The Elves, the Forest People, dwell almost exclusively in the massive Ironwood, a sea of trees which dominates Elanterra’s South-Eastern peninsula. Very few outsiders have ever stood at the heart of the Elven holdings, and their stories are often contradictory. What is known for certain is that the Ironwood is a natural fortress of maze-like trails, bloodthirsty animals and plants, and wild magic. To enter their domains without Elven guides is fatal.

The Elves are taller than a human, but usually very thin. Their features are delicate and beautiful. They claim to be ageless, although little proof exists to support this claim. Elves are greatly skilled at magic, but only practice the skill with other peoples reluctantly. Their use of magic is highly religious, and they claim that other practitioners somehow misuse ‘the gifts of the Mother.’ Whether this refers to the earth itself or to their mysterious Goddess is unclear.

ALthough they are not welcoming hosts, some Elves have engaged with the rest of Elanterra. They are strong supporters of the Alliance, and dutifully send ambassadors across the Island. The nature of these diplomatic visits causes the Elves to be seen as haughty and intrusive to the other Peoples.

There is a great benefit to these travels, however. Elves have laid roads across the island that are strong, wide, and easy to navigate. Trade and travel flourish along these byways, and banditry is almost unheard of. They even engage in some trade with Ferros, selling their Ironwood, which is said to have many great qualities, to the Dwarves for precious metals and gems.

Elves have the dubious distinction of being the only people able to mate successfully with Humans. The Half-Elves, as they are called, are shunned by both societies, and Elves known to consort with Humans are exiled. They rarely live long outside of their forest homes, but Half-Elves are becoming more and more common in the Great Cities.

Compiler’s Note: Aside from their seat on the Council of Five Peoples, the Elves have completely retreated beyond the reach of other Peoples. Even then, they say little and do nothing more than watch. The reasons for their withdrawal are unclear. Some sages theorize that a plague or some other catastrophe has struck the Heartwood. Others claim a political shift. In any case, There have been no corroborated sightings of an Elf outside of Isleheart Castle in more than a century. The Half-Elves only grow more and more common, however, and most sightings of ‘True’ Elves are likely scams perpetrated by their base-born kin.

“Elanterra Journal” is a look into the People, Places, and history of the Island of Elanterra, the setting of the Freelance Hunters stories.   “Glory’s Gauntlet,” an ebook collection of four Freelance Hunters shorts, is available from Amazon and Smashwords.

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