Wind Elf Religion

“The Font of joy is the bosom of the Maker. Silver blessings descend from the Lord of Winds, and all good things spring from him. Go forth, children of the Wind, and sing the song that gladdens.”

Song of the Four Winds, Anuneiän Holy Text, 3rd Age

Many believe that the wind elves are so-called because they revere the Anuniä, their creator, above all other gods. This is not strictly true, however. Wind elf religion is just as varied and strange as the religious amalgamations of the other races. What really defines the Wind Elf culture is that they have retained (or at least tried to retain) the ancient modes of worship and social structure of the old elvish thearchy of the Greatwood. The various elvish kingdoms of the north retain different elements from the ancient thearchy. Most of all, however, the elvish kingdoms of the north share a common cultural descendance.

In many of the northern kingdoms, Anuneiä is in fact the chief god. This is not true primarily in the powerful and ancient land of Tailimisä, which is ironic as it is the most direct descendant of the Greatwood civilization.

Worship in an elvish context

The religious life an average elf differs greatly from the religious life of a common man living in the North. While most men (and many dwarves) do not interact with religion in a formal way on a set day-to-day basis, elves attend daily prayer in their great open temples while the Intoners sing from the eight major Anuneiän texts of song. The most religious of elves attend these ceremonies every single day, regardless of their professed faith, to honor the Maker and the Lord of Winds. However, these are a scant few amongst the elvish people. Many elves do not worship Anuniä as their prime god, and thus they may attend Auneiän song-service only once in a great while, perhaps as infrequently as on the great and important holidays.

The other great competing elvish temple is that of Noronë which has faded in the past few hundred years. Noronën elves still attend the infrequent service of Anuniä, but Noronë demands a much different type of devotion. While Anuniën services consist of a series of Intoners singing the Eight Songs of Joy along with the congregation, Noronën worship takes place only once a month (like dwarvish devotion) on a day dedicated to the sun, at noon, whereas Anuniän worship generally is performed at dusk. Interestingly, this is what gives the time of day its name: Evensong.

While elves do not practice ancestor-veneration in the way the dwarves do, they do feel a strong connection to their past. This can be seen in the many statues and crypts of the dead that adorn elvish cities, oftentimes interspersed throughout the homes of the living.

Elvish views on death and dying

“When your time comes, you will know it by its name. Death is preferable to madness.”

Collected Wisdoms, Hierophant Ellalië, 4th Age

Elves are different than the other mortal creatures. Dwarves are long-lived due to their natural hardiness, gnomes may live for generations of men themselves, and halflings and men have but a few scant decades on the face of the world before death. Elves, however, may live forever if their willpower is strong enough. Their bodies do not age past a certain point, allowing them to remain old but spry essentially forever.

The trouble with this is the elvish mind, which begins to become susceptible to intense bouts of madness at the age of five hundred. Many scholars and sages attribute this to the constant loss an ageless creature must endure, watching the world change around them. This is encapsulated in the Song of Lamentation, Verse 2 Line 5:

“By the salt-tear sea

I lay my head upon the stone.

My tears sink into the surf,

silver, ageless, and alone.

All else fades and passes;

all our glory all our pain,

And all the things that one time were

Will never be again.”

Song of Lamentation, 2:5-11, Holy Text, 3rd Age

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Wind Elf Religion

Abridged History of the 10th Age Idabrius