The Faenor Kinship


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The City of Khelgar

The elegance of their elven heritage is found in the majestic architecture of the snowy caves and ice structures they call their home. Rather than build more traditional dwellings to suit them, they have seamlessly shaped and become part of the harsh environment that surrounds them. They have embraced it, and wrapped themselves in the flowing white of their matron goddess in their attempt to make Aarandor, their home.

The center of the city is found inside a large cavern, close to the peak of the highest mountain in the new world. Buildings are part of the cavern rock, or have been shaped out of the ice that was part of the cave system the Faenor have come to call their home.

Trying to reach the city through normal means is next to impossible, exactly how the Faenor want it to be.


Faenor Family Trees

Government

A body known as the Conclave of the Five, or just the Conclave or The Five serves as the government of the Faenor. It consists of the five High Lords of each House, with each member having equal power within the Conclave. Most decisions are made through a majority vote, usually after an extended period of negotiations and debate. The lack of interest in outside politics the Faenor are known for, is at a very high contrast with the marked interest in politics when it comes to ruling their people.

High Lord and Lord/Lady Heir - The title of High Lord is a hereditary one, passed to the firstborn of the High Lord's children, who becomes the Lord or Lady Heir, with gender playing no role, only the order of the birth. The Lord/Lady Heir often speaks for the High Lord if the High Lord is unavailable, and is able to represent the High Lord during conclave meetings. If the High Lord has no children of her own, then the next sibling is considered the Lord/Lady Heir. In the case that neither High Lord or Lord Heir are able to attend a conclave meeting or event, they're able to designate a member of the house to represent them for that particular meeting or event.

High Seat - While it's true that each Conclave member has equal power, it's common during times of crisis for The Five to appoint a High Seat, with the High Lord voted in often being the one considered to have the most experience with the kind of crisis being faced. The High Seat does not have any particular powers over the other members of the Conclave, but is responsible for organizing and moderating the agendas of the Conclave meetings. During votes, the High Seat usually offers their vote last, to serve as the breaking vote for potential ties.

General - The Faenor Unified Military is responsible for safeguarding the Faenor and are under the command of their General, who is chosen by The Five. The General does not have any governmental power and is purely responsible for the managing of the Faenor armed forces, and answerable to The Five. An elite group of knights serves under Faenor Military known as the Knights of the Argent Moon. Colloquially referred to as the Argent Knights, they were founded by Ralus Morinen with a mandate to hunt down and root out evil in any shape it appears. They are led by their Grandmaster, who in turn answers to the General during times of war. .

Ideology

Said to be favored by the goddess of Wind and Purity, Garwen, the Faenor have claimed the white mountaintops of the Volandis range as their home. They live in the coldest of places, with hearts that can be as icy as the lands they inhabit. Stoic and quiet, the other elves mistakenly think them to be passive. They are far from such.

When they strike, they do so with precision, leaving no one to tell the tale. When they speak, they say only what’s necessary. Their body language is as much part of the way they communicate as it is their speech. The way they look at someone, how they stand in their presence says a lot more than mere words would be able to convey.

Their distrust of outsiders stems from their belief that they've been chosen to safeguard the purity of the Elven heart. Garwen is the goddess of everything that is good and pure, and they see themselves as her children and heirs. Their choice to live in a land that most would consider inhospitable is not out of a desire to endure hardships, but simply to make it harder for others to reach them. In fact, they often go to great lengths to reshape their environment to suits their needs and comforts.

Media and Real World Inspiration

House Arryn and the Vale - Geographically, the Vale is known for being hard to access, a trait that is shared with the locations that the Faenor tend to claim as their home. House Arryn decision to not get involved in War of the Five Kings echoes the Faenor's desire to be left mostly alone by the other kinships, albeit for different reasons.

The Malfoy Family - Some of the physical traits found in the Malfoy Family served as visual inspirations for the physical traits of the Faenor. Their general elegance was certainly an influence in some of the aspects of Faenor culture, as was their dedication to purity. While the Malfoy family and Faenor embrace very different concepts of purity, the Malfoy family worries about blood purity, while the Faenor are concerned with the purity of the Elven heart, they're both staunch protectors of their respective ideals.

Scottish Highlands - From the Scottish Highlands we mostly borrow the concept of clans, adapting it to fit our vision for the Faenor kinship. The idea of the clan, or in our case the House being the major social unit drives some aspects of the Faenor theme and its government.

Norse Culture - The most apparent concept borrowed from Norse culture is the important of heroic deeds and the sagas. Some of the ideas found in Faenor Law were also inspired by Norse Culture. The indomitable spirit often associated with the Vikings mirrors the one shown by the Faenor in embracing some of the most inhospitable areas of both Larandor and Aarandor.

Laws

The Conclave of the Five is responsible for creating the laws and their adjudication. Outsiders caught in Faenor lands breaking the law are often judged more harshly than the natives. Faenor caught conspiring with outsiders to break the law are judged even more harshly. Trials require at least three Houses to be represented by either a High Lord, Lord or Lady Heir, or someone designated by the High Lord to represent the house, this is known as the Judgment Council. A prosecution officer is assigned by the Judgment Council and is responsible for presenting the case against the accused. The accused is allowed to offer a defense, before the Judgment Council votes to find the accused guilty or innocent.

Lesser crimes often require service to the community, while serious crimes lead to exile. Those committing crimes serious enough to be executed, experience a harsher form of exile. They are blindfolded, given a simple robe as clothing, and taken out in the freezing wilderness and left there, with no resources, to fend on their own. They're branded as outlaws and are to be killed on sight by any Faenor.

Culture

Generally, the Faenor prefer to be left alone. However, individuals are known to venture out of Khelgar often, and some have even married into other kinships, integrating with their cultures. In Larandor, they often avoided being involved in the politics of the other Kinships. The Eradication War changed their outlook some, however, and after the Third Migration, they've slowly come to accept that they must work with the other kinships if they expect to survive in the new continent of Aarandor.

Living in the icy mountain ranges of both Larandor and Aarandor has taught the Faenor patience, and this is an important a virtue to them as purity. Recklessness can easily lead to death in the snowy wilderness that they call of their home. This often leads other kinships to see them as lazy, lethargic or even apathetic, but from the Faenor's perspective the truth is far more nuanced. The Faenor feel the other Kinships rush into decisions without thought, that the others lack the long term vision necessary to master Aarandor.

Hunting is an important part of their lives, and Faenor usually do this alongside their Snow Wolves. These long lived wolves are more than just a pet, they are companions that young Faenor bond with, usually for life. Bonded wolves are considered part of the family, and mourned as such when they pass. They grow up to be large enough to ride, and can live up to around twenty years.

Heroic deeds are a very important to the Faenor and usually are recorded by loremasters referred to as Old Wolves in the form of sagas. Each House usually has at least one Old Wolf that is responsible for the sagas of that House. Sagas might not be completely historically accurate, and sometimes carry embellishments added by the loremasters. New sagas are often shared at the end of hunts or festivals, bringing Faenor together and often serving as a reminder of their place in the world.

The Faenor are also known for admiring beauty and elegance. While they are very pragmatic people, artistic pursuits are seen favorably, in particular if they honor the gods. Artwork and poetry honoring Garwen is highly valued, and this artistic bent has influenced the elegance often seen in the way they carry themselves.

Flora & Fauna

Flora: The flora is is typical of cold weather regions. Higher up in the mountains, where is the most cold, one could find flowering plants, dwarf shrubs, grasses, mosses and lichens. Down the mountains, swatches of forests made of trees able to handle the cold are typical, like maples, red oaks, pine trees, evergreens and birch trees.

Fauna: Wolves and bears are quite common, usually sporting light furs. The Snow Wolves that the Faenor bond with are a very particular breed of wolf, and larger in size than the regular breeds. Hares, foxes, ox, and caribou are also quite prevalent.