The elves are a generally peaceful people. While they are known for their great archery skills, they are also skilled with staves, and will always prefer not to kill. Loss of any life is a great sorrow to them, and they feel it keenly. They are tied to the earth, the water, the air, the fire, the plants and animals: it is little surprise that elves are excellent Elemental magicians, though they rarely learn offensive spells. They congregrate around forests, where they can hunt and gather and live quiet, nature-centered lives. Since they live in the forests, they know them well, and can be bought as guides. They are fair traders, seeking what they need and no more.

Elves are hard to anger...but harder still to calm once riled. They are long-lived and they remember grudges, but hold them only against those directly responsible - no involving families. And even when angry, they usually will not kill - only in defense of themselves or others, and even then, a ritual of cleansing and apology must follow.

Ritual is very important to the Elven people, and it infuses every part of their lives. A ritual for greeting the sun in the morning and for saying farewell to it at night; a ritual for gratitude expressed for meals; a ritual of greeting and saying farewell to family and close friends, a different but similar one for strangers and acquaintances. This comes on top of their religious rituals, for Elemental magic is a very spiritual thing for them.

There are Elven merchants, who have picked up a few human traits, but rest assured, they are still fair traders. They just happen to need profit. Their prices are usually good, and their wares are well-made and beautiful - beauty following form. Some prefer to "follow the wind" as they call it, wandering the plains and forests until they spot a town or city to do some business; a great many go to work the Bazaar at Qua'Nath, where the more commercially minded ply their trades. Not just merchants, but Elven actors, singers, playwrights, scholars; all of those who want to do more with their lives than live near the trees and play with the animals come to Qua'Nath.

Aside from Qua'Nath, the only other exposure to the elves most humans and other races get is from the Holy Temple at K'Nuarr. The Elves recognize that there are gods, they just usually let the gods see to the humans and go about seeing to the forests themselves. Those few elves who actively worship the gods are often sent to the temple at K'Nuarr to becomes priests or paladins. Getting into K'Nuarr if you are not an elf is difficult, but possible, with a great deal of work. There are fewer paladins produced from K'Nuarr, as the vast majority of devotees are there for purely spiritual and pacifistic reasons, but the Elven paladins are every bit the equal of their human counterparts.

Playing an Elf

Elves are, as you might suspect, generally tall, long legged, and lean, with pointy ears. There are many different hair and eye colors among elves, just as there are among humans, and they are not all exceptionally fair and beautiful. They are not "fey" or any other sort of relation to fairies. Think of them as Native Americans more than Fair Folk.

An elf may be quite skilled with bow and arrow or with a staff (and will indeed get bonuses to those skills), but will use them either for hunting (which, by the way, is always followed by a ritual of gratitude and apology for the death of the animal) or for self-defense. An elf will always seek to avoid killing. You are not Legolas Greenleaf here, getting into death contests with dwarves. And while you acknowledge that it is sometimes necessary to kill, you think humans find it necessary more than is true.

Humans should be almost as barbarians to you: whether you choose to help them overcome their savagery or shun them for it is your call, but regardless, you would rarely say so to their face. In matters of politeness and protocol, think of the Japanese: always ritualistically polite, never saying "No" directly, acknowledging class and ranking always.

Remember also that elves are slow to anger and slower to cool - you are the kind to hold grudges once someone manages to tick you off. Elves are rarely going to be warriors: think scouts, rangers, guides, clerics. These are the usual Elven paths, unless you go the trade route. Elven merchants, artisans and entertainers are always highly prized for their dedication to their chosen pursuit - and if they have the coin, they often hire bodyguards, usually human or were.

Which brings us to the Elves and the Dwarves. Elves and Dwarves don't get on, but there is no actual rivalry, merely a lack of understanding. Elves respect the Dwarves' single-minded focus on earth and rock but can't fathom why they'd want to live underground and ignore all the rest of the beauty the world has to offer. The Dwarves know that Elves can do some gorgeous things with clay, gems, and rock, and that they respect the spirit within these materials, but otherwise think they're too fluttery, and far too peaceful. Sometimes fights break out, but those are between individuals, and are never considered racial conflicts. So even if your character has a grudge against a specific dwarf, no going around cursing those "damn, dirty Dwarves". In fact, cursing for an elf would be almost unheard of.

Elven Template

This is the baseline Elf template.

There is no cost for the baseline of 12 HP and 10 Focus; however, you can lower your HP to get points (2 character creation points returned per point of HP reduced) back during character creation if you wish. This will put you below the "average" Elf however, so think carefully on whether or not you wish to do that. You may split your basic stat points as you see fit, but the "average" for Elves is 7 in Speed/Dexterity, 5 in Strength and 5 each in Logic and Creativity. MP will, of course, depend upon the schools you take and how high you buy them, as outlined here.

As far as your baseline Advantages/Disadvantages go, you get the Advantages for free, but you also don't get to restore points from the Disadvantages. There is no character creation cost or benefit derived from the template. It is your starting point, and the cost of the entire package is considered 0.

For Skills, it is assumed that Elves know, speak, and can read & write Elven; most have learned the language of Humans as well, for ease of trading. Elven traders may very well know more languages yet. Elves learn Elemental Magic incredibly quickly, and even an Elf who has not taken up magical training can sense when Elemental Magic -of ANY school- has been done to something. Within a forest, Elves are a force of nature (almost literally):disappearing into the treetops and underbrush, tracking animals or humanoids with equal ease. Outside of the forests though, they are little better than taller Humans with funny ears.

NOTE: Elves do NOT, as a race, possess Inherent Ranged Weapon (Bow) skill; however, this is not entirely out of place for an Elf, and most GMs should allow you to purchase it (yes, you'll have to pay for it). Many Elven families have become so proficient in archery that they are able to teach their offspring to become incredible bowmen (or women) in almost no time. GMs should consider a discount to the Advantage of Inherent Ranged Weapon (Bow) if the Elf's player is willing to only receive additional training from their own family; it means the Inherent nature of the skill isn't entirely about something special with the character as much as it is with the nature of the instruction they're receiving.

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