Saturday, May 7, 2011

What my Path Master Told Me: A Personal View of White Elven Culture

Presenting another in the series of PC-written cultural backgrounds for the upcoming Last Fleet campaign. The first can be found here and general notes on the characters can be found here

What my Path Master Told Me: A Personal View of White Elven Culture

Who are you?

I am a White Elf, my name is Whet Bloodlace. I have just turned 23 years old. I am in my 18th year of my Path of Mastery of firearms. Sword and Dueling pistols are my chosen weapons. I am a competent scout and soldier. I earned my Silver Star two years ago while serving with our outriders that protect our land from incursion, I am the youngest to ever receive the star. My parents were so proud that they through me a grand celebration. After the party, Captain Selsystain, presented me with a gift. An egg from the clutch of his Great Marble Blue Wyvern the pride of the outriders. Its strength and speed are rarely matched and its coloring make it that much more rare. I was humbled by such a gift. Many would lay a fortune at his feet for such a prize. Later that summer his gift doubled when the egg hatched and I became the owner of a young White and Blue Speckle a coloring just as rare as his Marble Blue. I named her Velsari it is old tongue for Wind’s kiss.

My mother, Venoice, is the powerful High Priestess of Yethendrial, the Elven Goddess of Nature and Fortune. She is known throughout the kingdom as one of the Three Bereft Sisters. My father, Steel, was a designer of great skyships, he was a strong man and fought for his beliefs, a trait that he instilled in both of my sisters and myself. It was this will to fight for his beliefs that took him to the Island of Sealadusk. Where he was to lead a demonstration against the government there, for using the souls of extra planar elementals to form magistone. My father was on the stairway of the Capital building when the sky tore open and the forces of Sunforge struck. They crushed and destroyed the island itself none survived.

Who are we?

We are the White Elves. We are the finest magi and warriors the world has ever known. We are a force of influence, guidance and protection, a light in the darkness. Many of our people are bound by oaths to uphold the law and to help our fellow man. Years ago our people became the shield that protected the others who lived in the forest with us. Turning back numerous enemies who would make slaves or food of our neighbors and us.

It was later that we sought to build cities to better protect them and others from attackers. We didn’t build fortresses like the Dwarves of old. We built cities, wondrous works, defensible and stunning to behold. Great palaces pulled from the ground by our magi. Incorporating earth and nature in its design became the hallmark of the White Elves, in all things. From the elegant flow of a blade to great buttresses flanking a palace wall. It is our way of repaying the world that for so many years has taken such great care of our people. Nothing wasted, or over used, everything has its place.

Our people have seen slavery and death at the hands of others. It is from these lessons that we’ve learned that no man should own another. It was this lesson that turned our people all those years ago, to separate from even other elves and if needs be go to war with them to save another race from being enslaved.

You ask, who are we; I answer you with this. Our people are the soul of this world. Beautiful and frightening, we are the reflection of this world.

What makes us great?

When we are very young we are taken before a Master Fatespinner. The Fatespinner then recommends a path and Master to begin our training on a path of mastery of our own. A lifetime of schooling and training begin. Few are assigned two paths to be walked and the student to ultimately choose. The benefits of beginning the training at such an early age can be seen in our architecture, our art and music and our enemies will attest to the skill our warriors. I my self had several notable sets of Ork tusk on my wall.

We are the chosen people of this world, its champions. With such a great responsibility to one so deserving, we must make every attempt to succeed.

Where do we live?

We lived in the city Thelendrious (City by the Sea) its spiraled walkways and glass domed buildings a marvel to behold truly a shining jewel on the great Inland Sea of Myncial (God’s tear). Its spires and banners can be seen for miles around and its harbor a city in its own right, is the largest in all of Freespar. Thousands called this place home and haven.

Freespar is a large, lush and beautiful Island. Since its first settling thousands have followed. All have found a welcoming portion of Freespar. Our brothers the Lunar Elves who prefer the deep leaf covered canopy of the forest, the free packs of Wolfen. Even the human noble house of Van Deu has a settlement here. All of us have combined to make this place what it is.

How do we live?

In times of old we hunted, farmed and fished the lakes and seas. So much of our lives now are dependent upon commerce with other cities and races of people. Buying and selling others' goods, we improve others' way of life. We hold several alliances with kingdoms of men and elves and even the tribal race of Wolfen know us as friends. We stand united against the dark of this land, but I suppose that is how the kingdom grows not how we live.

We live the way we always have. We find peace and acceptance of others through the mastering of our various paths. Then go on to use you those skills on behalf of our people in whatever way we can. Our architects are hired out all over the kingdom, creating their works of art. Even in these times of relative peace, our warriors form small bands and lend their aid to far away island kingdoms to help hone their skill and better spread our names.

What is important in my life?

It is important for me to finish out my Path of Mastery and attain the title of Master. Then to go on and continue to serve my people well.

To attend my grieving mother and sisters and to see my father’s name properly remembered and his life avenged. See to my duties with the outriders to the best of my ability.

Who rules us?

The city of Thelendrious is also the seat of the White Elven throne. Lord Iirendaal assisted by the Council 9 write, enforce and live by the law. I saw him once, it was during the Year Turn celebration when my squad of Outriders were chosen as his honor guard during his speech. Though he was obviously in the twilight of his years his handshake was still strong and unwavering. The title of Lord is hereditary and has belonged to the Iirendaal House since the founding of Freespar. The people vote the Council 9 into office, the nominees are selected from the various duties and guild houses of the kingdom. The Council 9 is divided into 3 groups of 3. The Elders are the 3 with the most seniority, the Stewards are the 3 with next seniority and lastly the Journeyman. Every 3 years a new group of Journeyman is voted in, while the 3 Elders step down and the existing Stewards ascend to become the new Elders. No one is allowed to be voted into the Council more than once.

What makes a person great?

Finishing ones particular Path of Mastery, and attaining the title of Master is certainly a large step in greatness. However it takes more than that, using what you have learned to better serve our people can make you great.

The completion of a great undertaking for the people can make you great. Such as my father’s designs for the new sky skiffs to be used for the Elven Navy, to many people, this made him great. However to me, he was a strong man, in body, mind and soul, a good father and worthy friend. He loved his wife and children deeply and genuinely care for our people, this made him great.

What is evil?

We believe that there is good and evil in all things. It is the decision to remain conscious of this, that separates us from darker races. Murder, Slavery to hold false evidences against someone knowingly. These things are evil. This list goes on, but I have not the time, nor the will to dwell on such things.

How do we deal with others?

I think that as a whole the White Elves are more welcoming to strangers if they are presented or introduced by a trusted friend of the Elves. The act of being spoken for is a long and honored tradition to us. Past events have made us leery of new comers. We are slow to trust new people, and prefer to keep them at arm’s length until both, trust and respect have been mutually earned. This is often misread as arrogance or coldness. However once that trust has been earned they are welcomed as family.

Who are our enemies?

Here in Freespar it seems that we are pitted against the Gak’tur, a clan of large red skinned Orks, with a set of forward facing tusk. They occupy the northern mountain ridge about three days ride northwest of Thelendrious. They dwell in the caves of the mountains, with only a few small nomadic groups above ground as scouts, we believe. They seem skilled in leather working and woodcraft. They are strong and thick-skinned, to underestimate one on the charge is a deadly mistake. They ride large dark reptiles that should not be overlooked, I know more than one outrider who was sent to an early grave by the bite of those beast.

Only recently a plot was uncovered by one of Lord Iirendaar’s men. A human male was killed while trying to steal one of the Souldeath Blades from the royal armory. Once the body was searched an envelope found on him revealed instruction from another conspirator. It appears we have another enemy but do not know his name.

Who are our gods?

We as a people ask the favor of several Gods

*Yethendrial- Goddess of Nature and Fortune

*Yethena- Goddess of Night and Celebration.

Las’Endryai- God of Glory and Battle.

Ophias – God of Secrets and Doom. (Typically depicted masked)

Yeilthen – God of Magic and Knowledge

(among others)

* are twins.

What is there to do around here?

Here in the citadel of Thelendrious there is much to do. There are plenty of markets with all manner of goods and once a week the Plaza opens itself to traders from around the realm. If it is a more cultural experience you are looking for then worry not. Several libraries and theaters can be found along the Boldoon River in the Arts District, each of the playhouses running a variety of productions depending upon your taste. I do recommend taking in the play “ Red Sky”. It takes into its scope many of today’s topics, political and more, with a bit of prophetic ending if I do say so myself. If your taste run a bit more to the action oriented then you must visit the High Arena. It has become home to our Sky Jousting Tournaments. Fast action, riders mounted on wyverns while armed with Static Lances. Both solo (one on one) and team events can be seen. The team events can be quite exciting. You would be hard pressed to find better sky jousting anywhere in the realm.