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Physical:
Elves are tall, graceful and beautiful. To have an ugly elf is an oxymoron. Even the most hideous of elves by Elven standards is a beauty by most others’.

The most obvious indication of Elves is their golden hued skin tone. Almost reflective in its nature, Elves pride themselves in the visual attraction that this skin hue permits them. The second most obvious trait is their very long and pointed ears.

Elves are the only civilized race in Alteria whose hair colour can be of any colour of the rainbow, depending on the elf’s choice, though most prefer red, purple or anything in between, as they try to emulate Lo’Ani’s chosen colour of hair petals.

Generally considered tall by most other races, Elves are the third tallest in the planes, only surpassed by Savage and Abyssals. A common thought from the other races is that elves forcibly make themselves taller so they can look down on others.

Due to their practice of weaving themselves to emulate their Goddess, every elf looks as though they are at the absolute pinnacle of physical fitness. Certain parts of their bodies are specifically improved in order to be more in line with their current idea of perfection.

Society:
Elves live a long time and as such, have been able to accrue great Houses of Royalty among their own. Royal births are often large affairs that span through weeks as the latest royalty of the House are brought into the world and shown off to those whom will be serving the newborn.

If not born to royalty, Elves are born either in servitude to a house or in servitude of a house. While most other races see no difference, there is a large difference between the two.

Those lucky to have been born in servitude of the house are trained in combat, diplomacy, arts, entertainment and a whatever else that their chosen duty will require. These individuals are able to travel Alteria, gathering materials, making diplomatic agreements, recruiting allies and partaking in the different lifestyles and commodities afforded outside of Lo’Ani’s realm, so long as they continue to benefit the House they serve.

Those born in servitude to a house are trained in civil arts, like weapon making, archery and whatever duties that have been chosen for them. These Elves are never to leave their House’s borders, unless they are sent as accompaniment to a Royal or to one of the traveler Elves.

An elf who is in training stays as such until their skills are honed to perfection. Thereby, an Elf training in Archery will do so until they are capable of completing feats of impossible accuracy with the bow and even then, may continue to train until they believe their skill can go no further in this field.

Many other races would find this kind of caste system abhorrent, but the Elves seem to have absolutely no qualm with this. There are no rules for Royals to marry other Royals, but often times deals are made between Houses in order to strengthen trade, or diplomatic ties.

For those who are born into servitude to a house, their entire lives are orchestrated by the Royals. The only true way to improve ones lot in life is to produce such exceptional wares, or service that you are recognized for your tasks and may be elevated to serve the house in a more fitting way.

One of the most effective ways is to rescue a Royal. By Elven law, any hero who successfully rescues a Royal are require to lay with them. If a child is produced from this union, the hero that laid with the Royal is constituted as a Royal themselves and are integrated into the House as such.

Lore:
The first of Aliteria’s Gods to enter through the Oculus, or so claim the elves, was Lo’Ani. She stepped upon the plane, saw lifeless grey and decided to weep, for she had left a place of immaculate beauty, only to be faced with desolate bland, uncharacteristic grey.

Her tears brought forth the flowers, her hair swept across the black abyss and brought with it the sky and as her tears dried, the Oculus shone a beautiful rainbow across her newly created realm.

Her plane was perfect, as was she, but the other Gods saw what she had done and decided they wanted Lo’Ani’s creation for their own greedy selves.

Deciding to protect her Garden from her siblings, Lo’Ani gifted all of her flora with a sort of sentience. Roots that entangle those who trespass, guardian flowers that devour interlopers whole and sweet fruits that could put one of her siblings’ creatures to sleep for a number of years for even daring to eat when Lo’Ani had not granted them rights to.

It was a paradise and Lo’Ani reveled in its beauty, for like her, it was perfect. One day,whilst singing to her beloved plants, Lo’Ani’s voice attracted some strange, white-faced creatures. Having not made these things, nor having any desire to sully herself with touching such uncharacteristic and boring oddities, Lo’Ani ignored the pale-faced beings and continued to sing.

For years, she ignored the creatures, shooing them away when they were found underfoot,or otherwise paying them no heed. Not until one of them sang along side her voice did Lo’ani even register that the creatures had been changing. By merely being in the presence of the Goddess, the pale-faced, deformed creatures were uplifted, changed, made to be like that which they sought to follow.

To imitate their Goddess’ skin, they painted themselves in the sap of her flowers, They stuck leaves to their heads to simulate the perfect lobes of Lo’Ani. Small petals of her vibrant flowers were pasted to their scalp in an attempt to copy their Goddess’ beautiful hair.

So disgusted with the creatures was Lo’Ani that she set off to find out who had abandonedthe horrid little imitators into her domain, but she came across two of her sisters talking while she traveled through the roots beneath their feet. Que’Lan and Sermali spoke to one another while they prepared for a banquet of the Gods. The most intriguing of the topics was that of the pale-face creatures and how they had each found these diminutive beings in their realms.

Que’Lan spoke of how she remade the creatures into beings far more suited to her liking while Sermali talked about how she took pity on the pale-faced creatures and granted them wings to not have to endure the hardships of walking.

Lo’Ani was prepared to interrupt and scoff at her sisters’ choices, but the two then began to speak about her realm and its beauty – of the amazing plants and the beautiful waterways – of the birds that sang such sweet symphonies and of the vibrant petals that could be seen from anywhere.

So swollen with pride was Lo’Ani that she feared the roots she was listening through would burst through the ground – but her pride quickly washed away as the two began to wonder what Lo’Ani would have done with her pale-faced creatures. How she must have made them into beautiful idols to herself and the two agreed to both go and sneak a peek upon Lo’Ani’s realm.

In haste, Lo’Ani retreated back to her domain. She immediately set forth to find her pale-faced creatures. It did not take long for her to track them down – the miserable-looking little creatures were offering her fruits of their harvest while they sang to her.

With a loving smile, Lo’Ani took her followers into her bosom and caressed them to her perfect breasts – and with that motion, she remade them, the golden hue they had painted on themselves sank into their exteriors while the petals that adorned their heads dug into their scalps. The leaves that had been so lovingly adhered to their heads with mud took flesh and the first Elves were born.

Lo’Ani looked over her creations and while they looked beautiful to one another, to Lo’Ani, she could see every flaw within them that she had not fixed due to her haste. As she began to prepare to fix her pale-faced deformities, Que’Lan and Sermali arrived to find her surrounded by the worshiping, naked elves.

The two other Goddesses commented on the beauty of the small creatures and how they resembled Lo’Ani, to which Lo’Ani humbly accepted their praise. The three sisters talked fora short while as Lo’Ani continued to try and hide her creatures’ flaws.

With Que’Lan and Sermali none the wiser, the two left and Lo’Ani turned to her worshipers and tried to remake them – more perfect than before. For days and days she tried to remake her worshipers into the perfection that she was and time and time again she failed. So distraught did Lo’Ani become that she began to doubt her own beauty – perhaps she was flawed like her little creatures.

For every one of Lo’Ani’s followers she made into her image, something was off. For every little physical clone she developed, she saw another flaw. It wasn’t until she came across a recently remade creature who was unhappy with their appearance.

“My Goddess.” The creature called as Lo’Ani ceased remaking the essence weave of another of her children.

“Why do you trouble yourself with us so?” It asked as Lo’Ani finished another failed semblance.

“I need you to be perfect, like me.” Lo’Ani stated as she once again saw the flaw in her design brought to light.

“But, my Goddess. We are not you. We cannot be perfect. We are the flaw.” Said the creature with Lo’Ani’s own voice. Lo’Ani ceased her work and thought about the little creature’s words. She looked upon the small thing and gazed upon what she had done to it.

She had twisted what it had once been into a beautiful, horrifying new thing.“You speak true.” Lo’Ani stated as she twisted her fingers about the small creature and undid her changes, reverting the small creature back into its pale-faced state.The creature tried to speak, but found no facility for it, Lo’Ani understood its plight.

The creature still wished to be like her, but wanted to save the Goddess the burden of the process. With precision, the Goddess instilled the knowledge of Essence Weaving within her follower.

The pale-faced creature forced hard and slowly began to remold itself. It took in the light of the Oculus into its flesh, it absorbed the colour of the petals into its scalp and it reshaped its own physical body to be more akin to the Goddess it so desired to imitate.

Lo’Ani looked upon the first of the Elves and while she could see the flaws, she was proud.She had not created such a flawed creature, but had given it the tools it needed to improve itself and to strive for perfection – to strive to be like Lo’Ani herself.

Over time, the creature taught the others who had been undone and the Elves were born. Every one of them tried to remake themselves into a perfect follower of Lo’Ani, knowing that the Goddess would find them flawed, but that the Goddess was proud to know that her followers were constantly working towards the unattainable goal of imitating their Goddess.

Unique Traits:
Elves are the only race capable of self weaving, due to their connection to their Goddess. This process is often started at conception and as the baby continues to grow within the mother, the mother weaves herself and her child into the most perfect version she can master. Often times, this means that pregnancies last for over two years as the mother meticulously prepares to give birth to her perfect baby.

As a benefit to Essence Infusion, Elves rarely ever fall sick, for a sickness can be removed carefully during the process.

Once an elf is happy with its appearance, it will remain looking as young and radiant as it wishes until finally succumbing to an Essence Knot and as every Elf is constantly seeking perfection, it is only a matter of time before an Elf will become Knotted.

When Weaving goes wrong, or the internal essence of an Elf has been weaved too much or not properly enough, an Essence knot forms. This generally happens as a result of the Elf overreaching their limits of perfection.

An Essence knot prevents an Elf from ever weaving again. Worse than that, all of the perfection, beauty, ability and memories of the Elf’s life becomes tangled. Leaving a small, wrinkled and senile creature where once stood a beautiful Elf.

Those that have Knotted are taken care of until they eventually expire. Often times given some semblance of duty from their previous life that they might still be able to perform, if that memory is not trapped within the knot.

While some would believe that every elf would weave themselves into a female, like their Goddess, it is quite the opposite, in fact. The men of the Elves weave themselves into what they would consider to be the best mate for Lo’Ani.

Without the ability to ask the Goddess directly, this leads many of the male Elves to their own devices, meaning they often times are the most distinct of their races, where most of the female elves follow the example put forth by their Goddess.