[Legacy Culture] The Silver Elves of Arget

Lady Alec

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The Silver Elves of Arget

Deities | Silas, Shalherana, Sallana with various sprinklings of others
Houses | Cerridwen, Wise, Dramaign
Friends | Forest Elves, Moor Elves, with all others being decided on a case by case basis

History
The Silver Elves trace their lineage all the way back to the ancient High Elves, and farther to the original Elves, before such distinctions as Forest, Silver and Moor existed. Indeed some lucky families can trace their genealogical tree directly back to some of these ancient elves in a long lost world.
The first Elves were in an ancient reality separate from ours created by Shalherana and Sallana, where they all lived in harmony. They had marvelous cities and yet respected nature. This time was not to last however, as eventually some elves who favored the cities began to favor the power of magic and its research, over the protection and guardianship of nature. Unlike humans who war over every imaginable divide the Elves peacefully decided that eventually the difference were too great and separated.
The Elves who followed magic and advancement of society became the High Elves. Those who remained guardians of the ancient woodlands became the Forest Elves. Later, in Queen Grief’s war against all life, she took a portion of the race and twisted them into her soldiers, the Corrupted Elves, who would later become the Moor Elves. Those who remained now called themselves Silver Elves. After the war finally ended the last of their cities had fallen and they dispersed among the humans.
After a millenia of slowly losing their culture amongst the human’s cities a faction of the Silver Elves were finally rallied by a new House, rising from the ashes of an old Moor city, Cerridwen. The Cerridwen’s built the first Arget Isles, and later with assistance from various other houses, such as House Wise and Dramaign, expanded.
After the undead invasion and fall of the Northern Kingdoms the Silver Elves of Arget fled to the new lands. There they refused to disperse again and rebuilt their towers. The old Arget may have fallen but her people did not and they yet remain.
Temperament
Like all races there are a variety of temperaments within the Silver Elves. The Arget Isles is no exception to this rule, however to an outsider the Silver Elves of Arget might appear to all have the same personality. They keep a calm and cool exterior in most situations, believing that losing yourself to emotions in public is disgraceful. They are seen as aloof and haughty by most other races due to this.
Silver Elves, however, do believe there are times and places where open displays of emotion are acceptable and expected. Funerals, Marriages, Feast Days and other events a Silver Elf might cry, smile, laugh and jest publically, although even then they believe it is best to limit yourself. Drunken displays of foolishness like human and dwarves are famous for are almost unheard of in Arget.
In official relations they are unfailingly polite and formal. They believe this allows for better communication, as emotions often cloud the issues at hand. There is a persistent rumor that the Silver Elves support, and humans vehemently deny, that human noble cultures of all kinds was made in reflection of humans observing ancient elven interactions.
The Arget Elves, while still believing themselves superior to all other races, have changed their old world view once commonly held among the Silver Elves. While once thinking their superiority made them beyond all other races, they have since taken a desire to help uplift the poor, lower races. Old hatreds with Moor Elves and diversion within their Forest Elven cousins have lessened, to the point that Silver Elves welcome their cousins into their cities freely now.
Silver Elves in Arget are extremely civically minded, believing serving the community comes before serving themselves. This results in a very high standard of living across the board in the Arget Isles. In fact, within Arget, there are no homeless that plague human cities. Regardless of injury, handicap or wealth, Silver Elves will find a position you are capable of contributing in and they are expected to contribute. Unwillingness to contribute to society is rare but often results in exile from Arget to human lands for a time, where if they find that life to their suiting they may remain but at the end they may return. Most choose to return home after this time.
Society
Fashion & Clothing |
Summer Months | The balmy weather that is common in the Silver Isles afford Arget a great deal of freedom when it comes to clothing choice. Especially when compared to most of the masses in the world. The clothing they favor in this weather in casual settings tends to be loose, airy and comfortable. Both men and women favor more long flowing single piece garments, such as robes and dresses.
Formal occasions require more strict and close fitting clothing in general. Especially in males, their robes take on an almost military formal attire whereas female dresses tend to get more elaborate and show less skin, but this by no means a strict rule. Silk is a common material in Arget with it most common in the upper class clothing but it is not rare among even the lower class, due to its popularity and availability within the isles.
Winter Months | The clothes take on a thicker, or multiple layer approach and now cover most of the body. Gloves and scarves are common, and while fur lining is common in clothing it is never the sole or core material of their clothing. Silver Elves live far enough south that the harshest of the winter weather rarely strikes them, so there is little need for overly bulky clothing.
Jewelery use of all kinds is common within the Isles and has equal representation among both male and female Elves. With earrings being conspicuously absent from almost all Silver Elves. The ancient beliefs that mutilating the body, particular the ears, hold over to this day. Rings, Circlets, Amulets, and bracelets are all common in the Isles on both sexes.
Family Structure |
Elven families are vast sprawling things, thanks to their advanced lifespans. Thusly Silver Elves in Arget do not generally have a nuclear family, but instead a vast extended one, made of many cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents (With the attachment of many greats). Arget is egalitarian in leadership roles, having a dual leadership of the eldest living married male and female of a family. Leadership remains with which ever one outlives the other, though generally it is passed down to the next generation after the death of their spouse.
While not known for the family loyalty of their Forest Elven cousins or clan nature of the Moors, they generally organize themselves in Houses. They are not necessarily political in nature but instead work on managing the family’s holdings, wealth, prestige and resources.
The House is ran by the oldest living members bearing the name of the House, male or female. The eldest child to maintain the family name, meaning a female can inherit the title if she insist her husband take her family name instead; which is not unheard of, especially if the woman comes from a much more prestigious house than the male. House Hierarchy favor bloodlines from the Progenitor. Should the ruler die without heirs or a spouse, leadership will shift to another Branch of the family, decided in favor of age and direct descent from the Progenitor. Adopted members into the family, or joining by marriage are only considered for leadership roles if no one within the House wishes to lead or there is no else left.
Clear lines of succession for House Leadership, is reflective of Silver Elven culture believing that no one person, no matter how valuable, is worth more than society, or the House, as a whole. Silver Elves will seek personal glory and will revel in it but it is seen as an action that increases the prestige of the entire family, instead of just the individual. Likewise a criminal has a negative impact upon the reputation of the entire family.
Social Hierarchy | In the ancient past Silver Elves had rigid caste systems in place, where the ancient nobles held almost absolute power upon their lessers with little opportunity for advancement. With the Great War against Grief, the Corruption of the Divines and Fall of Harathendale, these ancient families more or less fell apart. Without the nobles to exert control and enforce social structure or even a home city, Silver Elven cultural traditions were lost and changed over the millennia.
Today those caste systems are more or less broken, with social classes replacing them. These classes are more representative of the human culture that they were a part of for millennia, with the nobles at the top, merchants and artisans in the middle, and the lowest class made up of wage workers and unskilled labor. The physical markers that once clearly marked noble class have all but disappeared. A few will still take pride it these genes they are more by accident than design these days, with such claims being politely overlooked by most society.
Social contribution is the greatest contributor in a person's standing in society. A rich individual would find little respect unless they used their wealth to sponsor programs, expeditions or funding city functions. It is a common for wealthy individuals and nobles to brag about what projects or individuals they are funding, and the achievements they have accomplished thanks to their funding.
Academics and researchers are some of the highest respected individuals, as their contributions assist all of society continuously. Teachers, guards and other public service officials are seen in high regard as well. Merchants are not always well-received, as many question their motives. A merchant out for personal gain and wealth is seen in a distrustful sense while one who acquires rare goods or supplies for cheap and sells these goods fairly in Arget are seen in a positive light. In Arget word of distrustful merchants spread by word of mouth, where a merchant found to be doing shady business or out solely for personal gain would find business drying up.
Artisans, are fairly well respected. Assuming their wares are quality made, they will find no problem selling wares in Arget. There are a large number of artists, and portraits are a common purchase, even in poor Silver Elven homes. The least respected individuals in Silver Elf society are those who do wage labor, work solely for personal benefit or extremely unskilled labor.
Language - Aurion | Silver Elves highly regard the past and have always had a distaste for how common their tongue has become among the fleeting humans. What started as an academic exercise of a few individuals in Arget has exploded into a society wide effort. Through a combination of ancient documents, academics and most importantly the living assistance of several ancient Elves, the Silver Elves in Arget have been studying their language in the earliest records. The effort at first resulted in Arget developing a formal and archaic Elven, that as time passed, their language efforts have slowly reflected an ever increasing date in the past. To the point now that many modern Elves no longer recognize the language as the same. The Silver Elves call it Aurion and has begun to be added to Isles education system, making it three languages that Silver Elven children are taught (Common, Elven, Aurion).
The language is unique to the Isles and as such must be learned from a current speaker who lives on the Isles. The only exception to this is legacy characters that spoke Elven 1500 years or so ago. These characters would know the language but it would take them some time to adjust back to the language, as it has been dead for over a millenia.
War and Combat | Silver Elves avoid combat where ever possible. Combat is often the result of a failure to communicate effectively or doing something foolish. They believe it to be an affront to both of their creators, as killing is against the commands of Shalherana and war creates widows and orphans, which are an offense to Sallana. Silver Elves prefer to find ways other than combat to solve their problems. When forced to do combat Silver Elves will do all they can to finish the fight quickly and permanently.

Beliefs

Family | Residents in Arget value family and House above their own lives and take a keen interest in the actions of their family members. The actions of a singular family member can result in a tarnished reputation for the entire house. They are direct and curt with family members on issues they may be causing the family problems, expecting better behavior from their members. Publicly courteous to a fault, the inner workings of the family are much more direct.
Each family is responsible for its own, with the parent responsible for children within their own house (Those who marry outside and join another House are seen as the other Houses’ responsibility now), with parents being responsible to their parents and so forth back to the oldest living ancestor. The House Patriarch/Matriarch/Progenitor deals with all matters that cannot be taken care of by the direct family or if an action effects the House as a whole.
Relationships | Silver Elves are a long lived people, many humans are married and have several children by the time Silver Elves are considered adults. They are slow and careful in their relationships, choosing their partners carefully. A Silver Elf will rarely interact with humans in any serious relationship. They are simply too short lived and short sighted for them to consider them a serious relationship partner. An Elven marriage can last over two hundred years and thus it is of the utmost importance that they choose carefully, courtships can last decades.
In Arget there is a belief that this long time together starts to actually meld the spirits of the couple. Whereas humans have a similar belief related in sayings how old married couples are so alike, elves take it a step further. Believing that as time goes by their spirits actually are becoming one and thus long term married couples are seen as two different manifestations of the same being in a spiritual sense.
Due to the carefulness of the Elves in choosing their partners they have an extremely low divorce rate. Often many relationship issues are caught long before they marry, but should a elf choose to divorce they follow the laws of Sallana. The former couple doesn’t face any harsh social stigma but they do become a bit of a relationship pariah. Other Elves are extremely hesitant to give an Elf who made a lifelong vow and then voluntarily broke it.
Arget marriages are long drawn out affairs that are meticulously planned for months sometimes years in advance. A marriage celebration is one of the few situations where Silver Elves loosen their social restrictions. Their is partying, singing, drinking and even frolicing. Marriages are seen as a holy institution overseen by the Creator Sallana, and her blessing is often asked during the ceremonies.
Life | They generally hold life in very high regard but take a pragmatic view of the value of life when it is not family or friends. If a stranger's life is in danger and they are of no perceived benefit to himself, the House or their culture they generally won’t risk their own life for them. They have more important responsibilities to protect their city, House and friends. That said if you fall into the categories that they deems worthy of protection they will not hesitate to protect you with all they have. A Silver Elf who sacrifices himself for the greater good is held in the highest regard.
Silver Elves in Arget also value animal and plant life to an extent. Unlike their Forest Elven cousins, they do not guard the forests with a heavy hand. However, they believe that overuse of natural resources is both illogical and immoral. A Silver Elf recognizes the importance of industry and farming, but not at the expense of quality of life. The thought of driving a species to extinction through over hunting or habitat destruction is repulsive to them.
Death & Funerals | Silver Elves have a very long time to come to terms with their own mortality and they can generally predict when their end will come within a few decades. This happens as they have reached the end of the aging process and feel their bodies becoming ever weaker. This gives the Silver Elves somewhere between ten to twenty years to put their affairs in order. Silver Elves in Arget spend this time ensuring that all they have gathered and know is spread to their kin and city.
One who has lead a long successful life and dies peacefully, will have made every effort to say their goodbyes to all they know. As they believe leaving loose ends in poor taste, with the gift of long life they have been given. Their death when it comes is a matter of grief but also celebration, a celebration of the life and service the Elf has rendered unto his people and by extension the world.
Funeral rites tend to be decided on a matter of the person's faith and arrangements are made by the deceased, before he or she died, in preparation for the day to ensure it is done properly. If no preference is made a common ritual is to take the body to a Death Grove, an orchard of trees carefully maintained and cared for, with new saplings being planted above each body. This is a holdover from the funeral rites that the Silver Elves say predate the time when the Elven races first split, and reminds them that all Elves sprung from the same forests and in death will return.
Magic | The Elves of Arget believe magic to be a stolen birthright. At one point in the past the stories tell of magic being so common that every Elf had the gift, but for millennia none of their kind held it. They are especially suspicious of the non Elven holders of magic through this time period into the current day. Outsiders would call it simple jealousy, while those in the culture justify it as humans with their short lives leading to short sightedness, leading to abusing their power. They view the reclamation of magic as one of the highest racial goals.
With rumors abounding of new mages for the first time since the fall of the She Who Was, they are eager to confirm or deny these rumors. While it is very likely that society will take different views on magic as time passes, perhaps falling into view points based upon the past, at the present there is simply too little known about the new schools of magic to form opinions. Other than the overwhelming desire to gain them.
Divines
The Divines are respected in Arget though not all the Pantheon is equal, and in general the Silver Elves are not an extremely devout race. A religiously devout Silver Elf would be described at best as “mildly religious” by human comparison, even less so on the Isles. Three Divines hold the most influence in Arget and Silver Elf culture. The dual creator Goddesses and Silas for his knowledge.
Silas | Is the most commonly worshipped of the Divines in Arget. His tenants are the most closely in line with the Silver Elven cultural values. As research and the spread of knowledge are so integral most Silver Elves seek his favor regularly, and his blessing as they seek to expand their race’s knowledge.
Shalherana | As one of the Goddessy responsible for the creation of the Elves, she is deeply revered. Favor and respect is shown to her in the meticulously maintained gardens throughout all of Arget and the prohibition against bloodshed on the main Isles. The Silver Elves view her as a dual mother figure, that one should always honor. Her blessing is often sought when a couple wishes to conceive a child and at the birth of the child.
Sallana | The other Goddess responsible for the creation of Elves, she is also highly revered. Her blessing is sought at every Silver Elven marriage and birth. While seen as a mother figure, she is also seen as a guardian of the family. Silver Elven familial connections are strong and taboos against breaking them stem from her commands.
Rahas | Rahas has a mostly positive perception among the Silver Elves who generally receive his commands that put the good of the community above oneself rather well. While true Rahas devouts are quite rare, almost all Silver Elves listen to several of his commands due to societal pressures. Silver Elves tend to have one of the largest religious collections of Rahas in the world thanks to their efforts in rescuing the relics of Marr from Azerport.
Ignis Synnove | There is a strong aversion and distrust of Ignis worshippers. While they worship the Goddess of truth, her followers in Lavoyard and now Anhald’s military might and conquering ways make most uncomfortable around her worshippers. Proper Ignis worshipping Silver Elves in Arget are few and far between, though none doubt her divinity.
Jax | A capricious and untrustworthy Divine, a Divine of the young, the fleeting humans and of self serving men. His command to honor debts is the single tenant of worth that most Arget take from him. Those that do honor him do it more of a way to ward off bad luck before a risky endeavor more so than true worship. The loss of the ship the Jax’s Luck in the Sea of Storms did nothing to improve his favor in the eyes of the Isles.
Crusade | A Divine who should be appeased so that he turns his eye from home, hearth, and kin. For it is in war that all logic breaks down and the base nature of all beings are forced to the forefront. It is distasteful to even think of.
Vermella | Arget has had little interaction with Capraii as a race and by extension little to do with their guardian. They see her solely as a guardian of the Capraii as her aspects that do relate to them are already covered by the creators Sallana and Shalherana, and thus of little consequence. Silver Elves might exhibit a curiosity in her as most do not understand her, but followers are almost non-existent.
Korog | Silver Elves, despite him being the Patron God of Dwarves, have a respect for Korog and his long suffering with the mortal races. Those who follow him tend to be rare and then only the most dedicated of Elven smiths. Even then sole dedication to Korog is unheard of in Elven Society.
The Grey Lady | All things must end, it is the way of life. Even the long lived Elves will eventually fade from the lands. We may only choose how to meet our end. Silver Elves, wish to meet the Grey Lady with the same grace and dignity they lived their lives and thus show her great respect. Her followers among the Isles have increased after the fall of the Northern Kingdoms at the hands of the undead.
The Banned | These Divines are not recognized as Divines and worship is either a crime or great dishonor.
Jishirim | The God of Evil Madness, who would have destroyed the world several times in the past. The Betrayer of his brother, Harateth and Father of Lies. His worship is strictly forbidden as he is the antithesis of everything Silver Elven culture stands for.
Skraag | The uneducated masses of the world likely believe Skraag is responsible for the undead invasion of the Northern Kingdoms. In Arget this is not the case, being well informed by their leader, however hold a cold distaste towards him for allowing it to happen. Their first homeland in millenia fell to undead and Skraag did nothing to assist either them or the world. While not outright banned, those who previously followed him publically now do so quietly and many have lost faith.
Visage | The child of Madness is likely a curse as well. Those who follow him have always been on the fringes of even human society and found little purchase in Arget. The Silver Elves only know enough of this Divine to not trust him.
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Credit to Immerael for writing all of this.
Alec did formatting and made it pretty.

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NOTICE: The contents of this thread are considered "legacy" and no new characters without ample reason may be created in vein of this lore. This culture should not be taught, spread, or otherwise cultivated. This is a restriction requested by the author and upheld by the Lore Dept., direct questions and inquiries to Lore.
 
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