This article is a bit different from the usual talk of mechanics – today we will be looking at how long elves live in the world of DnD. Not only that, we’ll look at elves in general; so that we may get a better understanding of them as creatures.
Elves are said to be graced by elegant slenderness and eloquence – or as I like to say, malnourished and hoity-toity. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not my fault Dwarves are superior in every way.
But let’s not let my biases get in the way of describing the elves.
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Their Biology & Lifespan
To answer the question of how long elves live is simple. They can reach ages of upwards of 700 years on average. It’s very rare for an elf to die from the strain of old age. Their biology is quite peculiar. They reach their physical maturity and physical growth much the same as humans do, around 25 years of age they stop developing. Yet to reach their emotional maturity they have to be at least 100 years of age, that is the time an elf typically claims adulthood. Many a human generation indeed.
So, what would be considered a MILF in human years; is just dungeonbait in elf years. So no getting away with saying phrases like “But sentinel sir, I know she’s only 80 years old; she’s very mature for her age.” You’ll still probably get arrested.
But hey, don’t ask me. I’m not an expert on Elven law, I just write DnD articles online.
I put this part as a sub-header to the previous part because it still falls under the domain of biology.
The Elven psychology is quite interesting. Since they are so long-lived they do not care much for the matters of the world, they see most other short-lived races as fools worrying about unimportant things and always in a rush. Non elves really are strange, aren’t they?
Because of this long life, they also have a wanderlust about them. Simply put, elves love freedom. And often you will find many elves that have departed their sanctuaries and havens to go explore the world. Some even prefer to offer their services to outsiders, as their skills and capabilities are quite sought after.
Most Elven communities prefer to commute and live together in smaller villages deep inside forests. Their expertise in magic allows them to sustain themselves without ravaging the land as other races might do. Yet they are still known to hunt the game of the forest, which I am sure their superior vision helps with. And they are known to gather the fruits of the forest.
Furthermore, the free time that they do have they employ in creating fine crafts. The objects that they create and the art that they make are well sought after, so it isn’t uncommon to see them trade with others.
The elven understanding of the crafts and arts is matched by none. And there is many an elven literature detaining every fine aspect of whichever field you may look at.
Speaking about trade. They often trade their crafts for other materials and most importantly, metals – as the elves do not like to mine the earth themselves.
There are also multiple elvish cultures, based on their race. You have High Elves, Wild Elves, Moon Elves, Half Elves, and Wood Elves. Most Elves share similarities between them, with a few distinct features separating them apart.
As mentioned previously. Often times elves tend to depart from their habitats and travel the world. Because of their skills they often find employment as master craftsmen. And not only that. They are among the greatest poets and bards of the world, so often they are hired for that role – many bards of non-elvish descent have even taken to learning elvish just so they can perform their pieces. As elvish ballads are said to be some of the most beautiful songs in the world, perfect for a room with dim light, and a loved one by your side.
And if an elf happens to wander into a city, then the nobles vie to employ him at the highest bidder – as elvish tutors produce the highest quality of progeny. As they tend to focus on the gentler aspects of managing a domain, as well as the pragmatic. As they encompass worldly experience for multiple lifetimes.
Finishing Comments on How Long do Elves Live in DnD 5e
That basically covers everything you might want to know about elves and the question of “How Long do Elves Live.”
In other articles, I usually recommend reading the Player’s Handbook or Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, but no. Here I’ll actually recommend you read “The Silmarillion” by J.R.R. Tolkien.
It’s no secret that the world of Dungeons and Dragons is heavily inspired by the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. Practically every fantasy after him has used his writings as the base for the creation of their world. And much of the descriptions that Tolkien would write about the elves in his books remain true here as well.
Still, I will link the Player’s Handbook here and encourage any player who is interested to learn the details about the race. This article served as more of a fun examination of the elvish race rather than a detailed look at their mechanics, that is a topic for another article.