The Lands under Shadow
The elves refer to themselves as Tel’Quessir, meaning “The People”, which indicates the high opinion they have long held of their culture and history. Other peoples may not have such a high opinion, but the elvish civilisation goes back tens of thousands of years and they are credited with the discovery and formulation of magic. As men have become more powerful, many elven nations have yielded and gone into Retreat in the west; the elves of the Elven Court began to join them two decades ago.
Elves are of human height, but much more slender. Their fingers and hands are half as long again as those of men, and delicately tapered, and their bones are surprisingly light and sturdy. Elven faces are thinner and more serene, and their ears are pointed. No elf is capable of growing a beard or moustache.
The Cormanthyri elves were primarily Moon Elves, the subrace most friendly to outsiders (N’Tel’Quess). Moon Elves have pale, almost white skin, with silver-white, black or silver-blue hair and blue or green eyes with gold flecks in the irises.
Sun Elves, bronze-skinned, with copper, black or blonde hair and golden, silver or black eyes, are much rarer. While highly intelligent, especially in the ways of magic, they remain aloof from most other races.
Wild or Wood Elves are occasionally seen in the Forest, but shy away from most contact with humans. They have copper-coloured skin with a greenish tint, hair in shades of brown and green or brown eyes. Their archery skills are legendary.
The drow, or Dark Elves, cast a long shadow over the region, having ruled the lands that became Shadowdale with an iron fist for millennia before the coming of man. Every child knows and fears their appearance: near pitch black skin, violet or amber eyes and stark white hair. Legend says they are powerful users of magic and fearsome warriors but cannot stand the light of the sun.
Half-elves are fairly common around the Dales, which is not surprising after over a thousand years of trade between the two races. They come in many different hues and as many different personalities. They do tend to follow nomadic paths, finding it difficult to settle in any one place for long.