|Subraces||Teledden, Fin'ullen, Suvial, Lesarra, Solvaan|
|Languages||Ancient Altalar, Samhal, Allorn Altalar, Modern Altalar|
|Naming Customs||High Elven fantasy naming, though avoiding Tolkien Elven.|
|Distinctions||Oldest still living race of High Elves|
|Height||between 5'8 and 6’10 (depending on subrace)|
|Eye Colors||Varied based on subrace|
|Hair Colors||Varied based on subrace|
The Altalar, as Ailor call them, or Est-allorn as they call themselves, are the oldest and most graceful of the Nelfin Races that still roam Aloria. The Altalar have a lengthy history spanning more than 3000 years, during which they ruled the known world. It is a long and proud one, broken slowly over time by a combination of their crippling arrogance and the oppressive weight of external powers and arcane disasters. The Altalar once ruled over many other Races, enslaving them to their will with Magic and creating a legendary civilization which sought to equal the Seraph in glory. They are the most gracious, skilled and venerable of all the Races, yet for each of their glories and assets, they bear equal susceptibilities to the vices of pride, depravity, and self-satisfaction, hidden well behind exquisite facades. Although the world has moved past their glory days, the Altalar continue to try and hold onto the crumbling remnants of their Allorn Empire with stalwart determination and reverence for their history that can match even Unionist zeal. While the horrors of the Wildering and the Void Invasion are still fresh in their memory, renewed faith and determination as well as mortal heroes carrying the charge have given the Altalar new hope that their Race is not a fading one, and that they might yet one day overcome the usurping Races and retake the Crown of the World.
This page is mostly outdated. Refer to the Teledden and Fin'ullen and Suvial pages, which are updated. Solvaan will follow soon. Lesarra and Minoor have been folded into Teledden. Sorry for the inconvenience, we are working on rolling updates out.
Physical & Mental Characteristics
The Altalar are ageless beauty made manifest and lethal grace given form. By far, their Race is one of exquisite appearances, and one would be very hard-pressed to find an Altalar that does not fit the general standard for male or female beauty. This largely comes from their agelessness, the fact that once they reach about 25 years old, they stop physically aging, with physical frailty only setting in at around 450 years old. They can live to be 500 years old, retaining their youthful beauty even to their dying days. That being said, not all Altalar look like they are in their prime at all times. This is because Altalar can actually change their age-appearance at will. Even though they do not physically age beyond a certain point, Altalar can through meditation change how old they look. This is acceptable in Altalar society, as it is seen as a way to self-express. For example, an Altalar priest might choose to look more middle-aged, or at least older than a student bachelor, to reinforce their teachings and mentorly presence. An Altalar as such is able to dictate their own appearance anywhere between what a 20 and an 80-year-old Ailor would look like, and revert it whenever they please. Altalar are as a Race also incredibly visually diverse, much like the Ailor, though with less cultural opposition, as their internal conflict arises from their reputation and politics, not their identity. There exist a few main types of Altalar. Some Altalar possess epicanthic eye folds, thus appearing more Asian-coded, but most do not. It is assumed to be a genetically recessive trait.
The Altalar are a fairly homogeneous Race, but have five very distinct subraces or subtypes that can be told apart from each other due to physical differences, as well as notable mental differences. The Altalar Race is somewhat different to other Races however, as their subraces all live together in communal societies (except the Minoor Altalar), though the make-up of these societies differs in relation to minority populations versus majority populations. For example, while a Teledden society will include Suvial, Lesarra, Fin’ullen and the rare Solvaan, it is distinctly Teledden dominated, and Teledden cultured, and other such societies exist, each with their own distinct subracial majority. The Altalar sub-races are split between the regal and ruling Teledden, the passionate and military Fin’ullen, the colorful and strategic Suvial, the intellectual and roguish Lesarra, and the gregarious and pragmatic Solvaan. The Minoor Altalar live entirely seperate from other Altalar societies, and are also not present in the other sub-races' societies. Each of these subraces has distinct physical appearances and mental characteristics setting them apart. While it is definitely possible for the subraces to have mentalities outside of the norm for their particular kind, this is usually looked down upon by the other Altalar who prefer their society stratified. When two Altalar parents of different subraces bond, children are born of either parent’s subrace at random. There is no such thing as an Altalar cross-bred between subraces.
Half Altalar have a variety of different possible physical characteristics, depending on their Altalar Parent and non-Altalar Parent. Half Race characters select a Dominant parent, and take all the Racials & Specials from that dominant parent. (In this case, a dominant parent Altalar would be Half-Altalar) Half races must have a majority of their physical features come from their dominant parent, including which is including but not limited to skin tone, hair or fur color, ear shape, or eye color. Firstly, the Half Altalar will follow most of the base physical characteristics of their Altalar Parent's subtype, including skin tones, height, eye color, hair color, etc. Half Altalar will also always take a number of features from their non-Altalar Parent, which can include, but is not wholly limited to: ear shape, small amounts of fur, teeth or tusk shape, etc. Specifically, when a Half-Altalar has a Parent with a skin tone outside of the Altalar Palette, their skin can be slightly tinted that tone. Due to the varied nature of possible Parents, and the variance in-between Altalar Subraces, no two Half-Altalar tend to look the same: though similarities between Half Altalar Half Ailor tend to be common, due to their prevalence. While Half-Altalar are generally common in Regalia, they are largely shunned by traditionalist Altalar, leading to many Half Fin'ullen and fewer Half Teledden.
Racial Abilities & Specials
The Altalar have one Common Ability shared by all sub-races, and each Race also has two unique Abilities. On top of that, the Altalar also have a number of Specials themed around their frequent and skilled use of Magic. Half-Altalar have access to the Abilities & Specials of their Altalar parent. Racial Abilities are generally a set of unique powers and effects that all peoples of that race all innately have, while Specials are more passive, aesthetic focused capabilities. Specials are defined per-page, while Abilities can be searched on the Ability List page to determine their generic function.
|Ability Name||Ability Type||Ability Range||Ability Description||Modifiers|
|Weapon Summon||Summon Power||Self||Grants the user Weapon Summon||N/A|
|Ability Name||Ability Type||Ability Range||Ability Description||Modifiers|
|Arcane Ranged||Skill Power||Self||Grants the user Arcane Ranged||Solvaan Modifier|
|Area Detection||Detection Power||10 Blocks||Grants the user Area Detection||Solvaan Modifier|
The Altalar are Ageless, meaning they never show aging. When they become adults, Altalar simply appear as if they are young adults forever, unless they choose not to. Any Altalar can choose to change their aged appearance, meaning they can choose to appear however old they want to appear (so long as it is 18+). A 33 year old Altalar might for example choose to appear like a 70 year old Ailor with whitened hair and wrinkles, while a 300 year old Altalar might choose to appear like a 25 year old Ailor with smooth skin and youtful features.
Even the simplest and untrained of Altalar have some innate Magical ability, and control over the Arcane. All Altalar can perform varying degrees of Telekinesis, being able to move objects around with their hands from a distance, while also automating household objects in their performed task such as for example causing a broom to sweep by itself, or a pen to write what is being dictated. This cannot be used in any Combat RP or competitive roleplay (such as stealing items from other Characters), but has no Cooldown and no limits imposed.
The Altalar can, once a month, craft a wood carving, sculpture, woven fabric, or crafted metal out of so-called Elder Opal, depending on the Proficiency that they craft with. Elder Opals, when applied to wood carving causes lines to appear in white-colored wood that glow with shifting colors of the rainbow. When applied to sculptures, the whole sculpture has an opalescent color effect, and when reflecting light, glows with the colors of the rainbow. When applied to fabric, each weave contains a reflective opalescent sheen, giving the completed clothing piece of tapestry a rainbow glow on white fabric. When applied to metal, it creates a steel-strong variant of white opal, with a glowing opalescent effect of swirling color glows. Additionally, the Altalar can re-mould Silver, Gold with their hands like clay without heating it.
The Altalar can summon any type of non-combat tool in their hand, like a hammer, pencil, chisel, etc. This tool will glow and appear in any chosen color, has the properties of a normal tool made of steel, and also produces magical essence sparkles or dust when used. This tool can be given to others and used by others, but only one tool can be summoned, and it cannot leave Emote Distance from the Altalar who created it.
The Altalar can invade the minds of others with telepathic communication that is a one-way form of vocalization of their thoughts. An Altalar can project a command or exclaimed statement into the mind of another person within Emote Distance, though the Target cannot talk back. While using the Elder Voice, the Altalar's eyes glow, and they must look at the Target they are speaking to in their mind. This form of communication is experienced as unpleasant, and causes headaches in the Target, but not so far that it inhibits their other actions. Elder Voice cannot be used in a chase, in Combat Roleplay, or while the Altalar is physically or Magically bound or constrained in any way.
The exact starting point of Altalar history is unclear, even to the Altalar. Historical documentation is important among the Altalar, because their history is partly what ties them to their belief of racial superiority. While these histories are often laden with exaggerations and facts sensationalized into myths, scholars of other Races cannot deny how extensive and detailed the records of the Altalar are. In terms of historical narration, 3000 years of world history is loosely based on their records, with only the past 300 years after Cataclysm being recorded mostly by Ailor. The Altalar historical periods are divided into a series of so-called Calendar Cycles, because their Calendar is not the same as the Ailor Calendar (which marks the Cataclysm as the year 0), but instead divides itself into a number of ‘eras’, each of which resets the year count to 0. Presently, it is 159 of the Healing Era, which followed after the Sorrow Era, lasting from the Cataclysm until 150 AC when all Altalar states properly re-established communications.
The first period in Altalar history is the Darkening, of which very little is known. Supposedly, the Altalar in this period lived in mud huts and mostly had a pre-civilized society of local tribes. This timespan is also difficult to date, because the ending is only clarified with The Awakening. Some of the year dating also seems to conflict with what modern scholars see as the ending of the Meraic Civilization, leading some to conclude that the Altalar and Meraic had some form of overlap or at least limited amount of contact. Why the Altalar were not destroyed during the Void Invasion that ended the Meraic Civilization is not clear. The Altalar of the Darkening era used a script called the Twi’von Script, as well as the Twi’Alac Language, both of which have yet to be translated. Even if translations were made, the records dating back from that time remain purely as very crude cave wall paintings, and many scholars consider this a pointless venture because savages have little to say to modern man. Additionally, some believe that there was a magical component to their speech and writing that has been since lost. Instead, historical records from this time mostly became oral tradition, as well as myth, meaning that fact is often hard to distinguish from legend even in later records of the Allorn Empire.
The second period in Altalar history is the Awakening. The Awakening is roughly dated based on the life of Talea Sunvidal, the supposed daughter of Estel who proclaimed Estellon and unified the smaller Altalar principalities and petty kingdoms by “compelling the Altalar gods to become mortal”, and “using their infinite powers to aid her in her subjugation of the other Altalar”, thus founding the Altalar Empire, which would later become known as the Allorn Empire. This period also saw the birth of the now-dead language Ancient Altalar. The Awakening period starts in 2865 BC (Before the Cataclysm), from the supposed birth of Talea until her death in 2500 BC. She was an extremely gifted mage who had unparalleled control over Exist Magic to a near god-like level, and acted as a prophetess to the Estellon, which was rapidly replacing the old Altalar faith of the Moon-Well Goddess. Talea rode at the head of eight great armies, each led by one of the Avatars of the Gods, and through a combination of military conquest and peaceful subjugation expanded her lands. The Empire she created would span from the Sundial Isles and Rokhara to The Far West (which would later become the home of the Suvial and Kathar), up the northern coast of Hyarroc (or Heëlya as it was called then), down south through Teled Varren all the way north to the modern-day boundary between Daendroc and Ithania, where Talea supposedly created The Verdant Wall (an immensely dangerous and dense jungle) to separate the Altalar from the Asha, who even in these early days engaged in skirmishes with the Altalar over territory. The Asha's nation, the Dewamenet Empire, was the first great civilized state after the collapse of the Meraic Civilization, and existed many ages before the first Ailor would even start up their kingdoms.
During the Awakening period, the Altalar holdings grew in size and their populations boomed until they eventually conflicted with the Asha, who behind the Verdant Wall had come into their own Empire and developed distinctly differently from the Altalar through technological means as opposed to magical ones. This conflict lasted for the latter half of Talea’s life, until some years before her death. This conflict, later called “The Flight of Reason”, was an intense struggle for ideological supremacy. The Asha had declared the Estel worshiping Altalar an affront to nature and all that is true, and declared their existence an “infection on the land that ought to be purged”. Supposedly, they tore through the Verdant Wall with massive “beasts made of fire and brass, bellowing smoke over the land that caused all to die”, and pushed the Altalar as far back as the boundary between Daendroc and Teled Methen, several hundred miles away from the Altalar capital. Why the war turned in the favor of the Altalar is never historically explained, beyond the vague religious implication of “divine intervention”. It is commonly believed that the Avatars of the Gods made the difference, as well as Talea’s immense magical skill, or perhaps even personal action from Estel, but considering these events occurred over 2000 years prior to modern times, no actual evidence can be found of anything. There are those that claim rusted and rotten Brass monstrosities still lie half-buried somewhere deep in the Verdant Wall, which remains to this day and healed after the damage inflicted on it, but no explorer venturing into the Verdant Wall ever got far without being bogged down by dangerous native creatures and persistent diseases. The fall of the Dewamenet Empire was seen as providence for Allorn supremacy, and the eventual defeat of the Asha saw large populations of them genocided, as well as enslaved by the ancient Altalar. Asha labor eventually became the fuel that caused an explosive population boom for the Altalar, offloading all their menial labor and resource gathering to the Asha who had a much more flexible diet and were also more physically resilient than Altalar. Being released from the constraints of having to build their economy on their own, the Altalar instead propelled it forward with slave-labor, an aspect of their society that has never fully left them, even 2000 years later. Talea eventually died and was interred in Talea Scansä, where her most fervent still worship and protect her memory and supposed body that has not decayed to this day.
The period after Talea’s death is called the Consolidation, which lasted from roughly 2500 until 1500 BC. The Consolidation is named such because it determined most of what the Allorn Empire would function like, and how the people saw themselves. During the Consolidation, the Allorn Empire is known to have gone through its “Golden Millenium” where it faced no internal strife or external threats. No wars were waged with any foreign powers and the Imperial succession was flawlessly adhered to after the death of Empress Talea. Altalar culture blossomed and high arts were developed that would last the centuries while Ancient Altalar was cast aside in favor of Allorn Altalar, a smoothing of their old and often over-complex tongue. The first Altalar slave fleets roamed the oceans, exploring the lands beyond the homeland, and started colonizing regions beyond the known boundaries of the Allorn Empire. This is the first time there is mention of Solleria, which was called Ulvaän at the time, being colonized in 1732 BC, though most physical evidence of this has faded. Successive Altalar and Ailor populations have built over the ruins of Allorn-era Solleria, obscuring whatever might have been there before them. During the Consolidation, most of the notable landmarks of Altalar states and Principalities were constructed, and the great ruling families were established, creating borders that have lasted largely to this day with only minimal boundary changes to accommodate for battles between the Archmages and the Principalities. Magic was on the rise, and generally speaking, the Altalar had it very good during this era, knowing virtually no diseases or hardships, with only occasional hostile encounters with Green Forest Dragons written into the subtext of history.
The period immediately after the Consolidation is called the Floundering, which is a dark chapter in Altalar history. During the Floundering, Altalar society was wracked with intrigue and social unrest because of severe overpopulation. The urban centers of the Allorn Empire became so massive that resource struggles and border conflicts frequently occurred between the Altalar Princes and Princesses. While slave labor was still fuelling most of the economy, the Altalar could not enslave people fast enough to meet their rising demand. Expeditions to Sendras failed horribly as slavers there were eaten alive by the Sendrassian Allar, expeditions to the far east failed as the Sariyd Empire was able to defend itself from Altalar incursions, and close to Ceardia, slave raids could only viably plunder the coastlines, as the Ailor became too numerous further inland. Many local lords competed over the increasingly infertile lands, and the holy grounds of Estel temples were also targeted for agricultural use, uprooting much of the old religious traditions. This also caused the first signs of religious degradation as the strict Faith of Estel decreased in importance of everyday life for the Altalar. This period was relatively short, from 1500 BC to 1300 BC, but it had a profound impact on the problems of the Allorn Empire in the centuries to follow, and would eventually lay the foundation for the destruction of the Empire as a whole. During the Floundering, the Sollerian lands came into frequent conflict with the Breizh ancestor tribes and Ceardian colonists, causing them to be in a near-constant fight for survival in the Regalian Archipelago. Their eventual self-sufficiency was also what would cause the Sollerian isles to be less affected by the societal changes caused by the Floundering, and remained largely united and loyal to their cooperative efforts.
After the Floundering starts the Grandening, which covers a period from 1300 BC until around 700 BC. The Grandening is, in a way, a continuation of the Floundering, but in a far more messy and chaotic manner. Instead of waging war on one another, the royalty of the local realms chose to engage in high-level politics, intrigue, and espionage to get the job done. While the Grandening was not in any way less savage than the Floundering, Altalar still look relatively positively on this period, as the political strife was kept mostly verbal and Grandening political techniques set the stage for all future politicking, even among the Regalian Empire. In fact, this style of rule became so prolific that for a long time after the fall of the Allorn Empire, Altalar politics remained the go-to style of rule among other Races. During the Grandening, the concept of the Altalar cultism grew exponentially, resulting in many influential and wealthy Altalar starting or joining specific cults which had certain views on the world for the sake of political networking. This is where the early forerunners of the Kathar, Avanthar, Sihndar and Isldar come from. In part, it is also where the resistance movement that would eventually lead to the birth of the Cielothar came from. The population base of the Allorn Empire was absolutely massive, and not all of the population was as politically involved as the elite. Many of the lower classes and craftsmen retained a sense of natural pacifism that would later give rise to the calmer movements in Altalar society. During the Grandening, conflicts with the Green Forest Dragons were on the uptick, and the Altalar also started subjugating fringe Races like the Drovv in what would later become Drowda, and other Races that once existed but have long gone extinct with the Cataclysm.
After the Grandening came the Blossoming period, which lasted from 700 BC until 450 BC. The term Blossoming is largely used in an attempt to spin the period with a positive narrative, however anyone who has looked into it knows that it is filled with horrible plots and actions of depravity that exceed even the worst Kathar in modern times. During the early years of the Blossoming, the concept of Altalar immorality came center stage. The ever-growing urban population started engaging in practices of moral and ethical corruption, hedonism, cruelty, and self-gratification that completely severed the upper classes of Altalar society from their religious roots. Estellon became ever weaker as the Gods ceased to walk among the Altalar, and the many temples grew quiet, ignored by the masses, as the priests were slain by vile Void Cults that had popped up all over the Empire. Mages started becoming ever more powerful, and eventually, many states would fall completely under their control. Previously the Empire had harsh rules against Mages becoming aristocracy as they fulfilled a largely priestly role, but by the Blossoming, the political intrigue of the nobles had become greatly affected by the exploits of the Archmages. They were capable plotters in and of themselves, armed with potent magics to gain an advantage of others, and they are also what spawned the early Mage Wars.
The Mage Wars
The Mage Wars were an unofficial period from 450-250 BC where the Principalities waged many wars with one another, led largely by the Archmages, who desired ever-increasing power. At some point, the Archmages had discovered they were able to weaponize the Green Forest Dragons against each other, and started using their powers to destroy the Magic of other Archmages. This caused a chain reaction of Archmages each trying to wipe out each other’s Magic, eventually embroiling every single Principality and Altalar state into war with all of its neighbors, while also initiating the Green Hunt, aimed at destroying the Green Forest Dragons. This is the first and only recorded case of any Race being able to wipe out an entire Dragon Throne, with only the Qadir and Dwarves having come close, but eventually failing in their fight against their respective Draconic enemies. The Imperial family became completely powerless to stop it, as Void Cults had completely infiltrated the Imperial Court and essentially placed them under house arrest. Because of this, the Allorn Empire began a rapid decline. Colonization was brought to a halt, and slavery increased five-fold, in order to supplement the mass-sacrifice of Asha and Ailor, who were slaughtered by the hundreds almost daily, which in turn led eventually to a complete exhaustion of any free Asha to enslave. Solleria was lost somewhere in the chaos, as many colonial realms declared independence from the Allorn Empire. Some devolved into cultist infighting, and others simply suggested that the Empire had already fallen in all but name and that they needed to continue forwards by themselves. Slave rebellions and malcontent from the Fin’ullen caused a series of mutinies, while the Suvial also closed their borders to the other Altalar, disgusted at what had become of their Empire to the east. Whole families and villages of Lesarra fled into the few strips of forests that were left, hiding away from the chaotic conflagrations of violence that were destroying whole cities and their populations Empire-wide.
Despite all the violence and infighting, the individual realms were still proclaimed to be part of the Allorn Empire, even if no Emperor or Empress had been seen in public for many decades. This union was only in name however, as all trade and communications absolutely ceased, while borders were reinforced, barring all migration in and out. In the north, various cults disappeared into the fringes, such as the Dregodar, eventually becoming the Isldar. Various legitimist factions continued to try and control these fleeing populations, giving rise to the wars between the Altalar and the Isldar, and the dislike between the Allorn Empire and the Dwarves.
Some years before Cataclysm, Estel supposedly tried to save her people, as preached by some of the last remaining Estel priests who had somehow escaped the cultist violence. From the forests in which the Lesarra fled, towering walking trees and warriors made of bark and plant twice the size of Altalar strode forth on antlered beasts, taking the fight to the Altalar and attempting to push back the violence from the last remaining sanctuary cities and holy sites. These forerunners of the Yanar were a far cry from their descendants, twisted plant matter hell-bent on avenging the destruction of nature and Estel’s virtues, putting whole cities to the sword to cleanse them of their depravity. Despite nature itself rearing to try and stave off destruction, it would be for naught, when Cataclysm finally came. On the subject of the Void Invasion, many Altalar scholars disagree with Ailor scholars. The Altalar point of view is that the Void Invasion started because the Void had become enraged by the power of the Altalar, and that the Archmages were able to compete even with the Arken. Ailor scholars maintain that the Altalar abused the magical saturation of the world and caused the demon portals to open. Whatever the cause, portals did indeed open over Drowda, annihilating the local vassal Race that lived this far north of the Allorn Empire and starting a catastrophic war.
All across the Empire, the Daughters of Chaos and the Sons of Malice unfolded and activated their plans to serve their demonic masters, either assassinating or corrupting local officials to serve their evil lords. Seduced by magical powers from beyond the mortal realm, as well as the presence of Arken, Altalar upper-class society tore itself apart. The Empress tried one last great gamble to fight off the Void Invasion, though both Ailor and Altalar scholars agree in modern times that winning this war was hopeless from the start. The last Empress managed to break free from her house arrest at the Imperial Palace, and gathered what loyalists and capable Fin’ullen armies the Allorn Empire had left, taking the last of the Silverhelms north to fight off the Demon invasion that was quickly descending on them. It is said that in the Battle of the Mornaar Fields, 300,000 Altalar died, including the Empress.This caused the Altalar to lose the Crown of the World, which would only be found several hundred years later. The exact location of the Battle of the Mornaar Fields is unknown, as the supposed valley in which it occurred was swallowed by the ocean during the Cataclysm. The Demon host seemed victorious, and their march was inevitable. The many Void Cults celebrated their ascension and victory, having by then become the ash-skinned Kathar, and the Nenya and forerunners of the Yanar fled back into the forests- seemingly having given up all hope.
Divergence of the Minoor
The Minoor Isles, up until this point a fairly irrelevant footnote of Altalar refugees, diverges from common Altalar history at this point. Prior to the Cataclysm, the Minoor Isles were a hotspot for migration, to Altalar fleeing from the mainland chaos and struggles. As Cataclysm occured, the connection between the Minoor Isles and the rest of the Allorn Empire were severed, and the Minoor continued to develop their own identity, culture, and society away from the other subraces. Minoor will also not be mentioned further on this page, as they bear little to no relation to the other subraces in modern times, as such, refer to the Minoor page where history picks up where this page ends their mentions.
Altalar historians have no real explanation for why the Cataclysm ended, but according to Ailor historians, the Archdemon was defeated in a final desperate battle of Ailor heroes against the darkness that was spreading across the world, though in doing so he released so much unrestrained magical and chaotic energy that Aloria could not compensate for the sudden disruption of reality. All across the world, whole cities sank into the ground, landmasses split apart, islands rose out of the sea and volcanoes spewed ash into the clouds, with fire raining down on those caught below. The oceans were wracked by violent storms, tsunamis and whirlpools that swallowed whole fleets into the deep, dark depths. The Suvial became detached from Teled Methen and Hyarroc, their once unified landmass splitting into smaller islands, while the heartland of the Void Cults also violently splintered, eventually creating the archipelago that now houses the Dread Empire. The only place saved from such destruction was the Regalian Archipelago, Solleria somehow avoiding any destruction as locals reported seeing “a purple hue in the sky with black clouds gathered outside, yet sunshine within. The land was quiet, Solleria and the surrounding lands caught in the eye of the storm that engulfed the world”.
The Allorn Empire had it worse than anywhere else. While the Cataclysm raged, the Allorn Empire was affected by an event called the Wildering. Altalar historians, priests, mages and even just normal people, have even to this day still not agreed what the Wildering represented, why it happened, or if anything could have been done to avoid it. As the land was rearranged elsewhere, in the boundaries of the Allorn Empire, nature itself reared into action, and the trees and plants and all things green descended on the Allorn cities of marble. The Wildering represented a short period in which nature rapidly grew, retaking lands that had once been claimed by the Allorn Empire and even turned on the Elves residing there. In a matter of mere moments, tendrils of ancient trees lashed out against the marble walls of the Allorn principalities, and trees and plants sprouted from buildings, crashed through windows, and tore whole foundations apart. Farms were uprooted, towers fell and whole states were swallowed by the jungles, springing from the rubble they left behind as if they had been there for centuries.
Even the people were not safe. There have been records made of some individuals in particularly badly affected areas spontaneously turning into bushes or trees— entire populations disappearing in the blink of an eye. Exact casualty counts are unknown, though cautious estimates among Ailor scholars put the death count somewhere above 40 million. Most of the interior states were lost to the jungles, the Hortutor Wildlands swallowed the vast majority of the eastern and northern states, and the coastlines and wealthy merchant cities were lashed with massive torrents of ocean water. Even the royal city of Ivaëlle was utterly destroyed— a massive earthquake swallowed the palace-city whole, killing most of Talea’s descendants, but somehow leaving her tomb untouched, which remains to this day, surrounded by a large canyon scar. As the Wildering came to a close, another green menace was unleashed on the Altalar, as the Eronidas landed on the far western shores and immediately began a vicious campaign of conquest. The Eronidas Invasion sapped the post-Wildering strength of the Altalar people, and while the Eronidas would eventually diminish in their warlike behavior, establishing city-states known as Polons, the mark they left on the Altalar was profound. It was also during this era that the now revolting Asha of southern Daen committed to The Great Journey, and traveled several years to reach a new homeland, the Ashal Islands off the coast of Daendroc.
After all the cataclysmic events that had befallen the Allorn Empire, it was hopelessly shattered. The Arken and Kathar had created the Dread Empire to the southwest, while most of the Principalities were completely cut off from each other, some states being nearly entirely depopulated. Many of the forerunners of the other Nelfin species roamed the land seeking a homeland for themselves, and society started the slow road to recovery as elsewhere in the world, the Regalian Empire was founded. The Archmages had all but disappeared; the Cataclysm having sapped away all Magic. Great ruler Princes, whose skill in the arcane arts enabled them to shift mountains, were suddenly powerless, some even murdered by the lowly Asha as many of the slave populations revolted against their Altalar masters, no longer capable of suppressing their large numbers. Ex-slave states such as Daenshore and Kilarallis were born in the chaos, while other regions (particularly Ithania) saw a more peaceful transition of power where the Altalar were aware that they could not resist a slave uprising, and handed away power in the hopes of being spared a grisly fate. After the destruction settled, the Suvial blamed the Fin’ullen, the Fin’ullen blamed the Lesarra, and the Lesarra blamed the Teledden, while the colonial realms blamed everyone else. Still, a common sense of grief eventually set in, and grievances for “not having done enough” or “not having played their part” in trying to stop what was happening disappeared, and Altalar society rebounded quickly in the hopes of reviving what was lost.
Modern Altalar are no longer the most populous Race, recently having been overtaken by the rapidly expanding Ailor, however their numbers remain formidable and far greater than the third largest Race by a long shot. Despite the losses of the Wildering, the towering Altalar population was still capable of recovering, a testament to how badly overpopulated the Altalar had become towards the end of the Allorn Empire. It is claimed by some that the Wildering in fact happened to accommodate for the recovery, a final gift of Estel and the Pantheon of the Gods before they became permanently silent, so that the Altalar had room to recover and would not suffer another cycle of centuries of famine and infighting. Yanar emerged from the woodlands, this time much smaller and much friendlier, helping the surviving communities to continue thriving and eventually aiding in the recovery of many nations. Most of the remains and ruins of the Allorn Empire remain exquisite. Hundreds of cities of white marble and stone lie frozen in an untouched state, bar the nature that reclaimed them. They are so numerous that they are re-discovered near-weekly, the resting place of an uncountable number of treasures and tomes. Some of them have also become home to dangerous creatures, or protected by Altalar wishing to protect their history from plundering. The treasures of the Altalar remain all around them, and ever so slowly, the remnants of the Allorn Empire are rebuilding.
However, this project has rapidly advanced as, in 309 AC, Talea returned to the shock of millions, alongside the Avatars of the Gods, beginning a revolution of Altalar thought which seems ceaseless. The newly reborn Allorn Empire now has much of its old territory, but has engaged in conflict with the resistant Suvial and terrified but also determined Dread Empire as part of a struggle for conquest and defeat of these resistant elements of former Allorn society. Outsiders too, have been stunned by these turn of events, and so the spirit of many Altalar has been emboldened, though some wonder if Talea and her host will truly last in the long term.
Altalar Society is not traditionally unified in the way that other Races have unified societies, like the Isldar and the Sihndar, nor is as universally divided among cultural lines as Ailor society is, split by many different subcultures. Altalar Society rests somewhere in between, where there is a distinct Teledden, Fin’ullen and Suvial society, where Lesarra flow fluidly in-between, having a shared society of their own with Yanar and Avanthar, while other non-Lesarra populations also flow between Suvial and Teledden societies indiscriminately. In this way, they are not nearly as privy to ethnic conflict and stereotype as the Ailor, but have major distinctions among themselves, unlike the other aforementioned Races. If one were to really put one’s foot down and have to declare Altalar Society as stratified as possible, it could be delineated along the sovereign lines of their nation-states, of which there are many. All, however, can be classified among 4 major types. The Avela represent the Suvial somewhat democratic realms opposed to the Kathar in the west, the Talant are the coastal realms with Fin’ullen majority populations (though with respectable numbers of Teledden present), while the Teledden majority can be found in the princely Tanaars. Finally, two Lesarra majority nations exist in the so called Ol Lavei, which veer on almost lacking an actual societal structure, just barely classifying as actual nations with borders. To understand Altalar culture at large, there will as such be a distinction between these 4 categories, the Avela, Talant, Tanaar, and Ol Lavei, as well as the fifth major substrata, the colonial Solvaan culture, otherwise referred to as Sollerian, who are represented in the Altalar majority across the Great Ocean separating Daen from the Regalian Archipelago.
Families and Romance
In Sollerian culture, there is a concept of marriage as an emphatic expression of mutual interest, loyalty, and permanence. In relationships, even when marriage is not being considered, the foremost thing the Solvaan value is loyalty. This does not mean just a forbiddance on paramours, but also, expressions of disgust at the idea of even flirting with others while one is currently engaged in courtship. This puts them wildly at odds with the passion of the Talant, who they like to say have taken on the worst of barbaric improprieties- infidelity. Indeed, this particular Sollerian fixation has been taken by others to call them possessive or restraining in love, but it tends to go in both directions, not just from one partner to another. The Solvaan, with the values they have, are also staunchly opposed to polygamy, which they consider a total no-go, ‘sharing your person’ being a concept that they are not at all comfortable with. Same-sex relationships are a little touch and go, in that while the Sollerians are at a base comfortable with the concept, they believe that the individuals pursuing it should have the spine to deal with the potential backlash from foreigners. That is to say, if a Krainivaya or Wirtem Ailor expresses unhappiness with the same-sex relationship of two Solvaan Altalar, not immediately challenging them on it is seen as a sign that the relationship is not strong enough to exist or persist. As well, the Solvaan are against Race-mixing, as it represents to them the irreversible destruction of the culture they fight so hard to preserve. Counterintuitively, most half-Elves are actually produced by curious Fin’ullen or outcast Teledden, as the Solvaan keep to themselves.
The Altalar language is called Ïsursa’ïos, or natively ‘’The God-Written Tongue”, however to call it a unified language would not be accurate. Ïsursa’ïos is the oldest still spoken language in the world, and has changed over the millennia to suit the needs of the Altalar. Commonly, Ïsursa’ïos is split into three temporal variants, the so called “Ancient Altalar” dialect that was spoken during the days of Talea, the “Allorn Altalar” or “Old Altalar” that was spoken at the height of the Allorn Empire, and “Modern Altalar” or “New Altalar” that is spoken in the present day. Ïsursa’ïos as a language is also the root language of all other Nelfin languages which are considered isolated dialects, however mutual understanding between these dialects has long been lost since the other Nelfin species use different pronunciations, or have added new letters to their alphabet to complement their changing phonology. Ancient Altalar is considered completely extinct, while some nations of Altalar still use Empire Altalar as the predominant language of the population. Modern Altalar is however by far the most spoken variant of Ïsursa’ïos, and in 99% of cases, the Altalar language used within the boundaries of the Regalian Empire and the eastern Altalar States.
Ïsursa’ïos is a curious language in that originally, it was not a literal language but a figurative language. What this means it that while in other languages words mean their literal meaning, comprehension of Altalar can be difficult for outsiders, because they do not expressly have a word for a noun like “dog”, but rather say “beast that follows the barbarian to war and lives in their home”. Thus, despite Ïsursa’ïos having a very simple vocabulary that is also surprisingly resilient to acquiring new words, actually learning to weave those words together in coherent sentences is the harder part. Ancient Altalar suffered to a degree from this complicated linguistic construction, but the matter became far worse during the Empire Altalar period, where the Altalar started speaking intentionally obtusely as debate and dialogue became ever more crucial in their society, and speaking at a higher level of reading comprehension to avoid slaves overhearing what was said became the norm. The entire linguistic structure of Empire Altalar collapsed after the Cataclysm, because the complex conveyance of concepts became so difficult in a time when urgency was of utmost importance, that it often led to military defeat or disaster. For example, during the Wildering, a group of Mages tried to hold a city away from the encroaching living forests, but could not adequately communicate to each other in a fast enough manner which side of the city needed assistance due to the ingrained linguistic idiosyncrasies of Allorn Altalar, and the city was destroyed. Ïsursa’ïos then rapidly modernized into Modern Altalar, which has begrudgingly started adopting words from other languages. For example, the word “Cannon” from Common Ailor has been adopted as the word “Aïnnon” in the Altalar language, something that the Altalar have accepted if only to make quick communication plausible where Regalian armies are deploying cannons for their Altalar soldiers.
What further complicates Ïsursa’ïos as a language, is that it has three different spellings, which all Altalar are expected to learn. At a base, there is the Ancient spelling, where the Ancient Alphabet is used. This Alphabet is more flowery in appearance and can sometimes also be referred to as diagonal cursive by other Races, because of its habit to be written at a diagonal angle leaning to the right. The spelling most used during the days of the Allorn Empire is the Est-allorn Alphabet, which is commonly understood to be the mother of all other linguistic alphabets that descended from the Altalar alphabet. This includes but is not limited to all other Nelfin species, the Ailor, the Urlan and to a degree mixed with their own writing, the Maraya. In the main hemisphere of the world, only the Dwarves, Qadir and Songaskians maintain their own alphabets, though they also bear striking similarities to the Altalar alphabet. Then, there is the simplified Altalar spelling called Isursaal. Isursaal rejects the Altalar alphabet and spells the Ïsursa’ïos language entirely in the Common alphabet. Some Altalar look down on this spelling as barbarian-adapting or compromising, however the quick simplicity of this is favored by military leaders and merchants because of how easily translatable it is for the other Races, versus the more common Est-allorn alphabet.
Whatever the alphabet, dialect, or temporal variant of Ïsursa’ïos, it is commonly quoted to be the most melodic language in the world, and sounding completely foreign to those who have never heard it, because of its tendency to weave vowels and consonants of separate words together. Whole sentences can be spoken in such a way that it sounds like one really long word, with soft and flowing syllables folding into each other. It has also been said that the Altalar speak like gentle flowing water, or the striking of beads of water on pearls, as there is no sound in their linguistic repertoire that produces harsh or crude sounding noises, as exists in nearly every other language. Ïsursa’ïos is the direct linguistic ancestor of D’Ithanie and Daendroquin, which would later also give birth to the Leutz-Vixe Dialect and Dressalo. As such, while the Ailor population outnumbers the Altalar population in the world at this current point in time, linguistically, the most spoken languages can all trace their roots back to Ïsursa’ïos. Furthermore, even for the more distant languages like Skodje and Common, words are frequently borrowed from Ïsursa’ïos to complement the vocabulary. For example, the word “Äsach” would eventually give rise to “Pasasje” in Skodje or “Passage” in Common respectively. Dialects do still exist within the Altalar languages, as within other tongues. The commoner Solvaan, especially, are said to have the thickest accent and greatest amount of grammatical mutations separating them from the standard Ivaëlle speech patterns.
Lifestyle and Leisure
Sollerian leisure is very public, and often, entirely outdoors. Any wealthy Solvaan Altalar has an estate that is at a base much smaller than even the poorest of Ailor Baronial estates, but features massive estate grounds surrounded by a tall fence. It is not unusual for Sollerian estates to have pieces of private forest, a lake, a beach, a mountain, a set of caves, and so forth, each with their own private leisure locations like gazebos, lounges, pavilions, rooms hidden in the landscape, and other mirages to keep prying eyes away. Sollerians are very social in their leisure, meaning that while they can enjoy all the activities that other Altalar engage in, and indeed frequently emulate them, they must always include other people, as leisure without people isn’t really leisure. At the same time, when they do hold a gathering, they do so with great privacy, not so much behind closed doors like the Tanaar, but behind a high fence and out in the open surrounded by nature. The Solvaan Altalar deeply appreciate unmarred wilderness, and especially search for what they call a ‘thinking space’, some sort of area that is just lively enough to provide a consistent backdrop of sound but not crowded enough to interrupt their train of thought or harangue them with unwanted guests. This also means that Sollerians are uniquely adept at interacting with Isldar while in nature or in special places of meditation, having a common appreciation for these places.
While many Sollerians dress to impress and use copious amounts of Gold- and Silver-thread to express wealth, it is rare to find a Solvaan that does not have some skill in combat, and their clothing must never get in the way of quickly jumping into the fray if the situation demands it. To this effect, the Sollerian fashion is dominated by the Alaanh, a tabard-like dress that is for both genders. It is a tight-fitting torso vest that is held together with a wide belt around the waist (usually covering the entire stomach), which flows into a large flap of fabric in front of the legs, as well as down the back. This creates the impression of a dress, but with the sides cut open. Solvaan clothes carry a pin just under the belt, meaning if the situation demands it, they can pull out this pin, causing the loose pieces of fabric to detach and get out of the way. These flaps of fabric are immensely important however, as they are rimmed with writing that speaks about their life’s achievements or notable victories. A Sollerian would never leave behind these flaps, even if the most brutal battle demanded they let go of them for the time being, always coming back for them, as they represent their personal banner.
Sollerian art is dominated by landscape paintings, and depictions of scenes that are meant to elicit certain contemplations or emotions. They, unlike the Talant, do not enjoy the inclusion of people in their work. Some of the most skilled painters in the Imperial Court who produce dioramas of cities and the regional wilderness are Sollerian artists, and some Ailor painters even buy their works as a base to later use as a background for their portraiture. In general, the Solvaan enjoy the concept of the ‘quiet world’, nature unmarred by mortal expansion, destruction, or history. Normally, the use of a subject implies that a Sollerian work is historical rather than purely for enjoyment, and this style of painting mostly exists as a way to express the many events of the past. With this in mind, their productions tend to be somewhat evenly split between very detailed paintings that are meant to document a particular moment in history, and sometimes abstract landscapes that convey feelings and ideas. As well, the Solvaan enjoy gardening, but not in an organized way. Rather, they allow nature to grow unobstructed, and consider this a form of art, where they can appreciate the knotted trees and colorful flowers. One thing that the Sollerians never depict or accept looking at, is the effects of the Wildering. While some Ailor and Cielothar can appreciate the dystopian scenery of the ruined Altalar cities, Sollerians become immensely offended when exposed to this type of imagery and will do what they can to have it taken down.
Because of their general proximity to the Anglian Ailor lands, the Solvaan have easy access to wheat, making them the first Nelfin to experiment with baking in the form of savory breads, crackers, and waffles. Their produce is appreciated by other Altalar for keeping well, and is commonly carried when traveling, having an excellent reputation as provisions. However, the Solvaan tend to be predisposed against cane sugar as a sweetener, considering it sickly and unappealing and using honey instead. They can even consider confectionery gifts an insult, if sweetened the wrong way. Sollerian cuisine is also one of trying out new things, and many of them travel if only for the purpose of finding hidden places to seek new cookery. They frequently go to many different taverns (sometimes even those found in the more slummy parts of cities) of many different Cultures, and are willing to talk for hours about their adoration of a newfound dining experience. As well, the Sollerians have a uniquely high alcohol tolerance for Nelfin. They produce a number of very strong red spiced brandies, which are incorrectly labeled as wine among non-Altalar, and are at fault for many barracks accidents and parties gone wrong.
Architecture and Buildings
Sollerian architecture descends from the old Allorn outposts that their largest cities were constructed on top of and around. It is mostly dependent on the idea of having a focal hill or cliffside, normally the location of an ancient watchtower. Their settlements are normally constructed in rings which radiate outwards, the end of each ring marked with some sort of squat wall. Solvaan architecture does display immense towers, but only in the very center of the city to convey the seat of authority, rather than across the whole urban area. Sollerian architects are very proud of their stonemasonship, but do not sculpt with it like the Fin’ullen, rather they use it to decorate their architecture and especially their city walls, large and pretty fortifications holding a special significance to the Sollerian people. Another unique aspect of Solvaan cities is their distinct lack of marble, because there is not nearly enough in the Archipelago for Tanaar sensibilities. Because of this, the towns of Solleria have a foreboding feel: the combination of thick seaside fog and entire municipalities constructed entirely out of dull gray rock (albeit well-decorated rock) is often intimidating to those who have not seen it before. Tanaar who journey to the Archipelago like to describe the Sollerian cities as ‘one of our frontier forts, made much bigger, and with wide roads’. Their countryside houses are on the other hand incredibly small and open, capped to two stories tall, and built only as a temporary sleeping place in between enjoyment of the surrounding wilderness. These often feature just a single fireplace room, kitchen, bath, and bedroom. Sollerian architecture can also be told apart by the fact that while Talant use blue roofing, and Avela use red and orange roofing, the Sollerians exclusively use green or teal roofing.
Law and State
Law and order in the Altalar cultures is virtually identical across the board. Each of the Altalar cultures adopts the concept of “right by debate”, where if a guilty party is brought to court, each side simply postures and orates until the audience throws their laurels at one particular person as the winner. This is why it is generally believed that in Altalar society there is no such thing as true justice, and that the best rhetorician will simply win all accusations and defenses, even if everyone knows the accusation is absolutely not true. In fact, the Altalar might believe that as long as something is argued well enough, even if there is actual evidence of the contrary being true, they will still support the debating claim, and actually believe that the person “might as well have done the thing they are accused of, if they could not properly defend themselves”. Over the years, tens of thousands of Altalar have died, been accused, or been acquitted of crimes they absolutely did or did not engage in because they spoke a certain way. On the flip side, Altalar law does not truly know prisons or law enforcement. Guards are nominally present, but they only exist to stop acts of crime in the moment, not to enforce a code of law. Generally speaking, the guilty verdict includes some sort of claim or demand by the accusing party, and as such, Altalar justice can best be described as “debate-driven mob rule”.
It is often said that in Altalar society “everyone is a noble” and “everyone has a lineage”. This is roughly true, as Altalar society lacks a true wealth or social class divide the way it exists in Ailor society. While there is a very distinct ruling class in the Sols, everyone is in their own right a noble lineage of some kind and deserving of respect, as the entire poor and downtrodden part of society is made up of slaves and liberated slaves. In a way, the Altalar as such live in a slavery-imposed utopia, but there is still a clear distinction between relevant Altalar nobility, and irrelevant Altalar nobility. Each family has a historical lineage to uphold, and generally speaking, achievements of ancestors set the tone of relevancy for a family, as very rarely does a family actually rise on present members to prominence, and it usually takes several major achievements from different members to become relevant. There are a few exceptions to this. In Ol Lavei society, nobility doesn’t really exist. Tanaar Altalar will come to Ol Lavei society to act as landowners, but Ol Lavei do not formally recognize nobility or class divides. Secondly, the Altalar living in the Regalian Empire under Solvaan rule are more willing due to their culture to recognize the achievements of individuals and their immediate predecessors rather than requiring a lengthy lineage to accept the noble status of a family. Besides the Solvaan colonial provinces and a few turbulent border regions controlled by expeditionary Talant generals, the entire Altalar nobility is Teledden, period, and non-Teledden rulers tend to be met with an immense amount of discontent from their displeased subjects, who cite the Wheel of Time in repeatedly requesting that a Teledden be allowed to take over.
Altalar cults have, since the collapse of the Allorn Empire, dominated Teledden life to some degree- even up to modern times. Many historical events were triggered by the actions of individual cults, and while some cults have waxed and waned throughout the centuries, many of the Altalar (even the Suvial, Fin’ullen, Lesarra, and Solvaan that did not engage in cultism) know their names and basic history. Most Teledden do not engage in cultism, but it is still a uniquely Teledden activity, which has always confounded and undermined the upper classes of society.
- The Cult of Shadows was the forerunner cult of Kathar and all other Void-related activities. The Cult of Shadows had leagues of shadow operatives and leaders who tried to puppeteer states into the grasp of the Void. This cult is now largely extinct, inherited by smaller Void cults, as the majority of the members ascended to become Kathar.
- The Daughters of Chaos is a female-only cult composed of embittered ex-royals and their long-distant offspring. The Daughters of Chaos engage in de-masculating sadism on male rulers, and have a generally embittered view on the patriarchal constructs of many Altalar states, seeking female empowerment through violence and depravity. The Daughters of Chaos still exist in the present day, but have largely been annihilated by the Wings of Glory.
- The Wings of Glory are a cult of Ellea-worshipping shapeshifters who use semi-beast or bird-like identities to fight the effects of Void corruption in the Altalar world. They are best known for nearly destroying the Daughters of Chaos, and continuing to fight the Princes of Osc’ird, and have attained semi-mythological status in some regions.
- The Princes of Osc’ird are a Void worshipper cult of excess and pleasure, largely focused around corrupted members of the highest Altalar aristocracy. The Princes of Osc’ird, unlike the Sons of Malice and the Daughters of Chaos, are difficult to find, because they hide in plain sight and enjoy hiding their identity from others until it is too late and their victim is caught in their political machinations and plots.
- The Sons of Malice are Void worshippers who believe in the growth of a twisted and Void-corrupted natural world. They worship the Wildering as a holy event, and seek to unleash the Wildering on the world at large. The Sons of Malice still exist in present day, but the majority of them live in Kathar lands, among the Wolathar.
- The Cult of Ciellonia is a more wholesome cult of opiate-fumed Estel worshipers who seek to bring good things, pleasant things, and kindness to all around them. They build large floral gardens and then pump them full of opiates and other relaxants, hosting parties of kind pleasantries and affirmation for others and generally existing to chase positivity.
- The Cult of Dronnal is a highly militarized cult that believes in creating the ultimate weapon either through training one’s self, or generally just creating it. The Cult of Dronnal has several researchers and scholars that discovered the Soul-Cannon used on Regalian forces in recent years, and also continue to pioneer new and horrible Arcane weapons.
- The Cult of Suel is a cult that has little identity beyond eugenics, and is commonly believed to have been responsible for the birth of the Avanthar. They continue to try and work on Genos theory, some of them even engaging in experiments on Urlan in an attempt to isolate various alchemical effects of the Oorl worm to synthesize their substances.
- The Cult of Talea is an ultra-loyalist or nationalist cult of Altalar that believes in the complete rejection of the Regalian Empire’s encroachment and other Nelfin cousin Races, and the resurrection of the Allorn Empire. The Cult of Talea is considered a terrorist organization in the Regalian Empire.
Education and Childhood
Sollerian education exists as a three-part system. For the first segment of their life, thirteen to twenty, the Solvaan are sent to an orthodox academy which drills them in Altalar history, grandeur, and accomplishments. This is followed by a trip out to nearby Ailor lands to learn a new angle to parts of their chosen profession, and also to temper their ingrained superiority complex with amicable exposure to non-Altalar, which creates their unique attitude. When they are brought back, the Sollerians are drilled to the point of sufficing as a military reserve, and then offered freedom in their lives. Some of them go to Hyarroc to help roll back the front against the Kathar, while others remain in the Archipelago to build a family. In essence, the education process of the Solvaan is designed to prepare them for whichever life they choose, and give them tools to succeed (a strong Altalar identity, a degree of understanding, and enough fighting ability to survive). The Altalar found in Regalian knight organizations are exclusively Solvaan, making up a minority in those knightly orders that do accept non-Ailor.
Though for most of their history the Altalar have been united under the Allorn Empire, in the modern day, their nations are divided under three distinctive banners. The first, the resurrected Allorn Empire under a claimant returning Talea in 309 AC. The second, the Suvial Principalities, whose powerful leaders refuse to bow to this new Empire. And the third, the Sollerian lands, which are sworn to the Regalian Emperor. There are some corner cases, for example the Teledden Principalities that the Regalians have occupied and annexed. Additionally, Altalar states feature several prefixes that denote their majority population or founding people. A prefix of Tanaar means that a state is predominantly Teledden, while Talant means Fin’ullen, Ol Lavei means Lesarra, Avela means Suvial, and Narseth indicates borderlands with the Kathar or wastelands due to major conflict.
The Allorn Empire as understood in the present isn’t necessarily the same Allorn Empire of old: the Talea who rules it has had her legitimacy drawn into question by those who do not wish to submit to her. As well, it is a clique of ultra-nationalists who arose in the wake of repeated Regalian invasions of Altalar lands who are currently in power, making the nation incredibly revanchist and hostile to most other powers. The Allorn Empire is currently at war with both the Suvial Principalities and the Kathar Dread Empire, and while currently at peace with the Regalian Empire, many wonder how long this can last.
- For more information on the Allorn Principalities of Daendroc, click HERE
- For more information on the Allorn Principalities of Teled Methen, click HERE
- For more information on the Allorn Principalities of Teled Varren, click HERE
- For more information on the Allorn Principalities of Hyarroc, click HERE
- For more information on the Allorn Principalities of Rokhara, click HERE
Solleria is the collection of misty lands in the west of the Regalian Archipelago, once the colonies of the Allorn Empire, now a Regalian realm. Having a population of some 4 or 5 million Solvaan compared to the hundreds of millions of other Altalar in Daen, the Teledden especially write it off as statistically insignificant. However, it is still a distinct region in its own right, presided over by an Azure Court of its local rulers: a gloomy and foggy place, of stone towers veiled by thick grey squall.
- For more information on Solleria, click HERE
The remaining Altalar nations of Aloria are divided and often isolated or distinct in some way. Few remain that have not joined any of the great polities of world politics, though others profess neutrality or a disinterest in these large-scale struggles.
Combat and Warfare
Despite defeats in recent history, the Altalar count some of the world’s most talented fighters among their ranks, spending whole lifetimes honing their martial skills. Altalar cavalry is noted as some of the most skilled in known history, with the Silverlances of the Allorn Empire having near-legendary status, recounted in the “Shattering of Stars”, a series of recordings detailing the last charges of the Silverlances against the Eronidas. As the Allorn Empire came crashing down, the weaknesses of Allorn battle tactics were quickly exposed, as having spent centuries fighting conventionally, the Allorn military was not able to adapt to the asymmetrical combat style of the Eronidas, and the chaotic approach of the Demons. Furthermore, when exposed to Regalian military tactics, Regalia’s heavy reliance on artillery quickly proved that the Altalar combat techniques no longer were ahead of military developments. Despite tactical and technological disadvantages, when pitching a single Altalar soldier (especially Fin’ullen) against any other soldier, the Altalar usually is the victor, the matter only becoming more unclear when facing off against Urlan or Eronidas. To adapt to the danger of artillery and the damage of unconventional warfare, the Altalar have largely done away with massive rank and file armies, and moved into smaller deployments around the enemy, using much smaller squad and team attacks to make use of the unrivaled individual skill of Altalar warriors. Still, Altalar martial history is littered with glorious heroes, army chapters and infamous last-stands turned pyrrhic victories, the modern Altalar drawing on endless chronicles of warfare to be inspired for their future military career. In general, it can be said that a traditional Altalar army is given directives by a Teledden overlord, commanded by a Suvial tactician or general, and staffed by Fin’ullen soldiers with the occasional Solvaan complement or aiding vanguard force.
The Altalar for the most part follow Estellon, which can be read about on its own page. While not all Altalar are Estellon faithful, as there are some events in their long history that have thrown some of them to seek different religions, it is hard for any Altalar to deny the direct effect that Estel and her Pantheon have had on Altalar history, and the role that they play in not only their spiritual, but also secular and political past.
Interactions and Customs
The Altalar, across the various cultures, know several customs, traditions, and interactions that differentiate their behavior to one another from the other Races. Below are some of them outlined, though players are welcome to contribute their own if they stick around in the Altalar player community.
- The act of ritually brewing tea or Kaffee for another person is considered a sign of deference or respect, especially when it is brewn from a bowl of Eelt-Stones, magical blue glowing pebbles that can become as warm as fire when heated. Most Altalar have a small supply of Eelt-Stones which they enjoy keeping in engraved boxes, given a special place near their kitchen entrances.
- Physical touch between Altalar is considered offensive when it is uninvited, sometimes even for lovers. When one Altalar requests the right to physically touch another Altalar, they put one hand on the opposite arm’s shoulder, and shape their other arm in an “L” shape, while extending their hand palm up towards the other person. If that person lands one index finger and middle finger on the palm of the hand, they give permission. If no gesture is made, then the request for physical contact is rejected.
- Eye contact between Altalar is somewhat split down the middle. While Teledden tilt their chins up, and Fin’ullen and Solvaan look others sternly in the eyes as a means of establishing dominance, intimidation, or just good rapport, the Lesarra and Suvial avoid eye contact unless they respect the individual they are speaking to, always trailing their sight off to the side.
- Altalar soldiers like to go on ‘challenge-hunts’ where they go one friend at a time, asking to spar with each one until they lose. This way, at their next feast or gathering, they can brag about their victories.
- The traditional greeting between Altalar is a slight bow, bent a small degree at the waist with the hand held slightly out and palm facing upwards.
- Altalar ridicule those who fall outside of their societally expected norms and traditions, being strong believers in keeping to what one is meant to do and otherwise staying out of it.
- The art of snide commentary hidden under a veneer of kindness is an art among the Altalar, and those who are good at it take pride to showcase their skill to others.
- Normally, Altalar do not actually mind the company of their Nelfin cousin Races (bar Kathar and Avanthar). However, there is a tendency to ‘tokenize’ them, as in, to acquire one Isldar, one Sihndar, and one Cielothar for their circle, and stop after that.
- Altalar married couples rarely sleep in the same bed. The idea of falling asleep and waking up in the same bed as one’s lover is considered invasive. If intimacy is had between a couple, they might use one lover's bed, but when the act is done, one would leave and retreat for privacy into their own room or a guest room to avoid embarrassing the other partner with messy hair and other related matters.
- Altalar do not have pets, ever. Domestic animals are considered crude creatures that invite dirtiness into the home. There is a small exception for caged birds and glass-encased insects and snakes, as long as they can be confined in an elegant habitat and do not need to be interacted with besides a slave servant feeding them (or being fed to them in some extreme cases).
- A way for an Altalar to indicate seriousness and devotion to the task they are engaging in is to abandon their finery until they are done with it. Teledden are an exception, in that they still would not be found dead in public looking unpresentable.
- There is a taboo among Altalar on bringing up topics that would be considered intimately embarrassing to other people in their circle, with the understanding that as long as they refrain from it, others will too. It is seen as crude and derogatory to humiliate someone with a veiled reference, and far more appropriate to make jabs at their personality or public actions.
- Altalar can sometimes be very childish with their dislike of others, particularly towards one’s wardrobe. While Altalar remain very poised and graceful, an extended cape or robe that can conveniently be stood upon and torn is sometimes too much of an irresistible torment to inflict on those not liked.
- An aggressive disapproval of another person can sometimes be expressed through a backhand-clap. The way this is done to hold one’s hand with the palm facing towards one’s own face stretched out in front of them, followed by the back of the other hand clapped firmly into the palm of the other, once. This is considered the Ailor equivalent of being spat on by another Altalar, but Altalar (bar Fin’ullen) would never land a fist or hand on another person in a violent manner and break composure.
Why Play Altalar
Because you like Altalar. And winning. Altalar win a lot. This is your reward for having reached the bottom, the great Arcane mystery passed down from the depths of the Allorn past: Altalar are great at winning. Sometimes this works out just fine. Sometimes it doesn’t. I don't care what they are going to say. Let the Allorn Empire rage on. The Slaves get great denture plans.
- The Altalar are often referred to as “Knife Ears” due to the pointed nature of their ears. This is commonly used as a base insult by Ailor, and Altalar find it insulting not because of its insulting nature, but because of the low amount of effort put into the insult.
- Wall carvings from the Ancient Altalar Empire suggest that the Nelfin once had significantly longer ears that have grown smaller over the years. This may also have been a stylistic or artistic liberty however.
- Altalar society is incredibly fractured while the Crown of the World, the same crown worn by Empress Talea, is still in Regalian hands, where it is undeservedly treated as a war-time trinket of such low value that it remains hidden in a dusty vault in the Imperial Palace.