NEPA Known World
Elves are slender and graceful. They stand between 5 and 5 1/2 feet tall and weigh around 120 pounds. They have delicate features and pointed ears. They have slightly pointed teeth and their eyes reflect light like the eyes of a cat. Facial hair is rare at a young age, but very old elves grow long beards. Elves live between 600 and 800 years old. Very few have live to be 1000 years old; and more have died of disease or violent deaths before their 600th birthday. Elves take 20 years to grow to full size, then have a free-spirited “adolescence” of about 80 years. During this time, an elf chooses one of three paths to walk in his or her future life.
- The Forest Path – Most young elves live in their homeland all their life. They learn the ways of the forest and have no interest in the lands outside it. Their lifestyle is one of endless hunting, gathering, crafting and playing.
- The Wanderer’s Path – Some elves feel the need to affect their world. Some are drawn outside and venture into the lands of humans and other races. They are said to have chosen the Wanderer’s Path. These, called Wanderers are honored as heroes, but also disdained by forest elves who do not understand them. After a century or so wandering they usually return to the forest and settle down.
- The Leader’s Path – This third path is the one that leads to the positions of Clanmaster and Treekeeper. They usually chose the forest path or the path of the wanderer first, but study the secrets of the elves as they go and eventually assume positions of high importance in Elven society.
Elves in Mystara developed their first civilization upon their skills with magic and combat. Elves learn magic easily and all elves know at least some magic. As a result, nearly all elves on Mystara are multi-class fighters and magicusers. Some clans place more emphasis on spellcraft (such as the Longrunner clan in Alfheim), and others place more emphasis on martial training (like the Red Arrow clan). Additionally, when Ilsundal became an Immortal, he was able to grant clerical magic to elves who followed his way. Yet, instead of creating a separate class, he used his power to expand upon the native Elven magic skills of those who followed his way. His priests are both magic users and clerics and are known as Treekeepers.
Alfheim Elves – These are the most common Elves encountered. Alfheim elves are descendants of the Sylvan elves who are named after their legendary homeland, the Sylvan Realm. Sylvan elves have either pale blond hair and blue eyes, or dark hair and intense green eyes. A few clans have red hair, and grey is also not unheard of. Unlike all other Elven races, sylvan elves can grow moustaches and beards. There are seven major Alfheim clans: Chossum, Erendyl, Feadil, Grundalf, Longrunners, Mealidil, Red Arrow.
Wendar Elves – The climate, the wild land and the wilder monsters living here have toughened these elves and they are somewhat fiercer and braver than their Alfheim cousins. The elves, who have been dwelling here for a longer time, are no less tough than their human countrymen. Wendar elves have hair that is yellow or coppery red and they are taller and more muscular than other elves with hazel or brown eyes.
Vyalia Elves – The Vyalia elves have pale skin and deep green eyes. Their symbol is an oak tree set with stars. The Vyalia elves occupy the Dymrak forest that covers a space stretching over the borders of Karameikos and Thyatis. There are five major Vyalia clans; Blueleaf, Diamarak, Etherdyl, Greenheight, Hierdyl and Treeshield.
Callarii Elves – The Callarii have very pale hair (blonde to white) and blue eyes. The Callarii wear tunics or robes decorated with leaf patterns. They are neutral toward humans in general but become fast friends with humans who demonstrate honor and humor. The Callarii are favorably disposed to Duke Stefan and the Duke has a guard unit entirely composed of Callarii elves. The Callarii’s main interests are river boating, hunting, riding, horse trading and foresting. The Callarii live in small villages of up to 200 elves spread throughout the Radlebb woods in Karameikos.
Shadow Elves – No one has ever seen a Shadow Elf so they are thought to be mere legends. Descriptions of their physical coloring range from jet black/blue with white hair to pale white with coal black hair. It is likely that true Shadow Elves do not exist and are stories told by Elven parents to scare their children.
Other Elves in the Known World – Sylvan Elves are scattered throughout the continents of Brun and Davania, and almost all the Elven clans found in the Old World and the Savage Coast are sylvan elves. Sylvan elves prefer asimple life and live high up in the trees of many forests. Some clans have different attitudes, however. The Belcadiz of Glantri enjoy prestige, reputation and living in human-styled houses, while the Meditor and Verdier elves of Minrothad love money and are renowned sailors. The sylvan elves of the Savage Coast have actually abandoned all Elven ways and adopted the lifestyles of the nations they live in.
Elven Name Examples
Elven names tend to sound Celtic or Norse, such as Leadyl, Dylen, Feadiel, Thalaric, Quillan, etc. Some elves have last names that match that of their clan or family name, while others have last names such as Elm-Grower, Oaktree and Wildflower.