The elphins first had their undersea culture disturbed generations ago. As soon as mankind discovered deposits of dextrocite ore underwater, they developed ways to extract those deposits and not every sea miner was considerate about the task. The elphins emerged from their natural habitat (caves and tunnels underneath the sea bed) and began to wage war on the invaders. Their sheer number faced off against the technologically advanced men and it was a bloodbath. A ceasefire was eventually called with the nations of mankind promising not to disturb the inhabited sections of the sea bed. And today many elphins choose a life out of the sea. But memories don't die quickly, especially for the long-lived elphins, and many of their people remain somber when remembering the past.
There is a large Elphin community in Elladia.
Elphins are amphibians, which means they can breathe just as well out of the water as underneath it. They also move smoothly and gracefully in both conditions: elphins are fantastic swimmers and also move gracefully on land. Although capable of living outside of the sea, elphins need to regularly wash themselves in salt water to remain healthy. Elphins have tough skin and make tough pirates.
Elphins are generally tall and slender, commonly with blue or blue-green skin, although other colours still exist. Except for their eyes (which are a solid black) their faces look relatively human and so does the shape of their body. The most obvious differences are the gills on their necks and their pointed almost fin-like ears.
Most elphins are quite proud of their nautical heritage and above the sea they choose names to reflect this. Such names are types of fish, or names for seas, lakes or rivers. Their underwater names are only pronounceable while under the water.