race_elves.jpg Left to Right: Drow, Wild Elf, Sun Elf, Wood Elf, Moon Elf
Type Humanoid
General Alignment NG, CG, CN
Typical Languages Elven, Sylvan, Regional
Habitat Urban
Subraces None (Elven Subrace)
Deities The Seldarine
Groups

Sun Elves

The majority of Faerun's sun elves live on Evermeet, having abandoned what remained of their ancient realms during the centuries following the falls of Illefarn and Cormanthyr. They are only now returning to the mainland to reestablish their presence there.

Sun elves have bronze skin, hair of golden blond, copper or black, and eyes of green or gold. They favour contemplation, lore, and study, over the quick games and lighthearted songs of other elves, but seem to embody the unearthly beauty, grace, and presence of the elven folk. They, like other elves, vary in height between 5 and 6 feet, with females generally a little shorter and slighter than males.

Sun elves dress in clothing that is at the same time magnificent and understated, favoring cool colours such as blue and green. They decorate their clothes with intricate gold- or mithral-thread embroidery in exacting patterns whose subtle designs are easy to miss at first. Jewelry is simple but painstakingly crafted.

Sun elves are unusually long-lived, even for elves.

Of all the elven subraces, sun elves are the most arrogant and haughty. Sun elves believe that they are the true elven race; the builders and the leaders of the elven realms, and that the other elven subraces fail to live up to the solemnity and dignity of their ancient stock.

Sun elves are responsible for the majority of the great elven cities of legend, although other elven subraces aided the construction of many of these cities. Myth Drannor is perhaps their most famous creation, though probably not their most magnificent. Sun elf realms are the stuff legends are made of, an intergral part of the hsitory of Faerun for thousands of years. The sun elves certainly know this, for they distance themselves from nonelf races and often won't let such 'lesser beings' into their lands.

Sun elves believe that they were selected by Corellon Larethian to be the defenders of elven tradition and history. They are also the most patient of elven races, and they devote their time to perfecting a task rather than just merely completing the task. To a sun elf, rushing a job or finishing a job in anything less than perfection is betraying the elven ideal. As a result, they tend to have a much narrower rance of skills than other elves, but they are the unrivalled masters of the skill, art, or craft to which they turn their efforts. The only exception to this rule is combat. Sun elves have no love for combat, but they are nevertheless well trained in its ways. They view combat as a necessary evil, and one that should be resolve quickly so the task can be done and one can return to more pleasant and constructive pursuits.

Sun elves are deliberate, patient, and solemn, and their society reflects this. Their buildings, while aesthetically beautiful and architecturally brilliant, tend to be ostentatious. Nevertheless, sun elves take great pride in their buildings, believing that nothing less than perfection will do for the chosen defenders of elvendom. Their art, poetry, and songs also reflect their deliberate and regal attitudes. They prefer tales of ancient battles, songs of the gods, and stories of great heroes beset with terrible tragedies.

Sun elves revere wisdom and learning. Even the humblest sun elf abode features a room or two filled with old scrolls, maps, and books. Sun elves have a strong tradition of rule by nobility, and most sun elf communities are ruled by a monarch who can trace his or her line back to the First Crown War. Where a human noble measures his power by the expanse of the lands under his thumb and the numbers of soldiers at his command, a sun elf noble is known by the honor of her family name, the magical power and lore that her family has accumulated, and the wealth and beauty of her family's palatial home.

Sun elves are the least likely of the elven subraces to take up the adventurer's path. They see little point in roaming around the world and meeting other peoples, especially when any sun elf can enjoy as much comfort, study, and contemplation as she likes by remaining in one of the hidden sun elf realms. Most sun elf adventurers are more properly thought of as spies; dutiful scouts who make it their lifelong task to observe the other peoples of Faerun and keep a vigilant watch for the rise of any threats to the elven homelands. A few sun elves are drawn to the mystery of ancient power and seek to add to the lore of their people by exploring ruins of ancient empires all across Faerun.

Although historically less numerous than the moon elves, it was sun elves who founded the great nations of Aryvandaar and Othreier. Of the two, Aryvandaar would become the most powerful, blossoming under the rule of House Vyshaan. However, this prosperity would come with a cost and Aryvandaar's blatant aggression towards other cultures would be one of the main causes of the Crown Wars, which would eventually result in the nation's obliteration. As a result, sun elves turned inwards, becoming less expansionist and more reclusive.

Among the greatest nations founded by the sun elves was Cormanthyr, centered around the city of Myth Drannor, which the subrace would found in -3983 DR. Built on the principles of compassion and the responsible use of magic, Cormanthyr was among the most powerful empires of its day, eclipsed in power only briefly by Netheril. Defending it were the Crown Coronals, an order of swordmages that kept the power of neighboring human empires checked for centuries. It was during this period that Cormanthyr first welcomed humans into its territory, signing the Dales compact and raising the Standing Stone, which still mark the year 1 in the commonly used Dalereckoning dating system.

However, Cormanthyr would not last, done in both by the growing power of humanity as well as an over-abundance of magic, in spite of the nation's attempts at restraint. In the Year of Doom, the thin veil between the Prime and the fiendish planes was broken, resulting in the invasion of Cormanthyr by a horde of fiends. Ultimately, Myth Drannor fell and the sun elves took to the already progressing Retreat in greater numbers than ever before, resettling in the distant isle of Evermeet, the last major sun elven civilization, the second largest settlement composed in the moon elven-dominated city of Evereska.

In recent years, however, the sun elves have begun a slow and gradual comeback. The Retreat, which had gone on for millennia, came to its conclusion and many sun elves now start to return to Faerûn.