THE YLFFERHIM ELVES

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

The Ylfferhim are a small and isolated group of elves that dwell in the Quallian Forest. Decended from - as they believe - the Astyrhim, they are actually very closely related to the Quaelhoirhim at the nearby Zeiphyrian Forests and relations between the two tribes are close, if sometimes a little strained. The Ylfferhim prize peace above all things and play a very little part in Sarvonian history. The autonomous government remains entirely neutral on almost all issues. Only currently are these elves starting to make contact with the outside world.

An Ylfferhim Musician

View picture in full size Picture description. An Ylfferhim musician playing the reed crafted theratam flute to a forest twotail listening attentatively. Image by Faugar.

Appearance. When humans imagine elves, they often visualize those of the Quaelhoirhim, as these elves are most commonly seen by the other races of Santharia. The Ylfferhim therefore closely follow the classical description of elves; being slender and tall in appearance, but are a little taller and more lithe than their Zeiphyrian cousins. Generally the Ylfferhim are shorter lived than the Quaelhoirhim. Hair is worn long and males plait or braid their hair, either in one plait, or in several braids to remove it from the face. The exception to this rule was the famour Ylfferhim Leias Anthioullsn, who was always curious in apperance among the Ylfferhim and wore his dark hair short and around his face.

Due to a connection with the Injerín tribe in Northern Sarvonia, the Ylfferhim are generally fairer than most of the surrounding tribes, with pale skin and fair hair ranging from Strawberry blonde through to ash white. It is very unusual to find a Ylfferhim elf with eye colours other than blue, green or grey. It is said though that the easiest way to tell a Ylfferhim elf from the other surrounding tribes is to ask them to open their mouths. When they talk they do so with a characteristic melodius accent and are reknown for having beautiful singing voices.
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Coat of Arms/Sign. The Ylfferhim honour the Astyrhim by using their coat of arms theme, the Tree of Life. At the Ylfferhim coat of arms you will therefore often see the Astyrhim Tree of Life flanked by two wolves to demonstrate their independence of thought and loyalty to what they hold as true. This coat of arms probably existed long before the tribe actually existed, but probably became the tribe's official coat of arms some time around the outbreak of SW III. Return to the top

The Ylfferhim Coat of Arms

View picture in full size Picture description: The Coat of Arms of the Ylfferhim elves, designed by Koldar Mondrakken.

Territory.  The Ylfferhim live in the Quallian Forest. Originally part of the Quaelhoirhim tribe the Ylfferhim became seperated in a fragment of a once larger Zeiphyrian Forest, seperated by a series of great floods. The tribe contains the desendants of a mix of the few elves who had been resident in the eastern forest as long as memory stretches, Injerín soldiers fighting with the Quaelhoirhim (led by Ylopherdain) and Quaelhoirhim elves who fled from the area around Elving in 806 b.S. from fear or because they felt that they could not tolerate violence. The elves rarely wander out of the forest though two small costal settlements exist outside of the Quallian, which are abandoned during times of war.

The forest is split more or less in half by the River Aieryn, the first and smallest of the branches from the Thaehelvil River as it begins to form a delta near its mouth and flows out into the Aetryam Sea. The river is prone to minor flooding, depositing alluvium along its course.
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People. The Ylfferhim have a higher natural ability for magic than most elven tribes. In fact the tribe has the highest natural propensity for magic of any tribe in Southern Sarvonia, with a much higher than average number of individuals demonstrating an ability for sensing Oh'mód'hál. Over the years the Ylfferhim have utilised their talents for magic to protect their forest home and thus the Quallian is quite unspoilt. They have a rich oral and musical tradition, and the Ylfferhim bards often travel to surronding elven tribes to teach other elven children basic lore.

Since their seperation many obvious cultural differences have arisen. The most obvious is that the Ylfferhim speak a tongue which is very closely related to Styrásh, but different in various ways. Many consider it simply a dialect, though it is quite clearly distinctive and many elves have trouble understanding them. The speech is still melodious, but in a more gutural way. There are three extra runes in the alphabet, and the commonness of each rune is slightly different to that of the standard language spoken by the Quaelhoirhim. The Yllferhim language is highly variable, with recognizable varying accents in each settlement. Old Ylffer Elvish represents the transition between Elvish and Ylffer during the period following the first Sarvonian War. While recognizable, those who speak only one tongue or the other would have difficulties following it. Most of the Ylfferhim speak Ylffer and Elvish, Old Ylffer is now mainly obsolete. Members of the Council, however, are expected to understand it.

The relationship between Old Ylffer and Elvish is demonstrated by the word Quallian, which is a mutation of the root "quael" (as in "Quaelhoirhim") meaning "bright". The relation between Old Ylffer and Ylffer is shown by the spelling of Ylffer in the name of the capital. The modern spelling is not as the root Ylffer meaning "independent", "free" and also the Ylffer word for "wind" (read more details at the entry on "Old Ylffer").
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The Quallian Forest

View picture in full size Picture description: The untouched forest of the Quallian, here you can see a bridge crossing the River Aieryn. Image drawn by Nalfaren.

Housing. All the cities within the forest, excepting the two largest, are hidden within the trees, and have no building at ground level, save for military fortifications. Most Ylfferhim therefore live in tree houses known as Maylon. Many levels of Maylon exist in each settlment, containing not only housing, but "businesses" of every nature, linked by walkways, beautifully sculpted from intertwining of tree bows, boarded over to give a level surface and paved in either stone or malachite. In the two largest cities and also in the costal settlements, dwellings at ground level exist, built either from wood or stone.

Maylon remain well hidden due to the mainly evergreen nature of the fauna in the Quallian. Such a system would be unlikely to work in forests further north.
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Clothing. Clothes of the Ylfferhim are made from furs, or cottons, organza or silk that they obtain mainly from the Quaelhoirhim. Style is a matterof personal taste, though females generally wear long flowing dresses, while males can often be seen wearing loose suits, with high neck lines. Capes are the most common overgarment, and usually hooded. Due to the secretive nature of the tribe, greens and browns are favoured, though a myriad of bright coulours can be found in the saftey of the hidden cities.
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Diet
. The Quallian is an incredibly ecologically diverse environment, and its richness is perhaps the reason why the tribe has managed to survive in isolation for quite so long. Meat is the principle constituent of the diet as while the soil around the Aieryn is fertile, it is not really suitable for crop growing, due to the Quallians dense undergrowth. Fishing is common around the Aierynsayl, the natural lake on the River, and also on the costal settlements. Fruit trees also grow in the forest in large numbers. However, much of the Ylfferhim's diet of grains and pulses must be obtained by trade. As a result this is the Ylfferhim's primary weakness, as their food supply can easily be cut off.
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Weapons. Armour is very rarely seen in the Quallian, though short range bows and knives are the Ylfferhim's weapons of choice, perfect for use within the dense undergrowth.
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Occupations. Occupation in the forests are many and varied, though many Ylfferhim become either rangers or bards. Magi are also found at a higher than average frequency among the population. Many magi, however, choose to leave for the Quaelhoirhim where increased external relations offer them larger opportunities or to come into the service of the High Elven Circle. Merchants who deal with outsiders on behalf of the tribe are very important, while others still are miners (a very unusual trade for an elf) for the Quallian's mineral wealth, providing the forest with the bricks and stone for working.
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The Ylfferhim Leias Avennía "Wren" Asaiá

View picture in full size Picture description: Portrait of the former Ylfferhim Leias Avennía "Wren" Asaiá. Image drawn by Faugar.

Government. There are no true leaders among elves, but decisions are made by the government or Council and meetings are traditionally conducted in Old Ylffer. Final decisions in most matters are made by a monarch, the Leias (usually female), following discussion. The Leias is selected by the council after long consultation, and traditionally they are individuals with an aptitude for using the Ionmis Globe. Since the founding of the council there have been ten Leias. Return to the top

Production/Trade. The Quallian's mineral wealth is the Ylfferhim's primary source of trade. Limestone can be found within the southern areas of the forest and near the coast sandstone is quarried. The forest is rich in gold, gems and malacite. The clay soils around the Aieryn can be baked in moulds to form bricks.
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Natural Resources. [...]
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Holidays, Festivals and Observances. Ylfferhim elves are not ones for huge parties, however, most nights, are a celebration of sorts. If you are lucky enough to wander among the trees you will hear Salaen and songs of old on the breeze. However, in the month of Córt'ometrá the long night sky is illuminated by thousands of candles and the trees are aglow with tiny pinpoint lights created by elven magic. The forest echos with songs of Avá and of Seyella, and of the very earliest of times.
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Religion. [...]
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Settlements. The Ylfferhim have 10 Settlements in the forest. All but two have no buildings at ground level save military fortifications. Settlements are joined by overhead walkways or barely perceivable tracks. Without an Ylffer guide you are likely to get lost. Settlements are usually large, very extended family groups, excepting the capital. The settlements in order of size are:

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THE AGE OF THE BLOOD
(YEARS 822 B.S. - 50 B.S.)
810 b.S. Ylpherón’daín, Ancestor of the Ylfferhim moves South
A member of the Injerín, Ylpherón’daín, along with several of his close kin migrate southward, eventually joining the Quaelhoirhim. In time they along with others of the Quaelhoirhim move further into the Zeiphyrian Forests and becomes one of the founders of the Ylfferhim.
  

760 b.S. The Ylfferhim declare their Independence
The Ylfferhim elves declare their independence from the Quaelhoirhim and pull out of the war. This comes as a blow to the Serphelorians fighting with the Quaelhoirhim against the Erpheronians, but they fight on.
  

701 b.S. The Third Great Flood in the Zeiphyr
Fallen Leaf. In Fallen Leaf of 701 b.S. a week of almost continuous rain during the ninth month of the year, along with a channelisation and damming of the Aieryn River upstream close to Vezash (designed to provide irrigation of the fertile farmland) causes the Aieryn to flood. The worst affected area is around Yln'faín'tír (the city was built in the middle of a natural lake), where the lake acts like a bottleneck. The disturbance of the lake's normally very calm waters causes considerable ecological disturbance and for two years the fish stocks on which many of the Ylfferhim depend upon are severly depleted causing famine in the western area of the forest.

The death of the fish also attracts mercarto flies, which normally live much further south. The flies live on the blood of livestock and harbour a virus. They infect the Ylfferhim's small herd of sheep and cattle and many wild deer. While harmless to their four legged hosts, when the elves consume the meat of the game or livestock they contract a deadly disorder the elves call Mór'cárlth. Sporadic outburst continue until about 628 b.S.
  

125 b.S. High Elven Meeting at the Thaelon
The Maeverhim Rónn Aerhin attends the meeting at the Thaelon with a cadre of associates, and they side with the Quaelhoirhim. However, the Ylfferhim Anthioullsn becomes High Rónn of the Wood Elves. The Maeverhim do not protest.

THE AGE OF CHANGE
(YEARS 50 B.S. - 172 A.S.)
30 Eyelian Dissent with Santharia
And dissent they do. Boycotting all Santharian goods and services, a small group of Yourth clan Eyelians travels to the Quallian, perhaps lured subconsciously by elves, or perhaps by the mysterious force of alsetism.

THE TIME OF REUNION
(YEARS 1.540 A.S. - TODAY)
1.638 Kytta’erng Trade with the Ylfferhim Elves
The Ylfferhim begin to send envoys from the Quallian. One of these envoys reaches Kytta’erng, where he receives a warm welcome. Upon his return to the forest, he gives a glowing recommendation of the Eyelians. Ever since, the two tribes have held a fast friendship. Symbolizing this friendship is the trading post built near the Quallian. This post is the closest non-elf made structure to the Quallian, and the only place where visitors are received officially.

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