Racial Breakdown: 95% Ice Elves, 5% other
Major Industries: unknown
Population: unknown
Capital City: City of Jormunger
Military: Swift, mobile army, extensive clerical power.
Government: Theocracy
Current Ruler: High Priest Sorcian Ni'lock
Land holdings: Scattered holdings, underground cities carved out of ice glaciers.

The Politics of Jormunger

The Ice Elves have remained a politically-dormant society since their formation. All political actions they have taken have been done so secretively and silently, thus little is known to the public world of their dealings. There is evidence however of some dealings between the Ice Elves and the Maub'dib Empire of the Avians; the Empire considers the Jormunger kingdom to be amongst their allies. The Ice Elves, however, are very reluctant to make allies with other kingdoms. Due to their belief that the other races are inferior, they prefer to exist independently from them, forming no bonding relations to any other kingdom.

The remainder of the political existence of Jormunger is speculated by the public world, but there is no evidence of any truth to what is believed, especially since some speculations are contradictory. Some believe that the Ice Elves remain in contact with the Grey Elves, as they are a superior race like the Ice Elves, and that perhaps there exist some treaties between the two. Others, however, hold a very different idea of the relations between the two races; they believe that the Grey Elves do not approve of the actions of the Ice Elves—most prominently their following of Shiva.

Overall, the political presence of Jormunger is easily and commonly overlooked by other kingdoms. They've played no part in the major political happenings in the world, instead keeping to themselves - though it is believed that they do keep themselves knowledgeable of the world's political affairs.

Religion in Jormunger

The Kingdom of Jormunger forces its citizens to be followers of Shiva. However, there's not much forcing involved. Raised on the teachings of Shiva, the way of life and religion is rarely questioned by the Ice Elves. On the rare occasion in which it is questioned, and a citizen fails to believe in the way of Shiva, they themselves usually leave the kingdom, finding it easier to make a separate life amongst the lesser races than to attempt to practice their own beliefs within the kingdom. There have been instances of people being exiled from the kingdom for their refusal to partake in the worshiping of Shiva.

Despite the unity in following of Shiva, the actual process of worship is primarily a personal thing. All citizens of the kingdom are required to partake in a baptismal type ritual in which a priest or priestess carves something of symbolic meaning into the body, the pain being an offering to Shiva. If the recipient screams, it's considered a denial of Shiva, and they are exiled in the same manner as would someone who refused to worship Shiva. Also, to Elves, Shiva is known not only as the God of pain, but also the God of adopting lost children. Whether first Shiva was known as such a God, or whether she began to be referred to as such because of her followers' tendency to take in and care for lost children is unknown. It is commonly thought of as unusual as many outsiders see Ice Elves as a malicious people because of their ideas of superiority to other races.

Practice of Faith

As religion is such an important part of the Ice Elves' civilization, the practicing of the individual's faith is also of great importance. The leaders of the Kingdom take no part in forcing active worship onto the people—it is believed that it is not their place to judge the faith and devotion of Shiva's followers, but that Shiva will do justice to those who lack the proper faith. This belief is shared throughout the society, and because of this, the practice of active faith is prominent in the Kingdom. A room in every household is dedicated solely to the worship of Shiva. It exists as a shrine and a place of prayer considered essential in every household. Though this aspect of practicing faith is a long-lived practice there are other practices which have greatly changed, and some that have ceased to exist all together.

Extinct Religious Practices

In the early formation of the Ice Elf Kingdom, faith was a very different thing from what it has become. When the Ice Elves first turned to Shiva, they were fueled by anger and an unsuppressible hatred for the lesser races. It is from this anger and hatred that the first religious practices of the Ice Elves sprung.

An early ritual was the sacrifice of the lesser races. In these rituals, a grand mass would be held in which most of the town would attend in order to see the sacrifice to Shiva. The honour of performing the sacrifice was given to a priest or priestess chosen by the leader of the Kingdom. Only seven sacrifices were recorded before this ritual was abolished. Of these sacrifices, it is noted that three were humans, two were greenskins, one was a High Elf (no reason was given), and the last was an Ice Elf (again, no reason was given). The ceremonies commenced with the Ice Elves uniting in prayer. After the prayer, the sacrifice was brought in through the crowd, allowing the Ice Elves to closely judge the forsaken individual. Two members of the Ice Elven Guard would accompany the sacrifice through the crowd, ensuring that they could not flee and that the crowd did not touch them; it was believed that the touching of the sacrifice by the crowd prior to its death tainted the sacrifice. The method in which these sacrifices were killed varied according to the priest or priestess performing it. Some used magic, others weapons, or a combination of the two, but the death was never quick or painless.

Another practice that has since ceased was the daily compulsory attendance of church lectures. When the Kingdom was first establishing itself, it was essential to ensure the assimilation of the population into the teachings of Shiva and the way in which the Kingdom was to be run. During these church lectures, all happenings outside of the church ceased, and everyone within the city (excepting those of high status in the guard) had to go to the church. The members of the guard who were exempted from attending already held strong convictions in the life being established for the kingdom and were required to ensure that all citizens did in fact attend the lecture, and to remain watching over the city. These strict church lectures diminished over the years, and have altogether stopped as the ways of Shiva have become extremely prominent in the Kingdom and are taught to children at a very young age.

Existing Religious Practice

Due to the successful integration of Shiva into the Kingdom, very little public practice remains. One grand mass is held each year (much like one of the masses a sacrifice would have been performed at). Although this mass is not compulsory for the citizens, almost all citizens do attend. At these masses, the reigning priest commences the ceremony with a series of lectures about Shiva and the superiority she has granted the Ice Elves. After the lectures, a symbolic meaning is carved into the body in a ceremony of "initiation." Not all ceremonial carvings are done at these grand masses. Only the children of prestigious households receive the honour of being initiated at these ceremonies.

The remaining practice of worshiping Shiva is done so individually. Church doors are open always for the public; most citizens find their own time in which to attend and pray as it is believed necessary for prayer to be done outside of the home as well as in it. Also, many use the church as a place of knowledge and study as books concerning the history of the Ice Elves are held in the churches.

The Leadership of Jormunger

Due to the strong beliefs in Shiva as a whole, it is only natural for the Ice Elven society to be led by someone who is in a high position of the church as well. The current leader of the kingdom is High Priest Sorcian Ni'lock. He received his position of power through progress of the church and was named successor by the previous as has become the tradition in the kingdom.

Clerical magic is viewed as a powerful and valuable magic within the kingdom, and many citizens aspire to acquire a clerical status. This pursuit has many purposes. Not only does it honour the recipient with strong magic and the blessing of Shiva, but it also establishes a position of importance for them in the kingdom. As decreed in their laws, only priests and priestesses may become leaders of the Kingdom. The reigning priest/priestess appoints their successor for the first time early in their own reign, as a precaution in case tragedy may befall them. This ensures there will always be a rightful successor to the leader, and at the beginning of each year, this successor is announced, giving the leader the opportunity to change their mind about their successor if a more appropriate successor has been made aware to the leader, or if the previously appointed successor should do something discrediting them as a possible future leader.

The only other qualification for a leader of the Jormunger Kingdom is that they must be an Ice Elf. Again, the Ice Elves' feelings toward the lesser races are prominent as they take the precautions to ensure that there is no way in which they could be lead by someone of an inferior race.

Stature in the Kingdom

Within the Kingdom there are three occupations which hold great prestige: priests, soldiers, and mentors. These three careers elevate the status of Ice Elves each for their own reasons.

Priesthood is seen as a prestigious career due to the strong belief in Shiva held by the Ice Elves. To be granted the blessing of Shiva, and the ability to perform magic of her discretion instantly dons a position of importance. Clerics of Shiva are held with great respect by the Ice Elves. Also, since the leader of the Kingdom is only attainable through priesthood the prestige and importance of the occupation is only heightened.

Soldiers are also seen as an esteemed career. Soldiers are in fact very highly educated in the Kingdom. If ever the Kingdom was to go to war they would want to fight as intellectuals, not as barbarians. Being able to make quick decisions, and use cunning tactics is seen as essential for members of the army. There are however soldiers of low status, present of course merely for their strength but primarily soldiers are highly skilled and intelligent. The army is seen as a noble career choice, as it aids in ensuring the surviving and defending of their society. Hence, the Ice Elves army is a great force; although they have never exercised this power its existence is obvious to those belonging to the society though little of it is known to the public world.

Mentors are seen as vital in the Kingdom. It is these people whom pass on the great ways of the Ice Elves. Mentors teach clerical magic, the art of war, and the history of the Ice Elves to their students. They will have only one student at once, dedicating a large amount of their time to this student. Rarely anyone other than the children of prestigious families is able to find a mentor as the children of prestigious families are seen as more important due to their family's status. Thus, status is in part a monarchial system. It is possible for descendants of common families to gain important stature, and the occurrence of a common person elevating their status is not frowned upon by society but rather welcomed.

The Ice Elven Guard

The army of the Kingdom has a unique structure in its leadership. Unlike most systems of armies, the Ice Elves do not have one leader for the army. It is believed that should there be only one person in command of the army they would have too much influence over the Kingdom's leader. Instead, there are seven Commanders of the army. Each controls their own portion of the army, and they unite together in order to make greater decisions which must be presented and approved by the reigning priest or priestess. However, in a time of war, this system is believed to be too weak to work effectively. The time it would take for commanders to confer and have decisions approved by the reigning leader is far too great a disadvantage. Instead in a time of war, the leader will appoint a head of the army who is entrusted with making the decisions and need not await approval from the leader unless time is allotted to do so. Otherwise, all decisions are made by the head of the army, keeping in mind that once the battle is over they will answer to the leader.

The Judiciary System

One aspect of the society in which the influence of Shiva's teachings can be seen is with the judiciary system of the city. As Shiva is the god of pain and cruelty, her followers see the administering of pain as the most effective method by which to punish those who deserve punishment. Despite the fact that Shiva is a dark God, the Kingdom is far from chaotic. In fact, it is very strictly run and little disobedience of those in power is allowed without serious consequence. Their code of laws is based very similarly to Hammurabi's Code which follows the principle of "an eye for an eye" in its administering of justice. This form of justice allows for the incorporation of pain and incentive to keep the citizens of the kingdom in line so that the society is very orderly.

Societal Values

In order to properly understand any society, it is imperative to learn what is of importance within the society. The values of the Ice Elf culture are greatly focused around the idea of superiority. Unlike most societies, money is not of great priority and it most certainly does not necessarily mean power within their society. Money is only of value so long as it helps in the attaining of other societal values. For example, if money allows an Ice Elf to hire a mentor in a clerical magic art, then money is of value. As this example indicates the pursuit of clerical knowledge and power is of great value in Kingdom. It is an ultimate aspiration for those willing to attempt to receive it for it gives power and prestige in the society.

Another strong value of the society, as one may gather, is discipline. The importance of discipline can be attributed to their history: the fact that a lack of discipline is what they perceive as the flaw in humans which caused them to rebel against the Grey Elves. This value is greatly reflected in the society due its people's regimented behaviour. Acts against the laws are seen as intolerable as they disrupt the flow of the society. Level-headed nature is expected amongst all Ice Elves. They believe their intelligence is a key factor in their separation from lesser races and thus they must show at all times this distinguishing trait.

The pursuit of knowledge of other cultures and society is strongly valued by the Ice Elves. Those who show strong interests in the ways of other cultures and societies are chosen by the reigning priest/priestess to travel, where they may desire, as an ambassador of the Kingdom. These ambassadors are carefully chosen, not only for their existing knowledge and strong interest, but also for their behaviour. It is vitally important to the Kingdom to send a person of good discipline and level-headedness for their actions reflect directly on the Kingdom. The Ice Elves wish to retain their sheltered existence, they wish little to no part in the world's political happenings unless there is extreme circumstance, for example if a group arises looking to abolish followers of Gods like Shiva or the race of Ice Elves themselves, the Kingdom would involve themselves when they deemed it necessary to do so. Therefore, the selected ambassador must be one who will act for the Kingdom's wishes and needs as opposed to their own.

Ambassadors must also be believed to value another value of the Kingdom itself: secrecy. Secrecy of the cities, the kingdom, their actions, political views, etcetera, is seen as imperative to the Kingdom's existence. The Ice Elves believe that it is this secrecy which enables them to survive independently, and also it grants them the upper hand as their dealings are not public but most other kingdoms dealings are. This does not mean however that ambassadors or any other member of the Kingdom is unwilling to share information about how the people live and what they believe, on the contrary this information is shared to those who the Ice Elves see as holding potential to co-exist or be integrated into their own society. Much of the traveling Kingdom's citizens' ambition is to spread the way of Shiva, and obviously the sharing of knowledge of the Kingdom and their culture is essential in doing this.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License