One could say Adem Elves are a sub-race of Wood Elves, but due to some major cultural differences between the two species, it is simpler to consider each unique.
Like Wood Elves, they live for around 800 years, and grow to about 5'10". They have blue, green, or brown eyes, usually, but sometimes that can vary. Unlike their Wood Elf kin, Adem Elves have paler skin, and do better in the cold than all other Elves.
The Wood Elves originated on Thyll Nalore. The people of Thyll Nalore were divided into two major groups: the Adem and the Forest Dwellers. The Forest Dwellers lived peaceful lives, as “one” with nature. They lived in the forests of Thyll Nalore. The Adem lived in the frigid mountains of their world, living peaceful lives, however, still honing their skills in combat. The Forest Dwellers and Adem coexisted peacefully.
However, a disaster occurred on the world of Thyll Nalore. None can remember exactly what happened—but almost all of the Forest Dwellers were killed, and those which survived became aggressive and forgot their peaceful ways among the forest. They began attacking the Adem, and earned the title of “Barbarians.”
These Barbarians have been at war with the Adem for centuries, and still are to this day in a perpetual war.
On Thyll Nalore, the Forest Dwellers lived in the Nemel Forest, a vast woodlands stretching across much of the world. They did not live in conventional cities or villages, instead choosing to live a nomadic lifestyle.
The Adem, however, dwelled in the Adon Mountains, where they built villages and cities on, literally, the precipices of the world. Most of these were fortified, as the Adon Mountains contained many a feral beast. As a result of this cold climate, those of Ademic origin may have a stronger tolerance for the cold than other Elves. Some major Adem settlements include:
- Sorem Nephyl - A large city built into the sides of a mountain. It is one of the oldest and largest Adem cities. It is now heavily fortified, due to the threat of Barbarians.
- Nemon Donic - A relatively large village built at the edge of the Adon Mountains. It serves as an outpost for the Adem to enter the Nemel Forests. It was also a common meeting place between the Forest Dwellers and the Adem. Now it is a military outpost, used to keep the Barbarians at bay.
- Leboon Lewa - An extremely heavily fortified village in the mountains far west of Nemon Donic, but still on the border. It is currently in active combat with the Barbarians.
The Adem do not believe in a superior, omnipotent deity like traditional religions, but instead follow a creed brought about by the sudden rise in respect for warriors when the Barbarians first appeared, this being known as Linath.
Linath is primarily a philosophy used by warriors in combat, but it was eventually altered to connect to commonplace occurrences. Linath is the ideology that people must know what to do in every situation as soon as possible. In combat, to know how to parry or when to strike. For a civilian, it is how to handle a situation, how to calm someone in distress, how to react to everyday life, and how quickly you do it, for if one delays too long, you've already lost.
The Adem of Thyll Nalore have always valued hunters as important members of society—it is hunters who bring food to the people (as crops cannot grow in the frigid Adon Mountains). However, when the Barbarians replaced the peaceful Forest Dwellers, warriors became the most respected branch of society, for they risked their lives to keep their people safe. As such, it is customary for Adem men to train as warriors from a young age, perhaps starting at 20-25 years of age.
The Adem also believe that all the necessities of life should be shared with all. Food, housing, etc., is all shared by everyone. Therefore, while the Adem do use currency, they only use it for “wants,” not “needs.” As a result, there is little poverty in Adem society.