Upstarts in Felac'Delb
A political body made up of predominately elves and dwarves that is based on the island of Lorath, and whose capital city is Nith. The Combine is governed by the council of six (which is composed of powerful elven wizards) and the dwarven king and his cabinet. They have a very complex interaction. The council of six has direct rulership over southern and western Lorath, while the dwarven king has direct rulership of northern and eastern Lorath. These areas that are mostly elven and dwarven respectively, since they are the ancestral lands of the two races. The Combine covers other continents though, like Prack and Ekwa, which are very mixed. In these areas, both dwarves and elves run the local government. The government of The Combine is made up of only elves and dwarves, which many citizens don’t like. Aside from the fanatically loyal populations of Nith, Torol, and their surrounding towns, most combine citizens believe a change of government is in order. Some like the “free mixing” of elves and dwarves, while others are more traditional in their views. Supporters of the Combine argue that splitting the nation apart would result in inept child states which (even together) could never hope to match the power of the Combine. They then point out that this would make the world vulnerable to Orc attacks and possible re-subjugation. It boils down to an argument over whether safety or independence is more important.
When it comes to foreign affairs, the Combine wants to make sure they always come out on top. They are envious of the incredible business power of The Free Cities of Jara, and wish to take control of them. They also hope to outclass The Kalashek in scientific importance, and work very hard to both advance their own knowledge and disseminate it through books. From both within and without, people who work directly for the combine are seen as heavy-handed and irresponsible with their power.
The Combine is very diverse spiritually. The dwarven king worships Semadra, and proclaimed her worship to be the official religion of the dwarves. The Elves have no official religion, but the council of six worships Neyathir, the patron of magic, the great tool of both good and evil (or creation and destruction, as they prefer to say). Many of the “normal” citizens worship Jomades or Tanas.
There’s also the drow. Most people don’t know about them, and those who do are told to keep their mouth shut about them by the Combine. The drow were a group of elves that went underground around the time of The Great Orc Invasion. They used the tunnels that connected the underground lakes as the connection to their home. They dug for years, and eventually made enough space to make their city, which they called Drow Atnan (meaning Hidden Sanctuary). To adapt to life underground, what wizards they had with them devoted their studies towards transmutation, achieving harmony with their new environment through magic. Compared to the average elf, a drow is shorter, paler, has black eyes, has larger ears, and will probably live only 60 years. Adaptation was not flawless, so there were accidents in creating drow to start with. There were a few hundred elves who went underground, and there are nearly one thousand drow at present.
There were many reasons to join the exodus. Some wanted to separate from the elven government, some wanted to explore, and some just wanted to not be enslaved. Everyone got what they wanted, but some felt guilty about abandoning their elven brethren on the surface. They called for a meeting, and they decided to wait for a few decades before returning back to the surface by which time they would either help the elves against the orcs, or they would rejoin their kin.
When the time came, they returned to the surface, finding their elven cousins free, but allied with dwarves. They could not understand, and were unwilling to join The Combine. The Combine wanted its people back though, and they sent a messenger declaring that Drow Atnan was being annexed by The Combine. The messenger and his party were killed on the spot, and their heads were sent back to surface elves. The Combine returned in force, killed a few dozen drow, and re-stated their notice of annexation. The drow understood that force was not the answer, and sent a counter-offer to The Combine. They wished to be left alone, but would pay taxes to the Combine. It was a bold move, but was eventually accepted after the drow changed their tactics to make a more emotional appeal to individuals in The Combine. This was around ten years ago.