Rise of Glenhome

The lands of Glenhome had long been dominated by elves and their fey kin for all recorded history.  Although wars had occurred between elf and man and dwarf in the region, peace and acceptance among those races in Glenhome progressed more quickly than in other areas of the world.  The peace was broken for a brief time by intrusions of the Bone Mages of Ûr Lords, but Glenhome and their divine and natural allies would ultimately prevail.

1500-1545 The Peace of the Kinds

The humans of the Glenhome have always been known as great hunters and keepers of the wood.  This kinship with nature brought the two races together relatively easily.  The knowledge of meadow, hill and wood that each race shared made cooperation between them easy.  There had been peace between their kinds since the sixth century, but integration was never fully incorporated.  By the middle of the sixteenth century, however, the level of racial cooperation had grown into assimilation, and the communities of man and elf in Glenhome were almost completely integrated.  There were still places in Cellen Wood which housed only elves, but soon, most of those places would integrate as well.

Even the dwarves of the northwest were not reluctant to finding peace with the dominating elvenkind of the region.  The dwarves of the northwest were tied to the nearly nomadic tribes of Frostmark and tended to live as such – on the run, in the small towns, or in shallow caves near to the surface of the Trathona Hills and the Dunns.  The nomadic nature of these Dunn dwarves demanded that they had a strong knowledge and respect for nature in order to survive.  This empathy with the wild permitted them to live freely amidst the Elven society that would have otherwise surely scorned the Ka outsiders.

Peace in Glenhome continued and the communities and towns grew.  More and more human settlers were commonplace in the towns, more and more dwarves were seen traveling and trading in the towns and villages of Glenhome.  As prosperity grew, the nobility of meadow, wood, high and hill (Drow) elf met together more and more frequently to discuss and plan the growth, trade and politic of Glenhome.  The council was formalized into the Council of Gaellar, named for the founder and representative of Cellen Wood, the wood elf Lord Gaellar.  The chief representatives of each of the cities of Glenhome were the following: Glen Ár -- the high elf Lord Dannogh, Davis Clearing -- the meadow elf Lord Thaenar,  Almo – the Drow Lord Darnor, and Farran – the meadow elf Lord Ffaernaed.

In the 1530s, the Council included its first human noble, Lord Boswell from Davis Clearing.  Davis Clearing was founded by meadow and wood elf in the early days of the Second Age.  Unlike many other Elven communities of Glenhome of the first millennium of the Second Age, Davis Clearing accepted at least the presence of humans.  The Boswell family was amongst the first to live amidst the elves in Davis Clearing and had remained there ever since.  There they fought side by side with elves, protecting the city with their lives during the Ûr Wars and Aeodanthine rule.  The Council then accepted the human Lord Lambard of Almo into their circle.  The Lambards were responsible for organizing much of the Great Evacuation of 1180 during the Second War of the Ûr Lords, and had been respected since. 

Next, the Council looked to the lands bordering Glenhome for trade representatives and both Gelden and Frostmark sent representatives.  Gelden sent Elven nobility for their representation although the cities of Gelden were comprised almost equally of man and elf.  The Drow Lord Sîarnah of , the wood elf Lady Llanisfaer of Draboar, and the meadow elf Lord Llanom of Bryanmouth were given seats on the Council to represent the southern cities. 

With Frostmark, the test of Elven openness would be strongest.  Although the elves of Glenhome had fought with the Frostmark ‘barbarians’ in the first millennium, the horrible wars against the Ûr Lords had proven that the elves could work and fight with the barbarians for just causes.  Now Glenhome was willing to trade and cooperate more fully with Frostmark and so their council would be integrated even further: Mainore – the human Warlord Penduin, Batch Moor – the human Warlord Baxmen, – the human Warlord Farndar, and Black Dunn – the Dwarven Warlord Gwln.

The Council of Gaellar set the stage for cooperation and growth in the northwest between the varied races and cultures resident there.  The Council would grow in power and soon decide much of the domestic law and design for the cities and communities throughout the northwest, laying the groundwork for the nation state of Caladan.

1832 First Visitation of Ahrahth

The Council of Gaellar took turns meeting in each of the cities who sent representatives, but it would always pick a neutral site if a specific grievance was made between two factions.  In 1832, a trade issue concerning magical relics and items was being discussed and each city had its own laws to that regard.  Because of the general disparagement, the Council elected to take place deep in the .  Meetings in the wilderness had occurred before, but this time, the Council was visited by a dark stranger on horseback.

The peoples of Glenhome were worshippers of Lasipa and Sylvana primarily, but were generally ill acquainted with the other deities in the pantheon.  However, the Dwarven Lord Am of was quite familiar with the deities and powers of the dead and at once recognized the stranger of who he was.  Lord Am fell to his knees and buried his face in the ground so as not to see the eyes of the Lord of the Dead.  The others followed Lord Am’s example except for the Drow Lord Bansîar of Mainore.   He continued to question the right of the stranger to interrupt their meetings, and for this impudence, Ahrahth brought Bansîar home with him.  From that day on, however, the Bansîar family has tended to the shrine and faithful of Ahrahth in Mainore[1].

The Council questioned Ahrahth about the reason for his visit and for the reason of why the Council was chosen to receive him.  Ahrahth did not answer these questions, but instead asked the Council to describe what they thought was their history, world troubles, etc.  For days, Ahrahth sat listening to the Council expound, all the while, the Council members sat with their faces shielded from the deadly gaze of the dark lord.  Finally, after ten days of exposition from the various members of the Council, the dark lord spoke to them. 

Soon, many of you will suffer and return to me.  Those bringing you to me will be your enemies, but it will not be from my design.  Even now your enemies play with my realm and create abominations that belong in no world of god or mortal.  You will suffer and come to me, but I believe you will survive.  We will see each other again, in either my realm or yours. 

After that, Ahrahth stood up and walked into the shadow and returned to his plane.

1833-1858 Plague of the Bone Mages

Glenhome and the northwest continued to prosper for the remainder of the year, but early in the winters of 1833, the shadow of death began to cover the vales and wood of Glenhome.  Farran was first to be hit by the plague.  The plague caused one of two horrible degenerative illnesses, one which led to decaying death and the other which lead to undeath.  In just over a month, one quarter of the town had either died or had to be destroyed as they became ghoulish, nether vermin preying on the living.  The disease of decay continued to spread throughout Glenhome.  By the middle of 1834, Gelden and Frostmark were also feeling the grasp of death from this terrible plague.  The priests of every town were busy curing disease, destroying the undead and attempting to protect any citizen not yet scathed by the scourge. 

The terror of the plague seemed more lethal and nefarious than any trial nature could put before the peoples of Glenhome, and so mages were enlisted to attempt to divine the nature of the disease.  After lengthy, deep, scrying, the mages of Glen Ár determined that some force of necromantic nature was assembled around a town or settlement when an outbreak occurred; in particular, when an outbreak of the disease of undead creation occurred.   The mages worked with the rangers and discovered that at an outbreak of the disease at a small settlement near Cellen Wood, there was a circle of undead surrounding the entire town accompanied by an undead lich of Ka descent.  Somehow, the Ûr Lords had researched spells or rituals to not only transmute their mages into undead bone mages, but they had also discovered group rituals to spread pestilence over large areas of land.  On the positive side, these rituals caused the mages of the northwest to begin to uncover their own new ritual magic, where many mages or priests or followers could assemble to perform great feats of magic.

The forces of Glenhome, Gelden and Frostmark joined together to seek out the liches and their minions and destroy them.  For several years hence, the liches were uncovered and destroyed, although none of the battles against them were victorious without grave loss.  The liches had the ability to permanently possess any weaker souls within their grasp so many young warriors and clergy were lost.

Finally, the outbreaks ceased and the mages could no longer scry any threat of this nature to their land – except for the great wood elf mage Nwfansîl who could look deeper than any other.  Nwfansîl saw that his vision was being blocked from seeing some of the areas of Glenhome where anyone would seldom tread.  For months he continued his scrying while the rest of the northwest rejoiced in the cities’ returned health and prosperity.  Finally, Nwfansîl found that the most difficult area for him to view was in the Moor of Mor, northwest of Davis Clearing.  Nwfansîl took his apprentice and his scrying equipment with him and ventured into the Moor of Mar, but he never returned.  Scouting parties were sent into the moor, but none could find a trace of Nwfansîl or his apprentice, except for the scrying equipment which sat in the open on one large dolmen amidst the bog.[2]  Although the moors were searched further, and not all search parties returned unscathed, no sign of either the liches or Nwfansîl was found.

1859 Second Visitation of Ahrahth

The northwest returned to their prosperous lives, the Council of Gaellar again met to discuss issues of state and trade.  Again the Council found themselves deep in the southern reaches of the , and again the dark stranger appeared to them.   The Council paid homage immediately to the Lord of the Dead, but Ahrahth called them to stand up and again tell him their impression of the world.  The Council related their thoughts as honestly as they could for several days until they had little else to say.  Finally, after a long silence when all had spoken, Ahrahth spoke to the Council. 

You have failed me by not destroying the abominations of undead which plagued your land.  You destroyed the children, but let the masters grow.  However, I will continue to protect your vale from them for a yearly sacrifice.  In addition, one of the Council must return with me now. 

Before any discussion could arise, the Lady Mhanaris of Glen Ár stepped forth and demanded that she be taken.

If we have wronged the world in the mind of the gods, then we should all be lost.  If I can appease the gods through one simple life, then I will pass into darkness so that all will receive the blessing of the gods.  I am ready, Lord Ahrahth. 

Ahrahth took Lady Mhanaris and was not seen again.  To this day, the family of Mhanaris has offered more of its kin as part of the sacrifice to Ahrahth than any other noble family in Eirethune.  For this reason, the Mhanaris clan has always been held in high esteem in the court of Glen Ár.

1860-1910 Visitation of Sylvana and the Birth of Caladan

The northwest continued to prosper and the peoples of the northwest became more and more closely tied.  Even though many different races and ethnicities were involved, each maintained great respect for nature and maintaining the peace of Glenhome.  The wood elf population, as well as that of other sylvan races such as centaurs and ents, flourished greatly during this period.  The town governments, cultural festivals, and education throughout the region focused greatly on sylvan life and worship of nature.  Finally, in 1890 during a festival of the vernal equinox deep in the , the Lord of Nature, Sylvana, appeared amidst the ceremony and blessed all those participated.  Those present at the ceremony would become the nobility for the region from that day forth.  In addition, one wood elf lady was pregnant when she was personally blessed by Sylvana, and later she gave birth to a son who was able to control the forces of nature like no other before him, Caladan. 

As Caladan grew, his ever-increasing power became almost legend with bards singing his abilities well beyond his actual powers.  Regardless, by the time he was 20, the populace of the northwest was talking of replacing existing city and village governments and following the new prophet into a golden age.  The nobility of the northwest was quite apprehensive of their future position in society, so many began to take up the role of sycophant of young Caladan.  There were some who attempted to besmirch him, but the songs and tales of Caladan’s prowess spoke much louder and longer. 

For several years, Caladan had stayed deep in the traveling from village to village, helping people, animal and plant whenever he could.  He focused much more on the smaller community rather than the city wherever he went.  He did visit Cellen, but he always seemed to be searching while he was there – unable to find solace, searching for a sense of nature within the busy, cosmopolitan city.  After a few years, Caladan left the to wander the rest of the northwest.  Hills, marshes, coastline, mountain, and plains were visited in Caladan’s attempt to witness the nature of the northwest.  Caladan visited the cities throughout the region, but he still never seemed at home in them.  The nobility of the cities attempted to placate Caladan and bring him into their realm, and Caladan always welcomed their graciousness.  However, Caladan was never at ease in the cities and found himself leaving within a day of arriving at any city.  As time progressed, Caladan began to take up the reins of power which were being presented to him, and finally in 1910, he returned to Glen Ár to embrace his power over the land.

1910-2074 Golden Age of Calandoriel

Caladan’s arrival in Glen Ár was the birth of a religious movement which would sweep over the northwest and permeate every village and town which contained sylvan elements.  Caladan arrived in Glen Ár and walked to the town square where a large live oak grew.  The oak raised Caladan into the air and Caladan began to speak of the new life that the world should lead where people could live together in peace with all beings of nature.  Caladan believed in the great learning facilities and intermingling of cultures that cities presented, but knew that to make a city pure, it must be wrought with the elements of living nature.  Cities in the northwest had been made with dead wood and cut stone and it was now time to build a city which incorporated natural forms, living forms which would enhance the knowledge and life of all who lived there.  Caladan spoke for hours on end about his plan and the manner in which it must be built.  He had wandered the forests and hills of the northwest for years and had found a place which he found holy and perfect for construction of this new great city.  Here the people of the northwest would construct the high living spires of Calandoriel.

Caladan had found species of trees that had properties of redwood, acacia and live oak that had long been herded and befriended by the elder ents of the .  With their help, the basis for the living spires of Calandoriel was possible.  The training of trees would be made through great sylvan ritual magic and the help of the ents.  However, the process would require great nurturing of the trees and immense concentration from those involved in the rituals.  Caladan called for help and a vast host well beyond his dreams elected to follow him.  Creatures of nature, human nobles from the cities, Dwarven merchants, virtually everyone who lived between the Dunns and Gelden came to Caladan’s call and began to learn the rituals of building which Caladan had developed with the ents.  For three years, the host lived in the western portion of the of learning the rituals, living within the new natural laws, and following Caladan on his quest for a great of nature.  There were many who left the encampment, but ultimately, the host that was to participate in the creation of Calandoriel was well beyond the original expectations of Caladan.  When it came time for the rituals to begin, there were more than ten times the number of participants than Caladan had believed was possible.  When the city of began to rise up into the sky, the living spires rose far into the sky, well beyond the canopy of the and into the thin air above the world.  When the rituals ended, those who participated in the ritual could not believe what they had done.  Those who had had doubts of Caladan after the three years of practice and service, would now commit themselves to Caladan after seeing the glorious construction of this new home of all creatures of nature.

Creatures of all forms could now live in the spires.  Rooms, houses and shelters could be created by asking the spirit controlling a particular area of the spires to change.  The citizens of Calandoriel had security, peace and brotherhood.  More and more people from all over came to see this new wonder of the world, and the population of Calandoriel soared.  The cities of Glenhome lost many of their citizens who sought the new dream which Caladan provided.  For those who had not been welcome in the cities previously, the slowly emptying cities provided a new home.  The horse peoples from Rhorden, the Drow from the Hills, even the giants from the northern hills and moors could now find that the doors of the old Glenhome cities were open to them.  The complexion of Glenhome would change drastically over the next hundred years with the cities of losing much of the commitment to the pursuit of nature that they had shared, while the collection of beings around Calandoriel grew and grew.

2075-2134 The Spires and Valleys Divide

As Calandoriel grew, the towns and villages of the northwest grew more disorganized.  Many of the nobles who created local culture were now spending much of their time at the great spires of Calandoriel.  There were still large holdings around the old towns which were under control of the nobility, but the town cultures were focused more and more on the new inhabitants who had come from the hills and valleys on the outskirts of civilized Glenhome.  Some of the new immigrants to Glenhome were from the exiled nobles from the Devnah Blood Wars.

Next, Southwestern Hegemony

[1] The family of Bansîar has the ash remains of Lord Badzun Bansîar who died that day before Ahrahth.  It is said that if one particle of Badzun’s Ashes is dropped on a victim, that victim will begin withering away until the particle is removed or the victim is dead.

[2] The Eye of Nwfansîl is still in possession of the Nwfansîl family of Glen Ár, although the family has never achieved the thaumaturgical greatness that their forbearer had achieved.  The Eye is still believed to have the ability to scry anywhere in the world in the right hands.