Campaign of the Month: January 2013
DANgerous Kalamar 4
Elves live in villages and towns scattered throughout Tellene, usually loyal to a prince or a king that rules a loose hereditary monarchy. The oldest and most secluded of these settlements number in the tens of thousands, but these few are rare and exist only in deep forests. Surface elves often gather in cities in the Lendelwood and the Kalalali Forest, while ancient dark elf cities lie beneath the Elenon and Krimppatu Mountains.
110 yrs 175 yrs 263 yrs 350 yrs +4d100 yrs
Elven grammar centers on the subject. The gender of the subject and its plurality are reflected in almost every word of a sentence. Elven uses many vowels, in fact, most elven words contain at least three vowels. Elven words frequently contain double and even triple vowel combinations. The average elven word is three syllables long, and that is before any gender or plurality is added! High Elven is so intricate that it takes the average elf 50 years of studying to master it. Both High and Low Elven use the following vowel and consonant sounds: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, U, V, W, Y, Z.
The need for written history is minimal. Elven history dates back to the beginning of time, and their written history would fill millions of volumes. With most elves living for more than 500 years, elven history is passed on through various dances and plays that are acted out during the many elven festivals and holidays. Some people even contend that elves can communicate solely through the use of musical notes and tones!
The written language that does exist is very complex. Low Elven uses runes that were first drawn long ago, before the appearance of humans on Tellene. High Elven is so complicated that only a very gifted few ever learn to write it. The words of the elven language are actually detailed drawings and sketches. The written language is so ornate that it takes even a skilled elven scribe 3-4 hours to draw one character! It is rumored that written Elven contains magical power; some magical spells are written in High Elven.
When dealing with non-elves, elven family names are usually translated to Low Elven. Some go so far as to reduce their name to the graceless Merchant’s Tongue. High elves that do so sometimes have names like Whitehelm, Highspear, and Lightfoot, while wood elves use arboreal or rural-sounding names, like Woodhall, Oaklimb, and Greentree. The names of wild elves might refer to an animal or geographical feature such as Foxtail or Riverrunner. Gray elves prefer to use their native names, since they are less concerned with making pronunciation easier for the “lesser races,” but they will go so far as to use Low Elven translations. If the humans cannot pronounce Nalabouranna or Welityrn, it simply further demonstrates their barbarism and lack of culture.