Hidden amongst woodland glades and forest meadows, beneath a hill in the west of the Wyld Woods is the town of Fyrtora. The community is home to a diaspora of Fey, who reside in and around a liminal space between the Material Plane and the Feywild. The town’s proximity to this liminal divide has made it a trading and crafting hub that is widely know about within Thaleros, but little beyond its wooded borders.
Unusually for the rest of the Wyld Woods and the nation of Thaleros who claims dominion over it, Fyrtora is not a majority Elven settlement, but instead has a population made up of various races of Fey, many of whom are related to the first group of creatures that travelled from the Feywild to the Material Plane to find a new place to settle. There is a small enclave of Elves that live within the town, but they are by far a minority group.
Rather than being led by a town council or a single elected or hereditarily appointed official, Fyrtora is led by an Elder, who as their title suggests is the most aged resident of the town who is deemed to have good enough physical and mental health to lead the community. Once appointed, Elder’s usually hold the position until they die, but many have stepped down in the past due to ill health or infirmity. Despite the fact that officially, there is only one position of authority in Fyrtora, it is common and expected that Elders will consult widely within the community before making decisions, especially ones of high importance to the town.
Relations with other Settlements & NationsFyrtora is in the unusual position of being a semi-independent town located within the boundaries of another nation, in this case the Elven nation of Thaleros. The founding settlers of Fyrtora are thought to have travelled from the Feywild to the Material Plane, and were therefore initially unaware that they were establishing their new home in lands claimed by another entity. However, rather than lead to conflict the Elves of Thaleros saw that there was an advantage in having this community of Fey within their borders, along with a route to the Feywild, so they allowed these first settlers to remain provided that they pay an annual tithe to Thaleros, obey the nations laws and customs and see to their own well-being and defence. Many Fyrtorese have since criticised this arrangement, as it absolves Thaleros of any responsibility towards the community, whilst reaping many benefits, but the relationship has stood this way for many years. One of the duties of the Elder of Fyrtora is to act as the town’s envoy to Thaleros’ royal court at Alios Glade, though they do not have priority to see the royal family over any others, which means that Fyrtora’s Elder may be absent for many weeks and sometimes months at a time as they wait to be received by the Royal Household. As no one but the Elder of Fyrtora is empowered to speak on behalf of the whole community, the Royal Household of Thaleros will only deal with them, something which has caused problems over the years. More widely it is rare for many people to have heard of Fyrtora, unless they have travelled within or have close connections with the Wyld Woods. The only exception to this is the city of Angtarrion in the Empire of Turelion's Ferio Province, which as the closest city beyond Thaleros' borders to the town is the one that most of the goods imported from the Feywild or made in Fyrtora destined for export from Thaleros are taken to trade.
Fyrtora has no walls or other defensive structures, but instead, the town relies on stealth and subterfuge to keep it safe. As all of its buildings are set beneath a large hill, with all of the entrances to the town being carefully hidden from prying eyes, its residents hope that all those who would wish to do the community harm will simply not be able to find the location of the town, or if they do, will not be able to find one of its entrances. In addition, the entrances to the town have been further safeguarded through the placement of arcane wards, which prevent those who come to the town intent on doing damage from entering. Wards, which only powerful creatures would be able to break through to access the town. Such is the town’s confidence in its concealed location and arcane protections, that it only has a small defence force, less than a 100 troops strong, to protect Fyrtora from external threats and keep law and order within.
Industry & Trade
Whilst it is relatively unknown in the wider Material Plane, Fyrtora provides a lucrative trading link for the nation of Thaleros in which it is situated and the Feywild. As the boundary is so thin between these two planes of existence at Fyrtora it is possible for goods and people to move with relative ease across the divide and this has made Fyrtora a trading hub. Ease of access to the Feywild has also allowed the town to develop a strong crafting community, who make goods using exotic, or hard to acquire resources from the Feywild to make magical and mundane items alike, which attract a lucrative price within and well beyond the borders of Thaleros.
Fyrtora’s link with the Feywild means that it does receive a fair number of visitors, from the Material Plane and the Feywild, who wish to travel between the two. Generally they use Fyrtora as a thoroughfare, but many do also travel specifically to the town to trade with their counterparts beyond the divide. Most of the visitors who travel to the town from the Material Plane are residents of the Kingdom of Thaleros, and it is rare for the town to receive visitors from further afield.
Because it is situated underground, Fyrtora’s architecture is characterised by ornate barrel vaulted ceilings, which often use the roots of the trees above to create intricate twisting columns and supports for the structures. The town itself is a rabbit’s warren like maze of tunnels which can be tricky to navigate for those not familiar with the community. Most of the town’s buildings are single story structures, which are themselves a maze of corridors and rooms. Buildings with simple layouts are very much a rarity in Fyrtora.
Set in the western reaches of the Wyld Woods, Fyrtora is set within a large hill that is the highest point for may miles in the surrounding landscape. As the community is subterranean, the surface of the hill is covered in trees of the same species as those in its immediate vicinity. However, the thin boundary that exists within and around Fyrtora between the Material Plane and the Feywild means that many of the trees have foliage in colours that is not naturally occurring, predominantly pinks and purples.