Callasine Power Groups

Court of Stars

“There are those that say that the stars are distant lamps, fixed high above the heavens. They have not seen Her Radiance, the Queen of Callas Selvarion…”

Basic: The court, the retinue and the staff of Her Radiance, the Queen of Stars

 

Symbol: A five toothed purple crown that radiates four large silver rays and four thinner silver rays(in the compass directions) over a field of dark purple.

 

History: Callasine culture is a Matriarchy, but before Callas Selvarion and the closing of the Black Gate, the people that would become the Silver Elves were ruled by Kings. Solarian was the first Sun Emperor and Xirithwyn was his wife; from their union sprung forth the leaders of the Elven Race.

 

The city of Selvaras was founded by Eldarys the Explorer as an outpost of the Sun Empire. It flourished with the Empire’s support and with the wisdom of the Elves. More than a thousand years after its forging, the city of Selvaras lost contact with the Sun Empire. When Selvaras sent its greatest fleet to their motherland, no one returned.

 

Thus, the mantle of leadership fell to Choirs such as Athariel, Eldressar and the lost Choir of Ysandriel – all anointed by the Celestial Church to lead the Selvaras Elves (or Silver Elves in Wyrd-spiel) into the next age. The Kings of Selvaras were sired from blood of these three Choirs until Arvas ni Athariel and the War of the Black Gate. Selvaras grew in power and influence as the centuries passed, upstaging even the Empire of Wyrd in magical power. But for all the might of Selvaras, the Daemon was stronger still. Fewer than two hundred Elves escaped the destruction of their city and the name of Selvaras was forgotten by Midworld.

 

The closing of the Black Gate marked the end of Selvaras’ Kings, but it saw the rise of the Queen of Stars, Caellasrhee ni Ysandriel. Not even the Daemon could stop the power of Her Radiance and She shattered the Black Gate with a wave of Her opalescent hand.

 

With the Black Gate closed, the Queen of Stars saw to the resurgence of Her displaced people. The four Silmaril of the Celestial Church supported her leadership and lent their strength to Her rule. Silver Elves that were scattered across Midworld heard the clarion call of their new Queen; they immediately rallied to her side, adding their numbers and strength. Much was lost with Selvaras, but the Silver Elves had the Queen of Stars to guide them into the new age.

 

The Queen of Stars led her people from haunted forest and blackened earth to an island untouched by the Mortal Races and shrouded in mystery. The mists of Vylithia, wreathed in perilous magics, parted to Her Radiance and closed behind the Elven flotilla. And behind this misty veil, the Elves raised a symbol of their hope, their spirit and their grace.

 

Thus was born Callas Selvarion, the Price of Pride. And for two thousand years, none but the Silver Elves would be allowed to tread upon its hallowed stones.

 

Current: For over two millennia, the Callasine have flourished behind the Veil. The Queen of Stars continues to guide Her people, made immortal and wise by heavenly dictum. The Choirs and the Celestial Church lend Her their support as they have from the beginning, but the Queen has Her own power base: the Court of Stars.

 

In addition to Her Radiance, the Court of Stars consists of Her staff, Her ministry and Her Knights. Her Staff (Alaris Celest) are Callasine who attend the maintenance of Circel Celest, the Queen’s palace and base of operations. Her Ministry (Virdis Celest) attend to the needs of the people, administering the Kingdom’s resources where they need to go. The Knights of the Queen (Tallis Celest) are Her royal hand; they are her word and her blade in the Veiled Kingdom and beyond.

 

The Arch-Matriarchs of the Choirs and the Valara of the Celestial Church form a Parliamentary council in the Court of Stars. Because they are the main sources of the Kingdom’s resources, they have a say in Kingdom policy and the Queen usually listens to their counsel. However, since Kingdom resources are kept separate from Church or Choir resources, the Court of Stars is considered a separate entity from these leaders.

 

On the whole, the Queen of Stars makes all the major decisions for Her Kingdom. Just as She led the Silver Elves away to veiled Vylithia, it was the Queen that broke her Edict of Isolation and allowed King Arcturus Pendrakken into the Veiled Kingdom, much to the puzzlement of Her subjects. When he spoke to Her Parliament about the Treaty of Freehold, the Queen supported his proposal without a moment’s hesitation. While Her decision caused dissention among the Court of Stars, the Choirs and Churches followed Her command nonetheless and lent some of their strength to Arcturus’ endeavor. The Silver Elves are not a numerous people however; the Court of Stars prefers to send aid in magic or resources instead of manpower.

 

Leadership: It is sung that the Queen of Callas Selvarion appears as a young Elven woman whose eyes glow with soft light. She attires herself in gowns of silver and purple, usually wearing a mantled hood from where her eyes can be seen glowing pale and opalescent.

Eight masked priests of Cadrafel guard the Queen and Her quarters at all times and attend to her as a matter of royal tradition. Her Radiance does not need their protection- assassination attempts are rare and every one of them has failed miserably.

 

Few are the Callasine that doubt the Queen’s love for Her people but no Silver Elf raised in Callas Selvarion doubts Her power. It is by Her will that the Veil continues to protect Callas Selvarion from invasion. It is by Her might that winters are cool and summers are warm in the Veiled Kingdom.

While it is known that the Queen of the Silver Elves is immortal and extremely powerful, her strength is not limitless in its scope. The rest of Midworld does not quake from Her dominance. Indeed, Her Radiance usually prefers subtlety over overt force and moves through others instead of personal action.

 

Rumors have sprung from the Circel, that troubles have beset the Queen of Stars. As of late, She does not attend Parliament, sending a Knight proxy in her stead.

 

Vassals: The four Knightly Orders of the Queen are her military and diplomatic corps. They are formed of Elves who display loyalty and ability, courage and wisdom, in service to the Queen of Stars. The Four Orders are:

 

 

The Order of the Hawk

The Knights of the Hawk serve their Queen as guardians of Callas Selvarion. They are rostered by rangers and witches who patrol the wild areas of Vylithia and pacify rampaging beasts or elementals.

 

Those who seek passage to Callas Selvarion must first go to a Hawk outpost at the edge of the Silent Forest. Only the vessels of the Hawks and the Gulls know the way through the perilous wards of Callas Selvarion; unescorted ships get lost in the mist and often fall to some nautical mishap.

 

It is believed that this Order has outposts within the Silent Forest. Rumors claim that Hawks in these outposts fight the deadly denizens within the haunted wood and keep the shards of the Black Gate from the hands of Diabolists. To that end, the second, lesser known function of this Order is hunting down the enemies of the Veiled Kingdom.

 

The current Sentinel-General of the Hawks is Tirisian ni Jaerithion. An accomplished woodsman and a powerful earth-caller, Tirisian personally handles the training of new recruits and the needs of his Order’s outposts. Thus, most Hawks regard the aged Elf not only as their leader but also as a father figure.

 

The Order of the Gull

The largest of the Knightly Orders, the Knights of the Gull form the leadership of the Queen’s Navy. Because they patrol the waters around the Veil, their typical enemies are pirates and nautical monstrosities that block Callasine trade and attack travelers in the area. The Gulls also see frequent service as guardians of foreign envoys to Callas Selvarion, of royal Courtiers and of clergyfolk.

 

It is rumored that the Gulls often clash with the outlaws of the Labyrinthium, the corsairs of the Riverfolk and the raiders of the Jotunbrud for supremacy over the western seas. However, such talk cannot be true because it would go against the Treaty of Freehold.

 

The current Grand-Admiral of the Gulls is a merry Elf named Azzalyn. She claims no Choir but the sea foam herself, ascending to her position through merit and talent. The only time she drops her cheery demeanor is when the name Belit the Bolt is mentioned. The Fir’bolg Priest of Marda is an enemy that Azzalyn has sworn to drown and this hatred is the only doubt that the Gulls have regarding their Grand Admiral.

 

The Order of the Heron

The Knights of the Heron are tasked with the protection of Circel Celest. They man the walls of the royal palace and patrol the estate’s grounds. When the Queen goes into Her city, she is surrounded by Herons.

 

Alongside the Athalarian Clergy, the Herons also maintain the Queen’s Peace in Callas Selvarion. The Heron-Knights guard the parts of the city near Circel Celest while the Athalarian Silmaril patrol the remaining portions. The Herons are under orders to yield to the Priesthood whenever there is a conflict; however, suspects taken into custody or awaiting judgment are sometimes placed in the Order’s prisons.

 

The Warden-General of the Herons is Kalicia ni Athariel, a veteran guard of the streets. Called “Iron Chalice” by her subordinates, she is a no-nonsense warrior far removed from the haughtiness or elegance of her Choir. With her at the helm, the Herons are reported to operate at peak efficiency – although more than a few Choirs complain that they sacrifice courtesy for effectiveness.

 

 

The Order of the Rook

The Knights of the Rook are the Queen’s heralds and diplomatic corps. Those stationed in Callas Selvarion are emissaries and courtiers to the different Callasine Choirs. Those stationed in foreign lands function as Callasine representatives for Her Radiance.

 

Nightingales are a sub-section of the Rooks devoted solely to delivering Her Radiance’s messages and given special dispensation to commandeer any vessel or steed they choose.

 

The greatest secret of this Order is their secondary function. A few Rooks are Veil-Keepers, special operatives tasked with the protection of the Kingdom against enemies internal and external. Veil-keepers work closely with other Orders to ensure that they achieve the objectives set by the Herald-General.

 

Daughter of Shaerach’s Arch-Matriarch, Hythelia is this Order’s Herald-General. She is the master of Ceremonies for Her Radiance. In secret, she is the Queen’s spymaster; Hythelia’s contacts span the breadth of the Veiled Kingdom and into the Midworld beyond.

 

 

Celestial Church

 

The Gods of the Overworld have been sundered from their most favored servants, but their divine voices are far from unheard.

 

Basic: The Celestial Church of Callas Selvarion ministers to the spirits of the Silver Elves as well as attends to their physical and civic needs.

 

Symbol: The Holy Symbols of each Mystery all on a single flagpole in the following order (top to bottom): Xirith, Athalarian, Neheris, Cadrafel.

 

History: Ever since the Sundering Symbols were writ and the Overworld was split from the Midworld, the Celestial Church has ministered to the needs of the Elven Race. While every Elf knows and fears Cadrafel Ahroun, the Elven God of Death, each of the Elven sub-races found a patron to guide them to their destinies.

 

Mighty Solarian of the Sun Empire spearheaded the rediscovery of Athalarian Verathul, Elven God of Justice. Verdis of the Wildlings found solace in Xirith Kesellas, Elven Goddess of Hope. And though Verdis’ children were scattered into the seven winds, Xirith Kesellas was embraced by Solarian’s people. Shaedis’ patron, Reatha Morrianna, is ill-regarded by the Callasine clergy – at best, she is a rogue Goddess of Dark Magics and Sorcery. Some Priests believe that she is a Demon Queen masquerading as a God.

 

Worshipful study of Athalarian, Cadrafel and Xirith allowed Elves who were devout, pious and virtuous to perform miracles worthy of being divine servitors. Although Athalarian was held in the highest regards by the ancient Sun Empire, it was grim mysteries of Cadrafel Ahroun that led to the foundation of the Celestial Church. Unlike the faiths of lesser Races, the Celestial Church believed in the entire pantheon of the Elven Gods and in the mysteries of the Overworld. Thus, each and every Chosen of the Celestial Church was bound to one another, without regard to their choice of patron divinity.

 

The Mystery of Neheris Keserai was rediscovered and added to the pantheon soon after the city of Selvaras was founded by the Sun Empire. When contact was lost with the Imperial homeland, the Church moved away from a focus on Athalarian, toward a more equal stance amongst the four Mysteries.

 

The War of the Black Gate cemented this movement after almost every Mystery was devastated by the Daemon’s assault. Bickering and separation was a real threat to the Celestial Church for a long while, until the transfiguration of the Queen of Stars. It was an event too overt to deny – the heavens had granted their favor unto this Elf and the Churches were moved to comply with their edict.

 

Current: The Celestial Church of the modern era has been blessed by the Queen’s reign. The Mystery of Athalarian enjoys prominence as the primary policing body of the Veiled Kingdom. Similarly, the Mystery of Xirith are highly regarded as a judicial entity as well as a place of healing and of solace. Mystery of Neheris is one of the greatest academic institutions in the Kingdom. The Priests of Cadrafel maintain their low profile although they are the only ones allowed to be the Queen’s personal bodyguard.

 

In addition to their part in the civic order, the Oracle-Harbingers of each Mystery has a voice in Callas Selvarion’s governance. These Valara (through Therin proxies) and the Arch-Matriarchs of each Choir form an advisory body to the Queen of Stars. It is believed that the Queen listens closely to the words of these clergyfolk, as their wisdom comes from the gods themselves.

 

Leadership: Each Mystery is governed by their Oracle-Harbingers (Valara). For more information regarding the different Valara, see the Callasine Religion section.

 

 

Choirs of Callas Selvarion

A Choir is 3-20 Callasine families that are bound by blood and/or marriage, banding together to pool resources, influence and power beneath the leadership of an Arch-Matriarch. They are similar to the nobility of Human families, except that the Arch-Matriarch of a Choir represents their voice in the Queen’s parliament.  The following are the biggest Choirs of the Veiled Kingdom as well as several smaller Choirs that align themselves with the big three. Other smaller Choirs may exist. In fact, players may choose to create their own small Choir with the permission and guidance of the Seventh Kingdom staff; players that do this should submit a profile on their created Choir to the Staff email.

 

Players may not make characters that are heirs to a Choir presented here, but they may choose to be sons, daughters, uncles etc. of the Arch-Matriarch and/or her Heir.

 

 

Choir Athariel

Tharil venyal tular Solasi. Verthas tular zophothas

“Righteousness sings through the flame.

Justice rings through the steel”

– Hearth-verse of Choir Athariel

 

Basic: An ancient Choir, rooted in tradition, honor and craftsmanship.

 

Symbol: A bronze ring surrounded by four fiery bronze stars (four-pointed) upon a field that is half dark blue and half sky blue. Some versions of this Symbol place the Hearth-verse in an outer ring that connects the four stars.

 

History: It is sung that Choir Athariel traces its pedigree from beyond Selvaras to the ancient Empire of the Sun. Just as they take their names from Athalarian Verathul, the Elven God of Justice and Battle, the name Athariel had long been associated with honor and justice.

 

Arvas the Elder, last King of Selvaras, was born of this honored bloodline. Arvas ni Athariel was primarily known for organizing the reclamation of Elven lands and his final charge against the ranks of the Daemon.

 

Centuries ago, Athariel’s name was darkened by Arvas’ eldest son. Though his name has been struck from all records, the Faithless Son betrayed the Elves of old Selvaras and their allies among the dwarves and the humans. His scheme ultimately failed, thanks to the Queen of Stars and the grace of the Gods… but the damage to Athariel was done.

 

Current: Since then, Choir Athariel has struggled against the shadow of the Faithless Son. They took it upon themselves to shoulder the building of Callas Selvarion. It is law among the Athariel to give at least a son or daughter to the Celestial Church (typically Athalarian Verathul).

 

Thus, Choir Athariel became one of the most influential factions in the Veiled City. Their craftsmanship rivals that of the Dwarves. Their strongholds and workhouses not only create works of beauty but also are things of beauty, with musical voices and songs of craftsmanship echoing from within their walls. The formula for Soul-forged Weaponry and Armor is said to be an ancient invention of this Choir, stolen and spread across Midworld. To be an Athariel is to know beauty in its heart and soul, to be able to create it and to be able to rejoice in its splendor.

 

Despite their prosperity, the Elves of Athariel are known for as paragons of honor and generosity; although their reputation is as sterling as the days of old, the shadow of betrayal still lingers over Choir Athariel. Those who fall from grace fall especially hard among the Athariel; even the slightest flaw or mistake can cause an unfortunate Callasine to be reprimanded or worse yet, exiled from his or her home.

 

Leadership: Alaria ni Athariel is the current Arch-Matriarch of Choir Athariel. A Witch with an affinity for Flame and Earth, this red-haired Callasine is more comfortable with the forge than with the seat of statesmanship.

 

Alaria is possessed of a fiery temper, which has only began to dim after twenty years of governance. In most issues of politics, she is a stalwart supporter of Her Radiance. However, she is a staunch isolationist, preferring that the Silver Elves be left to their own devices instead of relying on or abetting other Kingdoms. In the Queen’s Court, her voice is typically found cautioning Her Radiance against dealing with foreigners or accepting foreign aid.

 

Allies: Among their allies, Choir Qellessir and Choir Crimiserac are the most distinguished and the most influential.

 

Choir Qellessir: Born five centuries ago from a daughter of Choir Aethariel, Choir Qellessir is said to have the finest blade-dancers, the greatest bards and the biggest egos in Callas Selvarion. The Choir’s progenitor, Qellessir ni Athariel, is said to be the greatest swordswoman of the Veiled City and is credited with the invention of the “Three Fallen Stars” technique. Qellessir poets and minstrels fetch high prices for their work… and definitely not because of the intolerable attitudes of the Bards that craft them. Qellessir’s talents have ever been marred by the attitudes of their bloodline – more than a few Qellesir Elves have been exiled or executed for disorderly conduct and unauthorized dueling.

 

Qellessir’s symbol is a four-pointed star made into a longsword with the blade down. They share the colors of Athariel.

 

Choir Crimiserac: Born from the blood of Shaerach and Athariel, Choir Crimiserac split from their brethren centuries ago. They have crafted their way into influence and prosperity through their artistry and design. Now, they are on the bleeding edge of Callas Selvarion’s fashion; a Crimiserac gown can fetch a price as high as a Rune-forged Breastplate – and Choir Crimiserac sells both.

 

In addition to their expertise in cloth and steel, Crimiserac is known to offer patronage to the most avant-garde of artists and bards. This ensures that they maintain their dominance in the creative frontier of Callas Selvarion, for the time being.

 

Crimiserac’s symbol is a blood red tree with a star shining above it over a white background.

 

 

Choir Eldressar

 

Sul tharil verathas-mil soras zonhin kal sul hirionir zophothas.

 

“Goodly deeds and a smile sincere

can travel farther than blades or fear”

– Hearth-verse of Choir Eldressar

 

Basic: A Choir known for its diplomats, mariners and traders.

 

Symbol: A sea green goblet inscribed with three small stars against a field that whose upper half is dark-blue and is lower-half is sea-green (the colors invert as the green goblet invades the green area). It is flanked by two giant waves. Variations of this symbol change the number of stars or add a sea-green half moon to the sky.

 

History: Choir Eldressar’s bloodline goes all the way to the ancient Elven city of Selvaras. It is sung among the Eldressar that Eladrys the Tireless found the hill that would serve as Selvaras’ foundation. Eladrys continued her journeys thereafter, encountering many an adventure, bringing glory to her people and recording all that she experienced.

 

Only scholars and historians outside the Choir Eldressar know of Eladrys the Keen. Besides being a canny traveler, the Elf hero was also deadly with the bow. In the early verses of Eladrys’ epic, she is as quick to violence as she was quick on her feet.

 

Every Elf of Eldressar knows the tale of the Riverfolk pirate Karum-lun who led a dozen ships against her three Caravels: Moonblade, Heaven’s Wind and the Aria of Illithia. It is said that Eladrys stood on the prow of the Aria and her bow thrummed its song of death, aiming it at the three nearest enemy ships. The pirates covered their eyes at first, because they thought it was a sudden squall but they soon screamed with pain as they were pierced by thousands upon thousands of silver arrows. Karum-lun met his end when as she slew him with a shot guided by Cadrafel himself into the pirate’s heart.

 

However, Eladrys’ epic centers not her skill, but of the lesson she learns. Ah-hass, the widow of Karum-lun, seeks revenge upon Eladrys. She lures the Elf into a trap, using Eladrys’ quickness against her. Despite the warnings of her confessor, Venya Alcuin ni Kalderis, she falls for the ruse. The Moonblade and the Heaven’s Wind sacrifice themselves in the battle to ensure their leader’s victory.

 

At the battle’s aftermath, she is consumed by sorrow and throws herself into the sea. Venya Alcuin saves her and brings her to peace with her sin by invoking the healing powers of Xirith Kesellas.

 

Forever after, Eladrys used words first and drew her bow afterward. She remained ever quick and ever deadly, but Eladrys became better known for her smile and her wit than her skill with the bow.

 

In the attack against the Demons that destroyed Selvaras, it was the efforts of Choir Eldressar that brought the humans and dwarves of the Bladebreaker Clan to the aid of the Silver Elves.

 

Current: The blood of Eladrys has borne canny explorers, crafty traders and its amiable diplomats. Like their namesake, Eldressar prefer words and kindness over violence and fear. An “Eldressar banquet” is sometimes used by uncouth Callasine to describe a overlong, tiresome affair.

 

Despite their disdain for violence (or because of it), Choir Eldressar are one of the most worldly and well-connected Elves in Callas Selvarion. With a flotilla second only in size to the Queen’s Navy, the entirety of Midworld lies at their fingertips with only a few exceptions. Merchant Guilds in all of Midworld are more than willing to traffic in Eldressar goods and the Eldressar profit generously from their stranglehold on foreign imports – the Queen’s modest tariffs on these goods ensure that Her Radiance profits as well.

 

Choir Eldressar are often sought out as councilors or ambassadors between conflicting parties, aiding the Priesthood of Xirith in their civic duties and in the propagation of non-violence. When the Queen requires an Envoy or a Diplomat, Her Radiance typically picks from this silver-tongued Choir.

 

Leadership: Zeliira ni Eldressar is the current Arch-Matriarch of Choir Eldressar. She is the grand-niece of the Valara of the Silmaril Neheris, although the two rarely meet. True to her Elven heritage, she looks as a woman in her late 20s even though she is over eighty winters old.

 

Zeliira’s voice is a rarity in the Court of Stars. Not only is she a supporter of expanding relations with other Kingdoms, she is one of the few Elves that desire the arrival of Wild Elves and Twilight Elves into Callas Selvarion. The idea is so blasphemous to the isolationist Callasine that only her reputation and her Choir’s wealth allow her to make such statements without intense political repercussions. Some say that she also wants other Races to live in Callas Selvarion – but such talk is largely regarded as pure gossip; the magics and the blessings of the Callasine homeland cannot support the needs of non-Silver Elves.

 

 

Allies: Of the lesser Choirs that work closely with Choir Eldressar, Choir Jaerithion and Choir Madriel are the most influential and most notable.

Choir Jaerithion: A Choir with a close affinity to the elemental powers and a talent for scholarly work, their founder, Jaerith ni Athariel, studied with the Mystics of Kenrei and developed the Riddle of the Snowflake. For this great feat and the heroics he performed with it, the Queen of Stars allowed him to start his own Choir.

 

The scions of Jaerithion share his elemental talents and his wintry disposition, becoming gifted Soothsingers or Winter Adepts. Outside of Callas Selvarion, they typically found serving as emissaries, traveling the world or researching foreign lores.

 

Jaerithion’s symbol is a snowflake set against a field that is half blue and is half white and surrounded by four stars (five-pointed) that are either blue, white or half-blue and white.

 

Choir Madriel: Often associated with the University of Varwen, Choir Madriel were the guardian-keepers of the Aeon Obelisks that held much of Elven history. When these were destroyed, Madriel lost much of their Choir and their reputation with them. Varwen ni Algorath was a Bard and Historian who collected the tales of Elven lore, wrote the four Rimes of Callasine history and brought glory back to Choir Madriel. When Callas Selvarion was built, the University of Varwen was founded to safeguard and record what lore and songs the Silver Elves had remained with them.

 

Today, leadership of the University of Varwen remains in the hands of Choir Madriel and Choir Eldressar. Although it is the largest academic body in Callas Selvarion, the University is demanding of its students and guards their knowledge jealously, especially when faced with their rivals in the Silmaril Neheris. Surviving the difficult courses and exacting masters of Varwen is not just the mark of a magnificent scholar but also of a determined soul. Alumni who pass all their trials and impress their professors are not only granted superior education in lore and magic but are granted a useful resource: Choir Madriel’s expansive archives.

 

Madriel’s symbol is of a silver tome set against a checkered field of light violet blue and dark violet. A silver star shines light upon it from the rightmost corner.

Choir Shaerach

Thalariel Sul kilh var tular Thalariel mar, haym var Thalariel nirath

 

“The good tree brings life through its limbs

and brings shelter with its shadow”

– Hearth-verse of Choir Shaerach

 

Basic: A Choir known for its shadowy founder and their modern controversies.

 

Symbol: A field that is half dark blue and half dark grey. Each half has a White Tree whose branches touch the other to form an archway. A star floats above both trees, as though watching over their union.

 

History: Shaerach was the first Elf to swear fealty to Her Radiance even before her Transfiguration and her triumph. This granted him the distinction of being the first Knight in the Court of Stars. Shaerach was instrumental in the management of the Veil, a magical mist that shrouds the Callas Selvarion from intrusion. It is believed that a similar mist covers the Silent Forest, turning it into a death trap for the unwary.

 

Before he was the first Knight of Mists, Shaerach was ever shrouded in history. It is sung that he as an errant soldier and a lone wolf. He had abandoned his Choir (now lost to memory) to seek adventure and knowledge in the world. When he returned to his people, he was an Elf talented in illusion and obfuscation. The truth of him was never in plain sight; those who tried to strike Shaerach struck whispers and shadows instead.

 

The songs say that Shaerach saw truth and light in Her Radiance’s transformation, shedding the shadows that haunted him and making him an Elf loyal to her immediately. Rarely sung is the tale of Shaerach’s Lament – that he was once courted the Queen when she was Mortal, that he left Selvaras when she became betrothed to Arvas’ son. The Lament implies that Shaerach was loyal to the Queen before the War of the Black Gate, before Midworld was swarmed by the Age of the Daemon.

 

The Lament is decried by Choir Shaerach as false and to sing it in their courts is a grave offense; only during the Feastday of the Goddess Neheris Kesarai (the first Night of Fall) can such audacity be forgiven.

 

Current: In the current era of Callas Selvarion, Choir Shaerach has gained some distance from the Knightly Order of its founder. Although some Shaearch find their place at the Court of Stars, the Choir itself has manifested its talents in the trades of Brewing and of Alchemy. Their greatest resources lie in their maintenance of several special orchards of Moonspring trees (called Xirithiel or the Trees of Xirith). Kept in orchards and groves all over Callas Selvarion, Moonspring trees yield a special crop: Moonspring fruit can nourish both the body and the spirit. Special treatment of a single fruit allows it to nourish an adult Silver Elf for an entire week, obviating the need to eat or drink for that duration.

 

The Xirithiel held by Shaerach are shaped by their Brewers and Alchemists to coax and nurture specific flavors and vintages. Thus, the bread, the juices and the wines served by the inns and pubs of the Shaerach are especially prized by the Callasine. This craft, in addition to their superior Elixirs, Talismans and Transmutation services, keeps the Shaerach in prominence. Detractors of Shaerach claim that they also profit from the criminal trafficking of illicit Poisons and illegal Components (Death and Demonic Components), but such assertions have never been truly confirmed.

Leadership: Jessedrin ni Shaerach is the Arch-Matriarch of Choir Shaerach. Ancient among the standards of the Callasine (102 winters), she is mostly known for the controversy of her Choir.

 

The Silmaril Athalarian has shut down several of Shaerach’s establishments for violations against the public order and for various other infractions. Similarly, several scions of Choir Shaerach were sentenced with Exile for consistent counts of disorderly conduct and crimes of violence. Jessedrin had almost all of these charges against her holdings and her kinsfolk overturned, but her efforts have done little to erase the damage to her Choir’s reputation.

 

Jessedrin is far from favored by the Queen but her services to the people of Callas Selvarion and the resources she invests into the Kingdom do much to alleviate the wrath of Her Radiance. It is believed that Jessedrin prefers that the Veiled Kingdom remain apart the affairs of foreigners but her recent contract with Choir Eldressar’s mercantile fleet implies a different perspective.

 

Indeed, a rare few have observed that the controversies of Shaerach would easily serve to obscure any shadowy dealings that they perform… if any such affairs existed.

 

Allies: Choir Saerach has many Choirs are aligned with them, but Choir Vallorien is the most prominent of these families.

 

Choir Vallorien: This small Choir possesses many talented Witches in its bloodline; however, it is best known for its controversial excursions into the dark lores of Sorcery, particularly Necromancy. The members of Vallorien are known for their pragmatism and forthrightness. Often called “bloodless” and “emotionless” for their clinical worldviews, the Vallorien are only notable by virtue of their achievements – they do poorly in the subtle intrigues of the social arena.

 

Their most notable accomplishment is the creation of the Life Trees, which can siphon demonic corruption from the soil and plantlife of a large area. The secrets of the Life Trees are held only by Choir Vallorien and the Queen of Stars, who uplifted them centuries ago for this triumph. The holdings of this Choir are places of healing and learning, their knowledge of the physic trade is second only to the University of Varwen and the Celestial Church. Detractors of the Choir say that the Vallorien give sanctuary to the criminal elements of the Veiled Kingdom.

 

Ten years ago, the Vallorien were attacked by vampiric undead. This surprise assault cost them their Arch-Matriarch and many of their kinsfolk. Their current Arch-Matriarch is Karalai ni Vallorien; she is her grandmother’s daughter, displaying great wisdom and leadership despite her twenty five years of age.

 

The symbol of Choir Vallorien is three dark violet roses around a violet star against a white field.