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Elves of the Flanaess are a bit shorter and lighter than humans, with a slender, athletic build and typically fair complexions[1], although eye and hair colour can vary among the subraces.  Elves are long lived and spend much time in study or exploring, giving many people the impression that they are not entirely concerned with the world around them, while others may find them a bit chaotic. They're fascinated with magic and beauty, both permanent and temporary.[1]

General Description[]

Flan term: Olve

Once categorised into three types, sages have noted many more elven subraces; High elf being the most commonly known and most commonly encountered, with the reclusive Grey (Faerie) and Wood (Sylvan) elves second to this. Two other groups unique to Greyhawk are often confused with the latter two: Valley elves appear to be very similar to Grey elves and Wild (Grugach) elves commonly mistaken for shorter Wood elves. Drow (Black) elves were thought to be a myth until more recent history, and other elves such as Aquatic (sea) or Snow elves are still relatively unknown.

Elves always use family names, to help keep track of extended family relations across the centuries. Family names in translation are usually romantic and flowery: Starglow, Silverfrond and the like. Even in their original tongue, they tend to be melodious. Half-elves and elves living near human communities may add a career or location tag to their names for ease in dealing with humans who use this nomenclature[2]. This reflects the importance some elves place on bloodlines, especially among the nobles of their kind[1].

Wood elves are likely to be the most numerous of the elven folk, examining censuses, reflected in how they appear to be the most fecund of elves. After this, despite their low numbers Drow, Wild and 'other elves' are the next most fertile of the elves, with High elves next and Grey elves the least[3](p. 83).

Elven History in the Flanaess[]

Some races of Elves, such as the Grey elves, were present in the lands east of the Crystalmist Mountains for many centuries before first human kingdoms arose there. Many of these mountain dwelling elves where slowly pushed into the plains of the Flanaess from ever growing human boundaries and their own internal conflicts, as Drow and the other mountain dwelling elves fought. As more and more land was lost, many elves made alliances with othe demihumans, or even human civilisations (mostly Oeridian), in order to keep a footing in Flanaess[1].

The Major elf-ruled countries are Celene (Grey and Wood elves), The Duchy of Ulek (Wood and High elves), and Lendore (Aquatic and High Elves)[4]. Tribal and independent groups are common in grand forests, such as the elves Highfolk and the Vesve Forest, or in the Gamboge or Grandwood Forests, having settled the area long before humans entered the area or forced to retreat to the woodlands by encroaching human lands.

Elven Gods and Religion[]

According to their myth, the elves were born from the blood of Corellon Larethain. In some versions this blood was spilt when Corellon banished the demoness Lolth from the sunlit realms[5] and the tears of Sehanine Moonbow [1].  Some elves also pay homage to Ehlonna, a nonelven goddess of woodlands.

Faerie Mysteries[]

Many of the Olven folk follow religious rituals, known as mysteries, taught only to those initiated. These rituals require a partner to complete, and noble elves such as Yolande might temporarily take a 'consort' during these rites[1], which can involve dancing, singing, meditation and more intimate activities[6].

Many of the deities listed are shared with the Forgotten Realms setting. Some began within the Greyhawk or AD&D system and were used in Forgotten Realms and some were designed for the Forgotten Realms setting by 'retro-adopted' into the Greyhawk campaign. In universe this is explained as all elves, across all planes, originating from the same set of pantheon. Deities from the Forgotten Realms setting, but adapted for Greyhawk will be marked with an '*'. Deities that were never fully adapted back for Greyhawk will be marked with '†'. Greyhawk only deities will be bolded.

Greater Elven and Seldarine deities.

  • Corellon Larethian[5]
  • Sehanine the Moonbow
  • Aerdrie Faenya
  • Erevan Ilesere
  • Hanali Celanil[5]
  • Labelas Enoreth[5]
  • Solonor Thelandira
  • Rillifane Rallathil[5]
  • Ehlonna (Not strictly an elven diety, but one that many elves worship)

Lesser Elven and Seldarine deities

  • Alathrien Druanna
  • Araleth Letheranil
  • Darahl Firecloak
  • Deep Sashelas[5]
  • Kirith Sotheril
  • Melira Taralen
  • Mythrien Sarath
  • Naralis Analor
  • Rellavar Danuvien
  • Sarula Iliene
  • Tarsellis Meunniduin (But only mentioned in Dragon Magazines)
  • Tethrin Veraldé

Hero and Demi deities

Elven Language[]

Flan: Olven-Vocca[8]

Olve-Vocca sees little use outside of elven communities. Official documents and messages sent to Elven communities will be written in both Common and Olve-Vocca, and books and media within elven communities is naturally written in such, but otherwise it sees little use by nonelves.[8]

Lendorian Elven is a particular language that appears to be taught through divine means (appearing in the minds of elves who visit the isle), and is thick with religious and philosophical terminology. It is spoken by the aquatic and high elves of Lendore Isles. [1]

Elven Specific Feats[]

(These include Dragon Magazine feats, which are not fully recognised as official)

  • Companion Guard Style [General]: You've trained in the style of the Companion guards of Celene, which gives you benefits when using Longswords, Longspears and bows. (Available to: Celene, Grey Elf).[9]
  • Faerie Mysteries Initiate [General]: You learn four religious rites that you can practice with a partner with the same feat to gain benefits. (Avaible to: Grey, High, Wild, Wood. Also available to any race that can trance from Lendore, Verbobonc, Celene such as Tallfellow Halflings).[6]
  • Tested [General]: You pass through the Moonarch of Sehanine and prove yourself worthy of blessings that help you protect ancient elven and faerie lands.(Available to Grey, High, Wild and Wood elves who are over level 10 and have the Faerie Mysterie initiative feat).[6]
  • Ehlonna's Way [General]: You share a bond with Ehlonna, which benefits you in natural terrain. (Available to: High, Wild, Wood elves in Celene and Highfolk)[9]
  • Elflore [General]: You've learnt the poems, songs and lore of the elves, gaining insight on magic. (Available to: Gray, High, Valley, Half-elves, tallfellows, Celene, Highfolk, Lendore iseles, Ulek States, Verbobonc.)[9]

Elven Subraces[]

Aquatic Elves[]

See Aquatic Elves for more details on this elven subrace in Greyhawk.

Also known as Sea elves, they live in caverns and cities on the sea bed. They are humanoid in appearance, with gill slits on the throat and greenish silver skin and green or blue-green hair. Seaweed affords little or no hindrance to their movement [10]. They've been known to live up to 1,000 or 1,200 years [11]. Some sages report they have the ability to 'sea' underwater through a means of sonar based vision[12]. Worship Deep Sashelas.[5] A large number live near the Spindrift isles[8].

Appears in: 1e-Monster Manual 1 (1977), Dungeon Masters Guide (1979). 2e- Complete Book of Elves (1992), Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins (1998). 3.5- Monster Manual, (2003)'


See Drow for more details on this elven subrace in Greyhawk.

The drow are a dark-skinned, subterranean offshoot of the elves, known for wickedness and cruelty. Can live between 800 to 1,000[11].

Appears in:1e-Monster Manual 1 (1977)(Mentioned Only), Hall of the Fire Giant King (1978), The D (Drow) Series (1978), Fiend Folio (1981), Unearthed Arcana (1985), Dungeoneer's Survival Guide (1986). 2e: Complete Book of Elves (1992)

Grey Elves[]

See Grey Elves for more details on this elven subrace in Greyhawk.

Grey elves built the old elven cities which now stand abandoned or were given up to other races as they moved through. They are more given to intellect than other elves, but physically weaker. They practice the oldest elven arts, but hide from the eyes of younger, shorter lived races in their isolated settlements. Grey elves are typically reclusive, especially when surrounded by hostile human settlements, but some grey elf cultures are militant in nature[8]. In Sunndi and the Vast Swamp, Grey elves are unusually aggressive to outsiders[4]. They are thinner than high elves, and have either silver hair and amber eyes or pale golden hair and violet eyes. The latter sort are generally called faeries[10]. They wear complex gowns and flowing robes, favouring clothes the colour of pure driven snow, the noon day sun, silver and gold, with accessories of polished leather, and contrasting colours and jewels. Their cloaks are often deep blue or purple. For battle grey elves favour plate or chainmail, with winged helmets[12]. They live beyond the age of 1,500 years, sometimes reaching 2,000 years[11][3]. They're known to use Hippogriffs or even Griffins as mounts[10][13].

Appear in: 1e; Monster Manual 1 (1977), Dungeon Masters Guide (1979), World of Greyhawk (Boxed Set) (1983), Unearthed Arcana (1985). 2e; Complete Book of Elves (1992), Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins (1998). 3.5- Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000), Monster Manual, (2003).

High Elves[]

See High Elves for more details on this elven subrace in Greyhawk.

High elves are the elves most likely to interact with other peoples of the Flanaess, particularly humanity[8]. High elves dress in pale forest colours when in their villages, typically pastel and of blue, green, grey[8] or violet hue but often covered by a greenish gray cloak[10], and intense, deep colours when in urban settings. Men wear loose blouses belted over close fitting hose with soft leather shoes or boats. Women often wear frocks with sashes, or blouses over ankle length skirts. When hunting, elves favour neutral brown leathers. They are typically dark haired and have green or hazel eyes. High elves can live up to 1,200 or even 1,600 years. [11]

High elves are considered the standard elves of Greyhawk, and use those statistics where possible.

Appear in: 1e; Monster Manual 1 (1977), Dungeon Masters Guide (1979), World of Greyhawk (Boxed Set) (1983), Unearthed Arcana (1985). 2e;Complete Book of Elves (1992), Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins (1998), 3.5-Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000), Monster Manual, (2003)

Valley Elves[]


Valley Elf, Monster Manual 2 (1983), 1e & Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Adventures Appendix (1990), 2e

See Valley Elves for more details on this elven subrace in Greyhawk.

Valley elves appear much like the grey elves, save that they are even taller, often 5'6 but sometimes reaching even 6ft[8]. Some have ice blue eyes as well as the usual shades grey elves have. Their hair is pale yellow in the summer, darkening to a rich gold in the winter months.They dress in blues and greens, usually in garments that are loose and flowing[14]. While many sages suggest that Valley Elves are an offshoot of Grey Elves[14] [12], some sources suggest their history and race actually goes back 150,000 years, being one of the first demihuman races to settle in the Vale for which they are named[15]. The Valley elves serve the Mage of the Valley (The Exalted One, as he's known to residents of the Vale), even raiding near by human lands on his behest. Other elves are contemptuous of valley elves. Neither side will say why, precisely, but other elves seem to consider valley elves to be slaves to humans, shown by their use of derogatory terms for them[14]. It's thought that the other races of elves are watching closely, in case the Exalted One or his Drow second in command corrupts the Valley elves; and rather than see another of their kin fall to evil, the other elves may launch a crusade[12]. It is also curious that Valley elves only show antipathy towards Drow, instead of the hatred that other elves show them[3]. They also tolerate Snow elves, which most other elves shun. Their grasp of the gnomish language comes from them sharing the Valley with many gnomes, of whom the Valley elves tolerate. They also speak a dialect of olven particular to themselves. Valley elves often have Cooshee accompany them[16] and are skilled horsemen although they prefer to fight unmounted[14].

Appear in: 1e- Dragon Magazine #67 (1982), Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1982), Monster Manual 2 (1983), Unearthed Arcana (1985). 2e- Vale of the Mage (WG12) (1990), Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Appendix (1990), Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins (1998). 3.5-Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000), Living Greyhawk Journal 02 (Nov/Dec 2000)

Wild Elves (Grugach)[]


Grugach (wild elf), Monster Manual 2, 1983

See Wild Elves for more details on this elven subrace in Greyhawk.

Wild elves, also called the Grugach, are considered barbaric by other elves. These tribal elves contend that other elves have given up their primal essence to be more like humans. They live close to the land in a half agricultural, half hunter gatherer lifestyle, and wear rugged clothing consisting of kilts, boots and shirts made of animal skin and rough plant weaves. They excel at stealth, even compared to their kin. They are similar in appearance to wood elves, but are smaller, thinner (but broader shouldered), and very fair of complexion with yellow to coppery coloured hair[8][1]. When not in their tribal bands, they dress in leather armour decorated with the shapes of leaves or of the animals of the deep forest[14]. It's been suggested Wild Elves were incapable of being Arcane casters[17], although divine magic from druids was common, and some Grugach may even be able to manifest sorcerous bloodlines[18]. They're known to ride stags[16][14]. They befriend many of the nonevil animals of their forest, having mastered beast tongue and tend to see themselves as guardians of their woods[14]. They tend more towards Neutrality than most elves[19].

Appear in: 1e-Dragon Magazine #67 (1982), Monster Manual 2 (1983), Unearthed Arcana (1985), Dragon Magazine #155 (1990). 2e- Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Appendix (1990), Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins (1998).3.5- Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000), Monster Manual, (2003)

Wood Elves (Sylvan)[]

See Wood Elves for more details on this elven subrace in Greyhawk.

Wood elves, also known as sylvan elves, are reclusive and seldom seen, living in the hearts of ancient forests[8]. Wood elves are more reserved than grey elves, and do not mix with the organised societies of other races on a regular or recurring basis. Some Wood elves have fair complexions[10], while other tend to be darker than their High elf kin[8], with hair colour ranging from copper red to blonde and eyes of light brown, light green or hazel[3]. They favour wearing loose pantaloons, baggy blouses and cloaks, in solid or mixed blocks of colours such as pale tints of green, fawn, ecru and dove grey [20] or russets, reds, brown and tans for hunting and war. Their cloaks are usually green or greenish brown. Wood elves are more neutral than are other elves [10]. Wood elves have a life span of centuries. They tend to befriend giant lynxes and owls[10]. Wood elves can live anywhere from 1,100 to 1,350 years.

Appear in: 1e- Monster Manual 1 (1977), Dungeon Masters Guide (1979), World of Greyhawk (Boxed Set) (1983), Unearthed Arcana (1985). 2e-Complete Book of Elves (1992), The Adventure Begins (1998). 3.5- Monster Manual, (2003)

Snow Elves[]


Snow Elves, Dragon Magazine 155#, 1990, by Jamie Lambardo

See Snow Elves for more details on this elven subrace in Greyhawk.

Snow elves[21] are very thin and wiry, but surprisingly tough and even more shockingly tall, typically reaching 7ft. The typical snow elf has light brown or tan skin, white or pale blond hair, and silver eyes. They prefer wearing only white materials, including jewellery made from bone or silver traded from Valley elves. They have surprisingly short lifespans, for elves, only living around 750 to 900 years making them the shortest lived elves in the Flanaess. Most other elves, except Valley elves, look down on snow elves for this reason, seeing them as little better than humans with a misplaced sense of pride. It is true that snow elves are incredibly haughty, treating most other races, even other elves as completely beneath them. They get along well enough with Valley elves, but go into a berserk rage at the sight of drow to the point of having no self preservation.

Appears in: 1e- Dragon Magazine #155 (1990) Note: This is a Dragon Magazine article not written by Gygax, so is not fully considered canon despite being written for the Greyhawk Campaign.


External Links[]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, Erik Mona, Sean K. Reynolds, Gary Holian, Frederick Weining, 2000, 3e
  2. Greyhawk Player's Guide, Anne Brown, 1998, 2e, ISBN 0-7869-1248-0
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Unearthed Arcana, Gary Gygax, 1985, 1e
  4. 4.0 4.1 Greyhawk Adventures: From the Ashes, Carl Sargent, 1992, 2e, ISBN 1-56076-341-8
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Deities and Demigods (Second Printing), James Ward and Robert Kuntz, 1980, 1e ISBN 0-935696-22-9
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Dragon Magazine #319, "Greyhawk Feats: More Regional Feats of Oerth", Erik Mona, May 2004, 3e
  7. Living Greyhawk Journal 03, 3.5, 2001
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins, Roger E. Moore, 1998, 2e, ISBN 0-7869-1249-9
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Dragon Magazine #315, "Greyhawk: Regional Feats of Oerth", Erik Mona, January 2004, 3e
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Monster Manual 1, Gary Gygax, 1977, 1e
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Dungeon Masters Guide, Gary Gygax, 1979, 1e
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Complete Book of Elves, Colin McComb, 1992, 2e, ISBN 1-56076-376-0
  13. Monstrous Manual, 1993, 2e
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Adventures Appendix (1990), 2e
  15. Module: Vale of the Mage (WG12), Jean Rabe, 1990, 2e
  16. 16.0 16.1 Monster Manual 2, Gary Gygax, 1983, 1e
  17. Dragon Magazine #155, 'Wild in the Woods', Eric Oppen, 1990, 2e
  18. Monster Manual, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, 2003, 3.5,
  19. Dragon Magazine #67, 'Featured Creatures', Gary Gygax, 1982, 1e
  20. The World of Greyhawk (Boxed Set), Gary Gygax, 1983, 1e
  21. Dragon Magazine, 155# ,"In the Frost and the Snow", David. S Reimer, 1990, 1e