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"Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari he toa takimano." - An Oe Il’han proverb.
Translation: “My strength is not that of an individual but that of the collective."
The Descendents of the Autumn Court can often be described as the physically strongest of the Il’ha. Borne from immovable ash and rock, these stern creatures were said to be formed from the last ray of dusk. Their ashen skin, colored eyes, stoic personalities, and traditional roots solidify them as descendents of the Unseelie court, as their appearance strays from those of other Il’ha.
These indomitable humanoid folk often carry strong, forward features such as square jawlines and broad shoulders. Wide almond-shaped eyes with enlarged iris and pupils dwarfing what one would expect of a human of similar size, are oft set beneath usually stern brows. Hair practices differ for their genders but as a whole, but both have styles in which the hair is kept in well tamed symbolic braids or shaved close to one's scalp in decorative patterning. Either practice generally leaves their pointy ears exposed.
Oe Il’ha are known for wearing armour either earned through acts of service to the community or crafted by their own hand, as it is seen as an accomplishment to do so. This is not a cemented requirement, more so an ideal.
When not found in armour, Oe Il’ha are known to wear hand-made textiles of vibrant colours which often reveal more skin than they cover. A necessity, due to the natural heat every Oe Il’ha carries within them. Though little gender divide exists among the Oe Il’ha, clothing for Females tends to display brighter colours while males can favour more natural muted shades.
It is not uncommon for softer metals such as gold or platinum to be woven into these textiles or embroidered into other such belongings for decoration.
Oe Il’ha are as richly adorned with jewelry and trinkets of value as a bird of paradise is adorned with colours. Each carry meaning to the particular individual and some bestow the title of youth, adult or mentor unto that person for the clan to recognize. Such as when a youth is born, a direct relative of the new infant is expected to gift the child with a token inscribed with their family’s unique marking to wear, until their coming of age. A child without a token is a supremely rare sight. It is considered dangerous for a child to wander without their token, as it is seen as a protector of their undying spirit. Similarly, as youth reach their 17th era they are expected to give their token inscribed with their familial mark to the mentor that tutored them. An adult wearing a child’s token is seen as a successful mentor and appraised with respect.
Beyond these particular tokens, Oe Il’ha are oft seen wearing many trinkets gained during victories. Be that of battles, hunts or a successfully learned skill. Bits of bone, claw, tooth, scale and the occasional feather are usually carved with a meaningful shape or rune, and fastened to their hair and person.
Due to their unique ability to manipulate molten materials, Oe Il’ha are often adorned in trinkets crafted from metal or stones molded into peculiarly unnatural shapes for them to be found in. Such as a stone crafted into an intricate seashell, or a metal smoothly spun into strands as fine as spidersilk and arranged to appear as a lustrous feather. The more intricate and difficult the craft, the more value it holds to the Oe Il’ha.
Upon each cultural ritual, Oe Il’ha are known to carve markings with intricate meanings into their skin and, using their given ability, manipulate molten metals or stone to fill such. This affords the race a multitude of looks including facial and full-body tattoos that give off a soft, amber light and resemble molten magma in appearance. Hair can often be shaved to make room for these markings.
Beyond this, they are also expected to carve into their own skin each victory and triumph they participate within. Elder Oe Il’ha usually exude a soft glow due to the sheer number of molten tattoos they carry.
When an Oe Il’ha becomes leader of a clan, molten tattoos are added in tear trails beneath their eyes to signify the sacrifices a leader is forced to make to put the wellbeing of the entire clan above that of his or her own personal desires. This also permanently marks the bearer of these responsibilities as one whom has chosen to undertake the greatest of tasks for the community.
As Oe Il’ha are fey descendent as the rest of their Il’ha kin, they retain large eyes with strong sight and elongated ears enabling better hearing than some other races. Tall and strongly built, they oft a force to contend with.
As their origins are a spark of life breathed into a molten stone, the Oe Il’ha retain the ability to withstand higher temperatures than other Il’ha with comfort. Alongside this, the ability to manipulate molten substances is afforded to them. As an example, Oe il’ha are able to manipulate molten substances as a fluid, shaping and bending such into peculiar shapes.
This ability is done through a sacred ritual taught by talented mentors to the youth old enough and capable enough to be deemed trusted. Though in theory any substance able to reach a molten state can be manipulated, the ability to manipulate a material is only possible by engaging in a battle with the living spirit residing in such. Different materials possess spirits of differing strengths and some, can be ‘impossible’ to tame.
Ability to manipulate molten fluids MUST be taught in character by another
Ability to manipulate molten fluids cannot be used in conflict, as it is only a constructive ability.
Ability to manipulate molten fluids is a high concentration ability, and being attacked, threatened or otherwise endanger will remove an Oe Il’ha’s ability to use this manipulation.
Oe Il’ha are more susceptible to a chill in cold environments than other races. Oe Il’ha will get sick when in contact with prolonged cold weather.
The warmth put off by Oe Il’ha is aesthetic and cannot be used to burn or harm.
Their culture, imbued with the importance of passion, strength and might. Due to this, their unique lifestyle was formed of training youth into steadfast warriors capable of handling complex tasks from a young age. This is accomplished through a mentorship system, where the accomplished warriors of the clan are expected to choose a youth to tutor, should they have the ability. Weakness in the Oe Il’ha culture is severely frowned upon and provided with consequence, as it is the belief that the weakest link in any chain will break the lengthy heritage that they have cultivated throughout centuries. When youth are trained, they are encouraged to establish a firm grasp on their strength and place in the community, culminating in the allowance of youth to physically punish other youth for failures. Though bullying and unjust violence is not tolerated, it is not unheard of for youth to be pitted in sparring against each other with painful consequences at stake for the loser.
Oe Il’ha value the ancient traditions of their ancestors most within their culture, including the four main rituals that mark important milestones in their long lives. The first of these takes place when a new infant has been born. Birthing is typically a private affair, as is the first marking. The first marking is a claiming of the infant, in which a direct relative of the new infant is expected to gift the child with a token inscribed with their family’s unique marking to wear, until their coming of age in order to ward off any ill-meaning or malevolent entities from snatching the child. The token, acting as a ward of the familial protection to the youth until such a time as their formal marking of tattoos may forever lie in their skin.
During this time, the entire tribe is expected to meet the newest addition to their community, and pay a tribute of good will to the infant. The couple in question is showered with gifts of food, animal hides, valuables befitting the meaning of new beginnings and continuations, as their home is filled with traditional incense. As each Oe Il’ha, or a representative of each family is expected to welcome the youth into the community as family, they place their finger on the head of the infant, stroking down over the bridge of their nose, marking it with oil. This marking is also an act to ward off ill spirits that fight to claim the life of a labouring mother and new infant. This act also serves to solidify the child’s new place amongst the community members as the protected prospect of the future. This is because the community of Oe Il’ha believe that it is their duty to all participate in the growth and teaching of every new member of the tribe and every existing member is valued immensely as a provider of some key element.
The second ritual is the right of adulthood. Though no birthdays are celebrated, once an Oe Il’ha turns 17 eras of age, they are believed to be full grown and are introduced into the society as a fully functional young adult. Once this day arrives, the youth is expected to gift their mentor with their familial token. In a self inflicted ritual, the youth is expected to perform scarification of their familial mark upon the centre of their chest. This wound is then filled by them with a molten metal or stone. This marks them as an intrinsically connected part of the community. Alongside this, the mark of their mentor’s family is similarly placed on the skin of the youth’s hand. This pays homage to the hand their mentor had taken to shape them into adulthood.
The third ritual is that of parenthood. The sacrifice and honour that is taken upon the parents for bearing a child, and in so providing the clan with a viable future is respected amongst the community and shown with pride. For each child one sires or carries, a mark is placed on both the Mother and Father’s body to denote such. This mark is as all others, carved into the flesh and filled with molten substance. For a child specifically, a mid-sized spiral is placed on the shoulder. For each child following the first, an additional spiral is placed, branching smoothly off the first.
The final sacred ritual of the Oe Il’ha people is their ritual of passing. Once a member dies, the community gathers adorned in trophies of their previous battles, tokens of their apprentices, in full armour and weaponry. This is both to mourn and honour the life lived by their community member, and also to escort them into what may come after with the passion in which they lived. Once everyone has said proper farewells, then the body of the individual is set aflame whilst the community sits in a vigil for the departing soul. The body is dressed in the battle attire they would wear in life, pardoning weaponry they may have gifted to their kin. The body is then coated in the same oil as the first ritual and set alight. Their spirit is said to rise with the smoke of their end to return to the stones from which they came, nourishing the spirit and life that is to come.
Oe Il’han children are called by one given name, this can be simple or composite. These names are attributed to remarkable events around their birth. Later on in life an Autumn Elf may be given a new name relating to events that shaped them throughout their lives. They do not use surnames as every elf within a Tribe should know the relations of all other subsequent Oe Il’ha. All of their names have a considerable amount of ‘ah’,’oo’,and ’ka’ sounds.
Example Male Names: Rua, Hohepa, Uru-Tonga, Piki, Maui
Example Female Names: Mere, Mahuika, Waikomanawa, Emere, La'akea
As all Il’ha are descendents of Fey, they hold a firm belief in the triad of the dragon Naezeiros, the Queen Nerisys the arachnid and the serpent Oloris of the end of times along with the tree of Etes H'evelm and the chasm of Van’aqra. In the belief of the great lattice of the Laka from which magic brews, and the Aagith, song of the world. From which each god, species and living creature participates in a grand melody of all existence, begun by the great wings of the drake.
In particular, it is said that the God/Goddess of Il’ha crafted the Oe Il’ha in the process as stated in the following excerpt from old tomes of the beginning of times, passed down generations;
The Maker Naezeiros called forth his children, his architects and the gods and found them lacking. For Upon the shoulders of each he tasked the molding of a creature in their aspect of the Laka. Yet he peered about the infant world and saw that it was not yet full of life. At his command, a scant few notes emerged from Aagith, the world song. The new bowing low unto their maker. So forth, came the maker of Il’ha to be. From the volatile and hardy volcanic region, the young God of Il’ha plucked up betwixt their fingers the brightest stone that burned amidst the molten rivers. Breathing deep into the stone the gift of Autumnal beauty. The most resilient of magics made flesh. The molten creation pulsed with a new flame that did not burn, one birthed of Aagith, the world song. Holding up their third child to the fading light of the Maker’s eye, the young god asked for the blessing of the Drake Naezeiros, whose eye hung low in the sky of the ‘eve. So it would be, the last rays of the first dusk filled the stone to capacity. The molten veins of the stone merged with that of it’s kin, shaped by the God of Il’ha to form the Oe Il’ha. Forevermore the Oe Il’ha would carry the colorations of what birthed them, and the connections of their kin. The raw ambers and golden zeals of the hottest flames echoed upon their hair and eyes, skin dusky as the rocks they had been carved from.
The Oe Il’ha are richly endowed within culture and creation. In this, they have forged their own path in the ways of religion as well. Though as all Il’ha, the Oe Il’ha adhere to the long-lost fey belief of the triad in existence.
The Oe Il’ha are deeply spiritual people whom believe that in every aspect around them, there resides a spirit intrinsically connected to the god of Oe Il’ha, Ra’uki. This includes the materials they work into their clothing, armour, attire, tools and weapons. It is an ideal carried over into the flora and fauna they harvest, the winds and rain and soil. Ra’uki is heralded as the Father of all things, the breather of spirits unto the world. It is believed by Oe Il’ha that brethren in their tribe are communing with Ra’uki for strength to battle the spirits within the metals when taming them with their unique abilities.
In this, there is a belief that Ra’uki is a two faced god, capable of great compassion and creation alongside equal malice and destruction. Great lengths are gone in order to avoid offending the great Ra’uki, in that of shrines built and furnished with totems of respect, offerings and tapestries. A clan usually has a single communal shrine or place of worship for every individual to offer to.
In this great duality, the Oe Il’ha are well-versed in the dangers of the spiritual existence living ever beside the physical plane. In an effort to protect youth, they wear a medallion of their familial names so as to be claimed by the Oe Il’ha and so forth, claimed into the loving eye of Ra’uki. As opposed to the eye which glitters with hatred and enacts the worst of disasters and failures upon the Oe Il’ha. Creations in the likeness of Ra’uki typically feature a half face in a wide benevolent smile, and half in a scowl that drips venom and tears from savage teeth. Or adversely, a full face of benevolent compassion with an opposing face of hatred carved into the back of it.
In each member of the tribe of Oe Il’ha, there is said to be equal measures of Ra’uki’s venom and his kindness. When a law is broken, it is said to be due to an imbalance of such venom and spiritual cleansing is administered, aiming to rehabilitate the offender to rejoin the community that upholds these values.
In the tribes of the Oe Il’ha, the entire community is said to be one family. To cherish, provide for and defend eachother is a sacred ideal upheld at much cost. Each youth is borne unto a family well versed in their own lineage despite the lack of a surname, for each family household is composed of many experienced relations. Grandparents, parents, children, aunts, uncles and cousins are well known to each other in the child’s early years. The other members of the tribe are oft referred to as ‘Auntie’ and ‘Uncle’ by all of the youth’s under their 17th era. At which point, the youth becomes a young adult and so on forth refers to community members as their brothers and sisters.
Most families are governed internally by the eldest living members, the younger generations giving respect to the wisdom the elders may have seen. These elder generations typically live with a set of the younger, being cared for if needed or helping to care for the newest generation of said family. When the child is old enough to leave the comfort of their parent for a suitable amount of time, a mentor is chosen either by the family requesting a mentor to guide their youth or a mentor taking particular notice of a youth and approaching the family about the issue. The mentor is not a blood relative of the youth, and acts as an unbiased teacher of the tribe’s customs. This mentor will tutor the youth in battle tactics, sparring, metal forging, spiritualism, hunting, gathering, farming and whatever else is necessary until a youth finds particular interest in a vocation. In general, a mentor is to be a second guardian to the youth and guide them to finding their own place amongst their peers unburdened by any thoughts of familial interference in what that might be. Children are encouraged to strike out on their own and develop a sense of independence this way.
Oe Il’ha art is primarily seen in their craft of metal or stone, alongside the greatly woven tapestries and textiles that form their wardrobe. Scribe work is required and respected, but it is not a general practice to form art from other mediums such as paint, charcoal or clay. Such art is also ever present upon their bodies and in the valuables they choose to wear, trophy or forged item.
Oe Il’ha are prolific hunters and cultivators of the land upon which they dwell. Primarily dwelling in richly soiled areas at the foothills of active volcanoes, they are accustomed both to the bounties of farmlands and the spoils of hunting fauna in the surrounding areas.
Their diet consists largely of a mixture of starchy taro, planted coconuts, sugarcane, sweet potatoes and yams, fish both fresh and salted, with additional meat from their various hunting activities.
Beyond this, any and all scavenged fruit in the surroundings is also considered a staple in their diet. Farming such is not uncommon.
Major Settlements/Points of Interest
Typically, their settlements can be found on the rocky, yet oft fertile slopes of volcanoes. Dwelling in almost uncomfortably warmer climates than their kin, they vastly prefer to neighbour volatile active volcanoes, as in such lay a foundation of their culture.
As such, active volcanic areas or locations rich in particular precious stones and metals are seen as precious resources to the Oe Il’ha. Though none more so than their clan home, from which the spirits of their elders are claimed to reside.