The elves are the longest-living primary race on Oerth. They once ruled sprawling empires that covered much of the Flanaess, but they were eventually beaten back by immigrating humans and warbands comprised of orcs and goblinoids. They now hold power over several regions of the Flanaess, but their days of glory and conquest are basically over. They are content now to hold onto what they have and watch the shorter-lived races fight for scraps of territory. There are three types of elves, and elven society is much more fractured than that of other races, with sub-races seeing themselves as completely different.
Gold Elves (High Elves) are the most common elves that people encounter. They live for adventure and are possessed by fiery passions. They actually embrace other cultures and viewpoints, and they can be found walking nearly every path of life. They usually have milky colored skin that has a golden sheen to it, and they never tan, no matter how long they travel in sunlight. High elves worship nearly any deity that suits their purpose, and they have all but abandoned the elven pantheon. They see the other elves as being too backward and isolationist. The kingdom of Highvale is made up of mostly high elves
Gray Elves (Feyborn) are the noblest and most arrogant of the elves. Feyborn have bright white, silvery skin, and they almost exclusively have purple or green eyes. They are the tallest of elves, sometimes reaching over 6' tall, but they are also the most frail. Their arrogance comes from the fact that they have faerie blood running through them, and they have a close relationship with the raw magics of Oerth. While most elves can utilize basic magic, gray elves, even the most common among them, are accomplished spell casters. Gray elf arch-mages are exceedingly rare, but they are almost some of the most powerful beings alive. The feyborn see all other elven breeds as a dilution of what it really means to be an elf. The elven kingdom of Celene is made up of mostly gray elves. They exclusively worship the elven pantheon.
Wood Elves prize strength over intellect, a peculiar trait for an elf to have. They tend to stay with others of their own race, but a few travel the world in search of adventure. Wood elf society tends to be tribal, with a group of elders who lead each village. They can be found in nearly all the major forests of the Flanaess, and they also inhabit other natural areas like swamps, canyons, and valleys. Their architecture is built with druidic magics that do not harm the terrain. Though they don't possess the faerie blood of the gray elves, they are the most in touch with nature. Wood elves make fierce combatants, and they are the only type of elf that gives even dwarves pause in combat. Their marksmanship is peerless, and their guerilla tactics in warfare make them rather successful. They worship the elven pantheon, but they also tend to worship other nature deities or old gods. The other elves see the wood elves as too base, and the wood elves see their cousins as too inhibited.The Lendore Isles and forests of the Flanaess are where most wood elves make their homes.
Dark Elves (Drow, Black Elves) are only legend to most in the Flanaess. They are as dark as gray elves are bright and and as evil as the latter are good. Once surface elves themselves, they were transformed into drow and banished to the Underdark when they fell to the worship of demons and gods of elemental evil. Of all the elves they are the only ones that are inherently malevolent, and they hate their cousins with an undying passion. They are smaller than their cousins, both shorter and thinner. In addition, their skin resembles polished obsidian, and their hair is snow-white or silver. Drow tend to worship evil deities, forgotten gods, or particularly powerful being in the Underdark.
Half-elves are not really a subrace per se; they are the offspring of humans and elves. Blending the features of human and elf, half-elves look like elves to humans and like humans to elves (hence their elven description as "half-human"). They do well with elves, humans, gnomes, dwarves, and halflings. In the case of conflicts between elves and humans, however, each side often suspects a half-elf mediator of favoring the other. Half-elves tend to be conflicted individuals who prefer a life of travel, which is why a disproportionate number of adventurers are half-elves. However, they can be found in human societies in even the highest of stations. The reason for this is that they are relateable through their human characteristics, but they also have the marked beauty and grace of the elves. Their natural charisma makes them neigh irresistable to humans.