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Elelupii ([el:el:upi])

The Hillsworn Defenders

To call the Hillsworn Defenders "small" would be a vast understatement. Though supposedly descended from Paràntii/humans, their historical innate desire to be ignored and avoid conflict at all costs had led to a rather peculiar loss of height over the ages. The tallest among these folks were about three feet. This begs the question of the seemingly-haughty title.   After the First Destruction, during which at least a sixth of the Forest of Doon was felled in the defence of the Realm, these tiny folk were encouraged to become informers.

With Coin Comes Responsibility

Despite, to all appearances and wanting a simple lifestyle, the Defenders were easily ‘encouraged’ by material wealth. Thus, although rarely even considered for battle, they were used to keep watch, and to inform Bezélan of any unusual or threatening activity.
Beverohii / Verdant Hills Map
by Me!
The North East of Qal'ath ikà Doon is the independent region of Bevérohii, home to the industrious Elelupii.
This involved regular patrols West to the edges of the Greycliff and Tolmyr Sands, and South up to, but not beyond, the Pass of Lyth. South of Hillsworn Fort was not within the boundary of The Verdant Hills - Bevérohii. It was technically Stag country, save for the massive Qalathi fortification of Oestun Vyai, with Tolmyr Sands being unclaimed, uncontested and undesirable.   So it was, bought by gold from the Capital, they were sworn to protect Qal'ath by vigilance.   It was not long before the old attitude of wanting to remain hidden was abandoned in favour of "wanting to be known for the right reasons". They would defend their homeland with their lives, but they were still very resistant to being drafted as part of a wider war effort. This was not least because of business (see below) and not wanting to have to choose one side or the other.  

Their Real Name

Many of the Hillsworn felt the title was a badge of pride, and were made to feel important by the attention from the Capital. But naturally, this was not their name. This was Elelupii, but aside from the customary ‘ii’ indicating the plural, the name itself really didn’t have meaning and was not derived from Foyiitùn.   The singular form of Elelupii as with Kyadii, was Elelup, or occasionally Elel.  

Characteristics

 

Appearance

As mentioned, these were a small folk. To all intents and purposes, they had the same traits as Humans. They could be rough- or smooth-skinned. Males often had beards or mustaches (though this was possible for females too - see below), simply due to a lack of knowledge, skill or desire to shave. However, they would try to keep head and facial hair as neat and tidy as possible. How well-dressed and presented they were, was a key identity trait of most Elelupii. Where possible, they would buy fine clothing and jewellery, which would be worn in the warmer months. However, in colder months or when the Winds swept through the Hills, they had to forgo their finery for leathers or furs, acquired from the Foyii / Woodsmen.  

Voice Pitch

Female voices tended to be high-pitched and speech was fast-paced. While this applied to the male Elelupii, a certain gravelly edge had developed over the last century or two (c 300-500 AFD), along with the development of trade. This was likely an unconscious development as larger folk, especially Paràntii, had not initially taken the Elelupii seriously during trade negotiations.

Expected Lifespan

How long the average Elelup lived was anywhere between 50 and 85 Ana depending on their role, lifestyle choices and any inherent dangers in their work. Even the least active Elelup could live 65 Ana due to the purity of Element Air in, around, over and through all things in the region.   Local myth says that so long as an Elelup keeps an inquisitive mind they can continue living, even if their body looks set to become one with Erdé again. This has a thread of truth running through it as often the inventors, business-folk, especially vigilant Hillsworn and negotiators have been known to live until their 90's. But such instances are indeed rare.

On Male/Female/Other

It would be appropriate here to talk about the "issue" of gender within the Elelupii. It wasn't an issue to them directly but could cause difficulties for other races when describing them. This is because, to an outside observer of a fully-clothed Elelup (which they always were unless there was a meeting or purpose to going to public baths - in short, they never dressed in a way to show more skin beyond their faces, necks and lower arms) - you could not easily tell male from female from "other".   While facial hair among those who deemed themselves female was rare, it did happen - the same as male Elelupii could be as cleanly shaven as he liked. Females sometimes just saw the facial hair as an extension of that which flowed from their heads, allowing more personal expression.  

Other?

The reason "other" has been written into this parchment is that the Elelupii preferred their names to be used in reference to themselves.   "Do you know how Ygyg has been these days? I haven't seen Ygyg for many moons!" or "I haven't seen that Lilidan for many moons!". (see "Family Names" to reference "Lilidan").   With no obvious body shape to contrast the two genders, many did not feel the need to reveal that to the outside world. Thus even close business partners still wouldn't know - as there was no need to know. Business and trade were done on the merit of the deal on the proverbial table, not on the appearance of the person at the negotiating table.  

Love, Marriage and Offspring

Regardless of their gender, the Elelupii married for love and love alone. This was born of their general singlemindedness that they applied to everything from caring for The Verdant Hills - Bevérohii, building the Grip Cart Track, doing business etc. While getting an Elelup to do pretty much anything was difficult, once they had decided to crack on, they did so unwaveringly and, sometimes, incessantly. This, while tiring, is what led to so many technological advancements that no one in Qal'ath had achieved.   So when it came to marrying someone for love, it was for life.

Additional Information

Geographic Origin and Distribution

The vast majority of Elelupii near to Qal'ath were found in The Verdant Hills - Bevérohii. However a few had found work at Traders Square with some found within the Qalathian Capital of Bezélan. Almost no Elelupii were found East of the Capital, save for those visiting for business or personal reasons.   However, a significant population of Elelupii lived, worked and thrived among the people of the Byanté Alliance, which stretched from Nùormoest of The Verdant Hills - Bevérohii to Sùdoest of the Forbidden Heights.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Family Names

As towns and villages had historically risen up around extended families, an actual "family name" was rare. Official records do not show one at all.   Instead, an Elelup would be either only known by their first name, or in the case of two Elelupii sharing a name, would use the town in place of a family name.   Fafa (mentioned below) was from Mo-Mo Khro, so he would likely have called himself Fafa Momodan. The -dan suffix is the only link that the Common Tongue speakers of The Verdant Hills - Bevérohii had with Foyiitùn - and that being the archaic/historical form, meaning "of" or "of the place".

Feminine Names

Names of those who deemed themselves female rarely exhibited a pattern in naming conventions, unlike their male counterparts (see below).   However, female Elelupii often ended their names in vowels or vowel sounds, such as i, a, ay, y.   All Elelup names were short - usually two or three syllables. Part of this was heritage, the other part was to ensure their names were easy to remember for potential business contacts, or authority figures from other nations.   Female Elelup in Book 1: Mia (Timridan)

Masculine Names

Male Elelupii usually started with a repeated sound (if the name had at least three syllables), as with their towns and villages. Any males who had longer names would become known by these two sounds, with the knowledge of the longer name being quickly forgotten.   Male Eleup in Book 1: Fafa (Momodan)

Other Names

While the above were trends you could observe, children may be named as a parent or parents see fit, and those Elelupii not within The Verdant Hills - Bevérohii sometimes adoped names more fitting to the people group they eventually settled in. Not all names could be attributed to gender - and it was unwise to assume gender based on the name presented too.

Major Organizations

  • The Hillsworn Defenders
  • Natex Research Division
  • Trade Relations Outreach
  • The Hunters of Ohii

Beauty Ideals

Aside from ensuring they were decently (or even better - smartly) dressed, the Elelupii paid little mind to matters of beauty. Beauty was found in the nature of Bevérohii, or in a meal well-prepared, or in a machine functioning well. When it came to possible relationships, beauty was not an external thing - and relationships formed over months if not years of friendship.   This meant that it was the "beauty of the inner person" which mattered most to the Elelupii. This created a positive trait rarely found in other races - that many people would agree if an individual Elelup was beautiful (all genders could be described this way and it was always complimentary - and truthful), regardless of the outward appearance.

Gender Ideals

There were no gender ideals. You formed friendships through knowing the person, your attraction was from knowing the person and you married the person. What "gender" they had was very much a second issue. This contrasted with most of the surrounding nations and races.   How the Elelupii reproduced is a mystery and will continue to remain a mystery until the Seven Erdénaii bring an end to all Great Resolutions. For it seemed, no matter the appearance, or declared gender of the partners - producing offspring was feasible.

Courtship Ideals

Given what has just been said about relationships between Elelupii forming over a long time, there was rarely a period of "courtship". That's not to say that certain aspects of an established marriage did not happen before that appointed time but by that stage, they were already committed for life - they just hadn't had an official celebration to mark the occasion yet.

Relationship Ideals

It was the "inner person" and how they thought that mattered more to the Elelupii than the transient external features.   This meant relationships could form cross-gender (meaning all combinations of male, female and other were possible) and with large age gaps between partners. Once a parent (or two if two were still alive) agreed with their child that they were "old enough" then relationships could be explored. The only rule was that an Elelup never entered into a relationship beyond friendship with someone who was not an Elelup. And even if that Elelup was "too young" (though children were never permitted to marry), the "period of friendship" could take place with multiple people - and more often than not took years with the youngest Elelup, by which time all Elelupii would have agreed they were adult. The "period of friendship" was usually shorter with older Elelupii and longer with the younger ones.   But whatever the length of it, it was done with respect, care and patience.   Given the Elelupii respected the mind and character over everything, they honoured each other in matters of love and attraction, never forcing themselves on someone - nor allowing that to happen to them, because they respected their own will too.

Average Technological Level

  • THIS NEEDS WORK AND JUST HAS PROMPTS FOR ME --
  • Unique Developments

    • Grip-Cart Track
    • Water and Wind Wheels
    • Fishend Plant

    Power and Movement

    • Water-wheels
    • Windwheels
    • Complex Pulleys

    Salt to Pure Water Processing

    In progress.

    Flight (Mechanical)

    Hovering transportation nearing testing.

    Glass and Metalwork

    Advanced. They created "reading eyes" and assisted the Crystal Circle with the extraordinary long-range device known simply as The Lens.

    Major Language Groups and Dialects

    While the language of the Elelupii was Common Tongue/Parànti, there were two distinct dialects, or accents. They didn't really have names - for that was an unnecessary label - and the accent an Elelup spoke with mattered far less than the words they spoke and the intention with which they spoke them.   But for the sake of providing an explanation, the plausible labels for these accents are High Speech and Short Speech.   High Speech High Speech used full words, flowing sentences and high-level language, exuding the education they will have undergone during childhood. Consider the orators in the lands, or the fine language of the Lords and Ladies of the Realm and you'll have a feel for High Speech.   Example: "There really is no reason to trouble yourself, good sir," the Elelup smiled, "you will find an abundance of fish in our culinary stores. Please take one or two for yourself and your family."   Short Speech As I said - the accent mattered little - so we did not want to call this "low speech" because it was only different in its communication, rather than inferior. All Elelupii were educated to the same level, where mental capacity allowed it. Education was, they deemed, for all, in the interests of all and for the success of all.   Short Speech used curtailed words, omitted letters seemingly at random and inconsistently. Such language would have been considered "rough" or "uneducated" when found among other races. But this was never the view of other Elelupii.   Example: "No need t'a do tha' misser," the Elelup giggled, "we 'ave loads 'o' fish 'ere already in t'pantry, 'elp yerself 'n' tek sum fer ya fam'ly!"   Middle Speech Having said there were "two", in truth, many spoke somewhere between the two, especially when dealing with other races. "High Speakers" were considered as, and I quote, "a broom stuck where one should not be" and "Short Speakers" were (I quote again) "childish and not to be taken seriously in any matter whatsoever". This led to many Elelupii having a "home voice" and an "away voice", where the language used would flow from wherever they found themselves.

    Common Etiquette Rules

    "As with coin, respect is earned not gifted," was a phrase taught in Elelupii schools from a young age. And yes, you can deduce from that, gifts between Elelupii were never monetary! Anyhow, to make up for their exceedingly short stature meant they needed to be taken seriously, especially in matters of business. In the times of the Second Destruction this would prove to be required for political reasons too.   As such, regardless of their accent or dialect, most Elelupii were polite and respectful in dealing with other races. That's not to say they were averse to friendly banter, jokes or "poking fun", however. But such joviality was reserved for other Elelupii or close friends of other races.   The Elelupii could get angry, frustrated and annoyed, but rather than putting the blame on someone as a person, they would attribute it to the thing or action that made them feel this way.   "Your words were hurtful, your tone belittled me and your flailing arm nearly hit me in the face!" as opposed to "You are hurtful, belittling and tried to hit me!"

    Common Dress Code

    The Elelupii were always, as they called it, "fully dressed". Drawing attention to your body by leaving some uncovered distracted people from understanding the person and the mind within it. Except for farmers and the Hillsworn Defenders, most Eleupii dressed smartly - and ideally - in truly fine clothing. There were exceptions, of course - stablehands and inn servants for example, but even then they arrayed themselves as decently as possible.

    Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

    While being their own distinct people and The Verdant Hills - Bevérohii being independent of other nations, they desired peace and prosperity for all Elelupii. This meant that they worked hard at having positive relations with other species and king/queendoms, as that was the best foundation for trade.   In an odd turn of events, occasionally the Elelupii would step in between two races or nations that were either fighting or on the verge of fighting, in order to keep such situations spilling into their homelands and reducing the value of their trading relationships.
    Genetic Ancestor(s)
    Lifespan
    50 - 85 Ana
    Average Height
    0.6 - 0.9m (2-3ft)
    Average Physique
    While an adult Elelup could be as small as 2ft tall, their physiques varied widely. Many were physically active, either patrolling or climbing hills on scouting missions, others preferred to walk rather than take the Grip-Cart or other organic transportation methods. Others, however, engaged their minds (and mouths) more actively than their bodies, leading to a naturally more "plump" look. That said, the Elelupii always sought to only eat what they saw as "good food" so even the laziest Elelup would not be deemed overweight by their standards.  

    Gender Differences

    To most outsiders, Elelupii of all gender-types would appear the same. The actual look of the person under the clothes was almost entirely clothed, even in hot weather, and preserved only for the Elelup they would commit to life with.
    Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
    While preferring to work in the proverbial shadows - or literal ones if employed to scout or spy - most Elelupii lived their lives outdoors. Whether this was in an agricultural sense, or an engineering one - or even a business one, being indoors was reserved for home life or for retiring for the night in an Inn, or similar. They preferred to be seen - and to see the people and world around them. Given their height, or lack thereof, being indoors restricted at least their view of the world.   As such, over the décàna, their skin tint has darkened (though not to the same deep colours as found within Shevezz), with massive variation in the spectrum. Even some crops had to be cultivated in the shade, or a trade secret kept hidden away.   It should also be noted that the tinting would very often darken as an Elelup aged.
    Geographic Distribution
    Related Organizations

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