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The Purifiers

September 05, 2015

demoIn the Millennium of Purification, a group of Elves and Dwarves join forces to purge the world of the dark magicks they themselves once helped unleash. Is there a chance to make up for their sins of the past and restore order to the world? Find out in the serial fan fic: The Purifiers.

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May 05, 2015

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September 05, 2015

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Elven Culture

Elves are one of the oldest races inhabiting the Palladium World, dating all the way back to the Age of Chaos. They are one of the few archaic races who actually survived the battle with the Old Ones. Despite existing during the previous ages and a few extraordinary individuals playing major roles through these millennia, the Elves as a race did not become a major power until far later. Scholars believe it to be somewhere around 80,000 years after the Age of Chaos before the true Age of Elves began. Until that time the Elves were viewed as still a young race and often guided by other races such as Dragons and the titans.

However, during the Age of a Thousand Magicks, the Elves made great strides in both knowledge and civilization. It was during this time that the titans stopped viewing the Elves as a younger brother, so to speak, and started viewing them as equals. This recognition by many of the other archaic races helped to pave the way for the Age of Elves becoming what it was. While their numbers and power could not have been suppressed even if the others had tried, it was the support of the other archaic races which helped them to rise to the level of greatness for which the age is so well known.

Like with any race, a culture tends to change over the years following new customs and beliefs. After the Great War, many of the cultural traits so known to Elves were forgotten or abandoned. As the Time of Man came to pass, even more of the old ways faded into nothing more than the history books as the Elves assimilated with their human allies. Others have simply been removed for one reason or another. However, there are some ancient customs which many Elves have simply refused to give up.

Below are some of the more basic customs, views on the world, and beliefs of the Elven people. It should be noted that not all Elves follow these customs. Many more "modern" Elves have completely abandoned their old ways in favor of more human ways. However, the more traditional Elves hold these customs close to their heart and will not let go of them so easily. It is a part of their heritage and a part of what makes them a true Elf, often viewing the others as nothing more than humans in Elven bodies.



The Elven language is, in reality, a language created by Dragons during the Age of Chaos. During the war the Dragons spoke mostly with a purely telepathic and empathic method which was ineffective when used with a majority of their other allies. In order to better communicate they created a spoken and written dialect. They based this new language on the very principles of magic. Each word is based on a fundamental principle of magic, such as the power words (see Diabolist O.C.C.). This is the first of the "magical tongues" created and still considered the universal language of magic users.

Though its root lies in magic, they are not the same words and hold no innate power in themselves. Some scholars have speculated that their connection to the language is part of the reason Elves have such a natural affinity towards magic. However, the fact many other races speak the same language natively and do not possess the same magical prowess helps to give evidence to the contrary. It is this language, which in time, became known as Elven. This language has simple rules and a rather limited vocabulary which makes it very easy to learn. The simplicity of it is one of the major reasons it has since become the universal language of the Palladium World.

There are two main reasons why the Dragons kept this language rather simple in nature. First, it was decided that by keeping it simple it made it easier to teach their allies. With less time learning to speak and communicate they'd have more time to plan strategies against the Old Ones and their minions. The second reason is that, while they were well versed in the ways of things such as magic and dimensional travel, spoken words were still a foreign concept to its Dragon creators causing them to struggle to actually put together anything more elegant.

During the Age of Elves, there was a common insult which stated the Elven language was so simplistic that it was more "fit for a human." It is important to note that humans were viewed as little more than barbarians at the time giving some indication to the meaning of the insult. The expression actually lasted until after the humans had established a strong world presence, well after the time when the Western Empire first declared sovereignty. Even in modern times the phrase continues, but slightly altered, exchanging the race of humans for the race of the grimbor.

There are many other races, especially the Dwarves, who will comment that this simplicity causes the Elven language to lack any finesse or beauty. However, any Elf, any true Elf, will comment that it is the simplicity which gives the language its beauty. For true beauty does not come from needless complexity and twenty variations on the same word. Things like that only serve to take away from what is already there. Beauty is in the meaning, not the words themselves. By keeping it simple, the meaning can be better seen and not hidden behind excessive words.

One of the techniques used to keep the language simple is that only one word is used for nearly all its variations. A brief example would be the words strong, stronger, strongest, and strength. All four words are translated into the same word, without modification, in the Elven language. The only exception to this rule is the word love. There are several different variations of the word love to indicate the varying levels and types of love, such as to love a pet, to love a friend, to love a relative, to love an object, to love romantically, etc.

Within the Elven language, words are never combined to save time or to make a sentence shorter. This is most notable by languages which use things such as contractions or often slur two words together to make one. However, it also includes when two or three words are needed to convey a single word properly due to the limited vocabulary. In Elven though, each word is spoken separately and given its own respect. To combine words is viewed as silly and senseless, causing disrespect to the word. If something is truly important then one should take the time to say it properly. Elves believe their language is so eloquent regardless of its simplicity and that the time should be taken to appreciate it.

Many of the other races have commented that Elves can only feel this way as they live so long naturally, and that this makes them oblivious to the importance of time. As to be expected, Elves whole heartedly disagree with this view and consider it "childish and uninformed." Despite any controversy over the matter, the rule of keeping each word separate has remained and seems to have withstood the test of time. The only time this has become a serious issue though, and even cause problems, is when there is a message of coming danger and/or urgency; a crucial factor with every second counting.

Even though Elves do not combine words into one to help save time, they do have a defined set of rules for how to make a new word. To do this, at least two current words must be used and combined in a particular way to create the new word. This is not a simple combination of words though, but considered the birth of an entirely new one which will take on a life of its own. While it may have a similar meaning to the two original words it was created from, it also has quite a different meaning separating it from the two originals.

It is also important to note that no two Elven words have the same spelling but different pronunciations and meanings (such as the word "record" in the English language, one is the verb and one is the noun) or the same word with multiple meanings (such as the word "can" in the English word, being a verb and a noun). Similarly there are no two words which have different spellings and meanings, but the same pronunciation (such as the English words "by," "bye," and "buy" sounding the same spoken). This fact is designed into the language to prevent confusion. Other languages which do have such words are viewed as needlessly muddled and not giving each word its own respect.

There are additional notes to help keep the language easier to learn. Any word that starts with the letters a, e, i, o, or u will be a verb. Words that begin with the letter y will always be connected with the military. No two letters will have the same sound as another. The letter c is pronounced with a 'ch' sound, the letter q is pronounced with a 'kr' sound, and the letter x is pronounced with a 'sh' sound. However, when these same letters stand alone, not used with other letters connected, it is pronounced like the standard capital letter.

The main downside to speaking Elven is the fact that it lacks any past or future tenses. All words are said in the present tense. Though it is speculated it was done for simplicity, most Elves will argue that it has a far greater meaning. Elven philosophy states that all life is a cycle. That which came before cannot help but happen again in the future. Using this mind frame, defining the past and future serves little purpose because that which is now always has been and always will be.

Lacking past and future tense causes considerable confusion when trying to translate it into other languages. To help fix this problem, a small group has started the "new tongue." The "new tongue" of Elven was created around 30 years ago due to a Western noble child having trouble learning it. To help, a group of Elves created the "new tongue." No Elves have come forward to admit it was them, and the noble it was created for never officially mentioned. The fact none have come forward gives backing to those who claim this language is a disgrace to the Elven people, otherwise there would be no reason to hide their identities.

The "new tongue" has added past and future tenses as well as a few other minor changes to help bring it more in line with other languages. Though it is still very unpopular among the Elven race, it has been growing in popularity among other races. Currently it is focused mainly in the Western Empire and the surrounding territories. However, as those who know it continue to travel out to other lands its reach stretches out further. This fact troubles many Elves, but currently no plans have been put into action to put an end to it.

When players select Elven as a language or literacy, whether classic or "new tongue" dialect is known should be declared. The other dialect is automatically selected, but always at a -20% proficiency. This means the highest proficiency the secondary dialect can reach is 78% (20% less than 98%). A character can opt to spend one skill, O.C.C. Related or secondary, to negate this penalty. This one skill will negate the penalties to both language and to literacy.


Children and Aging

Female Elves only experience a fertile period once every three months. This fertility lasts for only one day. After becoming pregnant the mother will carry the child for 12 months before giving birth. The combination of these factors results in Elven children to be far fewer in numbers than most other races. However, due to the naturally longer life span of Elves, their numbers as a race can remain steady or even increase over the centuries. Elves typically do not suffer from the same desire to reproduce as humans and many other races. Many are content to simply have one or two children in their entire lifetime, though four to six children may be more common among mated Elves. Few ever have ten or more in a lifetime.

Many other races find it hard to believe that a race living hundreds of years would have such few children, but the reasons for it were once explained by an Elven philosopher by the name of B'Garu. He is quoted as saying, "Humans view children as their only chance to live forever. We Elves live far beyond such insignificant life spans. This allows us to understand more of ourselves and the universe. In turn, we are not weighed down by such a trivial concept." Before having another child, an Elven family will almost always wait until their current child is old enough to be self-sufficient. This allows them to focus on each child with their full attention, never needing to ignore one to focus on another.

At birth Elves are actually slightly smaller than a typical human baby. They grow through early childhood at much the same pace as humans. As they continue to grow a slight difference can begin to be observed. An Elf will not reach puberty until closer to the age of 16 or 18. By the age of 24 an Elf will be close to the size of a human adult. The Age of Maturity is reached at age 25 for Elves. This is the age Elves are said to reach full mental maturity and capable of making important decisions without approval from the family. Prior to the Age of Maturity, family consent is required similar to a human teenager.

Elves do not stop growing until the age of 30. That is when an Elf will reach full size for their race. Often there is no difference in size between an adult human and a fully grown Elf. If a full grown Elf is the same height as a human it typically means the Elf was short when reaching the Age of Maturity. By human terms, an Elf the age of 30 will appear to be in the early twenties. This is the time that Elven aging starts to take a far more drastic halt in appearance. While they are no longer growing their aging comes to a near crawl.

At the age of 150 an Elf will look to be in the mid-twenties. When reaching 250 the appearance will look closer to the age of 30. By the age of 350 the Elf looks to only be in the mid-thirties. Even after reaching 450 Elves tend to only appear in their late thirties. Finally, when reaching 600 and closer to the time of passing an Elf will look around the mid-forties. Even the oldest Elves that live longer and die of old age will typically still look only in their late forties.


Duels of Honor

Elven duels of honor are not to be entered into lightly. Before entering a duel one should be certain the offense was great enough to warrant it. To challenge someone, a glove is slapped across the face of the offending party and then dropped to the feet. The time and place is stated by the challenger, but it is up to the challenged party to name the type of weapons to be used. This offers the challenged a slight advantage which helps to cause a challenger to think twice before entering into a duel.

Typically the duel is set for the next day. The reason for this is to allow both parties involved time to put all their affairs into order. At the given time both parties arrive at the assigned location and bring a trusted friend to act as a witness to ensure things are fair and to defend against any lies that may be spread after by the winning party. In addition, if a neutral party can be found, there will be one extra person to serve as an official referee.

The challenged party provides the decided upon weapons for both parties involved, but it is the challenger who gets to select from the offered weapons. This is to ensure that all the weapons are of equal quality and none are sabotaged. How far the duel will go is discussed before the duel begins. Most duels are to the death. This is one reason that a challenge should be considered carefully before being made and both parties sure the risks are worth it.

The least risk one can hope for in an Elven duel of honor is a match to "first blood." This means the duel will end when one of them is cut with a blade or even from a bloody mouth or nose. However, such a "light hearted" duel is rare. Typically, it is the result of an Elf who wishes to keep honor despite taking no personal offense to the incident. However, in order to keep honor in the public eye a duel is arranged to settle the matter and save face. Since no actual grudges are involved, these duels have little truly at stake.


Sword Hand

An Elven warrior should always be right handed. This hand is referred to as the sword hand, even if a weapon other than the sword is used. Any Elf who tries to use the left hand as the sword hand will simply never be accepted as a warrior, despite skill. Shame and dishonor will be brought upon the family clan of any Elf "not accepting his place in life." Two-handed weapons and paired weapons are acceptable, but the Elf must still be right handed. While a left handed individual can try to pass as right handed using these techniques there is always the chanced trained warriors watching will be able to tell the difference.

The left hand is believed to help guide one to peace and creativity. It should not be stained with blood and the tools of war. To do so would not only sully the hand, but the soul as well. Therefore it would be better to accept death as opposed to soiling the soul. Where exactly this belief originated from is not clear, but no matter where the belief began it has been held onto firmly by the Elven culture. For this reason, there will be no such thing as an acceptable left handed Elven warrior.


Favorite Weapons

 Elves, much like humans, are quite capable with a wide variety of weapons. However, their preferences tend to lean toward swords, knives, blunt weapons, and long bows. If the weapon can be made magical, all the better. Their blades are typically thin, curved, and light weight. They favor balance, speed, and maneuverability over damage. A weapon is designed for finesse and skill, not for brute force. While the blades can be inlaid with gold, silver, and gems, it is far from necessary. Though it is true the Elves love a finely crafted weapon, it is the design itself which holds the most appeal. Weapon beauty is in the shape of the blade, designs carved into the hilt, its history, and similar such details.

One common misconception is that all Elves are experts in the bow and arrow. While it is true some Elves do favor the long bow, as a race they hold no special talent or natural tendency. Not all Elves are long bowmen and not all long bowmen are Elves, a fact many fail to realize. This is a stereotype which persists. There have been incidents where a less than scrupulous Elf unskilled in archery will sell his services as a bowman to an employer who never questions the skill but accepts it as fact as a result of race. Similar incidents have occurred to bluff and intimidate opponents who believe that all Elves are master archers trained from birth. When called on such bluffs the results can be disastrous.


Ruling Council

The splendid beauty and civilization of the Elven cities are almost all but forgotten. What little is known is gathered from history books and by studying the all too few Elven cities still standing and left untouched. However, even these facts are only a small glimpse into a once great civilization. One of the many things learned by looking to these sources is the type of ruling body that presided over the entire Elven Kingdom, as well as each city within it.

Unlike most other cultures who ruled with a single individual, usually a king, the Elves ruled by council. This council was composed of 13 members of the community. Each city would have a ruling council to govern it, and then there was one head ruling council which ruled over the entire empire. Before its destruction, the Ruling Council of the Empire was situated in the Golden City of Baalgor. After the destruction of the city there were a few temporary locations, but it never again held the same glory it did before.

The members were made up of Elves as young as those who just reached the Age of Maturity with ages up to elders nearing the end of their lives. In addition it was made up of different social classes with some members being peasant class and all the way up to the noble blooded. The council would be made up as evenly as possible between the various age groups and social classes. It is not just made up of the extremes, but all those in between. The reason for this is that it was believed that only by hearing the voice of everyone can one hope to come to a solution acceptable to everyone.



During the Age of Elves they had a very well organized military with a strict set of codes and regulations. The military of the entire empire was composed of volunteers. There were always a number of young males available. Some wanted to prove their skills as warriors, some because they didn't know how else to help out their people, some to continue a long family or clan tradition of military men, and some as a matter of honor for one reason or another. Regardless of personal reasons, all male volunteers were welcomed, trained, and stationed where their level of skill could be of most use. Women on the other hand were not allowed to join (see below for more details on women in Elven culture).

Sadly, after the fall of the Elven Empire, the number of Elven cities took a dramatic decline. It is no longer possible for the few cities left standing and scattered all too far apart to rely solely on volunteers to form a unified force. Now, each city is responsible for its own protection. To help sustain a large enough force, Elven cities must now rely on all able bodied males to participate in the city's defense. Despite the need, it goes against Elven philosophy to require someone to fight against their will. For this reason it has remained on a volunteer basis. Those that are able but do not volunteer are usually treated poorly by the rest of their society. Their business is often boycotted, family harassed, served last, charged higher prices, or even refused service all together.

With all able bodied males volunteering to be soldiers it would typically leave a void in the place of other positions such as healers, blacksmiths, farmers, and so forth. For this reason most males only serve for short periods of time, usually during seasons when their craft is least required, and then rotate as not to affect the production of the city, with only a few career military that serve all year long. Then, when a city wide threat arises, all the volunteers can be called into action for a large and unified force. This allows the cities to have a large and well trained military force without affecting their economy too severely.

Military ranks are called yinclensions, and each yinclension has three different levels. As representation of their yinclension, Elven soldiers wear colored sashes. The lowest level of a yinclension is called a yaust, the middle level is called a yuris, and finally, the highest level is called a yinto. As a yaust the sash is tied so the knot is worn to their left, the side of the unskilled warrior. After becoming a yuris the knot of the sash is worn to the right side, the direction of the sword hand and demonstrates skill. When finally reaching yinto, the sash is tied in the front to show balance. By obtaining balance, one is ready to advance.

The lowest yinclension is yenti, which is used for volunteers who only take part in the military when a huge crisis emerges. A yenti does not take part in day to day military practices, with standard duties including guarding a small town or particular place. They only have the most basic of military training and go about their normal everyday lives until called upon. A yenti wears a black sash. Black is the color to demonstrate ignorance. This does not mean ignorance for not joining the military, but ignorance in the ways of war.

The next yinclension is yanch. A yanch is the lowest of those who are actually dedicated military soldiers. This is the starting yinclension for soldiers. A yanch wears a brown sash. After advancing all three levels of a yanch, the soldier will be promoted to a youl and will wear a purple sash. Next, the soldier will be promoted to a yint and will wear a blue sash. A yint is the final of the lower yinclensions. It is not uncommon to find several individuals of the same lower yinclension and level in a single military unit. However, after passing yint, the yinclensions become increasingly less common.

The next yinclension is called a yanvin. They wear green sashes. This is the equivalent of a lieutenant in most human armies. In order to help eliminate any command issues during war, it is not common to have any more than five of each level of a yanvin within a military unit. After being promoted passed a yanvin, the yinclension is called a yatin and are marked by a red sash. It is rare to even have three of each level in a military unit.

The third highest yinclension is called a yitch and wears an orange sash. It is only common for two of each level to be in a single military unit. Next, and second highest, is a yalin who are identified by wearing yellow sashes. Only under the most extreme of circumstances would there ever be more than one of each level in the same military unit. The only time this happened in recorded history is during the Elf-Dwarf War, and even then only for battles that were so major they could turn the tide of war depending on which side won.

The highest level is called a yurik. Yuriks can be easily identified by the fact that they wear bright white sashes. White is believed by Elves to be the color of enlightenment and symbolizes the Elf's knowledge of battle and strategy. Under no conditions would there ever be more than one yurik of each level in a military unit. Even in the height of the Elven Empire there was only five of each level spread throughout the entire kingdom.

To even further separate the ranks a soldier is also identified by their yarm. A yarm was the section that the soldier is assigned to protect. Since certain areas are viewed as more important, the soldier of a more important area was viewed as a higher rank. In order to identify the yarm of a soldier a patch with the symbol of their yarm would be sewn onto the sash of their yinclension. The symbol would be sewn onto the end of the sash so that when it is tied the patches hang openly and displayed for all to see.

An example would be two soldiers of the same yinclension and level, but one was assigned to the west court of the city while the other was assigned to the protecting the ruling council. The soldier with the yarm of the ruling council would be higher in rank because the entire ruling council was more important than the west court. On the other hand, the west court of a city was usually a place where families went with children to relax. Therefore a soldier with the yarm of the west court was typically higher than a soldier of the east wall. A wall can fall and be rebuilt, but the lives of the innocent can never be brought back.


The Place of Women

Though women are treated as individuals and highly cherished, ultimately her place is viewed only in the home. After being married off (see below for more details on marriages in Elven culture), a woman is expected to obey her husband and support him in all matters, at least as far as the public eye is concerned. Like many other aspects of Elven culture, how things appear in public is the most important factor. Behind closed doors she is free to speak her mind and do as she wishes, as long as when company is present she acts as the dutiful wife.

A husband has final say in all matters except for two. The first involves the raising of children. It did not matter if it involved math, philosophy, morality, selecting a mentor for combat training, punishment, or any other of a thousand matters; when it came to the upbringing of their child, the woman's decision is absolute. In this area she has total control. This is a great responsibility as it is well understood by Elves that children would one day shape the world. In this way a woman has far greater power than any male because she can guide the hands of the future. Of course, if the child grows up poorly it is reflected solely upon the mother.

The second matter a woman had complete control is in anything that involved the home. She is not only responsible for cooking and cleaning, but also decorating the home. Though she is expected to help reflect the husband in her choice of décor it is in no way necessary. If she is unhappy with her husband it is not uncommon for her to arrange things in a way to vex him. In this way it truly does reflect upon him, as any who enter can see it is an unhappy home. Anything involving these two matters is her domain and not the place of a male to ever question her, at least not when in the eyes of the public.

Women are not allowed to join the military due to Elven beliefs. It is considered "inappropriate" for a woman to take up a weapon. A woman's hands are delicate things, far too lovely to soil with the taint of an enemy's blood. Their hands are far better served to take care of children and the home. This is not to say women do not play an important part during war. It is the task of women to support the spirits of the troops, and there is no more important task than that.  Without a strong spirit a battle can be lost before it is ever fought. By taking care of home and children it allows the males to fight with a clear mind, not weighed down by worry. As long as the women took care of their homes, the males always knew they would be able to return to a home ready to welcome them back as readily as the day they left.

Though that was the only official duty of a woman in battle, many women have also given tactical advice to soldiers and it is noted that many great leaders listened to the wise words of their wife or "companion." There are even rumors of a squadron secretly composed entirely of women. These women were said to be the widows of males killed in battle during the tragic Elf-Dwarf War. The secret of the squadron was said to be known only by the yalin who lead them into battle. All the battles were victorious and resulted in few, if any, Elven casualties.

The yalin is never named as it is said that these rumors are nothing but an attempt to slander and tarnish his good name. All the bodies of the fallen soldiers were disposed of in the custom of the squadron, burned in a funeral pyre. This method of treating the dead causes only more questions to be raised as it is not the Elven way (see below for more details on Elven funerals), but disposed of all evidence that could prove or disprove the rumor. Due to the lack of official evidence the rumor is typically dismissed as nonsense. Despite the doubts, it is still believed by some to be true, especially modern women who see an all female squadron as inspiration.

One of the more popular tales of a female Elf warrior is the legend of J'Rangan, the Silver Hood. During the glory days in the Age of Elves she was a bandit who specialized in stealing items made of silver. It is even said she would ignore other jewelry, chests of gold, and even many magic items because, to her, they were completely worthless. This is the only tale of an Elven female warrior that is generally accepted as fact. As a bandit and a woman though, her actions are twice damned by traditional Elven culture.

Her exact motivations are still unknown due to the fact she was never caught. Some rumors say that she was simply obsessed with the color and even underwent a magical procedure to permanently dye her hair silver. One of the more logical theories, and the current subject of a play in the north lands Eastern Territories, is that she was fighting some secret war against vampires or werebeasts, hence her need for silver items. The play suggests both as the vampires and werebeasts are working together in it, and she is still oddly depicted as having silver hair. Some view the play, and the theory itself, as just as absurd as the first theory. A few extremists even go so far as to say she was simply mad, as already evidenced by a woman wanting to be a warrior in the first place.



Unlike many other races, Elves do not believe in wearing makeup. In fact, most Elves find those who wear makeup very unattractive. Typically, Elves feel it is the plain self which is the most beautiful because there is no attempt to cover the true, natural beauty while makeup is nothing more than a false facade. There are many from other races who claim Elves can only feel that way because they are naturally beautiful while the other races need to work on it.

According to Elves, true beauty comes from within, not from how one appears. As a result of this attitude, most Elves have a natural resistance to charms and impressions resulting from physical beauty alone. Few Elves will be swayed by a cute face, nice body, or the playful batting of an eye. On the other hand, this often causes them to fall prey to a charismatic personality more easily than most. While more susceptible to the influence of mental wiles, this does not mean they are total pushovers either. Even an Elf is unlikely to fall for obvious ploys and trickery.

Many laugh at the concept of Elves being attracted to personality instead of physical beauty due to the natural haughty and unappealing personality (low M.A. attribute) of most Elves. However, what most of those who laugh don't take the time to realize is that the attitude which they perceive is by a different standard than Elves view it. While an Elf may seem arrogant to a human, within Elven culture the attitude is perfectly normal and much better embraced. This allows Elves to look beyond the initial perception that most other races see and notice their true inner beauty.

Though, perhaps more importantly, Elves do not necessarily act the same amongst each other as they do with other races. Most Elves are not trying to come off as arrogant. There is a time that their attitude may have been that of superiority, but most Elves have since tried to curb that feeling and view all races as having some worth, with the possible exception of Dwarves. Now though, Elves more try to guide and protect the "young" races, such as humans. Their age, experience, and wisdom gives them great insights that they use to try and guide others, the same as a parent guides a child. However, like children often view parents, the other races still view Elves as overbearing, controlling, and no fun. This is in part due to their attempts to help, but also because many cannot let go of the past and see the difference.


Names and Family Clans

The Elves have set rules for creating the name of their young. Since their alliance with humans, many Elves have adapted and no longer use the ancient method of their race. Similarly, many humans name their children using the Elven method. However, humans rarely tend to understand the complexity of the traditional ways and typically lack meaning in the name. It merely has the same look and sound of a true Elven name, but none of the symbolism. Note: Explanations of how to create an authentic Elven name will be given, but may seem confusing at first. For that reason, examples are given after to help clear up any initial confusion.

Elves do not use a surname since it is a rarity to come across two Elves with the same first name. Some Elves have been known to refer to their family clan as a surname, but this is usually only done to end any confusion between the rare occurrence of two Elves with the same name, or an attempt to boast. The latter is not very common and usually only done by young and immature Elves. True Elves do not need to try and sound important, because they already know they are important and there is no need to prove it to anyone else.

A traditional Elven name begins with a single letter followed by an apostrophe. Each letter has its own unique meaning with each vowel also symbolizing an element. The first letter is decided by the time of year. It is then followed by the rest of the name. The second part of the name is decided by the parents, but is usually influenced by the alignment of the stars. This gives each name a symbolic meaning decided by the time of birth, but also a personal meaning as it is decided by the family. The meaning of the first letter is as follows:

A – Flexibility (Water)

B – Insight

C – Serenity

D – Loyalty

E – Energy (Fire)

F – Leadership

G – Graceful

H – Talent

I – Intelligent (Air)

J – Lucky

K – Defensive

L – Resilient

M – Witty

N – Divinity

O – Strength (Earth)

P – Friendly

Q – Aggressive

R – Quick

S – Patient

T – Honorable

U – Lonely (Void)

V – Wisdom

W – Healthy

X – Perfect

Y – Balanced

Z – Eternal

As an example of the above the famous Elf palladin known as the Slayer of Demons, N'Hogosh, can be used. Due to the time of year he was born his name has an N which indicates divinity. The rest was influenced by the stars to make it a truly unique name. Another example is the Elven philosopher, B'Garu. The time of year he was born caused his name to start with a B which means insight. The rest of his name was actually chosen by family alone with no star reference. The parents' personal tastes help to keep it unique.

Naturally, every Elf is born into a family. In addition, each family is part of a much larger clan. These family clans vary greatly in names and standings within Elven culture. Each family is described with a color and a verb. The color is decided by the first letter of the word. However, it is the whole word that depicts what the verb is. In the Elven language, this is typically a two letter word with only the occasional three letter word.

Due to the Elven language, the letter of the color cannot always start the word of the verb. To lessen any possible confusion, an apostrophe is often added. When an apostrophe is placed at the end of the family name it indicates that the first letter is part of the normal verb and that it is unchanged. If there is no apostrophe in the family name it implies that the letter for the color is added to the original word to make it complete.

There are only 13 colors used for all 26 letters. In the Elven culture each color has a day and a night variant which means each of the 13 colors are used twice, once for each of the two variations. For simplicity in translation, the variation is left off and the color is said by its basic name. The color of the first letter in the family name, as well as what it symbolizes, is as follows:

A – Gold (Day)

B – Red (Day)

C – Blue (Night)

D – Gold (Night)

E – Black (Day)

F – Black (Night)

G – Orange (Night)

H – Green (Day)

I – Pink (Night)

J – Brown (Day)

K – Brown (Night)

L – Blue (Day)

M – Green (Night)

N – Silver (Night)

O – Yellow (Day)

P – Purple (Day)

Q – Red (Night)

R – Purple (Night)

S – Grey (Day)

T – Orange (Day)

U – Yellow (Night)

V – White (Night)

W – Grey (Night)

X – Silver (Day)

Y – Pink (Day)

Z – White (Day)

As an example of the above the family name Et' will be used. Its name means Black Creeping. Black is from the first letter from the first letter of the word, E. The day variation is not mentioned for ease in translation. The word et itself is the verb creep in Elven. In translation, it is referred to as creeping to help the family name merge with the clan name. Since there is an apostrophe at the end it symbolizes that the word et is the original word and that nothing has been added. Another example is the family name Qet, meaning Red Creeping. The Q at the beginning of the word is for the color red with the variation, this time night, left off for ease in translation. The word et is the same as above, but there is no apostrophe indicating that the letter of the color has been added to the word to make the family name.

Though the family name on its own does not often make much sense, it is not meant to stand alone. It is intended to be combined with the name of the clan. The final part is the clan name. The first letter of the clan name represents an animal. It is followed by an apostrophe, and then the rest of the clan name. The second part follows after the apostrophe and completes the name. Typically, the second section of the clan name is part of the animal's body. The animal represented by the first letter is as follows:

A – Bear

B – Goat

C – Rabbit

D – Fox

E – Sphinx

F – Butterfly

G – Horse

H – Rooster

I – Wolverine

J – Boat

K – Turtle

L – Monkey

M – Tiger

N – Dove

O – Porcupine

P – Elephant

Q – Ox

R – Lion

S – Snake

T – Rat

U – Unicorn

V – Dragon

W – Opossum

X – Scorpion

Y – Wolf

Z – Phoenix

As an example of the above, the clan Y'Blarin can be used. The Y followed by the apostrophe means wolf. The word Blarin that follows means paw. So the clan is known as the Wolf Paw. A second example of this is the clan E'Harun. The E means that the animal is the Sphinx and the word Harun means feather. So the clan name is the Sphinx Feather. When this is put together with the rest the full name of the Elf is revealed. This includes personal name, family name, and clan name. It is traditional to always say the name of the family clan together, and only someone not familiar with the Elven culture will ever say them separately.

A complete example of an Elf name with family clan is M'Igan Yut T'Kish. M'Igan is still the Elf's personal name and typically the only one used. The M means witty and the rest was chosen by the parents according to the alignment of the stars. However, at times the family clan is mentioned. Yut T'Kish is the family clan of the Pink Wagging Rat Whisker. The Y in the family name indicates the color pink. No apostrophe at the end of the word means the word is ut. In Elven, the word ut means wag. Since Elven words do not have a variation on wag to help the verb flow into the clan name more smoothly in translation, an -ing is added at the end. The T in the clan name indicates a Rat and the word kish means whisker. So the final family clan name is Pink Wagging Rat Whisker.


Marriages and Matters of the Heart

In ancient Elven culture love played little part in marriage, and still sometimes in more modern noble families. The marriage is set up by the other members of the family. This arranged marriage is usually arranged after both Elves reach the Age of Maturity, but in some instances of highly influential families it can be organized while one or both are not even ten years of age with the actual marriage taking place years later after both reach the Age of Maturity. Reasons for the matching can have several different purposes. Regardless of the reasons, it is the duty of the child to follow through with the marriage for the honor of the family clan.

Common purposes for the marriages are often wealth, social standing, allying warring family clans, and many other reasons. If one family seems to have an obvious advantage, such as poor marrying into wealth, the marriage typically involves the wealthier family desiring strong offspring, repaying an old family debt, a beautiful companion to show off at gatherings, and many other reasons. Some arranged marriages are based upon already existing feelings from the couple. Then terms are simply worked out between the two family clans.

To many other races and cultures this tradition can seem cold and heartless. The Dwarves in particular have been known to say only an "ice blooded" Elf could "auction off" their children. However, Elves traditionally did not view marriage as a symbol of love. It was more a business transaction that helped both the family and an arrangement that would, ideally, help to ensure both children could be self sufficient. This tradition was a way for the child to repay their parents for the years of upbringing. In more recent times, since their alliance with humans, this tradition has been mainly phased out except by some noble families.

Since arranged marriages have little to do with love it is common for Elves to have a "companion." These "companions" are a well accepted part of a household and help to fulfill the need of love. Even though it is well known that both husband and wife have a "companion," it is not something that is ever discussed publicly. Officially they should appear as a happily married couple. To help with the illusion it is important that a child is never conceived by the "companion." Not all arranged marriages have a "companion" though. Some marriages are arranged based upon already existing feelings for the couple, then terms set to make it work between the family clans. Also, though rare, there are times when a couple will develop feelings for each other during marriage.

Most Elves live their lives to either bring their family clan honor, or at the very least to make sure they don't bring dishonor to it. However, the concept of honor is often set to the side when a "matter of the heart" is involved. A "matter of the heart" does not necessarily refer to a "companion," but to anyone who is truly loved by the Elf. If something happens to a loved one, whether it is great physical harm or some form of threat, the Elf will more than likely go through great lengths to rectify the matter. The method used to fix the problem varies with each problem and the thinking of the individual Elf. Though, if a loved one is killed, the end result is almost always the same.

When a loved one is killed the Elf does not waste time with a duel of honor, but will seek revenge by any means necessary. It does not matter how it will look in the public eye as long as revenge is taken, the quicker the better. Elves will track a culprit to any corner of the world and beyond, even seeking travel to other dimensions if that is what the revenge requires. Once this quest begins it will not stop until justice has been delivered or the Elf dies. None are exempt from this revenge, not even a family member of the spouse. An example of this is a husband who killed his wife in public after she ordered the death of his "companion." The wife's reasons for doing such are still unknown, but the end result is well documented.

These types of extreme actions are one of the reasons there is an old Gnome saying, "Anubis hath no fury like that of an Elf scorned." In many ways this is similar to the Dwarven Blood Oath of Eternal Revenge (see Dwarf Culture Blood Oaths for more details). For this reason, even a Dwarf will often offer respect to an Elf seeking revenge for a "matter of the heart." There are times when a Dwarf will even assist the Elf on this quest. It is one of the few factors these two ancient and bitter rivals can truly agree on.



It is not uncommon for an Elf to shake hands. However, an Elf hand shake tends to be different than the human. When shaking hands, the two clasp the mid-forearm of the other. The hand should be placed fairly evenly between the wrist and elbow. Typically, the left hand is used. This is because the left hand is the hand of peace and friendship. It is the most common to see a handshake during a friendly exchange between family and allies.

When on more formal terms, greeting someone held in high respect, or simply of higher standings, it is more appropriate to bow. Elven bows tend to be rather complicated. First, it matters how the head is positioned. Typically, the head is kept straight forward looking at the Elf that is being bowed down to. This allows both to see each others face and any reactions. Turning the head to either side is a sign of disrespect. It is also important how far one bows. The lower one bows, the more respect is shown. Despite this fact, one should never bow so far that eye contact is lost.

It is appropriate to avoid smiling or frowning during a bow as either can be misinterpreted as a sign of disrespect. Frowning can show disapproval and smiling can show that the Elf is viewed as a joke. At times, it is acceptable for the bower to completely lower the head so far as to face only the feet of the other. This demonstrates a high reverence. However, this should not be done too often or the bower will become known as a joke and lose honor.

Another important aspect to an Elven bow is the placement of hands. The right hand should be placed over the left side of the chest and the left hand over the right side of the chest, typically directly over the Elven heart. If done correctly, the wrists should connect near the center of the chest forming an x. Note: Elven physiology is slightly different than human physiology. One of the main differences is that many of the internal organs tend to be on the opposite side of a human. This places the heart slightly on the right as opposed to the left, but still close to the middle.

Each hand is placed in one of three ways: the palm towards the chest, thumb towards the chest, or the thumb away from the chest. In addition, certain fingers are extended while others are closed. Which fingers are in which position is an important factor in the bow. The exact positioning of the hand and how the fingers are placed indicate a particular Elven clan. Clans gestured with right hand indicate the chief rivals while the left hand indicates the main ally of the family.

If both palms, open handed with all the fingers extended, are placed against the chest, it indicates the there are currently no feuds with the Elf's family clan and they have many allies. When both hands are placed open with the fingers extended up, but the thumbs placed against the chest, it symbolizes that the enemies of the family clan are plentiful and they have few or no allies. The hands are positioned this way so that the Elf can be best prepared to defend against an attack from one of its many enemies. This can be done without direct insult to the other party.

When both hands are closed into fists and the palms are facing toward the chest it indicates that the person is an outsider with no allies or enemies with the family clans. The closed fists symbolize that the person is closed off from the Elven culture. This is most typically used by the other races which bow in an attempt to offer respect to an Elf, but can also be used by Elven children and those that have been removed from Elven culture for too long. It is by far the safest method to use for an outsider. If an adult Elf familiar with Elven customs and family clans uses this method it will make the Elf a joke, effectively calling himself a joke. There are times when this is the smartest route an Elf can take, preferring to be laughed at rather than to cause insult.

An example is an Elf bowing to another Elf. The Elf bowing bows very slightly. This shows respect, but it isn't a great respect. The Elf places his right hand over the left side of his chest with the pinky towards the chest and only the index finger extended. This indicates his family clan has a feud with the Daru E'Harun, Golden Blowing Sphinx Feather, and family clan. His left hand is placed over his heart on the right side of his chest, palm against the body with the middle and pinky finger extended. This indicates the Elf is allied with the family clan of Tun S'Hafu, Orange Winding Snake Skin.

Note: Due to the complexities, it would be nearly impossible to list all the combinations and the family clan they represent. So this is left to G.M. and player's discretion to create any gestures and names that seem appropriate for their game. Keep in mind this is meant to add flavor to the game. If it ever becomes too complicated and detracts away from having fun, then these rules should be ignored or glossed over and accepted the characters know what they're doing. The important thing is to have fun.



The Elves hold the bodies of their dead as sacred. When possible, they hold an elaborate ceremony to commemorate the life of the deceased. It is customary for those who attend to wear white. White represents the cycle of life and that all things are circular. The ceremony is to both mourn those gone and to honor their rebirth. After the ceremony the body is buried, incense burned, and a proper headstone erected to mark the grave. As much as possible of the deceased's belongings are passed down to the family, either by birth or through marriage. While a proper ceremony is preferred, during times of excessive death such as war or plague it is acceptable for mass burial. The Great War is the most notable of such instances.


The Four Elements

The Elves believe in the same four elements as the warlock: Air, Earth, Fire, and Water. These are viewed as the four guiding elements in all things. Sometimes in the Elven culture, there is a fifth element known as the Void. The void is the word for nothingness. It is believed that from nothing comes creation and that all creation will one day return to nothingness. It is the endless cycle of all life. For this reason, the Void is the center of all four elements when included.