The Fae Folk
Official Name-The Empire of Caelus
Official short name-Caelus
unofficial names-Caelus. Windhome ( used almost solely by the Avariel and the Chava D' Aire)
Noun and Adjective-Caelusian
Known Total : 220,000
Avariel – 120,000
Human – 20,000
Sidhe – 60,000
Other – 20,000
Dragons - 5
Fae – unknown
Avariel – 200 to 250 yrs
Humans – 80 to 100 yrs
Sidhe – 600 to 1000 yrs
Half Sidhe – 100 to 300 yrs
Dragons - ?
Fae – “some as little as a summers day, some longer than the heavens have been”
Population : 25,000
Population – 6,000
Population – 6,000
Population – 5,000
Population – 3,000
Population - 3,000
LanguagesOfficial- Common, Avariel, Sidhe, High Fae
Unofficial- Low Fae, Draconic, Trade Cant
Terrain / Climate (http://www.faefolk.info/caelus.html)
Caelus is a land of mountains and valleys. See the Link above for more detailed information
Generally the climate is mild, on the cool side. Winter can have very tempestuous storms, particularly ‘above the line’ a rough east west demarcation. North of that line are highlands (even in the valleys ) with more rugged terrain and is often very windy especially in Spring and Autumn. Most of the ranching is done in the north and Caelusian horses and Pegasi are world renown for their fine quality. Northern Caelus is also the only place in the world that War Birds are bred and trained.
Southern Caelus is more temperate and most of the crop farming is done there. With the rich soil farmers can average two grain crops a year - a hardy winter variety; generally wheat or millet planted in the fall and a ‘soft’ grain such as oats and rice, or corn in the spring. Vegetable farmers often construct elaborate green houses for year around growing usingt Coll fish bladders. The giant Coll fish, that lurk off the western coastline, have a huge oil bladder that once emptied – the sweetly scented oil being the base for many fine bath, cosmetic, and medicinal compounds – the huge bladder can be stretched thin and preserved. It is nearly transparent, water proof and very resistant to tearing or ripping.
The Fae Folk
Politics and other general notes
Politics are fairly straightforward. There isn't much on a country wide scale. The Avariel simply aren’t interested in politics or government of any sort beyond their clan. To relieve themselves of this burden they recruited the Fae Folk to tend to this necessity.
The Fae Folk, who weren’t really much better about wanting to govern non Fae, debated for several decades. Finally they agreed, as in exchange for dealing with the distasteful outer world, the Avariel promised them a place where humans and their ‘infective ways’ would have to take last place. Since cold iron and steel, inventions of man, are lethal to the Fae, a place where man did not hold sway was very appealing. They finally found a family line that agreed to rule, and installed the oldest female as Empress. Her line has ruled since that time.
The Realm has been divided into some fifteen geographical / political units, called Counties. This is mainly for administrative purposes as there really isn’t a great enough population to need a real government.
Each of the regions is overseen by a Count (can we say short for 'accountant') who oversees the collection of taxes in their region and disbursements of funds for regional needs as well as administer justice and oversee the militia. These counts, and their small staffs, meet in the Imperial Castle once every six months to discuss the needs of the kingdom as a whole and their regional concerns. The position and the title of Count, are not specifically hereditary. However, it tends to remain within families, as over time they have grown used to the duties and train heirs of similar temperament and attention to duty. Often the local Count/ Countess lives in a dwelling little better than that of the rest of the locals. Their staff members hold the title Lord / Lady and are the Count/ess's eyes and ears, as well as dispensers of local justice and governmental news. They also act as officers in the militia.
The Count / Countess has full authiority over his / her County, but they can be replaced at any time at the will of the Empress. Her court actively hears petitions on a weekly basis and any citizen in good standing may come before the Court and present their problem or concerns, though it is often not the Empress actually sitting in Court. She appoints a number of Justicars to sit in her stead, and their judgements are seldom questioned, given the high esteem in which the Justicars are held.
Taxes are low, as there is no official 'standing army’*, though once every three months each adult Caelusian ‘owes’ a tenday of militia duty / military training. However it is very easy to get an exception for the tenday of training, or just pay someone else to take your place. Additionally, for those living in what few cities there are, there is a city ‘tax’ of one three day period every month service owed, though this can be paid in coins or goods rather than actual hours spent in service. Outland merchants pay modest taffifs if they are competeing with locally produced goods, and an even more modest fee if they are importing goods that do not compete.
Some 100,000 Humans, Sidhe ( a reclusive race of Elves), and others do need a government of sorts, though mostly their craft and trade guilds take care of ‘social services’ and educational needs. These guilds are very powerful in Caelusian city life, as the Guld Master/ Mistress's of each giuild are a part of the City Council, and they chose the City Mayor, but not from among their ranks. Politics is a large part of Guild life and the Sidhe with their Byantine mind set thrive one them
The Fae Folk, who are not one race but many and who number possibly in the millions, interact with those not of their race only as they chose to- which is very rarely, having their own secretive, arcane society. Most are neutral regarding the ‘poisonous races’ as they term any not of the Fae, but there are notable exceptions, that will actively harm those not of the Fae who enter either knowingly or unknowingly into their territories. The Avariel, and the Sidhe, are the only ones excepted from possible adverse action when trespassing. They can be called up in defense of the nation, especially against a foe bearing iron/ steel, but the price is high, especially if the call is made without true need. They do not pay taxes, go uncounted as being part of the population and other than the Imperial family are seldom seen. They are most puissant wielders of majic, as many- with sound reasoning - believe them to be the magic embodied. The Fae are poisoned by the even the mere presence of cold iron and to a lesser extent steel, and contact with it can be fatal. Most of the laws of Caelus deal with keeping such out of the country as much as possible. They however can not teach their majic to non fae as it is intrinsic to their very beings. Maintence of the Imperial Roads, and certain structures are their responsibility and were originally created by Fae majic.
The Sidhe (http://www.faefolk.info/ASidhe6.jpg) are considered by the other Fae to be but one of their myriad races, but the Sidhe do not agree. They are masters of magic and often work closely with the Avariel. They will teach other races, and generally end up as Guildmaster/ Mistress of the local mages guild. They are known for their skiil at weaing Spyder silk and their skill as jewelers. They are as comfortable in cities as they are in the woods, but city life is their prefered habitat. They are the producers of Alumnar, a unique metal that is similar to steel but is not toxic to the Fae. This secret process they will not teach to non Sidhe. They are tall, slender, very pales skinned,generally fair haired, with bright azure or opaline eyes. They are distainful towards any less educated than they and can be very arrogant, even rude. They can be very scuruplous about honor and justice, and hold their family lines sacred. They are apt to hold blood feuds amongsts themselves. Many become Justicars.
The Mer (http://www.faefolk.info/mer4.jpg), who live in both in the Sea of Dreams and in the Ocean are not citizens of Caelus, but they have a good relationship with the 'land bound'. They trade pearls and other aquatic products for dry land produced goods that they fancy, as well as get protection from the Lizzard men that predate upon them from the depths of the Dark Fen. They are seldom found without several accompanying pods of dolphins. Orca's are their enemies in the Ocean, Lizzard men in the fresh water of the Sea of Dreams.
There are about 90,000 Avariel, scattered across the nearly 116,000 square miles of Caelus. Though one does have to take into consideration that over 70% of the total land area is mountains too high to provide arable/ grazeable/ habitable; even by the Avariel. They are roughly divided in to clans by familial blood relationships. They are semi nomadic and matrifocal with men in the governing positions - but a wise clan chief pays close attention to the Hearthfire Council's wishes - or he doesn't stay chief for long. The Avariel have no compunction about sending poor leadership 'on wards'.
The Avariel, are a long lived, slow breeding race, a female bearing a child only once every five or six years and generally no more than three in her life time. Child mortailty rates are high.The most striking feature of the Averiels is their soft, feathered or leather wings. These wings have spans of anywhere from twelve to sixteen feet and if feathered are usually white or other close to white hue, but may also be gray, brown, black, blue, speckled or banded. Leather winged Avariels have solid hued wings in either pale peach, or a ruddier reddish bronze. Avariels take great pride in their wings and spend long hours grooming them. Their skin can be very pale but is more usually a warm rich beige, though albinos are not unknown. They have rich golden or black hair, with other shades being rare but not unheard of. The avariel's eyes are rather large and more expressive, and they tend to be brilliant shades of blue or green. A few avariel have scintillating violet eyes as pure as amethysts. Avariels stand 6' 1" tall on average, with thin, graceful limbs and angular facial features.
The Avariel are not merely "humans with wings"; their entire body has been bred to accommodate flight. Their torso is typically larger and stronger than that of other humans, designed as it is to bear wings, the shoulders being very broad. Furthermore, their skeletal structure, composed of light and hollow bones, helps reduce the burden of their weight while aloft. When in the air, they tend to be quite fast, mobile, and agile, due not to their lighter weight and to their graceful flight. On the ground they are not burdened by their wings, and Avariels are never clumsy. The Avariel are possessed of an almost ethereal beauty. They are delicate, their movements quick, calculated, and graceful. By most, they are considered a most beautiful and striking people.
Avariels are free spirits who would like nothing better than to simply soar on the currents high above the ground, taking in the views Caelus has to offer. Unfortunately, while friendly to those they consider their equals, avariels also tend to be condescending and even downright rude to landbound races. "If you can't fly, simply put, you are less". Only the Sidhe and the Chaval's D' Aire have their respect. Avariel are notoriously claustrophobic; confined places, particularly subterranean ones, are decidedly painful to them. THey can not understand dwarves and other races that choose to live underground.
They do not build anything resembling cities, as they, as a race, all share an absolute psychological loathing of any sort of confinement, beyond their famous tree houses. Those are built solely to house the aged, the ill, pregnant females and infants too young to fly, or as temporary shelter against storms.inter. As the Avariel live in extended family groups one may find large, lightly wooded groves or hill tops with as many as ten dozen of these structures filling the trees. However they will use their amazing engineering ability to build tree houses as dwellings for others, in return for the many goods they do not make for themselves. Not only are they excellent hunters, with amazing eyesight and hearing, they also are skillful trappers, bringing their piles of carefully tanned furs to market every spring. Though who does the tanning for them is unknown, as the Avariel themselves do not produce leather goods.
The one time an Avariel will spend time with in a city for more than trade fairs is to study majics. They are not happy with such confinement and need to be allowed several hours of flight time each day, but the impulse to learn as much magic as they possibly can is all but a compulsion for them. They are brought to the guild at puberty and generally remain several years. They come very unlearned in city ways and it often takes a year or more for them to become even minimally accustomed. The Avariel pay heavily for this training. All payment is in Spyder silk, as the avariel are the only ones who know the secret for getting the spyders to spin their cocoons.
They are renown for the exquisite boyer and fetcher work almost all are proficient at. An Avariel bow fetches four to five times the price of any other bow made, and the arrows come in many varieties. Their unparalleled skill with the bow need not be mentioned. As one would expect they are excellent messengers, and though it is not generally known, hone their teleportation magics so as to cover greater distances with out the need for flight. They charge substancial fees for their services, as they need large quantities of good quality food intake to ‘pay’ for high-speed flight. They are not skilled at agriculture, or ranching of any sort, save for gathering the cocoons of the tree dwelling spiders that are used to produce the famous Caelusian Spyder Silk. They also wild forage for rare dye plants and medicinal herbs, as well as Dragon Glass. This is as volcanically created substance like obsidian that is stronger, and less prone to breakage. This substance takes majic easily and even unenhanced seldom loses it’s razor edge or breaks.
Avariel High Mage (http://www.faefolk.info/avariel1.jpg) and Clan Chief (http://www.faefolk.info/invictus)
Some pertinent Laws that every visitor to Caelus is advised of before disembarking their ship or enter throug one of the pass fortresses.
1)No stealing from other Caelusians. Or what was stolen must be replaced at four times the value and the culprit given up to thirty lashes.
2)No steel or cold iron weapons that are not sheathed in multiple layers of Spyder silk may be worn or carried in public. Failure to do so results in forfeit of weapons and up to 30 lashes. Kitchen knives, sewing pins and needles, and scissors, butcher knives and other such functional blades must remain in their shops or houses, unless being transported home from being purchased, being taken to be sharpened or repaired. Forges and armories can only be set within cities. Rural homes must have a special room with proper insulation for weapons and such farming implements that are made of iron or steel.2
3)Drawing a steel or cold iron weapon save in training or defense can lead to death or exile.
4)Murder is punishable by hanging.
5)Food at Inns, public taverns, festhalls and guesthouses must not be cooked in iron cookware, nor ale be brewed in such vessels.
6)Rape is punishable by death.
MilitaryThere is however a flying army, but it is not composed of Avariel, save as volunteer/ conscripts in time of war. Though the last time the Avariel were called up was some seventy five years ago against a rag tag pirate fleet that thought they were going to invade. Their ships were sunk before them could even launch a single jolly boat filled with the freebooting scum.
The 6,500 person strong military order Chaval d’ Aire (http://www.faefolk.info/warhawk5.jpg)is chivalric order comprised of Knights, their squires, Gryphon Maids (http://www.faefolk.info/illuandgriffon.jpg) and armsmen. Armsmen are not allowed the Warbirds, but ride lightly built, swift footed mounts that are very agile in the hills and mountains of Caelus, or Pegasi. They are excellent light cavalry and skirmishers. Knights and Squires total about 2,000 the armsmen about 3,000 and there are about 500 Gryphon Maids
2) There is actually little iron or steel in Caelus, most that is mined is shipped elsewhere and the profit goes to pay for the Force D’ Aire. The extensive copper placer deposits cover much of the nations metal needs, and the rest is of a metal that the Sidhe supply called Alumner. Alumner is a mixture of metals that unlike steel is not toxic to the Fae, and compares to steel in it’s various properties, save that it can not be drawn out into a wire. Amour made of Alumner is of the scale mail or plate variety rather than chainmaille.
The Fae Folk
Navy - other than a coastal patrol patrol there is no real Navy either. Their ships are coast huggers that are not built for deep water sailing.
Merchant Ships are much the same way, hugging the coast and trading almost solely with contiguous neighbors, S'thiss and Dwemer.
Export - Iron, horses, fine wool, semi precious gem stones, furs, rare hardwoods, gold, dyes and medicinal herbs, spices, Spydersilk, Dragon Glass ( rarely), Alumner vessels and armor ( rarely), Avariel bows and arrows ( rarely )
Import: cotton fabric, fruits, finished leather work, glass, wine, silver, paper
Guilds weild great power in Caelus, and over their members lives. It is generaly accepted that children will follow their parents into the same general life path as they folowed their parents into. However for those who genuinely do not have an have an interest/ temperment or can not acquire the knowledge and skills needed to meet the minimum requirements of their parents guild therfe is the cocodil in every guild charter that they must accept a limited number of outsiders. While this is really meant as a way to accomodate th children of non guild parents ( typically farmers, ranchers, herders) who want to become part of a guild, it is used as a way to handle 'life path issues' as well, though those who chose to do this are often subtly harrassed and discriminated against.
The Mages Guild is not the largest of the guilds, but it is the most powerful, as all formal training in majery is done by the guiild, even for those who just wish to lean a single incantation. They also have the largest library in the country, aside from the Imperial Library, and act as a nation wide lending library.
The Weavers Guild covers all those who work in the clothing industry after the shearing, or harvesting process, is completed. Carders, spinners, dyers, weavers, seamstresses, tailors, embroiderers, knitters, clothing designers all fall under the auspices of this guild.
The Tanners Guild covers all those who work with leather and furs, many of it's members have dual guild ship in the Weavers Guild, though only a guildmember without such dual factionship can become Head of the Guild.
The Scribes Guild and the Imperial Academy - Scribes are the record keepers and postmasters for the country. They are teachers as well and every village worthy of the name has two Scribes if not more. One acts as the local educator, and the other is the record keeper, message taker, and Voice of the Crown when the Count/ess or one of the Lords/ Ladies are not present/ available. All Scribes train at the Imperial Academy, and any in the Mages Guild that wishes to advance beyond apprentice level must as well. All Bards train for a time here as well. To be come a Lord / Lady, Count's Heir, or Count presumptive or Justicar one must have had some schooling at the Imperial Academy, though they need not be a member of the Scribes Guild.