- 1 History
- 2 Psychology
- 3 Appearance and Biology
- 4 Hibernation
- 5 Perception of the World
- 6 Ellune Ice Ability: Nilas Within
- 7 Culture and Values
- 8 Cities Occupied
- 9 Clothing and Grooming
- 10 Arts and Crafts
- 11 Technology, Religion, and Worship
- 12 Reproduction, Aging, and Death
- 13 Language, Script, and Names
- 14 Folklore, Rumors, and Legends
The beginnings of the Ellune Race is not a happy one, much like others: their homeland whilst now considered to be Oscillus, as originally somewhere in the arctic regions of Northern Idalos. As humans, they were related to the first humans and eídisi to inhabit Viden. The first ellune were originally humans who were members of the tribes inhabiting the Northern Region of Idalos. They too, were enticed by the protection that Yvithia offered from the harsh climates, and joined her with the others in building Viden. But this group were just as unlucky as the first generations of eídisi: all made up the first experimentation subjects in what would one day become the Facility for Retrospective Analysis.
The difference between the ellune and the eídisi, however, is that Yvithia revived those belonging to her own race… whereas some murdered humans were discarded, thrown out into the tundra that surrounded her growing city. For years, these abandoned bodies from her failed experiments littered the lands, buried under layers of snow and effectively preserved by the frozen wastes.
When Treid came to Northern Idalos at Xiur’s insistence, in an effort to reconcile with Yvithia, the compassionate Immortal was horrified by what he found there. He could not understand how his beloved had allowed her craving for knowledge to overpower her. If there was an answer to the occurrence of the Great Shattering, it would not be found in the meaningless torture of humans. There was no reasoning with the Immortal of Intelligence, however, for her obsession had grown too great. Horrified at the mutilated bodies and suffering, he left Yvithia and Viden, never to see her again.
Treid was disheartened by the loss of the one person he truly loved, and did not immediately return to his newly frozen island, which had been stolen from Audrae’s land a mere decade previously. He wandered around the arctic tundra, for he had an exceptional proclivity for forgiveness and he considered trying to guide Yvithia back to the seeking of true knowledge. Instead, he stumbled upon the preserved remains of some of her first experiments, and he was reminded of what the other had done.
With little thought, Treid wasted no time in reviving the frozen corpses, thus creating the first of his ellune. Once all were brought back, he did not hesitate in guiding them back to his home, the island of Oscillus, towards the south of the world.
Treid’s obviously genuine compassion was so far removed from Yvithia’s borderline sociopathic manipulations that it did not take long for the ellune to warm to their creator and saviour, whom they eventually looked upon with great love and devotion. Their early songs speak of a time when the cold touched their skin and burned, hazy memories from their beginnings frozen in the northern tundra. When Treid saw this, he blessed their skin with an affinity for the ice so that they could live peacefully on his continent. The ellune therefore became far more adept at surviving in the cold climates than their eídisi brethren.
As the ellune became stable, they showed their love of their patron Immortal by trying to advance their society as much as possible. He even helped himself, reminiscent of a father assisting children, teaching them as he could with his expansive knowledge, though he made obvious efforts to keep his teachings as far removed from that which happened in Viden. Buildings and cities quickly rose, the ellune quickly learned how to structure themselves and harvest resources.
Conflicts rose and settled amongst them as they learned how to cope with this. Their capital city - Treidhart - was built on the side of a river, with homes carved out of mountains and ice. To an outsider, a night with the Ellune would be like seeing a whole mountainside light up with lights, akin to the very stars above them.
The loss of Treid at the hands of Audrae was a devastating blow to the unwaveringly loyal ellune, and for a time, their society suffered as a result. Surprisingly, so did the eídisi groups, some of which had been sent by Yvithia to learn of all other societies. Eventually, a grieving Yvithia softened slightly, and she reached out to the ellune, inviting some of their most learned to join her in the FRA, effectively opening up an entirely new department dedicated to studying methods of reviving their incapacitated Immortal. At first, the ellune were hesitant, but Yvithia was insistent in her desperation to save the man she once loved. They were also aware that they would not succeed without the Immortal’s help.
A relatively small delegation of ellune now always remain in Viden as others protect Treid’s body and dig for the box containing his heart. It could be argued that the ellune society is a shadow of what it once was, for part of their passion was lost with the loss of their benevolent creator. They wait for the day that they will succeed in returning Treid to his former glory.
The Ellune are mentally dependent on one another. An Ellune in a society without other Ellune would certainly feel lonely, or strange processing the experience. Because the family unit has been so deeply ingrained into them, they often think of what they should do for others before they think of what to do for themselves. This often leads to many an Ellune feeling underappreciated when they go out of their way to help a friend, and that friend doesn't give them the proper thank you, because they too are exhausted doing the exact same thing for another friend. This is often referred to as "politeness fatigue", whereby an Ellune feels sad or tired because they try to do something out of the ordinary nice for a friend and do not receive the proper thank you in return.
That being said, Ellune tend to be more patient as a whole, and work better towards long term goals than other races do. They have wonderful, photographic memories that last most of their lives, and they put them to work every day. As many things in an Ellune life take a long time (Digging out Treid's heart, the gestation of a baby), as a people, they tend to advocate watching and waiting over brash action.
Appearance and Biology
About eight feet tall, living about 60 arcs (or 80 earth years), and at a minimum of 200 pounds, the Ellune were made in the image of Treid. Their physical bodies, as tall as they are, have tougher bones in their arms, legs, shoulders, and ribs, which many regard as a direct gift from Treid. Their skin tone is in various hues of gray, from light shale to charcoal, and is abnormally rough to touch compared to most humanoids - like high grade sandpaper. This is because the skin is designed to catch snow and ice and pack it onto their skin like layers. Their hair ranges from white, silver, black, gray, or two-tones of those in streaks - and is also thicker, and rougher than most humanoid hair. Humans will joke when their hair is tangled that they are “brushing Ellunian hair” if it takes more than ten bits.
The Ellune do not catch frostbite like other humanoids, and in fact prefer the snowy weather. Just as some humans prefer a certain kind of warm temperature to another, some Ellune will prefer a certain kind of snowy cold temperature to another, or a certain amount of snow on their bodies. This comes at a cost, however. The Ellune’s bodies are very sensitive to heat and causes them discomfort. The hottest it gets in Oscillus is during Saun(Summer), where temperatures rise just above freezing - 36-45 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1-2 Celsius, and the ice melts. This is a partially uncomfortable time for them, in which the occasional dip in temperature and snowfall leads to many Ellune running out into the snow naked to let it cake onto their bodies and relieve them.
At 85 degrees, or 29 degrees Celsius, an Ellune will find these temperatures tolerable and will yearn for the luxuriously cold temperatures of Oscillus.
At 95 degrees, or 35 degrees Celsius, the Ellune must either place themselves into a hibernation state where they lay or sit down and slowly place themselves in a deep sleep. Failure to do this, the Ellune will experience heat stroke, and it’s possible for it to pass out from heat exhaustion, and begin experiencing extreme internal organ failure. They simply aren’t built to survive those kinds of conditions. This can be negated by drinking ice water, but that’s only a short term fix. Continual exposure to these temperatures without hibernation, an Ellune will die of heat stroke.
For the above temperatures, usage of Nilas, the ice power that all Ellune possess in different amounts of skill, can increase their body temperatures and exacerbate their ability to cope with the temperature of their environment. Take care with this!
When taking the Ellune out of Oscillus, consideration to the seasons and climate are important. For example, the hotlands are particularly hazardous for the Ellune in any season during the daytime. Please feel free to consult with your Poets, Minstrels, and Narrators.
This almost 'Treid-like' state is the Ellune's way of surviving times of unbearably hot temperatures without succumbing to heatstroke and thus, death. It involves either lying down or sitting against something and falling into an unconscious sleep. The Ellune are difficult to rouse from this state. They will periodically wake up from their sleep to take note of time that has passed. They are also able to last for weeks without food or water when under hibernation, however when they awaken, they will be quite weak as a result.
Perception of the World
It is sad to say that Audrae was the Ellune's first taste of the outside world - and she ripped out the heart of their beloved Creator. They also used to hear Treid speak many things about the sensitivity of their bodies, and due to that became nervous to travel outside of their continent.
Outsiders who do enter will find a number of reactions to them - from curiosity, to wonder, to hostility. They should expect to encounter some xenophobic cultural tendencies, and that no matter how much they conform, since they are not Ellune, many will not accept them. Some Ellune certainly wish to see the world outside, but do not know how with the bodies they have, and others are angry at the outside world for what they have done to their Immortal and Creator, and still carry that bitterness with them. As a result, there tends to be a reactionary defensive-superiority complex in how the Ellune carry themselves, and racism against other races is common - especially the Aukari, the Noble Creation of Faldrun, and the Naerikk, the Noble Creation of Audrae.
Ellune Ice Ability: Nilas Within
The Ellune have the ability to transfer the energy within their frozen bodies into a range of ice related abilities. It is called 'Nilas' or 'Within' by the Ellune, for in order to achieve success in manipulating ice well, one must be able to maintain control of one's mind and inner body. Such abilities relate to combat, practical circumstances and even spiritual situations.
In combat, the Ellune use their Nilas to induce hypothermia and frost-bite to warm-blooded foes via icy beams and projectile blasts of cold energy. They also have the option to procure ice weapons of various types and densities - though it should be noted that these weapons, at low skill levels, are prone to breaking and are likely to be disposed after continual use.
For practical uses, Nilas is used to create and manipulate ice structures and objects whether it be for construction means like columns, windows (ice-glass), vaults and the like, or house hold furniture, kitchen items and food preparation.
For spiritual purposes, the ice power is used for the creation of statues and idols to honor Treid, by ritual recreation of his body to cope with the concept of death. This is also done to all deceased Ellune, by creating caverns filled with the ice sculptures of the deceased standing in rows like graves in a cemetery. These sculptures are recreated on each year on the deceased's various birthdays in a ritualized celebration.
The Ellune are able to quickly recharge their abilities by exposing themselves to cold environmental temperatures, of which Oscillus is abundant. To overuse these abilities will result in undesired increases to their body temperatures, weakening them toward a debilitating state and, unmitigated, can result in death via heatstroke. In mild climates, the use of Nilas will be fairly average and recharge times will be the same. In hotter climates, the use of Nilas will be limited and recharging can take a long time. Control of these abilities are trained at an early range and will progress to higher output (density of ice crystals for strength and size) and flexibility for longer periods of time without the issues of raised body temperatures.
Culture and Values
The nuclear family unit is the most discussed, and perhaps the most worshipped, aspect of Ellune life. The family unit is so revered that when new babies are born, enough food is usually donated to the couple to feed them usually for several months, specifically so that they do not need to work to earn their food, and may spend time with their baby.
It is common for whole families - mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins - to live together in one roof. It provides the most resources to take care of the most amount of people. Privacy can be hard to come by, but due to their body's affinity to the harsh conditions, it's not uncommon to take time alone or with a significant other away from the family dwelling at night.
Work is not divided by gender - you will see both men and women working the ice picks, as well as men and women gathering resources. However, it is expected that your job contribute to society. There is pressure among youth to seek respectable professions that serve their Creator best, such as the sciences that retrieve his heart, theocracies, or other such things. There isn't a strict caste system, but some work is looked higher upon than others. Few Ellune children aspire to be the goat herder.
Because there is little privacy, violent conflicts and abuses have little time to ever develop. Anything dangerous is brought to Public Council - if the family can handle themselves and avoid becoming the town gossip, they will. Love, above all, is preached to one another. To have a family member going against family duties or familial love for self serving purposes, or to go as far as harming another member of the family, they would immediately be ostracized. Without marriage into another family, this could be suicide for an Ellune - for a short time, they would live off the hospitality of their community. But they would be a guest in someone else's family, and they would know.
Overall, the Ellune are a society of worship, a society which regards one another with respect (so long as you pull your weight, and you're not an outsider) - and a society devoted to it's family. To many, they extend their definition of 'family' to include Treid, as the 'Great Father'.
The Ellune are limited to the food of Oscillus of which mostly consists of fish and meat. Some essential vitamins are found on plants but play a small part in the overall diet. Cooked foods that are eaten hot are strictly avoided, causing major internal strife. If food is left to cool, the taste is tolerable, but just so. The main way that the Ellune enjoy their food being prepared is frozen and crushed into bite sized portions.
Ellune have three known cities established, though there are other settlements across the continent: There is Treidhart, the capital city, of highest population, which is accessible by the two rivers that flow in from the ocean to the lake. Outsiders can only access this means of travel in Saun and [other hot season] when the rivers are not frozen over. The Ellune themselves during the cold seasons will simply walk over the frozen over rivers. There are many mining goods in the mountains around Treidhart, and thus that is there main economy, and they house the most intelligent of their kind.
There is Port, the next largest settlement, sits on the coast to the south, and has the largest fishing and herding economy, and trades with it's sister cities based off of their meats, tools with their bones and sinews, and their skins.
Little Sol, lastly, sits the furthest south, and is thus the smallest population. The Ellune from here have slightly more tolerance to the sun, and slightly less tolerance to the cold, as they see the sun far more often. however, the difference is only a matter of five or so degrees. Vegetation of all kinds likes the climate around Little Sol, and often get preserved and sent to Treidhart, which can be eaten, or made into dyes.
Clothing and Grooming
Clothes are not needed by the Ellune, and during the unbearable heat of Saun, it would be perfectly common for Ellune to lay about naked, or to roll naked in the snow and rise up with it layered on their bodies. However, they do wear clothes. Shoes, even in the depths of winter, are entirely out of the question. The snow builds up around their feet due to their skin texture, and as the layers thicken, it becomes a sort of igloo about them.
They usually wear simple leather or furr (weaves from the furr tree) robes or jerkins with leggings that tie at the knees. The more special an occasion is, the more layers of leather or furr they will wear - as a symbol of the resources the community has given them - and often they will be colorful, or dyed, as opposed to just the raw leathers worn on jobs. On special occasions they will also wear jewelry made with special metals or jewels that are found in the mountains, or in the ice while digging for Treid's heart.
For the most part, when not in ceremony, clothing has a protective purpose. It's more comfortable to have a layer of soft leather under armor, for example, or if you're going to have heavy picking equipment for ice, it's important to protect the body from stray pieces of sharp ice that could pierce the skin. So while clothing isn't necessary for survival from the elements, it's often adopted for practicality of professions, and then undergarments are usually left on during family time out of habit.
Arts and Crafts
The Ellune keep a beautiful record of history on vellums of animal skin - because animals have adapted far kinder to the environment than trees, and paper is not available to keep records on. As a result, dyed rolls of animal vellum with artful calligraphy and depictions of historical events and their uprising are in large quantities in their great Library in Treidhart.
As a people who lives in the mountains, they had to mine holes into them to make their homes, and as a result found many resources within them with which to make arts and crafts. Gems, precious metals, and stones of all kinds that are native only to Oscillus became the delight of craftsman, and are the desire of outsiders to this day.
Technology, Religion, and Worship
Worship of Treid is almost treated as cultish fact by many. Figures or totems of Treid may be kept in every house for good luck. A life size carving of Treid is carved into the cliff face of the ice, and is kept up every year at ice melt and freeze. For a people who both know their Immortal exists, have a history of interacting with him, and know in their history how their Immortal cared for them, loved them, and can't exactly doubt it, they've responded with overwhelming devotion to him in many aspects of life.
Those who do not like or worship Treid do not do so out of doubting his existence, merely out of anger that he made them in such a way that they cannot travel anywhere, and that they cannot speak to him about why. They feel like children trapped at home with no way to see the world. But they still pray to Treid and ask for answers. Or they stop talking to him. All Ellune thus have a relationship with Treid.
The Ellune's tools, since the wood on the continent could not survive when Treid stole it from Faldrun, the Ellune's technology is based off of a combination of ice, bone, animal skin, and metals taken from the mountain. Metals are not melted, because the heat would kill the Ellune, but instead shaped and pounded and sharpened. Additionally, every Ellune is born with the ability to shape and manipulate ice. This is used with metalworking all the time - such as reinforcing a soft metal frame by crystallizing it's structure.
As the Ellune live primarily off of meat, the Ellune have also developed fantastic herding, and a fine attunement to what little agriculture is viable in this climate. They are experts at close-range hunting in groups.
Reproduction, Aging, and Death
The Ellune reproduce mamally like other humanoids. They reach maturation for sex at 16 arcs. Gestation for a single baby is about 2 arcs. Adulthood is defined at 20 arcs, with elderly life beginning at 40-45 arcs.
If you have a child as an Ellune - it is expected that your family hosts a party for the entire town, village, or settlement the next day with whatever they have. These are described as exhausting, but usually rewarding, because every guest pays their entrance to the affair with things the family will need - items for the baby, presents for the mother, food for the party (or to keep for themselves). Ellune who live in Little Sol(one of the smaller settlements on Oscillus) joke that families who live in Treidhart must go into poverty when they have a baby.
Since Treid fell, but they still feel life within them, when an Ellune dies, it's a confusing feeling. They feel the lifeless body, the body made in Treid's image, and want them to rise again. Funerals often speak of how they will rise again like their great Creator, when his heart is reunited with his body. They place bodies, unburied, in a graveyard on the outskirts of town, and let the snow bury them. Graves become places of visitation upon births of new babies and weddings, to show the previous generation respect and earn blessings from the dead for the union or new life.
Language, Script, and Names
Ellune is the common name for them. In their native language, Leni, their name would be closer to a'Luan'ii, or "of the Moon".
Names comes in three parts. The first name you are given is your name. The second name you are given is your family name, which marks your heritage, your Public Council history, and more. Your Third name is which settlement you hail from.
So, some example first names are:
- Some family names are:
- Settlement names (in Leni):
- Little Sol: dina-Sunai
- Treidhart: qalar-Treid
So, for example, if someone made a female Ellune who was born in Little Sol, their name could be Maire Shalna dina-Sunai. Only the first name is used on a regular basis, but all names hold significance.
Folklore, Rumors, and Legends
- Workers at the side of Treid's heart are blessed every shift, for it is said that Audrae cursed the ice forever. One can never be too sure.
- The Ellune believe when all three moons are united, it is a holy time for them, and they can commune with Treid even though he is essentially in a comatose state.
- When a family isn't given a lot of food after holding a Birthing feast, they complain that the town thinks they are lazy, and doesn't think they work enough, to force their children away from their infant so quickly.
- There's one legend about an Ellune who was banished by boat for murdering his brother, who becomes a pirate of the north and one of the fiercest outlaws of Idalos. Usually children tell this story to each other, and then adults hush them and tell them to go to bed.