Elanthian Divination: Elves

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Elanthian Divination: Elves is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.

The Elves

Amongst the elves, the Art of Divination has wildly different schools of thought and varies from house to house and from city to city. A fine example of this can be seen by the difference in the reaction that an individual might receive from an elf of Ta’Vaalor and one from Ta’Loenthra. While the Loenthran elf may wish to sit and have a cup of tea with you, the Vaalorian would rather bid you leave for believing in such nonsense.

Indeed, it is by the use of tea that the Loenthran elf practices the art. It is believed that the future of an individual can be discerned by the remains left within a cup of tea that was properly brewed and consumed by the individual seeking an answer. When translating the tea leaves, the practitioner must consider a wide variety of symbols, letters, and images that can be found within the cup. However, before any of that can be done, there are certain rituals that must be observed.

First, the tea must be properly brewed by bringing a kettle or pot to a rolling boil. An infuser filled with the tea of choice must be added and then allowed to steep to a potency that is pleasing to the individual that is seeking the divination. While this all seems terribly simple and ordinary at first glance, when in the company of a Loenthran Diviner it is easy to see that it is truly an art form fashioned of style, grace, and dedication to genuinely aiding others.

Once the tea has been consumed, the cup is carefully examined for where the tea leaves are located. If they are found to be high within the bowl of the cup, then the time of the prediction is to be in the distance, while low in the cup means that the time is nearer to hand. Is there a place where the bottom of the cup is clear? If so, then it is suggested that the querent needs to find time to relax and rest. Clustered leaves can mean busy days, while a single leaf floating means that a friend will be at the forefront of the prediction.

The elven term for this type of divination roughly translates in common to "intention left in leaving", meaning that the drinker leaves behind clues to his future in the leavings at the bottom of his or her teacup. There are literally thousands of combinations to be considered when this method is used. A base of one-hundred and five symbols is looked for which can provide up to two hundred and ten possible translations, as each symbol can also be translated for a completely different meaning. A brief translation is provided herein, though there are many gaps in the chart.

Also clinging to a more naturalistic approach to the Art, the Ardenai have developed a method of Divination called Wind-sight. The manner in which this particular form is employed is rather simplistic and involves a querent drawing near to mind the question or matter that they seek to have resolved. After careful meditation, the individual must go outside to a clearing and carry with them some manner of natural debris. Dirt, leaves – oak leaves are popular for this – or even flower petals are lifted above the head and then released into the air; the answer comes in the pattern or means by which the debris reaches the ground. Things that are noted in particular involve the speed that the items travel at, the distance, and whether or not they remained clumped together. Unlike the Loenthran, the Ardenai hold close to them the means to translate this method and it is passed down from mother to daughter and from father to son. Some speculate that there are even different translations based upon the sex of the translator, thus making it difficult to pinpoint any one meaning.

In contrast to the three Houses mentioned above, the House of Nalfien has their own twist on divination that is more tailored to their conspiratorial natures. At some point in the history of the House, an artist gifted one of its noblewomen with an elegant deck of paper-thin, teak cards. Painted upon one side of each wooden card was the ebon rose of the House, while the other had elaborate images of various flowers and plants that could be found throughout the whole of Elanthia. It is speculated that the gift was intended to be a means of divining the future from an artist of House Loenthra. The noblewoman, however, scoffed at the thought that anyone but she could predict, and facilitate, her own future and thus the deck took on an entirely different purpose.

Ladies of the House can frequently be seen to employ use of the deck during women only functions, teas, or other gatherings as a means of communicating their feelings towards another woman. The two-hundred and eighteen cards would be shuffled and artfully arranged with skill and panache into the sequence that the shuffler wished and then flipped upon the table, while all present would feign their ignorance that the cards had fallen in anything but random patterns.

This is the reason behind the famous elven saying, "playing a Nalfein's hand", which is to say that any hand dealt by a Nalfein is arranged. This phrase is frequently seen in games where one player seems to be favored by the odds.

It is believed by many true practitioners of the Art that a Black Rose Deck could still provide a true prediction if properly employed, but there isn’t a Nalfein alive that would give it any credibility, though I have provided a translation chart herein.

Lastly, amongst the elves are those of House Illistim. The practice by which they study is difficult to pin down to one question one answer. Indeed, it takes an Illistim practitioner years and cycles of study to come to a single answer. However, when an answer is discovered – typically by studing years of weather, climate, migration, and global changes – it is more along the lines of a doctrine or almanac in its length and can frequently span a great distance of time.

Loenthran Tea Leaf Translations

Symbols Meaning Reverse
altar suffering and sacrifice  
anchor security insecurity
apple fertility ---
arch travel ahead ---
arrow an attack ---
bat a hidden fear  
boat a luck symbol - life is getting better visitors or romance is coming
bone forgetting old injustices  
bottle caution, moderation is needed  
bow someone is using force on you  
bowl enjoy what is coming enjoy what you are
box a gift is given a gift is taken
bridge mending a quarrel or rift widening a quarrel or rift
castle broaden your horizons defend your home
cat you are aloof a friend is aloof
cat deceit and lies are ahead  
cauldron creativity is key criticism is hurtful
chain engagement is ahead  
chair someone new is coming into life someone old is leaving your life
closed lock restriction ahead adaptability needed
cloud confusion, wait and all will be clear  
clover luck symbol ~ extreme luck in life the gods favor you
coin money ahead  
crescent moon changes are ahead  
cup your chances are coming do not seek more then you have
dagger ware the two-faced  
diamond luck symbol ~ fortune  
door opportunity  
double horseshoe luck is ahead, open your heart  
double line your doubts are well founded  
double triangle wisdom from the past wisdom from the future
egg a birth  
eye study  
eye patch secrets are waiting  
fat blossom luck symbol ~ happiness in life praise or compliments
fence you are being restricted  
fire you are in a social phase of life  
flame intense feelings envy
flying bird good news arriving  
fork tricky situation ahead, caution do not make a choice now
full circle money is coming your way ---
full moon listen to your dreams  
gate a death a visit
grapes now is the time to fulfill your desires  
gryphon exciting new prospects danger ahead
hammer hard work ahead  
hand appreciate those around you you are being too strict
heart mending family matters starting a new romance
horseshoe lucky symbol ~ good fortune safe travels
hourglass finish what you have started  
ice hidden feelings hidden factors
incomplete circle a once in a lifetime offer  
ivy faith and endurance  
key opportunity for improvement Lorminstra's favor
knife caution in what you say look over your shoulder
kraken be prepared flexibility is needed
Krrska self-discipline, responsibility hard work is ahead, but worth it
ladder promotion ahead  
lamp light after a period of doubt doubt without hope
lemur harmony at home  
letters of the alphabet represent people negative influence
lute music lover music hater
mermaid romance and creativity  
mouse pay attention to small details ware what is hidden
nail direct forceful action is needed do not force the issue
necklace a close bond  
obelisk an obstacle in your way patience is needed
parasol the unknown is here, but all is well the unknown is here, all is not well
pear optimism  
pipe take your time move quickly
quill communication is needed communication is hindered
rattle someone who acts childish an attention seeker
ring deep emotional commitment  
rose friendship and love  
scale balance is needed  
scales you need to weigh the pros and cons  
scissors you're being held back, cut the losses  
series of dots a long journey  
shoes you are on the right path you are on the wrong path
sickle you have earned all you gained a warning to be cautious
single bird a messenger  
single line do not take risks at this time  
snake you are being tempted to stray  
spade dig deeper for your truths  
spiral creativity is needed to solve  
spoon keep your own council confide in those you trust
square you must overcome your fears  
standing bird a delay in news  
straight line ending of a journey  
sun live life to the fullest  
sword a dispute a peaceful ending
teardrops open up, your honesty is needed you are showing too much, be cautious
temple adhere to your Arkati the gods are watching
tent a place of shelter there is no place safe
throne power lies ahead for you you are power hungry
tower feeling isolated  
tree you are independent independence is ahead
trident a symbol of the sea's favor fate is with you
twined snakes go for what you want  
vase you have too many secrets you have stepped out of the shadows
wavy line high emotions  
wheel go with the flow  
window remember your instincts  
winged One protection vulnerability
wings you need to rise above the situation  

Nalfien Black Rose Deck Translations

Symbols Meaning
a curling broad-petaled white acacia blossom elegance
a four-petaled pure white alyssum worth beyond beauty, or insanity
an ovoid cluster of tiny dark pink amaranth blooms immortality, or everlasting love
a textured petal coral amaryllis pride
a transparent, multi-petaled dark purple anemone expectation
a fan-like cluster of tiny white angelica flowers inspiration
a shiny bright red apple with a thin stem "Give in to temptation; let me tempt you"
a five-petaled blush pink apple blossom preference
a spear-shaped pale green ash leaf grandeur
a multi-veined heart-shaped golden aspen leaf lamentation
a many-petaled bright golden aster joy in variety, or depth of spirit
a cluster of pale purple trumpet-shaped azaleas temperance
a spear-shaped glossy green bay leaf deathless glory
a teardrop-shaped glossy pale green beech leaf prosperity
a bright pink begonia with layered teardrop petals gaudiness, or elegance
a serrated-edged teardrop dark green birch leaf meekness
a foaming cascade of white pink-centered blaestonberry blossoms childhood, or innocence
a pale pink bleeding-heart blossom with trailing dark red petals heartbreak and longing
a sprig of pale bluebells with a ruffled fringe constancy
a leafy dark orange bougainvillea blossom with a long stamen playfulness
a dark green clover-shaped bur-clover leaf with red speckles blindness
a round bristly grey burdock pod touch me not
a wide-leafed dark yellow buttercup material or spiritual riches
a cluster of coral-throated peach butterflyweed "Let me go free"
a paddle-shaped strigae cactus warmth of feeling
a stalk of drooping lavender calamintha shyness
a multi-layered red camellia unpretending excellence
a multi-layered white camellia perfected loveliness
a triple-petaled dainty white chamomile blossom energy in adversity
a tightly wrapped ruffle-petaled dark red carnation love
a tightly wrapped ruffle-petaled pale pink carnation pride
a tightly wrapped ruffle-petaled pale white carnation purity
a tightly wrapped ruffle-petaled bright yellow carnation disdain
a branch of stiff-needled cedar strength
a wispy twelve-petaled purple chicory frugality
a shaggy red chrysanthemum "I love you"
a mult-layered white chrysanthemum truth
a shaggy multi-layered yellow chrysanthemum "I feel slighted"
a five-petaled pale yellow cinquefoil blossom beloved child or perversion
a violet-stripped dagged fuchsia clematis artifice and vanity
a cluster of bright clover blossoms dignity
a dark green triple-petaled clover industriousness
a dark green four-leafed clover "Be mine"
a four-petaled dark purple clover blossom providence
a four-petaled soft white clover blossom "Think of me"
a star-shaped columbine folly and desertion
a star-shaped purple columbine resolution and determination
a star-shaped red columbine anxiety
a feathery cluster of coriander dotted with black seeds hidden value
a sprig of tiny white cothinar blossoms wishes and dreams
a plump dark red cranberry "I have the cure for your heart's hurt"
an exotic dark purple crocus cheerfulness
a cluster of dark red currants "Your tears hurt me"
a three-winged fuchsia cyclamen diffidence
a drooping bough of leafy cypress death
a pale dark yellow dandelion crown upon a long green stalk respect and chivalry
a fire-tipped bright pink dahlia good taste
a many petaled soft white daisy innocence
a bright yellow dandelion surrounded by a fringe of green coquetry, or spirituality
a cluster of blue-centered white delphinuris peace in adversity
a wide teardrop-shaped white dogwood blossom durability
a stalk of crimson dragonstalk ferocity, or Ta'Vaalor
a simplistic seven-petal white dryad with blush tips solitude
a cluster of tiny white edelweiss blossoms longing
a jagged-edged yellow elm leaf dignity
faewood holy magic
fennel strength
an arching dark green fern with silver heads sincerity
feverfew delay
fir the test of time
fireleaf fiery temper
flamestalk pleasant memories
flax fate
flytrap deceit
a long foxglove stem with pale purple flowers insincerity and danger
freesia calm
the silhouette of a fully bloomed gardenia purity
a lush bright red gardenia "I request a meeting"
a wilted dark red gardenia melancholy
a luscious pale pink gardenia "I prefer you"
an extravagant soft white gardenia true friendship
gentian "You are unjust"
gladiola strong character
gloxinia proud spirit
glowbark radiance of spirit
goldenrod encouragement
gorse anger
hawthorne hope despite all
hazel reconciliation
a stalk of dark purple heather untameable
heliotrope devotion
hellebore scandal, and the Arkati Luukos
hemlock "You will be the death of me"
hibiscus delicate beauty
a cluster of holly berries upon a dark sprig with glossy leaves foresight
hollyhock ambition
a tangle of pale white honeysuckle devoted love
hostas vitality
hyacinth playful games
hydrangea heartlessness
Imaera's lace wonder, and the Arkati Imaera
iceblossom truth
illthorn "I cannot stop thinking about you"
iris "Believe me"
ironwood unbending strength
a trailing vine of pale green ivy fidelity
jasmine amiability
juniper "I will protect you"
lady's slipper "I submit to your whim"
larch audacity
larkspur fickleness
laurel glory
a cluster of dark purple lavendar mistrust
a bough of dark purple lilac first emotion of love
lily (day) coquetry
lily (snow) gratitude
lily (stargazer) high breeding
lily-of-the-valley return of happiness
lor immortality through love
lotus estranged love, or eloquence
lotus (black) exotic beauty
lotus (blue) a dream state
a beautiful wide-petaled white magnolia natural beauty
maple reserve
a fringed golden marigold jealousy
meadowsweet uselessness
mezereon flirtatiousness
mint virtue
monkeyflower laughter
a velvety large purple moonflower forgetfulness
a vine of multi-hued morning glories vainglory
mournbloom grief and mourning
mulberry "I shall not survive you"
myrrh gladness
narcissus egotism
a star-shaped purple nightshade sorcery
oak bravery or hospitality
oleander "Beware"
orange blossom bridal festivities
orchid beauty
pansy thought
pansy (snow) "Think of me"
a bright green peapod cradling several peas an appointed meeting
peach blossom "I am your beauty's captive"
pear blossom with affection
pennyroyal "Flee me"
a delicate pale pink peony bashfulness
peppermint warmth of feeling
petunia "I am not proud"
phlox unity
a cluster of dark green pine needles pity
plum blossoms "Promises to keep"
a large deep red poppy outrageous extravagance
a wide-petaled soft white poppy sleep
primrose early youth
primrose (fairy) enchantment
Queen's lace "Do not command me"
a cluster of purplish-red raspberries remorse
the silhouette of a fully bloomed rose love and beauty, and the Arkati Oleani
a velvety fully bloomed black rose subterfuge, or Ta'Nalfein
a half-bloomed dark cabbage rose ambassador of love
a small dark pink dog rose pleasure mixed with pain
a gorgeous pure white Elanthian snow rose perfection
a tiny pale moss rose true merit
a delicate soft pink rose romance
a wide-petaled sanguine rose "I love you"
a hearty dark swamp rose with barbed vines "Prove yourself to me"
a delicate white rose with blush inner petals purity
an extravagant wild rose simplicity
a full soft white rose silence
a large bright yellow rose friendship
a tightly coiled dark red rosebud a confession of love
a tightly coiled soft white rosebud a heart too young to love
rose-marrow a hidden heart
a sprig of slender pale green rosemary rememberance
rowan ancient mystery
rue utter disdain
a velvety moss green sage leaf esteem
salorisa suffocation
sephwir sylvan beauty, or Yuriqen
sirenflower prophecy, and the Arkati Jastev
snapdragon presumption
sneezeweed mockery
sovyn "It is not yet time"
a dark seed-speckled red strawberry sweetness
a wide-petaled bright yellow sunflower devotion and admiration
a triple-petaled pale purple sweet pea delicate pleasures
sycamore curiosity
salneo dreaminess
thistle austerity
thyme vitality
trefoil revenge
trillium modest beauty, or hope despite pain
tuberose dangerous pleasure
a glossy pale tulip fame
a black tulip with glossy petals cruelty
a pale and dainty glossy ice tulip caution
a dark red tulip with glossy petals a declaration of love
a hearty tulip with variegated petals beautiful eyes
a pale and dainty yellow tulip hopeless love
valerian an accommodating personality
verbena family union
vervain feminine enchantment
a delicate violet surrounded by wide leaves candid words
a dainty periwinkle-blue violet friendship and remembrance
a flame-rapped dark fiery violet brilliance
a velvety dark purple violet faithful love
a wide-petaled pale wood violet secrecy
a large white water lily resting upon a verdant pad contemplation
a slender branch of black willow speckled with elliptical leaves love forsaken, or freedom
a bough of trailing purple wisteria "I cling to thee"
a tangled dark witchwood bush eldritch power
a stalk of deep purple wolfsbane blooms betrayal
a sprig of blue-green bristled wormwood absence
a blue-throated ruffled violet woth blossom blessed beauty
a gnarled wyrmwood branch speckled with brackish green flowers dangerously wild
a bristly sprig of yew with hollowed red berries sorrow
a triple-tiered bright orange zinnia with yellow accents thoughts of an absent friend