Elves are humanoid.
They age at a roughly human rate until maybe the age of 20, at which point their aging slows drastically, for a while, and at the end of life it speeds up a little: young adulthood lasts basically from 20-90, adulthood is around 90-130, middle age is like 130-170, old age is around 170+ years old. Air elves on average live longest, to 200-220 years. Wood are the shortest lived, tending to make it to 160-170 max.
Elves have semi-mobile pointed ears, long arms and limbs, often long faces, and large eyes reminiscent of some small nocturnal primates such as the tarsier. They have a nictitating membrane and tapetum lucidum, rare in primates, and have long toes and fingers, profiles where their forehead, nose, mouth, and chin align to form a kind of smooth curve or line. Their long toes are not monkey-finger-toes but they are more tactile and useful than human toes. Very little sexual dimorphism, rarely chiseled.
Elves are not hairless, though some might look so until closer inspection: Elves in general have extremely fine, downy hair, especially on calves/backs of thighs, forearms, dorsal line, ventral line, less so on face/chest/feet/hands. Eyebrows are the same downy hair but thicker, very soft.
Note about “modernity” and “advancement” among elvish towns:
For the most part, elves—even the far-traveling Silver elves to some extent—are, by human standards, not very “advanced” and have not changed much from their ancient formats. What this really means is they don’t have things like skyscrapers and electric elevators, though a lot of them still have like… ice-boxes and mechano-magical carts and wagons and toilets, and non-fire based heat and light… Just not electricity. Many are at most “semi-rural.”
Note on genders:
(should be included on the specific pages but I’ll include here too)
- For the tree elves, monogender means they don’t differentiate between genders, as it is viewed as not the most important of things and generally no one’s business. Doesn’t mean they are like Asari or anything.
- Name-gender, for the desert elves, is a third gender, always used until the elf chooses their adult name, and then they choose if they want to keep the name gender or choose to be what is generally translated as male, or female. This is based more on roles, ie female elves often do religious stuff, guard, butcher, cook, etc. while male elves often work with farming, growing, gathering, construction, and name-gender elves often work with horses, hunt, scout and travel. These are not strict, though… just common.
- Third gender in the air grouping of elves often refers to intersex elves, establishing them as their own gender rather than insisting they are just a wrong version of X. Though this still ends up a fairly broad categorization that is not particularly clear-cut.