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Elves are humanoids with fey ancestry. They are known for their pointed ears, lithe build, and exceedingly long lifespans.


Official art of a high elf, a wood elf, and a dark elf, by Claudia SG Ianniciello from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 23.[art 1]

Elves are similar to humans in many respects, though they are first identified by their long, pointed ears. Elves often have an almost supernatural beauty about them, a hint at their fey origin. Elves are slightly shorter than humans, ranging from less than 5 feet tall to just over 6 feet. They tend to be lighter than humans weighing around 110 pounds, though there are exceptions.

Most elves have skin tones akin to humans, those native to northern climates (such as the Greying Wildlands) often having pale skin, while those originating from the deserts of Marquet have dark skin. Their hair typically matches those of humans as well.

Drow often have dark gray skin, though it can also range from deep blue to dark purple. Their hair is typically white. Dark elves are also shorter than other elves, averaging around only 5 feet tall. Pallid elves have pure white skin and hair, with pure black eyes. Sea elves' skin ranges in shades of blue-green.



Elves were the first people to live within Tal'Dorei, which they called Gwessar. These elves originate from the Verdant Expanse.[2] Within the city of Syngorn, the high elves tend to hold themselves to the highest standard, thinking little of those that leave the city to wander elsewhere, and shunning those who marry with humans.[2]

Within the Rifenmist Peninsula there exist the Orroyen Tribes, nomadic groups of wood elves who embrace the natural world. Few of these elves ever leave the jungle, content to wander and protect their wild domain.[2] Other wood elves left Syngorn to find their way to the northern side of the Cliffkeep Mountains, founding the elvenpeaks of Lyrengorn, soaring across the skies on wyvernback.[2]

Deep beneath the Stormcrest Mountains in the subterranean city of Ruhn-Shak, the dark elves are on the brink of destruction.[4] While many follow the brutal, cut-throat ways of the Spider Queen, many others are consorting with the dark powers of Tharizdun. Amid the chaos, many drow have fled their subterranean home to live in peace among the surface. While they are shunned from Syngorn, some have found sanctuary among the peaks of Lyrengorn.[4]


Fan art of Leylas and Quana Kryn, by BlackSalander.[art 2]

The largest population of elves on Wildemount are comprised of the dark elves of the Kryn Dynasty.[3] These drow have shunned the worship of Lolth in favor of a new, relatively unknown god known as the Luxon. As such, these drow live on the surface of Wildemount in the region known as Xhorhas, underneath night-shrouded skies of the city Rosohna. Through the power of the Luxon, the drow of the Dynasty are capable of reincarnating into new bodies after they die, through a process called Consecution.[5]

Within the Greying Wildlands, many elves once called the city of Molaesmyr their home. However, it was destroyed in a mysterious cataclysm that warped the forest around them, killing the elves living there and forcing them to flee. These elves settled in two places.[6] Some fled north, to the dwarven city of Uthodurn, where they were accepted and now live together in harmony.[7] Others fled to the west and founded the treetop city of Bysaes Tyl, where they lived in seclusion until they were discovered and forced to join the Dwendalian Empire.[8]

Fan art of Captain Avantika, by Nguyen Minh Hieu.[art 3]

Within the Menagerie Coast, there are groups of elves, each with a different point of origin. Most elves of the Coast are descended from travelers from the desert realm of Marquet, where they along with native elves of the Ki'Nau founded the city of Gwardan.[9] Beneath the waves of the Swavain Islands the water breathing sea elves make trade with merfolk, rarely surfacing due to their distrust of the surface folk.[3] Meanwhile, high in the Cyrios Mountains in the secluded Pallid Grove, a group known as the pallid elves have begun to venture from their subterranean home for the first time since The Calamity.[10]

Powers, abilities, and subraces

Despite the various differences in subraces, all elves have many traits in common. Elves are renowned for their dexterity and keen senses, capable of seeing within dim light and even darkness. Due to their fey ancestry, elves are resistant to being beguiled, and magic cannot put them to sleep. In fact, elves do not even require sleep, instead needing only to meditate in a trance for four hours.

Dark elves

Fan art of Essek Thelyss, a dark elf, by Vicious Mongrel.[art 4]

Dark elves, also known as drow, are often charismatic. Due to living in the Underdark, drow have superior darkvision compared to other elves. However, they are unused to the light of the sun, and have difficulty seeing outside on sunny days. Drow have some natural magic ability, being able to create dancing orbs of dim light that fly under their control. More powerful dark elves are able to unleash a spray of these lights at their enemies to mark them as targets, and can also create pockets of magical darkness.

High elves

High elves tend to be studiously minded. Many high elves train themselves in the arcane, learning some basic wizardly magic.

Pallid elves

Official art of a pallid elf, by adragonswinging.[art 5]

Pallid elves are as wise as their wood elf cousins, and are supremely insightful. They also have a modicum of innate magic like dark elves, able to cause small objects to brightly glow with a touch. More powerful pallid elves can cause others to fall into a magical slumber, and can wreath themselves in invisibility.

Sea elves

Sea elves are the most constituted of elves, able to withstand the chill of the deep ocean. As such, they are adept swimmers and capable of breathing underwater. Sea elves are also capable of rudimentary conversation with undersea beasts.

Wood elves

Wood elves tend to be some of the wisest of their kind. Elves of the wood are fleet of foot and train themselves to remain hidden in the natural environment.

Notable elves

Campaign One: Vox Machina



Campaign 2: The Mighty Nein


Fan art of Dairon, by Jinjidraws.[art 6]



  1. Official art of a high elf, a wood elf, and a dark elf, by Claudia SG Ianniciello from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 23. This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  2. Fan art of Leylas and Quana Kryn, by BlackSalander (source). Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Captain Avantika, by Nguyen Minh Hieu (source). Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of Essek Thelyss, a dark elf, by Vicious Mongrel (source). Used with permission.
  5. Official art of a pallid elf, by adragonswinging (source). Used with permission.
  6. Fan art of Dairon, by Jinjidraws (source). Used with permission.

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