The Future of Oriam
Elves have perhaps the greatest variety of sub races amongst the humanoid races of Oriam. The five known varieties are High, Wood, Dark, Aquatic, and Desert. Some have claimed to glimpse winged elves, but these were most likely normal elves under the effects of spells or actual angels in elven form. They are not their own sub race.
High elves in Oriam live all over the place, but the greatest number of them live in the city known as Gleaming Coast, located near the center point of the eastern coast. From there, many more live on an archipelago reaching further east. The high elves make their living from the sea, supplying salt-water fish and mollusk, seaweed, and other ocean products all over the continent. Notably, using various magic spells to assist them High Elves have developed the ability to drill for and capture oil off their own shores. They are also the most advanced glassworkers, using sand from their vast shores, and restoring beaches with caravans of sand from the Sarasa desert when necessary. Most of their buildings contain a large amount of glass architecture, creating a gleaming, beautiful city. Because of their beauty, High Elves are seen as elitist and wealthy snobs, but most actually live quite modest lifestyles full of hard work. They are welcome anywhere on the continent, though sometimes they are price gouged.
Wood elves in Oriam are spread over many parts of the continent, since much of Oriam is forested. Hundreds of years ago they had many large cities in thick forest, but after generations of war, destroyed and rebuilt cities, and a belief that they were too concentrated in one place, what remained of the cities were abandoned and wood elves spread their kingdoms thin. Villages of 50 or less are the most common homes for Wood Elves, with many living as hermits, and only one settlement with over 1000. As such their domain is spread throughout almost any forest you enter, always watching for threats and communicating by signal to distant elves. These signals are imperceptible to most; a bent branch here, a pile of stones there, but word travels quickly. As such they have the greatest intelligence in the kingdom, but are also prone to being overwhelmed when taken by surprise or by great numbers. Most people on the continent view them with respect as guardians, and give them their space.
There is no known underdark on the continent of Oriam, but there are dark elves. A few hundred miles south of Oriam, it is believed that wizards created a zone in which time does not behave normally thousands of years ago. There, on an icy island, the sun only appears one out of thirty days. This is the domain of the dark elves. Rather than Lolth, they worship the cold and the night. It has been discovered that vast networks of ice tunnels exist on the ocean floor, and the wizard who discovered this barely escaped with his life. None have dared attempted to explore this further. The Dark Elves are rare on Oriam, but their spies are there, and universally feared.
Aquatic Elves live in the Great Fresh Lake, the largest body of water on Oriam in the middle of the Tal-Tal Mountain Ring. They are extremely xenophobic, and will slay any outsider in their domain. The only way through the ring without a difficult climb is by sailing upstream and up a waterfall, which Aquatic elves can do with their magical, water-elemental powered vessels. They claim that they do not die of old age, but turn into these water elementals. The only outsiders allowed inside must be “invited” which is quotes because these invitations often amount to waking up in a strange room with an Aquatic elf telling you exactly what you must do in order to be returned to your home alive. Every aquatic elf leaves for at least five years when they come as age in a ceremony known as Sprumading, where they journey the land and learn of the outside world, as well as providing intelligence. Aside from their gills, they can pass perfectly for high elves. Rarely, an aquatic elf chooses to stay in the outside world. If they do not return in six years by their own choice, they can not return at all.
In the Sarasa desert, nomadic bands of elves run the wilds, surviving in the harshest environment of the region. They are taller than normal elves, and have astute running ability. They have wild spirits and wild style. Only a desert elf who couldn’t handle the heat would leave the desert, and he’d be a laughing stock. The desert elf is chaotic by nature, and just as likely to harass as to help a wanderer. They are also largely good by nature, so this harassment is more likely to be humiliating than deadly.