Myths & Gears
Elvenkind are reclusive, secretive– many would even say xenophobic. They are also chaotic and unpredictable, at least to the more ordered minds of Men and dwarves. There is one thing for certain, though– those who approach Ios without being invited do not return. What little trade there is between the elves and other races is done in such a way as to conceal the homeland from the sight of strangers. There are rumors, of course… some say that elvenkind are masters of strange mechanika and magic, that the trees and stones whisper secrets to them, or that their cities are built around the temples of living gods as old as the world itself… but no one can or will confirm any of it. Even the rare elves that choose to leave their homeland are silent on the topic.
On that note, any Elf seen outside the homeland fits into one of three categories. First, there is the occasional well-protected diplomat or merchant lord. These powerful individuals may be spied rarely on the streets of major cities, concealed in a palanquin, conspicuous only by the masked elven guardsmen that surround them. Second, there is the rare elven outcast. These pathetic (and often dangerous) individuals have been driven from their homeland for unspeakable crimes– among the long-lived elves, exile to the “barbarian lands” is a fate worse than death. Lastly, there is the rarest elf of all, one for whom wanderlust and curiosity about the world overcomes their natural fear, distrust and disdain for the outside world. Some of these wanderers belong to offshoot religious sects not welcome in the homeland.