sylvanSomewhere deep within the great Syl'Wydde forest of Central Peregorne, a pair of almond-shaped eyes peered from the safety of a dense thicket. A delicate hand slowly emerged from the darkness to lift a small cricket from its perch; the smooth, silken hands formed a cup around the tiny insect and raised it upwards to behold. The cricket regarded the stranger with equal curiosity and, though timid, hopped towards this magnificent being.

Landing on the creature's slender shoulder, the cricket crept towards one gracefully pointed ear. As a willow bends its tender branches to the earth, so did the creature tilt its head towards the insect. In response, the cricket made a singular salutary chirp — "Welcome," it said, in the universal language of Living Nature.

The cricket then leapt effortlessly back into the darkness of a warm midsummer's night, and thus the dawn of a new age was born for this world: "The Age of Awakening."

And so it began.

Sylvani were created by Vaen when she fashioned the elven nation to be in direct opposition to the wyrmkind that existed at that time. A group of elves settled in the area west of the great mountains and became adored by the great wyrms who took an interest in them and named them iye ll'ly tihyeye or the Children of the Night (as best can be translated from their tongue), hence il'lthye. The Sylvani, or iye il'ly Sylvaniae in the dragyn-tongue (Children of the Day) took to living simply in forest homes and mountain caves about the lands of Thrael, learning the ways of essence and spirit in direct concord with the energies of the lands, adopting Beade as the mother and came to be perfect reflections of nature, enhancing the wonder of her creation. As a result, Sylvani are aesthetically beautiful and perfectly suited to their home environments, but lack in adaptation to new environments. There is little building and progress stemming from Sylvan culture in the conventional sense. They have no desire to build vast cities or conquer other races because they have an innate sense of contentment to be where they are, whether it's shore or forest, plains or mountain. This is not to say that Sylvani can't be great warriors or brilliant illusionists. They can be both those things, but it's not ambition that drives them, it's the joy in the act, for instance — The joy of battle, not the need for power and dominance; the joy of mastering new magics, not the need to solve the secrets of the universe.

There are four subraces of Sylvan elves, much like there are four seasons of the year, four cardinal directions and four primary elements. Tain are the spring elves who claim a special connection with the soil. Lior elves are the summer elves and call the air their sphere. Brya cherish the fall and claim ownership to fire since the colors of the flames mimic that of the autumn leaves and finally, Muir, the winter elves who consider all forms of water including ice to be their element.

Since Sylvani are so attuned to their environment, it is quite possible for a pair of purebred Byra elves to give birth to a Lior during an unusually long and hot summer. These births are taken by the Sylvani as proof that Beade looked upon the Sylvan race as an extension of herself, the perfect being in her environment. Other mixed births require mixed parentage, but are for the most part, not uncommon.

Sylvan lore insists that the race does not change or adapt over time because they were created to be perfect from the beginning of time. So long as their homelands are undisturbed, this lore is deemed wise, but whenever there has been a drastic change in their natural environment, the Sylvani have suffered. This is why they are quick to right anything they consider to be an imbalance with nature. When the world is balanced, the Sylvani appear docile and content. When that balance tips, the Sylvani often surprise others with their decisively determined response. Sylvani also claim that at the beginning of time Mother Beade charged the first Sylvan with the duty of protecting her other creations, the plants and the animals of Thrael.

Sylvani are the most tolerant of all the races in their treatment of others. They exhibit a special fondness for re'har and vulfen because of their often wild nature. The humans, who with their drive to change their environment to suit themselves make them the antithesis of everything Sylvani, also fascinate some Sylvani. Being curious by nature, Sylvani sometimes travel to human cities and may form relationships with them that result in half-Sylvan, half-human offspring, not surprisingly called half-elves. The half-breeds are very beautiful but often restless due to the conflict between their human and Sylvan nature. Sylvani prefer to live peacefully alongside other races, but only so long as their homelands are not threatened. Even when they are curious about another race, they never desire to imitate that race or to change their society in any way. Sylvani living in cities will grow large elaborate gardens, for example, or will take to hunting outside the city walls as often as possible.

The high council of Sylvani, called the Be'thraedes, is compromised of four members, one elf from each subrace. Overseeing this council is the firstborn daughter of a line of Byra dating back to, again, "the Age of Awakening." The Sylvani see this unbroken line of sovereignty as yet additional proof that Beade accepted them as the perfect race. They don't treat other races badly because of this belief, but rather, they look upon other races in a bemused fashion, seeing them as lacking perspective and always in a hurry. Other races claiming to be the perfect creations of various gods amuse Sylvani greatly because of their innate knowledge that they are the chosen ones. The leader of the Sylvani is more a guardian than a queen, because her main duty is to lead the race in preserving Beade's balance.