The elves of Dellan generally keep themselves to themselves, staying mostly in their Great Forest, known colloquially (and slightly derogatorily) as “Elfland”. Elves are not, by nature, a curious people, and are generally content to hunt for food, gather berries, and generally occupy themselves by simple living. They have no interest in leaving their Great Forrest, and as such elves are rare beyond it. That, however, does not mean that they are unheard of. Occasionally and elf will wonder what is beyond their borders. Often, without so much as a goodbye, this wanderlust will grab them, and they will pack what little things they have, and head off into the Beyond (that is, the lands beyond the Forest). It is not a coincidence that the elven word for “Beyond” is almost identical to the elven word for their afterlife. These wandering elves are thought by those in the Great Forest to be one tree short of a forest, or touch by the Moon Goddess. Their reasoning is founded on the change that comes over elves after they have been wandering in the Beyond. They find the sedate life of the elves to be difficult to handle. Some return, but rarely stay long. Elves who wander find themselves caught between a longing to return to the forests, but knowing that such a return is no-longer truly possible. They become liminal creatures, stuck between two worlds, never really of one or the other.
Elves have a natural distrust of things that are not natural, considering it to, in some way, be “wrong”, though most elves cannot articulate why this is. They generally feel unsettled in cities.
The Elves claim to be creatures of balance, claiming that you can have too much of a good thing. To this end, Elves will intentionally take themselves off to be miserable in order to be able to properly appreciate the good things. They will sleep in wet clothes, stand in the rain, intentionally go without food.
It should be noted, that the Elves would not consider 'leaving the forest' as a solution of 'too much of a good thing'. Leaving the forest is considered a madness (and secretly, too much discomfort, you can have too much of a bad thing!)
Elves are tall, and slender, often though of as “willowy”. They have sharp pointed faces with almond eyes, and pointed ears.
The Elves have developed amongst themselves their own language. Much of this language is connected with the nature in which they live. Their greeting, for example "Helio-Shenna" means, literally, 'Does the Sun Shine on you today?" It is from this that much of Dellan gets their word 'Hello', meaning, literally 'Helios Shines'. The words themselves are a hang-over from the First Language, but their use and context can change their meaning. As a general rule of thumb, words about Helios are good, and words about the Rain are bad, but the Elves also have a concept that too much of a good thing is bad for you, which can confuse new learners or the language.
The Elves worship the major religions of Dellan, though often through their own subtle aspects. Tenberis, for example, is thought of by the Elves as the Moon Goddess, a Goddess who brings beauty in her silver light. Helios is seen as her twin, that brings the golden light, and so on.
At the heart of the Great Forest there are four trees, spaced equally apart in a perfect square. These trees are thought of as 'Sanctuary', and according to ancient custom, anyone who enters that square may not be forced to leave it, and has gained sanctuary. These trees are tended with care personally by the royalty of the Elves, and have become if not a religion for the Elves, then very definitely sacred. Elves, by common agreement, do not go near the trees, but rather marvel at them from afar.
In the Wild Times Elves were common amongst the people of Dellan. They were renowned as scholars, and as great priests and Mages. Their long life, and their soft dedication to their chosen way of life generally combined to produce powerful, yet humble masters. Elves lacked the drive of the Humans and the singular focus of the dwarves, yet were content to take years learning things that other races would learn in months. Their tendency towards perfection driving them to remove any hint of a flaw.
Towards the end of the Darkness War, many of these ancient Elves vanished, and their brethren returned to the forest, just as the Dwarves returned to their mountains.
These Forest Elves were content to live amongst the trees, growing the perfect tree, or tending the perfect garden. Elves have been known to watch a flowing river for hours, lost in it's beauty.
The Elves themselves seem unbothered by this strange change, and the scholars of Elvenkind dismiss the stories of the Wild Times as being just stories, and pointing out that Elves have always left the forest, but they are not like the other elves, and are to be pitied.