|Common Nicknames||Frostlings, Frozen People, Frost Horrors|
|Naming Customs||Fantasy Elven (but not Tolkien Elven)|
|Distinctions||Snow Elves who guard the cycle of life and death and the memory of Dragons|
|Maximum Age||400 years (up to 150 for non-Permission holders)|
|Height||6’ - 6’10”|
|Eye Colors||Baby blue, Sky blue, Gray, Teal, Turquoise, Cyan|
|Hair Colors||Snow white, with variation depending on Isl Zeal|
|Skin Tones||Pale pink|
While this doesn't mean your character has to come from one of these places, it's recommended they do.
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Mysterious, seclusive, elusive with hint traces of Altalar high-class and a nationalistic pride that sets them even further apart than the other Nelfin species. The Isldar from the frozen wastes of Ellador are all these things and more, protecting their homelands from unwanted intruders since the days of the Allorn Empire, but also venturing in the world to tend to the lost souls left behind by millennia of tragedy. Isldar are a barely understood subrace of Nelfin who once formed out of the Dragon worshiping Drogon Cult, leaving the Allorn Empire for seclusion in Ellador’s mountains. Through intrigue, the Isldar were brought from the brink of doom, from where their Dragon matron Frisit used the last of her living Magic to save their kind, turning into Frostweaver the Undead Dragon that continues to guide her people. The Isldar now venture into the world, both to gather information for their frozen holds in Ellador but also to guide the wayward souls to the afterlife and tend to the rivers of Soul Essence that flow all over Aloria, keeping balance in life and death.
Isldar are a uniquely homogeneous Race, meaning they all look very similar in physical characteristics, though there is some variation there-in. The most obvious features about an Isldar is the color of their hair, being naturally white, as well as their pale skin, no matter the amount of sunlight they are exposed to. They also exclusively have bright, almost icy bright eyes, in colors ranging from baby blue, sky blue, gray, teal, turquoise and cyan. Their bodily proportions are very similar to those of the other Nelfin species, though their faces and ears often set them apart from the other Nelfin. Their face is exceptionally angular, while their ears often bend slightly inwards around their skull, while also being more pointy and longer than that of the others. Their eyebrows always appear much stricter, generally giving Isldar a very frigid neutral expression while their whole face looks slim. Isldar have a slender bone structure and delicate hands, with a skin that is surprisingly resistant to any form of scarring or imperfections, remaining as clean and pristine as a morning’s freshly fallen snow.
Isldar have a number of special traits that set them apart from the other Nelfin species, most if not all of which were created when Frisit cast her spells and saved the Isldar from destruction, but also irreversibly changing them into something new at the same time. Firstly, Isldar are completely immune to any cold damage, or adverse effects of the cold. Being drenched in freezing cold water does not shut down their body like it would any other Race, and they do not feel the biting cold wind howling on their skin. Isldar are even known to fare well during a blizzard, not needing additional protection and being able to see quite well despite the flurry of snow. When moving through a heavy snowstorm, it is almost as if the snow simply bends around them, avoiding any sort of push against their body, allowing them to move and act as if the heavy winds and snowfall weren’t even there. Furthermore, all Isldar can also speak Wyrm Tongue, the Dragon language, which is a language so complex that it sounds like gibberish to anyone who does not have the Primal Magic inclined learning capability of it. This language allows the Isldar to hear the words of Frisit carried by the winds, but also to communicate in words with Dragons and Wyverns, though not with each other, as this language only works when spoken to or from a Dragon or Wyvern.
Frisit’s Weave, as Frisit’s blessings to the Isldar are called, furthermore also allow the Isldar near-unrivaled capacity to see and interact with the Soul Rivers of Aloria. The Soul Rivers of Aloria are natural congregations of Soul Essence, the stuff that souls are made out of, that flow across the world. When a person dies, their Soul Essence is added to this River and it flows through the world like a network of currents in the skies. Normal people and even most Mages cannot see these rivers of Primal Magic, but Isldar are constantly aware of them and can see them flow in all their majesty. Some of these Rivers flow high above the buildings, some of them flow low through the streets and even through houses. Isldar can watch people just walk straight through, never even noticing the glittering white ethereal flows, never being aware of the circle of life around them. They can also see these Rivers get tapped into when a child is born, when a sliver of essence leaks away and transfers into the mother just as childbirth commences, giving birth to the soul. This is also why Isldar can make predictions what a child is going to be like when they are born, as their ability to see this Soul Essence and understand its nature allows them to predict the personality and purpose of a child before it has even said a word. Additionally, they can detect any Soul Sharding or other Soul Mutations like Silvenism, though only at birth. They can no longer detect this when the baby has grown up beyond being a child.
Furthermore, this ability to see the Soul Rivers of Aloria grants them additional abilities. When Isldar sing the Song of the Damned, the Soul Rivers within a few dozen feet of them become visible to non-Isldar, even the mundane people, and the Soul Essence of those who are passing peacefully transcends to the Rivers. Isldar do this to alleviate pain and suffering in the moment of death, taking away all sorrows and allowing a soul to properly pass on to the afterlife, with no chance of becoming Undead. Those who are in the moment of dying have been described as being in a state of perfect euphoria and peace with their demise, peacefully letting go, after which the sliver of Soul Essence that entered their body at birth returns to the Rivers, all for spectators to see. Isldar also use this ability when corrupted or destroyed Soul Essence still lingers in an area, for example when dealing with a Poltergheist or when Mages have destroyed Soul Essence to cast their magics and rituals. Isldar as such frequently tend to the necropolises and graveyards of the other Races, ensuring that the dead remain dead, and helping those wandering souls reach a state of peace.
This ability to send the dying on to the afterlife also applies in a limited way to the Undead themselves. While Isldar have no great control or ability to fight with an Undead, they can Soul-Lathe an Undead person’s soul, thus preventing further decay and storing their soul safely into a so-called Isldar Glyphstone, a special inscribed stone with Dragon Glyphs from the Isldar homeland that can only be used to absorb the soul of a willing Undead. This Soul-Lathed Glypstone can then be inserted into an Isldar Aysur, a stone-like body made out of white crystallized and concentrated Soul Essence that resembles an elegant looking carapace or skeleton, with the Isldar Glyph Stone inserted into its chest that functions much like a real body. While Lathed into an Aysur, Undead are technically no longer Undead, and have become something else, obeying a new set of rules and mechanics (which can be read about on the Isldar Aysur page). The creation of these Aysur is also a cultural tradition of the Isldar, that is referred to as the Art of the Dead. Most Isldar tend to have a single Aysur stored somewhere in a workshop or private place, where they sing to the Soul Rivers and add to their design, meaning each Aysur looks different from the skeletal structure and is custom-made by an Isldar. Building an Aysur takes several years, meaning if an Aysur is used to turn an Undead, the Isldar who the Aysur belonged to will have to make a new one.
Finally, the Isldar can also call upon the Soul Rivers of Aloria to aid them in battle. Since Soul Rivers are everywhere, and Isldar have some limited control on using the ethereal essence to bend in directions and pass over, they can also give more physical shape to it in the form of a weapon, which becomes useful when they are not armed with any weapon. Isldar can materialize a bow of condensed Soul Essence out of the Soul Rivers, which forms like an Altalar Longbow in their hand, made out of pure light. This bow, much like the Qadir Shardbow, shoots arrows made out of Soul Essence, though instead of wielding the Soul Essence of the user, it creates arrows out of Soul Essence from the Soul Rivers. These arrows can be used in one of two ways, either the Isldar shoots regular arrows made of Soul Essence, which pierce a foe’s armor and skin and cause a high amount of stinging pain and fatigue, after which the arrow slowly fades away. The other way to use this bow is to shoot an entrapping shot, which causes an arrow to fly out more like a short spherical projectile with a spiralling trail, latching onto a foe’s legs or feet and pinning them to the ground, or hitting their arms and pinning them to the walls they are standing close to, requiring a few dozen seconds to fade away. Isldar can fire this bow as long as they want to, as the Soul Essence used to shoot the arrows comes from the Soul Rivers and returns to them when they fade. The bow is however unwieldy and non-physical. It cannot be used to hit people, nor can it be used while moving since it takes some time to give form and some time again to dissolve. The bow also remains a longbow, meaning that drawing the bow takes more time than say a short bow, and should only be used as a last resort, or if the Isldar has been given enough distance from their target by allies.
Isldar are known to be people of few words and to intelligently think before speaking, using gentle wording and phrasing to get a point across. Few Isldar have the temper to yell, and even fewer Isldar lose their nerve in any tense situation, preferring to remain calm and recollected. The Isldar are generally considered the more intelligent of the Nelfin species, refraining from excessive self-indulgence like the Altalar and also restraining their emotions unlike the Avanthar. Their views of the world remain brutally pragmatic, unlike the childish views of the Cielothar, and most of their work is done in service of the dead and Frisit, unlike the self-pleasuring Kathar. In many ways, the Isldar are the polar opposites of the other Nelfin species, though they are still prone to the same arrogance and self-grandeur that affects the other Nelfin. Isldar are also notoriously difficult to crack when it comes to showing their emotions or even intimacy. There is a running game particularly among the Daendroque of Daenshore to try and seduce an Isldar, considered the most difficult task in the whole wide world. There is a reason why the local saying goes: “Gana will freeze over before the heart of an Isldar lets another in”, Gana referring to the molten lava tunnels from where the Dakkar hail. Finally, Isldar are also known to have the most terrible sense of humor of all Races, not understanding sarcasm or passive aggression in the slightest, and perceiving all jokes with literal wording. Isldar society is a high-class one and most Isldar simply grow up never knowing the concept of humor since it is considered a vile and barbaric activity for the Ailor Race, whereas most Isldar children are taught the arts of singing, Soul River dancing and Essence reading as entertainment.
Isl Zeal is a concept that expresses the zeal or support of an individual Isldar to the great designs of Frisit, the Undead Frost Dragon. Isldar morality and loyalty to the designs of the Isldar Holds aren’t binary; that is to say, an Isldar is never only just supporting or working against the Hold’s grand plan. Isldar have varying degrees of internalized loyalty towards Frisit that would confuse an Ailor too much to even think about, as generally Humans are only capable of seeing loyalty in black and white. Isl Zeal has roughly five degrees, starting from extreme zeal to Frisit, going down to loyal fervor, then balanced life, then free living, and finally partisan mind, identifying as a person who actively works against Frisit’s plans. Each Isldar has a small glowing band glyph at the base of the back of their neck, which shows a rough Isl Zeal degree. An Isldar who has extreme zeal has a five part glyph with claws in the middle, and two sets of wings spanning out from that central glyph. Those who are balanced life still have those claws, but only a single set of wings, while the free living only have one set of wings, and the partisan mind have no glyph at all. Depending on the Isl Zeal, different things occur to the Isldar as described below. Isl Zeal is never permanently the same either. It can change every month or so, bringing with it the advantages or disadvantages depending on how strongly an Isldar feels towards Frisit. Any form of aberrations (Silven, Vampirism, Undeadism etc. though not Sharding) locks an Isldar to Balanced Life, not being able to become Extreme Zeal or Loyal Fervor, including Mages, unless they are Magic-locked.
|Isl Zeal Stage||Physical Effects||Mental Effects||Status Type|
|Extreme Zeal||Frisit's Weave grants the Isldar the ability to call upon a Frost Wyvern, a horse-sized flying mount during Progression battles.||Only those who have Extreme Zeal can hear Frisit's commands sung on the winds from Ellador||Follows Frisit's visions and commands to the letter without failing. Failing to observe even a single command drops Isl Zeal to Loyal Fervor.|
|Loyal Fervor||Frisit's Weave allows the Isldar to slowly bend and flow the Soul Rivers and make them locally visible for up to a few feet around them for others to see.||Those with Loyal Fervor can read the Soul Essence of the living, able to decipher their personality from close-up. Additionally, Loyal Fervor "know" when a vision has been granted to the Zealous, prompting them to seek them out.||Follows the Extreme Zeal Isldar's proclamations of Frisit's visions and commands most of the times and still observes prayer and worship of Frisit's name. No longer believing in Frisit's divinity causes a Loyal Fervor to drop to Balanced Life.|
|Balanced Life||No changes based on descriptions of the race on this page.||No changes based on descriptions of the race on this page.||Balanced Life meaning picking and choosing between Frisit's commands, but generally being positively disposed towards Frisit while maintaining personal liberties.|
|Free Living||Frost resistance is reduced, they are able to feel the cold, but still not be hurt by it. The Soul Rivers are no longer visible to others while they sing.||Hair can change to platina blonde or strawberry blonde or remain snow white||Free Living meaning mostly ignoring Frisit and doing one's own thing. This tends to happen if an Isldar has not followed any of Frisit's commands for over 2 months.|
|Partisan Mind||Isldar who are Partisan mind lose all Frisit's Weave abilities, and cannot speak Wyrm Tongue either anymore. They are however able to form a blade or spear-like weapon out of the Soul Rivers and wield this weapon as if it were a real iron weapon.||Hair changes to raven black or dark gray.||Partisan Minds have taken pro-active steps to work against Frisit's commands. Anyone who does something polar opposite to any of Frisit's commands automatically becomes a Partisan Mind until they are reconciled with the other Isldar who are Zealous, after which they become Balanced Life.|
None of the Isl Zeal, Frisit’s Weave or other racial gifts are inherited by half-Isldar. Once a non-Isldar has been incorporated into the lineage of an Isldar family, no children that come afterwards no matter how many times they mix with Isldar will produce a pure Isldar with Frisit’s Weave. Isldar visual traits can however be mix-inherited by half-Isldar.
The starting point of Isldar history can be placed somewhere in the early stages of the Altalar Grandening period, around 1100 BC according to most Nelfin historical scholars, at the first formal party held by the fledgeling Cult of Drogon. This infant form of the Cult was composed of noble-backed draconic scholars who took to recording detailed information on the lives of Dragons, alongside collecting and preserving the remains of deceased Dragons, forming the basis of many Dragonbone collections in the present day. While some of these draconic scholars limited themselves to purely academic observation and cataloguing of the Dragons, others took to them much differently and treated the Dragons and their remains with a reverence that would grow to encompass their religion. Over the next 400 years, the Cult of Drogon would shift to this same viewpoint on the Dragons, and those who researched them on a purely scholarly basis soon became the minority, before being outright expelled from the Cult itself. While this shift occurred, the Cult also took on numerous Altalar noble benefactors who, initially, only became involved for the sake of political power; as with the first members of the Cult, they soon revered the Dragons, or left. Many of these benefactors were based in modern-day Ithania, which, by the end of the period, would become the home of the Cult of Drogon, driven north by pressure from other Altalar nobles and Estellian fanatics who sought to wipe non-Estellian heresies from the lands of the Allorn Empire.
In spite of their retreat to Ithania, however, they would soon have to flee further north. The first 250 years of the Blossoming period were spent shoring up their funds and resources, securing what little support was still available in preparation for further movement into Ellador; to the Cult of Drogon, the unsettled, green lands of the north were by far the most appealing, offering a physical sea barrier between themselves and Estellian crusaders, as well as space and materials to rebuild, with natural protection from Ellador’s mountainous terrain. As they had prepared for, the Cult of Drogon fled north in 450 BC at the outbreak of the Mage Wars, leaving behind their slaves and evading the wrath of the Altalar archmages who sought to express their power and dominate the political world, setting up outposts on the southern coasts of Ellador and moving inwards. To their own surprise, they stumbled upon the Violet Night Dragons; a populous living species of Dragon hidden in Ellador’s forests, away from the prying eyes of the Altalar. The Cult of Drogon wasted no time in dedicating themselves to these Dragons, offering themselves up as servants and guardians, establishing the Frisit Protectorate, named for Frisit, the head of the Violet Night Dragons. In doing so, they caught the eye of the northern Altalar archmages, whose power hunger drove them to attempt to kill the Dragons that the Cult had openly announced its protection of.
The First Dragon War was the shortest and least remarkable, lasting only four years, from 346 to 342 BC, but opening the floodgates for further harassment of the Protectorate by the Allorn principalities and their allies. The First War saw the least bloodshed and the loss of no Violet Night Dragons, owing in the main to the mountain ranges and dense forests of Ellador. While the archmages commanded significant and considerable power politically and militarily, they had not prepared for troop movements through such problematic terrain, and were easily repelled by as-yet unprepared for guerilla ambushes by the Cult of Drogon, and aerial attacks by the Violet Dragons that highlighted the lack of preparation of the archmages. The archmages retreated fully by 342 BC, but did not remove their eyes from Ellador and the Protectorate, taking three decades to muster up the military might and strategic minds to stage a much more significant invasion of Ellador; one that would be far more devastating than the first.
The Second Dragon War was waged not only by the Allorn archmages, but also by the Dwarves; trading partners of the Allorn Empire, the Dwarves were drawn into the conflict through Altalar political intrigue, convincing them to assist the Altalar in invading Ellador to wipe out the Cult of Drogon and the Violet Night Dragons. Many Dwarves were convinced that the Violet Dragons had hidden significant hoards of gold and jewels in the caves of Ellador; even then, knowledge existed to indicate the opposite, but the Dwarves ignored such talk. The second invasion of Ellador in 312 BC saw ecological devastation on a scale as yet unseen; immediately upon landing on Ellador’s shores, the Altalar employed mages to fell vast swathes of trees, carving a path through to Ellador’s mountains. Here, the Dwarves got to work tunnelling through the mountains to create yet more pathways into Ellador, and enable full-scale assaults on Drogon settlements and strongholds. Thousands of Drogon followers died in the initial waves of Dwarven and Allorn attacks, and dozens of Violet Night Dragons followed suit, shot from the skies by Dwarven contraptions and summarily executed by battalions of Altalar spearmen and Dwarven axemen. The Cult of Drogon was slow to respond; while the mountains of Ellador had been their shield so far, they proved difficult in allowing Cultists to escape the valleys and creeks, and meant that news of the attacks moved like molasses, and kept the Protectorate from responding until as long as three months into the attack.
The Protectorate counterattack was enough to make the combined Dwarven-Allorn armies stagger, but could only go so far in holding them off, given the far greater numbers and access to unknown technology that offered the attackers the advantage. Instead, the Protectorate drew its people in to a few select strongholds and established policies of stalemate and vicious guerilla attacks on Dwarven-Allorn encampments to disable their technology and mining efforts. Though this tactic worked for the Protectorate on a technicality, its success was somewhat pyrrhic. With the attackers constantly bearing down on them, it was all that they could do to hold them in place. When resources grew thin for the invaders, the war would fall into lulls, allowing the Protectorate time to breathe and recuperate, before another wave would begin. Due to this, many scholars dispute the status of the Second Dragon War, describing it as a series of sustained conflicts, though the title remains for convenience’s sake. These conflicts continued for around five decades, tearing through the Cultist and Violet Dragon populations alike, until the Allorn Empire began a slow withdrawal. Citing a lack of success in sight, the Allorn Empire was becoming ever more aware of the losses and expenses of sustaining such a war in Ellador, while the Mage Wars continued to rage on in the Allorn homelands, and would for another decade following. The Dwarves withdrew soon after, losing much of the driving power of the war without the riches and nigh-unending manpower of the Altalar.
The so-called Inter-Dragon War period saw the rise of many traditions and social standards held by present-day Isldar. They became paranoid of further wars; their populations already severely, near-irreparably damaged by constant barrages of attacks in the Second War, the Cult of Drogon had become emotionally cold, opposed to emotional attachments when, in their eyes, war could come at any point and tear away what they had established between them. At the same time, however, they recognised that acts of anger and aggression to each other were counterproductive when their time alive was seemingly on an hourglass they could not see; this gave birth to their aversion to losing their temper, and their preference for a few meaningful words as opposed to many meaningless ones. The Protectorate shored up their defenses and brought their people into strongholds specifically, preparing for imminent attacks, while the elders of the Cult communed with the Violet Dragons in preparation for what was to come. Although later, far later, than they had expected, the Third Dragon War broke out in 114 BC, and changed the fate of the Protectorate entirely.
The Third Dragon War was witness to the heights of Dwarven “innovation”; spurred on by the anger and violence of new generations of Dwarves, they launched a third, and final invasion of Ellador. The Dwarves elected to attack in different ways, using brand new siege machines to devastate stronghold walls, or experimental drilling devices to bore holes into keeps to swarm their inhabitants and burn Violet Dragon roosts, with the Dragons still inside. The Protectorate fell into panic; their walls were compromised, and their allies, the Dragons, were being slaughtered wholesale. Many Dwarves made attempts to insult the Protectorate by using the corpses of the dead Dragons to try to build flying machines, but to no avail; these Dwarves would only kill themselves in trying, falling from great heights to their doom, and further desecrating the bodies of the Dragons in doing so. The Third War, lasting twenty years, drew to a stalemate as the Second had, though only in its final five years, as the Protectorate sought to conserve its dwindling people and ever-shrinking population of Dragons. By 95 BC, only six Violet Night Dragons remained; Pyndrynt, Lovnarr, Eideriss, Seheissi, Fyyrm, and Frisit herself. Seeing no outcome in sight where the Protectorate would come out alive, the elders and Dragons released their order to draw all of their remaining forces into a single stronghold, at the bottom of a valley; the last stand of the Cult of Drogon and the Violet Night Dragons would occur here, at the Battle of Udillin’s Foot.
The final battle that would bring a close to the Third Dragon War between the Dwarves and the Cult of Drogon took place in 94 BC in an valley area previously called Udillin’s Foot by the Dwarves. This last pivotal battle was intended as the last stand by the Cult of Drogon which had been wittled down by centuries of warfare and prosecution by the Altalar. While they had resisted the Altalar in the previous wars, the Dwarves were both numerous and using technology far beyond the Drogon means, using their tunnels to rapidly move around the Drogon positions and even using mysterious weapons to cause mountain tremors to tear down Drogon strongholds. The Isldar had effectively become so lacking in numbers that a final stand, with a planned flight to Jorrhildr should their plan succeed, was approved by the elders. Frisit also committed the few Violet Night Dragons that remained to the battle, presiding herself also as the Drogon threw every last thing they had at the Dwarves who had them cornered.
The battle went about as well as one would expect to a severely fatigued and torn-up people, the Dwarves using all manner of explosive devices and contraptions to wipe out whole formations in one go. Dwarven artillery was in fact so effective that it was able to kill the Violet Night Dragons at an alarming rate, as well as the creatures that these Dragons produced to help them in their combat. One by one, the legendary Violet Night Dragons fell, who had tended the craters of life since the beginning of time. With each death, Frisit grew more desperate, as she watched Pyndrynt, Lovnarr, Eideriss, Seheissi and Fyyrm fall, eventually entering the fray herself and destroying many Dwarven catapults and devices. The battle was however too much. The Drogon cult was cornered and the Dwarves were about to unleash the final assault to end the battle. In her final desperation as the last Violet Night Dragon left alive, Frisit mustered the last remnants of her own Magic but also that of the other Violet Night Dragons who were slain in battle to unleash a massive spell that caused such a blinding light that observers as far as Essalonia and the North Skags were able to see it.
In her spell, Frisit died, yet turned undead. Her scales turned white while her bat-like wings withered and tore into a skeletal structure of bones tightly spun with skin. Her eyes turned white and her whole body became mangy and old, losing the ability to fly as she came down and had essentially changed from a glorious matron Dragon to a withering creature. The spell’s effects on the Dwarves and Cult of Drogon was even more severe however. The Dwarves were all wiped out instantly, records indicating that over a hundred thousand Dwarves died in that single spell, a loss so severe for the Dwarves that it was cited as the main reason why theyshut their gates when the Void Invasion began and were unable to defend the outside of their holds from the demonic invasion. The Dwarves caught in the initial blast were simply wiped to dust in one final agonizing cry, while those further away were quickly caught by the extreme cold snap that turned even water to ice instantly and then shattered it with great force. These caught Dwarves froze solid instantly and then cracked, falling to pieces, while the Drogon Nelfin remained unharmed.
In the blast of this spell, those Drogon Nelfin present had their skins lose color and their hair turned white. They were immune to the cold that killed all the Dwarves, watching in both horror and amazement as Frisit sacrificed herself and the remaining Violet Night Dragon magics to inflict a horrible toll on the living, something the Dragon had never wanted to do, but was forced to, to save her Nelfin followers. The cold snap continued to flow from that valley, eventually enveloping the whole of Ellador and killing tens of thousands of Ailor who had also settled the southern coast. The cold snap then continued across the ocean, affecting Jorrhildr which became even colder, and the North Skags as well as Cain to the southeast, casting them into a frozen tundra from which they would not recover. Ellador remained since then a frozen continent plagued with blizzards and snowstorms, with the interior of the landmass especially hard-hit with frequent sub-zero temperatures. The time period saw the cult of Dragon-loving Altalar stop being Altalar and became Isldar instead, and the time when they were first seen on a larger scale by the rest of the world remains a mystery.
It is said by the Isldar themselves, as well as the scholars who looked into it, that the Isldar retreated further inland and built the first of their holds, palatial complexes shielded by a large ring of snow blizzards yet clear and sunny albeit still frozen in the eye of the storm. Here the Isldar numbers would replenish their losses and live for at least 200 years in absolute isolation, not even acknowledging the Void Invasion or interacting with any outside forces. The Dwarves assumed for the longest time that the Drogon cultists had been wiped out as no sign of life came from the surface, until some scouts went missing in 124 AC, and further investigations found Altalar arrows in their corpses. It took the Isldar many more decades after this first encounter to learn Frisit’s Weave, and all the accompanying abilities that came with it. Frisit herself had become sluggish and weak, blind, deaf and unable to leave the Crown Hold of Assalya, from she continues to guide the Isldar to this day.
Frisit started communicating to the Isldar through visions and song in the wind, where her Wyrm Tongue could reach their ears even if she could no longer speak the mortal tongues. The Isldar then continued to work towards her designs for the coming century, up until around 201 AC when the first Isldar ventured out into the world as the singers of the Song of the Damned to restore balance to the cycle of life and death. For centuries, the tearing of the Veil and the Void Invasion had corrupted the flow of Soul Essence in Aloria, and disrupted the natural order of things. It was by Frisit’s orders that the Isldar ventured forth to repair the damage, allowing damaged Soul Essence to move on and restoring it wherever they could to tend to the Soul Rivers of Aloria. The Isldar later on developed more political aims also, engaging in espionage for the elders still left in their holds, to aid in their global plans for world protectionism, not domination. World domination was never part of the Isldar’s grand plan, they merely wished to guide and protect the balance of life and death in the world, but as the world quickly moves to a more modern and interconnected one, the Isldar too needed to adapt to the increased threat of realms like the Regalian Empire which inflicted so much death that the Rivers started bending, as well as the Dread Empire which started using all kinds of vile powers to damage the Rivers. Isldar continue to roam the world, seeking out information relevant to their strategists and tacticians, but also tending to the Soul Rivers wherever they go, dispensing aid to those who seek comforts in their final hours and others who wish to cleanse a ghostly terror from their lives.
Isldar Society is fairly flat in comparison to other societies around the world, with very little in terms of a structural hierarchy. While Frisit remains undoubtedly at the top of Isldar society, Frisit is also deaf and blind and unable to properly communicate with those around her aside from Wyrm Tongue gospel and visions which aren’t always clear to those who see them. Isldar society is technically controlled by the Elders, but the Elders exert very little day to day influence over the lives of those in Isldar Society. Isldar society uses the construct of “pillars of life” to dictate where people belong to, and where certain services are taken from. The pillar of Faith is administered by the Dragon Priests who preach the salvation of the Dragons to the faithful and administer the social services like care for orphans and the sick. There is no form of charity or shelter, since Isldar society is far more communcal than other societies, lacking also a currency. The pillar of the Lands is commonly also referred to as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when referenced by outsiders, because it handles dealing with foreigners as well as gathering information on everything that happens outside of the Isldar Holds to strategize their global planning.
The third pillar is the Pillar of War, in which Isldar self-conscript into the army and become Frost Watchers, those who protect the Holds, or Wind Watchers, those who leave the holds and fight for Frisit away from Ellador. Military individuals can switch between these tasks frequently or leave military service whenever they want to and rejoin at a later time. The fourth pillar is the Pillar of Sustenance, which governs the acquisition of materials needed for the Isldar as well as ensuring there is always enough food available by governing the plantations and crops either from underground agriculture or the special frost-resistant fruits that grow around the palatial Holds. The final pillar it the Pillar of the Dead, which governs the Song of the Damned, the singing, music, traditions and festivals, as well as acting as a central contact point for all those Isldar that roam the world to repair damage made to the Soul Rivers.
Within the five Pillars, there is a concept of leadership, however only strictly for those who work within the pillars. Every Isldar is a member of one of these five pillars, which can both be in the Holds in Ellador, as well as away from Ellador, since all pillars have both domestic and foreign tasks and duties to maintain. Within the Pillars there is general an Elder who advises and is looked up to as a great and venerable leader, but there is no official hierarchy nor are there middle men, task leaders or commanders in any way shape or form. Isldar tend to self-organize, and more Isldar belonging to different Pillars can self-unify under a single leader called the Lessay. A Lessay can have as few as three followers and as many as a hundred, where their personal charisma and leadership is what draws in the Isldar, never pressure or coercion. Isldar give authority and control to their Lessay voluntarily as a sign of respect, and promise to obey their orders as long as they feel those orders properly represent them and have their best interests at heart. Powerful Lessays could be considered warlords or strike-commandos in their own right when taken in context to the Isldar Holds, but they rarely actually use this control over other Isldar as a means to make a power-play or engage in politics. Because of how flat and un-hierarchal Isldar society is, even soft power for being a Lessay is practically pointless when even Lessays rely on the Pillar of Sustenance to be fed, due to the communal nature of their society. In short, there is no Politics in Isldar society. Even justice and law are arbitrated by Frisit alone, and Isldar cannot exert influence or power over one another unless it is voluntarily given away.
It should come as no surprise that Isldar have trouble following orders when they don’t expressly believe they have given said authority away voluntarily in for example Regalia. An Isldar who joins the City Guard has given their authority away to the Lord Commander, but might have extreme difficulty adhering to the commands of their captains and officers, since these middle men were never given authority to command them, in their eyes. Isldar often have trouble adapting to the rigid command structures of foreign nations, and retain a level of rebelliousness and individualism that puts them at odds with aristocratic societies like Regalia. Isldar will often also operate on their own auspices or deviate from a plan even if it has already been agreed upon beforehand, just because they conclude in the field that the situation is different as predicted or believed, and that they know better how to solve the problem at hand.
Isldar culture is strongly defined by their individualism taken away from Altalar history. While many of the other Nelfin species maintain some sort of observation of their Altalar history, the Isldar have chosen to violently end that connection because they consider their pre-Isldar history to be a taint on their purity and value to the world. This begun early on when the Cult of Drogon adopted Sulvaley Elven, a language which has its basis in Middle Altalar but diverged so quickly and aggressively that is essentially became a language of its own and could no longer be understood in the slightest even to those who still speak Middle Altalar. Sulvaley Elven sounds far more exotic heavy on double vowels, causing them to sound akin to real-world Farsi and also having a real-world Arabic accent when speaking Common. Unlike Arabic however, Sulvaley Elven is a nominal language, meaning when they speak common, they don’t just drop verbs when translating to English. Isldar law is extremely lacking, because of how communal their society behaves, and because of how calm and recollected most Isldar are. The desire for Crime is completely absent in the Isldarrin Holds, while externally, Isldar tend to fall under the jurisdiction of foreign entities. Isldar have a concept of transgression forgiveness if crimes are committed in ignorance or mistake, however proper crimes of those who have been led astray or lost their way are resolved by Frisit passing judgement. Even these judgements are usually very lacking, resulting in banishment over execution. In general, life is a precious thing to the Isldar, so unless it risks the future existence of their Holds, they try to preserve it as well as possible or at least let it pass over quickly and peacefully.
Isldar gender roles in society are completely equal with no differences whatsoever on a Pillar level. That being said, family units can sometimes be very matriarchal with women running the local household and acting as household representative to the outside world. Mothers are often held in higher esteem, especially when they have many children, and venerable elders who have many children are seen as wise figures to look up to, even outside of the family unit. Children are raised in a very utilitarian and often spartan manner, with early lessons in military conduct to control Frisit Weave’s military applications for self-protection. Children don’t play a lot in their early childhood which Regalian scholars often cite as a reason for Isldar being so self-contained and restrained when it comes to showing their emotions and inner feelings to others.
Isldar art is usually related to creating Isldar Aysur, which can start at a young age, around 10 even. Isldar learn to express themselves and their thoughts and emotions in art instead of to each other, which is why the art produced by Isldar can usually have an exceptionally vivid emotional charge. Isldar enjoy working with glass, crystallized Soul Essence, marble and pure stone, but avoid in most if not all cases color. Color in art to the Isldar is distracting, which is why they find most art that uses colors like red, blue, and green distracting or vulgar, preferring art that is purely white, or a combination of white, gray, and black, with accents of silver or gold. Isldar clothing on the other hand is extremely vibrant in color, though usually more ranging onto the colder colors like green, white, blue and yellow, and any combination in between. The Isldar prefer Nelfin Silk which in their homeland is spun from the Deep Cave Spider’s silk and dyed with Crystal Moss. Isldar are also very fond of jewelry. Although they do not have an Altalar’s sense of vanity, jewelry in many ways is seen as an expression of personal identity and personality, relating to the shapes of the Isldar Zeal glyph on the back of their neck.
Privacy is extremely important to the Isldar, more so in fact referring to said Isldar Zeal. While an Isldar can control what they tell the world about themselves in their choice of jewelry, they cannot do so with the Glyph at the base of the back of their neck. It is seen as a great violation of trust and privacy for an Isldar to force another Isldar to show their Glyph, and most Isldar will not show their Glyph or attempt to resist a forceful reveal with much vigor. Isldar tend to also keep personal records which they guard closely, and tend to always have at least one room or place close to where they live which they consider their Haven’s Retreat, kind of like a space in the world they do not own but unofficially claim as their safe haven, and become upset if anyone but them is inside of it, considering it a great honor for those who are invited into the area by them. Isldar cuisine is almost entirely fruit based, eating the highly nutritious fruits that grow frost-resistant in the area around their holds. When Isldar move to Regalia for example, they tend to have trouble adapting to a bread and dairy based diet, lacking certain plant nutrients that they would normally have in their homeland. Isldar as such tend to gravitate to the Yanar a lot who, despite being unable to grow the Isldar’s favorite fruits in Regalia, are able to produce something like it.
Leisure for the Isldar is almost entirely related to song or dance. Isldar know primarily the Song of the Damned, but have many other songs which are sung to the Soul Rivers of Aloria as homage or praisal, or to calm the flow. Most of these songs do not actually do anything, but they set the Isldar on a path of musical learning from an early age, and surprisingly, nearly all Isldar seem proficient to some degree in singing, not a single one of them sounding awful. That being said, some of them excel with exceptional degrees, to such degrees in fact that some world-wise musicians know Isldar to be the most skilled singers in the world with the most dramatic ranges and most natural tone-accurate ladders. These exceptional singers are called Frisit’s Gifted, and are usually put in a high position of visibility to the rest of Isldar Society as they lead more communal singing choirs called the Choirs of Gaalley. Dance is another great leisure activity, but in a far more muted and slow manner than one might come to expect in Ailor society. The Dance of the Rivers is a commonly performed dance that uses the Soul Rivers as a stage item, and long silk ribbons that are thrown around and moved with arm gestures in such manners that they imitate flowing rivers. This dance is however extremely slow, featuring dance moves that take several seconds to complete and then pause for a dozen more, with very slow harp music in between.
Because of their philosophy towards the recycling, balancing and proper use of the Soul Rivers of Aloria, the Isldar have an understandable hatred for Qadir and their clockwork tech. Unlike the Isldar, the Qadir use Soul Essence in a way that uses it up, destroys it, and never allows it to return. They actively diminish the Soul Rivers of Aloria and most of it aren’t even aware of it, and the ones that do simply don’t care, considering the need for clockwork to be above the practically unprovable beliefs of the Isldar that if the Soul Rivers of Aloria are disrupted too much, that the world will come to a crashing end and all life will become extinct. While Isldar remain stoic and hard to anger in the face of a Qadir, if given the opportunity, any Isldar will gladly destroy a piece of clockwork engineering when given the chance to release the trapped Soul Essence back to the Soul Rivers.
Isldar religion follows the trendlines of Dragon Dogma, in that Dragons are divine beings who are the grandfathers of all creation, thus believing in most of their tenants, but not in the salvation theory. While Dragon Dogma preaches the return of the Dragons to rule over all, Isldarrin Faith has a more nuanced view in believing that the mortal Races of Aloria sinned against the Dragons and murdered them all, and now have the job of tending to the world as they once did in atonement. Isldar observe Dragon worship through invoking the name of dead Dragons in prayer, and wishing upon their presence in the Soul Rivers of Aloria, where they unfortunately never appear. Isldar do not believe in the concept of divine intervention, meaning that they do not actually perceive these prayers or wishes to be reasonably realistic. The Isldar do not expect the Dragons to ever fully return, and believe firmly that these wishes fall upon deaf ears, merely perpetuating them out of habit and tradition.
The arrival of Dragons in Regalia, particularly the resurgence of the Imperial Dragon has however caused a rift among the Isldar. While the Ailor-based Imperial Dragon is likely not even aware of it, many Isldar have started struggling among themselves about the Imperial Dragon’s (and indeed other Dragons’s) role in Isldarrin Faith, and how their sudden reappearance on the global stage causes implications in Dragon Dogma. Some believe that the rebirth of Dragons is possible now, switching from fervent support of the Undead Frisit to the Imperial Dragon. Others believe that, because the Imperial Dragons and the other Dragon Souls are Soul Shards, that they are imitations of the genuine thing and are as such heretical. Others yet believe that Frisit herself is an abomination, being undead, while preaching the cleaning and repairing of the Soul Rivers yet also being a massive flaw in the River flow herself. Needless to say, the discovery of the Imperial Dragon in recent years has caused some severe fissures in Isldar religious psyche, not so severe to cause a civil war or serious religious crisis, but certainly to such a degree that most Isldar are uncertain what the Imperial Dragon means to them, and that every individual Isldar has a different view or opinion of the situation that doesn’t always fall in line with what the Pillar of Faith tells them.
- In modern times, those who are ignorant of the history of the Isldar or their general kind assume they are a rare kind of Altalar. In reality, Isldar aren’t rare because there are few of them left, in fact they are some of the most numerous Nelfin species left in the world. The only reason why they are seen as rare, is because they are good at hiding and not drawing too much attention to themselves.
- Isldar sometimes dye their hair, even if they are zealous towards the wills of Frisit. Isldar have immense arrogance and nationalistic pride, but this doesn’t extend to physical vanity. Isldar are not above dying their hair if it makes dealing with non-Isldar easier.
- Isldar have a surprisingly open view of racial interbreeding, allowing the practice to take place with little to no social stigma. That being said, when Isldar engage in relations with non-Isldar that could result in a half-breed being born, the Isldar remain poignantly aware that even if there is no social stigma, a half breed can never travel to the Isldar Holds in Ellador, and will forever not be a part of Isldar society.