The Origins of the Elves

Modern elves are the descendants of the progenitor elves: immortal beings who came into existence ages ago. Most of these progenitors have disappeared, but a handful remain in the underground realms, close to the Lifestones. The first elves are immortal but their descendents are not, though they do live very long lives and outlive generations of other races. For example, citizen elves of Seladria have a life expectancy of around 700 years on average. However, an Elf who chooses to live on the upper layer of Pixelos, in Etheros for example, will experience accelerated aging starting after around 100 years, and will likely die around the age of 150. Elvish strongholds and cities, such as Seladria, are built around important natural monuments, such as the Lifestones, because of their attunement to the planet’s cosmic vitality. The royal chambers are built around these geologic relics and they are heavily guarded and sealed by powerful magic, making them impossible to penetrate. The energy that flows from the Lifestones resonates with the elves in the proximity, tuning their bodies on a molecular level, extending their lifespans: the closer they live to the Lifestone, the longer they live. Venturing away from their realm, for example to partake in a quest or pilgrimage, is a big sacrifice. Over many generations underground and in a sprawling network of caverns, elves evolved, growing elongated ears and and very sharp eyesight incredible eyesight to hear and see in the depths of the underground. Some have the gift of “moonsight”.

The Seladrians live underground in the “Empire of the Shrouded Moon”, named Seladria. They are the sworn defenders and citizens of the underground realm, which is hidden behind the magically sealed Selamon (Moongate). They wield repressive magic which prevents therianthropic transformation, which has aided them in warding off the invasions from the Volvenhaar (Northern werewolves) since their origin. They alone have the understanding and commandment of the Seladrian language to speak the spells required to open the Moongate. Leader: Hestyr, Keeper of Selamon.

Selene-Súl elves are dispersed throughout Pixelos, inhabiting wooded areas. Every 2-3 years, a blue moon occurs. Seladrian elves born under a blue moon are born with the gift of “moonsight”. When surrounded by darkness, their eyes glow incandescently, allowing them to see in the dark, making them expert hunters in the caves. During the 4th age, the armies of the Klodtroddir (“cloud tramplers”: the word for inhabitants of the Overlands) excavated deep into the planet, tapping into the planet’s vitality to fuel their war machines and spells. As a result, the soils across the plane were affected and a great famine spread throughout Pixelos. Vegetation was strangled and the harvests yielded very little. Elves were by nature a vegetarian species, but in desperation during the famine, they resorted to hunting. Edible species were very sparse underground, so Selene-Súl hunters were sent to the surface to hunt food to bring back to Seladria. Traveling back to Selamon with freshly killed prey drew the attention of the Volvenhaar, leading them to the once hidden gate, and after a series of attacks and murders of Selene-Súl hunters, the Seladrian Empire established a military outpost in what is now dubbed the Cave of Gemlar. Some Selene-Súl were frightened into the nearby woods and never returned. They adapted very well to life in the forest, and despite a shortened lifespan, they enjoyed commune with nature and established a secondary elvish settlement where a new lineage was birthed above ground. Though not usually needed on the surface, their glowing eyes are a remnant of their cave dwelling heritage. They do prefer deeply wooded areas, as the light of the suns is too bright for their dark adapted eyes. When extra-woodland diplomacy is required, they will don masks to protect their eyes from the sunlight. Leader: Kosantyr, Sylvan Safekeeper

City Elves are for all intents and purposes, humanized. They live an average of 150 years, but otherwise they are completely out of touch with their elvish ancestry. They have chosen life on the surface and assimilated with other races on the plane. Because of their abnormally long lives they enjoy they live as gods among men. Notable characters :

The Seladrian Lifestone is a pillar roughly 8 feet tall, which protrudes out from the earth in an area of the Under. This geological anomaly is thought to be one of many, but only a few similar structures have been found. Each has a power which it lends to the inhabitants who remain in its close proximity. The power of the Seladrian Lifestone is very concentrated and very few have the tolerance to remain close enough to inhabit the royal chamber. When a potential heir is identified, their endurance and tolerance are tested, by spending a night inside the room. The Lifestone is said to whisper the secrets of the cosmos, and a failed attempt at proving one’s eligibility for the throne can leave one mentally scarred, with a lasting degree of insanity (though it reduces over time).

In the Great War of the Fourth Age, the second Lifestone was stolen. On the night before her marriage, Freylar’s royal chamber was infiltrated by the treacherous Thrystia, who stole the Lifestone shard from around her neck while she slept. This shard was one of two and was worn on a necklace. The ruler of Seladria could gift the necklace to anyone they wished to marry and it would grant the wearer immortality. The other shard was embedded inside of her back, between her shoulder blades. The shard was surgically inserted during the ritualistic coronation of a new ruler. Located in this part of the body, the only way it could be removed would be by a fatal surgical extraction. This shard of the Lifestone also granted immortality to whoever bore it, and thus the ruler was not only impervious to death, but was prevented from ending their own life; the only way to free them at the end of their reign was a vote by the council and the coronation of a successor.

Thrystian Bloodline is a tribe of elves who were cast out of Seladria because of their heretical practices and rituals. Initially they remained in the surrounding caverns, but eventually they made their ascent to the Overlands. They sought to regain the long lifespans they were denied due to their exile from Seladria and separation from the Lifestone. Their exodus led them to Logrand, where they worked as assistants/assassins/kidnappers for the Infirmari (Laboratories of Life) searching for specimens. Their sharpened senses made them particularly suited for this and they became experts in espionage. Though not actually invisible, their evasive prowess garnered a reputation of invisibility. Using the crumbled shards of the Lifestone stolen from Freylar, in the basement lab of the Church of Logranon, Thrystia concocted potions and elixirs, hoping to restore immortality to her people. Hailing from the caves of the Under, Thrystia and her followers had affinity for spiders, and some worshipped them. Harnessing the power of spider venom, she used spider blood to terribly potent effect. The elixir was only one half of the equation however. The Lifestone shard, being so far removed from the source, was only potent enough to extend life, but could not provide immortality. Through her access to the tomes in the private Logrean library, Thrystia discovered ancient manuscripts detailing rituals which could allegedly affect the pace of time. But the rituals required sacrifice in exchange for the powers they granted: blood offerings and a sacrificial killing. With the knowledge of ancient Logrean rituals she merged them with the cabalistic rituals of her heretical past. Combined with the elixir, the magic conjured by the rituals completed the transformation and vampirism was born. Upon initiation and completion of the transformation, the gift of immortality would be accompanied by an insatiable thirst for blood. Ingesting blood was the body’s tribute to the spider’s genes. Siphoning the blood (the Logrean equivalent of life) from their sacrificial victims, and killing the victim, was the spiritual tribute to Logranon. Logranon viewed blood and life as one and the same.

When Logrean officials learned of her experiments and dark magic, they jealously raided the labs and threw Thrystia in prison. When she was interrogated about her concoctions, she confirmed that she had made immortality elixir and that drinking it would grant immortality. Without further investigation, the officials drank the potion. Little did they know that the spider venom would be fatal, and that the ritual was required to revive the body after death. Though she was already locked in a cell, the guards all died from the potion, and she was able to retrieve the keys from a fallen guard. Fortunately for her, she had hidden a vial of the potion in her pocket and with only one chance at using the potion, Thrystia drank it, performed the ritual sacrifice, and became the first artificially made immortal. The power of the lifestone coursing through her veins, she was truly deathless, but immortality came at a high cost. She mutated into a horrific, otherworldly form and became a hideous monstrosity of a creature. Only under certain conditions can she temporarily restore her formerly beautiful elven form, though the exact conditions remain a mystery, even to her. Seeking a cure to her curse, she and her bloodline continue developing potions for Logrand, in order to retain access to the labs and the library. Leader: Thrystia, Antediluvian One/ Thystia, Restored

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