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The White Isles – Elves and Skyships

27 July, 2009

Today, we turn to one of the non-human kingdoms:

The White Isles

Even before the Sundering, the White Isles were isles and the elves who lived upon them were sailors, some of the finest in fact.  After the Sundering, the isles were drawn apart each surrounded by its own disc of swirling ocean.

The White Islanders were, like all the elves, at first overcome by the Sundering but they soon rallied and began to explore the changed world they found themselves in.  First with spells and then with the magic of the wood itself, the elves crafted ships to travel the skies.  Later they learned to shape wood to ride the space between the stars.  Great sailors they were before the Sundering and great sailors they became again.

The White Isles thrive on trade and industry, importing raw materials and exporting finished goods, especially fine cloth and tapestries, wooden goods and enchanted devices.  The one thing they do not sell is ships.

The government of the White Isles is a parliamentary kingship, with the royal family supported by the House of the Stars, composed of the titled nobility, and the House of the Lands, composed of officials elected by the land owners of the Isles.  The current Queen is Allixis II and her Prime Minister is Lord Nightrose of the Orthodox Faction.

The major bloodlines of the elves of the White Isles are Pine, Oak and Yew.  It is a place where tradition and position weight heavily upon its members, everyone has a place and is expected to know that place and seek to fit it.  The exceptions are found among the traders and manufacturers who must adapt to keep up with changing tastes and markets.  They are the one place in the isles where advancement is possible for those hard working and ambitious enough.
For defense, the White Isles rely upon their excellent Navy, the White Fleet and the elite Royal Island Marines, and the smaller Army of the Stars, which makes up part of its troop strength in mercenaries.  Intelligence is provided to the government by the eyes of the elven trading networks, royal wizards and a handful of amateur intelligencers.

The White Isles are very English, combining elements of Elizabethan and Victorian England with heavy doses of magic and elvishness.  With elves being so long lived, it seems that they would be vulnerable to falling into the trap of having a fairly rigid society, so the White Isles reflect that, but they must also adapt to the world outside so there is a natural tension in the place that could be used as a stringboard for many types of story.

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