Gods and Empires
The Gray Elves, also known as the Grimwall Mountain Elves, are an extinct subrace of elves that once lived in the area bordered by the Briarwood and the Grimwall Mountains during the time of the Valorian Empire. The name ‘Gray Elf’ was coined by the Valorians, and comes from the Elven name for their people, which is more accurately translated as ‘People of the Twilight’. The Gray Elves were long the allies of the Valinor, and intermingled with them freely for much of their history. Like the Common Elves, their heritage was mingled with human stock, but of all of the elven subraces, their line was the most diluted. They were often regarded with pity by the High Elves, who saw them as more human than elven. Indeed, the similarity that the Gray Elves bore to humans was evident not only physically, but culturally as well.
Physically, the Gray Elves were much taller, stronger and broad-shouldered than their cousins, though they tended towards having similar complexion and hair color, as well as lacking the facial hair that is common among humans. Like humans, the Gray Elves bred faster and were more prolific than other elves, and likewise had a shorter lifespan. The typical Gray Elf seldom lived much more than 250 years. Culturally, the Gray Elves had diverged considerably from their elven roots and come to share much in common with the Valinor. Residing in the foothills of the Grimwalls, they became adept at mining for ore and quarrying stone. They built towers and fortresses in the style of the Valinor, as well as two great cities of stone and metal: Adon’solis, the City of Light, which was found near the shores of the Lady’s Mirror Lake, and Adon’sothis, the City of Night, which was found deep in the heart of the Forest of Shadows.
The Gray Elves were ardent followers of the Illandra, then known as the Goddess of the Hunt. As the stories go, it was the slaughter of the Gray Elves that caused such a serious change in her aspect and demeanor. Their civilization was brought to an end by the Valinor shortly before Valoria itself crumbled. During the final days of Valoria, when the truth about the Magisters was at last revealed, the Gray Elves were horrified by what they learned and broke their old alliance, swearing to stand against the might of Valoria alongside the alliance of elves and dwarves and others who saw the corruption that had overtaken the once-noble empire. Unfortunately, the Magisters reacted swiftly and ruthlessly to this decision and the Gray Elves were forced to stand, and fall, alone. Their lands were devastated, their homes and cities leveled and the people hunted down and slain. The Magisters were not content to simply kill them off, but also destroyed records and histories, in general seeking to eliminate all traces of those they considered traitors. If any of the Gray Elves managed to escape and survive, they were too few and too scattered to rebuild after the war and so became integrated into another society or else drifted off into obscurity.
All that remain of the Gray Elves today are the occasional ruins scattered about the lands now considered to be the southern frontier of The Imperium, a few roads and the stories recorded by a few dedicated historians…