Elves are uniformly thin and tall. They range from five feet to seven in height, with male elves being nearly a foot taller than their female counterparts. Elves are possessed of a grace that is famous among other species, particularly humans. Whether this grace is a learned skill one acquires from living among and in the trees or an inborn talent is unknown, as elves possess only one culture and only one race.
The slender grace of the elven people is evidence of a weakness that elves take great pains to avoid being exposed. They are not a strong people, and do not suffer physical injury well. Though they are nearly immune to disease, an elf knocked unconscious suffers a much greater chance of death than a human, dwarf, or other more sturdy creature.
All elves have very light metallicly colored hair, either platinum, silver, or golden. Their eyes have a variety of aquarian hues, shades of blue and green. With these eyes elves can see in anything but complete darkness, moving about without regard to day or night, even in the deepest arbors. Elven skin is the palest alabaster, without exception.
Elves have incredibly low fertility, and the average elven woman will conceive two or three times over the several hundred years in which she is fertile. The extremely long gestation period, just over five years, is a special period in an elf's life. Pregnant females are regarded with an aura of holiness in this culture that so rarely sees new life. Childbirth is particularly dangerous because of the slight frames that elven women possess. Without magical aid, half of all elven women die when giving birth to the slightly larger male infants.
After birth elves grow very slowly for nearly five decades. Elves lack the hormones and other strong chemical factors of other species. The lack of powerful hormonal influence means elves have no "puberty" or other period of fast growth. They also do not suffer from the raging emotions of other races nor the short lifespans that come with rapid growth. The downside is that elves do not and cannot have bursts of speed or strength linked to their emotional state.
Upon reaching maturity after a full century elves live a nearly ageless life for two or three more centuries before beginning a slow decline. Over a dozen decades the elf's physical body dwindles. The hair turns white and the eyes lose their color. The natural grace leaves as movements become more conscious and deliberate.
Elves have developed a special manner of rest and meditation that is important in allowing them to maintain memories and individuality across the centuries. During a typical night an elf will sleep for two to three hours and then awaken to perform the Reverie. This deep trancelike meditation helps an elf assimilate and contemplate the events of the day in such a way that they will not be lost amidst the memories of thousands of other days and weeks. During the Reverie an elf is awake, but their attention is turned within. An elf is very difficult to arouse out of this state, and when they are brought back to awareness they may be disoriented, much as one just awaking. In most cases sleep and the Reverie are performed back to back, but this is not necessary.