- Empire Elves (variable)
- Mist Wardens (praising)
- Taellorn (derogatory, meaning traitor to the Allorn)
Disciplined and military vanguard Elves of the Ailor Regalian Empire
The Solvaan, sometimes also called the Empire Elves or Settler Elves, are Elves who left their Allorn Empire before its fall to settle the westernmost parts of the Regalian Archipelago before the Regalian Empire came into existence, under the guidance of their patron goddess Sinnavei of the Estelley pantheon. Highly militaristic and mystical in their secretive ways, the Solvaan are looked down upon by the Estallorn, or those Elves who long back to the days of the Elven Allorn Empire, for having left them behind. The Solvaan however have created an entirely new destiny of their own, becoming a founding part of the Regalian Empire, having fought in the rebellion that created it, and one of its paramount peoples that willingly joined the Empire before even the Wirtem people did. The Solvaan remain an integral part of both the Regalian Army and its Navy, while Sollerian politicians roam the Imperial Palace halls with higher regard than most other Imperial minorities, and are always the first seated at the table of international politics. Sinnavei's sway has always been great at the Imperial Court, and as her instruments, the Solvaan extend her will and guidance to the rest of the world.
The Solvaan represent a clean break from the Allorn tradition. While all other Elven Races (even in some small part the Suvial and Maquixtl) look back with fond memories to the Allorn past and want to bring it back in some form or another, the Solvaan have resolutely abandoned even the idea of the Allorn Empire, and given their loyalty wholeheartedly to the Regalian Empire, hence the name Empire Elves. The Solvaan are implicitly trusted by the Imperial Court, and many Solvaan have held important high political offices in the Empire. To the many Allorn loyalists, the Solvaan are traitors to the glory of the past, but this fact gives the Solvaan all the more pride in being the only ones to realize that bringing back the Allorn Empire is a fever dream.
Integral to the physical and mental state of being of the Solvaan are the Sollerian Mists. The Sollerian Isles in the Regalian Archipelago are covered in incredibly dense mists that defy normal weather phenomena, while dangerous and Mythical Beasts lurk within. What originally started as a curious expedition to research these mists, eventually became a society-defining feature of the Solvaan, who have adapted to the Mists and even been changed by them to feel at home on Solleria, and master the aspects of the Mythical Beasts. The famous Mist Walkers and Mist Wardens of the high mountains are envied across the Empire for their skill with the blade, and respected for their willingness to teach others, even outsiders, without as much as a smidge of pride.
While the Sollerian Mists are home to many mysterious creatures, the four Mythical Beasts are the most famous, and perhaps most dangerous ones, which the Solvaan have taken to become cornerstones of their personal identities. The four Mythical Beasts are the wise and subtle Elysian, the courageous and honorable reptilian Surian, the deadly and precise Haic-Mantis, and the fiercely loyal and territorial Alond-Hound. The Solvaan can transform into anthropomorphic versions of these Beasts, and see many qualities in them worth envying. They however also never forget that Mythical Beasts still are unpredictable and often violent carnivores, and thus that respect and reverence is mixed with a healthy dose of reverent fear.
The Eternal Watch
The Solvaan are known as the Empire’s vanguard, in that their warriors both make for excellent defenders, but also great vanguard soldiers that can hold the line against overwhelming odds. Many Solvaan fight as spellswords, using both mundane weapons and Magic combined together in the field. To date, the majority of the Regalian Empire’s battle Mages are Solvaan. Solvaan society is very unique in that it is actively “lead” by their goddess Sinnavei, who still remains on the Sollerian Isles, and has commanded her followers to walk with the Ailor in the Empire, and guard it against ruinous forces from both outside, and within. While many Solvaan focus on the military, it should be said that many of the state loyal spies in the Black Hand are in fact Solvaan as well.
Physical and Personality
The Solvaan appear in three distinct Subraces, each with distinct physical and mental characteristics, though they all share the same Racial Abilities and Specials. Half Solvaan exist (sometimes also just called Half-Elf) though a blue tint to their appearance is always required when playing a Half-Solvaan. It is not permitted to play a Half-Solvaan with a normal pink or dark Ailor skin tone. Solvaan are ageless: they look young forever, even into old age, but can choose to look older inside of adult age ranges.
The Azureborn Solvaan are the most commonly found Solvaan, who hail from the coastal regions and the lake cities. The majority of the population of Solleria lives in these Azure Bastions, because much of the interior of Solleria is dangerous due to the dense mists and mist-wandering creatures therein. Azureborn Solvaan are the most militaristic and sociable of all the Solvaan, with expressive and open personalities, some would even say with disciplined attitudes and and a stylish presence that makes them stand out in any crowd.
The Highborn Solvaan are rarely seen outside of the "Land of Forever Autumn", the tallest mountain peaks of Solleria that breach beyond the mists and clouds that shroud the lowlands. The Land of Forever Autumn is permanently showered in brilliant sun or moonlight, and all the flora is in a permanent state of crimson autumn. Highborn Solvaan are ethereal and monastic, gentle philosophers and wise men and women of the mountains. Many of them serve priestly functions, with the majority of Sinnavei's High Priests being Highborn.
The Delveborn Solvaan hail from the sulfuric and smog-choked Firemarble Mountains, a place where the Sollerian Mists mix with the volcanic ashes and plumes of the thermal vents in the area, covered in a near constant coal-fire smoke. Delveborn Solvaan are the most secretive and secluded of the Solvaan, skilled rogues but also surprisingly capable infiltrators with their inherently disarming debonair and suave demeanors. Whenever a Delveborn grins, one is quick to make a new best friend, or lose one's family fortune.
Azureborn Solvaan are the most vibrant of Solvaan, with stronger light blue and teal skin-tone as well as hair. Their hair can be light shades of blonde, or light to medium shades of blue, often with a variable hue that causes some parts to appear almost opalescent as hues shift and change. Even though all Solvaan are capable of being as physically large as the broadest Ailor (and are commonly more built than for example Teledden), the Azureborn tend to be the largest of the Solvaan subraces. The Azureborn can have dark or light shades of green, gray, or blue eye colors and tend to be fairly average in height for Solvaan.
Highborn Solvaan are more muted and brighter than the Azureborn, with a skin that nonetheless has a bright pastel blue appearance that makes them easy to pick out from Isldar. Their hair can either be platina blonde, or very light shades of blue with some color variance. While all Solvaan are capable of body and face hair in the same sense as Ailor can, the Highborn tend to be more clean in appearance, as well as lanky and slender reminiscing of their Teledden cousins. The Highborn can have only light shades of green, gray, or blue eye colors, and tend to be on the taller side for the Solvaan Race.
Delveborn Solvaan, much to their chagrin, are sometimes mistaken for Sihndar. Though, a world-wise person can quickly tell Delveborn from Sihndar apart, as Sihndar tend to be more purple-toned, while Delveborn appear more charcoal or midnight-blue toned with their dark skin. Their hair is usually raven or charcoal black or gray, with small hints of blue hues here and there, as well as very dark shades of teal and blue. The Delveborn are more on the short side for Solvaan, though because Solvaan are on average tall, this means they range more into the average for Ailor, as opposed to being as short as Dwarves.
When designing a Character, Proficiency Points allow for a limited Ability selection with Point Buy Packs. Heritage Traits adds free Packs and Mechanics on top of that to help with cultural themes. Free Packs grant Abilities usually, while Mechanics change the way a character functions in Roleplay through subtle, and usually out of Combat ways. In essence, Mechanics just add aesthetic flair that invest in the niche of each culture. Free Packs never raise Proficiency Points, but the character must be able to purchase them normally. (ex. if a character is a certain Affinity that locks them out of a category, they cannot take that specific free pack and must choose the alternative option.) If a Free Pack grants Magic of some type, that Magic can be of any Alignment the character can normally choose, or limited to a select alignment, which will always be written in the Free Pack description.
Mixed Heritage characters (i.e. characters born from two parents of different Cultures) may take one parent's 'Free Packs' and mix and match up to 5 Mechanics from both parents, although some Peoples cannot produce Mixed Heritage children (due to Magical/Fantasy reasons). Mist Forms are available to Mixed Heritage Charactesr who take the Solvaan Free Packs.
- Solvaan can use the Mist Form Transformations (found below), which does not count as a Disguise, and uses a variety of weather effects on their appearance.
- Solvaan can use the Mist Beast Transformations (found below), which allows them to change appearance to that of the classical Mist Beasts, which is a Disguise.
- Solvaan will not be attacked by wild and non-humanoid creatures, which may prevent them drawing aggression from certain Event Creatures (discuss with Event Dm's).
- Solvaan are able to sense the mind of wild animals, which allows them to determine if an animal is an animal, or a person disguised as one (for example Body Arkenborn).
- Solvaan can see through low visibility conditions of any kind (sand storm, blizzard, fog, ash clouds, dust etc), but must still protect from choking hazards.
Mist Forms are a Solvaan Mechanic Tranformation that allows them to manifest some variant of the Mists. While these are all very much Azure-Highborn-Delveborn coded, any of the Solvaan Subraces can make use of any of the Mist Forms. That is to say, even though the Tempest Mist is very much Azureborn, a Delveborn can use it too. Mist Forms are also not fully mandatory, meaning players may remove or keep parts of the optional aesthetics, and it can also be maintained indefinitely, temporarily, or only for the duration of for example a combat scene, however the player would like it.
Tempest Mist Form
The Tempest Mist Form represents the hurricane ocean mists on the eastern side of the Sollerian islands. In Tempest Mist Form, the Solvaan can either change their hair, or whole body parts into an electric static blue or dark colored storm clouds, while applying electric static or lightning aesthetics to attacks or other actions and activities. Tempest Mist Form also makes them immune to damage from non-Magical lightning, including Dragon-Magic Lightning.
Summit Mist Form
The Summit Mist Form represents the wispiest of clouds at the top of the tall spire mountains of Solleria. In Summit Mist Form, the Solvaan either change their hair, or whole body parts into wispy white and bright clouds and fog, while applying a white wispy mist aesthetic to attacks or other actions and activities. Summit Mist Form also grants the Solvaan aesthetic control over non-magical mist and wind, both summoning it, and dispelling it at will.
Inferno Mist Form
The Inferno Mist Form represents the simmering charcoal fumes, the smoky mist that envelops the sulfuric volcanoes of the north of Solleria. In Inferno Mist Form, the Solvaan either change their hair, or whole body parts into black smoke, reminiscent of industrial fires, while applying smoky aesthetics to attacks or other actions and activities. Inferno Mist Form also grants the Solvaan aesthetic control over non-Magical fire, both igniting, and dousing at will.
Mist Beasts are a Solvaan Mechanic Tranformation that allows them to manifest aspects of the four Mythical Mist Beasts of Solleria, the Elysian, the Surian, Haic-Mantis, and the Alond-Hound. The Mist Beasts have both cultural and personal significance for the Solvaan, that is to say, each Mist Beast represents certain virtuous aspects found in their behavior in the wild that the Solvaan try to imitate, and Mist Beast Forms are a method of doing so, while also expressing those qualities of the Solvaan externally. However, because these Mist Beast Forms are inherently monstrous, some tact is required when using them in public.
Surian Mist Beast
The Surian Mist Beast is somewhere in between a reptilian and an avian monster that is a solitary hunter in the wild that shows a great deal of discipline and restraint when hunting. It takes on foes much larger than itself, and attacks with coordinated movements and carefully calculated attacks. These qualities have instilled the reputation of being courageous and disciplined, while the Surian is also the only Mist Beast that can be somewhat trained and domesticated due to its remarkable intelligence and capability to understand language. While applying Surian Mist Beast Form, the Solvaan's body becomes more sinewy, and their skin is instead replaced with a more scaly texture. The most notable change is that of the head, which is more shaped like that of a Surian, including the four mandibles, bone plates, and horns. Optionally a lizard-like tail and lizard legs and claws may also be included. Surian Mist Beast Form is legal in Regalia for Solvaan, though out of courtesy and to avoid a public commotion, Solvaan who choose to be in Surian Mist Beast Form semi-permanently are recommended to use a mask or piece of cloth to cover their mouth.
Elysian Mist Beast
The Elysian Mist Beast is a Griffin, a quadrupedal animal with the lower body of any variety of canine, feline, or reptilian species, and the front legs, neck, head, and wings of any avian species (though most commonly eagles). Elysians are rare in Solleria, roaming the highlands and swooping down on unsuspecting prey. The Elysian is a hyper-intelligent animal, capable of understanding humanoid language, and not seeking out conflict with the Sollerians, lending to the idea that they are near-sentient, and also making them excellent Mounts for those who are capable of taming these gracious and venerable animals. In Elysian Mist Form, Sollerians are bipedal and take on the lower body of any canine, feline, or reptilian species, while their upper body is covered in feathers, they have feathered wings, and their head is shaped like that of any avian species (for example crow, eagle, hawk, vulture, though mostly eagle-shaped). The coloring is often complimentary to their normal hair and skin tone, but can also have wildly different colors. They can also have feline, canine or reptilian long tails. The Elysian form is far more acceptable than the Surian Form in Regalia.
The Solvaan language is shared with the Fin’ullen and Teledden (not the Suvial, who do have their own language), just called Altalar. Altalar is a modernized version of the Allorn Language that the Solvaan once spoke too, but that language is essentially dead in the modern era save for some dialects that still survive in enclaves. While Ailor call the Solvaan language just Altalar, its actual name is Ïsursa’ïos, or translated to ‘The God-Written Tongue’. The Altalar language is a fantasy language that has no real-life equivalent, and is specifically also not Tolkien Elven. It is graceful and melodic, sing-song without hard or unpleasant sounds. Solvaan names are somewhat different from the other ex-Allorn Elven Races, following a more simplified Ailor standard. The structure is First name, (optional middle name), followed by region based surname.
- A list of Solvaan male coded names: Yalen, Girhur, Herdol, Tirac, Edir, Aler, Galor, Tanus, Circor, Teclun, Zorus, Felen, Thanur, Sedas, Aezur, mostly two-syllable names ending with consonants.
- A list of Solvaan female coded names: Roshey, Rivi, Felha, Enva, Ennya, Narola, Seilliri, Sezzia, Lassai, Nivitea, Niatta, Amfora, Ilnara, Azura, mostly two/three-syllable names ending with vowels.
- Region based surnames start with Bel-<Town>, for example Bel-Shannaar, Bel-Athentol, Bel-Vastila, Bel-Samana, Bel-Callaï, Bel-Eil-Ise, Bel-Avonn, Bel-Salamann, Bel-Ivsul, Bel-Elleialavon etc.
- Solvaan middle names are more Elven sounding while their first names sound more Ailor, some example: Menaar, Essalaïs, Milaanavei, Anchallara, Sadmeinaar, Solmaraic, Vilincaria, Missaal etc.
Elven naming is always complicated, so players are always invited to inquire in the Discord Ticket Bot to have the Lore writers check over a name (as many also speak different languages and can pick out silly syllables).
The Solvaan are part Estelley faithful, part Unionism faithful, and part Draconism, with their society split roughly equally between these four religions. The Dragon worshiping part comes from close proximity and cultural exchange with the Anglian Ailor who have also colonized the western part of Solleria, as well as the presence of Dragons throughout Solvaan pre-Empire history. The Unionist part comes from the Solvaan inherently abandoning their Allorn legacy, which some felt also meant abandoning their Estelley Gods. And finally, the Estelley faith was the original religion that the Solvaan arrived in the Regalian Archipelago with, which still holds true for many. There are however two exceptions to these norms:
- Even in Draconism where Sinnavei is not considered a Goddess, she is held in high divine esteem, and worshiped as a cultural figure if not religious.
- In Estelley, it is exceedingly uncommon to find a Solvaan worship the entire Estelley Pantheon. To them, only Sinnavei is the true Goddess, while the other Gods represent the decadent Allorn legacy.
The Solvaan first arrived in Solleria around 3000 years before Cataclysm under the guidance of their goddess Sinnavei. The reason for their arrival was mixed, despite the Allorn Empire being very compact, the Allorn Elves tried to colonize various areas of the world, and Solleria was sparsely populated at the time due to the mists. Additionally, the Allorn Empire's powerful mage-princes showed interest in researching the natural phenomena of the Sollerian Mists and the creatures there-in, thus resulting in a large influx of Allorn Elves. The early Solvaan eradicated the local pre-civilization Ailor tribes, and potentially a mist-worshiping Race also, though details on this remain somewhat unclear. Over the centuries, their distance from the Allorn Empire, but also their isolation because of the mist caused their society to develop its own distinct culture, that would eventually also manifest physical changes. When the Allorn Empire collapsed, the Solvaan refused to send any troops to help against the Eronidas or the Void Invasion, "because the Dragons had foretold it". Instead, the Solvaan put their resources and efforts behind the Five Family Rebellion of Ailor fiefdoms against the nominal Regalian Kingdom. Because of the assistance of the Solvaan mercenaries and the Kintyr Knights, the Regalian Kingdom was toppled and the Empire established, making the Solvaan one of the founding Races and peoples. For the following 3 centuries, the Solvaan always acted as the vanguard of the Regalian Empire, the first among minority Races, and equals in politics to the Ailor. A lot of the context of their presence was lost during the Regalian Pessimism era where nationalist politicians tried to downplay the role of the Solvaan in the Empire's history, but a recent revival has resulted in a fair appreciation of their loyalty and service.
The Solvaan are Empire-wide known as the Empire's foremost Mercenaries, and while Mercenaries are not legal for use inside Regalia's own borders due to various State Laws preventing armed conflict, Solvaan have politicked and earned an exception due to centuries of service in the Regalian Empire. This would normally be a legal explanation, but because the Solvaan Law (that permits them to do Mercenary work in Regalia) is so integral to how they can be played, it is classified as a Special instead. One or more Solvaan can accept a so-called Sollerian Contract from any other Citizen of the Empire that targets another Citizen of the Empire, though never Ministers, Lord Commissioners, or Royals. These contracts are generally paid for with money or services, but Solvaan can also accept contracts in "name of honor, the crown, or decency", and expect no payment in return. Sollerian Contracts permit one or more Solvaan to attack the Target in the streets (even in Regalia), which requires the proclamation: "The Mists were called upon, and Sinnavei's Will has answered!" and deliver a beating to satisfy the contract (the proclamation is absolutely required, otherwise it becomes a street brawl and is not covered by Solvaan Law). This beating remains legal so long as the Solvaan do not dismember or kill the target or steal anything from the target, though drawing blood is permitted. It should be noted that this legal contract clause is not a permit to just beat someone without resistance, the target is permitted to defend themselves, and bystanders may also attempt to prevent the beating from taking place, only the Metropolitan Constables and the Law Ministry may not get involved so long as Solvaan Law is not violated. There must always be a contract, and there must always be a client, a Solvaan cannot issue a contract to themselves.
Solvaan society is very strict, disciplined, and rule bound. While other Teledden migrants clung to Elven law and minority rights in the Empire, the Solvaan very quickly adopted State Law and Regalian custom, and thrived in it. So much so that they even eked out their own exceptions and rules to benefit them. The fact that the majority of Solvaan end up in the military is no wonder when one considers the way their children are raised. Due to the dangerous nature of the interior of Solleria, each Solvaan child is taught some method of self-defense, whether it be magical, martial, or both. Schooling often coincides with fight instructor lessons. Solleria is not a particularly wealthy place due to its inherent lack arable land and mineable resources. The eventual discovery of the Firemarble Mountains resulted in an industrial boom, which exploded even more-so when Salpeter became a necessary ingredient in a variety of gunpowder weapons and medicine. Slavery was abolished in Solleria before the Regalian Empire adopted anti-slavery laws nation wide, though it should always be noted this was by happenstance, not by choice. The traditional use of plantation and primary industry slaves was infeasible in Solleria, since the mists made wide agriculture dangerous, and slaves could simply wander off into the mist and none would be able to follow.
- Solvaan prize wild, open spaces where nature is left undisturbed. Even inside major cities, pockets of undisturbed thicket can be found, intended for meditation and privacy when someone wants to get away from the clamor of the streets for a while.
- Solvaan are prolific landscape painters. Many of the Imperial dioramas are their work, and Ailor painters commonly purchase their backgrounds to layer portraits on top of. The only thing the Solvaan refuse to depict is the Wildering.
- Solvaan are the only Elves to bake. Spending most of history next to Anglian Ailor has made them fond of bread, crackers, and waffles, with thin Solvaan waffles being considered an excellent long-distance travel provision due to how long it takes them to spoil.
- Solvaan brandy tastes of cherries and grapes, and looks like wine, but is actually very strong. Foreigners commonly make the mistake of assuming that it is wine and waking up in a ditch with no recollection of the previous day twelve hours later.
- Solvaan architecture always reminisces of frontier fortresses. Even settlements that are not actually supposed to be defended have ceremonial walls. In general, Solvaan architecture looks more desaturated and faded than ostentatious Allorn architecture, disappearing into landscapes, but still with the graceful arches and towers that the Elves are famous for.
- Young Solvaan are usually encouraged to spend some of their formative years in Ailor lands, making Ailor friends. Socializing them with non-Elves is considered important for their worldview, as a way to make sure that they are aware of values other than their own.
- While Solvaan do not often make Half-Elves themselves, they are fond of Half-Elves and try to latch onto them and teach them the Elven culture and way of life. This is both out of goodwill, and to get to them before an Allorn nationalist with ulterior motives does.
- Despite the Imperial ban on private armies, the Solvaan Mist Wardens (the Solvaan army) remain as a standing paramilitary organization several hundred thousand strong. Under the command of the Mist Shield, usually the most prominent noble in Solleria, they have a continued tradition of direct service to the Regalian Crown and are among the higher-quality retinues available.
- Most Solvaan have done one or two tours of duty with the Mist Wardens in their lives. Though it is a volunteer-only group, tasks are not all combat-related, as architects, engineers, cooks, and botanists can also learn valuable skills through service. A tour lasts five years until a soldier can opt to be pushed into the reserve and leave active duty.
- Of the Regalian Knightly Orders, the Solvaan are most fond of the Aelrrigans. The Aelrrigans were valuable companions to their battle mages in the early days of the Empire, and the Solvaan used their influence to save many Aelrrigans from death when they were purged, using the legal loopholes that permitted Solvaan Mages to remain unharmed to shelter them.
- There are very few maps of the interior of Solleria. In the deep center, the churning mists and fog make it so hard to navigate that only Solvaan intuition can safely convey someone from city to city, meaning that it would be pointless to make a map anyway. Ironically, the famously high-quality Solvaan cartography is blank for large portions of their own country.
- The most stereotypically Solvaan saying is Sinnavei’s Curses, more or less “damn you” or “damn it” when something doesn’t go their way. The other Elves (except Fin’ullen) consider this cheeky and vulgar, because besides the Fin’ullen, the Solvaan are the only Elves who have a direct curse in their native language. The rest just use flowery analogies.
- The primary Solvaan virtue is loyalty. It is believed that even if one does something incorrect by keeping their word, it is better to keep their word. An ignoble lord is still a lord, and service is still service, no matter what.
- Solvaan are known for their high-quality dueling sabers, one-handed gently curved blades, often without crossguards. Though they are traditionally the side weapon of officers, any Solvaan who considers themselves respectable keeps one somewhere in their house in case they are ever nominated to a station of significance.
- Solvaan are also known for their melancholy poetry about the fall of (the Allorn) Empire and the end of Heroes. Despite them representing a clean break from the Allorn Empire, there is something culturally traumatic to them about the destruction of the entire Elven World (having occurred within many of their lifetimes) that is hard for Ailor to understand, it being as if Regalia were to vanish overnight and everyone were to forget 20 years later.
- The Solvaan dialect of Altalar, called Solaë, is one of the strongest - debatably the strongest. The Solvaan roll their Rs and do not suppress their Ks and Hs like other Elves, bringing a harsh-sounding edge to the language that other Altalar speakers sometimes have difficulty understanding.
- While Solvaan are largely immune from racism from within the Regalian Empire, they face quite a bit of it from the Allorn Empire. Their blue skin is seen as an unnatural aberration comparable to the Kathar Affliction in the eyes of the Allorn Elves.
- Where-as most Elves (due to tonal similarity) sound like they have a Spanish accent when speaking Common (English), the Solvaan accent leans more in the direction of a French sounding accent, by nature of their more strict consonant pronunciations.
- The glaive and saber are seen as the traditional Sollerian weapons, most mist guards are trained in the use of both, and carry both on them while patrolling the edges of the mist banks and valleys for any monster breaches.
MonMarty, Okadoka. FireFan96
MonMarty on 02/22/2024.
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