Elves

The Elves are both the best loved and the worst loved of the Fae. Gracefull, ellegant, eloquent and powerful, the elves are to many humans the ideal being. But to many more they are not to be trusted. The code that binds them and is their greatest strength is also one of their greatest weaknesses. Humans distrust them because of their adherance to this code. The feel that they will willingly betray human allies to save an Elven enemy. However the other races seek out elves for their abilities with magic and their gifted and graceful artworks and finely made crafts.

Birth and Childhood

Bedtime Elven code

Do not sing of these words as a sorrowed ode.
Be taught by these verses child, obey your code.

Not unseen as the briar licks your brother.
But intervene the blade upon your mother.

The falls of misfortune will not trip you.
The halls of kin welcome til trouble is though.

No broken oaths or promises by young or old
All spoken truths to elf and nothing from Fairy withold.

Uphold desire to live with elegance, wisdom and grace,
And inspire your kindred of fur, horn, tusk, tail and bearded face.

Now sleep well my child the day is old and you are young.
Dream deep of tomorrow and what is to come as my song is sung.

Elves of both genders have generally a very low fertility rate and elven women are only able to bear children for about two to three hundred years, thus a birth among the elves is always cause for a great celebration. Although extremely rare, births of twins are considered to be a blessing of the Faerie on the family, and the twins will be considered to be especially lucky for the rest of their lives.

Regardless of financial means or position in society, an elven family will throw as grand a party as their means will allow, inviting all other elves in the community, as well as any other close non-elven friends, neighbors, business associates etc. etc. etc. Traditionally any attendant elves will always bring rich and varied gifts for the child, and at this same celebration another elven family is chosen who will be parents for the child should anything inadvertent and permanent happen to child’s parents.

In elven societies, elves are considered to be children until their early 20’s and are treated as such, rarely allowed to leave the family home, and then never without the presence of an elder.

Love and Marrage

Due to their extremely long life spans, elves may spend several decades in elaborate courtship rituals, frequently marrying for feelings of mutual companionship and friendship, rather than passionate love. This is not to say that there are no elven partnerships based in love, but that elves realize that even the greatest passion wanes over the centuries and the years are more pleasantly passed with someone who can share a pleasant conversation with you. Likewise its not uncommon for elves to be joined in arranged marriages, or marriages of political or social convenience, provided of course, that the prospective bride and groom agree. It’s not uncommon for elven couples to spend several centuries apart, pursuing their own hobbies and interests, especially if there are no young children requiring immediate care. This is not to say that there is no mutual affection between the two, or that their ultimate reunions would be anything but warm.

Death and Burial

Death, although fairly uncommon in elven societies does occasionally take place. Because most elves believe that those elves who have chosen to not return from the Lands of the Dead return to dwell amongst the Faerie, elven funerals are not sad and morbid affairs. Rather they are stately, elegant occasions that allow friends and family to pay their final respects to their loved ones on this side of the veil.

As in birth, it’s not uncommon for rich gifts to be brought to honour the deceased, but in this case the gifts are retained by the family following the funeral pyre.

How Elves Age

Elves have much longer life spans than humans or other fey. An average elf, unless prematurely killed can easily live to a ripe old age of 600-700 years. Their physical aging is also quite different. Aside from the elves’ considerably longer life spans, their physical aging is also quite different. At some point during their lifetime, elves appear to stop physically aging. Only another elf, or an expert on the signs of aging would be able to distinguish the subtle signs that differentiate an elf of one age from an elf of another. An elf would have to be very young in order to appear youthful to the non-elven eye – elves of such a young age are simply not allowed to leave their homes – or alternatively very old, in order to appear so. Two elves that appear to be similar in ages might in reality be centuries apart. An elf that is in his or her mid 500’s might begin to go gray, though it’s not uncommon for elves to gray early, either through a common practice of powerful magic, or through a deeply traumatic experience. By the time they are 600 or so they would appear to be in the early 80’s. Very few elves that live as long as 700 years, manage to avoid senility.


Politics

In Elven society there is usually a Council of Elders. This Council will usually handle all disputes involving land, the township’s treasury and taxes, the repair, maintenance and building of roads and public buildings, etc. but only in a predominantly Elven Township. In a non-Elven dominant township the Council of Elders are usually only responsible for acting as a jury when an Elf is accused of a crime. In many townships a Council will include other fey and occasionally humans depending on the majority of races in the area. The Council of Elders consists of an odd number of members at all times as to never have a tie vote and is usually led by a chair chosen by popular vote of the members of the Council. The members are voted in by the township and usually keep their post until death. Any member of the Council of Elders can only be removed from their position of their own choice or unanimous vote of the other council members (this usually only happens in the cases of senility). Any Elf can ask that the council be brought together to discuss a problem or to suggest something for the betterment of the township. If a member of the Council of Elders is accused of a crime the closest neighboring township’s Council of Elders must try the member to avoid any accusations of bias.

The Code

The code is not as some people believe to be a set of laws that all Elves must follow. It is more a general set of morals that each Elf interprets slightly differently. An Elf would not just lie to another if it suits their means. They would find that as soon as they open their mouth to say the lie they would most likely find themselves speechless instead. Due to the code, Elven townships do not war with each other and will always provide and help for their fellow Elves in times of times of drought and war with others. Negotiations are more common in disputes with neighbors and an Elf would never worry about a child’s safety visiting another Elf’s home. Elves who have joined armies or taken alliances with clans or tribes of people tend to become deserters as eventually they find themselves against another Elf.

The Code also means that there are no petty bar fights in entirely Elven townships.


Crime and Punishment

Crime against other elves is incredibly rare in Elven Societies and is more often than not a product of miscommunication. When a crime does occur the victim takes their complaints to the Council of Elders and a trial will be held. Elves tend to prepare for a trial by using magic to try and rid the accused of any altering effects that might alter their testimony. In trial, an Elf’s word is taken as truth when spoken directly to another Elf and Elves are never held accountable when magic or powerful psychics have controlled them. Punishments tend to fit the crime. If an Elf steals they will work back the amount of the item stolen to the victim or a person of the victim’s choosing. Fines are a common punishment and occasionally imprisonment. Elves do not believe in execution or physical injury as punishments. There has been the occasional time that they have used psychics to induce hallucinations as a form of punishment.

Work and Play

Elven children are never found playing in the mud. Elven children are usually found playing with wooden toys, dolls and stilts and always in the presence of an adult. Due to an Elf’s long lifespan it is not uncommon for an Elf to master multiple trades. This does take a lot longer for an Elf than a Halfling, but is a common occurrence in older Elves. Elves tend to lean more toward academic pursuits like Enchanting and Scroll Making. You may be surprised to find that many of the best scribes are Elven. Elves don’t tend to take up dirtier professions like Blacksmithing and Mining but aren’t usually shy to Hunting and Foraging. An Elf will usually be on time with their work or payment for work but especially when dealing with other Elves however an Elf will usually put a birth or death gift before anything else in those rare occurrences that they are needed.

Tips for playing Elves


Elves are known by all demi-humans to be the mortal race with the greatest claim to kinship with the Faerie. It is because of this that many of the other Fae (demi-humans) respectfully refer to the Elves as “older brothers” or “older sisters” in deference to their purer Faerie blood. Their blood makes them so akin to Faerie that they are inherently magical, and they tend to become powerful mages. The Faerie consider Elves to be their business and force the Elves to adhere to a strict code of honor; straying from this code can have dire consequences for an Elf.

Thinking Like an Elf

Aside from the code, Elves lack a concept of good and evil, and it is not uncommon for personal tastes to lead Elves to opposite sides of a conflict. Elves aren’t stuck up. They consider themselves inherently better then everyone else around them. Elves in the mists literally served their gods (the Faerie). They have more Faerie blood then any of the other fey (lets not event think about the humans). Elves, and Dwarves too, tend to think much more in the long term than mere Humans. They can afford to, because, barring a pointy thing getting involved, they will live a long, long time.

Acting Like an Elf

Elves are magic. They perceive magic in a very different way from everyone else in game. It comes very naturally to them. There is very little point in playing an elf if you don’t wish to be a mage. While elves will participate in all aspects of society (except those seen as inelegant) they will do so through and with their magic.

Looking Like an Elf

Elves are recognized in an EPOCH game by their pointed ears. Because the code requires them to be elegant, elves tend towards rich fabrics and fancy cloths.

Naming your Elf

Elves tend to have atleast two names; a long very formal name, and a short commonly used name. In many social situations an elf will first introduce themselves by their formal name and then politely inform whomever they are being introduced to as their common name. Using the short form of an adult elf’s name without being invited may be considered rude.

Excerpt from ‘A Study of Elven Traditions in the Human World’ Luthia D’Or, for the Council of Knowledge

…although barely influenced by the humans, even the manner in which we name our children has changed from what it once was within the Mists. A common name for a first born elven son born to parents yet dwelling in our ancestral home might have been – Lucas First Star Glory of Gwyndethal the Guardian – ofcourse many of you will recognize this name in connection to the Kinslayer affair – with additional titles – Lucas the Wanderer – that can be added further on in the young elves life. An elf thus names upon first introduction to his peers immediately informs then that he is the First born (First Star), acknowledged – and thus standing to inherit what ever titles, lands and other property his Father might have possessed upon his parent’s death – (Glory of) – son, of Gwyndethal, and, what if any, Gwyndethal’s title(s) are or were. This progression can ofcourse be taken into third and fourth generations, but that sort of prideful declaration was deemed to be vulgar and was discarded shortly after it’s inception. The same convention can, and has been used for daughters – for example the sister of Lucas might be named – Corynne First Petal Glory of Gwyndethal the Guardian. Many of the ‘country’ dwelling elves still abide by these more, conservative naming naming traditions.

Alternatively, the elves dwelling in the more human populated, or visited cities – Tawdic City and Tor’Jadim itself instantly spring to mind – have in recent years adopted names more understandable by their human neighbours and business associates. Recognizing the importance high ranking Imperial humans place on Houses and family origins and incorporated those two aspects into their names so a daughter from House Acheron might be named Tynamin n’ah Acheron (of House Acheron) e’Rudakar (daughter of Rudakar), and be instantly recognized by the majority of Imperial nobility as a peer. If similar conventions apply within the Confederacy, we have yet to discover them.

Sounding Like an Elf

Densha: Fallen One
T’shok anlar: A form of ritual combat.