The Adventurers Guide to... the Mountain Elves

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RossN
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The Adventurers Guide to... the Mountain Elves

Post by RossN » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:05 am

Note: The background on the Elves in Titan is very good, but it is almost entirely about Wood Elves. I thought Mountain Elves needed a little help with their background so I thought I'd help.

Mountain Elves - the Eyes of the North

When most Allansians think of Elves they think of the forest dwelling Wood Elves (unless they have been unlucky enough to have met any Dark Elves...) but isolated in the rugged mountains and the highest hills far from from most humans dwell the Mountain Elves. As devoted to the cause of good as their better known cousins these reclusive folk are otherwise quite different and very proud of that difference.

The Mountain Elves are shorter than Wood Elves and broader, though they are still thinner than humans and have all the deceptively frail beauty of Elves. Their clothing consists of hides and furs, well chosen to blend in the snowy evergreen forests they call home as well as provide warmth. They are naturally skilled hunters and superb hunters skilled at all manner of traps and tracking - many a starving, half frozen human lost in the mountains has had reason to be grateful for the intervention of the Mountain Elves who seem to be able to find a snow rabbit or dove in even the most desolate highlands.

The Frost King

Like all Elves the mountain clans are the children of Galana, the plant goddess known as Erillia to the Elves. Mountain Elves respect and worship Erillia, but she is not quite as favoured as she is by the forest dwelling Elves. Instead the mountain clans give much of their devotion to the earth goddess Throff (known as Elluviel) and above all the deity they call Liorias, or the Frost King, the god known to humans as Farigiss. Liorias is depicted as a stern, coldly handsome male Elf who dwells in a tower of ice atop the highest peaks, with only his frosthawks for company.

Liorias is hard and demanding god, but life in the mountains is hard and demanding and he is seen as a stern protector to those strong enough to win his respect. A Mountain Elf wishing to become a shaman of the Frost King must scale the highest mountain he knows, alone and uaided. There on the roof of the world he must fast and meditate in the bitter cold for four days. Many never return, but those who do do have been marked by the god - their eyes turned a brilliant ice-blue and their hair the colour of freshly fallen snow.

RossN
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Re: The Adventurers Guide to... the Mountain Elves

Post by RossN » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:34 am

Realms of the Mountain Elves

In terms of numbers the Mountain Elves are a rare enough people, but in terms of sheer range of territory they can be found across the face of Titan. The greatest of the clans live in the forbidding Icefinger Mountains and Freezeblood Mountains of Northern Allansia but there are tiny communities of the mountaibn folk in the Moonstone Hills and even the Mountains of Grief in the sun drenched distant south. Isolated clans can be found in the Zanzunu Peaks of Kakhabad and in wild corners of Khul, though their presence in these lands are precarious at best.

The Mountain Elves recognise the leadership of the Elven Council but they are a proud and independent people even when it comes to their forest dwelling kin and a Mountain Elf chieftain considers himself every bit the equal of the greatest Wood Elf prince. The mountain clans are small and well hidden amongst the branches of pine trees and contact with the outside world is limited. The one great exception is, curiously enough, the Dwarfs; the Mountain Elves have longstanding ties of friendship with the kings of Fangthane. The Elves supply the Dwarfs with fresh meat from hunting and timber from their woodlands and in return buy finely made steel weapons. The two peoples have bonded over their shared love of their harsh home, the one in the bowels of the mountains, the other on the slopes.

If the Dwarfs are the unlikely friends of the mountain clans, their enemies are as might be expected: the monsters and evil humanoids of the snowbound peaks. By far the most feared are the thankfully rare Life-Stealers. When these winged terrors attack even the most cunning and skilled of clan warriors are hard pressed to fight them off.

Mercifully the Life-Stealers are vanishingly scarce creatures and the mountain clans must merely contend with the brutal Toa-Suo, the greedy and territorial Bird Men and the near brainless but savage Yeti. Considering their neighbours some sages can only wonder in admiration that there are any Mountain Elves left!

RossN
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Re: The Adventurers Guide to... the Mountain Elves

Post by RossN » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:58 am

Myths of the Mountain Elves

As as been stated the Mountain Elves claim to be the creations of Galana and their similarities to the Wood Elves are such no one can reasonably doubt it. Yet how did they end up to be a distinct people of their own?

Some sages trace the tale back before the splitting of the continents. In those distant days the Elves were one people dwelling in the great One Forest that covered so much of the lone continent. The first people the Elves encountered were the Dwarfs and trade between the two civilisations began with the northern Elven communities springing up to trade with the mountain dwellers. Over time as the forests retreated they drew more influence from the Dwarfs and drew further and further from their forest dwelling kin.

It is a nice theory and there is perhaps something to it; as noted above the mountain clans do get on better with Dwarfs than other Elves do and they are a proud and reclusive lot. On the other hand for all their friendship and love of their common homeland Mountain Elves have little in common with the Dwarfs. Mountain Elf magic is more destructive and less sophisticated than the rituals of the Wood Elves, being mostly concerned with control of the elements, but they are fond of spellcasting all the same in a way the short bearded ones would never understand. The Mountain Elves love the outdoor life whether it be in the richly scented pine forests or the glistening snow of the upper slopes and to dwell underground is entirely against their nature.

The other theory, much believed by the Mountain Elves themselves is that they were chosen by the gods to prepare Elvenkind for the rise of a new ice age that will sweep across the face of Titan heralding a time when the Ice Demons seek to conquer the world. Should such a time ever come it will not find the cunning, hardy Mountain Elves wanting.

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Brimgeth
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Re: The Adventurers Guide to... the Mountain Elves

Post by Brimgeth » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:41 am

That's some nice work there.
"Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us."

RossN
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Re: The Adventurers Guide to... the Mountain Elves

Post by RossN » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:59 am

Thanks! I was hoping someone would like it! :D

Mountain Elves seem much more interesting than Wood Elves, maybe because we know so little about them and I wanted to explore how they worked - yes they are good aligned Elves but they still must be pretty different from the others due to habitat alone. Maybe not quite as different as (say) Black Elves but enough so they come across as distinct.

I'm considering working on another 'The Adventurers Guide to...' if I can decide which overlooked species to write about.

Nuvole!
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Re: The Adventurers Guide to... the Mountain Elves

Post by Nuvole! » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:43 pm

Are these the Elves found in the Cavern of the Snow Witch?
He's a real Nowhere man, sitting in his Nowhere land, making all his Nowhere plans for Nobody.

RossN
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Re: The Adventurers Guide to... the Mountain Elves

Post by RossN » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:57 pm

Hullalla wrote:Are these the Elves found in the Cavern of the Snow Witch?
Weirdly enough no. Redswift is a Wood Elf.

I can't remember which book the Mountain Elves are in but they are in Out of the Pit and I expanded on their background from there. :D

Nuvole!
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Re: The Adventurers Guide to... the Mountain Elves

Post by Nuvole! » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:31 pm

You made me go back to the book and... aha! here it is: paragraph 395!
At the beginning of the cavern complex you find a Mountain Elf (the one with the white cloak...)! 8)

By the way, I found this Mountain Elf better designed than Redswift... the Mountain Elf is fighting against his will and, if given a proper chance, will do his best to help you despite the control collar... :wink:
He's a real Nowhere man, sitting in his Nowhere land, making all his Nowhere plans for Nobody.

RossN
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Re: The Adventurers Guide to... the Mountain Elves

Post by RossN » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:25 am

Huh, you're right. Guess I missed that. :D

At least he doesn't say or do anything that contradicts my background.

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torus
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Re: The Adventurers Guide to... the Mountain Elves

Post by torus » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:16 am

This is great. I like the idea that there might also be a community of Mountain Elves in the Mountains of Grief.

Nuvole!
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Re: The Adventurers Guide to... the Mountain Elves

Post by Nuvole! » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:35 pm

Maybe you can use the few information provided in the Caverns of the Snow Witch (the white cloak?...) to add some more detail to your guide... :wink:
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Re: The Adventurers Guide to... the Mountain Elves

Post by Dr Magister » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:15 pm

So, if there's a community in the Moonstone Hills, are they related to the flint-axe wielding Wild Elves that you can end up fighting there in Crypt of the Sorcerer?

As far as I know CotS is the only place they're ever mentioned. Wild Elves aren't included in Titan or OOtP, but I thought they were quite interesting.

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Re: The Adventurers Guide to... the Mountain Elves

Post by Nuvole! » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:53 pm

Ehm... any anticipation from OOTP 2 ???
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RossN
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Re: The Adventurers Guide to... the Mountain Elves

Post by RossN » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:58 pm

Dr Magister wrote:So, if there's a community in the Moonstone Hills, are they related to the flint-axe wielding Wild Elves that you can end up fighting there in Crypt of the Sorcerer?

As far as I know CotS is the only place they're ever mentioned. Wild Elves aren't included in Titan or OOtP, but I thought they were quite interesting.
The Wild Elves are so feral I wonder if they are actually mutated Mountain Elves rather than just an isolated tribe than has dropped down into barbarism.

Alternatively I can see them as a tribe that turned, in a moment of desperation, to worship of the dark gods and have ever since been shunned by the other Elves. Cut off from all civilisation (even the Dark Elves shun them as both surface Elves and crude barbarians) and too few in number to keep up their level civilisation they went feral.
Hullalla wrote:Ehm... any anticipation from OOTP 2 ???
Huh? :?

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Re: The Adventurers Guide to... the Mountain Elves

Post by Mr Nibbs » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:31 pm

I've just posted a sample from the new map of Allansia that might be useful in locating the Elves.

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