Quyah'scenthaal (KWIE-ah-sin-thaal, Original name: Quiscent Wood Protectorate) Main city: T'Savart'Uma Main port: Canadensis Year of Reckoning: QY 4093 (OOG: At the Spring of 2017) System of Government: Gerontocratic Socialism Overview: There may be found a very few families of elves within the Empire, some who live among the Hoblings of Newhome, and even in the Southern Wildlands. There are individual elves who have joined the Pirate Bands as well. Elves are a long lived race with pointed ears. They tend to view issues and concerns with an eye towards long term solutions and as such can seem uncaring about the concerns of shorter lived races, conversely, living such a long time they tend to not wish to be bogged down with a task or responsibility for a long time, though again, sometimes they will fixate on a task for hours or years knowing that they will have time to do something else when they are complete. Elves find beauty to be a powerful draw to their spirits - many of the race focus on the beauty of an object just as much as its function. Founding of Quyah’scenthaal: “May the sun forever illuminate your path.” “May wisdom grow with your years.” The elves within the Maelstrom typically hail from the nation of Quyah’scenthaal on the Ostenwasser penninsula. The nation has stood for Four thousand and ninety three years, and the first settlers of the Forest of Light arrived nearly five thousand years ago. Elves of the Dur Numarie nation Ergwaith Palan became shipwrecked within the Maelstrom in the year 1012 of the Third Era by Imperial reckoning (approximately 4,988 years ago). The ship, the Seeker, was on a cartographical mission and was scheduled to take several decades mapping the coast of the entire continent. It was a large ship, a galleon, and well supplied. The Seeker travelled north up the coast, and then east before it encountered the a massive unseasonable snowstorm from the cold blowing off of the Glacier. Eight days later, In the wee hours of the morning, the Seeker encountered the Maelstrom and was drawn in. The crew of the Seeker described the Maelstrom thusly: “The wall of the Maelstrom was taller than the mast of the ship, taller than any tree we had ever seen. It looked sometimes like a wave, sometimes like a cloud, and sometimes like black fog or mist. Bursts of lightning exploded within the cloud. The wall twisted and turned, generally west to east, though we were to find out that on the inside, it spun the opposite way and pushed water away from the wall. The Ocean itself poured into the base of the wall like a cyclone pulling the ship downwards and eastwards. We were swallowed by the wall, visibility went to zero and the great galleon was tossed and spun. The windsheer tore off the masts and almost everything on the upper decks. Eleven crew members were lost.” Nearly swamped, the Seeker drifted ashore on the northeast tip of the Stormface Coast in a tiny harbor where it was stripped and ultimately scuttled. The elves were stunned by the beauty of the the Sunlit Woods and they explored the forest. Within two days they found a forested glade where several Elven sages recognized a special grove which housed a spirit of nature and many sleeping dryads. These Sages were part of an Order of the Glade, a dedicated group who carried on the tradition of defense of slumbering dryads. The elves realized the glade, and sleeping dryads, were defenseless. Using ritual magics they contact the leadership of the Dur Namarie and they decided to stay in this forest in order to protect what would be called the Quiescent Grove. Over the next decade they built a settlement around the Grove and called it T'Savart'Uma. They also find overland routes to the Maelstrom wall south of the Sudenberg Mountains, where magical experiments over the next two decades prove that no one is able to escape the Maelstrom alive. The Dur Namarie send in reinforcements and their crew’s families in an overland march - their trip through the Maelstrom is dangerous but with minimal loss of life, due strongly in part to the many Wooden and Bone Golems that were sent to assist. The elves named their colony “The Quiescent Protectorate.” The elves, unaware of the presence of the Empire, did not announce their presence and focused on protecting the glade above all else. Quyah’schenthaal officially became an independant nation at the of death of Herukan Mel’Vinora Emwayin, who had been the last ritual caster within Quyah’schenthaal who personally knew the Minyakan (the leader of the Dur Namarie) and had been thus able to use ritual magic to contact him. The Minyakan had decreed that Ergwaith Palan had forfeited all claim to the lands within the Maelstrom upon the death of the Hurekan. 905 years after the first elf arrived in the Sunlit Woods the nation of Quyah’schenthaal claimed all of the Forest of Light as well as the Western Wood and named T’Sarvart’Uma the capitol. This time period roughly corresponds with the Imperial Wyldefyre War against a powerful Bugbear clan. The end of that Imperial war brought fires which could be seen from the western edge of the Western Woods. Scouts were sent to investigate. This is the first War that the elves have observed, and they saw the power of the Empire, and the ruthlessness of their tactics. The Maturarch decreed that Quyah’scenthaal would remain hidden as long as possible and settle the Western Woods as little as possible, while keeping careful watch on the world outside of the forests. Quyah’scenthaal elves life cycle: The parents of elves must choose to have a child in order for that child to be conceived. It is unknown why this is so. As children elves are taught to use bow and arrow, and how to read as well as basic arithmetic and the basics of herbology. Elves reach puberty between 10 and 15 years of age, and age to physical maturity by the the age of 20 to 25 years. Elves are considered adult at the quarter century mark and may begin working on their trade of choice. They may not own property or engage in warfare until they have lived at least 100 years. Elves begin to slow down around 500 years old, and are considered Elders at 750 years old. At this point, elves begin to slow their aging yet again. Elves feel the pull of the beyond for their spirits, and the cycle of nature for their bodies starting at this age, but they can continue in the mortal realm for many more centuries. At any point beyond becoming an Elder, an Elf may choose to “discorporate” and thus die. Typically elves choose to leave the world after about 1000 years, though it is not unusual for an elf to be active for 1250 years. Beyond that age, though, elves frequently begin to experience dementia and other extreme signs of aging. Some have been known to linger on in this state for a few centuries. No elf has been known to naturally live longer than approximately 1500 years. This only applies to elves that spend most of their time in the forest - those who spend too much time outside of the forest tend to face the symptoms of aging much more quickly. Within the forest there is no gender based limitation on who can or can not hold power, nor hold military office. It is not unusual for gender identity to be somewhat fluid among elves, which can be confusing to outsiders, but is so comfortable for the elves that assuming the gender of another is seen as rude. As is assuming the sexual orientation considered rude as many elves have a flexible view on attraction, finding beauty in many forms. Typically when an elf reaches adulthood they are expected to choose a surname from among the names of Elders in their families. Elven clothing ranges from simple to ornate, but it is always functional and of fine crafting. Elven armor is light, and moves well, weapons are similarly light but sturdy. Elves do not rush in crafting anything and their meticulous handiwork shows. Elves will not appear shabby, or have grimy clothing if at all possible. As they age, elves frequently acquire more complex artistry in clothing, borders and stitchwork, and finer materials. It is considered impertinent to dress a very young child in anything other than simple garbs or to dress significantly above or below one’s age. Governmental structure: Quyah’Scenthaal is a strict Gerontocracy with Socialist influences, which is rule by the eldest. In practice, the very oldest will screen those approaching the Elder Age and block certain people from gaining power/influence, the 900 year olds have meetings to discuss how the 800 year olds will stop the 750 year olds from subverting their rule. In society there is an almost militaristic adherence , left over from the various militant groups that arrived. There is an actual army as well with a less Gerontocratic command structure. All land is public land and approval by the House of Elders is required to build, take down, or modify it. Elven families do not own land, as such, they own the homes and buildings on the land and are held responsible for caretaking the lands around their homes. Management of food growing lands is done by families nominated to the task by the House of Elders. There is no gender distinction regarding the treatment of individuals in the society. Maturarch: The Maturarch is the oldest living elf, the ultimate authority in the Gerontocracy. Decrees of the Maturarch may be overturned by simple majority agreement of the Council of Antecedents or a four fifths majority of the House of Elders. The Maturarch nominates members of the House of Elders into the Council of Antecedents. Maturarch An’An’dalia Malt’thos is approximately 1190 years old and has been the Maturarch for 77 years. The Maturarch and any helpers, and immediate family members live in the palace at T’Savart’Uma which boasts the tallest tower and a balcony overlooking the forest. Council of Antecedents: A ruling body of elves who are over 900 years of age who have not yet retired from governance. The council also has the power to confirm the appointment of a new Maturarch by simple majority. The council is responsible for the creation and debate of new laws, and new international agreements. The council currently has 68 members. The Council chamber is found in a short, wide tower, over looking the Quiescent Grove in the capitol of T’Savart’Uma. House of Elders: A ruling body of elves who are over 800 years of age who have not yet retired from governance. Members of the House of Elders meet each season, when not meeting, they handle governing tasks such as appointment of mayors, judging civil and criminal cases, tax management, and domestic defense. The House currently has 183 members. The House chamber is located in the North East of the city. It is arranged as an outdoor amphitheater. Elder: The title of Elder is conferred on any Elf having reached their 750th year. Elders may retire with honor from any profession or military rank. Typically taking half a century to make arrangements and put affairs in order before moving into political office. No Elder is expected to work during this half century, nor shall they want for any reasonable thing, many take this time to tour the forests of the Protectorate and settle in a location that will need an Elder either due to promotion or death and begin the process of preparing to govern. Geography of Quyah’scenthaal: Sunlit Woods / Forest of Light: There is an unusual quality to the deciduous trees that make up the overwhelming majority of the trees in the Sunlit Woods and that is that the leaves of the trees are golden green, rather than traditional green. Leaves loose their golden shade quickly upon falling from the tree, and trees transplanted outside of the peninsula do not retain these qualities either. Because of the light greenish gold color of the leaves, during the sunlight hours the tops of the trees are nearly glowing a diffused golden light. Due to the extra light there is more warmth in the forest and the spring comes sooner, while the fall lasts longer. Sages have speculated, and arcanists have experimented for generations, with most pleasantly scratching their heads and offering unprovable suggestions as to why this is the case. There are several groves of white birch trees in the forest that are have silver bark, rather than white - birch beer made from the distilled bark of these trees has an intoxicating effect (even on elves) as well as making the imbiber feel light and effervescent. Elves that grew up or spent a great deal of time in the Forest of Light were most likely exposed to very exotic foods, peculiar music, and would generally be used to more expensive and finer things. Typical diet of the elves of the Sunlit Woods include many fruits, nuts, rice, and delicately spiced fish dishes. Noodles made from rice grown along the southern coastal regions are especially popular throughout the forest. Very little wheat is consumed in any form. T'Savart'Uma: A settlement built around the Quiescent Grove. It appears as a glittering jewel in the forest, made primarily from white stone with sweeping parapets, towers taller than trees, beautiful gardens, parks, and cobblestoned roads. The city has a massive park at it’s center, the Quiescent Grove. Fully five miles from the north edge of the oval to the southern end, the shady grove welcomes all elves to wander an untouched forest in the middle of a sprawling white city. The Quiescent Grove is given over as an independant freehold for the Dryads. The wealth of the city matches nearly any city in the empire. The oldest and therefore wealthiest families live closest to the Quiescent Grove, the city center, in intricate and beautiful homes with poorer denizens living in simpler homes further from the center. Canadensis: A small port on the bay. This city is named after the brilliant purple Canadensis trees that dot the area. It is situated north of Stormface coast on the Northeast corner of the Ostenwasser peninsula. The town is approximately 50% built out over the harbor using the harbor’s waterways to transport goods from the moderate port. The Seeker’s Tavern sits out over the water, made from reclaimed wood from the Seeker, the ship which carried the intial elven settlers to Quyah’scenthaal. Western Wood: The dark evergreens of the Western Wood that comprise the majority of the trees therein are a stark contrast to the Forest of Light. The cool, shady forest holds longer winters and shorter summers. Fully three quarters of the Quyah’scenthaal army is stationed in the Western Wood. They practice maneuvers and patrol, supply, and man, the many outposts along the border of the forest. The Western Wood is less civilized than the Sunlit Woods. Textiles are more utilitarian, meals are simpler, and music is typically smaller scale. The Western Wood is described as somber, lonely, and rugged. The diet of those living in this area of the country are much simpler. Fish, rice, and much more forest animal meat. Fruits are scarcer but imported from the Sunlit Woods. A very strong nut-wine is made, primarily from cashews. There is a very small population of Wylderkin who live in the Western Wood. They are not allowed to settle or travel in any other parts of the forest however. Stormface Coast: The eastern shore of the Forest of Light is very rocky and the forest goes right up to the water’s edge. This makes it very treacherous for large ships. Additionally, storms influenced by the Maelstrom frequently crash onto the shore. The northern shore is much calmer and the small port of Canadensis (named for the high population of purple canadensis trees in the area) thrives due in no small part to the elven defensive mastery of archery, and magic. Few elves make their homes here, those that do live simple fishing lives. Southern coastal communities: The southern coast has many sandy beaches. Small, fishing villages dot the landscape. Crops, primarily rice, but also other grains such as corn and wheat, are grown in abundance. Orange groves thrive though most other fruits and nuts are imported from the Sunlit Woods. There is an unusually long growing season on the south coast, so this area is the source of much of the large scale food production for all of Quyah’scenthaal. Music amongst the elves of the Southern Coast is primarily vocal and almost all sing-a-longs as the elves do much physical work with their hands. Blood Orange wines are crafted which have intoxicating effects on Elves. Maelstrom Scars: Where the maelstrom once was in the Western Wood there remains an arc of desolation. Trees there are twisted, blackened, beasts there are chaotic and dangerous. Generally considered to be the edge of Qui’scenthaal the forest edge is patrolled regularly. The Awakening of the Dryads: On the first day of the autumn in QY 4087 the first Dryad awoke in the Quiescent Grove. An elven couple, Jah’onatia and Fey’eenah, were walking with their three year old child, Cu’lanna, who became excited and told the parents that “the tree was dancing!” The elves, thinking that the young child had perhaps taken their teachings a little too literally, at first did not grasp the significance of what was unfolding. In short order, though, they saw that indeed a naked person with skin as bark, and golden leaves threaded through their hair was indeed walking towards them. The Dryad, who would later go on to become the first Dryad Elder and take the name Quercia of the Quiescent, said to the elves gathered there, “I have slept for such a long time that I cannot now recall much of the time before the slumber. I remember that there was a reason for our slumber and that we would wake when the time was correct, and that your people would keep the way safe for us.” Quercia knelt to more closely be on the level with the child and said to the child, “I felt your spirit, little dear one, in my dreams and I knew it must be safe to awaken.” The Maturarch An’An’dalia Malt’thos was summoned at once and was gladdened to know that the Dryads were to awaken in An’An’dalia’s time. The Maturarch pledged that the entire nation of elves was dedicated to the protection of the Dryads, and Queria was reassured by these words. An ancient tome, which had been carried and cared for by the Order of the Glade since thier arrival in Quyah’scenthaal, was brought before Queria. Within a fortnight an emergency session of the House of Elders, as well as the Council of Antecedents, were called to order by the Maturarch. By this time, several dozen Dryads had awakened in the Quiescent Grove. The two peoples met and discussed at great length what had transpired since the arrival of the elves in the Forest of Light and Queria said that those who had been awakened would go out through the forest awakening others and conviene a moot as to what would be done. One year after Quercia woke, the Dryads formally accepted the laws of the elven people, and their place as a separate people within the Elven nation, “As a vine and a tree, we shall share in the gifts of the forest.” The Dryads live among the Elves outside of the city as they do not care for the city-houses of the elves. Throughout the Sunlit Woods, however, they live side by side with Elves. An enclave lives within the Quiescent Grove, however, and meet regularly with the Maturarch and the Council of Antecedents. It is the strong wish of the Dryad people to become more involved in the world outside of the forest though the elves continually caution against such actions. Customs: Protection of Nature: Preservation of nature is seen as of paramount importance. Elves seek to leave no trace of their passing in the natural world. Wonder: Among the elves, the pursuit of the feeling of awe and wonder is important. There are many explorers amongst their people. Elves will generally reserve judgement on a work of art, a newly discovered piece of nature, or a person until they have allowed themselves to find what it is about that person or object that amazes them. Custom of Respect: Even when angry or disliking another, elves maintain respect. The older a person is along their own timeline, the more deference is granted. Thus an elf of 300 would wait patiently for a human of 80 to finish before speaking. Talking over someone is considered a huge insult, turning one's back on another who is speaking is a sign of deep disrespect. This is one of the cultural reasons why elves have difficulty in dealing with Mystic Wood Elves (who can sometimes appear completely ageless) as well as biata and griffons who also frequently do not show their age - it is impossible to know how much respect to show these individuals. Greeting: Adopted by the earliest settlers a greeting among the elves is: “May the sun forever illuminate your path.” This is answered with, “May wisdom grow with your years.” (Frequently shortened in informal relationships to “Sun Lights!” / “Wisdom Grows!”) Laws: Necromancy: Willful Necromancy, the invoking of chaos magic, or the use of chaos powered ritual items, or abilities, has the punishment of permanent death. Obliterations are conducted for guilty parties. If they resurrect they will be killed immediately again. Arson: Wilful arson, that is the burning of any tree, home, field, dock, or ship, carries the punishment of death and banishment. Accidental arson through negligence is punishable by death and relocation to another part of the forest. Arson on a Dryad grove is punishable under the same rules as necromancy. Treason against Nature: Any crime against the fundamental laws of nature, carries a sentence of death and banishment from the forest. Treason against the State: Death and banishment. Disrespect of an Elder: A fine may be levied for disrespecting any elf who is at least 100 years older than the elf making the offense. A small portion of this fine may be given to the insulted party at the discretion of the Elder presiding. Fines range from 1-10 gold per century difference. The nature of the insult and the validity of the younger elf’s statement are both considered. Children under the age of adulthood are exempt from fines but in extreme (public) circumstances may be made to perform community service. Depriving: Depriving another person of their property, via theft, destruction, burglary, or through any other means carries the sentence of reparation to the injured party threefold, and payment to the state twice the value of the property. This provision also includes holding another captive against their will, as their freedom is considered property (in this case). However, freedom is valued at 1 season of the year per hour detained. As there are no prisons, the Elder in charge of the case can demand banishment for the duration of time owed, or state controlled indentured servitude (typically supervised cleaning of areas or other menial tasks). This provision also includes depriving a person of safety (via threat or negligence), and in the case of assault depriving a person of spell protectives, armor, and blood. Murder: The illegal and unjust killing of any life form (including animal murder for purpose other than food or sale for food) is punishable by death. Subsequent murders include the sentence of banishment. Major Celebrations: New Year (spring Equinox): A celebration of birth and new life, as well as the beginning of the new cycle of the year. Children born since the last New Year have their birth celebrated by all, and given their first name, and gifts are given to new parents. Vibrant greens and floral shapes are used to decorate villages and private homes. Mid Year (summer solstice): Mid Year is the celebration of the elven passion for life. A holiday for excess and passion, many elven couples are married the day just prior (or sometimes just after!). Gifts are often exchanged, and many villages have a gift trading ceremony. The exchange occurs as the evening draws near; the participants wrap a gift and place it on a stage. The youngest elf then selects a gift, and then the next youngest may select a gift from the stage OR they may take a younger elf’s gift, all the way up the line to the oldest who selects last. Mourning Day (autumn equinox): Mourning those who have been lost is welcomed on this day. Those who have lost a loved one, family member, or close friend, are not expected to do any preparation for the feast which commences in the early afternoon. Solemn songs are sung, and tales told of those who have passed forever from the world. Much wine is consumed on this day, with the sad mood being generally cast aside by early evening and becoming a celebration of the lives of those who have passed. The colors of the fall are used to decorate villages and private homes. Celebration of Night (winter solstice): A celebration in starlight, the true celebration starts about an hour after sundown. This celebration is focused on the sense of wonder that elves feel about the natural world. They spend long hours with warm drinks staring at the stars and telling cosmological stories. Many Vision Rituals are conducted this night. White and star shapes are used to decorate villages and homes. It is frequently on this night that very old elves choose to release their spirits from their bodies and pass on. Their bodies are then cremated. The Grand Awakening! This is a newer celebration to commemorate the day that the Dryads awoke. Upon their awakening, the elves gave the Dryads ancient texts which described for them the world they left behind and asked to be allowed to continue living in the forest as the dryads’ guides and protectors. The Dryads accepted this arrangement exactly one year later, and so this day become the day of the Grand Awakening. The elves simultaneously celebrate the Awakening of the Dryads, as well as the Dryads’ acceptance of the Elves to the Dryad’s forest. They also recognize with wistfulness the giving over of the Slumbering Grove to the Dryads. Minor Celebrations: The ascension of an elder. When a member of the community reaches their 750th year a party is held in their honor, this takes place approximately a month after the celebration of the new year, and each Elder gets their own party. The loss of a loved one. When an elder passes naturally, they do so almost always on the night of the Celebration of Night and generally have already made their affairs ready during the year prior. But when an elf dies a violent, or untimely death, a mourning is held in the community for three days and their bodies cremated and the ashes scattered to nourish the world. If the decedent had a spouse, that spouse is expected to take a year to mourn as they see fit. The birth of a new child. Generally, these are planned to occur between New and Mid Year. Elven births have an excessively low infant mortality rate, it is unheard of for complications within the forest to arrive. Typically, it is customary for family, extended family, and neighbors to go to the home of the pregnant elf bringing food to share and make a thoughtful gift that will help the new parents during the months leading up to the birth. The Union Ceremony. Held to celebrate the binding of two individuals to a family union. Unioned couples may have children, either physically if they are compatible, or through surrogacy or in very, very rare cases adoption. The desolation of that union may be granted at the permission of a member of the House of Elders. Any individual who has had a Union dissolved may not join in a legal union for at least 10 years. Timeline of relevant events: Pre Quyah’scenthaal (4988 years ago): The Dur Namarie Galleon Seeker is drawn through the Maelstrom and shipwrecks in what the elves call Canadensis. QY 0 (4093 years ago): Death of Herukan Mel’Vinora Emwayin, founding of the nation of Quyah’scenthaal. QY 270 (3822 years ago): A massive earthquake shook the region around Maelstrom Bay, causing flooding and severe structural damage. T’Savart’Uma is structurally levelled and rebuild with an eye on structural stability. QY 908 (3,185 years ago): A coalition of Monster Tribes from the Southern Wild Lands band together and start raiding the southern territories of the Empire. This begins the Southern Monster - Imperial War. The activity is noted by the Quyah’scenthaal who send scouts to investgate. They never engage any Imperial or Monster forces but begin monitoring the Empire. QY 1670 (2,343 years ago): An especially powerful typhoon in Maelstrom Bay wipes out much of the Empire’s Imperial Navy and causes heavy damage to the Inmouth Islands and several port towns. Canadensis is destroyed, only the Tavern of the Seeker survives. It is thought that the Seeker must have been heavily enchanted to have survived the Maelstrom in the first place and that enchantments must have extended to structures made with wood from the ship. QY 1739 (2,274 years ago): Pirate activity brings a marked increase again. QY 1750 (2,263 years ago): The Elves had learned that an Imperial ship carrying Empress Venna’s daughter Sirella was taken by pirates and Sirella was taken captive. Venna instead launched an incredibly violent campaign against the Stormedge Islands and had issued orders to slaughter every man, woman, and child found on the islands until Sirella was returned safely. This was called Sirella’s War, or the Second Pirate War by the Empire. One small elven exploratory ship was destroyed during the war with all hands lost, a Knarr with a crew of ten. It was thought to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and annihilated by the Empire. QY 1910 (2,103 years ago): Southern exploratory parties from the Empire encounter Quyah'scenthaal Western Woods near the Maelstrom scar. At the initial greeting the elves are distant but civil stating they simply wish only to be left in peace within the forest. The Maturarch, Quin’oth Marlayus, commands that the Western Wood defenses be quadrupled by the end of the decade. Dozens of Watchtowers are erected. QY 1967 ( 2,046 years ago): After almost 60 years of negotiation, formal borders and a non-aggression pact is signed between the Empire and Quyah'scenthaal. The Imperial town of Baumweld is founded and is declared an official point where the Elves of Quyah'scenthaal and the Empire can meet when needed. QY 1972 (2,029 years ago): The Kraken Stirs. For nearly 960 years the Maelstrom Bay is the center of massive hurricane force storms which regularly destroy or damage towns and cities on the coast and deeper inland. Worse, enormous sea monsters (such as mile long serpents, plagues of flying flesh eating fish, octopus the size of castles, etc,) would rise from the waters and lay waste to the region. These events pounded both the Empire and the Quyah'scenthaal and the Stormedge Islands equally. Historians note that it was not until after twelve such major monster attacks separated by roughly 80 years each that the phenomenon was stopped (and even then it only stopped due to the intervention of the Empire and Quyah'scenthaal). Attacks occur in the following years: 1972, 2052, 2132, 2292, 2372, 2452, 2532, 2612, 2693, 2772, 2852, and storms indicating another monster attack began in 2932 (1161 years ago) before they were stopped. QY 1343 (1,545 years ago) Blade of the Glade elf rebellion. March of the Blade of the Glade: In 1465 of the Fourth Era (by the Imperial Calendar) The elves of Quyah'scenthaal began to receive rumors that the Empire supported Necromancy. Factions within Quyah'scenthaal petition the Maturarch to take action against the Empire. The elven Maturarch demanded proof and reluctantly was forced to state that the primary purpose of the nation is to protect the Glade and the sleeping Dryads within, not wipe out necromancy (no matter how tempting it would be to wage war on the Empire and wipe it out for its necromantic practices.) This decision was highly controversial and nearly split the nation. Unwilling to accept this, a Quyah'scenthaal member of the House of Antecedents named Halsenith began taking volunteers to invade the Empire, calling his group the Blade of the Glade. In short order he had a small army and invaded, attacking and conquering the Imperial town of Baumwald. All citizens of Baumwald who were earth casters were executed as necromancers, as were any Imperial officials who survived the battle. Halsenith was no fool, however, and knew the Empire’s response would be harsh and swift and began maneuvering many of his people outside of the city as well as calling upon more of his supporters from within Quyah'scenthaal to join him. He argued it was now inevitable that the Empire would declare war on Quyah'scenthaal, and that even the Maturarch would be forced to go to war and wipe out the Empire to crush their necromantic practices. Many more followers flocked to Halsinith’s banner, though he had miscalculated the Maturarch’s resolve to avoid war in order to protect the Glade. Word quickly reached the Imperial Court and Empress Rheanna wasted no time in condemning the attack and was about to declare war on Quyah'scenthaal. However, the Maturarch foresaw this and sent an envoy as soon as he heard that Halsenith’s followers had began their march. The envoy arrived at the Imperial Court nearly on the heels of word of Baumwald’s fate. The Envoy explained that these attacks were not that of Quyah'scenthaal, and officially repudiated the attacks and withdrew any protection granted to Halsenith and his followers, officially marking them outlaws. This decision proved nearly as controversial as the decision to reject Halsenith’s followers. Throwing him to the mercy of a necromantic nation served to boost other elves to join Halsenith’s followers, though many supported the Maturarch’s decision, noting that their mandate was to protect the Glade, and that Halsenith had abandoned that mandate and nearly plunged Quyah'scenthaal into war and endangered the Glade. The Empire retaliated, counter attacking Baumwald, however, the recent monster attack connected to the Resurgence of the Kracken hit the Imperial Forces hard, leaving their numbers and best commanders diminished. Further, Halsenith had anticipated the attack (even if he didn’t anticipate Quyah'scenthaal’s refusal to go to war). He had arrayed all manner of traps, ambushes and delays around Baumwald, making it especially difficult for the Imperial forces to take it. Further, Halsenith’s men routinely raided surrounding communities and fields, executing necromancers (suspected or real) and Imperial officials and confiscating all the supplies invading armies might be able to use. At their height they were even able to stage attacks on areas the nearby city of Ellbogenstadt. However, in spite of their superior tactics, the Blade of the Glade was fighting to hold conquered land and had no support from the people. In spite of continued surreptitious support from some of the citizenry of Quyah'scenthaal, Halsenith was fighting an uphill battle. Eventually the inevitable occurred and the Empire pushed the Blade of the Glade back to Baumweld. The elves hung on for a considerable period however, stretching the siege out for months. Finding the Elves too entrenched and suspecting that reinforcements and supplies were being secretly brought through the forest, the Empire’s General started a massive fire in the forest torching Baumweld as well - technically, this forest was part of the Empire as it was west of the Maelstrom Scar. The conflagration burned all of Baumwald to the ground and breaks the morale of Halsenith and his followers. Halsenith was captured and obliterated on the spot as Baumwald burned. QY 2734 (1,298 years ago): A contingent of hobling ships arrive within the Maelstrom, deposited whole and intact by the mists. Their commander, Allistar Throttlebottom, was on a mission to escort an Icenian Ambassador, Dame Isabella Ryatt and her entourage, to meet with a Galanthian entourage to stave off war. Upon arrival in the Maelstrom, Allistar’s crew was enraged and mutinied immediately, killing him. His first mate Brollo Goldpipe took command and, assisted by Dame Isabella, kept the crew together until they landed on the northern edge of Maelstrom Bay, near the former town of Edgeport, naming their town Newhome. Unable to escape the Maelstrom they settled and immediately began making agreements with their neighbors, hiring wild tribes of the area to defend them from ice trolls from the north and other enemies. Within 10 years the Hobblings join the Empire. QY 2932 (1,100 years ago): The Empire and Quyah’scenthaal collaborate to send their best mages to perform a ritual upon the center of the Maelstrom calming it and stopping the unusual storms and monster attacks. The elven contingent is led by Cyndarian, an ancient elf reaching the end of his life who was the last dragon mage. Cyndarian had left the House of Elders rather than being elevated to the Council of Antecedents to pursue magical study. At the completion of the ritual, Cyndarian realized that the Empire’s wizards were using necromantic rituals. He abruptly departed and secretly began researching a means to permanently slay a Biata. QY 2933 (1,099 years ago): Magical sages realize that casting magic from both schools cause emotional responses in wizards. They theorize this is connected to the ritual that stopped the storms and monster attacks. QY 2934 (1,098 years ago): An elf assassin, later identified as Cyndarian, slipped into the Imperial Castle in Wolkestadt and summoned a powerful artifact - a white blade with a red griffon crossguard, as well as a Death Elemental Overlord. Cyndarian merged with the Death Elemental. He then used the sword to permanently slay Empress Helena Stratos, and much of the Imperial Family, as well as a whole host of other guards and permanently killed a large number of high ranked Gryphon Touched. Each time Cyndarian plunged the artifact weapon through a Highblood or a Griffon, that person died permanently. Cyndarian slew many Sapiens (humans) as well, by and large they resurrected successfully. He spent the next five days wreaking havoc in Wolkestadt, slaughtering hundreds, before the ritual that summoned the sword expired. In a rage at the loss of the sword the Death Elemental rifts away still bound to Cyndarian and vanishes, never to be seen again. Due to the permanent deaths of many members of the royal family the next in line of succession is Empress Helena’s cousin Brand, who becomes Emperor Brand II, who becomes known as “Brand the Battle-ready” for his tendency to personally participate in battles and lead from the front. The Empire retaliates to the death of the Empress and Massacre of Wolkestadt by attacking Quyah'scenthaal, who were completely unaware of Cyndarian’s plans or actions, and a vast war begins, called Cyndarian’s War by historians. QY 2934 to 3022 (1,098 – 1,010 years ago): Cyndarian’s War rages for nearly a century (88 years). The Empire is unable to make any headway in the forest due to the mastery of the forest that the elves possess, and the tenacity of the elven guard, yet the elves are unwilling to push too far into the Empire’s lands and leave the Grove and dryad trees unprotected. Imperial citizens who are Members of the Fraternal Order of Chivalry, an organization started by the long dead Dame Isabella Ryatt, convince both side to meet for peace talks. QY 2939 (1,093 years ago): Pirates start raiding along shipping routes and in Maelstrom Bay in far greater numbers. With the end of the storms and the Empire and Quyah'scenthaal focused on war pirate activity is on the rise. Canadensis is attacked once and the pirates suffer catastrophic losses due to elven ranged superiority both magically and via archers. QY 3022 (1,009 years ago): Treaty of Maelstrom Bay is signed between The Empire and Quyah'scenthaal, creating an unsteady peace. Part of the peace treaty dictates that the Empire must abolish necromancy forevermore and execute the leaders of House Geister, the House that specialized in Necromancy. By decree of Emperor Brand Stratos II, the end of Cyndarian’s War ushers in the Fifth Era. QY 3022 (1,008 years ago): Rogue necromancers and remnants of House Geister are hunted down within the Empire and executed without mercy. This is conducted as a joint initiative within the Empire to have Imperial forces join with Elven hunters to pursue and execute necromancers within the Empire. Many necromancers and undead beings flee to outside Imperial Borders and the program expands to hunt them down outside the borders as well. This program is known as The Purges, and the squad responsible for hunting down and killing the necromancers are called Durchblasen. QY 3152 (974 years ago): Emperor Brand II, suffers his permanent death fighting the army of a liche named Malikos who attacked the capital in retaliation for the Purges. As was his tendency, Emperor Brand led from the front but was struck down. His son Veddis II is crowned Emperor. QY 3113 (900: years ago): The coming of the Children of Camulous. A Grand Galleon of Children of Camulous, the Ellen Geraldine, was chased for weeks and weeks by Dur Numarie interceptors and forced into the Maelstrom. Unable to leave the Maelstrom and with the ship damaged their leader, Commodore Jorselora Vercent, orders they put into Canadensis. The Children are rejected outright by the elves there, who don’t have the genocidal tendencies of the the elves that the Storm’Ren are fleeing from, but still do not like the race. The Children are escorted out of Quyah'scenthaal and brought to Baumweld. Survivors of the three ships chasing the Ellen Geraldine, elves, wash ashore and are welcomed by the Quyah’scenthaal. QY 3114 (899 years ago): The Purges come to a close when the elves learn the Emperor Veddis II (and Emperor Brand II before him) was using accusations of Necromancy to destroy and/or discredit political enemies and they reluctantly withdraw from the program. Na'alluette P'leah, a Kommander of the Duchblasen, is the elf who reveals this information to the Maturarch and makes an impassioned plea that Quyah’scenthaal should not make any further war. QY 3574 (519 years ago): An expedition to the glacier is organized and sent by a group of a dozen sages. The elves make scheduled contact with the House of Elders via Whispering Wind rituals. 10 days after being on the glacier the final status report is sent, that members of the expedition are growing inexplicably hostile towards each other and displaying signs of malnourishment despite having been given food. The report also briefly details that there is a large shadowy form under the ice that they are investigating, it may be the remains of a building or even a creature frozen in the glaciar. The whispering wind scheduled for three days afterwards never comes, nor do any others. No further contact with the expedition is ever made. QY 4074 (19 years ago): The Empire ends slavery and starts a new age. The Hobling House Goldpipe secedes from the Empire based on clause in their contract that brought them into the Empire was to last until the end of the next age. House Goldpipe opens immediate trade talks and possible alliance talks with Quyah'scenthaal, making the Empire reluctant to invade lest it spark another war with the elves. QY 4078 (15 years ago): The Newly freed Wylderkin have settled into Stormbreak Keep. They found a nation called Wyndael where former slaves can settle and be free. QY 4079 (14 years ago): A strange Celestial Change takes place. Highblood begin growing feathers and sometimes claws. They are called Biata or Getragen by those with knowledge from outside of the Maelstrom. They gain powers to manipulate the memories of others. “Gryphon Touched” humans proved to be the Getragan of ancient lore. Magical emotional responses become stronger. QY 4080 (13 Years ago): A handful of elves from outside of the Maelstrom leading an army of Orcs and Ogres enter the area. They bring word that the elven nation of Dur Numarie has fallen, and that the Minyakan is dead. They arrive from the northern Glacier to bring this news. The elves are ushered to Quyah'scenthaal where they are allowed in. During their time on the glacier, the Orcs had become disruptive and callous so they were set free on the ice. The Ogres had met a tribe of savage Ogres and felt at home among them, so the elves gave them blessing to stay and moved on. QY 4081 (12 years ago): Quyah’scenthaal reaches out to Wyndael to initiate diplomatic ties, in reaction to this the Empire immediately makes claim on Wyndael’s land stating it had annexed it previously when Edgeport was founded. Against the council of the elves the Imperial agreement is that the Kin allow the Empire to station troops in Wyndael to defend them from Ice Trolls for a limited period of time in return for coin payment from Wyndael. QY 4084 (9 years ago): Dryads Awaken. QY 4085 (8 years ago): Dryads officially form an alliance with Quyah’scenthaal. Present Day: The Quyah’scenthaal are very concerned about what happened at Stormbreak keep. They do not trust the Empire to act with the best of intentions and are looking for more information. General attitudes towards other races: Other Elves: Imperial Elves are seen as empty hearted and they are mourned. [Pirate elves? perhaps seen as young and impetuous?] Dryads: Dryads are considered to be part of nature, to be preserved, served, and protected. Wylderkin: Seen as the savage side of the Dryad coin but very fleeting. Stone Elves: Seen as soulless, heartless, and empty. They are seen as opportunistic sycophants. Dark Elves: All but unknown to the Quyah’scenthaal, they are seen with pity as never knowing the love of the forest. Mystic Wood Elves: Seen as corrupted versions of themselves. There are stories among the elves that mystic wood elves can steal away children and transform them into mystic wood elves. Additionally, MWE society holds no respect for elders and in fact, it is difficult to see how old they are. Biata: Seen as manipulative, untrustworthy, and fanatical. They are distrusted. Dwarves: Hardly known by the elves, they are seen as hearty and greedy. Hobblings: Known for excellent crafts, fine foods, and hospitable relations. But also seen as somewhat opportunistic. Humans: Seen as short lived, overly ambitious biata. Celunari: All but unknown to the elves - interesting distractions. Oathsworn: Savage, monstrous, vicious. They are seen as little better than orcs. Orcs: Savage, monstrous, vicious. Their callous disregard for nature is abhorrent to the elves. Ogres: Seen as wayward younger cousins but occasionally wise.