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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Elves, Wood—Sarlenya, Gallarond

Elves, Wood—Sarlenya, Gallarond

History

The Sarlenya—typically known as Wood Elves to non-elves—have an ancient history stretching far back into antiquity, even to the beginning ages of the world. There are three primary races of elves in the world, known as the Marlenya, Sarlenya, and Darlenya. Sarlenya are almost always closely allied with neighboring communities of Marlenya, as the two groups seldom live far from each other, and the Sarlenya readily mix within the environment and local communities of Marlenya.

The Sarlenya are politically independent from the Marlenya, though the Marlenya are generally acknowledged 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.

The Sarlenya seldom form kingdoms, though a few have been established, historically speaking. While some Sarlenya typically always live amongst the Marlenya, the majority of Sarlenya live somewhat separately from the Marlenya, gathered together in their own independent communities. The Sarlenya are primarily a nomadic people, though they occasionally form villages and towns at critical junctures, crossroads, and lake-shores where the environment easily supports a larger, denser community. In addition, the Sarlenya often build mound-communities—such fortified communities are established within a single, large hill, or a cluster of hills. Having said that, most Sarlenya typically prefer to roam and wander about in nomadic bands, establishing a rough, seasonal circuit of encampments.

Physical Appearance

Sarlenya are typically somewhat shorter in height than average humans, and tend to be lean, graceful and athletic in physique. Sarlenya, as elves, are almost always very attractive in their appearance, as their other-worldly nature reflects itself in their flawless, smooth skin, alluring eyes, and charming, sensual features. Sarlenya are never too fat, or too thin, though their height and weight characteristics are variable for individuals, their features are always athletic, curvaceous and beautiful for females, while the Sarlenya males are always athletic, muscular, and handsome.

Most Sarlenya tribes have ancient tribal tattoo customs, where both male and female Sarlenya gain various tattoos upon reaching maturity. Such tribal tattoos are inscribed by the elf’s family members or close friends, and if none have the required skills, a druid or shaman are all typically trained to possess great skills in inscribing tribal tattoos. Once a set of tattoos—each are unique to the individual—are inscribed, a tribal druid or shaman performs various rituals in blessing and interpreting the tattoos.

Sarlenya also often decorate their bodies with different styles of ear and nose piercings, using forms of jewelry as well as specially prepared bones. All Sarlenya typically love jewelry, from earrings and nose-rings, to nose-bones, necklaces and finger-rings. Sarlenya also love various neck and arm torcs, and different styles of bracelets. While Sarlenya typically love items of jewelry, they never wear such in a gaudy and ostentatious manner, typically preferring to wear but a few beautiful and favoured items.

The Sarlenya typically have bronze-brown to tan skin complexion, dark brown, green or grey eyes, and ebony-black, black-brown, or dark-brown hair. Average height for male Sarlenya is about 5’4” and average weight is 130-lbs. Female Sarlenya average 5’0” in height and 100-lbs. in weight. Male and female Sarlenya typically have height and weight ranges indicated as follows:


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

Sarlenya characters are vigorous and very agile, and gain a +1 bonus to Dexterity and a +1 bonus to Constitution at character generation. Sarlenya are also daring and inspiring in their demeanor and manner, and gain a +1 bonus to Charisma at character generation. In addition, the Sarlenya are almost always very attractive and alluring in appearance, and gain a +2 bonus to Comeliness at character generation.

Sarlenya Character Ability Summary
+1 Dexterity
+1 Constitution
+1 Charisma
+2 Comeliness

Sarlenya Character Tables

Sarlenya Character Table: Skin Tone
Dice Roll/Skin Tone
01-05%: White, Pale
06-10%: White, Tan
11-20%: White, Olive
21-30%: Tan, Olive
31-40%: Tan, Golden
41-50%: Brown, Tawny
51-65%: Brown, Olive
66-80%: Brown, Cinnamon
81-00%: Brown, Bronze

Sarlenya Character Table: Hair Color
Dice Roll/Hair Color
01-20%: Black, Ebony
21-40%: Black, Brown
41-65%: Brown, Dark
66-75%: Brown, Chestnut
76-80%: Brown, Golden
81-82%: Brown, Honey
83-84%: Brown, Red
85-86%: Red
87-88%: Red, Auburn
89-90%: Red, Copper
91-92%: Blonde, Brassy
93-94%: Blonde, Ash
95-96%: Blonde, Flaxen
97-98%: Blonde, Golden
99-00%: Blonde, Honey

Sarlenya Character Table: Eye Color
Dice Roll/Eye Color
01-20%: Brown, Dark
21-30%: Brown, Bright
31-40%: Brown, Pale
41-50%: Brown, Golden
51-55%: Green, Bright
56-60%: Green, Kelly
61-65%: Green, Pale
66-70%: Green, Seafoam
71-72%: Hazel, Gold-Flecked
73-78%: Hazel, Brown
79-83%: Grey, Pale
84-88%: Grey, Ice
89-94%: Grey, Blue
95-96%: Blue, Dark
97-98%: Blue, Green
99-00%: Blue, Bright

Sarlenya Height and Weight Tables
Male Sarlenya Base Height: 5’0”-5’10”; (4’10”+2d6”);
Average Height: 5’4”
Male Sarlenya Base Weight: 106-160-lbs; (100+6d10);
Average Weight: 130-lbs.

Female Sarlenya Base Height: 4’6”-5’4”; (4’4”+2d6”);
Average Height: 5’0”
Female Sarlenya Base Weight: 76-130 pounds. (70+6d10);
Average Weight: 100-lbs.


Politics

The Gallarond Sarlenya are primarily a nomadic, pastoral people organized into tribes. The Sarlenya tribes and communities are generally politically and economically independent from the Marlenya, and live very much in harmony with the natural world, intentionally and purposely seeking to live as lightly on the natural landscape as possible. Sarlenya communities and tribes are led by a High Chieftain, selected and voted to rule by the Tribal Council. The Tribal Council is composed of a large group of elders, shamans, druids, warriors and bards drawn from the whole community. In small enough tribes, all adult members of the community—both male and female—serve on the Tribal Council.

The High Chieftain is elected to the position for life—unless otherwise voted out of his position by a majority vote of the Tribal Council. The High Chieftain is also served by several other Chieftains—such chieftains are skilled, and respected for their area of knowledge and expertise, such as Chieftain of the Hunting Bands; War Chieftain; Chieftain of Berserkers; Chieftain of Craftsmen; and so on. Each tribe or community organizes and appoints the various chieftains as they desire, and have specialties for, as appropriate. The Tribal Council also typically has several other related councils—a Warrior’s Council; a Druid’s Council; a Craftsmen’s Council, and so on that meet at various appointed times to discuss and debate issues of particular importance to them, as desired by the membership and the council leadership.

In the realm of Gallarond, there are 12 tribes of Sarlenya. The Sarlenya tribes are as follows:

Sarlenya Tribes of Gallarond

1. Daemeri
2. Naemeri
3. Maecembi
4. Caembi
5. Baecaru
6. Maendaru
7. Vaedari
8. Caeldari
9. Caelani
10. Suelani
11. Laecani
12. Saercani

Each of the Sarlenya tribes is independent of each other, and speaks for themselves. While each Sarlenya tribe is generally nomadic, each tribe has various members and family-groups living in scattered villages and towns throughout the realm. In addition, while each Sarlenya tribe is politically independent, each is a vassal-tribe to the overall Marlenya Kingdom of Gallarond. Each Sarlenya tribe has been a traditional ally to the Marlenya Kingdom through ancient oaths of loyalty and allegiance sworn to the Marlenya king.

Each spring, there is a special, formal ceremony where the current Sarlenya chieftains symbolically renew their oath of loyalty and allegiance to the Kingdom of Gallarond. The Marlenya king—or his appointed great nobles—join together with the Sarlenya chieftains at a place known as Dhulandra’s Vale, where the Stone of Halladorn is located. The Stone of Halladorn is an immense, shimmering black stone that fell from the heavens in ages long past. The Stone of Halladorn is where the Sarlenya chieftains first swore their oaths of loyalty and allegiance to the Marlenya kingdom, when the Kingdom of Gallarond was founded over three thousand years ago. During the yearly ceremony—known simply as the Blackstone Ceremony, the Sarlenya chieftains and the Marlenya king and nobles exchange fine gifts, and the oaths are spoken and recorded in the Marlenya Chronicle of Gallarond. Afterwards, the various nobles and chieftains enjoy a great period of feasting and celebrations which last for ten days. Traditionally, the nobles and chieftains are accompanied by their respective entourages of followers, and usually thousands of other elves from both communities also attend the great festivities and ceremonies during Blackstone.

Culture

The Gallarond Sarlenya are more tribal, primitive and rural than the Marlenya, though the Sarlenya are quite capable of building permanent settlements of villages and larger communities. However, while the Sarlenya are capable of building more permanent settlements—they know full well about cities of stone, wood and glass—the Sarlenya typically have little desire to ever live permanently within a large city.

The Gallarond Sarlenya tribes are generally polygamous, though various tribes also embrace elements and traditions of a group/tribal marriage, where female Sarlenya may have more than one husband at the same time. Naturally, in practice most Sarlenya are generally monogamous—having only one spouse at a time—though depending on the social and political status of an individual Sarlenya, polygamy is permitted, whereupon a male Sarlenya may have more than one wife. Other Sarlenya—if they are wealthy enough, and the females are agreeable—may also have multiple wives.

The Gallarond Sarlenya marriage customs are noted in brief, as follows:

Polygamous/Tribal/Group; Loose, Informal

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.

The Gallarond Sarlenya typically travels in nomadic bands, wandering and roaming the forests, hills, and meadows. The Sarlenya roam the wilderness—hunting, fishing, and herding groups of cattle and sheep from pasture to pasture. The Sarlenya constantly gather herbs, plants, fruits and nuts from the surrounding wilderness, as the area and season allows. The Sarlenya move to regular encampments when they are available or near—or make a new, temporary encampment if a more permanent one is not available.

Economically, the Sarlenya are largely self-sufficient, living off the land and in harmony with the natural world. However, while the Sarlenya revere the natural world, the Sarlenya pantheon does not prohibit the Sarlenya from taking resources and using such according to their needs, as well as permitting the Sarlenya to alter and change the local environment as circumstances and need demand.

The Sarlenya do, however, zealously embrace a serious, militant philosophy that demands they respect the natural world, and any project or action must be carried out with appropriate thought and care for the environment. In addition—much in contrast with the typical attitudes of humans, as well as other humanoids—any project or action changing the natural environment or affecting the natural animals of the area must be done so not merely with a sense of responsibility—but also one of thoughtfulness and consideration as to helping the creatures or the environment live with the required changes, or deal with the circumstance in some viable manner. The Sarlenya embrace a cultural philosophy that is environmentally responsible and dynamic in every way, and which is vigilant in seeking active, flexible solutions and behavior that integrates with the natural environment in a sound, thoughtful, and enlightened manner.

The Sarlenya trade many valuable products, from animal furs and skin, to antlers, claws, hooves, feathers and teeth. The Sarlenya also trade meat, fish, shells, herbs, fruits, nuts, and plants. The Sarlenya manufacture a variety of poisons, as well as dyes, salves, ointments, and other medicinal products. In various areas of their tribal lands, each of the Sarlenya tribes grows and cultivates a large section of tree-groves that are specially for harvesting for wood-products. The Sarlenya tribes generally prefer to use these wood-products for timber when their own needs require it, while some supplies of such excellent native timber is always used for trade.

The Sarlenya make wonderful colored beads, as well as fine clothing and textiles. The Sarlenya also trade wool, as well as fine pottery that possess a unique and distinctive style. Sarlenya pottery possesses several recognizable features that are unique to the Sarlenya artistic style; the Sarlenya pottery style always features engraved ring-designs, and often has a single type of animal motif painted onto the pottery. The upper and lower portions of the pottery typically feature intricate leaf-patterns. The Sarlenya have developed several varieties of blended fruit-juices, as well as wonderful ciders.

The Sarlenya tribes have a variety of customs concerning people and their place within the larger Sarlenya society. The Sarlenya have various rituals and ceremonies for adolescents reaching maturity; birth ceremonies; marriage rituals; and funeral ceremonies. The Sarlenya also perform rituals at significant places in time, such as before a battle; after a battle; before and after a great journey; as well as at other occasions regarding personal events or experiences that are significant.

Religion

Like the Marlenya, the Sarlenya are deeply spiritual, and mystical. The Sarlenya consult auguries and omens routinely, to determine aspects of a person’s fate or the details of a person, or a course of action. Sarlenya druids and shamans routinely perform services of divination for everyone in the community, as needed. Such services typically require payment in some form. Prophecies are fairly unusual, though mystical visions and dreams are common experiences for many Sarlenya. Whenever a Sarlenya child is born, the parents consult with the tribal druids and shamans to learn of any particular prophecies concerning the individual child, as well as divinations pertaining to the child’s essential character and temperament. When a Sarlenya reaches maturity, the tribal druids and shamans perform a series of rituals to determine particular ambitions or goals that the individual should pursue, as well as any potential taboos that the individual must always be careful to observe and maintain. Violation of such a personal taboo for any reason invites evil spirits to interfere, attack, or oppose the person in various ways, bringing ill-fortune and even disaster to the person for such transgression. In addition, the individual is ritually blessed by the tribal druids and shamans in a special ceremony celebrating the person’s transition into being an adult member of the community.

Sarlenya revere the entire natural world, believing that all natural animals and creatures are in their own way, sacred and divinely appointed by the gods to live and move according to their nature. The Sarlenya people view their own existence as intimately intertwined with everything else in the natural world. Furthermore, each natural creature, and even the various elements and places of the natural world possess their own individual spirit, or a guardian spirit that exemplifies or watches over the place or thing. Thus, natural animals such as the deer, wolf, and bear for example, each have a great animal spirit that watches over them, and ordains the way in which each creature exists and moves—as well as their own personal, unique spirit. Furthermore, the forest has a divine spirit, as well as the mountains, meadows, lakes, rivers and marshes. Whatever natural element has a unique spirit, and may also have a range of temporal, natural guardians, allies, and friends, as well as various supernatural guardians and allies. All such natural and supernatural creatures and spirits are in union with, and servants to the gods and goddesses of the Sarlenya pantheon.

Throughout the year, the Sarlenya tribes hold a large variety of religious ceremonies and celebrations honoring the gods, as well as other occasions of spiritual significance. The various religious holidays and celebrations—as well as the four seasonal celebrations—are typically celebrated through a variety of religious rituals, ceremonies, and festivals. Each religious celebration is eagerly attended by the entire Sarlenya community, and often serves as focus points for other cultural and political traditions and customs.

Generally speaking, the Sarlenya do not build temples and such to worship the gods in. The Sarlenya honor the gods in special natural locations, such as a mountain-top, a special lake, blessed river, or a sacred grove of trees. On occasion, the Sarlenya build some great stone amphitheater, or a large singular building of rough stone or timber to serve as ceremonial locations for various rituals, as well as to act as a secure housing for religious possessions and food, as well as blessed relics, weapons, jewelry, and the like. In addition to honoring the gods in various natural locations, the Sarlenya also build and erect other spiritually important locations, such as great stone circles, monoliths, giant, carved animal figures of stone or wood, as well as intricately painted religious scenery along the faces of ravines, caves, and cliffs. The Sarlenya build huge earthen grave-mounds in which the Sarlenya carve burial chambers within, where the deceased are interred inside carved stone tombs. Such Sarlenya burial mounds also feature various possessions and ceremonial goods belonging to or honoring the deceased.

The Sarlenya tribes have druids as their primary religious leaders, and who also serve as the majority of the priesthood for any Sarlenya tribe. However, the Sarlenya have embraced some new forms of religious expression and practice over the centuries, and from this process some Sarlenya tribes also have shamans serving the tribe alongside the druids. In leadership, the druids hold more authority, though the shamans are respected for their different magical powers and talents, and the shamanistic tradition has been generally welcomed throughout all Sarlenya tribes as a spiritual tradition related to, but different from the druidic traditions.

The gods of the Sarlenya are noted below:

Gallandra—Supreme goddess of the Sarlenya pantheon. Goddess of fertility, nature, earth, air, fire and water

Elladorn—Supreme god of the Sarlenya pantheon. God of the sun, magic, knowledge, fire, prophecy and nobility

Thaeradorn—God of mountains, storms, thunder, war, strength and adventure

Berrenar—God of hunting, forests, wild animals, nature, nobility and valor

Sindathor—God of trade, crafts, fortune, hospitality, knowledge and travel

Belaras—God of chaos, trickery, fortune, savagery, wild animals, and fertility

Maegeros—God of mountains, fire, smithing, strength, magic and crafts

Galendil—God of nobility, music, travel, trickery, knowledge, and fortune

Mindrasil—Goddess of winter, nature, air, storms, darkness and death

Lyganneth—Goddess of autumn, nature, earth, harvests, abundance, and domesticated animals

Gallanwe—Goddess of summer, nature, fire, the sun, passion, and glory

Lyrannia—Goddess of spring, nature, water, fertility, rivers, and hope

Mithandrian—Goddess of the moon, darkness, forests, wild animals, chaos and savagery

Narthandra—Goddess of fertility, beauty, passion, music, art, and poetry

Caellawyn—Goddess of the home, marriage, crafts, joy, love and wisdom

Sarrellian—Goddess of shepherds, fertility, passion, romance, trickery and travel

Allandris—Goddess of the moon, stars, prophecy, healing, magic and knowledge

Gallaril—Goddess of chaos, war, wrath, pride, greed and murder

Rhaethonil—Goddess of chaos, war, beauty, lust, envy and madness

Thaeranil—Goddess of chaos, war, sloth, gluttony, decadence and plague

Warfare

The Sarlenya recruit warriors from villages, towns, and mound-forts, as well as from nomadic bands and encampments. The Sarlenya armies are typically composed of a variety of forces, from swift-moving light and medium cavalry—both mounted lancers and mounted archers—to large infantry units armed with spears and axes. Sarlenya recruit special troops formed of bands of champions, elite berserkers, and ruthless raiders. Sarlenya armies and regional military forces are always accompanied by large numbers of skirmishers, who serve as scouts and screening forces, raiding behind enemy lines, as well as constantly harassing front-line enemy troops with ranged missile fire, as well as ambushes and field traps.

Cultural Weapons and Armour

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

Sarlenya Cultural Weapons
Dagger, Dart, Club, Sling, Handaxe, Battleaxe, Quarterstaff, Shortsword, Longsword, Two-handed sword, Javelin, Spear, Lance, Shortbow, Composite Shortbow, Longbow, Composite Longbow

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