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The elves on the Isle of Cess construct their homes in the trees. Deciduous broadwood trees stretch their huge branches into a web like canopy. Nestled among them are simple houses and hanging bridges. First time visitors are often in awe of the cities at night, as the numerous lamps of the elves make it look like the trees themselves are alive and swarming with will-o’-the-wisps.
While certainly beautiful, this is done for a more practical reason. The northern half of Cess is unsettled by elves, instead being home to Orcs and darker things. The isle is also closest to the Mirlethians who will make forays from the sea to pillage and burn. When such dangers come, the elves pull up their ladders and load their bows. The ensuing rain of arrows make any would be raiders pay a heavy toll.
The Isle of winter is the most wild of the Sylvan provinces, with the evergreen trees growing so thickly in places that they do not permit light to pass. The high elves of winter are woodsmen, huntsmen, and rangers, relying on the bounty of the forest to survive. The elves here are different and perhaps more unruly. The edicts from Dane Caelen are just suggestions here.
To the north live the free tribes of the wild elves. In times past, they would wage war on southern elves, but it has been many centuries since it has been so. In current times, they prefer the isolation of the north woods, living largely nomadic life styles and worshiping the Astar Uln. The woods here hold ancient growths and beautiful glades. They are also home to many dangers…
Finally, in the north west portion of the isle, lie the Cliffs of Tur’ E Nay. Strange storms form off their coast, breaking against the cliffs with a fury. A single tribe of wild elves lives in caves in the east of the range, with their champions taking flight on domesticated giant eagles. To the south of the mountains is the desolation of the orc lands. All elves fear incursion upon those broken plains.
Rains continually blow in from the western seas, giving the Isle of Leaf near constant rain. Spring brings thunderstorms, summer comes with temperate warmth, fall is a constant grey drizzle, and winter is a cold soaking darkness. While some can find this unpleasant, the residents of this isle have become accustomed to it. These conditions have created the fertile farmland that supplies the rest of the Isles, farmlands that Mirlethian raiders crave.
The Isle of Caelen holds Dane Caelen, the Capital of the Sylvan Kingdom. The wealth from that great city flows outward, making this the richest of the elven provinces. Surrounded on three sides by other isles, it is also the most protected. It is this land that the radiant dragons converge upon in times of crisis or discussion. As such, the worship of them is strong here.
Carnshertas is the closest settlement on Leaf to the Sylvan capital. It is home to a trio of three young Radiant Dragon Gods: Carn of Love, Sher Far Seer, and Tasine Earthbound. The town is divided into three sectors to honor the siblings, each personifying the personality of it’s particular dragon.
On grassy Dunes and a gently sloping beech sits Baernthrad, a quaint elven village. In the winter, the locals here live as many elves do in small sea side villages. They fish the day away and retire to warm pubs in the evening. Come summer, however, a large influx of elves journey here to stay in picturesque little inns and enjoy the most beautiful coastline of Leaf. Rich nobles often have secondary estates here. The tourist element of the town supports a large number of crafts people and artists.
Somewhere amidst the Hills of Nartosh is the fabled “Black Briar,” an elvish fortress. It is said that horrible atrocities happened here during the demon wars when the minds of elves were corrupted by jealousy. It’s exact location has been forgotten and there are none that wish to rediscover it. The last elvish soldiers left the fortress millennia ago. They were mad and incoherent, though there was one thing that was clear: they were not alone there. They left something behind.
Old Bridge is one of the most popular landmarks on the Isle of Leaf. Travelers between tMelilsaridon and Baernthrad have all crossed it and many have thrown a copper over the side for luck. There are many tales of star crossed lovers sneaking away to meet at this bridge.
Melilsaridon is the seat of The Sylvan Nation’s naval power. It is the closest city to Mirlethia, and as such has been raided often throughout its long history. As a matter of necessity, it has built up a strong army. It is the fleet that protects it’s shorelines that really garners attention, however. The city is also a busy trading port, seeing many dwarven ships in its docks, as well as southern traders. This has made Melilsaridon rich as well as protected. The drawback, however, is the endless storms that roll off the sea. The dwarves that frequently come through there have affectionately named it “Drown Town” as it has more rainy days than dry.
Fernmire is a small seaside village sheathed in grey skies. The local economy is kept afloat by fisher folk and crabbers. It’s considered a right of passage for the young to go out into the sea for their first fishing trip. The village has a temple to Niteless, Speaker of Storms and the Radiant Dragon God will at times stay in the village. The priests of the Mithraeum judge the Dragon’s temperament by the quality of the sea.
Renshire, and it’s sister village Dernshire across the sea, are often seen as one place. The waters between them see constant traffic, as elves and goods are shuttled from one to the other. It’s been nicknamed The Gateway to Winter, as it is the main point of trade and transportation to the isle.
Oakthorn on the river is a simple town. Water crafts making their way down the river are happy to see the smoke from their hearth fires come into view. The river front has a good few inns where the hardworking elven folk of the city relax after the toils of their day. As evening approaches, the air fills with the sounds of music playing and stories being told.
Fierduin is home to a trio of institutions. Currasantia, or The Blood Tree as the attendants are fond of calling it, is the elven school of war. Mithraeum Mugis is run by the church and is the kingdom’s biggest repository of books and knowledge. Finally, there is The Hall of the Seven Stars. What few elves are permitted to learn the mystic arts do so here, though few manage even the simplest of cantrips. Magic is not an easy prize in Samsarras.
Neldorshos is the shield of the south. Ships from the sylvan navy set sale from here to patrol the southern coast for Mirlethians and pirates, not hesitating to unleash their ballistae on either. The high walls of the city house a good portion of the royal army. More than one trader has made a fortune off their needs.
Dane Caelen is the crown jewel of the Sylvan Kingdoms. It is said that the capital city was the first to be made by the elves after they lost their wings. The architecture seems to back this up, as twisting spires and ledges adorned with wrought iron spikes seem unwelcoming to anything that may land from above. Queen Caelen Dicelle rules the kingdom from the halls of The Palace of Eternal Twlight . The city also holds the highest Sylvan church, The Grand Mithraeum.