Elves don’t die unless slain. They live on floating forest islands that nobody can find unless the they want to be found. Elves are not a race of sailors or travelers; they prefer to enjoy their immortality in revelry and learning on their own islands. Elven adventurers are normally on quests to bring things back to their home island, although some elves are exiled from their homelands. Although they may look youthful, they have been alive for centuries and can be terribly dangerous. You should never cross an elf: their memories are long, they guard their immortality zealously, and have learned things few mortals can dream of.
Elven Exclusive Knowledge
Time passes strangely for elves: they don’t sleep and do not die. Their existence is a ceaseless journey: one, unblinking stretch of life. They reside in floating tree cities, adrift on enormous beds of kelp. Their trees act as sails, and the Elves bend their branches and shift their roots to direct the drift of their vessels. These cities are great wells of spiritual power, similar to the spirits that inhabit islands. Elves believe these are the remnants of the god that created them.
Elves do not naturally die of old age. Ancient elves eventually decide to pass back into the heart of their forests, wherein their soul is reborn into a new mind and body. Elven births are rare and are cause for great celebration. However, if an elf dies or is slain while not on an elven island, their soul will be lost to the eternal cycle. Only a True Resurrection cast on an elf’s home island while their body is present can restore an elf to the island itself. Evil cults prize the sacrifice of an elf: destroying the soul of an immortal has great arcane potential.
The Oaths that govern elves are different than others of the nine bloods; they overlap with the laws that govern the fey themselves. This gives elves their fey qualities and means that elven cities can drift on the Fey Wind. The close relationship between Elves and Fey make elves innate spellcasters. Elven wizards take years to master the fundamentals of magic, infusing their understanding with the graceful beauty that marks their race.
Elven tree islands exist in a persistent cycle of revelry and study. Sleepless, elves engage in several hours of meditation each day to maintain their minds, but otherwise they do not mark the passage of time as mortals do. They occupy themselves alternatively between the pursuit of perfection and hedonism. Nothing in elf society is only functional: it must also be beautiful. Tiny increments in improvement may result in days of celebration.
To protect their immortality (and not have to tolerate mortal society), elves very rarely leave their islands (save to travel to other Forest Islands). However, Elves may be exiled from Elven society and forced to leave for committing some egregious crime.
Some Elves instead are struck by Wanderlust; a primal call to adventure gifted to them by the souls of their Islands. Elves who leave the island may only return if they discover new knowledge to be shared with their homeland. This knowledge traditionally takes the form of one of the Three Boons: a laugh that lasts a decade, a puzzle that lasts a century, and a secret that lasts a millennium. Boon seekers who encounter each other among mortals celebrate raucously in a drinking ritual that roughly translates to, “two leaves meeting on the wind.” Sometimes stranded from their homelands for decades or centuries, their hunger for immortal company is palpable. Boon seekers who are successful are famous among their kind and become the emissaries that go between mortals and immortals.
Elven expats who give up on their quests sometimes form pocket societies among mortals. Unable to conceive away from their forest tree homes, Elves often couple with humans, giving birth to half elves as they attempt to participate in a normal life. These communities are viewed as abhorrent to elven islanders and are pitied by boon seekers. Half-elves, however, are not blamed for their parent’s supposed errors. They are often welcome at forest islands, where they serve a crucial social role as information brokers, emissaries, and favored trade partners.
Elves have a fearsome reputation as deadly adventurers. Typically, despite their youthful appearance, elves who venture away from the islands have had centuries of training to ensure their survival upon their departure. They can also be ruthless, merciless and untrusting: what is the life of a mortal compared to that of an elf? All elves maintain a shared secret: they know that an elven soul sacrificed in a dark ritual can generate immense power. They hate and fear orcs and cultists.
High Elves live in towering forest cities. Their kelp foundation grows around a single Elder Tree, whose tap root acts as a ballast for the huge vessel. A handful of other giant trees are tied to this first tree, and the society of the city is arranged around who lives in what tree and how high up they live.
Wood Elves live in sprawling, shallow kelp forests dotted with thousands of trees. Small islands sometimes get tangled up in these vessels, and the Wood Elves treasure and cultivate the islands for small farmlands and sturdy home foundations.