- Skin Tone: Pale White
- Eye Color: Grey
- Hair Color: White
- Height: 6'
- Sylvanari: -2 to all social interactions.
- Crysanari: -3 to all social interactions
- Solonari: -2 to all social interactions
- Quenari: -2 to all social interactions
- Main article: Malanari History
The Malanari are the great mystery of the Elven peoples. Slumbering in obscurity in their cavernous kingdom below the Bloodstone Mountain , they believe themselves more 'pure' than the other elven races as they were extreme isolationists for nearly three-thousand years.
Originally, the Malanari were called the Solonari or "The Shining Ones" within the Elven peoples as their pale skin, white hair and affinity for arcane magic gave them an almost etherical quality. It was not until the curse that sent them into their slumber that their hair turned black and they became known as the Malanari.
When the skies burned with the fires of the war between the Gods and the invading Demon armies (the Night of Fire ), the gates that locked the Malanari below their ancient capital city of Solandyl were opened. The god, Arn , who had banished the elves from the sun for their part in allowing Outsiders to invade the world from the Realm of Shadow , was unable to maintain the seal upon their prison and defend the land. Whispers among the oracles of the Malanari suggest that it was the God Maltharius who, while Arn was distracted, stole the key to their prison to release his people from their exile.
This moment of their return is celebrated by many Malanari as the Great Awakening .
Life and Society
The kingdom of Malanar was originally founded as the Kingdom of Solonar before the War of Tears that divided the Elven Nation into three parts, approximately two-thousand years prior to the start of the Kelani Record. After the fall of the Solonari the Malanari remained within their subterranean cities for nearly two-thousand years during which time they began to worship Maltharius , God of Shadows and Secrets.
The Maltharian assassins known as the Malhashyn are deadliest in the land. Combining their knowledge of the arcane arts, shadow magic and their innate dexterity makes them a deadly foe.
Long courtships are very common to ensure that the emerging couple will not falter when they wed. Very commonly, the aunts of the couple will meet for tea and discuss the personalities of their family and attempt to work out any incongruities between the couple if necessary. Aunts are considered to be the match-makers in the families.
The Malmedri language is very similar to Sylvanari with some influences of the Kith. The early followers of Maltharius took his own writings, a book of philosophy called the Malhadrym, and would secretly hide sections of the holy text into a single spoken verses. Malmedric calligraphy is among the more beautiful scripts; long-flowing strokes from right-to left as opposed to Arness which is left-to-right with short-stroked characters.
Maltharian clergy are taught a special language during their religious education; a language of subtle hand-gestures and body language that would normally be ignored within common conversation. This language, known as Sharym (Hidden word), is how clerics can speak to others of their faith without revealing the message to others. Originally created as a means of communication during long periods of silent observances, the clergy have taken it to a more subtle level and used it as part of their own rituals. When two Clerics of Maltharius would meet away from the kingdom, a series of gestures is used to test the other to ensure that they are truly Maltharian. One who is not of their faith who has managed to learn the language is given two choices; convert or die. Rarely are they ‘successfully’ converted.
PersonalityA Malanari is a creature of ritual and of habit. Coming form a lawful, theocratic society, their lives are built up of a number of small routines, rituals and plans. A Malanari doesn’t get out of bed without a set plan for how the day’s activities are to unfold. Each action, no matter how slight, is a calculation for every reaction may set into motion a series of events that can cause great change in their lives; whether positive or negative is left to personal interpretation. They are the Fate-Spinners, watching the comings and goings of the world around them with a detached air about them as though they were somehow separate from the rising and setting of the sun. When a Malanari speaks, there is reason. When a Maltharian acts, there is calculation. Nothing is left to chance.
Malanari are deeply spiritual people, taking their faith to almost fanatical levels of observance. Each night at dusk, Malanari will – if the situation permits – unroll their prayer rugs and with their prayer beads in hand, silently meditate upon the death of another day. Malanari proclaim that they do not lie. Everyone else who has ever heard of Maltharians would be hard-pressed to agree, totally. They do, however, neglect to tell the whole truth and select which parts of the truth to reveal at any one time.
One of the items commonly found upon a follower of Maltharius is a string of prayer beads; a Felarym (fel-AH-rym). Aside from the prayer beads, a Malanari would not be caught out in the light of day without a large, voluminous cloak and hood. Malthengard is a sunny kingdom of temperate winters and blazing summers and so the people there are somewhat avoidant of the light. Malanari who are traveling beyond the reaches of their local temples will commonly carry with them a small prayer rug upon which they can sit for their evening rituals. Incense cones of various flavors are also carried to be burned as part of their observance of the death of the sun each night. These small rugs are woven with various geometrical designs and patterns.
Manners & Debt
Dealing with the Malanari is tricky. Either you do what they ask and they kill you for your rudeness in asking for your earnings, or you don't do the job and they kill you for being rude by breaking a deal. What's worse is having a Malanari owe you a favor. Should you ever be so rude as to inform them of their debt they will probably kill you for the public insult.
The Malanari, as a general rule, are tolerant of wizards of other races. They share a common interest and will often invite arcanists to share and discuss magic and magical theory. They do not, however, tolerate bad manners or commoners for long.
Burial and Death
As the predominant faith in the kingdom of Malthengard is the worship of Maltharius, most of the burial practices also follow his teachings. Maltharians and the Malanari believe in the practice of mummification.
Once a person dies they are cleaned, drained of fluid and dressed for viewing and prayers by dusk of the third day. The body is generally drained with the assistance of a few tick-like spiders that are controlled by the priests. After the three days of preparation and the final viewing, the body is then wrapped in long strands of spider silk. This process is also completed with the assistance of spiders under the control of the priest. As the body is wrapped in webbing, several small medallions, amulets and miniature scrolls are placed about the body. These items are gifts to the deceased from his friends, family and the temple who attended him on his journey to the afterlife. Only those items of great personal or spiritual importance are interred with the body; chiefly of these would be the Sharn dagger of a Sharmarali or devout follower.
Once the body and its amulets are covered with the webbing, it is interred within the subterranean tunnels below their temple.
ArchitectureMost of Malanari architecture tends to favor black stone with sharp edges - glorifying obsidian as a perfect building tool.
Art and Music
Malthengard produces a great number of agricultural products mainly for use within the nation. Cereals, grains, vegetables and wine from the south country are considered slightly exotic are sometimes sought by those with refined tastes. The cities of Fel Shanor and Malthengard both house great centers of learning in the lore of arcane and divine thought.
A predominant industry in the kingdom of Malthengard is the production of spider silk. Much stronger than the silk found through the harvesting of the cocoons of silk worms, Maltharian spider silk is a lucrative trade item in Sekket to the south, the West Marches to the north and the elven kingdom of Crysanar to the east. For over one-hundred years, the chief exports of Malthengard has been spider silk and linen paper. Paper, has been exported from Malthengard for nearly a full ten Marks and they guard the secret of its production very carefully to control its monopoly. Aside from the manufacture of spider silk, a product of the Tenebril shadow weavers, Malthengard is also developing a market for the expertly cut obsidian products of the Malanari who trade exclusively with the spider kingdom.
Maltharians prefer to use the weapon popularized by their god; a curved dagger – the Sh'arn. See Malanari Weapons
The Malanari are the only elven race that readily accepted the concept of currency and have used it extensively when dealing with non-elves. Malanari and other Maltharian coins tend to have a whole at their center so that they may be strung together on a cord and worn under their clothes rather than kept in a pouch.
As Malanari copper pennies have a square hole at the center, they are easily worn on cords in increments of ten or more.
Malanari silver marks are oval silver coins with the symbol of their god pressed into the surface.
Maltharians prefer to appear unarmored, through the use of large cloaks and the like. This restricts the armor that they can wear to padded or leather and in rare cases shirts of elven chain or mithril.
See Maltharian Armor
The kingdom of Malthengard is ruled by a theocratic council, each representative having proven themselves to be a devout follower of Maltharius and a capable leader. There is no requirement of social or economic class upon the counselors, but each has proven themselves through years of service to the faith and to the kingdom.
The Maltharian Council has only nine seats; eight representatives and one Speaker. The Speaker’s power lies in his ability to vote when the representatives are stalled in their deliberation. He is also the only member who is able to appoint representatives to the Council. Three of the representatives are appointed to sit in as advisors to the Congress of Guilds, one is an honored guest to the Shadow Court of the Tenebril, three more sit within the Sharmarali and others fulfill other roles within the Kingdom.
"A Maltharian and their secrets are rarely ever parted, and never all at once."
"A Thousand throats can be cut in a single night by a running man."
“There are seven words in Malmedri for “truth”, nine for “secret”, but only one word for lying – death.”
- Maltharian Master Calligrapher Carresh
"You can spot a Maltharian using the 4 P's. They're, to a fault, Punctual, Presentable, Polite, and Prepared. Of course, there's folk all around like that, but those folk didn't go and form themselves a nation, did they?"
- Anonymous Gypsy