Background: Dread Elves

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  • Dread Elves

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    Factions & Magic

    The Dread Elves possess the elven affinity for magic
    almost as strongly as their noble kin. Yet where the
    Highborn have a focus on the world around them, the
    true power of magic for the elves of Silexia lies within
    the mind. Even without magic, they are masters of
    manipulating emotions, fear most of all. Augmented
    with the power of the Immortal Realm, they are able
    to strike terror into the hearts of a most resolute foe.
    Their powers also lend weight to their reputation of
    striking from fog and shadow, disappearing without a
    trace, save for the stories left behind. More than any
    of their brethren, they view magic as a military art, an
    aid in battle.



    Sources


    In the mists of time, they rebelled against the enigmatic Saurians to become guardians of much of the world, while the ancestors of the Dwarves held the rest. Once they were a single race, yet their united rule could not endure. Even these most graceful of beings are not immune to in-fighting or betrayal. The details are veiled in allegory and myth, but it is clear a great schism rent the Elven peoples asunder, resulting in the three powers we see today.


    Dread Elves are a harsher reflection of their brethren. Thesame grace, the same beauty, the same talent, yet the detachment of the Highborn turns to disdain, the caprice of the Sylvan turned to cruelty. Their skills as pirates and reavers are unparalleled; entire coastal communities have fallen to cruel blade and ingenious artillery. The survivors soon find themselves aboard slave galleys and sold to worse fate still.
    Their society was forged by war, and shaped further still by an unending feud with their Highborn cousins, a conflict which began with the separation of the Elves thousands of years ago, and shows no sign of ending. Even the gods of the Elves, the holy trinities, have taken on a darker note – blood rituals are widely described by rescued captives of the Dread fleets. Whatever the causes of that conflict, its echoes linger, and with the longevity of Elves, perhaps there are still those who recall the events and maintain ancient enmities.


    Litany to the Mistress of War, the Crimson Crow wrote:

    Fly above the fields of war,
    Fly above the bones of the enemy.
    Ghastly, grim and ancient Crimson Raven wandering.
    From the deadly shore of the battlefields,
    Protect our deeds of war and glorify our bleeding weapons,
    Exalt our heroes, consume the blood of our victims,
    Witness our prowess, witness our strength,
    Fly above the fields of war
    Fly above the bones of the enemy.


    Sources I can find portray a grim
    picture of the birth of the nation of
    Dathen. It seems that in the First Age of
    Ruin, the Highborn's Vetian provinces faced
    formiddable threats from barbarian hordes
    and dwarven enmity.
    Many elves fled into the West, settling in
    the colonies that the Pearl Throne had already
    established in Silexia, and began to tame that wild
    region. Yet this work made them grow resentful of
    the Aldan nobles who sought to profit from what they were
    building, and who had sent no aid to them in Vetia before.
    Aldan's control was rejected, sparking a civil war that coincided
    with internal revolt in the Highborn's home island of Celeda Ablan.
    It seems that in this war the ruthless spirit of the Dread Host
    was born and set forever, and the independence of their nation
    secured. To this day, Daeb ships bring terror around the world.


    Graduates Today we commend you to the service of the Fatherland, free citizens and true. Your time in the academy is complete, and
    you leave as Legionnaire or Auxiliary - a proud soldier of the Republic, bringing great honour to your family.
    Bonds you have made in these bloodied courtyards will last a lifetime, and what you do with that life is your own
    inalienable right to decide. Some of you will return to your farms, upstanding citizens supporting your family. Some will
    enter the politics of Rathaen. And some will join military expeditions or levy them, aiding the great might of our people to
    display its unsurpassed strength and will to dominate the world. The very finest of you may even be selected to compete
    to be reborn with a new name in the Tower Guard.
    Whatever your future holds, whether sailor or warrior, knight or planter, trader or senator, you will never forget what
    you have learned here at the academy, and you will never cease your quest for self-perfection.
    Citizens of Dathen: I salute you!


    The Obsidian Thrones are the very core and symbol of power of the Republic. Upon them, the three Crimson Consuls
    embody the will of the Senate, a body of 9 9 elected individuals seated in the Tower of Gar Daecos in Rathaen. But
    there are other key players in the Daeb's great game of intrigue, power and ambition - it appears three principal factions
    dominate the politics of this land.
    At the time of Sonnstahl's birth, our people suffered a terrible assault under the auspices of the first of these: the
    Fatherland faction, which seeks to reclaim its lost realms in Vetia. The second, the Motherland Faction, attracts those
    who desire dominion over the old Empire and the Republic's greatest enemies:
    the Highborn of Celeda Ablan. Finally there
    are the Slavers, often popular among the
    youngest Daeb, or the most daring on the
    seas. Their faction looks only to Silexia as
    its homeland, and seeks to build its power
    on trade... which in Dathen means slavery.


    Letter intercepted between Sonnstahler traders wrote:




    Opening invocation to Yema for public ceremonies wrote:

    I call for you, Lord of Matter, Lord of the Senses,
    Master of excess, the very essence of life,
    For you are the soul of endless pleasure,
    Enticing symbol of power and joy.
    You are life, you are death, you are lust beyond them,
    You are the day and the night of the spirit,
    You only choose those who embrace the unity of the darkest delight.
    You are the knowable unknown of pleasure, the pathless path to eternity,
    The embodiment and the essence of our superiority.
    We look for your delight and we pray you
    To protect the power of Dathen.

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