Illistim Culture - Part III. Societies and Social Groups
Providing a distraction from the day to day studies with even more studies seems to be a bit of a contradiction to most – but not to the Illistim. It is an integral part of any Illistim elf's social life, allowing them to fill their free time with pursuits of a scholarly bent in a less structured and casual environment, and allows them to freedom of choosing a society or group with which they are obsessively passionate about.
It should be noted that while the general atmosphere of most societies are fairly casual, there are those elves who wish to dedicate their entire career to the tenets of such, leading these groups to become very powerful political machines within the royal court as different Illistim politicians join different causes. An Illistim elf can be part of one of the state-sponsored branches, such as the Loremasters, and be part of a specific society, lending a very diverse air to the Illistim's political and social climate.
While there are as many societies and social clubs as there are families, the ones mentioned here are some of the largest and most notable.
The Grey Obelisk
The Grey Obelisk is mainly concerned with two things: the archaeological discovery and excavation of unknown sites and the mysteries of prophecy. Most who join their ranks have a passive interest in Jastev and the art of divination. Of the societies, the Grey Obelisk is the least casual, and most of their research is shrouded in secrecy.
Crest: a pale grey obelisk set against a starless sky
Watchers of the Eternal Eye
The Watchers of the Eternal eye, for the most part, are a group of Illistim scholars whose sole goal is amassing of knowledge that the Masters of Lore otherwise ignore or deem too hazardous to collect using current resources. Often times, the Masters of Lore are unwilling to pursue a subject with as much dedication as they would another – deeming it too much on the ‘fringe' of practical research to be noteworthy of study -- this is usually where the Watchers pick up the threads. They are somewhat radical in their methodology, lending to the fact that most of those within this society consider Fash'lo'nae a patron. Their research into history has produced some very amazing surprises – such as alternate bloodlines of certain families and certain acts committed by important higher ups, all with the necessary proof to be credible. Such revelations put them quite at odds with some families, who are none too happy to see their closely guarded secrets revealed.
Crest: an open eye set against a black pyramid
The Silver Rod
The Silver Rod is mainly interested in the expansion of mental magic, which is, by and large, a fairly ignored field of magical study among the Illistim. They rose to prominence only recently in 5103 by using their combined knowledge to track down a psionic which had been harrowing the local thought channels and attacking several nobles remotely with powerful mental attacks. Their accomplishment attracted a number of new members, including several prominent Masters of Lore.
Crest: a silver rod encompassed by a pale circle
The Pallid Breath
The Pallid Breath is concerned with all things involving elemental air magic. Their society has helped in several breakthroughs in the Wizard circle of rote magic. Their gatherings are often held outside, which is unusual for Illistim elves. They have a fairly large amount of curiosity for Celiel, the Great Air Elemental. A few of their followers are also passingly interested in Jaston, as well.
Crest: a stylized swirl on a field of blue
The Swirling Tempest
The Swirling Tempest is concerned with all things involving elemental water magic. Their expeditions often take them to the sea or large bodies of water where they frequently test out new theorems and ideas much to the displeasure of local fishermen and the surrounding wildlife. Due to some fairly disastrous results with a deep sea oceanic experiment and the subsequent involvement of Charl (if such a passive term such as ‘involvement' can be used when discussing Charl) they absolutely abhor the Arkati and actively seek to avoid his attentions when going about their studies.
Crest: clashing wave crests upon a field of celadon
The Amber Flame
The Amber Flame is concerned with elemental fire magic, and has helped directly contribute to several well-known fire spells. While there are no active volcanos within the region of Ta'Illistim, this does not stop those of the Amber Flame from walking the elemental planes of fire. Their meetings, subsequently, usually take place in remote manors that are heavily warded against damage should something go awry. During their inception, such precautions were not taken and the resulting inferno in the Shining City nearly earned them an outright exile and banning of their research altogether. Were it not for several prominent Masters of Lore being among their ranks, this may have happened, but as it was, the members convinced the court that such measures were a bit too harsh, and the society has lived on to modern times.
Crest: a silver hand conjuring a gout of flame
The Rooted Earth
The Rooted Earth society has been primarily concerned with the study of elemental earth magic. Their forays into the mountains of the DragonSpine have rewarded them with the initial discovery of veniom, faenor and eahnor. A number of their kind are also fairly friendly with the dwarves, their interest and respect for the earth softening the usual gruffness between the two races.
Crest: a looming black mountain upon a field of russet
The Unending Circle
The Unending Circle is primarily concerned with the control and maintenance of incredibly dangerous magic – such as demonic summoning and other comparable spellcraft. They are often at odds with the Watchers of the Eternal Eye, being that their society is generally comprised of those who consider Lumnis their patron. They rose to greater prominence after the summoning incident of 5105, proposing an outright ban on sorcery which was ultimately rejected, but forced the Sorcery Guildhall to be closed down and relocated elsewhere. They have since advised the lawmakers of Ta'Illistim on what magics to outlaw and work among the teaching circles of the Loremasters disseminating proper spellcasting procedures.
Crest: a trine of intertwined glowing blue circles