Faroth: Expect Bad Weather

barrel-headIt’s approaching the end of January in the Faroth Islands and there are sightings of northern ice bergs drifting west from the glaciers to the north. Normally they do not reach as far south as the Faroth islands, but this has been a exceptionally cold winter. There has only been standing (unfrozen) water for one day on the islands since the winter solstice. The chance of the prevailing south winds deflecting the course of any large ‘bergs is low.

The large mountains on the islands make them safe for land lubbers and hence the large population of dwarves and surprising numbers of gnomes on the islands. The geology supports cave systems above sea-level. There are many other smaller islands through the Sing’jar straight that are much more at the mercy of the weather.

Not far north of the Faroth shipping lanes are the Octra Islands, a set of eight small islands arranged symmetrically. Each of these islands is barely a mile wide at best, and barely produces any wood or crops. Most frigates will not approach because there are other rocky reefs in the area. Only an experienced captain, or a crafty one with the local magics (such as summoning a water elemental) could find their way through the Octras.

Many Faroth sea elves brag about sailing the Octras. This is unlikely, because the Octras are populated with Marine Elves (Aquatic Elves) which live a mostly submerged lifestyle in harmony with water animals. Faroth Aquatic Elves keep to themselves and tend to taunt sea elves and minotaurs. Sea elves are ‘lubbers, which is insulting because sea elves live their lives on boats. Minotars are referred to as sea-sows or horned manatees. This completely offends their intelligence and athleticism. In response, any aquatic elf will respond with, “What, are you a better swimmer than I? Can you summon a killer whale or a shark, then ask it to give you a ride? Or are you just standing there so you can poop on my shore?”

Each of the Octra islands is named and has a chieftain, an elf of at least level 10, and usually a sea ranger. The Octra, as they don’t mind being called, rely on the sea life for protection, communication, and food. If you can befriend an Octra, you have demonstrated humility, honesty, and intelligence. You also must have something to offer them.IMG00466-20110528-2057.jpg

Faroth: Origins of the South Faroth Sea Elves

The Marine Elves in the Sing’jar channel traded and fished for generations as a determined and resilient community after tragedy struck their ancestors. Hundreds of years ago, on the eve of the destruction of Faroth, forest elves in the foothills east of Sing’jar were forced from their homes by wildfires set by the fire giant trespassed on his way through their hills en route to attacking the island of Faroth. Minotars, long established in the Sing’jar channel as reclusive deep sea longliners of the the Hosh’uu islands, sailed out to rescue the displaced elves. wp-image-1339419873jpg.jpg

The Hosh’uu minotaurs took the elves under their tutelage as fisher folk in return for being students of wood working. Minotar culture, for all the sailing they did, was uncomfortably dependent on human carpenters to keep them afloat. Our former forest dwellers gladly taught the minotaurs their skills with forestry and carpentry. As the elves took to the sea, they became one of the few races to truly not be dismissed or distrusted by the channel minotaurs.

As thanks to the minotaurs and to celebrate the new friendship between their races, the first new generation of sea elves crafted masterwork magical nose-rings and horn-tips for the Hosh’uu: brilliant hammered brass and polished nickel, known as Burning Brass. When angry, the Burning Brass ornaments appear shimmering hot.

When the Hosh’uu arrived at Darthil and greater Faroth islands, the Forge Dwarves were furious to see such fine metallurgy done by anyone not themselves. The Minotaurs, never intimidated by dwarves, openly laughed! “Ha! You are so obsessed with your weapons, you have forgotten all art, dwarves!”

And yet no dwarven art has appeared on Faroth since it was sacked.

Minotaurs and South Faroth Sea Elves

The south Faroth sea elves were refugees from east of Sing’jar, displaced by the fire giant as it was headed to attack Faroth. The Minotaurs took them in. As tribute, eventually the new generation of now-sea-elves crafted nose-rings and horn tips from Burning Brass. They appear to catch flame when the wearer becomes angry.