Day 2 of Elvan coverage, and today we’re looking at the concept of the Elvarii Nation, what is is, how it came about, and what it means for modern Victoria City. Tomorrow I’ll be covering all the relevant Faces, Locations, and Patrons of the Elvan, as well as some plot seeds based off of them.
All that and more, after the break.
The Elvarii Nation
Officially The First Peoples Elvarii Nation, the Elvarii is the political entity that recognises the rights of the Elvan peoples to adhere to their own cultures and values “where it does not conflict with the laws and expectations of the empire and the crown”. It gives them a degree of autonomy, allowing the right to self-governance, the right to worship, and the right to a separate but equal system of law that exists alongside crown law. All Elvan that exist within the borders of the Anglean Empire are members of the Elvarii, and subject to its laws in addition to the laws expected of all imperial citizens.
The Elvarii Nation was created by High Cwyn, one of the four immortal Elvan exalted and first to leave the Elvan Havens for civilised lands. He is recognised as the High King of the Elvarii and Arbiter of Elvan Law, as well as their spiritual leader and head of the Church of the Winter Star.
Of course, things are not so simple. While the Star Elvan are the majority, they are not the only elvan culture to exist within the Elvarii Nation. The other three Elvan exalted lead their own people, and are paragons of worship as well as supernatural patrons. Their own ways of life are not fully compatible with High Cwyn’s laws, and there is conflict over what is ‘the right way’ to be Elvan.
The largest and most metropolitan race, they left the Elvan Havens alongside High Cwyn and integrated into human society. It is estimated that a full quarter of the population of Victoria City are Star Elvan, with many of them making up the burgeoning middle classes. They have the lightest skin tones of the four races, closer to polished silver than normal grey. They revere High Cwyn as their god, the reincarnation of Cy Cwynhule’s authority, and have nothing to fear from his Lawspeakers so long as they follow his laws. They still hold many of the same cultural practices as their ancestors, and view the Elvarii Nation as necessary to keep their culture alive in changing times.
A loose collection of wandering tribes that still inhabit the Inner and Outer Dales, keeping to the wild lands of Cy Cwynhule’s time. They refuse to recognise High Cwyn’s authority, and are watched over by the exalted Celador Summer Stag, the reincarnation of Cy Cwynhule’s wisdom. Not much is known about them, and the common people still view them with the same awe and suspicion they did at the empire’s founding.
Nomadic peoples who travel the length and breadth of the empire in tight-knit communities, often via horse and caravan. Many are jack-of-all-trades types who are equally good at the performing arts, crafting, metallurgy, animal handling, and even diplomacy. Have an unfair reputation amongst humans as all being swindlers and thieves, however this is not undeserved for some clans with looser than normal morals. Their exalted is Elalie Burning, the reincarnation of Cy Cwynhule’s passion.
The ‘dark elvan’, possessing skin closer to charcoal grey and with black eyes. They are the lowest of the low, and oppressed by the Star Elvan. High Cwyn has declared that their exalted, The Morrighan, is not a real Elvan and that worshiping or consorting with her is treason. She has been driven underground because of this, and has not been seen publicly for over a century. A Star Elvan will never knowingly employ a Shandowel, although these feelings are not shared by the other Elvan races, and humans have no problems with Shandowel beyond the normal issues interacting with Elvan.
The Lawspeakers of High Cwyn
Tasked with enforcing High Cwyn’s divine laws upon all elvenkind, the Lawspeakers are a form of religious police based out of Victoria City. Each one bears a tiny fragment of High Cwyn’s power and have him as their patron. They butt heads often with the metropolitan police and the rest of the criminal justice system of the Empire, seeing themselves as above and apart in all elven matters. Each Lawspeaker bears a badge of office and ceremonial sword, and there are few places in Victoria City where these things do not open doors.
Some Lawspeakers have taken their position of authority to the brink of outright oppression of the non-Star Elvan races, and many a Shandowel and Kal-Varathi now spits at their passing.
Aspects: One Rule For All Elvankind • The Sword and the Badge
Skills: Good (+3) Politics • Fair (+2) Might, Resource • Average (+1) Espionage
A support network created for elvan who have been oppressed by High Cwyn and his Lawspeakers, they seek to make the best of a bad situation. They campaign for each elvan tribe to be self-governing rather than all bowing down to High Cwyn, and the more reactionary elements have gone as far as to commit acts of terror against the winter star’s church.
Aspects: Each Elvan Their Own Path
Skills: Fair (+2) Politics • Average (+1) Espionage, Resources • Mediocre (+0) Might
Today’s Lesson: We’re all suffering together.