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The Bloodline & Clan of Valin’dar “In times of darkness, honour. In the face of evil, courage” Overview The bloodline of Valin’dar is an ancient lineage of dark elves that traces their history back to the reign of Malin, though many records of such an ancient time are lost, or incomplete at best. Over the centuries the bloodline has gone from a once proud line of dark elves, well known, and respected; to a lesser known family of ‘ker. Many of their records have been lost to the sands of time, or scrubbed from the history books from the family’s enemies; and as time marched on, the noble line was thought to be all but forgotten about by its few living members. It is said that the progenitor of this bloodline (who is known simply as Valin) was a revered warrior in Malin’s forces, accomplishing many great deeds upon the fields of battle against man and beast alike. It was not until late in the second millenia of the First Age, where the name Valin’dar became more than just an old tale. Over the past few centuries, the family has been brought back to the status of a humble noble house, currently led by Sevrel Valin’dar; though it is far from the high status the name enjoyed in its glory days. As is the consequence of losing one’s historical records, much of the family’s culture and practices have passed from knowledge. However, after centuries of searching, the current members have managed to scrape together a number of tomes that have begun to shed light on the family’s past. Valin's Tenets To live a life without discipline is to walk without ever knowing your true path - the members of this family know this all too well, and such they follow a strict code of honour and way of life that governs how the conduct themselves. 1. Always keep your sworn word - to go back on your word is to disgrace the memory of the family’s progenitor. Loyalty to your kin is everything to a Valin’dar, and one would not dare forget it. 2. Respect thy elder - with age comes wisdom, and that wisdom should be heeded whenever possible. This does not give the elderly authority over others for example, but they are to be revered and heard. 3. Protect those who cannot protect themselves - a true warrior will not allow harm to come to those who are too weak to defend themselves, whether this be a child or elderly folk. To allow such to take place in your presence is to paint a black mark upon your soul. 4. Venerate the ancient ones - all those in the family are expected to revere the ancestors, and at the very least respect the spirits. Strict spiritualism is not absolutely mandatory, though adherence to a religion or actions that would offend the spirits is strictly forbidden. 5. Defy evil in all its forms - senseless murder, dark arts, evil deeds, and other such actions are to be opposed by a Valin’dar at all costs, lest Valin’s teachings be forgotten. 6. Revere the traditions of old - remembering the history of Valin’dar and 'ker all together is very important to the family. To forget where you came from and ignore the ancient teachings is to walk blindly forwards with no path. Breaking Valin's Tenets: Aesthetics and Visual aspect Many of the ashen folk dress very similarly, and those of the Valin’dar bloodline are no exception; though there are aspects to them that make them stand apart. It is rare you will find a Valin’dar sporting something other than garb of deep dark purple or black, with varying degrees of ratio between the two colours, being the family’s banner colours. Many of the members of this bloodline choose the path of a warrior, and hence it is not uncommon to see them wearing armour; ranging from a simple brigandine and gambeson, to full plate steel. The women often opt to wear flowy dresses that highlight the natural beauty of the body, but not to the point of being un-tasteful; they range from blue to purple hues, with accents of deep and dark colours. Jewelry is a very common sight amongst the family members. The men often opt for multiple golden rings along the length of their ears, and sometimes their eyebrows; where the women are seen with single piercings in their ear lobes, often carrying some sort of gemstone. Necklaces, bracelets, and other types of jewelry are also seen being worn by its members. Most of the bloodline’s members are born with deep blue eyes, and silver white hair, with rare exceptions. Those of Valin’dar blood are usually very thin and tall, above average at that, and breaking 6 feet tall on most occasions, sometimes even taller. They struggle to put on much weight at all however, more often than not possessing a very lithe, but toned frame. It has also been noted that those born of Valin’dar have longer than normal ears. Traditions The family holds a few very highly revered traditions, some of which that are dated back to time immemorial. Those traditions are: Ah’iller Valinleh’sil’al, el’lent oem’ii pra’igne, and llir’onn fi’talonnii Ah’iller Valinleh’sil’al - The Passing of Valin’s Blade El’lent oem’ii pra’igne - Tempering the Flame of Youth Llir’onn fi’talonnii - Ritual of Kinship Trials of Entry As mentioned earlier, it is extremely uncommon for an outsider to be allowed into the Valin’dar family, and unheard of for it to be a non-dark elf; only one non-Mali’ker has been offered such an invite, and they turned it down for personal reasons, though no ill will persists. Anyone wishing to be a part of this clan of warriors and artists must complete these three trials, under the watchful guise of the Aheparron’ir. Ah'narn Oem As Valin did himself upon the beaches of Magaralin, the aspirant must take up a spear and slay a great beast. They may accept no help, use no other weapon than the spear, and wear nothing but robes. The specific beast is chosen by the Aheparron’ir, based on the strengths and abilities of the aspirant - it would not be fair to send a child to fight a crackadonk by themselves, and it would be no challenge for a seasoned warrior to face a lone wolf. Upon slaying the beast, the aspirant is to present the pelt to the Aheparron’ir, who will take it and keep it till the end of the trials. Ah'narn Niut After slaying the beast, the aspirant must compose an artistic piece detailing the battle. This can be a painting, a song, a dance, a poem, or whatever artistic medium the aspirant chooses. They then present it to the family, and if it is deemed that the aspirant is well enough connected to the arts, then they may proceed to the final trial. Ah'narn Hael With the help of a Lutamancer (ideally one who is a Valin’dar, though it is not necessary), the aspirant shall travel to Ancestral Realm, and present themselves before Valin himself in Goth’stroh, the Grey Haven. There, they ask for his blessing to walk the lands as a Valin’dar. Should their heart be of virtuous nature, Valin will sanction them as a member of the clan. Once they awake from the spirit walk, they are officially considered a member of Clan Valin’dar, and are presented with a cloak which shall have been fashioned from the pelt of the beast they slew. Afterwards, a grand feast and celebration is to be held under the moon, and the new member is to be welcomed with loving open arms into their new family. Faith While the faith of Spiritualism is not a total requirement, it is strongly encouraged that Valin’dars take up the worship of the immortal spirits. With that being said, members are forbidden from saying or doing things that would offend the spirits, such as worshiping dark entities or the practice of the voidal arts - at the very least, if they do not take part in the worship, they are to respect the faith and the spirits. Members are, however, required to learn of the ancestors that paved the way for the clan and the Mali’ker as a whole; there are few of particular note for the family, though any self respecting ‘ker ought to know and understand the teachings of more ancestors than those listed. Valin, The Warrior Poet - The progenitor of the Valin’dar bloodline, and patron ancestor of the family. A mighty warrior and renowned painter of his time, he laid the groundworks for the clan’s very culture and ethos. Uradas, The Vindicator - A ‘ker of unparalleled discipline and courage. Valin’dars look to his teachings for strength to do the right thing, even if it not the easy choice. Delilah, The Mother - The epitome of home, hearth, and family. The family is reminded of the importance of family and being there for one another through her teachings. On the topic of spiritual worship, Valin’dars are free to worship any spirit that they find personal connection with. However, all members of the family hold Kezt in particularly high esteem. As such, he is the chosen patron spirit of the Valin’dar family, representing the warrior ethics that those of this clan choose to walk by. Regular prayer and offerings to him is encouraged among the members, and take place at almost every gathering. Notable Deeds of Valin’dars During the ancient travels of the Maehr, Valin single handedly bested a voidal creature that crawled from the ocean, slaying the beast upon the shore of an island - he did so with naught but a spear in his hands. In turn, he saved some few dozen wounded Maehr from near certain death, and was awarded with a place at Velulaei’s side in her personal guard. Sometime in the first millennia of the first age, Venefkar Valin’dar led forth a contingent of warriors against a sprawling swarm of undead invaders during the Azul Heresy. It was a hopeless battle, and only intended to give the citizens of the city more time to escape; but under the leadership of Venefkar, the soldiers sallied forth into the horde and fought with such ferocity that the enemy forces were destroyed, allowing countless citizens to flee to safety. During the Inferi wars of Arcas, the enemy forces launched a siege of unfathomable magnitude against the great city of Aegrothond - outnumbered at least a hundred to one the valiant defenders were, yet Sevrel Valin’dar stood fast against the foe, felling enemy soldiers by the hundreds with his own hands; one of which being a commander of the Inferi horde, whose head he severed from it’s body and proceeded to lob it into the enemy line, causing them to route and turning the tide in the battle below the city. Valin’dar Artifacts Valinleh’sil, The Blade of Valin - This weapon is the sword held by the current Elder of Valin’dar, and it never leaves their side. It is crafted from Moon-steel, and bears the inscription of the Valin’dar's family motto along it’s blade. The Spear of Valin - This spear is often said to no longer exist, though some of the older Valin’dars are steadfast in their belief that it is still out there. Unfortunately, no member of the bloodline alive is known to have ever possessed the item, but it is rumoured to be imbued with immense power - blessed by the very spirits and ancestors who watch over Valin’s kin.