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Author Topic: The Zeiphyrian Forests  (Read 997 times)
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Wren
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« on: 22 April 2002, 16:42:00 »

The Zeiphyrian Forests

Introduction
The Zeiphyrian forests consists of two large ‘twinned’ forests in close proximity to each other, South of New Santhala and home to the Quealhoirhim elven tribe. One of the tallest forest it is populated predominantly by evergreen species.

Description
Two large lush, and predominantly evergreen forests. They are notable for the the average hieght of the canopy, which is a good 30 peds higher than most other forests in SarvoniaThe forests in fact have several names.  The word Zeiphyrian is difficult to translate, but means ‘Living woods’ in Styrash, though this is not 100% accurate, for they believe that the woods were alive and therefore never claimed it as their own. The Elves sometimes refer to the forest as ‘Yúlir’ or ‘twins’, with the western forest being refered to as ‘Yúlir’pardá’ (western twin), or simply as lon’parda (western forest). The western forest is sometimes referred to also as the Lon’únn (the big forest), being larger in size by a small amount than the eastern forest.  In fact the Western forest was once considerably larger, than it is now, stretching as far west as Chyliklis and boadering the Vale of Brownies. Much of this extensive forest was destroyed during the First Sarvonian War and after by large scale flooding. The last remaining remnant of this larger forest is the Quallian, now separated from the main forest by open land of some considerable distance.

Location
The Forests fall in the province of Sanguia, South of New Santhala. It is boardered to the east by the Auturian Woods,and to the west by the waters of The Theavil (sic?) River and human settlements of Brinsley and Vesash. To the North of the forest is the huge area of land known as the Elven ground.

Climate
The forest is very warm for most of the year. Winter is brief and mild, providing an almost continuous growing season. Thus, trees reach enormous heights. Rainfall occurs all year round, usually in the afternoon, but can be more prolonged in the winter months. The sky is usually clear, but overcast skies can linger for days at a time during autumn and winter.


Coat of Arms
The Quealhoirhim coat of arms is the standard to be found in the forest. However, there have been several variations of the years, and it varies slightly with location. The the official banner of the Quaelhoirhim since the outbreak of the First Sarvonian War (806 b.S.) is a rather abstract affair depicting a gleaming sword engraved with the eye of Avá on a red field flanked by two frost dragons. The shield is based on the events prior to SW I when Maengolth's blood (symbolised by the red field) that the elves had hidden to prevent men angering the Gods and dragons, while the sword shows that the Quaelhoirhim were willing to fight to prevent the Age of Blood.

People
The Quaelhoirhim elves dwell in the Zeiphyrian Forest, but also on the forest's southern coast. Isolated members of the tribe live on the Elvenground. The Quaelhoirhim are an incredibly diverse bunch of elves, the jacks of all trades, having learnt all sorts of skills from other elves and races. They are great traders and craftsmen, each village, town and city has its own speciality, while the capital is a thriving metropolis where these skills can be traded. Settlements deeper in the forest often home rangers and wood crafters.

Quaelhoirhim have a natural ability for magic and they use this to protect the larger towns and cities. However, unlike the Ylfferhim, for example, they do not keep people out but simply create another level, no less real, but not the real city, into which other races are admitted, allowing the Quaelhoirhim to satisfy their elven need to some secrecy. Thus, the twin cities of Elving ( the capital, in the Western forest) and Saloh (eastern forest) exist on two levels, one which outsiders can enter freely, and one which outsiders are kept from. Certain parts of the forest, such as temples are similarly protected.

Temple is a very rough term, the Quaelhoirhim do not really have temples in the human sense of the word, convinced that Gods do not exist inside buildings. Instead their religious sites are places of divine reverance. An enormous ring of standing stones North West of Saloh is the temple to Urtengor, Nethor is worshipped in a great Tree Cathedral outside of Elving.  Baveras is worshipped from a spot high on a cliff overlooking the sea, east of the Elving port.

Housing in the forest, like everything about the Quaelhoirhim tribe is very varied. In Elving and the other main city, Saloh, buildings are grand and made of stone and clay and surrounded by huge city walls and very much like any human city, though cleaner and kinder to the land they are built on.

Other towns contain small wooden huts. Some members of the tribe live in wooden built houses. Near the coast the natural caves are converted into warm, comfortable homes. Those that back on to the cliffs also make strategic forts and look out points. In the depth of the forest villages are very much like those found in the Quallian, a network of wooden dwellings on various levels, linked by wooden walkways and plating of the tree branches, in the trees and invisible if you don't know where to look.

Flora
The Zeiphyrian shares much of its flora and fauna, as one might expect with the Quallian, but also to some extent with the neighbouring Auturian woods. The Douch Nut  is commonly found in the forest, The Urban tree can be found in the eastern forest, but is rarely seen in the Western forest. Perhaps this is because in the thinner soils of the Western forest, the Urban tree is simply out-competed by the common Adlemir and it’s  vigourous upward growth. The forest also is home to the peace pine and two species of tree related to the Clowen Tree: The In’ilá (sty: climber lit. to Scale Unmoving (rock/face)) is like its wild Quallian relative a sparse shrub, though this sub-species has a climbing habit, often found wound around the trunks of other trees and through branches. In Elving they are often carefully grown around doors and windows.  The Bejon’efér is a small tree, with a bushy, bright green crown with huge Red and Orange flowers,that resemble a tiny fire. It reaches no more than 3 peds in height and thus lives on the edges of the forest or in clearings.

The Clearings are home to a larger number of speices, than under the canopy, which is so dense as to virtually obliterate all sun light. Only shade loving plants, such as ferns and mosses can survive in the thick of the forest. Alth'ho grass is common in clearings, as are various species of fungi and the Kies flowers.

Fauna
The Forests are noted for the residence in great numbers of Wyverns, or lesser Drakes. The forest probably has one of the largest populations of the creatures in Southern continent. It is not a scientific fact; No one has actually gone out with the sole purpose of counting Lesser Drake populations (for a start you would need to be certifiable to want do so), it is merely anecdotal. They are not a common sight, they are just seen more often than anywhere else. The frequency with which one happens upon a nesting site in and around the forest is far higher than is comforting. And several sources of literature notes the frequency of Wyvern sightings, for example in the chp. 7 Ava’estoria, the narrator watching as the elf Severan as he comes face to face with a Great Drake, notes

‘However, in the Zeiphyrian woods, deep down in the south of the United Empire the flying reptiles or wyverns, as they were known in the local dialect, preying on their quarry in veritable bands, were an almost common sight.’

Horned Drakes, Breeze drakes and Gales Drakes are most commonly seen overhead, while Sea Wyrms are often seen in the waters that lap the costal edges of the forest.

The Zeiphyrian forests are also home to packs of wolves, vast herds of deer, as well as to large numbers of the Santhalian Black Hart. With all this wildlife about Quealhoirhim Elves have to be very careful where they tread! Perhaps this would explain the existence of the Zeiphyrian hunting hound, the Quealhoirhim are one of the few wood elven tribes to keep ‘domestic’ dogs, although they tend to roam around in packs much of the time, so perhaps may only be counted as semi-domesticated. The hounds seem to have their origins in the alliance with the Dark elves in the First Sarvonian War. It is believed that the Quealhoirhim manage to aquire several of these sought after animals. The Zeiphyrian animal, is a slightly glossy version of the original, having been crossed with the wolves that wander through the Zeiphyrian woods; with the The Eophyrhim Hunting Hound sleek, slender lines still in evidence, but the coat is far longer, grayish to black fur on their backs and sides, and are snowy white in the belly. It appears to be immune to the poison of the White Hart, suggesting that the hound has at least some lineage of from the Ashmarian Wolf, from the Northern continent, which while being possible is not certain.


Natural Reasources
Resourcs from such a vast area are relativly small. There is no end of wood f all types that can be used for anything from building boats or houses to making finely crafted bows. The East of the forest is known for yielding rocks containing iron ore (the soil here is often red, or in marshier areas, blue, depending on the ferric state of the iron). This is often taken to Elving or Saloh  to make beuatifully crafted objects. Sand from the coastline at the southern edge of the forest can be used for glass and building. Some amount of gold can be found in the western edges of the forest.


Mythology
There are many different versions of how the tribe came to be. One popular myth is the Cárpa'ál'Wievóc, common also to the Ylfferhim. What seems to be certain is that the tribe are the descendants of light elves that were trapped in physical form after the burning of Eí'reóll, the Tree of Life, and chose not to return to the Thaelon to reclaim their wind forms, but to stay in the forests.


History

13000 b.S.        First confirmed settlements in the Zeiphyranian Forests
12689 b.S.        First buildings on the site of ElvingProposed arrival of Vai'linai and Ioawlen. Vai'linai chooses to stay. She is not a Ránn as such, but a wise advisor to surrounding settlements.
ca. 10000 b.S.        The City of Elving is a thriving MetropolisThe city is protected by the elves from other visitors by Quaelhoirhim magi who make the real Elving inaccessible to other visitors. Later this is extended to the emerging city of Saloh.
ca. 6000 b.S.        The Settling of the Jhehellrhim ElvesIn the far eastern part of the forests, three settlements, influenced by the Tethinrhim and unhappy with the Quaelhoirhim way of life leave the forest and settle further north, forming the Jhehellrhim tribe. For many years this offshoot of the Quaelhoirhim have little contact with their mother tribe.

3.981 b.S.-3.638 b.S. LLaoihrr tribe migrated westward, soon reaching the Zeiphyrian forest. They discover the Quaelhoirhim elves already living there, and so keep on gradually moving west, looking for a place to call their own. Following the coastline westward and then following the Thevelin river northward, they eventually reach the Quallian forest.

Age of Awakening
1067 b.S.        Colonisation and cultivation of the Elverground
841 b.S.        Gorm is foundA human child is found by a Quaelhoirhim merchant family abadoned on the Elvenground. Is raised as part if the family and named Wegerrand (later Gorm).
Age of Blood
822 b.S.        Wegerrand leaves the elvesWegerrand, when in the Bolder, with his adoptive family, receives knowledge of the location of the powerful blood of the once sacrificed Maengolth, who dies from the sword of his own son. The blood has been taken away by the elves to prevent the humans of enraging the high powers, the dragons and the Gods. The holder of the holy blood of Maengolth within himself shall unite all the human tribes and lead the humans to domination over the world of Sorren. Wegerrand leaves his tribe to retrieve the chalice, and returns to humans.
819 b.S.        The Coronation of GormQuaelhoirhim desperatly petition Gorm to return the blood. Messengers are excuted. Elving and Saloh are heavily fortified.
811 b.S.        The Assassination of GormA Quaelhoirhim send an assassin managed to sneak into the king's palace and to lay fire on the bedchamber of the king. Just like Caein hundreds of years before him Gorm suffers a terrible death for his unceasable will to gain power.
806 b.S.        Battle of Annihilation at the Zeiphyrian ForestsFive years after the murdering of Gorm a ruthless assault on the elven fortresses at Elving, south of the Zeiphyrian Forests, is initiated by Viginold Deresvungen. Although not all human tribes declare war on the elves, the strength of the human forces is gigantic. Some human tribes even joined the elves and also dark elves support the elven cause, fighting especially the dwarves, who are promised to receive valueable mines for their help at the Rimmerins-Ring by the humanleaders.The battle lasts for many months and thousands of soldiers of all races die at the brutal slaughtering, but no army can decide the enormous battle, which causes terrific destruction among both sides. Elving is destroyed completely and most parts of the Zeiphyrian Forests as well as the adjacent Auturian Woods are burnt. The first major Sarvonian battle at the Zeiphyrian Forests indeed is a cruel slaughtering which is unique in Sarvonian history so far, but it should only be a glimpse of even fiercer battles to come: It is the beginning of the so-called War of the Blood which will last nearly 80 years and which will result in lots of bloodshed but will bring no victory to any of the fighting races.
804 b.S.        Beginning of the First Great FloodFrom 806 to 804 b.S. extensive deforestation of large tracts of the Zeiphyrian Forest takes place as the area comes under repeated attack in the First Sarvonian War. The area was cleared by human forces to allow easy access, both on foot and by boat, to the fort of Elving, and to provide materials for fortifications and naval technology on both sides. The worst affected area was that around the stretch between the present border of the Zeiphyr and the Thaehelvil river. On the first day of the Avénni'modía (Month of the Awakening Earth) 804 b.S. the rains came. Heavy rainfall saturated the forest floors. Where trees once would have intercepted the water, rain flows straight into the Thaevelvil River. On the third day the river burst its banks and floods a vast swaith of the land either side of the river, its immense power sweeping away everything in its path. The rain continues for three weeks, and the flood takes a further two to subside.This first flood clears vast tracts of the remaining forest around the Thaevelvil river, widens its course and its flood plain and creates the start of the delta with the Aetryam Sea, and creates the Aieryn river that today flows through the forest. First Ránn of the Quaelhoirhim is declaredA centralized government created. Settlements are still to some extent self governing.
796 b.S.        The Second Great FloodT he elves often refer to this as "The Severing". The second flood occured in much the same way but affected a slightly lesser area, but it cleared the last remaining fragments of forest around the river banks, cleaving the Quallian from the main branch of the forest. It also widened the delta and deposited alluvial soils along its banks, making the whole area incredibly fertile.
760 b.S.        The Ylfferhim declare their independence from the Quaelhoirhim and pull out of the war




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Edited by: Wren at: 6/8/02 8:33:40 pm
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #1 on: 09 June 2002, 12:48:00 »

Just a short note, Wren: There exists the word "cár" in Styrásh, which means "life", therefore it is logical that "carán" means "to live". So "living woods" probably isn't the right translation for "Zeiphyr"... Can you perhaps think of a smiliar meaning?


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« Reply #2 on: 09 June 2002, 13:08:00 »

Also notice that there's one section is missing, Wren, which is: Description.


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