Elumian Forest

An ancient place said to be old while the Primal Ones were young, cradling the great deities in thick canopies and emerald groves. The people of Cendelius believe footfalls of the first Elves passed below its branches before the world turned dark.   Now the forest serves as protection for one of the few remaining Elven civilizations. As kingdoms rise and fall beyond the sheltered vale, the Elumian Forest remains unchanged, a memory that never fades.
— Keeper of the Chalice
 
An ancient forest of thick and tangled wood, chaotic branches, and root swallowed rivers cover the land south of the Sundermist Tips to the Azure Bay and Great Divide. A canopy of interwoven branches hundreds of feet high provide an effective means of both travel and protection for civilizations to prosper above the forest floor.   The beauty of the Elumian Forest is defined by being untouched by the other races of Erenel. Natural and sporadic, each gargantuan tree has a sense of individualism, sprouting and reaching whichever way it chooses. The wild is cultivated in every sense of the word, free of a violent world that often forgets it exists.   Do not mistake the unfolding mosaic of the Cradle of the Primals to be idyllic. Natural dangers, menacing beasts and treacherous travel harbor wonders and cautionary tales. Those who enter the Elumian Forest without proper knowledge are, more often than not, never heard from again.

Settlements

Besides Cendelius, and the Drik'ik'chai Hive, three cities call the Elumian Forest home.

Aerowyn

Population: 3,700
Government: The appointed elder serves as a guide for the people of Aerowyn, serving until death. Currently, Elashor Nightbreeze, an incredibly frugal yet wise Moon Elf, holds the position. Elashor enjoys watching small ships sail into Aerowyn, often making quick judgments of those aboard by how well they keep their quarters.   Built above the forest floor in hanging trees which a river cuts a winding path, this small Moon Elf village would be hardly noticeable if one did not know where to look. The awe-inspiring treetop homes consist of multiple platforms connected with wooden plank walkways, rope ladders and retractable ceilings. Trees intertwine with buildings in a chaotic artistic expression with carved patterns and soliloquies etched into doors and around doorways. On relaxing moonlit nights, the citizens of Aerowyn pull back their roof to Trance in the act of faith for the Silver Maiden.
 
Aerowyn is driven primarily by mutual gifting and bartering. Here, Elves rarely use coins as currency, preferring to fulfill their needs by their skill alone. This nonspecialized community is often shocking to outsiders not familiar with the culture. Aerowyn holds no tax as all who call the village home are expected to maintain and defend the community.
 

Rivilon

Population: 14,810
Government: Led by King Alarin Rivilon. Rivilon was founded by Alarin’s father, Yavil’kela, a former Knight of Iswa discharged for actions hidden by the family. King Alarin Rivilon, a Nolimon with a pronounced limp, is an absent leader enjoying a lifestyle provided by his charisma and military.   The second-largest city in the Elumian Forest, Rivilon is seen more as a human run settlement thanks to the absent Elven King. Simple Elven architectural homes cover the forest floor. More prominent townsfolk, diplomats and nobles, build their homes on the sides of gargantuan tree trunks.   Rivilon has benefited more than any other city in the Elumian Forest from their open economy. Elves of Rivilon take no offense to cultural wares, art, equipment and magical services. Visitors to the town, easily accessed from the Azure Bay coastline, keep the economy and the king flush with coin. While not all Elves agree with King Rivilon’s methods, Cendelius maintains friendly relations, and the two cities have come together in times of crisis.

Therondia

Population: 380
Government: Led by a small council of family leaders  
After traveling south from the edge of Dawn’s Expanse, this small community of Tads have adopted the northern marsh as the site for their enclave. Strangely enough, the Tad of Therondia do not build typical structures for their homes. Instead, they create small wooden buildings above the marsh with crisscrossing zip lines and large wicker baskets, large enough for even a full-grown minotaur to ride in.   The Tad seem to either not comprehend or care that their new village encroaches on Cendelius ground. Luckily, because the community is relatively small, the Cendelius humor Therondia and leave them in peace, even sending small emissary teams to barter.

Fauna & Flora

Kyoro Weed

Chewed by Elves as a means to prolong their Trance past the typical 4-hour semiconscious state. The Kyoro Weed is a scarce plant found only in the deepest parts of the Elumian forest growing around the base of ancient trees.   When stumbling upon a cluster of Kyoro, it is wise to harvest quickly before a pack of Alderkin spot their next meal. Alderkin resemble small plant-like turtles with leafy, flower-covered backs instead of shells. These adorable creatures are harmless unless threatened. They have developed a taste for Kyoro, often eating their weight in the plant before sleeping off the meal.

Natural Resources

Resources within the Elumian Forest are plentiful. The largest resource is the obvious exotic lumber available. Many plants, both medicinal, recreational and poisonous, sprout in the fertile soil. Exotic wildlife fills the untamed groves.   The difficulty of successfully retrieving the resources from a forest that does not wish to be harvested adds value: only the skilled or the foolish attempt to make a claim. However, if Knights of Iswa or Keepers of the Chalice do not stop the poachers, trappers and lumberers, the sting of a Sakharo Wasp will.
Alternative Name(s)
Cradle of the Primals, Gardens of Iswa
Type
Forest

Adventure Ideas

Adventurers in the Elumian Forest could involve defeating the local threats or simply surviving the harsh environment.
  • A dark fey is believed to be terrorizing the waterways north of Aerowyn. Elder Nightbreeze brushes of the tales until the fey steals a child, leaving behind a crudely made stick figure wrapped in vine and leaves as an exchange.
  • While walking in the ancient forest, the group stumbles upon a massive tree surrounded by Kyoro Weed. Alderkin watch from afar as the group closes in on the tree; it rises, pulling its roots from the soilr, cursing “Flesh Devils” for contaminating the grove.
  • The King of Rivilon hires the party to accompany a group of human merchants journeying from Rivilon to Cendelius. During the travels, a Forlorn Spire Elf hunting party ambushes the group.
  • The group stumbles upon a giant egg, left in an abandoned Elf skyrise. While investigating, the mother returns to her makeshift nest.

Drik'ik'chai Hive

Located deep within the Elumian Forest, a great Golganthi hive lead by Hive Queen Drik’ik’chai has grown, much to the dismay of the Cendelius. Thank to the Hive Queen’s potent secretion, the Cendelius were forced into an uneasy peace.   While tempers often flair, the might of the Hive, now nestled comfortably in the southern hills of the Sundermist Tips, has simply grown too large for the Elves to simply remove. Golganthi emissaries, traders and harvesters are frequently encountered close to the Hive and are considered friendly - yet unusual.

Wayfinder Stones

Few have laid eyes on the fabled Wayfinder Stones, but all Elves and Nolimon know of their existence. These incredible stones etched with cerulean incantations are scattered in the most remote territories of the Elumian Forest. Believed to have been placed here by Iswa during her time with Natsuko, the Trickster, the Wayfinder Stones are bound to mysterious portals whose linked locations are unknown.   Finding a Wayfinder Stone is believed to be a token of good fortune. However, activating a Wayfinder Stone requires extensive knowledge of the bond and a great deal of courage.

 

Forlorn Spire Elves

Not all Elves have recovered from the events of the Great Sacrifice. Many view the fallout as emotionally scarring, harboring resentment for the races which look upon them with fear or hate. As whispers turned into smoke and smoke into fire, the revolting Forlorn Spire Elves have rapidly grown into deadly vagrants, ready to purge all who conspire against them. Wearing masks of ivory and bone, the Forlorn Spire Elves hunt all non Elves in the Elumian Forest out of spite.

Comments

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1 Feb, 2021 19:06

Oh wow, such stunning art. It really ties the whole article together. I love the little details and stories on the side, especially the Wayfinder stones, really strikes up the imagination. Good job.

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
1 Feb, 2021 20:54

Thanks! <3

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