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The Aithrena are a fascinating people. Their philosophies regarding death are something many of us would consider unethical, but it's part of who they are and they don't have anything against it. Their acceptance for their fates shows how dignified they are, and despite what many may say, their link with darkness does not stop them from being a welcoming and pleasant people I'm more than glad to live with. And... ahem. They are rather pretty as well.

- Kassina Tefrignatus, Fire Lady of the Erylia Elves

The Aithrena Elves, otherwise known as the Western Elves and the Royalwood Elves, are a species of elven deiwos that are native to the western expanse of the Western Forests of Koldenwelt and are the founders of the Verdant Kindgom - a founding state of the pan-regional elven coalition known as the Sovereignty of Dryada. One of the eldest and most prominent elven races, the Aithrena have been involved in the history of the world since their unification in the latter centuries of the Prehistoric Age and their culture has grown to become sophisticated and powerful in spite of their age and active participation in combating the Void. Despite not being inherently evil creatures, the Aithrena are gifted with an affinity for the dark magic of umbramancy; this, in combination with their extensive lives and the age of their nation, has contributed to moulding the elves of the west into enlightened and wise, yet arrogant, people.

The Aithrena value wisdom and intelligence as the highest virtues of their race; even the warriors and soldiers of their domains are as educated and learned in the arts of magic as their scholars, clerics, and mages. They are proud of their history for they have survived the reshaping of the world and their kingdom has outlived many others into the New Age, yet not unscathed for while they were once an expansive empire stretching across the west into the realms of the north and south, their territories beyond the Sovereignty have since been reduced to their ancestral homelands. While the Aithrena are an advanced and tolerant culture and are otherwise pleasant and respectful people, there are nonetheless clear indications of elven elitism within their government and monarchy, with conspiracies both within and outside of their nation claiming there to be imperialist agendas at hand.

HistoryEdit

TO BE EXPANDED / RETCONNED

The ancestors of the Aithrena, known only as the Westfolk for their original name has been lost, were native to the westernmost reaches of the Western Forests during the time of the Prehistoric Age, residing in collections of tribes, city-states, and petty kingdoms which fought one another as much as they fought the Denizens of the Void. The Westfolk held sway with the Flora Drakes and their neighbours, the Kormacvarah, and would find themselves marching alongside them to combat the tide of Void Denizens and Idkin which attempted conquest and invasion into their realms. Eventually, the Westfolk were unified into a single body known as the Verdant Kingdom by a once-minor noble known as Aitheren Ceivoren - the first of hundreds of recognized elven Lord-Kings - who accepted the displaced refugees of destroyed Westfolk nation-states into his own at the price of having them and their families serve his legion of elven soldiers in some manner. In turn, Aitheren was seen as a hero for he treated those who sought shelter as equal to his own people and amassed a growing wealth and military which served to solidify his place as a major influence among the warring Westfolk nobles and eventually either buy or diplomatically attain the unification he sought - although not without a degree of military resistance.

The Coalescence, as their unification had been called, allowed the Westfolk to survive the destruction wrought by the armies of the Adversary and lend greater, yet inevitably futile, assistance to their Kormacvarah allies, for without their assistance to Aitheren the Westfolk would not have been so efficiently united and they would likely share the same fate as their beastfolk neighbours. Aitheren would come to see the end of the Prehistoric Age and its transition into the Orichalcum Age and upon his passing, his people would come to abandon whatever name they had for themselves prior and would instead call themselves the Aitharenae - in New Common, the Aithrena - in tribute to his memory and his legacy.

The Aithrena remained prominent throughout the Orichalcum Age, establishing their realm throughout the north while not coming to oppose the Kormacvarah as they led their expansion across the Western Forests in order to potentially preserve themselves from the likes of the outsider armies that sought their demise. The Aithrena, backed by reinforcements from the Western Forests - including Kormacvarah warriors -, sought to take at least parts of the north and east from the Void Denizens and established the territory in the Eastern Plains that would become known as Dryannei, with the city of Sublime Radiance as its capital. Following into the Adamantine Era, the Aithrena would find themselves assaulted by incursions from the rising superpower of the Adamantine Elves from the Sea of Sand, whom cut through the supply lines between the Western Forests, the Eastern Plains, and the Northern Region and settled the Gulf of Blades, leaving much of the Aithrena peoples' territories to be consumed by the waning forces of the Void while the Adamantine themselves prospered, utilising antimagical weaponry and counter-magical forces to oppose not only the Aithrena and their allies but also the Simulacra that opposed the world.

The Verdant Kingdom, set upon by hard times following the extinction of the Kormacvarah, Western Forests being beset by Void Denizens and Idkin, and the Adamantine Elves opposing their establishment as an empire, proceeded to make contact with the various other elven nations that were assaulted by the Adamantine Elves and sought to create a pact that would allow them all to survive and usurp the power of the Admanatine Elves; the Sovereignty of Dryada was founded by the Aithrena and Vila Elves, the Forefather States, and sought to oppose and bring the downfall of the Adamantine Elves' empire, which they successfully accomplished with great difficulty even with the unwilling assistance of the more hostile of the outsider lords, with the eastern Aithrena hero, Vestele the Valiant, laying siege against the heart of the Adamantine territories in the desert.

CharacteristicsEdit

BiologyEdit

Aithrena Female

A typical Aithrena woman

The Aithrena are seemingly ethereal and majestic creatures; tall and slim with slender limbs and sharp features, the Aithrena are known for their ghostly pale flesh and bizarre physical features, such as the bone-like protrusions from their torsos and their sets of horns - a trait unseen in very many other elven species. The size and length of the horns vary between individuals, with males, particularly those who have reached the status of elder, possessing large and powerful horns while those of the females tend to remain short, much like in various ungulate species. Their hair and various other features are often seen as maintaining green or brown tints by nature, although often emphasized through physical decoration, and while the hair upon their heads never stops increasing in length, giving rise to some Aithrena that appear to have styled their hair into "manes", facial and bodily hair is often rare in Aithrena and usually treated with embarassment. Aithrena women, much like many deiwes, will exhibit sexual dimorphism in the form of standing shorter than their male counterparts and possessing a more curved and slender figure, with breasts to assist in the nurturing of infants; gestation periods for Aithrena last for an equivalent of a year and Aithrena will often only give birth to one or two children at a time, with extensively prolonged breaks between pregnancies until an Aithrena woman has reached menopause, which usually occurs after 600 to 700 years, while Aithrena males can continue to procreate even into their elderly state.

The otherwordly and alien nature of the Aithrena can cause many deiwes to perceive them as being attractive and desirable, especially in humans who often tend to treat the elves as being supernatural due to their dark auras and their stunningly captivating aesthetic. While quiet and reserved, the Aithrena have no problem in using vocal and visual cues to express themselves, although they also make use of scents and perhaps another sense to percieve and display emotions to those in their company. Their senses, including eyesight, scent, and hearing, are extraordinarily efficient, although this can serve as a bane to them as anything obnoxiously bright, putrid, or loud can cause them to feel disorientated and uncomfortable, much moreso than humans and other elves. Regarding physical strength, the Aithrena are roughly as strong as a human at their average peak, with much more biological emphasis being placed on the Aithrena's athleticism and maneuverability, allowing them to traverse environments quickly and proficiently, although many Aithrena feel uncomfortable outside of forests areas where their skills are put into use most and are difficult to adapt to unknown environments or isolation, as the Aithrena prefer the assurance and comfort in numbers over anything else.

Aithrena possess an affinity for magic, much like many other elves, although they are more inclined to lean towards the use of dark magic and floramancy. While many younger Aithrena appear to be unaffected by their affinity for the Source, their elders are not so fortunate; many Aithrena elders begin to physically decompose and rot while still alive and mobile, with fungal growths often manifesting upon their flesh, leading to heavy and grotesque disfigurement. Aithrena do not fear this process and treat it with the same regard as one would treat the gradual aging process, with little attempt to stop this development that only occurs in their later lives - this gradual, physiological breakdown is often referred to by other Aithrena as withering. The process has been observed to occur in Aithrena half-breeds between other elves, although it is unknown if this occurs with human-Aithrena children.

BehaviourEdit

The Aithrena are largely known for being tolerant, commonly pleasant beings that enjoy communication and interaction with others, although they are also calm and collected creatures and maintain an aura of modesty over their arrogant acknowledgement for their own achievements and history. The Aithrena have come across many races throughout their history and many would claim that while they are cryptic and enigmatic regarding themselves, they are anything but malevolent and are vastly more considerate of the many alien cultures that they share the world with. Aithrena individuals are often reserved and largely in control of their own emotions, meaning that their patience is difficult to decay, and are rather optimistic in their own, bizarre way; they value all forms of life native to Koldenwelt but have come to accept that death is a natural, inevitable part of the cycle, and the Aithrena belief system often tells of a time where the race itself will have withered away entirely to ensure room for newer, younger beings.

Aithrena seek to maintain politeness and courtesy in all situations, although they are not ignorant to hostile mannerisms - Aithrena are as calculating as they are seemingly benevolent, with Aithrena being rather analytical to both deiwos and non-deiwos, and this makes them adept warriors on the field of battle, as well as capable politicians and businessmen. While the Aithrena allow credit wherever it is due, such as to both younger and elder races, they are not blind to their own accomplishments, delivering threats and boasts with cold, sharp tongues; if such tactics do not impose themselves upon their enemies, Aithrena are likely to challenge their opposition physically, although it is by old custom that the Aithrena never launch the first assault or initiate the start of a conflict with their own actions, preferring to urge their enemies to do so as a justification for themselves. Aithrena are immensely difficult to anger, although when an individual is driven to rage they will often seek to deliver revenge swiftly and sharply, often returning whatever it was that had initially upset them several timesfold.

Aithrena clans are intimate structures built through close bonding and familial interaction, with all Aithrena believing that each and every one of them are, in some manner, related through their ancestors, whom they worship, revere, and praise. Aithrena do not fear death and are taught from birth that it is a fully natural and inevitable process that does not oppose life, but rather completes it. Aithrena religious ceremonies, particularly funerals and memorial services, will often involve the devouring of the deceased amongst a clan or several, a practice that has disgusted many although they claim to justify the activity by allowing the dead to remain useful and necessary even after their life has ended - a practice often followed by either integrating the bones of the deceased into the arboreal structures of the elven residences, or the resurrection of their skeletons for use as soldiers, guards, and serfs.

AbilitiesEdit

The Aithrena, while comparable to humans in their strength, are vastly more agile and athletic than most other deiwes due to have developed within an arboreal environment, demanding them to maneuver from surface to surface with strict and efficient accuracy. Their slender bodies and lithe limbs allow for efficient passage through forest and jungle environments, and their senses have been specially adapted to navigate their surroundings, with their eyesight capable of distinguishing and pin-pointing features in otherwise crowded areas while their hearing allows them to locate potential threats to them, although as a consequence they are hyper-sensitive to loud noises and bright lights. Aithrena rangers are often praised as efficient and swift due to these natural abilities granted to them, with Aithrena maintaining a reputation for being quick and clean killers, preferring to resolve conflicts and accomplish tasks with agile grace. Aithrena horns are sturdy features and often used to compete in non-lethal fights with one another, although they are capable of goring flesh and piercing through even steel.

Aithrena possess an affinity for dark magic and floramancy, leading them to often combine the two arts together, although they are capable of exploiting other magics to a lesser extent with required training and exposure. Aithrena make use of their magical abilities for enchantment much of the time, although they are capable of making use of destruction-orientated spells and the likes as well as manipulating flora and shadows for their own benevolent, most often to conceal themselves. Aithrena are weakened by light-oriented magic due to their affiliation with the black arts and also possess the durability of the average human at their peak, meaning that blows from nearly varieties of weaponry can affect them as heavily as much as they can any other creature. The Aithrena are particularly gifted necromancers, capable of both communicating with those sealed within the Underworld and crafting, as well as controlling, skeletal beings to do their bidding and fight for them if necessary.

SubspeciesEdit

IndividualsEdit

KhadyaImage

There are eyes everywhere, many eyes. Including my own. One should be careful not to act in such a way that would displease myself, otherwise you may be unable to act at all.

  • Name: Khadya
  • Affiliation: None
  • Status: Active

Khadya, otherwise referred to as the Outcast Huntress and the Grotesque, is an Aithrena Elf ranger and a bounty huntress who roams the world of Koldenwelt in search of criminals, tyrants, warmongers, and all other forms of apparent 'evil' that plague the continents and beyond. Raised within a community of orcs Khadya knows little of her heritage and cares none for it, as it no longer holds significance for her and thus continues onward to fulfill her goal of ridding the world of vile scum and dark entities although she is known to exhibit many traits typical of her kind and has, reluctantly, come to acknowledge that she shares no blood ties to her surrogate family, despite treating them as such. A woman who takes pleasure out of hunting and the thrill of incapacitating and killing her opposition, she is a true predator at heart and many believe that she holds an insatiable lust for blood within her calm, collected heart.

A figure who has seen many battles and is well-accustomed to death and loss, Khadya is not easily stirred and her resolve is as sturdy as her aim, with little guilt regarding the lives she has ended and maintains no time for displaying mercy to her prey - she views those that cannot bring themselves to kill and end threats yet are sworn to protect are weak and vulnerable. While she is not as headstrong as her orcish brethren, she has inherited their brutal nature and their affinity for using the assets that nature gives them, allowing herself to amplify the potency of her weaponry through applying toxins while often camouflaging her skin to blend into her surroundings, and holds no qualms about using the dark, magical abilities that are latent within her Aithrena blood. Polite yet of few words, Khadya views most other people as little more than animals until they have managed to prove to her their worth and their acknowledgement of the cruelty and futility of the world around them.

Clothovera Moirai

Born from those shunned by society, always forced to run to survive from people who don't understand me. But I've finally found a new home, and people who actually care for me.

Clothovera Moirai, often referred to simply as Clothovera or Clotho is an hybrid girl born from the pairing of an Aithrena Elf man and a human woman. Born at a clan of pagan witches which included both elves and humans hidden deep into the territory of the Empire of Man, Clothovera was forced to run away and live by herself after her clan was slaughtered by human soldiers and Lympharian invaders. Clothovera is a witch much like her parents and many ancestors before her, striving to be successful and deserving of her name, and is notable for being the sole student of the Sea Witch of the South, as well as for her involvement with the Lagosi exile Hachi.

Clothovera was previously noted for her clumsiness and her lack of talent with magic, but through several months of training, she has managed to make herself known for being a very potent user of dark magic, fighting by using a large array of hexes and curses against her enemies. Clothovera channels her magic through the mysterious Simulacrum tome called Alhazred, and also has the aid of her arcane familiar, the cat-like creature named Nyakik. Clothovera's lack of contact with the Aithrena means she has little knowledge of their culture, and she is sometimes noted for getting too carried away in the destruction she is capable of causing.

Viscount Alcony Nox

En garde.

One of the Clan's agents in the Dryadali Sovereign, Alcony Nox is a half-Aithrena, half-Vila elven aristocrat that holds a high position in one of Purity's Apogee's noble houses. Once an arrogant, womanising, yet idealistic youth who sought to carve his glory in war and bloodshed, he led many Dryadali campaigns in the Sea of Sand against the Empire of Man, eventually earning fame among men and adoration among women through his heroic deeds. However, one such battle became his undoing: once, when attacking an Imperial city with his comrades, he spotted a beautiful human noblewoman - Salcesia Firestream, one of the Alhassan Ranis - running from the carnage - and then, fell in love with her, madly. Abandoning his position and his duties, he kidnapped the young human and took her to his manor in Purity's Apogee. Strangely (or maybe not, given the riches of the Sovereign), Salcesia did not mind her new suitor and eventually reciprocated Alcony's feelings towards her - that is, of course, until she began to lose her youth and wither while her elven lover remained youthful like when they first met.

It was then, it is said, that the elf viscount decided to summon darker powers to save the Rani - and thus Clan Nightshade answered. With his own blood and the blood of his lover, the unlikely couple pledged their souls to count Dalverat to remain together and swore to the forces of darkness. Unfortunately for them, their secret alcove was found by Yurthez Bertonius. Infuriated that a Nightshade followers was hiding inside in the walls of Purity's Apogee itself, the vampire hunter attacked, murdering Salcesia and severely wounding Alcony.

Now that years have passed since his Alhassan lover's undeath and subsequent death, Alcony Nox is a different man entirely. Cold and heartless, he now bears nothing but spite for the living, and seeks to avenge Salcesia one day. His vampirism has given him numerous dark magical abilities, and his swordsman skills learned back in his youth have not deteriorated over time. What's more important, though, is that he still holds his position in Purity's Apogee, still a viscount of house Nox, still admired and loved - save for those who know his dark secret (and are subsequently found dead in their manors). Although not the strongest or the most ancient vampire, Alcony's connections in high society make him one of the most dangerous members of the Nightshade Clan.

NotesEdit

QuotesEdit

The Aithrena are a mature people and are often good to work with. They might be a bit arrogant sometimes, but they always strive for the prosperity of the Sovereign and its children. For that, I'm glad to work with them.

- Earl Cassala Petalbright

Hmpf. Don't be fooled by the so called pleasant demeanor of the Aithrena. They can be as nasty as anyone else who uses darkness as a weapon.

- Yurthez Bertonius

Zey are the ze most delicious blood! My personal favorite, for sure.

- Varelos von Dalverat

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

  • The Aithrena Elves were originally called Aitheranna Elves and Northern Wood Elves prior to being reworked and redesigned; their name has been shortened and they no longer reside in Northern Koldenwelt.
  • The Aithrena Elves were inspired by many depictions of elves, particularly "wood elves", featured in various fantasy-oriented sources.