It is said that the ancient Elves of Istaria were a gentle and mystical race, one that was in tune with the forces of nature. While the Elves of today do exhibit significant mystical prowess, their race is far from what one might call gentle.
Given their wisdom and dignity, as well as their beauty, it often comes as a shock to outsiders to discover the nearly Spartan militarism of Elven society.
Order, structure and discipline, the Elves believe, are all that have made it possible for them to survive the onslaught of the Withered Aegis and the sundering of their great city of Feladan.
All Elves are required to enlist in the Elven Army and to serve within it for a minimum of ten years.
While Elven society is nowhere near as brutal and dominating as some other Istarian societies (past and present) might be, the Elves of Istaria know and value order, structure, and discipline.
Though Elves by and large are in favor of cooperation amongst the Living Races against the Withered Aegis, they very much try to maintain their own ways whenever possible.
Physically, Elves share the same build as Humans have, though on average they are slightly taller and lankier. Elves have an acute sense of hearing, and their ears are shaped to best channel sound; this gives them their trademark pointed ears. Their skin is fairer than that of their Human cousins, though not so dissimilar as to make them completely different.
Elves typically exhibit superior senses of balance and dexterity; many of Istaria’s famed rangers and spearmen have been Elves. Likewise, Elves are renowned for their superior ranged combat skills, especially archery. Elves tend to favor power over focus in the matters of the arcane, making them excellent Mages.
Little is known of the Elves a millennia or more ago. Any records they once kept of their own history were lost in the Fall of Feladan a century ago. The only remaining reference is a passage in the Dwarven Tome of Kaldon that describes a battle beneath the "great trees".
The Elves, it seems, would not tolerate the destruction of their forest, even for such altruistic purposes as the heating of Aughundell and the further expansion of the Dwarven mines. The rule of Kaldon places this contact with the Elves approximately one-thousand years B.R., but sadly little else is known.
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Feladan was the capital of the Elves and their High Court before it was conquered by the Undead Horde many years ago. The city was located in the heart of the immense Feladan Forest. The fall of Feladan marked what many thought was the beginning of the end for the Living Races in their struggle against the Withered Aegis and their Undead Hordes.
The Elves have long been allies of the Humans, especially against the Undead. For the Elves, the city walls of Feladan was their last line of defense, and they gave the Horde a fight for every meter of land they conquered; more Elves died in the defense of the city than in any other battle of the Lament combined.
Humans gave what they could to the Elves in the way of material and troops, but no amount of effort the Humans and Elves could muster could turn the tide. In the end, the Undead Horde captured the city and drove the last of the Elves from their ancestral home to the walls of their city of refuge, Tazoon. For decades, Feladan was a twisted visage of its former glory; the verdant forest that used to surround the city a dark, dense overgrowth of nature gone horribly wrong.
In other places, a blasted wasteland resided where lush vegetation once was. The former beauty of the city, with the tree-lined homes and buildings of the Elves, was gone; a swirling blight maelstrom twisting the Elven architecture into a caricature of its former magnificence.
With the Living Races' victory over the Undead Hordes at the Battle of Tazoon, a renewed sense of urgency overcame the Elves and they began making plans to reclaim their homeland. After two failed attempts, and with the help of a resurgent number of Gifted, the Elves were finally able to drive the Undead Hordes from their home and cleanse the city and most of the Feladan Forest of the blight.
Today, Feladan stands again as one of the most beautiful cities in all of Istaria, green and verdant again.