Jane of all Trades
The Silver Elves
Deities – Shalherana, Sallana, Valiant
Location – Scattered around the world.
Houses – Cerridwens, Wise, Dramaign
Friends – Forest Elves, Humans, & sometimes Dwarves.
Build: Commonly tall in stature, standing on average at least 5'8" and above. Generally thin and lithe in body frame without much muscle mass due to absence of hard labor in their society. Can develop a wiry muscle structure if athletics are pursued, but will not bulk out. Their bone structure is also very fine, gracing the Silver Elves with delicate form including long slender fingers and high cheekbones.
Due to their natural physiology, Silver Elves simply cannot support large amounts of muscle mass or heavy frame. A Silver Elf at peak physical fitness would display a lithe, lean and toned body.
Obesity is also extremely uncommon among the Silver Elves, as with most other elven cultures. The Silver Elves view such types of body weight to be undisciplined and disgraceful, looking down upon those who have 'let themselves go' in this manner. They are blessed with a high metabolism though they rarely depend on it as they are sensible and healthy eaters, viewing the food they intake as direct reflection of who they are.
Hair/Eyes/Voice: Due to their noble and educated background, most Silver Elves speak with a graceful tone, highly formal and less playful and lilting then the other elven cultures. They are usually deep but soft spoken, finding guttural or loud voices abrasive. Can be beautiful singers, though rarely pick up this profession finding it too leisurely to be a worthwhile life endeavor. Some lesser families can pursue singing professions as they are not viewed as able to gain much academic success anyhow by the higher ranking families.
Their hair can range from light to dark colors depending on the family lineage. Noble family lineage is sometimes noted by color of hair and eyes, to distinguish them from the lower families. The more noble families tend to have darker hair, ranging from browns to blacks and dark silvers. Working class and general lower class families bear the lighter hair tones, though a few noble families can be seen with lighter hair as well, though it is uncommon.
The vast majority of Silver Elves are born with either silver, blue or green colored eyes, and as with the hair, it is common to see the bright silver eyes among high ranking families. Shades of blue and green eyes can be discovered in the lower class families, matching their fair hair and setting them apart from the upper class Silver Elves. Despite their primary color, most Silver Elves will still have flecks of silver throughout their iris, giving a glinting effect when seen under bright light. Due to some breeding with the lower class families, some upper class families on rare occasions will have blue or green eyes.
Skin: Silver Elves are very prideful about their flawless skin. Ranging from very pale to lightly pale, they view tanned, freckled or marred skin with a haughty disgust in most cases. Due to this, they tend to keep their skin covered when outdoors with long and light clothing. High noble families will go as far as covering their heads and face as well. The beauty of the skin as a reflection of purity is also important, and so viewing another person's skin is a privileged and usually intimate affair. This is especially true with the higher class families, and covering the skin is more strictly enforced among the women. Keeping scars are distasteful, and many are prone to covering them up, or making sure to avoid permanent damages to their skin by having themselves healed- promptly.
Hearing: Like other cultures of Elves, the hearing of the Silver Elves is superb compared to many of the other races of Altera. In an open room of a fairly good size, a Silver Elf could pick up a quiet conversation across the room. Whispers are more difficult, but it is still a good idea to remain removed from a room containing a Silver Elf, if you do not want your conversation to be overheard.
Adornments on the ears are avoided, especially piercings as the Silver Elves view it as a desecration to the body and a hindrance to their gift of elevated hearing.
A downside to this ability is the sensitivity of the ears. With heightened hearing comes the risk of damaging said hearing from over exposure to loud noises. Silver elves, as well as other races with this ability can be seen wincing and covering their sensitive ears when confronted with shouting, screaming or other loud sounds. Too much exposure will eventually cause lasting damage to their hearing, and in advanced cases deafness.
Eyesight: While not as sharp as the hunting Forest Elves, the Silver Elves still possess good eyesight. They are not prone to losing their eyesight in old age either unlike their woodsy cousins, and feel this ability places them at a higher evolutionary level. Mocking Forest Elves because of this fact is not uncommon and adds to the air of superiority that can be found amongst their culture.
Lifespan: Like their cousins, the Silver Elves have a life expectancy of around 250-300 years of age. While some rare cases have deviated from this, the vast majority fall into this lifespan. With this longer life span, the Silver Elves are able to obtain years of education and experience surpassing those of many other races. They view this opportunity as further evidence of their elevated racial standing within the world.
Children in the Silver Elf culture are not viewed to be adults until they reach the age of 30. Elves who have reached the age of 200 are considered to be older and reaching an elderly stage of life and are generally viewed with high respect.
Pregnancy: Silver Elves have a lower birth rate then many of the other races. They do not feel the need to over-populate, feeling that quality always outweighs quantity. When they do give birth, the child is doted upon and given as much education and opportunities as possible. A second child will not even be considered until the first has reached an age of more self sustainability and has already begun their studies, usually around the age of 15.
Gestation cycle is listed on the Official Elven Lore page.
While most Silver Elves are viewed to have a reserved and mellow temperament, this is largely a mask put on by them to exude an air of emotionless calculation. To lose oneself in their emotions is considered a lack of discipline and a shameful way to represent oneself. When they do lose their tempers, it is usually in face of great acts of stupidity or chaos and they portray their emotion more as strict disappointment rather than anger. In general social interactions they can be viewed as aloof, haughty or overly proper but they don't generally mean to come across this way. Silver Elves view the world through their version of logic and facts, so they act this way because they truly believe they have been gifted with higher intelligence. Many Silver Elves have begun to view this attitude towards others in reference to themselves, as a none productive form of establishing relationships and alliances with members of other races. While many still hold stubbornly to this idea of superiority, others have begun to relax and open themselves up more to bonding with members of different races.
Silver Elves open up and relax a lot more in intimate environments, either with their partners or close friends. Family temperaments can be more tense, as the pressure and competitiveness within the family is high. Scorn and disapproval is shown to those family members not upholding their image in the group so it is difficult for them to develop close relationships. Even within their more tight knit groups, emotions are kept restrained to a point. This can cause a repressed side effect of random outbursts portraying intense and illogical emotion among some Silver Elves who simply snap under the pressure. The repression of emotions and high academic and societal standards can make them very stern, serious, and blank when it comes to temperament.
Habitat: Unlike their cousins who live primarily amongst nature, the Silver Elves choose more urban habitats, usually formed in gentle landscapes. Coastal towns are especially favored, and their graceful and smooth architecture used to be found lining the more serene beaches. The downside to these locations is the amount of sun present, which is avoided by covering the body and applying salves they believe ward off damage from the sun.
The more temperate climates found in these areas are favored by the Silver Elves who do not wish to suffer through harsh conditions lest they are required to take any physical toll upon themselves. Any area with a mellow climate and beautiful vistas could be a suitable habitat for a Silver Elf town.
A group of Silver Elves have been looking to recreate the beautiful vistas and habitat that they had in the old world, mainly in the Isles of Arget.
Social Hierarchy: The Silver Elves have something akin to a caste system within their society. Higher ranking families controlling most of the economy, academics, and politics. Lower class families are left with the 'menial work' that the higher class families will not bother with. Workers from these lower ranks are told they honor the society by working these tasks without complaint, giving what they can to the community despite their 'lower' placing within the culture. Viewed with almost pity, the higher class families believe they are providing great opportunities and charity to those they employ from the working class.
Distinction between the families is largely determined by appearance and by surname, which is more notable within the inner structure of the society. Outsiders can usually only tell by appearance since names are more unknown to them. Since marriage between the higher class families is more common, many of these families share similar traits. Darker hair and silver eyes usually denotes a member of a higher class family or nobility. These families will occasionally share the lighter hair and blue or green eyes of their lower class counterparts, but this is only due to breeding done when the higher family gene pools get too close to having to inbreed. As much as they enjoy their higher class blood lines, they are well aware of the genetic and moral implications of breeding too closely. With darker hair and eyes, they assume their traits will prevail in most offspring they have to conceive with a lower class partner. These marriages, while rare, symbolize a great 'honor' for the chosen partner from the lower ranked family and they are expected to accept these arranged proposals without any reservations.
The lower class families hold a deep resentment for their positions in Silver Elf society, feeling that their lack of higher education and societal standing is from resources made unavailable to them by the higher families. However, to show such resentment would be proof of their unenlightened status, so they keep just as calm as a demeanor as their counterparts. Even though they feel slighted by this, to be shown attention by one of the higher families will still cause great pride within them and encourage them to show their equal intelligence by how they respond to offers and carry out the menial tasks they are assigned.
Just before the last great war and exodus there had been stirrings of a revolutionary idea among the Silver Elves. The idea behind it is that all members of the Silver Elf culture should have the same opportunities in regards to education and success. Since the lower class families also believe that Silver Elves are gifted with superior knowledge, it seems wasteful to them to have the higher education reserved for the more prominent families. In their eyes, if all Silver Elves were given such enriching education and opportunities, then the menial tasks could be left to servants of other races, leaving them free to be as elevated and enlightened as their higher class counterparts. Most of the nobility resents this movement, feeling as though they have already given the working class plenty of opportunities and that their position in the caste system is their own doing.
Clothing: Silver Elves choose clothing to match their demeanor. Usually long and flowing robes and dresses, layered and made from soft or silky fabrics. This is generally accompanied by a head wrap for the women, covering all but their faces. In the higher class families, especially among nobility, the head wrap covers up to the eyes to prevent as much skin visibility as possible. Veils are also found amongst the head coverings for women, ranging in transparency.
Robes and dresses are usually long enough in both the sleeves and skirt to cover the hands and feet of the wearer. Soft slippers and shoes are worn generally by the women, and soft leather boots for the men. While the men don't often cover their faces with the head wrap, they do apply the sun salve, which is believed to protect the skin from sun damage. They will wear hoods however and stay under the multitude of shade coverings found throughout Silver Elf cities.
Unlike their forest cousins, the Silver Elves choose bright but slightly muted colors in their wardrobe. Often layering purples, with blues, greens and grays or silvers. They are also prone to wearing a lot of white, and colors that exude a essence of purity. Usually this is found in the noble families, as they believe themselves the purest amongst the culture. Lower class families wearing white are generally frowned upon and asked or forced to wear colors more befitting of their station.
Music: While musicians are generally viewed as lazy professionals, Silver Elves do enjoy music at their dinner parties and balls. Music is always performed by a member of the lower class families or another race, though generally Silver Elves prefer their own style of music and won't often host a musician from another race.
Common instruments used in Silver Elf music are the lute, harp, piano, and flute accompanied with soft and deep singing voices. Songs are usually stories of previous high ranking Silver Elves and tell of their great accomplishments and knowledge. Frivolous songs without deeper meaning are not usually played amongst the Silver Elf culture, though they do appreciate instrumental music with no lyrics as it helps soothe the mind for concentration.
Some members of the lower class families can put on dance performances for the higher class families, in a style similar to ballet dancing. While graceful and beautiful, the dancing does tone these elves, giving them more defined muscles then their higher class counterparts. Even though they enjoy the performances, the physique it gives the dancers is considered less than desirable. When noble balls are held, dancing does occur, but it is a slow and non-demanding type of dance with partners gliding across the floor gently without much physical exertion.
Art: Silver Elves view art as a leisurely waste of time. While simple and calm art pieces and tapestries can be found decorating their houses and cities, the Silver Elves view the making of such things as a menial task left to the lower class families or other races. Most décor is incredibly simple, and minimalist in nature. What they do have is incredibly high quality however, as they believe quality speaks much higher volumes than quantity. A cluttered décor is heavily frowned upon by Silver Elf culture, as they believe physical chaos manifests into mental disorder.
An achievement amongst the Silver Elves that would produce the same feeling as a well done piece of art would be found in their writings and accomplishments of magical nature. Thorough studies and research compiled into an academic piece of work are viewed in higher regard than any art piece that could be produced.
Food: What you ingest is a major consideration in Silver Elf culture. Since they believe in keeping the body as pure as the mind, they are opposed to eating heavy, fattening, or poorly prepared food. They are near vegetarian in diet, supplementing it with seafood of all varieties. If no seafood or river fish is to be found, they will often accept birds as a part of their diet.
Healthy vegetables and fruit are the main staples of their diet. They will consume some soft breads and rice or rice-based pasta, though in general they feel that it is too heavy and will stick to salads, and simple dishes. Soups are extremely popular and the highlight of Silver Elf cuisine. Both cold and hot soups are considered the main accomplishment of Silver Elf cuisine, and though lower class families generally take on the role of chef, they are viewed in high regard by the higher class families if they are talented in cooking. Complicated and delicious salads are also a main focal point of food for the Silver Elves, and they enjoy experimenting with different floral and sweet tastes.
Tea is a large part of the Silver Elf culture, and many varieties of light to dark tea can be found in their regions. They generally enjoy this beverage with no additives, craving the natural essence and flavor of the tea leaf or mixture of leaf varieties, without muddling it with sugar or milk. In general milk is not used amongst their society as they view drinking the udder secretions from another animal to be disgusting and an odd practice.
Consuming too much liquor is considered extremely undisciplined and looked down upon in general. Though the culture does create some lovely sweet wines from the fruit they produce and import, these are too be enjoyed in light moderation. The measure of one's control with such substances is regarded with close scrutiny within their culture.
Agriculture: Most agriculture done within Silver Elf societies is done by servants of other races, generally Halflings and Humans. Even the lower class families cannot be expected to partake in such menial labor. Those that do are generally in charge of the more exotic agriculture such as spices, tea and liquor making.
Vast vegetable farms and orchids can be found on the outskirts of their towns and cities, as well as rice patties. Animals are not kept or herded, and instead they depend on servant fishermen and hunters to provide them with the seafood and poultry they need for their diet. They will trade with their forest cousins for fish and game and it helps strengthen the relationship between the two cultures, even if Silver Elves still look down on their rugged cousins with a bit of disdain.
Common religious beliefs: While for the most part Silver Elves consider themselves above succumbing to the fanatic worship of Gods, they do not deny their existence. Even though they have seen with their own eyes these Gods that the other races kneel to so readily, the Silver Elves find them to be chaotic and flighty in nature. Using mortals for their own complicated dramas, and causing mass grief across the lands. They prefer to rely on their own motivation and intelligence to secure their place in Altera, instead of giving themselves up to a higher power.
With the fall of Silas, and in worry of worshipping a fallen god, they have been left helpless in who amongst the Pantheon they give their faith to. Silas had been the only one worthy. For now, they are acceptingly divided in their beliefs between Shalherana, Sallana and Valiant. The first two- Divine of Life and Divine of Love- were responsible for their creation and birth in this world. The latter is god of Justice, and a good god at that. They believe these three stand for maintaining peace and some order in the world and give their thanks to each.
Views on magic: The Silver Elves hold magic in the highest regard. While certain forms are more favorable in their eyes, any achievement in the fields of magic are viewed as noble and successful. The form least favored by them would be Cogimency as is plays on tricking the mind and illusions. Believing in solving all conflicts and situations with logic and reason, this form of magic seems dishonest and deceiving to the vast majority of Silver Elves. A member of their society achieving a rank within the Cogimency magic will still be viewed as honorable but held in slight distrust and can be ostracized from the others in different fields.
Since intelligence and wisdom is sought after the most within their society, they believe magic to be one of the highest forms and intelligent mind can achieve. Most of their top political figures are required to have such skill. The shifting in magic as well as the last great war and exodus has impacted their society greatly. They have had to start from scratch studying the new forms. This has altered the caste system's structure a bit, as all Silver Elves felt a chance at seeking a teacher to climb the ranks of their caste system.
Academics: Above all things, including magic, the Silver Elves dedicate themselves to the pursuit of knowledge. This is the most important thing in their culture. It can range from studies of medicine, science, mathematics and anything else that involves using their intelligence to interact with the world. These pursuits and achievements are documented carefully, with many Silver Elves taking up the noble profession of Scribe. So long as there is an academic correspondence to a field, it is viewed as a worthy task for a Silver Elf to pursue.
While they still honor and strive for magic, they have seen over time that it is subject to change. Whereas the physical laws of the world are consistent and can offer a stable structure for them to enhance their intellectual abilities. There is always something new to discover, and more connections to make in the world of medicines, science and maths, and therefore this area will remain their first priority.
Branching from the normal pursuits are studies of astronomy, ancient architecture and anthropology, and geology. The Silver Elves believe the world to be connected in all forms, therefore branching out their studies of different areas, leads them to more accurate answers about the world and how it works. Looking into the past structures of lost people, helps them create an idea of the history of those people and determine how history can repeat itself. They believe learning from these mistakes and applying their knowledge of both the past and the present can help make a more efficient world in the future.
Male names- Daeron, Faris, Taeron, Remi
Female names- Einthe, Niamh, Soren, Lumin
Self-governance: Silver elves are strict on maintaining their own governance system, not recognizing many of the self proclaimed rulers of Altera. While they will build partnerships and alliances with acceptable 'rulers' they are still determined to remain a government unto themselves. Being ruled by a member of another race is especially abhorrent to them, stemming from their belief that their race is superior in intelligence. At most they will act as advisers to rulers, with more of the intention of making sure the said ruler does not do anything permanently damaging to the world or their own people.
Amongst themselves the higher class family are considered the top political figures. These top families control different Silver Elf cities and converge together quarterly to meet and hold council. There numbers can range from two to five different family leaders and they often come together to discuss trade, knowledge and history.
Inter-city relations: The cities of the Silver Elves, while completely scattered at the moment, used to be vast and always connected through their leaders. Surrounding settlements are placed under the rule of whichever city whose radius encompasses them and are expected to abide by the laws set from their ruling family. These rules are decided amongst the family leaders, then taken and spread amongst the cities and surrounding settlements to ensure all Silver Elf society is acting as one.
Often, there are competitions between cities, just as with families, to see who is producing more, has higher academic achievements per person, and maintains the strict behavior expected from the culture. How they utilize and maintain the lower class families is also considered as well as their economic achievements. While civil war is something they consider beneath them, the inter-city competition can get heated, with the people below the ruling family taking on the brunt of the high expectations placed upon them.
Inter-racial relations: Cohesion with other races has always been a struggling point with the Silver Elves. It is hard for them to maintain alliances and good relations with their superior attitude and proclaimed higher intelligence. While they view their alliances with other races as a blessing to said race, the ones receiving it usually regard the Silver Elves as haughty know-it-alls and are often too irritated with their behavior to glean any wisdom from their advice.
Certain races are so beneath the Silver Elves notice that they will never even attempt to form a relationship with them. Moor Elves, Earthspawn, and Greylings receive the brunt of this and can be known to greatly dislike Silver Elves in return. They will work with Humans, Forest Elves, Caparii, Dwarves and Halflings, though they don't consider the relationship to be an equal give and take. With them 'giving' a lot more than the other race could possibly return.
These prejudices help maintain their isolation as many races would rather not work with them, despite their wisdom in some areas and ability to understand magic. Moor Elves are viewed as a complete abomination to most Silver Elves, despite their recent advances as a culture. They still remain the epitome of a twisted version of themselves.
While their main factor in this behavior is simple pride of their own culture, the Silver Elves have recognized over time that this is not an efficient means of surviving in the world. Many have begun extending their hands in friendship towards other races and even working with them to enhance their understanding and intelligence about all creations in Altera. While many, mainly older or more noble families, still stubbornly hold on to the old views of race relations and superiority, others have begun to see this as a deadly hindrance to their future. By working more closely and letting go of this idea of superiority they are able to broaden their intellect and create alliances with the races they share the world with. With no determined Silver Elf society in their current scattered state, this idea is now based on personal preference and you will see Silver Elves demonstrating both ideas.
Battle-etiquette and tactics: While a few of the higher class families will contain a battle wise member, it is uncommon to see many of them in the ranks of soldiers found in Silver Elf society. This task falls to the lower families and considered a great sacrifice. One of the only professions a lower class family member can pursue and receive admirable recognition from the upper class families.
Their style of fighting was primary magic-based before the Great Change, as they refer to it, accompanied with the art of fencing. Quick, smooth and precise fighting style is more preferred by this delicate race then that of the brute strength that is found amongst the others. The greatest fighters of their history would often combine both this fighting style as well as magic, making them a formidable force.
In battle and during wars they are ruthless. Going about their part with the same analytical and cold efficiency that can be found in all the other tasks they undergo. They know the wisdom behind decimating an enemy quickly, logically and without mercy, to ensure such a foe will think twice before starting a future conflict with them. In regards to their own loses in battle, the Silver Elves will cunningly pour as many skilled fighters at an opponent as it will take to defeat them. Fighters amongst their society know to expect this and giving their life for their culture is viewed with an honor even higher then becoming a soldier in the first place. Heroes of battle, if from a lower class family, are given an opportunity to advance in the ranks of the caste to a higher class family. This is nearly the only time this will occur.
Settlements: Silver elf settlements could be found around the larger Silver Elf cities. These settlements usually always contained lower class families and servants from other races. Leaders of the more well known lower class families looked over these settlements. Since every city is ran by the head of a higher class family, it would be a noble figurehead that the settlements would answer to.
Everything they produce within the settlements went towards the betterment of the cities and society itself. There has been rumors that the Silver Elves treated these settlements as work farms, not allowing many niceties to stay within these regions as they preferred to take them for themselves. This sacrifice was considered standard as the Silver Elves believed these working class citizens should support their rise into higher academics and enlightenment for the good of the overall community.
All manner of trade work and agriculture was done in the settlements so the cities themselves could be reserved for educational facilities and the vast libraries that the Silver Elves hold so dear. There is a few types of trade and agriculture done in the cities but these tasks are viewed as more exotic or luxurious and therefore permitted to take place outside of the settlements.
Cities: When Silver Elven cities thrived, they were grand in architecture, even if simple in décor. The arrangement of the buildings, materials used in construction, and sparse but high quality decorations did more to create a majestic effect then having an abundance of possessions. Most the buildings found in the cities are higher class family housing, grand market centers selling everything the settlements provide as well as imported goods. The other buildings contain vast libraries, schools, universities, and guild halls for the study of magic.
The cities are home to higher class families only, unless they have lower class families in their employment. Rarely will a upper class family employ a servant of a different race, preferring to rely on the lower class stock instead. Schools of cooking, art, music and entertainment, tea production and fencing can be found in the cities to train those of the lower class. Otherwise they are restricted to the settlements unless directly working to better themselves and thus serve their higher class counterparts more effectively.
Visitors of races the Silver Elves find suitable are generally allowed within the cities as the higher families enjoy showing off their achievements and perfectly sculpted buildings. They will be hosted with the utmost care, so it can never be said that the Silver Elves did not do their part and thus maintain their superiority. This can be a bit overwhelming to guests, as they are showered with proper greetings and hosting by nearly every Silver Elf they meet while in the cities. The desired result is for the traveler or political visitor to leave with a high impression of what they saw and experienced in Silver Elf culture and share that finding with the other races.
The Silver Elves trace their lineage all the way back to the ancient High 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 research 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.
Written by mairinbaihn with assistance from @Jstar
History by Immerael
Edited by Solus 8/08/18
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