Long ago, the elves of this world lived in the Summerlands. They were closer then to their fae and dryadic cousins. They lived in accordance with nature and they worshipped the goddesses of their ancestry.
When the Summerlands were taken by the evil Xyglia and her sister Rauina, the elves fled their home. The Summerisles sunk into the hungry sea and the magic there faded into darkness.
Millennia later, we can find four tribes or castes of elves currently existing in the Shadowdrift.
aka Wood Elves, Ferals (derogatory term)
Wild Elves shun civilization and live in dark woods and hills. They have a great mistrust of human folk and are the fierce enemy of trolls and goblins. Some fae beings live among the wild elves and they will often barter for peace and resources with dwarves and giants.
Wild Elves believe that the forest is their mother and will defend it at all costs. They fear that any separation from the forest sickens the soul and they’re fiercely opposed to trespassers in their woods.
Deities: The Forest Who Walks (powerful chaotic nature god), Adria (moon goddess of the elves), Churlathoton (Forest Mother and also Goddess of Entropy and Sunsets)
Analogue: anarchistic and fanatical environmental terrorists, living off the grid with nature
Symbology: An oak tree. Vines choking a ruined tower.
aka Grey Elves
The Hayasails or Grey Elves have no tribal structure or society. They live among men and have no sworn allegiances. Their dream of Summerland is dead and they prefer to live for themselves as loners and wanderers. They live by their wits, have no magical prowess, but are cunning warriors and mercenaries.
Analogue: Lone wolves, mercenaries, travelers, thieves. The elves of Drew Hayes’ Poison Elves series.
Deities: generally none, although some do worship Garm Gorak – God of Wolves and War. Some others will call upon Adria in times of upmost duress.
Symbology: A dagger, a bottle, a wolf head
aka Moon Elves
The white elves get their name from their blonde to white hair. Their skin is pale and sometimes a grayish blue color. They live in lavish castles and cities of their own construction and rarely venture into the worlds of men. Some of them become powerful clerics or sorcerers. They worship the many moon gods of their antiquity. They seek the powers and artifacts of their past and obsess over their ancestral loss. Many write brooding and sorrowful songs or poems.
They can be powerful and loyal allies when there is a mutually beneficial arrangement, ie: seeking out and destroying the worshipers of Xyglia or the Mother of Trolls.
Deities: Original pantheon of Moon Gods (names too numerous to list), Adria, Churlathoton
Analogue: Ennui-ridden poets and philosophers.
Symbology: A white crow on a black shield. An owl and a moon.
The Children of Mur
aka The Seven Tribes of Summer
In the rolling plains and fields many elf tribes have organized communes and small villages. They have red or brown hair and laughing eyes. They live a simple life by the wheel of nature and are farmers, fishermen, and artisans.
They are steadfast in their beliefs and their devotions to their tribes and families.
When their lands are threatened, they are quick to defend, but they are also articulate and measured negotiators and keepers of peace. Many emissaries of the tribes will travel to cities and towns with gifts of swords or apples in exchange for their continued peace and safety of their lands.
Fewer men know magic than the women.
The tribes live in peace, but there are often rivalries and squabbles that the council of elders will settle.
Deities: Churlathoton, Adria, Falloch – Goddess of Field and Flower
Analogue: commune-dwellers, tribal people, healers, stout-hearted folk
Symbology: Harvest moon surrounded by seven stars, a fish and a flower