Elves mingle freely in human lands, always welcome yet never at home there. They are well known for their poetry, dance, song, lore, and magical arts. Elves favor things of natural and simple beauty. When danger threatens their homes, however, elves reveal a more martial side, demonstrating skill with sword, bow, and battle strategy.
Elves are more often amused than excited, and more likely to be curious than greedy. With such a long life span, they tend to keep a broad perspective on events, remaining aloof and unfazed by petty happenstance. When pursuing a goal, however, whether an adventurous mission or learning a new skill or art, they can be focused and relentless. They are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. They reply to petty insults with disdain and to serious insults with vengeance.
Elves are short and slim, standing about 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 feet tall and typically weighing 95 to 135 pounds, with elf men the same height as and only marginally heavier than elf women. They are graceful but frail. They tend to be pale skinned and dark haired, with deep green eyes. Elves have no facial or body hair. They prefer simple, comfortable clothes, especially in pastel blues and greens, and they enjoy simple yet elegant jewelry. Elves possess unearthly grace and fine features. Many humans and members of other races find them hauntingly beautiful. An elf reaches adulthood at about 110 years of age and can live to me more than 700 years old. Elves do not sleep, as members of the other common races do. Instead an elf meditates in a deep trance for 4 hours a day. An elf resting in this fashion gains the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.
Most elves live in woodland clans numbering less than 200 souls. Their well hidden villages blend into the trees doing little harm to the forest. They hunt game, gather food, and grow vegetables, and their skill and magic allowing them to support themselves amply without the need for clearing and plowing land. Their contact with outsiders is usually limited, though some few elves make a good living trading finely worked elven clothes and crafters for the metals that elves have no interest in mining. Elves encounted in human lands are commonly wandering minstrels, favored artists, or sages. Human nobles compete for the services of elf instructors, who teach swordplay to their children.
Above all others, elves worship Corellon Larethian, the Protector and Presever of life. Elven myth holds that it was from his blood, shed in battles with Gruumsh, the god of the orcs, that the elves first arose. Corellon is a patron of magical study, arts, dance and poetry, as well as a powerful warrior god.
The different types of elves include the Moon Elves, Sun Elves, Wood Elves, Dark Elves, and Drow.
Moon Elves – The most common of the elven subraces on Faerun are the moon elves, which are also known as silver elves or Teu-Tel'Quessir. They have fair skin, sometimes tinged with blue, and hair of silver-white, black, or blue; humanlike colors are somewhat rare. Their eyes are blue or green, with gold flecks. Moon elves prefer to dress in rustic clothes of simple cuts and fashions that are nevertheless of fine and exquisite make. They adorn their dress with embroidered patterns, beads, and similar trappings, preferring earthen colors for everyday wear, hues that make it easy to conceal themselves in foliage. In places of safety or in times of revelry, moon elves enjoy dressing in bold colors, the more brightly colored, the better. Hair is worn in braids or ponytails, twined with wires or beads. Moon elves sometimes wear body paint or tattoos in mystic patterns, although not to the extent the wild elves do. Males range from 4’10” to 5’8” and weigh between 90 to 135 pounds with females ranging from 4”5” to 5’3” and weigh 80 to 125 pounds. Moon elves are more impulsive than other elves, and dislike remaining in one place for any significant amount of time. Moon elves are drawn to adventure through sheer wanderlust. They desire to see and do everything possible during their long lives.
Sun Elves– Sun elves are also known as gold elves or Ar-Tel'Quessir. The sun elves are famed for their command of both arcane and divine magic, which exceeds that of any other living race. Sun elves have bronze skin, hair of golden blond, copper, or black, and eyes of green or gold. They favor contemplation, lore, and study over the quick games and light-hearted songs of other elves, but seem to embody the unearthly beauty, grace, and presence of elven folk. Sun elves dress in clothing that is at the same time magnificent and understated, favoring cool colors such as blue and green. They decorate their clothes with intricate gold or mithral thread embroidery in exacting patterns whose subtle designs are easy to miss at first. Jewelry is simple but painstakingly crafted. Sun elves are arrogant and believe that they are the true elven race, and that other elven subraces fail to live up to the solemnity and dignity of their ancient stock. Sun elves are unusually long-lived, even for elves. Males range from 4’10” to 5’8” and weigh between 90 to 135 pounds with females ranging from 4”5” to 5’3” and weigh 80 to 125 pounds. Sun elves are deliberate, patient, and solemn. Their buildings, while aesthetically beautiful and architecturally brilliant tend to be ostentatious. Sun elves revere wisdom and learning.
Wood Elves – Wood elves are among the most numerous of Faeruns elven people, a young and confident folk. They are also known as copper elves, sylvan elves or Or-Tel'Quessir. Wood elves understand better than their kindred that for better or worse, their fates are bound up with the fates of the humans, dwarves, and halflings around them. They have coppery skin tinged with green, and their eyes are brown, green, or hazel in color. Hair is usually brown or black, occasionally blond or coppery-red. Wood elves prefer to dress in simple clothing, similar to the moon elves, but not quite so colorful. They favor a simple cut to tunic or dress, set off by common embroidery in natural designs. They are particularly fond of leather armor, and they often wear lovingly tooled and well-crafted suits even when do not feel endangered. Their clothing, leather armor or not, is usually in dark shades of green and earth tones to better blend with their natural surroundings. They are a humble race and only rarely, do they enhance their appearance with jewelry or similar accessories. Males range from 4’10” to 5’8” and weigh between100 to 145 pounds with females ranging from 4”5” to 5’3” and weigh 90 to 135 pounds. Wood elves are calm, serene, and difficult to surprise. Their patience is legendary. They are at one with the world of nature, and are not comfortable in areas of heavy civilization.
Dark Elves – known as Ssri-tel-quessir in the elven tongue they were the ancestors of the drow. They have dark brown skin, unlike the ebony color of the drow, and have glossy black hair and do not have darkvision. Through a High Magic spell and the aid of Eilistraee, Q'arlynd Melarn, they transformed the drow who had took up the dance of Eilistraee and reverted them back to their ancestral appearance. Becoming the dark brown skinned dark elves.
Elves consider humans rather unrefined, halflings a bit staid, gnomes somewhat trivial, and dwarves not at all fun. They look on half-elves with some degree of pity and regard half orcs with unrelenting suspicion. Elves are not particular the way halflings and dwarves are and they are generally pleasant and gracious even to those who fall short of elven standards. (aka everyone who isnt an elf)
Elves love freedom, variety and self expression. They lean strongly toward the gentler aspects of Chaos. Generally, they value and protect others' freedom as well as their own and they are more often good than not.
When an elf declares herself an adult, usually some time after her hundredth birthday, she also selects a name. Those who knew her as a child may not continue to call her by her "Child Name" and she may or may not care. An elf's adult name is a unique creation, though it may reflect the names of those she admires or the names of others in her family. In addition she bears her family name and they are a combination of regular elven words. Elves will translate their names into the Common tongue while traveling among humans.
HElves take up adventuring out of wanderlust, Life among humans moves at a pace that elves dislike: regimented from day to day but changing from decade to decade. Elves among humans therefore, find careers that allow them to wander freely and set their own pace. Elves also enjoy demonstrating their prowess with the sword and bow or gaining greater magical powers, and adventuring allows them to do so. Good elves may also be rebels or crusaders.