The Enlightened Kingdom of Luminion
|Location||Arda,"Glade of Dragons"|
|Primary Religions||The Pantheon of the Phoenix|
|Political System||Confederal elective absolute
monarchy (1522 - Present)
|The princes of Luminion:||Fynenar Aey'flir
The Scions of Illumination, as the Azari’cill call themselves, invoke this name because their existence reflects the pinnacle of civilization under the Mother’s wing.
These luminous beings have blood that glimmers by magical properties. The glittering spires of the Azari cities stand like beacons in the lands where skill and enlightenment saturate the very air. The Azari’cill absorbed so much of this innate potential that when at war, it is said that the phalanxes of the Azari warhosts glow with robust power. An assault by an Azari’cill army is swift and carried out with flawless precision. The enemy is met with a forest of blades and barrages of elemental wrath.
This claim of mastery also carries a deadly arrogance. The Azari come in glory, but they hail from a broken land, their elegant spires toppled and their statuary crumbled into the dust of a dead empire. The stories tell that it was the scourge of Fineall that ravaged the lands of silver; it was unavoidable. The age of the fallen spires has turned the empire of enlightenment into a spell-haunted ruin.
Ever since the Time of Reinvention, the Azari’cill have managed to make peace with the lands they call home.
Culture and Society
The entirety of Azari’cill society is built around climbing the ladder of purity. This ladder is a caste system based on the teachings of the Mother and the Elven interpretation of her words. Every action and life decision has the potential to influence the Elf’s position on the ladder. This process of climbing the ladder starts all the way back when a new ‘cill baby is born. The newborn is to be brought to the local temple to the Mother where the High Priestess inspects the child, looking for any potential flaws in their appearance. After the inspection is completed, the child gets a place on the ladder based on the outcome of the inspection and the societal position of the parents.
In the earlier years of a ‘cill life, it is already expected of them to be solely focussed on climbing the ladder. It is expected of a young elf to swiftly get a grasp of the world they live in, how faul and impure the outside lands are, and how it is up to them to preserve all that the ‘cill stand for. Every elf regardless of position on the ladder or birthplace will receive a proper education at the Luminion colleges or a local branch affiliated with the Luminion colleges. There they learn the basics of Azari history, the Azari language, writing, poetry, art, and math.
The average ‘cill finishes this basic education by the time they reach early puberty. After this, they are called into service. For the men, the only option is the military. Where the kids at a younger age will be helping around the barracks and the stables, cleaning and learning how to maintain equipment, only to become an actual conscript citizen militia trooper in the later years of his service. A woman may also choose to follow the military path in their years of service and receive similar training. But there is another path for them that they may follow, which is temple service. There they will continue their basic education with more advanced topics like religious studies, astronomy, medical training, and Herbology. Besides that, they are tasked with cleaning the temple grounds, maintaining local gardens, and doing deeds of generosity and selflessness. An example is taking care of the elderly and the sick or wounded. For the Elves in more rural areas, things like farming, animal handling, and cooking can also be part of service for both men and women.
The service for Azari teens ends when they reach adulthood at the age of 90 common years. Then they may choose to either go back to college to follow specialized advanced courses like magical studies, realm studies, and politics, or they may choose to go into apprenticeship and step directly into working life.
The Elves, based on their description, can easily be confused with a human at first glance. When looking at a painting of one, it is easy to be fooled into thinking they are simply a pretty-looking human with pointed ears. Yet that illusion is quickly dispelled when they are seen in motion. Outsiders describe the Elves as moving in a blur, every motion is measured and precise. This level of coordination in their movement fits perfectly with the way they speak. The Azari’cill living in the Higher society of Luminion wrap their messages in lots of complimenting words, sometimes making it seem as if they speak in riddles. This may seem like a way of distracting from the point in a discussion, yet all these beautifying words are carefully chosen to push the conversation in the direction they desire. This makes them difficult to connect with as an outsider, as they feel alien and distant. Not at all interested in an individual of lesser standing. The ‘cill living outside the cities mimic some of these traits, as even the lowliest of ‘cill thinks highly of themselves compared to outsiders and lessers, yet they usually are a lot more welcoming to outsiders and are easier to get a grasp of. It is not unheard of that the Elves living in rural areas befriend ‘lessers’ and take them into their homes, provide them with a warm meal and teach them the ways of High Elven life. Something that is frowned upon in the cities.
The armies of the Azari are formed largely of citizen warriors. Each Elven individual leads a rich and fulfilling life outside the call of battle; were it not for the dire state of the Azari realm and the omnipresent threat of Fineall, it is likely they would not go to war at all. The vast majority of the Azari prefer to spend their time in pursuits of knowledge and reason rather than personal glory through means of violence. Physical conflict has always been seen as rather brutish and unrefined in the high society of Azari.
The Ladder of Enlightenment
Azari’cill teachings are based on an ever-escalating pursuit of higher knowledge. After the mother's leave, the first generations of the Azari’cill gathered the ancient tomes and scrolls written during the Age of Enlightenment and reformed them into what is now known as the Tetheriani, or Tetheris’ Ladder of Enlightenment. He wrote the final draft and gave it to the people so they would not stray from the Mother’s path. Each rung of the ladder is a stage of mastery over the body and mind and graduating from one to another requires the passing of a strenuous mental test. Many fail to climb to the higher rungs on the ladder and some may even lose their sanity as they are desperately trying to make their way to the top. However, the rewards are great and those who climbed to the higher rungs became what is now known as the exalted. A small group of ‘cill so enlightened that they are quite literally untouchable.
Those who reside on this rung are usually the young and the migrant classes within the Enlightened Kingdom as they have yet to start grasping the mere concept of the Tetheriani. Their body and mind will have to be tested thoroughly to ensure they are ready for the climb. These beings have no official citizenship rights and cannot ask for counseling in case of a legal dispute for they are not considered part of the greater populace of the Enlightened Kingdom yet.
- People can only start their journey if they’ve got clearance from the High Priestess to start climbing the ladder and after they finish a basic education on Luminion Culture and Religious teachings.
- Their trial will entail a mental test based on the knowledge they acquired during their education together with another physical exam.
Those who managed to climb to the Cultured rung set their first steps on the Ladder of Enlightenment. This stage of their climb is mostly focused on the refining of the skill within Azari’cill culture and the enlightenment of the body for the mind cannot reach an enlightened state if their physical self is not ready for the mental climb.
- The people who reach this rung are expected to refine their knowledge of Azari culture and religion for their next mental trial. Besides that comes the Physical exam. Candidates are expected to be in an excellent physical state. Their rite of passage will be a test of the body where endurance, sharpness of the mind, and martial prowess will be of the utmost importance.
The selection of people that managed their way through the Cultured rung are expected to continue their journey along the Ladder of Enlightenment. The next step on their journey is the Knowledgeable rung. Where they are expected to focus more on their cognitive abilities instead of their physical ones.
- The individuals that wish to reach the Knowledgeable rung are expected to write a thesis on cultural, biological, scientific, or religious topics. This thesis once submitted will be judged by the Exalted. Whenever they have proven their mastery of the body and mind, they are submitted to a final trial to see if they are worthy of becoming part of the Enlightened. It is a test that is aimed at breaking the mind and body, if the candidate can withstand these challenges, they are truly enlightened.
Those who may call themselves part of the Enlightened are part of the Luminion Elite. They have proven themselves masters of the body and mind. They are trusted with fulfilling tasks that are of utmost importance to the future of ‘cill society. They are considered the intellectual class and are often found within the confines of the colleges and many ancient ruins where they spend their time meditating and writing poems.
- Those part of the Enlightened who deem themselves ready to move to the very top of the ladder where the ‘cill quite literally glow of magical energy are submitted to the most brutal of trials. They are simply tasked to solve the issue of their inherent racial flaws and find a way to reconnect with the long-lost deity that is the Mother. An almost impossible task that drives many to insanity when they uncover the darkest well-kept secrets of their kind. Only those who are able to cope with what they find and make peace with their inner self are able to move beyond the boundaries of mortal life and move to live by the Mother’s side.
Those who managed to become part of the exalted have moved way beyond the boundaries that kept many of their kind from reconnecting with the Mother herself. These ‘cill have seen the paradise that awaits at the Mother’s side and often makes spiritual journeys to the Mother where they speak to her directly and ask for guidance. It are the exalted Elves who make sure that the Mother’s people do not stray from her path and will do everything in their power to destroy all that threatens the Enlightened Kingdom. Exalted are often found meditating as they make their journeys beyond their mortal form. When they do, their mortal form almost seems ethereal, literally glowing with inner wisdom. Some of the ‘cill from the lower rungs make great pilgrimages across the glade to simply observe one of the Exalted as they do public meditations, taking notes and endlessly contemplating how they can improve themselves to one day become part of the exalted as they do.
Festivals and Celebrations
- Mother’s day - Occurs during the Emerald Spring. A day of celebration for all the Elven mothers as embodiments of the Mother, Aerielle. Elven mothers are decorated with flowers picked and arranged by their children. They are treated like Queens for a day, encouraged to relax, and allow the family to take care of the home.
- Daughter’s day - Occurs during Eden’s Shine. A day of celebration for all Elven daughters, celebrating fertility, youth, and beauty. A feast is hosted to honor the extinct Azari’Soll. Then the Elves dance the night away to jovial music.
- Arch Arcane Championship - Every eight years the Azari’cill host the Arch Arcane. It's a tournament for mages from all over Eden to show their magical prowess in the arena.
- Father’s day- Occurs during the Amber Dawn. It is celebrated with a harvest festival that features artisan foods and elven wine. It is open to the greater public, acting as a farmer’s market. Azari’cerr are typically invited to partake in the festivities.
- Son’s day- Occurs during Lilith’s Veil. It is a more solemn event, acting as a day of remembrance for the Son’s rebellion, and the attack of their Azari’lunn kin. It is a day of silence and fasting, conversations always short and spoken in whispers. After the sun sets however, the children dress up as demons to avoid being snatched away by the ghosts of winter, and knock on doors to ask for sweets and pastries from inside.
Commerce and work
One of the most pure tasks in High Elven society is being part of the Temple of the Silver Phoenix. Many families will donate their children to the Temple where they will be raised, taught, and trained in the way of the Mother. While not explicitly stated, it is more common for people to donate their daughters.
These children are divided by their age, ranging from little ones (Bessi’inn), adolescents (Scin), and teens (Scini). These students are raised under the roof of the mother, learning of their history, their religion, their Goddess. They are taught discipline, purity, and chastity. Once of age, these children will attempt to connect with the divine Mother in a trial. If successful, the Scini become Scinari, ordained priests and missionaries of the Mother. These priests are able to directly connect with the Mother and translate Her Will upon the Elves of Aerial. The highest of these positions is the “Silver Phoenix.”
Should a Scini fail the trial, they are redirected to becoming custodians and scribes of the church. While not strictly forbidden, it is taboo to leave the church given the implications of impurity and lack of chastity. It is not uncommon that a Purity Trial follows soon after.
Military and Law
The Azari that choose not to pursue a academic or clergic path to climb the ladder of enlightenment often choose for a martial career within the Luminous Host. Physical conflict has always been viewed as brutish and unrefined in the high society of the 'cill. But with the omnipresent threat of Fineall, and the rapid advancement of surrounding nations, the Azari'cill had no choice besides preparing the newly established Luminous Enclave for the wars to come.
Under the guidance of Therri'cill Calydrian I Elladris, the Luminous Enclave introduced a levy system. One can join the ranks of the Luminous host on a vuluntary basis or be drafted into it in times of conflict. Those who choose to join the ranks voluntarily receive many years of training. It is expected of each career soldier to be a master with the sword, spear and bow. These career soldiers act as unit commanders of the citizen militia or elite units on the battlefield. The career soldiers also receive a priority position when the choosing ceremony for the Silver Cloaks takes place.
Structure of the luminous host
The citizen militia
Every 'Cill is expected to train themselves to become either a militia archer or spearman. Therri'cill Calydrian I Elladris introduced a levy system in response to the brutal events of the Age of Fallen Spires. These citizen warriors form the bulk of the enclaves armies. They are only active during wars. Every Elf, though he may be a craftsman, merchant or artist in peacetime, must become a resolute fighter in time of war.
The Knights of Aerial
Azari'cill are horsemasters without peer, and their knightly hosts can be accounted amongst the most glorious in the known world. Such is the duty and right of Aerial's nobility - to ride to war and fight at the forefront of battle to repeat the glories first won by the knights of Tetheris' court. Yet all the courage would be nothing without their swift steeds. Whose intelligence and faitfullness far outstrips the horses of other lands.
In Aerial, those who devote their lives to magic are treated with the highest respect and honour. They are the supporting backbone of the Azari'cill in and outside of times of war. Mages mostly act as advisors and sometimes commanders of the Azari army, and provide support through the usage of spells.
The Silver Cloaks
The Silver Cloaks are the guardians of the Diarchs of the Luminous Enclave. These are the finest warriors of the Azari people and are hand picked by the Therri'cill. As the sworn warriors of the Diarchy These guardians are honorbound to protect the ruler of the Luminous enclave at all cost. Their position lies beyond the rule of nobles and princes. Only the Diarchs of the Luminous Enclave can command them. They act as bodyguards on the battlefield and often act as the Diarchs personal emissaries in day-to-day life.
Before battle, High Elves will paint their shields, often images of the Silver Phoenix, or even a family crest. Whenever it's time for a new battle, they will paint a new image over the old one to represent strength and consistency in the face of change.
The Cillari Law
Chapter 1: The Fundamentals
Article 1. The citizens of the mothers blessed city will not tolerate any acts of barbarism to one another.
This extends to any and all acts of physical aggression and threatening to use violence or cause physical harm to another citizen. Violence is the way of the uncivilized and all disputes should be solved through civil discussion. The only exception to this is when violence is used in an act of self-defenses.
Article 2. The citizens of the mothers blessed city will not tolerate acts of uncontrolled greed.
Theft is not to be tolerated and there is no exception to this. A society that feels the need to scrape around for petty coin is no better than the fallen kingdoms of the Azari’Lunn.
Article 3. The citizens of the mothers blessed city will not tolerate destruction of property.
Damaging the property of the blessed city or her citizens is unacceptable. The uncaring and malevolent individuals that engage in such acts can only be denoted as being impure and rotten to the core.
Article 4. The citizens of the mothers blessed city will not tolerate any individual who mutilates themselves on purpose for aesthetic reasons.
Any jewelry that pierces the skin is strictly forbidden. Artificially adjusting the colour of hair or patterns in the skin through the use of tattoos are also frowned upon and any offenders of such acts will be punished accordingly. How could a cill follower of the mother, Aerielle ever mutilate the gift of the body?
Article 5. The citizens of the mothers blessed city will not tolerate any attempts at the conversion of the Azari’cill to heretical or otherwise impure beliefs.
To attempt to let a Azari’cill stray from the path of the mother is to assault the mental purity of the Azari’cill themselves. No preachers or missionaries will be permitted to spread their false ideals or beliefs within the Mother’s city.
Article 6. The citizens of the mothers blessed city will not tolerate any individual who denies the teachings of the mother within the borders of the blessed city.
Article 7. The citizens of the mothers blessed city will not tolerate individuals who feel the need to obscure their identity.
Article 8. The citizens of the mothers blessed city will not tolerate intrusion upon their private properties.
A basic court hearing for the accused criminal, heard by only one to two judges.
An extremely severe religious tribunal, the ruling of which will decide life or death for the accused. The judges are a selection of important people from society for different viewpoints and the Diarchs give the final verdict.
Judges: High Priest from the temple, Some important dude from the military and someone with a civil position.
If a judge is not able to attend, the Diarchs will appoint someone else to be the judge in their place. But in the end there is always a group of 5.
When one of the Diarchs is not available, the verdict is just done by one, and if both aren't there at the time of the trial, the highest nobles take the place of the Diarchs.
The Age of Enlightenment
he origins of the Azari are mostly unknown. It is commonly believed that the race of Elves was gifted with life by the gods of the Elven Pantheon. The elven race has its roots in the Valley of Dragons, also known as Arda. This time is known as the Age of Enlightenment.
It was in this age that the Gods of the Pantheon walked among their children, giving the Azari a piece of themselves to help shape them.
The Father, Kharash, gifted the Azari strength, courage, and Fatherhood.
The Mother, Aerièlle, gifted her children the wisdom of Enlightenment and the ability to wield the sacred blessings of Eden in the form of arcane magic.
The Daughter, Aestaena, gifted her children fertility, love and the need to procreate.
And at last there the Son, Fineall, gave his children challenges in life, as he despised his parents because they favoured his sister. He wanted to take a slice of the souls for himself to create a race shaped in his image. A race that would one day take down the pantheon.
The Age of Fallen Spires
The Elves of Fineall knew only anger, jealousy, perversion, and lust. His children were tainted and foul, as they despised their more gifted and enlightened kin who looked down upon them as abominations. The other Gods of the Pantheon also looked upon the Dark kin of Fineall with disgust and tried to destroy them in body and soul.
Despite their best efforts, the Gods could not destroy the Azari’lunn or Dark Elves as they became known as in the common tongue. The conflict sparked a massive civil war between the Azari children of the Gods. Many cities were destroyed by magical barrages from the Arch-Mages of both sides. The children of the Daughter, the Azari’soll, were completely wiped out by a surprise Dark Elven assault on their homeland nearing the end of the war. Towards that end, as the Azari’lunn saw that they could not overcome the endless legions of the Azari’cill, The Son blessed one of his most enlightened servants, Noctis. He became the leader of his children and ordered him to disappear from the face of Eden with the remaining Dark Elves until their time would come. Fineall took it upon himself to battle the rest of the Pantheon in the heavens for the rest of eternity to make sure that the other Gods would never be able to return to Eden and destroy his children.
As a direct result of Fineall’s war in the heavens, the Gods of the Pantheon left their children in Eden. Without their Gods to teach them the ways of enlightenment, the Azari were truly lost and their kingdoms descended into anarchy. The old order of the Elven Empire was completely toppled in the years of the Fallen Spires. The remaining races started to accuse each other for the war and were preparing for another wave of uncontrolled violence toward one another. The children of Kharash were horrified by these events of pure barbarism and isolated themselves in Myln Arbor. They did not completely cut ties with the Azari’cill but they would not actively seek any contact with the other Azari for the foreseeable future. The children of Fineall had exiled themselves from the Valley of Dragons.
The remaining Azari tried to find a sign of their Gods, a reason to live and to continue on the path of enlightenment. It was at this moment that the Silver Phoenix flew over the Glade of Dragons. In other realms, the Silver Phoenix is simply known as the Priscus of the Skies, but to the Azari it was the avatar of the Mother. It was a majestic beast that gave the Azari a reason to reinvent themselves. They built temples to the Phoenix and tried to find ways to communicate with the elemental spirit of the skies. The Scinari Caste was tasked to collect and translate the ancient texts of the gods and lay out a path for the Azari’cill to follow. This is the path that would eventually lead to reunification with the Mother.
Years passed as the Azari’cill rebuilt their broken realm. No longer were their attempts at founding the perfect order haunted by cursed anatomies or hollow souls. The Azari’cill created a culture of betterment that founded the new city of Silver, dedicated to the Mother of all Elves, Aerièlle.
The Azari’cill spread their influence across the great nations of Eden with sublime efficacy. It was child’s play for the Elves to learn new languages, sciences, and forms of art. Some sought to conquer the vistas of the mind, their bodies seated cross-legged as their spirits roamed far and wide. Others travelled the lands, making beautiful tomes of the knowledge they found in the fields of cartography, biology, botany, history, and more.
The people of the Valley of Dragons wished to reach true enlightenment and sought to spread it to the lesser nations. Missionaries moved far and wide to educate lesser races in the ways taught by Aerièlle, hoping to one day bring the lesser races to the same standard as the Azari. These pioneers did not slaughter those monsters and savage creatures they encountered, for they considered such tactics barbaric. Instead, they tamed the beasts of the land where possible, and left them to their own devices if that was not viable. If the creatures were particularly predatory, they instead maneuvered them through the Phoenix gate to other, less enlightened lands.
The Reinvention brought forth an age of prosperity for sure, yet the Elves of Arda still have a long road to travel on. The recent so-called “Rotting plague” devastated most of the missionary work and significantly thinned the mostly imported food supplies of the Silver City. Nevertheless, the Azari race endured and are now eager to continue their effort to educate the lesser races and to uncover new knowledge.
Chronicles of the Therri'cill
Tetheris I Elladris - The Judge (1 - 125)
As first official ruler of the Azari’cill, he led the Azari'cill through the horror that was the Age of Fallen Spires, and was dedicated to creating a new way of life for the High Elves. It was thanks to his teachings that the High Elves were able to enter the age of reinvention.
Calydrian I Elladris - The Warrior (125 - 223)
Calydrian sought to protect the High Elven ways set forth by his Father. He created the civilian militia and basic combat curriculum.
Tetheris II Elladris - The Scholar (223 - 412)
Tetheris II sought to reclaim lost knowledge from the ruins of the Age of Fallen Spires. He opened Aeriel’s first library, and organized for the government to always have scribes on hand to record and preserve their history.
Acaris I Elladris - The Sage (412 - 710)
Built upon Tetheris II’s work by rediscovering and developing the High Elves’ connection to the arcane and the elements. While not a mage himself, he created the infrastructure for the Temple of the Silver Phoenix, and put High Elves back on the road to enlightenment.
Dimaethor I Elladris - The Poet (710 - 1067)
Legendary writer who wrote a great many novels, stories, and history books. Died in a tragic accident while touring Eden for his book.
Aestaena I Elladris-Zaithrall - The Widow (1067 - 1255)
Following her husband’s death, Aestaena made the decision to rule solo until her own untimely death.
Aethis I Zaithrall - The Builder (1255 - 1521)
Rebuilt High Elven society after its rapid collapse following the great famine caused by the Rotting Plague.
Aldir’tor I Zaithrall - The Diplomat, (1521 - 1522)
Aldir'tor Zaithrall rose to the throne in 1521. He led the Luminous Enclave from a small backwater nation to a major player on the world stage. After only a short reign, he decided to step down from the throne in favor of Prince Thalanil. He stated that he had bigger things ahead of him.
Thalanil Larethael - The Incompetent, (1522 - 1522)
Thalanil Larethael rose to power when Aldir'tor Zaithrall decided to step down shortly after his reign. He was deposed shortly after claiming the throne by the princes during Eldrin's Rebellion.
Aldir’tor I Zaithrall - The Diplomat, (1522 - Present) (Second Term)