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Yllvalion

Snow-Covered Outpost of the Elves

Written by RiverFang

A snow covered castle stretches up against the backdrop of the Spine of Kallex, its windows the only shimmer of light on the edges of the Neither Tundra. Elves in fur-lined armor scurry about between the buildings at the foot of the great castle, often stopping to look at the great fortress that drapes them in shadows.   Yllvalion is the home to the main Northern Outpost of the Elven Kingdom. It is also the town when the renowned Paladin order, the Knights of Yggdrasil, make their home and where the leader of the Ylyndar family resides. The settlement finds itself resting on the edge of different worlds, on the boundary between the frozen Neither Tundra and the Elven Forest. Its high stone walls serve to keep all manner of creatures out, while providing a large amount of security for those in the city that are not Paladins.   This town serves as the last point of defense between the Neither Tundra and the Elven Forest. Creatures lurk in the Neither Tundra that would cause harm to those that make their home in the forest, so the Paladins of the order swear their lives to the protection of this boundary. This proved very necessary in the years of the Giant Wars and the times since.

Demographics

The majority of the population of the city, including those in the Paladin order, are Elves. Other races in Yllvalion include Half-Elves, Goliaths, and one Drow. Despite lacking in the way of diversity, visitors of any race are encouraged to visit if they wish to learn about the order or if they wish to brave the cold northern reaches of the continent.   Most of those that live in Yllvalion arePaladins. In most cases, male Elves will join the Paladin order and serve their lives as part of the protection force while female Elves may choose to become Rangers, Fighters, Cooks, or take up other occupations of their choosing. All manners of people will be extremely knowledgeable about hunting, tracking, trapping, and surviving in the harsh environment.   Magic users are extremely rare here outside of the divine magic wielded by the Paladins. Those that wish to use magic often leave for the Elven capital.   People in this area prosper, even with the harsh environment. Trade is conducted with other outposts in the north or throughout the Elven Kingdom. Paladins of the order often travel as well and take jobs as adventurers so they may bring pack greater prosperity to the outposts.

Government

The northern reaches of the Elven Kingdom function very similarly to their counterparts in the south. The Outlanders take care of and rule over the southern edges of the forest while the northern reaches are governed by the Paladin order and are watched over by the Northern Outposts. Still, under the rule of the Elven King, the Northern Outposts are lead and managed by the head of the Paladin order.   The current head of the Paladin order is Elduin Ylyndar, a very stoic man that is known for leading a group of Paladins through battles during the Eldritch War. He ascended to be the head of the order just fifty years before the war started, taking the place of his aging father.   The most prominent law that is enforced in Yllvalion is a strict curfew. With the days being long and the nights short, creatures that hunt during the night are more dangerous. The curfew also applies during extreme storms. This is to make sure that all are safe within the walls when night falls or when a storm begins. After curfew is called, the Paladins take roll to make sure all have returned or were traveling to another location. It is not an extreme measure by any means, those that live in Yllvalion enjoy the enforcement of this one rule and prefer it over some of the strict laws that are found elsewhere throughout the forest.

Defences

Defenses in this city include a large group of trained and armed Paladins that number over 300. This group is proficient with swords and bows, sporting heavy or medium armor. Some of the group are trained in mounted combat as well.   The local Cleric often supports the Paladins with medical assistance if the injuries are far too great for the Paladins to handle. Many of the higher-ranked Paladins are wielding enchanted weapons created by the enchantress, but others must rely on their divine magic for help.   The town is also surrounded by a nearly 100 foot stone wall that has towers and sections that allow the Paladins to defend the wall and city from atop the wall.

Assets

Mundane weapons and armor of Elvish make as well as those made specifically for the Paladin order can be found in Yllvalion. General wares and mounts can also be found. Specialty items can be created by skilled artisans, but the raw materials, unless found in the Elven Forest or the Neither Tundra, must be brought to them. Magical items, mostly trinkets, are kept on hand, larger items must be crafted.

History

5,000 years before the Eldritch War began, the Elves had constructed a grand stronghold in the north, where the trees grew thin and the air carried a deadly frost from the north. Here the Elven Kingdom drew the line that Giants could not cross, forbidding them to enter the forest of good folk and confining them to rule over the Neither Tundra as the Humans and Goliaths had also decided. Here the Paladin order, the Knights of Yggdrasil, were commissioned by the Elven King Cyllin to act as guardians of the northern border so that no danger might cross over into the gentler forest. Exactly a year after the order was founded, a grand fortress had been built near the mountains, east of the Spine of Kallex and the groundwork for outposts all across the northern reaches of the forest as they began to push the Giants back into the north. Too long had the world suffered at the hands of the Storm Giants and their lesser brethren, despite the grand kingdom they controlled they were a culture that instigated war so that they might expand.   With the support of the Metallic Dragons from the mountains, the Elves made a show of force that deterred outright invasion while they continued to establish their presence in the area. Soon after a town sprang up around the castle and Elves from the area sought out the high stone walls, partly out of fear of their abrasive neighbors to the north and partly because of the artifact that the Metallic Dragons gave to the Elves. In order to ensure their fortress would stand for many years to come a Silver Dragon by the name of Kiklin gave the order of Paladins a large and ancient crystal, fished from the depths of the ocean, a relic of some forgotten civilization. He charged the Elves with the safekeeping of the treasure and placed it within their courtyards on a pedestal. While the sun shone the gem was rather unremarkable save for how incredibly clear and large it was, as tall as a Goliath and too wide to fit through any door in the keep. When the days began to grow short and light would seldom touch the northern slopes was when the secret of the gem was revealed, it shone with the brightness of the stars overhead. The less the sun shone the brighter the gem would shine with a piercing, white light that cut through both fog and storm. The fortress soon became a source of hope for the surrounding inhabitants, even the Drow would come up from the depths of the mountains to examine it from time to time.   Yllvalion stood without great incident for a thousand years, perfecting their training and patrolling the northern border. Orcs and Barbarians were repelled into the Tundra and smaller variations of Giant were pushed back with ease. They stood ready to support the Drow under the mountains and to hold their own above ground. However, their quiet existence was to be tested. In the year 4,000 I.M. the Giants moved to expand southward once again, setting fire to the forest and coming up over the mountain but they would not come directly over the mountains for it was too near the "Metallic Council". They feared the power of the ancient Dragons. The Elves however, were tested in open combat all along the northern border, they raided the outposts to see how much fight the Elves had, and they were not disappointed. The Elven warriors were Paladins under the Oath of Ancients, Fey Knights that stood ageless in their training wielded powerful magic and strong weapons that allowed them to drive the Giants back and forth for several years in a conflict known as the Giant Wars. Unfortunately, the Elven border was not the only one tested, the Goliaths and Humans rallied on their own borders to carry out the same fight across thousands of miles of the Neither Tundra.   Hundreds of years passed, the fighting would only be intense for a year or so at a time and great battles would ensue. The borders were secured, never falling past the line of the Northern Outposts but any attempt to push the line forward was always crushed immediately. In the year 3,500 I.M. a prince of the Cloud Giants, Krojak, led a campaign of intent against the northern border. A long and harsh war ensued that lasted all winter in which all races involved lost many lives and led to the construction of a burial ground far to the east of where the fortress lies. This long and bloody campaign was ended in a final battle where Krojak himself pushed towards the fortress and met his end on the battlefield when he faced the master of the keep. Armed with a deadly blade, enchanted by the Elven King, he destroyed the Giant's claymore in one strike with an empowered smite. What could have been a monstrous defeat was turned into a felling of the enemy commander while his army fled from the presence of the Fey Knight who resided as master of the fortress.   The broken bits of this blade still reside at a small settlement today, the area is called Krojak's End.
Founding Date
4999 I.M.
Alternative Name(s)
Ylyndar, Fort Yllvalion
Type
Citadel
Population
500
Inhabitant Demonym
Yllvalions
Location under
Included Locations
Owner/Ruler
Owning Organization
Related Tradition (Primary)
Related Reports (Secondary)

Infrastructure

The majority of things in Yllvalion are housed in the Ylmaris Citadel, but there are some important businesses elsewhere within the city walls.   In addition, there are a variety of other small shops and rooms in the castle that house blacksmiths, general wares, stables and mounts, and other goods and people. Beyond the castle, there are a few homes and shops, but the area within the wall surrounding the castle is mostly for homes.   Roads in the town are made of cobblestones within the walls. Due to the weather that is often prevalent in the area, the roads are not as well maintained in the winter months, but a small group of Paladins and other residents attempt to keep the roads as clear as possible. Outside the walls of the city, the roads can often be impassable in the winter months due to the weather. It is impossible for the residents of the town to keep even a small patch of the road outside the walls clear if storms roll in.   Yllvalion is surrounded by large stone walls that are nearly 100 feet high and are roughly five-foot thick. This wall has stood for centuries without showing age.


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