2012-08-03

The Elves of Jorth

This post begins a series where we will look at the races of Jorth in a little more detail.  We will start with the Elves.

Elves are an ascendant race in Jorth.  The oldest tales among the Elves recount the Faded Years, when their life spans were shortening, and they had lost their intimate touch with nature.  In the past few thousand years, Elves are once again becoming nearly immortal (the oldest living Elf is nearly 1200 years old, and shows no signs of age or infirmity).  There are two distinct groups of Elves living in the world, the Gray Elves and the Green Elves.  The Gray Elves are the most common type of Elf.  They are noble in bearing, great in wisdom and intelligence, love the spoken word, music, and nature.  The great Elven Kingdoms in the far west are governed by Gray Elves.  Gray Elves are masters of all manner of knowledge and lore, and have preserved some tales of the Elder Days, before the Burning Plagues wiped the lands clean of the ancient cities of Men.  The Elves know that in the days of the ancient Men they were a faded race, relegated to woodlands and wild places, and never wish to return to that life.  The Gray Elves use their own language in everyday speech, but they delight in all forms of language, and most Elves are fluent in at least one other language (most likely the Common Tongue of Men).  The Gray Elves conduct solemn ceremonies in High Elven, the language of the High Elves, who have joined with the Spirits of the world.

Green Elves are less sophisticated than Gray Elves, and are found in small family groups deep in the forest.  Green Elves distrust Men, Dwarves and Halflings.  They have cordial relations with Gray Elves, providing that the Gray Elves let the Green Elves live free and unfettered in the woods of the world.  Green Elves that live within the confines of a Gray Elven realm will respect the King or Lord, and will not work against him, as long as they are allowed to live their traditional semi nomadic life in the forest.  Green Elves usually speak Elvish, with some smattering of Common or another language.  Marriage between Gray and Green Elves is not unheard of, but is uncommon.  Usually the Green Elf spouse will go to live with the Gray, leaving the forest behind.

Both types of Elves worship the Creator, and venerate the Spirits.  Elven Clerics are rare, and usually are Elves who have taken up worship of the gods after the Human fashion.  The Elves believe in the same Creator that the majority of Humans do, and they honor the Gods, but feel much more connected to the spirits of the world, especially the wild places.  The spiritual needs of Elves are most often met by Shamans and Druids.

Elves are equally excellent with both sword and bow, and are the sworn enemies of Orcs, Trolls, and vile creatures of all sorts and types.  Elven Fighters, Rangers and Rogues are common, other martial types less so.  Barbarians, Paladins, and Monks are rare enough among the Elven people to be almost unheard of.  Those that are found are likely to have left their ancient lands as exiles, and thrown their lot in with a Human people.

As their power returns, strengthening with each generation, the Elves are beginning to discover new or forgotten talents.  Various arcane spellcasters are common among the Elves, Wizards and Sorcerers being most common.  The predominant Bloodlines for Elven Sorcerers are:  Arcane, Celestial, Destined, and Fey (the most common).