Elves gather small tribes in sylvan forests, windswept plains, and remote mountain vales. These secluded people prefer the natural world over the trappings of civilization and live in harmony with the wilderness. Elves are cautious warriors who fight constantly against the abominations stalking their lands. Expert archers and cunning warriors, they use guile and tactical cunning to secure their homelands.

Description and Homelands

The elves of the present day are descended from the green elves, ancient settlers who emerged from Faerie to dwell in the mortal world. After vicious wars and terrible betrayals, the elves withdrew to the isolation of the wilderness. Generations of seclusion widened the cultural split between themselves and their eladrin cousins until the elves became a separate people.

Elves congregate in two broad cultural groups. The most numerous are the wood elves, who dwell in the High Forest and the arbors of the Lethyr, Wealdath, Chondalwood, and Cormanthor woods. Copper elves, as they are sometimes called, stand as tall as humans but have slight, athletic frames. They get their alternate names from the color of their skin, which often has a green tint. Their thick hair is often brown or black, but blond and copper red are also known, while eye color ranges from hazel to brown to emerald green. Elves prefer natural materials and can be found wearing hides or suits of finely crafted leathers dyed in greens and browns to help them blend into their surroundings.

The second group is the wild elves, who consider themselves the truest descendants of the green elves. While they are given to live in forests like their wood elf kin, wild elves are a xenophobic people and claim lands far removed from the domains of other races. Thus, they settle in bleak places such as Elfharrow, secret enclaves in the deeper portions of the Chondalwood, and other untamed places.

The bodies of wild elves are more muscular than those of wood elves. Exposure to the sun makes their skin dark but does little to leach the color from their black or chestnut brown hair. Many wild elves decorate themselves with tattoos, war paint, and ritual scars.

Playing an Elf in Toril

The elf–eladrin split left elves without a heritage and no knack for magical talent. With each generation, the elves sacrificed more and more of their refinement for their wild empathy with nature. Elves are as much a part of their lands as the trees, stones, birds, and streams.

Elves revere nature, and their communities reflect this reverence. Their homes are fashioned from trees, using ancient rituals to form living wood structures. Some even construct elaborate settlements in the canopies, connecting their homes through a series of rope bridges and ladders.

Elves also use natural materials for everyday things, taking only what they must from their surrounding flora. Their clothing is made from plant fibers when possible, and if they kill an animal for its hide, they always use all that they can from the creature. Elves are generally not comfortable in civilized areas, balking at the manufactured edifices that dominate such places, while at the same time knowing that such examples of mortal hubris are fleeting and that nature will one day reclaim that which was taken from it.

Most wood elves have overcome their natural aversion for other races, setting aside their misgivings in the interest of survival, and thus regularly trade and even consort with other races, though they prefer the company of eladrin, gnomes, and other sylvan races.

Wood elves are peaceful and patient. Not given to extremes of emotion, they approach every situation with calm. Although they have little use for cities, wood elves occasionally live alongside or support human and halfling allies.

Wild elves are another matter entirely. The drow waged their fiercest wars against the green elves, enslaving and slaughtering them in order to steal their lands. Those elves who survived bear the scars of the ancient wars still and thus are reluctant to deal with outsiders. Beneath their harsh exteriors, though, lie free spirits who delight in the wonder of the world around them. Green elves are given to extreme emotions, including deep love and bitter, soul-rending sorrow. Reckless and impulsive, they act in the moment rather than wasting time in deliberation.

Elf Characteristics: Agile, friendly, intuitive, joyful, perceptive, quick, tempestuous, wild
Male Names: Adran, Aelar, Beiro, Carric, Erdan, Gennal, Heian, Lucan, Peren, Rolen, Theren, Varis
Female Names: Adrie, Birel, Chaedi, Dara, Enna, Faral, Irann, Keyleth, Lia, Mialee, Shava, Thia, Valna

Elf Adventurers

Three sample elf adventurers are described below.

Varis, elf ranger

Varis is an elf ranger and a devout worshiper of Mielikki, the goddess of the wilds. When a goblin army forced his people from their woodland village, the elves took refuge in the nearest human town, walled and guarded by soldiers. Varis now leads other elves and some human townsfolk in raids against the goblins. Although he maintains a cheerful disposition, he frequently stares into the distance, listening, expecting at any moment to hear signs of approaching foes.

Lia, elf rogue

Lia is an elf rogue whose ancestral forest burned to the ground decades ago. Lia grew up on the wasteland's fringes in a large human city, unable to quite fit in. Her dreams called her to the forests, while her waking hours were spent in the dirtiest parts of civilization. She joined a group of adventurers after trying to cut a warlock's purse, and she fell in love with the wide world beyond the city.

Heian, elf cleric

Heian is an elf cleric of Selûne, the goddess of the moon. The elven settlement where he was born still thrives in a forest untouched by the darkness spreading through the world, but he left home years ago, in search of new horizons and adventures. His travels lately have brought rumors to his ears that danger might be brewing in the ancient forest, and he is torn between a desire to seek his own way in the world and a sense of duty to his homeland.

Elf Racial Traits

Average Height: 5' 4"–6' 0"
Average Weight: 130–170 lb.

Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom
Size: Medium
Speed: 7 squares
Vision: Low-light

Languages: Common, Elven
Skill Bonuses: +2 Nature, +2 Perception
Elven Weapon Proficiency: You gain proficiency with the longbow and the shortbow.
Fey Origin: Your ancestors were native to the Feywild, so you are considered a fey creature for the purpose of effects that relate to creature origin.
Group Awareness: You grant non-elf allies within 5 squares of you a +1 racial bonus to Perception checks.
Wild Step: You ignore difficult terrain when you shift (even if you have a power that allows you to shift multiple squares).
Elven Accuracy: You can use elven accuracy as an encounter power.

Elven Accuracy Elf Racial Power
With an instant of focus, you take careful aim at your foe and strike with the legendary accuracy of the elves.
Free Action Personal
Effect: Reroll an attack roll. Use the second roll, even if it's lower.

Play an elf if you want …

  • to be quick, quiet, and wild.
  • to lead your companions through the deep woods and pepper your enemies with arrows.
  • to be a member of a race that favors the ranger, rogue, and cleric classes.

Character Races
Player's Handbook DragonbornDwarvesEladrinElvesHalf-ElvesHalflingsHumansTieflings
Player's Handbook 2 DevasGnomesGoliathsHalf-OrcsShifters
Player's Handbook 3 GithzeraiMinotaurShardmindWilden
Forgotten Realms Player's Guide DrowGenasi
Character Races

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