The Seler'athi (usually referred to by humans as "High Elves") are one of the three Elven races of Amaratheia. An offshoot of the Amer'athi, they have eschewed nature in favour of Arcane magic.
Slightly taller then the average human, the average Selar'athi has a slender build. Long-limbed, they appear to be almost frail by human standards. There is very little difference in size between the two genders, the women typically being only a few centimeters shorter, but sharing the same slender builds. They have sharp features with almond-shaped eyes, narrow chins, high cheekbones and pointed ears.
The Selar'athi have fair skin, almost pallid by human standards. Their hair ranges from white to light brown, but red or black hair will also appear on occasion. Hair is typically worn long and loose. Amer'athi have violet or blue eyes, but green 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 Selar'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 Selar'athi are usually seen as arrogant and pretentious by others; it is an image that has some basis in reality. Experts in the fields of arcane magic, they see themselves as being "better" then other races due to their mastery and knowledge. This image is further underscored by the decreasing numbers of magic users in other races; while they have dwindled, the number and capabilities of the Selar'athi mages has remained constant throughout the centuries. It is this fact, above all others, that has convinced them of their superiority over the other races of Amerathea.
Arcane magic is their passion and the center of their whole society. They thrive off it, constantly researching and exploring it, finding new ways in which to use it. At the same time, they seem toy have a casual attitude to its use. They think nothing of using their magical abilities to avoid any sort of labor or effort; doing with a spell what could be just as easily done by hand. To many, this seems to be almost a directed insult aimed at the outside world; they have retained their full abilities where so many others have fallen.
Unlike their Amer'athi cousins who prefer to remain in harmony with nature, the Selar'athi prefer to control nature, using it towards their own ends. The forests of their kingdom have become more akin to immaculately manicured gardens, with every plant expertly shaped to look appealing. Similarly, the wild creatures have been distorted and transformed into more decorative forms.
The Selar'athi deliberately avoid technology, pointing out that their own magic is far superior and more efficient. To them, technology is seen as a way of compensating for lack of magical ability. Or, in other words, other races need to resort to artificial means to be as good as they are. That their estranged cousins, the Dro'athi have begun to combine magic with technology has caused more then a little worry.
While looking down on most other races, they do seem to acknolowedge the Amer'athi as the fathers of their race; however, they tend to view them as being backwards and unsophisticated, a quiet mocking of their preference for nature and avoiding of magic. They view the Dro'athi with nothing short of loathing and horror, remembering the part they played in that race's creation.
The Selar'athi primarily dwell in several large cities spread across their lands. Unlike human cities, these places are almost fantastical creations, designed and built with magic and crafted not only to be lived in but to show off their inhabitants' mastery of the arcane. Reveling in extravagance, they serve as a stark counterpart to the declining magic of the rest of the world.
To the Selar'athi, family and class are important; their society has a distinct social structure, from the king to the nobility all the way down to the lowest classes. Individuals are expected to know their place in society and defer to their social betters; however, it is not impossible for one to advance their social standing through their own achievements. However, even the poorest laborer has a standard of living that would be envious in any human kingdom.
Marriages are just as often arranged for social alliances as they are for love; loyalty to ones spouse is of paramount importance in either case. Education plays a very large role in Selar'athi society with children being extensively schooled from a young age. Those who have a potential for magic - regardless of their social status - are singled out and trained as soon as possible to make sure that their gifts are bought to fruition.
For the most part, the Selar'athi have chosen to remain aloof from human affairs. They have maintained cordial relationships with Alberia for several centuries, proving to be an ally in times of war. Their most dramatic recent action was their intervention in the Magus War; however, this seems to have been motivated out of the genuine fear that they may have been the next target of the Ravager's armies rather then any desire to help others. Since then, however, they have seen Karanya as being something of an enemy, they see Amer'astan's joining the nation as being more of a conquest. That the nation also is home to the largest known Dro'athi population does not help matters at all.