Journal of Khazrel Nakhu “Journey to the Cities Afar” 31’s93
- OF ELVES
“I was not entirely sure of what to expect upon my first meeting with the Elves in their own proper home lands. Surely the ones I have met prior to this encounter have been a strange lot of multi-colored fey that seem perpetually more interested in frolic, fine drink and singing than rightful toil and well-reasoned thought. I had pictured their villages nothing short of an orgy of oiled bodies, fine foods, strange animals, and perhaps some fine entertainment between the orgifiying. Naturally I steadied my hands and made sure my iron-banded belt was on particularly tight as we entered the meadows of the Haedegian, a great primeval forest.”
“What I saw therein was quite different from my initial expectations. Wooded dwellings surround the huge trees and some buildings even climb the tree’s heights to a meager extent. These dwelling surrounded a central hold of marbled buildings with open roofs which were cut down the middle with running streams of water. The landscape was quite well kept and to my surprise no debauchery was openly present.”
“Instead I saw small groups of like-minded individuals doing an assortment of bewildering things. Most seem to be in preparation for some kind of revelry. I surmise it is for the breaking of winter and in preparation for the height of spring. A group of woodcarvers were chastising a bear for wrecking a group of tent poles. Women folk practiced dance routines with a lack of music and decorated gowns. Several gardeners milled about their groves, poking and prodding the fruit for ripeness. A few scholarly sorts read aloud to on another on a grassy patch. A few armed women return from a scouting expedition, each mounted upon a large tapir. All of this very different from the machinery, oil and toil of my homeland.”
“The year was 31’s93, thirty one years after the Great Rot, and it appeared to have little lasting effect here as it had in other locations. A few giant toadstools could be seen to and fro, but none of the compost heaps and spore clouds that linger in other areas. It is now spring and the Elves themselves are particularly multi-colored. Many of my kindred are unsure why the Elves are so seemly chaotic in appearance, so let me give my insights.”
“Most Elves appear as lithe humanoids with delicate features and a natural grace beyond that of other humanoids. Their hair, skin color, and eyes are all effected by two things. First of all the season in which they were born, secondly the current season which they are in. The men stand roughly 5 to 5.5 feet. The women a head or two shorter. Elves have long finger which seem inordinately fidgety, constantly kneading, preening, rolling and moving about – as if looking for something to do. The many colors of the elves hair, skin and eye change as follows – at least as far as I can tell.”
“Summer: Skin and hair is of tans, yellows, light yellows, dark pinks and olive. The eyes have a slight glow and tend to be bright emeralds, scalding yellows, and deep oranges.
Autumn: Skins take on a more sullen quality and turn to shades of deep red, oranges, deep yellows and dark muddled brown-greens. The eyes however contrast this with slightly glowing shades of bright red, bright orange, bright yellow and occasionally purple.
Winter: Skin turns a bit ashen and is usually a shade of pale white, light blues, white with a faint shade of purple, and sometimes a dusty gray. The eyes again are slightly glowing and are of a bright sapphire, a darker topaz, a bright purple or even white like a diamond.
Spring: Skin turns shades of creamy pink, light green, dusty yellow and wide assortments of mid-ranges. The hair often contrasts the skin, making them more colorful than they otherwise are, sometimes retaining the quality of a previous season. The eyes likewise vary widely and usually retain a color of a previous season.”
“An Elf born in the winter would have a subtle hint of a whitish-blue all year around, although it is often overpowered by other colors to the non-elf observer. Likewise with Elves born of other seasons. For all Elves this indicator is obvious and they often talk amongst each other with reference to the Elf’s seasonal heritage; ‘sister of the winter’ or ‘autumn brother’ and so forth.”
“Most of my Dwarven kin know that Elves live very long and so I asked many Elves bluntly how long they live. It was most unsettling that almost all Elves do not know when they were born, simply a long-long time ago. Memory seems to be a transitory thing for many Elves, as it appear that their long term memory last no more than 400-700 years. Most Elves are older than this, so it appears, thus we have a conundrum of what has occurred before this time. Few Elves authored books on history, and they are usually heavily slanted towards legends and particularly sever seasons and not much use to me. I have some sinking doubt that some of the great Elves hold libraries of old told knowledge. I am sure some detailed history would lay within but these are unfortunately beyond my reach”
“It is possible the Elves are indeed quite old, spanning to who knows how long in terms of age. If this is true then how come the world is not over run with porridge munching, frolicking Elves? The answer is quite the reverse of their appearance of endless revelry; they simply do not mate often and occasionally Elves do die due to accident, times of war and so forth. In terms of mating it appears the males of the species is genuinely not very interested, much to the irritation of the females which appear to be forever in the throws of lusty passion. Evidentially the males are far more concerned with peace of mind, brotherhood among their kind, the various stages of revelry which their lives seem to be dictated around. The females on the other hand are obsessive about their counter-gender and plot endlessly to seduce one, most often to no avail by the dismissive males. I have learned first hand that one should be very careful when paying attention to a female Elf, as they have the tendency to think things are far more than what they are. I dare say they are all inflicted with some sort of mild insanity driven by passion.”
“With this in mind, it vaguely reminds me of my youth, when my beard was first reaching length. Oh the games the women-kin would play to gain the attentions of a strong-bearded Dwarf such as myself! Naturally such games eventually end when we become more serious of mind, but this does not seem to be the case with Elves. Few Elves are of serious mind to commit to a serious cause. Those few who do often create a large impact upon their kind and the world in general. Those few who take to magic use, the arts of learned reason, and other great crafts are among the best in the world. It is of no surprise that these Elves take the reins of leadership and usually direct the passions of their kind to the greater good. Oddly enough this is diametric to the nature of the rest of their people, so such great Elves are often uncomfortable in their own homelands. Perhaps this is why so many of the great Elves travel endlessly or seek hermitage.”
“Elves do not have standing armies and often avoid conflict when possible. The males are far too self-interested for such things, and far too intent of saving their own skin to start swinging a sword at the local evil spirits. The females are more inclined to be martial and often make up the ranks of rangers and scouts which patrol their lands. I suspect the males arrange this to some extent get the females out of their daily business. Only in times of great peril will the Elves truly stand together”
“I have ask many Elves of their opinions on other races. Oddly enough they seem to think the Humans are actually divergent Elves from a 20-year summer many millennia ago. I find this hard to believe but I have heard this from more than one respected Elf, which gives me pause. Most Elves prefer to stay out of the affairs of men but do enjoy their company, their games, and their oddly primitive trade goods. Elves however dislike their violence, their propensity towards crime and politics.”
“Elves and Dwarfs have always been amicable but distant. I will tell you first hand that very few Elves travel to Dwarven citadels and the reverse is true as well. The Elves seem to think Dwarfs are the kin of stars, and gained their great knowledge from the celestial bodies. I find this hard to be true but I humor the ideas regardless.”
“The Elves seem most unsure about Halflings and seem a bit unsettled about their ability to see the future. I can relate to this, as it is difficult to not think every action a Halfling takes is towards some other unseen motive. Still, most Halflings are content to live their lives in peace and seem to prosper best when left alone in some prairie. The Elves appear to think the presentience is unnatural, and it is not how the Halflings should be. Unfortunately they did not elaborate beyond this.”
“Other races were eluded to as being important to the Elves. Most notably the divergent races which occur when a great season is particularly severe. It is rumored that in a 32 year long winter that a coven of sullen elves never recovered, and stayed the deepest of purples with coal eyes and stark hair. Other rumors elude to winged fey being the origin of long stints of Spring time and the Elves of that age. It is difficult to tell what may indeed be fact and what is simply legend or some odd-ball deduction by the self-important Elves. I will not outright dismiss these tales, but all can not possibly be true. Especially since it is common knowledge that the Dwarven ingenuity created most of the natural world.”