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Mountain Elves

From Dragon Eye Atlas

The elves of Hampa call themselves "Mountain Elves" and, unlike most other elves, live in the highlands and plains of the island, not just in the forests. They are - to human eyes - the most civilized and advanced elven culture, with cities and buildings made not just from wood but also stone. They are also intense users of magic, much like the human realm of Palan, and through a combination of magic and their fearsome warriors have defended their borders for centuries against any human incursions.

The elves form the realm of Aluraba, but with peace having been established between the elven realm and its two neighbours, Mun and Hampy, the elven culture has spread beyond those borders, and humans living close to the border have begun to adopt parts of it.

Outside of Aluraba, Mountain Elves are mostly known to be haughty or arrogant. They consider themselves the highest culture and strongest and most advanced realm in Auseka, and it does nothing to temper their attitude that they may be right in that.

The core aspect of Mountain Elf traditions can be summed up as Elven Superiority. The Mountain Elves believe deeply that elves are a superior race compared to the dirty and smelly dwarves, the barbaric and primitive humans or the small and weak gnomes. They do not believe that they should be ruling over those lesser races, but are quite convinced that none of them should be telling an elf what to do. When warm, their relation to other races can be almost paternal - teaching the lesser races things they do not understand. When cold, it can be distanced to the point of ignoring non-elves even when they speak directly to a Mountain Elf.

As such, Mountain Elves rarely mix with other races. Almost no Mountain Elves live within non-elven settlements, and no humans are allowed to permanently settle within the realm of Aluraba.


Traditions[edit]

This page is still incomplete and missing content or details that are planned, but have not been added yet.


Death Rites[edit]

Mountain Elves do not believe in a conscious afterlife. For them, souls are temporarily embodied and return to the Sea of Souls afterwards, from where they await reincarnation. The goddess Gurth harvests and maintains souls, but does not decide upon their future fate. Instead, a constant stream of souls flows back into the world to fill the newborns. Souls are not individuals in this mythology and do not retain their personality. While the Mountain Elves believe that souls are reborn, they do not consider a reborn soul to be the same person as it was when it died. Upon death, souls are cleaned of the pain and suffering, but also the joy and memories of their existence and start the next life freshly reborn. Only the ultimate fate of a soul binds its reincarnations together. Someone destined to be the greatest artist of his time likely has had previous incarnations as an artist.

As such, the death rites of the Mountain Elves support the destruction and cleaning of the soul. Bodies are burnt and their ashes scattered into a nearby stream or river, so that they, too, can be carried towards the sea. Accompanying a burning is a feast for those who knew the deceased, and stories of him are told there, memories exchanged and his life celebrated. If the deceased is a woman and mother, her children are the most important persons at the feast. If the deceased is a man, his wives and lovers take this role.


Clothes[edit]

Like most elves, Mountain Elves wear wide, lose clothing hanging from the shoulders, but in ways so much more elegant than what human tailors can manage. They also know how to weave fabrics rare or unknown in other parts of the world. Silk farms provide plenty of the valuable fabric, which is more common in Aluraba than elsewhere, as the Mountain Elves are the only culture that has managed to domesticate silkworms, while everywhere else in the world, it is gathered from the wild.

The mountain climate does get cold at higher altitudes, so clothing both light (for the valleys) and warm (for the mountains) is common. Good shoes, made from leather and nothing else, are considered the most important piece of clothing for practical purposes, while no formal dress would be complete without a woven or embroidered belt and beautiful bracelets, which are worn by both men an women. Mountain Elves currently looking for a new romantic partner often signal this by wearing several bracelets, but on only one arm.


Art & Music[edit]

This page is still incomplete and missing content or details that are planned, but have not been added yet.


Architecture[edit]

Religion[edit]

Like all elves, Mountain Elves follow the old Elven Gods.