Quentari Elf Culture Guide
Written by Brennagwyn Campbell
Consultants include Kirk Charest, Mickey Golosovker,
and Alex Ancheta.
Developed from the original material created by
Francis Moore, Tracey Clark,
and Don Walsh.
© 1989-2007 NERO® International Holding Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This latest version of
the Quentari Elf Culture Guide for NERO® LARP games is an addition and
supplement to previous Quentari Elf culture guides and is built upon
their foundation. My gratitude goes out to the original developers of
the Quentari Elven Culture: Francis Moore, Tracey Clark, Don Walsh, and
others; and to those who have played long-standing Quentari NPC’s. Key
consultants for this Guide include Kirk Charest, Mickey Golosovker, and
Alex Ancheta. Ideas have also stemmed from discussions on the Quentari
Elf Yahoo! Group.
This guide is intended
primarily for PC use, although there should be valuable information for
staff who are interested in developing Elven storylines. I encourage
players and local Elven race marshals to reference previous material for
details and perspectives not included in this guide. Information copied
verbatim from previous guides have been credited to “Quentari
In the face of
inconsistencies between various source materials, including players’
histories, I have attempted to resolve them with minimal changes. Also,
where previous guides have been silent, I have taken creative license to
fill in the gaps. Also of note is there is no servant class in Quentari;
those duties are delegated to the young (which may in part explain why
Elven characters arrive in-game with no more adventuring skills than
their shorter-lived counterparts).
What I hope results is
a guide where players of Quentari Elves can dream up unique character
histories that would take them from their society and mingle their
fortunes with other adventurers.
The Quentari Elves are
the oldest unified culture of surface elves within the world of Tyrra.
The Elves are one of the first sentient and gifted races upon Tyrra, and
the Quentari have existed as a civilization for thousands of years
before humans organized themselves into kingdoms and empires. Many other
Elven societies such as the Amani of the Ash Forest and the Silvermyst
Elves of the land of Avendale can trace their origins to the Quentari
As a race, the Elves
have been blessed with the knowledge and wisdom gained from lifespans
lasting into the hundreds of years. They have an affinity with nature,
and an innate understanding of magic. The Elven mind takes easily to
discipline, and the Elf can learn to strengthen her mind against the
effects of magically induced sleep and mind-altering charms. As time
passes differently for Elves than it does for the shorter-lived races,
the Elves often seemed unconcerned with the day-to-day triumphs and
defeats of their non-Elven companions; this gives Elves the appearance
of aloofness to many other races.
The Quentari Elves view
their culture as the most civilized and evolved of all the gifted races
of Tyrra. The comprehension of magic comes easily to them, and it is
rumored that the arch-wizards of the Quentari harbor powerful and
secretive enchantments in their libraries. Deep within their wooded
homeland of the Taursiloriel, there are mysterious ceremonies held in
honor of the Elves’ connection to the cycles of nature. Within the
courts of the highest of the honored Quentari families political
intrigue is nurtured. Although the ways of the Quentari are often very
foreign to non-Elves, this guide attempts to clarify the ways of this
most ancient of Elven cultures.
Principles of Quentari Life
As every tree’s
branches reach up into the heavens, it is also true that every tree’s
roots dig deep into the earth. So too Quentari society is founded on
several key principles which govern a great deal of Quentari behavior,
both collectively and as individuals. While these principles are not
codified by any philosopher, their manifestations in Quentari life are
The Quentari Elves
seek to live in harmony with nature.
While the events that
first created the bond between the Elves and the trees have faded into
legend, the Elven reverence for the natural world has never been lost.
Rather than seeking to overtly dominate and control their environment,
the Quentari seek to live in ecological harmony with the other living
creatures that share the forests with them. Therefore, the Quentari
seek ways to have minimal impact upon the land they live in: Quentari
homes are often built off the ground and high into the boughs of trees;
gardens are so planted as to mingle with other forest vegetation; and
agriculture is kept to a minimum in preference for hunting, fishing, and
gathering the bounties of the woodlands. Where magic or architecture is
used to add comforts and conveniences to Quentari settlements, these
changes blend in well with the natural environment.
The Quentari honor all
living things as participating in the cycles of birth, life, and death,
and therefore find displeasure in taking the lives of other beings
unless necessary for the preservation of themselves or their allies.
Even monster races that intend harm or death upon the Quentari Elves are
to be pitied, for they are too ignorant to seek peaceful ways to achieve
Undead are met with
incredible loathing by the Quentari, as undead are removed from the
cycles of life, death, and rebirth that govern the natural world. A
Quentari Elf sees the destruction of all forms of lesser and greater
undead as a duty. Necromancy in any form is abhorred, as it is
understood that the calling and use of the elemental power of chaos
taints and warps the world of Tyrra. Necromancy is severely punished
within Quentari society, and to cast it greatly dishonors oneself and
The Quentari Elves
highly value knowledge and wisdom.
Given that the length
of the Elven lifespan is measured in hundreds of years, a Quentari Elf
may accumulate vast breadths of knowledge in her lifetime. Rather than
have this knowledge lost to time, the Quentari have an impulse to record
what they have learned to pass on to others in their society. This has
lead to the creation of the great library in the Elven settlement of
Helevorn. Literacy and writing skills are prized among the Quentari,
even those who are not dedicated to scholarly pursuits.
It is legend that the
Elves were the first race upon Tyrra to master the ways of magic. The
Quentari find both Earth magics and Celestial magics valuable, and their
Arch-Mages are continually experimenting with new ways to harness magic
for the betterment of their society.
Often the Quentari want
to understand the circumstances surrounding any conflict before choosing
a course of action. They are usually not taken to quick decisions,
preferring to consider consequences for some time before reaching their
conclusions. However, once a Quentari has made up his mind to do
something, he dedicates herself fully and without hesitation.
If knowledge is
cherished among the Quentari, so is the discernment needed to use
knowledge and power wisely. Wisdom is gained through experience. Thus
the Elders of each Quentari House and are respected, for they have an
entire lifetime of experience to guide them in their decisions.
The Quentari Elves
value an orderly social structure while still honoring individual
Unless they have turned
their back on the society of their youth, each Quentari Elf is allied to
a Quentari House. Each House is an extended family comprised of the
ruling Elders, the aged teachers, the adults who engage in their
professions, the youths who see to most of the day-to-day upkeep of the
household, and the children. Each individual is expected to make a
contribution to the betterment of the House in general, either through
training the next generation, being member of a vocational Brotherhood,
or applying oneself to lessons.
understanding, each person is only a part of a whole, like an arm or an
internal organ, and must play her delegated role within her House and
Brotherhood to gain prestige and to prosper. The Quentari Elf is keenly
aware of the duties and responsibilities that come from her station in
life. For a Quentari Elf to act dishonorably or to not obey the
directives of those who are of higher station than him not only brings
harm upon himself, but lessons the prestige to her whole House. A
Quentari who commits a grievous crime may find himself stripped of any
House affiliation, Brotherhood membership, and then exiled.
the Quentari House hierarchies and Brotherhood structures are very
rigid, individuals are given the option of choosing the profession to
which they dedicate themselves, provided the Headmaster of the
Brotherhood feels that the Elf petitioner would be an asset as a member.
A Quentari Elf may belong to several Brotherhoods within his lifetime:
born into a House with a majority of his members devoted to one craft or
service, in his youth he petitions a Brotherhood to apprentice in a
profession that appeals to him. He may continue to serve as a teacher of
his craft as he ages or he may then retire into one of the Brotherhoods
of the Sages to better understand the mysteries of nature.
The Quentari Elf who
travels outside of her homeland for any extended lengths of time is
generally under one of three categories. Under the dictates of her
leaders, she may be spending time adventuring to hone certain skills or
gain knowledge that will be valuable to her Brotherhood or House once
she returns. Or the Quentari Elf may have such a crisis of purpose or
identity that she is taking leave of her society in order to find her
“true calling,” with or without the consent of her Elders. The last
option is that the Quentari Elf has been so dishonored that she has been
stripped of her House identity and exiled from Quentari. A Quentari
expatriate is still likely to hold to the values with which he was
raised and look for individuals to associate with who are worthy of his
Quentari Elves value
honor and personal integrity.
Quentari Elves have a
strict ethic of honor, which generally means holding one’s word once
given, especially if sworn on one’s spirit-name. Once a Quentari Elf
agrees to do something, she dedicates her time and energy to seeing it
done thoroughly and effectively. The Quentari are not quick to blame
others for their failures, but accept their mistakes as either an error
in their own judgment or a lack of skill. Quentari Elves who establish
lives outside of their homeland often consider themselves wiser than
their non-Elven friends, so may often hold themselves responsible for
any failing on their friends part where the Elf did not advise or warn
A Quentari Elf never
compromises his own deepest convictions. In order to live harmoniously,
a Quentari believes that one’s actions should be in alignment with one’s
heart and spirit. When a Quentari remains in inner balance, he gains
confidence and is beyond reproach by all but his Elders.
The Quentari Elves
seek to perfect and elevate every action into an art-form.
The Quentari seek to
better the world through bettering themselves, which means devotion to
whatever craft or skills they have chosen. It is a Quentari belief that
any trade can and should be honed to that of an art, whether it be
magic, swordsmanship, blacksmithing, or gardening. The Elves take great
pride in achieving mastery in their chosen disciplines, and will devote
a great deal of time to practice until they appear to perform gracefully
and effortlessly. No matter the station of a Quentari Elf within their
society, Elves who demonstrate excellence in their profession are
accorded honor and respect.
Even the expression of
emotions are channeled and refined into art such as debate, poetry,
sculpture, song, and dance. Quentari art tends to mimic the natural
world, and often the Elves will use natural imagery in their works.
Every day objects used by the Quentari are formed and decorated to
appeal aesthetically to the Elven eye, with organic shapes and curving
lines. Subtle nuances are often included in anything crafted by the
Quentari, and it usually takes more than one glance or read to
appreciate the details.
Quentari Elf Roleplaying Tips (Out-of-Game Section)
Always have your
prosthetic elf-ears on. Elves are a make-up race, and therefore
people who play Quentari Elves need to wear a pair of prosthetic
elf-ears on at all times while in game. The Quentari are very proud of
their heritage and their race, and to hide one’s ears under a hat,
scarf, or bandana is considered uncouth.
Carry yourself with
grace and dignity. Far more than fine clothing, one’s
demeanor sets one apart from the shorter-lived races. Quentari Elves
should seek to radiate an air of confidence and propriety. You will
often appear to less cultured people as aloof, even “stuck up”, but that
is because you exhibit a refinement of character that they lack.
Think in the
long-term. Elves expect to live hundreds of years, and therefore
they often consider how their actions will have effects in the distant
future. For this reason, Elves are rarely given to momentary
temptations that would compromise their long-term goals. They are
patient and take their time in making decisions.
Your respect is
given to non-Elves only when earned. To the Quentari, few of the
shorter-lived races such as humans, halflings, half-orcs, and gypsies
have a strong sense of purpose or deep convictions. It is a person who
acts on their convictions and has a strong code of conduct who earns
respect of Quentari Elves more than individuals who are “wishy-washy,”
or given to succumbing to their base and immediate desires. Rather than
point out flaws of others, the Quentari tend to ignore people that are
below their interests.
Quentari Views on Other
Wild Elves. When
the Elves first walked upon Tyrra, these cousins of the Quentari Elves
never organized themselves beyond a loose clan-like structure, instead
preferring to live closer to nature. While Quentari see these Elves as
“uncivilized,” they may appreciate Wild Elves keen instincts and their
intimate understanding of the forest.
Given the rigidity of Quentari society, there are times when entire
Quentari Houses leave the Quentari homeland in order to seek freedom and
opportunity for themselves. Also great political turbulence can often
lead to one or more of the Houses departing or being exiled from
Quentari. These Houses often find forests in other places of Tyrra to
develop their own unique culture over time, and many have existed for
thousands of years. While the Quentari generally respect Wood Elves and
feel a close affinity with them, they will sometimes feel that these
kindred are “orphans” who have lost a part of their heritage.
These distant cousins share a similar social structure to the Quentari,
and the Stone Elves’ reserve, propriety, and desire for knowledge are
respected. However, the general acceptance of Stone Elves of chaotic
“battle magic” has been a point of contention between the two cultures,
and a Quentari may be suspicious of the Stone Elves’ mental abilities
and their ethical use.
Because of the conflicts the Quentari have had with Dark Elves in the
past, there is an inherent distrust the Quentari hold for Dark Elves.
Even when encountering them in human kingdoms, some Quentari show open
distain for them. A few Quentari may inclined to give the “benefit of
the doubt” to individual Dark Elves they may meet, especially when the
Dark Elf is known to live with a strict code of personal honor or the
necessity of a common goal bands a Dark Elf and Quentari Elf together.
Mystic Wood Elves.
The Quentari often have a difficult time understanding the
passionate ways of Mystic Wood Elves, but do appreciate their dedication
to crafts. A Mystic Wood Elf who makes foolish decisions by acting
rashly and for the moment is sure to earn distain from a Quentari Elf,
while those Mystic Wood Elves who share the wisdom of their travels are
Barbarians. The Quentari view
Barbarians as uncivilized and violent, with their only saving grace
being their connection with nature through their clan’s animal totem and
the ceremonies and mystical knowledge of their shamans.
Biata. As the
Biata currently exist in lesser numbers than the Elves, few Quentari
have met Biata. Those Quentari who have met them may appreciate the
Biata’s purposefulness to life even if they are cautious in regards to
the Biata’s mental abilities. As the Biata are among the longer-lived of
Tyrra’s gifted races, the Elves share some of the same outlook on the
passage of time as the Biata.
Quentari often find the mannerisms of Dwarves to be a bit too loud and
abrasive for their liking; however the Elves tolerate this because their
trade with the Dwarves provides them with the metal, gems, and ores that
the Quentari refuse to mine in any quantity from their own pristine
land. While the Elves have their own master craftspeople, they
appreciate the Dwarven pride in creating quality work.
Gorbe. This race
of cat-people live in the land of Myrr to the west of Quentari. The
Elves find little in common with these felinoids, including their wide
acceptance of chaotic “battle magic,” and the Gorbe’s practice of
passionate, nomadic lifestyle of the Gypsies is utterly foreign to
Quentari Elves, and so it is rare that the Quentari seek out the company
of these wanderers. Often, only the elders of the gypsy clans who have
matured beyond acting on impulse and can temper their “gypsy passion”
will show enough discipline and wisdom for a Quentari Elf to wish to
keepa gypsy’s company.
Half-Orcs. It is
rare for a Quentari to meet one of the Half-Orcs and even rarer to
willingly share close quarters with one of them. The Quentari consider
them little more than monsters, and will rarely come to their aid or
Quentari Elves generally distain the war-like ways and crude manners of
the Half-Ogres and refuse to deal with them unless it is necessary. The
company of a single half-ogre who shows himself to have adopted some of
the civilized ways and mores of human society may be tolerated company,
and perhaps viewed in the same amusement as an exotic animal who has
Quentari have traded with the Hoblings for many hundreds of years for
the wheat flour and other agricultural goods that does not grow within
the Elves forested homelands. The Quentari generally appreciate the
social harmony the Hoblings foster in their own communities, even if
they consider these “halflings” to be unsophisticated bumpkins. Quentari
Elves tend to believe Hoblings adventurers will often take to trickery
Humans. Of all
the non-Elven races upon Tyrra, humans provide the most fascination to
the Quentari, precisely because of their “potential” as individuals and
as a civilization. Unlike the other shorter-lived races that have
settled into their ways, humans have a vast variety in their individual
temperaments and their societies; many Quentari feel the desire to guide
humanity to improve itself. At the same time, humans remind Quentari
Elves of the freedoms to shape one’s own destiny, and that provides a
subtle but powerful allure for a Quentari Elf to break from his homeland
and set out on a unique path.
Quentari Elves view scavengers as living on the edge of civilized
society, who often make up their own rules and ignore the law in order
to serve their individual selfish needs. As most scavengers are not
given to scholarly pursuits, the Quentari find little need or desire to
speak with them.
Coming Forth From the Twilight: How the Quentari
Came to Be
by the Sage Lomannon Tirithion:
In the mists are the origins of our people, the Elves. From across
the expanses of the multiverse they came, those of radiance in battle
with the ones of darkness. Their war had always been and would always
be, and their eternal conflict came to the lands of Tyrra. Both the
shining ones and the shadowed ones possessed powers unknown to any of
the beasts of Tyrra, and with their magics and their terrible beauty the
Visitors lorded over the earth, sky, and seas. They needed no food, nor
drink, nor rest, for the Visitors were immortal.
It came to be in their battles that the brilliant ones chased their
enemies into the refuge of the shadows, deep underground into the very
hearts of mountains. For centuries and centuries they fought in those
caverns that seemingly had no end, abandoning the surface of Tyrra to
the elemental forces. After battling within the earth for many
centuries, the radiant and the shadowed felt for the first time the need
for rest. Their magic faded in their hands, and they desired sleep.
There soon came the time when both forgot the urge to war upon each
other. The Visitors were transformed; now mortal, they became enthralled
to the passage of Time.
Bewildered and confused, the shining people struck an accord to leave
the underground to the dark ones. They then emerged onto the surface of
Tyrra and wandered for many years, where they first came to understand
themselves as Elves. As they wandered, they formed into clans. Some of
the clans chose to disperse across Tyrra, seeking their own unique
fates. The Elves harbored a great fear within their spirits, for they no
longer possessed the power to return to their timeless home, and the
spirits of their dead found no place of eternal peace.
Under the Fornarl clan our people mustered what magic was still left
to us, and we defended ourselves against the dangers that threatened our
fragile lives and spirits. Upon the darkest night of the year a great
being, whose name is not spoken, took pity upon us and gifted to the
Elves a magical Seed. The Giftgiver then sought the Elder of the Ar-Din
clan, and instructed him how to guide our people by the light of the
stars to the forest destined to be our home.
For three cycles of the moon we traveled by the guidance of the
Ar-Din until we came into a great forest. Where a spring fed a pool of
water open to the sky, the Elders gathered every one of our people. In
the Seed the Elder held in her hands was a reflection of each one of the
Elves gathered. As we planted the seed in the rich soil beside the
spring with a ceremony taught us by the Giftgiver, a new strength of
spirit grew in each of us.
Within a year, the Seed grew into a Great Tree of silver branches and
golden leaves, and we tended to the Tree’s prosperity, for we understood
that our connection to Tyrra was dependant upon the continued life of
the Great Tree and the forest. From visions of wisdom gained by the
Elders while in the shade of the Great Tree, we became the Quentari and
grew into a nation.
Another legend recorded by the Brotherhood Nornoquen:
There was once a star, and upon her journeys in the velvety deep of
the night sky this star saw her reflection upon the water of Tyrra, For
the first time, she recognized her own shining beauty and felt a desire
to draw closer and know more of herself. She sang a song of love to the
waters, and her song made the very sky tremble, and caused her to fall
from the heavens.
Her light was quenched in the water, and she contracted to a seed.
The seed drifted upon the water until it came to land, where it took
root and grew into a magnificent tree with silver bark and golden
The Shining Tree flowered and bore numerous kinds of fruit and nut.
When one kind of fruit ripened and fell onto the earth, the fruit was
transformed into the first of the Elven people, the Quentari Elves.
The Elves learned to speak the language of the wind through her
branches, and learned the wisdom of the heavens, the waters, and the
earth. They gathered the multitude of seeds fallen from the Shining Tree
and planted the first ancient grove.
The Quentari have never forgotten that they are the children of the
stars and the kindred of the trees.
Lastly, a popular tale of many variations:
say, at the dawn of time, when Tyrra was newborn and wild, a Great
Dragon came from across the void. Emanating a light of Her own, She
gazed upon this primordial wonder. For millennia, She watched Tyrra
mature: the birth of rivers and lakes, the tremors and jutting of
mountains, and then finally the blossoming of green and growing things
from her light. She found such beauty there that She named Tyrra her
home, and soon birthed a clutch of children deep in earth's belly.
Children She birthed were all different from one another, each colored
in only one of a multitude of hues, though all were equal in their
Mother's eyes. They took joy in exploring their differences and were
close companions beside their Mother. Yet as the Children grew and the
novelty of each other faded, they began to long for something more; in
their restlessness, they bickered. Finally they parted company and
sought their own refuges across the face of Tyrra.
Children tested their own powers by drawing forth the raw energies of
Tyrra to their own ends, until Tyrra threatened to undo herself under
the strain of the Children's demands. The Mother, seeking to limit the
destructive nature of her Children, plucked her own scales and buried
them deep where Tyrra was the most vulnerable, sheltering Tyrra from Her
Children's ravaging. Exhausted from her work, She coiled herself around
Tyrra and slept, the few remnants of scales still upon her form shining
in the deep blackness of the night sky.
that She took from her breast was of the greatest magic, and She wept in
pain and sorrow when She pulled it from her body. From where She had
embedded it into Tyrra, her tears pooled into this scale. Eventually,
the roots of sapling began to feed from the pool. Soon enough, the
sapling matured and the first of its seeds fell into the shining
tear-water. From the seeds emerged the first of the Elvenkind.
appearance of these magic-born beings stirred the curiosity of the
Children. With the Mother in slumber, some of the Children vied for the
friendship of the Elvenkind, even claiming the Elves as their own
creation. Some of the Children grew jealous of these Secondborn for
their beauty, and sought ways to destroy them. Eventually, these
struggles caused Elvenkind to be splintered across Tyrra. Then because
even the Firstborn needed rest, they left the Elves to survive on their
own with all the other races that soon populated Tyrra. The Mother still
The Expansion of Quentari Society
With a recognized ruling House and a homeland, the Quentari Elves
established settlements and began cultivating what was to become the
Quentari culture. Though superior magics and tactics, the Quentari
Elves drove all manner of monstrous creatures from the forests for the
Elves to claim as their own. At this time in Quentari history, the
forests stretch nearly uninterrupted for hundreds of miles across the
continent of Avalon. This era is known as the Twilight Spans.
Given a vision from the Great Tree, sometimes called by the Quentari the
“Ancient Mother Tree,” House Ar-Din chose for the Quentari capital where
the oldest and stoutest of trees grew in the Taursiloriel, and named
this settlement Din-Oth. With great magics the trees became even stouter
and taller, strong enough for the Elves to build their city within the
boughs of the oaks. The home of House Ar-Din was crafted within the
center of Din-Oth, and Quentari grew great as a nation.
As the Quentari formed new settlements in the forests, the ruling
Quentari Monarch charged certain Elves as leaders and protectors of
these new communities, and these Elven clans became the first noble
Houses of Quentari. One such group traveled far to the east and settled
in the Ash Forest, cohabiting with a Wild Elf population. Upon
establishing their own home, these clans decided to break away from the
singular rule of House Ar-Din. Rather than declare war upon their own
kin, the Quentari blessed the future of the Amani Elves and gave a gift
of the first seed of the Great Tree to plant within the Ash Forest.
In the coming centuries, the Quentari met with other gifted races upon
Tyrra, including the Dwarves. While distrustful of each other at first,
the Elves and Dwarves found a common enemy in the trolls that had been
driven out of the underground by the Dwarves and were now set on
attacking Elven settlements. These battles with the trollish clans have
been named the Troll Wars.
As the Quentari collected and recorded thousands of years of knowledge,
wisdom, and history, it became of concern to the leaders of the Elven
people that their written knowledge be preserved in a place guarded from
fire and destruction. Quentari’s Dwarven allies lead an expedition into
the Greenmarch Mountains, and there the dwarves taught the Elves to hewn
and carve stone. In the heights overlooking a mountainous lake, the
Quentari established Helevorn to be a storehouse of Quentari knowledge
and the center of Quentari scholarly learning. The greatest secrets of
Elven magic were safeguarded in the Black Tower of Helevorn.
Alliance with Evendarr
For many millennia, the
Quentari Elves had occasional contact with humans who passed through the
edges of Quentari territory. With the Quentari Elven culture in its
prime, the nomadic and semi-nomadic human tribes that wandered into the
Elven homelands were thought simply another warlike and barbaric race
and worthy of little attention.
However, in a short
order of time by Elven standards, the human societies surrounding their
lands became more adept at the arts of magics, built permanent
settlements, and lived in complex city-states that dotted the perimeter
of the Elven homelands. The Elves made diplomatic gestures to many of
these fledgling kingdoms, but were always wary of human motivations,
especially their greed for riches and power. A few of Quentari Elves
even sought out the distant empires and kingdoms to the north and west
of the Taursiloriel, wanting to see for themselves the great societies
that humans could build and let dissolve into chaos all in the matter of
an Elven lifetime.
One such newly founded
kingdom was the Kingdom of Evendarr to the east. In the battles against
the elemental destruction still prevalent between the First and Second
Dark Wars, the Quentari Elves found the Evendarrians to be allies worthy
of some trust. At the invitation of the Evendarrian Royal Academy of
Magic in the town of Cwyll, several Quentari Arch-Mages were granted
leave by the Elven King Elenaro to share knowledge with the Evendarrian
wizards. In 288 Loa Elenaro (228 E.R.), Princess Marieden married the
widower King Lawrence Endarr I; after his death, Queen Marieden ruled
Evendarr for several years until her abdication to her step-son, Prince
Ulson Endarr III.
Good relations between
the Quentari and the Evendarrians continued until King Elenaro’s
disappearance at the end of the Second Dark War, which then became more
strained under the regency of the Regent-Protector Arienwen.
The Dark Wars
In the seventh century
of King Galavier’s rule, a great influx of elementals came to Tyrra and
wreaked destruction upon much of the continent of Avalon. To the
Quentari Elves, this was the First Dark War. Much of the forested lands
once populated by Quentari settlements were razed and scorched. Over
half of Quentari’s population was lost to these powerful and devastating
The Quentari army, lead
by the Elven King and the Crown Prince Elenaro, held the last of the
defensive lines along the Greenmarch Mountains and on the borders of the
Taursiloriel. King Galavier fell in a battle against the first leader of
the Destruction elementals, Gurthaiya. The elemental attacks then
lessoned, perhaps due to the loss of the elementals’ warlord, perhaps
due to some secretive magics woven in Helevorn, or perhaps due to the
encroachment of other races’ armies who launched attacks on the
Before the Quentari
Elves had a chance to rebuild and their forest homelands could regrow,
the elementals regrouped under the command of another powerful being of
Destruction known as Guxx Unfadoo. The uprising in attacks began the
Second Dark War. In final defense of Quentari, King Elenaro wielded a
great magical weapon, the Haran Gurthol, against Guxx. In the
battle that destroyed Guxx, the King’s spirit became imprisoned in the
protective amulet he wore, and no one knew of his plight for
Also lost in the final battle was
Janithil “Janus” Dolumbar, one of the elite military corps who served
the Royal House in the First and Second Dark Wars. Instead of meeting
his final death, Janus was corrupted by the elemental magics, and would
eventually manifest as the second incarnation of Guxx four-hundred years
The Regency of
Regent-Protector Arienwen Cyllinith
After King Elenaro’s
disappearance after the Second Dark War, the scholars and mages of
Quentari began an exhaustive search for their missing Monarch. In the
year of his disappearance, the Arch-Mages and astrologers determined
that the King was still alive, but unlocatable. With the consort Queen
Curille having mysteriously departed Quentari a few years earlier, and
the Royal Heir to Quentari, Bereth Tarillen Ar-Din, driven into
hiding far from Quentari in the continuing elemental attacks which
assaulted and crippled her war band, the high council
named Curille’s mother, Arienwen
Cyllinith, who was head of Celestial Magics at Helevorn, as the
Arienwen’s regency of
four-hundred years marked a period of conservatism and isolationism for
the Quentari. In the need to preserve the Quentari Elves as a nation,
most of the noble Houses became deeply concerned with maintaining the
purity of the bloodlines of the Elven race. Many markets and trade
routes were closed to foreigners. Elves born of unions with other races,
most especially humans, and those Elves who chose to engender children
with a mate of another race, were shunned from Quentari society. This
included Princess Tarillen, who was banished from Quentari by
Arienwen for bearing twins to Sir Arnole Thorngarr of Evendarr during
her time in hiding. After Tarillen’s banishment, Prince Mirtaur, the
eldest of Elenaro’s twin sons was named the Royal Heir. Also under
Arienwen, the handful of non-Elven settlements once recognized and
sheltered under Quentari law and protection found themselves without
support, including the Gorbe settlement of Padash.
Upon his rescue from
the amulet and his return to Quentari in 650 LE (590 E.R.), King Elenaro
granted the rulership of Quentari to his son Mirtaur, believing his
nation to be better stewarded under his son’s care. Soon after, King
Richard of Evendarr named Elenaro an honorary Prince of his kingdom,
placing Elenaro in the line of royal succession. However, both upon
Mirtaur’s insistence and upon the voices of the Royal Council and the
noble Houses, Elenaro once again assumed the throne of Quentari in 593
E.R. Since returning to his throne, King Elenaro has welcomed foreigners
again to his kingdom. He has also journeyed to the Duchy of Ashbury by
request of the Amani Arch-Wizard Zalinarik to aid in the planting of
another Spirit Tree within the Amani Forest.
Rising of Niman
In the first century of
Arienwen’s Regency and in the wake of the Dark Wars, a new human nation
began to form out of the remnants of the Hadran Empire to the north of
Quentari. In the lands that had once stood the forest of Nimn, the
Kingdom of Niman grew in power and wealth through the legalized use of
slaves for their farming and trade. Despite Quentari efforts to better
patrol their borders along the Rinter River and Green Mountains, many
Elves disappeared from their settlements, believed by the Quentari to
have been captured by the Nimani.
Although open warfare
never came to fruition between Quentari and Niman, as kidnappings
sanctioned by the Nimani government could never be proven, the Elves
retaliated in their own secretive ways. When political tensions may have
escalated enough for the Quentari to declare war, the Kingdom of Niman
became a Duchy within the Kingdom of Evendarr in 559 LE (499 E.R), thus
gaining political protection under the alliance Evendarr shared with the
Quentari nation. The Duke of Niman, an unnaturally long-lived human
named Vordan Nicodaemus, is considered by most of the Quentari Elves as
a nefarious man who has dealings with greater undead and condones the
kidnapping of Elves and others to use as slaves.
In the Spring 664 LE
(604 E.R.) Niman declared a shift from legalized slavery to one of
indentured servitude, whereby a person owed service under the terms of a
contract rather than by ownership. However, most Quentari Elves remain
suspicious of the fairness of these “contracts” and think it of little
improvement from institutionalized slavery.
Enemies of Quentari
Tarlov Ghosthand. One of the human Sorcerer-Kings before the
founding of the Kingdom of Evendarr, Tarlov was devoted to battling the
elementals, but corrupted himself through the arcane magics he used to
fight against them. Being made aware of his evil, King Galavier, other
powerful Quentari mages, and many Unicorns imprisoned Tarlov in the
mountains of Volta. Tarlov remained locked away for a thousand years
before the magical prison weakened, in part from Tarlov’s capture of
King Elenaro, who used the power residing in the King to weaken his
Chains. In 658 L.E., nobles and adventurers summoned to the Evendarrian
Duchy of Volta used the weapon called the “Doom of Ghosthand” in
conjunction with a great ceremony to destroy Tarlov.
Calypso Sakalid. Once a Baron of Quentari, Sakalid’s scholarly
obsessions with the powers of resurrection lead to a magical accident
that then transformed him into a Liche. Sakalid terrorized the citizens
of the Evendarrian Duchy of Ravenholt until his destruction with the
assistance of one of the Fae Folke known as “Jack’a’Roe.”
Pantherghasts. Rumored to have been the creation of a Dragon who
wished to cull the numbers of the Elves as they flourished in the
Twilight Spans, these magically summoned creatures have special
abilities and powers that make them deadly against Elves and no other
race. While a Patherghast on the hunt is unable to effectively harm one
of the non-Elven races, likewise the non-Elven find that their weapons
and spells can do little harm the Patherghast. Since the last shifts in
the magics of the Great Cycle, Pantherghasts may be summoned against any
race should the mage have the proper formal magic scroll.
The structure of
Quentari society is organized chiefly into extended family Houses, with
the Houses each being ranked according to the honorable station and
historical achievements of the House. In conjunction with familial
Houses, each Quentari is expected to apprentice within and to join a
vocational Brotherhood upon adulthood. It takes a noble decree by a Duke
or higher to form or dissolve a House or Brotherhood. The greater honor
a House achieves within Quentari society, the more luxuries are afforded
to them. The greater success a Brotherhood shows in dedication to their
craft or service, the more Quentari society patronizes them. Prestige is
the coin by which Quentari society operates, and greater resources come
to those who are shown to be dedicated to their vocation and the
betterment of their community.
Most members of a
Quentari House specialize in a single trade or a closely-knit collection
of trades, and so there is often great overlap between House membership
and membership within a vocational Brotherhood. These Brotherhoods are
akin to the guilds of other Tyrran societies, but are more widespread in
Quentari society. Individual entrepreneurial endeavors are unheard of in
Quentari society, as this person will not be patronized; innovation must
be grounded within an established and sanctioned professional
Brotherhood. Some Brotherhoods, such as the Orders of elite military
forces, refuse to accept any initiates that are not born to a select
number of highly honored Houses. Sometimes there may be a single
Brotherhood with dominion over a single trade or service, but more than
often not, there are multiple Brotherhoods for a single trade.
The first groups of
vocational Brotherhoods are those that provide the raw goods and
materials to the populations, such as fishers, hunters, and gardeners.
Each of these Brotherhoods work with the noble Houses to determine how
much they can harvest from the land and waters, thus protecting future
supplies from over-depletion. These Brotherhoods are also the traders of
the Quentari people, and make trade bargains with outsiders in
consultation with the ruling Mayor on behalf of the entire community.
Members within these Brotherhoods gain honor within society by being
careful stewards to the land and collecting quality base materials, or
being shrewd but honest traders. Often Quentari who have lost honor and
are ejected from a more prestigious Brotherhood find places within these
A significant number of
Brotherhoods are those of the craftsmen, those who take the raw
materials and transform them through skill into usable goods. This
includes artisans of all kinds: blacksmiths, weavers, tailors,
carpenters, armorers, furniture makers, jewelers, vintners, and
perfumers. The greatest of the artisan Brotherhoods are patronized by
the noble Houses and elite military Orders. Members of these
Brotherhoods may travel abroad looking for new crafting techniques or
materials. A very few members of the most noted Brotherhoods are
permitted to travel and merchant freely for part of the year.
A third group of
Brotherhoods are those that provide some sort of service to the
Quentari. These Brotherhoods closely resemble the structure of
Evendarrian Guilds, with chief Brotherhoods focusing on scholarship,
magic, and learning. These Brotherhoods are centered in Helevorn and
their members are teachers at the Elven Institute of Learning and Magic.
Members of these Brotherhoods are the teachers and the researchers of
the Quentari people, but they are also the Sages and guardians of secret
forest groves, the musicians that compose ethereal music, and the
hostellers that offer shelter to outsiders.
Brotherhoods are the Orders of the King’s elite forces. Entrance into
these military Orders is for a lifetime and is highly restricted to all
but the members of the most honorable and proven of Houses.
The only group of Elves
that are unaffiliated with a Brotherhood are the Quentari who serve in
the Elven nation’s standing army. Many Quentari Elves will serve for a
few years within the military sometime in their life. There are also a
number of Houses that are fully devoted to raising their children to
serve their lifetime military.
The highest rank of
Houses comprise of the Quentari nobility. Many members of these Houses
are not expected to inherit noble title themselves will often become a
leader in the Quentari military or serve as ambassadors. These Elves are
the life-long diplomats who oversee the harmony of their domains. The
noble class handles disputes between Houses and Brotherhoods. At the top
of all Quentari society is Royal House of Ar-Din, where all the Monarchs
come forth to lead the Quentari.
[OOG note: Quentari
nobles and the ranks of the Quentari military elite Orders are reserved
for NPC’s only, as per NERO International policy on PC creation.]
There is no servant
class in Quentari, unlike most of the societies on Tyrra, and in deep
contrast to the institution of slavery in the neighboring Evendarrian
Duchy (once independent Kingdom) of Niman. The younger Elves who have
yet to reach the age of apprenticeship are given most of the household
chores to do in addition to their schoolings, and the children of the
highly honored military Houses will often serve as pages in courts of
the noble Houses for several years.
Individual Mobility in Quentari Society
While the ranks of the
Houses are very rigid, individual Elves in Quentari society have several
ways of improve their status through life-mating or a membership within
a vocational Brotherhood.
Firstly, they can
petition a Brotherhood to accept them into their numbers. This occurs
either when an Elf wishes to undergo training in a profession, or they
have been dishonored and thus are rejected and stripped of membership by
their current Brotherhood and are seeking another way of life. In
instances where an Elf is trying to move “up” the ranks, the
Brotherhoods have tests or trail periods to see if a potential candidate
is suitable for membership.
Similarly, an Elf may
be stripped of her House affiliation because of a grave misdeed, and
often the only option left to the Elf is to find a House of lower status
to be adopted into, if she chooses to remain in Quentari society at all.
Secondly, an Elf may
change Houses through life-mating. In Quentari society, one personally
chooses one’s life-mate, and the life-mate of lesser status joins the
House of the life-mate with greater status. Elves that join a House
through marriage are rarely privileged with authority within the House,
however, and will often take a supportive role. Many Houses are
concerned with maintaining racial purity, and will only allow their
members to life-mate or bear children to another Quentari Elf.
It is widely held that
Elves who have become Elves through race-change cannot legitimately
claim to be Quentari Elves unless they have been adopted by a Quentari
House and also participate in Quentari society. Most Elders believe that
an Elf needs the equivalent of 50 years of training and enculturation
before an Elf can be considered a full Quentari citizen.
Quentari Elven Life-Span
For the first ten years
of their life, Quentari Elves age in similar rate to humans, however
after that time, the Quentari aging process steadily slows until
reaching maturity. After an Elf becomes an adult, they age at a fairly
constant rate. Because of the vast amount of years Quentari live, they
tend to mark time in ten year increments known as “spans” rather than in
Stage Human Equivalent
0-3 Infant 0-2
4-7 Toddler 3-5
8-20 Child 6-8
21-60 Adolescent 9-13
61-90 Puberty 14-19
91-200 Young Adult 20-30
201-300 Mature 31-40
301-400 Middle Aged 41-60
401-500 Old 61-90
Venerable 91 +
It is rare for a
Quentari Elf to live beyond their sixth or seventh century, although
reputed use of great and ancient magics that are beyond the capabilities
of all but the most powerful of arch-wizards have the effect of
extending lifetimes even beyond a millennia.
Love, Affection, and the Quentari Heart
relationships of Quentari Elves are complex and often misunderstood by
non-Elven races. As the Elves live in extended households, the task of
childrearing is shared among the child’s parents, the siblings and
cousins who have not yet reached adulthood, and the venerable Elders who
have retired from their profession. Therefore, a Quentari Elf grows up
with social connections and affections shared with many others, not just
one’s immediate siblings and parents.
While Quentari Elves
are open with their affections to those with whom they share an
emotional connection, they are not promiscuous for the sake of physical
pleasure. Love is idealized as a harmonizing influence for one’s spirit,
one’s heart, and one’s body, and a Quentari should seek out a lover that
offer enrichment to all three. As with all aspects of their lives, the
Quentari tend to be artful in their romances. Elves do not consider sex
to be a taboo subject, but to be discussed both rationally and with
typically have their first romances while they are being schooled with
children from other Houses in their apprenticeships to their
Brotherhoods. The Elders teach the children to treat their lovers with
respect and caring and encourage youthful trysts as a way for the
children to emotionally mature and to discover their own preferences. In
Quentari courtships, either person may approach the other with their
romantic intent, regardless of their gender. Sometimes a romantic
encounter lasts only a few months, or sometimes the two Elves remain
lovers for a lifetime.
When two Quentari Elves
have forged a deep and lasting connection and engage in love-making,
they will often recognize “lovemating,” between them. The lovemates have
no formal obligations to each other, but simply honor the mutual love
they share. Once love is recognized in such a manner, the Quentari
believe there will always be a bond between the two, even if
circumstances cause the love-mates to part ways. Ever keeping with
maintaining Quentari dignity, there is rarely open acts of animosity
should a romance turn stale. Should this happen, the parted lovers often
return special tokens of affection to one another, recount the more
special moments of their shared time, and part quietly.
From a Quentari Chronicler:
Spirit-bonding is a phenomenon peculiar to Elves and half-Elves who
take after their long-lived parent. The moment when spirit-bonding
happens is called “The Drowning Gaze,” for it is realized that
when two Elves look into another’s eyes, they spontaneously feel an
extremely strong urge to be close and engage in love-making. Many
believe this is nature’s way of ensuring the survival of the Elven race,
as it has been observed that children born of it are generally more fit
and gifted than others.
When a spirit-bonding happens with two who already love one another,
it is a cause for joy and celebration, and the two will usually join in
the union of Lifemating, which will mature into a deep and close love.
For two who do not care for one another or may be enemies, the
bond may be resisted and broken through effort of will over many months’
An Elf can only be spirit-bonded with one other Elf at a time. The
bond may be broken by a continued effort of will or the permanent death
of one of the couple. A second spirit-bonding is possible, but this may
not happen again for years, if ever. Spirit-bonding is different from
Lifemating, and it is possible for one’s Lifemate and partner to
spirit-bond to someone else. In this instance and always in Quentari
culture, any child begotten of the female Elf is accepted into the
Lifemated family, regardless of progeneration. However, emotions run
rampant, and depending on the personalities and open-mindedness of the
involved, jealousy and denial of either the Lifemating or the
spirit-bonding may occur.
Union of Lifemating
Should two Quentari
Elves decide to form a life-long commitment to each other, they may
forge the bonds of “Lifemating”. This Lifemating is similar to human
marriage in that parentage of children between the two Elves is shared,
and that the two Lifemates share the same household. In Lifemating,
one of the partners joins the other in their House, depending on which
House is more highly honored in Quentari society. Some Houses are more
conservative than others, and while joining in the union of Lifemating
is a decision ultimately made by two willing Quentari Elves, many Houses
emphasize blood purity and House prestige in what is an “acceptable”
choice for a Lifemate.
As the Quentari welcome
Elven children conceived out of the bonds of union, less than half of
Quentari Elves ever take a Lifemate, and it is considered an optional
path to Quentari life. Two Elves of the same sex may choose to Lifemate,
and any Elven children conceived of female Elves are considered to be
children of that union and of their House, no matter who the male
When a Quentari Elf
chooses to take a Lifemate, it is a serious commitment, for the two
Lifemates now share the same personal honor as if they were one
individual. Once a Lifemating ceremony is completed, the two Elves are
bound together for the rest of their shared lives. There is no divorce.
Therefore, the decision to take a Lifemate is not made lightly, and the
Lifemates will often consider other factors than their affection for
each other before entering into the union. Lifemating in such a manner
is only recognized by Quentari society when it is forged between two
Quentari Elves. An Elf who wishes to become a part of Quentari society
in order to enter into Lifemating must undergo a sponsored period of
training in Quentari ways before she is “adopted” into a House and into
Quentari society. Many Houses will disown their family member if he
enters into any other form of marriage or pledged union with one of the
non-Elven races, including humans.
The Ceremony of
Lifemating may be a very elaborate ceremony or very simple. The two
being joined offer poetic vows to each other, one version being:
you, [Name], as my Lifemate.
be forever first in my heart, and I in yours.
I defend as my own, and your honor is entwined with
until our spirits both find their peace in the Elder Wood.
is as strong as the mountains, as living as the
free as the wind, and as lasting as the stars."
one of them has spoken this, together they both say:
the earth and sky, we are joined."
Childhood of Quentari Elves
Quentari children are typically conceived of Elven women between the
ages of 110 and 400 years old, although it is biologically possible as
early as 60 years old. Even when sexually active, Elven women will only
have at most three children in their lifetime. Twins are extremely rare;
and there may be a case of triplets once every thousand years. The low
birthrate contributes to the cherishing of each Elven child, even if it
is conceived out of a Lifemating. The low birthrate also makes the
Quentari very protective of their women's fertility, and any child
conceived with a non-Elven father is expected to be terminated through
use of abortive medicinals. While inter-racial sex is tolerated among
some of the more liberal Houses, for an Elf to carry a non-Elven child
to term is a disgrace and great dishonor.
Like humans, the length of an Elven pregnancy is nine months. During a
healthy pregnancy, the mother will continue with her normal duties
within her Brotherhood until she feels the first movements of the child
within her, usually during the forth or fifth month; this occasion is
marked by a ceremony, as it signals the first signs of life of the
child. From this time of stirring until she is ready for birth, the
mother is relieved from her usual duties to rest and prepare for her
role in renewing the life of her House and her society. She may make
visits to the Sages or a special grove to seek blessings as well as to
gain visions about the future fate of her child.
There are five transition points in life for the Quentari. These are:
birth, childhood, adulthood, middle age, old age, and
death or the “Passing into Paradise”.
When the time comes for the mother to give birth, a birth attendant is
summoned, and together one of the House's Elders, the attendant, and any
Lifemate aid the mother in her delivery of the child. The whole delivery
is given the air of ceremony, with chanting and special drinks to aid in
the birth. While there can be complications, it is rare that the baby is
lost and even more rare that the mother will herself die. After a
successful birth, the mother nurses the infant, and she rests. Upon the
next sunrise, the Elders present the child to the rest of the assembled
House, and the child's name is spoken aloud for the first time.
The mother spends the next year nursing her child with plenty of others
of her House assisting her with the care of her child. It is not unusual
for mother and baby to be parted for hours at a time while the mother is
involved with other activities.
A year after the child is born, the mother returns to her full duties in
her Brotherhood, and the child is given over to the House youths to be
raised. From this point onward, the mother-child relationship is
de-emphasized for a stronger connection between the child and his House.
For the first ten years of life, Elven children age at a similar rate to
human children. Early childhood is filled mostly with play among the
other children of the House. At the age of seven, the child will start
to attend formal lessons, sometimes with children from other Houses. By
the age of ten, in addition to attending classes, the child takes on the
labor necessary to the household, including minding the younger
children, cooking, and cleaning. Noble households may have pages from
lesser-ranked Houses to do the same, with the benefit being the pages
have the opportunity to attend some of the same lessons and be exposed
to court life. The time of early youth between the ages of ten and forty
are the most humble of a Quentari Elf's life, where they essentially are
servants to their House.
Sometime in their mid-twenties, the young Elves are counseled to select
a vocational path but are also continually exposed to a wide variety of
skills and crafts, in order so the Houses Elders may determine where the
young Elf may contribute the best to her society. By forty, each youth
is apprenticed into a vocational Brotherhood. This "apprenticeship"
typically lasts for 50 years: forty years before the summer rite that
marks them for adulthood, and then ten years after. If it proves
beneficial to their craft, some Elves are sent away from Quentari into
the wider world during their time of apprenticeship in order to gain
experiences that are not as easily available in the current peace and
prosperity of the Quentari Elven nation.
For Elves who decide on a military career instead of apprenticeship, the
youths enter the Quentari Military Academy. Those destined for
scholarly pursuits enroll in one of the programs of the Elven Institute
of Learning and Magic in the city of Helevorn. Once Elves of noble blood
have finished their studies in magic, diplomacy, history, and politics,
and complete a span of military service, they most often are appointed
to serve a noble of similar station. Unlike human kingdoms, there are no
idle courtiers among the Elves of the noble Houses, as they serve in
administrative capacities for those of title. Only foreign diplomatic
guests of Quentari Houses may find themselves with opportunities for
extended periods of idle leisure within the noble halls.
Quentari households are comprised of extended families, with children,
adolescents, and the Elders the most present members on a continual
basis. Most Quentari craftsmen make their home in the primary hall of
their House, with their workshops located in the same settlement.
Apprentices and adults in scholarly professions may live communally with
members of their House in salon-like academic communities. Some Elves
that dedicate themselves to wisdom, tradition, and ceremony live with
their Brotherhoods in monastic retreats or groves deep within the
forest. Members of the Quentari military rarely visit their homes unless
they are on leave of duty for injury or childbearing. The noble Houses
hold residence in the lands they steward, however each noble family
maintains suites in the King’s palace in Din-Oth.
There is no servant class in Quentari; instead, the youths and junior
apprentices are responsible for a majority of the manual labor needed to
maintain the household, including cooking, cleaning, washing, and early
child rearing. The noble Houses often arrange for youth from other
Houses to do this for them; it is considered an honor and a privilege to
work and live among the noble Houses. Once a Quentari Elf reaches the
age of 70 years, their servant status is dropped for full-time
dedication to their apprenticeships, education, and training.
Quentari make their homes high in the forest canopy built upon platforms
that are connected via a network of bridges and stairs. Where there are
no great trees for such constructions, the Quentari prefer to live with
minimal disturbance to the surroundings as possible, and will construct
homes that make use of the natural geography. All generations of a House
live collectively in one structure, where the Elders oversee the order
of the household.
The Elves have developed several methods of protecting their homes from
the ravages of fire. Rather than warm their homes using wood-burning
fires, the Quentari have long used magically-formed hearthstones to warm
their halls, which produce no smoke and will not catch the wooden
structures housing the stones aflame. In addition, fire-proofing resin
is applied to the timbers and roofing of their homes as well as to the
bark of the trees that support them.
Adulthood of Quentari Elves
Around the age of 90, if the Elf passes all tests of proficiency in the
craft of their Brotherhood, he begins the responsibilities that will be
the focus of the majority of his life. In the military, it is at this
time that oaths of service are made and they are issued their first
regular assignments. For nobles, this is when an Elf is finally granted
the privilege of position and the burden of responsibility.
Adulthood in Quentari Elves is devoted to the perfection of one’s craft.
Those who attain great achievement in their profession not only elevate
themselves in the standing of their Brotherhood and their community, but
also elevate their House’s standing in Quentari society. Likewise
laziness and lack of dedication in one Elf reflects poorly upon one’s
House and Brotherhood, and both House and Brotherhood may suffer a
decline in their status, resulting in less patronage and privileges in
their society. Therefore, it is the concern of everyone that each
individual Elf finds the profession that she or he excels at and can be
devoted to before the Elf reaches adulthood.
The adults represent
the backbone of each Brotherhood, providing the Brotherhood's dedicated
resource, trade, or service to other Quentari Elves. For the honor of
one's House and Brotherhood, each adult is expected to hone his or her
abilities to the level of an art-form. For example, it is not only the
results of a hunt which matter, but the way in which the hunt is
performed. Bows are rosined with care, ceremony performed for the
success of the hunt, and the search and pursuit of the prey performed in
the spirit of a dance.
Adulthood is also the
time that Quentari Elves are encouraged to seek out lovers for their own
emotional fulfillment and to engender the next generation of Elves. Only
about half of Quentari Elves elect to take a Lifemate, and many simply
enjoying the cycles of life in which lovers come and go in their own
Should an Elf decide to
part from the Brotherhood she originally apprenticed in as an adult and
then be admitted into another Brotherhood, much of the same teachings of
an apprenticeship and the testing must be undergone, which may last as
long as fifty years. The Elf that changes Brotherhoods is considered
like an apprentice again, who must prove her dedication to her new
Military service is
encouraged within Quentari society, and many adult Elves will seek
approval for a sabbatical from their Brotherhood in order to fill the
ranks of the Elven military for a span as a common soldier. From the
basic military training at the Quentari Military Academy, many Quentari
Elves have a foundational proficiency in weapons or magical skills.
Members of noble Houses are required to undergo military training and
active service for a ten year span before they are deemed fit for
stewardship of their people and the land.
Aging Quentari Elf
Around the age of 360 years or later, Quentari Elves "retire" from their
craft or service in order to transmit and preserve the knowledge and
wisdom gained over their lifetimes to members of their House. This is
the autumn season of an Elf’s life known as the “Autumn Years.”
From a Quentari Chronicler:
The beginning of the “Autumn Years” is not a fixed time, it is decided
by each Elf as it occurs. When they feel the time has come, close
friends and family are gathered for the Counting of Honors. For one week
they will examine and celebrate past accomplishments in the Elf's life,
as well as acts and debts of honor. Plans are made for the coming spans
to pay debts of honor and to do what is still to be done in life. Gifts
are sometimes given that are symbolic of outstanding achievements.
The last phase of a Quentari's life is called the
“Winter Spans”. This is marked by the end of fertility for women
and virility for men. Memory loss is not usual, and in fact it is at
this time in life that the most knowledge is retained.
Elves in their autumn years and winter spans become teachers of the next
generation, and the most venerated become one of the Elders of their
House. Some of the Elves who have reached middle age decide to dedicate
themselves to special Brotherhoods of the Sages. The Sages give up most
worldly concerns in order to focus on cultivating wisdom, performing
ceremonies, and serving as counselors to any who may be in personal
crisis who cannot or wish not to be guided by their Elders.
The House Elders
The Elders are the heads of the House, and make decisions regarding the
lives and honor of all the members. The Quentari honorific for an Elder
is “Wise One.” Usually, the single most highly honored Elder, the “High
Elder,” serves as the final voice among the Elders in decisions that
must be made for the benefit of the entire House. The Elders are also
the ceremonial heads of the Houses, and at least one is present at any
ceremony that involves anyone of the House, be that of a life-mating
ceremony, a seasonal celebration, or departure of one of the House
members. The Elders from each House serve on a community council for
the local noble.
The Headmasters of the Brotherhoods
One becomes the Headmaster of a Brotherhood through a lifetime of
exceptional dedication to one’s profession, usually when one is within
his or her “Autumn Years.” Each Headmaster is ultimately responsible for
the testing and training of all apprentices and members of the
Brotherhood. They are also responsible for disciplinary measures should
a member not adhere to the codes which define and shape the
Brotherhood’s place and contributions to Quentari society. It is
considered an exceptional honor to be elevated to the Headmaster of a
Brotherhood, and is accomplished by consensus of the Brotherhood’s
membership and the consent of the Quentari nobility.
Death in Quentari Society
When a Quentari Elf’s health and vitality decline at the end of his
natural life, it tends to occur rapidly and with little lingering. The
Quentari Elf’s memory and mental facilities tend to remain sharp and
active until the final few weeks of life.
From a Quentari Chronicler:
The ending of physical life is called “Passing Into Paradise.”
It is believed that a dying Elf's spirit can choose to be born as
another Elf, or to pass into Paradise. Paradise has been described as a
place that is filled with light, other spirits, and joy. It is believed
that no living Elf can truly imagine what the afterlife is truly like.
When a Quentari Elf dies permanently, a close friend or family member
wraps the nude body in a light shroud of opaque material, as a symbol
that the person is no longer there, but elsewhere. To be named in an
Elf's will as the person to wrap the body is considered a reflection of
love and trust and conveys honor on that person. During sunset of that
day, or the next day if the death occurred close to sunset, the body is
buried without a coffin in an unmarked grave. The absence of a coffin is
to insure that the body's reunion with the earth is as quick as
possible. There are times when the wrapped body is cremated on a pyre
instead of being buried. The ashes are either buried in an unmarked
grave, or scattered.
As with most other Elves, a Quentari Elf’s spirit is usually attuned to
a Spirit Tree. In every forest the Elven-kind inhabit, a Spirit Tree is
nurtured to serve as a focal point for the Elves’ ties to Tyrra. It is
believed by the Quentari that all Spirit Trees upon Tyrra today are
daughters of the original Great Tree within the Taursiloriel.
When an Elf permanently dies, if her spirit is bonded to a Spirit Tree,
her spirit joins with the spirits of other Elves in the primal graveyard
of the Elves, the Elder Wood. The Elder Wood is an embodiment of a
perfect forest, a place where Elven spirits exist in harmony and at one
with their natural surroundings. The spirits of Quentari Elves who are
not bonded to a Spirit Tree, or have achieved either great heroism or
committed great evil, may find themselves in another graveyard of the
spirits in the afterlife. Many Elves believe that an Elven spirit may
leave the graveyards if he chooses and be born once again as one of the
The native language of the Quentari Elves has evolved over millennia,
and is known to be one of the most poetic languages on Tyrra. Like water
in a forest stream, or wind through the bows of the trees, the sounds
are very fluid and full. There are several dialects of the Quentari
language. Because of increase of diplomacy with other races over the
past centuries, and the devastation of much of the Quentari way-of-life
by the Dark Wars, the common tongue is now almost exclusively used by
the Quentari while the native Elven language is reserved for ceremony,
poetry, and naming. King Elenaro has advocated the use of the common
tongue by all, especially when Quentari Elves travel in foreign lands.
Quentari Elves may have many names throughout their lifetime, taking
them and discarding them as they have meaning in each Elf’s life. It is
not unusual for an Elf to have a name given to them at birth, their
“child-name,” adopt another when they become adults at the summer rite,
and take another name entirely for traveling outside of their homeland.
Often a Quentari will also have a surname designating their House
affiliation. For Quentari Elves who have long parted from their nation,
they may take a unique surname that serves more like an epithet than a
name of House association or affiliation.
Of great importance to the Quentari is the “spirit-name,” that is
representative of an Elf’s very being. An Elf receives a spirit-name
through a private vision-quest just before his or her ceremony marking
adulthood. It is kept secret, and rarely revealed to anyone but
the most trusted of individuals, such as a Lifemate or an Elder. When an
Elf’s spirit-name is used in ceremony, oath-taking, or is evoked against
them, it is believed to have lasting consequences upon the Elf’s fate in
life and death.
communities are unique among the races of Tyrra, for all members work
cooperatively in order to provide for the basic needs of the settlement.
In place of markets when small quantities of goods are bought and
traded, each Quentari community pools staple foods and select raw
materials in a centralized system of storehouses and shares these
resources cooperatively. Each community, large and small, is expected to
be largely self-sufficient. Surpluses are not hoarded, but at the
approval and direction of the elected Mayor and the ruling Baron, these
surplus staples are traded to nearby communities for their surpluses or
donated in the case of local disaster. In this fashion, only the largest
of Elven communities have established markets for free trade, and those
markets are mostly populated by foreigners for trading to other
of artisans are granted boons by the noble Houses to craft luxury goods
for acquisition by other elite Quentari Houses or to sell to foreigners.
A majority of profit from foreign trade goes directly to the Quentari
government and is used to maintain the nation’s military and schools.
The desire for individual wealth and the practice of hoarding is
difficult for a Quentari Elves to comprehend, as they consider prestige
to be more valuable in attaining their goals. In Quentari society,
luxury is attained through excelling at one’s craft so much that it is
noticed and rewarded by community leaders.
In the forests,
Quentari homes are built above ground on large platforms supported by
the bows of the trees. These trees are often encouraged to grow thicker
and stronger by Quentari magic. Special resins are applied to the
timbers of the homes and the trees to fireproof them. There are no
quarters for foreigners to stay within the canopy; they must remain on
ground level. A Quentari House that wishes to expand their existing hall
must petition the Mayor for approval. Should a House wish to settle in
a new community, they must gain the permission of the Barons and Dukes
who hold that community in stewardship.
storehouses are often semi-underground and blend in well with the growth
of the forest floor. Baths are taken communally within springs that have
been formed from the local stone and water sources; should there be no
local stone formations, bath-houses are constructed of wood. Latrines
are also located on ground level. Most cooking is done at ground-level
kitchens to be hoisted up and delivered to the dining halls. Hand
operated pumps transport water up to the platform level on a limited
basis for drinking and light washing; there are also reserves of
rainwater collected on the canopy level as an alternative source. Even
when an Elven community is built outside of the forest, the Elves tend
to partition their communities between communal working spaces and the
greater privacy of their halls and sleeping chambers.
The close perimeters of
the communities are often guarded from strategic locations by units of
the Quentari military, as well as by moving patrols circulating the
roads and travel ways between communities. The wilderness areas where
few Quentari regularly travel are guarded by units of scouts, wardens,
Permanent earth circles are managed and maintained by mages who are
trained and supervised by Helevorn’s Collegium of Earth Magics. The
Mayor, chosen Elders of the community’s council, and select members of
the community’s guard units are also invested in the Earth Circle. Only
large settlements have a permanent celestial circle for use by selected
members of the populace, and again these circles are managed by the
Collegium of Celestial Magics. Private permanent circles and greater
wards are vary rare and require written permission of the ruling noble
of the region to cast and maintain; also there must be a ranking
military officer (be they of the Quentari Army or one of the wardens)
invested in the circle or greater ward at all times.
Quentari Ceremonial Life
Because of their
mystical connection to Tyrra, the Quentari Elves recognize that their
own health and prosperity are tied to the forest. The Elves have ever
honored that connection through ceremonies and rites that are tied
closely with the cycles of nature and the seasons. Ceremony is also a
way in which the order of Quentari society is re-affirmed. Most Quentari
have a fondness for ceremony and protocol, and therefore are at ease
with court functions in the human kingdoms.
The focus of Quentari
ceremonial life centers around the “Ancient Mother Tree,” the Great Tree
which is hidden and well-guarded deep within the forest of the
Taursiloriel. Even Elves of a different culture are rarely allowed to
gaze upon the Great Tree, and its location is kept obfuscated by the
Chosen, who are the Great Tree’s guardians.
Other groves exist in
the deep forests of Quentari, each dedicated in a unique way to
preserving the Elves’ connection with Tyrra. The acolytes and guardians
of these groves are often selected by and are at the direction of the
spirit of the grove itself. The Brotherhood or Sisterhood of the grove’s
guardians is often isolated from the rest of Elven community and
Any life transition
within a Quentari Elf’s life is celebrated by ceremony. This includes
but is not limited to his birth, coming of age, acceptance into a
Brotherhood, Lifemating, the birth of a child, reaching the age of the
Elders, and death. As each year blossoms into spring, grows during the
summer, ripens into autumn, and deepens into winter, so a Quentari Elf’s
life follows the same patterns. Often each House or Brotherhood has a
unique expression of these ceremonial transitions that relate closely to
the House’s history or the Brotherhood’s purpose within Quentari
Often a Quentari Elf
who is about to undergo a public ceremony of a life transition will seek
an understanding of the mysteries of such a transition with one of the
Quentari Sages. The ingestion of hallucinogenic substances as well as
other mind-altering techniques such as fasting, repetitive chanting and
movement are ways often employed for a Quentari Elf to seek a vision of
the deeper meaning of the transition. The Sage acts as a facilitator
and an interpreter of the Elf’s vision.
In the seasonal
ceremonies, members of Quentari communities participate in public
celebrations of the tides of the year; the Elders of each House,
nobility, Mayors, and Sages organize the ceremonies. The seasonal
celebrations occur in each community of Quentari Elves, with the largest
of celebrations being held in the capital of Din-Oth.
21st, “Year's Ending”
to the night of December 31st, “First
The events of the year are recounted by storytellers and bards in the
community. Each House then has a “Counting of Honor”, in which they
weigh the events of the year and actions of family members in terms of
honor. Honors can be varied, each depending on the focus of each Elf’s
life. For artisans, honor may come from the crafting of a masterwork;
for those in the military, honor can derive from a successful defense of
their charge. Even a successful hunt or a fruitful negotiation is a
subtle but recognized honor within Quentari society. This is an
introspective time for the Elves, and many seek the counsel of the Sages
to gain clarity on what to focus and achieve in the year ahead. The
first session of the Great Council is held in order to plan for
Quentari’s defense in the coming year. The Elders of each House elect a
new Mayor to serve the community in the coming year.
1st, “New Year's Day”:
The Year's History Book of each community, Barony, Duchy, and the
Quentari Kingdom itself is closed and a new one begun by the history
keepers. A toast is made at midnight of New Year’s Day called the “Cup
of the Year.” By drinking it, Elves symbolically accept all they have
done and all that has happened in the past year.
1st, “Cold New Sun”:
The days are noticeably longer, although it is the coldest part of the
year. This is a reminder to the Elves that they must be long-sighted
and patient in achieving their goals. Wishes for the coming year are
made by floating paper lanterns upon the nearest body of water, symbolic
of the spark of life drifting upon the passage of time. The gardeners
and those that tend to the greenery of the communities plan their
plantings for the coming year. Foodstores are inventoried and rationed
to last until summer, the workshops of the artisans are cleaned and
tools replaced, and the libraries of the scholars are dusted and
cataloged. It is a time of preparation. Known in Common as Patience
Day. Beginning of Balering (Deep-Cold).
The gardens with the Elven settlements are prepared and early plantings
made. The seeds of wild flowers are thrown into the winds to beautify
the landscape when they bloom. This is the time where winter and spring
are at odds with each other, and the Elves seek ways to inspire them to
new and greater achievements. This is a popular time for Lifemating
ceremonies to be performed as this is a day that heralds new beginnings.
Also known as the “Day of Earth-Working.”
“Songs of the Sun”:
The blossoms of trees and plants are collected for decoration. Perfumers
extract the essences and oils of the plants to include them in their
craft. Mirth and frivolity are the hallmarks of the day, and all are
encouraged to set aside their regular duties for personal indulgences.
Bardic competitions are held on this day in the Elven communities and
the Elves gather to hear the bards, who debut their new songs and seek
patronage for the coming year.
“Feast of the Summer Elves”:
The Elves who have grown to maturity (somewhere between the ages of 81
and 91) in the last year are initiated into adulthood on this day, and a
great feast is held in their honor with exotic foods and celebration. It
is the Elders of each House who decide which of their members have
achieved maturity. Casks of elderberry wine are served at the feast, and
the aphrodisiac and hallucinogenic properties of the wine are a test to
the self-control of the celebrants. Many of the Elves engage in trysts
and love-making that night as the heat of summer stirs the deep passions
of the heart. From this day on, the newly-elevated adults are
responsible for a personal Book of Honor and must contribute to Quentari
society and their community as an adult. The second session of the Great
Council is held.
The harvest of fruits, vegetables, and berries is begun. Each House
ceremonially presents a basket of harvest to the community leaders,
representative of the contribution each House and Brotherhood makes to
Quentari society. Herbs are gathered to dry in the sun for storage. It
is also called Consequence Day in the common tongue, as the heat from
the sun a reminder that consequences may linger long after any action,
and so one must think clearly before committing to a course of events.
September 21st, “Second Harvest”:
Gardens and plots that were planted in the Spring that were not
harvested at “First Harvest” are harvested for grains and the last of
the vegetables. The beekeepers of the Quentari collect honey from the
hives, and the last elderberries are harvested from the swamplands and
lakesides. Wood from pruned trees is gathered and stored to last though
the winter. Cooking competitions are held with the best of the harvested
foods and herbs of the year.
31st, “Remembrance of
Those who have passed from the mortal plane during the year for the
Elder Wood are remembered in reserved celebration. Their actions, and
lives are recounted in song and story, poem and prose. At midnight, the
Elders of each House toast to the honor of the Dead with the “Cup of
Midnight”. A great hunt is organized to cull the lands of the aging and
weakened animals before winter sets in, and their meats are preserved
for the winter.
The Quentari economy is not based on open acquisition, entrepreneurship
and “free market” trade, but is highly regulated in order to preserve
the natural resources of their homeland and to live within a
self-sustaining and dynamic balance with the environment. Prestige, not
riches or material goods, is the most valued commodity to Quentari
Elves. Their economy thrives on an exchange of quality goods rather than
quantity of sales. The Quentari Elves abhor personal greed, and it is
rare that a Quentari will try to cheat another Elf out of her fair
portion. A Quentari Elf would rather be well regarded in her community
than soil her name and her House’s honor with selfish deeds. There is no
poverty in Quentari unless by gross environmental disaster, as basic
renewable resources such as food, housing, and medical care are shared
and distributed equally among the Houses with no thought of exploitation
Almost all the profit from the sale and export of Quentari’s renewable
resources and crafted goods is used instead of traditional methods of
taxation to support the Quentari military, government, and educational
institutions. Highly-honored Houses are rich only in that they are
granted a stipend by the Quentari government to patronize selected
artisans who themselves have earned the privilege to import
non-renewable resources such as jewels and metals for their craft.
Agriculture, Food, and Diet
As the Quentari traditionally live in a sylvan environment, their
dietary needs and agricultural systems are designed to preserve the
forest indefinitely. The hunting of game and fishing are the primary
ways that the Quentari provide meat to their diet: venison, fowl, eggs,
seafood from Lake Quentari, and fish from lakes and rivers are the
staple protein sources. It often takes a traveling Quentari Elf several
years to become accustomed to meats from domesticated animals such as
cattle, pigs, and sheep as popular in Evendarr and human lands.
Rather than farm large tracks of land, the Quentari prefer to either
gather wild plants or cultivate gardens that mingle with the other
vegetation on the forest floor. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries,
mushrooms, and roots feature much more prominently than bread in the
sylvan diet. A wide variety of preserving methods of the resources that
are plentiful in the summer and autumn assure that these foods are
available all year.
When grains are grown, the Quentari use highly developed and magical
cultivation techniques to improve the nutritional content of the grain
exponentially as well as reduce the amount of land needed to devote to
farming. Bread is not a “staple” to the Elves, as most grains must be
imported. Cheese is also considered a luxury import good, as the
domesticated animals that produce it could not live in the forested
environment. The Quentari prefer spices to salt in order to add flavor
to their foods. Honey and maple syrup are the favored sweeteners of the
Elderberries used in the famed elderberry wine of the Quentari Elves are
harvested in late August from the Rinter Marshes by a single
Brotherhood, who also sees to the fermentation and casking. After
seventeen years of aging, the elderberry wine is distributed among the
Houses of Quentari as well as being served at the Feast of the Summer
Elves. The elderberry wine is never sold, but only gifted to foreigners.
The use of land to raise or keep animals and beasts-of-burden is highly
regulated so as not to destroy or disturb the wooded habitat or create a
great need for imported grain. As such, it requires a special Royal
dispensation to keep and breed domesticated animals such as horses,
cattle, goats, and pigs.
Foreign Exports and Imports
Exports of renewable resources such as timber are highly regulated by
the Quentari government to assure that the forests of Quentari that
remain after the ravishing of the Dark Wars are not further depleted for
short-term economic gain. Quentari foreign trade does not depend upon
the supply of raw materials or foodstuffs to other peoples of the
continent of Avalon; the Quentari specialize in such exquisitely crafted
items as to be highly coveted by the rest of the known world.
The Quentari do not permit mining within their lands, preferring to
trade with the dwarves for metals and jewels that the Quentari artisans
then work into items of such beauty and strength as to be coveted by the
wealthy of other nations. The popularity of a type of very finely woven
mail shirts and armor, called by adventurers “Elven chain,” is the
product of skilled Elven armorsmiths.
A major Quentari export is that of fine silks, as the silkworms’
appetite for mulberry leaves is fed readily by the Dawyndriel Forest.
For many centuries, Elves were the only race to hold the secrets of silk
production. It is legend that two enterprising hoblings stole a dozen
silkworms in hollowed walking sticks as they were given a tour of the
silk farms; they then sold the silkworms to nomadic traders.
Foreign merchants are allowed to sell and trade their goods in Quentari
by permits only, which are highly restricted so as not to undermine the
foundations of the economy. There are only a half-dozen marketplaces
within the entirety of the Quentari nation where these merchants may set
up semi-permanent shops and residences. The Quentari have no separate
merchant class of their own, as the craftsmen or a representative of
their Brotherhood deal directly with patrons rather than relying on
Quentari Military Structure
Quentari military strategy has always been to strike fast and at a
distance before closing in for hand-to-hand combat. As Quentari do not
have the advantage of defeating their opponent with strength of numbers,
they rely on highly skilled, accurate, and mobile military units to
defend the Quentari homeland from threats.
Rather than each noble being responsible for levying a local guard,
military units and guards are all a part of the Royal Quentari Army who
are assigned local posts. The Army answers only to the reigning Monarch,
who grants the Dukes command over their region’s garrisons in times of
peace. In declared times of war with another nation, only the Monarch
or the Princes designated by the Monarch may serve as the chief
The Monarch’s military
council of the Dukes and the Army’s generals meet with the Mayors of the
Elven communities and the wardens of the wilderness twice a year in the
Great Council to review the need for standing and patrolling garrisons.
Once the decisions are made by the Great Council and the Monarch
approves the garrisoning, it is left to the Barons to supervise and
mobilize the units within the lands they steward.
As Quentari Elven
military strategy relies on speed and precision, the smallest unit of
the Quentari Army consists of a squad of six individuals. The squad may
be lead by one of the regular military or an individual who has had
sufficient military experience that they have been entrusted with
command of a squad during her tour of duty.
In addition to
patrolling units and those stationed to protect the Elven communities,
there are also garrisons at points of entry into Quentari lands,
including mountain passes, bridges, river crossings, and roads.
Permanent magical gates constructed for fast travel to other allied
Kingdoms are also well-guarded.
For those Elves who are
born of the noble Houses, and for those Elves who seek a career in the
Quentari military, all become enrolled in the Quentari Military Academy.
Fundamental military training may begin at the age of 50, although noble
Houses may request a retired veteran to tutor their children well before
they are admitted to the academy. Likewise, retired members of the
Monarch’s elite corps often devote themselves to the training of the
next generation of potential initiates within their House before they
are enrolled in the academy.
While an Elf may learn
the basic weapons training and fundamental combat skills in only a year,
the academy continues to train their recruits in specialized
disciplines for an entire span before they are given their first
assignments. While the Elven Institute of Learning and Magic focuses on
studying magic and alchemy from an academic perspective, the Quentari
military academy teaches the use of magic as useful in combat.
disciplines of Quentari military training are formulated from the
terrain the warrior will encounter while in the field. For those seeking
to become scouts of the forests, their teachers impart tracking,
woods-craft, and reconnaissance techniques. For those wishing to be
stationed along major crossroads of travel and in open terrain, they are
taught mounted combat and equestrian skills. Those who wish to sail the
Elven corsairs upon Lake Quentari and other waterways learn navigational
skills and maritime tactics.
The Quentari Elves have
an affinity to ranged weapons no matter what their chosen military
discipline, and the use of the bow is considered a fundamental skill.
Only those who spend most of their attention focusing on healing and
combative magics ever find that their skill in archery falls below the
standard needed in the rigors of battle.
Elite Military Corps
Devoted to service of
the King is for a lifetime, these Elves, both male and female, serve the
Royal Household exclusively. Each corps is lead by a Commander who sits
upon the King’s security council. Entrance into these corps is
extremely difficult, for the initiate must excel in her training and
undergo rigorous testing before she is proven worthy of service. Many of
the petitioners who do not have the necessary focus to be one of the
elite go on to serve Quentari elsewhere in military service. The most
decorated and proven members of the elite are elevated to the status
equivalent of a Royal Knight, and they represent themselves as such in
foreign lands. The three elite corps of the Quentari military are the
Din-Oth Guard, the Griffon Riders, and the Rangers.
The Din-Oth Guard
The Din-Oth Guard are
the personal guards of the Royal House and the King, and have the
privilege of wearing the Royal Quentari colors of green and white. The
Guard both watches over the palace chambers and council halls of the
Royal family, but also accompanies the Monarch on travels abroad.
Members of the Guard are recruited from the standing Quentari military
from highly decorated veterans, although only a few possess the
bloodlines and pass the training necessary to be chosen for such honors.
The Griffon Riders
The griffon mounts used
by this elite unit are sometimes confused with the true Gryphons who are
the progenitors of the Biata race. However, the griffons are believed to
be a race of unknown origins resembling true Gryphons that were taken in
and protected by the Quentari before the First Dark War. The griffons
are intelligent creatures above that of most other animals, however they
do not have the power of speech.
The training and tests
to be a candidate for this elite unit is one of the most difficult and
challenging within all of Quentari, and few who petition to join this
corps ever are granted the opportunity to become bonded with a griffon.
It is the griffon that accepts a rider, and through an intense period
of several days, the rider and griffon become exclusively bonded to each
other. Through the established bond, the rider and griffon work
seamlessly as a team. The Griffon Riders are always under the direct
orders of the Monarch, and are rarely seen outside of Quentari except
for some specific and special mission.
It is usual for the
griffon to bear two upon its back: one is always its bonded rider, and
the other may be one of the riders in training or another passenger. In
combat, the two riders serve as a team, with one being a strong magic
caster and the other skilled in archery and in weapons for close-quarter
The Forest Rangers
The Rangers are
legended to be the first appointed guardians of the forest homeland of
the Quentari peoples. The Rangers patrol the deepest parts of the
Quentari forests to protect it from invaders, discover threats and
eliminate them. Unlike regular Quentari patrols, which are stationed in
the community they are assigned to protect, the Rangers are charged with
being the eyes, ears, and hands of the King in the deep wilderness.
Their woods-craft is beyond any that can be mastered by one of non-Elven
heritage. It is said that the Rangers share an empathic bond with the
forest life, and can sense danger, especially the presence of undead or
a pantherghast, well before it could ever be seen or heard.
After basic military lessons with the regular Quentari army at the
Quentari Military Academy, the early training to become of the Rangers
occurs through single apprenticeship, with the student and his mentor
often spending uninterrupted weeks in the deep reaches of the forest
honing skills in tracking, hunting, and the secretive arts that make
them silent and unseen watchers under the canopies of leaves and
branches. Those who are elevated to the rank of Ranger bear the
authority of the Monarch to call forth any group of scouts to engage a
threat in the deeper forest. Because of the Rangers’ duty, it is rare
that an Elven settlement will ever be attacked by trolls, orcs,
wandering undead, or other force that would threaten the Quentari Elves’
stewardship of the forest and wilderness.
The Rangers operate not from the capital of Din-Oth, but from the small
and secluded settlement of Tirannon, along the banks of the Rinter
River. This base is considered a strategic location to patrol the
borders between Niman and Quentari.
Rumored Secret Orders
It is rumored that
there may be other elite military orders under the command of the
Quentari Monoarch, although their existence and purpose remain a secret.
There are suspicions that some of the elite may be spies and enact
another life for years, quietly observing and collecting intelligence in
foreign lands, or positioning themselves as assassins. However, the
existence of these orders and ties to the Quentari throne have never
been substantiated and such stories are often contradictory.
Quentari heraldry is in
some ways similar and in some ways different from the use of colors and
symbols to represent rank and organization as in human societies. The
Quentari Elves prefer to use devices of highly stylized geometric forms
and lines that include natural imagery. Rather than the device being
represented on a rectangular or shield-shape, the Elves design their
heraldry within circles (for personal heraldry), squares (for Houses and
Brotherhoods) or lozenges (for military rankings). Quentari heraldry is
highly complex and inscrutable to non-Elven cultures, and thus those
devices that are carried within human lands by the Elves tend to be
simplified for their recognition and understanding.
The colors of white
quartered with green are reserved as the royal colors of the Quentari
nation, and none but the ruling Monarch, their household, personal
guards, and official royal representatives are authorized to bear those
colors. Insignia for the Quentari military forces include an arrow and a
bolt of magic to represent both the strength of arms and magic that the
Quentari use in defense of their homeland. The elite military corps and
persons sworn in direct service to the Quentari royalty have the right
to bear a four pointed star upon their heraldry to indicate that the
Monarch is the star which guides their lives in supreme devotion.
Each Quentari House and
the Brotherhoods have their own heraldry that is recorded by heralds and
kept in a registry in the Monarch’s palace in Din-Oth. Personal devices
may be used in conjunction with the colors and heraldry of House,
Brotherhood, and military rank. The elected Mayor of each community
bears the heraldry of that community.
More than any human
population, the Quentari Elves are a peaceful and well-disciplined
people without the desire or desperation to commit crimes for profit or
in passion. Visitors of other races to Quentari are monitored, and any
non-citizen found committing a crime within Quentari lands or against a
Quentari citizen is banished after serving an appropriate punishment.
Punishment among the Quentari Elves against their own comes most often
in the form of social sanctions than any other method such as fining,
imprisonment, public beatings, or executions.
The entire House of a
Quentari Elf bears the shame and loss of prestige if a single member is
guilty of a crime, and thus the greatest incentive for a Quentari to
lead a lawful life is not of fear of personal punishment, but the
sanctions it would bring against one’s House by Quentari society. Elves
who have not yet reached adulthood are still held responsible for their
actions by their House Elders, although their punishments may be less
severe that those of adults.
Typically, should a
Quentari Elf be accused by another Quentari of committing a crime, the
accuser approaches the Elders of the accused. It is up to the Elders to
serve as the investigators and interrogators of all who may be involved.
If the Elders find the member of their House guilty of the crime, it is
up to them to decide and execute the appropriate punishment. For minor
crimes such as theft, disobedience or irreverence of authority, the
slandering of another’s good character, and the destruction of property,
often the sanctions levied include forced silence, the suspension of
adult privileges (therefore performing chores with the youth of the
House), and a mark within the criminal’s Book of Honor.
Should the accuser
believe that the House Elders have found their family member falsely
innocent or the punishment too lenient, the accuser may then appeal to
the Elders of their own House. Should the Elders of the accused House
support the person in her appeal the local noble is called in to
adjudicate the matter. At this point, the seriousness of the charges
increases, for if the noble finds the accused innocent, it is the
accuser that must face sanctions herself. Therefore, an accuser and her
House must be certain of the crime and not just pursuing a personal
The most grievous
crimes among the Quentari Elves are those of Necromancy, Treason, and
Murder. In Quentari, Necromancy is not just the raising and control of
undead, but also of any spell that calls upon the element of Chaos to
fuel its power. The minimal sentence for necromancy is known to be at
least a death and the stripping of all House affiliation; often the
punishment also includes banishment from Quentari. The banished Quentari
Elf is an outcast. Treason is the only crime that is investigated
directly by the nobility in all instances. If a noble is accused of a
crime he is tried by a council of nobles in a court known as the
Honor-Judging Chambers. Nobles who irrevocably dishonor their titles are
removed from their position, and may be executed or exiled.
In crimes of a serious
nature or a repetition of lesser crimes, the criminal is often stripped
of House affiliation and their membership within their Brotherhood.
These decisions are left to the leaders of the Houses and Brotherhoods
to decide. An Elf that continually brings shame and dishonor to himself
and to his House may be cast out by her Elders at any time. Such an Elf
becomes a pariah among her people, with no rights or privileges to the
community resources. There are a select few Brotherhoods among the
Quentari that exist to offer such an Elf a path of humble redemption and
reclaiming of personal honor, but for the most part Quentari Elves who
suffer such a punishment find themselves leaving their homeland
permanently to seek their own fortunes. Houses that have a history of
engendering criminals are at risk of having their House disbanded by
decree of the nobility.
As described before,
Quentari politics are based upon ranking of extended familial Houses,
with the Elders of each House determining the direction of the House and
all its members. Houses assume privileges in Quentari society based
upon a history of honorable and responsible conduct.
The Elders of each
community sit on a council that determines the resources needed for the
community. Every year, the Elders elect a Mayor to serve the head of
this council and manage the community’s resources. The Mayor directs all
the hunting, fishing, trading, and distribution of basic resources among
the community. He reports to the ruling Baron the region routinely and
organizes the community in times of crisis. Twice a year, all of the
Mayors sit in the Great Council to discuss the needs of defense and to
re-establish trade agreements with other communities for various
The noble Houses are
those Houses that have been chosen by the King to serve as stewards of
the land and people. While the elected Mayors serve a single settlement
of Elves, the Barons focus on maintaining the prosperity of
several communities. The region that includes these communities
resembles a Barony to feudal societies. The Dukes oversee the Barons and
steward dozens of communities for the Quentari Crown similar to that of
a Duchy in feudal society. However, direct comparisons to the Elven
nobles’ duties and responsibilities to feudal counterparts are difficult
Most noble Houses have
maintained their appointments for millennia. Unless an entire House
should be dissolved or dishonored, should one noble fail in her duties
another of the same House is appointed. Among the Quentari, their is no
practice of primogeniture, and a noble may appoint an Heir from any one
of her House’s bloodline regardless of their birth-order, so long as
they be of sound honor and character. Every child of noble bloodline,
regardless of gender, is trained as a potential successor. All adult
members of a noble House are referred to as Lady or Lord; although they
may give orders to civilians in times of danger should there be no Mayor
or ranking noble present, their titles are largely honorary. The
King often chooses members of the noble Houses to serve as ambassadors
to foreign lands.
A class of minor noble,
equivalent to a Knight by Evendarrian standards, is the Warden. Each
Warden maintains a hall far outside of the Elven communities and in
largely uninhabited land. They serve as stewards and guardians of the
wilderness and are of the few Houses who have been granted royal
permission to live outside of an established community; their homes
often serve as way-stations for patrolling Rangers. The Wardens are most
often trained first as one of the Rangers, and the training of the
Rangers’ initiates includes serving under a Warden as scouts. The Warden
swears oaths of fealty and service directly to the Monarch and are not
direct vassals to a Baron, although they must carry out the orders of a
Baron or Duke when they are present within the communities of that
The Noble Houses have
no responsibility in maintaining a military force, other than a personal
guard who are members of their own House; all army units are provided to
the nobility the Quentari Crown and are assigned their posts on a
rotational basis every half a year. The necessary garrisoning of these
communities and outposts are decided upon in the Great Council by the
Wardens, the Generals of the Quentari army, and the Dukes. Patrolling
units who guard the trade routes between Elven settlements within a
region report to their commander, who reports to the ruling Baron of
those communities; those units who garrison outposts along the borders
and entry-points into the Kingdom report firstly to their commanding
General, who then informs the Dukes. The Dukes also bear the authority
to act as ranking generals the Quentari army and naval forces in times
Another Council, the
Court of Wisdoms, is convened in times of great national crisis, such as
when the Quentari are organizing for war, or when a Regent-Protector
must be chosen in the event of the King’s debilitation and a Royal Heir
has yet to reach the age of maturity. The Court of Wisdoms consists
of the Monarch, the Princes/Princesses of age, the Dukes, the Barons,
and the Adepts of Helevorn. Smaller and more exclusive advisory
councils are held when needed by the ruling Monarch.
The laws of Quentari
and the punishments for breaking them are ultimately decided upon by the
ruling Monarch, although thousands of years of tradition have created
precedence which play heavily into resolutions. Every member of the
nobility is required to study law as part of his or her training as
nobility. The Barons and Dukes have the power to enact additional laws
in their stewarded communities, although none of these laws can
contradict the laws of royal decree. The Monarch or ruling
Regent-Protector is the only member of the nobility who may decide upon
The Lifemate of the
ruling Monarch serves as a royal consort, although no distinction is
made in title. He or she is granted a royal title, and sits on certain
royal councils, but does not hold equal power within Quentari as the
Monarch. At the behest and consent of the Monarch, the consort may be
sent to foreign Kingdoms as a representative of Quentari for diplomatic
purposes. The consort may be granted the authority to name the Royal
Heir among their children in the untimely death of the Monarch; this
authority must be made by Royal decree.