Warning: the following article contains spoilers for Dungeon Siege II and Dungeon Siege II: Broken World.
Elves are rare in Aranna, often staying in the Vai'lutra forests as well as the town of Aman'lu. Those that do venture out are usually adventurers, whose tales become children's stories or legends. They don't appear at all in Dungeon Siege or Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna, but are a playable race in Dungeon Siege II and Dungeon Siege II: Broken World.
Elves bear a resemblance to Humans, though they have pointed ears and sometimes different skin colors (of which are a subtle yellow and a dark grey). Elves are both male and female, and reproduce the same way as Humans do. Different from the Humans, however, the Elves live for many centuries, the oldest known Elf being Arinth, of whom was approximately two thousand years old at his death.
Elves are renowned for their scholarly pursuits, especially in the development and practice of magic (most commonly Combat Magic). Scholars, historians, and powerful mages play great roles in their society. As well as magic, Elves are known to be pioneers in many other forms of combat as well, inventing different techniques and practices.
Elven blademasters developed many skills such as Critical Strike, on top of the mastery of dual-wielding blades. Elven archers are renowned for their accuracy and range, able to shoot from great distances still with a chance that the arrow should pass completely through the victim.
|1 Point in Critical Strike|
|1 Point in Brilliance|
|+5% Mana Recovery|
As shown in the table, Elves are overall
well-rounded, though a path in Combat
Magic or Melee is recommended by the given
The ways of the Elves involve learning anythind and everything new. Powerful scholars and aged historians are often ranked second only to a town or group's leader, and it is not uncommon for an entire village of Elves to be well practiced in Combat or Nature Magic. The Elves are compassionate and helpful to all other races, one example being the fact that many left the Vai'lutra forest to aid the Dryads in building a home amongst the trees.
Due to their long lives and value for knowledge, the Elves are regarded by most as a divine form of beings, though they are not immortal, and certainly not all of them are well-intended. Because of their attributes, some Elves know more in general than many Humans, Dryads, Dwarves, or Half-Giants. They are turned to in times of need, as they will almost always shelter and sanctify their allies and friends.
The Elves know more of the history of Aranna than any other of the races, this most likely being because of their long lives and wisdom. Wenanda was the name of the great rolling plains that made up Aranna long before the Empire of the Stars was formed. Elves lived in hidden forests in tribes on Wenanda, though there was a long lost race called Sea Elves, which had temples, shrines, and buildings upon any islands, including the Utraean Isle and Greilyn Isle. After the first cataclysm, when most of the Humans, Half-Giants, and Dwarves formed the Empire of Stars, the Elves were one of the key contributors, and ever since have been dedicated to the unity and peace of Aranna.
Perhaps the most known Elves are the two that came to be worshipped as Gods long after their deaths. In the lands of the Vai'lutra forest, a band of Elves settled a town near the sacred waters that ran through the lands, bearing the properties to heal sicknesses and wounds. Two Elven siblings, named Istaura and Isteru, helped lead this small village to wealth and fertility. These two mages had studied the magical waters of the Vai'lutra for many years, and named the village Aman'lu, which in Elvish means Sacred Waters.
Around the same time as the formation of the small town on the banks of the magical river, a race known as the Familiars entered Aranna. Surgeons, or their leaders, would perform horrible mutations on creatures they captured, turning them into horrifying beasts. The unprepared Elves in the Vai'lutra were attacked, and were on the verge of fleeing their lands. But an Elf named Lorethal formed a group of elite hunters called the Crimson Hunters, and together with the powerful Istaura and Isteru, they fought the Familiars.
Lorethal was killed in battle, but Istaura and Isteru imprisoned the Familiar Surgeons under powerful spells that drew their magic from the waters of Aman'lu. The two Elves used their magic to expand the Vai'lutra forest, which soon sanctified and protected Aman'lu; rumors state that this awesome use of magic drained and killed Istaura, while others say she continued to live until she imprisoned the wicked sorceror Arinth deep underground, and hiding the bits of his broken staff across Aranna. Eventually Isteru and Istaura died, perhaps both of natural causes. A temple would be erected in their honor near the entrance to the Elen'lu Isles, the starting and most sacred place of the magical river.
When the Aegis of Death was discovered, it was brought to Aman'lu, which was now a large town and capital of the Elven race. A group of Elves immediately began to study the Aegis, their names the Vai'kesh. These wizards depended on the Aegis for their power, and created many spells and rituals around it, and soon formed a cult known as the Manu Ostar. Their greatest spell, known as "Nuuruhuine" would allow the Manu Ostar to control death itself, but when the entire guild performed it, it backfired, killing most. Those that weren't killed were twisted and mutated, with decaying flesh. Banished by the Elders of Aman'lu, the Vai'kesh travelled to the southern Vai'lutra forest, their name meaning evil spirits. The southern forest became corrupted by their spells and presence, numerous forms of fungi growing, producing vile gasses that turned the forest evil.
Many years later, when Princess Evangeline took the Aegis of Death to unite it with the Aegis of Blindness, which was held in her fortress of Snowbrook, her caravan was overrun by the Vai'kesh, who stole the Aegis of Death to use it in their spells once more. Resistance forces attacked the Vai'kesh, slaying their leader, and rightfully taking the Aegis. During a battle after the second cataclysm, the remaining Vai'kesh were slain, and the Vai'kesh forest returned to its lively and fertile state.
When the Sword of Zaramoth shattered, and the second cataclysm raged through Aranna, the Elves (who were using their power to see visions of the battle at the time) lost their ability to see in the present and future, as well as losing their most respected Elders and scholars. Because of their anguish and sorrow, they did not offer help to the other races, such as the Humans and Dryads, who had to fight for their survival.
The Overmage travelled to the Vai'lutra lands, using his power to free the familiars that had been imprisoned many centuries ago. The familiars returned to their old ways, making base in the Vai'kesh forest. Aman'lu was overrun with the beasts, their magic less potent than before, and their sight weakened. Only a small portion of Aman'lu resisted, and it became a daily struggle for the few remaining Elves to defend their position. When the resistance force came to a ruined Aman'lu, the travelled to the Familiar stronghold, destroying it and all the Familiars within. The Elves were done with the Familiars, sending the last of their great mages to purify the buildings and lands of the southern forest.
When Zaramoth Reborn was destroyed, a member of the resistance force, Finala, returned to rule over Aman'lu, which was eventually retaken from the tac'lak beasts and familiars, and in time was rebuilt. Eventually a powerful spell was cast, restoring the foresight to all Elves across Aranna, and although it is not said, it can be assumed that the Elven civilization returned to their once great power in time.
Note: In Dungeon Siege: The Throne of Agony, Serin restores the foresight to the Elves with a spell.
However, it may not be recognized as official history, and if it is not, then the Elven civilization remains without their visions.
Finala* - Finala is a headstrong and begrudging female Elf. Finala is a combat magician, who is also quite mechanical, building bridges and buildings for Aman'lu and later the Dryad Outpost. She is recruitable after putting out the fires in Aman'lu. After the second cataclysm, Finala travels to the Dryad Outpost, where she can be recruited at the start of the game. In the epilogue of Dungeon Siege II: Broken World, it is stated that she returns to rule Aman'lu.
Amren* - See Amren.
Ressa** - An exile from Aman'lu, Ressa is a blood-assassin, and can be recruited in Dungeon Siege II: Broken World upon completion of her quests. Ressa, along with the resistance force, creates a powerful bow that can be used even if she is not added to the party. She is, like her profession suggests, fascinated by death and the art of killing. In the epilogue of Broken World, Ressa becomes a highly skilled and feared assassin in Aranna. She is the only Blood Assassin NPC recruitable in the game, as the only other way to play as one is to make your character one.
Istaura the Fierce - Along with her brother, Isteru, Istaura grew the Vai'lutra forest with her magic, as well as defeating and imprisoning the Familiar Surgeons. She was known to be fierce and justful, fighting with a large two-handed axe (known as Istaura's Justice and is available to the player), and protecting Aman'lu. When Arinth turned insane and rampaged through the Vai'lutra forest, some tales state that it was Istaura herself that defeated him, imprisoned him far below the Azunite Desert, and broke his staff (the only device that could free him), hiding the pieces in various places.
Isteru the Wise - With his sister, Istaura, Isteru is the most well-known Elf of history, using his magic to protect Aman'lu and lead it to prosperity. It is Isteru who trained Arinth, and while some legends say it was his sister that defeated Arinth, others say that it was Isteru and a band of Elven sorcerors who defeated the rogue mage. Isteru fought with a staff that bore the original Orchid of Aman'lu. This staff is called "Isteru's Wisdom" and is available to the players as a unique drop.
Arinth the Mad - One of the more powerful sorcerors of Aranna, Arinth learned magic as a young man, but later became corrupted by his own learnings, and in his insanity threatened to destroy Aman'lu and the Vai'lutra forest. When subdued by Istaura or Isteru, he lived for nearly two thousand years in a deep underground vault. Upon completion of retrieving and rebuilding his legendary staff, the player can find his vault where he is jailed and free him, later chasing him down to the Temple of Isteru and Istaura, where he is killed once and for all.
* = Recruitable NPC (able to add to your party)
** = Recruitable NPC only available in DSII: Broken World