Kingdom of Unhelion
One of the oldest if not the oldest realms in Yeia that has survived into the present time. Founded at the zenit of the Bronze Age . Nowadays is the most powerfull and prestigious elven realm in the world. Because of its enormous wealth due to the trade routes and caravans that travel across its territory, the Sun elven kings have not only an imposing army but also have comisioned great works of art and hired some of the best elven scientists and writers for their courts. Alongside the fertile margins of its rivers and oasis many towns and cities thrive thanks to agriculture. The rest of the country is mainly desert and the home of the Desert Elves, better known as the Sand Lords, a sub-race of the Sun Elves that have adapted to desert live, wondering around the country, from oasis to oasis trading their goods.
The kingdom of Unhelion's goverment form is an elective monarchy in which the King is elected among a list of 5 candidates belonging to the 5 most important families of the Kingdom.
The country is divided into regions (Twadyn) each one ruled by a Petty King or Wise Man, as the elvish called them. They ruled this regions for life and its not unusual for powerful local families to monopolize the rulership of these areas. These Wise men form the High Council of Unhelion, that helps the king ruling the country and enforce the law across the realm, but also is the council responsable of electing the new king.
In total there are 14 regions: Spearhead, the Royal Land, Sunlake, Wetlands, Iron Fortress, the Chain, Sun Mountains and the Valley of the Kings. and also, each leader of the Sun Lord tribes ( 6 in total as each tribe, due to its nomadism is considered a region itself).
We, the sons of the dunes, bend the knee to no one but to the one chosen by the people, the reflection of the light of the Sun, our lord the King. (Oath of the desert elf kings to the King of Unhellion)
The positions of the court on the other side are not chosen by the High Council (although its members can be elected to court positions) but by the King. The most important positions are:
- Lord Commander of the Chain: He controls the fortresses across the Chain of the Gods, the Mountain Chain that protects Unhellion from the agressive humans to the north. This position is offen given to a relative of the King.
- Voice of the King: Equal to a Primer Minister or Vizier. He controls the bureacracy, attends foreing ambassadors before they go into the presence of the King, and acts as the Speaker of the High Council of Unhellion.
- Grain Overseer: He supervises the agriculture and irrigation systems across the kingdom. He also supervises the storage of grain into the Royal Granaries across the main cities of the realm.
- Coin Maker: Coinage is a relative novelty for the Sun Elves. It was introduced 400 years ago due to the contact with Seris merchants. The main task of the Coin maker is of course the production of coins, but also sending trading request of foreign merchants to the King for its approval and enforce the taxation policies established by the High Council and the King.
- Royal Sorcerer: Director of the Tower of Wisdom, the most prestigious center of magic and learning in Unhellion and in fact in the whole north of Karia.
- Royal Librarian: Also known as the Keeper of Archives. Its main task is to write the royal edicts and keep and organize all documents produced by the Royal Chancellary or the High Council.
The ethnic group that we know today as the Sun elves (and inside them the Sand Lords too) is formed by two groups:
First, there are the Anthineryn (newcommers): They are the descendants of elven groups that migrated from Karia's Southern Regions in an unknown date around the Middle Bronze Age, due to either the expansion of the first humans, climate change or preasure from the Dark Elves and that intermarried with the indigenous elven tribes that already lived in the region we know as Unhellion. They often display fair skin and blonde or light brown hair. Most of them live in the cities and nearby lands and also they are the group that gave birth to the Sand Lords. (They are also believed to have been the responsables for the introduction of the Classical Elven language into Unhellion, that would eventually become the only elven dialect spoken in the region, and the origin of the modern Sun elf dialect).Desert Elf (also know as Sand Lord, dressed on their traditional clothes) . Art by me. Secondly we have the Batheryn (meaning indigenous) or Theys Anerion (people from the land). They are the descendants of the first elven tribes that settled the region "in the beggining of time" as they like to say. Their fashion is slightly different that the Anthineryn and have some unique traditions. They also have some degree of Anthineryn blood since both groups intermingled very often. They have more darker skin and hair than the Anthineryn and most of them live in the countryside and specially in the eastern regions known as the Wetlands.
Sun Elves are considered as one of the proudest elven races but also as the most welcoming to foreigners that came in peace to their lands. A common custom among the Sun elves is to welcome a visitor into their homes offering him drink (usually tea or coffee) and food. Sun elves have an special tea and coffee ceremony for such ocasions as a sign of respect and friendship to their guests. Sun elves expect that if they visited the house of their guests in the future they will be treated with the same respect and friendship.
One of the things Sun elves are famous for is their pasion for music. Bards are really important in their society as they are the keepers of the traditions of the ancestors and remind the people about the deeds of the elves and their relation with the gods. Each city and each lord has a bard to tell with their beautiful voice and harp stories about battles, love, adventures, monsters or lives of Wise men, and also dance pavilions, specially at the palaces of the aristocracy where dancing festivals are held during religious festivals or other occasions such as the birth of a child, a wedding or a birthday.
As famous as its pasion for music is also its love for spending nights in the desert. This is a very old tradition that was spread among the aristocracy and then to the common people. The first books about astronomy and about relaxation and their properties written by the Sun elves mentioned the benefits of spending the night in the desert. When summer arrives many families travel a couple of miles from their homes to spend the night on tents watching the sky full of endless stars, comets and planets "stablishing a conection between them and the gods" as one famous text says.
As it has been said, Sun elves are considered as the most cultured of the elves. Most of them have notions of magic superior to other elven races and certainly, the best elven sorcerers come from Unhellion. There is no home in the Kingdom of the Sun Elves that doesn't have a little private library and its not unusual to see people reading in the balconies of their homes in the shadow during spring or summer.
As many other societies, human and elven, Sun elf society is divided into classes.
- The Aristocracy/ Any'anerion (Excellent or admirable men): Formed by the noble classes of the kingdom that usually are the most important families of the cities or entire regions. They are the big land owners that in the past allowed them to have horses and fight as cavalrymen or charrioteers. The Royal family also belongs to this group.
- Priesthood and Sorcerers/Ayryn: This class is formed by individuals, both male and female for noble or lower origin that have entered into the priesthood of some of the elven dieties.
- Warriors/ Telithyn: These men are the backbone of sun elf armies. They are full time profesional soldiers. They also own some land that can be worked either by them or rented to a farmer. They swear alligeance both to the King and their local Petty King.
- Artisans and Merchants/Aezyn (people of the city): The second lowest class of desert elf society. As the origin of their name suggests, they are found almost exclusively in the cities. They can be called to arms in case of great emergency, each group providing its own levies to the royal army.
- Peasants: The lowest social class in Unhelion, and the most important in terms of percentage. They represent about 80% of the population.
The Power of the Sun
"May the Light of the sun shines upon you" Common greeting among the Sun elvesSun elves have basically the same faith than the other elven groups, but they worship the Sun god with special devotion due to the fact that their magic comes from the light of the Sun. Its through its power that the Sun elves can use magic to protect their homes or create magical creatures like the Ilidari, the protectors of children and families and also Unhellion's national animal. Temples are built in honor of the Sun where its light passes through the windows and its stored in magical scepters. People go there to make offerings or pray so that through their prayers the Sun will continue to shine high in the sky and protect the elves giving them their powers. The high Priest of the Sun God is the King of Unhellion, considered the reflection of the light of the Sun (because of their luxurious garments covered with precious stones and pearls that reflect the light of the Sun).
ca. 3500 BP
Kingdom of the Sun elves
Relations with their neighbours:
Being such a great nation in extension, Unhellion has a lot of neighbours, almost all of them human realms with either good relations with them or the opposite. This is the case with the human realms to the North, extremely xenophobic with elves and worry of their magic potential. Despite their succesfull defense of their homeland, the humans from the north are a force to be reckoned with; as well as the Seris Empire, until now the only human realm that has defeated the sun elves in open battle. But that was more that 400 years ago and now relations between Karia's two strongest powers is very peaceful and cordial. The Narin peoples to the east of Unhellion and the Desert peoples to the south have had very peaceful and friendly relations with the Sun Elves. Sun elves are also very curious about half elves, as they are almost nonexistant in their kingdom, so the idea of a half elf kingdom as it happens in the continent of Teria is very exotic to them. They had the opportunity of witness the half elves from the kingdoms of Brire and Stormitia (and fight alongside them), almost a century ago during the Wall of the Great Call.