The capital of the Woodelven nation of Thaleros, Alios Glade is a hub of sophistication and learning hidden away in the depths of the Wyld Woods. Few who are not invited to walk amongst its tranquil grassy streets ever see the place and many a traveller in the Wyld Woods has passed by the place without ever realising that it is there.
The population make up of Alios Glade very much matches the overall population of Thaleros, with the vast majority of its residents being Elves, specifically Woodelves. There are other races resident in small numbers within the city, mostly other sub-species of Elves, and Fey creatures. However, an enclave of Gnomes long ago took up residence in the city and they form the core of the city’s artisans. As Thaleros is a nation that is easily able to think in terms of the long term, Alios Glade is actually a very egalitarian city, with the prosperity of ages having been shared out over many centuries so that there is little to distinguish between its citizens, economically at least. The royal family are an obvious exception to this, and those that are clearly economically above the rest of the city’s population tend to be intimately entwined in the politics of, or at least have links to the royal court.
Ostensibly, Alios Glade is lightly defended compared to the capital cities of other nations. There is no curtain wall, nor fortified keep or bastion and the edges of the city blend seamlessly with the surrounding wood land and glades. However, the confusing, mind and time-warping nature of the Wyld Woods adds a huge amount of security to the city without the need for any physical infrastructure and in addition, the city also has its own illusionary defences, which make it invisible to all those who have not been there before. As well as this, sentry towers which have been cunningly crafted to be almost indistinguishable from the surrounding trees have been built around Alios Glade’s boundaries and for several miles beyond the city’s borders to ensure that the city’s guard are well aware of anyone approaching, long before the travellers realise that they are being watched. Of Thaleros' armed forces, around 200 of its citizen guard are stationed around the city during their rotation of service, and the professional fighting force of the Royal Guard are permanently based in the Royal Palace and can be called upon to defend the city in the most dire of circumstances.
Industry & Trade
As with the rest of Thaleros, little industrial activity takes place in Alios Glade and there is little connection with the outside world. A strong community of artisans, formed around the enclave of Gnomes who dwell in the city, does exist, but they principally make items, tools and ornaments for local consumption.
To a less discerning eye, it would appear that Alios Glade is a city without any form of infrastructure. There are no paved roads, no easily recognisable establish road connections to the outside world and no network of sewers to deal with the city’s waste. However, looking just beneath the surface it is clear that there is an intricate road network in the city, marked out be meticulously cut grass which indicates the routes of passage in between the wild flower beds and lush grass of the clearings in between the buildings and the many trees interspersed around the settlement. Equally, the lack of roads leading to the community from beyond the city is entirely deliberate, to restrict access to the capital to outsiders. As citizens of Thaleros know how to navigate the Wyld Woods with ease, it has never been deemed necessary to cut roadways through the glades and woods of the region to provide access to the capital. Whilst it is true that there is no sewer system in the city, the large number of scholars and arcanists resident in Alios Glade means that an arcane solution has been presented to the problem of waste management, with all of the city’s buildings and dwelling having been fitted with enchanted commodes that immediately dispose of waste without a need for a sewer system. In addition, magic has been used to create numerous springs all over the city, which provide fresh water for its inhabitants.
Guilds and Factions
There are two major factions within Alios Glade, the Royal Court and the Alios Academy. The Royal Court comprises of the Royals, the extensive Dalathan Family themselves, along with a bevy of advisors, retainers and courtiers who surround them. Whilst they certainly do not act with any sense of coherence, and the Royal Court is in fact a vast network of splintered interest groups and alliances, they do at least form the largest faction within the city. The second, the Alios Academy is the heart of Thaleros' scholarly community. Within the Academy’s extensive building are housed scholars and sages who have worked on all manner of academic topics for centuries, and over the many years that the Academy has been active it has acquired a special expertise in botany, animal husbandry, divination and astronomy. Whilst the members of the Academy tend to keep themselves to themselves, they draw widely on the community of Alios Glade for support with access to rare materials and as an employer of non-academic workers needed to keep the establishment running.
Access to Alios Glade is heavily restricted and is generally only extended to those who have official business at the Royal Court, usually therefore only envoys from other nations are regularly granted access. However, the city does attract a small trickle of non-diplomatic visitors every year – scholars and mages who wish to visit the Alios Academy to access research materials held there and meet and work with academics resident there. The Academy has long been given royal approval to arrange for these visits to happen, as academic cooperation has always been viewed as something of importance in Thaleros.
What is notable about the architecture of Alios Glade is that no stone is used in the construction of any of its buildings, and the use of metal is kept to a bare minimum. Many of the buildings have been designed and built to resonate with the aesthetic of the surrounding woods and glades, and many are built around trees, or incorporate ancient trees into their structures.
The city is situated on predominantly flat land deep in the Wyld Woods. As with much of this region, the area of the city isn’t a contiguous area of woodland, but is comprised of large pockets of trees interspersed with woodland glades of grass and wild flowers. A small stream, known locally as the Silver Brook runs through the area of the city and roughly bisects it into an eastern and western half.