Isekai has started its grand restructuring! Please bear with us as things move around and get situated in their new home.
Names are also in the process of changing, so some names are inconsistent currently.

Silver Elf Culture

Way of Life for the Elves of the Below

Written by RiverFang

Deep within winding tunnels and dark caverns, one may be lucky enough to find a monolithic city, shrouded by magic or protected by creatures that few men wish to trifle with. Cities of dark stones and low light meant to keep the horrors of Káto at bay while still bustling and moving like well-oiled machines. Here is the depths of Káto, where horrific creatures roam and the tunnels shift and confuse, the Silver Elves make their homes, surviving in islands of city-states against the bleakness of their homeland.   Much like their counterparts on the surface, the Silver Elves of Káto believe heavily in tradition, continuing on with customs that outsiders may call archaic but have served these city-states well as they follow the path of their goddess, the Huntress. Living so far below where creatures grow large and powerful is not for the faint of heart, requiring obedience and structure that the Elves of the Elven Forest would never need.   Their reverence for the Huntress and the task she has given them guides the Silver Elves to seek out the horrors of Káto and destroy them, protecting the unknowing of the surface before the wretched creatures of the Below can escape. Their skills at hunting these creatures and creating specific weapons and traps is unrivalled, except for the Adamantite weapons created by the Dwarves. Even so, the Silver Elves prefer to keep to themselves, unless trade or the possibility of power in their city is on the horizon.

Culture

Culture and cultural heritage

To most that live outside of Káto, the culture of the Silver Elves can be seen as somewhat archaic and confusing. Most Silver Elf cities and families fall under the traditional gender roles of the race, creating powerful sorceresses and weapons masters. This structure works well for this matriarchal society that worships the Huntress as they believe it to be their task from the goddess to rid the Below of its horrors.   Silver Elves also do not believe in a unified kingdom, but prefer to have scattered city-states throughout Káto due to the chaotic nature of their homeland and this arrangement allowing them to better fulfill their task for the goddess.  

Beliefs

All races in Isekai have a set of beliefs that they consider their law. Silver Elves see their law as a divine right, one that is not to be ignored.  
  1. Darkness is to be feared, to be loved, and to be used as a weapon against all that defy the Silver Elves. Those that wish to pass through our lands with the mark of Darkness must receive it through trial.
  2. Eldritch abominations and their worshippers will find their place in the grave, in the deepest reaches of Káto if necessary.
  3. Strength and skill are respected and second only to the judgment of a Matron Mother, two Matrons that disagree shall engage and solve their disputes in whatever way they see fit.
  4. The word of a Silver Elf is sacred, those that would disgrace themselves with a lie incur a life debt, and those that lie and it results in the loss of life shall forfeit their own.
These beliefs drive the Silver Elves and their way of life as they try to survive the bleakness that is Káto. Very few Silver Elves harbor different beliefs as these are ingrained in them from the time they are children.  
Family
For Silver Elves, their family and the Matron of their house are the most important thing to them. Their names bring power and give them the ability to move freely through certain areas. To be cast from one’s house without joining another is seen as a grave punishment as it marks one as a traitor or outcast. A Silver Elf without a house or one seen as a Third Son is considered a grievous offense and one that should be erased.   Silver Elf families are called houses and are complex structures. Each house has a ruling family, one that is the origin of the name for that house. That being said, a house can have hundreds or thousands of members as the Matron Mother of a house may recruit others to serve in the military for that house or to perform other duties. Those birthed by the matron are considered to be royalty in the house and will fill extremely important roles within that house.   Silver Elf Houses are matriarchal, being led by a woman that is known as a Matron Mother. Oftentimes, this woman is the oldest of the house, but other women can be chosen to fill the place if others are deemed unfit. Matron Mothers tend to rule their houses with iron fists, asking obedience and loyalty from those that are in her house. Usually, this means from her children, but men that are weapons masters may be traded between the houses to create stronger children.  
Gender Roles
Silver Elf Houses often have very structured gender roles, although some houses are seen as more progressive and have moved away from this very traditional structure. As the society is matriarchal, women are seen as more powerful and the ones that have the potential to be great leaders. Women are given their power by the goddess, this blessing seemingly a mark of their superiority. It is assumed that women of a house will become sorceresses or priestesses, those well-versed in magic and the ways of the goddess.   Men tend to be seen as nearly second-class citizens in Silver Elf cities. Houses that follow the more traditional gender roles believe that only two men are required in the ruling family of each house, one to serve as weapons master and the other as a powerful book-learned spellcaster. Any sons born after the first two may be banished or given to another house as they are seen as unnecessary. In more progressive houses, all sons are kept and are free to learn whatever skills they see fit to aid their house.  
Property & Ownership
Property is owned by the house that a Silver Elf is a part of, not by an individual. Unless one is part of the immediate family of the house, very rarely will one have any possessions that are considered their own. The ruling family will often have their own weapons, books, and other items, but only if allowed by the Matron.  
Taboos & Insults
In most traditional Silver Elf Houses, the biggest taboo is being labeled as a Third Son or a traitor. These people are promptly erased from any record in the house as they are seen as a blight to the reputation of the house. These people and many other topics are forbidden to speak of in Silver Elf society, but there are really no strict rules on what is forbidden.   The greatest insult to a Silver Elf is to name them as a liar or coward in public.  

Silver Elf Culinary Arts

Food is not necessarily an important part of Silver Elf culture like it is in other cultures, but that does not mean that they lack specialties when it comes to the culinary arts. These foodstuffs can only be created with ingredients found in Káto and cooked to the specifications of the Silver Elves.  
Stalactite Wine
Stalactite Wine is a specialty drink of the Silver Elves. Made from purified water that falls from the stalactites of the caverns of Káto and a special subterranean berry, this wine is a drink known to be as heady and potent as the ales and whiskeys that come from the Great Furnaces and the Cradle of Clay. Sacred ceremonies are not held without this wine as it is seen as a necessity and a gift from the goddess.  
Káto Wild Mushrooms
Káto wild mushrooms are a delicacy of Kato as they are often rare and hard to find. Tucked in twisted tunnels and deep caves, only Silver Elves partake in these mushrooms as very few others frequent the tunnels where they can be found. Some cities cultivate patches of these mushrooms in areas miles away from their walls so that they may enjoy this delicacy on special occasions.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

The lives of the Silver Elves are heavily influenced by the ideas of death and vengeance. This has caused the society as a whole to focus less on matters involving art and creation, but to focus on things such as tradition, holidays, and the hunt over all else. Because of this, Silver Elf cities invest highly in trading with those from the surface to get the things they need for certain aspects of their daily lives.  

Clothing & Textiles

While clothing is an important part of ceremonies and daily life for the Silver Elves, it is something they pay little attention to in terms of creation. Most, if not all, clothing that can be found in Silver Elf cities is imported from the surface. It is seen as a wasteful endeavor to create clothing, but armor does not fall within this mindset.  
Armor
Due to the somewhat vengeful nature of the Silver Elves and constant hunting that occurs, armor is an important part of life in Káto. Certain entities within Silver Elf cities, to include Gem Dwarves, Dwarves, and others, create armor, but unless something specific is needed, most prefer armor created by Silver Elves. This armor is often created from Black Chitin to a house's specifications.  
Imports
Clothing is one of the most heavily import items in Silver Elf cities. Silver Elves have a love for silks and other expensive materials to show wealth and power. Many of these items could not be easily made in Káto even if the Silver Elves had an interest in doing so, and as such are imported from across the world. Oftentimes, these items are in more muted colors, to include blacks, purples, and dark reds, but some Silver Elves are not opposed to bright colors.  

Holidays & Myths

A culture of tradition, holidays are extremely important to the Silver Elves as they are often celebrations of the goddess or a family's history. Many of their holidays are seen as rather morbid, their myths being similar in nature, but Káto does not lend itself to happy stories.  
Day of the Dead
The Day of the Dead is a day where Silver Elves pay respects to those that have passed. On the last day of Winter's Evening, Silver Elves spend time contemplating the passing of loved ones and writing the Promise of Night, a letter that is meant to aid in moving forward from one's death.  
Harrowing
The Harrowing is an old myth of the Lost Paths, one that fills many in Silver Elf cities with deep superstition. On this day, it is said that a castle appears somewhere along the Lost Paths that lures people in, only for them to never escape. No one has ever lived to tell whether the myth is true, but Silver Elves take the myth rather seriously and tend to not travel on the days of the Harrowing.
Encompassed species
Related Items
Significant presence in
Significant Holidays
Day of the Dead
Significant Cultural Aspects
Matron Mother
Third Son
Birth Rites & Traditions
Silver Elf Birth Rites
Culinary Arts
Silver Elf Culinary Arts

Languages

Silver Elves are often well-versed in a handful of languages due to the great deal of trading and travel that they do. Dark Sylvan and Deep Common are their most common languages, but there are others that almost all Silver Elves know that are not necessarily considered standard languages.  

Mine Ticks

A language that uses the numbers of Deep Dwarvish, Mine Ticks are a system that allow travelers and others to mark important information about a tunnel or cavern. This system can denote what materials may be found in an area for miners or what dangers await. Silver Elves use this language frequently in their travels, especially since tunnels and caverns in Káto tend to shift and move.  

Silver Sign

Silver Sign is a language used strictly by the Silver Elves. Using a variety of quick hand movements, this language allows people to communicate silently across short distances while in deep darkness. This language began as a simple way to tell a group to move during a hunt, but the language has developed to be far more complex to the point that it is possible to have long and complicated conversations using only this sign language.  

Naming Traditions

Silver Elves follow naming traditions similar to that of the Elves of the surface for given names, but their house names are often more complex. It is fairly uncommon to find two Silver Elf houses in different cities that share the same name.  

Name Generator Coming Soon!

 

Relations with Other Races

Silver Elves get along best with Dwarves because of their masterful craftsmanship, they will endeavor to keep trade open with them because Silver Elves have a love of Adamantite weaponry. Aside from that, they appear to have no great attachment to any other species, even other Elves that would seem to be their close relatives but they have a healthy respect for most creatures that can defend themselves.   Silver Elves detest all Eldritch creatures and those that worship them, they care little for race beyond that.  

Religious Observance

The Pantheons of Isekai are of extreme importance to all races and cultures, no matter their differences or difficulties. Each culture worships one of the gods as this belief is what allows them to be judged fairly upon their deaths.   As a race that believes in the hunt, vengeance, and death, Silver Elves follow the teachings of the Huntress as a goddess of death. Their deeply ingrained belief in the goddess gives them purpose, directing them to rid Káto of Eldritch creatures in the name of the Huntress.
 

Parallel Monastery

Silver Elves society is scattered and lacks any formal organization due to the difficulties and vastness of Káto, but one organization of Silver Elves stands out for its power. The Parallel Monastery is known to be an elite group that is more powerful than the weapons masters of any ruling Silver Elf house. This is considered to be the closest thing to a capital or uniting structure that the society has, but most do not look favorably upon the organization. Those of the Parallel Monastery, Ishtin Kex, are greatly feared and considered cursed due to their power and training methods.


Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
16 Aug, 2021 14:57

I love your ethnicities. You always give them such depth. :)

Powered by World Anvil