The Dry Season
Elves (And Humans) In the Elven Nations
The elven nations are a curious mix of chaos and order. Outside the major cities, land is constantly changing hands and fortifications spring up and are burnt down with such regularity that ruins are more likely to be landmarks than standing fortresses. Inside the cities, warriors, merchants and spies rise and fall even more swiftly, with only a handful of families strong enough to weather all challenges.
Trade is the lifeblood of elven society – constantly producing, refining and exchanging goods and money, the elves measure social status by both personal and family fortune. Human families rarely achieve high status, hampered by the long lives and long plans of the elves, but as individuals they can compete with all but the best of the elves, and humans make up the broad majority of the artisan class in the cities.
While each of the republics have several cities that serve as trade hubs and ports, most of the population still lives in fortified farming villages. While the villagers and their crops are usually considered off-limits in regional struggles, they build sturdy walls and raise militias all the same in the hopes of making themselves too much trouble for seasonal mercenaries to move in and take their supplies before heading to their next battle.
Between war and the frantic pace of trade, most citizens of the elven republics are a nervous, energetic bunch regardless of species. Misunderstandings can quickly turn to fighting and long-lasting vendettas over casual slights are common even among the lower classes.