Estea: The Shadows Lengthen
Eladrin are more commonly known as Silver or Moon Elves and live in remote and hidden places of the world – rarely venturing out. Not many have seen one close, but they are rumoured to be creatures of almost pure magic and have pale skin, unearthly beauty, and eyes of solid luminescent colours – with no iris or pupils.
Little is known of these reclusive fey beings and superstition and fear abounds at mention of their name.
Eladrin: A Race Apart
The eladrin claim to be the original race from which both elves and drow split, with the (usually) unspoken implication that both other races fell away from the state of near-perfection that the eladrin embody. Certainly, the eladrin are still the most fey of the three elf races, still steeped in the magic of Faerie and still the favored children of Corellon Larethain. Arcane magic suffuses their bodies and souls, sometimes emanating from them in a soft nimbus of fey light.
Many races of the world can look back in history to a shining example of their ancestors’ accomplishments. When the eladrin reflect back on their days of glory, they think first and foremost of the time before Llolth’s rebellion, when the whole of Faerie shined with the light of the eladrin cities. Almost all of those cities now lie in ruins, still hauntingly beautiful among the fey forests with moonlight shining on their shattered spires and ivory walls, but haunting in their testimony to the violence of the rebellion.
Eladrin still build towers of graceful beauty in the grandest places of Faerie – breathtaking gorges and verdant glens – and sometimes even among the ruins of their ancient cities. But no eladrin city of the present day, or of the past hundred centuries, can compare to the heights of the eladrin race in that mythic time before. Eladrin cities of the present day are usually little more than a single ivory spire rising above a scattering of smaller homes, all built in perfect harmony with their surroundings as if carved from the earth by wind and rain.
There have been times in the history of the world when eladrin tried to rebuild the ancient glory of a united race, extending their city-states into the natural world and making overtures to nearby elf communities. These dreams of kingdoms that would bridge the worlds have always crumbled to dust with the passing of years, usually within the span of a single generation.
Eladrin society has more in common with the human structures of nobility and rulership than it does with the family-based society of the elves. Noble houses ruled by eladrin with titles such as Bralani of Autumn Winds or Ghaele of Winter govern tiny princedoms scattered across Faerie. The eladrin swear loyalty to their noble protectors, who promise to help defend them against fomorians and other dangers of the fey darkness. Unlike human rulers, these noble eladrin wield tremendous power derived from a close connection to the magic of Faerie, so their tiny city-states do remain as lights, however dim and flickering, standing against the encroaching darkness.
Eladrin share the grace and agility of their elf cousins but place more value on the developed intellect than on intuition and emotion. All eladrin are scholars to some degree, versed in the history of their race and the theories of magic and more inclined to calculate possible solutions than to run with a gut feeling.
The eladrin can seem cold and emotionless to outsiders, if sometimes capricious, and they are certainly less passionate than the elves. Their grief manifests as a wistful melancholy, their pleasure as a soft smile, and their anger as a simmering glare. Much like the elves, they have long memories for both gifts and grudges.
Many eladrin worship Corellon and Selhaine. Some temples in Faerie are still arranged as they were before Lolth’s rebellion—built as three interlocking circles, each with its altar to one of the three elf gods. In most of these temples, Llolth’s altar has been destroyed or defaced. Sometimes it is draped with black cloth to hide it from view, and sometimes it is visible but simply unadorned. There are eladrin who believe that the three gods will one day be reconciled, just as the three races will again be one.
Some say that Corellon’s dominion of Arvandor lies in Faerie, while others claim it floats in the Astral Sea, and still others that it is at the topmost branch of Ailanthus, what humans know as The World Tree. It’s possible that it drifts between the worlds or somehow exists in both places at once. To the eladrin mind, Arvandor is perhaps not so different from the court of any noble eladrin — larger and more magnificent, perhaps, but a place where any eladrin would feel at home, even in the presence of so great a lord as the noble Corellon. Selhaine, it’s said, wanders freely in and out of Corellon’s home but spends much of her time in the Feywild, where travelers might stumble across her path. Some who attend one of Selhanine’s moonlit feasts are said to become lost for centuries, while others awaken after a single night to find themselves blessed with gifts and powers beyond their imagining.
More so than the elves, eladrin sometimes become champions of a god in much the same way that one might become a fey knight in service to a noble eladrin. Divine magic is not alien to the eladrin, but arcane magic is their love and part of their nature. Eladrin wizards are far more common than warlocks, sorcerers, or bards, but any form of arcane magic is a source of endless fascination for the race.