Tag Archives: Sand Elves

Pondering Science & Architecture

Topic: The Sand Elves

The Sand Elves are a key group of people in my writing that have been, as yet, fairly skimmed over because I wasn’t getting many ideas about them and their livelihood or culture. I mean, obviously, they’re a desert sect of Elves that live in the Litsrandir Desert in the south-west end of Verdania. Only recently –today in fact– did I start thinking about how the desert exists in an otherwise grassy, lush continent. I started thinking on how their region of the continent looks, specifically, and was reminded again about work on the maps of the worlds in my writing. I still lack the money to get Campaign Cartographer 3 and City Designer 3, and have danced around with other programs, so till I have the money for CC3, I doubt I’m going to have a map that satisfies me.

I’ve been reading Wheel of Time lately, and thoughts about the Aiel, admittedly, got me thinking about the Sand Elves. The ideas of sweat tents is interesting, but more importantly, it made me think… where do they get the water to pour on the hot rocks in the first place? And of course, that transferred to the Sand Elves. Where do they get their water? What is the scientific explanation for the desert in the middle of an otherwise lush land?











So, here’s a quick pic I made of Tal’litse, and the surrounding villages, in the mid-west portion of the desert. Fractal Mapper is still a crappy program, and the demo version of such is very limiting. Anyway, the off-colored “hills” on the maps are intended to be dunes. So, on the south-west portion of Verdania, the desert borders the ocean. Since the winds coming off the ocean would bring in moisture, there is some growth in the desert in the west, and the Sand Elves constructed a canal to encircle the city of Tal’litse so that they could do something that is inspired by Star Wars. You guessed it, moisture farms. I had a lengthy discussion with myself (because at least I listen to me) over the credibility of such a thing in a world not as technologically advanced as the Star Wars universe. This is where the Aiel ideas came in. Perhaps they built specific “sweat” tents along the canal, in order to heat the water from the ocean (since drinking water with that much salt would kill a person) Heat the water, so that it evaporates. The gas form of the water would collect within glass tubes/pillars, and during the day, when the temperature plummets, it would return to water. The salt is collected in bins, and a during the night, the bins are switched out, so they can then swab, shake, or do whatever it is they need to do, to collect the water that, via condensation, is within those tubes. Of course, that’s just for drinking water, as there is no qualms in bathing or washing clothes in salt water.

There are other villages built along the coast, that would have smaller versions of this, sans the canal, as well. And then, there are some villages built along the eastern border of the desert, along the mountains that cover the other borders of the desert, where they gain water via “mines” where they tunnel into the mountains to get to the springs. Thus, the center of the desert is non-populated. No worries, the Sand Elves are the ONLY sand people here. =P Mainly, also, I was debating the materials used in this. Would they have had the ability to shape glass, to make the condensation tubes? Or would they have to rely on a non-transparent metal to collect the water, not knowing till they began collecting, whether or not there was any water to collect? Sure they had sand, and they use magic, so could magic create “spun” glass in lieu of engineering and other technology that does such?

Thus, the Litsrandir Desert is surrounded on two sides by mountains and the other two sides by ocean. Their water comes from springs or boiled and cleansed ocean water. The springs in the mountains create rivers that go north and east, instead of south and west, creating a portion of the lack of moisture in the south-west regions. The winds from the ocean also travel north and east, covering the north end of the desert mainly, but going beyond the desert, leaving a lack of moisture in this region.

I hope one day to have the money for CC3 so I can make better maps for my worlds, but felt like sharing the random place my mind went to today. Its only my constant though over how the world looks that I don’t forget how I want it to look. Still, I would feel more secure with being able to have a computer file to work with, that I could save and work on through changes in the future, as well as keep, for my own reasons. Anyway, if you have any thoughts on the scientific validity of these ideas, feel free to chime in. Or just random opinions, feel free to comment.


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Elves, Elves, Everywhere!

Lately, I have been noticing a web search on “elven culture” linking to another page of mine. Now, I do not know how genuine it is, because I did the search myself and I went through 15 pages of results on google without finding my own page and so gave up. I seriously do not see people going through 15+ pages of results, not finding what they want (i.e. stumbling upon my page) without revising their keywords. And so, I started thinking. As those who know me will figure out, my thoughts travel in nonsensical patterns and I decided to do a bit of writing on Elven Culture again. Now, this is where my two series of story intertwine, as I have stated in previous posts. The stories of Aleksander Zachery (Repeating History) and Dorian Blackwood (What Lies Between…) are in entirely different worlds, or planets. However, they exist within the same universe. Even though neither tale is any way tied to Science Fiction (…yet) I do stress planets, simply to make it clear that their environs are not separate continents in the same world. Arvandor and Demeteria are different planets within the same cosmos.

Anyway, delays aside… I made a post titled “Elven Nation Culture” where I discussed, specifically, the elves of Demeteria. However, the deities that created Demeteria are the same that created Arvandor. I feel, since the same things occurred (regarding the Sylvan) in Demeteria as in Arvandor, then there would be similarities between the species of Elf that Dorian gets classified under and the species of Elf that the Silverleaf, Dusksinger, Sunstorm, etc. families get classified under. Not to say that Dorian would be a Marsh Elf (since he has physical similarities to that of Dinaer Dusksinger and other of the Marsh Elf sect) but that he would have at the very least, some similarities there-in. Afterall, “Aldeon” is the name given to the forests of Higashi due to the color of their leaves. Aldeon is an Elvish word that means “Ever-Autumn;” this is the same dialect of Elvish spoken by the Forest Elves in the Sylvan Woods, Verdania of the Demeterian world. Dorian was born neither in a forest nor a marsh, but the town he lives in is very close to both types of land-mass within the continent of Arvandor. Who is to say which species he is? To be honest, I never really dwelt on a specific sub-species of Elf that he would be classified under. But, in these thoughts of Elven Culture that were brought about by the origin of this post’s creation, I cannot help but feel I now should.

However, just because Arvandor and Demeteria are of the same universe, does not mean that he gets classified by the same sub-species. Not every world would be exactly alike, that is proven simply in the layout of the terrain in both worlds. So, how does Dorian get classified? Despite the idea that the classifications would not be viewed similarly in each world, I cannot help but say that Dorian would not be a wood elf/forest elf because of, perhaps, my love for Tolkein. Dorian looks nothing like Legolas’ style of Mirkwood Elves, nor does he look like Celeborn & Galadriel, the Loth’Lorian style of Elf. Rather, Dorian is more alike Elrond and Arwen. Shorter hair, of course, but still… darker colored eyes and hair, and tanned skin from not having barrier of tree branches over-head. But which is it that made Elrond different? Being Half-Elven or being Half-Maiar? Obviously, the Maiar do not exist within my story and Dorian is not Half-Elven. Anyway, that’s a matter of thought for another time. Either way, Dorian is not Forest Elf or Marsh Elf, alike those in my other series. Nor is he very much in tune with his Elven lineage, for his family did not seem very much attuned with it in the same manners as was found in Tolkein’s work or in Repeating History. The Cavanagh family show a very dark demeanor, and being snakes, perhaps they could be classified as Marsh Elves. As for the Blackwood family, they could very well be considered Forest Elves, but perhaps an example of a sub-sect within the sect? Blackwood; perhaps they lived in a small forest that bordered the marsh, where darker wood trees were found, rather than being from Aldeon itself. In which case, Dorian would be half-Marsh Elf, half-Forest Elf. Making him something unique and without a name of its own. That seems fitting to me.

The Cavanagh and the Blackwood are not the only elves in the story, and I never explored what the others of the Nightmist were. In Rhy’din, in AOL RP, there were many things they were, and that was the splendor while at the same time the curse of being a Rhy’din RPer. Freedom to do as you wish is great, but often times, people do go overboard. Myself included. And to be honest, it was 20 years ago, so I do not recall every detail from back then. So, was Rosa an elf as well? If so which sect? Kain? Vayne? Garr? etc. That will take some time to piece together. To push towards the point where I eventually unite the two series together, I would say that Vayne at least is an elf as well. I am sure there are a few people titillated by the idea of an Elven Vampire. Perhaps even a few that dislike the idea. But, these are my ideas, and the paths my mind takes. I told you I was crazy.

I do not have an area of frigid temperatures in the Arvandor world, yet. I have not defined any such creature as living in such an area, and so, that would mean that Ice Elves do not exist in Arvandor as they do in Demeteria. This does not mean that they cannot, as I have not really mapped out the whole of that world. It may come about in times, and who knows, maybe in time, I will come up with ideas to feature other types of Elves than are listed in the Demeteria world. Though, to be honest, I cannot think of anything else that would seem appropriate at the time. Unlike Elder Scrolls, I cannot feasibly think of creating  an Elven race that lives within the earth. That’s Dwarven territory and I do prefer to keep Dwarves and Elves as separate species/races.

However, while I cannot think of any other sect of elf, in regards to what I already have, I do kind of have ideas stemming from what was stated earlier. If Dorian is half Marsh Elf and half Forest Elf, what if I were to change Forest Elf to Wood Elf (hopefully not stepping on TES’s toes…) and then take into consideration the idea of sub sects. Since Dorian’s split lineage marks him from a forest nearby a marsh, what if within the categorization of Wood Elf there was then Pine Elf and Oak Elf etc. defining the type of wood or forested region they came from? And so on, try to do the same for the other categories as well. Such as River Elf being a cross between a Sea Elf and a Jungle Elf? Something more to think on.

Much to think on, so while I do that, I shall end the post here for now. Hope this equated to something more than textual rambling. =P

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Elven Nation Culture

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.

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