A sovereign nation and a racial homeland, Kyonin (pronounced ky-OH-nihn) bears the strengths and stresses of this double-duty willingly. Elves lived in the Fireani Forest within Kyonin before such names even existed, and when the elves returned to Golarion in 2632 AR, only the villainous refuted their claims to their ancient home—and few refuted them for long. The land of Kyonin itself is a natural paradise, though not always a pastoral one—nature can be both beautiful and deadly, and the elves would have it no other way. Even the wild plants grow in a particularly elven way, while the cultivated ones are unearthly in beauty and function. Certainly, problems exist: The demon Treerazer has rooted himself deeply in the southern end of the forest, creating the festering and evil swamp known as Tanglebriar, and Kyonin’s political landscape is as treacherous as the physical one for those unused to its ways. But for elves and their honored guests, Kyonin is a serene rest from the fastpaced, human-dominated world. Like a groaning dam, Kyonin barely holds its borders against the modern flood of humanity on Golarion. The standard elven policy of isolationism is proving less effective than it once was. As the elves attempt to reclaim their place on the quick-moving, violent new world of Golarion, many feel that new tactics are necessary, though few agree on what exactly those tactics are. Queen Telandia Edasseril, the elven monarch, is the ruler of Kyonin. Although she is an absolute monarch, Telandia is a liberal queen who understands that freedom is one of the highest ideals of the elven race. She wishes to shepherd her people toward a greater future, and to rebuild elven culture on Golarion to the heights it reached before Earthfall. Unfortunately, Telandia's subjects tend to focus more on their own pursuits, rather than in terms of national or racial goals.
At its height, Kyonin was an exquisite garden. Not in any way that humans would understand—to outsiders’ eyes, the Fierani Forest was a thick and tangled wood, chaotic and menacing. Yet elven beauty is rarely defined by neat and orderly rows. To the elves, nature untouched is a continually unfolding mosaic of life, far more creative than even the most gifted elven artist, and where changes were necessary for the formation of settlements, creatures easily capable of outliving trees need only do the slightestpruning to see the forest grow in accordance with their needs. Life and magic thrummed in every living thing. The coming of Treerazer’s corruption changed that, and though the demon has long since been contained in the Tanglebriar, many are the elves who are just now beginning the process of subtly reshaping their ancestral homeland into its former glory.
Interior FeaturesIn addition to thick trees and rolling fields, Kyonin is fairly littered with ruins: monuments, fountains, sculptures, orreries, and menhirs of unknown meaning and function even to the elves. Most are severely weather-beaten; many are also weapon-beaten from the humans who raged through the land during the elves’ absence. The elves have little taste for stonework anymore, and repairing or even exploring these ruins is outside the interest of the queen and her court; this generally includes allowing anyone else to look at them.
Luxuries within Kyonin are many and splendid. The largest resource is exotic lumber, with hardwoods unseen elsewhere on Avistan. Other plants, some with medicinal or recreational value, sprout readily in Kyonin soil, but do not seem cultivatable outside the Fireani. Kyonin has a variety of wildlife, including abundant fishing in their territorial water, but no domestic livestock or mineral resources. Disorientation is a frequent threat to outsiders in Kyonin. Several different kinds of plants exude fragrances which can cause confusion and dizziness for those unaware of their power. Predatory plant creatures tend to live in close proximity to these flowers. Due to the prevalence of Calistria worshipers, wasp nests are never disturbed in Kyonin, and several unnaturally large breeds of wasps lair in undisturbed glens across the kingdoms, which the elves simply laugh about and do their best not to provoke. Most troublesome are the vicious skullwasps, hand-sized insects that attack one target to the suicidal exclusion of any other consideration. Killing wasps in Kyonin is considered bad form, but tolerable in the case of self-defense.