Elves are distinct in that they are human in appearance and behavior, but they possess their famed pointed ears and are more skilled in the use of magic than they are in using technology; a trait that is contrary to humanity's. Also of note is how elves seem to possess enhanced and exaggerated human traits and abilities; such as being taller, more attractive and having better senses (especially hearing.)
One of the main characters in Wild Hunt, Zelda Beryl, is an elf; having been the princess of Alfheim before leaving home to pursue more personal ambitions.
Elves, like their fairy and dwarf kin, are a distinctive race of yokai because of how similar to humans they appear to be at first glance. Like humans, elves are a mostly fur and hairless race (barring the hair on their heads, and in some instances, facial hair,) are bipedal with an erect standing posture, possess two arms and legs, five fingers and toes, no tail, and a face complete with a pair of eyes and ears, as well as a nose and mouth. Their internal skeletal structure, organs and muscle tissue also seem to resemble a human's. However, this is where the similarities end, as like other human based yokai, elves have definitively inhuman features that set them apart from their counterpart.
The most striking features one will notice first are an elf's ears, height and skin. Like fairies and dwarves, elves have human-like ears, but instead of being rounded, an elf's ears are pointed at their ends, which give them an easily recognizable shape. Also, elves tend to be at least a foot or so taller than humans; usually being one head taller than a human of comparable age and physical build. As a result, elf children tend to appear more like human teenagers, and elf teens can grow to the height of human adults. Upon adulthood, elves are usually six to seven feet tall at least, with certain elves growing to be even taller. This is most prominently seen with Zelda in comparison to her companions, as even at 38 years of age (19 in human years,) she was able to rival the height of Samson. Compared to the others, Zelda consistently towers over Gil, Ally and Robbie. In addition to their striking height and ears, elves also come in many different skin colors, with Zelda and her royal family being blue skinned for example. The end result is what can be compared to a rainbow colored society of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, black, brown and other colored individuals.
On top of the varying colors an elf can appear as, some can have different shades of color than another; such as one elf being a lighter shade of pink than another pink elf. While skin color mostly stays the same within an elf family, such as the royal Beryl family, there are some families that can be comprised of multiple colored members. Due to their yokai nature, elves lack DNA, meaning what determines skin color appears to be random, but somewhat consistent.
Alongside their great height, pointed ears and diverse skin tone, elves always seem to appear slender in their muscular build, whether they're male or female; giving elves a slim and graceful look to them. Despite this, their physical strength, durability and stamina appears to equal those of a human's, if not surpassing them. Inexplicably, this provides an elf with the benefits of both a healthy and attractive body, while still being physically fit enough for feats of athleticism or manual labor. Also rather unusual is that elves never seem to appear obese, even if one is known to be a gluttonous eater. As a result, elves appear to be eternally thin no matter what circumstance they're presented with.
Naturally as a result of their slimness, tall stature and overall good looks, elves have become popular among humans and human-like beings throughout the world for being one of the most decisively attractive races known to date. It is not unheard of for other races to compare themselves and others to elves in terms of physical beauty and elegance. It is also rather common for heterosexual people to sometimes find themselves attracted to elves of the same gender, simply due to their immense, almost otherworldly attractiveness.
For clothes, elves can be as diverse and unique in their wardrobe choices as humans; with certain elves dressing in ways that either align with their personal beliefs and choices (such as Zelda,) or in ways that may reflect their overall culture (like the elves in Alfheim.) For more individual-centered elves, the sky's the limit as to what they may wear, as the choices they make will almost always reflect who they are as people, or where they may be living at the time being. For elves in the kingdom of Alfheim, it's more typical to see its citizens dress in elegant, stylish and formal outfits; mostly including robes, dresses, waistcoats, knee-length skirts, and heeled shoes and boots. The royal Beryl family in particular tend to dress this way, but in greater excess, as is fitting of a royal family. Those serving in the kingdom's military, such as knights and the royal guard, naturally wear protective armor for combat related purposes, but like the rest of Alfheim, the armor appears more ornate and stylishly appealing than armor worn by other races; usually trimmed with gold, white, blue, red and other bright coloring, and will be adorned with layers over certain pieces of armor (such as shoulder plates.)
Perhaps a result of the culture's arrogance and pride, elves in Alfheim tend to dress rather immodestly as well too; often revealing sections of skin with their choice of outfit. This typically ranges from revealing shoulders and cleavage to midriffs and legs.
Abilities and PowersEdit
Like other yokai, a chief trait all elves possess is the potential to harness essentia and use it for varying means; most prominently, the use of sorcery for both day-to-day living and combat. While around the world, elves use essentia and sorcery for a myriad of purposes, including survival, self-defense, conquest, practicality, transport and so on, the elves of Alfheim are perhaps the greatest example of elven magic, given the kingdom is saturated with it. Within Alfheim, sorcery is used for any and all purposes, to the point where the kingdom looks as if it runs on essentia itself. The usage of sorcery is so abundant that Alfheim is home to libraries full of books on how to use sorcery, as well as spells an elf can learn and use. Likewise, there are research facilities that experiment with essentia and sorcery spells in order to further develop Alfheim's understanding and control over essentia.
Whereas elves are naturally gifted in how to use magical powers to their benefit, they seem to lack a desire to use machines and other forms of technology, and as a result, lack a true understanding of human engineering and technology; a characteristic that is mirrored by the humans, who possess great technological know-how, but are limited with the use of sorcery. Despite their lack of skill with machines and tools, elves make up for this with an overabundance of spells that can imitate and rival the functions of machines and other man-made constructs. While relatively unheard of outside Alfheim, elves in other parts of the world can sometimes use their knowledge of certain spells to help them survive. Within Alfheim however, sorcery has been used to create wondrous constructs and devices that appear similar to those of humanity's, but still possess an otherworldly feel to them. Having created a society that runs on the renewable resource, essentia, elves have developed whimsical, magically enhanced architecture, roads, vehicles and other tools to make life easier and more efficient.
Aside from essentia, elves also have physical traits that benefit them; with the most obvious being their tall height and elongated ears. As elves stand taller than other hominid species, their legs are longer and can therefore allow them to travel farther with less energy required and in a shorter time. Their pointed ears are also well designed for picking up on distant sounds and otherwise impossible to detect noises that other creatures may not hear. This makes it hard for others to communicate in secret without a nearby elf being aware of the discussion, or to sneak about without an elf detecting someone or something. Alongside their hearing, elves also possess other enhanced senses; making their sight, taste, touch and smell greater than those of a human's. As a result, elves are far more perceptive of the world around them than their brethren and counterpart species. This also makes it hard to deceive an elf without hindering one or possessing even greater physical traits, albeit it isn't impossible.
Another characteristic which elves are famed and envied for is their longevity. An elf can live twice as long as a human, meaning it takes an elf two years to age one human year; for example, a one year elf human infant is equivalent to a two year old elf infant, and a ten year old human child is the same as a twenty year old elf child. This means elves can live to be at least 100 years old (the same as a 50 year old human,) or even older (some reaching near 200 years of age.) The result of such long lifespans means elves can acquire a good deal of worldly goods, gain notoriety and perform many deeds in one single life. This can allow a single elf to do many great or reprehensible things before showing signs of age and fatigue. Despite the great potential this may bring however, an elf's maturity and mental abilities reflect their age, much like a human's. This means even if an elf were to be 120 (60 in human years,) they'd only possess the kind of maturity and behavior one would come to expect of a 60 year old being (individual outliers notwithstanding.) An example of this is Zelda Beryl, who debuted in Wild Hunt as a 38 year old, and yet she acted and thought like a 19 year old. Despite her maturity however, she gained a good deal of experience in 38 years, which helped shape her into the woman she is now.
The only elves known so far seem to be the royal Beryl family of Alfheim; the king, queen, prince and princess, Zelda. Zelda is a runaway princess who has abandoned her royal duties, and in turn, has wound up befriending Gilgamesh Prime and joining the Wild Hunt with him. With Wild Hunt in development as of now, it is likely more elves will be introduced throughout the story, given their widespread population.
- ??? Beryl (King of Alfheim)
- ??? Beryl (Queen of Alfheim)
- ??? Beryl (Crown Prince of Alfheim)
- Zelda Beryl (Princess of Alfheim; Joined the Wild Hunt)
As elves are so closely related to humans in terms of sentience and appearance, it's clear that elves are an essentia offshoot of humanity that appeared in the distant past. Given humanity first evolved into what it is today in the Pleistocene Epoch, elves too can trace their ancestry back to this prehistoric era. Thus, like dragons and their fellow human-like yokai, elves are among the older known yokai races that still inhabit the planet. Unlike dragons however, which have become more and more scarce over time, elves remain one of the most populous races of yokai; having shared the planet with humans for as long as both have existed. Therefore, both elves and humans have become highly aware of the other, leading to numerous interactions between both beings (whether bad or good.)
Unlike most other yokai however, and like their sibling races, the fairies and dwarves, elves did not originally appear as they are seen in the current timeline of Wild Hunt. Originally, a single race of human-esque yokai appeared due to essentia mimicking humanity and molding itself into a magical likeness of them. This ancestral human yokai would go on to live alongside human beings for thousands of years. At some unspecified time in the ancient past however, this original human yokai race evolved into other beings; much like humanity had done throughout the Ice Age. The end result were three branches of the human-like yokai family tree; fairies, dwarves and the elves. From this point on, all three would develop their own cultures and societies around the world, while still trying to share the world with modern humans. Whereas fairies and dwarves eventually settled underground, below the planet's surface, elves would be the only one of the three that would continue to inhabit the surface with humans. This would end up shaping the history of the world for years to come, as well as defining the relationships and interactions humans, elves, fairies and dwarves would all share with one another.