[-]
Main Menu
Portal
Forums
Wiki
Rules
FAQs
Events Calendar
Downloads

[-]
Latest Threads
You Can't Go Home Again
Last Post: Scout
03-15-2019 09:24 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 300
Where Are You Now?
Last Post: Aethon
09-22-2018 09:00 AM
» Replies: 3
» Views: 119
You are a fond memory. Good night, CoTH...
Last Post: Stealthscout
09-05-2018 03:04 PM
» Replies: 25
» Views: 82587
What is glistening
Last Post: Geoni
07-04-2018 01:24 AM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 814
"Years of Service" Awards
Last Post: Maulbane
05-26-2018 09:58 PM
» Replies: 100
» Views: 3203

[-]
Who's Online
There are currently no members online.

[-]
Google AdStuff

A Cosmic Duality; Sin'dorei and Kaldorei
#1
After being asked a gajillion times why I so adore the Elven Races, I decided to settle the score once and for all in a little treatise as to their cultures and politics. If by the end of this study you, dear reader, still fail to see the subtle contours of the Children of the Stars and the Children of Blood, then perhaps they are not for you...


Culture

The Kaldorei are a Nocturnal people. They are awake during the night, and they sleep during the day, hence their nickname of 'Night' Elves. This has punctuated their culture with a number of interesting idea(l)s. For one, they revere the Moon in the form of the Goddess Elune, as well as the Eternals and Ancients. Another trait coming from their kinship with the night is the ability to Shadowmeld - biding the shadows around them to hide them under their frail embrace.

The Kaldorei are in-tune with Nature, perhaps more so than any other race. Their homes are usually grown via Nature Magic and more rarely built. They are physically near-perfect, spending thousands of years honing their bodies, in addition to how being infused with Nature Energy has empowered them across the ages. Indeed, physical perfection - tall, strong and swift bodies - is a trait considered beautiful in Kaldorei society, more so in regards to females than males.

Night Elves have a history of matriarchy, females taking up most leadership roles, with males being uncommon in them, but not unheard of. The gender divide has left females with roles in faith and physical warfare, whereas males would either take up Druidism or crafting. Kaldorei facial markings seem to be ascribed by social role, rather than aesthetics.

Kaldorei are proud - Not in the sense that all of them think they're better than everyone else, although it's not an improbable possibility for the individual to see things that way - but in the sense that they are noble, wise savages. They do not take kindly to any form of infringement on their way of life and living, and would most likely choose death in combat over a life of slavery for example.

The Night Elves are a race that values tradition, and oftentimes rewards the people that follow it, shunning those individuals that stray from the norm.

Kaldorei have an uncertain origin. The way they tell the tale, they came from the wild-elves - Created in the image of the Goddess Elune - that found the Well of Eternity and took advantage of its blessings, building their cities on its banks. There is also the speculation that they came from Trolls and the like, but most Night Elves find such hypothesis disgusting.

It is this feral origin that marks most of the older Kaldorei, at least those that predate the Sundering seemingly having more visible wild traits - slightly larger fangs, slightly sharper senses and such not being uncommon in old Kaldorei.

The Sin'dorei are a Diurnal people. They sleep during the night and live during the day. Out of this came their reverence for the Sun/Alah'belore and the Individual, instead of a mish-mash of Ancients and Eternals.

The Sin'dorei and their precursors, the Quel'dorei, are a people marked by Magic. They are literally infused with it - Just as Draenei are infused with Light and Night Elves with Nature, and they suckle in Mana with their mothers' milk. High and Blood elven cities are constructed via magic. High and Blood Elves rarely farm and mine, unless they are Farstriders, preferring to dedicate their time to the study of arts and to scholarship. They are a race that value intellect greatly, and disdain those that act in a barbaric or primal way.

Blood Elves, unlike their High Elven brethren, show little regard for sexes, and more for the deeds that the individual can achieve during their lifetime. Their social system is one of meritocracy, wherein the person that has done the most outstanding and shining of achievements will reap the most rewards.

The Sin'dorei and Quel'dorei alike value politeness and respect, especially in matters of life and, more often, death. Indeed, the Blood Elves got their name from the blood of the fallen, spilled in the Siege of Silvermoon and the Fall of Quel'thalas, and the majority of Sin'dorei wear black and red tattoos to represent or remember their losses.

As if by contrast, the Sin'dorei are a rebellious people. They are the opposite of the Quel'dorei, and strive to be different, whilst also trying to get more of the latter to reunite with their Silvermoon brethren.

Sin'dorei have an interesting outlook on their physiology. Their Magisters and Priests are usually lithe, frail - sometimes sickly - creatures, whereas their Blood Knights tend to be a lot more stout, and their Farstriders lean and strong.

It is notable that Silvermoon does indeed have an Engineers' Union, responsible for a number of scientific advances and contraptions. From siege weapons like Glaive Throwers and Firestarters, to other forms of elven technology. The gist of the matter is that not all that many elves opt for engineering, and it is considered a rare and often expensive hobby, where magic can easily supply the same ends much faster.

In contrast to Kaldorei humility in architecture, Sin'dorei buildings are always opulent, with flourishes, floating crystals, arches, many veils and curtains and cushions.

Politics


Kaldorei political power is poised on three large organizations, making up the bulk of Night Elven society:

-The Sisterhood of Elune; comprised of the Priestesses of the Moon Goddess Elune, is what forms their government of sorts. The Sisterhood of Elune watches over the entirety of Kaldorei society, making sure that everything works according to the traditions that have prevented another Sundering from occurring. They are the keepers of law and the spiritual and political pinnacles of Night Elven society.

-The Cenarion Circle; comprised of the majority of Kaldorei druids, is what safeguards the Night Elves' ancient bond with nature, and the pact made with Ysera, the Dreamer, in that the Druids would serve and sleep in the Emerald Dream in exchange for the powers bestowed upon them.

-The Sentinel Sisterhood; comprised of the warriors, huntresses and scouts of the Kaldorei, make up the bulk of the Night Elves' military and guards. The Sentinels have another purpose, along with defending the Night Elves' homes: Watching over the Druids as they sleep in the Emerald Dream; During the course of the ten thousand year span between the Sundering and the Third War, this was called The Long Vigil.

In addition, there are the Craftsmen, who are an often overlooked, but very important part of Night Elven society, being responsible for most of their contraptions, weaponry and armor, as well as the more simple sundries of daily life, and the Wardens, which are considered somewhat of a secret elite of the Night Elves, answering only to the High Priestess of Elune - Tyrande Whisperwind - in their quest for justice.

Lastly the Kaldorei hold their pariahs; Demon Hunters, and the recent advent of the Death Knights are included here, but others such as law-breakers are also common outcasts of Night Elven society. That is not to say that a Night Elf would strike another of their race down - The Kaldorei refused to kill the Highborne, even after they'd shattered the world and brought the Legion into it, instead merely sending them in exile.

The Sin'dorei have three main institutions as well:

-The Magisters; formed of the more influential of elven individuals in the past, they are the Arcanists, and more recently, the Fel-weavers of the Blood Elves, their influence in recent times has been waning, especially with the re-ignition of the Sunwell. Regardless, they are the iconic Arcane casters which stemmed from the ancient Highborne, and some of the most powerful magi on Azeroth.

-The Farstriders; formed of nature-loving Blood Elves, they are a remnant of the Kaldorei traditions of old, practicing nature magic and being responsible for the safekeeping of the Elves' forests and wilds, and the prevention of any reappearance of Troll encroachment on Thalassian lands.

-The Blood Knights; formed out of the desperate need for Paladins among the Scourge-plagued Sin'dorei, and reformed into a Silver Hand-ish order by Lady Liadrin, their matriarch, they are the most recent, and yet one of the most influential political powers in Silvermoon. One of the reasons for this is that the Blood Knights were instrumental in the re-ignition of the Sunwell, the elves' precious fount of power.

Additional organizations known, but not all that powerful among the Blood Elves include the Silvermoon Engineers' Union and the roster of assassins often employed by the Noble Houses in their squabbles for power, as well as the Church of Silvermoon - the elven branch of the Church of the Holy Light, which is as old as its Human/Lordaeronian counterpart. It is worth mentioning that not all Blood Elven Paladins are Blood Knights - some are actual remnants of the Knights of the Silver Hand.

It seems that elven craftsmen - especially those that craft via magic - are quite well-regarded as well, and artisans are paid exorbitant amounts of money in exchange for sating the elves' well-known hunger for art.

Names
"Fear names. Names have power in identity. Others can use names as weapons. Names are a hook that can be used to track you across the planes. Remain nameless, and you shall be safe." - Planescape: Torment


The Kaldorei naming tradition is a fairly simple one to understand:

-First names are given by parents to their offspring, and names generally sound as though they roll off the tongue, with many 'L's and 'Y's and 'S'es, or other sounds found typically in nature. It is worth noting that Human-like names are unheard of in Kaldorei society.

-Last names are deeply personal short phrases that have something to do with either an achievement of the individual, one of their ancestors - if the individual has done nothing to distinguish themselves, or simply a phrase evocative of the individual's personality. They are usually a couple of words set together to form the phrase.

The general theme of Kaldorei names is linked to either trees and nature, or the moon, stars and sky. Aerial phenomena are also included in this.

It is important to note that only to a Darnassian speaker would a last name 'make sense' or be understandable. Thus, 'Sentinel Tyrida Starbalance' is 'Sentinel Tyrida Kal'falah' to a non-Darnassian speaker, as Kal'falah in Darnassian means 'Starbalance' in Common.

In Kaldorei society, introducing oneself to a non-Darnassian speaker via one's Common name, as opposed to its Darnassian form, is considered a show of trust, in that one allows the person one is speaking to the understanding of a fragment of who one is.

Sin'dorei naming tradition is similar to that of nobility in the late Middle Ages.

-First names sound very musical and poetic, often bordering on the opulently artistic. Once again, Blood Elven names roll of the tongue, with a distinct prevalence of 'L's, 'A's and 'Y's, second to which come 'R's and 'N's. Human-like names are very, very rare but not unheard of - as some elves did in fact live in Human lands, however bearing a Human name is considered a disgrace in modern Sin'dorei society, and it is often the cause of many a queue in front of Silvermoon's Registry Hall for the purpose of changing one's name.

-Last names are generally a combination of two words linked to the Sun, the stars, the day, the diurnal parts of nature, solar phenomena, blood, the schools of the Arcane - Frost and Fire-styled names being fairly common among Magisters, for instance. There is also a small number of Light-styled names. Sin'dorei last names are passed on from one generation to the next, thus parents give their children the names. Upon marriage, it is customary - but not necessary - that the wife take the husband's last name, and the children bear this name, instead of the mother's.

Sin'dorei last names can be passed on from times immemorial - even farther back than the Sundering, and indeed the age of a name means very much in Sin'dorei society. This is especially true among nobility, where the weight of a name bears prestige and influence. A tiny tidbit to add to this would be that elves that are -particularly- proud of their heritage might introduce themselves with the particle 'of the'. Thus, 'Arathal Eredrim', proud of his ancestors' deeds might introduce himself as 'Arathal of the Eredrims'.

On the opposite side of the spectrum lay 'ridiculous' names, such as 'Brightpony' or other such. It comes to no surprise that a number of introductions end in one participant laughing their lungs out.

It is also worth noting that Sin'dorei last names, like Kaldorei ones, have understandable words only to Thalassian speakers. Thus, 'Knight Tharos Bloodburner' is actually 'Knight Tharos Sin'felar' to a non-Thalassian speaker. The translated names, in Common, are practically never used in Sin'dorei society as it considers it vulgar to introduce oneself by one's Common name, rather than the Thalassian one. Elves that have left Silvermoon, or cut their ties to their people, introduce themselves with their translated names, most often.

Romance

I'd promised myself I'd stay out of any preference-related or otherwise controversial topics... But it didn't work out. If anyone is offended, they have my deepest apologies.


Kaldorei search for potential mates for millennia. They literally look for their perfect match for thousands of years before deciding, because of the immense value Kaldorei place on their mates.

Kaldorei choose their mate by a single kiss. They do not have marriage. The kiss equates to the 'act' of marrying/choosing a mate. This mate is chosen for eternity, or rather for the entirety of either partner's lifespan. Thus, a Kaldorei will not choose another mate for the remainder of either their current mate's life, or their own life's ending. Instances of polygamy are unrecorded, if they actually exist.

The act of mating is held as a sacred, deeply personal thing, and though Kaldorei are blessed with extreme fertility by the nature magic flowing through them, Kaldorei children are rare and few in-between. This is so for two reasons: The first is that the majority of eligible males sleep in the Emerald Dream for -very- long periods at a time, and offspring require one partner to be male, and the other to be female. The second is that the majority of females take on a direct combat role within the Sentinel Sisterhood, and the instances where a female would be willing to take a break from defending the Kaldorei in order to have offspring are rare.

Q: But, Flammie, don't the females get bored of sleeping men?
A: They would. To my belief, the Sentinels actually encourage their troops to 'unwind' together, or choose mates among each other. This also means that they would defend their fellow Sentinels with far more fury, knowing that they defend their mates. Humanity's history records this practice in Alexander the Great's army for instance, where soldiers were encouraged to such practices. This is merely my belief/explanation, though, and not official Lore. There's a little subtext, for instance with Maiev and Naisha, but nothing substantial or overt.


Kaldorei courtship is usually initiated by the female, their society still bearing the traces of matriarchy.

Sin'dorei tend to vary in their pursuit of romance, with two distinct orientations forming:

-The Idealists of the Sin'dorei have an artistic view of love, and find it a beautiful and sacred thing to experience. They find great value in elaborate poems for instance, and little physical tokens of appreciation such as jewelry or flowers being exchanged between romantic partners. Idealists tend to find love as being beautiful regardless of partners, provided the feeling is mutually shared, and indeed, one might find this artsy bunch as hopeless romantics delighting in the freedom of feeling.

-The Pragmatists of the Sin'dorei most often include nobility. They pursue marriage for reasons of power, influence or wealth and it is not uncommon for an alliance between noble houses to be sealed through an arranged marriage.

Q: But, Flammie, what happens if some noble house doesn't want a daughter or son to have heirs, so they can increase the inheritance chances of a more favored offspring?
A: Someone's done their homework, huh? In such a case, I believe the course that Medieval nobility has taken applies. It most likely wouldn't be too hard to set an undesirable offspring up with a member of his or her own gender, therefore eliminating the chance of offspring, and avoiding any political trouble, merely stating that said House heir is eccentric. Once again, this is a view derived from observing Humanity's history, and not an official part of Lore.


As said, the Sin'dorei do have the institution of marriage, or at least civil union - as only the more devout of the Blood Elves turn to a union before the Light.

Sin'dorei courtship is generally similar to that of Humanity. The act of mating is viewed with differing opinions and can be something sacred for a Light-follower, or something casual for the average mage. The individual's views on the subject are their own choice.

Children can be as often an occurrence as being little more than seven years apart of each-other, and education starts at an early age.

Sin'dorei courtship is generally initiated by the male counterpart, but females 'making the first move' is not uncommon, either.
[Image: 2hhkp3k.gif]
Recommended reads: Divine and Arcane. Also, elves.
Wanna refer me in Tribes: Ascend? Clickies!
[-] The following 12 users Like flammos200's post:
  • Psychyn, Saronsen, raerae, Zhaei, Kage, Ozewse, Drust, Judgernaut, Nixie, anji, Beltharean, Spiralin
PM
Reply
#2
Wonderfully done.
An interesting tidbit of lore that could be good to add was that the Quel'dorei society contrasts the Kal'dorei society intentionally. One could say it's the embodiement of the grief of the highborne - as they opted to further distance themselves from their cousins to show the difference between their races once they were exiled.

It's also good to point out! There's a bit of hypocrisy in there. The statues of the Sin'dorei show clear preference for the female figure - Since most statues, except that of leaders, are of females. (In Silvermoon, the only male statue is that of Kael'thas.)

As a last tidbit of completely information, there is in fact a belief that males are better capable magisters than females.

Quote:Historically, wizards have been male, and there was considerable resistance even in Dalaran to women taking up the profession in spite of the city's tradition of training sorceresses and female archmages. No Kirin Tor sanctioned female wizards appeared to have existed prior to 800 years ago, when Aegwynn became Guardian. Even in the recent past, it has been difficult for women to become wizards — Jaina Proudmoore faced considerable obstacles in her ambition to be more than a mere sorceress. Fortunately for her, she was able to convince Antonidas to care more for her magical talent than her gender, and she became a fully qualified wizard in record time.

This belief was shared by elves and taught to humans, as a rebuttal to the night elves' matriarchal society (and likely as a show of grief from the Sunstrider family towards Azshara), and the belief passed on until recently. Hence, in ye olde quel'dorei society, you'd have male magisters and female rangers, and the tradition would have remained to an extent, having a good number of female rangers (Windrunner family as an example) and a good number of male magisters.

EDIT: It's also good to point out, before anyone misunderstands, that this doesn't mean arcane talent has anything to do with gender. It's simply a belief.
PM
Reply
#3
While the statue point is perfectly correct, the magister one is incorrect.

You see, the Kirin Tor references mainly Human Arcane users, rather than elven ones. I'm not talking here about Dalaran's society or culture - as it is a city-state Magocracy, instead about Thalassian society and culture.

One can be a Magister without being part of the Kirin Tor, and indeed, the Kirin Tor are a product of the Elves' benevolence in teaching them magic in the first place. Without the Elves, the Humans would never have wielded the Arcane.

Moreover, I'd say it's more of a keeping of tradition, than rebuttal of tradition:

Druids - Magisters.
Sentinels - Rangers.

.../whistles nonchalantly.

An Edit: The Blood Elves -revere- the Highborne. Most of their Arcane users are proud to be their descendents, at least.

'By the blood of the Highborne!' - ring any bells?
[Image: 2hhkp3k.gif]
Recommended reads: Divine and Arcane. Also, elves.
Wanna refer me in Tribes: Ascend? Clickies!
PM
Reply
#4
The humans learned magic from the elves - and Dalaran had a good deal of elves nonetheless. The belief had to come from somewhere.

And while I agree that they worship their Highborne origin, they do not worship Azshara. They loathe and show general disdain towards her.
PM
Reply
#5
I still maintain that it is mainly a Human or Kirin Tor belief, and not an elven or Magister one.

We've got Magistrix and Magister as the same rank of mage as far as the Magisters are concerned.

And we see both Magister and Magistrix aplenty in-game. The RPG books also mention little to no gender divide among the Blood and High elves respectively.

Moreover, the Blood Elves post-Kael'thas' betrayal do seem to have a certain dislike of Azshara, but before that they don't seem to - Notice how easily they've allied with the Naga led by her.
[Image: 2hhkp3k.gif]
Recommended reads: Divine and Arcane. Also, elves.
Wanna refer me in Tribes: Ascend? Clickies!
PM
Reply
#6
Oh, yes, you've brought two good points. Allow me to explain.

The first one; Well, as I said, it was eight hundred years ago. And admitedly, there's likely much less disbelief of a human mage in regards to an elven one, as nobody would question an elf's prowess regarding arcane.

As for the Naga, they truly allied themselves to Illidan, although indeed to Azshara indirectly - And it's about iffy of a point to discuss. They allied themselves to:
-Demons
-A night elf
-Naga
Three things the High Elves disdained and loathed. This just shows how utterly desperate they were for a new source of magic power - to the point they were willing to do things they'd before never even consider.
PM
Reply
#7
Their alliance with the Naga was likely out of desperation. Every single other person in the entire world stomped them into the dirt and treated them like they were nothing, sent them on a suicide mission against the Undead and only group of people willing to help them were the Naga. They, at first, didn't trust them but grown to their assistance because, frankly, they were their only hope of survival at the time.
PM
Reply
#8
Perfectly correct on both counts, to my knowledge. /nodnod.

Once again, we're treating Blood Elves - because they're playable, not Quel'dorei.

And now to plot my next move. /stalks off, cackling madly.
[Image: 2hhkp3k.gif]
Recommended reads: Divine and Arcane. Also, elves.
Wanna refer me in Tribes: Ascend? Clickies!
PM
Reply
#9
And I was originally going to PM you this, but I'll just say this on the post instead even if getting off-topic for a moment here.

Thank you for being able to discuss lore with me without being impolite or disrespectful about it. It's sadly something rare to see, and that more people should truly consider trying to do every now and then.

<3
PM
Reply
#10
If you do add a war section... Please take into consideration that in lore, the Farstriders are mercenaries. Most people seem to forget this, and think if you're in the group you have some sort of military sway. You don't. You're shoved in a band between three and five people, and act as hired blades for the Sin'dorei military. Think of it as the current Blackwater group. They use military names, ranks, weapons, and are even employed by the US in foreign conflicts, but they're not actually a part of our armed forces.
"Every gun..."

[Image: Jonah-Hex-Counting-Corpses-Flaming-Leap.jpg]

"...Makes its own tune."


~ The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly ~
PM
Reply
#11
Uthaniel Wrote:And I was originally going to PM you this, but I'll just say this on the post instead even if getting off-topic for a moment here.

Thank you for being able to discuss lore with me without being impolite or disrespectful about it. It's sadly something rare to see, and that more people should truly consider trying to do every now and then.

<3

You're welcome. I love discussing Lore civilly.

Beltharean Wrote:If you do add a war section... Please take into consideration that in lore, the Farstriders are mercenaries. Most people seem to forget this, and think if you're in the group you have some sort of military sway. You don't. You're shoved in a band between three and five people, and act as hired blades for the Sin'dorei military. Think of it as the current Blackwater group. They use military names, ranks, weapons, and are even employed by the US in foreign conflicts, but they're not actually a part of our armed forces.

/salute. Duly noted, Belth. And very true, to boot. It's also one of the reasons for which the majority of them don't live -in- Silvermoon, but rather in Enclaves in Eversong and the Ghostlands, to my knowledge.

Added the Names and Romance subsections.
[Image: 2hhkp3k.gif]
Recommended reads: Divine and Arcane. Also, elves.
Wanna refer me in Tribes: Ascend? Clickies!
PM
Reply
#12
Remind me to move this to articles and guides when this is finished.
"I am more afraid of one hundred sheep led by a lion than one hundred lions led by a sheep."
PM
Reply
#13
Thumbs up on this guide so far! Gave me new insights into my favourite race (Nelves, naturally!) that will make playing them much more special.

<3
PM
Reply
#14
I love this guide to bits. But then, you already knew that. :B

flammos200 Wrote:Q: But, Flammie, what happens if some noble house doesn't want a daughter or son to have heirs, so they can increase the inheritance chances of a more favored offspring?
A: Someone's done their homework, huh? In such a case, I believe the course that Medieval nobility has taken applies. It most likely wouldn't be too hard to set an undesirable offspring up with a member of his or her own gender, therefore eliminating the chance of offspring, and avoiding any political trouble, merely stating that said House heir is eccentric. Once again, this is a view derived from observing Humanity's history, and not an official part of Lore.

....That... almost makes too much sense when applied to elves. But then I apply that to the Serynzheris/Orisamitores, and start to wonder if Cyielra's been up to something..
PM
Reply
#15
Took me a while to find this thread again, so bump. G't this into the guide section! ^^
PM
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Kaldorei - A Race Guide Maeven 52 12,455 01-05-2013, 04:40 PM
Last Post: SoarTheSky
  [PENDING REWRITE] Of Night and Stars! - A Kal'dorei Guide by Dilly Dilly 16 6,115 05-22-2012, 01:33 PM
Last Post: flammos200



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

youth-backhand
This forum uses Lukasz Tkacz MyBB addons.