THE AELLENRHIM ELVES

APPEARANCE - COAT OF ARMS - TERRITORY - PEOPLE - HOUSING - CLOTHING
DIET - WEAPONS - OCCUPATIONS - GOVERNMENT - PRODUCTION/TRADE
 
NATURAL RESOURCES -
FESTIVALS - HISTORY

Tribe of elves of the Bolder Forest in north western Santharia. The modern tribe is made up of many individuals from other tribes as much of the original tribe were killed in an orc raid in b.S 210. These ancient elves were responsible for the construction of the Great Library, which contained the Ó'dosía ("Everlasting Books"). The modern tribe consists of individuals both from the original tribe and from many other Sarvonian tribes. As a result their culture is very rich and their appereance very variable.

Eratinalinfalah

View picture in full size Picture description: The famous Aellenrhim elf Eratinalinfalah, gardener and shepherd, as well as subject of many Santharian fairy tales and good-night stories. Image drawn by Eratinalinfalah.

Appearance. The modern tribe is incredibly heterogeneous due to the influx of elves from other tribes in the years immediately before Santhros’ ascension to the Santharian throne. While height remains slightly shorter than average for an elf, the tribe’s only other general characteristic is the variability of appearance. Colouring of the Aellenrhim varies from those with typically ‘northern’ pale skin and lighter colourings, to those with black hair and very dark eyes.

The original people of the tribe were very distinctive, however, and many human and elven reports exist, due to their involvement with other cultures. Aellenrhim elves were slender and smaller than humans, standing about shoulder-high to a human, and weighing considerably less. They tended to be light in colouring, a peachy complexion and light-coloured hair being common; blonde and brown being usual. It was rare to find a member of the Aellenrhim with red or black hair. The Aellenrhim features are often described as being delicate and severe, and humans almost certainly found them too ‘fairy-like’ to be really attractive (hence there were little elf-human unions, despite the tribes proximity and involvement with Voldar and Nyermersys), though all races acknowledged the innate beauty of Aellenrhim elves. Their long time leader Aiá'merán was, however, reported among the most beautiful wood elf to live in the forests of Santharia. Her mother, however, Daltelár, was the eldest of the four and member of the Axhái, so perhaps this is no surprise. Aellenrhim elves tended most often to have green or blue or violet eyes, other coulours were unusual.

Elves of the Aellenrhim have always had an unusually long lifespan, even for elves. During the reign of Aiá'merán, it was reported that the elves in the Bolder lived on average as long as 800 years. This lifespan has gradually decreased however, as the tribe has embraced migrants from other elven tribes.
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Coat of Arms/Sign. A single candle burning in the darkness, a symbol of knowledge and scholarship, but also of the tribe’s unquenchable spirit in the face of adversity.
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Enlarge Provinces Map

Picture description: The location of the Bolder Forest, home of the Aellenrhim Elves. Map by Artimidor Federkiel.

Territory. Once upon a time these elves could be found in many places outside of their native forest. Small numbers use to live in both Voldar and Nyermersys, usually as teachers, archers, bards or scribes. Many elves were employed in gathering knowledge for the Ó'dosía, so many made their homes among other tribes and races all over Sarvonia. Today, however, the elves very rarely leave the forest, and have little contact with the humans towns around them, as the orc raid and the great fires they unleashed, led to much myth and stories of evil within the Bolder over the years. Many humans will not go into the forest and few are happy in the company of an elf they know to live within it.

A few Aellenrhim elves still live outside the Bolder, in the Thaelon. The tribe has always had a presence there. The Bolder’s proximity to the Thaelon and their relation to Daltelár means they have a deep respect and feeling of responsibility towards it. They protect and care for the sacred woods.
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People. The Aellenrhim are a scholarly tribe. In times gone by the tribe were best known for gathering, spreading, teaching and recording knowledge on all sorts of subjects. The illuminated manuscripts of the Ó'dosía were said to be beyond compare, and their scribes were masters of their art. Which seems fitting as the Aellenrhim sage named Mira'Shijm collected all the runic symbols during the Age of Awakening, and the tribe's scholars were much involved with the creation of a dictionary of runes.

When the Library and centuries of work were destroyed, the elves lost much of their passion for gathering and spreading information. However, much of the information they collected was kept in circulation by oral tradition. Aellenrhim elves therefore still go through a very thorough education. On average, an Aellenrhim elf coming of age can speak all major languages of Santharia (though elves do tend to struggle with dwarven and orcish pronounciations) and are well versed in basic botany, healing and lore.

The Aellenrhim were the first tribe to make and use soap, an idea that quickly spread, happily, to neighbouring human settlements.
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Housing. Traditionally the elves dwell in natural clearings in the forest, enclosures known in Styrásh as Ophá, which used to house one or two extended families, typically about 15 individuals. Many such Ophá exist in the forest, but not all are occupied. Within each enclosure small quantities of crops or vegetables can be grown and there are large roundhouses known as Seeán’feárn, a number of small timber storage houses and usually a building housing a large oven used for firing pottery or baking.

An Aellenrhim Ophá

View picture in full size Image description: A typical Ophá of the Aellenrhim, consisting of several so-called Seeánfeárn roundhouses. Picture drawn by Quellion.

Seeán’feárn are circular houses with conical thatched roofs. They vary in size from very small to gigantic. Walls are either constructed from granite (which can be found in the North of the forest as you approach the Warnaka Mountains) or more commonly by constructing a wooden frame which is filled by panels woven from young tree branches. This frame work is then coated in mud and wild grasses, which dry to give a very hard surface. Often small controlled fires are lit round the base of the roundhouse to aid the drying process. The inside of the house is partitioned using the same method, and each house usually contains a family. It is common to find large frames which can hold looms within the house for making fabric or tanning skins.

Within the forest there are now many Seean’fearn that are not within an enclosure, but within think woodland. This type of living habit is much more common today within the modern tribe. Roundhouses have an impossible air of mystery about them, looking as though they have always been there. They almost look as though they should be there, and have a oneness with nature that human buildings seldom achieve.

Ranndár is the centre of the forest. Here the buildings are all made of granite stone. Here can be found the council chambers and the old palace. A large temple to the Gods stands to the West. The ruins of the Great Library also remain here, a testament to the tribes turbulant past. The town was practically abandoned for centuries after the orc raid, but the elves now have the confidence to return, and much of the modern tribe now live here. Houses here are granite block in construction, and rather grand than those elsewhere.
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Clothing. Fashion in the forest is a mishmash of styles brought in from all over Santharia. They favour, however, clothing of natural colouration, usually made from wool or skins. Aellenrhim often wear brightly-colored accessories, such as hats, scarves, or gloves.
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Diet. As for eating, bread is an important part of any meal, and was made from wheat and barley ground down into flour using a quern-stone. The grain grown in an enclosure is also made into a kind of porridge and fermented to make beer. Other than cereal grains, they take from nature around them and that edible berries, leaves, flowers, nuts and roots would have supplemented the diet. Certain types of root vegetables are grown. Animals are also reared in larger enclosures. Dairy products are also available and so is beeswax and honey is available from wild bees. Near the ceiling of the houses is an ideal place for the drying and preservation of food. Smoke and heat from the constant fire smokes meat and fish, and the humidity would have dried herbs and other plants perfectly.
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Weapons. All types of bows, short and long swords as well as daggers are the main weapons to be found here. The Aellenrhim tend not to wear heavy armour.

All Aellenrhim are taught to use all types of bow, and stronger individuals are taught to use long and short swords. Most elves are naturals with a bow, but individuals with exceptional ability are allowed to join the Elite Archers, for this is the second thing that the Aellenrhim are known for. They have five battalions of specialised archers, known to be the most talented archers in Sarvonia. Three battalions are defensive, the archers of the Thyrón, Ypheró and the Miés'efér and remain in the vicinity of the Bolder at all times. There are two Offensive battalions the archers of the Injèrá and the Sí’larnám. These are often posted away from the forest. One famous example was when the Archers of Injèrá were assigned by the Ránn and Avá’Ránn Aiá'merán to free the orcenhold of Orril under Pherán'Ephtaerín, Captain of the Bowers. During SW III the Archers of Sí’larnám were also posted away, first in the Calmarios Forest and then in the Almatrar. Each battalion has their own coat of arms, consisting of their representative of the element after which they are named, usually flown under the Aellenrhim coat of arms. These elite troops are well known and well respected, but are often deployed alongside and complement other warriors, such as Kaierian Warriors of the Tethinrhim.
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Occupations. At present about 20% of all children are raised to be caregivers for the land (farmers, fishermen, hunters, carers for the Thaelon), 40% are trained as protectors of the Nation, 25% are trained in the arts of magic and its understanding, and the remaining 15% are trained for various other skills. Once the figures of bards, scribes and knowledge gatherers was far higher than any other classes.
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Government. Originally the tribe was ruled by a Ránn, but upon the incarnation of Coór'melór, Aiá'merán delegated control of day to day matters to the Librarians, the elders of the tribe, wisest and longest lived among the tribe. However, after the orc raid of 210 b.S. there were so few Aellenrhim elves left that all decisions could be made between with all members of the tribe present. Since then numbers have slowly increased and the meetings are now conducted between the eldest members of each extended family.
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Production/Trade. Once the tribe's people were great traders, mainly of information and woven fabrics. However, relationships with humans have tailed off, with there being much suspicion and legend surrounding the Bolder. The elves' main need is for salt, which is not present anywhere within their territory. This is now generally obtained from other elven tribes. They are, however, still fairly open and hospitable to outsiders.
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Natural Resources. Granite is present in the north of the forest. There is a good supply of supple woods suitiable for making bows and such like. Honey is in ample supply from wild hives. Great amounts of information can be gleaned from the tribe. There is much the tribe still knows about Santharian/Sarvonian history that has been forgotten by others. Their skill with languages particularly makes them invaluable to researchers for the "Santharian Compendium". Some members of the tribe have actually joined the staff, and have been particularly helpful in all matters elven, especially dealing with the shyer tribes.
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Holidays, Festivals and Observances. The first day of every month is a feast day for the God of that month, and to Avá. Family groups gather together and large meat meals are consumed. It is a day of rest, of learning and of lore, with stories of Sarvonia’s past being told in the evenings.

On the 18th of Chúh'querín September (Month of the Falling Leaf) is the day of the orc raid, the day of the burning. It is said that during the burning, every single Aellenrhim elf cried, whether they were present or away from the forest. Their tears flowed for an entire day. This day is remembered as the Day of Tears, and this is a solemn day of fasting for elves (dawn to sunset). It is not a day of celebration or festival, and no Aellenrhim laughter is ever heard on this day. Many elves feel a need to return to Ranndár in vidual for those who died. For a brief moment, every elf can actually see in their minds columns of smoke rising from the now destroyed Library. However, those migrants not directly related to the original Aellenrhim tribe, while respectful of this quiet day, do not tend to join in the vidual.
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THE ERA OF HARMONY
(YEARS 13.000 B.S. - 11.900 B.S.)
ca. 13000 b.S. Elven Myth: The Return of the Four
According to elven myth the Four, the teachers of the elves sent out by the High Avá'ránn, are called back again. One of them, Daltelár, however decides to stay with the elves of the Bolder and becomes their Ránn. She is the first Avaránn of the elven people.

THE AGE OF MYTHS
(YEARS 3.400 B.S. - 1.655 B.S.)
ca. 3000 b.S. The Cyrathrim Arrival in the Calmarios Forest
The wandering Cyrathrim elves come upon what appears to be a deserted forest. They quickly discover that it is not deserted at all, but occupied by the Gremm, a reclusive and timid tribe of gnomes who normally are exceptionally wary of strangers. The Gremm consent to share their forest, though their reasons for doing so are lost to all but the Gremm themselves.

Soon after their arrival they learn that they are far from being the last of the wood elves when travellers from the Aellenrhim arrive in the forest. A strong friendship is formed between the two tribes.

THE AGE OF AWAKENING
(YEARS 1.655 B.S. - 822 B.S.)
ca. 1554 b.S. The Documentation of the Mira'Shijm Runes
Mira'Shijm of the Aellenrhim elves collects all symbols and runes and together with his scholars describes the symbols as detailed as possible. He sets up a dictionary of runes which still is the main reference when deciphering elven runes nowadays, which is first published in 1554 b.S.
  

ca. 1400 b.S. The Book of Jhalán
The only surviving Cyrathrhim saga to be told today, and one of the oldest parchments the Aellenrhim own is the "Book of Jhalán". Written by an unknown Cyrathrhim scribe apparently for Aellenrhim benefit the book represents the first known attempt to record Cyrathrhim history. It also indicates solid evidence that both tribes are established in their forests at this time and living a lifestyle that is stable for at least ten or twenty generations - something that is unprecedented in Sarvonia. This allows us to say that the Cyrathrhim have one of the oldest recordable histories of any wood elf tribe. It does not presume that they are the oldest, far from it. Many remains can date other tribes back further, but none of that evidence can be considered as complete or recordable - they are simply guesstimates.

THE AGE OF THE BLOOD
(YEARS 822 B.S. - 50 B.S.)
800 b.S. Cyrathrhim Refusal to participate in the War
The Cyrathrhim refuse to fight in the First Sarvonian War and invoke Quaelhoirhim rage by refusing to participate in the war or cooperate with the High Elven Circle, calling it a "touch paper to the fire of war". Nor will they have anything to do with humans if they can help it. They continue their alliance with the Aellenrhim, however, protecting their forest with their magical skill, and the Aellenrhim guarding Cyrathrhim borders.
  

589 b.S. Birth of Aiá'merán
The elf Aiá'merán and later leader of the Aellenrhim is born, who later on would play a tragic role in Aellenrhim and elven history in general.
  

498 b.S. Aia'merán declared Aellenrhim Ránn
Daltelár, supposedly the last of the Four once sent out by the High Avá'ránn according to elven myth, leaves the Bolder. Aiá'merán is declared the new Aellenrhim Ránn.
  

433 b.S. Building of the Great Library in the Bolder
The building of the Great Library in the Bolder is started in order to house the "Ó'dosía" (Styrásh for "Everlasting Books"). The Aellenrhim are best known for gathering, spreading, teaching and recording knowledge on all sorts of subjects. The illuminated manuscripts of the Ó'dosía are said to be beyond compare, and their scribes are true masters of their art.
  

298 b.S. First Attacks of the Darkfriends
First attacks by darkfriends on the Calmarios take place. Archers of Sí'larnám are also posted away in the forest.
  

293 b.S. Devastating Orc Raid on the Calmarios
Darkfriends raid the forest. They slaughter many elves, who are unprepared for attack. They overturn the Cyrathrhim ovens that set blaze to large parts of the forest. There are few survivors.

Those few elves that do survive leave their forest forever. They go to the Erpheronian regent to warn him, but he will have nothing to do with them, still holding a grudge that has begun already in SW I. However, the irony is that none of this elven tribe has ever seen, nevermind hurt a human.

The tribe members who have known themselves always to be exiles go to the Aellenrhim to warn their friends and kin what was coming. They sacrifice their identity as a tribe to settle among the Aellenrhim. The tragedy is that some years later the Bolder suffers a similar fate to their own. What it was to be - the Cyrathrhim died out.
  

292 b.S. The Battle of Four Swords
The Battle of Four Swords takes place near Ephirn's Lake between the joined Sarvonian forces and the against the orcish invaders, accompandied by barbarians coming from the Northlands. The expression "Battle of Four Swords" denotes the union of all four races, the famous Sarvonian Alliance taking part in the fight: humans, elves, dwarves and orcs. This alliance is formed for the very first time in the history of Sarvonia and will prove essential for the defence of civilized life at the southern Sarvonian continent.

The battle begins when the retreating dwarven forces of the Thrumgolz and the Monteron clans (which also included troops of Halflings) are reinforced by the joined elven and human army under the guidance of the Aellenrhim Pherán'Ephtaerín. The latter, who was initially stationed at Orril to regain control of the so-called Orcenhold, is said to have followed the vision of a human woman who saw in a dream that her son is being saved by elves near the Heath of Jernais. Indeed it is only due to Pherán'Ephtaeríns belief in the truth of the essence of the dream that he arrives in time at Ephirn's Lake and can avert an immediate landslide victory of the orcish armies. However, even the joined forces of the Sarvonian Alliance are not able to counter the heavy offences of the orcs.
The Coming of the Races to Denilou
The Aellenrhim elf Pherán'Ephtaerín
Pherán'Ephtaerín
After a long and stormy voyage the people fleeing from Carmalad after the orcish invasion finally reach the isle of Denilou under the guidance of the elven captain, the Aellenrhim Pherán'Epthaerín (in the human tongue called "Tree Whispers"). The remaining fleet crashes on the cliffs of the island and only a small quantity of the original number of fleeing people survive, managing to get to the shore where they eventually arrange their living with the progeny of the famous dwarf, Brok Strongarm who settled there a thousand years before.
  

210 b.S. The Rape of Aiá'merán by Coór'melór
The Aellenrhim Ránn Aia'merán
The Ránn Aia'merán
The Aellenrhim leader Aiá'merán sends most of her troops to assist in defending the important human city of Voldar, the capital of the Tharanian kingdom, to prevent its fall to the enemy. Nights after the armies' departure, Coór'mélor himself steals into the chamber of the unprotected Aiá'merán and rapes her. He then departes south, but never wanders too far from his victim's realm, knowing that Aiá'merán bears his heir in her womb.

Aiá'merán gives up leadership of the High Elven Circle, but she remains the Aellenrhim's chosen leader until her death.
Death of Aiá'merán during Childbirth
Ten months later Aiá'merán gives birth to twin boys. The labour is long and with complications during the birth of the second child. The births exhaust the Avá'ránn so much that she dies before the second child is fully born, and it has to be pulled from her womb.
  

207 b.S. Destruction of the Great Library
An orc raid takes place in the Bolder Forest searching for sons of Coór'melór. All elves present in the forest are killed. The Great Library is burnt down. The archers posted in the Almartrar return, together with the Order of the Fallen. A'hris, an Aellenrhim Bard, hides one of Aia'merán's children with the High Avá’ránn, while the other one is taken.

THE AGE OF CHANGE
(YEARS 50 B.S. - 172 A.S.)
3 b.S. Aellenrhim recruit other Tribe Members
The decimated Aellerhim elves seek to increase their numbers by recruiting from other tribes, especially the Cyrathrhim and Maeverhim.

THE AGE OF DISCOVERY
(YEARS 1.144 A.S. - 1.440 A.S.)
1.300 The Cyrathrhim Revival
A group of elves and half elves claiming to be the descendants of the Cyrathrhim return to the Calmarios to dwell in the central settlement. They revive what they say are old Cyrathrhim songs, rituals and spells - though academics say that much of their belief system is totally unrelated to historic fact. This revival grows a great deal of interest, particuarly (oddly enough) from city dwelling humans and numbers grow rapidly.

The Gremm, for whatever reason however take severed objection to these "descendants" presence and take the unprecedented step of asking for Aellenrhim help to remove them from their forest. The Aellenrhim go before the Circle and it is agreed that the Gremm should indeed be left in peace and the new Cyrathrhim be evicted.

To these "new Cyrathrhim" the Circle's actions are simply justification that they are indeed the exiles as their forefathers had been. They now wander primarily as a small nomadic group practising pseudo-Cyrathrhim lore, although admittedly they do make useful entertainers and still sell beautifully crafted clay pots. They are commonly known to humans as the "Pot People". They are believed to have given rise to the Water Rats - a nomadic group to be found in and around New-Santhala.

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