Alfheim lies on a plain that slowly rises from the Streel River Valley in the west up to the Altan Tepe Mountains in the south. The elves have magically transformed the landscape, creating gigantic treas and replacing the grass with forest-floor vegetation suited to growing in shadowy half-light. Alfheim is generally and unbroken flat expanse of forest. The forest is called the Canolbarth, after the foremost of elven sorcerors who created the magical forest. The Canolbarth and Alfheim lie intirely within the human nation of Darokin.
Elves from Alfheim
As told by an Elf Adventurer:
"The folk of Alfheim are generally set in their ways. You will never meet such great hunters and canny craftsmen, but they have no love of real adventure. You will find that I am not very typical of my people"
"The land of Alfheim is gorgeous, full of dark mysterious shadows, deep-blue lakes, brilliantly sun-lit glades, and majestic trees. Unfortunately, it tends to have a general sameness about it. Someone unfamiliar with the forest can become lost quite easily."
"Beware of pale elves with white hair, they mean only ill to Alfheim, and no good to you, whatever their promises" (speaking of the Shadow Elves)
As told by a veteran human adventurer:
"Alfheim Elves be a pretty close-mouthed folk around when it comes to their personal feelings, but they do love to talk about anything else though. Never get in a fight with an elf. They use both weapons and magic and can fry you before you know what hit you. My main problem with elves is they have no drive. They seem to think they have all the time in the world."
"Always remember that these folk all be a lot older than you and a lot of them have never been out of the forest..., but a bunch have and they know more about the world than you and me will have time to learn."
Tavern rumors about Alfheim elves:
"The elves of Alfheim are stuck-up folk who don't have the time of day for anyone without no pointy ears. They live in trees and just spend their whole time wandering around the forest pickin' flowers and stuff. No one ever tries to invade Alfheim because every elf is a lord 'n a wizard. They can't be beat in a fight and that's the truth."
The information which follows is only for those players who wish to play elven characters. To play a character that is not an elf, go back and select a different place of origin.
History as the Elves know it
Elves have an advantage over other races with shorter lifespans in that they are much closer to their own history and are able to remember history that much of the rest of the world has forgotten.
Long before men had words, the elves grew great in the wondrous land of Evergrun. There, they first learned the way of the forest and they were content.
But, in a far land, the evil empire of Blackmoor grew and when the fat merchant-priests landed on the shores of Evergrun, they were welcomed. They eventually brought their corruption to the elves, many of whom learned to practice the black arts taught by the interlopers.
Over time, the forests of Evergrun turned foul, and the wisest among the elves fled far away, and by this the elven race was saved. Soon, the gods stepped in and brought the horrible catastrophe known as the Rain of Fire down upon Evergrun, which was destroyed.
The elves that were not killed met again in what was then called Grunland. Even then, some still practiced the dark magic they had learned. It was then that Ilsundal, the wisest of the elves, led a group of faithful followers on a long and treacherous journey northward to the wild continent.
The cost of the journey was great, but the elves made a new home for themselves which they called the Sylvan Realm. Shortly thereafter, Ilsundal became an Immortal, and created for his people the Tree of Life. With this artifact at their disposal, the elves helped the forestland to grow great.
But there came a time when the Sylvan Realm could no longer hold all the hunters and magic of the elves. Mealiden Starwatcher, another wise elf, led several clans to seek out a new land. Born from the original Tree of Life, new Trees of Life were given to each of the clans as they set out on another long journey to a new home.
The elves moved past the lands of forest-slaying humans and found the barren Steppes that lay between the Altan Tepe mountains and Rockhome mountains. The wizards of the elves gathered together and performed great ceremonies that lasted years. Finally, a new, great forest grew from where there was only wasteland before.
It came to pass that others were jealous but the elves held their forest against all invaders. Now Alfheim is great among nations.
The Elven Way
Elves are not merely humans with pointy ears, nor are they mankind's noble woodland pals. They are a race of beings whose existence is totally alien to that of humanity.
To elves, all the world should be forest. Their history describes the terrible tragedies that resulted when they tried their hand at technology, and they want no more of that. Elven society centers on this yearning for stability in the forest.
Elves have an average life span of 800 years, and have a radically different attitude toward the passage of time and accomplishment of tasks than humans. They have a hard time understanding why something needs to be done immediately. Yet, they can industrious and work with intensity on the projects that interest them. They feel that merriment makes chores more pleasing, and would rather spend an entire day making a game of picking just three nuts off each tree than to simply find one tree and methodically strip it of nuts.
Elves are more often amused than excited, more likely to be curious than greedy. With such long lives, they tend to keep a broad perspective on events, remaining aloof and unfazed by petty hapenstance. When pursuing a goal, however, whether an adventurious mission or learning a new skill or art, they can be focused and relentless. They are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. The reply to petty insults with disdain and to serious insults with vengeance.
Elven Race Relations
Dwarves. Elves do not understand the dwarven work ethic or the dwarven need to create only things that last, just as the dwarves cannot comprehend the elven need for the emphermeral pleasures of hunting and playing. In essence, there exists between elf and dwarf a deep misunderstanding resulting from total racial incompatibility.
Gnomes. To elves, gnomes are more reasonable than dwarves. Gnomes like the forest, work with things other than rock and metal, have a lot of imagination, and a sense of humor. Moreover, gnomish inventions never fail to fascinate and amuse the elves... even if they don't always work.
Halflings (Hin). If there is a race that the elves truly like, it is the halflings. The short folk seem to have an elf-like joie-de-vivre, even without having elf-like lives. True, the halflings are entirely too tied up in taming the land rather than living with it, but that is obviously the influence of the humans. If halflings had the proper influence of elves around, they would probably be good foresters. It's a pity about that human influence though.
Humans. Elves are often in awe of humans. That short-lived beings can achieve such skills with magic and weapons amazes the elves. Yet, it is amazement mixed with fear, for the elves still remember tales of Blackmoor, of wrongful technology ... and the punishment of the Rain of Fire, all brought on by humans. It happened once, it will happen again. Humans now like to think of elves as their friends. yet given the choice, [most] elves would choose not to deal with humans. When they do deal with humans, they are often aloof, distant, even insulting, expressing pity in a negative way; attitudes which mask the elven fear and distrust of this prolific, powerful, and unpredictable race.
Orcs. Orcs hate elves, elves hate orcs (though the cosmopolitan elves of Alfheim Town have learned to tolerate what they think of as "their" orcs). Records in the Mealidor Library suggest that the mutal hatred predates even the oral tradition of history. Wherever elves go, it seems that orcs soon follow (or vice versa). Some scholars believe the orc/elf struggle may have cosmic significance. In all likelihood, the truth lies buried under the southern polar ice cap in what was once Evergrun, the elven homeland
Half-Orcs. When Mystaran elves encounter half-orcs in civilized regions, they regard them with unrelenting suspicion. Half-orcs raised among their orcish relations are reviled and hated as much as their orc parent would be.
Half-Elves. These do not exist in Mystara. Occationally, there are elf-human matings. Apparently, the two races are sufficiently similar to be infertile. However, the product of such unions are either elves or men, though their outward appearances sometimes fool watchers.
Growing Up Elven
Elves take about 20 years to grow to full size, and then have a free-spirited "adolescence" of about 80 years. During this time, an elf chooses one of the following three paths to walk in his or her future life:
The Forest Path Most elves stay in their homeland and follow the forest path. They have little interest in the outside world and instead live out their years in their home forest. Their lifestyle is one of endless hunting, gathering, crafting and playing
The Wanderer's Path A few young elves feel the need to affect their world. Some are drawn to the outside. These become adventurers, called "Wanderers" by fellow elves, are believed throwbacks to elvenkind's glory days when elves could live anywhere in the world. Though honored as heroes, they are also disdained by forest elves who do not understand them. The elves visit their homeland at regular intervals, and often, after a century or so of wandering, return home to stay building dominions and strongholds. Some never come back and others establish new elven strongholds in other parts of the world.
The Leader's Path The third path is that which leads to positions of Clanmaster and Treekeeper. These elves stay home, rarely go on adventures and study the greater magics and secrets of the elves.
Elves are raised by their entire clan. An elven child has hundreds of fathers and mothers, as infants are quite rare. Elves are known to change clan allegience throughout their lifetime, some even establish their own clans. These lesser clans rarely number more than a hundred elves, and are always allied with one of the larger clans.
To choose a clan for your character, move ahead to Step 2.
To pick a different Place of Origin for your character, go back to Step 1.