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Wilwarin • View topic - Elven history and culture
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 Post subject: Elven history and culture
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 3:37 pm 
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Modern elven society of lost Carandor

*written in a rather dry academic style*

Based on the description by the High Bard Meliniel in the Lay of the Lost (and the experiences of the author). Here given in a short summary, unfortunatly loosing its original poetic splendor in the brief version. The volume where the original text can be found is kept locked away in the library of the lord and only trusted members of elven society is allowed to read it. It is however a truth many elves have heard, but very rarely speak of to outsiders. This summary is written by Valerian Servius, scribe of Darkwoods, for the purpose of educating our young ones who might not yet feel inclined to venture into the magnificent, yet somewhat lengthy, Lay of the Lost.

“If we forget our past we shall repeat the mistakes of our ancestors.”

The 7th generation after the Rising Star was much larger than the generations that came before it, and was to have a large impact on elven society in Carandor. Not only by its own actions, but also largely by the events that followed during the reign of the 8th and 9th generations. It is believed by many that the reason for this dramatic increase of the population was due to the prosperity created by the 6th generation in winning the War of Long Winters. But their larger numbers could not have come about without a new popular belief that individual freedom was more important than maintaining the Tradition of Preservation (described below). Some claim that this new belief sprung from the so called “Spring of New Life” that followed after the war, a popular movement where the joy of life was celebrated by all elves, high and low.

So many and so strong were the Free Speakers (the leaders of the Spring of New Life movement) of the 6th and 7th generation, that they in time came to control society, and started making what many of the Pure Ones (the followers of the Tradition of Preservation) saw as frightening and damaging changes to our society. As is the way of elven politics it was all slowly and very subtly done, using rethoric, diplomacy and lobbyism in a masterful way. But it backfired and the Pure Ones of the aristocracy used their military might to put out “The Flight of the Heart and Mind” as the Free Speakers called their teachings. It lead to the War of Sorrow, which raged unseen and unheard, hidden behind a semblance of peace inside the realm of Carandor for more than ten years. Brother was turned on brother and deep wounds was cut into the fabric of our society. What came after the war was an even stricter order, brought about by the Pure Ones’ overwhelming victory, if any victory could be said to be had in this conflict of brothers and sisters. It is the author’s belief that we all lost something in that war, a part of our dignity and self-respect perhaps.

As the 9th generation was being born our society had been structured into three castes; the ruling religious caste, which included the mages and the scholars, and the obediant warriors and workers. Those born into a caste would stay there for the rest of their lives, and their children would also remain within the caste, thus creating a ruling religious caste which was secure in its position of power, served by the lower castes. It was a society at peace on the surface, but the fires of resentment and the ache for freedom still remained, as The Flight of the Heart and Mind did not disappear, as the Pure Ones had hoped, but continued to be taught in secret to the children of the 8th and 9th generations.

As the rift into another world was discovered many took this as a chance to escape the rigid Carandor society and volunteered to make the dangerous journey, hoping for a life in freedom and joy. Thruth to be told, many of the Pure Ones were not unhappy to see them go.


The Tradition of Preservation
These ancient teachings has since times forgotten preserved the traditions, laws and customs of our ancestors, and made elven society look more or less the same, to the casual observer, for thousands of years. Among other things it teaches us about how the first Greater Souls came into being, and how a part of them are reborn into each and every one of all the elven children being born. It teaches us to be restrictive in giving birth to new life, since a too large generation would spread the souls thinner, and would lessen that generation as a whole. In Darkwoods a new teaching has sprung up that speaks of the Drow as all being offsprings of the same greater soul, which lessens them as individuals and as a whole. Of course the drow would probably tell a different story, should they ever decide to talk to us instead of fighting us.


The Flight of the Heart and Mind
Originally a collection of poems and songs expressing love for life, springtime and free wanderings in the woods, written shortly after the War of Long Winters had finally ended in triumph. These poems started a popular movement called the Spring of New Life (the name of the most popular song), which grew into a political movement, as described above. In short the political statement was that every elf should be free to do as he or she wished as long as not infringing on any other beings freedom to do the same. This was naturally seen as highly controversial by the ruling body of Pure Ones, since the teachings held little or no regard for the Tradition of Preservation. This subtle power struggle lead after several years to the tragedy of the War of Sorrow.

_________________

DM, Groggy Goblin

Retired character:

Lord Valerian Servius
Paladin of the Lady of Light
Retired Council member of Darkwoods
Retired historian and scribe of Darkwoods
Retired Commander of the Victorian Guard

“Life is water, not stone”



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 3:42 pm 
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Angaráto Singollo is an elven mystic and thinker who came through the rift with the expedition and still remains in the elven community, though he is very rarely seen, since he is said to spend most of his time in the forest meditating. He is famous for never giving a straight answer to anything, instead answering a question with a question, sometimes frustrating his young students into leaving his side. He claims that all answers we need are within each of us, all we need to do is discover them for ourselves. In giving another an answer we are denying that individual growth on his journeys through life. Angaráto is revered for his wisdom and by some seen as a holy man, by others thought of as an excentric with some wisdom. Young elves have in the past spent time with Angaráto, to learn from his philosophy.

Here is in short what his teachings are.


The 4 journeys through life:

The Journey of Earth
The Earth of Life is where our roots are, its where we find our food. We live with and off the soil, its fruits for us to enjoy, but in so doing we should offer something in return.

The Journey of Fire
The Fire of Life speaks to us with passion about joy, beauty and love. It symbolises life and how we live in the world.

The Journey of Water
The Waters of Life join us in our blood and the cycle of rain falling and mists rising. The waters are shared when living with others, and in creating families. It is also shared in all life, be they elven, animal or plants.

The Journey of Air
The Air of Life lifts us when we are ready to pass on. In walking the earth we are rain falling and touching nature around us. In dying we are mists rising, making way for new rains to fall.

In all journeys the answers should be found by the traveller, however Angaráto can help providing the questions.

_________________

DM, Groggy Goblin

Retired character:

Lord Valerian Servius
Paladin of the Lady of Light
Retired Council member of Darkwoods
Retired historian and scribe of Darkwoods
Retired Commander of the Victorian Guard

“Life is water, not stone”



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 3:45 pm 
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Valerian remembers:

"Our home was located deep in an ancient forest, the trees were hundreds of years old and high enough to reach the sky it seemed. Most of the city was located near the tree tops, and the arcitecture resembled the Tree City, but much more ancient and refined. When standing in our city looking past its splendid buildings and works of art we could see for miles in all directions. Looking east there were lofty mountains towering above us, its peaks always covered in snow. The sun would rise over the mountains, turning their peaks golden. The air was cool in both summer and winter time, which kept our minds clear and our thoughts calm. I hope my parents still watches the sun rise over those mountains."

_________________

DM, Groggy Goblin

Retired character:

Lord Valerian Servius
Paladin of the Lady of Light
Retired Council member of Darkwoods
Retired historian and scribe of Darkwoods
Retired Commander of the Victorian Guard

“Life is water, not stone”



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 3:47 pm 
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Location: Sweden (GMT +1)

_________________

DM, Groggy Goblin

Retired character:

Lord Valerian Servius
Paladin of the Lady of Light
Retired Council member of Darkwoods
Retired historian and scribe of Darkwoods
Retired Commander of the Victorian Guard

“Life is water, not stone”



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:19 am 
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The great thing about D&D is that stupidity is punishable by death. ~ Unknown

That which is eternal can never die.
===
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Mithreas - Elven sage, wandering bard


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:25 am 
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_________________
The great thing about D&D is that stupidity is punishable by death. ~ Unknown

That which is eternal can never die.
===
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2004 8:32 pm 
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On the subject of Carandor, I can only offer the tales I have heard, for I was born in Darkwoods. Here is my favourite, my mentor's description of the Hall of the Ancients.

Carandor was a city of beauty, but its centerpiece was the Hall of Ancients. Nestled in the center of the city like a spider in the center of her web, there the threads were woven that bound us all together. The meetingplace of the High Council, the spirits of those who had gone before also inhabited the Hall, offering their guidance and watching the world.

The base of the Hall was woven of the branches and boughs of the treetops, like other buildings in Carandor. Where the forest was thickest one might have thought that there was no more to it; that the Hall was simply a larger example of the city's architecture. However, where one could see to the sky, the spire of the Hall was visible from the whole city, rising majestically for hundreds of feet to scrape the very clouds and echo the mountain peaks around. It was a constant reminder to all that some of those who went before yet remained among us, a constant reminder of the traditions and history that had brought us to where we were.

To step into the Hall was to step into a living temple. From the moment you entered you could hear the voices on the air, sometimes even see images of the past flashing before your eyes. Around the outer parts of the Hall small rooms were set aside for communion and meditation, and most of us would visit them regularly. The inner areas of the Hall, however, were only opened on occasion.

At the base of the Hall lay the Great Chamber. The size of the Chamber was such that most of the populace could fit within it at one time - I say most, but after many of our people left to come here, I suspect all who were left would have been accommodated together. The floor sloped gently down towards the center, with a raised platform the focus. Above, the ceiling rose up the spire, punctuated by large windows that let in light to illuminate the proceedings below. Though in darkness the Chamber was if anything more spectacular, lit by sorcery. An unfortunate left outside might yet have gained some measure of recompense in watching the patterns of light radiating from the Spire through those windows.

The Chamber was decorated with all the art and beauty that generations of our people had been able to bestow. Words cannot describe the intricacy of even a tiny part of the walls or roof; as well as a temple to the past, the Hall stood as an example of our mastery of the visual arts.

The proudest moment of my life was to be a part of a concert held in that hall. I expect the same to be true when I die, and my spirit dwells among this forest, waiting for my people to find the inspiration to construct our own Hall.

_________________
The great thing about D&D is that stupidity is punishable by death. ~ Unknown

That which is eternal can never die.
===
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:42 pm 
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((Contribution by Saturos (player of Har'Sul), and reposted here by his permission. Small edits by me for spelling etc, so any remaining mistakes are mine ;)

Written in Elven; Mith has prepared a translation into the Common tongue. This is the basis for the House of Winds. ))


An Oath to Freedom: The House of Winds

For the freedoms we elves so readily enjoy, for the freedoms all other races should take equal part. For those unable to defend themselves from the tyrany of excesive law. To those who feel they should be able to go wherever the winds take them. I write this doctrine, this oath to freedom, this oath to the House of Winds.

This house exists for the sole purpose of protecting and procuring freedom wherever it is in short supply. No duty, not even to protecting your own life is greater. For all the evils in the world stem from one source, this source is law. Law by definition only exists to punish those that would abide by such a common sense of dignity and self preservation. The only people that benefit from laws, are those who break them, and those who make them. For every freedom you deny to those that would obey you so willingly, you give a boon to those who would not, and would break your laws without a second thought. Every rule a law abiding citizen must follow, is a rule a criminal can exploit.

Internal Crime does not exist without law, with law comes a strict definition of right and wrong, a strict definition of how and if you will be punished for breaking of said laws. The difference between right and wrong must be made inside of a persons heart. In this and this only is dignity and honor forged. If something threatens a society the society will act and should be allowed to act as they will to a threat to thier way of life, case by case. A street urchin who has never had anyone to guide them and can only live by stealing should be taken in, not punished as if they were a methodical lifelong criminal with a truly evil heart. The will to eat, to live, is not evil, only the will and desire to make people suffer. A people should be allowed to discern which is which on thier own.

Unfortunately this is not the case, and sometimes the free winds that guide us must be made more tangible. Of all the winds that blow across the world, there are four that are particularly strong. These make up the cardinal winds of this House.

I have gathered today, such a group. Four warriors whose bravery and courage are matched only by their desire to help others and punish those who would abuse kind hearted people.

From the frozen reaches the North wind blows, steady and crystal clear; when this Wind is strong there is nary a cloud in the sky or a mirage on the ground. His intentions are never masked by a will to please, nor will he hesistate to disappoint by speaking plainly. He does what he does and all he does is observable by all. Straightforward and powerful, you, my dear friend Ilian, are the For'Sul, The Northern Wind. Your style of fighting, your personality, and even the two scimitars you carry with you, who share the biting cold of the north, will be passed down from For'Sul to For'Sul, each to the heir they see fit. The North Wind controls all habits of the animals; obeying the cold is vital to thier very existence and as such it is your responsibility to make sure none are forgotten.

From the Western sea come the storms, year by year their ferocity is only matched by the suddeness of their arrival. Though otherwise calm, it is never anyone's desire to provoke this Wind to action. She is a bastion of freedom, and the example by which all threats to freedom should be delt with. Sheila, may your bow guide the Rhun'Sul of every generation. The only thing safe from your fury are the vegitation and plants of all regions. You are their guardian, you give them water, you sustain their life, you are responsible for keeping their secrets.

To the East a dry harsh wind originates, as fiery as the temper of the repressed. Law can not exist here for law makes survival itself ineffecient. In the desert, inefficiency is death. You must be free to seize every opportunity you can, your village, your people, depend on this. Plants and animals are scarce, the only thing in any large quantity is rock, and ore. Denkar, the Numen'Sul, whose hammer has forged with such frequency that it holds the forges' flames themselves. Your steady determination and lack of understanding when it comes to the phrase "too difficult": these were how you earned your freedom, and how you will protect the freedom of others.

To the South the wind grows calm, passive, and pleasing, all forms of life flourish under its slow but steady workings, the life that exists under you is dangerous, often poisonous, but if left to itself can harm no-one. Live and let live is your motto, and you even in your calm state of mind are cunning, and quite capable of swiftly dealing with anything that refuses to let live. Your constant goal is peace and you are more than willing to defend it. Sal'nen, the Har'Sul, the dragon slayer. You risked your life to protect a village of no more than thirty people, from the horrors of a black dragon. This you made a testament to, your weapon is made from his horns. May you teach others such skill, and more importantly, such honor.

_________________
The great thing about D&D is that stupidity is punishable by death. ~ Unknown

That which is eternal can never die.
===
Ex admin-type
Mithreas - Elven sage, wandering bard


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