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Following the Flight of Aragor three-hundred years prior, men who used to reside in a land known as Aragor now inhabit a country home to beings formerly presumed to be nothing more than legend.
The plot currently focuses on Skystead and Nordribjod so these are the main playable areas. Other countries are only accessible by sea and only minimal contact is made between them for the most part. However, feel free to make travelling characters from these countries.
There are a few islands scattered about the sea near Skystead and Nordribjod and many of these have become popular hiding places for pirates and outlaws. The most popular of these are the half-moon isles, a peninsula unowned by any country and adopted by criminals and those who wish to escape the confines of regular society as a haven. The half-moon isles have one city known as Nehron. Sirens and selkies can be found near these islands in abundance too, because they are far quieter and mostly untouched by large civilisations. Some population estimates of the main towns and cities in both Nordribjod and Skystead can be found below. These are not the only towns that exist - feel free to invent other smaller villages.
Click on the images below to read about each country and its inhabitants.
Not currently a playable area, however characters excluding royal figures from this country can be created.
Felvenelle is largely a fishing-based country. The elves of Felvenelle prefer open areas and a clear view of the stars.
The main city of Felvenelle is fairly coastal and spans across a large enough portion of the country's shores. While it is primarily home to Felven Elves, many sea-dwellers inhabit the area as well and view these elves as allies.
Felvenelle may have a King, a Queen, or both. The title is earned by killing the current ruler in a battle to the death, or until one person surrenders, though to do so is an act of the highest cowardice. But, until someone is brave enough to accept the challenge, the children of the current ruler(s) will inherit the title. In such a battle, wives of Kings are often spared if they are not warriors themselves.
Every settlement is overseen by a Jarl, apart from the city of Felvenelle which is home to the King. A Jarl, while a high-standing member of society, is more of a commanding figure than a noble. A Jarl has his own fighting men sworn to him and is expected to answer the call of the King whenever a particularly large battle or raid is planned. They are often granted land, riches and slaves for doing so. Jarls may be male or female, but they are always experienced warriors.
When they die, the Felven elves believe that they go to the Islands of the Gods, a place that is supposedly full of merriment, free of war, unhappiness and evils. The Felven elves worship the gods from the Elven Pantheon. They favour Skígla, the sea god, in particular. Felven elves burn their dead.
Clothing in Felvenelle is primarily made from woven wool. Greys, blues and reds are the colours favoured by these dark-haired elves. The more wealthy elves of the kingdom can afford to wear silks imported from Taigon. Long hair left unbound and untangled is a sign of beauty among the female Felven elves, especially if it curls. Males tend to let their hair grow somewhat long too, but it is not a given. Beards are the norm among men.
The common folk of the country tend to wear tunics and trousers. Commoner women don't usually wear dresses apart from during special occasions, because dresses are largely impractical when one is fishing or boating.
Felven parents name their children after a deceased relative, preferably a direct ancestor such as a grandparent or great-grandparent. They venerate their ancestors and by naming a child after a dead relative, it is believed that part of the deceased person’s luck will attach to the new child and bring them success in life.
Felven elves often receive nicknames from those who know them well. They tend to be derogatory but are used in good fun. These nicknames tend to refer to physical characteristics or personality traits. People will often earn nicknames concerning their successes, too. Someone that survived a mortal wound might be named something like Bjorn Iron-side.
First names and surnames are used. Try to use Old Norse or Icelandic names for Felven people. Surnames follow a patronymic system. Snorri Sturlason, for example, would mean Snorri, son of Sturla. Astrid Sturladottir would mean Astrid, daughter of Snurla. Sturla in both cases refers to the father. Children never take their mother’s name.
A country in the northernmost reaches of Esnium, Nordribjod is home to the Veloighir, or the Velren elves, a race of elves described by legend to be the children of the Velrisi with their tall builds, pale complexions and angular features, as though they were carved from ice itself.
Nordribjod experiences long, dark winters, in which the only light is often that of the aurora. These winters are cold and harsh, with snow blanketing the region, particularly among the mountains. Summer, however, is a total contrast and when this sheet of ice and snow finally thaws, the true beauty of the landscape is revealed. Rolling valleys and hills, granite mountains and immense pine forests are the features Nordribjod is renowned across Esnium for.
Bulíd is the most populated elven city, located within the largest of the southern mountains. This city has been carved into the granite of the mountain and is home to some exceptional architecture and craftsmen. The mountain is close to the volcanic fields of the Moaning Mountains and the elves have figured out how to take advantage of underground hot springs. Bulíd is filled with hidden piping, providing most of the city with warm water.
This landscape is primarily inspired by that of Scandinavia; Norway and Iceland in particular. The west and coastal regions of Nordribjod are littered with fjords and massive pine forests that span as far as the eye can see, and the northernmost reaches of the country are home to huge, snow-capped granite mountains and dormant volcanic fields.
Nordribjod is ruled by a council. The council are a group of elves who are the heads of the most notable families. They govern the elven population. For a decision to be passed there must be a majority vote among the council. The council has eight members, a master of coin, master of farmland, master of secrets, master of war, master of trade, master of mines, master of craft & the magister who represents the Mage’s college.
Dukes and Duchesses make up the nobility of Velren society and those living in Bulíd are members of the court. They do not have a final say in decisions made by the council but they may influence things. In other elven towns and cities, Dukes and Duchesses play a similar role to Jarls within Felven society. They oversee a portion of land and rule over the people living within it.
The Veloighir worship the Velrisi or ‘ice giants’, which are essentially the Jötunn of old Norse mythology. The elves believe they are the children of the Velrisi and that they were the first race to walk the land. The Velren do not tend to make sacrifices to their gods, but they do leave offerings at their shrines. The largest of these shrines is found at the peak of the mountain where Bulíd is situated, and venerates all of their gods rather than just one. Velren elves bury their dead deep within their mountain homes.
High-standing members of society wear clothing similar to medieval Russia’s boyar. Jewellery is a large part of every outfit, no matter the gender. As for lower-class citizens, linen trousers and skirts and woollen shirts or cloaks are some commonly worn items of clothing. The Velren elves like to keep their hairstyles simple and long.
First names and surnames are used by the Velren elves, such as Desilava Resnik. Please use old/medieval Slavic names when choosing a name for your character.
Upon marriage, women take their husband’s surname. Nicknames are not as widespread among elves as they are among humans.
Not currently a playable area, however characters from this country can be created.
Rhylenor is a vast jungle-covered country that is home to the Rhylen elves. The climate is tropical; warm and humid. There is no one Rhylen elf society. Instead, the population is divided into tribes and there are many of them. The homes of the Rhylen elves are built in the immense tree tops and wooden bridges connect them all. The elves reach these buildings either by rope ladder or by climbing.
Unlike other countries, Rhylen elves do not have one absolute ruler. Each tribe is lead by an elder, an experienced and wizened figure who possesses the gift of future-sight. When an elder dies, a vote is held by the tribe. Candidates must be at least one-hundred years old and this is equivalent to a human of about forty to fifty years.
When they die, the elves believe that they go to the Islands of the Gods, a place that is supposedly full of merriment and free of war, unhappiness and evils. The Rhylen elves worship the gods from the Elven Pantheon. They favour Lestherel, the tree god, in particular. However, the Rhylen elves do not have a written language and their myths are passed along by word of mouth. Therefore different tribes will probably have different names for certain gods, or perhaps completely different gods. These elves are far more reclusive than their Felven and Velren brethren and do not have too much knowledge regarding the outside world. Rhylen elves burn their dead.
Clothing in Rhylenor is primarily made from light cashmere or woollen fabrics. Shades of green, brown and other earthy hues are the colours favoured by these dark-haired elves. Women do not wear dresses and are expected to hunt and provide for the tribe just as much as men. Leather armours are commonly worn also.
Skystead is a lakeside city that was built upon land given to the men of Aragor by the Elves of Nordribjod. A stone wall thirty feet high and three or four feet thick was built around this city. It is possible to walk upon this wall if one climbs the watch towers situated in all corners. This wall is patrolled by archers when tensions between the inhabitants of Skystead and the Velren elves are high. The idea to build the wall about one-hundred years ago came from the fact that the city of Skystead was destroyed twice prior by the Velren elves in response to the men of Skystead invading Nordribjod in an attempt to conquer more lands.
The houses of Skystead were once wooden, but that trend is slowly being replaced by the use of stone. The roofs of these houses are often thatched.
In the centre of the city is a bustling merchants square, but it also acts as an area for execution and for public announcements from the monarchs. Brothels can be found on the east side of the city. The northern district is the most wealthy and it is there that larger homes can be found. The estate of the monarch is located near the centre of Skystead by Lake Esnos. It is composed of a large castle and vast gardens.
Skystead has an absolute monarchy. The current King is Wulfric Dietritch. The monarch of Skystead is always male and thus always a King. A female monarch is bound by law to marry and to hand her authority over to her husband.
Skystead has seven primary noble families that have been present since the Flight of Aragor. There are also lesser noble families, of course, and members are free to create those from scratch.
There are two religions in Skystead. The religion of Praeliumbra of the Estrian people, and the Xastilian Gods. Estrians bury their dead and Xastilians burn their dead.
Clothing in Skystead among commoners is primarily made from woven wool. People in Skystead do not favour any particular colours over others. Wealthier folk will have the money to afford clothing made from different fabrics, such as silk, cashmere and the like. Dresses designed for noble women consist of tight bodices and corsets, along with layered skirts that add volume to their outfit. They like to have their hair done up in complex styles. Short hair is the general norm among men living in Skystead.
Estrians have a first name and a surname. These should be old English or old Germanic names.
Xastilians have a first name and a surname. These should be inspired by African names.
Not currently a playable area, however characters excluding royal figures from this country can be created.
Taigon is an empire with its capital city situated on a fairly large lake island. This water barrier between the city and the rest of the land acts as a strong defence. However, due to the fairly peaceful nature of the Taigonians, their drawbridges are almost always down.
Taigon is a very compact city. Buildings are high and close together. The West end of the city has very rickety buildings in comparison to the wealthier East end; the area home to richer families and to the Emperor/Empress.
Taigon is often subject to high levels of humidity. The spice and silk trade is the source of much of the wealth of Taigon. They have also found a lot of gold in the lake bed surrounding the city, and while some of it was traded with the Elves and with the men of Skystead, the Emperor/Empress still possesses the majority of it.
The people of Taigon are ruled by an Emperor, a title passed down to the eldest child, be they male or female. A female Emperor is known as an Empress. The authority and power of an Emperor/Empress is not shared with their spouse, and if the Emperor/Empress dies, the title is passed down to the eldest child rather than the spouse, no matter the child's age. Taigon is currently ruled by an emperor.
Taigon has five influential and wealthy noble families that spend much of their time attempting to uphold a good reputation in the eyes of the Emperor or Empress. The eldest son of noble families, be they lesser or part of the main five, are expected to become members of the Empire Guard. This rule does not apply to the ruling family, however.
Taigonians do not worship Gods, but instead spread teachings of personal spirituality. They believe that worshipping and taking care of the land around them will grant them eternal life in the next world. Taigonians burn their dead.
Clothing in Taigon is primarily made from silk or wool. The poorer the person, the lower the quality of their clothing. Commoners won't usually have silk clothing. The common people of Taigon wear woollen trousers and shirts, however in recent years commoners have been imitating the style of the silken kimonos worn by nobles, and crafting their own from cheap wools.
Taigonians have a first name and a surname. These names should be inspired by Japanese names.