Main Imperial City: Ellbogenstadt, Meerport Year of Reckoning: Imperial System of Government: Imperial / Maritime Law Overview: The fiercely independent Storm’Ren are comprised of two distinct groups of mystic wood elves within the Maelstrom which both came to the lands in the arrival of the Child of Camulous galleon Ellen Geraldine in the year 109 of the Fifth Era. One group lives within the Cloud Empire, to all appearances loyal citizens of House Heinlein or House Meer. The other group left Imperial lands and became the Coral Reefer Pirates on the Storm Edge Iles in the Maelstrom Bay. Mystic Wood Elves appear as horned elves, with pointed ears as well as two goat-like horns sprouting from either the forehead, or in rarer cases the top of the head. Horns range in size from smooth nubs to great ridged ram horns. Coloration typically naturally matches hair color but many paint their horns. The race claims that they are descended from elves, who have interbred with the fairy creatures satyrs, and nymphs. Mystic Wood Elves are passionate about life, crafts, and very especially about freedom. They cannot abide enslavement of the will either via physical enslavement, or the alchemical, or magical altering of a person’s will. No one is quite sure where the phrase “Mystic Wood Elf” originated for the Storm’Ren, but it is fairly popular within the Empire. The Ellen Geraldine was the first, most grand, and arguably the best ship of the Children of Camulous’ navy. It was a massive galleon built to weather any storm, survive grounding, defend against multiple attacking ships, and glide through the water so sleeky it was said that the waves parted for its bow. The ship was built to deal with the impending threat of the Dur Namare who had attacked them at the start of their civilization about a century prior. All four tribes, the warlike Shark Tribe, the master chefs and brewers in the Dolphin tribe, the wise Sea Lions, and the expert craftsmen of the Stingray Tribes, were represented - for this has been a joint venture in defense of all of the Children of Camulous. On the ship’s shakedown cruise, with a skeleton crew and limited weapons and provisions, they were attacked by pirates. The pirates barely escaped with their lives. One month later after minor repairs and crew training the ship was ready to begin a long patrol mission to defend against the Dur Namare. Seven hundred sailors and warriors set sail from their islands on what was to be a three month tour. Four days into the journey the ship encountered an envoy of three Dur Namare warships searching for the islands of the Children of Camulous. The Dur Namare elves used archery, and massive ballista, as well as powerful magic in a relentless assault of the Ellen Geraldine. The Children of Camulous fought bravely and skillfully evaded several attempts at ramming, and surrounding the ship. The crew of the Ellen Geraldine managed to cripple one of the three ships and flee, hoping to draw the elves further and further away from their hidden tribal islands. In short order the efficient Dur Namare made their crippled ship functional again, and gave chase. For nearly 30 days they clashed with the elven ships, all the while fleeing northwards up the coast of Fortannis. Eventually, the ships spotted the Maelstrom. The Maelstrom looked like a wall of water, and wind, and black mystical fog, with bursts of lightning in the whirling chaotic storm mass of the wall, all of which spun around the massive eye of the storm. The water poured into the base of the wall of the storm just as the water of a cyclone does and the current tugged at all four ships as soon as they saw it. The Children of Camulous looked upon the Maelstrom and they felt that they recognized it. Some sages among them said that it was a fairy vale - a mystical boundary to protect something inside of it. Using a song that Camulous had taught them, they sung out to beg for aid of the water nymphs that they knew must surely dwell within. So confident were they, that they drove headlong into the storm. The three Dur Namare ships held back at first, but two of them followed them in. Amidst the winds and the chaos, the Children continued to sing the song until it was answered. A peculiar cat like creature with silver and purple fur appeared on the bow of the ship, and then in the crow’s nest, and then on the stern, and finally before the captain where she bowed ever so slightly. Yet below decks, the call was answered by another being - this one seemingly human and claiming to be a prince among the fairies. The cat-like creature told those topside that they they would never be able to leave the storm but that she could guide them through to the eye where there was a vast land and a myriad of people lived. She said that she recognized that they were children of the wild fey, Camulous, and that the noble courts of fairies did not approve of the way that he had made them. She offered them a way to redeem their entire race in the eyes of the fey folk, by entering the eye of the storm and facing a great evil within it - only by proving that they would be creatures of light would they be able to face this darkness - they must give up their allegiance to the wild fey Camulous. Those on the deck of the ship agreed with her and pledged themselves to this. Meanwhile, the fairy prince told those below decks that they would be safe through to the eye of the storm but that they must live with reckless abandon and give into their dark impulses - so as to truly be counted among the fey folk, and they must give up their allegiance to Camulous. He said that he would destroy the two ships pursuing them IF they would join with the free folk of the islands, pirates,and vagabonds. For the sake of vengeance, they agreed. And so, the Ellen Geraldine passed unharmed through the wall of the Maelstrom and the two elven ships were torn apart by the storm. As they had given up their allegiance to Camulous, they decided to call themselves Children of the Storm. They found a small port on the coast that was before them and their leader, Commodore Jorselora Vercent, ordered that they put into the port while running a white flag, this was the port of Canadensis in Quyah’scenthaal. The Children were rejected by the elves there, who bore a frightening resemblance to the Kanoredhil of the Dur Namare in demeanor and style of dress. The Children were escorted out of Quyah'scenthaal by a two small ships and told to head West, there they would find the Empire. The Children of the Storm made their way to Meerport where they were cautiously met by ships from Imperial House Meer. The Empire was astounded by the Ellen Geraldine as even in it’s weathered condition it was far and away the most well put together ship ever seen in all of the Maelstrom Bay. Commodore Jorselora explained their situation and House Meer was sympathetic, allowing them to dock and trade for supplies. The Storm’Ren were told that if they wished to join the Empire that House Meer would gladly take them in exchange for the Ellen Geraldine. While among the merchants of House Meer, though, the Storm’Ren saw so many slaves, and such mistreatment of the slaves, that they nearly started an incident. In addition to this many felt that the ship was their birthright, a gift of all of their people, and were loath to part with it. The Commodore declined the offer and they traveled to Ellbogenstadt where they were welcomed by House Heinlein. They were immediately welcomed into the house and told that they may keep command of the ship, and in fact, may head up a new minor house that would be involved with trade and in heavy competition with house Meer. As a provision of the agreement, House Heinlein pledged to abolish slavery within its holdings (another thing that House Meer was unwilling to do). During the celebration that House Heinlein held in the honor of the Children of the Storm, a group of those from below deck, who made the pact with the fairy prince, snuck into the harbor and stole the Ellen Geraldine, taking it back out to the Storm Edge Islands where they eventually settled on Coral Reef Island and became known as the pirate band “The Coral Reefers.” House Heinlein was understandably upset, and revoked the lesser house offer, but otherwise accepted the Storm’Ren and honored their deal to work to abolish slavery. Heinlien was a very progressive house prior to inclusion of the Storm’Ren, and even without the flagship, the knowledge of the outside lands and the technology to build ships of the nature of the Ellen Geraldine was considered a huge asset to the House. Eventually, handfuls of the Children of the Storm did join house Meer, unable to give up their love of the sea and to honor trade agreements between Heinlein and Meer, they helped House Meer build better ships but also worked to free slaves whenever possible. Life cycle: The parents must both choose to have a child in order for that child to be conceived. It is unknown why this is so. Within the society, there is no gender based limitation on who can or can not hold power, nor hold military office. It is not unusual for gender identity to be fluid among Storm’Ren, which can be confusing to outsiders, but is so comfortable for the Storm’Ren that assuming the gender of another is seen as very rude. Most will avoid “binary” gender definitions and use more gender neutral pronouns as a course of cultural habit. Assuming another’s sexual orientation is considered rude as so many have a flexible view on attraction, finding beauty in many forms. Asexuality is rare but understood and embraced among the Storm’Ren. Rumor has it on the night before the Children of the Storm joined the Empire that they held a secret meeting on board the Ellen Geraldine. During an impassioned discussion as to if they should join the Empire or not, a young woman stood up and said “We cannot hope to defeat the empire from without, but we shall topple it from within. The Highbloods have a child once a century, perhaps less, perhaps none at all. In 2000 years there will be the same number of them, and 200,000 of us… we will breed them out!” Whether or not this is true, family units are nearly exclusively polyandrous in nature, 4-8 adults and that many children. Typically, children are had at very young ages (20-30) by the time the MWE is 100 they are most likely a grandparent and they go out into the world and ply their trade. Child rearing is generally thought to be the purview of the young, though it is not unusual or frowned upon to have a child at any age. It is unusual to have more than one biological “child” at any given time, typically parents will wait until the first child is at least 16 before bringing forth another child - it is spaced out thusly so that more focus may be directed at the young. Families refer to themselves as “The Menagerie” and this is the main social construct of Storm’Ren society. Typically, the immediate household is woven on a tapestry which uses intricate lines to define relationship connections, a copy is created by every member of the family. Menage Tapestries are embroidered with intricate details and images, sometimes family faces, or the names of those who have been lost. When two Storm’Ren wish to pursue a relationship they compare their tapestries. Children may begin to apprentice in a skill or craft as early as 10, sometimes younger. They can apprentice outside of the house at age 14. To be considered an adult among the Children of the Storm, one must reach the age of 16, craft their own copy of their Menagerie Tapestry, and craft something lasting that is useful to the Menagerie. This crafted object is evaluated by the head of the household and if rejected the child may submit a new or improved object in a month. The Head of the Menagerie is the individual who manages the home, they are also the one who has the legal right to approve or break up marriages within the Menagerie - and has legal say as to who may live in the home. This shifts from person to person over the years, if in question for any reason (either retirement, or conflict, or sudden loss) the adults in the home have a discussion together once each week for a month and then have a silent vote as to who the next head of household will be. The Empire only pays attention to the current head of Household in matters of inheritance, who must have a will on file with the local magistrate. The initial Tribes that were held have all but been forgotten given the excessive need for intermarrying. Some may have family tribal tattoos depicting whichever tribe they feel best represents them, similar to birth signs - this is a popular tradition among the Storm’Ren. Most Storm’Ren follow one of two general paths through life. Freedom for all, at the expense of none OR Freedom of self at any cost. Followers of the Freedom for All path work to resolve conflict and lack of freedom in a way that maximises the distribution of freedom. Sometimes this means that they must sacrifice freedom for the sake of others, or must sacrifice the freedom of some for the “bigger picture.” Freedom of Self followers feel that only through one’s own actions can one be free, and that death is preferable to subjugation for any length of time. They would never act to remove another person’s freedom but feel that a person’s freedom is their own affair - that they should act to free themselves or die trying. It is said that the Children of the Storm are immortal. They only grow old when they are bored, or their spirits are weak, and can grow young again if they find some new passion in life. What can be said with certainty is that no Storm’Ren have died of old age since entering the Maelstrom. Adult age is reached at about 25. Middle Age (appearance-wise a 40-60 year old human) is somewhere near the second to fourth century, where aging stops completely. At any time in their lives a Child of the Storm may Fade. These individuals, having felt that they have lived long enough in the mortal world, will open their minds to Fairy World. They see far away places, and mystical realms everywhere. Eventually, at either dawn or dusk they will vanish. The wisest of the Children say that those who follow the path of Freedom for All go off to join the Seelie fey, and those that follow the path of Freedom for Self join the Unseelie fey. When a Child of the Storm dies unexpectedly and permanently, the Household and many Households of the surrounding communities hold a Dirge. A wordless song of mourning that starts when the Household gathers around the fallen. The decedent’s personal significant items are brought before the body, and members of the community are encouraged to take something that they know nothing about and learn the craft to create it in honor of the lost one. Marriage is a huge part of the community. When two individuals wish to get married, the heads of both of their Menageries must approve. The ceremony is simple, with vows being spoken by the participants, and a cup of clear water shared between them. A celebration is held and small gifts are given, then the couple is given seclusion for one month to grow closer to each other. If either Menagerie disagrees (sometimes disagreement is made due to an unknown blood relationship, sometimes for other less well meaning reasons) the person whose Household disagrees may choose to end their relationship with their own Household and join the other’s Menagerie this is considered very embarrassing for the dissenting Household if it is done without good cause. However, if BOTH Menageries disagree, and the Children go through the ceremony anyway, it is considered scandalous for the newlyweds. An adult may choose to disassociate themselves with a Menagerie at any time, taking only those things with them that the Head of Household allows. A Child of the Storm who does not have a Household, or does not visit their Household, for more than a year is considered “troubled” and is frequently informally shunned by the community. Because Menageries frequently change Heads of Household, then the Surname for many Storm’Ren changes every few decades to match the Surname of the Head of Household. Celebrations!: The first day of Spring is called New Year’s day: It is a celebration of making it through another winter, and welcoming the new year. Feasts and parades are held, frequently descending into drunken revelry. The first day of Summer is called Craft Day: It is a holiday for the celebration of crafting. Large parties are held where gifts are often exchanged, which must be hand crafted, and many villages have a larger gift trading ceremony. The exchange occurs as the evening draws near, gifts are drawn randomly and given to all attendees. Over the next year, the giver of the gift is expected to demonstrate to the receiver of the gift the basics of how to make the gift should the recipient not already know. The first day of Autumn is called Harvest Day: A large feast is held by one or two Households together. The first day of Winter: Coldbark, the youngest members of the Household design a celebration that the adults will enact for them. This is done to celebrate youths imagination and reminds adults to keep their sense of wonder. Day of the Storm Break: The celebration of the dawn that the Children saw on their first sunrise through the Maelstrom. This is held the 16th day of September. Festival of Dolphins: A community wide pot-luck of hand crafted cakes, ales, wines, and appetizers. Held in mid winter. Festival of Sharks: Held in mid summer, this is a contest of skills including wrestling, running, swimming, fencing, and other physical sports. Pre-adult children participate in such games as three legged races, and field day activities. Festival of Sea Lions: Riddle contests, and trivia games about historical knowledge are held this day, as well as a large feast where stories are told. This occurs in mid autumn. Festival of Stingrays: Mid spring holds this festival of craft. Those between their 13th and 14th year are exposed to open air workshops depicting crafts ranging from blacksmithing and alchemy to boat building and bookbinding. Many youths decide their first adult craft during this day, with guidance from the Head of Household. Other Customs: Few delicacies of the “new world” remind the Children of the Storm of stories of their homelands. One, though, is the coastal celebration of shelled seafood, lobster, Oysters, clams, and other mussels. If a Household is down on it’s luck financially, they will often splurge for these items as a call back to better times. One other food item of special significance is the fish egg, called caviar. Difficult to obtain at times but very welcome. Among their people, there is a story of a special type of wine, in some stories it is ale, or even mead, which is a bright blue color. The taste and the trick to making it has been all but lost, but many old brewers claim to have the original recipe. Thus, dozens of popular Bluewines are consumed, and almost every family has a story about a relative that knows the “real recipe.” Oft times even those Storm’Ren who have never been on a ship dress as if they are old sea dogs, or wear very fancy captains hats and frock coats like wealthy ship owners. A complimentary phrase given out frequently is, “I see no ship, you must be a captain of destiny!” The Deliverers: A renegade group who had previously been very active in the Empire at staging slave rebellions and who had ties to members of the Coral Reefer Pirates. Membership was (and is) outlawed by the Empire and former Members are still held accountable for actions even though slavery has been abolished. The Empire has commuted all sentences to death for irrefutable proof of membership. Since the outlawing of slavery, many Deliverers have retired to celebrate but some extreme members of this group are rumored to have joined the Coldforged Blades to continue to punish former slavers. Their motto is “Deliverance or Death” and some brazen members have a stylized DD tattoo or branding scar somewhere on their bodies. (Histories including membership in the Deliverers must have plot approval.) Coldforged Blades: “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” There is a group that is rumored to exist among the Storm’Ren called the Coldforged Blades, in this case meaning, a blade forged in vengeance. This group, if it exists, was formed to assassinate elves in revenge for the atrocities committed against the Children of Camulous, and the unkind treatment of the Children of the Storm when they first arrived in the Maelstrom. They would have to be masters of stealth, and alchemy. There are a disproportionate amount of Imperial Citizens who are Elves who turn up dead for such a long lived race, but so far the Empire has not acknowledged the existence of the Coldforged Blades. Since the Imperial abolishment of slavery, this group is rumored to also hunt down and murder slavers who have reputations as having been particularly cruel to their slaves. (Histories including direct knowledge of the Coldforged Blades must have plot approval.) Coral Reef Island: An island nation of Storm’Ren sailors along with Selunari, Wylderkin and humans mingled in. They tend to be relatively carefree and free loving. They fight frequently with the Stormborn and actively work to free any slaves that were taken and/or held. Their Inclusive nature leads to them being very popular amongst Kin refugees and many who fled the Empire, such individuals often find a haven here. They fight hard, to stave off attacks and conquest from the Stormborn and Empire as well as economic domination by the Pearl Islanders but they also play hard and, when not in danger live life to its fullest. The Coral Reefers typify “work hard, play hard”. Ellbogenstadt: This city is at the delta of the Geradefluss river which starts in the Sudenburg Mountains and flows nearly directly East, through Berghalten. The city is known for its large dikes around the river, and separating the city from the sea, as well as, the many elegant bridges that span the tributaries of the river. One of the largests ports in the Empire is found here. House Heinlen: Colors: Blue and White Sigil: Cup Seat: Ellbogenstadt Primary Population: Humans, Storm’Ren, Wylderkin, lots of others (inclusive house) Main Industries: Healing and Medicine Head of House: Overlord Sandan Haynard, Storm’Ren Male Fighter Early on, the value of dedicated healers was evident and it did not take long for them to tire of being expected to heal with minimal compensation and to band together to ensure that even the most altruistic of healer could earn his or her way in the world. The most forward thinking and wise of that early guild was a Getragan man named Stannert Heinlen. Stannert managed to successfully petition the Emperor to create a house for the doctors, midwives and other healers arguing that they could focus better on the needs of the Empire if they did not need to be overly concerned with such monetary issues. To that end House Heinlen was created (with Stannert as its head) and exists to this day. Some claim that Stannert’s goals were entirely altruistic, while others claim it was a cynical ploy to all but threaten to withhold proper healing from the Empire unless he was granted a house. The truth is probably somewhere in between. Certainly Stannert participated in and initiated many altruistic policies and practices, but he was also an incredibly adroit leader and chess master and personally built House Heinlein as a solid foundation to its current resources and power. The house in its current form tends to run a little more charitable and inclusive than most houses, but certainly has its fair share of politicking and self-motivated activity as would be expected of any great house in a powerful empire. Another of Stannert’s more clever policies that has persisted through the years was a very inclusive policy in regards to other races. Stannert knew that merit often crossed racial boundaries and wished to build his house more on talent and ability than bloodlines and connections. As a result today it is one of the most diverse (and has the most potential for upward mobility) in the Empire. Because of their inclusive nature they have fairly large numbers of Storm’Ren, which is a large part of why they were so vocal about the ending of slavery in the Empire. More recently that same tendency, as well as the abundance of Storm’Ren, led to a large number of Wylderkin joining the house once slavery was abolished. Some even argue that the windfall of new Wylderkin members was as much a factor of the policy push as ideological reasons were. The most well-known of House Heinlen’s interests is running of the Empire’s Healer’s Guilds and medical industries, though they certainly have other financial interests as well. The Children of the Storm were able to take great holdings within the House due to their comfort in having multiple spouses, and multiple children, at an early age. They bred prodigiously and increased the population of House Heinlein tremendously. House Meer: Colors: Green and Blue Sigil: Anchor Seat: Meerport Primary Population: Storm’Ren, Humans, Hoblings, some mixed Main Industries: Sailing, Fishing, Head of House: Porona Meer, Human Male Fighter House Meer is something of a house with a patchwork history. Originally the ships that stayed behind after bringing the Getragen to colonize the area controlled the fishing and sailing in the area, though as skilled sailors were shipwrecked in the area they naturally joined the burgeoning sailing and fishing fleets to ply their trade. As the Empire took shape the sailors were able to carve out a niche as the fishermen and fishmongers of the empire, a substantial trade. House Meer also maintains a small fleet of patrol boats to protect their fleets, however the Imperial Navy and the ships of the line are all owned and controlled House Stratos. Originally considered the worst place to be a slave, in the years since the Children of the Storm joined them, slaves have been getting a better and better life, as well as finding themselves freed when possible both legally and illegally. It is rumored that Storm’Ren members of house Meer released more slaves to join the Coral Reefers, and empowered them to steal more ships, than the Reefers generally know what to do with. History at a glance: -109Fifth Era (900: years ago). A Grand Galleon of Children of Camulous, the Ellen Geraldine, was chased for weeks by Dur Numarie interceptors and forced into the Maelstrom. They come through the storm near Quyah'scenthaal. Unable to leave the Maelstrom and with the ship badly in need of provisions their leader, Commodore Jorselora Vercent, orders they put into Quyah'scenthaal. The Children are rejected by the elves there, who don’t have the genocidal tendencies of the Kanoredhil, but still do not like their race. The Children are escorted out of Quyah'scenthaal. Some are ultimately forced to join the Empire, where they almost immediately start petitioning for the abolition of Slavery. Others, unwilling to tolerate any amount of Slavery, no matter what efforts can be made to change it, migrate to the Stormedge Islands. -121 Fifth Era (888 years ago): Laws pertaining to the treatment of slaves are passed within House Heinlein’s holdings. These laws prohibit purposeful death, and punish negligence. -123 Fifth Era (886 years ago): Household and marriage laws are passed. -142 Fifth Era (868 years ago): Slavery is eliminated in House Heinlein after decades of careful planning to avoid financial catastrophe. Former slaves are allowed to either go free, or continue to work at a relatively good pay rate. House Heinlein is unable to allow them to own property though. Many work for their former masters for several more years before taking what they can save and moving to House Goldpipe or leaving for parts unknown. -247 Fifth Era (763 years ago): A massive slave uprising in Meerhold occurs. Thousands flee the city, many Storm’Ren join the rebellion. The Empire manages to respond and blockade the port before ships can escape to the open sea. Meerhold is besieged for nearly a year before starvation begins to set in. Reports of mass cannibalism are heard from within the city, the Empire eventually retakes the city after massive casualties. -297 Fifth Era (713 years ago): 50 years to the day after the Meerhold slave revolt, House Heinlein succeeds in rallying the enough of the other houses to pass the laws they wrote pertaining to fair treatment of slaves. -333 Fifth Era (677 years ago): The first documented incident of a Child of the Storm Fading. Janelle Miartha disappeared from a closed room in a full Household who had been awake all night during a riddle contest. The same evening, on Coral Reef Island, Kumar Brindholt also Fades. -334 Fifth Era (676 years ago): A massive raid on the slave pens of Ellbogenstadt by the Coral Reef Pirates takes place. Hundreds of slaves are freed. House Giefer launches accusations at several Storm’Ren members of House Heinlen of being involved in the break, which they deny vehemently. -346 Fifth Era (664 years ago): Political fighting between Houses Giefer and Heinlen relating to the slave escape in 344 threatens to become violent after two cabinet members of the Overlords of both houses come to blows. Emperor Veddis II executes both cabinet members and orders their removal and fines both houses several hundred gold. He warns that any further problems in this matter will result in the Overlords facing the same punishment he metes out to any offenders. -450 Fifth Era (560 years ago): Dozens of Children of the Storm Fade in one night, November 11th. This event is called the Whispering. Some think that this has to do with a fairy war. -568 Fifth Era (442 years ago): An elven delegation from Quyah’scenthaal is invited to attend the coronation of Emperor Andus in a gesture of goodwill. The delegation of eight arrives in Ellbogenstadt by ship, but never arrives at the Imperial Capital, instead resurrecting back in Quyah’scenthaal, the honor guard assigned to them awaken tied up just outside of Ellbogenstadt, all are missing an hour from their memories. An investigation by the Empire is launched but the responsible parties are never found. The Empire officially blames Pirates for this. -588 Fifth Era (422 years ago): Jubal Heinlein, the overlord of House Heinlein, marries Corrina Heynard. Corrina gives birth to a son, Sanden. -805 Fifth Era (205 years ago): Jubal Heinlein passes away of old age. Sanden is accepted by the Emperor as Overlord of House Heinlein, the first Child of the Storm to hold this position. -990 Fifth Era: (20 years ago): Slavery of Wilderkin (and other “citizen” races) officially outlawed after years and years of lobbying and efforts by House Heinlen. Many Kin leave the empire, some travel to the Storm Edge islands though a large number of recently freed Wilderkin travel to unclaimed “wild” land to stake a claim. House Geifer (whose main business was slavery) is financially devastated. The official public reason given is that House Geifer was selling able bodied combat capable slaves to the pirates and wildland tribes. The Empire declared this was short sighted and giving weapons (soldiers) to the enemy. House Meer suffers drastically as well, however, many independent Children of the Storm move from House Heinlein’s holdings to House Meer to provide help. Many think that this is the start of a generational take over in much the same way that the Storm’Ren took over house Heinlein. -990 Fifth Era (20 years ago): The Emperor declares the end of slavery is a new age and thus the Sixth Era begins. Sixth Era -1 Sixth Age: (19 years ago): House Goldpipe secedes from the Empire based on clause in their contract that brought them into the Empire was to last until the end of the next age. Since they were brought in in the Fourth age, and Emperor Ernst ended the Fifth Age they were free to leave the Empire. House Goldpipe meantime has opened trade talks and possible alliance talks with Quyah'scenthaal, making the Empire reluctant to invade lest it spark another war with the elves. -5 Sixth Age (15 years ago): The Kin have settled into Stormbreak Keep. They found a nation called Wyndael where former slaves can settle and be free. House Heinlein provides food, money, and skilled labor at a financial loss to Wyndael. - 6 Sixth Age: (14 years ago): Celestial Change takes place. Biata begin re-growing feathers and sometimes claws. Mental powers increase to “Biata Standard.” “Gryphon Touched” humans proved to be the Getragan of ancient lore. -7 Sixth Age (13 Years ago): Dur Numarie falls. Surviving Orcs and Ogres led by a handful of Elves arrive from the northern Glacier lands bringing news of this. The elves are ushered to Quyah'scenthaal where they are allowed in. The news reaches the Children of the Storm and a massive weeklong celebration is held. It is widespread enough that the entire Empire is impacted financially in multiple sectors. -8 Sixth Age: (12 years ago): Wyndael and Quyah'scenthaal initiate diplomatic ties, Empire makes claim on Wyndael’s land stating it had annexed it previously when Edgeport was founded. Ultimate agreement is that the Kin allow the Empire to station troops in Wyndael to defend them from Ice Trolls for a limited period of time in return for coin payment from Wyndael. House Heinlein formally states that they disapprove of this action. -19 Sixth Age: (1 year ago): After a dreadful slaughter of the citizens of Wyndael by an advancing Troll army, the Empire offers to help the Kin take back their land and keep, but only on the condition that Wyndael officially join the Empire in fullness. The Kin leadership rejects the offer and abandon the area, though many kin follow suit and flee the area many Kin citizens stay in the area. -19 Sixth Age: (1 Year ago): Empire officially annexes Wyndael naming it a protectorate and offers to allow House Heinlen and House Sterne to co-rule the area under the supervision of a Governor-General. The house that does the best job (according to the judgement of the Governor-General) will be granted the area and all its holdings and resources. -20 Sixth Age: (0 years ago) Arcane Sages in the Empire begin to feel that the magics surrounding the seal on the Maelstrom are beginning to weaken. It is theorized that if it breaks monster attacks akin to the Resurgence could begin again or, even worse, a third Maelstrom Event could take place. General View on other races: Children of the Storm do their very best, culturally, to take every person on his or her merit as an individual. Thus, it is difficult to say that they have any specific views on other races. Many Storm’Ren HATE elves for the horrors inflicted upon them by the Dur Namarie, but in general, even those actions are considered the malice of a few. They generally pity short lived races for not having as much life to experience as they do, and thus frequently encourage members of these races to be somewhat reckless.