A Broken Sky
Elves are humanoid race of deadly predators. They are unique among industrialized societies in that they are obligate carnivores. Elves raise some crops for flavor or nutrients, but they are literally unable to survive without feeding on other animals. Every facet of their culture and history has been shaped by their demand for meat; as a result, their ways are very difficult for outsiders to comprehend. Even today, elves retain the preternaturally acute senses of a born hunter. They expend energy only at need, appearing languid or listless to outsiders. However, when provoked, they act with reflexes unmatched among the other peoples. This is made possible by their unusual vascular system, which is under the elf’s conscious control. Elves can ratchet their heart rate down to a torpor, or effective hibernation when food is scarce, but flood themselves with blood and adrenaline when an opportunity presents itself.
The Triune Pact
The earliest records of literate culture in Ora date from the era of the Triune, a circle of druids with theocratic power over their peoples. The terms of the pact gave Dwarves stewardship over the earth and the caves beneath, the Merfolk stewardship of the oceans and streams, and Elves stewardship of the sky. Elven legend holds that at that time the Tears as we know them did not exist. Elfhome is described as a single, enormous continent flying above the earth. When the Triune fell, Elfhome itself is said to have been destroyed. It shattered into the dozens of tiny islands, scattering the elves across the sky. Some tribes found the ground beneath them disintegrated entirely, falling to earth and becoming the first Drow. Elven Druid traditions date back to this period, and still survive in some remote islands.
The Blue Feast
In the aftermatch of the calamity, the elves found themselves in an unusual position. Their leadership was destroyed and their old culture broken, but still they possessed many advantages. They were old people of an old race, and from their long memories had come unparallelled knowledge of war. As predators, they were faster and more aggressive than the other races, eager to the fight. The elves spread themselves across the sky, first chasing the game they hunted, then chasing away agrarian peoples from the borders of their woods. Eventually, many elves subjugated the local orcs and humans, restricting their growth and demanding exorbitant tributes of livestock. With functional immortality and great leisure came fantastic advances in the arts and sciences. At this time the most skilled elven hunters perfected the art of refining anima from fresh kills, and walked the paths of the Totemist.
The Throne of Blood
Ultimately the elven hegemony proved unsustainable. Without the guidance of the elder druids, or even communication among the tribes of the disapora, the elves consumed and reproduced beyond what nature could sustain. Eventually the livestock and the game ran out, and the elves began to die, whether of hunger or in the rebellions of desperate men. The problem was bad, but the solution was worse: one enterprising elf chose to drink the blood of men and become the world’s first vampire. The curse spread quickly among the highborn elves, who now treated their own human subjects like the cattle they had previously devoured. This age of terror came to an end only when the Ivory Paladins intervened, slaying most of the vampires and sending the rest into hiding on the earth below.
Remembrance of Things Lost
Having suffered not one but two collapses, the remaining elves are few in number. They tend carefully to their flocks and do not allow reproduction beyond what their lands can sustain, rendering them safe from hunger but not numerous enough to return to significance on the world stage. Withdrawn into dozens of isolationist enclaves, they seek to atone for the sings of the vampire kings and rediscover the lore of old Triune. Ultimately, they hope to somehow restore Elfhome to its former state. Elves forced to share land with other peoples tend to lay caim to the woods and offer their services as mercenaries, guides, and trackers. In return for their service they demand imported Dwarven-mined anima and farm-bred meats, to support their rogues and totemists. Adventuring elves in this period may be Druids forth to unite the clans, or forward-thinking youths who have trained in foreign arts.
Elves in Ora have the following rules traits:
Favored Class: Druid and Totemist