Elven Empire was centered on the Seven Cities, each
built by and named for one of the seven noble houses.
Each of these lines had risen to leadership of the Elven
peoples. Even today, most Elves swear varying degrees
of allegiance to one or the other.
Only five houses remain of true elves. House of Ashrim
was lost at sea. House
of Faendryl, once leaders among the elves, was cast
out and its members eventually became dark elves.
The remaining Elven Houses are:
House of Vaalor
(The Elves of Ta'Vaalor)
Ta'Vaalor, the work of the great Aradhul Vaalor, is
more a fortress than a city. The Vaalor have always
produced the finest warriors of the Elven race. All
Vaalor, male and female, enter the military at a young
age, serving for some hundred years. Perhaps because
of this, they are the haughtiest of the Elves. They
had little tolerance for the lesser peoples of the lands,
especially mixed-breeds. They have never suffered the
Elven culture or bloodlines to be tainted by others.
During the height of the Elven Empire, they chafed under
the leadership of the Faendryl, believing the high seat
should be theirs.
House of Nalfein
(The Elves of Ta'Nalfein)
The line of Zishra Nalfein founded Ta'Nalfein, which
has always been a center of Elven politics. The Nalfein
are fairly adept at everything, but they have always
been the masters of stealth, whether in the field or
the council chambers. Their politics are particularly
ruthless, as they let little stand between themselves
and their desires. The Nalfein are also apt to take
up the life of a wandering merchant, traveling the world
to trade in both goods and information.
House of Ardenai
(The Elves of Ta'Ardenai)
Sharyth Ardenai was the matriarch of Ta'Ardenai, and
her line remained closest of the houses to their roots
in the deep forests. Though they dwell in towns and
cities, they retain a love for the land exceeded only
by the Sylvankind. They tend to be less haughty than
members of the other houses, and have less of an imperial
bent. They are typically appointed as emissaries to
other races. They are, however, capable warriors at
need. All Ardenai grow up to revere the hunt, and few
can match their bow-masters.
House of Loenthra
(The Elves of Ta'Loenthra)
Callisto Loenthra's house is one of craftsman, artists,
poets and bards. Ta'Loenthra is generally acknowledged
as the center of Elven culture. Though some do leave
the Elven lands to ply their trades as merchants or
wandering bards, most Loenthra consider the lesser races
too barbaric for their company. An old Loenthra saying
describes performing to an unappreciative audience as
"casting pearls before Dwarves."
House of Illistim
(The Elves of Ta'Illistim)
Linsandrych Illistim, the greatest scholar in Elven
history, founded Ta'Illistim. Her house has continued
that tradition, and none can match the knowledge of
the Illistim Masters of Lore. They are also extremely
adept at the working of magical rituals, and the greatest
artifacts produced by the Elves came from the House
of Illistim's laboratories. Though many Illistim choose
a life of seclusion and study, some others travel
the world in search of knowledge, both old and new.
See also: Elf
Dogma & Theology, History
of Elanthia, Illistim Culture, Ta'Vaalor's Guardian Keep, Military Structure of Ta'Vaalor