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The Dar Shilmarin, the Songborn, are commonly known by other races as elves. They were created partially by accident by the goddess Shaar when she sang what the elves know as the First Song, and she shed the Silver Tears that would become the First Isles of Eldareth.

Since the time of their creation, elves have gone through much. Their kingdoms were once the spectacle of Arganorh, yet plummeted into memory when humans conquered the twin-continents. These days elves are nomads and wanderers, and many of them live amongst humans as mostly equals; though racial hatred can be apparent. The elves can be found anywhere in the world, though the largest densities of their kind are in Ashanor and Norrhan.
 
 

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION

Elves from various societies mostly share the same characteristics of long ears and slender bodies. However, some elves are born with longer or shorter ears than the usual norm, or with sharper or smoother ears. The variety in elven physicality comes in the form of skin, hair and eye colour. Elves of the southern regions tend to have darker colours of skin, hair and eyes in the variety of red, golden and brown. Northern-born elves have paler skin and often golden to silver hair, and eye colours of blue, green and purple. Elven eyes typically glow, though some elves, such as half-elves, seem to lack that attribute.


Elves don’t usually have facial features such as beards and mustaches, though some generations or groups have been known to grow such features. It is most likely a choice rather than an effect of genealogy. 


A few elven societies also confer to somewhat primitive traditions and rituals where they fashion themselves in tribal tattoos or war paint. Gray elves, otherwise known as half-elves, don't necessarily take it upon themselves to tattoo their skin, though in some cities and castes this is considered more normal than in others.
Some elven groups, such as the Aedh Naldiri and Aedh Nahi, do not share the same skin colours as their eastern brethren. They host a variety of dark to bright blue skin and blue to white hair. Their eyes are generally black or white. This is somewhat similar to the Dalh Shavai, although their skin is much darker in colour, and they feature red to green to pitch-black eyes.

A rare few elves are sometimes born with purple eyes, or a mix of other colours. This doesn't seem to be defined by a specific group or by a combination of two groups. For the most part it appears to be quite random.

 

HISTORY

Shaar created the Elvenkind by singing the First Song, and in doing so she also created the First Isles, later known as Eldareth. It was on Eldareth that the first elves, the Ilhvir, grew to become the greatest civilization of the time. However, their people were split into two warring factions when Eldrad and Valonir attempted to win them over for their own purposes. This led to the sundering of Eldareth, and thus the new birth of the Dar Shilmarin.


Those who ventured west across the seas and into Ashanor became the Aedh Nahi, Aedh Valem and Aedh Naldiri, whilst those who went east, to Avanor, became the Aerthali; founders of the Sun Kingdoms. Before the Sun Kingdoms, the Aerthali met the dwarves, whom they first formed an alliance with to battle the growing threat of the Pact hordes.


When the Sun Kingdoms were at their peak, the dwarves had been pushed back from their ancestral lands, and soon only the Aerthali remained to defend their borders. Following centuries of war, the Sun Kingdoms fell at the firstcoming of the human tribes in Avanor. Many of the Aerthali fled north to Norrhan where the kingdom of Daln Aenhdeláin was founded, and some fled south and formed the island kingdom of Daln Aeratháin. Those in Norrhan were to be known as the Aedh Silvai, and those who remained in Avanor kept their names as the Aerthali.


After the Sun Kingdoms fell, many other elves became slaves to their new human masters; though the majority of them were freed later during the Divine Rebellion. Some of these liberated elves founded the kingdom of Daln Ashelaan, where the event known as "The Darkening" occurred thanks to a group of elven cultists, who were banished from Daln Ashelaan due to their reckless use of magic. These elves would later be known as the Dalh Shavai. Daln Ashelaan was later razed by humans during the first Holy March. Survivors of this event became the first Aedh Ashlem, and others became half-elves. Centuries later, a splinter-tribe of Ashlem broke off from their former people and became allies of the orcs, thus they were transformed into the Dalh Shai.


Ages following these events have led many Arganorhian elves to mingle with societies of Men and dwarves. Most elves these days wander the lands of Tariel in nomadic tribes or groups.

 

SOCIETY

Elven society is divided into what they would call ‘chapters’, much like in a song. It is such that the different groups of elven societies are named in a fashion where their people become a new chapter in an on-going song; similar to how a story would function. For example, Aedh Silvai means “Singers of Light”, and reflects upon the fact that that their people are a separate or new chapter to the Shilmarin (songborn). The only exception to this rule is the name of the Aerthali, which means Sunborn, and the half-elves, who have no elven name.

Other elven societies (or sub-races) are the Aedh Nahi (Singers of Winter), Aedh Naldiri (Singers of Moons), Aedh Ashlem (Singers of Fall), Dalh Shai (Exiles in Blood), Dalh Shavai (Exiles of Shadow) the Aedh Daelem (Singers of Dreams) and the Iron Elves.


The different elven societies are rather varied in both culture and traditions. A common trait seems to be a nomadic wanderlust, which is why many refer to elves as wanderers. Older societies of elves built lasting kingdoms, but after the Sun Kingdoms fell at the hands of the humans, most elves have become wanderers. There are a few kingdoms and cities throughout the world specific for elves, though most elven groups are nomadic, opting to use these kingdoms and cities as resting spots before they move on again.


The Aedh Silvai, Aedh Naldiri and Aerthali are possibly the most governmental and rooted elven societies in the world. Their people live in cities and kingdoms of which they follow a governing rule of monarchy or a senate, or they are often ruled by a higher set of noble houses and families. Other sub-races, such as Aedh Ashlem, Dalh Shai, Dalh Shavai, Aedh Valem and Aedh Nahi are purely nomadic. Half-elven society has no specific elven culture or tradition; their society is built on the same attributes as that of humans.

 
 
 
ELVEN NAME
  MEANING
COMMON NAME
Ilhvir
The First Singers
White Elves
Aerthali
Sunborn
Sun Elves
Aedh Silvai
Singers of Light
Silver Elves
Aedh Nahi
Singers of Winter
Pale Elves
Aedh Naldiri
Singers of Moons
Moon Elves
Aedh Ashlem
Singers of Fall
Ash Elves
Aedh Valem
Singers of Dreams
Wood Elves, Leafborn
Dalh Shavai
Exiles in Shadow
Dark Elves/Shadow Elves/Under Elves
Dalh Shai
Exiles in Blood
Blood Elves
Sivahi
 Sunfallen
Sand Elves
Iron Elves
- Elves who settled in the Iron Lands -
Iron Elves
Half-Elves
- Elves who have no elven identity -
Half-Elves

RELATIONS

Relations with other races of the world depend mainly on the various elven societies of the world. Elves of the Dalh Shai don’t get along with the Aedh Ashlem, or any races beyond the Pacts. The majority of the Aedh Ashlem still hold a grudge towards what humans have done to them in the past, while the Aerthali and Aedh Silvai have slowly begun to interact with non-elven races again. The Aedh Shavai's recent return to the surface world has seen them interacting with other races quite frequently, although their black skin and red eyes often frighten or generally displease the other races. Aedh Valem have some interactions with races outside of their homeland borders, yet it is a mixed bag of hostility and peaceful diplomacy.


Aedh Nahi and Aeh Naldiri rarely interact with other races, although the Naldiri have been known to involve themselves in slave trade of foreign races. The half-elves are at fairly good terms with human and dwarven races, though their typical lower social rank in human society holds them at a disadvantage.


The elven societies of Arganorh, except for the Dalh Shai, rarely get along with members of the Pacts, such as the orcs, zu’dakari and kol’tari. Racial hatred and prejudice is a common thing amongst elves when it comes to non-elven races. In their eyes, dwarves are drunks, humans are arrogant and barbaric, and orcs are savage beasts. Regardless, most elves living in the major cities of the world, which are predominant human-ruled, are usually more accepting of other races.

 

ALIGNMENT & RELIGION

Most elves are considered neutral in how they view the world, though their arrogance has often put them in worse light. Theft and murder are commonly not accepted, but if necessary to defend their tribes or people, some laws are temporarily acceptable to be broken. In the same vein, helping those in need is a matter of necessity and possibility rather than duty or sympathy.


Elves technically worship the same gods they have worshiped since they were first brought into this world by Shaar. As such, all elven societies, save for half-elven ones, worship Shaar as their mother goddess. There are usually various names for the different deities in elven religion, as well as some minor differences in how they are represented and worshiped.
For example, elves of the Aerthali and Aedh Silvai worship Valonir as their father god, yet to the Ashlem he is considered a minor god, or equal to the other gods. The Ashlem view Aerathan as their lord deity. Also, deities in Ashlem society are usually represented as animal deities. Eldrad is the father god of the Aedh Naldiri and the Aedh Valem. Unlike the other elven societies, only the Dalh Shai worship the Earthmother and Skyfather. Their line of faith falls more to the spiritual rather than towards godly deities. The Dalh Shavai have a small pantheon of gods they worship, although their main deity is Shaia.
 

NAMES

Elven naming often confers to meaning more than practicality or aesthetics. However, having said that, most elven names tend to have a tranquil, harmonic spelling and pronunciation. Elven names are often varied since their names are usually a combination of words from their spoken and written tongue. A typical name would involve two words combined and typically an inherited surname. However, some societies of elves, one of which Ashlem, grant their children their first name and give them their surname later when they come of age or prove themselves to their new name. This surname is usually considered a title.
 

LANGUAGE

Elven language usually boils down to the same, namely Shil’ani, though there are usually different versions, referred to as ‘verses’, where one word carries a different meaning. For instance, the Aedh Ashlem word for blood, ‘Shaik’, means fire to the Aerthali. All elves technically speak the same language, yet the various dialects can easily tell them apart. There is also an older dialect of elvish which was used in the age before the elves first came to Arganorh. However, a very rare few elven societies still speak this language, and its uncommonness makes it difficult for even modern elves to understand it.


Another more uncommon language for elves is orcish. This language is specifically spoken by the Dalh Shai. The Aedh Nahi, however, are known to be able to communicate with the Winter Spirits. The language is only passed on to the Aedh Nahi elders, since it is possibly the most powerful language known to mortals; capable of controlling the cold winds and beasts of winter, and the spirits themselves.


Elves who traverse or live in the lands or cities of common Men are also fluent in Common.