An elf is a near-human being, of a similar though oftentimes taller height to humans, often identified by their pointed ears and pale complexion. Elves are natives of the forested land-bridge which connects the continents of Engelain in the west and Kal'sea in the east, therefore not being endemic to any particular continent, simply existing within a landmass of their own. Elves are characterized by their fondness for nature, their isolationist stance (which is sometimes interpreted as pretentious,) and their ability to grasp the wider picture- perhaps aided by their advanced age.
Elves live for an indeterminate number of years- they are known to be long-lived, and it is suggested by some that they are functionally immortal, so long as they do not succumb to disease or severe wounding. But there is also a prevailing idea that there are different subspecies of elves whose lifespans vary, though these subspecies might not be subspecies at all and instead part of a cast system. Given the isolationist nature of the elves, who rarely leave their woodland homes and in general see themselves as far superior to mankind, their secrets are not often divulged to the 'lesser races'.
Much of elven culture is little understood by humanity. As it is not atypical to have five human generations in a century, the concept of developing culture and history is much different in elven society, where beings live for centuries or maybe even millennia. Elves have the potential to outlive entire eras, watch the rise and fall of empires, see the world change in immeasurable ways. And given an immortal lifespan, it is easily speculated that elves learn so much that they would have to undo centuries of learning to return to the base piece of knowledge in order to begin teaching it to humanity. The complexity that such a culture breeds is one that humanity has little tapped into- not helped by the fact that many different elven castes have differing cultures themselves.
The different elven castes/subspecies:
- High Elf
- Wood Elf
- Dark Elf (referred to also as the Drow)
- Snow Elf
- Sea Elf (referred to also as the Westerelf)
Examples of elves: