Stats standard. The long-lived elves are children of the natural world, seeking to live in balance with the wild, they understand it better than most other mortals. Some of this understanding is mystical, but an equal part comes from the elves' long lifespans, which in turn gives them long-ranging outlooks. Elves can expect to remain active in the same locale for centuries. By necessity, they must learn to maintain sustainable lifestyles, and this is most easily done when they work with nature, rather than attempting to bend it to their will.
However, their links to nature are not entirely driven by pragmatism. Elves' bodies slowly change over time, taking on a physical representation of their mental and spiritual states, and those who dwell in a region for a long period of time find themselves physically adapting to match their surroundings, most noticeably taking on coloration that reflects the local environment.
Elves value their privacy and traditions, and while they are often slow to make friends at both the personal and national levels, once an outsider is accepted as a comrade, the resulting alliances can last for generations.
Physical Description: Generally taller than humans, elves possess a graceful, slender physique that is accentuated by their long, pointed ears. It is a mistake, however, to consider them weak or feeble, as the thin limbs of an elf can contain surprising power. Their eyes are wide and almond-shaped, and filled with large, vibrantly colored pupils. The coloration of elves as a whole can vary wildly, but because their coloration often matches their surroundings, the elves of a Shinael appear quite similar. These forest-dwelling elves often have variations of green, brown, and tan in their hair, eye, and even skin tones.
While elven clothing often plays off the beauty of the natural world, those elves who live in cities tend to bedeck themselves in the latest fashions. Where city-dwelling elves encounter other urbanites, the elves are often fashion trendsetters.
Society: Many elves feel a bond with nature and strive to live in harmony with the natural world. They have an innate gift for craftsmanship and artistry, especially when working in wood, bone, ivory, or leather. A few elves have developed over time a gift for working with granite, and are highly prized in Shinael.
Elves also have an appreciation for the written word, magic, and painstaking research. Their naturally keen minds and senses, combined with their inborn patience, make them particularly suited to wizardry. Arcane research and accomplishment are seen as both practical goals, in line with being a soldier or architect, and artistic endeavors as great as poetry or sculpture. Within elven society, wizards are held in extremely high regard as masters of an art both powerful and aesthetically valued. Other spellcasters are not disdained, but do not gain the praise lavished upon elven wizards.
Relations: As the longest-lived of the core races of the Free Cities Penninsula, elves are prone to dismissing other races, writing them off as rash and impulsive. In many cases, even as an elf comes to value a specific member of another race, seeing that individual as deserving and respectable, they will still dismiss the race as a whole. If called on this behavior, the elf often doesn't understand why his "special friend" is upset the elf has noticed the friend is "so much better than the rest of his kind."
The elves of Shinael have a distant, somewhat tense relationship with most of the other free cities. Not technically part of the Free Cities, they do not contribute to the Galgation defense pact - instead they maintain their own standing army and navy.
Their relationship with the half-orcs of Chersky is strained at best. The elves view the half-orc's exansionist philosophy and disregard for nature as a dangerous and short-sighted combination. Most view the city of Hampshire and their vicious subjugation of the halflings with open disdain but their lack of action on the matter is equivalent to acceptance.
Adventurers: Many elves embark on adventures out of a desire to explore the world, leaving their secluded realms to witness, participate, and document major events. Outside of their homeland, their long lives lead many to be viewed as excellent historians and storytellers.
Elves generally eschew melee combat out of practical concerns. Their independent nature doesn't lend itself easily to large battle formations. Also, their comparitively slower reproductive cycles lead them to value an individual life more highly than their neighbors. As such their armies are more like bands of special forces than a massive, organized fighting force.