Painted Elves

The painted elves, or Darendal, are a tribe of elves living in the Sabian Desert, located in southern Canstice. The tribe is made up of both elves and half-elves, both treated equally in the society. The Darendal are rather secretive, but are usually willing to trade their silver with others.

The painted elves take their name from their habit of camouflaging themselves with pigments derived from basalt and slate deposits.

History


The Darendal are a gathering of diverse groups representing clans from different areas, but unified as one group of people with a single language. Migrations of goblins have caused the painted elves to move from original village locations at river beds to the hills where these villages could be defended. The Darendal have been village dwellers for many centuries, living in nine pueblo villages for many centuries.

Society


Painted elves are extremely distrustful of outsiders and can turn on guests at the slightest provocation. They fiercely guard their secrets and young. Darendal society is extremely close knit despite the clan and caste system. Privacy is nearly unheard of as multiple families share housing.

desertelfhouse.jpg
A Darendal village.

Villages

There are nine Darendal villages spread throughout the desert.

Clans

The society of the painted elves are divided into clans that span all villages. Each clan enjoys a niche in society and are considered favored if represented by an elder.

Caste Structure

Darendal society is based on three classes of society. The people, the priests and the elders. The "people" are those who live as farmers, craftsmen and warriors. The priests are set apart from the people and are considered the same as the spirits they venerate. The elders are the women who rule each village and do so in relative secrecy.

These castes are separate but equal in rights and most privileges. The major differences in the castes is in what is considered proper behavior for each class. It is not proper for a priest to farm as much as it is improper for one of the people to impose on the duty of an elder.

Culture


All villages of the tribe live in semi-subterranean pueblo villages. These villages are generally peaceful towards neighboring cultures, as long as peace may be kept. Painted elves often lead caravans to ply trade for their crafts.

Religion and healing

The Darendal practice a form of anadlism by venerating spirits of the land. The three greatest spirits are Ferensa, Azulsa and Terenso; representing the sun, the moon and the land, respectively. Ferensa is a harsh spirit of heat and anger. She brings bright light and destroys water. Azulsa is much more kind, but is also less powerful. She lights the night with a gentle light, but cannot keep monstrous creatures from awakening. Terenso is the strongest of the three but is uncaring about all things. He remains unbiased in outlook as allows only the worthy to survive.

The lesser spirits number in the hundreds and it is the job of the priest class to know and placate them all. Only the priests are allowed inside the village temples, along with those they invite that are in need of their care.

The Saol'siul and the Bhas'suil

These two sacred rites are performed by pilgrimages. Juveniles who are undergoing adulthood and who are to become warriors take the Bhas'suil, or Walk of Death. The juvenile is allowed one weapon and is marked by a priest with a slave that induces a delerium caused by heat and the salve's psychotropic properties. This salve also emits an odor which attracts predatory creatures.

The young elf has from sun up to sun down to defeat at least one creature of the desert in combat. The more creatures defeated, the more honored the warrior. A truly blessed warrior faces the giant desert scorpion for his rite. Those who are stung by the scorpion's venom and survive and considered blessed and may become a scorpion heritor.

Others, when they wish to fulfill themselves spiritually, undertake the Saol'siul, or Walk of Life. This is a mass pilgrimage performed by a dozen or so elves as they walk from their village to the Gulf of Ragno. This pilgrimage is done without map or navigation tools, save the celestial bodies themselves. Once at the gulf, each takes a sacred sponge full of ocean water back to the village.

Crafts


Silversmithing

Silversmithing is said to have been introduced to the Darendal before they migrated to the desert. At that time, elven silversmiths were creating handmade jewelry including bracelets, flasks, necklaces and bow guards. Later smiths also made earrings, hair ornaments and pins.

Weaving

Though some people say the Darendal learned the art of weaving from their northern ancestors, the origins of elven weaving may never be known. The first humans to visit the region wrote about seeing elven blankets. Soon after human trading, the elves had begun to import yarn with their favorite color, crimson red. Using an upright loom, the elves made almost exclusively utilitarian blankets. Little patterning and few colors on almost all blankets, except for the much sought after Elder's Blanket.

Dance

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License