Cozovodë

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Map including Cozovodë

The nearest thing the Aveyrone Empire has to a neighbouring country, Cozovodë is located east of the Empire, in a land of steppes and valleys beyond a mountain range. It is inhabited primarily by elves, with a population of enslaved humans. Half-elves are typically disdained and treated badly. Population in Diablotin: about 150.

Religion

The world was created long before any beings saw light, when matter was spewed forth from the stars to form the earth. When finally things settled, there were two types of people, immortal and mortal. Very quickly, the immortals realized that they could learn to do a lot of things in an eternity, and so they grew to power. Meanwhile, although elves and the lesser races had long lives, they eventually died and their power disappeared. Soon, the immortals became so much more powerful than the mortals that they could command their obedience and force them to work on their behalf. So it was in our old woodland home, where elves lived in weakness and in fear of gods who never loved them, but pretended to give them power while holding the real power for themselves. Then, millennia ago, the young star-gazer Jahrom began to ask questions. He came to realize that all of us are part of the same star-substance from which the earth was made. That meant that the gods were no different from us in essence. Soon, his ideas spread like wildfire, as their truth was evident to all who heard him speak. Jahrom began to prophesy about a better way, and this threatened the elven leaders. He and his followers were expelled from the old land, and set off in nine great sailing ships towards the west. When they reached Cozovodë for the first time, they were dismayed by its barrenness and savagery. But these first Elders soon imposed order on the savages and meagre races, and Jahrom became our first emperor. It has been many centuries now since Jahrom left us to seek greater rewards in the stars. But we continue to practice the true ways which he revealed to us.

Star-Substance
Force of Life-Energy, Time, Light, Structure
Symbol: A silver star with gems on all points

Star-substance is a force discovered and described by Jahrom as “the essence of the world, which has created the earth and is the only thing to truly exist”. The stars are seen as the most effective source of power; priests draw upon this power directly to work their magics, while wizards draw on the baser form of star-substance that is imprisoned within their own bodies. It is widely accepted that the sun is a large and important star. Jahrom is seen as a sort of demi-god or culture hero within this system, but is not worshipped as part of this belief. Priests (paketha) of star-substance, all male and all of the upper caste of Horot-ha or Elders among the Cozovode, tend to be concerned with authority but also with the maintenance of the calendar and predicting astrological events with great accuracy.

Culture

Elves are often haughty and superior toward the 'lesser races' and it is widely believed, though not actually confirmed, that within their own lands, some keep humans as slaves. More recently their leaders have grudgingly recognized that there could be benefits to, e.g., trade with the Aveyrone Empire. Aveyrone is more than a match for them militarily, so conquest is not an option (for now). Elves sometimes live and work in the Empire (particularly in the more eastern provinces) for a period of a few decades, more from curiosity or for the varied experiences it affords than out of any economic neccessity, then return to their homeland.

Arcane magic is practiced among the elves, though in a different form than it is understood among humans. The elven wizards are extremely secretive with outsiders, however, and not much is known about their practices.

Appearance

Cozovodë elves have a similar potential range of heights to humans, though somewhat more skewed to the short side (it's possible for them to be six feet or taller, it's just uncommon). It is rare for them to be much overweight, and their diet is quite sparse – they do not eat meat, for instance, though they have no taboos about killing animals when necessary for other reasons (or against, say, serving meat to humans in their restaurants ;) Their hair tends to be black or dark brown, though there are occasional fair-haired specimens, and their most common eye colour is green, though there are also brown- and hazel-eyed elves – but never blue-eyed. Indeed, they are often quite struck by blue-eyed humans, considering such colouring strange and exotic.