Many elves are regal and a loof, concerned with plans that cover the sweep of centuries, not the petty day-today affairs that occupy the thoughts of other races. A few elves are rather more down-to-earth: The elves of the dragonmarked houses have lived among humans and other short-lived races for centuries and have adjusted their sense of time to accommodate, and the elves of Valenar have rejected many of the old ways of their kind in order to take a more active and expansionist place in the world.

Elf Lands

The elves were born on the mysterious southern continent of Xen’drik, where they were slaves of the giant kingdoms. Tens of thousands of years ago, elf slaves rebelled against their masters and eventually left Xen’drik entirely. They settled in the fertile tropical rain forest of Aerenal, a large island-continent to the southeast of Khorvaire.

Before the long reign of the Galifar kings, some elves decided to leave Aerenal and emigrate to Khorvaire. These elves now live among the nations of Khorvaire and have integrated almost completely into human-dominated society. These “civilized” elves have little to do with either the ancient Aerenal society or the newly formed nation of Valenar, though some individuals may have more of a connection to their ancestral cousins than the average Khorvaire elf.

During the Last War, the beleaguered rulers of Cyre brought elf mercenaries from Aerenal into their lands. After fifty years of fighting on Cyre’s behalf, these mercenaries claimed a portion of Cyre as their own, declaring that this land once belonged to the elves—a trading colony had been established on the mainland to trade with the empire of the hobgoblins long before the arrival of humans on Khorvaire. This land is now known as Valenar.


The elven houses of Phiarlan and Thuranni, split during the Last War, together carry the Mark of Shadow with its powers of scrying and illusion. They control the business of espionage throughout Khorvaire, but they also operate more legitimate businesses related to art and entertainment. Since the split of the houses, Phiarlan and Thuranni have become ruthless competitors as each strives for dominance in the field.