When most humans think of elves, they think of Wood Elves: graceful, swift, wise and at one with nature. Across the continent of Karal, the largest forests are home to treetop cities of the fair folk, and woe to those who would defile the sanctity of their homes.
Wood Elves are slightly broader than other elves, with shorter ears and skin, hair and eyes that seem to draw their colours from the forests they call home. Just like the other elven peoples, they do not sleep (though they must exercise and rest their minds in an exercise for which the Common word is “trance”), and they are resistant to magical charms. They are light on their feet and capable of great speed and stealth, especially in their forest homes, and their senses are sharp even by the standards of other elves.
Wood Elves live longer than most races, though usually not quite as long as High Elves; why this should be so is a topic sometimes debated among High Elf scholars, but not paid much mind by the Wood Elves themselves. Active and adventurous, young Wood Elves declare themselves independent adults at around the age of fifty, and they often live to be 700-800 years old. Like other elves, they do not suffer the effects of ageing once they have reached adulthood. Wood Elves, living so close to humans, have a greater understanding of human ways and try their best to celebrate the brief lives of their ephemeral friends.
Language and culture
Wood Elves speak a version of “Elven” or “Elvish” (as the language is called in Common) which is somewhat simpler and softer than that of the High Elves, though the two versions of the language are clearly understood by a native speaker of either. Their speech is full of metaphors, poetry and music.
Nature is revered by Wood Elves above all else; their magic is tied to it. They prefer to work with wood wherever possible and eschew waste, though their weaponsmiths work metal as well as the best humans or dwarves. A good sword or bow (either a traditional elvish weapon) is cared for with great reverence, since the resources that made it are considered a precious gift from nature, and such a gift will be passed down for many generations. Whether through superb craft or magic, an elven blade will often be as strong and hold an edge as well after millennia as the day it was freshly made.
Superb scouts and trackers, it is said that the first Rangers were Wood Elves, and it is a tradition they have shared with members of other races when they have been found worthy. They protect their forests not only because they are their homes, but because the wild places of the world are sacred to them.
Wood Elves are the elves most often encountered by other folk, and their forest homes are often found near human, halfling and dwarven settlements. It is commonly believed that all Half-Elves are descended from Wood Elves, and while this is not strictly true, there are certainly far more Half-Elves living in Wood Elf cities than in the spires of the High Elves.