Elven lifestyle is heavily influenced in the druidic traditions. Even after Anto’s severing of their connection to their deities, they maintained some of their magical ties with the land, and continue to practices many of the same rituals.
Traditionally all elves are spiritually bound to a tree when are born. This tree is taken from the seeds of the life tree at the center of their family/clan/etc. As long as this tree lives, the elf will not age past maturity. Should the tree die, the elf will die. If the elf dies, the tree will die.
The tradition of life trees was not taught to other races as they were taught the druidic teachings, and remains a closely guarded ceremony of the elves. Only those outsiders of the highest honor are allowed to witness the ceremony, and must vow to never share its secrets.
When two different families produce an offspring, the mother’s tree is the one passed on to her children. The father instead passes a branch from his life tree to his offspring. When they come of age that branch is made into an item related to the interests of the elf. Usually a staff, wand or bow.
Each of the 12 (once 13) family trees has an elder that presides over family matters and a councilor that handles matters with the other families. In some cases these are the same elf, but it is up to each family how they appoint their councilor.
Each moon cycle had it’s own tree associated with it, and the seasons were divided into four groups of 3, with Oak being called ‘the world tree’ and considered the most sacred of the trees.
The race of elves tends to fall into two major sects with families tied to life trees within.
The trees associated with Vale elves are; Oak, Ironwood, Rowan, Willow, Darkwood, and Fir.
Elves speak sylvan as their natural language. In sylvan writing each letter is called a ‘tree’, each word is a ‘grove’ and each paragraph a ‘forest’. A letter is a straight vertical line with other lines comming off it. A series of these lines connected at the base by a long horrizontal line is a word. And forests are bordered by upward pointing carrots /\ to mark their termination.
Forest Elves interfered in the breaking off of the Ivy Crown from the Church of Anto. Aiding with druids and druidic teachings, the tide was turned against the far more powerful church. The vale elves approved from a distance, but chose not to get involved.
This was done because the forest elves felt Anto specifically, but those who follow his teachings, abandoned them as the races of darkness began crossing to their shores. Not only militarily, but by cutting off their access to their ancients at a crucial moment.
Dwarves, are still not to be trusted. They have life spans bordering on those of the elves, and while a few generations of humans have passed since they brokered peace between them, many elves born during the wars are barely into maturity. Most elves still feel the anger towards dwarves.
These elves spend their time within the Sidhe Vale tending the life trees. Before the druidic tradition was founded these were the elves of summer and winter. They even maintained such names until the drow descended from the surface. They now consider themselves the sun and moon elves, even though they still tie their families to their respective trees.
These elves adventure out from the vale, seeking new species of trees, guarding the eldest of such trees, and helping protect the balance of nature. They were once considered the elves of spring and autumn before druidic tradition took hold.
Many return to the Sidhe Vale to bond their offspring with a life tree before returning to the Wychwood.
The trees associated with Forest Elves are; Oak, Alder, Maple, Hawthorne, Ash, Yew, and Birch.
Banished from the elven kingdoms for siding with the Ancients during the great war. They were forced underground to live with the ancient they sided with.
They have not been seen since the early part of the war. It is not known if any survive.
The vale trees (Eldar) that once belonged to the exiled elves petrified the first new moon after their exile. None on the surface are aware of why. They were cleared and burned to prevent any possible spread to other family trees.