The elves, the oldest and noblest of all races, come from the forests of southern Fiara. The magnificent trees of the Finon Mir provided protection against the powerful dragons, allowing these children of nature to prosper and live in relative peace under the roof of leaves. Elves grow tall, yet are of delicate stature, and their lifespan is much longer than that of other races. What they may lack in physical strength is more than compensated by their bravery and wisdom.
For as long as they can remember, the elves lives peacefully in their forests, but with the demise of the dragons came humans, and with them trade and war. In the end, the elves were forced to either fight or perish – and fight they did, earning themselves a reputation as feared warriors, better as friends than as foes. Today, the elves have allied with humans and dwarves in order to face the menace of the dark races. None can match their prowess with the longbow, and they have learned to use the magic of nature and ice. The mages of the Circle knew of the elvish talent for magic and their use in battle, and created many runes to make use of their skills.
Since the wars against the dark races and the time of the Circle, the elves have been living in clans strewn all across Fiara. Few survived the Convocation, however, so it is rare to meet one of these noble creatures in the northern lands.
The peaceful nature of elven society is founded in the knowledge that each member plays an important part in the survival of the group. Not only when defending against outside threats, but also in everyday tasks such as gathering food, constructing or maintaining buildings, making bows and arrows or any other of the myriad tasks and duties to be performed. Before an elf learns a particular craft or specialises in defense, she helps as a worker to build up and strengthen her clan.
Before the greed of the dark races and the madness of the Circle plunged the world into chaos, the way of the elves was one of peace and thoughtfulness. They applied their talents to the healing skills very early, bringing the kindness and comfort of their goddess Elen to the ill and wounded.
When the wars started, the elf healers helped support their comrades in battle. Using their natural magic, they can make the difference between victory and defeat, and no army should go into battle without them.
These servants of the frost draw their strength from the ancient pact between the elves and the winter dragon Aryn. Cenwen, a queen of the elves, once sacrificed herself to him to protect her people from death – and in exchange, the elves received the power of the ice dragon. Only a few, however, are able to harness this power. Those that are able to survive the test of winter and defeat the cold are also known as the Followers of Aryn. Their skin becomes pale as ice, and their bodies become weak from the turmoils of the great powers they must learn to control.
After their training, however, they can use the full power of the ice against their enemies. With this powerful magic, they can cause great damage to an enemy army, freezing the units in their tracks.
All elves live with a strong connection to nature. There are, however, a few whose connection is stronger and more intimate, becoming a magical bond between elf and the forest. These few spend hours, days, even months wandering among the magnificent trees, listening to the rustling of leaves and the creaking of the trees, learning the language of nature, until they become one with the forest. Some of these chosen ones become druids, servants of the goddess Elen, whereas others stay more down-to-earth and become the best trackers and rangers under the sun.
These few are known to the elves as Wanderers. They are experienced archers, protected by the powers of the forest, a protection they can offer to their colleagues and allies as well. Only very few elves can master these powers, and they are often the subject of legends and song.
Rangers are the backbone of the elven army. The natural bond between elves and the forest gives them the gift to become one with nature, enabling them to sense their prey or enemy’s presence from afar and adjust the trajectory of an arrow to the wind. Rangers can become extremely skilled with the longbow, and what was once used mainly for hunting or defense has become a formidable weapon of war.
Becoming a ranger is the natural way of the elves, and so they learn this craft quickly and easily.
When the humans started invading the forests, the elves learned one lesson quickly – no matter how skilled and deadly their archers, it was always possible for an enemy to escape the barrage of arrows and deal a swift death to the otherwise unarmed archer with a sharp blade or other weapon.
And so the elves began to assign to each archer a warder, sworn to protect their charge’s life in close combat. Thus began the way of the Warder, who use their formidable fighting skills with the elvish wooden staff to protect the archer entrusted to them.
A warder wears little protection, and their staff can do little damage against heavy armour. Their speed and endurance can, however, help them defeat even heavily armoured units, and their spartan lifestyle helps replace their losses quickly.
Once an elf has mastered the art of archery by natural means, they can turn to the supernatural world of magic to further perfect their skill. An elf wishing to learn this magic must not only perfect her targetting skills, but also listen to the druids and understand the magic of nature. She can become one with her weapon and one with the wind, enabling her to draw and fire with dreamlike speed and uncanny accuracy. The training of such a Windarcher under the supervision of a druid takes time and patience - the effort put into such an elf is, however, well worth it on the battlefield.
As the dark races swept across the continent, any previous wars Fiara had seen paled in comparison. It was at this time that the old races came together and made a pact to face the new enemy together. Out of this alliance was born the path of the Protector. Using the human and dwarf metals, the elves learned to make armour and weapons, and a new method of fighting was born. The Protectors were able to drive back the armoured hordes of darkness and saved the elves from destruction.
In close combat, the protectors are even more effective than the warders, despite not being as heavily armoured as many units of other races. The elves mastered metallurgy, but never took to the art of mining. Since they do not like to work underground, out of the sunlight, they must buy the metal for their armour and weapons from other colonies.
Only a small minority of elves have the dedication and strength necessary to follow the path of the forest goddess and join the Circle of Druids. Similarly to the Wanderers, they have a particularly strong bond with the forces of nature, but theirs goes ever deeper. There lives are governed by the laws of nature and they server their clan as priest and advisor. In the wars against the dark ones, the druids learned to use their powers in battle and hurl them against their enemies.