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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Elves, High—Marlenya, Gallarond

Elves, High—Marlenya, Gallarond

History

The Marlenya—typically known as the High Elves to others—have established a powerful and glorious elven kingdom, where the Marlenya and their Sarlenya brethren live in a primordial, other-worldly realm of vast, towering mountains, mysterious, mist-shrouded forests, romantic, idyllic meadows, shimmering lakes, and sparkling rivers. The Marlenya have built wondrous, graceful castles of fine stone and glass, as well as glittering cities, prosperous towns, and scenic, peaceful villages throughout the mysterious, enchanted land of Gallarond. The Kingdom of Gallarond is graciously ruled by valiant and noble elven knights, and guarded by a powerful army of fiercely-disciplined and heroic Marlenya warriors armoured in glittering mail and armed with the finest bows, deadly spears, and gleaming swords. All of the Marlenya and Sarlenya are citizens of the kingdom, and all are bound by sacred, ancient oaths of loyalty and allegiance to the glorious King of Gallarond.

The first Marlenya settlers in Gallarond originally came from a large fleet that was sent out to find new lands to colonize. The great elven fleet discovered the new land, and after sending scouts ashore, the elves determined that the land was primarily a dense, uncharted wilderness, and was suitable to establish a settlement. The Marlenya landed, and proceeded to establish various settlements throughout the region, and soon formally established the Kingdom of Gallarond. The great elven fleet was composed of a variety of colonists drawn from the largest elven kingdoms far to the north and north-west, from the kingdoms of Vaedrenar, Rhaethillien, and Dor’Lomenath. The elven settlers were led by a great elven nobleman and adventurer—Lord Gallarond. Lord Gallarond had an ancient and heroic lineage in his homeland of Rhaethillien, though because he was not the first-born child, he was therefore not the heir to his family’s lands and holdings. Gallarond was bold and ambitious, and was eager to gain lands of his own. From such noble lineage and great ambition, Gallarond was selected by the queen of Rhaethillien to lead the expedition in search of new lands.

The elves proceeded to establish a secure encampment, and soon, Gallarond assembled all of the people for a great ceremony. The great ceremony was preceded by various rituals, and the expedition’s druids anointed Gallarond as the new king of the realm. The elves enjoyed a wondrous feast afterwards in honor to the great occasion, and the Kingdom of Gallarond was formally established. The elves of Gallarond built new villages, towns, and fortresses at far-flung, scattered locations so as to fence their new realm in, and establish some general boundaries. The elves established a formal boundary to the Malaris Forest, with the south-eastern borders formed from the Marlann and the Vandris Rivers. The eastern border was the high ridge-points and forests of the Caledorn Mountains. To the north, the boundary was the northern banks of the Amberi River. The entire western lands were enclosed by the waves of the Argerren Sea.

The Marlenya founded the Kingdom of Gallarond over three thousand years ago, and have worked hard and diligently to keep their great kingdom not only safe and strong—but virtually unknown to any outsiders, as well as any of the non-elven races and peoples that have come to dwell in the nearby regions. The Kingdom of Gallarond is a strange, mystical realm, where even the elves have not explored all of it in detail. The Marlenya have added various enchantments to further shroud and enhance the mysterious realm, and to maintain the geographical, racial and political integrity of the kingdom. The Marlenya have long memories—and remember with precise clarity, righteous indignation and bitter sorrow—the mournful fate of more than one elven realm that had its sovereign borders overrun by various enemies in savage invasions and wars of brutal, ruthless conquest.

The Marlenya have forged a great and noble kingdom that is strong and secure. However, the great land of Gallarond is also a mythical realm, interlaced with mysterious, primordial locations, strange landmarks, and mystic environments that border magical lands and other-worldly dimensions. While the elves largely rule the land of Gallarond as their dominion—they do not rule the ancient dominion alone, and must share the land with mythical monsters, faerie creatures, and other eldritch beings—not all of which are friendly to the elves. Many such mythical creatures and monsters are deadly enemies to the elves, while others are variously competitive, mischievous, or merely predatory, according to their own natures and whims.

Physical Appearance

The Marlenya are an ancient, majestic race of High Elves that are tall, graceful, and beautiful. Marlenya typically dress in fine, richly embroidered clothes, often of bright, vivid colors. Marlenya love fine jewelry, and especially favour necklaces, neck and arm torcs, and rings. While all Marlenya love jewelry, they are not typically ostentatious, and prefer to wear but a few beautiful items of jewelry at a time. Female Marlenya often wear their hair long and straight, and often worn in braids, with hair-torcs or jeweled hair-combs. Female Marlenya typically wear their hair to the middle of their back, or down to their waist in length. Female Marlenya enjoy fine, exotic perfumes, and are fond of scented baths. Male Marlenya usually wear their hair straight or wavy, and to their shoulders or the middle of their back in length. Marlenya do not grow facial hair.

Marlenya, as elves, are typically well-proportioned, alluring, and very attractive in appearance and form. Female Marlenya are athletic, curvaceous, and beautiful. Male Marlenya are athletic, muscular, and handsome. Naturally, the individual elf possesses varying dimensions and form—but whatever the particular unique appearance, an elf typically reflects an other-worldly form of exquisite grace, impressive strength and enchanting beauty.

Marlenya usually have skin tone that is a smooth, milk-white or pale, cream-white in complexion. Marlenya often have unusual eye colors, commonly having eyes of lilac-blue, violet-blue, yellow-gold, ice-grey or pale-green in color. Marlenya hair is typically long, thick, and wavy, and often of raven-black, ebony-black, platinum-blonde, or auburn in color. Male Marlenya average 6’4” in height and typically weigh 210-lbs. Female Marlenya average 6’0” in height, and weigh 170-lbs.


N.B: Player Characters are encouraged to review the Marlenya Character Tables, below.

Marlenya characters are strong and very intelligent, and gain a +1 bonus to Strength and a +1 bonus to Intelligence at character generation. Marlenya are heroic, inspiring and magnetic in their demeanor and manner, and gain a +1 bonus to Charisma at character generation. In addition, the Marlenya are almost always very attractive and alluring in appearance, and gain a +3 bonus to Comeliness at character generation. The Marlenya, while strong, are not as robust as humans, and suffer a -1 penalty to Constitution at character generation.

Marlenya Character Ability Summary
+1 Strength
+1 Intelligence
+1 Charisma
+3 Comeliness
-1 Constitution

Marlenya Character Tables

Marlenya Character Table: Skin Tone
Dice Roll/Skin Tone
01-30%: White, Milk/Albino
31-80%: White, Pale Cream
81-90%: White, Olive
91-00%: White, Tan

Marlenya Character Table: Hair Color
Dice Roll/Hair Color
01-25%: Black, Raven
26-40%: Black, Ebony
41-55%: Blonde, Platinum
56-65%: Blonde, Golden
66-75%: Red, Auburn
76-80%: Milk White
81-82%: Silver
83-84%: Black, Brown
85-86%: Brown, Dark
87-88%: Brown, Chestnut
89-90%: Brown, Red
91-92%: Red
93-94%: Red, Copper
95-96%: Blonde, Ash
97-98%: Blonde, Flaxen
99-00%: Blonde, Honey

Marlenya Character Table: Eye Color
Dice Roll/Eye Color
01-05%: Blue, Midnight
06-10%: Blue-Grey
11-15%: Blue, Ice
16-25%: Blue, Lilac
26-35%: Blue, Violet
36-45%: Blue-Green
46-55%: Yellow, Golden
56-65%: Grey, Ice
66-75%: Green, Pale
76-80%: Grey, Pale
81-85%: Grey, Iron
86-90%: Green, Bright
91-95%: Green, Kelly
96-00%: Green, Seafoam

Marlenya Height and Weight Tables
Male Marlenya Base Height: 5’10”-7’0”; (5’8” + 2d8”);
Average Height: 6’4”
Male Marlenya Base Weight: 154-280 pounds; (140+14d10);
Average Weight: 210-lbs.

Female Marlenya Base Height: 5’8”-6’6”; (5’6” + 2d6”);
Average Height: 6’0”
Female Marlenya Base Weight: 130-220 pounds; (120+10d10)
Average Weight: 170-lbs.

Politics

The Marlenya king is the king of all the elves in Gallarond—whether they are Marlenya or Sarlenya. However, the Sarlenya are more or less self-sufficient and independent from the Marlenya. For the most part, the Sarlenya are content with the Marlenya king handling any large foreign-policy arrangements with kingdoms or tribes beyond the borders of Gallarond. The Sarlenya tribes acknowledge the strength and leadership of the Marlenya king, and generally view the Marlenya as greater “elder brothers” or “elder sisters”—in honor to the Marlenya for three reasons; the Marlenya were created by the elven gods first; the Marlenya possess a greater command of the magical, arcane arts; the Marlenya bathed in, and enjoyed the Primal Waters of Creation for a longer span of years than the Sarlenya. The Sarlenya are content to live amongst the Marlenya, in their own manner, and according to their own temperament and way. In a similar manner, the Marlenya respect the Sarlenya for their own unique culture, talents, and contributions to the kingdom, and their people. The Marlenya often gently chide the Sarlenya for their primitive, barbaric ways and customs—though the Marlenya also feel a deep kinship and joyful awe in the Sarlenya’s nomadic, barbaric culture. The Marlenya are likewise often amused with their Sarlenya brethren, though the Marlenya are also proud and content of their own unique culture, and living in their own way.

The King of Gallarond rules for life, and is served by a Royal Council, called the Druna. The Druna is composed of the kingdom’s great nobles, as well as a High Wizard, and a High Druid. The council also includes various lesser ranking members, from warriors and druids, to mages, bards and other elders drawn from the realm. The Druna advises the king, as well as holding debates on various issues as circumstances demand. The elven people enjoy great personal, and economic freedoms, and while the Druna holds the power to vote a wayward monarch from the throne—such an action requires extensive debate, ceremonies, a majority vote of the entire council, as well as various and particular other criteria. The elves are traditional supporters of monarchy—and the elves’ religious philosophy is intricately intertwined with a deep belief in the need for a “Divine Monarch”—as the King, and Queen alike are seen as in many ways being divinely anointed by the gods, and entirely interdependent upon the overall health and prosperity of the “Land”.

The Marlenya, while believing in divine, absolute monarchy—are also convinced of the need for healthy, passionate debate, and voicing their opinions and concerns. The Marlenya cherish their personal freedoms, and the King is seen as the divinely-anointed guardian and defender of those freedoms, as well as the elven culture and way of life. The elven commoners serve their lawful and rightful lords—who in turn, are arranged in a feudal structure that serves the king.

The Marlenya druids have acknowledged and proclaimed there is the “Law of Tyrannis”—which is an ancient, draconian law which declares that should any citizen of the kingdom reveal the secret gateways into the land of Gallarond, such a person is guilty of high treason, and is to be executed. Furthermore, the traitor’s entire family is also condemned to death. The elves have never admitted that there has ever been such a traitor to the Kingdom of Gallarond, thus the law, evidently, has never been put to the test. The Marlenya also forbid any foreign visitors to the sacred realm of Gallarond, without having an invitation, and an escort. Any non-elves that have visited Gallarond have only done so by heavy escort, and been taken by secret ways to whatever city or part of the realm they desired to reach.

The Marlenya King has allowed specially designated border communities to be centers of trade and commerce with foreigners—and it is only to these particular places that foreigners are welcomed. Heralds from Gallarond have taken the words of their great king to foreign leaders—whether they be chieftains or kings—and explained the policy of the King of Gallarond in a clear, distinctive manner, and have also written and presented treaties where such policies are detailed. It is well known that foreign visitors are not permitted to enter anywhere in Gallarond except in the sanctioned border communities that possess an official “Foreign Gate”. As far as neighboring human communities know of—or for that matter, humans anywhere else that know of the Kingdom of Gallarond—any people that they have known or heard of that have gone into other areas of Gallarond have vanished forever, never to return. The fate of such intrepid explorers—or foolish adventurers—is a mystery. The elves, when questioned, claim ignorance—or offer the suggestion that the elven forests are very dangerous and mysterious, and various creatures and monsters that live within the ancient woods may have killed and eaten the foreign explorers. Whether or not any humans have ever entered an area of sacred Gallarond and returned alive, no human sages know for certain. As far as humans or any other foreigners know—the Kingdom of Gallarond remains a mystery, shrouded in a dangerous, mythical realm.

Culture

The Marlenya of Gallarond has an ancient and noble culture that is heroic, feudal, and mystical. The Marlenya take omens and divination very seriously, and such customs as astrology, portents, visions and prophecy are very important to them. The Marlenya have a large range of cultural customs for occasions at birth, death, marriage, adulthood, among others. There are special seasonal celebrations, ceremonies and festivals that are held throughout the year, and are eagerly attended by everyone in the Marlenya community. The Marlenya honor their gods with numerous rituals and ceremonies, as well as elaborate festivals and holidays.

The Kingdom of Gallarond is rich in natural resources. The elves of Gallarond harvest special areas set aside for lumber, as well as harvesting a large variety of crops, plants, herbs, roots, berries, and nuts. The elves raise herds of unusually large cattle—as well as various other animals, from sheep and chickens, to pigs, rabbits and game-birds. Gallarond is rich in fish and amphibians as well, and the rivers and lakes provide the elves with a large portion of their diet. The elves of Gallarond have also developed several excellent varieties of wine and ale, which is eagerly traded and sought by foreign merchants.

The elves of Gallarond are also outstanding craftsmen, and weave gorgeous clothing, fine cloaks, and beautiful pottery. In addition, elven merchants also trade elven-made books, scrolls, jewelry, and fine, exquisite furniture.

Much of the resources, wealth and goods that the Sarlenya gather or manufacture are traded for by Marlenya merchants, who then take such goods to the Border Towns and trade the Sarlenya goods to human and non-human merchants that gather there for commerce. The Marlenya sell all such elven goods—whether made by Marlenya or Sarlenya—for very high prices. The Marlenya elves have sophisticated merchant-guilds that join together in organizing trade policies for goods exported in trade to foreign markets.

The Marlenya differ from their wood-elf brethren in many ways—from being more advanced in various areas, as well as a preference for mountains, and sea-shores. The Marlenya are typically more disciplined, lawful, and proud. The Marlenya honor their gods in various natural settings, much as the Sarlenya do—but the Marlenya also build great temples to their gods. The Marlenya also enjoy living in cities, and towns—as well as great fortresses and romantic citadels perched on high, majestic mountains, or overlooking a shimmering lake, or set upon some high, scenic hill overlooking beautiful seashores with a crashing surf.

The Marlenya are also more with comfortable authoritarian tendencies than the Sarlenya. The Marlenya typically view these characteristics as “leadership” and “boldness”—though the Sarlenya simply view their Marlenya brethren as enjoying power, authority, structure, discipline and hierarchy more than they. The Marlenya tend to rely less on processes of “consensus” than the Sarlenya, often being bold, daring, and impatient. The Marlenya are also more worldly and decadent, enjoying a range of pleasures and protocols that are typically amusing—if not somewhat baffling to the Sarlenya. For example, Marlenya take great pleasure in elaborate social and sexual protocols and engaging in complex mind games and subtle manipulation. Marlenya are also much more materialistic and concerned with social status, nuances of social pecking orders and erotic games than the more straightforward and direct Sarlenya.

Of course, much of the sophisticated, elaborate cultural customs of the Marlenya are readily cast aside—at least temporarily—when the circumstance or occasion demand it. Marlenya can be very exhilarated and entirely hedonistic during various erotic festivals and celebrations, rough feasts in meeting halls with champions and warriors gathered about, drinking, yelling oaths, storytelling, and engaging in fierce bragging contests. The Marlenya are also known—and feared—to become overwhelmed with ferocious bloodlust and battle-frenzy in battle, and taking a savage joy in all aspects of slaughter and war. The Marlenya are also known for being vengeful, and can become consumed with various obsessions. In many ways, the typical Marlenya culture and its plethora of elaborate customs, mannerisms, laws, and expectations serve themselves as an elaborate system of controls—to restrain and control the deeper chaotic personality and savage passions within the Marlenya soul.

The Marlenya marriage customs are as follows:

Monogamous; Loose, Informal, Concubinage

Loose: People involved have varying expectations of absolute sexual fidelity and exclusivity; mistresses, lovers, and so on are fairly common, and generally accepted.

Informal: The culture has no strict requirements concerning divorce, and divorce is relatively easy and simple to do, with no social, religious or cultural stigmas for anyone involved. In addition, children born out of wedlock are not subject to being outcasts, and may be common and entirely accepted.

Concubinage: The culture embraces the custom of maintaining concubines for a married person, whether male or female. In the cases where concubines provide children, the children have some rights of inheritance. In addition, concubines have an official, legal and social status, and enjoy specific social, legal and inheritance rights.

The Marlenya deeply value their families, love, romance, and passion. The Marlenya, while generally being tolerant and forgiving amongst their own people, often take a dim view of “Half-Elves”—typically seeing them as a dilution of their noble race. However, there has always been a large percentage of Marlenya people that entirely disagree, and instead see it as a wondrous blessing—a joyous way of blessing a human community with a new child that is graced with heroic elven blood. In nearly every elven community and kingdom, both the Marlenya and Sarlenya people struggle personally and debate in both public and private in a constant tug-of-war politically, socially, and philosophically—between the “Traditionalists” and the “Progressives”.

Traditionalists are typically seen as being proud; arrogant; authoritarian; legalistic; stubborn; harsh disciplinarians; strict; rigid; demanding; idealistic; parochial; hard-hearted; unforgiving; intolerant; uncompromising; narrow-minded; ethnocentric; isolationist; cruel; and warlike.

Progressives are seen as arrogant; smug; self-righteous; decadent; undisciplined; hedonistic; greedy; selfish; materialistic; soft-hearted; idealistic; naïve; preferring endless and useless talking, “negotiations” and indecisive dithering; weak; far too compromising and eager to “engage” humans and other foreign races; being far too casual and forgetful about ancient Marlenya traditions and customs; being far too trusting, foolish, and short-sighted; being enamored with bizarre notions of “change”, “cultural engagement” and “modernistic”; and most egregiously, being insidiously and perniciously fond and thrilled with intermixing with humans and breeding half-elves.

Of course, such terms are generalizations, and probably no Marlenya of whatever faction entirely embraces or exemplifies such exaggerated descriptions and philosophies—and in fact, most Marlenya, to a rational, reasonable degree, embrace some of both sets of characteristics and attitudes—or more accurately, such traits and their philosophical opposites, as individual temperament and nature is wont to do, like humans and humanoids in any other community. Nonetheless, such descriptions are used by each faction’s proponents in describing the other. Such a philosophical divide and conflict has its roots in a variety of social, cultural, religious and historical aspects in interacting and reacting to enormous human expansion throughout the regions where elves have traditionally established their communities, realms, and kingdoms.

In centuries past, the elves held a famous and great debate between Arch-Duke Mallendil and Princess Nymandra, held in the ancient and glorious city of Rhaethillien, in the distant northern elven Kingdom of Rhaethillien.

The Struggle of Elven Philosophy: The Traditionalists and the Progressives

Arch-Duke Mallendil is cousin to the King of Rhaethillien, and is the son of the King’s brother, Valgarion. Arch-Duke Mallendil is the High-Lord of the Northern Marches; Commander of the Tower of Dheshanna; and a Knight of the Order of the Silver Dragons. Arch-Duke Mallendil argued in favour of the Traditionalist Philosophy, and is quoted below:

Are the elves—the Marlenya and our brethren, the Sarlenya, not the elder race? It is we, the elves—that were first in the creation; it is we, who have been blessed with not only great beauty, knowledge, wisdom and power—but also charged with a sacred duty. Our sacred duty, as given to us by our great gods, has been to shepherd the earth, the forests, the animals—and to be defenders of goodness, freedom and purity—and champions of the light, of beauty, and of the sacred, holy earth and the dominion of nature. Furthermore, as we are charged with protecting and preserving this sacred dominion of nature, we are also called to be stewards, shepherds, and guardians of the younger races, that we might teach them, guard them from the forces of darkness, and raise them up from dark barbarism.

The younger races—especially the humans—possess the divine spark of their own spirits and the nature of freedom; they may choose to live and move as they will—unfortunately, the humans are enthralled by chaotic, greedy, and violent disposition. From this—while we may appreciate and honor the humans that are exceptional, and rise above their base natures and dispositions—we must hold fast to our primary duty, and acknowledge the chaotic, greedy and violent natures that are at the heart of humanity. In doing so, we must keep ourselves hidden and separate from the humans and other younger races, as they have so frequently demonstrated through long history that their chaotic, greedy and violent natures consume them even to the point of nurturing hatred and scorn for us, their elder stewards and shepherds. In honoring our sacred duty, it is thus dangerous, foolish, and ultimately, heretical to interbreed and mix with the humans, thereby diluting our divine, beautiful and righteous blood. By indulging our sensual passions, and lasciviously embracing the humans and breeding half-elves with them, we are lowering ourselves to laying with beasts; we our embracing corruption; we are diluting our noble race, and opening the gates to our own future destruction, slavery, and extinction.

Therefore, in light of the knowledge of these facts, of embracing our sacred duty—there are clear, wise policies which flow from our noble philosophy that therefore guide us into the future. Chiefly, such philosophical concerns as follows:

Politically—we must isolate ourselves from the humans, and remain aloof from the squalid barbarism of their routine existence, only intervening directly when circumstances of fate demand that goodness, beauty, and freedom are in some way threatened if we are not to raise our hand in wrath to defend them.

Economically—while we have many goods that the humans greatly desire, and they have some resources of use to us—and some good profit can be therefore gained through trade and commerce with the humans—pursuing such interests must be done carefully, and with strength, cunning, wisdom, and strict control and watchful vigilance, so that humans do not infiltrate our lands, and rape the land and plunder the animals and resources; and so that our minds do not become enamored by the human’s corrupt philosophies; and that our bodies of glorious beauty and grace do not become polluted and debased by the human’s barbarous seed.

Culturally—our culture is vastly superior to that of humanity, and other younger races, in many ways, blessed by the gods; our wisdom, knowledge, beauty, glory and power are all greater and more sublime. Our cultural exchanges—and whatever social relationships which result—are, by careful thought and consideration, ultimately of a limited and temporary value, of some noble good and fleeting pleasure—but they, too, must be ordered with vigilance, and embraced with wisdom and prudence. Can we, at various times gain some knowledge from the humans? Certainly—just as we may genuinely enjoy and embrace an honoured and noble friendship with an individual member of their societies, or join together in some temporary alliance for a noble and righteous cause. However, it is of deepest and severe folly to somehow go to the humans, and interbreed and mix with them. In general, breeding half-elf children with the humans holds three chief consequences, as follows:

Breeding half-elf children with the humans dilutes our noble and beautiful bloodlines; the prodigious birthrates of humanity and related half-elf children vastly increases their numbers even more so, and contributes to the scarcity and continued existence of a community of pure-blooded elves.

Breeding half-elf children with the humans endangers future generations of our people by the breeding of half-elf children that partake inherently in the chaotic, greedy and violent nature of humanity, which also opens the gate to potential and sure treason and betrayal, as well as strengthening the humans with knowledge of our ways and secrets.

Breeding half-elf children with the humans, in combination with the afore-mentioned consequences, forms a cultural, religious, political, sexual and racial threat to the security, dignity, and integrity of the elven culture and kingdoms.

It should be also noted—and conceded—that the occasional marriage of an elf to some human king, queen, or other great noble or champion, is ultimately a reward to some individual human of exceptional nobility, grace, and virtue, and that the half-elf children born through such marriages are merely a small hope of doing some good through seeding the human community with children that may hopefully be exemplars of elven nobility and beauty. The individual elf—be they male or female—that does embrace some exceptional marriage to a human is a sacrifice to hope and future harmony. While such an individual elf may have the highest ideals and possess the greatest virtues of sincerity and love for their human mate—their half-elf offspring represent a sacrifice to the hope of in some small way blessing and raising the human community out of barbarism, such exceptions do not therefore warrant a wholesale change in policy or philosophy, for such is but a pebble cast into the lake.

For all of these reasons and passionate argument, it is best that all elves embrace the Traditionalist philosophy. It is the Traditionalist philosophy that in the long run provides the greatest security, integrity and honor for the elven kingdoms, and is the best way of preserving our sacred duty to our gods, and preserving the sacred and holy dominion of the natural world.

Princess Nymandra is a daughter of the royal house of the Kingdom of Rhaethillien; Furthermore, Princess Nymandra is the High-Priestess of the goddess Lytherien of the Kingdom of Rhaethillien; Lady of the Vale of Joy; a Knight of the Order of the Shimmering Glade; Mistress of the Caverns of Syllande; and Mistress of Lytherien’s Cloud. Princess Nymandra argues in favour of the Progressive Philosophy, and is quoted below:

The progressives feel that the world has changed—the world, and the human tribes and realms in it, as well as other humanoids—are not the same culturally, politically, or militarily as they were when the world was young, and the elves ruled their kingdoms in an unchallenged dominion. Furthermore, since the days of the ancient wars, through more recent ages, the elves have suffered severe losses—both in population, military armies and power, and experienced the shrinking and loss of much of their primordial dominion of old. In addition, much more would have been lost if not for the rise and dominion of the Vallorean Empire, as well as other human kingdoms that have stood against the enemies of the elves, and rolled them back, and emerged victorious through many wars and battles.

The fact that the elves more or less needed the human kingdoms to do what they did—whether or not the humans fought so many wars with a sense of altruistic concern for the elves—is proof that the age of the elves has past, and a new Age of Man has arrived. The elves must simply accept this fact, and develop wise and careful policies which preserve the elves’ security and culture—but at the same time acknowledges the rise of the Age of Man, and is not fearful of being open-minded, and engaging the humans in wide and sincere trade policies, and open and free cultural exchanges.

Part of this plan and philosophy envisions a broad attitude of intentionally seeking the pleasures and joys of breeding and intermixing with the humans, so as to bless their communities with children blessed with the beauty and grace of elven blood, and also to greatly increase the population of half-elves living within human communities, precisely so that the humans, over a prolonged period of interbreeding and cultural mixing, will embrace new philosophies of life that are more respectful and in harmony with the elves and the natural world.

Such a long-term, wise and progressive policy on the part of the elves is an excellent and very honourable and noble philosophy that will ultimately greatly benefit the elven kingdoms, and add great strength to preserving the ancient elven culture and people. In addition, many of the human empires and kingdoms are not so different from the elves, and possess many great and noble virtues, as well as positive traits, great wealth, resources, and knowledge that can be of great benefit and joy to the elves. Part of the success of such a long-term policy and philosophy requires that the elves be open-minded, tolerant, and accepting of change, new ideas, different customs and ways of doing things. In addition, pursuing and embracing such a progressive philosophy for the greater security and preservation of the elves requires that the elves seek to fully integrate trade with the humans; that the elves eagerly seek to enhance and increase cultural exchanges, and engage in dynamic political, military and economic treaties with the humans. It is from such an open-minded philosophy of engaging the humans through mutually beneficial economic, cultural, and military policies that the elves can embrace the humans in a more thorough, deeper influence of love, passion, pleasure, art, beauty, goodness, and friendship in such sweeping ways as to help the humans improve, learn, and grow into a people that are more in harmony and unity with the elves and the natural world.

Furthermore, to make such a philosophy an increasing element to the humans—requires that the elves help the humans by breeding with them prodigiously, and leading the humans into embracing all manner of joyful relationships and friendships with the elves so that through such sexual relationships and breeding, the humans will gain a deeper appreciation for the elven culture and people, as well as nurture a deeper sense of loyalty and desire to protect and preserve the elven people and the elven culture that they have grown to love so much. Through these relationships of mutual benefit, love, and friendship, the humans may gradually embrace a philosophy that is more in harmony with the elven culture and the natural world.

And finally, not only does such a progressive philosophy provide better long-term benefits for the elven people and culture—interbreeding with the humans is fun, enjoyable, and beautiful. Half-elven children are beautiful and sacred, and should be loved and enjoyed—rather than despised and viewed as diluted mongrels. The elves—as the older race to humans, have a great responsibility and sacred duty to share our philosophy of life and harmony with the younger races, and especially to humanity, so that all may enjoy greater love, beauty and freedom, and that darkness and evil may be defeated. Every generation faces the threat and dangers of evil and darkness, and we cannot afford the arrogance and stubborn philosophy of Traditionalists if we are to be successful and preserve our culture and kingdoms for future generations. For all of these reasons and passionate arguments, all elves should embrace the Progressive philosophy.

Religion

The Marlenya honor their gods in natural settings, much like their Sarlenya brethren, but also by building large, elaborate temples. Marlenya temples are always finely-decorated, and of exquisite workmanship. Marlenya temples often feature a wondrous blending of natural elements with urban, architectural elements in stunning and beautiful ways. The Marlenya hold seasonal celebrations and festivals throughout the year in honor of the gods, and such events are always meticulously well-planned, well-organized, and fantastic. Such Marlenya festivals often feature elaborate dramas and staged recreations of famous events in elven history and mythology, as well as enormous feasts, wild parties, and sensual, hedonistic orgies. Marlenya often use wondrous displays of glamour, magic and illusion to enhance these celebrations and festivities to the joyful amusement of all participants.

Marlenya druids are the chief priests of the Marlenya religion, though there are various temples and religious orders that also use priests and priestesses, as they are blessed with different aspects of divine power and talents. Some cults are led by priestesses or priests, rather than druids, for example, depending on the patron deity of the particular cult.

The gods of the Marlenya are noted below:

Araddan—Supreme god of the Marlenya pantheon. God of the sun, fire, knowledge, nobility, magic and law

Ellanya—Supreme goddess of the Marlenya pantheon. “Great Mother” and goddess of earth, nature, animals, water, air and fire

Marellion—God of the sea, storms, rulership, water, chaos and destruction

Nimelwe—Goddess of the sea, animals, nature, winds, wisdom and travel

Laegerion—God of the sea, music, poetry, crafts, the sun, and magic

Arrillien—Goddess of the sea, nature, magic, knowledge, compassion, and beauty

Nytherien—Goddess of nobility, beauty, rivers, lakes, magic and knowledge

Finnaerond—God of magic, smithing, fire, crafts, knowledge and earth

Mallaendril—Goddess of chaos, fortune, trickery, art, music, and fire

Maelarond—God of trade, crafts, fortune, travel, law, and knowledge

Khaelladan—God of war, valour, strength, chivalry, nobility and glory

Findaerion—God of war, mountains, storms, thunder, strength and courage

Elbeneth—Goddess of war, wisdom, horses, the stars, hope, and glory

Thaerellion—God of summer, hunting, forests, nature, wild animals, and nobility

Lytherien—Goddess of spring, fertility, passion, beauty, music and the sun

Illandra—Goddess of autumn, knowledge, harvests, abundance, agriculture, and domestic animals

Seldaenar—God of winter, storms, death, law, prophecy, and wisdom

Ellandriel--Goddess of forests, animals, fertility, the moon, passion, and darkness

Khellaenar--God of chaos, fertility, savagery, wild animals, trickery, and magic

Findilwe--Goddess of shepherds, healing, love, marriage, the home, and joy

Warfare

The Marlenya recruit their forces from throughout the feudal holdings and lands of the kingdom, and both men and women are allowed to serve in the military. Marlenya forces are typically composed of well-armoured infantry, armoured in glittering chainmail, and armed with spears, swords, and axes. Specially trained units of foot archers are always plentiful, as well as mounted horse-archers, and heavily armoured elven knights. The elven knights wear excellent armour, and typically carry swords, axes, lances, and bows into battle. The Marlenya rely significantly on Sarlenya troops to serve as raiders, scouts, and skirmishers, though there are always some Marlenya that train and equip themselves for such duties. Marlenya forces are typically supported well by druids, clerics, and wizards.


Cultural Weapons and Armour

Marlenya Cultural Armour
Leather Armor (AC 8)
Hide Armor (AC 8)
Studded Leather (AC 7)
Scale Mail (AC 6)
Breastplate (AC 5)
Shield, Steel
Shield, Wood

Marlenya Cultural Weapons
Dagger, Dart, Club, Sling, Shortsword, Broadsword, Longsword, Handaxe, Battleaxe, Javelin, Spear, Lance, Shortbow, Composite Shortbow, Longbow, Composite Longbow, Quarterstaff, Two-handed Sword, Great Axe, Footman’s Mace, Horseman’s Mace, Footman’s Flail, Horseman’s Flail

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