Melinarë (Highforest)
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Capitol: Astrakan (population: 44,000)
Population: 18,000 (85% Aeryn, 15% other)
Demi-humans: 1,237,000 (94% High-Elves, 4% halflings, 2% gnomes)
Humanoids: none
Government: Monarchy (currently ruled by the House of Ekryie)
Current Leader: King Generaf Ekryie
Coat of Arms: nine white stars above a white tree on a bright green field
Exports: timber, Kamerling wine, magic items, elixirs, elvish-crafts, artwork, cloth

Melinarë; which literally means "Highforest" in the Silvanestri tongue, is the powerful nation of High-Elves on Corwyn. The realm of the High-Elves is located within the vast Melinar Forest and is the largest and most powerful elvish nation on Corwyn.


Melinarë is the last of the three great elven nations that were created in the Sundering; following the collapse of the elvish civilization of Ectharë. Few outsiders are allowed within the great Melinar Forest, and most trade with other races is conducted either along the coast of the Sea of Ralas, or in mixed elvish settlements located along the borders of the elven woodland.

The High-Elves are seen by most other races as arrogant and stubborn; and sometimes resented by both humans and dwarves for their attitudes. To the High-Elves, this outlook comes naturally with the great age of elvish society, which sees itself as superior to all other races on Corwyn. The High-Elves are the descendants of the ancient "Elder-Elves," who first came to Corwyn in the First Age and claimed the continent as their own.


Borders: Melinarë is enclosed completely within the vast woodland called the Melinar Forest. The Melinar Forest is bordered on the north by the towering Withered Mountains. The forest is bordered on the south and the east by the Forlorn Mountains. On the west, the forest borders the Sea of Ralas.

Politics: The current ruler of Melinarë is the Elven-King Generaf; who is the Eighth ruler of the ancient, distinguished House of Ekryie. King Generaf rules over the elven kingdom from the Adamantine Throne, located within the elven city of Astrakan, inside the fabulous Starlight Palace.

Military: The high-elves are normally a peaceful people, but can be quite deadly if provoked. To protect his forest realm, the Elven-king can muster over 75,000 elvish warriors in time of war. High-Elven warriors are well-trained and well-equipped. Long ago, the elves mastered the craft of forging armor and weapons. Elven chain-mail and elven blades; which equip every elven soldier, are made of the highest quality. The soldiers of Melinar usually wear specially made, green chain mail, and are euipped with long swords and long bows. All elven units are accompanied by elven battle-mages, which make them practically invincible.

Climate: The Melinar forest has both sloping hills and sharp valleys; but its entirety is covered in a dense tree-canopy. The climate inside the forest is temperate and mild, although in the summer months the region can become quite warm and humid.

Life & Society


The High-Elves of Melinarë are a quiet, introspective folk that love artwork, crafts, reading and writing. The High-Elves delight in making items of wondrous quality with wood, clay, and metal. Their skills at the creation of weapons are superb, surpassed only by the elvish mastery of armor. It is here that the long kept secret of elvish chain mail is still kept. Elvish armor smiths are true masters of their craft, making suits of elvish chain that give a +1 bonus over all other suits of chain mail made by humans. For a suit to be made to fit another race is very rare indeed and these fine suits can cost thousands of gold pieces, and are only owned by royalty or the wealthiest merchant lords. The elves live a quite life in harmony with nature deep within their beloved forest. They are not as friendly as the Wood-Elves, and not quite as aloof as their Grey Elf cousins either. Most High-Elves have a love of nature and despise the creatures and dark sorcery of the East. On many occasions they have come forth out of their forest realm to fight alongside the races of men and dwarves against the tyranny of the East.

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Major Geographic Features


The entire Elf-realm of Melinarë is made up of the Melinar Forest; the largest woodland on the continent of Corwyn. Within the gigantic woodlands are broad hills and deep valleys, flowing streams, and small open grasslands. But the overwhelming foliage that covers the region doesn’t allow for much vegetation. All manner of trees are found here, notably the rare elvish Thanatäe trees, from which the elves brew the sap into Kamerling. Also found here are giant Silverwoods as tall as three hundred feet, and entire groves of the rare Nacera Root. It is this abundance of both magical and non-magical trees and herbs that give this region its real distinction over other woodlands.

Important Sites


Astrakan: (population: 40,000) capitol and largest city of the High-Elves of Melinarë, located deep within the Melinar Forest. The city is surrounded by a natural barrier of trees and ferns that are impregnable to elvish foes. Within this city is the fabulous Starlight Palace that holds the Adamantine Throne.

Chambrai: (population: 17,000) small elvish seaport in southern Melinarë.

Dhäelhar: (population: 9,000) small border city between Melinarë and Alveron.

Forest Road: road of green moss and pebbles made by the High-Elves to connect the cities of Dhäelhar, Astrakan and Ashara.

Queyenvalë: (population: 8,000) elvish city in the southern region of the Melinar Forest. This city is to the Synfari, and is the center for elvish study of magic and the arcane. The entire city rests above the surface within the trees themselves.

Silvany: (population: 22,000) large elvish city and seaport, located on the southwestern border of the Melinar Forest.

Silvar Road: A road of green moss and pebbles made by the High-Elves to connect the cities of Silvany, Astrakan, and Queyenvalë.

Local History


The history of the elves of Corwyn is long and detailed. Much of that history is lost to the mists of time. But what is known by sages and scholar today can be broken down by the various Ages of time of Corwyn.

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THE FIRST AGE


The history of the elvish race began in the First Age, when the elves first landed upon the shores of Corwyn from the distant lands of Eryn Norvë. The ancient elves had traveled across the vast Wyn Myr Ocean in search of a new home, and took the lands of Corwyn as their own. The ancient elvish pioneers were the; “Elder-Elves.” They were also called Silvar-Elves, the ancestors of the modern-day Grey-Elves of Corwyn. The elves expanded their civilization across the continent, calling it Ectharë, meaning “paradise.” The Silvar-Elves were led by the House of Alessarë, and Elegheron Alessarë was the first anointed Elf-King of Ectharë.

At that time, the only other sentient race the elves encountered was the race of dragons. Some dragons were friendly, others were not, and by the end of the First Age, the race of elves allied itself with all good dragons and made war upon the evil dragons. The conflict was terrible and much of Corwyn was laid waste. The Evil dragons were led by a fearsome dragon named Calegorax. The War of the Dragons ended in an elvish victory at the Battle of Merizath. During this battle Calegorax was slain, but as he lay dying, uttered a famous curse that the Silvar-Elves were cursed and would find no peace on Corwyn

THE SECOND AGE


The Silvar-Elves continued to prosper in the Second Age, rebuilding and expanding Ectharë. They built six magnificent cities of silver and gold: the Elven capitol of Elutheria in the west, the Elf-city of Saravôsh in the east, Therakan in the north, Astrakan in the south; as well as the far southern cities of Alarë and Selunë. Wit the completion of these great cities, Ectharë truly became a wondrous civilization; filled with art, culture, beauty, and grace.

Unfortunately, this time of peace and prosperity was not to last. For in the year, 572/2, a beautiful elf sorceress named Lorynäe Anarivon, murdered the Elven-King Starion Alessarë and she and attempted to usurp the Eternal Throne. Lorynäe failed to steal the Throne, but Starion's murder did provoke a thousand-year civil war among the elves, which came to be known as the War of Wrath. The loyal elves were led by Starion’s son Ismelian Alessarë; who swore to avenge his father’s murder and eradicate all Dark-Elves from Corwyn forever. The elves that followed Lorynäe came to be called the Dark-Elves, or Drothë; meaning “those who follow the darkness.”

The Dark-Elves needed legions of slave-soldiers to fight in their war against the Silvar. So, they used magic to spawn a hybrid half-elf race called the Gauth, as well as the monstrous race of Tarks. The War of Warth was long and bitter; the elf capitol of Elutheria was reduced to rubble in the fighting, and soon after, the great elvish city of Saravôsh was completely obliterated in a terrific magical explosion set off by the Dark-Elves. The explosion destroyed the city, killed King Ismelian, as well as tens of thousands of elves on both sides. The explosion was so intense, it created a huge deep chasm hundreds of miles long called Grôn.

As the war dragged on, the Silvar-Elves eventually called upon both humans and dwarves to aid them in their fight against the Dark-Elves. Humans answered the call; but the dwarves, angry over earlier slights from the elves, took no part in this war. This refusal has made the elves look upon dwarves with disdain. That enmity has lasted to this very day.

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Eventually, the Silvar-Elves got the upper hand; led by Ismelian’s son, King Talarion Alessarë. Talarion; known by his friends and foes as “Brightstar,” was the greatest elvish warrior in history, and won countless battles against the Dark-Elves and their servants. Ultimately, the Dark Elves were defeated at the Battle of Grôn, the remaining Dark-Elves were driven underground through the very chasm they had created, and their Gauth servants were either killed or banished into the eastern wastelands. Sadly, Talarion was slain during this final battle, but he did manage to avenge both his father and grandfather before he fell in battle.

The War of Wrath had many dark legacies. Foremost was the permanent devastation of eastern Corwyn, which was affected by magical fallout called Ashfall; a period of 100 years of complete darkness that poisoned every living plant and creature. Ashfall also caused the "Taint;" a sickness that changed the skin-color of the afflicted elves to either black or very dark gray, and bleached their hair a sickly white

Second, the Gauth race was not destroyed, but only banished. They would return under their greatest leader, a powerful sorcerer named Alokkair; who would continue to wreak havoc on Corwyn for many centuries to come.

The third effect was the Sundering of the elven race, which is described beow.

THE SUNDERING


When the great Silvar realm of Ectharë collapsed at the end of the Second Age, it broke into three smaller and distinct Elf-realms. This event was called the "Sundering." The history of the three elven realms is as follows:

Thekarë


The far-northern Elf-realm was called Thekarë, which meant ‘Tree-Home’ in the Silvanestri tongue. Over time, the elves who settled here became known today as Wood-Elves, or ‘Thekyr.’ The Wood-Elves had rich brown or black hair, pale tannish skin, and bright eyes of green, blue, or grey. Unlike the western Elf-realm of Wyntharë, and the southern Elf-realm of Melinarë, the northern Elf-realm took upon itself the task of keeping vigil on the East.

The Elf-kings of Thekarë solemnly watched the East and their warriors and rangers protected the West from its evil for centuries. They knew that the curse of the Dark-Elves had stained that land permanently, and that nothing good would ever come from that dreadful region. The Wood-Elves of Thekarë made their capitol the beautiful forest city of Therakan, called the ‘Circle of Trees,’ and the Wood-Elf Kings sat upon the famous Oakheart Throne. The forest that surrounded Thekarë became known as the Silvarwood, and the Wood-Elf culture that thrived was a wonder to behold.

In the Third Age, the Wood-Elves also expanded west through the region known today as the Pale and established Malanäe, a small coastal city on the east shores of the Athlan Myr. From here they traded with the men of Thalar and Amar, as well as the dwarves of the north. But their presence was known to Alokkair in the East, and he greatly desired to destroy the Wood-Elves, and remove them as a threat to his domination of the West.

Eventually, through a series of wars, the Wood-Elves of Thekarë were greatly weakened and their vigil on the East waned as Alokkair grew strong again behind the Saugreth-Muir. In 1233/4, Alokkair made his move. Under the direction of Alokkair, a huge orcish army led by a terrible Demon named Vorilax invaded the Silvarwood and completely destroyed the Wood-Elf realm of Thekarë. The elvish city of Therakan was left in ruins and the Wood-Elves were all slain or fled. At this time, the three Silvarils of the Wood-Elves were lost as well, but legend says that the Demon-Lord never found them because they were hidden by the Wood-Elves in the secret tomb of Anarion Liëflynne, the last fallen Elf-king of Thekarë.

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After Alokkair’s invasion, the Elf-city and the woods around it became a haunted place of dread called Mystwood, in which no Wood-Elf will dare to tread, even today. The few surviving Wood-Elves who escaped the attack upon their homeland migrated southeast to the Ravenwood, and to other scattered woodlands as well. A few even joined with the High-Elves of Melinarë. The symbol of the Wood-Elves of Thekarë was a tree, a shooting star, and three orbs, all in gold, on a dark green field. The Elf-realm of Thekarë encompassed the territory of what is today the Mystwood Forest.

Wyntharë


The far-western Elf-realm was called Wyntharë, which meant ‘West-Home’ in the Silvanestri tongue. The elves of Wyntharë were the most reclusive and powerful of the three groups. Their mastery of magic knew almost no bounds, and some say it surpassed even the greatest of talents of the Saar and the Council of Sorcerë. These western elves eventually evolved into the Elf race known today as the Grey-Elves, or ‘Grafyr,’ of Corwyn. Their skin was pale, their hair silver or gold, and their eyes were bright amber gold, pale grey, or even a deep violet purple. These elves were the shyest of elvish races and found no joy in even the smallest contact with other races, and had such meetings only rarely.

The Grey-Elves that founded Wyntharë were led by the beautiful Queen Ariel Alessarë, who had been a powerful mage in Ectharë. The Grey-Elves founded the Veiled Throne of Wyntharë, although only two elves at upon it. Little else of their exotic culture is know today, except that the Grey-Elves built a marvelous civilization far in the West, with secrets still unknown today. By in the year 884/3, the Grey-Elf civilization of Wyntharë was devastated by a terrible earthquake ; known the Great Rift. Afterward, the Grey-Elves yearned to return to their ancestral home of Eryn Norvë. Over the centuries that followed nearly all of the Grey-Elves left the shores of Corwyn and sailed back west forever. The Grey-Elves were led across the Wyn Myr by King Ajathar Alessarë, also a descendant of the Elf-kings of Ectharë, and the only son of Queen Ariel.

Within less than five-hundred years, the entire region known today as Westvale Island was abandoned by the Grey-Elves, leaving their beautiful city of Wyn Falas empty and abandoned. This city and the lands surrounding it eventually became inhabited by early tribes of humans called the Iskari, and eventually became the human kingdom of Cyrendar in the early Fourth Age. The few remaining Grey-Elves that remained on Corwyn settled just south of Westvale Island; across the narrow Iskari Strait. The Grey-Elves chose the Isle of Vesarivon to become what is known today as Antharë; a secluded, forest enclave. Wyntharë remains the least understood and most mysterious of the ancient lost civilizations on Corwyn. The symbol of the Grey-Elves of Wyntharë was a silver ship, surrounded by a ring nine silver stars, on a pale lavender field. The Elf-realm of Wyntharë encompassed the territories of what are today the realms of Cyrendar and the Elf-realm of Antharë.

Melinarë


Melinarë was the third of the three great Elf-realms that evolved from the First Age elvish civilization of Ectharë. The elves that inhabit the Melinar Forest are called the High-Elves and make up the largest and most powerful elvish nation on Corwyn. In fact outsiders sometimes call this woodland realm "Highforest" as a nickname, for its High-Elvish heritage. Few outsiders are allowed within the great forest, and most trade with other races is done along the coasts, or in scattered, mixed settlements located on the borders of the forest.

The High-Elves are seen by many as arrogant and stubborn, and sometimes even resented by both humans and dwarves. This attitude comes with the great age of elvish society, who naturally sees itself as superior to all other races, as Corwyn was first explored and cultivated by elves alone. To protect the forest realm, the Elf-king can muster over 25,000 elvish warriors in time of war. The High-Elves of Melinarë are a quiet, introspective folk that love artwork, crafts, reading and writing. The High-Elves delight in making items of wondrous quality with wood, clay, and metal.

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Their skills at the creation of weapons are superb, surpassed only by the elvish mastery of armor. It is here that the long kept secret of elvish chain mail is still kept. Elvish armor smiths are true masters of their craft, making suits of elvish chain that give a +1 bonus over all other suits of chain mail made by humans. For a suit to be made to fit another race is very rare indeed and these fine suits can cost thousands of gold pieces, and are only owned by royalty or the wealthiest merchant lords. The elves live a quite life in harmony with nature deep within their beloved forest. They are not as friendly as the Wood-Elves, and not quite as aloof as their Grey Elf cousin either.

Most High-Elves have a love of nature and despise the creatures and dark sorcery of the East. On many occasions they have come forth out of their forest realm to fight alongside the races of men and dwarves against the tyranny of the East.