The Game of Houses
The Houses of the Sindaliė (Grey Elves)
The Hetmanilith are Grey Elves, Quenya speakers whose ancestral lands are the isles of Arbolt in the Drawmij Ocean to the north west of the Flanaess. Living in the high mountains in the centre of Arbolt, they are the ruling house of Arbolt and would lead the raids on the middle kingdoms in the summer, stealing commodities that were not available from Arbolts natural resources. Their symbol is the griffin and the family has a long association of friendship with the largest pack on the Islands, with whom they share their home. Orod-Sornmėoi (griffin-mountain) is topped by a palatial villa from which they can rule Arbolt and keep watch on the world at large. They are renowned for their skills with blasting powers and shooting flames. The Hetmanilith also have an aversion to salt. The extremity of either of these features tends to be mirrored in the other. Aside from one or two individuals, the Hetmanilith have confined themselves to Arbolt. Following the death of Aldaron Hetmanilith, last of the Hetmilith Kings, the line of succession was traced. It was found that the descendants of his eldest son were rulers of lands in the empire. The descendants of his daughter are the emperors. The rule of Arbolt passed to Thingol Gwathlos daughter.
The Gwathlo are Grey Elves, Quenya speakers whose ancestral lands are the isles of Arbolt in the Drawmij Ocean to the north west of the Flanaess. Living amongst the south-western Fjords and forested mountainsides of Arbolt, they would raid the middle kingdoms in the summer, stealing commodities that were not available from Arbolts natural resources. The Gwathlo are unnaturally swift and quiet, even for elves. They are only people who could surprise wood elves in a forest environment. This has given them a reputation for intrusion and subterfuge. Gwathlo magic tends to be more effective in shadows and half light than it is during the bright noon-day sun or total darkness.
Their symbol is a dancing wolf; they have a family history of antipathy with lycanthropes. Their part of the Islands was once plagued with Nauro (Werewolves). It was only with the aid of the real wolves of Arbolt that the Gwathlo were able to vanquish the Nauro. There have been none on Arbolt for over a thousand years. There are some lycanthropes living in the wild lands beyond Cabut and some of these have learned that the Lord of Tenh is a Gwathlo.
The Brothers Feanor and Thingol are the scions of the Gwathlo. Feanor was the General behind the jihad to avenge the unicorn of the middle kingdoms. He eventually became Laru and led the Celebrinoth to the formation of the empire. Thingol took over from Dulacaborn Ario and Cuiathelei Scrņfa as the pre-eminent magi of the Elven world after their demise at the Dagor Rhassė. The Gwathlo have surrendered a little over half of their strength to maintaining the empire. Their name is one of the tails on the nine-tailed white banner of the Celebrinoth and they remain a power in the empire.
The Gūl are Grey Elves, Quenya speakers whose ancestral lands are the isles of Arbolt in the Drawmij Ocean to the north west of the Flanaess. Living amongst the northwestern Fjords and forested mountainsides of Arbolt, they would raid the middle kingdoms in the summer, stealing commodities that were not available from Arbolts natural resources. The Gūl are physically weak by day, becoming stronger, tougher and more aggressive (and meaner looking, with skin colour fading to grey) as night falls. Often they loose their ability with healing or information spells, retaining only the power to charm or harm in their nocturnal lives. Their spells of charming and control are especially powerful. Their symbol is a behir. They do have a reputation amongst the Sindaliė for being impassive and otherwise not easily excitable.
The Gūl were one of the strongest supporters of the jihad and now hold lands within the empire. Most of their kin remains on Arbolt. Their name is one of the tails on the nine-tailed white banner of the Celebrinoth. The Gūl of the Celebrinoth were led by Dior. He joined the jihad as a peer of the Gwathlo brothers and survived most of the war until 2590 when he is killed by escaped prisoners. The remaining Gūl are wary of the Frunze and the family of Mua Goulčd, who took the prisoners. Dior and Amrod were childhood friends of Thingol and were his lieutenants in the guerrilla war against the middle kingdoms. Arutha Gūl was beloved of the King of Furyondy for his part in the wars with Iuz. Arutha married the kings daughter and became Lord of Furyondy in his turn. Amrod the general in command of all of the ilin wings at the Dagor Tarsil. The Gūl are Lords of five provinces of the Empire, mostly around the Ryhtym area of Teddin.
The Ario are Grey Elves, Quenya speakers whose ancestral lands are the isles of Arbolt in the Drawmij Ocean to the north west of the Flanaess. Living amongst the southern Fjords and forested mountainsides of Arbolt, they would enthusiastically raid the middle kingdoms in the summer, stealing commodities that were not available from Arbolts natural resources. The Ario are skilled with their hands, being great crafters and deft at all forms of manipulation. They are famed across Arbolt for their prowess with weapons. Their symbol is a spear, displayed with the point downwards. They are also the most self disciplined of the Grey Elves, able to dedicate their time to one task (Most Sindaliė find this very hard). Their spells of protection are very strong.
Their name is one of the tails on the nine-tailed white banner of the Celebrinoth. Gilfrond Ario slew the king of Tusmit in early 2424, leading directly to the Settlement of Ket. The SoK made Gilfrond the new Lord of Tusmit when hed married the slain kings daughters. Lyne Kettafain Ario was one of Larus lieutenants. He fought a personal rearguard action against Iuz himself and saved may lives by his sacrifice. Dulacaborn Ario was the mastermind behind the breaking of the world at the Dagor Rhassė. Since 2583, a member of the Ario family has always been the captain of the King of Perrenlands body guard. In concord with the Gwaithor house of Lomin, they annex the Spice Coast soon after the Dagor Tarsil. Their actions during the PWOC and since have given the Ario a reputation amongst the men of the empire for being honourable.
The Ario can become consumed by a task. Their ability to focus is beyond human understanding and can become too strong for the individual to break on his or her own. Tales are told of ancestors who had worked themselves to death or been so intent on their work that they forgot to eat or rest.
The Enorleth are Grey Elves, Quenya speakers whose ancestral lands are the isles of Arbolt in the Drawmij Ocean to the north west of the Flanaess. Living amongst the north-eastern Fjords and forested mountainsides of Arbolt, they would occasionally join raids on the middle kingdoms in the summer, stealing commodities that were not available from Arbolts natural resources. The Enorleth are famed as loremasters, regal in bearing and dedicated of purpose. They can be hoarders of knowledge and will collect and retain all manner of information. They could also be quite obsessive in their study or research, often burning their candle at both ends if they cannot be distracted. Their symbol is a star or stars on a blue background. The Enorleth were involved in the jihad but retired before the war with Iuz.
The Ithin are Grey Elves, Quenya speakers whose ancestral lands are the isles of Arbolt in the Drawmij Ocean to the north west of the Flanaess. Living amongst the eastern Fjords and forested mountainsides of Arbolt, they are especially friendly with birdlife near their homes and with the gulls of the sea. The Ithin would raid the middle kingdoms in the summer, stealing commodities that were not available from Arbolts natural resources. They are greatest sailors of Arbolt and are skilled at both foretelling and perhaps even directing the winds and tides. Their symbol is a longship. They sometimes tend towards elemental magic. Their affinity with water means that elves with Ithin blood react badly to de-hydration.
A few of the more adventurous Ithin joined the jihad and subsequent wars in the Flanaess. Their leader is Tinulė, who was originally sheildman to Camgil Gwathlo. Camgil is now Lord of Tenh and Tinulė is Lord of Cabūt, the greatest fortress in the empire. Amongst the people of the empire their perceived trait is serenity. Some of the other Sindaliė find this a little amusing but the Ithin are, quietly, quite proud of this.
There are rumours that certain maidens of the Ithin dally with the avian life of Arbolt (which is itself less mundane than elsewhere) and in return for other services have gained the skill of flying. But that is ridiculous.
The Quenya speaking Carach Angren are an offshoot of the Gūl family who dabbled to far into dark magics are were cast out. Elecar Gūl, loved his cousin Morwen, but their love was forbidden by their family. He removed himself from their dwellings and lived alone, conversing with dark powers. The family held a conclave and decided to kill him. Morwen Gūl ran to his tower and warned him, together they stole a boat and fled to the Vesve. After they had begun their family in exile they began to fall out. She would cast spells of harm at Elecar and eventually he drowned her, far away from their children. She haunted the area for many an age, and the sound of her singing drew many travellers to their doom. Eventually it was recognised that anyone who heard her song was in mortal danger and the area was shunned. Their badge is a white rose and they remain a small family, still based in an area that is haunted by their mother.
Their first contact with other Grey Elves for over a thousand years was when Laru brought them the meteor form Correllion and bade them forge a sword therefrom. Thus they have been slowly eased back into Elven life, even though they never actually rode with the Celebrinoth, although they cause a stir amongst the elven cognoscenti when they answered the call for the Daogr Rhassė. The Carach Angren have been a backbone of the Assembly of Arch Magi and have served it by heading its pubic libraries. Tarumath Carach Angren was a staunch supporter of Thingol Gwathlo and assisted him closely on many of his greatest tasks. Their magic is strongest in the darkness, family members have been observed to avoid mirrors, although the mirrors can do them no harm. The fame of the relatively few Carach Angren and the wide knowledge of their history has given rise to an expectation of morbidity from family members.
The Mallorn are a family who used to live in the northern extremities of Arbolt. Long ago they raided the Flanaess and stayed, journeying ever eastwards until they made their home in a beech forest. They were mighty hunters and jealously guarded the boundaries of their lands. They had a reputation for intimate knowledge of vast tracts of forest, its flora and fauna. The Mallorn were known as the best archers amongst the Sinadliė.
Eventually the kingdom Urnst grew up about the forest and in the PWOC the relatively few Mallorn were attacked by Urnst. Scattered, the family is now effectively dissolved and the survivors succoured by the other clans. Their badge was a golden tree.
The Quenya speaking Skrņfa are originally from Arbolt. They raided and stayed in the Flanaess, moving across the northern plains and eventually made their home in the dark forests adjacent to the Griff Mountains. They have a wild appearance, decorated with braids, beads and feathers. They wear painted faces for every occasion. They are enigmatic to their fellow Grey Elves, inscrutable to the half-elven houses of the empire and beyond mortal comprehension.
The are closely associated with the Grauch, an isolationist sect of the Galadhrim. Skilled spell casters, it is said that the Skrņfa can sense the flows about them and can tap into the primal power from which all other is drawn. Cuiathelei Scrņfa, the Raven, was widely acknowledged as the greatest Elven mage of his age. Many have now moved back to the Vesve but some remain in Jorassė and Tenh. Their symbol is a sable rose.
Skrņfa womenfolk are known to belong to a martial order of spear wielding warriors in the years before their betrothal. This association of female warriors was fairly popular amongst all female elves and half elves of the Celebrinoth. It helped bring the family into greater contact with the rest of elvendom. Isolationism is still viewed as one of their strongest traits.
The Tharil are Grey Elves. Living in Celene, they speak Sindarin, keeping Quenya for their private discussions. They are descended from raiders who settled in the Flanaess. Accepted by the Gwaithor of Selene, they made heir home therein, where they enjoy their status as different to their kindred. Renowned for their magic use and respected for their wisdom, they are more aloof in demeanour than other Grey Elves. They are focused on Elvendom in general and traditionally have little to do with men, preferring to work through their Gwaithor compatriots. Their symbol is a lightening bolt.
The Lindi family are Grey Elves, Quenya speakers who raided the northern Flanaess and stayed. Their traditional home is in the Yatil Mountains, facing down into the Vesve, perhaps reminding them of Arbolt. You are equally likely to hear them speaking Sindarin. The Galadhrim communities of the Vesve have long looked to the Lindi for leadership, although due to their small numbers, this has never been forceful. The have traded with the Dwarves and maintained links between the Grey Elves of Arbolt and the Grey Elves of the Flanaess. Their symbol is the unicorn. They are reputedly closer to some individual members of the Seldarine than the other houses of the Grey Elves.