A race of proud warriors, The Elvaan are the founders of two legendary orders of knights in the nation of San d'Oria. Physically, they are characterized by their tall, slender bodies and pointed ears. Their unshakable pride and faith in their beliefs is visible in each of their determined faces. Both males and females of the race excel in swordsmanship. Most Elvaan seem to eschew the business world, preferring an austere lifestyle as skilled swordfighters.
The Noble Elvaan
The Elvaan are renowned for establishing a strict and powerful military originally divided into three sects. The Temple Knights, from which came the job Paladin, value honor and a deep, unshakable faith. The Royal Knights, on the other hand, are more secular and are involved in more missions outside the Kingdom. The third arm, the Dragon Knights, were along the lines of personal Knights to the King. The adventurer class 'Dragoon' draws inspiration from the Dragon Knights, which no longer exist.
This race has excellent hearing, second only to that of the Mithra. Elvaan are physically the most powerful of the 5 races and the second most physically durable. They are known for being "stuffy," that is, having class and honoring a noble life.
The History of the Term Elvaan
The word "Elvaan" is most likely just a variant on the plural for the word "Elf" -- a word (and all related words) that is said to derive from the same Indo-European root albh as the Latin albus (meaning white). It's fairly obvious that the Elvaan seen in Final Fantasy XI are more inspired by the Elves of J.R.R. Tolkien's writings than the elves of actual mythology.