Isles Elves are solitary or live in pairs or very small groups. They are territorial. Each elf has a large territory, although territories may overlap. An elf wanders all through its territory and may have several camps at different locations.
A territory is often marked with grisly totem posts adorned with skulls and feathers, antlers, mistletoe and other animal and plant parts.
Territories usually encompass a range of habitats, but almost always include some forest or woodland. They often have a small stretch of coast that they watch over. Lookout points are of great importance and their camps are likely to be nearby these.
Elves will commune with all kinds of creatures in their territory – animals, fey, and even humans and other mortals.
The elves in an area such as a single island meet up for meeting feasts at certain important times and festivals. Emergency meetings can also be called, summoned by a horn or maybe messenger animals. Feasts are raucous, with much eating and drinking of strong wines and meads; hunting, dancing and sometimes orgies.
When not feasting elves are by and large quiet and sullen, although they do have a strange and dark sense of humour.
Elves that voyage do so because they do not have a territory, or because their territory has become overpopulated (it doesn’t take many elves to make an area seem crowded to them). Mixing with other races will make an elf more talkative and gregarious, by their own standards at least. Eventually such and elf may find a stretch of wilderness that they have an affinity for – a sensation described as similar to falling in love. They will then adopt this as their new territory.
Elves usually honour primal spirits and their culture is a primal one. Many elves also have an affinity for arcane magic as well, although their methods of study will be closer to hedge-wizardry than schooled magic. Divine magic is rare amongst them; it may occur if the elf guards a holy well or somesuch in its territory.
Elf children – rare as they are – spend their first few years in a den, often a cave. Once they can walk and feed themselves they are left to their own devices – though a family member will always be hidden nearby watching over them – usually the mother and father will take turns swapping every few weeks. At first they will be left in safer places with much moss and few predators. As they develop they are allowed to roam further. Eventually they are passed on to an Elf of a neighbouring territory to learn from them. This will continue each following year and the Elf may not see her parents again until she is an adult.
Elves are pragmatists and while they normally co-operate with the other peoples of the Tradenet, they will rarely hesitate to defend their territories if they think they are being endangered in any way. This can lead to conflicts with new settlers or towns that require large amounts of natural resources.
Elves have also been known to have dealings with goblins and more monstrous races, but they will not discuss this with anyone. This and their secretive natures cause many rulers to view them with some guarded distrust.
Mood board for elves: windswept shores, forest overlooking desolate coastlines, Scotland, The Wasp Factory.