The Gelvani

WHO ARE THE GELVANI?

The Gelvani are a race of long-lived humanoids with a strong affinity to both nature and magic. They are always thin and very beautiful with narrow features and tapering ears. They are known to most other races as Elves, but they call themselves the Gelvani.

THEIR HERITAGE

Their story is ancient and their world mysterious. Once, long ago, they lived in a paradise called Arvanis, where with them their Mother Goddess, Gelthena, presided and ruled over her children. They studied arts, music, and magic and lived in harmony. However, this all changed in time. The Gelvani began to grow apart. They became separated into castes that became jealous of the areas the other castes controlled in their society. Eventually their avarice and jealousy led to battle and threatened open war in paradise. Gelthena warned the Gelvani that they would enact their own doom if they did not find peace in unity. When her children ignored her warnings and their fury with one another grew, she cast them out of Arvanis to the world of mortal men. They arrived in vast ancient forests, but wild and untamed, ruled by orcs. They freed these savage lands and made them their own, calling it Gelvania. However, it was not paradise and they suffered greatly before they learned to live in this new world Having tamed the lands, they began to war amongst each other once again. Gelthena saw that as
long as they were an eternal people that could not die, they would never understand the chaos they created. She made them mortal, and the ravages of their enemies, the Orcs, soon decimated them. For the first time they truly united against a common foe and regained the realm they would grow to love.
Though they still did not live in Harmony, they were learning to live in peace. Gelthena began to gain hope. The gelvani cried out to their goddess for redemption, and she offered it to them. When all Gelvani finally unite in harmony then they will be returned to Arvanis again. This seemed impossible now more than ever as her people struggled to survive let alone bring harmony to their kind, so in her infinite wisdom she offered them another way to be redeemed. Each individual, after having suffered upon the mortal world for many centuries, will feel her call to return to Arvanis. If then they choose not to follow her guidance then her voice shall be silent to them forever, and they may never return to the Land of Eternity. Her gift was not without a price, though. For she decreed that any gelvani who should choose to die in battle away from his kindred, could not have their spirit pass on to Arvanis unless their remains be retrieved and properly put to rest. Those who died by unnatural causes and were never returned to the earth in ritual form would forever reside in an eternal realm of twilight and ruin called Neth’Noril.
And so, the Gelvani found themselves in a new world, filled with death and hardship and horrible beasts scratching at their borders. They have embraced their fate and through the following millennia have always sought to reunite in peace to return to Arvanis.

Gelvani Gods

THE 6TH BLOOD

The children of Gelthena were born in different generations and she hence refers to them by their generation. Her first children born, many of the Gelvani Gods, are the First Blood. Her second children born, also Gods, are the Second Blood. These two generations were both fathered by Loran, the Elder God of Time. After this Loran had a child with Aralyn, one of the First Blood. In retribution, Gelthena bore another child with a divinity known as Elghinn, and hence the Third Blood were born. These two new Gelvani gods encountered other Gelvani gods and gave life to a new generation, the Fourth Blood. Those of the Fourth Blood also gave life to a new generation, who became the Fifth Blood.
It was then that Gelthena saw how the power of the Gods was too great. She decided that henceforth no more Gods would be born. Gelthena went to her children and with them she bore the Gelvani, the Sixth Blood. They, unlike all her children before them, were not gods. They were eternal and gifted with great minds and potential, but they were not immortal and they had not the powers of the divinities. She told the gods then that the Gelvani would worship them, and as such they should set the example for her newest children, and she hoped they would live in peace and unity unlike her godly children.
However, Gelthena did not realize that in the Gelvani were the spirits of their paternal heritage. And though they were all very much like her, they could not resist that side of their beings. The Children of the Sixth Blood began to separate and found their differences to be too great to maintain peace and unity. When discord turned to war, Gelthena cast them out of Arvanis. And so upon the world of mortal men they became even more diverse and split into separate cultures. They became known as the Nor’Valatha’Gelvani, or the Four Blood-Lines of the Elves.

THE GELVANI BLOODLINES

There are four Bloodlines in the Gelvani race. All of them are the descendants of Gelthena, but each was fathered by a different god. As Gelvani, they all have very similar characteristics (as viewed by outside races); however, each bloodline is quite different in appearance, demeanor and abilities.
Despite their differences elves have much in common. They all live in a matrilineal society, as it is in Arvanis. They have a profound love for the woodlands and they have a strong connection with nature. However, they also tend to have a natural ability with magic and so they often incorporate into their daily lives. When the Gelvani first arrived in Mirivia they learned of mortality from their war with the Orcs, and hence all elves now have a great hatred for the violent race that has been passed down through the generations.
All Gelvani have keen eyesight that allows them to see at night. They also need very little sleep, and almost seem to mediate than the latter. To many other races they seem to be almost perfect beings, and this brings them much reverence and much hatred alike.

THE QUE-GELVANI

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The children of Gelthena and Fey-Kalin are known as the Que-Gelvani, or High Elves. Fey-Kalin was the god of Culture, Music, Festivals, Joy, Arts and Crafts. Hence, the Que-Gelvani are a fairly peaceful people who prize the arts and enjoy life to its fullest. They generally seek peace and harmony; however, they are willing to fight and die for it if they must. As they prize craftsmanship they have become master metal workers and forge fantastic swords and armor, though sometimes more fanciful than useful.
The Que-Gelvani are a small and frail people, but incredibly agile and graceful. They often have a pale yet warm glow to their flesh and their eyes shimmer with bright or earthy colors. Their silken hair is often earth toned, silver or golden but also shines brightly and seems to be naturally soft and full. Like all elves, they only have hair flowing from their heads and can never grow it anywhere else upon their bodies. The Que-Gelvani prefer to dress in light flowing silken clothing. They often prefer whites with gold and silver lacing, but also wear bright and beautiful colors, though always with great taste and form.
The majority of the High Elves live in Mirivia and for the longest time seemed to preside over the other Blood Lines. In the last millennia, and even last century that has changed. Now Mirivia is primarily the home of the Que-Gelvani and the Sylvana-Gelvani, and the Que-Gelvani only rule over themselves.
High Elves live sporadically throughout the forest. Their homes are often built into the great trees of the forest, and they use their natural connection to nature and magical arts to manipulate the growth of the forest to accommodate them, but without actually harming the trees. Many High Elven families have united to form great cities. Besides being a great collection of Tree Homes, they have also built majestic towers that seem to rise up out of the forest as if trees themselves. Long narrow bridges that span over vast gardens and elven markets often interlink these towers. These great cities are well known for being part of the forest, rather than separate from it. As well, they are known for their use of magic to make impossible architecture possible. The greatest of all these cities in Mirivia is Shey-Tishan where the Queen of the Que-Gelvani resides.
The High Elves, above all other elves, tend to hold their matrilineal society in high honor. They would never conceive of a council for the Queen, and have only once had a King, who stepped down as soon as he married. They are very religious, and primarily worship Gelthena and until recently Fey-Kalin. During the betrayal of Kelamin Fey-Kalin was slain, and a young goddess was risen to his place, Gellawyn.
The Que-Gelvani know the danger of war and though they are generally a peaceful people, they also know they must defend that peace. Hence, all of their children are raised to learn how to fight with gelvani swords and aim true with gelvani bows. In this way the Que-Gelvani do not have a true army, but can call upon a very large and well-trained militia whenever the need arises. There are a few among them, who have devoted their lives to defending their people, their homes, and their society. They have often formed independent groups, some of which have sworn service to the Queen. One such group is the Suar-Lanyr, or Blade Dancers, who have combined magical skills, mastery of the gelvani sword, and incredible agility and grace to become a martial order devoted to uphold the gelvani way of life. As these renowned warriors depict, the Que-Gelvani even use artistry and music in the practice of battle.

THE GREY-GELVANI

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The Grey-Gelvani are the children of Gelthena and Zarthandir. Zarthandir is the God of Magic and Reason, but he is not one of Gelthena’s children. Rather he is a mysterious god of elder ages. Some claim he IS magic, and others say he is simply a master of it and has hence risen to the power of a deity. Whoever he is, his children are the Grey-Gelvani, or Gray Elves. They are so named for their tendency to have dull silver hair and flesh tones. They pursue knowledge and have an incredible natural magical ability that exceeds that of all of the other bloodlines. Throughout the history of their society they have maintained a vast storehouse of knowledge that they keep well guarded but allow all Grey-Gelvani access to. This has made them a very isolated lot, and eventually led to them separating from the rest of Elven society.
The Gray Elves are slightly taller than the High Elves, but are even frailer. However, they are incredibly intelligent and just as agile as their brethren. They tend to view themselves to be above all mortal races and have even begun to see themselves as the superior Gelvani race. This pride has become part of their society and hence they find it hard to overcome this natural flaw and face others on a level ground.
The Grey-Gelvani have very pale skin tones that often are silver in sheen. Their eyes are usually strikingly bright in color and sometimes metallic in appearance, such as copper, bronze or gold. Usually their hair is silvery, white, gray or black. Some, however, have brilliant metallic colored manes. They tend to dress in lightweight robes over fine clothing. They prefer metallic, white, gray, and black robes with very fantastic stitching and trim. Those who are not spell casters, or are warriors as well, often wear very fine cloaks that depict their aristocratic station. Even the poorest of Gray Elves attempts to dress as if his is a nobleman in court.
They Grey-Gelvani used to live in Mirivia, but after the last great Orc War they left. Angered with the Que-Gelvani for teaching humans magic, they abandoned their city there and crossed the Sylvarin (a river) to enter a new forest they named Metyrnia. Here they established a few large cities, the greatest of which was Metanmyr. After the Shulrahar, the curse, all Gray Elves fled to Metanmyr where they reside till now. The rest of Metyrnia is still suffering under the Curse and is a very dangerous place.
Gray Elves sometimes live in traditional Tree Homes, or build independent towers in the forest, but the majority live within their cities. These cities are an amazing cross of gelvani craftsmanship and magical enchantments. Dozens of sky scraping towers mingle amongst beautiful but very well organized gardens. The towers are interlaced with long narrow crosswalks that can often rise hundreds of feet above the ground. Through the use of powerful magics they make the impossible happen, and some towers appear as if they should topple but never do. At the floor of the towers is a well planned interlacing of smooth stone walkways, squares, fountains, markets and numerous gardens. No tree is ever cut down to build a structure, instead the buildings or paths are built around them and accommodate their needs in their design. The gelvani homes are often simpler but similar. They live in small four or five story towers, or elaborate houses that are often hidden under the shadows of the trees. Some still too live in tree houses in the city. The cities used to be open to the world beyond, but since the Curse a great wall was built around Metanmyr to defend it. There is only one gate through and it is well guarded.
Though the Grey-Gelvani do have a Queen she does not truly rule them. Instead, The Council of the Queleshan Masters rule Metanmyr. Quel-Shamora, or High Magic, is the epitome of Elven Magic. It is the product of over a dozen millennia of research and record keeping being passed down through their people. They have true mastery of the magical energies of the world. It was once available to all elves, but after the Que-Gelvani gave the knowledge of magic to the humans the Queleshan Masters, who were all Grey-Gelvani, took the knowledge away from the other bloodlines and forced them never to practice or teach it again. Now only the Grey-Gelvani can become Queleshan.
The Grey-Gelvani are fairly confident in the defense of their cities, but not all of them practice magic exclusively. They have a standing militia of men and women trained since birth to wield gelvani swords and fire gelvani bows. They also have a strong order of Elven Knights, who serve the Queen and their generals ride upon ethereal steeds. They have a fairly large Suar-Lanyr order, who are usually better at their magical aspect then they are their fighter side.
Almost all of the Grey-Gelvani have at least studied magic and can cast a few cantrips. Their normal magical libraries are open to all of their kind.

THE DREY-GELVANI

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The children of Gelthena and Kelamin are strong and powerful beings, dark and sinewy, and known as the Drey-Gelvani, or Dark Elves. Kelamin was the gelvani god of Competition, Skill at Arms, and War. In Arvanis it was his duty to protect their paradise from other powerful deities that sought to corrupt
their world.
The Drey-Gelvani, like their paternal blood, have a strong accord for the art of war and skill at arms. When the Gelvani were cast down, they took their place upon the northern borders of Mirivia, calling it Shanothyr. It was the Drey-Gelvani who defeated the Orcish armies, and it was they who secured the forests of Mirivia. But, as it has been said, the other elves did not have the appreciation for battle and the intense devotion it takes to master a fighting style. The Dark Elves were always mistrusted and feared. The High Elves particularly were paranoid that the armies their brethren kept were more to keep them in check, than to protect them. Hence, when the Orc Wars were finally over, and peace had seemed to return to the land, the Que-Gelvani sought to disband these gelvani armies. Tension grew between the two cultures, and finally snapped. The Royal Prince of Feldyr-Mar, the greatest Dark Elven city in Shanothyr, was slain in a duel with Tiercelis Calazar, a famous High Elven hero.
The people of Shanothyr threatened war, but instead seceded from Mirivia. The Queen of Mirivia, not wanting war amongst her people grudgingly accepted this.
However, it was not long before tensions grew too great, in Arvanis and in
the Elven Kingdoms. The Dark Elves began to believe the Queen would try to retake their kingdom. The High Elves believed the Dark Elves would make a ply for the throne. In the end their own paranoia led to war. The Que-Gelvani struck into Shanothyr with a small force intent on thwarting battle, but instead it led to an all out assault on Mirivia by the Drey-Gelvani. The battles that ensued left thousands of Gelvani dead, the great city of They-Kithara was razed
and the Dark Elven armies were eventually forced to withdraw. What more, the paradise of Arvanis too shook with the thunder of war, and in the end both Fey-Kalin and Kelamin were destroyed.
The Drey-Gelvani still rule over Shanothyr, but their kingdom is split. Some
have chosen to return to their ancient ways and defend the gelvani race against all opponents
within and out. They mostly worship Tolothar, Kelamin’s most loyal warrior before his downfall.
Others have fallen further from their true beings, seeking revenge for the downfall of their race, conquer Mirivia, and see the end of Gelthena. These Dark Elves mostly worship Crothien, the son of Kelamin and a brute and wicked being. These deities battle for control of their people, and so too the Drey-Gelvani are at odds with each other.
From the chaos of the times, a third deity has arisen to power amongst these people. She is Baelshyn “The Black”, who embodies the rage of the gelvani woman and the plight of Dark Elven
women specifically. Through the chaos that she creates her worshippers hope to bring the downfall of Dark Elven “civilization” and return them to a clan-based society.
In this way she believes she will save the Dark Elven race. Perhaps she is right, though most gelvani gods just believe she is deranged and has no idea what she is doing except creating total havoc.
The Drey-Gelvani are taller than the other bloodlines, save the Sylvan Elves. They are sleek, dark and agile with skin tones ranging from dark tan to almost jet-black. Their hair is
usually dark brown to ash gray and pitch black, but their eyes are brilliant shades of green, blue or silver. A few Dark Elves have been known to have black eyes. Much stronger than most of their kin, and some humans, one might think they would be bulging with muscles; however, like their kin they are incredibly wiry and their muscles are dense and well defined.
Dark Elves prefer lightweight very detailed clothing. They appreciate art like any Gelvani, but their motifs tend to be more focused on weapons and battles. They dye their clothing dark shades of blue, brown, green, purple and red, as well as black. In their forest of Shanothyr this keeps them well camouflaged to foes. However, when at war, the
Drey-Gelvani wear the heaviest armor of all gelvani kind. They tend to wear at the least chain mail, but their elites don the finest sets of Elven Plate made. Their armor can be more elaborate than any made by elves. The more detailed and unique the armor looks, the more prestige it carries. The greatest warriors, and usually the wealthiest, can often wear sets of armor that any other culture would hang on the wall as a masterpiece. Dark Elven weapons can be just as artistic, though they are always sturdy and deadly.
The Dark Elves practice a form of magic not known to many others. It is called Shamora-Kifi, or Magical Flesh. They are particularly fond of body art, and almost all Drey-Gelvani have some form of tattoos. These are almost always complex patterns that have some deeper meaning. Those of their culture who hold great prestige are gifted with enchantments set in the patterns of ink burned into their flesh. Though most have only minor magical powers, some say the greatest of artists can enchant incredible powers upon the canvas of the flesh.
Feyldyr-Mar is the only Dark Elven city. It is an amazing place though, and it could house the entire race. The Drey-Gelvani prefer to use the natural elements to their best advantage. Dense woods encircle the city, a great lake forms its eastern wall, and natural ridges form the treacherous, and only, way to walk into the city. The city itself is much like a Grey-Gelvani city, with massive towers reaching into the skies, great causeways connecting them and large courtyards at their base. However, they do not have nearly as many gardens.
The Drey-Gelvani like metal work, and have many great steel and bronze sculptures about their City. Some are very old and made from copper that has turned a shiny green. Unlike the Grey Elves though, the Drey-Gelvani don’t usually live in their city. Their soldiers train there and have barracks there, but most Dark Elves live in their forest homes.
Drey-Gelvani live in hundreds of small communities throughout their forest that keep in close contact with each other. Because their forest is mostly ancient cedars their homes are built around the base of the trees, using the massive roots that rise from the earth as walls and support. They use magical abilities and an understanding of nature’s ways to forge the growth of the trees to their means. They also use the canopies of the trees, with great platforms and bridges connecting the trees between the mighty limbs. Their villages are often well lit with fairy fires to accommodate for the incredible darkness at night that the dense canopy creates.
Do not doubt the fortifications of these communities though. Dark Elves do not use walls to defend their homes, but instead wit and deception and they depend more on skill and magic.
The Drey-Gelvani are the only Patriarchic Elven Society. They have a King rather than a Queen, even though they are all considered equals. Women fight along side their men, and the men raise the family along side the women. There is no gender difference, but it has just been that a King rules who was passed the crown from a King before him. A queen could just as easily rule. The other Elven races see this as a sign of the true dysfunction of Dark Elven society though, and even within their own people some women are fighting to return them to a Matriarchy.
As one could expect, the Drey-Gelvani have the greatest Elven army to exist. They are all trained from childhood to master the Spear and Bows, and it is required that all serve in the army for at least a decade. Despite their differences with the Que-Gelvani they are still the first line of defense from an invasion by the Ogre Kingdoms. Though their forces are split, it is hoped they will unite do defend the Elven Kingdoms if an army does arrive at their borders.

THE SYLVANA-GELVANI

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The children of Gelthena and Ilnish are the Sylvana-Gelvani, or Wild Elves. Ilnish is the earth lord, master of the animals and the hunt. Hence, his children are passionate naturalists who shun any outside influence. They generally seek to live lives of solitude in their natural woodland homes. Though all Gelvani seek to live in tune with nature, only the Sylvana-Gelvani truly do. They detest all forms of civilization and see those who build elaborate cities and homes to be unwise and even evil.
The Sylvana-Gelvani are very tall with naturally tan skin and wild flowing hair. They are very strong, but it is hidden as dense corded musculature. Their eyes range from many different shades of green, blue, brown and even metallic and their hair is usually red, blonde, or brown but changes dramatically with the seasons. They dress in the barest of clothing, often only fine cloth and fur garments that simply provide a little humility. When traveling outside of their culture, which is very rare, they will dress in dark green and brown leathers, and gelvani fashioned cloaks and boots. Their most distinguishing characteristic is their affinity for body art. They usually have totemic patterns tattooed upon their flesh. Some are temporary, usually henna, but many are permanent. During hunts, or even war, they will cover their features with natural paints that invoke the powers of the animal lords and the spirits of nature. Some say it is from this totemic body art that the Dark Elven art of Magic Marking was borne.
The Sylvana-Gelvani live throughout all of the gelvani forests. Mirivia, Shanothyr, and even Metyrnia. They also dominate a great forest in Old Camus known as Sylvanmyr. Here they have focused their culture around the greatest and oldest tree known to exist, named Myranith, or the Tree of Life. They live in small tribal communities that have a matriarchal spiritual leader. These priestesses worship a variety of deities, but they always pay greatest homage to Ilnish, their Paternal Deity. They also recognize the Animal Lords who serve their father and represent the spirits of the animals.
The Sylvana-Gelvani avoid contact with outsiders and only rarely enter war. When they do it is always to defend their homeland. They never seek out battle. However, they are great hunters and thus teach their young from an early age how to master gelvani bows and hunt with long spears. They take only what they need from the forest and hence rarely use metal weapons. Bone, wood, stone and hide are their components for craftsmanship, but like all elves they create wonderful artwork from these tools.
Wizardry is not part of Wild Elven society. There are occasional sorcerers, but they are few and far between. Instead they tend to follow a more Druidic concept, which may be influenced by or have influence human society in Old Camus. This is the only tie they have with human society and it is only rarely acknowledged.

THE 7TH BLOOD

Gelvani Game Statistics

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