Daenor is the most ancient land of the Centerlands, the ancestral home of the Elves and the site of the major battles of the First Ruination. There is no central governing body, unless the edicts of the Keth'talisen (Five Families) on the Isle of Nen every five years occasionally measure as such; these edicts are often contested or subverted, however, when the inevitable strife breaks out between the families. The Ceralnesti, or Wood Elves of the Aedyrith have the largest population, comprising nearly one million Elves spread throughout the forests and glades of the northern and western regions. Their capitol is Ceraldrien, a sprawling forest city on the confluence of the northern and southern branches of the Ruvea, and also have cities at Ruvalor, Imrien, and Canalas. Ceralnesti society is a noocracy, or rule by the wise, ten elders in a council of Elves who have through many centuries proven themselves to be the most sagacious leaders. The rest of the society is highly egalitarian, although there is an ancient noble class related to the original Aeonesti.
The High Elves (Elenesti), on the other hand, are a geniocracy, or rule by the intelligent, as they prize intellect and knowledge above all else. Their society is highly stratified based on complex testing and magical ability, with the gifted holding immense power over the ungifted, who become the working class for the entirety of their long lives after scoring poorly on one test. They call the mountains along the eastern and souther border of Daenor their homes, where they build towering citadels in the sky that reach through the clouds to the stars above. Their capitol is soaring Elendrien, built at 11,000 feet, but they also control much of the Nenthalor, the Citadel of Waterfalls that protects the opening of Lake Nenlas from the Gulf of Zol to the east.
The other three families (the Seirenesti, or Sea Elves; the Jhaeranesti, or Wild Elves; and the Drow, or Dark Elves) are rarely seen in Daenor, and only represented during the Keth'tal. The rest of the tolerated peoples of Daenor, including large populations of Humans and Half-Elves in the north, govern themselves as small city-states or baronies when living outside of Elven cities, creating small militias for protection but always wary of disturbing or angering the Elves.
The history of Daenor is essentially the history of the Centerlands, if not all of Creacia. The ancient Elves, the Aeonesti of Daenor were “awoken” at the Dawning at the same time as the gods themselves, lending credence to the belief held by many Elves that they are partially Divine in nature. The Aeonesti ruled all of Creacia as a unified people for millennia from their majestic capitol, Othrorien, now a haunted ruin in the middle of the Ghostlight Fens. The Fens were once the largest concentration of the Soulvein-infused Heart Trees (Othe'rial in the Aeonesti language) in the world, the most massive of them reaching well beyond 2,000 feet. As different gods became envious of the Elves’ dominion over Creacia, new and competing species were born from their wills: the Dwarves (Arenund) were the second sentient people to inhabit the world, followed by the Feyfolk, Beastien, Humanoids, and finally the Shadowborn. The Elves maintained a relatively peaceful and benevolent order amongst the goodly peoples of the Centerlands and beyond, but the Shadowborn would not be ruled. It was the blind fury and bloodlust of Lamashtu that spawned the Orcs, the first Shadowborn made from corrupted blood and flesh of Elves, and her demon generals and dragon lords created an army like the world had never seen in the bowels of the Underdark. The First Ruination ensued when Lamashtu released the first Horde Orcs led by the great red dragon, Krossh. Millions of all the goodly peoples were killed--the Elves by far the most among them--Othrorien and the Heart Trees destroyed in dragon fire, and the Elves of Daenor left decimated, divided, and devoid of leadership. When the Orc Horde was finally defeated in the Battle of Brokenspear and Krossh retreated to the depths of the Dragonspires, the Elves broke apart as a result of conflict and despair, separating into five different families. The Sairenesti went into the sea, ever afraid of fire; the Drow went underground, abandoning the light, betrayed by the other Elves as they were the vanguard against the Horde and suffered the heaviest losses; the Jhaeranesti went to the remaining Heart Trees along the western coast, to remain as secluded as possible; only the Elenesti and Ceralnesti remained in Daenor and still sometimes interact with other peoples. The schism was complete more than a thousand years later during the Second Ruination when the Jhaeranesti and Sairenesti refused to fight and the Drow sided with the Urdan armies, ambushing the combined forces of the Ceralnesti and the Elenesti during the Battle of Elfgate on the edge of the Rift. Since then, only one ancient, renegade Drow is welcome at the Keth'talisen on the Isle of Nen. The rest of the Elves maintain an uneasy peace, having fundamentally different ideas about the future of their species and interactions with the rest of the world. Starting with the First Ruination and accelerating after the Second, many other peoples began to fill the void left by the shattered and retreating Elves, drawn to the ever fertile souls and strategic centrality of Daenor. The Elves that remain, while still quite numerous and powerful in their own right, are left struggling with a crisis of identity and a legacy of both glory and failure.
The majority of Daenor is comprised of immense temperate, deciduous forest lands called the Aedyrith. A wide, clear river named the Ruvea, sacred to the Wood Elves, runs through the forest with several branches, draining all the territory from the continental divide of the Cathedrals and the Duskheart Mountains to the east and through the Rift to the Doomsky Mountains in the north. The Ruvea meets the Eregrond River—which begins above Fallsmere and drains the Whisperwood and the Imretal Valley—at the bridge city of Ruvalor, where the combined waters feed the massive freshwater lake, Lake Nenlas. The Nenlas is bordered by a small but steep mountain chain called the Crescents (Lesantiran) to the west, the Dragonspires to the southwest and the haunted Ghostlight Fens, home to the ruins of Othrorien, to the south. Although there is no official border of Daenor, the dominion of the Elves officially stops at the Whisperwood, the Vales , and the Elfgate on the edge of the Rift to the north; the timberline of the Aedyrith along the Cathedrals and the Duskheart Mountains to the east; the beginning of the rocky hills of Baavras and the Goblinknolls, and the edge of the Crescents to the east.
While there is no official religion of Daenor, the Wood Elves tend to worship fickle yet wise Desna and the High Elves follow the austere and mysterious Nethys. Worship of evil gods is not tolerated in Daenor by either the Wood Elves or the High Elves.
Agriculture & Industry
The Elves are a magical people and produce much of their architecture, food and objects of daily use through magic, both Divine and Arcane, although some prefer to tend lush gardens and entertain cottage industries in their unimaginable amount of free time. They are strictly vegetarian and attempt to be entirely self-sufficient. The Wood Elves are known as the finest carpenters of the world, but rather than chopping and sawing wood, they use a method of magic only known to Elves and some Druids which shapes the wood, bending it to the will of the woodworker. They can also create the finest paper in all the Centerlands and are known for the most elegant bows, staves and instruments. The High Elves use a similar technique to shape the stone and metal of their lofty peaks into intricate and soaring architecture, furniture. artwork and arms. Many of the Elves' many magic items are infused with Soulveins in the wood or minerals and are of immense value and breathtaking beauty. However, the Elves rarely if ever sell or barter with such precious items and only occasionally trade with outside peoples, mostly for inventions from the Gear Gnomes or Dwarven mithral.
E te'rithi Aeonesti'al
The world dies but the Elves remain
55% Wood Elf, 20% High Elf, 9% Half-Elf, 8% Human, 2% Forest Gnome, 2% Wanderlust Halfling, 4% varies
16% in Ceraldrien, 14% in Elendrien, 22% in other cities and towns, 48% rural
- Founding Date
- The Dawning (circa 10,000 BFR)
- Daenan (non-Elves), Ceralnesti, Elenesti, Nenlasien
- Power Structure
- Major Exports
- Magic items, Elven textiles, paper, artwork,
- Major Imports
- Precious items, gemstones, metals, wine