Oringard part 1

On the eastern fringe of Damir is the vast forestland of Oringard.  Named by the dwarven immigrants who fled the kingdom of Paia, it means “Natural Fortress.”  Although it lies within Damir’s borders, it is a realm all to itself.  It is almost two hundred leagues long and just shy of a hundred leagues deep.  It stops up against the Golden Mountains in the north, and trails off into the barren land of Basmah in the southeast.  Oringard touches five different lands: Damir, Gronde, Kasmoon, Nubrince, and Basmah.  Running through the forest is the curvy Paia River in the south, and the much shorter Mourning River in the north.   

Legend has it that the forest is the creation of Hovaia, a dryad queen, who planted the many trees and shrubbery to shield the land from mortal invaders.  Despite her best laid plans, the forest was inhabited for several hundred years by the wood elves, a nomadic people who built tree houses and lived off the forest.  It is rumored the wood elves knew Hovaia and worked with the dryad queen to keep other mortals out.

Of course this did not work.  After the kingdom of Paia (a dwarven kingdom) collapsed during the Chaos War, thousands of dwarves ventured north to discover the vast forestland which they would so aptly name.  They began to settle the forest, burrowing into the hillsides, chopping trees down to lay foundations for small communities.  The dwarves had a network of villages spread about Oringard but they did not occupy all of it.  They left Hovaia and the wood elves to their own realm and interests.

For two hundred years the dwarves controlled much of Oringard, dedicating most of their time to mapping the forestland.  The maze-like paths of the forestland can be deadly to any person who isn’t familiar with them or doesn’t have a map.  The trees are thick and some areas look similar to the next.  Getting lost in Oringard is easy and a common occurrence; trails become overgrown with foliage, creeks dry up, trees fall over and block paths. 

There are plenty of creatures in the woods, but a lot of the big predators have been driven out or killed by the orcs.  Bears, wolves, and wild cats are still common, but the forest used to feature sasquatch and hippogryphs.  It was also home to a nest of gryphons.  The gryphons kept to themselves for several hundred years, even after the high elves invaded the forestland and drove out the dwarves and wood elves.  It wasn’t until the orcs took over Oringard that the gryphons were forced to leave their nests and go elsewhere.

The high elves infiltrated Oringard around 350 ACW, defeating the dwarves in the 2nd War of Damir and forcing them out of Oringard.  The high elves took over much of southern Oringard, built large townships and began to blaze trails all over the forestland.  Believing the dwarves would one day return and try to take Oringard back, the high elves set up a series of booby traps along several false trails that led to their town centers.  The wood elves either assimilated with their High Elven brethren or left Oringard all together. 

Descendants of the fallen elven empire at Jeriko embraced the rule of their leader, Prince Iteph, who was a very distant cousin of the royal bloodline, but the only known survivor who could be linked to the elven monarchy.  In their time in Oringard, Iteph had children who went on to establish a royal line.  But because of the massive orc invasion that would come a hundred years later, most of the records concerning the descendants of Iteph were lost.  When Kalliste gave her prophecy that an elven king would be born amongst them, many figured it would come from Iteph’s lost lineage.

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Elves part 2

A sophisticated race of scholars, warriors, artisans, healers, alchemists, shepherds, merchants, and farmers- there are few professions to which elves don’t aspire.  Elves are a strict and traditional people, who conform to a disciplined way of thinking and acting.  Men are taught to mind their words, while women are taught not to slouch but walk elegantly.  Manners and courtesy are consistently taught, rigidly followed, but when it comes to politics they are rarely practiced.  Elves have a tendency of becoming overly-passionate in political forums, as elven politics has a reputation of being volatile. 

Regarded as a highly emotional race, elves tend to be sentimental toward things the other races care little for.  But it’s these sentiments that allow elves to see and know things that others take for granted and miss, such as farming.  Elves take the growth and care of the land very seriously.  They learn as much about the earth as they can, draw from its resources, but never exhaust the source.  Not known for their stoicism, elves are usually up front with their feelings.  The few elves that are stoic are generally not as highly thought of, considered to be too reclusive and/or improper.

What gives elves an advantage over most other races is their deep knowledge in the medicine and alchemy trades.  Able to develop ointments and herbal remedies by elven alchemists, elven merchants are the only known merchants who frequently stock such items.  It has been this knowledge and the ability to sell their products to a vast network of races that has kept elves relevant and needed in multi-cultural societies such as Damir.

There are three breeds of elves in the world: wood, dark, and high.  Commonalities include a slight figure, long pointed ears, youthful appearances, and medium height range (between 5’0” to 5’9”).  High elves are the most common of the three.  Elves can live for about a hundred years and barely age.  Their hair will gray some and blemishes will appear on the skin, but for the most part a seventy year old elf will look up to fifty years younger.  Elven women reach full physical maturity at age seventeen and males at twenty. 

Wood elves are tanned in skin color, and are usually a nomadic people who shy from large populated areas.  Wood elves have an affinity for nature, preferring to live out in nature and off the land than in any organized community.  Wood elf communities that are remote have been known to be hostile.

Dark elves are very pale in skin color, can have purple eyes and hair, and slightly longer ears than other elves.  Dark elves have a deep understanding for the mysticism of the world, believing in spirits and fortune.  Many dark elves have been known to have mind powers such as reading and controlling minds, telepathy and some telekinesis.  These powers have benefited dark elves but have made them feared and disliked.  Seen as the ugly step-child of the elven race, dark elves are distrusted by other races, but most devoutly by high elves. 

High elves have fair skin, with a wide range of hair and eye colors.  They earned the title “high” for being the ruling class of elves when they were at the apex of their civilization.  Known for their social skills and ambitions, high elves enjoy building up their society and living in cities.

In terms of religion, elves do not worship a particular deity, but they do believe in a heaven where all elves are meant to go once they shed their mortal bodies.  But as mortals they have purpose: a destiny they are meant to follow and fulfill.  Only when their destiny is met will the Morningstar Elyssus accept their spirit into its heavenly realm.  An elf who does not follow or fulfill his/her destiny will be cursed to wander the spirit world.  To help get them to Elyssus, the star took four mortal women and made them into its Angels.  Each angel represents a path for the elves to follow.  Depending on when a particular elf is born, he/she is assigned an angel’s path to follow, and by walking that path the elf is sure to reach his/her destiny, and make their way to Elyssus.

Within their society, elves have a rigid system of codes that they obligate their people into following.  Always with a perspective of being superior in their ethics and customs, the elves regard themselves as more civilized than humans and dwarves.  Priding themselves on their low crime rate, the elves attribute that to their ability to control their most basic desires.  Indeed, keeping one’s chastity, male and female included, is of high priority.  Marriage and intimacy are considered sacred, and the elves look at other races’ promiscuity issues as abominable. 

Women in elven society are still subject to arranged marriages and can only own property if father and/or husband is gone.  Women are permitted to fight, but such a thing is rare as it is unofficially seen as taboo.  However, only women can be priests, and most elven scholars are female.  Despite the inconsistencies of their roles, women are highly valued in elven society.  Due to low birth rate and a high death rate for the mother, the elven population has slumped.  An elven woman who can bear more than three children in her lifetime without dying is considered a marvel.

Because of their population drop and the inability to keep up with human growth, the elves know they haven’t the numbers to compete militarily.  However, economically the elves have a corner on the merchant and agricultural trade, making their existence in Damir necessary and at times crucial to the kingdom’s development and success.

Elves can intermix with other races, such as humans and goblins, and very rarely with dwarves.  Known as half-breeds, a human and elf mixture will normally mean the child will be one or the other mostly, with a few characteristics from the other.  Elves who are remarkably taller or fatter than other elves are half-breeds.  Elves do not get to six feet and they are never fat (elves cannot store excess fat; they burn it or die from it).  Any one of these characteristics suggests a half-breed.  Then there are gelfs: goblin and elf hybrids, who are remarkably unique and exotic looking with skin, eye and hair color assortments like none other.  Unfortunately, gelfs are regarded poorly in both elf and goblin society, and are sometimes run off.

Old Elvish Language-

Elvish is the old language of the elves, before they were taught Druish by the Great Druids a thousand years ago.  While elves speak perfect Druish, they are still taught the old language if only to retain some element of their culture different from whatever multicultural society they may belong to.  Elvish is a fast tongue, meant to get one’s meaning out in one breath.  Thus, the majority of Elvish sentences and thoughts are given in a single breath.  In four breaths, an elf speaking Elvish could have just spoken the equivalent of a paragraph’s worth of information.  While this can be done by any language, it is practiced in Elvish as a discipline for elves to speak and think quickly.

Elves in Age of Thunder:

  • Steffano
  • Talia
  • Opal
  • Moon
  • Fiona
  • Diana
  • Quinn
  • Mortimus
  • Aries
  • Zaphira
  • Alastina
  • Elias
  • Arculf
  • Chevalia
  • Massani