Elves Elves Elves,

Elves, elves, elves.

Na Esad Has three distinct populations of elves. There are the Fang-bound, the elves who, for one reason or another, live somewhere on or in Vostin’s Fang, there are the Elves of the Seven Isles, urbane elves who live on sculpted flying gardens and who produce magnificent skyships, and the Feral Tribes who live in the great mushroom forests on the cavern’s ceiling, the shaministic society that formed during the Howling Years.

This is the smallest group of elves in the caverns, usually numbering around a thousand members. They live in communities with other races and are the most cosmopolitan sort of elf. The majority live under the dome of Sanctuary, making their livings as craftsmen. Many elves who come in through the gates wind up amongst the Fang-bound. There is a small sub-population of drow whose excesses have been tempered by the absence of their goddess and the difficulty of maintaining a slave empire with only a few hundred masters. They by no means make comfortable neighbors, but there are other communities within the caverns of Vostin’s Fang that are far worse. Over the centuries, more than a few dual scimitar wielding reformed dark elves and compassionate skyclad priestess-dancers have arrived in Na Esad via the portals only to fall into a deep depression as the locals completely failed to be first mistrustful, and then amazed at their breaking of set in stone racial stereotypes.
A number of elves older experienced elves have created isolated homes for themselves within the caverns, pockets of incredible beauty and deep solitude. Some weave magics to bring about the illusion or the reality of their lost forests and some have created new beauties in the medium of the receptive stoned of the Fang. Finding out how to best approach these isolationist elves can be a quest in itself. These secluded grottoes can be the site of almost anything you can imagine.
Many of the young and middle aged members of the Fang-bound join unofficial hunter teams, using their centuries of experience to help protect their adopted homes from powerful threats. They especially hunt the undead and demons through the caverns of the Fang.

Elves of the Seven Isles

The seven refers to the seven floating islands that the elves grew from the flying fungi that Vostin summoned to provide his first stable platform for spellwork. Each island floats in a predictable orbit around the base of vostin’s fang, hundreds of feet below the canopy of the mushroom forests on the cave’s roof. The elves of the Seven also grow great flying ships that sail beneath the roof of the caverns. They are one of the best ways to move large amounts of goods from one point in the cavern to another, and while they mostly ply trade routes around the fang, the elves occasionally send a brave crew to explore other regions of the cavern. There are a few places that they don’t send ships, since no crew has ever returned from expiditions in those directions. They have found several important resources over the years, including the Pyrotrophic Ironwood groves that provide them with much of their export production. They also provide a point of contact between the hunters and gatherers amongst the feral elves of the cavern ceiling and the rest of the peoples of Na Esad. Their cities are astonishing places of sculpted beauty, one of the few places where actual trees grow, each one trained to provide support for the fragile Islands.

Unfortunately, the seven are no longer seven in number. Their predictable flight paths bought several of the Islands their doom. While the feral tribes control most of the great mushroom forest, there are a few goblin kingdoms, one of which mounted a successful assault on the cities and . The remaining cities of the seven declared war on the goblins, who fended off their attackers several times. An uncomfortable peace was brokered after a particularly humiliating campaign ended up with the entire elven force captives of the Goblins. The Goblins exchanged all of their prisoners, including a surprising number of survivors of the initial conquest in exchange for the elves’s knowledge of how to maintain the flying fungus. The past five hundred years has seen an uneasy peace between the goblins and the Elves of the Seven Islands, though the Feral Elves occasionally organize raids against the fallen cities, and disaffected “rebel” elves from the seven almost always accompany them. The Seven Islands remain the center of Elvish Arcane lore in Na Esad.

The Islands are home to a trio of Elven liches who ascended to lichdom during the Howling Plague. They were originally three of the greatest of the Elven magi, and they realized that they were dying of the disease that was rapidly taking the elders of elven society. They were desperately searching for a cure for the disease, or even the cause, but they feared that they would succumb before they succeded. Becoming undead halted the progression of the disease and allowed them to focus their researches, though they were warped and twisted by the necromantic powers that were required to keep them functioning long enough to save their people. They are also the oldest survivors of the Howling plague, having failed to find a cure until after it had slain all of the middle aged and older elves. They helped rebuild their society, they taught the arcane arts to all of the promising students of the surviving generation, and then they entered seclusion in an effort to not spread their own corruption to the reforming society that they sacrificed so much to save. They are respected elders of the Islands, though their undeath and their evil is enough to make most elves almost sufficiently wary of them. A portion of each subsequent generation since their seclusion has, during the foolishness of youth, become enamored of the undead saviors, taking on their mannerisms, and often tattooing their faces to mirror the bony visages of the liches. Some of these young elves embrace the evil that has overtaken their idols, but most of them follow the strict self control that is practiced in public by the wizards.

Feral Tribes

When the ability of elven society to maintain itself collapsed during the Howling years, many of the young elves who found themselves without guidance or direction formed gangs and then tribes in the great fungal forests. Their culture became an aggregation of vaguely remembered lessons from their childhoods, instinctive behaviors, childhood games and stories grown in power and the basic tools of survival. Almost none of them had any magical training and they lost the essences of their religions in the chaos pf the dissolution of their societies. They have formed an incredibly competitive, in the moment society that is lead by shamanistic leaders, elven druids of a self taught bent. They posses the hauteur and sense of superiority and competition inherent in elven psychology without the weight of a strongly traditional society to temper their excesses. They live their lives as the expression of a great game. While the elves of the Seven Isles build elegant flying craft to bring them beyond their islands, the Feral Tribes raise various flying creatures, mostly giant bats, giant wasps, giant owls, and zephyr motes. They test themselves in races and fights, games and duels. Though a few of the tribes nearest Vostin’s Fang are reasonably peaceable, many of the outlying tribes see any non-elvish group to be fair game for an impromptu hunt and are a constant threat for caravans on the great spiral trade routes. Even when they are facing opponents they can’t defeat, they tend to do things like counting coup. It is not uncommon for a feral elf to have burn scars from raids on the brass tower.. While most outsiders present themselves as prey, if one of their targets presents an interesting challenge before elven blood has been spilled, it is possible to redirect a raid’s focus to a contest instead of a mere smash and grab. Feral elves are dangerous when they are among other races, but for the most part they restrain themselves when they are visiting other peoples’s cities.
While the eves devote most of their lives to the game of blood and the game of speed, their entire culture is devoted to the game of making. The game of making is a grand contest that was developed by their shamans. Each successful turn of the game sees a new obelisk on the ceiling of the fungal forest. Each of the obelisks creates a region of reversed gravity, allowing the ceiling to act as a forest floor. There is a patchwork of reversed gravity zones scattered across the reach of the forest, allowing the formation of occasional lakes and even a few small rivers. The transition zones are sudden and often unmarked save by the collection of debris in the canopies of standard mushrooms. The zones themselves extend less than a hundred feet from the cavern’s roof, far enough to encompass the mushroom canopy, but not to reach far below it. There have been a few hundred successful games of making since they started a thousand years ago. Each game is different, and each game is overseen by different spirits of the land. The game binds the local spirit, but at the same time it empowers it.

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