Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'snow elves'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

  • Whitelist Applications
    • Accepted
    • Denied

Categories

  • Groups
    • Nations
    • Settlements
    • Lairs
    • Defunct Groups
  • World
    • Races
    • Creatures
    • Plants
    • Metallurgy
    • Inventions
    • Alchemy
  • Mechanics
  • History
    • Realms
  • Magic
    • Voidal
    • Deity
    • Dark
    • Other
    • Discoveries
  • Deities
    • Aenguls
    • Daemons
    • Homes
    • Other
  • Utility
    • Index
    • Templates

Forums

  • Information
    • Announcements
    • Guidelines & Policies
    • Guides
  • Almaris
    • Humanity
    • Elves
    • Dwarves
    • Orcs
    • Unaffiliated
    • Lore
    • Miscellany
  • Off Topic
    • Personal
    • Media
    • Debate
    • Forum Roleplay
    • Looking for Group
    • Miscellany
  • Forms
    • Applications
    • Appeals
    • Reports
    • Technical Support
    • Feedback

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Discord


Minecraft Username


Skype


Website


Location


Interests


Location


Character Name


Character Race

Found 19 results

  1. Nestled deep within the far north, clouded behind the whistling winds and blowing snow, the faint sounds of music can be heard ringing through the hills and mountains. Carried upon the winds would be the faint smell of grain, complimented by a tinge of something sweet. The closer one would come to the source, the stronger these senses would become. The music would reveal itself to be a number of string instruments being drowned out by a heavy THUMPING of dozens of boots keeping rhythm, all of which being accompanied by muffled singing and ambient chatter. The scent would grow heavy with alcohol, so much so that some might even claim that the smell alone was enough to intoxicate them. To those who knew the northern Tundra well, there is only one location that could produce such stimulating smells and scents, WYRVUN’S LANDING, located within Ikur’fiyem of the Fennic Remnants, maintained by the famed Quenters. Since the dawn of the Mali’Fenn there has always been an attempt to pass on historical and cultural traditions. For centuries a grand library had stood amongst the ‘Fenn, filled with books detailing the rocky history of the tundra dwelling elves. But as tragedy struck and Cataclysms shook the people to the brink of extinction the library steadily lost more and more of its sprawling collection. As the mighty Fennic Capitals were brought to ruins by all manner of disaster it quickly became evident that a new system needed to be devised, one that could survive the struggles of a Cataclysm and live on through the surviving community. Thus, the Quenters were born at the dawn of the Fennic Remnants. An amalgamation of various artistic forms brought together under a single roof to be practiced, performed, and passed on from generation to generation. Under the guidance of the Mavalmir (Head Quenter) the Quenters have flourished into a sprawling network of cheerful musicians, artists, performers, story tellers, barkeeps, and brewers. Structure and Hierarchy Titles of the Quenters [!] A notice is hung upon the wall of Wyrvun's Landing. In an elegant handwriting it reads... ༺══════──────────────────────────══════༻ While it may appear so, do remember that looks can be deceiving, as Quenters are more than just Tavern wenches and innkeepers. They are the lore holders for the Fennic people and those who have decided to call these walls their home. They are bardic artists, composing cultural ballads and crafting unique instruments of their own design. They are spirit brewers concocting unique mixes and drinks, and they are story tellers passing on lessons and history through tales. Quenters serve as the heart and soul of all Fennic people. If you are an individual who has been captivated with this brief explanation, please seek out one of the many Quenters in Wyrvuns Landing to explain more of the structure of the artistic collective within Fenn. ༺══════──────────────────────────══════༻ Schools of Art [!] At the bottom of the poster a number of tear off off squares can be seen... •──────────⋅☾ ☽⋅──────────• Please fill out and return to a bartender if interested in joining the Quenters. Name: Race: Age: [[OOC]] Username: Discord: Timezone: (Post application as reply) •──────────⋅☾ ☽⋅──────────•
  2. Preface Any who break the following laws and avoid due punishment or fail to present themselves for duties agreed are exiled, blacklisted, and all of their rights shall be forfeit; they shall be considered enemies of the state. Illicit acts not expressly mentioned are to be reported to the Ivae’fenn All hereunder laws are to be enforced by the Ivae’fenn and Vigilants respectively. Repeated offenders are subsequent to incremental increases of punishment up to execution. The Prince/Princess may at any time make amendments, additions, or changes to hereby stated laws. The Prince/Princess reserves the right to override hereby stated laws. Punishment Levels - 0: Verbal warnings. 1: Fines, hard labor, repossession, temporary and areal banishment. Requires the approval of a Warden, Sentinel, Valkyr. 2: Lashings, imprisonment, extended banishment. Requires the approval of a Warden, Sentinel, Valkyr, or Councilor. Notices are to be left to all members of the Ivae’fenn. 3: Eviction, indefinite banishment, exile. Requires the consultation of a Sentinel, Valkyr, or Councilor bearing significant rank. Notices are to be left to all members of the Ivae’fenn. 4: Execution Requires the consultation of a Sentinel, Valkyr, or a Councilor bearing significant rank. Notices are to be left to all members of the Ivae’fenn. V: Vigilant Domain Punishments denoted with a V are crimes against Wyrvun and therefore are handled by the Vigilants of Wyrvun, with assistance from the Ivae’fenn. Repeated offenses grant a maximum punishment level increased by 1, in the case of every crime. Section 1, General Conduct - Section 1.2, Infraction Disturbing the peace: Level 0-1 The crime of disorderly conduct, willingly creating a public disturbance. Section 1.3, Misdemeanor Vandalism of property: Level 1-2. Defacement of property, alteration without express permission be it with the exception of publicly distributed objects, ex flyers. Breaking and entering: Level 1-2 Entering a building through any amount of force ex, breaking windows and lock picking doors. Trespassing: Level 1-2 The lack of knowingly entering another's property without express permission. Minor shoplifting or theft: Level 1-2 The action of stealing or shoplifting possessions valued at or under 40 mina. Defamation: Level 1-2 Defamation is defined as statements of such that are reasonably susceptible of defamatory connotations, targeted towards an individual, organization or bloodline, intent on damaging their name, reputation, social status or otherwise. Statements twisted to fit a narrative, and biased presentation of events are included under this. Section 1.4, Felony All who commit a felony are subject to arrest on sight, their rights denoted to them are forfeit and may be tortured, or other means of information extraction forced upon them in specific cases. Formation of a criminal organization: Level 3-4 A group or organization associated with 3 or more persons with a history of disturbing the peace, vandalism, or any actions with criminal intent. Shoplifting & Theft: Level 2-3 Any instant of stealing possessions over 40 mina Extortion: Level 2-3 Any person who communicates threats onto another with the intention of obtaining value, for themselves, other interested parties. Alternatively, forcing an individual's hands into actions. Kidnapping: Level 3-4 Any person who unlawfully seizes, abducts and, holds ransom any person within the lands of the Fenn. Inter-racial relationships: Level 2-4 Entering into a relationship where a child of anything other than pure mali’ blood (ex, half valah, half bortu) can be produced. Manslaughter: Level 3-4 The unlawful killing of an individual, without malice Murder -- Arrest on sight: Level 3-4 The unlawful killing of an individual with malice or premeditation. Assault: Level 2-3 Unlawful force or violent intention to do bodily harm to any individual within Fenn’s borders. Attempted murder: Level 3-4 Any person who attempts to kill another individual with malice or forethought. Assault on military or government officials: Level 3-4 Any attempt to use unlawful force to dissuade military or government officials from performing their duties. Arson & Major destruction of property: Level 3-4 An attempt to willfully and maliciously set fires, intent on destruction, or mass defamation, destruction, or alteration of property. Impersonation of royalty, military, or government officials: Level 3-4 Willingly, falsely represents themselves as a member of such denoted organizations as the Ivae’fenn, the Tundraks, or any government position recognized by the Tundraks. Impersonation of a Vigilant of Wyrvun: Level V, Level 3-4 Any individual who willingly, falsely represents themselves as a member of the Vigilants of Wyrvun. Slavery: Level 4 (Mandatory execution after forced labor.) The state, condition, or practice of trafficking live persons, or claiming ownership of an individual. Enslaved persons are to be liberated. Section 1.5, entrance and the military areas. Entry into Fenn One may not cover one’s face, or enter with ‘tools of destruction’ Tools of destruction are devices specifically oriented to the destruction of the landscape, or such devices that would bring specific destruction to the surrounding landscape if used. Enemies of Wyrvun, such as those denoted by the Vigilants of Wyrvun, are not allowed within the lands of Fenn. Citizens or organizations or nations, enemies of Fenn, are not to be granted entry and are to be detained. Military areas Entry into military areas without the express permission of an Ivae’fenn Warden, Sentinel, or Valkyr is trespassing. This includes the walls and citadel, as well as areas belonging to the Tundraks specifically. Section 2, Military Conduct Section 2.1, Ivae’fenn Conduct Desertion: Level 3-4 Punishment Willingly, knowingly, and in the right mind departing from your post without deception. Abuse of power: Level 1-3 To abuse your rank to knowingly belittle or arrest a citizen upon false charges Insubordination: Level 1-3 To knowingly, willingly, and in the right mind disobey the orders, direct or otherwise of a superior officer of the Ivae’fenn. Repeated offences are subject to level 4 punishment Fraudulent Enlistment: Level 1-4 Any person who enlists into the Ivae’fenn by knowingly, falsely representing their desires, or deliberately concealing their qualifications and or history. Section 3, Religious Conduct All laws subject under section 3, vigilants of Wyrvun hold authority over the command of Ivae’fenn personnel, guardian rank and under in the apprehension of individuals in violation of here-stated rules and are to be treated, when in joint-operation with the respect and obedience akin to that of a warden. Arch-vigilants akin to sentinel. If no vigilant is available, the punishment shall be dealt with on a case-to-case basis up to level 3. Blasphemy: Level V The act of offensive speech, sacrilegiously about Wyrvun, sacred objects, places, and people. To speak profanely of Wyrvun or his realm or the duties assigned to his stewards. Defacement: V The action of spoiling the surface, the appearance of status, wayshrines, art pieces, artifacts, or general paraphernalia used, attributed or reasonably held in association with Wyrvun. Denouncement: V To publicly declare Wyrvun being wrong, evil, or thereby disrespecting him or his stewards. Disregarding the contract taken up by the Mali’fenn, and other races and individuals who hold respect for Wyrvun. Foreign Religion: V (0-2) Private practice of other religions in Fenn is legal. Openly declaring other religions, or preaching other religions inside of Fennic lands is a crime. Practicing foreign deific magic: V Connecting, or drawing power from any deity with the exception of Wyrvun is considered a crime inside of the lands of Fenn. This includes all magics classified as defic magics, and broadly termed ‘dark magics’. Deific magic is defined as an ability that draws its roots and power source in a deity. Dark magic is classified as magic that requires the exploitation, destruction, deception, or general wronging of another individual for its practice. Voidal connection & Casting: V (0-1) Connecting, casting or interacting in any such way with the void is inherently destructive to the land. Warrants a telling off, if one refuses to disconnect they are liable to arrest until a vigilant can properly render punishment. Acceptions to this law are commonly granted by vigilants in times of greater danger than the void. Ex, if there is reasonable suspicion that a being or entity will cause more damage to the land, the people upon, etc, then connect to the void will then casting is allowed in self-defense. Section 4, Rights, Definitions & Clarifications Section 4.1, General Rights All beings within the walls of Fenn are free, and equal in all aspects. Rights however are forfeit when a crime is committed. A right against unfair detainment, shall not be subject to arbitrary arrest. Right to seek asylum within the walls of Fenn Asylum must be made with a reasonable proposal and proof of persecution. Right to seek citizenship. Section 4.2, Citizen Expectations, Rights & Definition A citizen is defined as an individual who occupies, owns, is the registered leaser or taxpayer on a registered home and valid address within the lands of Fenn. It includes members of recognized bloodlines, and individuals granted citizenship through service, such as duty in the Ivae’fenn. Citizenship may be revoked at any time by a council member, or Valkyr. A citizen shall not be subject to unfair, or inhumane treatment if in violation of law. Citizens have the right to challenge and refuse the challenge of duels with other citizens to settle disagreements. Such duels are not to be taken to death. Should a combattant die or be mortally wounded a Warden or Sentinel shall discern if such was accidental and act accordingly. A citizen is granted the right of assumed innocence. A citizen has the right to appeal to the Prince, Princess, or current leader of Fenn in case of a punishment equal to level 4. A citizen is granted the right to a trial. A citizen has the right to nationality; they are recognized as a citizen, and a subject of Wyrvun and the Prince/Princess. Citizens are not subject to unreasonable searches and seizures of property. Citizens are not subject to extradition. Extradition will be allowed in specific cases where the prince or a council member of a significant rank approves such. Citizens are expected to serve Fenn in their duties. This can include: Enlisting in the Ivae’fenn Registering taxes Volunteer work Labor work for the state without pay. Section 4.3, ‘Enemies of the State’ An enemy of the state is defined a group, or nation specifically declared by the Prince/Princess. An enemy of the state is to be arrested on sight and has no rights granted to them with some acceptions. There must be reasonable notice to assume an individual is an enemy of Fenn in such a case. Enemies of the state may seek asylum inside of Fenn without unnecessary suspicion. See section 4.1 Enemy combatants are to be considered akin to violaters of level 3 laws. Prisoners of war are not to be charged with murder, manslaughter, etc, for actions taken reasonably upon the battlefield. POWs may be found guilty of crimes such as murder after a military trial by the standards of the Ivae’fenn. Those considered ranking officials, be it politically, militarily, or otherwise are to be brought before a Sentinel, Valkyr, or Prince/Princess for determining punishment. Citizens and subjects of enemies of the state are to be denied entry, but not harmed. Act in accordance with the Cyanic creed. if an individual takes hostile action or refuses to leave, they are considered a combatant. Vigilants of Wyrvun are not required to assist in the arrest of enemies of the state. Section 4.4 ‘Enemies of Wyrvun’ Enemies of Wyrvun are classified by the Archvigilants of Wyrvun. Ivae’fenn personnel are expected to apprehend enemies of Wyrvun until a Vigilant of Wyrvun’s presence is made clear. The rights of all enemies of Wyrvun are forfeit. This is pinned upon the authority of, Vytrek Tundrak, Prince of the Fennic Remnant, Prince of the Snow Elves. Ayred Drakon, High Chancellor of the Fennic Remnant, Vigilant of Charity
  3. The Sylric Bloodline “Bilok, taelu, evar.” (To make, to learn, to protect.) Sylricean Coat of Arms History Through the Realms Attributes, Personality & Culture Sylrics are known to be hardworking, determined and very focused at everything they do, whether that is being a soldier of the Ivae’fenn or taking up a role among the ranks of the Bilok’thuln. Thus, many would consider them more serious than other bloodlines, contrasting the notably carefree Tathvirs. However when asked a question, Sylrics tend not to think too long or hard about an answer to it and tend to blurt out what comes to mind and leave it at that. They are known for being rather straightforward and to the point. Despite their often brash behaviors, Sylrics tend to be kind and respectful towards their kin. The Griffin, their sigil, perfectly reflects a Sylric’s state of mind: loyal, noble, and determined. Physical Traits & Characteristics: With all of their hard work, Sylrics tend to be muscular, with a strong, bulky, but well-built build to them. Known also for their great strength, Sylrics tend to be the tallest among the Snow Elves and have grey to blue eyes. There have been rare occurrences of emerald eyes as well as amethyst eyes. They typically have white to silver hair, but there have been some with blonde hair. Professions & Specialities: Because of their industrious capabilities paired with their larger builds, the Sylrics are often seen lugging large quantities of raw materials to-and-fro around Tahu’lareh--the fruits of their labour. Thanks to this reputation, Sylrics often find themselves seated among the Grand Council filling the position of Head of the Bilok'thuln, also known as the Grand Exchequer. It is not uncommon to see a Sylric mining or working in general, providing the Princedom with all that is needed to thrive. Alongside this reputation of being hard workers, the Sylrics have a reputation for being good craftsmen and craftswomen, creative and otherwise progressive thinkers, and scholarly patrons; their expertise spanning a wide variety of professions. Many take up blacksmithing due to the extensive family history of smiths contributing to war efforts and defenses. When not working on their craftsmanship, nearly all Sylrics participate within the Ivae’Fenn: the military of the Fennic people. Due to their fierce loyalty, many seek higher positions within the ranks of the Ivae’Fenn, frequenting Vanguard and higher ranks. Sylrics have also been known to serve as military advisors, favored due to their blunt honest nature paired with their calculating mindset. Style of Combat: Because of their mighty physiques, they are often on the front lines during times of war. Their weapons of choice often include longswords, greataxes, or warhammer and a shield, though other types of weapons are also used. To stare down a Sylric upon the battlefield is no comforting feat, as their strong posture, large size, and choice of weaponry makes for an intimidating sight. Sylrics tend to wear heavier armor so that they can last longer on the front lines, much like most soldiers of the Ivae’fenn. When a siege is taking place, Sylrics are generally manning the siege engines, specializing in their craft and operation. Family Tree: https://www.familyecho.com/?p=ILKTR&c=9ul46u525g&f=935319104124893412 Ceremonies: Wyrvun’ahern - Ceremony of the Newborn When a new Sylric is brought into the world a special Ceremony is held called, Wyrvun’ahern, translating to Wyrvun’s Blessing. This ceremony celebrates the life that Wyrvun will bless upon the child, whether it be a life dedicated to soldiering or to working hard. A feast is held accompanied by festive music and dancing. Bilok’ihnsil - The Coming of Age Ceremony When each and every Sylric reaches the age of 30, a coming of age ceremony known as Bilok’ihnsil, is held to prove that they can be truly called a Sylric. This ceremony is much different then Wyrvun’ahern as it is a trial of the child’s skills that they have to offer the bloodline. Each child must venture outside of the walls of the Princedom and forge themselves their own personal weapon. They must gather all the materials themselves and by themselves alone. No help shall be offered to them. They must build their own forge and use what they gather to create a beautiful piece of weaponry, whether it be a greataxe, a warhammer, or even the smallest dagger. When they finish and feel that it is worthy of the Sylric name, they are to return to the Princedom and present it first to their father and then to the patriarch of the Sylrics. Once their weapon is approved by both their father and the patriarch then a hunt is held to test the durability of the weapon. A feast is then followed, provided by the spoils of the hunt. As the feast ends the patriarch approaches the child, presenting him the Sylric Insignia, to be branded on to their weapon as well as stitched onto their cloak. This is to mark that they are now a true Sylric. Some at this time opt to receive a tattoo of their first kill with their weapon, as a commemoration of the start of their journey as a Sylric. Politics: Throughout the Snow Elven years and all the conflicts they faced, the Sylrics have tended to be on the front lines of all major battles. Their thoughts on other Elves are complicated, as centuries of battle waged against them has hardened the opinions of some Sylrics against their Mali’mira cousins. A Sylric will marry out from other elven subraces, but they try to stick more toward the Snow Elves and their culture. Be this as it may, they are generally a more accommodating people. Notable Members: Thandir Sylric I - Founder of the Sylric Bloodline Ailduin Sylric - Founder of the Bilok’thuln, Patriarch of the Sylric Bloodline Velatha Sylric - Sister to Ailduin, Medic and former Commander of the Ivae’Fenn, Matriarch of the Sylric Bloodline Rythel Sylric - Elder member to the Sylric household, skilled artisan, weaponsmith and member of the Bilok’thuln Airebys Sylric - Founder of the Fennic Institute of Higher Learning, Deputy Exchequer of the Bilok’thuln, esteemed scholar and Guardian to the Ivae’fenn Heirlooms: Gostatha - Great Sword of Ailthidon Lercuvanten - War Axe of Thandir I Hadhafang - War Hammer of Agis Daedheloth - Battle Axe of Amaranthea ((Anyone who wishes to join the Sylric Bloodline, contact EnderMaiashiro, via the forums, in-game, or discord [EnderMaiashiro#7430]))
  4. For the second time in as many years, missives are spread from the northern reaches of Almaris, bearing the mark of the Fennic Remnants. For centuries, Haelun'or has carved a misguided path for the sons and daughters of Malin, and taken pride in setting the example for Elvenkind - no matter how mistaken, tyrannical, and disgusting that example may have often been. As my ancestors slumber within Isvin, they are no doubt given pause by the notion that I would now urge all of Elvenkind to look to the example of Larihei's spawn. It is not for inspiration that I draw attention to the Silver State, however; it is for warning. They have embarked on the same path as a half dozen Elven realms before them. So, too, have they met the same fate. It was the promise of protection that lured Haelun'or into signing away their independence to a foreign people. In the absence of internal strength, this has proven the most appealing option to many of Malin's realms. Yet, this protection did nothing to interrupt the abduction of their Sohaer by those who would be their enemies, and it has done nothing to see his return. They have sold everything for security, and found it to be a hollow bargain. As many of Malin's realms splinter and wither, no doubt other staples of Elvenkind will abandon their race for the protection of foreigners. To those Mali who would make themselves slaves, and to those who already have, take note: To your lieges, you are little more than an additional title. You are expendable. They will not protect you when it is inconvenient. They never intended to. Only Mali are fit to rule Mali. I pray that I live to see the day when this is so. Signed, Vytrek Tundrak, Prince of the Fennic Remnants, Prince of the Snow Elves
  5. From the oft silent northern reaches of Almaris, missives are spread, bearing the mark of the Fennic Remnants. Long have the Elves of the North been a spectator to the affairs of Malin’s realms-at-large. The line of Aelthos, we Mali’fenn, have a well-earned reputation as those most distant children of Malin. History is riddled with our wars against the rest of Elvenkind. Yet, there comes a time when the affronts have grown too grievous, and decay too prominent, for silence to be maintained by any faithful sons and daughters of Malin. In light of recent affairs, we make our voices heard. Firstly do we express our distaste for those Mali principalities which have prostrated themselves before the lines of Horen and folk of Urguan. Without a fight, you have surrendered your arms and honor unto foreign peoples. You who refuse to bear steel shall always be beholden to those that will. It is this very weakness and cowardice that has spawned the phenomenon that births our next condemnation. Secondly and most importantly do we condemn those “Imperial Elves”, who have traded their cultures for safety, towers for manors, and bows for wigs. Many sons and daughters of Malin have flocked to foreign realms in the preceding centuries; it is a dishonor that taints our race. None of these vagrants are so distasteful as those that seek, purposefully, to uproot Malin’s children and turn them into effeminate sycophants to the lines of Horen. You, who lick at the very boots of those who would step upon you, are an embarrassment to us all. Mali who pretend to be valah deserve neither the friendship of the former nor the security of the latter. Let this be a warning to the Elven realms. Embrace a stronger future for Malin’s people, or be complicit in their destruction. Signed, Vytrek Tundrak, Prince of the Fennic Remnants, Prince of the Snow Elves
  6. Beneath the sun's golden rays, dulled by cloudy skies, the snows of Fin'hesin melt away to their lowest point of the seasonal cycle. Though all is still covered in powdery white, the layer is thin, and green pokes through the unforgiving cold. The days grow longer, and for a time, the sun refuses to sit - instead lingering upon the horizon; a midnight sun, to cast the grey skies in gold and purple. It is a time of peace and plenty; within the Fennic Remnants, the Svarling attacks have withered, and the Mali'fenn know respite. Thus, they prepare for the Solstice of Peace - a rare time of merriment and laxity. Missives are thus spread throughout the Fennic Remnants. "Mali'fenn - With summer's arrival, I invite you all to celebrate the Solstice of Peace with me. As many of you know, this is a time of revelry, when we might enjoy some rare comforts. In our tavern, we shall drink, eat, tell stories, and jump over the flames of our cooking fires. This rest is well-earned." Signed, Vytrek Tundrak ______________________________________________ [[OOC]] This lil festival will be held Saturday at 7pm EST in the tavern!
  7. They made their way to the gates. The Laughing Hag, cloaked and pale, carried him upon her shoulders. Bound and bleating was their vampyric prize, that darkspawn who had sullied an Archvigilant of Wyrvun - assaulting and corrupting her before that most sacred of wayshrines. He raged at the Vigilants who surrounded the pair with weapons drawn. Mention was made of the impermanence of what was to come, yet it was a lesson to be remembered; lest, they vowed, they hunt him down for a thousand years and return him to the dust each time he reformed. He pleaded with his captor, for they were two of a kind. What warranted such an act of betrayal? "You make too much noise," was the Hag's response. Upon stone and snow was he laid, before a roaring pyre that had already burned for one hundred days and one hundred nights, fed by a flood of Svarling corpses. There did the Laughing Hag perform her work, before at last, he was turned over to the Vigilants. With a cold indifference stepped forth the Vigilant of Hope, uncorking a bottle to pour seawater upon the darkspawn. He writhed and screamed; "What is death without a little pain?" the Vigilant mused. Reaching down, a gauntleted hand wrapped around the vampyre's throat, and lifted. Steel-clad digits held a vice-like grip upon his gullet, until only air lingered between feet and floor. "Wyrvun sends his regards," was the utterance, and shortly, the vampyre was tossed upon the flames. Screams pierced the night sky as he boiled and hissed. Flesh melted to bone, bone melted to dust, and all fell silent. Ash lingered in frigid air, mingling with the falling snow. The vampyres had bought peace. For now.
  8. A missive is spread throughout Almaris, reading as follows: To the blood-hunters, or "vampires" - We know what you did. One of your kind called "Ludovici" attacked and corrupted an Archvigilant of Wyrvun. There is no greater sacrilege. We know where you live. Your covens have been uncovered. Your identities are known. We are coming. End this "Ludovici" and bring us his corpse, or we will annihilate you. The paladins may break bread with you and forsake their divine task, despite the will and bestowed powers of their "Xan" - but we will not compromise the will of Wyrvun. -Wyrvun's Vigilants
  9. The North-South Concord Seed; 12th of The Grand Harvest, SA.43 I: The Fennic Remnants and the Principality of Savoy agree to enter into a pact of non-aggression for five years. On its expiration, this pact may be renewed by mutual consent of both signatories. II: The Fennic Remnants and the Principality of Savoy shall hereby recognise the sovereignty of each other’s states and the territory of which they encompass. III: The Fennic Remnants hereby agree to guarantee the right to due process to any subject of the Principality of Savoy, according to the laws within their own respective borders. IV: The Principality of Savoy hereby agrees to guarantee the right to due process to any subject of the Fennic Remnants, according to the laws within their own respective borders. V: In the event either signatory should be found in contempt of the terms of this pact, then the articles above shall remain in effect whilst a diplomatic resolution is negotiated. Signed; His Highness Vytrek, Archon of the Tundrak Bloodline, Prince of the Fennic Remnants and of the Snow Elves, Commander of the Ivae'fenn, Vigilant of Hope His Serene Highness Olivier Renault Ashford de Savoie, Prince of Savoy, Duke of Corazon, Count of San Luciano
  10. Silence blankets Ikur'fiyem, punctuated only by the song of shrill, biting wind, and the occasional howl of a hungry wolf. Now, even the brown and orange leaves have withered away, and all but the stout evergreens stand bare. Animals once prowled these lands to feast upon berries and prey; now, they have retreated to their caves for a lengthy slumber. Autumn is over. Winter has come to Fin'hesin; for a land of the cold and snow, it is suffocating. Yet, amidst the quietude and silent struggle, the Snow Elves find reflection. It is their holiest season, and so approaches one of their holiest days. From door to door, and even beyond the lands of Fin'hesin, a missive is spread. "Mali'fenn, and friends - I invite you all to celebrate the Solstice of Death with me - a sacred time for our people to reflect upon the ancestors, relatives, friends, and comrades who constitute our honored dead. Since our people's origins, in ancient times, countless 'fenn have departed our realm for eternal slumber in Isvin. Some laid down their lives willingly. For many others, they were given no choice - by steel or snow, they were robbed of centuries. I know none of you to be untouched by our most recent Cataclysm; the fall of the Princedom, and the years leading to our reformation here, cost us much. Together, we will visit the tombs of our dead, make a great offering to Wyrvun at the Wayshrine of Death, and then settle into a respectful silence until our feast, where we might celebrate and eulogize the dead." ________________________________________________________________________________ [[OOC]] The Solstice of Death is tomorrow (saturday)! Schedule 4pm EST: Crypt visiting - Snow Elves and bloodlines will visit the crypts, to see and clean the tombs of their loved ones. ~4:30-45pm EST: Pyre - A great offering will be made before the Wayshrine of Death, intended for the souls being remembered. Pyre-7pm EST: Silence - Out of respect for the dead, complete silence will reign in the Fennic Remnants. 7pm EST: Feasting - The silence will be broken with a feast in the tavern, where the Mali'fenn will eulogize and drink to the dead.
  11. Stone walls loom in the north. Cold winds howl, beating against the ramparts with a frigid ferocity, only to be rolled back like the tide. Through a dense fog, the faded dance of flames; Ikur’fiyem stands as an oasis in a sea of frozen white. Though wooden cranes loom above the walled settlement, for the first time in years, they grow idle - their work all but complete. Beneath gates of steel and stone stream settlers. Though their environment proves harsh, a rare optimism reigns among them. The Fennic Remnants stand together - the culmination of a decade of politics and labor. Now, they have come to turn houses into homes. There was much work to be done. _________________________________ OOC: Hello everyone, the Fennic Remnants settlement is complete! To pay a visit, go to north hub and follow the signs! Heading south on the road from the hub, you should turn right (west), and then turn right again (northwest) very shortly afterwards towards a tunnel. That path should take you right there, through three separate tunnels! If you arrive at what looks like a dead end in the first tunnel, there’s a double ladder on the wooden scaffolding. Special thanks to @Space_Solstice for the video, and to @JJosey and the other builders for their hard work on the city!
  12. 𝐁𝐈𝐑𝐓𝐇 Kept quiet by her own thoughts, the moment that follows Vytrek’s request is stiflingly silent. A scene on the edge of upset, emotions stood upon a precipice. It weighs on her, drags along the length of sternum, feeling for the lines of her ribcage and threatening to break the surface. What would be exposed then, she wonders? What grotesque imagery? What secrets? It’s hard to imagine she was ever innocent before this, but girls become women when they feed on enough grief — nevermind when they gorge on it. And yet... for all the weight of the world that presses against her, she finds some semblance of hope, here, with him. Their friendship a strange one, and what she knows is that at the end of the day her devotion to him is stronger and wilder than they place they call home. Her hands meet his own; even teetering upon the edge of fear, there is a certainty in the way fingers brush against fingers. “I will raise it,” she agrees, wrestling the whelp from his gauntleted grip and into the crook of an elbow. “Let my trials commence.” 𝐏𝐄𝐀𝐂𝐄 "The world is a hard and violent place, my friend, why should I be the same?" This cathedral of tongue and teeth, this golden swivel of language that makes the world revolve around her. She imagines his accusation should frighten her — that the curl of his mouth and the thick tenor of his summertude should inspire trepidation. Flowers may be beautiful but how many times have they been left at the feet of dead things? How many tombs have they grown from? How many wars have they begun? She looks to her hand, and his hand, and his wound. Smiles, in a way that's convincing, wrist twisting just slightly to free itself from his clutches. Pupils quiet — imbued with a clouded and far-off question, deluged by disappointment. "A little kindness does not make one a trickster, and I believe my acting is quite poor." A smile to paint her voice into a swan-winged picture. A smile that blossoms into a laugh, a mock performance for his eyes alone. "Quite poor, wouldn't you agree?" 𝐖𝐀𝐑 Compassion curls. It unfolds, burgeoning. It blooms half-wild: tempestuous, thorned, petals embryonic with concern. Leagues is she from Amaethea and yet its summer sympathies remain rooted in the heart of her. Around warrior and fallen stag frigidity undulates against half-fallen trees and howls across the dying grass. For years they've prophesized winter, and now that she finds herself shivering under its gnashing teeth, she longs for warmth. But the world is too wild for that now and she too far from home. And besides: there is more purpose here than in the frivolity of her wants. Her grey gaze assesses the wounds of the fallen stag, contemplative. Grief crescendos in the space between them. Writhing, war-wept, memories hanging by threads. Even now, the stories feel more like rotted things, broken and bog marrowed. Even now, all these years later, she can detail the moment she knew her life for forfeit; remembers the way her spine caved and her heart broke as she bled those men in the ruins of her home. She cannot bring herself to sink steel into the soft of another neck — because her world is jarring enough without adding one more wreckage to the mist. In this deluge of death, she remains hunched: a loyal hound awaiting the final vapours of breath. 𝐃𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐇 His question comes as a rending snap, abrupt in the hush of the afternoon. Remote, yet swollen with life, with the voices of the smallfolk who lied beyond the patterned hills. She has heard the tales: how his arrival on the battlefield was a palindrome promise — raw war. How at the mere sight of him enemies weltered in the corroded iron of their blood-curdled screams. How intimate violence can be. "What troubles you?" She holds courtesy between her teeth, the weight of a crown against her tongue. Whatever it is that ails her, she holds her secrets to her breast like a mother that fears for the fragile livelihood of her children. She wants to explain that she thinks there’s something disturbing inside of her, an anomaly that swells with each eerie grey light of the moon. An odd piece of identity like the tide ebbing, eroding at the structure of her soul. As she slips beneath the numbing waters of the lake, she is confronted with a dizzying realization: she will no longer be able to save everyone. Death is inevitable, it is that lone torchlight burning continuously in the dark. Beckoning, reminding her that this all is temporary. Her skeleton is on lease, her pink slippery organs are rented by the day, by the minute. From this day forwards, her mind the weapon, her body the finality. 𝐒𝐀𝐂𝐑𝐈𝐅𝐈𝐂𝐄 A ghost of her own making, she pulls herself forward — clutches at the frayed fabric of reality and resolves to hold on. She can’t quite shake the cold. It nibbles at her viscera, gluttonous. It roves across the length of her spine. There’s a taste like death on the air and it’s begun to pluck at her senses; it’s wiggled down beneath the north-worn thick of her skin and is feeding on the muscle below. The idea of forsaking yourself for something like that? It’s venerable. Her teeth tighten as she holds a hand to the wound that’s hindering her - by itself, it’s survivable. But here? In this cold, in this dark, in this bleak essence of winter? It’s worse. Her hand scrabbles over the stone of the path as she pulls herself a little higher, though her knees struggle to support the weight. Even now, for all the chill that gnashes jowls over the bones of her fingers and the slopes of her shoulders she is resilient. Heat blooms where claws minced fur and flesh but it feels second-hand to the certainty that hangs in the air: you will suffer so others need not. 𝐕𝐈𝐆𝐈𝐋𝐀𝐍𝐂𝐄 The northern frost biting at skin bared against it. The twisting turmoil of a primordial power within a body that no longer belongs wholly to her. Rebirth, rebirth, rebirth. "In coldest winter, and deepest ice, When struggles mount and yield entice, To save them all I pay the price, Their burdens now my sacrifice." Thus rises the Vigilant of Sacrifice.
  13. Trial 1: Birth Elvenesse It called from the stalks of tall grass, waving in the warm sea breeze. Grating, shrill, desperate; its caws struck an unpleasant chord. He waded among the sea of green, gaze trained towards his sabatons, which flattened the long lime-hued blades underfoot. Hither and thither he tread, until at last he arrived at the source. Upon gauntleted palms, he scooped up a little ball of blackened feathers, lofting it to his visage. Its calls answered, the young raven fell silent. Intelligent eyes stared back, brown to his grey. “Hesin,” he spoke, and it cawed in response. With delicate digits, he nestled it upon the furs atop his shoulders. There, in the coming weeks, it would gorge itself upon many a worm. Trial 2: Peace The Vale of Nevaehlen Sweat clung to his brow, light as mist. It pooled in droplets, torn away with each swipe of the back of his gauntleted hand. He was a man out of his element. Whereas the eastern wind had carried some measure of relief to the Snow Elf during his time in the Vale of Nevaehlen, he now trod through the continent proper, and there he found no respite from the sun’s golden rays. He had come to that settlement of Wood Elves laden with questions and empty parchment. As a result of their hospitality, through lengthy conversations with the Archdruidess Miven and her family, he left with answers - pale pages of parchment sated with blackened ink - that written knowledge held so dear to the ‘fenn. Trial 3: War Rimeveldian Wilderness Deep snows soaked up each heavy step with a muffled crunch, that familiar sound of fresh powder underfoot. Venturing forward, the Snow Elf stalked those barren woods, digits curled around the wooden shaft of a spear. Grey eyes scanned a grey horizon, until from behind a tree, he found movement. Broad antlers crowned the head of a bull moose. Closer and closer he crept, until its snout rose to the wind, picking up his scent. Their gazes met. Simultaneously, horns and spear lowered. Steel met bone as its charge was halted, and there in the snow, a melee ensued. Hoof, antler, and blade arced through the air, and when the powder settled, it ran red. Pierced upon each flank, the moose forced its last gasps, before steel to its throat ended the beast’s misery. A quiet prayer was muttered, and then the process of taking its hide began. Trial 4: Death Rimeveldian Wilderness A thousand points of light mirrored upon a pond’s frigid surface, dulled only by the occasional patch of pale ice. Ripples spread from the featherlight touch of a toe upon water. It alone was enough to make the blood run cold. Foot by foot, he stepped into the cold, and lowered until it surpassed his shoulders. For the unprepared, it was a death sentence. With Kindrel Araaloq over his shoulder, it was a challenge. Enveloped by the cold, it took seconds for his body to seek defense. It began as a quiver in his fingers, spreading up his limbs and to his abdomen. In minutes, it was a violent shaking, played to the chattering of teeth. Pale skin grew white, red lips dulled blue. Darkness took hold of his periphery, pulsing inwards to claim him. Minute after minute, he staved it off, until at last he accepted sleep. Vague outlines of pallid shapes danced in his vision. He awoke next to the fire. Trial 5: Hope The Summit, Southern Rimeveld Five months earlier Apprehensive digits curled and flexed as Vytrek Tundrak stood upon the ice of another pond, in another time. On the banks formed ranks of his people. For so long, they had surrendered to despair; their nation was dead, and their futures bound to a foreign existence. A nervous glance here revealed sullen faces; there, the hallmarked thin lips of skepticism. And yet, within his chest, a burning. It had begun in years prior as a spark, the mere idea of rebuilding that which was long-lost. Now, in this moment of import, the result of years of hard work, it was an inferno. He dared to hope. Ascending the rock, he would see its flames spread. Present Day Flames licked and bit at the frigid air, droplets of the pond burning away to mist upon Vytrek’s countenance. Pulled from the waters but minutes before, he sat cloaked in dry furs, grey gaze lingering upon the orange sparks. There, amidst the final of the five trials, witnessed by Kindrel Araaloq and Aldred Tundrak, he swore his moniker. "In darkest hour, on steepest slope, When weak distress and bold must cope, My strength I lend and fray-wards I lope, To quell despair and give them hope." Thus rises the Vigilant of Hope.
  14. Themes At its most basic, Snow Elven culture can be summarized in but five themes, or priorities. Molded by a history of cataclysms, a harsh environment, and their religious origins, these concepts permeate each aspect of Snow Elven society, informing everything from worship and martialism to literature, architecture, and the arts. Survival The primary theme of Snow Elven culture is that of survival - and it is from survival that the other four concepts are derived. Survival, in its most basic form, is not something that the ‘fenn can afford to take for granted. Life in their harsh, boreal climate constantly teeters on the brink of ruin. Dangerous predators lurk even within the fringes of settlement. Deadliest of their environment, however, is the weather. The deep cold may discriminate against the unprepared and the ill-adapted, but it is a fickle thing; the unexpected blizzard can bring ruin even to the endemic. When fires run cold and harvests chill, nothing stands between the living and their fate; individuals, clans, and whole peoples wither away. Exposure and starvation are the twin heralds of death. Even united, the Snow Elves toil against them, struggling for their right to survival in the harsh tundra. Despite these daunting circumstances, history has proven steel to be a greater threat than snow. The Snow Elves have endured six Cataclysms - events of a magnitude so severe as to decimate and scatter their population. Whether wielded by the divine or the mortal, these blows have come at the hands of weapons of war. Often, the Mali’fenn have been besieged and sacked; on occasion, nations of the realm have sought their complete extermination. Those fortunate survivors were forced to endure lives characterized by mobility and secrecy, lest they be caught and put to the sword like their kin. Whether as settled refugees or vagrants, individuals or bands, in civilization or the wilds, those Snow Elves who lived in fear of the other descendants had also to contend with poverty. For every Snow Elf hunted to death, several simply withered away - driven to desperation by their pursuers and unable to provide for themselves under their nightmarish circumstances. Even in times of unity, survival is no guarantee; an active history upon the battlefield has shortened the average life expectancy for all Mali’fenn. Despite preoccupation with survival at its most basic level, survival in the abstract - of their people and culture - is also of paramount concern. Beyond merely the extermination of the Snow Elves themselves, enemies of the ‘fenn have sought the erasure of their culture. The intergenerational inheritance of knowledge has allowed for the preservation and evolution of tradition. Even in the most desperate of eras, this concern has been at the forefront of Snow Elven thought. At times, survival of the abstract has even trumped survival in its most basic sense; countless Snow Elves have given their lives for the preservation of their people, cultural knowledge, and way of life. The resulting Snow Elves are a grounded people. Where there would be optimism, there is only realism - a sense that life is short and brutal. Adversity lies around every corner, presenting a Snow Elf with two options: dig in and persevere, or lay down and die. The spartan is the norm, and the norm is a luxury. There is no conquering one’s environment or circumstances, there is only enduring it. Most ‘fenn accept these notions matter-of-factly. Remembrance The Snow Elves are cursed with memory. Theirs is a tragic story. Not a single ‘fenn is incapable of naming an ancestor, family member, or friend lost to the Cataclysms. Many struggle to keep count. This collective trauma has left a cultural and psychological impact on the Snow Elven population. Culturally, veneration of the dead is paramount to the ‘fenn. It is said that so long as one’s memory dances upon the breaths of their people, they are never truly gone. Even when ceremony is not given to the named dead, tribute is made in company and isolation alike. In muttered breaths before wayshrines and acclamations over campfires, tales are passed of tragedy, compassion, and accomplishment; on average their people may be young, but their memory is old. This remembrance is not limited to the victims. Distrust of the perpetrators prevails throughout Snow Elven society to this day. Outsiders, particularly those of the humans, elves, and orcs, are met with hostility at worst and suspicion at best. Notions of retribution and justice remain within the minds and upon the lips of society. The Snow Elves make for spiteful foes and hesitant allies. The results are evident even upon the Snow Elven demeanor. A shroud of solemnity blankets the society of the ‘fenn. Though joy may pierce through in times of prosperity, memory lingers, and with it - sorrow, grief, guilt, and anger. For many, these thoughts dare not surface. Yet, stoicism should not be mistaken for indifference. Communalism As a result of their shared experience and environment, and in order to survive, the Snow Elves are highly communal. In the days of the Cataclysms, Snow Elves banded together for safety - sharing their resources and strength. These collectives struggled, but individuals fared far worse. Without any semblance of support, they were often the first to perish. Taking a lesson from their environment, the Snow Elves understand that the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. This is particularly true in their harsh, boreal home. Sharing their resources and skills, the Snow Elves are able to depend on each other to survive the deep cold. It is only from these small, isolated bands of ‘fenn that the Snow Elves have managed to reunite once scattered. Thus, Snow Elves tend to be highly cooperative and protective. The sharing of resources is ingrained in their natural instincts; in desperate times, they gather and administer from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. From this primal inclination, many Snow Elves develop a sort of nationalism - pride in their people and a sense of duty towards them. This tribalism lends itself to a suspicion of outsiders; Snow Elves are often overly protective of their kin. Strength For the Snow Elves, survival comes through strength. The Mali’fenn are a martial people. From a young age, most are trained to fight. This training at arms is renowned for its brutality. The practice of dueling with dulled weapons is simultaneously a matter of social competition, sport, and training. Fights end only when a combatant should pass out or yield, and as a matter of pride, the latter is a rare occurrence. The Ivae’fenn, their military, has the highest rate of service among the Elven armies. Here, most Mali’fenn learn to fight as individuals and in formations, often as massed heavy infantry. One of the highest aspirations of the Mali’fenn warrior is to join the ranks of the Valkyrim, who serve as royal guards within the Ivae’fenn and represent their people’s most capable soldiers. Strength is not limited to the body, however. The Snow Elves value strength of mind as well. A premium is placed on discipline, willpower, and perseverance among the Mali’fenn. In a life of survival, these traits are just as important as the physical, if not more so. Politically, this has led to persistence in the face of adversity. Despite the Cataclysms, the ‘fenn have consistently mustered the necessary strength to pick up the pieces. Though typically reluctant to provoke war, they have proven unhesitant to fight. To those who have committed injustices against them, the Snow Elves hold lengthy grudges, demonstrated by centuries-long hostility with the Mali’aheral and Mali’ame. Taken together, these values derived from strength shape everything from politics down to socially acceptable demeanors. Worship The final theme of the Mali’fenn is that of worship. For their lives and sanity, they owe none other than Wyrvun, Aengul of the Deep Cold. Having struck the Wyrvunic Concord, and settled upon his mortal claims, it is the obligation of the Snow Elves to give him worship. To him, they pray for survival, unity, strength, good fortune, and the souls of their dead. Wyrvunic ideas of redemption and wisdom pervade Snow Elven society. From wayshrine to wayshrine, the ‘fenn wander, giving offerings to their patron. At the end of their lives, they eagerly await the peace of his eternal slumber. To the Mali’fenn, survival is only possible due to Wyrvun’s timeless generosity. Origins and the Ancient Era Among a people with a history of cataclysm, the scattering of records should be no surprise. In the absence of the written word, only the spoken allows for the transcendence of information through generation after generation - each acting as a filter, adding and removing according to fractured memory. For a diaspora as old as the Snow Elves, the ancient history could be as much conjecture as fact. Thus, according to contemporary Mali’fenn belief, these are the origins of their people - an epoch known to them as the “Ancient Era”. Part One: Mali The story of the Snow Elves begins in the dawn of Anthos. For the High Elves, it was a time of uncertainty. Ripped from their Asulonian homes, in the early days of the Anthosian realm, they dwelled among their distant kin in Malinor. Though secure in their survival, they were discontent to live among a people they saw as foreigners, in a forested home. They yearned for spires of stone and a return to their way of life, alone - the restoration of Haelun’or. Freshly arrived upon an unfamiliar continent, they thus dispatched expeditions to the corners of the realm in search of foundations for their Haelun’orian state. To the south tread the High Elves of Aelthos, chasing rumors of a great mountain chain from which their spires could touch the sky. Thus were they brought to the great snowy expanse, woefully unprepared. Despite a lack of winter provisions, they ventured on, for fear of failure triumphed over that of death. It would be a fateful decision. Where once the sun had shown, blankets of grey soon rolled over the land. Snow piled knee-high in the blizzard, and in their desperation, they could only hunker down and wait for its passing - huddled beneath thin canopies in the hopes that the dawn would bring warmth. That night, as they slept, the bringer of the blizzard passed overhead. Had he not extinguished the light of moon and stars, the shadow of Ondnarch’s great draconic form would have cloaked the land in darkness. The corrupted wyvern, Lord of the Deep Cold, had been freed from the Kal’Varak by the Hammer of Urguan, wielded by Grand King Thorik, upon the realm of Kalos. Still bearing the wounds of his escape, Ondnarch’s maimed vessel soared over the south of Anthos in search of a lair to build his strength, his golden ichor raining across the fresh snows. Morning brought the sun, and relief. Yet, as the High Elves emerged from their tents, they found that more than snow had dusted the land. Upon the white powder lie droplets of thick, slick gold. Curiosity prevailed over caution. Ever inquisitive, Aelthos was the first to pull off his gauntlet. Extending two digits, he aimed to swipe at the nearest deposit. The second his skin touched the ichor, he swiftly whisked his hand away, for heat shot through his body like lightning. With a burning fire, it spread to his core, and for the first time in their expedition he no longer noticed the cold. He encouraged the others to follow suit. In their desperation, considerations of comfort took precedent, and the whole of the expedition soon lay their fingers upon the ichor and found warmth. Satisfied, they pressed on with a new vigor, and made more progress that day than ever before. In the peaks of the southern mountains, they made their camp that next night, and fell into a deep slumber. Part Two: Fenn Unbeknownst to them, throughout the night, they contorted. Statures shrank and bulked, angular features softened, and the very fabric of their being mutated. Colorless, milky hair framed deathly pallid skin. These were the least of their changes. Morning brought the ringing of ears. For many, it was a dull sensation, easily mistakable for the echo of a distant dream. For others, it might as well have been a scream. Countless among the expedition clawed at their ears. Driven to insanity, some tore the appendages from their skulls, but nothing could cease the screeching. The fortunate drove blades through their own throats. The majority of this heavily afflicted group, however, were reduced to shells. Hollowed, they had become drones of Ondnarch, and with blackened tongues they sang the praises of Ondnarch as they fell upon their unturned kin. Family against family and comrade against comrade, the nascent Snow Elves clashed in a desperate struggle - mindful against mindless. Aelthos rallied those he could and fled. As the years passed by, the Snow Elves could only eke out a desperate existence on the fringes of Anthos’ frozen south. Their forms altered, they knew that they could never return to the pure of Haelun’or. Their only goal was survival. However, even this was hard to come by. With each passing day, the ringing only grew louder, and more of their kin turned. Numbers dwindling, they concluded that their only hope to avoid the fate of a drone was to destroy Ondnarch. Thus they warred against the corrupted Aengudaemon and his legion of drones, whose dominion over the land crept steadily north. Aelthos was not to see its conclusion. When the ringing in his head had grown deafening, his son of the same name mercifully drove a blade through his heart. With the fall of Kal’Azgoth, the Snow Elves joined alongside the Dwarves of Urguan in their desperate war for the south. Led by the sons of Urguan, their coalition eventually reached the throne room of Kal’Azgoth, and they gave battle against Ondnarch himself. Struck by Igor Ireheart, Iblees’ grip over the Aengudaemon was shattered. Their master vanquished, and none to pull at the strings of their corpses, the drones at last fell. From the corruption of Ondnarch arose Wyrvun, Lord of the Deep Cold. Assuming the moniker of Redemption, he showered gifts upon the Dwarves for their heroic service. Upon the Snow Elves, he took pity. It was his corrupted blood that had given them their affliction, and so in his capacity as Aengudaemon of Redemption, he restored the sanity of the unturned. At long last, the ringing in their ears faded, and they knew peace. As Wyrvun took flight, he left behind a new branch of the Elves. In his honor, they took the name Mali’fenn, and devoted themselves to him - to dwell forevermore in the Deep Cold. Modern History In their histories, the Snow Elves would give the name Aelthos Tundrak I to their founder, and Aelthos Tundrak II to his son - crediting the former with their Princedom’s establishment and the latter with its eventual salvation. The losses incurred in their very origin would become known as the First Cataclysm. The Cataclysmic Era The Cataclysmic Era, immediately following the Ancient Era, was defined by disaster, loss, and isolation. Four of the six catastrophes of Snow Elven history occurred during this era, spawning cycles of redemption, isolation, and tragedy. However, it is through the fires of this tumultuous era that Snow Elven strength was forged. The Cataclysmic Era began with the end of their war against Ondnarch and restoration of their sanity. Having fought Ondnarch and freed Wyrvun, Aelthos II sought refuge for his wayward Snow Elves by bending the knee to the Grand King of the Dwarves, founding and settling Frostfall in Urguan. Their newfound peace was not to last. From the north, the Drakaar Setherien’s armies struck with a fury, besieging and sacking Frostfall in the Second Cataclysm despite a coalition of defenders from across the realm. Forced from their homes, Aelthos II led a raiding party to seek vengeance against Setherien. Beyond the frigid northern wall of Anthos, the Mali’fenn were in their natural element, penetrating Setherien’s defences and encountering the unsuspecting Drakaar in his layer. The first mortals to directly encounter Setherien, they gave him battle, cutting down several of his harbingers in the process. Despite Aelthos II throwing a javelin into Setherien’s face, the Snow Elves were no match, and the few survivors withdrew. Upon Setherien’s eventual defeat by the allied forces of the realm, the Snow Elves followed the other descendants to the Fringe. It was in the Fringe that the Snow Elves met unparalleled death and destruction. Founding the settlement of Lindale, they were granted independence from the Grand Kingdom of Urguan. Seizing upon an opportunity to unite mankind under a new dynasty, forces of the Holy Orenian Empire faked an attack upon their countrymen, laying the blame squarely at the Snow Elves’ feet. Abandoned by their Dwarven allies, the Snow Elves were besieged and sacked at Lindale by the Empire and its Orcish and Haelun’orian allies in what became known as the Third Cataclysm. The siege plunged the Fringe into a series of wars involving every nation within the realm, with the remaining Snow Elves taking sides - eventually, even descending into civil war. Aelthos II was killed in the fighting. Brought to total ruin, the Snow Elves lost all cohesion, and were scattered to the wind as refugees - their Princedom no more. Throughout the realms of Thales and Athera, the Snow Elves were actively hunted. The Haelun’orians in particular sought to wipe the Mali’fenn people from existence on account of their notions of purity, and the powers of the age agreed to aid them in their endeavor. For decades, the Snow Elves clawed at survival, knowing only death and poverty in their isolated hideouts. It would not be until the realm of Vailor that Aelthir I, son of Aelthos II, reached maturity. Regathering the Snow Elves, he reforged the Princedom of Fenn, settling the city of Tar’sil. Peace and isolation reigned, until once more, the realm plunged into warfare. Orcish raids prompted Aelthir I to declare war upon the War Uzg. At the First Siege of Tar’sil, the Snow Elven defenders routed a besieging Orcish army, earning them their first respite in centuries. This was not to last, however. The Holy Orenian Empire, along with Haelun’or, the Wood Elves, and other assorted allies, joined ranks with the Orcs to once more attack the Snow Elven Princedom. Joined by the Grand Kingdom of Urguan, the Snow Elves fought bitterly at the Second Siege of Tar’sil, but were defeated in what would become known as the Fourth Cataclysm. As in previous cases, the city was sacked, while men, women, and children alike were put to the sword. Decimated once more, the Snow Elven survivors fled north to continue the fight alongside their Dwarven comrades. Aelthir I died in the subsequent Siege of Rhewengrad. With his heir only a child, Aelthir I left the throne vacant. Leaderless, the Mali’fenn once more separated, with many taking up residence among their Dwarven allies. Upon the descendants’ arrival at the realm of Axios, Aelthir II was finally old enough to assume the mantle of his people’s leader. Not yet of age, he established a fort named Nim’lindel and began the process of gathering his kin. His efforts were swiftly interrupted, however. Capitalizing upon a border dispute, the Wood Elven Dominion of Malin declared war upon the nascent Snow Elven gathering, bringing the full force of the Empire of Man and Haelun’or to bear along with it. Alone and heavily outnumbered, the Snow Elves met their attackers in the field, but were driven back within the fort. The Siege of Fort Nim’lindel would prove to be the Fifth Cataclysm, driving the nascently reforming Snow Elves to the Grand Kingdom of Urguan for protection. For harboring the Snow Elves, the Grand Kingdom was attacked by the Empire of Man and their Elven allies, leading to the Axiosan Coalition War. The Snow Elves fought alongside the Grand Kingdom of Urguan, Orcs, Warhawkes, the Grand Duchy of Lorraine, and the ascendant Kingdom of Courland against the Empire of Man, Dominion of Malin, and Haelun’or. After a bloody war, the Snow Elves and the rest of the Axiosan Coalition would emerge victorious, destroying the Empire of Man and isolating the Dominion of Malin, with Snow Elven Ivae’fenn led by Aelthir II personally overthrowing the Haelun’orian sovereign. Despite the losses assumed throughout the war, the Snow Elves returned home victorious. Upon Aelthir II’s coming of age, he would officially reforge the Princedom of Fenn and settle the city of Velaris, and was crowned as the fourth Grand Prince of Fenn. Thus began a new era in Snow Elven history. The Hegemonic Era With the refoundation of the Princedom in Axios, the Snow Elves entered a new era of peace, prosperity, and power. Drawing on their tumultuous history, the Snow Elven Ivae’fenn gained a reputation for martial prowess, and it was during this era that the Snow Elves were regarded as the foremost Elven military power and de facto hegemon. The declines of the Dominion of Malin and Haelun’or positioned the Princedom of Fenn to assume the mantle of Elvendom. At the tail of the Axiosan Coalition War, debate raged among the Elves of their future. Talk of an Elven Empire led by the Snow Elves was commonplace, and for a time, the High Elves of Haelun’or and Dark Elves of the Warhawkes consented to such a possibility. However, with the most populous Elven state, the Wood Elven Dominion of Malin holding out, the idea was put to rest. For a time, the Snow Elves enjoyed alliances with the foremost powers of the realm, including the Kingdom of Courland and Grand Kingdom of Urguan. After being dragged into a decade of warfare to solidify these states’ power, however, the Princedom allowed its treaties of alliance to expire. Aside from periodic skirmishing with the Dominion of Malin, the Snow Elves began a slow retreat into isolation - albeit, a prosperous one. With the descendants transitioning to the realm of Atlas, the Snow Elves founded the city of Talar’ikur, far to the south. Whilst the beginning of this realm saw further skirmishes with the Dominion of Malin, the Snow Elves of Fenn gradually became isolated; their homeland’s distance from the other descendants only cemented this trend. Regardless, Fenn prospered, and more Snow Elves regathered than at any point since the Ancient Era. In the final days of Atlas, the Snow Elves were forced from their isolation. Raiding parties from the reforged Empire of Man struck far to the south. Each time the elite Dragonknights attacked Talar’ikur, they were cut down by the Ivae’fenn - the Snow Elves reinforcing their martial reputation, and deterring aggression for a time. The dawn of Arcas would prove to be far more consequential for the Snow Elves. Settling in the city of Tahu’lareh, the peace of the previous realm was shattered by war. Threatened by an expansive Haelun’or backed by the Orenian Empire, the other Elven states - the Wood Elven Principality of Alderyn, Elven Principality of Aegrothond, and Dark Elven Principality of Vira’ker - turned to the Princedom of Fenn for aid. Together, these nations formed the Elven Union. Led by the Ivae’fenn, the Elven Union defeated the Imperials and Haelun’orians in a series of minor skirmishes across the realm, before the Orenian Empire erupted into civil war. In the War of the Two Emperors, the nations of the realm took sides, including the Snow Elves. Despite initial martial success, the Snow Elven-backed Emperor and his vassals were defeated upon the field. On account of the victors’ unwillingness to suffer what they predicted as tremendous losses upon a siege of Fenn, Aelthir II managed to secure a white peace. Thereafter, exhausted from his long reign over the Snow Elves and scarred by two major wars, Aelthir II passed on to Fin'ciwn, perishing. His son, Aelthos III, was subsequently crowned as Grand Prince. In their defeat, the Snow Elves once more withdrew from the realm at large, beginning the Declinate Era of Snow Elven history. The Declinate Era Throughout the Declinate Era, the Snow Elves experienced gradual decline, losing their hegemonic status over the Elves. Under Aelthos III, the Princedom of Fenn’s power within the realm began a steady decline due to external political circumstances and losses incurred from the War of the Two Emperors. His reign was marked by the successful defeat of the Principality of Llyria for aggressions against Fenn. Outside of the Princedom, the Orenian Empire consolidated its rule of the realm, with the Haelun’orians at their side. Without allies, the Princedom had no choice but isolation, with the mantle of Elvendom ultimately passing to Haelun’or. Aelthos III’s abdication paved the way for the two short reigns of Aldred I and Akkar I. Aldred I was thought to be insane, though he managed to successfully navigate the Princedom through another war with the Orenian Empire and Haelun’or, emerging unscathed. His abdication led to the rule of Akkar I, focused upon the rising tide of domestic issues. Finally, towards the end of the realm of Arcas, the Inferi invasion struck and shattered the mountain city of the Snow Elves; the event became known as the Sixth Cataclysm. Their population decimated and Princedom reduced to ruins, Akkar I abdicated, and the Snow Elven survivors abandoned their former nation to eke out an existence as refugees. Going into the realm of Almaris, the Snow Elves remained scattered, stateless, and leaderless, their Princedom dissolved. Whilst some lived isolated in the wilds, others took up residence with the other Elven states. Vytrek Tundrak, son of Aelthos III, spread his intention to ascend to the throne. Thus, he gathered the bloodlines, and in the Third Bloodlime Summit, the Snow Elves reunited and declared Vytrek as their prince. They formed the Fennic Remnants and constructed the settlement of Ikur'fiyem in the far north, where they reside to this day. The Ivae'fenn have made war with surrounding tribes for the protection of the Mali'fenn. The Vigilants, meanwhile, have experienced an unprecedented revival - and they too have taken up arms, in defense of Wyrvun. Physique and Traits Snow Elven physicality is well-suited to their harsh environment. Overall, they tend to have a more muscular build, but are shorter than most of their Mali counterparts. This more compact build preserves body heat, allowing the Mali’fenn to stave off the cold for longer periods of time. High rates of military service, combined with the physical strains of a frozen environment, lend them a great deal of strength and constitution, albeit often at the price of dexterity. With nearly all forms of magic discouraged within the ranks of the Snow Elves, the muscular atrophy associated with the void is unlikely to be found among them. The typical height ranges from 5’0” - 6’3”, commonly paired with a weight between 100 - 245 lbs. This places the Snow Elves as marginally smaller than their High Elven and Dark Elven cousins, but slightly larger than the Wood Elves. Much like their environment, most Snow Elven features are light, and these traits are matched with softer facial structures than the High Elves. The most common eye colors are blue and silver. However, green, purple, and gold can be found in rarity among the Snow Elves. The vast majority of Snow Elven faces are framed by hair that is white, silver, or grey. Blonde and light blonde are not unheard of, but like the aforementioned eye colors, are considered rare. A universal trait of the Snow Elves is their pale skin. Light peachy tones prove to be the darkest pigment, with most tending to be nearly white as snow. While beneficial to health in their frigid, overcast environment, these features prove a vulnerability in lands bathed by the sun. The last attributes unique to the Snow Elves are not physical, but mental. It is said that Snow Elves commonly experience insanity around the age of 600, far earlier than their Mali counterparts. Whether or not this is true, many Mali’fenn ascribe this trend to lingering effects of Ondnarch’s blood and their ancient forebears' curse. Certainly, due to their harsh environment, martial nature, and cataclysmic history, the average Snow Elven lifespan is far shorter than most children of Malin. As such, 30 is considered the age of adulthood. Should this tendency of insanity prove true, it is not impossible that trauma bears some semblance of responsibility. The final trait associated with the Snow Elves is a natural disadvantage in the practice of magic. Some hold Ondnarch’s divine blood responsible for this, though it is likely such a belief is merely the result of the culture’s discouragement of magic. Bloodlines Overview Bloodlines serve as the basic units of Snow Elven society, linking close and distant family in the same manner as Dwarven Clans or Wood Elven Seeds. The defining feature of a bloodline is its ability to trace ancestry back to one of the first Snow Elves, those who are said to have touched the golden ichor of Ondnarch. In some cases, bloodlines may have two founders, should they be a known couple whose offspring constituted the first of their bloodline. Theoretically, there are numerous Snow Elven bloodlines, perhaps even beyond count. However, the number of recognized bloodlines is limited. The Cataclysms uprooted and destroyed some of the bloodlines, with the vast majority becoming scattered to the wind, losing knowledge of their identity and origins. The destruction of most written records in the Cataclysms make the reconstitution of bloodlines a difficult feat. This has not stopped many Mali‘fenn from attempting to assemble genealogies, and it is newfound knowledge from these texts that serve as the basis for the recollection of new bloodlines. Though rare, groups of Snow Elves may thus come to discover their common lineage and petition the reigning prince for recognition. The head of a bloodline is known as an Archon, and their succession is hereditary. Men and women are capable of inheriting the coveted title. By default, succession is through primogeniture, with the eldest child inheriting the title. However, the holder of the title may select as heir any of their children before the holder’s death. Due to this succession system, most bloodlines are defined by a central, closely related family at their core - supplemented in far greater numbers by other familial branches and distant cousins. Together, members of these bloodlines tend to share certain traits, both physical and otherwise. Physically, it is typical for a bloodline to have one or two associated eye colors, along with one or two associated hair colors and a characteristic build - though all of those traits fall within the overall range for Snow Elves mentioned above. Bloodlines may also have reputations for certain personality traits and demeanors, along with associated fighting styles and military roles, professions, skills, and politics. Symbology tends to be unique as well, with each bloodline using different colors and taking a representative animal for their symbol - most often one native to their environment. Known Bloodlines Over half a dozen bloodlines are known to exist, have been recognized by their people, and either continue to function as a political unit or possess descendants who, though unorganized, carry on their name. Tundrak The Tundraks are the royal bloodline of the Snow Elves, tracing their lineage to Aelthos I. They are known for snow-white hair, predominantly silver or silver-blue eyes, and shorter lifespans - the latter a result of their prominence, historically making them targets. Protective of their people to the point of paternalism, the Tundrak disposition is stoic and serious. While often cold and distant to outsiders, they display a warmth towards those they hold close, and their compassion towards the Snow Elven people is undeniable. Formally, aside from their widespread military service, Tundraks take on roles of governance, diplomacy, and occasionally religion. Outside of stately occupations, they are also known for their skill as hunters. A history as mercenaries during periods of the Princedom’s destruction and non-existence has made them rough fighters, unafraid to get their hands dirty - though over the years this style has formalized, becoming more adaptable to formations. Their favored weapons are the spear and shield, supplemented by a sword. Some Tundraks have also been known to wield glaives and warhammers. Within domestic Snow Elven politics, the Tundraks’ stances vary by individual and circumstance, often taking counsel from the other, more opinionated bloodlines. For their sigil, they take the wyvern, and associate with the colors of grey and blue. Drakon Founded by Celennor Drakon, this ancient bloodline has served the Snow Elven people through times of hardship and prosperity. While historically the elves of the Drakon Bloodline are the most ancestrally related to the Tundrak Bloodline, these two families are still relatively distant from one another. Drakons tend to have an affinity towards the sea. Because of this, they tend to have an athletic or swimmer’s build and tend to be tall. Drakons also tend to have hair of platinum blonde or of white in color, and their eyes are typically some shade of purple, and in rare cases, a shade of blue. These elves are also seen as cautious, and in rare situations, overly so. Additionally, the members of this bloodline are known to be loyal to the fennic people and may also be willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the many. Lastly, these elves tend to be skilled strategists. Due to their athletic build, cautious demeanor, and leadership ability, it is not uncommon for these mali’fenn to hold positions of military standing as well as political significance. Outside of military service and politics, Drakons may be seen in professions of maritime trade, sailing, fishing, and hunting. The weapon of choice for Drakons in oftentimes is a trident. It is because of this that at a young age, Drakons are taught and trained to use a trident as an effective ranged weapon, as well as a close combat weapon. With their athletic build, these Mali’fenn tend to favor armour that is light to medium in nature, so that their movement isn't too penalized. Some other common weapons for these Snow Elves are sabers, short swords, and longswords. Politically, the Drakons can be described as Imperialist or Paternalist, as they hold a favorable view of other Elves but seek active political intervention in Elven affairs - allowing the Snow Elves to guide Malin's other children in the proper direction. The sigil of the Drakons is a leviathan - a great sea serpent. For their colors, they take red, gold, and silver. Atmorice Founded by a woman named Siol, the Atmorices are usually found to be dignified, eloquent, cultured, well-educated, and respectful towards their Mali’fenn kin. They have a wide range of heights, from around 5’4” to a little over 6 foot - middling, when compared to their kin. Typical of most Mali’fenn, they would usually have a rather athletic and muscular build, as that is expected of them in the service of the Ivae’fenn. The common colors for an Atmorice’s hair are pure white to blonde, though very rarely, silver. Their eyes come in silvers, blues, and very rarely, purple. Often, they see accomplishments to be an important role in their lifestyle, taking their work into serious consideration. The reason for this is due to their special dedication to Wyrvun. Therefore, they are typically to be seen as skillful politicians and priests or priestesses - with one of their number often occupying the role of Archvigilant. Within the Ivae’fenn, their role matches their dignified demeanor; they are often to be found acting as the cavalry on the field of battle, riding heavily armored horses. They mainly choose to wield lances, spears and bows. Politically, they are Nativist, distrusting and despising the other Elves for their role in the Cataclysms and thus seeking isolation from Elven political affairs. For their sigil, they take the snake, accompanied by the colors purple and teal. Tathvir Of all the Mali'fenn bloodlines, the Tathvirs are the most contrasting when compared to their kin. Tracing their heritage back to Amara Tathvir, the family is riddled with 'fenn sporting a far more compact physique. Like many of their kin, locks of silver hair are commonly accompanied by turquoise eyes and occasionally a faint gold ring around them, though this proves to be a rare feature in the family. Because of their shorter stature and lighter frame the Tathvirs are well known for their duty as scouts and skirmishers, leading them to opt for lighter weapons such as bows and daggers. Due to the limited practicality of Tathvirs on the front line, many choose to take up professions of support such as healers and apothecaries. Their lithe nature as well as professions of choice can often be to blame for their light-hearted nature and joyous attitudes. Of all their kin they are certainly the most tolerant to the rest of the world, often acting as the cultural bridge for their people. It is not uncommon for Tathvirs to adopt foreign customs in an attempt to better understand their Mali cousins, but despite the willingness to travel and embrace the vast world many Tathvirs are content with staying among their kin in hopes of protecting the ones they cherish. Politically, the Tathvirs are Malinist, holding favorable views of the other Elves yet wishing for political non-intervention in their affairs. For their sigil, they take the otter, and associate with the colors of blue, teal, and gold. Sylric The Sylric Bloodline is known for its craftsmanship. Founded by Thandir Sylric I, the Sylric family is among the eldest recognized bloodlines that remain within the Fennic people. Typically, Sylrics possess blue eyes (though rarely purple), accompanied by white hair. By far their most dominant feature, however, is that they stand tallest among the 'fenn. This physical size and strength is due to many generations of smithing, military service, and physical labor. Their greater average size also comes into play with their fighting style, often utilizing battle axes and warhammers which they make in their coming of age trials. When not fighting close quarter combat, Sylrics have been known to excel in siege warfare, military tactics, and other leadership positions that involve teaching of the future generations of warriors. Often times, Sylrics have a rather closed mindset, where their way is the right way, and are not afraid to be blunt for the safety of their family and the 'fenn as a whole. This results in a cool demeanor, if not hostile, towards those not among the Fennic people. Politically, the Sylrics are Priorist, being neutral towards the other Elves and favoring political isolation from their affairs. They have often been compared to griffins for their large intimidating size, strength, and war prowess, as well as extreme devotion to the protection of their kin. Sylrics represent themselves with the colors of blue, purple, and grey - with banners and official insignia comprising of a griffin. Stolt’aroloth The Stolt’aroloth bloodline is an ancient one, with early recognition and long-lasting organization. According to the Stolt’aroloths, Balthir Stolt’aroloth - the bloodline’s founder - was one of the originals changed by Wyrvun; by their idealistic viewpoint, into a more pure form. This idea of purity through divine transformation struck deep within the bloodline’s psyche, giving them a touch of madness that has manifested itself in their purist beliefs, contempt for non-Snow Elven Mali, and generally bizarre takes on the world around them. Their penchant for entertaining and storytelling along with the eagerness to share their unorthodox opinions has led them to excel in the profession of journalism, a talent that is colorfully demonstrated by the acclaimed Fennic newspaper, “The Stolt Standard.” Much like their opinions, the Stolt’s physical traits lead them to stand out amongst other Mali’fenn, bearing light blonde hair and piercing emerald green eyes. This signature color is also reflected within the bloodlines colors of emerald green and black, with their sigil being that of a unicorn. As an animal that charges nobly and brutishly into battle, goring its enemies upon its horn, they believe it to strongly represent their fighting style, which others have described as reckless, innovative, and utterly insane. On a whole, these three words serve to describe the Stolts quite well. Politically, they are Nationalist, despising the other Elves for their role in the Cataclysms and favoring active intervention in Elven affairs - seeking vengeance. Unorganized Bloodlines The following bloodlines are thought to still have recognized descendants, but due to the Cataclysms or other circumstances, no longer exist together in enough numbers to constitute an organized bloodline. Annungilben The Annungilben Bloodline of the Mali'fenn are known primarily for their stoic nature and environmental expertise. Ninthalor, the first of the Annungilbens, was the man who developed the techniques of farming in the tundra, allowing the Snow Elves to survive for centuries to come in their wintery homeland. While their physicality of white hair and grey-blue eyes is typical of a 'fenn, their strategic prowess, scholastic mindset, and environmental expertise have for centuries set them apart from others of their kind. In more recent history, the members of the bloodline have frequently been seen as wardens, scholars, advisors, naturalists, and arborists, all roles essential to the continued life of their people. Despite their stoic and sometimes aggressive nature, the Annungilbens are rather open minded, known for making friends of any and all races, so long as they respect their own culture. This open-mindedness causes the Annungilbens to be loyal to their family first, as they do not put their race above that of others. For their sigil, they take the raven, and associate with the colors green and brown. Belechirr Amid the harsh reality awaiting the new Snow Elves, a woman by the name of Ava followed the wolves' teachings and kept her family close. The Belechirr Bloodline that sprung from her would follow suit - forever holding in reverence the haelun within the family. Struggling day to day for survival in their harsh new environment, the Belechirr are natural hunters and gatherers. Being efficient at crafting and weaving from what nature provided made them spectacular artisans. The tribal Belechirr practice the art of dual-wielding weapons and short bows, finding them to be the most efficient and effective way of defeating their prey - much like the gnashing maws of a wolf, they bristle with weaponry. With their pale blonde hair and golden eyes, the Belechirr carry an average Mali’fenn stature. Valuing efficiency and cohesiveness, the Belechirr are built around the fundamentals of teamwork. They give off a sense of arrogance to those who are not their kin, protecting and fully trusting those who are. Politically, they are Nationalist, despising the other Elves for their role in the Cataclysms and favoring active intervention in Elven affairs - seeking vengeance. For their sigil, they take the direwolf, and associate with the colors of red, gold, and brown. Araaloq The Araaloq bloodline is known for being bold and outspoken, but upholding a fiery religious zeal that is, at times, disagreeable to their older kin. Originally founded by Taegen Araaloq during the first age, the family, once splintered and scattered by the Cataclysmic era, rises from rack and ruin under the careful direction of archon Darcassan and wife Kindrel. Though the Araaloq have been known to dabble in politics when their guidance is called upon, they are most abundant within the practices of Isvinity; it is heavily encouraged for the progeny of the family to become Vigilants in order to take on bigger roles within the community. The Araaloq line values allegiance and devotion above all else, both to their bloodline and Wyrvun, in the hopes that such dedication will lead to both personal prosperity and the success of the mali'fenn. Usually outspoken and strong-willed, the Araaloq also view self-discipline, fidelity, and conviction as highly-valued traits to be exhibited by its bloodline members. Typically, Araaloq are recognizable by their lengthy silver-white hair, sharp grey eyes, and attire that sways towards a neutral palette. Though they stand taller than some of their kin, with an average of 6' being common in both men and women, they are typically svelte and sylphlike in build, and have thus come to prefer lightweight weapons in combat; rapiers, scimitars, daggers, and even types of poison are not uncommon. Politically, they are Priorist, holding a neutral stance toward other Elves and favoring political isolation from their affairs. For their emblem, they take the owl to represent their collective strength of mind and spiritual enlightenment, paired with the colors black, blue, and grey for self-discipline, nationalism, and elegance. Extinct Bloodlines The Cataclysms shredded the very fabric of Snow Elven society, and not a single recognized bloodline escaped their horrors without significant losses. Some, however, were not so fortunate. Several bloodlines are known to have been completely wiped out, with not a single ‘fenn surviving to carry on their blood or name. All but a cursory knowledge of their histories has been lost to time. Daenor An ancient bloodline that survived the first two Cataclysms, little is known of the Daenors, aside from their extinction upon the realm of Thales. The Daenor Bloodline rose to influence in the wake of the Second Cataclysm upon the realm of the Fringe. In the immediate aftermath of the Third Cataclysm, the Daenors betrayed their people in the midst of battle, defecting to Haelun’or and establishing a rival Snow Elven state in vassalization to the Sohaerate. The act plunged the already scattered Snow Elves into civil war. Upon the descendants’ travel to Thales, this vassal state withered away, and the remaining Daenors are presumed to have been hunted to extinction by the Tundraks. Fenn’asul Long extinct, most of what was known of the Fenn’asul was lost to time. A bloodline of tinkerers and healers, they were among the most prominent in the Anthosian settlement of Frostfall in the wake of the First Cataclysm. Many of the bloodline were struck down during the Third Cataclysm, and any survivors perished soon after - driven to extinction in the hunting of Snow Elves that occurred throughout Thales and Athera. Religion - Isvinity Named for a vernacular label for Fin’ciwn, Isvinity is the religion of the Snow Elves - though none of its tenets are limited to ethnic Snow Elves, and many who dwell within Fin’hesin - the lands of eternal winter upon the mortal realm - abide by the faith as well. Despite serving as the religion of the Snow Elves, it is not limited to them, for Wyrvun holds domain over all of Fin’hesin and its settled peoples. Thus, some seek conversions among the other settlers of this region, along with devotees of the winter season from across the realm-at-large. For their symbol, they take an X drawn over a W, connecting the four corners of the letter. The resulting shape, known as Isvin Wings, bears a resemblance to the wings of Wyrvun, Wyrvun’s crown, and the North Star. Wyrvun and The Concord Outside of Snow Elven society, Wyrvun is largely recognized as the Aengul of the Deep Cold and Redemption. The Mali’fenn also associate him with Wisdom, Perseverance, and Sleep. He has been known to take two forms - that of a giant ice-breathing wyvern, and that of a scraggly, wizened old man. The Snow Elves believe that in the beginning, the mortal realm - known as Fin’cuith - was covered in ice and snow. To support the warmth of life, the cold had to be controlled. Thus, Wyrvun was created to hold dominion over winter, and he confined the deep cold to lands of endless ice and snow - known as Fin’hesin. For time immeasurable, he ruled a kingdom of ice and solitude. Yet, looking out on the mortal realm at large, he saw warmth, life, and companionship, and discovered what it meant to be lonely. From his hand, he guided flora and fauna to his icy domains, and life sprung up where once there was none. He found warmth and life, but not companionship. In time, this was not to matter. Invading Fin’hesin, the Fallen Daemon Iblees sought to coax Wyrvun into unleashing his eternal winter upon all of Fin’cuith. Wyrvun refused, and the gods fought. Overpowered, Wyrvun was imprisoned by Iblees, and corrupted into Ondnarch. Under his dark banner, the deep cold would at last be unleashed. Years passed, and Ondnarch bided his time, warring with the Dwarves until his unintentional creation of the Snow Elves and eventual defeat. Wyrvun’s restoration of Snow Elven sanity was more than an act of pity; at last, Wyrvun had an opportunity for companionship, and vessels through which to act on Fin’hesin - where, after his ordeal, he did not intend to stay. In the Wyrvunic Concord, Wyrvun restored the sanity of the Mali’fenn and gave them quarter in his mortal domains, known as Fin’hesin - the lands of Fin’cuith gripped by eternal winter. In return, the Snow Elves are to give Wyrvun worship. However, after Wyrvun’s corruption into Ondnarch by Iblees and his eventual restoration, Wyrvun sought to personally retire from the affairs of god and man alike. With his waning strength, he created Fin’ciwn, his own plane of immortal winter, and retreated there - sealing himself off from his peers. Despite this withdrawal, he continued to hold care for his stake upon the mortal realm, and the life within it. As such, an addition was made to the concord. Upon the deaths of the Mali’fenn, their souls are to travel to Fin’ciwn, where they might rest forever. In return, they are to impart upon Wyrvun the collective wisdom of their lived experiences - a wisdom which, no longer dwelling upon Fin’cuith, Wyrvun otherwise has no access to. Further, in his stead, the Snow Elves are to serve as stewards of Fin’hesin. In this capacity, it is the duty of the Snow Elves to protect Fin’hesin, nourish the life within, and stave off the influences of rival deities - with whom Wyrvun wants no involvement, now more than ever. Behaviorally, Wyrvun is a good deity, but a disengaged one. Detached from the broad affairs of gods and mortals, he cares only for himself, his holdings, and his subjects - Fin’ciwn, Fin’hesin, and the flora, fauna, and descendants of the latter. Wise from experience and the collective accounts of those who slumber in his realm, he is eager to share his insight with those of his people in need. Thought to be sapped of strength and in pursuit of rest, it is still said that upon the tundras of Fin’ciwn he makes for warm company. His priorities are the well-being of Fin’ciwn and Fin’hesin, and in this regard, he bars other deities from the former and expects the Snow Elves to protect the latter from their influence. As such, he opposes the wielding of magic drawn from other deities upon Fin’hesin, for it is one of his domains. Though sealed away, Wyrvun continues to exert an influence upon Fin’hesin through proxies, guiding the Mali’fenn on occasion. In sum, the Wyrvunic Concord provides the basis for the relationship between Wyrvun and the Snow Elves. Wyrvun gives them sanity and renders them aid in life, and ushers their souls away to Fin’ciwn upon death. In return, the Snow Elves give Wyrvun worship and steward Fin’hesin in life, while feeding his wisdom upon death. Realms and Regions To properly define the spaces relevant to their lives and afterlife, the Snow Elves identify two realms, or planes, and two regions: Fin’cuith, Fin’hesin, Fin’mirak, and Fin’ciwn. Fin’cuith The first of the realms is Fin’cuith, the land of the awake. This is the term that Snow Elves use to describe the mortal realm, or that plane upon which the descendants dwell. This realm as a whole is not the domain of Wyrvun, but is the space where gods and descendants alike interact and carve out influence. Fin’cuith consists of two constituent regions: Fin’hesin and Fin’mirak. Fin’hesin Fin’hesin is one of the two regions that constitute Fin’cuith, the mortal realm. These are the lands of eternal winter. A domain of Wyrvun, Fin’hesin is his stake upon Fin’cuith - that space where he has carved out his own influence, and seeks to curb that of other deities. Fin’hesin is a land of ice and snow, forged by Wyrvun in his quest for experience and isolation upon Fin’cuith. For time immeasurable, it served as his sole domain, and lay barren of life. Eventually, discovering solitude, he would fill it with flora, fauna, and the nascent Snow Elves. After his corruption and restoration at the hands of another Aengudaemon, he would retire from this domain, entrusting it to the Snow Elves. Thus, the Snow Elves rule Fin’hesin on his behalf, seeking to nourish and protect its life, and stave off the influence of foreign deities. Fin’mirak Fin’mirak is the second of the two regions that constitute Fin’cuith, the mortal realm. These are the lands of summer, and thus, are not of Wyrvun’s domain. However, it is said that as winter waxes and wanes in these lands, so too does Wyrvun’s influence. Largely, however, these are the domains of foreign deities and foreign peoples, and thus for the most part Wyrvun is unconcerned with them. Fin’ciwn, or Isvin Often called Isvin in the vernacular, Fin’ciwn is the second of the realms, known as the land of sleep. It is only appropriate that for a people who believe life is a struggle, the afterlife is an eternal slumber. Fin’ciwn is its own plane, created by Wyrvun as a land of winter unending to seal himself off from Fin’cuith and other gods. He forged this plane with the last of his waning strength after having been restored by the corruption inflicted upon him by the Fallen Daemon Iblees. Though this god was evil, Wyrvun distrusts even the most benevolent among the ranks of the Aengudaemon. It is said, however, that this border is not unbreachable. Portals are rumored to lie within the depths of some of the icy lakes in Fin’hesin - known as Linde(n)’aeth - meant for the passage of souls. According to rumor, a living mortal could find one, and swimming towards the bottom of a lake in Fin’hesin, find themselves emerging at a surface on the other side - Fin’ciwn. The purpose of these passages, however, is to usher the souls of Snow Elves to their afterlife. Upon death, a Snow Elf - or another follower of their deity - is judged by Wyrvun. Those souls who Wyrvun judges worthy are allowed into Fin’ciwn. They will give a full account of their experiences to Wyrvun, adding to his bank of wisdom. Thereafter, they will at last join their ancestors, family, and friends in eternal slumber upon the vast expanses of snow. Those souls judged unworthy by Wyrvun are cast out, and left to wander Fin’cuith for eternity, never to rest. To be judged worthy by Wyrvun, one must uphold the Wyrvunic Concord and its associated values. The concord entails that in life, a Snow Elf will give worship to Wyrvun, respect the life within Fin’hesin, and give that domain protection. These Snow Elves will demonstrate the necessary morality befitting a steward of Wyrvun - to include loyalty to family and people, honor, perseverance, valor, duty, and kindness. It is said among the Snow Elves that the more one meets these requirements, and the more experience they can contribute to Wyrvun’s wisdom, the closer their place of rest to the Aengul. On the contrary, those judged unworthy by Wyrvun are those who fail to uphold the concord. Those who do not give Wyrvun worship, take up a foreign deity, disrespect his domain, or neglect their duties in Fin’hesin are bound to be cast out. Further, those who demonstrate treachery, cowardry, neglect, and hostility will find no rest in Fin’ciwn. Worship and Wayshrines Snow Elven worship is conducted at a series of four wayshrines. These wayshrines may be visited in the proper, listed order upon pilgrimage. However, pilgrimage is a rare occurrence, and most often a Snow Elf will seek out only the appropriate wayshrine for their needs. At the base of each wayshrine, a fire burns. Due to this blaze’s copper support structure, it burns blue. Thus, while it may not emulate the freezing, icy breath of Wyrvun in temperature, it at least does so in appearance. The basic act of prayer is accompanied by burning an offering, the contents of which depend upon the wayshrine. These offerings are burned because it is believed to be a way to transport the material from Fin’cuith to Fin’ciwn. The four wayshrines each embody an aspect of life as understood by the Snow Elves - birth, peace, war, and death. Wayshrine of Birth Also known as Life, the Wayshrine of Birth is the first of the wayshrines, and is centered around beginnings. It is typically placed next to a lake believed to hold a Linde’aeth. At this wayshrine, Mali’fenn pray for good fortune in new commencements, including for the sake of the newborn, the start of a relationship, a tenure, or any other life-changing event. Ceremonies held at this wayshrine include births, comings of age, and marriages - along with the ritual of Cleansing. At the Wayshrine of Birth, the offering made is that of an animal corpse. To be granted a new beginning, for another, there must be an end. In such a way, death pays for life. Thus, when intending to offer worship at this wayshrine, the faithful must first partake in a hunt. The larger the game they slay and burn, the greater the impact of their prayer. Wayshrine of Peace Also known as Mind, the second of the wayshrines is that of Peace, focused upon mental qualities. It is at this wayshrine that a worshipper will pray for values of the mind - peace, perseverance, wisdom, and happiness, among others. No ceremonies are held at this wayshrine, though due to the desirability of the boons it offers, the Wayshrine of Peace is the most commonly used. At this wayshrine, the worshipper will gather and burn pine cones. It is thought that their sweet sap brings to Wyrvun the scent of Fin’hesin, that region upon which he may no longer dwell, and it puts him at peace. To achieve peace, you must first provide it. Wayshrine of War Also known as Body, the Wayshrine of War is the third, and deals with physical qualities. In some ways, it is the opposite of the second. Worshippers come to this wayshrine to ask for values of the body - strength, dexterity, and constitution among them. These values are particularly sought in anticipation of battle or a hunt, but also for the sake of healing. Ceremonies held at this wayshrine include oaths and Stormcalling; Battlepainting is often held in the city instead. The offering to be given is that of blood - the worshipper’s blood. To receive strength, you must first sacrifice it. Thus, the worshipper is to cut their palm, and loose a few droplets upon the flames. Wayshrine of Death The last of the wayshrines is that of Death, centered around ends. This wayshrine might be considered the opposite of the first. It is at this wayshrine that Mali’fenn pray for ends. Most common among these is for the sake of the dead, or for one’s own fortune post-demise. Additional topics include the ends of relationships, tenures, and other important conclusions in one’s life. Thus, the ceremony associated with this wayshrine is the funeral. As an offering, worshippers burn blankets and cloaks. It is thought that in doing so, they provide comfort to the deceased, who slumber in Fin’ciwn. To grant solace, you must offer your own. Pilgrimages A pilgrimage is the act of worshipping at each wayshrine in order. With their disbursement, this is often a prolonged journey, and more often than not one taken in solitude. It is performed for the first time when one reaches thirty and celebrates their coming of age. Thereafter, it is done periodically, whenever the need is felt - particularly during times of personal crisis. It is performed to ground or anchor oneself - an act of meditation. As a result, the pilgrim is thought to receive a boost in their sanity and wisdom. Many hold that if the circumstances arise that beholden one to engage in a pilgrimage, it is due to the slipping of their sanity - thought by the Mali’fenn to be the curse of their origins. On pilgrimage, the worshipper goes through the cycle of life, praying for the resolution of their particular struggles at each wayshrine - at Birth, new beginnings; at Peace, wisdom and mental fortitude; at War, physical strength and constitution; and at Death, eventual rest. In this regard, pilgrimages are encouraged as a solution for crises and a periodic anchor for one’s sanity, reinforcing the Wyrvunic Concord. Vigilants Vigilants serve as the priests and priestesses of Wyrvun. Drawn from the ranks of the faithful, they are the standard bearers of the Snow Elven religion, and fulfill a number of vital roles. Clad in cloaks of fur with scale-mail pauldrons, the most identifying feature of the Vigilants are the twisted, silver draconic horns forming a circlet upon their head, reminiscent of a wyvern. Most cloaks are brown, black, and grey, with white reserved for Archvigilants. Though often covered, the skin of a Vigilant is thoroughly and systematically scarred, particularly upon the arms, legs, and abdomen. Hierarchy A fully fledged Vigilant is bound to one of the four wayshrines, following the Path of Birth, Peace, War, or Death. Though they are not limited in the performance of duties at other wayshrines, their particular path allows them to focus on one aspect of their faith - a necessary feat, given the distance between wayshrines, which necessitates a delegation of important duties. From their path, the Vigilant assumes a moniker - a value or attribute related to their wayshrine. Among their own, Vigilants often call each other only by such monikers. Examples for Birth include Creation and Rebirth; for Peace, Wisdom and Serenity; for War, Strength and Agility; for Death, Reverence and Martyrdom. The Vigilant is tasked to excel in or represent this value above all others, serving as an example and counsel for the faithful. It is only through these values that a descendant can pass the ultimate test and survive the harsh climate of Fin’hesin - for to draw upon another deity is sacrilege, and to wield the void is to introduce chaos and sacrifice one’s own health. There are no shortcuts in survival. Rising above the Vigilants are the Archvigilants, one for each wayshrine - the Archvigilants of Birth, Peace, War, and Death - known primarily by their new path monikers and secondarily by their original ones. They hold dominion over their respective wayshrine and the Vigilants bound to it, including the ability to raise a novitiate of their path to full Vigilance, and together their council serves as the source of religious authority. From their ranks is selected a High Vigilant in agreement between the Archvigilants and prince, and the holder of this post maintains their status as Archvigilant. The High Vigilant advises the prince upon matters of religion; decision-making remains the realm of all four Archvigilants, though the High Vigilant may break a tied vote when they arrive at an impasse. Fresh Archvigilants are proposed by the High Vigilant and confirmed by their Archvigilant peers, with input from the prince. The prince, or princess, holds a peculiar status within the Vigilants. Their Vigilance is customary, but through divine right, they reign above even the High Vigilant. The alternative - a High Vigilant subservient to the prince in matters of politics, but a prince subservient to a High Vigilant in matters of religion - would be severely destabilizing. Thus, the prince takes precedence, but it is tradition for the reigning monarch to be uninvolved. Part of none of the Paths, the monarch may select any moniker, which then becomes divorced from the hierarchy for its duration. The participation of the prince in the affairs of Isvinity is a rare thing, for it represents a destabilizing effect upon the balance of the four Paths. Thus, royal intervention is a rarity, permitted only by extraordinary circumstances. Anything more is frowned upon. Relics In their capacity as Archvigilants, each is granted a relic, to be passed on to their successors upon death or abdication. These are the Breath of Isvin, Eyes of Isvin, Claw of Isvin, and Voice of Isvin. The Breath of Isvin is a lantern, and is held by the Archvigilant of Birth. This lantern is the tool through which the Vigilants transfer the sacred fire of their offerings from the Wayshrines. Fire drawn from the Wayshrine of Birth is used for the Cleansing Ritual and to light the hearths of the sick, and fire drawn from the Wayshrine of War is often used to light forges for weaponsmithing. Fire is light, and its spread makes things anew. Thus, it falls to the domain of Birth. The Eyes of Isvin are a ring of keys, held by the Archvigilant of Peace. These keys grant access to the Vigilants’ accumulated knowledge, buried in a library beneath the crypts. It is guarded jealously, for written knowledge is a rare and precious thing among the Snow Elves, and access may only be granted by the Archvigilant of Peace. Knowledge is fuel for the mind, and thus the keys fall under the domain of Peace. The Claw of Isvin is a glaive, held by the Archvigilant of War. This finely crafted weapon aids War in their primary task, being the physical protection of Fin’hesin from threats divine and mortal alike. From deific creatures to deific and voidal mages, it is only fitting that the embodiment of War wields for their relic a weapon. The Voice of Isvin is a horn, held by the Archvigilant of Death. Carved from a dragon’s horn, this instrument’s low tone is used for several purposes. One lengthy blast is sounded at the end of funerals to herald the coming of a new soul to Wyrvun, to be judged. Two blasts call for Conclave among the Vigilants. Three blasts sound an emergency or crisis relevant to the Vigilants. Other Vigilants may create and hold lesser relics representative of their monikers, to be held upon their death or abdication until a new Vigilant takes up their mantle. Novitiate Trials Before one ascends to full Vigilance, they must pass a series of trials, and until such a time are known as a Novitiate. These trials are to ensure that an aspiring Vigilant possesses the qualities necessary to serve Wyrvun. The first four center around each wayshrine, and are administered by a designated Vigilant. The final trial is based upon the moniker and path they select, and is overseen by their respective Archvigilant. The first trial is that of Birth, and its purpose is to test a Novitiate’s ability to nurture - for the Vigilants are tasked with nurturing faith among the Mali’fenn and protecting the fauna of Fin’hesin. Like many among the Mali, Vigilants use animal companions to send letters across vast distances. Often, though not necessarily, these are birds. The task in this trial is for a Vigilant to find a baby animal of their choice and raise it as their courier, to deliver their letters, share a bond, and perform other necessary tasks. The second trial is that of Peace, and its purpose is to test a Novitiate’s intelligence and wisdom, as they must provide counsel in life and an account to Wyrvun upon death. They will select a foreign group - often another nation, settlement, or religious order - and spend time among them. Taking a book, they will learn all they can of these people and record the knowledge, testing their ability to compile information and exercise charisma. When done, the novitiate will return home and pass the book on to the Vigilants. Just as Wyrvun is regarded as the Aengul of Wisdom, so too do the Vigilants aspire to wisdom, and that cannot be gained without knowledge. The knowledge within grants the Vigilants the added benefit of serving as a threat register of the other descendants to Fin’hesin, with whose protection they are tasked. The third trial is that of War, and its purpose is to test physical prowess. In their role as protectors, Vigilants must have strength, agility, and vitality. Thus, the novitiate is sent into the wilderness with nothing. They must craft an appropriate weapon, learn to survive in the harsh lands of Fin’hesin, and return with the pelt of some of the region’s big game. These include a bear, elk, boar, snow leopard, or direwolf. The fourth trial is that of Death, and its purpose is to test a Novitiate when pushed to its brink - as only then can they understand the fate of their ancestors, their god, and what awaits them after life. The Novitiate is tasked with bathing in a frozen lake for as long as they can. In time, the cold will take them, and they will begin to slip away. Only then will they understand the potency of the Deep Cold, and it is only on the verge of freezing that one can feel the embrace of death - the call to sleep - and still recover. When the Novitiate passes out, they will be pulled from the water, and made to relate their experiences on the brink. Before the fifth and final trial, a Novitiate is to choose a path - Birth, Peace, War, or Death. From the wayshrine they choose, they are to assume their moniker - a value or aspect derived from their wayshrine, and define it. Depending on which moniker they choose, their new Archvigilant will provide them with a trial to test that specific virtue, for by taking it as a moniker they are tasked with embodying it. Upon the completion of this trial, the Novitiate will ascend to full Vigilance. Roles The roles of the Vigilants are numerous, from ceremony and counsel to secret ritual. As guides of the faithful, it is the duty of Vigilants to teach the Snow Elves of Isvinity - from Wyrvun and the realms to behaviors and the processes of worship. Further, however, some may try to spread Isvinity to others who dwell within Fin’hesin, for their worship of foreign gods in Wyrvun’s land is unacceptable, and their spirits shall be held by Wyrvun regardless. Conversions of those outside of Fin’hesin - devotees of the winter season - are also not unheard of. In these capacities of teaching, they are also to provide counsel to those seeking their wisdom, particularly in relation to their moniker - upon whose value they are the authority. In relation to the public, Vigilants also preside over ceremonies and aid in the process of offerings. Outside of public view, they are accorded tasks of their own. One of the primary missions of a Vigilant is to guard and maintain the wayshrines, particularly that whose path they follow. Their attachment to Wyrvun sees them make offerings more than the typical Snow Elf. In regards to the replenishment of their ranks, a Vigilant may also be tasked with overseeing the trials of a novitiate. Lastly, the Vigilants serve as the ever-watchful protectors of Fin’hesin and servants of Wyrvun. In the former task, they scout and guard the lands of Fin’hesin, seeking to purge the region of evil deific creatures, the influences of foreign gods, and the chaotic forces of the void - thus placing Vigilants in opposition to deific and voidal practitioners of magic alike. Further, they engage in divination - a process through which signs are interpreted as messages from Wyrvun. From the weather, they draw broad implications, while from dreams come visions of a more personal scope. The final duties of the Vigilants are Cleansing and Blooding - the latter being a secret, sacred ritual. Though a Vigilant may perform any of these tasks, the different Paths hold primary responsibility for many of them. Path of Birth The primary responsibilities of the Path of Birth are that of charity, purity, pilgrimages, births, comings of age, marriages, and Cleansings. To be a Vigilant upon the Path of Birth is to nurture and treasure life. Vigilants of this strain often perform acts of charity. Further, they pay special attention to the sick, and often the Archvigilant of Birth will ensure offering fire from the Wayshrine of Birth is transferred to the hearths of the ill. Encouragement and guidance for those intending on pilgrimage also falls to Birth, for their Wayshrine is the first step on this path. Vigilants of Birth often preside over the ceremonies of birth, coming of age, and marriages - along with the ritual of Cleansing. Lastly, they are charged with the maintenance and protection of the Wayshrine of Birth. Path of Peace The primary responsibilities of the Path of Peace are that of teaching, spreading Isvinity, keeping knowledge, and counseling. Vigilants of Peace are keen to teach the faithful of Isvinity’s tenets, informing them of religious doctrine, beliefs, how to conduct offerings, and other facts central to the faith. In this capacity, they often serve as counselors. Many faithful take their problems to the Vigilants for consultation, and it is typically Vigilants of Peace that leap at the opportunity to guide. In addition, Vigilants of this path serve as the keepers of the Vigilants’ knowledge - their written works held sacred due to the rarity of ancient writings among the ‘fenn. Lastly, Vigilants of this path seek to prosthelytize. The conversion of settlers upon Fin’hesin is a long-held goal, and some even seek converts among devotees of the winter season within Fin’mirak - far outside of Fin’hesin. Lastly, they are charged with the maintenance and protection of the Wayshrine of Peace. Path of War The primary responsibilities of the Path of War are the physical protection of Fin’hesin, the fighting of monsters and mages, oaths, Stormcalling, and Battlepainting. Vigilants of War are the militant arm of Isvinity. Though this is not exclusive to them, it is their speciality. They seek to root out evil, foreign deities, and voidal influence upon the lands of Fin’hesin. Many wield weapons of thanhium, which obstructs voidal mages. In addition to these duties, they oversee oaths and the ceremonies of Stormcalling and Battlepainting. Lastly, they are charged with the maintenance and protection of the Wayshrine of War. Path of Death The primary responsibilities of the Path of Death are keeping the dead, funerals, divination, and Blooding. Vigilants of Death serve as the most mystical side of Isvinity. Often, they pass their time in meditation upon the dead, whom they are charged to protect within the crypts. They preside over the funeral ceremony and the Blooding ritual. Further, divination falls to the Path of Death, for these Vigilants bridge the link between Fin’ciwn and Fin’cuith - lending them particular insight in interpreting Wyrvun’s signs. Lastly, they are charged with the maintenance and protection of the Wayshrine of Death. Conclave Conclave is the gathering of all Vigilants, held in the crypts before the Wayshrine of Death. It occurs both on a periodic basis and as-needed, called by the Archvigilants and signaled by two blasts from the Voice of Isvin. In Conclave, the Vigilants may cover a number of topics. Changes to the hierarchy are a common one - with introductions given to new Vigilants and new Archvigilants, and the passing of relics and duties from the old to the new. Further, they catch up on recent happenings - past ceremonies and current events among them. Additionally, they plan for such events, planning and assigning Vigilants to attend upcoming ceremonies and festivals. One of their most important tasks in Conclave is to monitor the wellbeing of Wayshrines, Fin’hesin, and the state of the Isvin faith. Perhaps their most conflictive role, however, is the debate of religious doctrine and politics. It is in Conclave that official stances of the Vigilants on proper beliefs and conduct are established. Further, it is in Conclave that the intersection of religion and politics is discussed. While the Vigilants may hold opinions on what should and should not be law, and on what political course their state should pursue, such decisions fall to the prince and his council. The High Vigilant has a place upon this council, and so it is through Conclave that the High Vigilant’s stances and requests upon the council are often determined. Beyond these periodic meetings, and perhaps most importantly, Conclave may be called for crises and emergencies. A corruption of Fin’hesin, war, or an uptick in combative encounters with beasts or mages may warrant a Conclave to chart a course of action. Divination Divination stems from two sources - the weather and dreams. Just as Wyrvun rules of Fin’hesin and the Deep Cold, so can he shape it to make known his will. Manifestations with broad implications occur in the weather. Further, as Aengul of Sleep, he holds influence over dreams - though such meanings are often personal and thus more limited in scope. Weather Divination Shooting stars and meteor showers are thought to be the reflection of a soul returning from Fin’ciwn to Fin’cuith, as the light of the moon plays against the lakes of the land and mirrors the journey into the night sky. The polar light display known as elanah'sul is considered to be the opposite: a stream of souls making the journey from Fin’cuith to Fin’ciwn. Comets are often seen as omens of significant change, acting as a sign of drastic alterations to the status quo. Due to the rarity of these events, sky gazers will not often focus their attention on searching for this rare phenomenon, but rather allow it to be noticed by coincidence. The nature of this change will often be up to interpretation as to whether this change is one to be feared, such as the Cataclysms. The Mali'fenn are often viewed as isolationists, even by Wyrvun himself. Because of this they often find themselves forced into a defensive position within their home. Blizzards are often believed to be an extension of Wyrvun's influence in Fin'hesin, designed to mitigate the strength of the threat. Most likely these threats are mortal in nature, but on occasion it can be interpreted that these blizzards are to drive out insidious foes of the supernatural kind. In contrast to the battering nature of a blizzard, a soft snowfall will often be viewed as a common blessing for the Fennic people. A sign of good faith and the prosperity of things to come is often what is associated with freshly lain blankets of snow. Thundersnow is a rare occurrence where, despite the freezing climate, thunder and lightning still occur. This is seen as unintentional backlash by Wyrvun as he engages in some form of divine conflict - defending Fin’ciwn from divine interlopers. Due to his connection to Fin'hesin, his interactions with other divine beings can spill out, causing phenomena such as thundersnow. Seeing how Wyrvun often uses Fin'hesin as a way to communicate with the Mali'fenn, it stands to reason that he would offer his distaste and anger through it as well. Hail is often a sign of this anger, and with it can predict poor harvests and livestock troubles. While there are many reasons as to why Wyrvun might be angry, it is undebated as to the fact that hail is meant to act as a form of punishment for the Mali'fenn. Sunny skies and warm weather often spell troubling times for Wyrvun as his lack of strength echoes through the warmer weather. When these times occur it can be expected that Wyrvun will be unable to lend any assistance for quite some time, at least not until his strength has returned. A red sky is one of the rarest phenomena to occur in Fin'hesin and often spells troubling times ahead. Most often it is a sign that blood will be spilled in the days to come, but often it is hard to tell if the blood will be Fennic in nature or foreign. A red sky can frequently be associated with a coming battle or a treachery that has occured. Rainbows are a beautiful sight to see in the northern lands, and as such forecast peaceful times to come. This peace can be felt in either the weather, in politics, inside oneself, or even domestically. Sometimes this omen can be for all of the Mali'fenn, or sometimes it is to be interpreted as a sign for a single individual. Similar to hail, Wyrvun can show his pride in his followers' actions by presenting them with a moon halo, a sign of plentiful harvests and good health. The grace of the moon halo will last for many months as the crops reach maturity and harvests begin. Often celebrations and festivals will follow quickly behind a moon halo in order to capitalize on the good will of Wyrvun. Sustained winds blowing in from the north suggest the coming of a harsh winter with much sickness, whereas winds coming from the south indicate a warm and uneventful summer; winds from the east suggest a wet, rainy spring, and winds from the west assure a mild autumn with bountiful harvests. Dream Divination As Wyrvun guards the entrance to eternal slumber it makes sense that he would speak to his chosen people through their dreams, offering guidance for his followers. Due to the nature of dreams, however, his messages can come across jumbled, twisted by the imaginative creativity found within them. Despite this, there are many constants that can be found across all dreams from Wyrvun. These constants hold significant meaning to the Fennic people, which can be judged by a Vigilant in order to interpret the intended message. The Weaver, often seen working on a grand tapestry or draped in a funeral shroud, represents the beginning of a new cycle and the clarity of leaving unnecessary tribulations behind, or that one may soon be faced with an important decision involving great risk. Her appearance may also suggest that by disregarding the repercussions of their actions, a person may soon find themselves in danger. She also serves as a caution that one should be aware of the people around them, as to not be taken advantage of, for something may soon prove too good to be true. The Messenger, depicted by a late loved one or monarch, signifies a need for deeper intuition to see through the dark and unknown paths laid before oneself. He typically represents a vital piece of information that is yet to reveal itself, whether due to uncertainty, deviousness, a misunderstanding, or a truth one cannot admit to themselves. His appearance may also suggest that one is being pulled down by a projection of their fears, dormant insecurities, or the resurfacing of repressed emotions. The White Bear represents the need to turn away from materialism and focus on spiritual growth, and the introspective consideration of one’s own motivations, values, and principles. They tend to appear as a spiritual mentor to guide one’s consciousness and teach them how to find their answers within themselves. The White Bear may also suggest a struggle with one's faith, unwelcome isolation, or that one may be ready to explore an interpersonal reconnection. The Wolves signify one's connection with their dignity, sensuality, fertility, creative expression, and ability to nurture, as well as their security, comfort, and practicality. The lone wolf suggests the birth of new ideas, reaping what one has sown, and the stability needed to manifest and grow; a pack of wolves represents an abundance of strong relationships, love without restraint, and coming pregnancy or births; the direwolf urges that one may need to venture out into nature to reconnect with their personal self after a time of neglect. The Snowy Owl symbolizes that life is in a constant state of change; his appearance suggests a sudden increase in love, resources, or unexpected benefits, as well as breakthroughs in negative situations or the end of a harmful cycle. The owl may also appear during times of great control and stability as a cue that factors outside of one’s control are influencing their situation. The Dragon signifies conscious connections, meaningful relationships, open communication, and raw honesty. When the dragon soars into one’s dreamscape, it suggests that they may be out of sync with the people around them, or that they are ignoring responsibilities which have thrust hard choices upon them. The dragon signifies being at war with oneself, and to rectify this, one must be open and clear about their values and beliefs. They must decide what they stand for and work to unite against those who would challenge their philosophy and morals. The Comet, whether soaring across open sky or in a reflection of a lake, brings with it the revelation that unforeseen danger is coming, out of one’s control and impossible to avoid. It serves as a catalyst for sudden drastic change: upheaval, destruction, and chaos. This coming event will shake a person to their core and affect them spiritually, mentally, and physically. On rare occasions, The Comet may also serve as an indication of spiritual awakening or revelation, but only if one can make a massive transformation before reaching the point that change is the only option. The North Star is generally seen as a positive omen, symbolizing endless possibilities and one’s hope for the future. Those who glimpse this celestial body should be prepared to follow their dreams and aspirations, inspired and hopeful, while being wary of potential red flags. The North Star may also signify the need to open oneself towards the healing of old wounds and neglect. The Sword and The Shield represent justice, fairness, truth, and the law. To see them suggests that one is being called to account for their actions and will be judged accordingly. One may also be met with the pair when they need to make an important choice that has the potential for long-term repercussions; one should be aware of the impact their decisions will have on their well-being and the well-being of others. Similarly, The Sword and Shield may also represent that one is unwilling to take accountability for their actions, and serves as a reminder that the consequences will weigh on their conscience until they acknowledge these faults. Deep Slumber signifies a complete, painful severance between the past and future and a need to release unhealthy attachments. It may also suggest the coming of a painful transformative change or ending of a major phase in life. One who finds themselves facing their own sleeping visage must be ready to close one door to open another, put the past behind them, and be ready to embrace new opportunities. Less commonly, this vision may represent the massive personal transformation that one is going through, and one is urged to embrace this change rather than resisting it, lest they become stuck in changeless limbo. Raging Fires symbolize willpower, determination, and strength, and suggests that now is not the time to be passive in the hope that things will work out in one’s favor. One should take focused action and stick to their course, no matter what challenges come their way. Fire also represents the call for one to be assertive and courageous, bold in their expression and firm in their boundaries. Cleansing Cleansing is a ritual by which the Vigilants seek to purge Fin’hesin of corruption, foreign gods, and voidal chaos. The Vigilants assemble at the Wayshrine of Birth for this task. There, they make offerings, and the Archvigilant of Birth appeals to Wyrvun for the cleansing of their land. Thereafter, the Archvigilant of Birth wields the Breath of Isvin, drawing flames from the offering fire. From this lantern, other vessels are lit, and the Vigilants fan out across Fin’hesin - spreading fire through the use of controlled burns. Through the offerings of Birth, the land is born anew - purged of undesirable influences. These controlled burns have the added benefit of preventing wildfires - a not uncommon occurrence in summertime Fin’hesin, despite the region’s permanent snow. Blooding Blooding is a dark, secret, and dangerous ritual that is periodically performed. Known only to the Vigilants, it is an act of self-sacrifice, and its goal is to imbue Wyrvun with strength. Since Wyrvun’s fall and redemption, he remains weak - recovering among the dead in Fin’ciwn. After his conflict with Iblees, and on account of his distrust of other Aengudaemon, the ritual is done in secret - for it is thought Wyrvun would not wish for rivals to know of his returning strength, lest they grow envious and feel threatened. To perform this act, the Vigilants gather at the Wayshrine of Death, for in his weakness Wyrvun is counted among them. There, they cut their skin and heavily bleed themselves over the offering fire, giving rise to the myriad of scars emblematic of a Vigilant. Through this act, they restore strength and life to Wyrvun. Deific Creatures Among the layfolk and Vigilants alike, there is canonical belief in a number of creatures centered around Isvinity. All of them hold relevance to Wyrvun and Fin’hesin, and are drawn from the spirits of those who were once mortal. Avparir(an) - The Wanderers The Avpariran are also known as the Wanderers, and are wandering spirits. When a Mali’fenn or another of Wyrvun’s faithful dies, they are judged. The worthy pass through Linden’aeth, to slumber forevermore in Fin’hesin. The spirits of those judged unworthy, typically for not upholding the concord, are cast out to wander Fin’cuith for an eternity - never to receive their rest. These are the Avpariran. Among the Snow Elves, a wandering Avparir is believed to bring misfortune and illness. Thus, the Vigilants seek to ward them away. The wards of choice are animal skulls hung from trees, ostensibly to scare the Avpariran away and remind them that they do not belong among the living. Ashes from the Wayshrine of Birth are scattered over these skulls, the ultimate representation of life - that which the Avpariran no longer have. It is thought to repel them, for it gives them grief. Ahnealuir(an) - The Heralds The Ahnealuiran are also known as the Heralds, and they are the special envoys, messengers, and guardians acting on Wyrvun’s behalf. During times of crisis, Wyrvun may awaken a slumbering soul in Fin’ciwn - particularly one suited to the task at-hand. He thus dispatches them, and they pass back through a Linde’aeth. The reflection of this act is thought to be visible in the form of shooting stars and meteor storms. Back upon Fin’cuith, their spirit seeks to reunite with their once mortal body - hence the Snow Elven practice of preservation in ice. Even if a body is completely destroyed, it can be restored, though this process takes precious time. Body and spirit reunited, they present themselves to the Snow Elven people to identify, aid, and guide in the completion of a specific task in order to resolve a crisis. Once done, spirit and body once more separate, and the soul returns to Fin’ciwn and eternal slumber. Diraar(an)’maya - The Remorseful The Diraaran’maya, or the Remorseful, are another form of benevolent spirits. Upon arriving at one of the Linden’aeth, if a spirit is judged not worthy to enter Fin’ciwn but is genuinely remorseful, Wyrvun may act in his capacity as the Aengul of Redemption - and offer them a chance at achieving such. The soul is cast out to Fin’hesin, there to bind to an animal host in a symbiotic relationship. This soul can hop to a new animal at will, though this process takes time. The Remorseful dwell upon the fringes of society, protecting the flora, fauna, and peoples of Fin’hesin against evil and foreign deities. They are forbidden to approach or interact with these people except in extraordinary circumstances. Once their time in Fin’hesin is sufficient, or they have performed a great deed, their soul may finally pass to Fin’ciwn and sleep for eternity, for they have earned their rest. Fihn’adri - The Devourers The Fihn’adri, also known as the Devourers, are an evolution of the Avpariran. In their lengthy, restless wandering of Fin’cuith, they have grown bitter, enraged, and desperate. In an act that takes great time and strength, powered by their rage and hunger, they may bind their spirits to an animal in a parasitic relationship where they hold complete control. Over several days, the animal’s spirit itself is consumed, and after this point the body slowly begins to decompose from the inside-out - a not so obvious process. In the early stages, before decomposition spreads to the exterior, only the buzzing of flies serves as a telltale sign of a Devourer. The Devourers seek to consume all life in the hopes of sating their exhaustion and gaining energy. When the animal body fully decomposes or is hacked to pieces beyond all possible use, the spirit may hop to a new host. To ward against Devourers, the Vigilants create carvings of Isvin Wings, particularly upon the bark of trees. This is done with a steel weapon forged over the fires of the Wayshrine of War - a threat of physical force. To destroy a Devourer, the final blow must be struck with a Luerblade - a steel weapon imbued with ashes from the Wayshrine of Death in its forging process. For this quality, the restless Devourer’s spirit is drawn to the blade, as it seeks the guarantee of rest and comforts provided by Death offerings. It is thus trapped within. It may no longer hop to a new host. Once a spirit is trapped within the Luerblade, the blade may no longer be used, lest one risk freeing the soul. Importantly, such a strike must be the final blow. Unless the mortal form is severely weakened, the spirit will not be seeking to depart from the body. There is a risk in stabbing too early, lest one alert the spirit to the trap awaiting it - allowing it to avoid being drawn into the blade once it departs from the host. In addition to a Luerblade, fire taken from the Wayshrine of Death may coax out the spirit when the host is weakened, but cannot trap it. Turr(an)’lie - The Deceivers Turran’lie, or Deceivers, are another evolution of the Avpariran. Having unfinished business upon Fin’hesin, they will strike in agreement with Iblees, allowing them to possess a body that has not been interred with proper ceremony. They will then seek to finish their often foul, selfish business - with the stipulation that if Iblees so requires, he may reduce them to little more than a drone. They may claim status as a Herald if discovered in order to prevent their own destruction. If their host corpse is destroyed, they may simply seek out and hop to another - though vulnerable corpses are a rarity. The proper ward against a Deceiver is the funeral cloak upon one’s corpse, thus preventing possession. To destroy a Deceiver is much the same as to destroy a Devourer. The final blow must be struck with a Luerblade, with the same stipulations as the use of a Luerblade against a Devourer. Thus, their spirit is drawn to the blade, seeking the resolution associated with Death offerings - and trapped. Likewise, fire taken from the Wayshrine of Death may coax out the spirit when the host is weakened, but cannot trap it. Kathir(an)’igne - The Scorch Kathiran’igne are also known as the Scorch, and are recognized as the most rare and dangerous of the canonically recognized deific creatures. They are spirits of pure fire, covered in thick stone shells. Incredibly large and strong, blaze escapes from cracks in the stone. The Scorch are formed from the spirits of those across Fin’cuith who lost their lives to Wyrvun’s periodic winters, withering away from the cold, hunger, or sickness. In their spite, some of these spirits choose to strike concords with Iblees rather than ascending to the plane of their god. Their rage thus pulls in fire from their surroundings, marking them as an elemental. Unchecked, this fire would spread throughout Fin’hesin in a catastrophic event - melting and scorching Wyrvun’s lands, reducing them to hot ash. However, the moment they enter Fin’hesin, their heat melts the rock and earth around them. Wyrvun binds the very material of Fin’hesin to their fiery forms in order to prevent its apocalyptic spread, giving the Scorch their thick stone shells - arms, legs, torso, and head - though in any number and layout. Their goal is to destroy Fin’hesin and end winter; they seek to usher in eternal summer. There are no known wards against them, nor known ways to destroy or trap these spirits. The destruction of their stone shell risks allowing the fire to spread uncontrollably and threaten Fin’hesin itself. These evil spirits draw strength from fire, siphoning it from nearby sources. From their mouths, eyes, and the cracks in their stone bodies, they may also expel fire. Ceremonies Birth The Ceremony of Birth occurs at the Wayshrine of Birth. There, family and friends present the newborn to a Vigilant. They bring an animal offering. Before it is offered to the flames, the presiding Vigilant paints the newborn in its blood, a reminder that theirs is a people born in blood. Thereafter, the blood is washed off in the neighboring lake - whose waters are held as holy due to the believed presence of a Linde’aeth therein. Thus, the newborn is anointed by Wyrvun, for Wyrvun purifies - much like his purification of the original Snow Elves from their insanity. The newborn is subsequently held to be one of Wyrvun’s own, granted the same privileges as the first Snow Elves upon their Concord with him. Coming of Age A Coming of Age represents the ascension to adulthood, and occurs at the age of thirty. First, the ascendant must forge their own weapon, guided by those more experienced in the process. Thereafter, they are sent on pilgrimage, alone - thrust out into the wilderness. First, they hunt for big game and attend the Wayshrine of Birth, and there they offer an animal in return for a new beginning as an adult. Then, they are to return to the city, offering pinecones before the Wayshrine of Peace. There, they pray for the wisdom and peace of mind necessary for adult life. Afterwards, they are once more thrust into the wilderness, sent to the Wayshrine of War. Offering their blood, they pray for the physicality important to adulthood and its tasks. This completed, they return to the city, offering cloaks and blankets before the Wayshrine of Death. There, they mourn the end of their childhood, and pray towards their eventual, eternal slumber. Oaths Oaths are an individualized ceremony occurring at the Wayshrine of War, and fall into three types. Ivae’fenn oaths are the first, where rising Guardians swear loyalty and service to their prince and people. Allegiance oaths are the second, where members of a bloodline swear loyalty to their archon, and archons swear loyalty to their prince. The last are platonic oaths, sworn between two individuals for any cause. These can be oaths of camaraderie, bargains, or promises. All of these oaths are sworn at the Wayshrine of War, for it is accepted that the breach of an oath will be met with physical punishment. For each one, sanctity is ensured through the oath swearers’ offering of blood - standard, at the Wayshrine of War. Stormcalling Stormcalling is a ceremony held at the Wayshrine of War. Hosted by the Archvigilant of War, prince, and Commander of the Ivae’fenn, it occurs at the commencement of a war. There, soldiers of the Ivae’fenn gather, making their standard offerings of blood. Thereafter, the Archvigilant of War speaks, putting the conflict in religious terms and appealing to Wyrvun for the natural defenses of Fin’hesin - its weather, often in the form of storms and snowfall. The prince and commander will often speak as well. Once this is concluded, the soldiers will gather around and together, they will briefly dip their blades in the offering fire. Having been forged in fires drawn from the Wayshrine of War, it is thought that this will reinvigorate them with their original blessing of strength and power. These fires unite their blades, so that on the battlefield they will be wielded in unison. Often, as this firing is done, they may give a war cry. A common one for Stormcalling sees the Archvigilant of War or the prince call, “Wyrvun’s wings clap”, whereupon the soldiers reply, “Storm and snow follow.” Battlepainting In the hours before a battle is expected to take place, soldiers and vigilants alike gather in the square for the ritual known as ‘Battlepainting’. Ash from the wayshrines is gathered by Vigilants, who fill and mix eleven pots of paint using the ash and various dyes. In order to grant the wearer a certain boon or value, they ask Wyrvun to imbue the ash with his blessings so that they may better defend his lands and people. Only one ashpaint may be worn at a time. Assembled in the square, one by one, the soldiers are called forth to select their ashpaint in sight of divine and descendant. From the Wayshrine of Birth, white grants mercy, gold grants glory, and pink grants hope. A soldier painted with mercy will not sully their blade upon the battlefield by killing the incapacitated or the surrendered. Instead, they will be granted restraint, and shed blood only when necessary. A soldier painted with glory will seek to establish themselves as a formidable warrior through the achievement of a great feat on the battlefield. Lastly, a soldier painted with hope will endeavor to overcome despair, no matter the odds. From War, purple grants strength, green grants dexterity, and brown grants endurance. These physical properties are all necessary upon the battlefield, giving its wielder particular advantages. Those who expect themselves to be in the thickest of the fighting may choose one of these ashpaints. From Peace, blue grants wisdom, orange grants courage, and red grants rage. These qualities of the mind are helpful for battlefield success. Wisdom is particularly important for strategists, such as high level officers, while red is sought by those who fuel their fighting with rage - often delving outside of formations to berserk within the enemy’s ranks. From Death, grey grants sacrifice and black grants resolve. Grey is worn by those who wish for the fortitude to sacrifice themselves should they must, and who therefore wish that should they fall, their slumber will come swiftly. Black is a rare choice, and is often only worn in desperate circumstances. To encounter a band of soldiers with black ashpaint is a terrifying thing, for they seek the resolve to do whatever is necessary no matter how horrible, and to be numb to it. They care not how they sully their blades; their only goal is victory, and in such desperation, the ends justify the means. Their choice having been made, the soldier then chooses another to apply it upon their face. This is a deliberate choice, and such painters are often lovers, family members, or close friends. Sometimes, of their value is represented by a certain Vigilant’s moniker, they will choose that Vigilant. Marriage Within Snow Elven society, marriage is one of the most significant possible events, as it creates an opportunity for bloodlines, families, and the nation as a whole to come together in celebration of life. Though it is not uncommon for surnames to remain unchanged amongst couples originating from different bloodlines, some may choose to adopt their spouse’s instead; the children of such pairing may choose to be part of either line as they please, or drift between both. Like any marriage, a marriage in the faith of Isvinity begins with a proposal. It is commonplace for such a thing to be discussed ahead of time, so that both parties may be prepared. Included in this symbolic process is for both individuals to seek out the leader of their partner’s bloodline or family and ask their approval for such a marriage. If approved, tradition dictates that upon proposal, a couple may plunge into an icy lake together, and bathe, cleansing their bodies and souls in the lakes believed to hold passage to Fin’ciwn. Upon completion of this trial, the couple meets on the shore to exchange their cloaks, though they are to remain unfastened. Symbolically, this is seen as each laying claim to the other, offering their protection, and guaranteeing mutual support. Those that do not pursue the icy plunge together instead skip straight to the draping of cloaks. Before the actual marriage is to take place, a couple must make an offering to Wyrvun so that he might give his blessings unto a marriage, and this takes the form of life itself - as marriage brings about the beginning of new life, so a life ought to be given in return. In the days before their marriage, the couple are to depart civilization together for a hunt. Families and well-wishers typically send them off amid much jubilation, and with naught but each other and the belongings necessary to their survival, the couple engage in a hunt for big game. If successful, a portion of the animal shall be offered to Wyrvun in thanks and in hopes of securing a happy, healthy family, and what is left of the animal will be served at the wedding feast. The hunt itself is a trial to test the couple’s partnership; if they succeed in capturing their prize, and maintain good relations in the process, it proves that they will be capable of weathering whatever storms they encounter in their marriage, for it is outside of society and in such conditions that stakes are high, and patience grows thinnest. Big game, such as stags and bears, are the preferable targets - for they are more capable of adequately supplying a feast and display a great deal of hunting prowess between the couple. Once they return from their hunt, they are welcome with open arms, and their duties are at an end until the ceremony itself. The actual marriage ceremony is typically officiated by a Vigilant of the Birth Path, though any other may substitute, and it takes place at their wayshrine, where friends and families are gathered to spectate. The bride typically wears a nice dress and the groom furs, though if either is in the Ivae’fenn, they may instead wear their full armor and uniform. The couple is to walk down the aisle side by side, holding their offering: the heart of their hunted animal. Then, the Vigilant smears blood from the heart upon their thumb and imprints upon each of the couple’s foreheads. The partners follow suit, smearing a single line of blood upon both of their partner’s cheeks, to ensure fertility and culminate the trial of the hunt. The Vigilant acts on behalf of Wyrvun, and the partners act on their own behalf, as this ceremony symbolizes the shared blood that the couple is cementing beneath Wyrvun’s guidance. Afterwards, the heart is placed in the offering fire. Then, it is customary for the bride and groom to exchange weapons; whether a relic, a personal weapon being traded, or a new weapon, this gift is meant to hold some sort of special meaning to an individual’s partner, as it symbolises the protection that the couple will accord one another. A custom set of vows are then exchanged, during which special pins are produced, which they use to fasten the cloak of their partner, finalizing the act. Thereafter, the Vigilant may pronounce the couple married, they may kiss, and all attendees are thus ushered off to the feast and festivities. While marriage is seen as a crossing of two souls, marriages can also be ended for a number of reasons. The Archvigilant of Birth may approve of annulment in cases of infidelity, abandonment, and banishment - though these are rare, as marriage is seen as a binding that lasts not only for life, but for the afterlife, as husband and wife may achieve eternal slumber side by side in Fin’ciwn. Funeral Funerals are both a celebration of the life of the deceased and a way for family and friends to grieve for their lost loved ones. They involve preparation of the body beforehand, a time for family to pay respects to the deceased, and the entombment of Mali’fenn’s corpse. Any Mali’fenn who were members of the Ivae’fenn and died in battle must be, when possible, retrieved with their armor and their main weapons to be entombed with them. After the fight, the bodies of each fallen warrior are hoisted upon their shields and carried to the square in a procession. There, upon their shields, they are placed - wounds visible to all. They remain in this manner for a night, shielded from decay by the cold, guarded by several Ivae’fenn or Vigilants. Come morning, the body is taken to the crypts. The process begins with the preparation of the body. The deceased will be cleaned before entombment, for preservation, and will then be made presentable, with bones being set and visible injuries being covered as well as possible. Once that is done, the casket will be filled with spices native to the tundra. Some organs may be removed, depending on when the burial is planned. The day of the funeral will begin with a private visitation for the family of the deceased. The family will bring a warm, specially knit cloak to place the body within - a representation of comfort for their eternal slumber. There will be an airing of grievances where any last issues will be voiced so that once entombed, the deceased may rest peacefully in the realm of eternal slumber. The family will also bring any prized personal possessions of the deceased; these will be displayed at the public memorial, and then given out to the family based on the wishes of the deceased. The process of burial will start at the Wayshrine of Death, where a public memorial will be held. In the public memorial, friends and family will be given the opportunity to speak and tell stories about the deceased, burn offerings of cloaks and blankets, and deliver a final eulogy. Then, the body will be brought to the crypts to be entombed. The body is placed in the tomb in their full armor and their family’s cloak, grasping their weapon of choice, and then their tomb is sealed - the casket filled with water and left to freeze for preservation. Thereafter, the mournful tone of the Voice of Isvin sounds once, before falling silent - heralding to Fin’ciwn the arrival of a new spirit. It is common for families to leave offerings to Wyrvun at the Wayshrine of Death on the anniversaries of their loved one’s passing. Festivals The four festivals central to the Snow Elves are the Equinox of Birth, Solstice of Peace, Equinox of War, and Solstice of Death. They are held, respectively, on the Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall Equinox, and Winter Solstice. Each of these holidays embodies the aspects of a wayshrine, and thus has religious undertones. Secondary festivals, held periodically, include Antecedents Day and Reunification Day. Equinox of Birth The Equinox of Birth is held on the Spring Equinox, at the height of that season. During Spring, life returns to the land, and much is born anew. During this festival, Snow Elves welcome back the sun and usher in a new cycle. Spouses seek fertility, and the unwed seek partners. The main feature of this festival is a dance, providing the unmatched an opportunity to enter relationships. There, the Snow Elves consume drinks laced with bitter herbs, meant to wake the body after the hardships of winter. Further, during this festival, Snow Elves clean their settlements and houses, whilst people in costume roam the streets and put on skits, songs, and pranks; a fun pastime is to guess who is who. Solstice of Peace The Solstice of Peace is held on the Summer Solstice, at the height of summer. It is a festival of revelry; a rare day when Snow Elves may content themselves with comfort and enjoyment. Drinking is the central feature of this celebration, often done before hearths and in taverns. At night, bonfires are lit, around which the ‘fenn engage in storytelling, singing, jumping over the fire, and fire dancing. Fires are lit in shapes along the mountains, both as a form of celebration and to serve as controlled burns - staving off wildfires. Equinox of War The Equinox of War is held on the Fall Equinox, at that season’s height. It is a festival of martial prowess that occurs before the deep freeze of winter. It is a time of hunts, offerings, and sharing. The central features of this festival are a melee tournament and a hunt - an opportunity for ambitious warriors to prove themselves. The melee’s victory is given the title of Wyrvun’s Champion. For the hunt, the Snow Elves will fan out across the land, tracking and killing most that fall in their path. To bring home many pelts is a matter of prestige. Often, the one to bring home the most is heralded as Ihnsil’fenn - the Spear of the Snow Elves. Once the hunt is completed, all return home. Together, they will prepare the animals and hold a feast; their gathered food, it is hoped, will last them through much of the winter. For the Snow Elves, this is a time to share with neighbors, remember times of hardship throughout their long history of warfare, and count their blessings. Solstice of Death The Solstice of Death is held on the Winter Solstice, at the height of winter. It is a solemn festival of mourning, and so it is only appropriate that it is held upon the darkest of days, yet at the height of Wyrvun’s power on Fin’cuith. On this day, the worlds of Fin’ciwn and Fin’cuith are at their closest. For Snow Elves, it is an opportunity to reflect on their lost - ancestors, relatives, friends, and comrades. The Cataclysms in particular are remembered, for they were a trauma upon the collective Mali’fenn psyche. Tombs are visited and cleaned, and offerings are made at the Wayshrine of Death. Throughout the day, talking is not permitted in the settlement except in emergencies, and so all is held quiet. This silence is only broken by the commencement of a communal feast, whereupon Snow Elves eulogize and memorialize their dead. Antecedents Day Antecedents Day is a periodic festival held in celebration of the bloodlines. It is a time for families to show reverence for their lineage and hold pride in their bloodlines, demonstrated by the prominent wearing and display of their bloodline’s colors. During this time, they leave offerings for their ancestors, as well as clean their tombs. Flying kites and colored lanterns are flown, both to represent the polar lights of souls traveling to Fin’ciwn, and as another opportunity to display bloodline colors. The prominent feature of this festival is the Bloodline Games - a series of diverse competitions whereby the bloodlines strive to be crowned victorious over each other. Reunification Day Reunification Day is a periodic festival held in honor of the prince and Ivae’fenn, celebrating the many reunifications of the Snow Elven people under the former’s guidance and the latter’s protection. Its most prominent features are speeches, drinking, and storytelling - particularly as relates to battles. Martial displays are also frequent. It is a time of national pride in celebration of the Snow Elven people and their persistent determination to carve out a home for Wyrvun’s Chosen. Government and Politics Governance Upon first glance within the political happenings of the Mali’fenn, one immediately notices the presence of absolutes. An absolute monarchy over unyielding laws and governance, the people an iron shield in their resilience and discipline. However, the inner workings of this reveals a more lenient functioning, a range of political views conflicting for prominence within council and the mind of the prince, and the struggle for power of those whose ideologies can be loudest over the din of policymaking. Within Fennic governance, the prince holds absolute authority. The throne’s succession is based upon the same principles as that of archons; the eldest child of the prince inherits the throne, regardless of gender, unless the prince first designates another of their children as the heir. In practice, however, this absolutism is tempered. To rule a people by oneself is an impossible task, and so the prince surrounds themself with a council. Often called the Grand Council, or in times of upheaval the Remnant Council, duties and roles of the prince are delegated to this body. In return, they are given a say in the process of governance. While the prince may overrule them, it is often an unwise course to pursue. These positions, appointed on the basis of merit, are hotly contested by the bloodlines - who seek an opportunity to influence Fennic policy. Common posts include Grand Chancellor, Commander of the Ivae’fenn, High Vigilant, High Steward, and High Exchequer. These roles are often padded by the addition of advisors, present upon the council primarily on account of wisdom and experience. This process ensures important issues and functions most relevant to the major aspects of Fennic daily life and culture are not neglected or forgotten, lifting from the prince the risk of making his decisions with unclear depictions of the state of the people these decisions may affect most. Politics and Ideologies There are two major positions that determine political alignment within Fenn, framed by the Cataclysms. As a result of these traumatic events, political positions are often entrenched, to be passed down through the generations. These political standings are most visible within the bloodlines, each of which traditionally gravitates toward a certain ideology dependent upon their experience within the Cataclysms and their role within Fennic society. These alignments are not absolute, however, with many of those in bloodlines holding contrary political opinions to their elders. Further, even ideologues are capable of pragmatism, and may endorse a policy in opposition to their own ideals when it is considered necessary. The first question of politics relates to one’s opinion on the other Elves. The other children of Malin - High Elves, Wood Elves, and Dark Elves - were complicit in many of the Cataclysms, and committed atrocities that echo through the ages. Regardless, relations have grown static throughout the course of the Hegemonic Era, and many Snow Elves still consider themselves to be children of Malin - and thus, belong to the realms of the Elves. The stances on this question range from distrust and hostility, to indifference, to friendliness and affinity. The second question of politics relates to whether or not one thinks the Snow Elven state should be politically involved in the affairs of the Elven states, or uninvolved. To be involved often entails warfare, either against the other Elves or on their behalf, while no involvement dictates a lack of interest in Elven political affairs. Very few suggest that the Snow Elven state involves itself in the affairs of non-Elves unless absolutely necessary. Thus, the stances on this question range from intervention to isolation. The intersection of these questions results in six unique political ideologies. The first political ideology is Nativism, held by Mali’fenn who distrust and despise the other Elves, but who hold isolationist stances. These Snow Elves look back to the Cataclysms and their history of warfare with the other Elves and conclude that the Snow Elves should have nothing to do with their Elven kin. Often, they oppose the assimilation of other Elves into the Snow Elven state. The Atmorice Bloodline is known to gravitate towards this ideology. The second political ideology is Nationalism, held by Snow Elves who distrust and despite the other Elves, and who hold interventionist stances. These Snow Elves look back to the Cataclysms and their history of warfare with the other Elves and conclude that the Snow Elves should seek vengeance upon their Elven kin, often in the form of military hostilities. They, too, often oppose the assimilation of other Elves into the Snow Elven state. The Stolt’aroloth and Belechirr Bloodlines are known to gravitate towards this ideology. The third political ideology is Imperialism, or Paternalism, held by Snow Elves who are friendlier toward the other Elves and who hold interventionist stances. These Snow Elves consider themselves part of the broader Elven people. They look upon the other Elves as misguided, and seek intervention against them to institute reforms. These reforms would see the other children of Malin granted righteous leadership, and the martial weaknesses of these states mended through Snow Elven guidance. They often seek this through fealty. The Drakon Bloodline is known to gravitate towards this ideology. The fourth political ideology is Malinism, held by Snow Elves who are friendlier toward the other Elves and who hold isolationist stances. These Snow Elves consider themselves part of the broader Elven people, but aspire to peace and cooperation above all else. They do not wish to see Fennic lives given in pursuit of harming or aiding the other children of Malin. The Tathvir Bloodline is known to gravitate towards this ideology. The fifth political ideology is Priorism, held by Snow Elves who are indifferent to their Elven cousins and who embrace political isolation. These Snow Elves are neither friendly nor hostile towards the other Elves - they care little for them, and want little to do with them. They seek the focus of the state to be purely upon the Snow Elven princedom. The Sylric and Araaloq Bloodlines are known to gravitate towards this ideology. The sixth and final political ideology is Activism, held by Snow Elves who are indifferent to their Elven cousins and who accept political intervention in their affairs. These Snow Elves are neither friendly nor hostile towards the other Elves, but favor active political and military involvement in the affairs of the Elven realm nonetheless, largely just to protect Fennic interests. The Annungilben Bloodline is known to gravitate towards this ideology. Military Training Martial training among the Snow Elves starts young and independently, often directed by the parents of a child, or a mentor figure. The young are accorded a short childhood, for this brutal training often begins the moment they are able to lift a sword. Training begins with the spear and shield, for they are the most standard weapons. Most adult Mali’fenn are thus capable wielders of these weapons. From there, a trainee works up to other weapons as desired. For these independent lessons, the focus is upon independent skill, for formation fighting is to be instilled only in the Ivae’fenn. Ambitious parents may also teach their children tactics and strategy, or hire a tutor to do so, if they hold hopes for their offspring to obtain the career of an officer in the Ivae’fenn. The first aspect of training focuses upon form. However, the best way to learn a weapon is through its actual use. Thus, once basic form has been taught, sparring occurs. The key to mastering a weapon is to accept that one is always learning, and so even once childhood and Ivae’fenn training are finished, sparring remains a common social practice. This allows soldiers and civilians alike to remain fit and trained, their abilities ever-evolving. Beyond the training aspect, sparring has social implications. It is common to witness spars between both friends and rivals in the streets, and to the victor goes the social spoils. To be a proficient fighter is a socially desirable trait, and so one of the best ways to earn prestige in Snow Elven society is to make a name for oneself as a victorious sparrer.. It is in this manner that grudges are often settled. That is not to say, however, that sparring is some flippant thing. Sparring is brutal. No matter the purpose, it is conducted with dulled steel blades, and the fight carries on until one of the combatants either yields or is incapacitated. The former is often shameful, and so many fights end in the latter. Thus, serious injuries tend to spawn from sparring. The Ivae’fenn The Ivae’fenn is the Snow Elven military. From Anthos to Almaris, it has a lengthy, centuries-long history of fighting in some of the descendant realm’s bloodiest wars and battles. Across the years, it has garnered a fearsome reputation, particularly among the Elves. Service in the Ivae’fenn is more widespread than among any other standing army. Many Snow Elves will actively serve for their entire lives, while others will engage in active service for a time, only to enter into periods as a reservist. Nonetheless, the Ivae’fenn enjoys the participation of a significant proportion of the adult population, male and female. As a result, conscription is a rare policy, reserved only for the utmost emergencies. Initiates in the Ivae’fenn are subjected to rigorous training, focusing upon discipline, individual fighting, and formation fighting. Thereafter, they ascend to the rank of Guardian, as full-fledged soldiers of the Ivae’fenn in cloaks of blue. Even then, however, training continues. The next historical rank is the Vanguard, denoted by cloaks of green, and these soldiers represent the experienced among the enlisted. After Vanguards are the Valkyrim, a special rank denoted by cloaks of purple. Their status coveted, they serve as royal guards. Wardens, dressed in cloaks of black, are the lowest rank of officer. They are enforcers of discipline, trainers, and tacticians - often leading small formations into battle. Beyond the Wardens are historically the Sentinels, cloaked in gold. As the highest rank of officer, they serve as tacticians and strategists, leading the Ivae’fenn on and off the field. Last is the Commander and Prince. Both typically wear white, though the latter may opt for purple if they are an oathed Valkyr. Taken together, when the Ivae’fenn fight, it is primarily as heavy infantry. They march and give battle in dense formations of spears and shields, supplemented by archers and heavy cavalry. The Valkyrim With sharpened mind and unmatched limb, My life I pledge in battle grim. Let prince and Wyrvun hear my hymn, Beware - here come the Valkyrim! To be a Valkyr is among the highest aspirations in Snow Elven society. These soldiers are carefully selected from the ranks of the Ivae’fenn on the basis of supreme discipline and martial ability. They are the best fighters of the Snow Elves. It is common for soldiers to pass up careers as an officer for an opportunity to join the ranks of the Valkyrim. These soldiers wear cloaks of purple. Whilst standard battle-dress sees the rest of the Ivae’fenn don helms, the Valkyrim typically opt for purple veils, shielding the face beneath the eyes. This allows them better visibility. The veil, or bandana, was introduced to the Tundraks during the many interregnums of the Snow Elves, where their people were scattered to the winds. During these times, many Tundraks took up service with mercenary companies, where the bandana was prized as a symbol of martial prowess by mercenaries and bandits. Thus, it was adopted by the Valkyrim. Together, the Valkyrim serve as royal guards. Their primary responsibility is to the prince, and thus on occasions where the prince is on the battlefield, it is only from him that they accept their orders. As the prince’s personal armed retinue, they spend much time with him, and are counted among his closest friends. Often, the prince will be a Valkyr himself, if before his ascension he has proven himself worthy of the coveted title. As a result of their reputation, the Valkyrim may also be tasked with some of the Ivae’fenn’s most difficult feats, including high value raids and flanking operations upon the battlefield. Strategy and Tactics Among the Ivae’fenn, most soldiers in a given battle serve as heavy infantry, fighting in dense formations of spear and shield. Behind them are positioned the archers, often in equally heavy armor, whilst heavy cavalry shield their flanks - wielding lances. The resulting structure is dense - and so on the defensive, it often holds a static formation, repositioning cavalry and reinforcements as seen fit. On the offensive, this structure sweeps across the battlefield. Should a formation break, typically through the incurment of too many losses to hold it together, spears are replaced with personal weapons. Upon raids and in loose skirmishing, this is also often the case; a soldier of the Ivae’fenn is prepared for both formation fighting and loose, individual combat. Swords, glaives, axes, and warhammers cut through the battlefield once the space has been created for their use. To dictate strategy, warhorns and drums are used, signalling orders throughout the ranks of the Ivae’fenn. This is often supplemented by shrill whistles, intended to intimidate the enemy. Strategically, retreat for the Snow Elves is a difficult feat, for most of their soldiers are laden down with heavy armor. Further, they are a stubborn people, and so it is often not in their will. Across many a battlefield, Snow Elven formations have held the line even as their allies have melted away. This has led to either instances of mass death, or slow, messy withdrawals as lumbering formations give ground. The Cyanic Creed and Honorifics The Cyanic Creed In din of battle, in peace of glade, No act unjust shall sully my blade. Against civilian and surrendered, and those low-laid, Forevermore my hand is stayed. The Cyanic Creed is the basis for honor among Snow Elven soldiers, and dictates a code of conduct. The Mali’fenn have very specific ideas on what the proper conduct of warfare should look like. The Cyanic Creed bars the use of magic upon the battlefield, for magic drawn from foreign deities is sacrilege, and that which is drawn from the void corrupts. Further, the creed dictates that civilians are not to be harmed, with exceptions permitted for government officials and self defense. Those who have surrendered upon the battlefield are not to be harmed either, unless previous crimes of theirs warrant punishment. Should it not prove an inconvenience, soldiers are also instructed to aid the sick, aid the wounded, and aid civilians in need. Respect is to be accorded to those who have fought well and with honor. Further, no Snow Elf is to be left undefended, and soldiers are to strictly follow orders. They are to hold their ground at all costs unless ordered otherwise. These are the tenets of the Cyanic Creed. It is not law, however, and merely serves as an unofficial guide to the principles of honor among the Mali’fenn. Honorifics Honorifics are recognitions granted to soldiers of the Ivae’fenn for great feats and desirable qualities, and are represented upon uniforms in the form of a small, colored piece of cloth wrapped around the left arm. The blue armband represents Loyalty, and is awarded to those whose participation in the Ivae’fenn is worthy of admiration. The gold armband represents Valor, and is awarded to those who successfully perform risky feats during battle. The red armband represents Service, and is granted to those who sustain a grievous wound in the service of the Ivae’fenn. The coveted purple armband represents Prowess, and is awarded to one who manages to vanquish an impressive number of enemies in a single engagement. The final armband, black, is posthumous; it represents Sacrifice, and is awarded to the families of those who give their lives in battle for the Ivae’fenn. Clothing The attire of any Mali’fenn is important, representing both their personal self and their role in society. Some take greater care in their attire than others, with varying degrees of details and styles intended to be an outward representation of themselves. The choices in fashion help differentiate the people of Fenn from their other elven cousins, giving them a more recognizable identity. Most commonly worn among the Mali’fenn is usually clothing designed to keep them warm in the colder climates of their settled homeland. Thick velvets, wools, or weighted silks comprise the initial garment, whilst additional vests or pants of leather or animal hide are added for extra layering. Elongated sleeves are also present in most Mali’fenn attire, usually quilted in order to insulate heat. There is little difference between casual and formal attire, the only obvious ones being added details such as embroidery or ornate accessories. Fur is of immense value to the people of Fenn, often sewn as the lining of casual clothing, heavy armor, or fashioned into immense capes or cloaks. A variety of animal furs are used, including rabbit, squirrel, arctic fox, wolf, and the rare polar bear. The finer the acquired fur, the more prestigious one will present themselves to the rest of the Mali’fenn - for in a martial society, such hunting prowess represents social desirability. Armor is equally-important to the culture of the Mali’fenn, being symbolic of their inherent warrior’s spirit and the duties that go along with that. Some wear iron plate as commonly as one might wear a simple doublet or jerkin, whilst others may wear a simple chain breastplate or braces upon their arms and legs. Ornate helms, decorated in the styles of an animal or deity, are seen as a point of distinction for certain dedicated warriors. For the women of Fenn, attire is more subdued when compared to the fashion of the Mali’aheral or an Orenian lady, but still quite detailed. Long skirts and bell-sleeves are worn for court functions and private affairs, whilst tight-fitted coats and fur capes are more commonly seen when venturing beyond the walls of the homeland. Jewelry is also seen upon the ladies of Fenn, often made of wrought-iron or silver and affixed with precious gemstones mined from the caves beneath the city itself. Vigilants, or the clergymen of Wyvrun, are quite distinct with their fur cloaks and scaled mail pauldrons. However, their most-telling feature would be their ornamental draconic horns, worn atop the head and reminiscent of a wyvern. Hairstyles among the Mali’fenn vary depending on their occupation, though most commonly it is worn either close-cropped or long down the back. Both men and women will sometimes tie their tresses in intricate braids, often signifying personal triumph or martial victories. Circlets of steel or silver will be worn on occasion, resting atop the brow and kept simple in appearance. Language Dialect Since ancient times the Snow Elves of the eternal-winter lands have isolated themselves from the other Elven races; it is for this reason that an oddity in their language would occur in their self-imposed isolation. Similarly to other Elven-kin, the Fennic people use the generic-form of the Elven language, yet over countless generations this has shifted from the truth. In a period of their history only known to a few literary-collectors and historians, a renaissance within their literature took place, to which birthed a unique dialect of Elven, due in part to the large increase of published literature. This dialect would be a staple of the icy Princedom for many generations, never to be adopted outside of Fennic lands, due (in part) to the intricacies found within the grammar. Over the many hundreds of years the Fennic people have eased their own isolation, to a point where the Princedom had exposed itself to visitors from many other races, cultures and languages, making the treacherous walk to the capital-city and slowly mingling with the local-Fennic inhabitants. During this period of their history the once-unique deviation of Elven would slowly recede and the generic-form of Elven would once again resurface as their one and only form of language. Even though the Snow Elves return to the use of the formal-elven language, many small remnants of their historical dialect remain in various ways, from the minute differences in pronunciation of common-Elven words & phrases, to even whole words exclusive to Fennic Elven society that remain as monuments to their odd literacy history. Perhaps most visible among these quirks is the use of compound words, where multiple roots are strung together with apostrophes. Phrases and Words Ito nae elahern'isvin - To you, Isvin's blessing. (A greeting) Ito nae elannil'isvin - To you, Isvin's guidance. (A farewell) Chul o’tilru - To serve is a must Fenne-sae - spreading of ice/icefall Talifenn - snow Fen'ciwn / Isvin - Wyrvun's own divine realm of eternal winter Fin'cuith - The mortal realm Fin'hesin - The lands of eternal winter upon Fin'cuith Fin'mirak - The other lands upon Fin'cuith Warcries and Sayings Caller: "Wyrvun's wings clap!" Response(s): "Snow and storm follows!"; "Bring the storm!" Wyrvun il'kaean ito - Wyrvun is with us Wyrvun liewynh y'kaean - Wyrvun smiles upon us Ceru'rost myumiererih - Bring the storm Uell ito kaean'leh llythsaen - This battle is the last Uell ito nae'leh llythsaen - This battle is eternal Kaean ciwndion'ito omentereyae - May we meet in the long slumber Food In the history of the Mali’fenn, food and cuisine have always been at the heart of their domestic culture. The feast hall is a place of great comradery; the forests, a fine opportunity for elders and youth alike to bond. In particular, the importance of understanding both food gathering and preparation is the key to unlocking the central gathering point for the people of Fenn: the dinner table. Food Gathering In Fenn, there are three primary ways of obtaining sustenance for the populace: Akal’orrar, or hunting; Nor’sae’mira, or farming colonies; and Fenn’lingwe, or ice fishing. These gathering techniques bring in vast amounts of meat & vegetables that can feed the whole nation for months at a time, almost the entirety of their diet being comprised of what is yielded by hunters, farmers, gatherers, and fishermen. Akal’orrar - Hunting Akal’orrar, or simply hunting, is not only a means of catching animals for feasts and meals, but also serves as a common outlet for Mali’fenn to show martial prowess and gain prestige among their own peers. These hunts often consist of two or three individuals in order to acquire a greater number of prizes. Any animals that the hunting party may encounter are not often left unslain. Though these Akal’orrar led to a lack of animals in the region, smaller fauna and abundant boreal and wasteland flora often draw in hungry creatures over a short span of time to replenish the area. The tools and skills often used in an Akal’orrar consist of spears, bows, tracking, and overall survival. Many ‘fenn use these learned feats not only to gather potential food, but to also showcase their strengths in front of their superiors and peers. The success of an individual during an Akal’orrar is often determined by both the quality of one’s kills and the quantity they secure during the hunt. The animal meats acquired by these hunters make up the largest portion of a Mali’fenn’s diet, the variety consisting primarily of caribou, elk, rabbit, wild boar, and the rarer bear. These Akal’orrar often end in celebratory feasts or familial dinners to boast about their prowess and dine upon their triumphant catches. Nor’sae’mira - Farming Colonies Nor’sae’mira, or farming colonies, are an invention of the Mali’fenn that allows for crop farming despite the bitter permafrost that often envelops their homeland. Due to the low temperatures and ice of Fenn, there are only two ideal locations for these colonies to thrive: above an underground hot spring or hosted in a foreign land that has a more favorable climate. The former is preferred, whilst the latter is only desired when no hot spring can be located beneath the ground. The thermal heat provided by these earthen waters allows for richer soil and provides the heat required to allow the crops to prosper. The vegetables chosen are often more suited to grow in colder climates, the most common being potatoes. Others would include wheat, carrots, pumpkins, and other amenable vegetation. Of the types of food gathering found amongst the Mali’fenn, Nor’sae’mira is the least popular and effective due to a lack of skilled farmers. Regardless, their yields are still beneficial and essential to the Snow Elven diet. Fenn’lingwe - Ice Fishing Fenn’lingwe, or ice fishing, is a form of gathering that many in Fenn consider closer to an art than a manner of food collection. The basic idea is that one casts a line through a cut hole in a frozen river or lake to catch the fish that swim beneath the surface. Due to the surrounding climate, it is easy for a fisherman to simply settle what they catch freely upon the ice beside them or in a bucket. Fenn’lingwe does not go without danger, however, with both seals and bears being attracted to the scent of the fish. In some cases, bears especially may attempt to assault unaware fishermen. An additional danger of ice fishing is falling through thin ice, the temperature just below is enough to kill a Mali’fenn in minutes. For this reason, fisherfolk carry with them long wooden prodding sticks, to test whether or not the ice has solidified or not before stepping upon it. Alongside hunting, Fenn’lingwe is considered the most consistent and reliable way of acquiring food among the people of Fenn. Cuisine Any slain animals or captured fish are often brought back to Fenn following an Akal’orrar or Fenn’lingwe, with different parts from each being separated into necessary piles by the hunters. Ideally, they save things such as bones and fur to be used for other things like tools or clothing. Most meat and fish will be packed and kept frozen in a storehouse for future use. The preparation of meals is often quite intricate. The handling of meat or fish is paramount, usually serving as the main course for any gathering or feast. These, along with vegetables, are always washed of any dirt or unwanted substances before the cooking process is started. In some cases, to preserve the flavor, meat is cooked within the skin or hide of the animal itself, cut free following its time in a stone oven or over a rotisserie. Whilst the main course is being prepared, be it meat or otherwise, the vegetables are often diced and left to steam in a boiling pot of water with perhaps a pinch or two of salt. They’re then added as sides to the main course, left with hardly any added flavoring as to keep focus upon the seasoned meat. Dough is often used to encase sliced meat and vegetables, often culminating in mince-meat pies or dumplings. If meat is served whilst enclosed in such a pastry, it is often served with a jam or sauce composed of wild berries collected in the surrounding area. Desserts among the Mali’fenn are often preferred to have a dulled-sweet flavor, with very little added sugar or sweetness. A common ingredient would be almonds, which can be mixed with light amounts of cane sugar, cream, and rosewater to create a pudding. Other dishes might include pumpkin pie and dried fruit mixed with different local berries. Beverages among the Mali’fenn are almost as important as any meals. For grand feasts, heated meads and ciders are typically served, whilst goat’s milk is often used to sooth wounded soldiers and ailing citizens. It is also not unheard of for ‘fenn to carry with them a small canteen or flask, filled to the brim with a strongly-brewed liquor or brandy to heat themselves up on a long trek or venture outside in the colder climate. Architecture Hegemonic Era The Snow Elven people have an ancient connection with the structures and defenses they’ve made throughout their monolithic history. Much of their time was spent thwarting war from their kin, and the largest contributor to that goal was the series of masterfully-built defensive structures, which were capable of ruining the morale of any hearty-attacker at the mere sight of their majesty. Accomplishing this was a long and difficult feat, through countless-generations of the very best architects that the Princedom could produce. Equally as important was acquiring sufficient supply of the very best materials; with these two factors in play, an insurmountable role was played by the architectural feats that followed. Genius design coupled perfectly with stronger materials, which now meant Snow Elven towers were larger and taller than any other, allowing defenders to see enemy and allied signals long before any attacker neared their outer defences. With those stronger materials paving the way, it now became feasible to produce wider towers with larger siege weaponry mounted, always ready to bear down upon those who would attempt besieging the Fennic fortifications. It was not only the towers that benefited from these innovations. Mixing a series of materials together and using it in construction brought stronger walls for defense while also cutting time and cost for construction. With so many possible enemies, it became natural for the Fennic people to build against the tide of attackers, and so more and more defenses would be propped up and worked into even civilian designs, culminating in fortress-cities sprouting up and becoming a staple of the Snow Elven existence for much of their history. Were these accomplishments not enough, the Fennic people would often bring many aesthetical choices into their designs, hoping to appease their god. They furthered the height of their achievements with defenses that were not only some of the strongest and most effective at the time, but also visually appealing. Flowing designs of whites and blues littered the sides of their architectural accomplishments, excessively so in some cases. Many buildings were propped up by marble columns. Regression and Simplification With war constant, the grand architectural minds that carried their kin forth would slowly die out as conflict after conflict would call forth more soldiers, including those of civilian industry. Over time both material technology and design-philosophy would regress with the gradual loss of their most experienced and ingenious architects, bringing the Mali’fenn race to its current state. Were it not for the complete destruction of their Arcasian capital city of Tahu’lareh, perhaps the knowledge contained within the books of the Grand Fennic Library would have substituted for the loss of so many skilled workers. Yet even still, at such a loss, the Fennic people worked tirelessly to produce their current resurgence of architecture; though only a fraction of their once intricate techniques and design, their feats remain impressive nonetheless. The differences from the past are quite noticeable; large towers no longer scatter across the Fennic defenses, and instead more emphasis is placed on the walls - keeping the enemy at bay in tandem with acts of force-projection and the hope of counter-attacking foes with the military, both cavalry and their heavy infantry doctrine usually prevailing. As modern defenses became less complicated, so did the materials themselves. Rather than needing the strongest materials in vast quantities while incurring large financial cost, the Snow Elves would factor in much more wood and stone, reinforced with other minor materials. Fennic housing and governmental buildings have met the same treatment as well. Rather than marble and high-quality stone, the buildings use much more basic woods and stones sourced locally, similar to the walled defenses. The town buildings became less uniform over time, instead now working the natural environment into desig. Gone are the centuries of perfectly lined houses with high standards; now the homes of the Snow Elves would dot the landscape, more akin to a large village than a bustling societal complex. Comparing designs of old to the new settlements of Almaris, one would most definitely notice a great many differences in philosophy and design; buildings now work alongside their environment, rarely disturbing the natural setting, even in some cases burrowed into the land itself. Snow Elven homes now also rarely contain more than one or two floors, yet commonly stand quite long and tall in comparison. Many traditional architectural aspects remain from the past either out of necessity or through cultural affinity, as structures would almost exclusively use many cold colours with the single exception being the wood accents and structural supports. Chimneys serve as a technological mandate in providing warmth to the very hearts of Fennic homes, supplemented by the pumping of warm groundwater through the stone walls of homes and buildings. Literature and Folklore Due to the numerous cataclysms the Fennic population has faced over the centuries, maintaining a consistent library detailing written history has been a difficult task. As a result, many Mali‘fenn opt to pass on stories of history through word of mouth. Whilst some of these oral histories largely hold true and accurately detail chronicles of wars, battles, and individuals, others have been warped by the passage of time. As years go by and generations rise and fall, these oral tales slowly alter and evolve, being twisted from the once historical accounts. This is most often the origin for Mali’fenn folklore, existing as a twisted view of reality where nightmarish creatures and outlandish heroes are frequent. While the validity of these tales is questionable at best, most of the written works that could correct them have been lost to one of the many cataclysms, thus leading to widespread belief in these tales and the values they so often uphold. From the mouths of Quenters - those storytelling and singing entertainers among the Snow Elves - histories and folklores are disseminated among the populace. The folktales themselves almost entirely take place within Fin'hesin, and are often used to explain natural phenomena, teach lessons to children, and urge listeners to aspire towards certain goals and values. The creatures within these stories frequently range from fantastical horrors of the imagination; to deific creatures depicted in religious works; to well known, common monsters. The lessons that are intended to be shared will often be representative of the core values of the Mali'fenn, as well as warnings meant to caution young children. While the range of stories told is vast and ever-changing, one of the most consistent points that will always persist is the oral method in their retelling and their constantly evolving nature. Art, Music, & Recreation Art The art of the ‘fenn has many artifacts that serve both utilitarian and symbolic functions, and their intricate ornamental patterns can be difficult to decipher. Highly stylized patterns swirl around and into one another, making it impossible to trace a single shape through one end to the other - if there are end points at all. Imagery was developed to convey concepts about social relationships, religious beliefs, and to recall a legendary tale. The materials most commonly used for the Mali'fenn were those that could be carved or engraved: wood, stone, metal, etc. Textile, leather, or fabric, for example, in the form of colorful wall tapestries embellished with pictorial scenes, were also often utilized. Carvings of Wyrvun or deific animals that narrate some form of tale are widespread. Another feature is ornamented swords, shields, and armor with symbolic motifs. Ornamental The decorative patterns that embellish the Fennic arts are highly regarded, mostly because of their symbolic purposes and challenging procedure, as it appears to be a difficult skill to master. Given the rebirth of this art form, it is constantly employed to communicate a large variety of concepts. Sculpting and Carving Ice sculpting is a type of sculpture that employs ice as the raw material. It is not a widespread practice amongst the ‘fenn, although it is not unheard of. The ice sculptures generally provide a realistic representation of their religious beliefs. These ice sculptures are usually linked with extraordinary or lavish occasions, but have rarely been of use. Patterns swirl around practical materials or things that are highly stylized by the Fennic people, and are often carved into the selected wood or metal. If one looks attentively or is aware of the Fennic people's beliefs, they have generally carved or depicted representations of Wyrvun or of deific creatures. Quilts and Tapestries Quilts and tapestries are popular among the Fennic people. When supplied, the tools utilized in everyday operations, such as weapons and tools, are frequently embellished with an artistic flair. Textile, leather, and cloth are some of the most often used materials. Tapestries are also used to decorate castles and the interiors of ordinary homes. Some are primarily used for cultural purposes, such as telling legends and depicting historical events. Music The music of the ‘fenn has evolved with them over time and directly reflects their culture, not only with the messages and stories that are told but with the methods that are used. Vocals are used far and wide in Fennic songs, so much so that they are nearly referred to as an instrument themselves. Much of the instruments that are present are simple, and created from resources found within Fin’hesin. Nearly every song that is written and played in Fennic culture holds a story of some kind, either a mythical event or a historical encounter, and thus many are considered ballads. Kulning Kulning is a sharp, practically nasal method of singing, which can be heard a long way through the forested areas and over the mountains. The Mali'fenn developed this method of singing to communicate with one another over the great openness of the tundra. This gradually evolved into a singing technique, typically displayed from across valleys or atop mountains. The song may be heard for miles depending on how far the wind blows across the tundra. Uilleann Pipes Of all the Fennic instruments, the Uilleann pipes are by far the most intricate. While the exact origin is unknown, it is thought to have been developed by either a talented artisan or a complete lunatic. The instrument itself is made up of a series of wooden tubes and air sacks with the ability to create noise when one of the sacks is compressed. This frees up the player's lungs and lips to sing an accompanying melody. Given the complexity, this instrument is traditionally played in taverns or homes, and rarely outside of special occasions. Pan Flute Pan flutes are a favorite amongst young Mali'fenn due to the simplicity of the instrument, with many making their own. It is made up of a series of various wooden tubes strung together and coiled with string or leather. Given its small size, the instrument is significantly more popular than other Fennic instruments, and it is utilized as a popular source of music and amusement no matter the occasion. Traditional Flute Fennic culture's traditional flutes exist in two varieties: hardwood carved and metal created. While the two forms differ somewhat in sound and practice, they are essentially identical in the grand picture. Flutes are usually performed by young adult Mali'fenn as an advanced variant of the Pan Flute, which many learn to play as children. The traditional flute, like the Pan Flute, is played in almost any situation and is utilized for popular amusement whenever the occasion calls for it. Harp Harps are the most exquisite instrument used within Fennic Culture. They are made of a basic wooden frame with strings stretched across it, and are sometimes considered as permanent additions to homes, much akin to furniture. As a result, Harp playing is extremely situational, requiring the right place and event to give way to the musical act. Drums Drums are used by the Fennic people as musical rhythm instruments, as well as for religious and utilitarian uses. They are constructed with a shallow circular or oval wooden frame that is supported by one or two crossbars on the interior. The frame is then stretched taut with a rawhide head. Players will grab the crossbars from below, but they can also touch the hide from below for tuning or dampening purposes. The head is played with either the bare hand or with a striker. Drum sizes are restricted by what a person can carry and play in this manner. Recreation Given the history of the Mali’fenn, recreational activities are something of a rare occurrence. The few that do exist are either inventions of absolute mad men, childhood activities, or intended to spread the history of their kin. As the Mali’fenn slowly rebuild their culture and settle into a more permanent location, these recreational activities may grow in size as stability leads to creative freedom and joy. Ice Sled Racing A sport invented by the Stolt’aroloths, ice sledding is a dangerous form of recreation. Traditionally, it is a race, whereby a sled is placed upon the thick ice of a lake or ocean. Contestants race along a predesignated route, propelling their sleds forward via paddles. Many a time, the rims of the sled are slickened to the point that ice sledders reach terrifying speeds. Steering upon the ice is a difficult feat, as it is performed with the paddle. Oftentimes, a second individual is placed upon the sled to call out ice spikes and water holes. Improperly accounted for, these obstacles can prove deadly. The winner is declared by whoever crosses the finish line first, so long as they did not cheat the route. Hockey Another sport of the Mali’fenn is known simply as hockey. Two makeshift goals are made upon the ice, a flat puck is placed in the center, and two teams - armed with skates and with sticks that possess a horizontal ‘blade’ on the end - compete to force the puck into the other team’s goal. There are few rules to this game, and the sport is often violent, with fights occurring frequently. Quenters and Storytelling Quenters are a role unique to Snow Elven society. Often found working in taverns, these figures are adamant entertainers. As a society with few surviving written works, histories are passed down from generation to generation through the recitation of quenters. These men and women love nothing more than to regale guests with stories from Snow Elven history and folklore, often known as ‘quenting’, and thus these figures are an easy way to learn of the culture. Additionally, many are proficient singers and instrumentalists who enjoy performing ballads and plays. There, they portray the lives of heroic individuals and gruesome folkloric monsters. Flora & Fauna Fauna Animals found in Fin'hesin include herbivorous mammals (stoats, lemmings, voles, elk, deer, sheep, arctic hares, and squirrels), carnivorous mammals (variant foxes, wolves, direwolves, and polar bears), marine mammals (seals, sea lions, walrus, and whales), fish (cod, flatfish, salmon, and trout), and birds (ravens, snowy owls, falcons, loons, penguins, terns, and gulls). Reptiles and amphibians are absent because of the extremely cold temperatures. While many of the mammals have adaptations that enable them to survive the long cold winters and to breed and raise young quickly during the short summers, most birds and some mammals migrate to warmer areas during the long winter. Many animals typical of the tundra sport white coats year-round; among them are the foxes, rabbits and hares, and some birds. This camouflage helps both predator and prey: predators can steal up without detection, and prey can hide easily in the snow. Flora Within the typical landscapes the Mali’fenn tend to settle in, vegetation is often limited. However, there are a few flora which are commonly sought after by Mali’fenn. Things such as Athin moss, Elf’s hair vine, Frost vine, Serpent’s stalk, and Arctic poppies, all commonly found in the wild, have various uses in Mali’fenn culture - whereas other plants, which normally would not survive in the colder climates, can and have been able to thrive within Fennic capitals in the past. The Mali’fenn also make use of the various trees that may call the cold home. Primarily, these are conifers, such as Pines, Firs, Spruces, and Junipers. But even Maple, Oak, and Birch trees are cultivated for use in Fennic lands. Athin moss found beneath the ice of frozen lakes, rivers, or ponds, is used primarily as an insulator for items of trade. Though due to its property of being inflammable, it can be used to treat various fabrics and leathers to be highly fire resistant. Elf’s hair vine is typically found at higher altitudes, where Mali’fenn have been known to settle in the past. The vine itself is sometimes used in the making of childrens toys; the flowers typically for decorative purposes. However, in its base form it has no unique or special properties, so any further use is in the Alchemical field. Frost Vine and Serpent’s Stalk, with the latter being a rarer find in the cold, typically find their uses in the medical field. Frost Vine, which finds its home around the trunks of various trees, makes its use as an anesthetic in the medical field. Serpents Stalk, on the other hand, which primarily is found at the edges of water, is harvested for two main reasons by Mali’fenn. Consumed in its solid form it can act as a fever reducer during illness. For this reason when it is harvested and stored it maintains its solid state, rather than being turned into a salve immediately. When turned into a salve, the Serpent’s Stalk is effective in treating burns. Various other plants and flowers have been successfully transferred and thrive within the capital cities of the Mali’fenn. The uses for these range from house decor to the creation of dyes. The trees that find their home in the colder environments are typically used by the Mali’fenn for carpentry work. crafting things from furniture to carts and wagons. Oftentimes large trunks are shaped and used as training targets for the Ivae’fenn. Birch trees are frequently harvested in large quantities merely as firewood, keeping the many hearths and homes of the Fennic lands warm. [[Credits]] [[A big, special thanks to the following players for helping me to write and brainstorm this - even if that only meant answering a few questions for me. Without you, this would’ve sucked. You’ve been absolutely fantastic and together I think we’ve had some pretty great ideas. @bunnyeatsmoss @MunaZaldrizoti @Trekwars @ItsIn @JJosey @ABruhMoment @Little_Lulah @LucienAchilles @Cobbler @WestCarolina @Luciloo @KaiserThoren @Unwillingly @NolandTheNovice and anyone else who I’m dumb and left out]]
  15. Rays of sun pierced an overcast sky. Bathed in their light upon the snowy Rimeveld, the remnants of the Snow Elves assembled around an icy pond. Pale faces young and old alike mingled - veterans of the Princedom and those birthed since the most recent Cataclysm. The vapor of their breaths mingled in the frozen air. Upon a large stone at the pond’s center ascended Vytrek Tundrak. Nimble digits curled around the wooden shaft of his spear, against which he shifted his weight. Wasting no time, he spoke. “My friends, my kin, my comrades - Mali’fenn. You have traveled far to meet here, from every corner of the realm. This is the largest gathering of our people since the shattering of Tahu’lareh. I thank you for agreeing to it with open minds and hopeful hearts.” “I do not need to remind you of our struggles since the Princedom’s collapse. A people without a home, we have suffered in silence, our lives tied to fickle lands and our fates bound to foreign rulers.” “This is not our way. Many of you served in the Princedom. You will remember its life, its strength, and its glory. When we struggle together, there is much we can achieve.” As the young Tundrak spoke, an ocean of grey clouds churned overhead. From the sky, it came in flutters at first - the small, pale shapes of snowflakes dancing upon a northern wind. It would grow until the summit found itself amidst a veritable sea of white, and so it was said that Wyrvun himself made attendance upon that gathering of his devotees. Reassured, Vytrek continued. “I accept the role my own blood has played in our people’s fall from grace with a solemn resolution. My bloodline has incurred a debt to our people. I now ask that you grant me the opportunity to pay it off - surely, a task that will consume me until my final breath. I would see our people reunited.” “Normal circumstances would not warrant a summit to ensure succession. But, with the fall of the Princedom and the abdications of my past three predecessors, these are not normal circumstances. My brother Aldred and my half-brother Akkar have both abdicated the throne. My father Aelthos is nowhere to be found, and any other Tundrak of our line is either missing or deceased. It is long-past due that I should step up and accept that it is my time to lead our people, and I welcome the responsibilities that have been passed unto me as my father and his father had done. Thus, before the sight of divine and descendant, I - Vytrek Tundrak, son of Aelthos III, grandson of Aelthir II, Valkyr to Aldred and Akkar - stake my claim as the rightful heir to our people, to rule as Prince of the Fennic Remnants until I see fit to reform our Princedom and revive its titles.” “But, one man does not a nation make. A prince without a princedom is little more than a vagrant, and a princedom without its people is a hollow ruin. Thus I have come to ask you to recognize my claim, and to bring our people together once more. I would now hear from you. Who speaks first?” Thereafter, many Snow Elves would ascend the stone one-by-one. They spoke of their Princedom of old, little more than lingering memories. They spoke of their hardships upon Fenn’s fall. Most importantly, however, they spoke of hope; hope for a brighter future, together. Throughout the course of the summit, a Haenseni rally would pay a visit, and the long-lost prince Akkar Tundrak found his way home - mustering enough strength to offer his encouragement. In time, however, the stone would be vacated - and so Vytrek would once more step forth, ascending. “Having heard the voices of our people, I now ask the bloodlines to take the first step, so that we might charge headlong into our shared destiny. Archons - what say you?” First to step forth was Kindrel Araaloq, meandering out onto the ice to stand at stone’s edge. Though her bloodline’s recognition was new, they had proven early supporters. She was eager to make known their resolve. “I have been your advisor for two years, and your friend for twice as long. In this time, no one has spoken as you have; none have envisioned as you have. The performance of your predecessors has haunted you, but it is YOUR actions which show us a promise for a new future: a world in which violence does not always answer violence, and that there is mercy where there is room for it. A new dawn in which our children and their children can flourish unafraid of the shadow of instability. Because we wish to be a part of the legacy you've committed to, and because you bestowed your faith in us where others have not, our Archon Darcassan and all of his line swear fealty to the great unifier and rightful prince Vytrek Tundrak, son of Aelthos III, grandson of Aelthir II, and vow to treat your needs as our own.” Following on her heels was Valerica Tathvir, taking the young Araaloq’s place. An esteemed healer and confidant of the old Princedom, her bloodline had survived the Cataclysm relatively intact. They were prepared to come home. “For centuries the Tathvirs have followed the Tundraks, aided them in what way we can. Since the collapse of the Princedom, I have done what I could to keep the Tathvir bloodline strong and connected. With your return I once again offer the allegiance of the Tathvirs, to stand by you and aid in whatever way we can.” Thereafter stood Velatha Sylric, veteran soldier of the Ivae’fenn and an emblem of lengthy service. She knelt before the stone, and those of her blood within the assembly followed suit. "I, Velatha Sylric, present the Sylric bloodline to swear upon our lives towards the cause of the resurgence of the Mali'fenn. We thusforth recognize the claim of His Highness, Vytrek Tundrak, as the rightful ruler of our people. Our blades are yours. Our forges ablaze awaiting your command to create the tools needed to pave the way for our people to thrive once more. While we have been shattered, spread far and thin by the events of the past, we are here as we always have been to be loyal servants and protectors of the Mali'fenn. Wyrvun il'kaean ito!" With a salute, she meandered back upon the ice, and Ithilion Drakon stepped forth - proud as a lion. A veteran of the Atlasian Ivae’fenn, he had presided over a great Drakon resurgence. Now, representing the remnants of his bloodline, the elder ‘fenn inclined his chin. Within his clutch rests a trident. "I, Ithilion Drakon, represent the ancient Drakon Bloodline, founded in the days of old by Celennor Drakon. Today marks a new chapter for our people, one that promises a prosperous and thriving future for our kind. As I stand here, I swear fealty to you, just as I've sworn myself to your ancestors over four hundred years ago. I swear upon this trident and my blood, once more, everlasting loyalty to the Tundrak Bloodline, to the new Mali'fenn age and the new Prince, Vytrek Tundrak, first of his name and builder of the nation!” With a nod, he descended once more, to be replaced by Varan Atmorice. Donning the armor of a Valkyr, Varan had proven one of their people’s most skilled soldiers. In the blunt manner of his profession, he spoke. "As Archon of the Atmorice Bloodline, I swear to serve this blessed Princedom until my Eternal Slumber.” Thereafter, the noble Varan descended. Gliding across the ice came Krenanteon Stolt’aroloth, that Fennic sage whose silver tongue had spread his reputation far and wide in the Princedom of yore. A mentor to the young Vytrek, the Stolt’aroloth looked upon him with pride. “Since the dawn of our people, the Stolt’aroloths have stood by the side of the Tundraks. We have devoted ourselves to lifting the spirits of our kin through song and story, guiding them upon a righteous path, and when necessary, taking up arms to defend them. Today, I come to provide these things once again. That you, Vytrek, have united so many of our wayward kin together, after such trials and travesties, is testament enough to your right to lead us. So, as I pledged myself to Aelthir II, in days long passed, I pledge myself to you now, Vytrek Tundrak, in the name of the ancient and respected bloodline of Stolt’aroloth. I vow to devote my sword, my mind, my pen, and above all, the fervent loyalty of my family towards a new nation for our people. I offer you the highest tribute a member of my family can bestow. The cactus crown. Wear it with pride, my Prince.” With a smile, Vytrek accepted this gift, tucking it away in his pack. With the Archons assembled in a circle upon the ice, around the pond’s stone, Vytrek’s attention returned to the gathering. His words were brief. “It is done. I declare the foundation of our Fennic Remnants.” An uncharacteristic cheer arose from the ranks of the Mali’fenn. With relief and elation etched upon their pale countenances, they closed that dark chapter of their history, and looked to the next. It would be a long road ahead. A northern road.
  16. Perhaps to any other man the sunny day would have come as a blessing. A bitter cold had set in over the past few weeks, one that delayed the beginning of the farmer’s harvest and one that kept restless children inside. However, to Vytrek Tundrak, days such as these struck him profoundly. It was a simple, predictable thing, the patterns of weather, but it was in that pattern that he found great meaning. Was it the circumstances, or was he always a dreamer? Likely both, but he had enough matters to dwell on already, there was no place for another. Rise, fall, rise, fall. He had seen this process only once, but the cyclical nature of Fenn was something of an oft-told story, each variation changing the last, yet preserving the heart of the truth. There was truly no question as to whether the Mali’fenn would rise again, but would it last? That was likely a question each restorer faced: no doubt each said ‘yes’ as well. Vytrek never thought of himself as a great man, nor a leader of others, always preferring the role of a necessary helper, but in the absence of any family to take such a mantle in the future, the prospect grew more and more likely. He tried to reject this notion each time it arose, which was frequent, but even as his desires turned against it, a deeper feeling within him, that of duty, compelled him to find his people again and restore Fenn. It was easier said than done, of course, but he at least had a place to start. Almaris was an unfamiliar land, but there must be some remnants of the Mali’fenn, he reckoned. Whether they resided within larger nations, or lived as some small holdout in the wilds, Vytrek would scour the continent for his people, unceasing until he had been reunited with them. However, after months of travel, what he found chilled him to the core. Some had risen to decent positions and lived normal lives, primarily in places like Sutica and Elvenesse, but the majority, although they still numbered few, lived as outsiders, having no true home and submitting to other races. Many lived destitute, many more were looked down upon, all had been severed from the traditional ways of the Mali’fenn. Despite the position of many of his people, Vytrek lost heart in his cause. Most lived poor lives, yes, but what better could he offer them in his current position? He was but a single elf who held no lands and had no money. All he had was the hope that something good would occur, but he had no idea, and no means, of how to bring about this better future. Once again, he returned to the wilds, defeated and without a clear path forward. He felt that these events were a sign to him: to lead his people was not his place. A quiet, still life was unsuited for him, but he could adjust. Maybe in time he would learn to put aside his dreams and appreciate what he had. It had only been weeks since he had made his decision, but word of his emergence had evidently spread. On a visit to Elvenesse to purchase some tools, Vytrek was approached by a handful of Mali’fenn - his brother Aldred and the eccentric Arevthor Tathvir among them. For a short time they reminisced on the past, the days that they remembered, talks that Vytrek was both eager and reluctant to have. Vytrek was grateful for old, familiar faces to return, yet he silently wished for them to leave, for he knew what was in store for him. “You know it as well as I do. Our people are lost without a leader. You always had a good head on your shoulders, and should we work together, I’m sure we could make a settlement further north,” said Arevthor as the conversation, predictably, turned to the revival of Fenn. “And why am I the only one capable? Our numbers have been whittled down, but there are still enough of us left to where some sort of town could have been made before my return. Have I come back to a people without will? Is this dream of mine, a home of our own, held by me alone?” Vytrek retorted, hardly convinced of the idea. It was a path that would lead to the same cycle the Mali’fenn had always undergone, he thought. He wanted no part in perpetuating it. “You looked over the masses of us, aye, but you saw only the surface. Our people have learned of your return, and it’s filled them with an energy I haven’t seen for… years. You have become a spark of hope. Even now, the old bloodlines have begun to reform, and new ones are springing up. We are still few, but we have begun to gather again. A silent many await your call, for they see you as their true leader,” so said Arevthor, the man brimming with his own odd excitement, a gleam of sorts in his eye. “This is not your dream alone, brother. It is something held dear by all of our people. I had a hand in destroying it, so it too is my desire to see it rise again. I am not alone in this sentiment. Just as I wish to aid you, so too are there many who will serve you well. Do not think this burden is one you must carry alone, for we are all here to aid you,” said Aldred, his once-mad voice carrying a more reassuring, confident tone. Vytrek sat in thought for a few long moments, but gave no great speech in response. He would reserve his words for paper. “A moment, if you will,” he asked those in the room. They departed wordlessly, allowing him to grab a nearby quill and piece of parchment, and he took to writing. He was not a penman by heart, nor by trade, yet as he wrote, he felt a certain enjoyment for, if not the task itself, at least this specific occasion. Upon wings and clutched within hands, a missive is spread throughout the realm of Almaris - open to the eyes of all. “My kin - Progeny of Wyrvun, Guardians of Fin’hesin, Elves of Snow. Since the shattering of Tahu’lareh, you have waited; suffering, struggling, and in solitude, our people have looked to the horizon for a dawn that has never come. And so we have toiled in the darkness, bound by the will of others and far from the lands we call our home. In foreign realms and among foreign peoples, we have made our houses. The stubborn among us have taken to the wilderness, and there carved lives from wood and rock. But, mark my words, this is no living; it is merely survival. Though wounds have healed, we remain hollow, for we are a people without a place to call our own. What do your neighbors know of the quietude of blanketed snow, pierced only by the tongues of quenters before a roaring fire? What do they know of the Ivae’fenn and its glories - the metallic dins of the proud at play on a frosted morn? What do they know of Elven strength? The world is not a safe place for children of Malin; picked apart and scattered to the winds, it is less so for Elves of Snow. But you know this already. In the dark, you grow restless. And so, I declare this long night to be over. I bring the dawn. I hereby declare the Third Fennic Bloodline Summit and call upon the Archons to discuss the reunification of the Snow Elven people. Tundrak and Drakon, Sylric and Atmorice, Tathvir and Stolt’aroloth, Belechirr and Araaloq shall convene under ancient banners pulled from neglected crates or stitched anew. There, we will settle this best last hope for Snow Elvenkind, or condemn our people to an eternal vagrancy. Signed, Vytrek Tundrak” [[This meeting will be held at 3pm EST on Thursday 6/3/2021 at the North Hub. Spectators are encouraged to attend!]]
  17. On the Qualities of Lessers: Proto-Elves and Other Subversive Myths It is a well known feature among the lesser races of our world that they crave to be like us. It is the reason why humans powder their skin and adorn their bodies with fragrance. The reason why Dwarves revere silver hair and beards as symbols of wisdom and respect. The reason why our fellow Elves crave our light and fair skin and eyes, pursuing the arts of alchemy to change and adjust their visage into a mirror of purity. So it is that envy takes on many manifestations, but there is none more envious than the impure. A creature that is vile and wicked, whose envy festers not into pitiful displays of mimicry but in an even uglier form of spite and animosity. The impure wants to be us. This much is known. But the impure also knows they cannot, and thus deludes themselves into a sense of false superiority at every turn. We see this in the Snow Elves and Sea Elves. The Aquatic Impostors, who seek to capture the legacy of Larihei’s nobility and progress by corrupting our blessed legacy through the murky lens of seawater or melted snow. And more recently we see this in the so-called “Proto-Elf” or “Ancient Elf.” The impure who deludes themselves not only culturally, but racially, in a laughable manifestation of their envy and desire for superiority bordering on mental illness. Do not be deceived by the insanity of the impure. Do not be deceived by the Ancient Elf myth. There are no fair skinned children of Malin. Only fair skinned children of Larihei, and those among them who shun their mother like petulant teens while the bulk of their family looks on in disgust. This is the Proto-Elf. This is the Sea Elf. This is the Snow Elf. Your enemy, at home and abroad, who seeks to subvert the proud culture of Haelun’or through lies and treachery. For these Elves, in their defective impurity, cannot create for themselves. So I say to you, when you see a mali who might declare themselves an “Ancient Elf,” seek either that you drive them out or re educate them. The impure are known to brainwash our youth, to steal them away to Elvenesse for indoctrination. Do not slay a victim that might be saved, but capture all for trial before the blessed eyes of Larihei and her children at home. Every “Ancient Elf” captured is a High Elf saved or an impure destroyed. Ay’larihei. liewyn'Larihei eltaeleh walehe ohn vallein eltaliyna walehe. kaean'leh thilln chul'okarae. maehr’sae hiylun’ehya.
  18. On the Qualities of Lessers, BEWARE: The Aquatic Impostor Of the affronts to High Elven purity and the motherland, there is none so vile as the aquatic impostor. Mali’ata (tainted Elves) that display an inexplicable and unsightly attraction to water, and who seek to embrace it as a cultural center in order to twist or eschew the teachings of Larihei to their own wicked purposes. These Elves are not merely base lessers, who would ignore the blessed authority and sanctity of the High Elven people, but impure traitors to their ancestry and blood. They are, at their core, High Elves who hold their history in irreverent contempt. Ones spawned of splinter families who prefer the company of the uncultured lesser to their own blessed kin. Self loathing and vile, their culture is parody to the proud and upstanding legacy of the maehr’sae hiylun’ehya. But it is not their vileness or pitifulness alone that should warrant aversion. No; these Elves are, without the lessers with whom they surround themselves and manipulate to serve their ends, both weak and hated. It is instead their spitefulness and corrupting influence that the pure children of Larihei must beware. Bearing such aversion and hatred of their own parodic culture that to take pride in their weak and ineffective ways is impossible, likely a result of what little remnants of pure blood swim within their veins, these Elves walk the earth as impostors clinging to the dregs of pure High Elven society. Feigning civility and regality while they debase themselves both behind closed doors and in strange druidic rings; be it with cubes of ice or, more recently, sea water. The aquatic impostor seeks to be you, but cannot ascend to the height of 'aheral culture and thus tries only to drag you down to their own embarrassing and sub-cultured level. The aquatic impostor has no merit and no prestige, and so desires to leech from the society that which they cannot create in an effort to benefit from and steal luxuries so that they might wear a mask of pure High Elven refinement. The aquatic impostor hates themselves for their inferiority, and so hates the pure High Elf in which whose shadow they creep with an animosity unlike any other impure; taking sickening pride in the corruption, debasement, and indoctrination of our blessed High Elven youth. For this reason I say: beware the High Elven impostor. Beware the impure. Beware the traitor. liewyn'Larihei eltaeleh walehe ohn vallein eltaliyna walehe. kaean'leh thilln chul'okarae. maehr’sae hiylun’ehya.
  19. ((Important: the rest of this topic following this post has become a Question&Answer/Debate session. We have covered, I think, the most important points, and I am going to list them at the bottom of this post. Tell me if there's anything i missed. Aside from that, I think this idea is ready for review from or at least input by the Lore Team.)) Iatrocryomancy The Mali’Fenn have a long tradition of ice evocation. After all, who would know more intimately the frozen elements of the mountains than those who live their whole lives among them? In fact, the snow elves are, according to some, the greatest of the hydromancers who specialize in ice, or cryomancers, as they are sometimes called. However, the snow elves were not content simply to master cryomancy; they had to go further, to explore, to invent. They mixed science and magic, studying the effects of cooling the body below normal temperatures. What they discovered was life-saving and life-changing. Harnessing the powers of ice evocation, they could slow down death dramatically and even preserve the recently dead in the hopes that the monks might revive them. However, they found that ice alone damaged the body in the act of preservation. Ingenious as always, they improvised with various forms of medicinal magic in order to keep the body’s tissues intact. Still...the process is not always perfect, and there are often...side effects. They gave this invaluable combination a name: Iatrocryomancy. Iatrocryomancy is not exactly a type of magic in and of itself, but more so uses cryomancy and various medical magics together in a specific combination. The goal of iatrocryomancy is generally to delay a dying person/limb’s death or a very recently dead person’s decay for as long as possible, hopefully until advanced medicine of some sort arrives. To practice iatrocryomancy, one must be a proficient cryomancer and have a basic understanding of medicinal magic, and even then it takes years to learn how to use the full potential of iatrocryomancy. Iatrocryomancy can be applied locally or generally; locally it allows the patient use of their remaining body parts but only works on one area. An iatrocryomancer works by creating ice to surround the area in question. This would ordinarily kill the patient (at least eventually), which is where the medical magic enters play. The medical magic works to prevent ice from damaging (or worse, entering) blood vessels and damaging the body unduly. While ordinarily such a process could potentially cause the cells of the body to die or even burst (do LotC creatures have cells?), an adept iatrocryomancer can control the ice formation using medical magic so as to minimize harm to the body. This is known as a cryolayer. Now, executed correctly (the magic, not the patient), iatrocryomancy will dramatically slow down a patient’s body processes (either locally or generally) or, even if the body looks “dead,” the decay of the body that would ordinarily prevent any sort of resuscitation. Unfortunately, an iatrocryomancer cannot actually heal such a patient, and once healed, cannot revive them alone. In order to revive the patient, powerful alchemy, a healer (or maybe even pyromancer?), at least two other people with rudimentary knowledge of medicinal magic, or (of course) a monk, is required. The more assistance the patient receives from these sources, the greater their chances of recovery/survival. The Education and Tiering System There is very little information about iatrocryomancy in Athera, as it is an obscure practice, although there is no limit on the number of practitioners. Unless one can find a teacher ((nobody on the server knows it yet, although Adran will learn it after he actually learns cryomancy)), one must make a pilgrimage to the Far North wherein dwell those who discovered the art ((the place doesn't actually exist, just...roleplay like you went there)). If, someday, someone can bring a tome of knowledge concerning the practice back to the South, then it will be easier to learn. Learning iatrocryomancy is no mean feat, even after the prerequisites are met, and it takes several years to become adept. Tier 1: The mage will kill any living tissue on which he practices. He (I will use the masculine pronoun throughout for simplicity's sake, but of course the mage can be of either sex) can, however, preserve dead tissue for short periods of time (say, up to five minutes) until the ice damages the tissue beyond repair. Tier 2: Same as Tier 1, except the mage can go up to ten minutes now, as he has greater control over his evocation. Tier 3: The mage can now preserve small sections of living tissue (say, a hand) for short periods of time (maybe five minutes again?). However, the mage does not yet have fine control over his skills, and will often cause unfortunate side effects, such as loss of motor control, muscle decay, involuntary twitching, etc. ((RP whatever you think would be most interesting)) The mage has increased his mastery of preserving dead tissue as well and can preserve a larger area for a longer time (this will continue to improve for all tiers). Tier 4+: The area, time, and consistency increase and the frequency and intensity of side effects decrease as the mage increases in skill. The mage will continue to improve with practice. At Tier 6+, the mage can preserve an entire body. The mage's skill can increase indefinitely, but keep in mind that he will never be perfect at preventing death or side effects, and he can only maintain the cryolayer for as long as his mana supply holds. Note that this skill can also be manipulated to work on plant matter, although the skill is very different and is not entirely transferable in terms of practice. ((Well, this is my second installment in my series of snow elven lore. As before, I will continue to edit this as new ideas come to my attention. Now for the OOC justification. The idea of iatrocryomancy came to me when I was thinking about possible medical applications of ice. The word I made up to describe it comes from the Greek prefix Iatro-, meaning healing, and Cryo-, meaning (loosely) ice. The workings of this magic are based more or less off the theory of Cryonics. Cryonics doesn’t actually work in our world yet, but the addition of magic neatly completes the job that scientists have already done. ((I’m willing to bet that you are all thinking right now that “Man, this is the most OP powergaming unrealistic idea I’ve ever seen.” But here’s why it’s not. First and foremost, all in all iatrocryomancy takes a very long time to learn and is difficult to practice (students are often taught using recently dead animals). Secondly, it’s actually…not that powerful. Even an expert cryomancer takes at least thirty seconds of deep concentration in order to produce even a rudimentary cryolayer. From that point on, the practitioner has to stay focused on the patient (although it doesn’t require as much mana as other magic because of the very small amount of material produced and because otherwise this would be the most useless thing ever, since by the time the mage had finished creating the cryolayer he’d be exhausted). ((Moreover, whatever ailed the patient has to be fixed, something that the iatrocryomancer cannot do, as he has to concentrate on maintaining the cryolayer. Then the patient has to be revived, which is possibly the hardest and most uncertain part of the whole process (as rapidly or inexpertly heating up the body could easily cause death). And it can’t work indefinitely; eventually the mage is going to tire himself out and another will have to take over or the patient dies. There is no form of “eternal life” or “auto-stopping death” here. It’s just a delay mechanism to buy time. ((How to use this magic in roleplay is up to the practitioner to decide. I know that it may not actually end up changing characters' stories, as they can choose not to pk anyway...but they can at least retain their memory this way. Also, the localized form of this can save individual parts of the body...pets...basically anything organic. It's certainly possible that full anesthesia may not be appealing to roleplay. Of course, as with any other medical roleplay, you can emote something going wrong, like a hand turning blue or a blood vessel bursting; the patient always has the final word on what happens. Moreover, after or during recovery, the patient can roleplay various side effects. I do believe this has the potential to be interesting if applied correctly. This seems to be consistent with all other lore, and this lore seems necessary since it is not obvious that it would actually work, as it fails completely in real life. I hope you at least consider this and I would really appreciate constructive feedback. Thanks for reading!)) ((Thread Summary)) ((Thank you again to everyone who has submitted input about this idea. I've taken everything that has been said so far into serious consideration, and here is my conclusion: This idea is acceptable in terms of adhering to the guidelines of lore (in my opinion). Moreover, it doesn't harm roleplay in any serious way. However, it seems to be rather unpopular. This is understandable, as it is by no means a necessary addition to LotC. Moreover, I see increasingly that snow elves and absolutely anything associated with them is not held in high regard. Thus, I'm beginning to doubt that, even if it is accepted, it's all worth it. You have brought up some important criticisms. So, I think that it's time to wrap this up. I'd like to sum up here the arguments for and against this idea. For: 1. Provides a new way to practice medicine, giving a doctor an additional tool or a mage a secondary skill. 2. Gives unique roleplay to anyone involved. 3. Gives the snow elves a little boost with lore and cultural flavor. (The implications here are more important than the statements. For example, the fact that they came up with it through trial and error but also science demonstrates the value they assign to intellect and science, even if it's not clear at first what the practical applications are. The fact that nobody else has yet found out about it shows how isolated they can be. Etc. It's open to interpretation, of course. Moreover, if this is accepted, I can definitely expand the lore to at least give it some detail, which the snow elves sorely lack.) 4. Come on. You know the name sounds cool. 5. Up to a certain point, it is realistic. 6. It's interesting (at least, I think it is). Against: 1. Provides a new way to practice medicine, which is annoying to clerics. 2. Gives unique roleplay to everyone involved, which can be interpreted as too "special snowflake." (Just curious, but does the origin of that phrase have anything to do with snow elves?) 3. Gives the snow elves a little boost with lore and cultural flavor, which is bad because everyone hates snelves. 4. God, what a stupid name (sorry BrandNewKitten). 5. There are points where the bounds of realistic science are stretched. 6. It's not necessary, it's boring, and it's stupid. Tell me if there's anything I neglected to mention there. I appreciate everything said so far; the support has encouraged me to keep working; the criticisms to keep working and tinkering with the idea even after I thought I was done. I think that, unless there is anything else that needs to be said, this is ready for the Lore Team to review.))
×
×
  • Create New...