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
Death and Burial
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.
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
Work and Play
Tips for playing Elves
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.