For the High Elves, long hair is a symbol of strength, power, and nobility -- the clearest token of a real warrior. Because of this, locks of hair are also important talismans for the Elves. This ancient custom stems from the greatest heroes of Elf legend, who have always been depicted with long flowing hair, and it is said that it is from here that their might springs. The White Lions of Chrace, who are renowned for their prodigious strength, take great pride in their hair, which grows golden or jet-black. They weave delicate iron cords into their long plaits so they will not be cut in the heat of battle, as this would mean that the warrior so divested would become weakened in the midst of war.[1a]
All High Elves decorate their hair with combs made of silver or gold, and embellished with bright gems. Each jewel has a different meaning, and reflects the Elf's role in his family, his rank in battle, or can even be a token of favour granted by a betrothed. Woe betide a battlefield scavenger who takes one of these adornments from a fallen Elf; the High Elves consider this deed to be an insult almost beyond reckoning, and pursue it as such. The Bretonnian town of Brigodine's fire-blackened ruins stand as grim reminder that, no matter how pretty an Elf-wrought comb might look amidst the curls of a knight's chosen lady, the suitor would have done far better to trade in gold than pluck one from the battlefield dead.[1a]
- The belief in one's hair granting strength may be a reference to the biblical story of Samson and Delilah.