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GENTLE FOLK (Elf-Lands of the)
Location: Continent of Iciria, east of the Azcan Empire, west of Alphatian Neatharm, near the Neathar lands. HW
Area: 500 sq. mi. (1,295 sq. km.).
Languages: Elvish (ancient dialect), Neathar.
Coinage: None (barter).
Government Type: None.
Industries: None (hunter/gatherers).
Important Figures: Drianna (poet).
Flora and Fauna: Despite its abundant forests, the lands of the Gentle Folk are devoid of most examples of hostile animal life normally found in that environment. Dinosaurs and other predators are kept out by Immortal magic. Plant life is typical and rich, the elves doing little to exploit or harm it. Found within their forests is the somnastis plant. In many ways similar to the zzonga bush, some of the elves chew its leaves to gain its effects. Unlike the zzonga bush, the somnastis plant is not passive and can and will entrap its plunderers for consumption. Aside from that, only a few treants and other solitary forest creatures call the forests home.
Further Reading: Hollow World boxed set, previous almanacs.
Description by Dellebram.
Since first coming into contact with the Gentle Folk last year, the Alphatians have learned much of these elven people. Though primitive by Alphatian and elven standards, they are nonetheless of the elven race and deserving of the noble recognition of their brethren.
The valley region "claimed" by the Gentle Folk is covered by a vast ancient forest. By following the rune-covered poles that line its parameter, one can pick out its borders. With its ancient oaks and untouched landscape, one would think it a place of beauty. To some degree this is true, however the wilderness has an overriding aura of deep oppression. The elves have no central authority figure, so they do not really have the need for a capital. Habitation is mostly centred along the banks of the kingdom's river. Strangely enough the elves have no name for this body of water, nor do they seem to see the need in giving it one.
The Gentle Folk are elves, deriving from the ancient Truedyl Clan. Physically they are indistinguishable from other elves. However, they lack the active lifestyles often associated with the elven race. They dress in modest clothes and wear no ornamentation. Their mannerisms are slow and express little emotion, except for a general unhappiness. For the most part the Truedyl Elves are hunter/gatherers, foraging for their foods and crafting modest possessions out of the sense of need. Each elf seems to fend for herself for her daily needs, trading for items she has to have. Whereas other elves focus their attentions on nature and "being elves," the Truedyl focus upon the arts and a study of philosophy. Usually the philosophy aspect can be readily seen in the art produced. These philosophical pursuits often focus upon mundane and inconsequential subjects. The Truedyl do not venerate Immortals, however their pacifistic and artistic nature has drawn the patronage of both Alphatia and Koryis.
One interesting Truedyl Elf is Drianna, a rather young individual. Though she shares much of the attributes of her fellow Truedyl, she does seem to have some desire to ponder matters of some substance. Rationalisation of one matter opens a new series of questions to be analysed. Drianna often records her logical concepts in verse. Of course these poems are sad, morbid, and even nonsensical.
Like all Hollow World inhabitants, the Truedyl Clan has its ties to the Surface World. As far as we have been able to deduce, the elves were once part of the elves that lived near the Broken Lands. Members of their clan discovered a powerful Blackmoorian artifact, setting it off. The explosion killed most of those directly involved in the discovery. It also sent out clouds of toxic materials. Fleeing this second and lesser Great Rain of Fire, the elves went underground. Some of these elves, among them the Truedyl, eventually emerged from the underground. Life in their subterranean environment had been difficult-the effects of the toxic clouds upon their young, hostile monsters and feelings of guilt had left them a shattered people devoid of typical elven spirit. These elves developed the philosophy of "The Still Way." Loosely defined as a mixture of inactivity to avoid repercussions from their actions and rationalisation to come to terms with past matters and avoid enacting similar ones in the future.
For years, the Truedyl lived upon the surface in this manner. The Immortal Alphatia took notice of them and began measures to rebuild their mental and physical stature as elves. This movement was thwarted by humanoid incursions. Unable to protect themselves, the elves faced eradication. Reluctantly, Alphatia transplanted them to the Hollow World. This move preserved them, however it made their mindset and state of decline permanent. In the Hollow World the Truedyl have lived in peace with Immortal magic keeping predators away. For this, the Gentle Folk have unwittingly gained the respect and awe of the neighbouring Neathar, who hold them in high reverence for this perception of might and invincibility.
In AY 2015 [AC 1015. Ed.], the Truedyl encountered the Alphatians. Though such a meeting was inevitable, it was by mere chance of the fugitive Zandor that they came to the attentions of the Alphatians. With the Immortals Alphatia and Koryis as their patrons, it was only fitting that the Alphatian people offered their mortal patronage. This patronage has extended itself to Alphatia's [the Immortal. Ed.] earlier desires to rebuild them as true elves. As such, Eriadna has dispatched members of the Shiye-Lawr Clan to "show them" how to be elves. She also sent members of the Alphatia and Koryis clergies to educate them regarding that aspect. Unfortunately such efforts are stifled by the effects of the Spell of Preservation.
There really is not a great deal to see in the Truedyl Valley. It's possible that its untouched wilderness and ancient forests could draw the attentions of forest folk or those of the druidic persuasion. The Shiye may even see it as being reminiscent of their own lands on the Alphatian continent so that visiting Shiye should feel right at home. Scholars will also find the Truedyl full of knowledge. Though their mannerisms, demeanour, and oppressive nature are handicaps, the Truedyl have extensive knowledge of their environment and its attributes.
There are few dangers within the Valley. Predators are kept out by Immortal magic. Likewise, the Gentle Folk are of no real threat. One will find them indifferent to most visitors, yet obliging enough to provide assistance if it is needed. If anything a visitor will be more of a threat to the Truedyl than they are to the visitor.