In this lore entry, i will talk about some physical traits of the elves.
|ELVEN TRAITS AND APPEARANCE
This is the first lore entry i will do. Many more to follow. My reasoning behind this is to make others - and myself- comfortable with my world. I want to firmly establish the background and lore of everything in my world first before I write the story - I reason that in this way I have a more solid base to work on. Anyway, this is the first entry for the Elven lore. Many more to come!
Elves are a strange people who make the forests in central Aleth their home. While they look human for the most part, it is their ways of doing things, their power, and most of all their long, pointed ears that make them stand out from the human race. An elf usually stands about 6.5 feet tall (both female and male elves), and has long, slender limbs. Most of all though, it are the fingers of an elf that stand out: elven fingers are usually at least a centimetre or two longer than the average human finger. As said before, another peculiar trait of the elven appearance are the ears: elven ears are usually about 8 inch long, and are shaped like blades. The history behind this remarkable appearance lies in the ancient origins of the elves: the tips of elven ears are very sensitive, and are able to pick up changes in the wind quite precisely, allowing an elf to easily approach ‘prey’ from the direction the wind is blowing towards. In addition, and Elf can also sense someone approaching him or her, as the changes in the air made by an approaching object are picked up by the sensitive tips of the elven ear.
Muscles, metabolism, blood and other ‘inner’ traits
Elves are physically identical to humans, but their maximum attainable muscle mass is lower. Human muscles can grow bigger and stronger than elven muscles. However, elven muscles are strongest near the muscle chords, in this way they can, when used, create a dangerous whiplash effect through which an elf can apply great force within a single thrust of his or her arm.
In addition to having different kinds of muscles, Elves also differ from humans in their bone structure. Elves can walk very silently and move faster and have incredible reflexes. This is because their bones are partly hollow, thus allowing them to perform the feats mentioned above. As a result, however, the bones of elves are also weaker than any other bones, and thus are more susceptible to fractures and the like.
There are more inner traits Elves make their own. Elvish blood is very strong, that means to say, it constantly battles against cells and other things that should not be in the bloodstream. Think of fat tissue, diseases, clots, etc. This means that elves are nearly always vital and it takes the strongest of diseases to put them down. Furthermore, heart attacks, a common occurrence among for example goblins and humans, are practically non-existent.
The Elven metabolism is also quite effective: elves like to eat, because they are a social people. Yet the food they eat is processed quite quickly, making gaining weight nearly impossible for elves, unless they would try their very best. As far as the elves are concerned though, their metabolism is perfectly fine, as it makes them into the slim and graceful beings they are.
Because of all of these traits, elves live very long lives. The common elf usually reaches the respectable age of three-hundred and sixty years, but some live even longer. The sun kings of old were believed to be practically immortal, though each of them mysteriously died relatively young due to some unknown disease or curse, or another kind of tragedy.
Differences between elves
A last remark that needs to be made, is that the elves are a divided people, and not only because of religion. Over the years, three distinct ‘races’ of elves have developed (the origins of which will be explained in future entries). In the northern and eastern parts of the elven lands live the wood elves. Wood elves are quicker and faster than their other kindred, are a bit darker of skin and usually have green or brown eyes and blonde or brown hair. They are also usually a bit shorter than other elves, most standing around 6 feet tall. Wood elves also seem to have a deeper connection with the mysterious powers of nature than all the other elves, and are by far the more savage and tribal of their kin.
In the southern and central parts of the elven lands there live the sun elves, who are by far the most ‘civilized’ of the three races. Sun elves are the tallest elves, some reaching a respectable length of 6.7 feet. Sun elves are also stronger and tougher than the other two races of elves. They mostly fulfil the posts of statesmen and warriors. They are fair of skin and most have blonde or red hair, and their eyes sometimes have an amber colour.
Lastly we have the elves that make the western parts of the elven land their homes, the shores and cliffs of the kingdom. They are the moon elves, and they are by far the most spiritual and magically gifted of their kind. Moon elves are instantly recognizable by their pale skin and their strange, almond shaped eyes and seemingly otherworldly faces. Most moon elves have brown, bright-blond and sometimes even white hair. Black hair is also possible, but that occurrence is rare – black hair is not a common trait in the elven DNA. Moon elves are the only elves known to have produced seers – mages that can see into the future – just like the wood elves are the only elves to have ever produced druids, powerful beings that seem more attached to the world of nature than to the world of the civilized folk.
Elves have one trait that makes them stand out in particular: they are beings who are intimately linked with magic. Magic is a force that is everywhere in the world of Aleth, in every living thing or lifeless object, be it plants, humans, rocks, or simply bones. For a being to be able to use magic, the presence of magic within the creature/being must be great enough. If it is not, the being is not able to command magic – it can feel it, but otherwise possesses no notable resistance to it nor aptitude for it. Examples of this can be found easily: humans, goblins, orcs, dwarves and Shitani are all races where the majority of its kind cannot use magic in any way.
All Elves, from the lowliest slum-dweller (though this is not common) to the richest of nobles, have at least a large enough ‘reservoir’ of magic within them to be able to cast the most basic of spells and preform the basest tricks, such as summon small sparks to light a fire, enhance their strength for a short while, calm animals, etc. Some elves, however, are born with a very strong presence of magic within them: these elves can become very powerful since they can command the strongest elements of magic (and magic is a fickle substance). These elves can go on to become mages – since only with the right training can these elves control their powers and use them safely and wisely.
It seems strange to start with this subject right after the principles of magic among elvenkind, but in truth, the two are closely linked. Elves reproduce the same way as humans do: thus this requires no further explanation. However, things start to differ after fertilization. Where a human woman carries a child in her womb for about 9 months before she gives birth, an elven woman carries a child (or more, though this is very rare) for at least one and a half year. This is because an elven child needs to develop an innate bond with his/her parents. It is thus also of the utmost importance that the father stays in close proximity with the mother at all times, to better develop the link between parent and child. It is because of this there is, sadly, a relatively high percentage of misscarrieges among elves, for no one can predict what could come between the mother and the father, and accidents can always happen. In addition to the bond between the child and its parents, the bond between the child and the realms of magic must also develop, and this is no run-of-the-mill process. This is thus also partly why the elven reproduction process takes so long.
To explain more about the bond between parents and child: all elves share a bond with one another, even when they are not family. An elf instinctively knows when others of his kind are nearby, and if the bond between individuals is very strong, they can even communicate via thoughts alone. How this bond exactly works, not even the elves know, but there is a good chance that magic is involved one way or the other.