Ruins of the Old Empire
Playing an Elf
In the Dawn Years, elves are widely perceived as woodsmen without equal, but this fails to capture the whole picture.
Humans who had to live in the far north would be barbarian nomads, and its often assumed that the same is true for elves. Their extended lives, ten times as long as the usual “three-score-and-ten” give them different capabilities.
Most importantly, they can farm foods a human would never do for the simple reason that he would die of old age before the first crop came in. Elven woods are husbanded, and on the back of the food they produce, an elf has the same opportunities for art, magic, and study as someone in a more typical civilization. As they often study some things for centuries, they can be stunningly good at what they do.
On the other hand, their homes are woodlands, and concentrate resources less well than actual farms. Their largest settlements are mere villages in comparison to even the shrunken human cities of the post-Imperial age. An elf’s first visit to a real city is often a shocking experience, and helps reinforce the stereotype of elves as rustics. Similarly, while they may not be able to feed a large number of people in untended forests, their woodland skills carry over well and as individuals they can survive almost indefinitely in any woodland.