First Flight (Book Excerpt)

Shaundar had hardly been able to rest at all that night.  He tossed and turned in the hammock until Tyelatae poked him in the ribs and told him to be quiet.  It probably didn’t help that Yathar whispered back and forth excitedly (and enviously, to be truthful) with him for most of the night.  Eventually he pulled out his charcoal and paper and drew pictures of flitters cruising through space until he finally fell into a cheerful dream about flying through a colourful nebula.

He was already waiting for Garan at the first bell.  Garan laughed out loud when he saw Shaundar there.  “Got the bug already, do you?” he chuckled.

“I always wanted to do this, Garan,” he confessed.

Garan shouldered a haversack and asked Shaundar, “Did you bring a lunch?”

Shaundar was crestfallen.  “No, I didn’t think to do that.”

Garan tried to keep his serious expression, but Shaundar’s stricken look made the corner of his mouth twitch into a smile.  “Don’t worry; I brought one for both of us, just in case.”

Shaundar grinned widely.  “Thank you, Garan.”

He clapped Shaundar’s shoulder.  “Let’s do this.  Get on board.”
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The Aerdrie’s Pride (Book Excerpt)

All week Shaundar had been at the docks, lending a hand with the loading.  It was a mind-boggling process, keeping track of all the provisions, which had to be taken into orbit bit by bit in flitters, since elven Armada-class ships were incapable of landfall.  It was amazing how many things were required to feed the crew of a dreadnaught!  First there came the dried provisions; waybread, dried fruits, peas and beans, pemmican and cornbread (innovations of the green elves borrowed by the Imperial Elven Navy,) and these in scores of enormous wooden crates.  Next were the preserves; fruit preserves, pickles of all sorts, magically-sealed and preserved citrus fruits to prevent Sailor’s Disease, these in scores of slightly smaller crates that were easier to carry.  They were followed by barrel after crate full of baking and cooking supplies: flour, honey, baking powder, yeast, spices, and butter in magically-preserved containers.  After that came crates and crates of various kinds of nuts.  Then came all the fresh foods, some of which were in the form of items that kept well (such as apples, potatoes and cheeses,) some in the form of carefully-tended live plants (like the miniature orange trees and the potted beans) and some were in the form of live animals (domesticated fowl for eggs, rabbits for fresh meat.)  Flitter after flitter carried the items and creatures into the stars, where a large butterfly appeared to be hovering.  Shaundar knew that was his father’s – and now, his – ship, the Aerdrie’s Pride.
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The Ruathimaer “Starwing”

IEN Flag by John "Paladine" Baxter.  Used by permission.

IEN Flag by John “Paladine” Baxter. Used by permission.

Ruathimaer by Adam "Night Druid" Miller.  Used by permission.

Ruathimaer by Adam “Night Druid” Miller. Used by permission.

The elves of Evermeet make use of a particular variant of the Elven Man-o-War, gifted from the Elven Imperial Navy: the Ruathimaer, or “Starwing!” This corvette-class 45 ton warship is the essence of Evermeet’s space defense. In recent years, more examples of this configuration have begun to appear as work-horses for planetary defense system ships in other spheres under the Navy’s protection also.

Orcish Religion Amongst the Stars

Regardless of subrace, orcish (and in fact most goblinkin races) society tends to take one of two distinct forms in wildspace: Independent tribes and organized nations. The independent tribes operate much as their groundling cousins, and in fact most truly are groundling tribes who somehow gained control of spelljamming vessels and migrated into space. These tribes still favor a single orcish deity as their patron, and the priests of that deity will dominate any other priests who reside with the tribe. Such tribes have few long term goals beyond increasing their territory, and subsist primarily on piracy and raiding.

The organized nations are a very different story; they are composed of multiple tribes and have more complex governance. While some are formed due to the might of a single orc warlord, those rarely outlast the life of that individual, breaking up into their disparate tribes upon his death. Those nations with history backing them up are typically governed by a hereditary monarchy or a council of military leaders (the scro being a perfect example of the latter). Only rarely in these nations do the priesthood rise to leadership, although they almost never lack for political power. The tribes that make up these nations rarely have patron deities anymore (although their names may still reflect their former state), and priests of all deities can be found in relatively stable numbers throughout.

Unlike humans, elves, and many other races, orcs do not see their deities as having control over specific aspects of wildspace itself. Instead, they see anything beneficial or to their liking as a gift from Gruumsh and their other gods, whereas those things they don’t like are obstacles sent by their foes. To prove their fitness to Gruumsh, they must overcome them, survive, and expand. Continue reading

The Face of the Enemy (Book Excerpt)

Cleaning up the mess took days.  Of the roughly 400 elves, humans and gnomes who had participated in the Battle of Leira, at least a hundred and fifty of them were casualties, which included Yathar’s axe slice because it required stitches, but not the minor bleeding wound that the goblin’s blade had given Shaundar, because it did not.  Half the city seemed to be burnt or damaged.  When the Scro Fleet had taken over, they had assaulted the city from orbit.  This would have counted as a war crime in the Elven Navy, and the perpetrators would have been court martialled, but apparently this was par for the course in scro rules of engagement.

Fortunately the civilian casualties had actually been minimal.  Those bunkers that Commander Aravel had referred to sheltered most of the populace, and much of the city damage, Shaundar later learned, was from the Orcish forces trying to dig or burn them out.

The Realmspace Fleet arrived later on the day of the battle and captured the Scro fleet in orbit around Selune.  Shaundar was trying not to be a little cross that none of those who had fought planetside were being offered any of the prize share, when they did all the hard work.

The elven military was divided into three groups; one to put out the raging fire in the dockyards so that ships could land, one to gather up the wounded and the dead, and one to guard the approximately 300 prisoners.  This was the one consolation for their high casualty rate; the orcs had done worse.  Shaundar was, surprisingly, assigned to guard detail.  He and Yathar were specifically directed to watch the Scro Commander.  “He’ll respect you more because you captured him,” Uncle Madrimlian explained when he landed to aid with the clean-up efforts.  “We’re learning more about them.  It’s cultural.  His honour demands that he obey you, since it’s you he surrendered to.  We’ll have less trouble this way.”  He then smiled and clapped Shaundar on the shoulder.  “Good job on that, incidentally.”

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The Seldarine in Space

Spacefaring elves maintain much the same religious traditions as their terrestrial brethren, and priesthood structure and appearance varies little amongst those spheres nominally under the jurisdiction of the Imperial Navy. Priests can be found serving in high numbers on virtually all Armadas, and most Men-o-War will have at least one amongst their initial crew. Armadas generally have a small shrine dedicated to the whole elven pantheon, while IEN outposts and crown stations have at least one small temple with multiple shrines. Numerous holy orders and priestly sects operate within the umbrella of the IEN, while even more operate independently to further the goals of their deity. Continue reading

Complete Elven Dictionary: A Treatise on Espruar

A Treatise on Espruar by Sable Aradia. Copyright (c) 1993 by Sable Aradia and released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commerical No-Derivatives license. Use of Wizards of the Coast material is in no way intended to challenge copyright or intellectual property. http://www.wizards.com

Several years ago I compiled a complete dictionary of Realmspace elvish, largely because I found it frustrating that all the other Elven dictionaries out there used Tolkien elvish as a base and added Espruar (Realms elvish) words.  First of all, I didn’t feel this was necessary because Espruar is an essentially complete language in and of itself.  Secondly, even if it were not, the grammar, rules and syntax of the Tolkien elvish tongues are completely different from those of Elvish, and melding the two creates a true Frankenstein’s monster of a language.

Click on the image or on the link below to download this PDF!

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A Complete History of the Elven Imperial Navy: Part 2 – Discovery of Krynnspace to Arcane Age

Elven Man-O-War Transparency by Silverblade the EnchanterBy Adam “Night Druid” Miller

Note – Adam has created a very detailed campaign setting. Much of this is based on canon material but much is his own creation. For those who follow the Toy Soldier Saga, I will be using some of this information among my “fanon” but by no means all of it. In particular, my thoughts on the early history of the origins and creation of the Navy are different.

Krynnspace Discovered

In -3,948 OC, world scouts discovered a mid-sized sphere that formed a rough triangle with Realmspace and Greyspace. It quickly became known as Krynnspace, after the primary inhabited planet of the sphere. The term “Radiant Triangle”, a reference to the Phlogiston Rivers that connect the spheres of Greyspace, Krynnspace, and Realmspace, start to come into use at this time.

Investigations revealed Krynnspace to be relatively young, with only two major civilizations. The native elves were busy building their civilization in the forests of Krynn and Zivilyn. Oddly, they worshipped their own deities and not those of the Seldarine. The native elves were soon welcomed into the Council of Elven Worlds. The other major civilization, the Ogres, would soon plague the Elven Fleet, not only in Krynnspace, but across the entire Radiant Triangle, and beyond.

Rise of the Ogres

The Ogres of Krynnspace were a tall, powerful race blessed with intelligence, beauty, and magical abilities. They built mighty kingdoms in the mountains of Krynn and Zivilyn, dominating much of those worlds. The ogres of Zivilyn were particularly skilled with magic, and by -3,901 OC, they had discovered Spelljamming and were already building ships to explore wildspace. They quickly established colonies on every major world of the sphere. Within a century, they dominated the wildspace of much of the Radiant Triangle much like the Elven Fleet does today.

Unlike the Elven Fleet, the ogres were avid slavers. Much of the glory of their empire was built upon the backs of slave labor. Although humans and demi-humans were the ogres’ favored slaves, they were happy to enslave every race they felt they could easily control.

The Elven Fleet skirmished frequently with the ogres, but never engaged them in outright war. For the next thousand years, both sides made use of Letters of Marque and privateers to wage a proxy war against each other’s merchant vessels. Neither desired a true war, as the risks far outweighed any potential gains.

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