Isldar

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Isldar
Isldarrin.png
Race
Pronunciation Ysel-dar
Classification Nelfin
Subraces None
Common Nicknames Frostlings, Frozen People, Frost Horrors
Languages Sulvaley Elven
Naming Customs Fantasy Elven (but not Tolkien Elven)
Racial Traits
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 5’8 - 6’8”
Eye Colors Baby blue, Sky blue, Gray, Teal, Turquoise, Cyan
Hair Colors Snow white, with variation depending on subrace
Skin Tones Pale pink

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.

A Voltalar Isldar with Moon Vault tattoo inspired war-paint.
Some Isldar in Regalia choose to clip their ears and dye their hair, even if that causes other Isldar to see them as Fallen.
Despite being seen as the kindest Isldar, Crystal Spire Isldar can still look stern and angry, even at a neutral expression.
Isldar Glacial Palaces often sit above magical blizzard storms, white peaks contrasting to the clouds and blue sky above.

Physical & Mental Characteristics

Isldar come in a variety of subraces, each distinct with small differences in appearance, as well as with their own subculture. The largest part of Isldar society consists of the Moon Vault Isldar (or shortly called Vaulters), who reside in the majority of the valley Glacial Palaces, often also commonly referred to as Holds. These Isldar represent the majority of the military inclined Isldar, as well as the craftsmen and tenders of wyvern stocks. They take their name from the Moon Vaults, which are complex lunar light operated armories and treasuries that can only open if the right angle of moonlight hits their crystal doorways. Next are the Crystal Spire Isldar (or shortly called Crystallin), who reside in the Crystal Spires on the Everwinter Mountains, mountains covered in permanent strong blizzards. These Crystal Spires reach above the clouds, allowing them to exist in an eery peace above the ragings storms below. Crystal Spire Isldar are librarians, scholars and researchers, manning the observatories and archives high up in the mountains to safeguard Isldar knowledge and spy craft. The Shiva’s Cavern Isldar (or shortly called Shivarrin) are the third lesser varied subrace of Isldar that reside in Shiva’s Caverns, a series of frozen lakes that were drained, forming a massive ice-sheet ceiling bathed in light. The Shiva’s Cavern Isldar are reclusive, spending much of their time in prayer and thought, philosophizing, but also producing terribly powerful Exist Mages from their ranks with the strongest connection to Ice Magic. The most unusual subrace of Isldar are the final type, the Volathar, who could be considered their own Nelfin species in their own right, but due to many similarities and common traits shared with the Isldar, are generally thought of as an Isldar subrace. The Voltalar took a different approach to the Cult of Drogon. Each subrace has small differences, while Voltalar look very different from the other Isldar. Below follows an overview of all their Physical and Mental Characteristics.

Moon Vault Isldar

The Moon Vault Isldar appear like Altalar, though having bone-white hair, and a pale skin, as well as blue eyes, of a variety of possible shades between navy blue and baby or icy blue. Their facial structure is more distinctly angular, while their ears are longer and bend closer to their skull. The Moon Vault Isldar always appear as if they are stern, their eyebrows always angled in such a way that they might look angry, even if their expression is neutral. Moon Vault Isldar are prone to having so-called Moon Shade Tattoos, which are a form of black-out tattoos featuring shapes of crescents in a variety of blue tints. Moon Vault Isldar are resolute, confident and firm, taking objectives with clear decisions and actions, and thinking before they speak. Dew Moon Vaulters have the temper to resort to yelling, but they have a temper to act quickly, sometimes without necessarily thinking clearly. A Moon Vault Isldar tends to act first, and act questions later, creating a contrast between their thoughtful speech, and very intuition driven and spontaneous actions. The Isldar that were created when their race first came into being were all Moon Vault Isldar.

Crystal Spire Isldar

The Crystal Spire Isldar appear the same as the Moon Vault Isldar, but do not use any tattoos, and can have some color variance in their appearance. Their hair might be strawberry blonde, or platinum blonde, and their skin generally has a more pinkish tone than that of the Moon Vaulters. Crystal Spire Isldar are more inquisitive, some of them can even be counted as eccentric or theatrical, with a nature to learn, but to do so at a distance. Instead of being overly curious, they will try to subtly be curious, pretend not to want to know more about something they are interested in, but finding information on it nonetheless. Crystal Spire Isldar can sometimes feel very detached from friends and family because close contact with others makes them uncomfortable. While love and friendship aren’t impossible, Crystal Spire Isldar tend to be rather shut-in and go weeks on end without interacting with others, wholly absorbed in whatever research or project they are planning at that particular point in time. They can also be linguistically dense, not understanding sarcasm, and taking jokes as well as statements made by other races in the most literal of senses. The Crystal Spire Isldar came into being around 100 AC, when their populations ventured into the mountains to produce the observation posts and archives to keep the Dwarves away from their treasures. It is said that their proximity to the remnants of Silver Majesty Dragons caused them to change.

Shiva's Cavern Isldar

The Shiva’s Cavern Isldar appear the same as Moon Vault Isldar, but due to their natural Abilities, may have some appearance aspects that set them radically apart. Due to their ability to weave ice crystals in their skin and hair, they sometimes appear like re-animated corpses who died of hypothermia, including having a more blue-tinted skin and hair. Their hair can in fact completely appear like ice crystals, a direct opposite to the Songaskians and their fire-hair. Shiva’s Cavern Isldar are distant, like the Crystal Spire Isldar, but more in a haughty manner. Shiva’s Cavern Isldar are arrogant and self-righteous, praising their own connection to the ice and Frisit as higher than that of the other Isldar. Nearly all of Frisits tenders were Shiva’s Cavern Isldar, as well as the majority of the Ice Mages in the Isldar armies. Shiva’s Cavern Isldar came into being inside Shiva’s Cavern, a place that long-held Dragon Magical powers due to the various Leyline complexes built within. Shiva’s Cavern Isldar have existed since around 30 AC.

Voltalar

Finally, Voltalar or Wyvernborn Isldar are more set apart from the other Isldar due to some unusual physical features. At a base, Voltalar are far more like Avanthar in proportions, having a larger and more muscular frame, yet still retaining the long Isldar ears that Avanthar do not have. While Isldar are not very prone to growing facial hair, male Voltalar are, while both males and females also imitate the Moon Vault Tattoos, except in war paint on their body. Their most striking feature is that parts of their skin is covered in Dragonscale, often nearly half of their body in fact. Their hands are sharpened like claws, while both their arms up to their shoulders are covered in Dragonscale. This extends further across their entire back, up to their neck, and reaching all the way to their ears. It further also extends downwards on the outsides of their thighs, and their entire lower legs, where their feet are more claw-like than toe-like. These scales can have colors ranging from white to dull gray-blue to icy-blue. Their hair is however always bone-white and their eyes also always dull blue-gray. Voltalar are more varied in personality than the other Isldar subraces, ranging from gregarious and spontaneous, to violent and ill-tempered. Voltalar are also incredibly competitive to one another, always seeking out a leader among them to challenge to become the Alpha Voltalar, as Voltalar thrive best in a hierarchy structure. Voltalar that live alone are often spared this need to compete with other Voltalar, however they end up adopting more stoic tendencies and behavioral quirks. Voltalar remain relatively new, appearing only around 150 AC, when Wyverns were re-produced in the Wyvern roosts, and the Isldar started taming them as mounts in Ellador. Those that tended to the Wyverns started taking on physical appearances from them, eventually creating the Voltalar.

Corruption of Grace

There is a technical fifth subrace from the perspective of the Isldar, but other scholars do not actually recognize them as racially distinct. The Isldar have a certain condition called Corruption of Grace, which occurs when an Isldar starts acting diametrically opposed to the wishes of the Dragons. This means not just to not acknowledge the Dragons as superior beings, but going out of one’s way to work against them, and act in direct opposition of their wishes. When an Isldar does this, they become classified as Fallen Isldar, their hair starts turning raven black, and their irises considerably dullen in color. For all intents and purposes, they start resembling more Altalar than Isldar. When this occurs to a Voltalar, their scales also start becoming brown-tinted dark-gray and lose their shimmer. If this occurs to a Shiva’s Cavern Isldar, their blue tinted skin returns back to normal as does their hair, while any ice crystals on their skin and hair disappear also. Additionally, while all Isldar subraces can use the common Isldar Ability Frost Voice, Fallen Isldar are unable to hear Dragon Voices, or understand it, even if they are near a speaker. They can still use Frost Song, Summons and Harrowing, but are no longer immune to the sensations of cold of hypothermia, as well as having no immunity to ice-based entrapment Abilities. There is currently no known way to revert this process after it has begun, though it is rumored that actual Dragons are able to revert it. As is to be expected, to have black hair is fairly uncommon and even frowned upon in Isldar society. Most Isldar in Ellador want nothing to do with Fallen Isldar. This becomes more complex due to the fact that Isldar that live in Regalia frequently dye their hair black, or other colors. In their case, they are not Fallen Isldar, but identify their loyalty to the Regalian Empire as opposed to the holds in Ellador, through their styling choices. It is not possible for Isldar to change between subraces, and if two different subraces reproduce together, a random child of either parent subrace will be born.

Isldar Abilities

All Isldar Abilities that are usables (non-passives) cause Soul Essence to flow. All Isldar regardless of subrace have access to the Common Isldar Abilities, while subrace-only Abilities obviously pertain only to those of that particular Subrace. Half-Isldar do not have any Isldar Abilities.

Ability Name Ability Type Ability Description
Common Isldar Abilities
Frost Voice Racial Passive The Character can hear and use Wyrmtongue, the Dragon language. Additionally, they can hear Dragons speak Wyrmtongue from miles away.
Frost Song Racial Passive The Character can see Soul Rivers, materialize them to other races to see, and steer them around aesthetically.
Frost Ward Racial Passive The Character is immune to the sensation or damage of extreme cold, hypothermia, and is also immune to any and all ice-based entrapment, stunning, rooting or otherwise impairment causing Abilities, including Magical ice.
Frost Summons Racial Spell The Character can materialize a weapon out of Soul Essence and wield it. This weapon can also be ranged, which then has infinite Soul Essence ammunition, however it does not cause harm, instead tiring out whoever it hits.
Frost Harrowing Racial Spell The Character can sing the Song of the Dead, allowing a Soul to peacefully pass to the afterlife, preventing them from becoming an Undead. This ability can also be used to cleanse Poltergeists, but not those already Undead.
Moon Vault Isldar Abilities
Crescent Arrow Racial Spell The Character can summon a bow or javelin out of Soul Essence with a crescent tipped point. They can then proceed to shoot/throw this weapon, and if hit, the projectile causes a moonlight prison around the target, which roots them in place. Hitting this projectile is based on a dice roll (regardless of Proficiency Points), requiring a /dice 1 20 by the Isldar, which if the roll is above 8, causes a hit. This Ability can be used once per hour, and lasts for up to 3 minutes, unless the Isldar breaks it prematurely.
Crescent Light Racial Spell The Character can summon celestial moonlight (even during the day) to light up to an emote distance area around themselves. The effect will remain active, centered on the Isldar, for up to 5 minutes, and then goes into an hour cooldown. This Ability breaks through any forced darkness Abilities in the area around them. This Ability can also be used in a lesser non-cooldown manner by summoning a candle-sized crescent of light in their hand, however this lesser form only lights up 3 blocks around the Isldar, but this candle-sized light can be removed and re-summoned as many times as the Isldar likes.
Crystal Spire Isldar Abilities
Crystal Song Racial Spell The Character must immobilize in prayer and singing the Crystal Song when using this Ability, which when commenced, causes the singer to be encased in a Soul Essence shell that pushes anyone who tries to get within 3 blocks away from them. Magical projectiles and Spells are also ejected away when targeting the Isldar, but mundane projectiles can still reach them. Moving the Isldar stops the effect of this Ability, as does the Isldar stopping their song. After the Song is broken, this Ability goes on a minute cooldown. It cannot be initiated if the Isldar is restrained or imprisoned in any way.
Crystal Choir Racial Spell The Character can create a Target Illusion while singing the Crystal Choir Song, which produces a perfectly accurate miniature illusion of a building, place, or area, that the Isldar has visited in the Emote Distance area around themselves. While singing, they can rotate it, zoom in and out on specific areas, and make aesthetic changes in color, light, transparancy and particles. There is no cooldown for this Ability.
Shiva's Cavern Isldar Abilities
Shiva's Storm Racial Spell The Character can summon Shiva's Storm in Emote Distance, centered around themselves for 5 minutes. This causes an aesthetic magical blizzard to appear around them which does not affect anyone caught in it in any harmful or obstructing way, unless they try to walk towards the caster. If they try to approach the caster, their movement speed is reduced to a walking pace as the blizzard holds them back. Additionally anyone using flight or wing-based movement in Emote Distance is forced to the ground and cannot fly while inside the blizzard. Once the blizzard ends (or the Isldar ends it prematurely), it goes on a 1 hour cooldown.
Shiva's Maidens Racial Passive The Character can grow aesthetic ice crystals on their own body, replacing hair with ice-like crystals, turn their skin blue-tinted, turn their hair deep blue, or replace it entirely with ice-crystals. Additionally, their body also produces an ice-crystal dust that sheds when they move around, causing light to reflect back off them in a sparkling dust manner.
Wyvernborn Isldar Abilities
Wyvern Form Racial Shift The Character's scales extend to the rest of their body, becoming completely covered in Dragonscale. Their head also changes into that of a horn-less Wyvern, while flight-less Dragonwings sprout from their back. With these Dragonwings, the Character can move at the speed of a Varran while levitating a block off the ground (which counts as flying). While flying, they become immune to any rooting or leg-based trapping Abilities. While in this form, Physical stat is increased by 50% (rounded up), but this Shift can only be maintained for 15 minutes, before going on a 1 hour cooldown.

History

Early Years

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 fledgling 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 cataloging 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 surprise, the Cult of Drogon wandered close to the Crater of Creation, encountering the Violet Night Dragons in their splendor. 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.

First Dragon War

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.

Second Dragon War

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 Crater of Creation 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 tunneling 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 two of the three 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 population, 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.

Inter-Dragon War

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 recognized 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.

Third Dragon War

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 Wyvern roosts, with the Wyvern still inside. The Protectorate fell into panic; their walls were compromised, and their allies, the Wyverns, were being slaughtered wholesale. Many Dwarves made attempts to insult the Protectorate by using the corpses of the dead Wyverns to try to build flying machines. 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 Wyverns. By 95 BC, all Wyverns were dead, having previously been created to help protect the Violet Night Drakes, leaving only one Violet Night Dragon alive, Frisit herself. Seeing no outcome in sight where the Protectorate would come out alive, the elders and Dragon 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 whittled 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 creations of the Crater that were left, fantastical magical creations of life and creature, 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 Dragon creations at an alarming rate. One by one, the legendary Drogon elders fell, who had served the Dragons for so long. With each death, Frisit grew more desperate, as she watched Pyndrynt, Lovnarr, Eideriss, Seheissi and Fyyrm fall, her favorite elders, 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 they shut 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, their souls ripped from their bodies and instantly evaporated, 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.

Modern Day

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 there she continued to guide the Isldar.

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 comfort in their final hours and others who wish to cleanse a ghostly terror from their lives.

Following rapid events around 307 and 308 AC, two Blue Crown Dragons attacked the Isldar capital and killed Frisit in another massive magical spell. This came as a massive shock to the Isldar, however threw Isldar society into even greater confusion when it was made apparent through visions that Frisit had been revived as a Violet Night Dragon by the Dragons, and left the Isldar to return to the Crater of Creation. Despite the ongoing occupation of Regalian colonies following the Isldar’s declaration of war on all who remained on Elladorian soil, the Isldar themselves have since devolved into a sort of silent and un-fought civil war, with Isldar society fracturing over the question whether Frisit was still their ruler, or had now been changed away from what she once was. The Dragon priests and priestesses continued to hold onto their old beliefs, while younger Isldar proclaimed it was time to move on, and join ranks with the new Dragon Revival movement that was growing across Aloria.

Society

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.

Politics

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.

Culture

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.

Privacy is extremely important to the Isldar. It is seen as a great violation of trust and privacy for an Isldar to force another Isldar to show their jewelry, and most Isldar will not show their jewelry 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.

Religion

Isldar religion follows the trendlines of Dragon Worship, 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 Worship 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 Worship. 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. Others yet exist proclaiming the need for all Isldar to acknowledge all Dragons as gods in a greater pantheon, adding all revived Dragons to the pantheon of worship. 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.

Trivia

  • 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.

Accreditation
Writers MonMarty, Scribbe
Artists MonMarty
Processors HydraLana, MantaRey, LumosJared
Last Editor Birdsfoot violet on 09/17/2020.

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