Daelin

The mirror image of humans – or they would be, were it not for the blue and purple shades of their skin. Or their unnaturally long and point ears. Or how the whites of their eyes aren’t white at all; instead the colour of a dark purple wine, or a blazing golden light, or an ocean wave.

Their features are sharper. High cheekbones, smiles that flash a little too brightly, with a little too much teeth. Daelin grow to the same average sizes as humans, but their figures are lither. From afar, it gives them a graceful appearance, designed to fool those unfamiliar with the daelin. That is not to say that the daelin are not graceful, but rather that there is something more lurking beneath the surface. A cunning charm that can easily fool those who do not pay enough attention.

Lifespan
300 years
Average Height
5'0" - 6'0"

Daelin Homelands

Daelin can be found across all of Ma'rune, typically deep in the denser parts of forests and woods, where the trees grow so tall that light barely filters through the treetops. They also like to make their homes in vast caves or tunnel systems, carving out entire portions of mountains and even digging beneath the woodlands if they so desire.

Populations of daelin can be found in clusters. Anywhere between three to ten Courts can be found in a single region; more Courts in a region tends to indicate better living arrangements, more receptive of daelin population, and better inter-Court relationships. Fewer Courts in a region indicates higher tensions between Courts and they act very territorial over their homelands.

As far as buildings go, daelin construct them in such a way that they blend into their surroundings. Those who live in the forest will build elaborate treehouses with bridges spanning from building to building, whereas those who live in tunnels and caves will either use stone and clay to build their structures, or they will carve out areas of the tunnel or sides of the caves so that their structures are built into the area itself.

Courts

Smaller Courts will have around 100 to 200 members, whilst larger Courts can have up to 1000 members. It is uncommon for multiple large Courts to be in the same area as each other; usually, a large Court will be the initial power in a region and smaller Courts will build up a homeland around them. This provides the smaller Courts with a number of benefits like trading partners, protection, and more sway at Assemblies and Grand Assemblies.

Each Court is a part of the daelin heirarchy. There are Lesser Courts which have smaller populations, less land to call their own, and typically far less sway at Assemblies. There are High Courts which have greatly varying populations and more land. Whilst most High Courts have more sway than Lesser Courts, their power and say during an Assembly is determined more by who is a part of the High Court and whether or not they are in good standing with a Grand Court. Grand Courts are the largest of the daelin Courts. They have the most power and land, and they garner the respect of not only their daelin peers, but that of humans and beastfolk as well.

Lesser Courts

Led by a Marquess (referred to as such regardless of gender). As they are small Courts with few members, they will only have one Marquess at any given time. Daelin in line for a leadership position in these Courts are referred to as a Viscount.

Some famous Lesser Courts include:
Balèstry
E'tori
Na'via
Tavyris

High Courts

Led by Dukes and Duchess'. High Courts will have numerous Dukes and Duchess', all with equal powers and influence in the Court. Those in line for a leadership position are referred to as a Marquess.

Some famous High Courts include:
Firmyn
Mag’lior
Poirô
Roliege

Grand Courts

Led by a King or Queen (though not all Princes of the Court will claim either title). Any daelin being trained for a leadership role are known as Princes, regardless of their gender.

Some famous Grand Courts include:
Alìker
Chêvro
Je'nasie
L'clayre

Within the Courts the hierarchy between daelin is less straight forward and varies depending on the values of each court. There are exceptions to this, of course, such as the Marquess and Viscount of a Lesser Court, the Duke, Duchess or Marquess of a High Court, and the King, Queen or Prince of a Grand Court. These people are leaders and therefore hold more power and respect than members of their Courts. Other exceptions include Lords and Ladies of the Court, although these roles have seen far less usage over the last 400 years.

What the Courts value most are the skills each daelin can bring to the table. Some skills are valued more over others (again, this depends on the Court that one is a member of), though each Court sees the value in every skill. So long as a daelin can contribute to the Court using their skill, they will be seen as useful and will always have a welcome place in their Court's homeland.

Those that do not provide the Court with their skills - either due to a lack of skills in the first place, a refusal to learn a skill, or a refusal to contribute entirely - face harsh punishments. Exile is seen as a mercy, so most suffer at the hands of the Court. Periods of isolation is a popular punishment. The Court see it as the offender getting their wish (being left alone by the Court), but they are confined to a certain area (usually through magic, sometimes through physical bondage) and unable to communicate and interact with the world around them.

Assemblies and Grand Assemblies

When Courts would like to meet with each other, an Assembly is called. These Assemblies can be between Courts within the same region or between Courts from different regions. The purpose of an Assembly is to resolve minor issues between Courts and to improve inter-Court relationships. Grand Assemblies are for major conflicts between Courts that cannot be resolved through the usual means. A Court must appeal to at least three Grand Courts (two, if they themselves are a Grand Court) and have the back of the aforementioned Grand Courts in order for a Grand Assembly to be called.

A daelin of any status can attend an Assembly or a Grand Assembly.

Assemblies can be led by any daelin, so long as they have been approved as a Voice of the Assembly by their peers. Each Court in attendance will select a Voice of the Assembly. For Grand Assemblies, a Voice of the Assembly must be a Viscount or higher. If no daelin of such a title is available, an exception will be made for another to act as a Voice of the Assembly on behalf of a Court, though they must be approved by all Grand Courts in attendance.

Voices of the Assembly are in charge of leading an Assembly or a Grand Assembly. Usually, there is one per Court, though Courts may opt not to appoint a Voice if they are attending just to view the Assembly, rather than participate in it. They determine who is allowed to speak and when they are allowed to speak. They keep order throughout the Assembly and ensure that each Court in attendance is heard. Although they are there to ensure that the Assembly runs smoothly, they are also their to represent their own Court, so their opinions and solutions in regards to a problem may be biased towards that of their own Court.

In Grand Assemblies, the Grand Courts who called the Assembly in the first place will each appoint a Grand Voice who must remain impartial throughout. If they suspect a Grand Voice might have a conflict of interest in the Grand Assembly, then their right to act as a Grand Voice can be revoked by the other Grand Voices. However, such an act is very rare and has only ever been implemented sixteen times.

"Your Court has a Prince. He is of age. The blood of Kings and Queens courses through his veins. So tell me, Alé’sa Fyvaro, why should he not act as a Voice of the Assembly? Why has he appointed you in his absence - or rather, why is the young Prince absent at all?"

The others - Kings and Queens and Princes of Grand Courts, faces she has seen only in passing - turn to her, eagerly awaiting her response.

"Prince Lîvio is mourning the loss of so many within our Court. He would rather be seen amongst his Court, his people, and grieve with them. As to why he has appointed me, your graces, I can only assume that it is due to my experience attending Assemblies such as this one," Alé’sa says. Calm and humble. Do not antagonise the other Courts, Fyorenz's words echo through her mind, but do not let them intimidate you either.



Cover image: Daelin Banner by SunlanceXIII

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