Perhaps the second most fascinating race of Glanodel, the elves are an elegant people with a rich cultural heritage. Elves are most well known among humans for their long life and magical prowess, which has bred a bit of discontent between the two since the dominant human religion does not approve of magic. Most elves adore the beauty of nature, and while not all are druids, most every elf feels at home in the woods, and prefers the comfort of the forest to the bustle of the city, which is why their settlements usually do not exceed 2000 citizens.
The Elves of Glanodel cling to forest settings and mostly reside within the forests of Elenvaul, Celathon, and Dirondel. Elves as a whole break down into two major types, the wood elves and the high elves. Wood elves are what most humans who live in Hure or Norfeld are familiar with. These elves are rough, strong, and very skilled warriors. While most prefer the bow, a great deal also show great skill with battle axes and short swords. These elves are still very similar to the high elves, and share some of the same interests, like cultural pursuits, but wood elves, or wild elves as some call them, are less, if at all, likely to create anything larger than a small village. High elves are the ones most humans living anywhere else are familiar with. They are magically adept and usually at least a little trained in spellcraft, and they actually make active efforts, should local resources allow, to create larger cities and even small castles made from mountain sides.
One thing that seems the most unusual to outsiders, especially humans and dwarves, is how loosely structured elven society is. To elves, traditions are not meant to help maintain order among the population, but instead to help elven people lead a rich life of fulfillment with respect for their brother and sister elves. In fact, elves are always encouraged to speak their mind and present new ideas should they be more beneficial or advantageous than the previous traditions.
Elves, unlike most other races, are (individually) nonspecialized. Most individuals of a particular race, like humans especially, tend to be specialized in a particular trade, like woodcutting, smithing, etc. However elves do not do this; more often than not individual elves have a wide range of skills. This is because an elf, instead of going to someone to have something made, they learn to make it themselves. Additionally, elves who are specialized in anything are not so out of the necessity, it is usually out of the personal interest in the craft.
Finally, elves, from a young age, for elves, are taught how to wield a weapon of some kind, like a bow or longsword, and are usually, but the age of about 130 are pretty skilled by human standards. This is because the elves, so fearful of anything that might impede their freedom or their personal expression, do not allow for any type of military or true structural government as we would understand them. Elves of course speak Elven, though most also speak the language of the nearest human civilization. Also, by in large, most elves adhere to the same faith, Naturalism, or simply the worship of nature spirits.
Among elven settlements deep within their forests, there is usually a loosely styructured government consisting of a single king, queen, or simple town leader in smaller settlements. True elven communities hold a single population, are completely self-contained, and unless directly intending to, are completely independent of any surrounding elven communities. Elven leaders (whether called kings, queens, or just the town elder) may rule over a population of only a few hundred or maybe as many as two thousand, but this is the extent of their domain. Leaders represent the face of their community to all other elven leaders and the leaders of other races who deal with his community. Succession from one ruler to the next is always easy and almost never involves violence or even much civil discontent. In addition, while the ruler usually appoints their successor, usually a family member or member of their inner circle, the transition is usually simple and quick, immediately following the death of the predecessor. However, elves are in no way obligated to follow the appointed leader, and are encouraged to speak up if they feel they have good reason to.
The closest thing to a centralized leadership that the elven community has is a group of ancient elves known as the Council of Elders. These elves maintain a steady number of fifty members and each member always appoints their successors. They are considered the brightest and wisest of all elves, and are revered for their ancient and vast knowledge of the world. Kings usually come to these elves for guidance, and usually, will always heed their word, though they are "technically" not obligated to. The Elders range in age from 1000 years old to over 3000 years old. The way this is made possible is through the power of legendary magical rings, a set of fifty rings in each of the elven forests. These items give the wearer immunity to further aging, disease, or death by any natural causes. Eventually, members will simply become ready to pass on to the next life, and willingly give their ring to the perso
anging from magic users, to archers, to swordsmen. The Regiment, in battle, since it can't be led directly by the elders at that point, is led by the Sentinels. The Sentinels are the best fighters of the elven people who have joined the Regiment, and they are as respected as kings in the elven community. The Regiments usually has upwards of several hundred soldiers, and there is usually, at least one Sentinel per Elder.
Within the woods lie a plethora of elven cities, villages, and open woodlands where elves roam free and live lives mostly untouched by too much of the modern technologies of the outer world. Elves only use technology as advanced as metallurgy and stone working. Elven architecture is definitely a wonder to behold. Woodworking takes on new meaning when looking at the amazing things that Elves do with trees, building tree houses that touch the canopies of the forests, some reaching 30-40 feet in the air.