Isengrin's Diamond Throne
Note to self: This is a list of brainstorms. Put something more coherent together later.
1) Elves worship the celestial bodies; they do not believe in the Devas (or, if they do, they do not believe they were gods in the traditional sense) as their society never interacted with them (they claim that their mastery of magic was given to them by the stars).
2) All elves are drow. They claim that there was a time, long ago, when they lived aboveground, but until a few hundred years ago, they all lived in the vast subterranean complex called the Underdark. The skin color of “pureblood” elves is pitch black (although at this point, the races of elves and humans have intermingled so much that many elves have lighter skin – a half-elf will always inherit the human parent’s skin tone). Occasionally, a “pureblood” elf with white skin (actual white, like an albino) will be born, and they are often hailed as a prophet sent by the gods.
3) That elves lived underground for well over a thousand years has created an interesting development in elven culture; no elf had actually seen the stars in the entire time they had dwelled in the Underdark. The sun and stars were glorified and distorted by myths. When the elves finally made their exodus, many were disillusioned. Now, many religious leaders attempt to enforce the belief in the celestial gods, punishing (often with death) “heretics” who do not obey religious laws. All elven nations have rebel undergrounds (or, in a couple, even open rebel areas that are effectively their own country) that attempt to allow elves to live freely without having to obey an enforced religion.
4) Elves desire to go as near to the stars as possible (which is why Al Avandri, with its trees, some as high as mountains, was declared to be the elven holy land). Powerful elves often commission the creation of pyramids, large tombs in which the wealthy and respected deceased are buried after death. These pyramids are always made of white stone (white being the color of the stars).
5) Elves are not immortal; in fact, far from it, few live past the age of two hundred. They still have by far the longest lifespans of the other races, but even they do not last for an eternity.
6) The afterlife is an important part of elven culture. Elves believe that after death, an elf becomes a celestial body – unimportant elves become distant or imperceptible stars, while more influential ones are believed to become planets, and some legendary elves and purported prophets are claimed to have transformed into constellations. However, it is said that every year on the month of their death, an elf returns to earth. If they are not properly interred, they will be in agony for the duration of this visit, and may haunt the living members of their family. For this reason, almost all elves are mummified and buried upon death, and the grander and larger the tomb, the more content the spirit is believed to be. Additionally, spirits are happier if they have multiple homes to inhabit, so elven cities are filled with sculptures and paintings of the deceased. During this one month stay, according to elven religion the elf’s spirit must breathe, so it is vital that elven corpses have their noses preserved. The noses of elves that lived shameful, dishonorable, treacherous, or evil lives may be cut off or destroyed.
7) Elves wear colorful and ostentatious clothing, with shades of red and orange being prominent. Many elves wear scarves that cover their mouth and nose (due to their unique beliefs in the afterlife).
8) Not all elves made the migration from the Underdark to the “Overworld.” Many decided to stay behind, in the city known as Un Qavaria. This city is build underneath a volcano, and is illuminated by the rivers of lava that flow beneath it.
Inspiration for Un Qavaria here