Moon elves, also known as Teu-tel-quessir in the elven language or as silver elves, were the most common of all the elven subraces. More tolerant of humans than other elves, moon elves were the ancestors of most half-elves. They were considered high elves sometimes also called eladrin.
Like all elves, the Teu-tel-quessir were tall, close to humans in height, but more slender and beautiful. Moon elf skin was pale, often with an icy blue hue. Moon elf hair was commonly black, blue, or silvery white, although human-like colors were heard of as well, though very rare. Moon elf eyes, like those of other elves, were very commonly green, although some were blue as well. All exhibited a characteristic best described as golden flecks speckled through the iris. Male moon elves were typically taller than females.
Of all the elven races, moon elves were the most impulsive, with a strong distaste for complacency or isolation. Moon elves longed to be on the road, traveling and exploring the untamed wilderness that lay between cities and nations. This extroverted quality was part of the reason why moon elves got along uncommonly well with other races and had come to the conclusion that the N-Tel-Quess were not necessarily as foolhardy or unworthy as their brethren might think. Moon elves, rather than feeling that interaction outside of their race diminished or weakened them, believed that interacting with other races, humans in particular, was the best way to spread the values of the Tel-quessir races, thereby strengthening their culture.
Moon elven society was often loosely organized and few moon elves stayed in one place for more than a season or two, preferring a nomadic lifestyle. Moon elves were generally comfortable living amongst other elves, particularly sun elves, as well as gnomes, humans, or halflings. Most moon elves organized themselves into groups of a dozen extended families or so, each ruled democratically, although often with de facto leaders whose say held more weight than anyone else's, an individual most often respected for either their age or their martial skill. Wherever they lived, moon elves were unassuming, with homes that were humble, if comfortable.
Although often light-hearted and at ease, moon elves could leap to action if danger came around. Like other elves, moon elves made sure that nearly all of their members were trained to wield a weapon and many also had some small skill in magic. However, even in dark times, moon elves tended to find something to brighten them up, a quality that could be valuable for maintaining morale.
It was not uncommon for a moon elf to take on the life of an adventurer. After all, moon elves were innately a race driven by wanderlust and the desire to learn or do good. Altogether, moon elves were individualistic and most believed sincerely that each person could make a difference in the world, for better or worse. Because moon elves had an innate sense of altruism and good will to others, most moon elven adventurers were heroes, rather than villains, though both existed.
Those who did turn to an adventurer's lifestyle commonly embraced the musical path of a bard; the martial lifestyle of a fighter, ranger, or rogue; or studied to become wizards. Some might also become, later in life, arcane archers or bladesingers and during the organization's existence, many also felt a calling to the way of the Harpers.
Art & Leisure
Generally, moon elves took things with little gravity, instead taking joy in the simple things of life, a trend that their music and art reflected, which were more often joyous than solemn. Moon elves were themselves very fond of art and had both a strong bardic tradition and a history of painting and sculpting. For entertainment, moon elves preferred to gamble, taking little risks as part of the fun. Similarly, drinking and reveling was an important part of moon elven culture.
Like most elves, moon elves preferred clothing of simple design but exquisite making, using the finest textiles and most beautiful weaving designs available but typically making simple cuts and measurements, finding showy flourishes unnecessary. Moon elven clothing was often flashy in other ways, however, with bright colors popular amongst moon elves who felt comfortably at rest and away from danger. Most moon elves wore their hair in braids or ponytails, decorated with wires or beads. Tattoos were not unheard of amongst moon elves and were frequently worn, though it was not an ingrained part of their culture.
Moon elves were fond of keeping pets, in particular, such animals as cats, dogs, falcons, or other hunting partners. Many also formed close bonds with self-aware creatures, such as blink dogs, pegasi, unicorns, or dragonnes. However, most moon elves did not keep mounts, feeling it important to walk on their own two feet.
Magic and religion
Moon elves, like other elves, loved the learning and use of magic, in whatever form it took. Both traditions of arcane and divine magic were highly encouraged and those who partook in either were pushed to expand the knowledge of their race. This pressure did not bother most moon elves, who were outright delighted should they ever become masters of the Art.
Like other Tel-quessir, moon elves generally worshiped the Seldarine, that is, the elven pantheon, and most chose a particular deity as their patron. Of their number, the goddess Angharradh was most popular, whom moon elves identified as a composite figure made of Sehanine Moonbow, Aerdrie Faenya, and Hanali Celanil. Unlike other elves, who typically thought of Angharradh as little more than the god Corellon's consort, moon elves saw Angharradh as the Protector's equal. Regardless of deity, moon elven religious ceremonies were, like so many other things in moon elf culture, loud and joyful and even the most pious of the subrace couldn't deny that the festivals were often just another excuse to revel.
Moon elves were uncommonly tolerant of non-elves, spending as much time within other races' lands as they did within their own. While sun elves might wrinkle their nose at other cultures as inferior, moon elves typically felt that the diversity of Faerûn's landscape was wondrously enchanting. To a moon elf, the insights that non-elves often had was a strength that others of their race too often ignored. Rather than shunning outside ideas, most moon elves embraced them and made them a part of their own culture, which often caused other elves to look down on the subrace.
The reason their openness was frowned upon by some elves (namely, the sun elves) was because they believed that their moon elf brethren were too open and kindhearted to the N-Tel-Quess, thus making it seem a foolish attempt. The sun elves strove to help the moon elves to try to return to the proper elven path with very stern lectures and strict fatherly advice by trying to make them look down on the N-Tel-Quess as inferior, but for a moon Elf, these actions were nothing but a tactical weakness and therefore were a silly way to alienate themselves from every other race they encountered. Working and getting along with the N-Tel-Quess was the true meaning of friendship for the Teu-Tel-Quessir.
However, while moon elves commonly demonstrated a willingness to accept other cultures' traditions and ideas, they generally had little tolerance for cruelty, making them natural enemies of most orcs and gnolls. Likewise, most moon elves shared their kin's open hostility towards drow.
Moon elves were not the first of the elves to immigrate to Abeir-Toril, but they were the largest in number. Moon elves were eager to travel the new world their brethren had discovered, maintaining their characteristic wanderlust even in these early years, and it was some time before they settled in Faerûn as other elves had already done, eventually coming to form the nation of Orishaar, though many settled in Othreier and Keltormir. This nation had an ill fate, however, being one of the lands destroyed in the Crown Wars by the Illythiiri, circa −11,200 DR.
After the destruction of Orishaar, many moon elves helped to found many more of the newer Tel-quessir nations. Among the more successful of these was the city of Evereska, constructed around −8600 DR and Cormanthyr, which was founded in −3983 DR. Of these, only Evereska survived to 14th century DR, with Cormanthyr collapsing in the Year of Doom, 714 DR, although Myth Drannor, Cormanthyr's greatest city, was rebuilt and resettled in the Year of Lightning Storms, 1374 DR.
However, while few moon elven realms survived into the modern age, the moon elves had, on the whole, done well for themselves. Compared to the sun elves, relatively few moon elves left Faerûn for the Retreat. Instead, the moon elves were largely content to wander across the continent, forming small, short-lived (by an elf's reckoning) communities, and then moving on.
Some nations that could properly be considered moon elven still existed in the 14th century DR—a sign that moon elves had, on the whole, fared relatively well compared to their brethren. Though the moon elves had not settled in vast numbers, this was less out of inability as lack of need, as the small bands that made up most moon elves had been fairly successful at their lifestyle for centuries. By and large, moon elves ignored the Retreat carried out by their sun elf kin, preferring to either live amongst other races or wander the wilderness. The major exception to this was the isolated city of Evereska, mainly populated by moon elves. Moon elves could be found most commonly in the Dalelands, northwest Faerûn, or the Western Heartlands. After the Spellplague of 1385 DR, many also took refuge in the cities of Baldur's Gate and Waterdeep.
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Aquatic Elves: Aquatic elf • Marel
Dark Elves: Dark elf • Drow
Sylvan Elves: Wild elf • Wood elf
Miscellaneous: Avariel • Dusk elf • Lythari • Poscadar elf • Snow elf
Planetouched: Celadrin • Draegloth • Eladrin • Fey'ri • Shadar-kai
Humanblood: Crinti • Half-elf • Half-drow • Half-sea elf
Dragonblood: Drow-dragon (shadow) • Drow-dragon (deep) • Zekyl • Zar'ithra
Miscellaneous: Drider • Maraloi