Elves are the most ancient of all the humanoid races. There are three distinct sub-races of elves, but each share some attributes. Elves are always slender and somewhat short, with long, pointed ears and angular faces. Unlike most races, elf men cannot grow facial hair and are only slightly heavier than elf women. Elves are incredibly long-lived, reaching adulthood at the age of 70 and often living in to their 7th century.
Being such an ancient and long lived race, elves have recorded their history for as long as they have had written language. The calendar system used throughout Gaeldren was created by the elves about 9,000 years ago.
Originally, the 3 subspecies of elves existed as one race. Their mythology says that they were created by Yatir, the god of nature. The elves revered and worshipped Yatir, and believed themselves to be the guardians of nature, leading to the creations of the Druidic order of Yatir, who acted as his priesthood. The elves were also gifted in the arts of Arcane Magic, and a select few had a natural ability for Psionics. Wizards became common, and held much power in early elven society, while the few Psionicly-inclined elves were viewed with mistrust when others learned of their gifts. Throughout the first age, the elves began to extend their civilization beyond the forests; creating cities and towns and starting to farm. This expansion and progress of technology was generally looked upon favourably, especially by the Wizards. The Druids and their followers however saw this as going against their purpose, and believed that they should reject this change and go back to a more natural way of life. This led to much tension among the two factions. Eventually, in the year 3,000 of the First Age, the Druids led a great exodus, taking their followers deep in to the forests and leaving the cities for good. They eventually became the sub-species of elves known as Wood Elves. The elf psions, who had spent the last 3,000 years facing persecution and prejudice, claimed that they were feeling a psychic call, a pull, emanating from deep underground. As the Druids led their followers away, the psions saw their chance, and left the surface world, entering the tunnels of the Dark to find whatever it was that called out to them. They disappeared, and were not seen nor heard from for another 3,000 years, when they re-emerged as the Drow at the end of the Second Age. With the Druids and the psionics gone, the elves who remained in the cities dubbed themselves the High Elves, and decided to begin a new age of their calendar, the Second Age.