[Written] Sylvani

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[Written] Sylvani

Post  Jared T on Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:23 am

Found in the Lore section of the Final Haven website.

Rough Notes on the Sylvani... By: Garet Maevers


Taken from notes found amongst the private writings of Sathin Maevers. Thought to have been written around 996 p.e.w.

Sylvani by nature can be a reclusive group of humans. Nomadic by nature, and wander the length and breadth of the land and can be found in every kingdom upon Phantera. True, they are more welcome in some than others, but it seems to this historian that they thrive most in lands where they are not wholly welcome.

It was by chance that I encountered Noah Twilight, the elder of the Sylvani blood line Blood Thorn. In agreement for not revealing the circumstances for our first meeting, he as agreed to grant me an interview for my logs so that the Sylvani may be noted among the other races.

Q: First, what separates a Sylvani from any other member of the human race? Any special breeding, marks, anything?

A: As far as physical self, there is no difference between my people and yours. We are forged of the same elements, we live just as long, age just as quickly. If you cut us, do we not bleed?

It is our sense of belonging, and of isolation, that separates us from the others. Our clans move together. There are many clans moving about your kingdom here alone, but we all work in concert, moving from one caravan to the next, following it to where ever we may wish to travel.

Q: You say that you move from caravan to caravan. Are all Sylvani welcome to travel with your clan?

A: Yes. As Sylvani we have recognized the need to work together so that our heritage, our blood lines, may be kept and honored. There has been no record of a war between clans in the history of our people.

Q: Are Sylvani allowed to marry outside of the clan?

A: The blood line is the tracing of the heritage of a Slyvani. We do not, however allow ourselves to fall prey to the inbreeding that constantly plagues human nobles. Sylvani are encouraged to take as spouses any who would reflect well upon themselves and thus the line. This may be one of another clan, or a simpleton, a non-Sylvani. Even among my blood line alone, by second daughter has taken an elven husband, a testimony to the power of love.

Marriage across bloodlines can be difficult if both parties are close to the line of succession. The children from such a union must have a clear sense of their being, and to do so must have a clear blood line to trace.

Q: Can you elaborate on this blood line? I do not think I fully grasp it yet.

A: Each full Sylvani knows his lineage back to the founder of his line. That is they may name all those that came before them from parent to grandparent and so on. A line is started when a full, and only a full, Sylvani who is not in line to act as elder of his own line, feels a calling to start a new blood line. He submits his desire to begin a line to all clans within 2 days hard ride, and a council is convened at the first Day of Life of the following month. There he proves his worthiness to sire a new line.

My own line is very young. I proved my cause as its sire only 53 years ago.

Q: Can you tell me how this council determined your worthiness?

A: No.

Q: It sounds as though the caravan and the blood line can have equal impact on a Sylvani’s life.

A: The caravan does much to determine the way a Sylvani lives his or her life, but the blood line is the source of their being. Just as the earth is the source of all existence, the blood line is what the Sylvani turns to. I would expect one of my line to come to me or another elder of my line before going to an elder within their caravan.

The eldest of any caravan is responsible for all Sylvani in it. The eldest of an individual’s blood line serves her more as a mentor and guide. He would advise her best in ways of her blood’s nature. Generally a caravan elder and a blood line elder will not allow themselves to come to odds over the course one’s life should take. Further, the caravan elder is expected to receive counsel from the eldest member of each blood line with in the caravan, or with any elder successors, those that are the first borns of the blood line.

Q: You seemed to show some disdain for human nobility. Is this common for Sylvani?

A: Please do not misunderstand me. I have nothing but respect for those that lead the kingdom of Silverthorne. Not all nobles are as kind to Sylvani moving through their lands. Some lords are known to take slaves from caravans, while others simply attack us on sight. This violence towards us befuddles me to no end. We are a peaceful group of hunters, craftsmen and entertainers.

Q: Are you saying that your people do not use violence?

A: Oh, far from. When pushed into a corner, does not even the simple hare attack with equal ferocity of the wolf? We have engaged in warfare. Not on the scales of kingdoms, though we have found ourselves caught in many a conflict. We prefer, when possible, to simply wander on, recording the deeds of those battling and preserving the ways of the valiant and defeated alike in our songs and tales.

Q: What would it take to motivate a clan of Sylvani to violence?

A: An attack on one of our own. We ask to be allowed to live in peace, peddling our wares and such to those that wish them.

Q: I apologize, but I have heard many tales of attacks on others simply because of a few hasty words directed towards a Sylvani.

A: Perhaps you have. Tales are tales. Honor and pride are very much a part of a true Sylvani. Any insult to her blood line may be considered with the same response as a sword to the back. And you best be warned my young friend. There is never just one Sylvani.

Q: Are you saying that you lie in hiding?

A: I only say, that as alone as we may appear to you, we do not exist alone for long. Our caravans allow us to travel where ever our hearts may lead us, but do not suffer unto us the burden of a solitary life.

Q: Again you seem to stress the caravan. How do Sylvani away from their caravan survive? Or do they simply not?

A: Many of my people are struck with a wanderlust that takes them away from roads that a caravan is traveling. Most find happiness by adopting a family where ever they are. We are a social people, my friend. The truest way to kill a Sylvani is to lock him away from contact with others.

Q: According to my notes, you have switched between the male and female pronouns. Am I to conclude that men and women share equal status in your clans?

A: Yes you are. Men can dance as easily as women, just as women can hunt as well as men. True, a Sylvani dancer, clad in her finer silks will draw more money from a hunting lodge than a man in her place, but we expect both men and women to do their share. All are respected.

Q: Does this respect extend beyond gender to the races as well?

A: No. Elves have been our friends since the dawn of time. They understand our love of knowledge, and our respect for the earth. Dwarves, with their histories are fascinating, but dangerous. Their love of spirits has put too many of my clan in danger for me to truly trust one with a tankard. By nature, Orcs should be avoided. My first son was taken by an Orc and Goblin raid, and I am not the only one to tell that tale.

Of the other races, many of my kind have drawn their own conclusions. For the most part they are not to be trusted with out proving it first. They are not complete. Each lacks some element.

Q: You seem very knowledgeable of the elemental cycle. Is this common to Sylvani?

A: It should be. As a whole we emphasise the earth as the basis of life and encourage our childern to study the cycle of elements and respect the impact it can have on their development.

Q: I see too that your people are very skilled at craft making. Is there a field in which you specialize?

A: All manner of light trade may be exploited. We prefer finer work than metal smithing and the building of armors. For example, weaving and tailoring are common skills, as are herb gathering and horse training. You will find no mount better trained nor better bred than a Sylvani’s. Beyond even those, we are known even more for entertaining. There is no festival that cannot be brightened by a few Sylvani dancers and minstrels.

Q: Pardon my asking but there are many stories that Sylvani also excel in the shadier trades, such as lock picking, and, well, out right theft. How do you respond?

A: Let not the misguided ways of a single caravan determine your opinion of an entire people. In sooth we are a peaceful people and take great offense to the label that many have given us. We are not a dishonorable people. It is the duty of the caravan’s elder to take responsibility for all within their care and administer punishments as needed.

Q: What of the rumors that Sylvani may lay a curse on others? Is this just superstition?

A: The honor of a Sylvani is very important, for his own honor reflects on that of his entire blood line. Only when his family honor is truly insulted might a Sylvani attempt to place a curse upon the attacker. Whether or not this curse is real or just supersitision I leave to you to decide.

Q: Can you speak any of your festivals?

A: They are celebrations as none others. Music, dancing, merriment, words that you scribe can not do the experience justice. They must be experienced with your own being. And Sylvani rarely look long for a cause to celebrate with a festival.

Jared T

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