Mirseleth

From Bestiary of the Hypogriph

Template:Nation

Their black ships come and darkness falls! They laugh in glee as they destroy the decades-long works of men, like some devils out of Irkalla itself. Then they take the men, women and children, and we never see them again... Those twisted grins... I'll never be able to forget them...
โ€” Report of a survivor from a Dark Elf raid

Mirseleth is a nation situated in the southeast of Scaurai. The claimed home of the Dark Elves, Mirseleth is an unforgiving land where the most powerful and ambitious rule over the masses, and rampant slavery is commonplace. Looking down upon other races as beneath them, the Dark Elves' preferred means to dealing with their rivals is to infiltrate and sabotage them before moving in with their armies of highly skilled warriors and terrifying monsters.

History[edit | edit source]

The Dark Elves originate from Aurselen servants of the princess named Madiiraxen Sunray. While she appeared fair and innocent to the common folk, the princess was in fact deeply envious of her older brother, Eldaerenth, who was chosen to be the crown-prince over her due to his great feats of skill and heroism. This led Madiiraxen to seek a number of sympathizers in an attempt to overthrow the rest of the royal family and take the throne for herself, though she was eventually discovered and a brief civil war ensued, leading her to be soundly defeated by Eldaerenth. As he was unwilling to kill his own sister, misguided as she may have been, he instead chose to exile her and her followers away to the land of Scaurai.

Rather than admit defeat, Madiiraxen and her exiled kin chose to settle into these new lands; if they could not take Aurseleth for themselves, then they would make their own kingdom suiting their interests. Naming themselves the Mirselen and indulging in heinous acts for the sake of more power, these elves would become known as the Dark Elves after gaining power over blood magic and dark druidism, and pledging themselves to a new pantheon of malign gods led by the terrible Sethneas. Over the next millenia, the Dark Elves became one of the most feared races of the far east, terrorizing ships passing through the nearby seas and enslaving other populations whenever the opportunity arose.

Geography[edit | edit source]

Mirseleth is located at the southeastern shore of Scaurai. It is a temperate landscape filled with plateaus whose south is dominated by mountains, many which serve as strongholds for the Dark Elves. The capital of Dharlarin is strategically situated at the side of a cliff which can only be reached by water, with the only path leading to it being a fjord infamously known as the Gauntlet. Animals like deer, turkeys, wolves and bears make up some of the area's fauna, with the mountains being home to reindeer and cougars. Monsters like hydras and manticores also make their home in Mirseleth, often being enslaved and used as war beasts by the Dark Elves.

Government[edit | edit source]

Mirseleth is an absolute monarchy led by the dreaded Arch-Mistress Madiiraxen Sunbane, the exiled princess who proceeded to create an empire of her own. Numerous elven dukes and counts belonging to noble houses of prestige rule over smaller portions of land, and Dark Elven politics are notoriously violent, with deception, backstabbing and blackmailing being commonplace. However, none have managed to usurp the Arch-Mistress herself, as her sheer power and charisma keeps most of her treacherous followers in check; she claims to have lost count on the amount of assassination attempts she has suffered over her life, saying they bore her at this point. Because of the nature of Dark Elven politics, most who partake in it are extremely paranoid, and truly loyal servants are rare and exceptionally valuable to those with power.

Dark Elven noble houses include:

  • House Deathmantle - Holding great influence among the mages of Mirseleth, House Deathmantle meddles with Irkalla itself, enslaving demons to serve the will of the Dark Elves.
  • House Duskmoon - Close allies of House Sunbane, House Duskmoon has some of the most renowned dark mages of elvenkind. It is led by the much-famed Cirsis Duskmoon, the Black Conqueror of Uranith.
  • House Sunbane - The royal family of Arch-Mistress Madiiraxen holds complete control over Mirseleth, with all other noble houses serving as their subordinates.
  • House Veranis - Situated at the dread city of Ihasath, House Veranis are among the greatest beastmasters of Mirseleth, providing the armies of the Dark Elves with monstrous allies.

Disgraced houses include:

  • House Vairadi - Famed by the Dark Elves as traitors, House Vairadi's members chose to renounce their dark ways and depart to Aurelia, where they integrated into the society of the Aithrena Elves.

Religion[edit | edit source]

The Dark Elves have forsaken the old customs of their ancestors and instead follow the Mirselen pantheon, a group of malevolent gods who represent the vices which the elves eagerly partake in. The chief of the pantheon, Sethneas, is the patron god of all Dark Elves, who honour him through the ritualistic sacrifice of hundreds of slaves every year. The Cult of Bloody Murder, led by the much dreaded Bloodlord Helstreth, is the official state religion of Mirseleth and all Dark Elves are assumed to be part of it by default. Any attempts to introduce other religions into Mirseleth are met with extreme violence by the Dark Elves, who typically punish such heretics by ripping out their skin and leaving them exposed to the Sun until they die.

Inhabitants[edit | edit source]

While the Dark Elves are the dominant race of Mirseleth, they are in fact vastly outnumbered by the countless slaves they have captured over the centuries. Most of these are humans from lands such as Aynach and Ontrea who were either captured in raids or purchased in slave markets, as well as elves from other culture, which are considered the most valuable slaves by the Mirselen. Tribes of kobolds are known to live deep within the region's mountains, and while many of their kind are enslaved, numerous tribes still thrive by hiding in areas too deep for the Dark Elves to reach them.

Relations[edit | edit source]

Most races fear and hate Mirseleth, and for good reason, for they see all other races as lesser beings to be enslaved and sacrificed. However, the Dark Elves are not mindless in their hostility; they retain a passive-aggressive neutrality with most of the world, leaving enough room for them to venture about without actually declaring war on others until they are weakened enough to be easily taken out. Their relationship with coastal nations tend to be much less subtle, however; they relentlessly attack more vulnerable coastal cities to amass riches and slaves. Mirseleth's location in the world is considered obscure and indeed, most nations do not know where the Dark Elves actually live.

  • Positive relations
    • Manis - As part of the slave trade, the Dark Elves have business links with Manis.
    • Khiya - The Dark Elves make regular slave trading with Khiya.
  • Ambivalent relations
    • Dead Man's Bay - The pirates of Dead Man's Bay and the Dark Elves have a pact to leave each other alone; most do not bother remembering it when they do meet.
    • Skitterfall - The Dark Elves consider the ratmen beneath them, but see them as potential pawns.
  • Negative relations
    • Aurseleth - Their most hated enemies, the Dark Elves consider Auroral slaves the most valuable of all.
    • Aynach - Aynach is a known victim of Dark Elf raiding parties, who attack their shores without warning.
    • Eryliana - The Dark Elves see the Erylians as weak pacifists unable to stand on their own feet.
    • Merovaren - Lizardfolk are valued as slaves for their hardy constitution, and their sea routes are a known target of Mirselen attacks.
    • Ontrea - The shoreline of Ontrea has to deal with Dark Elven parties at times, who seek towns to loot and populations to kidnap.
    • Skauros - The Dark Elves would relish in the chance to enslave the Skaurovirn and assert themselves as true masters of Skauros.
    • Taelen - The Dark Elves see the Taelani as pretentious amateurs whose culture pales in comparison to theirs.

Notable Mirselen[edit | edit source]

  • Fabled Imperial Aristocracy of Mirseleth
    • Madiiraxen Sunbane - Arch-Mistress of Dharlarin and ruler of Mirseleth
    • Cirsis Duskmoon - High Sorceress of House Duskmoon
    • Laurcur Veranis - The Hydrablooded, lord of House Veranis
    • Bloodlord Helstreth - High Prophet of Sethneas
  • Other Dark Elves
    • Szalvetha Vairadi - Alchemist heir of House Vairadi

See also[edit | edit source]