Elves are lithe, fey beings with pointed ears, delicate features, and graceful movement. They typically weigh about 130lb and stand between 5 ½’ and 6’ tall. Humans envy their long lifespans and seeming agelessness. Though elves are a peaceful people that enjoy poetry and art, they are also very talented fighters and skilled mages. Within the Auran Empire, most elves dwell in the isolated forests of Northern Argollë; those that traffic in the kingdoms of man are both bold and remarkable.
Elves are a subtle race, and never does their gift for finesse and subtlety so reveal itself as in the practice of death-dealing. Cunning, deadly, and rarely seen, the elven nightblade is an assassin and sorcerer whose art is murder. Most nightblades practice their work in the courts of elven nobility. Those few who venture outside of the forests of Northern Argollë find their skills in high demand, for adventurers, aristocrats, and warlords all value their arcane and deadly ways.
Among the elves of Northern Argollë, there yet remain some noble families that can trace their lineage to the Imperial era. These highborn elves spend their days at the courts of Aodhan, engaging in intricate duels of etiquette, swordplay and magic against rival families. Few care to look beyond their borders, likening man’s dominance over the Ammas Aurë region to the darkening sunset at the end of a glorious day. From time to time, one of these elven courtiers is possessed with more than the usual allocation of ambition and vigor, and sets out from sylvan Aodhan to seek glory and gold in the world of men. Few return to their woodland demesne, yet enough succeed to fill the history books with new annals of elven glory. The elven courtier class represents one of these bold scions.
Human legend paints the elves as bewitching and glamorous, yet tricky and untrustworthy. This reputation is not entirely undeserved, for the favorite dweomers of the elves are charms and illusions. The elven enchanter is a specialist in such glamours, one who can weave subtle marvels of light and sound, torment the senses with phantasms and figments, and confound the minds of the easily influenced. Elven enchanters might be called to adventure by a desire to experience awe and terror, a quest for rare and forgotten magic, or merely the lure of opulence.
Elven rangers are sharp-eyed archers with a light tread and a deep connection to nature. Expert at archery and woodcraft, rangers are often compared to the human class of explorers that ranges past settled borders and opens up new settlements. Unlike human explorers, however, elven rangers focus on patrolling and protecting the existing expanses of elven land. Such is their reputation that few dare trespass the Argollëan forests, so elven rangers sometimes become adventurers out of wanderlust or boredom. Others might seek to carry their war to the heart of the enemy, might be exiled from their homeland, or perhaps are hunting a trespasser against the fastness.
An elven fastness may not be built in the civilized or borderland area of a human or dwarven realm. Only areas within an elven realm, or wilderness areas, will serve. Additionally, a fastness must be built harmoniously within a site of natural majesty.
Because of the elven connection to nature, all ordinary animals within 3 miles of the fastness will be friendly to the elves. The elves will be able to communicate with the animals as per the spell speak with animals , and the animals will warn of approaching strangers, carry news of events, deliver short messages to nearby places, etc. As a result, spies and thieves operating against the domain suffer a -2 penalty to their proficiency throws (see Hijinks, below). However, in exchange for this assistance, an elven ruler must always defend the animals within this territory.