A ‘sequel’ to my last post, here I shall list some info regarding the specifics of the Elves in my writing.
The United Elven Nation is a conglomerate of various species of Elf. There are the High Elves, Forest Elves, Jungle Elves, Sea Elves, Marsh Elves, Sand Elves, Grey Elves, and Ice Elves. There is much similarity between them, but in other ways there are many dissimilarities.
First of all, history. As was stated in the last post, Danu the Prime Fae of Life is the mother of the Sylvan race. In Erebh’s corruption and rebellion, he sent the Sidhe race against the Sylvan. Both fought and fought across Verdania and wound up wiping each other out. The released magic from their deaths is what eventually gave birth to the Elves. The Grey Elves considered themselves to be the purest manifestation of the Sylvan among the Elves, carrying more of the former race’s aspects than any other. They settled upon the island sub-continent of Silveria, and began their empire. The other Elves supported the Grey Elves as they fought against the Orcs, pushing them off of Silveria and into flight to Telluria. The Orcs eventually fell into enslavement to the Dradar who then saught to invade Silveria and eliminate the Elves. Lengthy years of battles ensued, leading to a lack of victory on either side. The Dradar and the Ageless Empire signed a treaty, but the Grey Elves put up towers in the old Orcish Strongholds on Silveria, to ensure that no further attacks came. For many years there was peace between the Ageless Empire and the Dradar, but in time, they would be forced out of their land, driven by some darker force, and once more invaded Silveria. Once more, however, the Dradar fell before the Ageless Empire. In short order, the failings of the Dradar brought Yami out of hiding. He assaulted the Ageless Empire on his own, and reduced it to ruin, giving up on the secretive and corrupting plans he had originally forged. The Grey Elves were hunted down while any Elves not of the Grey sect fled back to Verdania. In time, it was believed that the entire species of the Grey Elves was hunted to extinction. With growing numbers in Verdania, land became sparse. The Sea Elves, enjoying a life on the sea, sent a fair number off to sail, giving more land to the other races, which ultimately led to a rise in the Marsh Elf territory, and the association of the Marsh Elves being a separate species than the Sea Elves entirely. In time, the Sea Elves that set sail would find their way to the continent of Ivoria, where they settled. Ivoria had sparse land for growth, and thus they had to adapt to icy territory and living off the denizens of the sea to a greater degree than they were used to. Of course, they also discovered some plants that grew in the colder region that was never before seen in the warmer regions. The Ice Elves spent less time scouring the seas abroad, and only venturing nearby, and thus the Ice Elves drifted into obscurity. The High Elves took over leadership, and the first of the rulers of the new nation was of the Silverleaf line. Such has the Silverleaf family ruled the Elven Nation for 1,000 years.
The capital of the United Elven Nation is found in Fairgrove within the Sylvan Forest. There, High and Forest Elves live side by side in the largest region of southern Verdania. South of the Sylvan Forest, there are a series of rivers that work their way through the open plains of southern Verdania. These various rivers all meet at a lake within the center of southern Verdania, known as Beast Lake, and is the home of the Jungle Elves. In the south-west, cornered off from the rest of the Elves territory by the rivers of Beast Lake, is the desert home of the Sand Elves. After the tropical rivers cease, and grass takes over once more, the grass begins to get sparse, till it stops at red earth in the south-west corner of the continent. On the other side of the rivers, on the south-east corner of the continent, is the marshlands called the Ebon Vale, which is the home to the Marsh Elves. Dotting all over the coast-lands of southern Verdania, are the scattered villages of the Sea Elves. Silveria and the former Ageless Empire capital, Barad Mith, is deserted now; not even the Orcs have made their way back to the island sub-continent, despite having won their freedom from their Dradar slavemasters.
The Elves as a whole cherish plantlife. Flowers, trees, and various forms of fruits are their true love, even among the Marsh Elves and Sand Elves. Wine and other fruit based alcoholic beverages are their prime export. Vineyards dot the landscape. Though grapes cannot grow in a hot climate like the Litsrandir Desert, the Sand Elves still make their efforts , like their bretheren, in wine culture. Their beverages tend to have a higher alcoholic content, and are made from cactus fruits, but they still earn their place in the numerous wine festivals that are held year round.
I use a combination of D&D and Tolkien Elvish as a basis for the Elvish in my writing. I do not tend to have conversations held in the Elvish tongue, because I am not so skilled as Tolkien –a man who studied linguistics at University– as to create a language so convincing as to hold conversation without inadvertently changing the meaning of words, phrases, or syllables of a word. However, using his Elvish and a D&D Elvish source, I put together some words, names of places and people, and so on, to help my story feel just a little bit more alive. Naming conventions are something I worked on as well. With the majority of the Elves, I instituted a naming convention where the name of one’s parent (based on the sex of the child) was used as the child’s middle name, constantly referring back to their heritage in a way opposite to some real-life naming conventions. Astalder Sindariel Silverleaf is the son of Sindariel Idariel Silverleaf, who was the son of Idariel Talaniel Silverleaf, etc. etc. etc.. An example of the opposite of this would be someone like Johannes Sebastian Bach and his brother Johannes Christian Bach. Here, the father’s name is used as the first name, and thus the child’s name is really the middle name. Thus showing ‘possession.’ Also unlike this example of the opposite, I did not name Astalder’s brother with their father’s name as the middle name. Instead, Sindariel named his two younger sons further back in heritage –As such, Astalder’s brother’s were named Istalindir Idariel Silverleaf and Dorenduil Talaniel Silverleaf.– Furthermore, since they also had a younger sister, Arauka, she was given her mother’s name as her middle name, and was named Arauka Valasse Silverleaf. This is the naming pattern I use for most of the races of the Elves. The Sand Elves are done a little differently. Vasz’araen Sunstorm is married to Val’araen Sunstorm. Their royal culture is held slightly differently than the rest of the Elves, and the name Sunstorm is a name in reference to a house of nobility. Unlike the common expectation of nobility only breeding with nobility, and thus ending up with a lot of inbreeding in the end, the Sunstorm name is merely a reference to the House itself and does not necessarily refer to the surname of anyone in the house. Instead, the ‘araen is the surname, and Vasz’araen’s wife was, beforehand, she was known as a member of the Sunstorm noble house, as Val’khaeran Sunstorm. I also wanted to try and get a more … Arabic, or otherwise desert dwelling society feel to their names over the nature enamored feel of the rest of the Elves.
Aside from that, I come to the meanings of names. I had not, until recently, come up with a reason for why my characters to have the names they do. I chose the names originally for what they would be known for in the story, but thought, why would their parent name them this, since they would know what it meant? For instance, the name Demader means Forgotten One, while Rusvaer means Broken One. Now, what parent would give their children such names? It would be cruel. But then I thought, well, to save my own name ideas, I could come up with the idea that the families perform a magical ritual that shows them an image of what sort of person their child will be, and thus the family would choose a name regarding that image. It’s not predicting their future, as it does not show any specific events, just shows a single image, as a sort of a look into their character. And so, an image of a man in plate armor, talking to various groups of people, and bringing them to his aide, was the inspiration for the name Dorenduil, which means To Sow Devotion. No events of future are seen, just the idea that the person is good with words, and can sway people to his view of things. Whether it specifically relates to religious intent or not is unknown in the vision, but the parents see it that way, and so they give him that name. Still using the Elvish sources I mentioned above, I also come up with names for some of the wines the Elves come up with, such as Hrivukka and Morukka Brandies. The term ukka is a twist on the word in Tolkien Elvish for berry, while the prefix refers to what kind. Mor means black and Hriv, shortened from hrive, means winter.
As I said before, they use their wines and brandies and other drinks in their feasts honoring Danu and Serephim. Of their holidays, the major ones would be in the spring season, viewing it as their birth holiday as a race, in accordance with the idea of April showers bring May flowers being tied into the fact that Danu wept for the death of the Sylvan, and grew plants and trees to welcome the Elves into the world. The Sand Elves revere Ignis as a strong protector and warrior, proving the blistering heat of the day to test and strengthen them, then maintaining the warmth of a fire to keep warm during the chill of the night.
Before this gets too long, I’ll stop for now. However, I do wish to add in, perhaps as a side page, to show a list of all the names of people and places and things in the story, and show what they mean. A glossary, of sorts, that will wind up at the back of the book should this see publication some day. Till then, good day.