From Bestiary of the Hypogriph

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Elves[edit source]

The easiest way to think about Elves, is to realize that they are the absolute best that magic and training can attain in raising a human hunter gatherer. They can dig through stone with their bare hands, shape wood without tools, and hit a target from far further than mere physics would suggest is possible. A mature Elf is the ultimate in self-sufficiency. Drop one naked in a forest and within two days they will be ready for war.

Elves are humans, or as they would say what humans are meant to be, to be elvish is to be raised by elves and tested every day for a century in the crucible of the elf homes. An elf does not need to sleep, or rather an elf is able to sleep and walk at the same time, or other repetitious tasks, to do this they train in posture and breathing to sleep less, they train to walk while unconscious, they practice any number of things, in stages over years from birth until adulthood. An elf is taught everything an elf needs to know, they are trained every day in creating the necessities of life, in skinning game, in shaping stones into tools, in carving wood. They work from stone cutting tools to their own hands and fists. An elf who is an adult can split wood with their bare hands. An elf practices running until they can stride endlessly, they can run for days. They do not tire, at least not once the training is done. At every stage of this there are two or three teachers and masters and elders with every elvish child, offering guidance, support, and discipline. Keeping the pressure constant and unending as the child is forged into the epitome of elfdom.

An elf is made to grow slower and stronger through pressure and nutrition. Elves are ‘stunted’ so they do not finish maturing until they are at least 100 years old. They are stretched as well, they are strained, their bones are subtly broken in minute ways and forced to grow back stronger, their muscles torn and shaped to be fitter, their skin scraped and rubbed and ground with dust and minerals and oils and fats to be smoother.

All of these things are only possible with a dozen or more elves to a single prospective child and the carefully tailored environment of an elf home, which is a range measured in hundreds of acres of diverse environment.

Elves when they attain adulthood after a hundred years of unending grinding, purifying pressure are epitomes of physical and mental perfection and well prepared to endure millennia as the apex of a hunter gatherer.

Sadly the world is full of agricultural civilizations and dragons.

A not fully developed Elf is called Demi-Elf.

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