ceremonies are simple, nature-oriented affairs conducted in forest depths, celebrating the coming of Spring, the birth of children, or the passing of an elder. Avalonde is the place of the elven afterlife in the Celestial Realm (and evidently linked to other worlds beyond Mythandar), a place of light and peace, forever green, without the strife, pain and loss of mortal existance.
At any time in the history of the Elder Race, there is a single individual who serves as their spiritual leader. She is the Avaya, the Oracle of the Great Mother Herself who dwells deep in the heart of ancient Talquanos. The Avayar are the only elves who possess priestly powers (as High Priestesses). With the passing of each Oracle, another is chosen from among the eldest and wisest. Always female, this individual gives up her former life, whatever her station, and becomes the sole intercessor for her people to the Great Mother.
The Elves believe they came from Avalonde in the First Age, when the world was open, pristine and peaceful. Long before men rose from barbarism, forged metal, developed writing, founded kingdoms, and learned to work magic, elves held vast realms across the world. Their homelands were the primeval forests of Mythandar - from the wooded hills of the West to the alpine valleys of the distant East. For millenia, they dwelled in relative peace with only occasional conflicts with the dark and evil creatures of the world - particularly the orcs who were spawned by an ancient Dark Lord. This shadowy enemy hated the elves for their beauty, grace and talents, fostered divisions among them and sought to wipe them from the face of Mythandar on several occasions. It was he, through his servants, who seduced some of the elves and corrupted them, creating the evil offshoot of the elven race - the Drow.
As men began to spread across the world, they came into conflict with the "Elder Race," who they feared and mistrusted for their superiority and strangeness. Though the lives of men are far shorter than those of elves, they reproduce much faster. Yet, it's said that one elven warrior was worth ten screaming, bronze-clad barbarians in battle, and with their superior talents and magic, the elves were faced with a choice - victory through mass slaughter or slow defeat by attrition. They chose neither. At the Last Council of High Eald, the lords of elven kind agreed to relinquish much of their former lands and withdraw into isolation. By the time of the Empire of the Inner Sea, there were only four elven realms left - Noldoth along the northwestern coast, Ealdas south of the Dragonspine Mountains, Talquanos north of the Inner Sea, and the Golden Vale in the distant East. With the rise of the Kothic kingdom of Anglamar, Noldoth faded away (leaving only the Elderwood as an empty reminder) and ancient Ealdas fell to orcish invasion in 1340 IR. Now, Talquanos (its western extent called Wildewood by men) stands as the last homeland of the Elves in western Mythandar.