For three thousand years the immortal elves of Callimhros, who call themselves the Aldaedheil, or the People of the Trees, cultivated a druidic society within the secluded recesses of the Naiemar Woods and beyond. However in a long forgotten incident, the elves were forced to sacrifice their cherished immortality and watch their powers wane, shattering the tranquility of their ancient civilization.
Cool, aloof, and seemingly untouchable, the Aldaedheil represent all that is best and worst in the races of Callimhros. Their haunting beauty is marred by their cold and aloof natures, and even though the races of Callimhros have united together the elves still consider themselves better than the other races. Though this view of superiority has decreased over the past thousand years a large portion of the Aldaeheil remain extremely proud and arrogant, viewing the cultures of the other races as “inferior” and are largely intolerant of other customs and beliefs. Elves have a particular disdain for those cultures and races that seek to remove themselves from nature and replace it with technology, viewing these cultures as rotten and repulsive. Their society has endured for more than 6,000 years, and has changed very little in that time. When change does occur, it is usually forced onto them.
The Aldaedheil are tall and graceful ranging in height from 5’10” to 6’3” and weigh between 110-140 pounds, with men only slightly taller and heavier than woman. Fair-skinned, elves have hair color that ranges from light brown to white-blonde, and most have green eyes. Aldaedheil speak in melodic tones and move with a natural grace, possessing a haunting, unearthly beauty. Elves typically have no facial or body hair, though extremely old elves (those who have seen more than 500 years) will sometimes begin to grow a wispy beard. Elves prefer loose garments, flowing robes and gowns covered by billowing capes in shades of green and brown. Their senses, especially of hearing and sight, are much keener than those of humans; additionally the Aldaeheil do not sleep, but rest their minds in waking dreams.
Much like the human races of Callimhros the elves are led by a singular ruler, known as the Berethelen, or the Queen of Stars. The current Berethelen is Serlathiel Ealoeth, a beautiful elven woman with raven hair and striking blue eyes. She has ruled over the People of the Trees for the past seventy-five years. Though this is a short time for the elves Serlathiel is much loved and admired by her people and she has fostered an age of prosperity. Though the elves are led by one ruler, like humans, this is the end of the similarities between the two societies. Unlike human rulers, whose titles pass down to their children, when the Queen of Stars passes on from the world the new Queen is chosen by the Druidic Gathering who gather together in the elf’s capital city of Silvermoon and meditate and divine from the stars and spirits of nature who is best suited to lead the Aldaeheil.
Given the large amount of energy the Druidic Gathering have over choosing the next Queen, it is no surprise that they are the second most powerful faction in elven society. Sagely and wise the members of the Gathering are greatly in tuned to the forces of nature and the heavens. Often times members of the Gathering are also members of the Druidic Way. With a society built upon this strict hierarchy, elves tend to be more lawful, however they believe so highly in their own purity that goodness can be taken to extremes.
Silvermoon is the greatest city of the Aldaeheil, housing the leaders of both the druids and the faithful of the gods. The city is formidable in spite of the normally peaceful nature of elves. In addition to the Aldaeheil, many guests and diplomats from across Callimhros reside here, such as groups from the Pathfinder Society and the Cardinal Legion, as well as a few representatives of the Infernalguardians negotiating expansions of their power base. The population here is almost entirely elven, and most of the Aldaeheil are tolerant of others. However, there is political strife brewing between the Gathering and the priests of more industrial driven gods.
The atmosphere inside the city is a quiet and somewhat a melancholic one. It does not have the feeling of confinement that one would feel in Storm’s End or Hammerfell, where the buildings are grouped close together. Silvermoon is open to the sky, and the graceful bridges spanning the many rivers that intersect the city and run into the Theysius Sea, around which the city is built, set the buildings wide apart. This is a good thing, though. It is the elves’ capital, and should therefore be serene and quiet, holding the mystic and melancholic elements of the Aldaeheil. It is here amongst the quiet of the trees and the sea that the elves study the heavens, foster their love for the natural world, practice their arcane magics, and attempt to discover the forgotten secrets of their long forgotten history.
Most elves become intensely uncomfortable when in close contact with stone and lifeless things, and feel more at ease when surrounded by the growing world. Many dwell in tree homes, in “bowers” walled and roofed in interwoven living plants (often on the banks of tiny brooks or around the rising of a trickling spring). Many city-dwelling elves introduce strong-scented living plants (notably those useful as herbs and medicines) and bowls of rainwater into their living quarters. Many elf beds—and almost all places where injured or sick elves go to sleep—are of moss-covered earth.
Honor, to elves, is keeping one’s word (which is why many elves speak glibly but avoid clear, specific promises), providing for the best outcomes for family and kin, keeping all bargains, and—after all of these paramount bindings—following guidance from the gods.
Elves honor almost any god of Kygreum, but the majority of elves worship Ayalla and Sehanine with smaller numbers venerating Ariadne, Baymond, Castiel, Ehlonna, Freya, Gilan, the Host, Torum, Valkaeys, and lesser cultural heroes. Elves see gods as their guides and inspirations in life, with swift and simple daily devotions being part of life but thought mattering more than petty details. Oaths sworn by a deity are binding, and not to be broken. Even if achieving the oaths takes a lifetime, they are never to be forgotten or twisted.
Given their sense of superiority over the other races elves are slow to trust beings of other races. The Aldaeheil tend to have a “long view” not common in other races, due to their prolonged life spans which can be off-putting to non-elves. However if an elf spends large amounts of time with a non-elf surprising friendships crop up that contradict the elven view of superiority creating instances of lifelong friendships between individuals that break the elven stereotypes. However this friendship often comes at a deep cost to the elves.
Perhaps the most tragic elves are the Forsaken—those who lack families for whatever reason and grew to adulthood not among other elves, but among shorter-lived races like humans. By the time a Forsaken elf has become an adult, most of her childhood playmates have married, had children of their own, grown old, and died. Forsaken elves tend to be insular and morose—their lack of joy and delight manifests in darker ways, such as mischievous trickery, cynicism and angst, or even cruelty. The life of a Forsaken elf is one wrought of loneliness and sadness, but these elves, given the chance, form the strongest friendships of them all. They know what loss is, and given an opportunity to avoid it, cling with a tenacity that can be as inspiring as it is frightening.