The Alvar

The Alvar (Elves) are an ancient race that existed in the lands currently inhabited by men for millennia before the coming of men. They are also said to predate the dwarves and certainly the hearthean races as well. The elves are the greatest and most numerous of the Sidhe, the fairy folk.

The Los Sidhe consist of mainly the elves, leprechauns, sylphs, pixies, fairies, wood sprites (not to be confused with demonic sprites), and nymphs. The Dok Sidhe consist of the darker (considered evil) members of the fairy race. Among the Dok Sidhe number the Dok Alvar (dark elves), pooka, Bean-Sidhe, Nacht Bavooshka (also known as Night Hags and the Cailleach) and many other nasty surprises in the night.

As to whether the Los and Dok Sidhe are deadly enemies or simply long lost brother races is unclear to outsiders and appears to change with the time of day and the direction of the wind. In fact, they are enemies, but enemies with a history so ancient that the rules have become rather muddied and complicated even for them. Existing long before the other major races (although many, especially the dwarves, will argue that the dwarves are just as old; only they'd never bothered to come above ground before men came, because elves were too boring), elves are an ancient and tradition bound race. While many of these traditions are obscure and sometimes seem whimsical by human standards, they nonetheless regulate the social intercourse of elven society. Elves are, by human standards (and dwarven) immortal. Many elves around today, claim to be well over a thousand years old, and younger elves claim there are many still older yet, who simply chose not to reveal their age.

Elves do not believe in souls in the human sense. When humans and most other religious races (such as dwarves and heartheans) die, their animus usually moves on to some other realm as provided for by their deity. In the case of the Sidhe, when an one is slain or purposefully decides that it is time to leave the world, his or her animus simply flows back into nature.  This makes them essentially impossible to resurrect, and makes communication with long gone Sidhe completely impossible.

Being so incredibly long lived gives elves a very different perspective from humans. Many may seem moody at strange times, laughing at tragedies, or being mournful or contemplative at victories. The elves claim it is simply looking toward the future and the long run and understanding the ultimate meaning in any act. Most of the shorter lived races simply call it schizophrenia.

While elves can be quite jovial and mercurial amongst themselves, and in fact often seem flighty and scatterbrained at many Sidhe functions, around strangers they are often close-mouthed and rather anti-social. By human standards, the elven races (for there are many different variations) are a proud, even haughty group, who are cold and indifferent to the world around them.

As mentioned, there are several elven subraces. The most common are the Rialto Alvar, or Royal Elves. The Rialto Alvar are generally around 6' tall and exceptionally thin. They generally have golden or fine silver hair and eyes to match. The Nuren Alvar, who are mountainous cousins, tend to be around 5' tall and also exceptionally thin. The Nuren Alvar tend to have grayish to white hair and usually steel gray eyes. The Aquarel Alvar, or Sea Elves are of the same build as the Rialto Alvar but usually have a noticeable epidermal fat layer that gives them a much more rounded appearance. The Aquarel Alvar tend to hove grayish hair with blue or green highlights and deep blue or green eyes. The Forial Alvar, or Wood Elves are generally exceptionally thin, and around 4' to 5' tall. They usually have brown hair streaked with red, silver or gold and often appear rather dirty. There are several other elven subraces, but these are the most commonly found, most others seldom associate with outsiders, even other elven races.

A major source of their longevity is their intrinsically magical nature. Due to this nature, elves do not get along well with iron or iron-based products. Nor do any of the Sidhe care for iron. Wounds from iron weapons are far more grievous than other weapons for all Sidhe as iron disrupts the binding of animus and matter within their bodies. They are also bothered by iron alloys such as steel. As a rule, Sidhe never wear iron products or use iron if at all possible. Its very presence on their person can make them sick, inducing nausea.

To compensate in their weapons and armor, Elves use an incredibly hard form of silver, known simply as Alvar Agnora, or Elven Silver. They will also use bronze to supplement this hard-to-acquire metal. Elves will wear cloth armor or bronze or silver chain and plate. They tend to detest leather and leather goods in general, as being the flesh of 'dead friends.'

Elves are a race that has a great respect for life. They tend to dislike taking life in any form, although paradoxically some of the greatest assassins and knights in all of history have been elves, not to mention some of the best archers in the world. Admittedly, in the case of the assassins, many of them may have actually been Dok Alvar masquerading as Los Alvar. Despite their general reticence in taking life, almost all elves will defend themselves against attack, usually quite successfully. Further, they have an annoying tendency to viciously hunt down and obliterate at any cost those they feel are their enemies.

Most elves are vegetarian. Dok Alvar are nearly pure carnivores for some interesting reasons. In general, the Los Alvar will only eat those foods that do not harm the producer to provide: fruits, nuts, etc.

Like all Sidhe, elves will never divulge their true names except to their mates on their wedding day, or rarely, to some individual who is the equivalent of a blood brother. They fully understand the power of true names. As the greatest of the Sidhe, the elves have almost made a game of knowing the true names of other Sidhe (non-elves) and with age and experience have a real chance of guessing the true name of any lower member of the Seelie (or Unseelie) Court.

Finally, all elves can see auras and magic as well as any wizard without casting a spell.



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