The Diorye'oleal are a tribe of dark elves that live in the shadowy Hovel Frond Forest. Like most dark elven tribes, they are a rather mysterious group that does not often associate with those of other tribes, be them human, dwarf, or elf. They are known for being some of the strongest clerics of Coór in the world of Caelereth. They are sometimes known as "Frond Elves".
Diorye'oleal elves are surrounded with a dark, almost chilling air of elegance.
They are taller than most other tribes, averaging a 2.3 peds for the males and
an even 2 peds for the women. Their slender bodies are exquisitely defined with
angular forms in the men and careful curves in the women, though both genders
seem to have a feminine beauty to some degree. They have softly sloping
shoulders and long legs and arms with cold, delicate hands fingers. Their
appearance of fragility hides the danger in their character and the malice they
hide behind their piercing azure eyes. Such eyes may be a light, icy blue or a
hard, deep cobalt.
The eyes of these dark elves are framed into angular faces seemingly chiseled out of but white marble, giving these elves a ghostly appearance at times. Their high cheekbones and slightly elongated heads add to their strange, dark beauty. They tend to have very emotionless faces with sharp chins and noses and ears that seem to come to so thin a point that they look as though they might draw blood.
The hair of these elves is straight and black as a moonless night. The colour has often been described as being a Nor'sidian and “as dark as coór’masýr blood,” referring to the ink of the kraken. In men, it is typically worn to about the chin, though some do grow it longer, and it is often held back from their faces. The women wear their hair exquisitely long usually, as long hair is considered to be a sign of wealth and beauty.
Tattooing is a common practice among Diorye’oleal elves. They usually use gray or black ink to tattoo around their eyes and across their cheeks. They are also sometimes tattooed, in males, across the chest and shoulders, while the women will more often choose their shoulders or arms. Most of the tattoos are merely artistic designs with a dark, sharp feel to them, but many have a tattoo of an animal somewhere on their body, usually on their back or chest.
Coat of Arms/Sign. The coat of arms of the Diorye'oleal is a face made out of the sixteen dark winds, which engulf the world of Caelereth and push constellations across the sky. The shield is perfectly round and appears to be made of a dark metal. Impressions in the metal form eyes of dark shadows, and a mouth whose lips and teeth are lost in darkness reside just below. The Diorye’oleal elves believe that this face is one that would resemble the true face of Coór.
dark elves reside in the shadow Hovel Frond Forest just above the
Tandala Highlands. This forest
is not one often tread through, as the danger of a shadowy tribe of dark elves
usually keeps many from moving through the area. The forest is one that is also
difficult to get to geographically, given that the forest is surrounded on three
sides by mountainous peaks and foothills. Because of the tribe’s isolation, they
are a mystery to most.
People. Like many dark elven tribes, the Diorye'oleal are a harsh, uncompromising people. They are not elves who go against Avá or a love of nature, but rather celebrate nature and the beauty Avá created by destroying it in order to complete the circle of life. They follow the path led by Coór and worship him along with Avá and the other gods. They also revere and respect the dark winds that they believe help to guide their souls in finding the true darkness in all living things and aid them in their dark paths through life and into death.
Animals are important to the tribe. At a young age, the high priest decides an elfling’s animal guide through prayer and tribulations. It may take days, even weeks of constant prayer to determine a child’s animal guide. Little is known about the details, but it is believed to involve the child giving some of his or her blood in a large, circular disk of water in the middle of the shrine where the high priest lives and worships. Dark winds are said to put an image of the child’s animal guide in the water, and soon after that animal will be tattooed onto the child’s body and guide the child’s spirit for the rest of his or her life. Certain animals have different characteristics, and sometimes the animal a child receives will determine their place in society. Those who have an ur’viper as their animal guide typically take high positions in the government as counselors and advisors. Those with a horse as their animal guide will typically become priests or priestesses. However, rare is it that a child will get the gryph, but when one does, it is a promise that they will one day be the leader of the tribe.
The Diorye’oleal are not fond of outsiders and will often times use dark magic to frighten or lead strangers away from their forest. It is unknown what should happen if a stranger actually happened to wander into one of their villages, but there are rumors and nightmarish stories of how the dark elves would fill their minds with ghosts and phantoms until the fear drove the person insane. Others say that they would drive spears of ice and blood through the heads of those who dare enter their residence. These are, for the most part, considered to be myth, perhaps to help the elves themselves keep others away. More logical sources say that these elves would capture foreigners and use them as slaves. For those too strong or too rowdy to use as servants, they merely use threats, fear, and magic to drive foreigners away and assure that they never return.
The Diorye’oleal elves have little care for other creatures, dubbing most other races incompetent and without real depth or emotion. For this reason, they find no guilt in capturing Ashmarian barbarians and using them as slaves, and such is done by those elves of the higher class. Ashmarian men are for heavy labor and kept at bay by the elves’ powerful magic.
Life inside the tribe is not well known, but it is believed that men and women have equal status in society. Unlike many races or tribes where the male possess far more physical strength than the female, both genders are fairly weak in the physical sense. Magically speaking, both genders excel and, though both are of nearly the same strength in this field, females are often more feared, as they tend to use their powers more readily especially when it comes to protecting their family, tribe, or way of life from an outsider. However, all members of this tribe make powerful clerics of Coór.
Diorye’oleal elves are known to be staunch and stubborn, unmerciful and uncompromising. They do not like to feel as though someone, anyone, is superior to them in any way. They do not forgive easily, and have minds and sharp as their features. They remember when one has wronged them and, if they have been wronged in a way too great to be brushed off, they will seek revenge.
Diorye’oleal elves tend to live between 400 and 500 years.
|Image description. A Diorye'oleal elf in front of a magically mutated building, which those elves call their home. Illustration drawn by Bard Judith.|
Unlike many elves that learn to adapt their way of life with nature and live
within the forests and trees in a way that disturbs the wildlife very little,
these dark elves carve their homes out of the wood. They tend to carve their
homes out of trees, causing them to become hollow, then take up residence within
them. Usually the trees they use to make their houses have been mutated with
magic and are sustained after being carved
away by dark powers. Those belonging to high society often have the largest
trees as their abodes, and their homes are typically decorated with intricate
carvings. Sometimes black stones or long, delicate strands of dark silver are
embedded into the trees. Because of the dark magic used to mutate and sustain
these trees, the trees themselves have taken on a dark coloration.
As the Diorye'oleal are a very secrective tribe, little is known about the actual towns. Only two have been made known.
Browns, and blacks are the common colours worn by both men and women. The
styles of both genders differ depending on status in society. Women of
high-ranking or noble positions (usually those married to one of great power of
fame, or else one who is part of or married to one who is part of the ruling
These women wear full black dresses most commonly. The collars tend to be rather wide, as far as the end of the shoulders, and may be a V-neck or else a circular style. They usually wear bodices that snuggling fit their torsos and most dresses are tight about the hips. The rest of the dress will extend down to the floor. This part of the dress is commonly made out of layer upon layer or black, almost translucent fabric that has been layered such that the legs of the elf are hidden. These dresses have long, draping, elegant sleeves that may be loose at the elbows made of the same material as the bottom of the dress, though in far fewer layers. Such dresses may vary widely in style and design. Some dresses are elegantly designed with dark black beads or stone. They will wear belts of shiny black stones or dark silver. Most dresses that belong to ladies of high class have a large amount of intricate needlework.
Women of lower class tend to wear more dark grays and browns. The collars are a bit smaller, not exposing as much of their shoulders. The bodices tend to be snug, sometimes held with strings or buttons, but are not worn as tight as noble women. Sleeves tend to be shorter as is the hem. Both the bottom on the dresses and the sleeves are made of an opaque material. The intricacy of the designs and needlework is lost on the dresses belonging to those of lesser rank.
Men tend to have more variety in their garb, especially men of higher class. Most men who are adept in magic will wear robes, usually black. Underneath, they will usually wear plain black shirts, often of a soft material, that are tight around their torso and have high collars that reach up to the base of their head. The sleeves of these shirts tend to be loose and flare at the end. The hem of these sleeves is tailored to be slightly longer than the sleeves of the robe so that the sleeves of the shirt are seen when the robe is worn. The pants, which are, like the shirt, typically covered by the robe, are very loose, flaring from the waist and meant to be comfortable. Sometimes belts are worn over the robes, and the robes themselves are often decorated in some sort of needlework. Sometimes designs similar to the tribe’s coat of arms are placed on the robe or else the outline of a black birch tree, which has come to commonly be associated with the Hovel Frond Forest.
Those of high position who may not be adept in magic, such as those that are part of the government, usually wear a shirt similar to the magicians, only with unflared sleeves. Vests are also popular, and may be decorated with beads or dark crystals and stones. Pants are also similar to the magicians, but are only flared to a small degree. Belts are almost always worn, especially in dark silvers and grays.
Men of lower class wear shirt of brown or dark gray. Such shirts do not have the high collars of the high classes, but rather have loose collars that are shaped, commonly, as Vs. The sleeves are fairly short, usually not journeying far past the elbow. Plain, less-stylized vests are also worn, but usually only to formal events. Pants of this class are made of a thicker, more lasting material than those of the high class. The pants do not flare, but are worn long, sometimes with belts of black leather.
The clothing of children tends to be the smaller version of their parent’s outfits.
Diet. Because Diory’oleal elves are not hindered by the protection and conversation of nature, they have a far wider diet than other elves. They can feast on all sorts of animals without having to feel guilty about taking a life. Pigs, hogs, and deer are often cooked for special occasions, usually baked in all sorts of delicious spices, though most times these elves prefer their food to be slight under-cooked. Typical meals may include birds, such as the taenish, rabbits, cows and sheep. However, meats are not the only thing members of this tribe eat (though it tends to be a pretty large percentage of their diet). They will also drink the milk of goats and cows, and will eat carroots, lythbells, meldarapples, and other such things. They enjoy berries and nuts, usually as a small snack, and many kinds of leafy green plants.
Weapons. The elves of the Hovel Frond Forest are not often armed, as they are more adept with magic than with swords and axes. They typically use clerical magic to fight and defend themselves. However, not all Diorye’oleal elves are strong in magic, and at times it becomes necessary to use weapons, though these elves are not usually very skilled at them. They will sometimes use swords. Men who are part of the government sometimes carry a sword, though usually this is only for appearance. The scabbard, in such cases, is often decorated in silver and black with delicate stones and crystal. However, though swords are popular, bows tend to be of more use. As elves, many members have at least some small inclination for a bow, and tend to be more skilled with it than a sword.
Most elves of lower classes will carry daggers or knives, which tend to be of more use than anything. Not only are most weapons of this nature rather cheap and expensive, but they can also be used for a variety of other purposes, including as a utensil and a way to harvest plants and herbs.
Occupations. Diorye’oleal elves are completely dependent upon their clerical magic abilities. Almost all Diorye’oleal elves are clerics of Coór, though some are clerics of Queprur and still others are elemental magi of some kind, usually wind. There are a few that are clerics to other gods, but these usually reside in small numbers and are often elves of some individual occupation that requires them to be a cleric of some god.
Occupations can be summarized as follows:
Typically clerics of Coór that use their powers to warp and shape trees. They are some of the most powerful mages and some of the sharpest minds in the tribe. They are able to picture how they want the tree to look after a spell and are able to alter the tree to look the way they wish for it to look. Advanced architects can embed beads and precious stones into the tree, or even strands of spider web or silver chain. Some houses are exceptionally enchanting and mystical. Architects are required to not only have very organized thinking skills and powerful magic, but also a extraordinary imagination.
People of this class work with metal and jewelry. Like architects, they are typically people who have an enormous imagination. Usually elves of this class are clerics of Coór, though some have become clerics of Urtengor. Most, however, call upon Coór and his darkwinds to help them shape fantastic pieces of jewelry that shine with a certain dark luster that many Diorye’oleal elves prefer. Silvery pieces with dark crystal or stones tend to be the most popular.
Priests are care-takers of the various shrines in the Hovel Frond Forest that are places to worship Coór. Priests are always excellent clerics, usually the best in that specific region of the forest, as a cleric powers always depend on the connection they have with their god and the amount of faith they have in that god. Priests are very dedicated, preaching the dark ways of Coór and the necessity to walk upon the path he has made for the dark elves to walk.
Seamstresses and tailors help to make the clothing of the tribe. Like many other positions, a great deal of creativity is used and, with only blacks, browns, and grays being the only appropriate colours for clothing, and given that only dark, black stones and dark silver chains and threads can be used to decorate it, creativity is vital in maintaining a business. Many times styles spread quickly, and for this reason many high-class men and women will keep their own private tailor and/or seamstress, or a team of tailors and seamstresses, to design their wardrobe.
Servants are used primarily in Horg’tarl where they clean the house and make the beds, and overall keep things in order. It should be noted that orcs and Ashmarian barbarians are used as servants. However, those who belong to such barbaric races are not paid and used only to do heavy work that requires lots of physical strength, which most Diorye’oleal elves simply do not have. Servants tend to work to clean and cook, but do no arduous physical work.
Details of the government are not well known, but one thing is for sure: The
leader is determined by their animal guide. After spilling a bit of their blood
into a circular pool of water, the
child and the high priest will call upon the
darkwinds to show the face or form of
the animal guide that child is destined to have. The animal guide that is given
to the child will determine their rank in society. Those who receive animals
such as the ur’viper and the gryph are
especially well-off for gaining positions in the government. Those with the
ur’viper guide typically become counselors and advisors, or gain other official
positions. The gryph, however, becomes
the leader, the new ruler of the tribe.
Animal guides are typically chosen when children are in their 20’s or 30’s. As soon as the one who possesses the gryph guide is found, they will be taken from their parents and taught how to rule and guide the other tribe members. When they reach the age of 100, they are dubbed ready to take the throne. At this point the old leader will be sacrificed to Coór for a happy reign and a drop of the old leaders blood will be mixed in with the wine and drunken.
Production/Trade. The Diorye'oleal elves are a fairly self-sufficient and independent tribe, not really needing to trade with other tribes in the area. They do, however, make use of their neighbors, as the Ashmarian barbarians are often used for practically free labor. The Diorye’oleal elves are able to use their magic to both obtain and control these strong but less intelligent creatures, and they put them to work mining and taking care of sheep and cattle. Because of this, trade is unnecessary, as the Diorye’oleal elf tribe believes it has all it needs and that it does not need to trade with other tribes.
Natural Resources. Living in a forest, wood is perhaps the tribe’s most abundant resource and, relishing in the destruction of things, they have no objection to the wood being chopped down. However, there are limits. It is forbidden to cut some trees because they help keep the tribe’s towns hidden. However, many trees around the outer edge of the Hovel Frond Forest are cut down and new trees sprout up in their place. Also, the plants and herbs that grow within the forest tend to be a good natural resource for these elves.
Mountains surround the Hovel Frond Forest on three sides, with the Southern Foothills to the east, the Tandala Mountains to the south, and the Mountains of Oro to the west. From these mountains the tribe gets most of its resources. Ore, iron, and coal are all mined from the mountains, usually by captured Ashmarian slaves. This ore is commonly used for making pieces of jewelry and decoration for garments.
Holidays, Festivals and Observances. Still to be added.
Religion. As elves, the Diorye'oleal remain true to the common elven religion which include the High Gods Avá, Coór, and the Aviaría. However, the fact that they are dark elves also guides them in their believes, and they focus more on the worship of Coór. However, simply because they worship Coór does not imply that they do not also hold Avá in great respect and admiration. The dark elves carry the same belief as the Shadow Himself: That Avá should be awoken from her sleep even if it means the end of the world of Caelereth in order to end the pain and suffering she receives from being unable to wake. Even though the Diorye’oleal elves worship Coór, they do so only for the promise of happiness and peace for the High Goddess Avá Herself.
Settlements. The towns and villages of the Diorye’oleal elves are for the most part unknown, but a few rather prominent towns are known of.
Yuriak’ret ("Bent Throne")
As the capital to the Diorye'oleal elves, this city resides in the center of the Hovel Frond Forest, or so it is assumed. None by the dark elves themselves have ever seen the path on the way to the capital. The foreigners allowed to journey to the capital are either rendered unconscious or else bagged and blindfolded. The later is preferred, as it has been found that many who are made unconscious do not awake. Stories of what this city look like differ slightly, but as the capital, it is fairly extravagant and magnificent in appearance. The entire capital is enclosed in a ring of oozing, decaying moss and a wall of lifeless trees, stained a bone-white from time, while inside, dark black birches spring from the ground in unusually twisted designs made to hold torches. The buildings are lit with candles and torches that cause shadows to dance along the walls, and ineligible runes embellish the walls and books. It is believed that the runes are ancient Styrásh, but time has worn them into obscurity.
Horg’tarl ("Castle of Darkness")
This is the great castle that lies in a secluded part of the Hovel Frond Forest, away from many of the small villages and bustling cities. It is from here that elves who hold high position reside, and where vassals of Ashmarian barbarians are kept. The castle rises from the midst of a verdurous green clearing, though the land nearest is a place where high black birch tree shroud the castle. The castle itself is formed from innumerable trees, thought to be black oak, which have been twisted and mutated by magic to form into one enormous castle with at least a hundred rooms. There are six stories to the building, but the sixth one is reserved for only those Diorye’oleal elves who are of high ranking status, such as the ruler or the son, brother, sister, or family member of the ruler. No one is certain what this top floor looks like, as only the most trusted and faithful servants, usually those that are paid and are of elven decent, have been allowed to journey to the sixth floor. It is believed that it is the ruler’s room where the original coat of arms is hung.