The Amer'athi (usually referred to by humans as "Wood Elves") are one of the three Elven races of Amaratheia. The oldest of the three races, they have lived in harmony with nature for millennia. However, today, they have been divided by war, and stand as the weakest of the Elven races.
Slightly taller then the average human, the average Amer'athi has a graceful, athletic build. Long-limbed, they are swift and agile, naturally built hunters and predators more then anything else. There is very little difference in size between the two genders, the women typically being only a few centimeters shorter, but sharing the same athletic builds. They have sharp features with almond-shaped eyes, narrow chins, high cheekbones and pointed ears.
The Amer'athi have fair skin, tending towards lighter complexions. Their hair ranges from black to brown, but red is not uncommon either; the occasional blond will appear, but these seem to be exceptional. Hair is typically worn long and loose. Amer'athi have green or blue eyes, but violet eyes are seen from time to time.
Their eyesight is better then a humans; similarly, they have far better low-light vision, but cannot see in total darkness. Their hearing is similarly keener then normal humans, and they have a slightly better sense of smell. Their diet is omnivorous with the same range as that of a human.
Like the other Elven races, the Amer'athi age slowly; individuals reach maturity at about a hundred years. From there, they age slowly and gracefully, with the normal lifespan being about five hundred years. Multiple births are unheard of and appear to be biologically impossible. Amer'athi and Selar'athi elves can mate and have children. Oddly, they can also have children with humans, however those children (known as Half-Elves) are themselves infertile.
The Amer'athi are intrinsically tied to nature and the natural world. Their entire society is built to live in harmony with nature, to cooperate and work with it, rather then exploit or control it. They revere natural beauty and wilderness, preferring to dwell in forests rather then in artificial cities. Their own communities are created out of trees, their growth altered by Druids to make suitable dwellings; however, those trees are just as alive and viable as the unmodified ones around them. Similarly, they try to work with and preserve the balance of nature; they hunt only when needed, and gather fruit from the forests. They do not engage in large scale farming, preferring to gather from the wild.
However, despite this approach, they are not passive by any stretch. Deliberately eschewing arcane magic, they have a strong martial tradition and a strong belief in martial strength. Every member of a community will have some combat training, and all but the youngest or most inform are expected to do their part in the advent of an attack. Their warriors and hunters prefer longbows and long-handled blades.
Conversely, they eschew both magic and technology. Their history leads them to see arcane magic as being inherently dangerous and corrupting and, as such, not to be used or trusted. They do not avoid magic entirely. however; their priests and Druids are more then capable with their own abilities. Technology is seen as strange and alien to them; having not come from nature, it is seen as being unreliable, or apart from their well-established world. To many, it is seen as a sign of laziness, relying more on artificial devices then one's own natural abilities.
Amer'athi Elves are generally seen as the most approachable and least arrogant of the three Elven races; like their Sela'athi cousins, they do have a tendency to look down on humans, but it seems to be more born of their position as the oldest extant civilization on the continent then any belief in their being intrinsically better for being Elves.
While they prefer to live in harmony with nature, Amer'athi Elves do not eschew towns and cities entirely. However, as mentioned, wherever possible their communities are built in harmony with nature, rather then replacing it. Communities range in size from small towns all the way up to a handful of cities; however, these communities are built into the forest, rather then being separate from it.
The Amer'athi do not have strong family bonds, but rather community ones. Couples do marry for life and are expected to remain monogamous throughout. Children are often raised colelctively, growing up with others of their age, the bonds with their parents are not as strong as those of other races, but their ties to their community as a whole are stronger. All members of the community are expected to undergo martial training, and everybody is expected to aid the community in some way.
Unfortunately, the devastation caused by the Magus War has severely affected the Amer'athi community. The splitting of the population in two has caused something of a rift between those remaining in the remnant of Amer'athas, and those in Amer'astan in Karanya. Those in Amer'athas tend to see their northern brethren as being weaker and dependant on others for their aid. More then a few see them as being "tainted" by existing alongside the Dro'athi, even if the two races have very little to do with each other.
The elves of Amer'athas have tried to retain their original lifestyle, however, many of their cities are still regrowing or have been rendered completely uninhabitable, with the population forced to crowd into the remaining dwellings. In Amer'astan, the population live in a mixture of traditional tree dwellings and more human-style communities; until the northern forests regrow, it is a compromise they are forced to make.