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ICEVALE (Elf-Lands of)
Location: Northern mountains of the continent of Iciria, east of the Midworld Gate, north of the Neathar lands, south of the Beastman Wastes. HW
Area: 216,160 sq. mi. (559,855 sq. km.).
Population: 100,000 living in clans of 100 to 1,000, including the town of Tuathar (pop. 5,500).
Languages: Elvish (Icevale dialect), Neathar.
Coinage: Sol (gp), lun (sp), ston (cp).
Taxes: Levies of funds, in-kind products, and labour on an ad hoc basis when needed.
Government Type: Monarchy influenced by clan leaders.
Industries: Furs and leather products exchanged for food, wine and precious metals.
Important Figures: Rollodir (King), Bergeya (Queen).
Flora and Fauna: With its frigid arctic mountainous clime, the region boasts a sizeable population of creatures normally found therein. Moose, bears, reindeer, beavers, foxes, and wolves are the most obvious. More dangerous beasts such as white dragons can also be found.
Further Reading: Hollow World boxed set, previous almanacs.
Description by Theukidikies the Historian of Corisa.
The elves of Icevale live amid the craggy peaks of the northern mountains. Though the climate is harsh, their spirits are light.
The Icevale elves live in sub-arctic mountain and hill country, always covered in snow. Pine trees and other evergreens cover the hills and the slopes of the mountains up to the tree line.
This area is populated with elves, forming themselves into a kingdom. The only evidence of their habitation is usually a small cabin which, when entered, proves to be the antechamber of a network of artfully crafted caverns warmed by elven magic, which form the dwellings and communities of the Icevale elves.
These elves, like the Schattenalfen, are a vigorous race of warriors, but unlike the dark and malevolent Schattenalfen they are bright and fun-loving. These elves are tall for their race, hardy and strong. Most are light in complexion and blond of hair, with eyes of blue or green. The men cut their hair short and go beardless, while the women wear their hair long. Among the Icevale elves, the sexes are considered equal, with no distinctions among them. The elves wear firs and deerskin garments, with boots lined with down to protect against the cold.
Though they are capable warriors, the Icevale elves do not devote their lives to combat and warfare. They live as hunters and trappers, subsisting mostly on meat, though they also fiercely protect their forests and mountains against despoliation. They travel by dogsled, snowshoes, or by ski. They also use these as forms of entertainment and sport, holding skiing and dogsled races, as well as archery contests.
They like to perform mischievous pranks on unwary travellers, hiding from view while doing so. Some of these pranks can be quite dangerous, as when they destroy provisions, but they seem to mean no harm by them, and if the wanderers take it in stride and do not become enraged, the elves may invite them to guest with them.
If they have a dark aspect, it is that they abhor imperfections in their offspring, and sometimes cast such out to die of exposure. Others are permitted to grow, but are shunned and these often leave Icevale as soon as they are able to. The Icevale elves are organized into a lose kingdom presided over by a king, but most matters are handled locally by clan leaders. Only dire problems, such as a war or major disaster, are decided upon by the king.
The main community of the Icevale elves, and the capital of their kingdom, is a small but beautiful town, Tuathar (previous notations that Argandir was the capital are incorrect; Argandir is actually a ruin, a town destroyed long ago by the Beastmen). This town is largely underground, in a mountain. But it is not cramped or dark like many subterranean settlements; the chambers are soaring and spacious, well lit by magical effects. The rock itself seems to have been shaped by magic or elven art or both into fine features, almost like filigree.