Constructed Mythology
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One of the major three races in Kaile the Illuthai are a people in both in a decline and a renewal. While biologically similar to their Human counterparts, culturally both are almost worlds apart. Due to their literal separation from most of the world for near 1,000 years during the reign of The Goblin Empire their civilization was untouched by the Goblins and thus their culture evolved along different paths. Unlike the rest of the world whose language is based on that of the ancient Goblins the illuthai at one point used a complex pictorial language that paved the road for their current phonetic alphabet which is based around similar principles. Unfortunately ways to speak this older language properly have been lost to time and so it remains only in the most ancient of Illuthai literature. During their expansion out of the Granite mountains the Elven race came into contact with the constantly expanding Haram Empire. As its power grew and came to overshadow the Illuthai an alliance was made with the dragons and the greatest of wars ensued. While the 15 year Haram War ravaged the Illuthai provinces, their "Homeland" within the granite mountains remained mainly untouched and even Karldin's attempted invasion late in the war failed to convince them that their homeland;s defenses were even penetrable. After the war the Illuthai nation once again isolated itself and began to fall into a period of decline, while the Haram Empire rebuilt, the various factions within began to drift apart.



Physiology[]

Illuthai are quite similar to humans on the outside. While their hair and eyes are sometimes more exotic shades and they tend to remain thinner in a contest of physical ability both races would typically end in a tie. Instead it is in magic that Illuthai are superior, while the citizens of the empire are capable of minor magic such as manipulating objects and creating fire most of the Illuthai race can do much more. Often this advantage is attributed to the leaves of the Illuth, an green three pronged leaf from a species of tree semi-common in the twin forests. Since each elven settlement is based around one or more Illuth the entire population consumes these on a daily basis in a tea like brew as it is considered healthy for the body and mind. It is so revered by elven culture that this tree and its leaves has undergone intense testing by mages of all races. The results however remain inconclusive. More likely the reason centers around the greater value that their culture puts in magical teachings.



Mentality[]

While similar to humans mentally in ability it could be said that elves think differently. The Elven race as a whole has always steered itself towards a trader society and in fact much of its wealth has been made off commerce instead of dominance of territories. However within every people there are deviants and in elven society these are often much more pronounced. Lately driven by both the decline of their civilization and the ideologies of the long dead xenophobe General Eiln, groups of elves have gone about forming an organization named the Dark Illuthai whom believe ever since The Haram War elven society has become weak and change is necessary for the survival of the Elven race. This group often called "Dark Illuthai", are growing in power and perhap,s given the right circumstances, their dream of a cultural revolution may come to pass. One of the cultural attributes these upstarts find themselves most opposed to is the faith Illuthai put in their family. Society revolves around familial ties almost as much as it does the Illuth. Where the revolutionaries put their faith in the state their opponents believe in the strength of their parents, siblings, and ancestors.



Culture[]

The culture of the Illuthan race is one of the more unique on Kaile as it remains mostly separated from the expansionist Haram and has had a particularly violent history with them. As a result its customs have remained almost unchanged over the centuries despite prolonged trade with the outside world.



The Illuth[]

At some point in elven history veiled by time an elf planted a seed, a seed which would set the base for his culture over the next few thousand years. Illuthai culture revolves around a species of tree known as the Illuth whose leaves are believed to have beneficial properties. Every Illuthan settlement is formed around an Illuth tree, without one a village, town or even city may not exist. When it dies each family around the tree leaves breaking all communal bonds and as a result when an ancient tree passes entire cities may break up and leave resulting in a huge population shift and the occasional abandoned, overgrown city. The only city to have never experienced this fate is the capital where in the city center over one hundred Illuth trees grow over the trunks of their ancestors. Here, every time a tree dies another is planted and so there is always at least one tree still alive. Should this last tree die the entire elven nation would be shaken to its core, there has always been an Illuth in the center of the capital beyond written memory. Illuth live an average of 300 years before dying.



Food[]

Illuthai consume a variety of foods and drinks though of course the most well known is the tea of the Illuth. While the leaves happen to be disgusting when tasted raw, boiling seems to reveal an almost sweet taste with a unique flavor. The tea itself appears a light brownish-orange and is usually drunk without extra ingredients.



Clothing and Style[]

Twin Forests[]

Illuthai here prefer to wear flowing clothing that covers much of the body, perhaps due to the constant rain created by the close proximity of mountains to the coast. This trait has been broken however by the "Dark Illuthai" whom prefer to wear shorter clothing in the Haram style despite their apparent hate of human societies. Traditional Illuthai wear a long sleeved tunic partially covered by an elbow length scapular. Below the tunic relatively tight fitting pants are usually worn, unlike the Haram whom seem to prefer baggier pants and shorts. Shoes are usually in the form of short but waterproof boots with flexible soles. The coloring for this clothing is mostly greens, blues, oranges, browns and beiges though black can be seen also.


Twin Forests males tend to wear their hair either cut short or in a short ponytail at the back of the neck. Females usually wear their hair relatively similarly to the Haram, long and with the occasional braiding.


Provinces[]

Illuthai from outside the Twin Forests, especially those in the east tend to wear looser clothing than their forest counterparts due to the plains and mountains they live in, yet the general design remains similar.



Architecture[]

Twin Forests[]

Despite the prominence of trees within the Twin Forests the Illuthai here tend to build from stone. Their designs tend to feature ovals and circular shapes.


Provinces[]

Like their cousins in the Twin Forests the Provincial Illuthai tend to build around the oval though choose to replace stone with wood, wattle and daub, as well as some plaster.



Language[]

Vowels: (The Umlaut (ä, ë, etc.) is used for diphthongs.)


“A” sounds: a = “ah” as in “bar” ä = “a” as in “cat” aë “ah-eh”; no similar words aï = “ah-ee” as in “cry” or “white”


aö = “ah-oh”; no similar words. aü = “ah-oo” as in “cow”


“E” sounds: eä = “eh-ah”; no similar words. e = “eh” as in “pet” eï = “eh-ee” as in “hay”


eö = “eh-oh” as in “Ay-oh!” (just kidding; no similar words) eü = “eh-oo”; no similar words.


“I” sounds: iä = “ee-ah” as in “yah” ië = as in “yea” (not “yeah”; like “yay”) i = “i” as in “tee-hee” ï = “i” as in “lit”


iö = “ee-oh” as in “yo”


iü = “ee-oo” as in “you”


“O” sounds: oä = “oh-ah” as in “boat” oë = “oh-eh”; no similar words. oï = “oh-ee” as in “oy!” o = “oh” as in “ho!” ö = “o” as in “cot” oü = “oh-oo” as in the elongated “oh”


“U” sounds:


uä = “oo-ah” as in “wah!” uë = “oo-eh” as in the “weh” in “Yahweh”


uï = “oo-ee” as in “we” uö = “oo-oh” as in “woah”


u = “oo” as in “boo” ü = “uh” as in the exclamation “ugh”


Consonants:


Like English: b, d, f, h, k, l, p, s, t, v, z


Needs Explaining:


c = “ch” and “sh” (both are the same in Malakana), but does NOT include the soft “c” (“s”) or hard “c” (“k”)


g = the “hard g”


j = the “soft g” or “j” as in “jump”


M/n = indistinguishable in Illuthan; they are always the “m” sound.


w = “oo-uh” as in the “w” in “wet”; pronounced quicker than diphthongs.


x = “zh” as in the French “Jaques”


Full Alphabet:


Lowercase: a b c d e f g h i j k l n o p s t u v x z


Uppercase: A B C D E F G H I J K L M O P S T U V X Z


Old Illuthan had layers upon layers of lines within the circle for different words. This made for confusion, and, once the first primitive forms of paper-like substances were made, the Elves decided to string the “words” out into their own individual sounds.


The modern writing system uses various symbols within its “circle” characters: (the following is subject to be changed) Circles are first placed into two categories: “hard” consonants, which cannot be elongated: (b, c, d, g, j, k, p, t); and “soft” consonants, which can: (f, h, l, n, s, v, x, z). Vowels are not included in the circles: they have dots on the outside, the insides, and along the edges (or, in the pre-paper mode, exclusively on the inside and near the edges) in various combinations and forms.


There are thirteen places where a dot for a vowel will occur: six on the outside, in the form of 2 triangles, three on the ring, three on the inside, and one at the center. The outer and inner dots align with each other, and the ring dots are in the in-between spaces. The dots form triangles, if connected.


Diphthongs are made by placing a blank vowel circle before the next, fully-engraved circle. For example, the word for “war” in Illuthan (aü) is made by using a circle with a dot in the very center, followed by a circle with six dots on the outside and the various lines involved in the making of the consonant (in this case, there is none).



Hard consonants show as straight lines. The following descriptions are for each hard-consonant sound:


b = one vertical, straight line as the diameter.


c (ch/sh) = two vertical, parallel lines.


d (dth) = three vertical, parallel lines.


p = one horizontal line.


j = two horizontal, parallel lines.


k = three horizontal, parallel lines.


g = two bisecting lines.


t = four bisecting lines (similar to the hash (#) sign).



Soft consonants are shown with curved lines.


f = one line off to the side.


h = two intersecting, curved lines.


l = three lines forming a triangle, touching each other’s endpoints.


n = two parallel, curved lines.


s = three parallel, straight lines.


v = two lines touching at the endpoints.


x = two lines inverted toward each other.


z = two inverted lines and one line intersecting.


Controversy and Racism[]

One may speak with almost any citizen of the Haram Empire about Elves and the likely response will be negative, often including something like "Damn Slit-eyes. Both the Haram War and xenophoia in general have always barred truly friendly relations.

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