People are a mix of accepting and rejecting parts of their environment as well as how they view and wish to view themselves. For elves, so much of what they’re known for is societal: elitists, elegant, proper. Those are things you learn as you develop, not things you start life with.
So I wanted to deviate from these tropes being racial traits and tap into what might make someone perceive a group of people like this. Like elegance. If elves utilized precise and deliberate movements as a means of energy conservation, others could easily see that as all of them being elegant.
Elves are often shown as having open architecture and enjoying direct sunlight. But why? Thinking about it, having them be cold-blooded gave them a reason to seek those things as a group rather than it be a stylistic choice.
I retooled some old tropes into practical traits while completely dropping others that should be on a character basis instead of an entire people. Hopefully, you’ll find it helpful, thoughtful, and useful.
As mentioned, every person is a mix of accepting and rejecting perceived norms, so this isn’t how all elves should be, but an understanding of elves to build from.
One Page Lore: Elves
Elves Many think of elves as thoughtful, graceful, and elegant people. There is a reason for the common perception. They are cold-blooded, unlike most people This morphology makes for some strange behavior to warm-blooded folk.
Elves are generally slender humanoids, almost uniformly standing 6 feet tall. Elves have two recognizable features: their long pointed ears and their large eyes.
While some elves possess eyes similar to humanoids, others have eyes that are one solid color, multiple colors, or iris shapes unique to their family.
Skin tones range from pale white to obsidian black with many variants between. Hair color and texture vary just as widely.
Elvish physiology goes deeper than their appearance.
Their senses operate on a different level than most. Their large eyes can process more details, even over great distances.
Their minds also work quickly, allowing them to react with incredible speed, despite their normally slow and calculated movements. Their quick thinking is not dampened by low temperatures, though their body’s reaction time can be.
Elves do not require sleep. No part of a day needs to be set aside for physical recovery, unless they choose to do so.
Elves are aware of every bit of energy they spend. Thus, their movements are often precise and calculated, adding to the perception that they are thoughtful and graceful.
Elven blood runs cold, and they thrive in areas that would make warmblooded creatures uncomfortably hot. This is why many of the great elven structures are open, allowing sunlight to reach them at all hours of the day. While naturally hot environments are optimal for them, the heat they require can come from any source, such as fire or magic. In addition, extreme heat does not tax their bodies like it does most people.
Being coldblooded can aid them in the cold. Like other coldblooded creatures, they survive extremely low temperatures, such as being frozen so long as they can breathe. However, such low temperatures will cause them to slip into a deep sleep, and they either wake when warmed or die if too much time passes.
Supposedly, elves cannot die through aging alone. No truth exists to prove this one way or another.
Elves have a strange relationship with magic dating back to the first recorded elves. Magic sometimes acts strangely around elves. Spells that alter their mind or body often have alternate effects, and magical forces are less likely to harm them.
Some believe this is because elves were the first to use magic and it forever changed them. While unproven, the strange relationship between magic and many elves is undeniable.
Due to the massive number of memories they gather, elves can have difficulty recalling details. However, they can close their eyes and enter a state of deep meditation, revisiting their memories and attempt to recall specific details. The more details they wish to recall, the longer they must meditate.
Unfortunately, their brains are fallible and may not be capable of perfect recollection.
- Thrive in Heat – Direct heat rarely effects elves negatively
- Survivability – Since their bodies react to their environments, elves can survive extreme conditions
- Slender – A narrow frame and thin appendages allows them to gracefully move in places that might be too crowded or tight for others
- Lean – Due to their bodies not having to work to stay at a high temperature, they require less food to sustain themselves
- Lightweight – Minimal weight makes many athletic activities far easier
- Perfect Vision – Their perception is naturally superior to most
- Eye for details – Unmatched eye for catching details
- Far sight – The distance between them and what they see matters little to them
- Shrouded motives – Given their coldblooded nature and inherent differences, their body language and eyes can be difficult to read
- People watcher- With a longer lifespan to examine others, they can read the intent of others through body language
- Low endurance – Strenuous tasks quickly tax elves
- Frail – Their bodies cannot shrug off physical damage as easily as others
- Sluggish when cold – Without proper heat, elves move slowly
- Too many memories – Due to their long lives, elves can have trouble recalling details
- Photosensitive – Sudden changes in lighting can be disorienting
Other One Page Lore for fantasy folk:
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