Life Expectancy: 1900-2400 years Homeland: Great Tal, Soteri Average Height: 4' (121cm) - 5'9 (174cm) Average Weight: 95 - 150 pounds Preferred Classes: Varies by sub-species. Classes this race can be: Any Preferred Alignment: Varies by sub-species from Good to Chaotic Preferred Weapons: Bow, sword, spear Aggression Level: Varies by sub-species from low to moderate Intelligence Level: Superb Magic Rating: High Strength Rating: Moderate Weak Against: varies by sub-species; Dark magic or Light magic Strong Against: Poison, varies by sub-species; Dark magic or Light magic Related Races: None Allied Races: varies by subspecies Enemy Races: None
- High Elf: High Elves are usually taller than their lowborne counterparts, with slim, regal builds and an air of impassiveness. United into the Astaldo Coalition, the highborne families govern the various townships and villages that form the civilised Kingdom of Tal. High Elves are deeply intellectual, and seem to possess an almost fetishistic fascination with philosophy and the science of magic - many aristocratic sons are schooled as magi or scholars. They are also prone to arrogance, seeing themselves as the pinnacle of nobility upon Tal, and often considering the troubles of others to exist beneath their notice. However, they are generally keen to flaunt their delusions of grace with acts of benevolence and most ruling families are reputed to govern wisely and fairly.
- Low Elf: The most common type of Elf, they form the citizenry of Tal. The lowborne are a varied lot, but most will come across as hard-working, content and quick-witted. Low Elves are commonly artisans, as the main labour and craftman force of the Kingdom of Tal, but some will take better to use of a sword and take up a militia post. Fewer will find themselves apprenticed to highborne mages, and trained in the science of magic. Adventuring is a common dream of the lowborne youth, but few ever manage to detatch themselves from the isle and make it overseas. Despite what the name implies there exists a number of Low Elves who acquire wealth and status as cunning merchants, or valiant swordsmen.
- Wood Elf: These elves inhabit the lush forests of Great Tal, living in tribal collectives united into a larger enclave. They are slightly smaller than the lowbornes, though considerably more acrobatic. Generations of living off the woods has sharpened their senses to help better immerse themselves with their woodland home, and wood-elf archers are reputed throughout the Isles for their swiftness and accuracy. Though they live barbarically (in comparison to the elves of the Kingdom of Tal) they are typically very serene beings, attentive to their surroundings and welcoming of travellers. Some live renegade from the enclave, occasionally banding into groups to attack lowborne caravans passing through the woods.
- Deep Elf: The Deep Elves are a faction of High Elves that opted not to be a part of the Astaldo Coalition that established a dominion over the kingdom of Tal. Driven apart by deep differences in philosophy, and tending toward a less balanced and more chaotic alignment, the Deep Elves left Tal altogether, choosing to settle on the less hospitable and desolate island of Soteri. While retaining may of the genetic similarities of their High Born kin, the isolation from any mediating influence on their society resulted in the evolution of a unique and much darker culture and world view. The Deep Elves are wed to Chaos, and where there is trouble, one is likely to find a member of their kind its root cause, or otherwise involved.
Note: Details of the Deep Elf race and society can be found at the jump. Their differences from Tallian elves are significant enough to warrant a subrace page.
Though almost universally slimmer and more deft than humans, elves have few unifying features. They are fair skinned though tan quickly in strong sunlight, mostly pale haired but darker hues are not uncommon, with pointed jaws and high cheek-bones, making their faces look sharp and elegant. Each elf bares a pair of ears only a touch longer than a human's, topped with a clear and defined point. High-borns are tall and imposing, but tree-borns scarsely match them - average human height is considered tall for a wood-elf. Elves are also blessed with quick metabolisms, ensuring their forms remain slim and making them difficult to poison.
- High Elf: High elves are haughty, dignified and disdainful. What matters is the matters of the Astaldo Coalition, and everything beyond is but a worldly reaction to their regal whims. This is not to say that they begrudge other forms of sentience - they are just as capable of compassion as any other race and most will happily align themselves to a good cause, if only to justify internal feelings of superiority. But whether a high-born looks disdainfully down upon the world or empathises with the difficulties of other species, all are unified in one concrete assertion: the High-Elf is the perfect being, and above all others that walk the land.
- Low Elf: Born and raised everywhere from city slums to backwater farmsteads to affluent townships, encompassing every social standing from diseased beggars to influential merchant-barons, low-elves are a diverse and varied lot. Their frame-of-mind is determined largely by upbringing and education, with few unifying factors. Some are modest, humble and happy with their lot in life, some are ambitious and daring. Some are friendly, kind and welcoming, yet others are greedy and malicious. You can predict a lowborne's disposition no better than you can predict a human's.
- Wood Elf: A wood-elf is an aloof being, distant and enigmatic. As nature is a thing of apathetic perseverence so are the tree-borne, seemingly unaffected by pain and loss. If a wood-elf exhibits a display of emotion in your presence you can be assured of great familiarity. Although they may seem blank and uncaring tree-borne are quick to feel compassion for all the things of the earth and are known to make loyal travelling companions. They are also astoundingly resourceful individuals, living as they do off the land, with an almost innate knowledge of flowers and herbs. It is rumoured that a tree-born can identify the properties and uses of an unknown plant by smell alone.
Across Great Tal are many villages, farmsteads, hamlets, hobbit shires, garrison and merchant towns, and in the north a single elegant capital citadel. All elven marks of civilization on the island are ruled over by the Astaldo Coalition, and bound into the Kingdom of Tal. The tree born wood elves and their communal forest communities do not fall under the authority of the Kingdom, nor do the forest dwelling societies of other races who call the island home.
Kingdom of Tal: The Kingdom considers itself a democratic nation, divided into counties which usually comprise a capital township and a collection of smaller settlements, governed by whichever highborne family holds sway in that particular part of the kingdom. A Tallian Crown, an ornate, silver coin two inches in diameter, is backed by land, making it worth thrice that of the average gold piece - for this reason most trade is composed literally of goods and services, and businesses rely heavily on government provisions. Consequently the Astaldo Coalition is a sprawling bureaucratic mass, which enables each high-borne family to retain some political power, no matter how small. A recent census revealed that each county has an average of seven finance ministers, which sharply inclined the closer one moved to the Kingdom's capital.
- The Kingdom does not maintain a national military force, but rather leaves each county to establish its own independent militia. A typical Tallian militia is comprised of lowborne archers and foot-soldiers, backed by elite high-borne spell-blades and wizard-captains. Specialities are widespread, cavalry units more common in plains-counties than near the cities, and those overlapping with forest areas may make pact with enclave forest-elves for provision of fine bows and expert archery training. When the security of the larger Kingdom is threatened, however, one would be surprised at how quickly these separate forces can band into an army worth reckoning with.
- There are those lowbornes who make their lives from the sea. Born in the port towns that capitalize those counties that border the ocean, these 'seaborne' elves take naturally to the sea, having lived by, seen, played in and profited from the ocean all their lives. Naval trade is common up and down the coast of Great Tal. Ships are typically owned by the Astaldo Coalition, who contract captains for trade journeys, exploration, or the plundering of Deep Elf (otherwise known as 'ne'er-borne') vessels.