Kingdom of the Evergreens
Elveryll an Fey'Rein
Knowing our family's history is no different from knowing this land's and the divines' actions upon them, my children. From ancient annals—tales from olden times, our home had been little more than a blank slate. Plain. Devoid of all that makes it magnificent. Then, the Pillars built up the lands with earthen blessings and magic, turning it into the Feylands. The enigmatic Aende kept the balance, so that the living may prosper in peace with the natural world. But, it was Visarias Eri and Faenorias who molded life like clay, birthing the Feylands' spirits, beasts, plants—all the vibrant beings of this realm. And, yes, little Xandran, even us. Our ancestors walked alongside the gods then, before the time of clans, kingdoms, and countries. Our people lived beside the earth, beside each other. A time before conflict tarnished our spirits and our lands. Though when chaos threatened the peace, the Great Mother bestowed upon the first of our line, Xolara, the gifts to create our kingdom. In emulation to the Mother, she created the Evergreens. The first of the Sovereign States. That is why our family had taken the name of Eri. To honor the benevolent goddess who birthed us, the elves, and our distant kin, the gnomes; who guided our people from turmoil to peace; and, who still watches our family and our people to this day. That is why we must never turn our backs to history, and that we continue the customs inspired to honor the divines.
The Kingdom of the Evergreens is a Sovereign State in The Feylands, a continent on Zentrem located to the east of Varia. The Evergreens contains mainly elven populations. Historically, the kingdom played prominently in the establishment of the Sovereign States of the Feylands. The kingdom's leaders have all belonged to the dynasty of House Eri.
SovereignThe official title for each head-of-state in the Feylands is "Sovereign"; however, the position is styled as either "King" or "Queen" in the Kingdom of the Evergreens. Each king or queen holds the power to approve or veto any actions by the royal government and the military akin to an absolute ruler. However, their decisions are, more often than not, moderated by their Royal Advisors and the most influential members of the Green Court. Each Sovereign also serves as a spiritual leader, if not a religious one, who upholds the teachings of the founding ruler, Queen Xolara Ke an Eri, and the Great Mother goddess, Visarias Eri. They attend functions of the state, represent the Evergreens in foreign meetings, and periodically address the masses regarding major events in the kingdom.
The position of Sovereign has exclusively been held by members of House Eri. The crown passes from the current monarch to their designated heir. There are three main requirements for succession to the throne: one, the individual must be a formal member of the Eri dynasty with blood ties to Queen Xolara; two, the candidate must have the approval of the reigning Sovereign; three, the prospective heir must be deemed worthy of wearing the Sovereign Laurels.
Royal AdvisorThe Sovereigns of the Evergreens designate select individuals to serve as their advisors. Rulers may also appoint or remove advisors over the course of their reigns. Advisors do not hold any formal political power due to the position, though they have regular contact with the ruler and can influence major governmental decisions through their counsel. Typically, Royal Advisors also double as attendants to the Sovereign. While any individual can technically become a Royal Advisor (regardless of race, social class, or profession), they are chosen only from the ruler's most trusted subjects. In the past, members of House Eri and other noble houses, military officials, intellectuals, artists, and tradesmen have served as Royal Advisors.
The Green CourtThe Green Court serves as a representative body of the kingdom's population. It regularly convenes with the Sovereign to discuss matters of state, but similar to the Royal Advisors, the body itself holds no official political power. The noble Houses of the Evergreens, whose members typically intersect with military and magical institutions in the kingdom, comprise a majority of the Court. Other courtiers include prominent scholars, artists, and representatives of trades and crafts guilds. Foreign dignitaries can also attend the Green Court as honorary members.
Royal ProtectorPrior to their ascension as Sovereign, the designated heir appoints an individual to oversee all facets of his or her protection and defense. The Royal Protector manages the Sovereign's schedule, private guard, and constantly remains at the ruler's side as the guardian of their well-being. This individual is typically an extremely capable and adaptive combatant with an expansive breadth of knowledge to see to all of the Sovereign's needs. Top members of the military have occupied the position in the past, although the noble House Toryn has historically produced more Royal Protectors than any other family in the Evergreens' history.
Chief CommanderThe head of the Evergreens' military forces oversees its macro-operations. Typically the most experienced official in the entire military, the Chief Commander regularly reports to the Sovereign; this individual answers only to the King or Queen and defers any final decisions to them. Furthermore, they have a permanent position in the Green Court. When the Sovereign leaves the kingdom for any reason, the Chief Commander also serves as regent; they ensure that the government operates smoothly in the Sovereign's absence.
Court MageThe Court Mage is a permanent member of the Green Court who serves as a specialized advisor to the Sovereign. This individual reports to the Sovereign on the status of the kingdom's magical institutions; they also oversee the Evergreens' magical defenses, including its protective measures against the Outsiders. The Court Mage also acts as the kingdom's primary representative on the Mages Council of the Feylands. Historically, House Faeien has had a monopoly in producing mages who serve as the Evergreens' Court Mage.
TerritoryThe Evergreens' borders surround a contiguous area of about 50,000 wealds, making it the second largest Sovereign State in the Feylands. This area includes massive swathes of woodlands which have been used to harvest timber, fauna, and game. There are flatter grasslands to the southwest used for agriculture and husbandry. To the northeast, there also swamp forests closer to the borders with the Kingdom of Gloommire.
Settlements & BuildingsEach major settlement in the Evergreens contains a formal governmental hall and a fortress, of varying sizes, from which the royal government operates. The capital of Eryll Tahl'Rei is the kingdom's largest city, located in the forests at the heart of the kingdom. Its architecture boasts a unique style of integration with the surrounding fauna. The Verdant Keep is the crown building of capital, formerly a military fortress converted to a royal palace for the Eri dynasty.
Major settlements in the Feylands are usually integrated into the forests which often lead to sprawling cities that connect with smaller towns and villages. Headquarters for trade and industry may be found in larger cities while smaller settlements focus on agriculture and gathering. There are also magical institutions in the cities of Eryll Tahl'Rei, Faerias, Fireaed, Ban'Serde, Mainrell, Elur'Diel, and Grad'Neir. Mages of different schools typically study and conduct research from these locations.
TreasuryWithin the Verdant Keep, there is a treasury that contains multiple forms of currency and other physical assets that amount to well over one million gold pieces (gp). Across the entire kingdom, the royal government's total holdings amount to at least fifty million gp.
MilitaryThe Evergreens have a standing military of 50000 soldiers with an additional one hundred combat-trained mages. The military remains stocked with armaments for their various personnel, including weaponry as well as metal- and leather-based armor. They also have at least a thousand war stags prepared for use along with longboats adapted for travel on rivers and open-seas.
During the later periods of the Building Times (BT), the continent of the Feylands struggled against the invasions of the Outsiders for tens of thousands of years. The elven and gnomish peoples, among other humanoid species, proved capable in repelling their attackers even while they remained sequestered into tribes and clans. Their warriors and mages fought off the Outsiders, though each victory only bought the Feylanders more time. The fighting wreaked chaos throughout the lands, destroying habitats and making resources scarce. The tribes' hostilities turned towards each other; the need to care and protect their own peoples suffocated any rudimentary relations or allegiances. Chaos swept through the continent, perpetuated now by the in-fighting of its denizens than solely the Outsiders.
Founding (The Building Times)In 1319 BT, a horde of haenkrul laid waste to the westernmost forests of the Feylands, setting the woods ablaze with their monstrous control over flames. The Eryll, a prominent high-elven tribe who had laid claim to the bulk of the territories assaulted in the attack, combated the monsters and extinguished the spreading fires. However, their efforts brought them to the brink of destruction. The finishing blow came with the demise of Xandor, the tribe's chieftain, and his family's disappearance. The haenkrul continued their path of destruction eastwards while the survivors continued fleeing to the north of the charred territories. Many of the Eryll's surviving members joined other tribes while others tried to fend for themselves in the wilds.
Despite the fall of the Eryll, the remaining nomadic tribes of the western Feylands dispersed the haenkrul horde by 1317 BT. In the following decades, three major tribes rose to fill the void of power left by the Eryll: the Neir, the Meisan, and the Aelt. The Neir had been the second largest high-elven faction prior to the Eryll's fall while both the Meisan and the Aelt contained the bulk of the west's wood elven population. The three tribes attempted to restore the lands through unstable allegiances with one another and with lesser tribes. However, intertribal conflicts over territory, particularly water sources, became a staple of the recovery period.
Internal strife in the Aelt threatened the tribe's position of power in 1200 BT. The childless chieftess, Seane, adopted a young high-elven girl known as Xolara which had broken many of the tribe's customs. When questioned, Seane relayed the circumstances she found Xolara. During a hunting expedition, the chieftess spotted the young girl wandering the woods, listless and alone. Seane followed her because she witnessed how each of Xolara's steps reinvigorated the charred grounds, sprouting grass and saplings in her wake. When Xolara came upon the burnt remains of a once great oak, she stopped to rest. As Xolara slept, the tree shed its blackened shell to become anew. The oak then beckoned to the Seane, who considered it an act by the divines, so she followed. The tree seemed to caress the resting girl before presenting her to the chieftess.
Despite the dissent, Seane maintained her decision and made Xolara the next-in-line to become chieftess. The restoration of the great oak served a testament to Xolara's gifts, though the high-elven girl seemed unable to replicate them. All members of the tribe, aside from her adoptive mother, treated Xolara as a stranger—with suspicion at best and animosity at worse. Nonetheless, Seane nurtured the younger elf, trained her to fight, and educated her in the duties of the chief,During this period, Seane realized Xolara had to have been the lost child of the Eryll chief, Xandor. However, Xolara recollected little of her life prior to wandering the woods, claiming only that the lands had cared for and protected her for years. Due to this revelation, Seane ensured that Xolara became familiar with the Eryll tribe and, especially, religious teachings on the gods of the realm.
The haenkrul reappeared in 1118 BT and tested the alliance of the western Feylands' tribes. Their lands had yet to fully recover since the last attack nearly two centuries ago. The Neir, the Meisan, and the Aelt spearheaded the efforts against the invading monsters but lost much of their numbers. Later, in 1117 BT, Seane led the Aelt's forces against the haenkrul and fell in battle. Xolara, just barely a fully grown elf by the tribe's standards, became the Aelt's chief soon after. However, she lacked the trust of her own tribesmen, much less the alliance of the other tribes, and the Aelt threatened to collapse from within. Xolara, in both determination and desperation, took up her arms to fight against the haenkrul, though the elders of her tribe refused to have her lead their warriors to futile deaths. Undeterred by their distrust, Xolara sought out the creatures and defeated dozens of their numbers by herself.
Her own tribe had turned their back on Xolara, their very own chieftess! But do you think she gave up? That's right, Xiel! No!—I like that expression you have, little one. I bet it was just like the one Xolara had...when she armed herself with a spear and shield! Haha! She set out to face the haenkrul! But facing a horde alone, however, proved much even for her. Xolara had been trained by the warrior chieftess Seane herself! But these were overwhelming odds...So, what do you think she did? Mmmm. No, she did not run, Xandran. Xolara had much more faith than that. In herself, and...In the teachings of her mother. As the haenkrul horde rusher towards her, she entrusted herself to the divines, and, in her heart, she beseeched that power that had cared for her years ago. Then...as the haenkrul set upon her, their bodies aflame, burning the skies and the earth... The land awakened to Xolara's call! Trees, plants, and even the creatures of the wilds that had long since abandoned the charred realm—they had returned! Xolara fought with them at her side. Her spear, now blessed by the Great Mother, pierced through the flaming bodies of the haenkrul...It was her force of will and her belief in the benevolent mother that let her overcome those overwhelming odds.Xolara returned to her tribe as the proven champion of Visarias Eri, the great mother and patron goddess of the western tribes. Her actions quelled doubts over her status as the Aelt's next chieftess. As their leader, Xolara continued their efforts against the haenkrul horde; though, this time, she consolidated the Aelt's numbers with the other major tribes. By 1113 BT, the alliance, with Xolara at the helm, had thwarted the haenkrul invading their territories. Seeing the efficacy of their combined powers, Xolara declared her her intention to unite all the tribes of the west, beginning with the Aelt, the Meisan, and the Neir. As a united entity, Xolara wanted her people to protect one another and the lands. She hoped to eliminate the conflict and strife that their divisions had brought upon the tribes over the past millennia. The tribes did not dare cross the Mother's chosen champion.
Over the next one thousand years, Xolara traversed the vast portion of the western Feylands, reinvigorating the lands as she went. She called for the local peoples to rally behind her, doing all she could to secure their trust. More often than not, invasions by Outsiders cinched the people's belief in Visarias Eri's champion. In 478 BT, Xolara founded the settlement of Eryll Tahl'Rei to serve as the hub for the united tribes, though it quickly grew into a city. Later, she encouraged more of the tribes to establish similar settlements. Then, as their settlements grew, the people established formal routes to reach one another, protected by the tribes' combined forces.
Eventually, by 55 BT, Xolara looked over a land united under a flag dedicated to her mothers, Seane and Visarias Eri. She named the new body of territories the Evergreens a testament to what the lands had become and would forever be. Xolara's followers had begun to see her as the Mother's incarnate on the Feylands; half a century later, they appointed her as queen. The united tribes then became the Kingdom of the Evergreens. Xolara took on the name Ke an Eri and became the first of the Eri dynasty.
The Coming of the Kingdom Times and the Age of Prosperity (0 to 2431 KT)The formal establishment of the Kingdom of the Evergreens marked a changing of eras that transitioned the Building Times to the Kingdom Times (KT). Queen Xolara Ke an Eri ruled for the next thousand years, from 0 to 1000 KT. Her reign marked the kingdom's first Age of Prosperity. Settlements grew into towns and then cities. The formerly tribal forces refined to standing armies. Invading Outsiders ceased to dominate all facets of life. Agriculture thrived, followed by a flourish in cultural movements throughout the Evergreens. The example set by the kingdom inspired people from all over the Feylands to consolidate their numbers. Xolara proved an encouraging and helpful ally to the efforts of these foreign groups, even going as far as to traverse the continent to provide her support.
Around 300 KT, the Gustpeaks and the Cascades became the first political bodies to follow the rise of the Evergreens, sharing borders with the dense forest kingdom. The elvish and gnomish clans near the central Feylands formed the Kingdom of Gloommire in 478 KT. Xolara had a hand in the each of the aforementioned establishments. At this point, the notion of an empire permeated the higher echelons of the Evergreens, though the queen denounced any intentions towards it. Following the declaration, Xolara refrained from further interfering in the politics of the Feylands' remaining nomadic peoples. However, her ideology had spread even to the distant eastern Feylands, where the harsh conditions of the lands made it difficult to consolidate for its people. By 900 KT, both the Dustdoms and the Dominion of the Obsidian Glades had formed.
However, Queen Xolara foresaw the possibilities for conflict between the newly established powers. In 987 KT, she called for a convention between the nations. The Sovereign Summit, as it became known by the presence of each state's leader, established a non-aggression pact among the Feylands' major powers. With the Outsiders still a threat, the nations' leaders agreed to prioritize thwarting any invaders before engaging one another in conflict. The Summit also established an agreement to isolate the Feylands from foreigners, including emissaries from the neighboring continent of Varia; however, prudence forced the nations to at least observe their neighbors for possible threats. Lastly, the meeting addressed the growing institutions of magic throughout the Feylands.
In 1000 KT, Xolara abdicated and passed on the throne to her son, Prince Xandor Ke an Eri. The newly crowned king continued his mother's legacy and the age of prosperity. Following his ascension, King Xandor established a noble class of citizens to support him and aid his rule. He introduced the concept of noble Houses, deriving from the kingdom's tribal origins. Xandor henceforth stylized himself and his descendants as members of House Eri, and his subjects followed the example. The practice, compiled with King Xandor exclusively appointing high elves to his council, eventually led to the division of social classes within the Evergreens. In the twilight years of his rule, the divisions spiraled into a separation amongst the humanoids, particularly between the high elves and wood elves.
By 2430 KT, tensions mounted as a wave of segregation swept through the Evergreens. The aged and weakened King Xandor had let control slip from his fingers, allowing his supporting council to decide the kingdom's faith for him. When Xandor was assassinated by a wood elf in 2431 KT, his son and successor, King Xeron Ke an Eri, called for the formal separation of wood-elven citizens from their high-elven kin. The First Age of Prosperity came to an end.
2431 KT ~ 26400 KTIn subsequent millennia, the Eri dynasty maintained a devout following as rulers of the Kingdom of the Evergreens. Worship for the Lorvan an Fey'Rein and the legends of Xolara became the nation's cultural and religious backbone. The royal dynasty's influence gradually became tempered by the Green Court, but officially, House Eri maintained absolute political power as mandated by their connection to Xolara. While sovereigns generally ruled to the benefit of the Evergreens, succeeding monarchs alternated in perpetuating and reversing the polarization between the high and wood elves.
Mages specializing in the arcane became increasingly prominent in the Eri dynasty's court. The rise of House Faeien as a major magical and political power, through favor with House Eri, marked a notable shift in the focus of mages in the entire kingdom. The efforts of magic users became accredited with the gradual reduction of attacks from the Outsiders as well as increased defense against native threats. As a result, the Kingdom of the Evergreens fully backed the establishment of the Mages Council of the Feylands in 19252 KT.
Threats from Varia and Within
As the War of the Scourge consumed Varia, the Evergreens became the Feylands' gatekeeper for threats beyond its borders. However, after thousands of years of lying dormant, the Outsiders assailed the entire continent in hordes during the Thousand-Year Invasion. In approximately 26600 KT, Queen Xelvana Ke an Eri ordered the high mages of the Evergreens, under the charge of archmage Gehadriel Aeder an Faeien, to erect a protective barrier around the entire kingdom's perimeter. The magic kept the Evergreens safe from the onslaught of the Outsiders and the Scourge but effectively isolated the kingdom from all other entities.
(Estimated: 26400 KT ~ 27400 KT)
Around 27000 KT, King Xolaron Ke an Eri succeeded Queen Xelvana as Sovereign of the Evergreens. Unlike his mother, Xolaron held a more altruistic view to the plight of the kingdom's neighbors. Within the first hundred years of his rule, the king ordered the removal of the barrier and sent aid to the struggling Feylandian states. He also broke the isolationist pact made by the Feylandian states and dispatched an expeditionary force to aid the civilizations in Varia. The forces he sent to Varia included the legendary figures: the Archmage Vyliar'faeien, Galadried, and Olivar, who all became prominent for their efforts against the Scourge. Xolaron remained on the throne through the ends of the War of the Scourge and the Thousand-Year Invasion.
Your great-great-great-great grandfather had the same values as Xolara. He saw the same problem as she did in division, in isolation. Apathy—and apathy means...not caring, Xandran. And it is an awful, awful sin. We are nothing without each other, for in this life, we are but one great family. Yes, each of you have many brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers. Just as I have many children, even if not connected to me by blood, like you three are. For us, as the chosen of Eri, we must love them all, cherish them, and protect them. And we must open our arms and our minds to them. Remember this, my children, for this kingdom and this world becomes nothing if you do not have those you care for.
The Second Age of Prosperity to the Present
In the aftermath of the conflicts in the Feylands and Varia, King Xolaron's foreign policies opened the Evergreens to the west for the first time in its history. The elven kingdom initially served as a benefactor to the budding powers of Varia and, to a lesser extent, its recovering Feylandian nations. However, following the recuperation period, the Evergreens experienced an influx of trade and traffic that stimulated the kingdom. Following his reversal of his predecessors anti-wood elf regulations, King Xolaron ushered the kingdom into its Second Age of Prosperity.
(27400 KT ~ 33000 KT)
Xolaron's successors maintained his approach to both domestic and foreign policies. The kingdom's altruistic efforts ensured alliances between the Evergreens and the surrounding powers. The cultural exchange between the kingdom and the Varian states, however, proved more of a one-sided exchange. The War of the Scourge destroyed much of Varia's cultural capital which led many of its rebuilding civilizations to adopt aspects of the Evergreens' culture. However, the Evergreens took advantage of the growing market in Varia to export foods and arms, among other goods.
In the present day, the kingdom technically remains in its Age of Prosperity. To repair relations with the Evergreens' wood elves, King Xareael Ke an Eri relinquished political dominance over a significant chunk of land in the kingdom's southwest region in 32018 KT. The act unintentionally spawned the Ol-Teressi. The factions' hostilities within the Evergreens sparked anti-wood elf sentiments throughout the population, despite King Xareael's attempts to quell racial prejudice. He remained a staunch supporter for unity between all humanoids in the kingdom. However, in 32880 KT, the royal government once again enacted regulatory acts against wood-elves. By 32884 KT, amidst growing internal strife, King Xareael had fallen out of the public eye due to illness. His sovereign duties were then left to the other members of House Eri and Chief Commander Leviried Aeder an Soerahn. The Chief Commander was accredited with the Evergreens declaring its isolation from the continent of Varia in early 32885 KT as the kingdom sought to correct dissent from within.
"En e'Vesa, ar Lhor."
- Geopolitical, Kingdom
- Alternative Names
The Lands of Eri
The Eternal Garden
- Government System
- Monarchy, Theocratic
- Power Structure
- Unitary state
- Economic System
- Mixed economy
- The Feylands
- Official Languages
- Controlled Territories
- Neighboring Nations
- Notable Members
- Related Myths
King Xareael Ke an Eri House Eri
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