Native to the Feywild, in AI -9976 the volgjða Olbrin revealed to a tribe of eifr, more commonly known simply as “elves”, a passageway to Eilarûn. These elves would establish the first settlements in the eastern wood known as the Faeriewell.
In these new lands, the elves first learn of arcane magic, left by a mythic race long gone. Within 4,000 years, the elves will have driven dragons from Eilarûn; less than 5,000 years later, the elves would end the empires of the giants, granting them supremacy over the lands of Eilarûn.
Eifr were the first to cross to Eilarûn, led by Olbrin in AI -9976. These elves most commonly venerate the volgjða; the small shrines and cairns found throughout Eilarûn have largely been built and maintained by eifr.
Though they built the grandest elven structures of Eilarûn, rivaling even those left by the Eiluthîn, many are most comfortable close to the wild. After the ravaging effects of the Lhasbelauth, increasing numbers saw in these once-great cities the pride and decadence which led the elves away from their fey origins, and to their current low state.
The elves who remain in decaying stone cities find themselves at odds with those who have returned to remote settlements. In the years after the Wars of Abscission, the deaths of the Selûr, and the silence of the volgjða, warped shadows of the traditions of ancient elves have surfaced, as each philosophy claims guardianship over the ways of ages past.
Weavers, more commonly known as “dark elves”, were the second elven race to arrive in Eilarûn in AI -8900, after conflict with dragons made increased defense necessary. Weavers were common armor and weaponsmiths throughout most of the early history of elves in Eilarûn, crafting many of the great magic weapons. The ilungir Isgeþeód and many of the Selûr were dark elves as mortals; dark elves more commonly venerate members of this, presumably dead, pantheon.
Though the Rhevaantar and their sympathizers claim dark elves all are and always were evil, or at least that evil began as far back as The Loomwar, dark elves are not a homogeneous culture. It was not until around AI -0000, when the dark elf Aralhê returned from beyond the known realms and began to call to weavers, that what some perceived as a cultural trend began. Even then, this call towards evil acts was only heard by those willing to receive it.
After the Battle of Ironfang, violence and discrimination against weavers drove increased numbers fleeing to the Underdark for refuge. While the Underdark’s native properties corrupted many, more still merely learned to survive under the iron-fisted regimes of the dark elven Houses and their reclusive matrons, whose walled cities protected their inhabitants from the pogroms of the surface, and still fouler things lurking in the Underdark.
Racial Variants of Eilarûnian Elves
In ages past, certain chosen elves were the attendants of forest barrows and volgjða shrines, guardians and practitioners of archaic ancestor worship practices whose origins are lost to time. As the knowledge of these primeval practices fell from common practice, and the high rituals became more elaborate, the positions held by these attendants became hereditary, the culture more insular. Long before the elves came to Eilarûn, these elves – in ancient times called Temple Elves – had developed into what many elves nearly considered to be their own race.
It was not until AI -0000 when Elebren crafted into being the Amrûn Gœrthaid that a host of these elves, drawn from the Feywild to tend to the spirits of the elves massacred there, were inadvertently transformed by Elebren’s grove and Titiana’s call to the dead therein. It was there that the wisp elves were created.
Though they are revered by many elves, and occasionally viewed as demi-deities by some of other races who are aware of them, they are generally avoided unless necessary. It is commonly believed that wisp elves prefer to speak to a dead individual over a living one, as a corpse or spirit is less likely to physically harm them, their slight size making them culturally avoid physical violence. Unclear of the difference between life and death, other elves consider them unstable and dangerous.
Also known as “nettle elves”, their name deriving from the fox nettle plant, which burns skin and commonly kills those who come into contact with it. Unique to elves, fox nettles have sharp teeth (which many file to be sharper). They are generally larger and more muscular than other races of elves, their hair ranging from green to brown. Fox nettles live in small, nomadic communities in the wildest forests of Eilarûn, though they are known to raid communities on the edge of these regions. They are known to eat other elves.
Though the specifics of their origin is disputed, they appeared throughout Eilarûn during the Mage Wars. It is commonly believed that the first fox nettles were followers of the eifr Fenaduíl. In his dying days, perhaps at the moment he became ilungir, his votaries and champions were transformed into a defense of the wild places, a violent antidote to the expansion and decadence of the elves.
While fox nettles can be found throughout the known realms, they are most common in Fenaduíl Forest, the lost lands of Sûngylea, and throughout Hulensgadh, where they have mixed with the eifr and weavers – and, it is rumored, voadkyn – and rule as tribal warlords.
- Risen Sûngylea
- Lordless Hulensgadh
- The Torn Realms of Norglithiad
- Shining Irothinna
- That Which Remains of Ildranægh