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Valnor was a region that existed many years ago. Valnor consisted of a small continent and an archipelago, which eventually became one united country. Sadly, it was destroyed in the Battle of Unnumbered Tears by Malcur's Army, but when it was in existence Valnor was one of the most prosperous countries of its time. Valnor is the indigenous home of High Penguins, where they can all trace their ancestry back to at some point. Valnor consisted of many islands, of which a handful remain. The name comes from the archaic Valnorian Wilwarin na Valnar, meaning "Constellation of Kinsmen".
The location of Valnor is disputed amongst scholars and archaeologists, though a common belief that it was located north of the Weddell Sea is widely accepted. Due to the almost mythical tales concerning it, many have come to the assumption that Valnor never existed. This is false, as there is sufficient evidence, including many artefacts, and the memories of a few thousand old High Penguins. However, many penguins do not believe High Penguins exist, so they just assume "those senile old bats" are stretching the truth. This has resulted in current archaeological efforts from the USA recieving less funding than other operations, so the aspirations of many of learning about Valnor seem to have been limited.
- 1 History
- 2 Culture
- 3 Geography
- 4 Language
- 5 See also
Valnor has an extensive history, which is mostly retained in memories of loremasters and in old books.
Though modern historians have little information as to the early periods of Valnor's history (Pre-2500 BC), ancient lore has shed some, but not much, light on prehistorical Valnor. It is viewed that Hunter/Gatherer High Penguins had migrated to the region long before 2500 BC from the southernmost tip of modern day New Zealand. Folklore tells of penguins discovering Valnor by crossing a "large bridge of ice", which may indicate to the Ice Age time period that contained several glaciers that connected Valnordore to modern day New Zealand. When the glacier ice melted, the Hunter/Gatherers were stuck living on the Archipelago, and they continued to live their nomadic life style before adopting Agriculture and sedentary lifestyle around 2700 BC. Valnor was once home to primitive tribes of High Penguins, which were each confined to one element or magical power. Obviously, the elemental tribes were the largest, with every Chick to be born into that tribe had magical powers in that area.
The Tribal Wars
The Valn'rii, which is Early Valnorian for "The Kinsmen", were the largest tribe, who represented the element of light. The Valn'rii were righteous, chivalrous, folk, who came to the aid of those who needed it, no matter the circumstances. The second largest tribe was the Syd Fhon, which, roughly translated from their own unique tongue, meant "Spear Flippers". The Syd Fhon were, obviously, warmongering, shadow-penguins who hated the Valn'rii. They often raided weaker tribes villages, and warred with them.
The Valn'rii could not stand by and watch as the Syd Fhon terrorised the lesser tribes. However, the Valn'rii elders (who governed the tribe), did not see it wise to fight a war where they had no advantage, for the Syd Fhon had ammassed many allies and soldiers. This tore the Valn'rii in two; many obeyed the tribe elder's orders, but more went and fought the Syd Fhon. The Syd Fhon fought hard, but were defeated by the Valn'rii at the Battle of Centriff Ford. Then came a reformation in the Valn'rii, followed by a split of those who fought the Syd Fhon, and the ones who stayed. Meanwhile, the rest of Valnor was suffering in the wake of their war, which had layed much of the main island in shambles. With the Valn'rii split, there was no peacekeepers to maintain order. Chief Cronodinus, a leader of one of the Valn'rii tribes and a hated enemy of the Syd Fhon, had his two sons, Sigurd and Bacchus, married off to the daughters of his two most trusted advisors, and he supported his sons' voyage to explore the unknown world. Cronodinus purposely supported his sons' voyage since he feared that his tribe would finally get involved with the war. In a month after his two sons' departure, his tribe was attacked and destroyed, though Cronodinus and his wife managed to escape to another Valn'rii tribe. Sigurd and Bacchus became forgotten in Valnor, and they settled the Antarctic Mainland and the Ninja Archipelago to become the forefathers of the regular Non- High Penguin species.
Ilù and Vat
From two tribes which had fought against each other, one who fought on the side of the Valn'rii, the other who fought on the side of the Syd Fhon (Take in mind that these weren't the Valn'rii and the Syd Fhon, they were tribes who allied with them), two penguins fell into a forbidden romance. They met in secret, and if anyone was to find out they were in love, they would both be killed. Ilù and Vat were their names. And so, Ilù and Vat ran away, saddened by the continual warring between the two tribes. They went to a valley in the bang centre of the main island. In that valley was a Volcano, a river, a mountain, and many other landforms that each represented an element. Ilù was trained in Earth magic, while Vat was trained in Ice magic. After years of drawing strength in the other elements, they became the masters of all seven.
Vat was killed by a band of rag-tag Syd Fhon mercenaries, enraging Ilù. Ilù told a lie to the leaders of every tribe, saying that another tribe challeneged them to a battle at Arvernien Fields, on their honour no less (A challenge that was irresistable to the primitive Valnorians, who always obsessed about their honour). When most of the armies showed up and circled the field, Ilù stood in the centre. She beseeched the leaders to unify, but when they denied, she unleashed a display of magic that could have possibly destroyed all the armies there, but Ilù used her powers to end the tribes wars and build peace between them. Ilù created the Ilùvat, seven gems into which she poured out her powers. The city of Arvernien was built in Arvernien fields, and Ilù was crowned as High Queen over the new country - Valnor.
Valnor was prosperous for many years under the reign of Ilù's line. Many new cities were built (Including Arda by Cìrdan the Shipwright, who happen's to be Triskelle's ancestor), society advance, and riches were in abundance. There were some small wars, but nothing major.
Of the genealogy of Ilù: Ilù begat Ecthelion the wise, and Ecthelion begat Ìsodus the Iambic, Ìsodus begat Beler, Beler begat Brithom, who begat Amrod, who begat Amras, then Amras begat Sirion, Sirion begat Turgon, who begat Maethros, who begat Aravis the Beautiful.
Aravis married Dragamir, a Captain, and begat seven chicks. Their names were Finwe, Malcur, Drachus, Noldor, Nenya, Rillian, and Kuruk. Each chick had particular skills in a certain element. The most powerful was Malcur, who had mastered shadow. He led the Valnorian army, recieved the most gold, girls, and attention, and was due to recieve the throne of Valnor. His younger brother, Finwe, was to be second in charge, when a new land was discovered.
Discovery and Colonisation of Antarctica
After a band of explorers, led by Kuruk, reported back from an "uncharted frontier" in the south, King Dragamir and Queen Aravis decided it would be profitable to explore this new land. And so, they sent scouts, explorers, and soldiers to investigate this curious dominion to the south. They reported back to Dragamir: Craithus, Captain, by election, lead navigator of the explorers of the south, to Dragamir, rightful king, by marraige to Aravis the fair, King Under The Stars. May your kingdom shine forth and be blessed with prosperity many days. May the minstrels long sing of the shining land of Valnor! I write unto thee, O Dragamir, that thou wouldest see with thine eyes, the fruit of our expedition. This is a land of savage natives... but full of spoils and riches. Tis a frigid realm, not like unto our own temperate place. The indigenous are unlearned, of little magic. They marvel at our pikes and sabres, our mail, woven and crafted things... but more so at our magic. The savage have not yet unwraveled the secrets of smelting, weaving, crafting, forging, mining, farming, fishing, or fletching... Except for a group of which we call "Casari", or "Naugri"; of their works there is none likened unto even in Valnor. They do not take to us well, for they fear us for our strange ways. Thus, our travels here have not been met with charity. Though the treasures that are abound in this new land are abundant, they utilise them not. Ard Mhaca it is henceforth called, meaning "High Treasures", for the elevation is unnaturally high, nearly likened unto a great white, flat, mountain. Ard Mhaca would be a fat, fruitful, land, if thou wouldest permiss that we colonise it.
Due to the persuasive letter sent by Craithus, Dragamir was convinced he could increase his wealth by colonising the new realm. So, for the next few hundred years, ships left the port of Mithlond and landed in what is now Freezeland and the Antarctic Peninsula. High Penguins colonised there, establishing towns and ports, building trade routes. The main exports out of Ard Mhaca were silver, gold, stone, fish, gems, lumber, Casari (also called Naugri or Sroots) products, and much much more. The Casari began to retreat from their great stone cities, including the fabled city of Zrutkamin, which was described as a great city, built of the finest stone and craftsmanship, but was destroyed by the Sroots who fled in fear of the High Penguins.
Troubles With the Natives
The High Penguins did not intend to frighten the natives. They meant to befriend them, but they did not take them carrying pikes and bows lightly. The Native "normal" penguins warred with the High Penguins, often raiding their settlements. Many tribes, however, did not. The High Penguins taught them Valnorian, how to read, trained doctors and teachers, and built roads for them, forged them weapons, and although it was much different from mild Valnor, taught them to farm. There were six main factions of High Penguins in Ard Mhaca: the Traders, who's purpose in Ard Mhaca was to make a profit, the Missionaires, who taught and healed the natives, the Colonists, who moved there to start a new life, the Diplomats, who represented Valnor and governed over the colony, and the Soldiers, who maintained order in the colony.
Meanwhile, the natives were angry at the High Penguins who were taking their land. The major conflicts began in 287 AD, when migrating bands of Native Penguins attacked the colonies. There were only a few soldiers in the garrison, because of the trust the Valnorian government had placed in the natives. The walled city of Southton, which is now called Ard Mhaca, was sieged by native warriors. The High Penguins were shocked at their speed, agression, bravery, and brutality, but came at an advantage because the natives lacked organisation. Reinforcements were sent, led by Finwe and Kuruk, and the natives were no match for the combination of their magic, and their well organised, disciplined way of fighting. When the natives saw their chieftains dead on the battlefield, the ordinary warriors panicked. They either hurled themselves recklessly towards the High Penguins, and were easily targeted, or else retreated in confusion and despair.
After this skirmish, the Valnorians sent more troops to Ard Mhaca and established more towns. Finwe and Kuruk were awarded and praised for their great leadership; Finwe was to be given Ard Mhaca, Kuruk was to be given authority over the seas, and Malcur was still to rule Valnor.
Malcur's Envy and the Construction of the Elemental Amulets
Malcur envied Finwe and Kuruk; he wanted to rule all of the High Penguin world. His Mother Aravis sensed this, and suspected he would betray her and Dragamir by trying to take the Ilùvat. If he got the Ilùvat, Malcur would be able to destroy Finwe and Kuruk. So, with the wisest and most powerful magicians, and the finest craftspenguins, they met in secret in the city of Arda. There, Aravis proposed that they either destroy the Ilùvat, for if they landed in the wrong flippers, they could cause great destruction, or find another way to keep the world safe.
And so, the Elemental Amulets were created, from some of the deepest magic. The Ilùvat were each intertwined to one of them, so if the Ilùvat came into the wrong penguin's posession, the Elemental Amulets would counterbalance the power.
After hearing of his parents lack of trust in him (which they were just in believing so), Malcur dissapeared. No one knew where he went, but he dissapeared until the year 550. Meanwhile, Finwe had become High King over all of the Kingdom of Valnor, the Emperor of the Colonies of Antarctica. Malcur was furious. He stole the Amulet of Shadow, which was kept by a High Penguin Master. For 100 years, from the barren tundra of Antarctica, he decieved many penguins; he used the "lower" penguins as pawns, and he brought many High Penguins into darkness as well. He turned many evil, almost deforming them, so the new breed was called "Efreets".
The Destruction of Valnor
After he amassed a large army, of such a force there had never been, Malcur revealed himself once again. He waged war on the Valnorian Kingdom and attacked the colonies. This resulted in a full scale war, the largest in Valnorian history. Battles were fought in Valnor, and in Antarctica, and it lasted for 92 years. The Keepers of the Elemental Amulets led the army of the High Penguins, but eventually had to retreat from Antarctica in a period of time called "The Plummet". The High Penguins still had only explored the western reaches of Antarctica, and they recoiled back to Valnor to meet them there, where their strength would be at its peak.
With the Full Moon at its peak, on midsummer, 742, when their magical powers would be at their highest, the two armies of Malcur and Finwe converged upon the Valley of Ilùvat, where Ilù and Vat met over 2500 years prior. They fought and fought for days on end, while the rest of the High Penguins living there abandoned their homeland and moved to Antarctica, because Malcur's forces had cleared out of there.
Victory was near for the Valnorian Army, when Malcur came. He wiped out legions of Valnorian soldiers at a time, driving through their lines, almost impervious to their magic. He stood as tall as a mountain, his head above the clouds. There, right at the spot where Ilù and Vat had pulled the Ilùvat out of the Earth, Malcur and Finwe dueled. Finwe won, but at a price. Malcur was sucked into the Ilùvat void, where he would be cursed to dwell in darkness forever. But, the rest of Valnor was overwhelmed by his power and was destroyed. Only a little ruin remained, and even fewer penguins survived. Only Arda, Lichenblossom, Valnordore, and a few other small islands survived. And so, Finwe and the remaining Warriors went to Arda, which would become the new heart of High Penguindom left.
Arda remains hidden, Lichenblossom and Valnordore have been found, but the location of the main island is still hidden. Many would like to rediscover and revive the mystical land.
Valnor had a unique culture, that still lives on. It has influenced High Penguins even until now.
Bards & Music
The Valnorians enjoyed music, poems and songs as entertainment, and for more serious purposes. Music accompanied Valnorian warriors into battle and made them feel brave. Poems praised the achievements of a great Captain or the adventures of a bold explorer, and sometimes told historical (and legendary) tales. Dead heroes and warriors, and possibly even ordinary people, too, were mourned with laments.
On special occasions, and in the homes of high-ranking Valnorians, poems and songs were performed by bards. It took many years of training to become a bard. Bards leared how to compose using all different styles of poetry, and memorised hundreds of legends and songs. They also learned to play an instrument, and to read and write, although most Valnorian poetry was never written down. Becoming a bard was one of the most respected professions among Valnorians. Valnorian music lives on through modern High Penguins.
Most poetry was not spoken, but sung or chanted to the music of a harp or a lyre. Bards used the music to create the right atmosphere to accompany their words, and add extra dramatic effects, such as shivery sounds during a scary ghost tale.
Arts and Crafts
Art was essential to the Valnorians. Beautiful objects were not only good to look at, they also carried important messages about the owner's wealth and power. Their designs might have a magic or traditional meaning to protect them from harm, or to inspire warriors setting off to war. The Valnorians were skilled at different arts and crafts. Many examples of their pottery, glass, enamel, metalwork, and jewellry was brought over by Valnorians fleeing Valnor and still influences modern High Penguins. From written descriptions of their clothes, archaeologists know that the Valnorians were skilled weavers and dyers, although few pieces of cloth have survived.
We do not know much about the penguins who made these fine objects. They may have been free or independant, or skilled servants of wealthy families. However, from archaeological evidece that survives we do know that towards the end of Valnor, many craftsworkers worked in fortified towns, as opposed to country villages as in earlier times.
Food and Drink
Food was very important to the Valnorians. Being from a much different land, they ate differently than modern High Pnguins. They enjoyed unique recipies that now have derived into newer dishes. The Valnorians grew their own food on their farms. They needed to buy only items such as salt (used to preserve fish), and luxury good such as grape juice. However, if a penguin lived in a city, they needed to buy most items, and could only have small gardens (luckily, wages were substantially higher in cities and towns than in the country). They also hunted and fished for many wild creatures, and gathered wild fruits, nuts, herbs, and mushrooms, from meadows and forests. Valnorians were famous for their hospitality toward strangers. It was their custom to offer food and drink to any visitor, and not to ask where they were from until the end of the meal.
Valnorian stories often describe splendid feasts, in which food is served all day and all night. These feasts were far more than occasions for eating and drinking. They were a way of bonding together all the most important penguins in the community, of displaying wealth and power, of settling quarrels between warriors, and of the deciding status withing the tribe during early days. Feasts were for men only, although women often cooked and served the food. The host and his guests, warrior heroes or noblemen, sat in a circle, with the honoured guest in the seat of honour. The assembled company might have been entertained by a musician, who composed songs in their honour. The honoured guest was served with the choicest cut of fish called the champion's portion.
Valnor consisted of many islands, each having a different terrain.
The Main Island, Aglarond, was in the west of the archipelago. It was the capital of Valnor, and the largest island in terms of population and size. In the centre of the island was Ilù and Vat's valley, nestled in the Ard-Galen (High-Green) Mountains. In the South, the forest of Elemirë covered most of the area between the Ard-Galen and the sea, but farther down there was a clearing. Near here were the cities of Arvernien, Carnil, and Himring.
On the north side, was many small towns. It was a rural, agricultural, area, mainly characterized by the broad plain of Himlad and the Ossir River, which ran through the centre of the plain. This was the ancient home of the Valn'rii, and so there were many ruins here. One interesting ruin that stood until the fall of Valnor was The Sentinels. The Sentinels were two humongous statues, taller than any tower in Aglarond. The Sentinels were set on each side of the Ossir River, though who they were and why they were placed there is unknown to archaeologists. High Penguin lore-masters claim that The Sentinels were Amros and Amrod, two ancient Kings during the "Golden Age" of Valnor. The Northern part of Aglarond was once the jewel of the island, but over time the kingdom moved to the south.
The West was a hilly, sparsley populated area. The East, however, was a low-lying, denser area. The towns of Ciryatan and Minhiriath were the main places here.
Main article: Lichenblossom Isles
Lichenblossom was discovered in approximately 300 BC. It was then colonised by High Penguins. It survived the destruction of Valnor.
Main article: Valnordore
Arda was a small island, south of Aglarond, that was uninhabbited at first. Then, Cìrdan the Shipwright, and Kuruk the Navigator discovered it. Soon after, using magic, the city of Arda was carved out of ice and water. It became the safest city in Valnor, even surviving the dectruction of many other islands. In modern times, High Penguins still live there.
Known as the southernmost island in Valnor, Forochel was in the Wedell Sea. Penguins from Forochel were born with exceptional skill in ice-magic, because of its frigid climate. Forochel was also a fishing outpost, with trade routes running by it. It did not survive the destruction of Valnor.
Nan Laeglin was west of Aglarond, and the second largest island.
Losgor was where fire-magic originated. Losgorians were originially hostile towards outsiders; as told in the story of Teleri, in the days of Ilù's reign. Teleri was sent to Losgor as a diplomat, to discuss whether they would join Ilù's empire. However, when the Losgorians saw Teleri's ship, bearing the emblem of the Valn'rii (for the Losgorians had dealings with the Syd-Fhon), they attacked his ship. When news came to Aglarond, they sent an army there to take Losgor by force. It was a brutal war, but Losgor was finally won by the Valnorians.
Urthel was actually twelve smaller islands, who were united unedr one government. When Ilù's diplomats came, there was much tension between the islands of Urthel. Some islands wanted to join, and some didn't, which sparked the Urthelian Civil War. Eventually Urthel joined Valnor.
- Tyn Barad
Valnor had, on average, a mild, temperate climate, though much warmer than Antarctica. The islands of Forochel, Arda, Tyn Barad, and Lichenblossom, though, had a typical climate of Maritime Antarctica. High Penguins were not bothered by the heat; for they are almost unaffected by weather, unlike the normal penguins.
Summers were mild with average precipitation, and it lasted from December to March. Springs were wet and cool; while auttumns were dry and cool. Winter, which lasted from June to September, was cold and snowy. Valnorian winters were not as harsh, like Antarctic winters, but they were rather more mild.
Valnor had many languages. The main language was Valnorian, which started out on Aglarond. Archaic Valnorian is much different from the Valnorian language that you would hear now. Valnorian started with the Valn'rii, and eventually evolved into a written, poetic, language, that is more like modern Valnorian. Modern Valnorian carries the same alphabet and most of the words that were used 1500-2500 years ago. Valnorian used runes in earlier times, which told stories, history, and spells, and books in later times.
Each island had their own dialects of Valnorian, though they all conformed into Aglarondian "Standard" Valnorian eventually. Latin was also spoken by spell-writers, but the Valnorian alphabet was used insted. By the time of Aravis, English was also slowly being spoken.
Sample of Valnorian (note; this is modern Valnorian):
- (Valnorian word [pronunciation] English word)
- Suliad (pronounced soo-ih-lied) - Greetings
- Mára aurë (mah-rah ow-ray) - Hello
- Pedich Vhalnellen? (paw-duc fhal-nel-en) - Do you speak Valnorian?
- Ava vanta i salquessë (Ah-vah vahn-tah ee sahl-QUEHS-say) - Keep off the grass
- Le hannon (Lay hah-non) - Thank you
- Heca, firimar (hay-kah, fear-ee-mahr) - Stand aside, mortals!
- Mára mesta (mah-rah may-sta) - Goodbye