Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Elves and Dwarves

There are several kindred of Elves, but all share several traits in common. Physically they are more slightly built than humans, with long fingers and toes. Their eyes tend to be almond shaped and their ears grow to points. Elves continue to grow in height and their ears continue to lengthen, although as they age they grow more and more slowly.

Despite appearances Elves are not completely mammalian, but are in part vegetal in nature. After fertilization and a short gestation a female Elf gives birth to a seed pod about the size of an avocado or mango. This is planted and carefully tended. It soon gives rise to a single fruiting pod within which the embryonic Elf develops. During childhood Elves grow rapidly. They reach a height of five feet and young adulthood within their first half-decade or so of life. This coupled with a slow reproduction rate gives rise to the absence of visible children in many Elf villages.

Elves are generally skilled in magic and often fine archers as well.

There are numerous and varied subpopulations of Elves. Some of the most common include the blue-skinned, gilled Sea-Elves who have webbed fingers and toes, the Wild Elves of the forests who craft weapons of bone and flint, and the noble High Elves who are the Elves most familiar.

Dwarves are another Kindred who despite appearances are not entirely mammalian. In the case of Dwarves they are actually creatures of living stone. Dwarves are not born but are rather hewn from the living rock and animated by means of engraving the life rune somewhere upon their bodies. It is not uncommon for those areas of a Dwarf's body that will normally covered by clothing and armour to be less finely carved and polished than those areas that will be on common view. As a result many Dwarves do not have toes or genitals. Dwarves can be carved in the likeness of male or female and both "sexes" may have long hair and beards, short hair and beards, or be hairless.

Dwarves are possessed of a truly cast-iron stomach. If they can sink their teeth into something they can eat it. Dwarves can even chew and digest metals and stones, indeed they snack on gravel the way humans do on popcorn and nuts. Dwarves are known as prodigious drinkers. They can consume vast quantities of ale and liquor without ill effect because their rocky metabolisms are not affected by alcohol.

Dwarves have an unerring ability to retrace their steps. If a Dwarf has walked a path once he will always be able to walk it again, even blindfolded. Dwarves can also mentally determine the distance and direction from where they are to any place they have been. This does not mean that they know the best path, or indeed any path, just that they know the straight line direction and distance. Dwarves can also smell gold and gems, as well as mineral and metallic ores in ten earth and rocks. This makes them superb miners and treasure hunters.

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