Shal'akai - The elves of the world. Premiere artisans, the Shal'akai boast the most beautiful (and some say fastest) sea vessels, as well as splendorous homes. On the downside, the Shal'akai are possessed of an unparallelled haughtiness, seeing all of the other races as 'beneath them.' Not to say they won't accept help when needed, but even in their most dire of times, there is always a sense of 'favoring' another race with letting them assist. In accordance with this view, the Shal'akai insist upon only the best; whether it be housing, food, or pleasures.
The Shal'akai have a matriarchal (matriarchial?) society, with their queen bearing the title of "Mistress of Flames." Indeed, the elves have an uncanny knack for calling and manipulating fire, though no one quite understands why. The arrogant Shal'akai insist that it is simply their birthright.
Tel'akai - Generally called 'dark elves', the Tel'akai are indeed darker-skinned, possessing shades of rich brown skintones. Of course, to the Tel'akai, they are simply 'elves' and the Shal'akai are considered "pale elves". They scorn the Shal'akai for the lack of dark skin, which (in their eyes) takes away from the god-gifted beauty of the elves. The Tel'akai are possessed of exotic hair colors, ranging from white, to silver, to the occassional purple or deep red.
In more ways than one, the Tel'akai are more 'earthed' than their kin. They live in the deepest parts of forests where sunlight fails to penetrate, and have a wild, hedonistic flair to life that can often be called 'primal'. The dark elves are far from stupid, however, and they know how to use their gifts to get what they want. Whereas the Shal'akai -expect- to be given whatever they wish, the Tel'akai simply -take- what they desire, through any means nessacery (I do so hate trying to spell that word.).
Of Races & "Parentage": By all reckonings, the two races of elves are only marginally related. It is said that Phaedra, the goddess of love and fertility, created the Shal'akai. The Tel'akai, on the other hand, take pride in the fact that they were created when Anyariis, Phaedra's twin sister and the goddess of lust, bedded the wild god Talyn. A third belief, held by some religious sages, contends that Phaedra and Anyariis are two aspects of the same divinity, and thus when Talyn bred with Anyariis, he also bred with Phaedra. It is noted that the two sub-races of elves refer to each other as "cousins", though the word is usually spat out as an epithet.