The Archipelago Elves or Archipelagans (Archipelagan: Archipielaganos) were an elvish tribal culture residing in the most southwesterly island cluster of the Archipelago from the beginning of the Old Age around 5,000 BNA until their extermination at the hands of the Legion of Shiarchon during the War for the Eye.
The ancestors of the Archipelago Elves appear to have separated from the Orichalcum Elf culture during the middle of the Orichalcum Age, settling along the coast of the Duritia Peninsula in the Tropical Lands. Despite rejecting the golden cities of their brethren, they remained under the rule of the Orichalcum Elf Imperium for 15,000 years until its collapse at the end of the 6th millennium BNA. A small group of proto-Archipelagans survived the concurrent deluge that destroyed their coastal homes, sailing almost directly southwards on the orders of their prophetic leader, who predicted that there would lie a land of peace and plenitude. Despite the damage done by the floods, sinking land into the ocean and killing all but the hardiest of plants, the Elves' eventual arrival at what would become known as the Archipelago was greatly celebrated amongst them as soon as the first freshwater springs were found. As life recolonised the islands over the coming centuries, the Elves quickly made use of it in agriculture; farming fruit trees, herding alpacas and spoffits, and even occasionally stealing the eggs of dragons.
For another 5,000 years, the Archipelago Elves remained fairly secluded from the rest of Koldenwelt, although they participated in the great trade routes along the Easten Plains, with Archipelagan goods being found as far away as the Northern Region. Their long and unchanging history would soon come to an end, however, when the War for the Eye began and Shiarchon priests determined the Archipelago to be one possible location of the eponymous artefact of their desire. Their invasion in 18 BNA saw the death of all but one Archipelagan: the survivor, Chieftain and High Priestess Arbor Vitae, was captured for information before escaping. She acquired the Eye and kept it hidden from the Legion over the course of the conflict, finally being killed by Shiarchon archers on the last day of the war in 1 BNA.
Archipelago Elves were medium-to-tall in comparison to other elvish races, but were otherwise comparable to athletic humans in appearance in build, with typical Elf features such as pointed ears being their main seperating features. Their skin was naturally dark brown as an adaptation to their home's sun-drenched climate, but they ritually painted much of their bodies (particularly the lower legs, forearms, hair, and parts of their torsos and faces) green using dyes from local plants.
Due to their lack of written records, it is not known what the average longevity of an Archipelagan was, although their lifespans may have been indefinite like those of the Orichalcum Elves. Thirty was the age of majority signifying the expected beginning of adolescence; city-dwelling historians have suggested that disease and poor nutrition killed most Archipelagans not long afterwards, a view often accused of being ignorant and cynical by those from rural areas yet supposedly supported by the fact that Arbor Vitae became chieftain of her tribe at the young age of thirty-six.
The culture of the Archipelago was a highly spiritual one, leading most of its inhabitants to feel highly in tune with nature and the Source, which they sometimes worshipped as Isiris. It is known that their magical practices were idiosyncratic relative to those of most of Koldenwelt, with Archipelagan mages all but rejecting the traditional element-based classification of the schools of magic, and Archipelagan mythology speaking little of the Colossi and having no mention of the Simulacra.
Although peaceful and willing to engage in trade and diplomacy, the Archipelago Elves were still a generally seclusive race, partly due to their geographical isolation, and were also willing to fight. However, the only known instance of Archipelagans engaging in large-scale combat was during the battle that led to their extinction.
Despite their distaste for the concept of magical schools, the Archipelago Elves showed skill in a variety of them: warriors fighting against the Shiarchon demonstrated traditional cryomancy and venomancy as well as a form of arcane mind control, while Arbor Vitae furthermore had abilities that may have fallen into the domains of floramancy and hydromancy. Their power over the Source was enhanced by their crafting of enchanted objects such as staves and jewellery; these amongst other products of Archipelagan culture (particularly musical instruments) are numerous and show artistic talent as well as great skill with the rudimentary sculpting tools available to them, as - besides the crafted wares that they traded from the Khargrim - they lacked any metals besides copper, silver and gold.
- Oceanic Razoa Sovereignty - You have been here for us from the start, as have we for you.
- Khargrim Greatholds - Your settlements are welcome here.
- Legion of Shiarchon - The reason you fester away upon this earth must be that you were rejected by whatever hell gave birth to you.
“The Elves at the south isles? Never got a good look at them, but they didn't seem so bad. The War for the Eye hit them the hardest out of everyone, I think. Never got the chance to prank them a bit.”
“I hear of a priestess who took Isiris away from the demons. And they have my respect for that! Rest in peace, dear fellow folowers of Isiris!”
- Based on the (not particularly thought-out) idea that the Archipelago is Koldenwelt's wetter equivalent of the Canary Islands, the Old Tongue-derived Archipelagan language is based on Spanish.
- The main image for this page was made by OluapPlayer to illustrate the Archipelagans on the Deiwos page.