During the Age of Magic, the Fey Elves were ruled by two separate courts. The Seelie court Light Elves (spiritual and fair) ruled during the spring and summer, and the Unseelie court Dark Elves (arcane and malevolent) ruled during the autumn and winter. When Sucellus was killed by Mulcarn, the elven prayers went unanswered. Because the Unseelie court was in power at the time, they decreed that Esus would be the new god of all elves. Normally the Seelie court would wait for spring and then reverse the ruling, but spring never came. The Age of Ice had descended upon Arcanearth. The Unseelie court saw this as a symbol of their dominance and began to punish elves who refused to stop worshiping Sucellus and his successor, Cernunnos. This led to a bloody civil war within the elven nation at a time when all were suffering from Mulcarn’s fimbulwinter. The advancing glaciers and ice sheets of the Age of Ice eventually made prosecution of the war impractical, if not impossible. Now that the Age of Ice is over, elves of the winter and summer courts are emerging from their hidden caverns, glades and forests to renew their ancient acquaintance.
98% Dark Elf (as Drow)
2% Wood Elf (barbarians)
< 1% Other
70% Lawful Evil
20% Neutral Evil
8% Chaotic Evil
2% Chaotic Neutral
Adult population Lvl 1 or higher: 50%
Dark elf population is around 1/10th that of equivalent human-settled areas, but their much longer lifespan (1000-1500 years) and corresponding wealth of experience gives the elves an edge out of proportion to their numbers
Wizard: 20% (School of Illusion: 80%)
Sorcerer: 15% (Wild Magic)
Warlock: 5% (Archfey Patron)
Barbarian: 2% (Wood Elves)
Other: < 1%
Faeryl steeled herself outside of the chamber. She was queen now, but still the elves fawned over Arendel. Faeryl had just begun her six-month winter reign, when nothing productive could be accomplished. Then, when spring came and meaningful change could be enacted, tradition forced her to pass the crown back to her weaker cousin.
There was little she could do but grit her teeth and head into the chamber. Arendel was inside, no doubt pouting over the temporary loss of her crown, as she did every year.
“I trust your stay has been comfortable?” Faeryl asked.
“Of course, I am always amazed at the beauty of the Unseelie court, and the courtesy of its residents.”
Faeryl nodded. This was a part of the game they both pretended to play. Cordial and gracious in action, while secretly hating other. Yet Arendel seemed even more melancholy than usual. Faeryl almost smiled at the thought that something serious might be wrong in Arendel’s perfect life. She couldn’t resist asking.
“Arendel, what concerns you? Is your family well?”
“Yes, they are well. It is kind of you to ask. I have been bothered, and I apologize for that, it is certainly nothing to do with you or the Unseelie court. I don’t know what it is, I just feel like we are in a dangerous time. Winter is coming so early this year; we have just performed the rite of autumn and the scouts are already reporting some snowfall. The priests are having powerful dreams and the forests aren’t dropping into their winter slumber, instead they seem to be reblossoming.”
Faeryl choked back her initial reaction. Arendel didn’t trust that she would be able to handle whatever lay ahead. Isn’t it enough that she is left only with the useless part of they year as it is, does the Seelie court want that too? But Faeryl took a breath and forced a calmer response.
“You have been listening to Yvain, he was here saying the same things and warning of some event he couldn’t name. You should rest and forget the strains of leadership. You will need to be ready when winter ends and I pass the crown back to you. Until then, should anything occur, I will handle it.”
“Of course, my queen, I am sorry to trouble you with my own worrying.”
“It is fine, Arendel, that is what the time of rest is for. While you rule you think of nothing but the elven empire, and never of yourself. Now care for yourself. Perhaps the winter will be strong this year and Sucellus sends the new seed to help sustain us through it. I must go, there is a lot to do today. I hope you will join us for dinner.”
“Of course” Arendel said, “and I promise to be a more amiable guest.”
“Just make sure you come or else I will bring the meal here and we will sit in front of this window you favor, and leave the rest of the guests wondering what to do without their queens.”
Arendel smiled. Faeryl imagined throwing her through that window.
Alazkan the Assassin