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The Elven Coalition

Precious & Powerful

"Man Fears Time… Time Fears the Trees"

A History:

The oldest known story in the lands of Aberdar is etched into the side of a large stone at the mouth of a cave that lies along the main north-south pathway into the Ringwood Forest, a massive and dense cluster of trees that stretches from coast to coast. The story is unique in that it does not use words or symbols, rather what is depicted is a series of drawings. The drawings are simple, as it takes time and a bit of elbow grease to etch into stone, but what they present in their simplicity they make up for in arrangement. The images start with an island with one large tree. Then, in the second image the tree is struck with a jagged line from the sky, which many observe this to be a bolt of lightning. In the third image lines shoot out from the tree and the tiny island appears as a large land mass. In the last image there is a large island, with the tree in it’s center and three massive stones circles, one at the very north of the land mass, one in the northeast and one in the center bottom beneath the tree. This is the story of the Elves, an ancient race and the first beings of Aberdar, if not the entire known world. The elves believe that they were born of a this massive magical tree to watch over the realm for eternity. Over time, the humans would learn more about their predecessor’s culture, their ways and their unique magic. However, for most all of history the elves have kept what is secret to them safe, until one fateful elf filled with hope chose not to.

The Modern Coalition:

Following the devastation caused by the Elder Dragon pillaging of Aberdar the elves divided themselves into three Houses based on their magic type and home locations. The elven elders perpetuated the belief that this division was to better protect eleven magic and way of life following the tragic Elder Dragon raising of the human world. But, in reality most elves knew that this division was political: each elven type held suppressed blame for the tragedy on the other two -- the High Elves wanting the elves to have intervened more directly with warfare against the dragons separate from the humans, the Druidic Elves wanting more cooperation with humans during dark times, and the Woodland Elves believing the humans would have sacrificed them for victory and voting to stay neutral in the matter. Regardless, the elves were ancient kin and hence decided to stay united under one known Coalition. This would keep them united. The humans were rebuilding quickly and could become undoubtedly a threat again, especially since the humans were growing in now what was a gigantic continent of chaos, and the elves anticipated deep human resentment against them for closing ranks when the dragons landed.

House Colors / Symbols / Customs

The elves have a completely different culture than humans. Airedale’s symbol is the North Star, which rises over their Tower in the north. Wendover’s symbol is the Elk. Ringwoods symbol is the Tree of Life. All are reflected on the coalitions' crest. Elves are more communal and less fraternal than humans, so unlike humans choosing loud colors that stand out in the realm of war and diplomacy the elves primary color is Green. However, there are also many types of elves so please refer to the Costuming section below and the design team will be in contact with all players regarding costume questions.

Customs:

As a Coalition of three there are some customs that are similar and some divergent between the elf Houses. Before the Coalition when the elves were of one civilization there was a system of law and etiquette known as the Tengwa which was claimed to have been handed down from the original generations of elves thousands of years ago. Elven customs are as much of a product of their long lifespans and magic as human customs are a product of their briefer but more zealous and changeable nature. Simply put, elves nature is not inclined to change and, even if they do change for the sake of compromise or solution, that will be an isolated moment and they will often go back to the ways they have been for ages. Elves can and do change, just very slowly, like a tree, it may grow but the human eye cannot ‘see’ it happening.

Geography & Customs of Airedale:

The elves of Airedale are “High Elves” as they possess the ability to cast powerful elemental magic. They have long resided in the northeast of Aberdar, a location that is a sight to behold. Their home of Airedolin is a collection of towers, with the senior elves taking the highest floors. As one ascends from youth, to pupil, to sorcerer to master or ‘Herdir’ one moves up the tower. Airedolin lines at the feet of the valley that stretches along the towering Crystal Mountains, a collection of translucent mountains with blade-like cliffs and apexes. Father north Airedale has Mori Mindon, known by the humans as The Dark Tower, a place where the High Elves train in their ancient magic. There elven porthole is the Vast Nexus in the far north, close to the Chaos realms that only the High Elves understand.

Airedale elves are very decorative and have the most fondness for human style and artn. Being the elves furthest from nature Airedale can festishize human culture, to a degree that makes their other elves disgruntled. Having supernatural magic in some ways makes Airedale closer to humans in culture than their kin who are all things natural. Airedale do thrive off their power and can sometimes become entangled in human conflicts.

Geography & Customs of Wendover:

The elves of Wendover a druidic elves and have long preached balance and nothing will ever change that message. Unlike Airedale, with their lavish-ness and drives for harnessing otherworldly powers, Wendover elves stay true to the ways of nature. They believe they are the heart of Aberdar, and always place the needs of it and its nature first. The realm is a sentient being and to a Wendover elf, a being that has been abused for far too long.

Wendover elves used to live in the Ringwood Forest, but when the Coalition was established they moved far north to an open land range above the humans and elves, as if to be able to look down on the rest of the continent as parents and caretakers of Aberdar. There, they built a tower of wisdom, the name of which they have never shared outside their House, just as impressive as The Dark Tower, and they have their own nearby Nexus porthole. Afterall, the elven portholes were a Wendover idea.

Wendover are the protectors and nature and believe in honoring the lessons only nature can teach. While airedale may appear more like a human royal house, Wendover society is akin to a passionate druidic sect, who believe Abedar is there to be served by the elves, not the other way around. There belief is to remove the word ‘Tragedy’ from ever being associated with their homeland again. This will take time, but they have faith that what once was can be again. They possess powerful nature magic and are not shy to display their power if necessary.

Geography & Customs of Ringwood:

The elves of Ringwood are the last elves to remain in the elve’s home forest of Aberdar of Mydfaie, which they renamed the Ringwood Forest. Ringwood elves live a more organic lifestyle than Airedale. The live within the sacred elf tree of Sindarin, where all elf life was said to have been born. This is a massive tree that towers deep within the center of the Ringwood Forest. They also have their own Nexus to the south of Sindarin.

They are far less magical that Airedale and Wendover, and sometimes it appears they have no magic at all. However, the Sindarin tree wields powerful magical effect. What Ringwood does display are physical feats of astonishment. Ringwood are woodland elves who boast some of the most feared archers and night assassins in all of Aberdar. There speed, agility, and hand-eye coordination is exceptional. They also believe elves have the right to rule over nature, as opposed to being one with it, which is a point of contention with Wendover. To a Ringwood elf, the forest serves them. They are also masters of craftsmanship. To the human eye a Ringwood elf would appear looking like a ranger, someone dressed for optimal performance in a dense forest. They also tend of have more of a sense of humor and a knack for testing the nerves of the other elven Houses. Ringwood believe Airedale can be obnoxious elitists and that Wendover may take matters a little too seriously. So, while Airedale will be testing their magic in their towers and Wendover will be holding druidic rituals and rites of passage, Ringwood will be tossing festivals of dance and drink.

Resources:

Having different material and dietary needs than humans has limited trade with humans, moreover what humans do want (magic and magical items) elves do not wish to give. Having long since ceased imparting wisdom on humans the elves have resorted to offering the humans healing, or rarely offering magical items that only have one-limited use. The elf landscape, such as the three Nexuses, the Ringwood Forest and the Crystal Mountains are different than human areas, as elf lands flourish through magic and it react differently to the seasons.  

Religion / Politics / Military & Magic

Religion:

Ringwood worships their ancient elder founder named Rhothomir (pron: Roth-thow-meer), who they believe has an immortal spirit. They also share a code where the Ringwood Elves always protect and put their interests of their House (which they call a ‘Hoim’ or Tribe) first, but they honor the laws of the Coalition. They are suspicious of outsiders and have banned humans from their woods because, in their view, humans steal and destroy.

Wendover worships nature itself, what they call Tymhora (pron: Tyme-mora). They believe that nature has a universal consciousness that infiltrates all living beings. They are hopeful that elves can coexist with other living beings, even humans, and want to act as helpers and saviors because they respect all life. Their influence has been the reason that the elves have not entered into war with humans. However, Wendover will defend themselves if necessary through the power of nature spells and magic only they know and understand.

Airedale worship Talgarth, whom is revealed in Airedale’s sacred scrolls as the creator of Aberdar and elf life. They believe Talgarth imparted his magical power to the elves. Ringwood believes this to be a myth, whereas Wendover believes Talgarth was a manifestation of nature itself in elf form, but was not an elf. The alleged tomb of Talgarth is said to be buried deep under Wyndwood Island off Cambria in a tomb named Aberdon. The elves have not seen Wynwood for a millennia.

Government:

Game Disclaimer: the structure of the Elven Coalition is only information known to Coalition player so it cannot be made public. It is known that the Coalition’s current stance is that it’s strictly forbidden to share elf magic with non-elves.

Military & Magic:

The elves of Airedale and Wendover do not have an army like humans, rather they have sects of powerful elf sorcerers, mages, priests and druids. To attempt to combat these elves requires facing off against powerful spells of the elemental and natural worlds. However, Ringwood does possess highly skilled units of elf rangers, archers, as well as one of the most feared units in Aberdar, their infamous Eclypse Elves, who are lethal nocturnal assassin units.

Issues Facing the Coalition:

The issues facing the Coalition are many. With an ancestral lineage going back thousands of years the elves have survived darker times before. Their wisdom and resolve has always worked in their favor. Now, faced with political decisions in the face of Cambria now appearing again and human troubles spilling over into elf spheres it’s feared that the world is changing too fast. How the Coalition will react the change will have ramifications felt world-wide.

Costume Ideas

Suggestions (all optional):

Elves are the best known non-human race in fantasy fiction, feel free to dress in any way that you prefer. However, the lore suggests that Airedale elves would appear more like ancient sorcerers with fancy garb, such as silver cloaks and holding long staffs, Wendover would appear more druid-like with possibly white or green cloaks holding magical items from nature, whereas Ringwood would appear more like elf rangers, scouts or archers. The Eclypse elves of Ringwood would appear looking a lot like what we would know to be a ninja.

Elf ears are typically easy to find and purchase online. Read reviews as to which ears are most comfortable and tend to stay on (you do not want to be picking up your ears off the grass all weekend :) Experienced cosplayers in the player group would like be happy to offer advice and suggestions as well while everyone plans for the weekend.

Why do the Elves make the Humans nervous?

What You Cannot See You Cannot Anticipate:

The fall of the grand illusion between the two continents may be cause for the Elves to once again become aggressive. Their lays too much of their history and magic in Wynwood Island and beyond, plus they have sisters and brothers in the Everwood Forest of Cambria. Even if divided on certain issues the Elves will band together when it means looking out for their own kind.  


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House Pendrake

Loyal & Lethal

"In Steel, You Can Trust"

The Modern Order:

The Knights of Pendrake are the defenders of the largest city in Aberdar, Waringham. Although the Waringham has their own armies, they simply cannot compare in training, fortitude, and skill in battle to the Knights of Pendrake. Trained from youth in the battle arts, only a select few will surpass the many challenges that are placed before them, and the majority who fail are allowed to lead a respectable life as a Waringham citizen. Women and men are equals in a Secret Order whose name is only known by the Knights themselves and never spoken aloud to anyone outside their closed ranks. In actuality, the oath the Knights have taken goes far beyond the protection of those who pay them, they see themselves as the defenders of all the humans of Aberdar and are ready to defend humanity on instant notice should the humans ever be threatened again by dragons or any other non-human race or creature, foreign or domestic.

A Brief History:

History reads that the Knights of Penndrake were born of orphans when the bravest human warriors who fought the Elder Dragons had their offspring identified. The children where then forced to watch their parents executed before their eyes. The Elder Dragons could have quickly killed the entire family, but they wanted to insult those warriors who were so defiant and skilled that they initially repelled the Elder Dragons and their lesser war wyverns. These warriors made what the dragons believed would be a swift conquest in a true fight to the teeth, and once victorious the Elder Dragons wanted to embarrass and scar the bloodlines of the warriors that had initially thwarted them with not much more than a sword and shield. After witnessing their parents being burned alive, one by one, the children were released to die of exposure or starvation. However, some of the elves intervened to save them. The next day the children returned to the battlefield and reclaimed their parents’ swords. To this day a Pendrake Knight has an ancient sword that had been handed down from generation to remember the purpose behind their rank and oath to one another -- that no beast or non-human will ever lay waste to Aberdar again.

House Colors / Symbols / Customs

  • Major Color: White

  • Minor Color: Gold

  • Symbol: Mounted Knight

Customs:

The Knights of Penndrake are not as much of a stoic bunch as outsiders would suspect. They like to employ wisdom to their warrior lifestyle, believing that “a sword too requires an education”. When not engaged in their vigorous physical training they train their minds, through literature, study and meditation. The Knights are fiercely anti-magic, as they believe magic (as well as the elves) were responsible for attracting the Elder Dragons and making them more powerful. To a Penndrake Knight, all one needs is their oath and their sword, in metal do they trust. Upon completion of their trials at the age of 18 the child will be then placed into Transcend Schooling, where the future Knight will learn to divorce themselves completely from the physical realities of the material world, such as feeling pain, experiencing envy, lust, or greed, and thereby becoming one with their one true material object on the earthly plane -- their sword. The Knights are most famous for their long-table, where they never sit in the same seat two times in a row for a meal, as it’s symbolic that, one day, oneself may need to lead in battle, hence turns being taken at the head of the table.

Geography & Resources:

Penndrake sits on an island off the coast of Waringham in the moist and blamy northwest of Aberdar. The region is a hotbed of human trade, culture, and exchange. On the island Penndrake Castle sits as a fortress, but it really functions more as a training facility and home, where nobody but the Secret Order being permitted to step foot on the island. Waringham is a dense city of money and must, and people from all over Abedar venture there as it’s really the only major open commercial center in the vast continent. Although Knights have ample defenses on their island the Secret Order often takes to spending weeks at a time in undefendended camps in the countryside as a bold statement that their enemies are too fearful to attack them even when undefended.

Penndrake trade in metals, including steel, iron and copper, and Waringham trades in almost everything imaginable. The Secret Order forbids one another from trading in arms, as their weapons are considered sacred items.

Religion / Politics / Military & Magic

Religion:

The Knights practice a simple monotheistic religion. They believe that humans were the first beings of Aberdar and that no history book or take can be trusted as the Elder Dragons, or mostly those who were complicit with them, destroyed the true history of Aberdar. They believe the elves were born of some form of magic in the forests and have perpetuated a lie that they were the original race of Aberdar. The Knights refer to their God as Lampeter, who bestows the Knights with the ability to co-exist in a transcendent plane of existence between body and spirit.

Government:

The Penndrake Knights have a King, a crown that is passed on by succession. The crown is said to have been first worn by the eldest child of the first generation of Knights and then is handed down to a successor the King’s choosing, not by bloodline. Sometime’s one’s own child is chosen, other times not so if the King believes another is more worthy to lead. The title of ‘King’ is more symbolic than actual, a way for the Secret Order to keep human traditions alive. Women have been chosen as King in the past, gender does not factor. Additionally, the King can only reign to the age of 60, thereafter it must be handed to a successor as King’s must be fit enough to lead in battle. A King to retires at 60 is called a Sire, and should a King sadly die in battle before the age of 60 then the next ruler is chosen by a Secret Order vote. Lawbreakers or oath breakers are not put to death, as such actions would reduce the Knights to the level of inhumanity as practiced by the Elder Dragons against their ancestors, rather banishment is seen as the most public afront and act of shame. It’s rare but has occurred.

Waringham is run by a city council and a mayor, which is replete with corruption, as any large human urban area would be. The Knights tend to let the city sort out its own internal political issues.

Military & Magic:

The Knights employ a simple but intimidating  military design. They field two completely opposite unit types that complement one another beautifully on the battlefield. First, they form a tenacious phalanx of armor that is nearly impenetrable, deflecting projectiles they will methodically march towards their target. However, when at the foot of the enemy the Knights will break formation and engage in a melee style of combat in which they excel. Penndrake Knights are renowned for their strike accuracy of their strikes, they have a thorough understanding of physiology and can often find an artery in a half inch open section of an opponent’s armor. This lead to saying that, “Need armor against Penndrake? Ask to be placed in the center of a boulder.” The second set of units they employ are heavy mounted calvary, preferring size and armor of their horses over speed these mounted units perform like animal powers war machines that can cut through waves of soldiers.

Penndrake distrusts magic and believes they are the true keepers of Aberdar for the human population and that the elves are to only be tolerated if they remain in their forests and refrain from melding in human affairs.  

Issues Facing the Order:

Penndrake is being accused of raiding the Ringwood Forest for magical elf items. This is a serious accusation. Game Disclaimer: no more can publicly be revealed about this pre-game unless you are a Knight of Penndrake.

Costume Ideas

Suggestions (all optional):

  • Penndrake are Knights, so any armor or battle attire would look great

  • Armor, chainmail, anything Knightly

  • If wanting to keep it simpler, than a white tabard works fine, one does not need armor at Bryn Mawr

  • Think Knights Templar, King Arthur etc., classic knights

  • Can bring a costume/prop sword or boffer weapon to denote your precious ancestral item

Why does Penndrake make Aberdar nervous?

Vigilant or Vigilante?

With the removal of the illusion and the new reality that a second continent exists humans, elves, and other races alike fear what Penndrake will do. They are indeed protectors but they are also indeed a military force that nobody wants to see become ambitious about conquest. As enlightened as they claim to be many worry that Penndrake will extreme actions in the name of protecting Aberdar.  


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The Princes of Caenervon

Artistic & Manipulative

"Your Destiny is Our Eternity..."

The Arrival:

Caenervon is a newer civilization that the native humans, elves, and other races of Aberdar have a difficult time making sense of, and now wish that they were engaged with much earlier. It was only a few years ago when these ‘Princes’ first landed their exotic Triremes on the golden sand shores of Rhos in the southwest of Aberdar. They were a new people from an island nobody had ever seen, or knew existed. Upon landing these Princes were greeted with rave curiosity by the native population of human tribes that lived off the fruitful lands of Rhos. The Princes handed out lavish gifts and told the natives that, if they bestowed the Princes with a small plot of land to grow their home crop then more gifts would be given to the peoples of Rhos. A deal was made. Thereafter, in what seemed to occur overnight, swaths of land was overtaken by a dark purple color, as if a velvet ash coated the earth and drained the green life from what once grew there. Then, upon the first rainfall dark roses sprouted from the velvet ash-covered soil. The Princes had their ‘gift’ for the people of Rhos, and the natives accepted the flowers. The were told to “breathe in the essence of the lotus”... what is now known in Aberdar as The Black Lotus, or “The Eternal Jewel”. In a matter of days the Princes had created an empire of followers who take in the essence of the Black Lotus, what is called the ‘Fragrance’. Rhos was renamed Caenaria and Aberdar would never be the same.

Aliens in Aberdar:

The exotic Princes of Caenervon like to state that their arrival on the continent was destiny, and those who take from the Black Lotus will too fulfill their destiny. Shamen and seers from human and elf kind alike believe the Princes arrived from an uncharted island that suffered a cataclysmic volcanic eruption and they brought with them botanicals that were never intended to become native of Aberdar, and they this introduction was not by mistake.

House Colors / Symbols / Customs

  • Major Color: Dark Purple

  • Minor Color: Yellow and Gold

  • Symbol: the Black Lotus rising

Customs:

Little is known about Princes themselves. However, it has been said that they have built a remarkably stunning civilization in only a single generation. The main issue is that obtaining information about the Princes is difficult, as most who are dispatched to Caenaria never choose to return, they simply join the ranks of the Princes’ peoples who are referred to as ‘Immortals’. All immortals embibe routinely on the Black Lotus fragrance. Alternatively, those who are sent as emissaries, under strict orders to never smell the lotus or accept any gifts, return changed in disposition, as if they are speaking in riddles and tongues, and no magic or medicine has been able to cure their altered states. The only successful visits to Caenaria has been by emissaries that are under strict orders to “never smell and never, ever speak”, they indeed have returned describing Caenaria as a “land of many words, of many laws, and many other things…”

Geography & Resources:

The Princes have overtaken much of the southwest region of Aberdar, which was traditionally a free land of human tribes that wanted to escape the politics and war of life in the north, so they chose to live simply off the beaches on the far end toe of the continent, where life could be lived simply yet well. That all changed when the Princes landed. A few years later much of the countryside is covered in the velvet tarpe of the Black Lotus, and the fields are toiled in day and night by the Immortals. However, a palace unlike any before in Aberdar has been built on a solid rock foundation island right off the coast, a tower of gold and hanging gardens called the Immortal Palace.

The possessions of the Princes are most alluring. While most Houses have strictly forbid the importation of Black Lotus, the Princes simply have too many troves of gold, gems and desired items of artistry to not be one of the leading new traders in Aberdar. Humans and elves alike desire their goods. Given the volume of the desirables they have to trade many worry that Caenervon is beginning to monopolize the trade routes of the continent through a network of informants whose loyalties have been purchased.  

Religion / Politics / Military & Magic

Religion:

The emissaries who did return to their Houses after visiting Caenervon speak about a God that the Princes claim they are children of and thereby are ‘chosen’ by this God to be the ‘caretakers’ of common people. The Prince title designation is applied to males and females who are the chosen ones of this God. The people of Caenaria are forbidden from knowing the name of this God unless they can solve a series of riddles that are proclaimed in succession throughout the year.

Government:

The inner council of the Princes is lead by a mysterious one called the Sultana, who is allegedly the oldest living child of their God. The Sultana relays the messengers and riddles and distributes the gifts to the other Princes to trade and otherwise keep the people pleased. Taking in the fragrance of the Black Lotus is mandatory and the Princes own all property worked by their Immortals. The power of the fragrance will bond one with the Princes in the afterworld, the one created by their God, where an immortal will ultimately become a Prince too in heaven. The Sultana appoints a trusted fellow Prince to manage the Black Lotus and this individual is known as the ‘The Keeper’.

Military & Magic:

The Princes claim to be pacifists and have not displayed any military might ever, nor have ever been aggressive physically to those outside of their new House. However, what they have not undertaken through expedition that have certainly colonized through the spread of the Black Lotus. When Waringham sent an expeditionary force to the southwest they were met with masses of people, unarmed, who were willing to die to defend their crops. This has raised an eyebrow of other rulers in Aberdar, “what if all these immortals were one day armed?”

The Princes are not magical, as they only believe in material things, many… many material things. They believe in the power of beauty and the senses and that nothing is ever enough, unless one takes in the fragrance. They believe the world should be seen, heard and encountered and that only the bliss of the afterworld can be entered into if divine riddles are solved.

Issues Facing the Princes:

Game Disclaimer: this can publicly be revealed pre-game unless you are a Prince of Caenervon.

Costume Ideas

Suggestions (all optional):

  • The Princes are lavish in style, this newer team’s style will be inspired by the medieval and renaissance era styles of non-Western European aristocracy and rulership. Many Ren Faires have vendors that sell clothing and wares that are outside of the more widespread Western European tradition, therefore players can be assisted in choosing costuming that is fashionable but also respectful. Note: do not let the fear of costuming prevent you from joining this team, a simple cloak would be fine if you wish to keep costuming simple.

Evan though the House color is dark purple the Princes love fashion and should not feel limited to any color scheme. A great costume accessory would be a black rose or flower.

Why does Caenervon make Aberdar nervous?

Cult of the New:

Within a few short years the Princes have colonized fruitful lands, built a palace, and occupied the minds of millions. It appears that they now are influencing trade routes, and seem to know many of the inner workings of other Houses and civilizations in Aberdar. Engaging in diplomacy has been a challenge as well, as it seems the more and outsider engages with the Princes the more lost they become.


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House Varia of Elwyn Island

Courageous & Countering

"Our Strength. Ourselves.”

The Curse:

No civilization in Aberdar best still exemplifies the tragedy of the Cursed Continent more strongly than House Varia, and no House best exemplifies the bravery and powerful resolve in the face of tragedy than the Varians. Against many odds over the generations the Varian warriors have turned tragedy into a strength and a curse into a cause. All Varian warriors are women, who are as capable in the fighting arts as any man. The tale of the curse is told as follows: the ancient ancestors of Varia were a patriarchal society with some of the strongest and most skill warriors in the realm. These male warriors were so strong that they slayed an Elder Dragon while resisting the serpent invaders. However, the warriors were eventually defeated and, in retribution for their killing of an Elder Dragon, the dragons placed a curse on the widows of the warriors, that forever in eternity men born of these womens’ bloodlines would be too weak to lift a sword, too frail to fight, and too brief in lifespan to build anything. And so the curse took hold, future generations of men were unable to take up arms are resume the patriarchy that one was, but the women stood up and bravely took over the reins of their people. They relocated to an uninhabited island on the eastern coast of Aberdar called Elwynn and formed the brave House of female warriors Aberdar knows today, warriors who will fight for the protection of those who cannot defend themselves in the realm.

The Female Warriorhood:

Modern Elwynn Island is a matriarchal society of female warriors and male caregivers. As the curse still permeates the House females are trained in the fighting arts at a young age and have inherited the strength of their distant male ancestors, all of who met their deaths in resisting the Elder Dragons. Should a female not pass her trials then she will be asked to leave Varia. This may seem extreme but the Varian way of life must be preserved and this means the female warriors must be able to meet the rigorous standards set by their leadership. In contrast, men are never banished from Elwynn Island. The common belief is that men are of no use to the Varian warriors, but nothing could be further from the truth. A side effect of the curse is that men born of a Varian female may be physically weak but they are emotionally gifted and have taken the status of caretakers of all on Elwynn Island. They raise all children, heal the wounded, and teach, albeit briefly as the often die before the age of 30.  

House Colors / Symbols / Customs

  • Major Color: White, Turquoise

  • Minor Color: Copper, Sea Green

  • Symbol: The Elwin Island Crest

Customs:

The Varian culture is a two class system, where the predominant importance of the system is protecting the matriarchal warrior society. Any derivation from this class system could be a threat to their way of life. The Varian warriors now consider the ancient curse to actually have been a blessing as the women of House Varia never again will voluntarily succumb to any other type of rule than controlling their own destiny. The men are treated well and valued for their ‘softer’ contributions to society, and physically assaulting or killing a frail male Varian is a crime of the highest order. The female warriors spend most of their time training or doing hard labor. Men and women live separately and breeding is not performed through intercourse (for male safety). However, their society is not as strict as it may seem, festivals and celebrations are enjoyed often, including annual warrior games and holidays to the seasons.

Geography & Resources:

Elwynn Island is considered remote as it’s only connection to the mainland is a single, narrow land bridge guarded by Varian warriors at all times. The House rarely extends invitations to outsiders and, once any approved invitee enters the island they are escorted at all times and can only meet with the warriors directly. It’s said that the island is stunning and has not suffered any effects of war or human advancements, those who have been there call it a paradise. The island is known to be a center of light magic, that the Nefyn harness to their advantage. The House lives in villages and have never had the desire to build a castle like other patriarchal Kingdoms of the past.

Varia will trade in agriculture, herbs, and botanicals, as Elwynn Island enjoys rich soil and a diverse natural environment. It’s said that the original warriors of the House built the land bridge to Elwynn and for centuries they have protected it as their prized and sacred homeland.

Religion / Politics / Military & Magic

Religion:

The Varian’s believe in a single god, who they view more as a universal natural spirit that has blessed Elwynn Island with light magic to bless the Varian warriors. This spirit they call Anemos is said to be the perfect balance of natural energy.  

Government:

The Varian system of governance is very communal in nature. The warriors are lead by a circle of senior warriors named the Megalyteros, who are elected by popular vote. Men cannot vote but have unique veto power over domestic affairs. The Varians work to avoid the trappings of common forms of patriarchal rule where a given bloodline, privilege or wealth leads to rulership.

Military & Magic:

These warriors are feared. They are trained from a young age, are well equipped, and have a strong resolve to protect their way of life, as well as the lives of others in the realm who cannot fend for themselves. Although the Varians are protective over their way of life and island they do not proctalicize, they believe the Varian way of life is only meant for the Varian so they tend to not push their way of life on other peoples. If their ways were spread too far and thin it could mean the end for what they see as a special existence. The female warriors are encouraged to forge their strongest relationships, either friendship, romantic or both, between one another as that will motivate the warriors to fight hard for their sisters.   

The use of the light magic found on Elwynn Island is vital for their way of life. First, the light magic extends the lives of men at least a decade, so their sons can contribute in their special way longer than the curse had intended. Second, and most vital, the light magic powers the special Varian armor, which was made from the scales of the Elder Dragon their male ancestors had slain a millennia ago. The armor is powered by the light magic and adds an additional layer of otherworldly strength to the women. However, the House itself does not practice magic or casts spells, they only accept the magical blessings of their home.

Issues Facing the House Varia:

Game Disclaimer: there is a serious issue facing House Varia that can and only will be revealed to Varian team members pre-game.

Costume Ideas

Suggestions (all optional):

  • Varian warriors will wear white with dragon scale armor or golden armor. Their weapons of choice of short swords and spears. Note: if you wish to play a Varian warrior you do not need to purchase or customize armor, summer white cloaks with gold accessories is fine. Warrior may also wear colors of their island, such as Turquoise. As this is a newer team the design team will be happy to work with all players to bring this world to life! Men would wear simple tunics.

Why does Varia make Aberdar nervous?

Will you still be there?

It’s not the Varian’s actions or intent, but rather their potential inaction that makes the peoples of Aberdar nervous. The House has helped the peoples of Aberdar in times of peril but it seems now that the House is growing distant from the affairs of the realm, as if they are tired of intervening and countering threats to the greater realm. This has only resulted in the House having to deal with issues at home that they have never had to deal with before. The Varians will always put their way of life and homeland first, so the question for those in Aberdar is: will Varia assist us the next time we need them?


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House Wrexham

Gifted & Absolutist

"The Exalted Ones.”

If the elves and humans of Aberdar can be examples of overcoming the Tragic Continent’s past then House Wrexham is the example of the lingering lasting effects of it. A closed totalitarian society encompassing much of the southeast territory of Aberdar, Wrexham has not had formal diplomatic ties with the rest of the continent in hundreds of years. The reclusive leaders of the House, known as the Ruthin, are direct reminders of the horrors of Aberdar’s history. So, to understand this place one must remember history. Wrexham is a story about a wall and a failed spell…

The Wall:

When the Elder Dragons began sacking Aberdar a few human tribes chose to lay down their arms and not defend their lands. In exchange for not resisting the serpent onslaught, the Elder Dragons spared these capitulators by placing them under quarantine on the stone cliffs past the southern badlands next to the sea of fire in the southeast. Then the Elder Dragons, their minions of war wyverns, and their slaves began building a quarantine wall, an endless stack of stone so high and thick that it was as if only an Elder Dragon could ascend it by flight when completed. The speed at which the wall was built appeared to be a miracle as the Elder Dragons drained certain dragon magic that causes levitation, so the massive stones could be lifted more easily. They combined this with exhaustive human labor, leading to the death of most of the Elder Dragon’s human prisoners. The dragon plan was simple: horde these surrendered tribes in this new walled fortress so that when greater Abedar was subjugated the Elder Dragons could turn these few tribes into a half-human half-dragon species called ‘Draconians’ to rule Aberdar, and later even Cambria. The Elder Dragons also built a massive fortress within the wall, one that could fit hundreds of dragons as future conquerors of the sister continents. Dragon comfort requires echoing amounts of space, so the fortress was the largest structure ever constructed in the known world.

The plan to transition humans to Draconians employed use of ancient dragon magic, but the risk in the plan was that such a spell had never been attempted. This indeed was to be the first attempt at this dark ritual and it was essential for the Elder Dragons to see if their spell would work before they turned their wretched eyes towards their true target, the more wildly magical continent of Cambria. The needed to forge new leaders of partial dragon blood who would do their bidding in overseeing their conquered lands.

When the last of the Human armies in Aberdar finally fell the spells were cast on the human subjects to create the first race of Draconians, but the result was abject failure. The spells did not birth Draconians, rather it alternatively created a new humanoid race now known as the Ruthin (the Elder Dragon term meaning ‘of confused mind’). The Ruthin did not take on dragon blood as intended with the spell, rather the spell warped their senses and gave the Ruthin a single dragon-like power. Lacking dragon blood they were of no use to the Elder Dragons, as without dragon blood they could not be manipulated by dragons. The Ruthin were a mistake, a powerful mistake and gross error.

After the Elder Dragons left Aberdar many Humans raced to the grand walls for perceived safety. There, the Ruthin appeared before them as living gods and saviors, they told the people that their power was the reason the Elder Dragons had fled and that they were graced with special powers and gifts as they were the ones chosen to protect Abderdar from future harm and evil. Many of the fleeing people stayed and became locked behind the wall. Generations of humans have now existed behind the wall without ever setting foot on land outside of it. The Ruthin have total control and have long since called their wall ‘The Vala’astalda’ or ‘Godswall’.

The Gaze:

The Ruthin rule over millions they call The Exalted People of House Wrexham. Their legend tells that a powerful first Ruthin named Wrexham banished the Elder Dragons from Aberdar, with his power he could manipulate and control their fire. The Ruthin tell their people that the only safe place to live is within their walls and, as so, it’s been long illegal to leave Wrexham. This, according to the Ruthin is a necessary policy for the protection of their people, as the outside world is dangerous and evil. Thus many, but not all, citizens of the House believe that being ruled by the Ruthin is a gift

If a child Ruthiae (pron: Ruth-Eye) has ice blue eyes then they are gifted, children born without the gifted eyes are immediately euthanized to keep the Ruthin genetic line pure. Ruthin are not magical, but rather are have one elemental power. These powers include levitation, the ability to move objects, the ability to turn something into flames, the ability to freeze an object or even prescience. One can imagine the effect it has on the psychology of a peasant in a closed society to see these displays -- the Ruthin’s gifts are real.  

House Colors / Symbols / Customs

  • Major Colors: gray like stone, red to represent dragon fire and blood, for which its failure created the Ruthin

  • Minor Color: bright light blue, like the eyes of a Ruthin

  • Symbol: God’s Wall

Customs:

The Ruthin believe they were chosen by the Elder Dragons and that there is something so special about them that the Draconian spell would not work on them. They actually believe that it’s their divine right to rule over the masses and that the House should be defended at all costs. They have developed unique rituals to test and train their gifts and their lifespans are longer than humans, but shorter than elves. They have multiple holidays where they will give gifts to their people, which will be mainly items of sustenance as the population is poor. To a common citizen anything other than bread, water and pigs feet is a delicacy. The Ruthin themselves love to festihsize dragons and will wear items representing dragons, even though they have not seen a living dragon since their creation. Because the human mind was not meant to take on dragon power without the addition of some dragon blood to balance the effects, the Ruthin can display erratic behavior and can occasionally enter bouts of mania, which they call an episode of ‘Darknus Momentus’. When an episode is about to being that Ruthin is placed in a locked tower until they have calmed.

Geography & Resources:

The House calls their fortress within the wall the Imperium, as beast of a construction meant to house dragons, not beings the size of humans. The very few who have seen, let alone entered, the Imperium claim that it is a sight that is both magnificent in scope and terrifying in feeling. The Imperium was constructed long ago built on the brutal landscape once called Clydach. But the Ruthin have long reinterpreted this far corner of Aberdar to be a place of safety and joy, calling it the one eternal safe place for their people.

For thousands of years these lands were left uninhabited, as not much could grown there and the stone landscape was harsh. With other more inviting regions of Aberdar these lands were always seen by humans and elves alike as Aberdar’s heel. However, the region is perfect for the Ruthin who have been able to mine stone, minerals and other precious metals from these badlands for the limited trade they have. Additionally, the Ruthin over the generations have created a monsterous extension to Godswall, it has been stretched out over the sea where they can harvest fish and entrapped those who dare sail into, what they have proclaimed, their sovereign waters. To this day these waters are referred to as the Fire Sea as remembrance of the great sea fire once created by the Elder Dragons.

Underneath the badlands the Ruthin do have access to valuable resources that other civilizations in the realm covet. Trade it not a direct affair however, as House Wrexham lowers behemoth crates from over its walls for food and, once enough food is given, they will open their gargantuan gates and roll out the resources and materials the foreign traders desire on unmanned carriages. Everything is old in Wrexham, as if the same rusty equipment has been used over and over for 1,000 years, as if time has stood still.

Religion / Politics / Military & Magic

Religion:

The Ruthin religion is simple: they are living gods and their people believe their radiant blue eyes and ‘gifts’ prove this so. They have developed a cult of personality that millions follow out of fear of the outside world. The Ruthin remain their gods and protectors.

Government:

The Ruthin are antiquated in every way. There way of life, civilization, facilities, all have not changed for a millennia. The rulership of the Imperium are a council of Ruthin called the Tiodhlac (Tiod-Hull-Lack), which render all House decisions in absolutist form. The supreme leader of the Imperium can be male or female and is chosen by the degree of power their particular gift displays. The genetic lineage of the Ruthin is thereby not familial but communal and the one who is most gifted is named the High Premiere. The internal politics of the House remain a mystery to the outside world.

Military & Magic:

The military might of the Imperium is more cruxed on deterrence, Wrexham rarely conducts offensive operations outside its wall, but for the trap of their sea wall. Most military minds in Aberdar concur that attacking Wrexham would be a suicidal operation, or would drain so much resources and warriors to achieve that any Ruthin counter-attack would prove disastrous for Aberdar. The Ruthin army has not changed in 1,000 years, they are a massive group of hungry soldiers carrying weapons and armor of rust. Upon first glance it appears that this antiquated army could be easily defeated by any modern force, even one of much smaller numbers. However, there is a terrifying tactic employed by Ruthin generals -- they will cast their gifts’ powers onto their own soldiers to smash opponents. Wrexham does not wage battles of honor and skill, rather their tactic is wholesale bludgeoning and bloodshed. The last time the Imperium was attacked it was by a group of marauding sea raiders, high on magical mushrooms, looking to steal some Ruthin gold that was not yet unloaded from a ship. The raiders were met in the night by rusty solder units levitating over them who dropped molten tar on their heads. Imperium soldiers, will to take the sacrifice, were then simply set on fire by a Ruthin General and they were torpedoed into into the raiders ranks and own ships scorching everything in their path. When weapons were dropped by killed soldiers the weapons would once again lift from the ground and be propelled into the raiders’ chests piercing their armor. The invaders learned harshly that they were not battling a frail and antiquate army, no they were being chopped down by flesh and steel that was graced by Ruthin dragon powers.

The Ruthin’s gifts are innate to them, they are not born of human or elf magic, they are rather a side effect of what happens when dragon power is not properly combined with human blood that’s devoid of any dragon blood. Magic tends to not counter a Ruthin’s gift, it can only counter the result of the gift. Example: should a Ruthin set a keep on fire magic can be used to quash the fire, but it cannot counter the Ruthin from using their gift again.

Issues Facing the Imperium:

Game Disclaimer: this can only be known by players who join House Wrexham.

Costume Ideas

Suggestions (all optional):

  • First, be mindful the Ruthin are not evil, they were created in a certain way of life and fear change. Ruthin often will cover themselves in cloaks, veils and other light but covering items only leaving their eyes exposed (as it will be summer you can go with lighter fabrics). Blue eye contacts are a great option, or a blue sticker on the forehead as a blue ‘third eye’ is recommended. Ruthin will wear symbolism to represent dragons or their gift, such as necklaces, finger claws, painted or long nails, fire pendants, and exotic stones. Silver is the metal (never gold).

  • We will permit use of a voice distorter (there are super affordable Halloween voice distorters online) to add another level of alternation into being a Ruthin.  

Why does Wrexham make Aberdar nervous?

Mutually Assured Destruction

Wrexham has made the civilizations in Aberdar nervous for a millennia, if the regime ever became aggressive or unstable the ramifications could prove disastrous. It has long been rumored that the Ruthin have a few unfertilized ancient dragon eggs that were irradiated by the Elder Dragons long ago. If one of these eggs were to be propelled it would result in a massive combustion laying waste to miles and miles of earth. The Ruthin use their wall, powers and these eggs as both as a deterrent against aggressors from the outside and as a means of extorting food from other Houses. There are no current political ties with House Wrexham and any other civilization in Aberdar but for an annual trading session with the Princes of Caenervon.