Eric Aaronson and the Dubious Reasons
Eladrin are of human height. They are slim, and even the strongest simply look athletic rather than muscle-bound. They have the same range of complexions as humans, though they are more often fair than dark. Their straight, fine hair is often white, silver, or pale gold, and they wear it long and loose. Their ears are long and pointed, and their eyes are pearly and opalescent orbs of vibrant blue, violet, or green, lacking pupils. Eladrin can’t grow facial hair and have little body hair. Eladrin children grow much as human children do, but their aging process slows to a crawl when they reach maturity. They enjoy youth and health for most of their lives and don’t begin to feel the effects of age until the middle of their third century. Most live for over 300 years, and even at the end they suffer few of the infirmities of old age.
Eladrin are the “people” of the Feywild. Their cities are collections of sweeping, graceful crystal towers married effortlessly to the local landscape. These cities all predate the war with the drow, and many were ravaged during that conflict. Eladrin walk among ancient corridors and avenues layered with millennia of silent history. They are, to a great degree, haunting their own cities. Only now are the Eladrin truly attempting to reclaim some of these shattered metropolises. Repair and resettlement is uneven. The spires of Astrazalian soar higher than ever, but Cendriane remains a melancholy ruin. Each settlement is a city-state unto itself because the settlements are scattered at great distances across the Feywild. The cities sporadically attempt to create formal alliances, but none of the alliances are strong or of a long-lasting nature. Both the distances involved and the Eladrin character run counter to such efforts.
As is commonly known, the foundation of Eladrin society is the extended family, or House. Although most Eladrin spend decades of their youth in one of the isolated stone and crystal cities dotting the endless shadow of the Feywild forest, an Eladrin’s true allegiance is to his or her House and its nobles. Those nobles in turn often swear allegiance to one of the Eladrin archfey. The Eladrin archfey are titular monarchs only. Although Tiandra is regarded as queen by many Eladrin, she only rules in Senaliesse, and even then she governs only when she has to.
Long ago, Eladrin society once straddled the boundary between the Feywild and the natural world. Eladrin built their elegant cities and towers in places of striking natural splendor, especially where the veil between the worlds was thin—isolated mountain vales, green islands along wild and storm-wracked coasts, and the deepest recesses of ancient forests. Ever since the war that split the Eladrin from the Elves and the Drow, Eladrin have remained in their realms in the Feywild, aloof to mortals and indeifferent to the plight of the natural world. Since the deluge of elven refugees from the valley of Faereal’s sister plane, Eladrin have become even more lofty in their views, holding themselves as paragons of civilization when compared to their elven cousins, their human “allies,” and their mongrel half-breeds.