The Elves Of Autera
Elves are the longest-lived of all Autera’s humanoid races, aging steadily and changing little, at least by human perception. They are said to be descended from fey creatures, and tend to be more attuned to the natural world as a result. They are a widespread race, with just as much physical variation as humans have. There are four main types of elves.
- City Elves
- Wild Elves
- Sea Elves
City elves are the most common type of elf – they are elves who live in tall, gracefully built settlements, their buildings powerfully built to endure the ages. They build powerful local governments, and tend to be rather organized. City elves tend to be put together, and are some of the world’s main suppliers of fine textiles. Their cities are cultural hotbeds – pulling together a rich tradition and a rich culture unique to every single settlement. The cities are frequently shaped from natural, living wood, carefully cultivated by architects trained in Druidic magic – though elves living in catacombed mountains is not unheard of. While being a city elf seems a choice, it is more a distinct subspecies of it’s own – every city a unique subrace. City elves tend to be herbivorous, due to many generations of agrarian society with little in the way of livestock.
Known City Elves:
- Rusty Cavisse
Wild elves are the most staunch traditionalists among elves. They disapprove of the city elves choices to congregate together and remain alone, maintainiing a migratory, tribal lifestyle as per ancient tradition. They tend to move in family clans, but there is greater organization above the heirarchy of the individualized clans – the greater tribal unit. but its not unheard of for tribes of wild elves to make formal alliances and integrate with each other for the enrichment or survival of both tribes in times of difficulty or strife. Every tribe is unique, but some common threads tend to hold true – young adults of wild elf tribes tend to leave and return only when they’ve found a lover. These lovers are frequently city elves who feel at all put out or dejected by the confines of their town and seek something different. As a result, wild elves tribes tend to grow to resemble local city elves more and more the longer they spend near a particular city. City and wild elves usually have no ill will with each other, and usually have symbiotic relationships. Wild elves tend to be omnivorous, and as a result, when nearby to elven cities, will gladly clear any problem animals which surface, and make a very comfortable living as nomadic traders and hunters.
Known Wild Elves:
- Bivir of Metias
Sea elves are a unique subspecies of elf – unique in the respect that they’ve evolved to be amphibious. Oral legend passed down their numbers says that sea elves arose from city elves who lived coastally, casting spells of waterbreathing on themselves so often to reap the bounty of the sea bearing a side effect on the next generation, affected by the spells from the safety in the womb. From the abuse of magic arose a generation able to breathe underwater, and gradually, the entire populace became effected and the settlements slipped underneath the waves, seeking protection from hostile humans or poor climates. Among elves, they tend to be the most creative, and have made some wealth trading pearls and looting sunken ships. Out of all species of elves, magic runs down bloodlines in such high numbers that sea elves are said to be the most magical population on the earth. Sea elves tend to be omnivorous, due to their main food sources being fish and seaweed.
Known Sea Elves:
- Aster Lutefisk
Drow are unique among elves in appearance. The muscles controlling their ears are feeble compared to other elves, causing vertical movement impossible. The permanent ear droop makes them seem rude, sullen, ill-intentioned, or outright dangerous if one knows how to read elven body language. Being difficult, if not impossible to read (unless one has had the privilege of being acquainted with many drow) has had the unfortunate ripple effect of making them the singular most hated racial group in Autera, and as a result of the body language barrier, when the world was young, the drow were driven into the Underdark, far from the light of day. They have lived in the Underdark since. The numbers of drow have remained small since the dawn of time due to the dangers of the Underdark preventing their numbers from growing above a few thousand. Drow tend to be carnivorous, because little grows other than lichen of little nutritional use in the Underdark.
- Diesel Dragon
Elves age roughly one year for every six human years. They’re part of the triad of genetic compatibility, accompanied by Orcs and Humans – so crossbreeding can occur between any of those three without much fear of hybridization issues. Elves look rather human in many ways, apart from a few exceptions. Their ears are large and fluent in motion (with the notable exception of drow, who have little to no ability for vertical movement due to a genetic disposition to weak or absent muscles controlling omnidirectional ear movement.). Their bone structure is somewhat different than humans, more frail and prone to breakage – most visibly manifesting in the shape of the teeth, which tend to be drastically spaced and shaped in accordance with the particular subspecies’ diet. Lastly, elven eyes are ringed with black pigmentation in a manner akin to a lion’s, and their pupils are nearly always simply less pigmented samples of their iris color – making them seem to lack pupils in their entirety. The presence of black pupils is rare, and frequently thought to be a result of distant human or orcish ancestry bearing its mark on the individual’s genetics.
Elven genitalia are very humanoid, with the penis bearing a somewhat pointed head and the vagina having an extra skin flap by the entrance and being unusually long, lengthwise, to accommodate the infant’s disproportionately large, delicate, and floppy ears at birth. The most common complication in birth is, by far, damage to the ears caused by differing alignment in the birth canal. Being hard-of-hearing or deaf is, as a result, very common in Elven societies, and it is rare to find someone who knows Elven without knowing Elven sign language.
Gender and Sexuality in Elven Society
Frequently, human scholars go to City Elf settlements, and if they arrive unprepared, they will always find themselves confused by the elven approach to gender and sexuality. Elven society has six genders, and none of them are analogous to ‘male’ or ‘female’. Their approach to sexuality is just as alien to humans – if you ask an elf their sexual preference, they’ll just as likely tell you their favored position or their favorite time of day as they will tell their favored gender. The six genders are a commonality among all elven societies, holdovers from the dawn of time, and more mutable societal roles than anything else. Most go through two or more genders in their lifespan – and those who go through five or more are regarded as the most talented of people. Gender is most regarded as a method of understanding someone’s life and skillset.
The six elven genders are as follows.
- Peles: A gender entirely defined by it’s relation to those closest to their hearts. Peles tend to be highly protective, aiming to embody firmness and determination. Peles are associated with earth-toned clothing and are frequently the result of strong and loyal sibling relationships.
- Waahsef: A gender entirely defined by it’s relation to magic. Waahsef tend to be thinkers or sorcerors of great power. Waahsef are keepers of the oldest magics known to mortals. They are associated with dark, cool colored clothes, traditionalism, and unusually long lived among elves.
- Leflia: A gender entirely defined by it’s relation to the outside world. Leflia are those who are highly social and adaptable. Leflia make the best diplomats, courtesans, spies – or anything else which might require a great deal of contact with the outside world. Leflia wear rich greens, reds or oranges, though usually only as accessories.
- Hederagal: A gender entirely defined by it’s relation to art. Hederagal are those who are remarkably creative. They are those who have endless creativity and adaptability, and tend to be the creative forces behind the best of Elven artistry. They tend to wear pastel tones and are the reason elven craft and art is renowned worldwide.
- Calndon: A gender entirely defined by it’s relation to the specific individual. Calndon are those who are introspective and working to improve themselves constantly. Calndon are the great introspectors, the people you most want on your side to think things through. They tend to wear what they want, mostly, and are known for the reason that things proceed smoothly – the glue that holds the others talents together.
- Elera: A gender entirely defined by it’s relation to the community. Elera are the internal mediators – usually regarded somewhere between Calndon and Leflia by outsiders. However, Elera have a unique role: they are mediators and leaders both, proud members of their communities that are frequently held at the forefront as the pillars of a community.