Across the wide steppes roam hundreds of tribes of Elves. They are a hard, nomadic race that lives in the saddle and value only what they can carry with them. They live from hunting the beasts of the plains and gathering edible plants. Farming is alien to them.

The Elves are a numerous race but often disunited. Only a strong Khan can control the tribes, and they seldom unite unless there is a common enemy. Disputes of honour often lead to fighting between the tribes. Depending on the tribes involved and the nature of the dispute, this can range from single combat between tribal champions to all out war. Insults or injury to the tribal leader is often seen as an attack on the entire tribe and can lead to particularly bitter conflicts.

Elves are long lived and suffer less from old age than others races, although the harsh life of a nomad means that many die in their prime, living little longer than humans in Syrak. They become adults at 30, which would be equivalent to 16 in human terms. Many Elves (perhaps as many as a third) die before 60 due to their warlike nature. Those who do reach 200 are considered old, although Elves can live for over 300 years. Elves have children at a similar frequency to humans, and this can lead to tribal elders riding alongside their great, great grandchildren. As a result some tribes are dominated by a single large family. Elves commonly marry outside of their tribe, and either the male or the female may decide which tribe the couple lives with. Marriage is not necessarily for life although divorce can lead to conflict if either of the spouses are of high status within their tribe.

Males and females have broadly equal status within the most tribes, although a few are particularly matriarchal or patriarchal. Except for when they are raising children women do everything that men do.

Sol Helios is known amongst the Elves, although not widely honoured – Selene is a far more popular deity. Tor is also popular.

Elves place great value on their horses, and treat them as valued companions rather than simple beasts of burden. Some elves find and train more exotic mounts such as pegasi, griffons, unicorns and dire lions. They often fight from horseback and occasionally from chariots; they typically favour short bows, spears, axes and swords and light armour. Sorcerers are common among the elves and even a small tribe will have one or two; they often devote a least some of their skill to battle magic.

Elves respect strength, whether martial prowess, divine favour or arcane power. They often target merchants and travellers, sometimes demanding tribute and at other times simply raiding and plundering caravans. This has led them into numerous conflicts with the dwarves who are great traders and proud warriors.
Elves tend to regard dwarves as rivals and like to get the better of them if possible. They respect the discipline and martial skill of Syrak, but find the moral codes complicated and ultimately futile. Few travel to Dardano, and fewer still cross the sea to the frozen wastes. Orcs and half orcs are virtually unknown among the Elves, although it is likely that elves would find they had much in common with orcs.

The Elven Khan Laranthas has ruled the tribes for 10 years. He is a powerful sorcerer and a cunning commander and the Witch King’s offensive on the steppes has ground to a virtual standstill.


Wizards of Mivon gabrias