The Elves consider themselves to be the oldest and first civilization, although evidence to support this fact is questionable at best. The Elven creation myth has all other races either descended from Elves, or created as a result of the actions of some Elven hero. It is widely accepted that Elves originated somewhere in the center of the continent of Ogrua. There they lived for many thousands or even tens of thousands of years in relative peace, slowly spreading throughout the continent and learning their crafts. It is the Elves who constructed the first ships and first sailed to distant lands. First reaching the islands of the Ten Thousand, they eventually reached Eaoder, coming into contact with Humans, Dwarves, and Kimer at various points.
Elves are of similar build to Humans, if on average a bit thinner and taller. They are almost always fair of complexion with hair ranging from white to blonde to red. Elves are known to live for hundreds of years, with the oldest Elven mages more than 500 years old. They are also the greatest magic users in the world as a result, and are chiefly responsible for the development of the Circles of Magic, the system that has come to dominate formal magic training throughout the known world.
Elves are typically divided into one of two groups, although the distinction can be somewhat arbitrary at times, and the groups frequently blend together. The Wood Elves live in the deep forests of Ogrua and largely keep to themselves, while the Sea Elves live along the coast. Although they were explorers at one time, the Elves have slowly receded back to their homeland over the past two thousand years, and are now rarely seen in large numbers outside of it.
Elves lack any sort of central authority that would be recognizable to a Human or Dwarven observer. Communities tend to respect and follow their eldest, who are often powerful mages. Nearby towns will maintain frequent contact with their neighbors, banding together when necessary for common interest. This serves them well in maintaining individual freedom and responding to lesser threats. However, the lack of central authority can prevent larger Elven groups from coordinating, which has been to the Elves great detriment in wars past. There is a common line of thinking in Human scholarship that it is this single attribute that is the sole reason that an Elven hegemony does not extend over the entire world.