THE CITY OF ELVING/ELANDIM ("THE WHITE CITY")

DESCRIPTION - LOCATION - PEOPLE - COAT OF ARMS
CLIMATE -
FLORA -  FAUNA - RESOURCES - MYTH/LORE - HISTORY

Elving is the largest of the twin cities of the Zeiphyr, and indeed the largest elven city in Santharia. Elving is indeed the Tharian name for the city, the elven name is Elandim meaning "centre" or "middle", referring to the city's place it had in the ancient kingdom of Eyelia, now in Santharia and indeed as well in elven life in general. It stands, surrounded in a bubble of magic, serene, protected from the elements, the Great Shining City of the South. The city exist on two levels, one that is open to all visitors, an illusion of the city; but mutter the words by the great gates of Tarrkin on the Elving Road and you are admitted to a city beyond the wildest dreams of men. Elving is infact almost two cities in itself. To the east is the Old city. The best preserved buildings remain inside the city walls, while outside, the lonely ruins of Old Elving stand testement to old bloodshed.

The City Hall of Elving

View picture in full size Picture description. The City Hall of Elving, the impressive center of Quaelhoirhim cultural and city life. Image drawn by Seeker.

Description. The City of Elving stands atop the Limestone cliffs where the Zeiphyrian Forests clear, for the saline air created by the sea smashing against the cliffs is too harsh for trees, and is replaced by costals grasslands. It is the Great White City, named after the white cliffs it stands upon, visible for great distance at sea. Held in a great bubble of magic, the sky remains clear above the city, and rain falls at regular intervals as the elven magi do what they are best at, working with and manipulating nature.

The city itself exists on many levels. The true city is visible only to those who can speak the passwords to open the great gates of Tarkkin on the Northern Road, or to pass under the great crossed tree trunks that mark the other entrances. If one can do so then the site you are met with is beyond compare. The city, despite many human myths, is a place of calm, renweal and healing. It is where the Quaelhoirhim come to recover their cár'áll, and to find direction and purpose if they lack it, for indeed it is home to many who are wise. The elves say that no evil dwells within Elving, for no evil thing, it is said, could speak the words that inlicit your entrance into the true city without turning to dust the instant the syllables left their tounge. The true city is a maze of levels and gardens, homes and places of production. 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, making use of the natural cave system beneath the city.

Location. Elving is situated in the Santharian province of Sanguia, at the very end of the valley that seperates the eastern Forest from its larger twin to the west. Much of the Old City lies in the Western forest, but the vally made a useful route for the elves northward across the Elverground, so the city has spread east to stand at the valley's head. Along this valley runs the Elving road, and the city is met by two others, one from the East, from Saloh and Manthria and one from the West, from the Thaehelvil river, Vezash the Quallian and beyond. Return to the top

View entry on Santharia View complete map of Santharia Location of Elving The Province of Sanguia
Map description. Location of the Quaelhoirhim's Zeiphyrian Forest and the city of Elving at the coast to the Aetryam Sea in the Santharian province of Sanguia bordering Manthria and the Auturian Woods. Map drawn by Artimidor.

People. Elving is the Capitól - if such things can be said to exist in the elven world - of the Quaelhoirhim tribe. It has been their home, their idyll and their solace for so long, life without the city seems unimaginable. This is why they go to such lengths to protect it while still allowing the tribe the luxury of being open to the outside world. It is no secret that the Quaelhoirhim are the traders and the politicians of the elven world. Their importance as they see it is their general knowledge of affairs of many races, and as the tribe that links their more reserved elven neighbours (especially the ridculously shy Ylfferhim, who very rarely leave the confines of the Quallian) and represents elven rights to the rest of the world. Certainly such claims are rather overrated, for the Avá'ránn now works directly with the Santharian King. However, the openness of the tribe is non-negotiable. It is part of who they are! They are by nature hospitable and gregarious types who welcome strangers, albeit to an illusion of their city.

As a result Elving itself rec
eives goods that other elven ports only dream of. Wares from all over Santharia nd up here and may be sent on to surrounding towns and villages - perhaps to the capital itself. In Elving fish is the main foundation of diet, one can see this at the harbour, where catches are bought and sold. Though Elving also receives many foodstuffs from other settlements and tribes. On the Elverground meat and vegetables are consumed and the excess is sent to Elving, arriving just after harvest time to be stored in the vast cave chambers until needed.

The
Quaelhoirhim are known for their craftsmanship, beautiful emammeled jewellry, wonderful and highly decorated armour and swords. Glass is also a speciality to be found here. Many windows are adorned with coloured glass. Sand from the shore is collected and mixed with minerals brought in by merchants from further afield and heated in the great furnaces in the south of the city. Elving glass wear is found on the tables of many stately homes in Santharia. The Quaelhoirhim also produce strong functional wares such as storage vessels, cooking pots, etc.

The
city has a very high concentration of mages - for there is much need for them here, both to maintain Elving's illusion and to keep Elving at the heart of Quaelhoirhim affairs. The city also provides much opportunity for magic and magical research. While the mages guild building hardly competes with Ximax as a center of magical excellence, in Sanguia, it is the best place to study for miles around, and Elving does attract some of the greatest achievers in Xeuá Magic - for many were born locally - either in the Zeiphyr or the Quallian. For many the draw home is strong.

Many
halflings from the Shire of Elenveran have free run of the true city. The Quaelhoirhim are extremely fond of their diminuitive neighbours! However the approach to the city is known to be perilous - for the Zeiphyr is populated by drakes, wolves and many other animals who would eat a party of halflings for a midday snack. As such, the elves will happily escort them in and out of the forest. Several halfling amilies dwell in the true city and are well resected by their elven neighbours. Return to the top

Coat of Arms/Sign. Here is the originating place of the Qu
aelhoirhim tribe's coat of arms - the place that suffered most in the First Sarvonian War, and the place that has both best dealt with that hurt, the tribe's exceptional love for humans - and will longest remember it. The tribe's coat of arms, a gleaming sword engraved with the eye of Avá on a red field flanked by two frost dragon, is sometimes used by the city - the sword is replaced with the dome tower in the city's heart. Elving's Coat of Arms is therefore often used for political correctness, but is only generally used when the Quaelhoirhim must attend a meeting in New-Santhala or any other human settlement. It is felt that their normal coat of arms would be imflamatory. Thus the city coat of arms is found in that illusion of Elving where humans are most often found! Return to the top

Climate.
The Zeiphyrian Forests are 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. In Elving especially a southerly breeze can be often felt, keeping the city cooler than the rest of the Zeiphyr. Return to the top

Flora. Inside the city, fauna conti
nues as it does without. Elandim is home to the peace pine and two species of tree related to the cloewen tree: The in'ilá (Styrásh: "climber", lit. "scaling the unmoving") 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 bejón’efér is a small tree, with a bushy, bright green crown with huge red and orange flowers, that resembles a tiny fire. It thrives in the clearing that Elving has been built on. Roses are a favourite, and are found in all colours and imaginable shapes.

Toward the coast, natural limestone pavements dominate, delicate in nature and housing some extrem
ely rare species, including the so-called purple sell that will only grow in the crevices of the limestone blocks. The saline enviroment created by the sea spray means that as one approaches the harbour, sea grasses replace the lush forest vegetation of the northern city. Return to the top

Fauna. For a city, Elving is alive with life, and not just urban crestures who thrive in most cities - like rats. In fact within city walls the ecosystem is much like that of the Z
eiphyr that surrounds it, with bird and insect life quite happily sharing their habitat with the elves. There are however, not drakes, nor black harts to be found within the city walls, and if one is found, the elves are rather skilled at removing the animal - often using their hunting hounds to herd the creature out. As a result life within the city is a little safer than life outside. Return to the top

Resources. Elving is one of the richest areas in the living forests! As with the rest of the forest wood is a great reasource. 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) and provides Elving with raw material to make beautifully crafted objects and functional objects. Sand from the coastline at the southern edge of the forest can be used for glass, enammel and building. The limestone cliffs are also useful for some basic chemical reactions, and rudimentary small explosives can be made by mixing with acid in a small container. Lime can also be used in the treatment of various insect stings and bites, as well as a good building material - much of Elving is made of limestone, the buildings and the roads. Some amount of gold can be found in the western edges of the forest, which also finds its way to Elving, to be smelted or to be sold on.

Elving, however, does not simply have resources from its natural area - it rec
eives resources from all over Santharia. The first recorded trade was with the Sophronians early in history, when time was barely recorded. This trade stopped during SW I and II, but has remained constant ever since - so trade routes run up through Saloh as far as Elsreth these days.

Elving
's resources, as a result, are primarily its people - friendly, dexterous - not afraid to take ideas from other races. unafraid of change. This gives them a variety of labour base that no other elven city can match, and most human cities admire. They also have a history and culture that sets Elandim apart from many other settlements. The Old City and the library in the central square house many antiquities, and was for a time the resting and hiding place of Maengolth's blood. The Quaelhoirhim Tomes, are the most famous modern example of Elving's collection, an ancient script, written about 400 b.S., though possibly compiled over hundreds of years (one page is thought by the elves to be over 8000 years old) it is part description and census of the world of Caelereth at that time, part detailed history, part literature and poetry and part lore and myth though its descriptions of events prior to and during the First Santharian War are considered to be some of the most accurate existing descriptions. Return to the top

Myth/Lore. There are many stories about Elving - but many of them are
human ones. Apart from the moving figure of Tarkkin on the Great Gates, many human claim the city to be cursed or haunted by the ghosts of slain soildiers. This creepy feeling is probably caused by the slight problems of spatial arrangement caused by entering the illusion. Had they seen Elandim, no such story would have ever arisen.

A similar story exists among
human sailors. Unaware that the figure in the cliff's rock was Baveras, a story has over the years emerged, that a young elven woman used to sit on the rocks above the bay of Elving and sing to the Sea Goddess. So beautiful was her voice that sailors used to ignore their duties and crash onto the rocks that petrude from the cliffs. Baveras was distraught, unable and unwilling to punish someone who sung to her so sweetly, Urtengor stepped in, or so it is said, and turned the girl to rock, her face in the cliff. So upset were the elves when she did not return to Elving that night that they built the light house to scour the sea and land for her.

There may well be a grain of truth in the story of a singing elf, that may refer to the breaching of the city walls during a storm in 900 b.S
.; however, such a date, and accuracy is hard to estimate, as elven records show that the first Ránn was not in place until about 804 b.S. and the new city walls which contain the lighthouse not built till long after that. However, A very similar story is told by sailors of all races, and indeed those who live on the Elverground tell of Benvia, a young elven maid, daughter of the Avá'ránn of the Quaelhoirhim, who had the sweetest singing voice of all the children of the world. Her voice kept Grothar entertained, and aided Baveras in concentrating on her work. One day a human soldier stole her far away, beyond the Elverground and kept her there. Grothar grew weary, and the wind rose; Baveras forgot her duties to that part of the coast, and the waves crashed and roared up the cliffs and flattened the city walls, and the city was flooded. Though Benvia grew to care for her capture, she wished nothing more than to return home. One day while she sat by a river crying, the Gods took pity upon her and turned her into a dolphune, and she swam home, guided by the light that the lighthouse threw out.

Some have taken this as evidence that the old city too had a lighthouse, which has been totaly destroyed at some point int the past. Return to the top

Age of Silence

ca. 13000 b.S. First confirmed settlements in the Zeiphyranian Forests
ca. 12680 b.S. First buildings on the old site of Elving - a natural forest clearing, due to the more saline enviroment. Proposed 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 develops to a thriving Metropolis
The 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.

Age of Awakening

900 b.S. Breaching of the Sea Walls. City walls along the cliff tops are destroyed by a freak storm in the Month of the Awakening Earth. This is followed by a land slide, and much of the cliff falls into the sea. Damage is high, but loss of life is limited.
841 b.S. Gorm is found
A human child is found by a Quaelhoirhim merchant family, abandoned on the Elvenground. It is raised in Elving as part if the family and named Wegerrand (later Gorm).

Age of the Blood

822 b.S.

 

Wegerrand leaves the Elves
Wegerrand, when in the Bolder with his adoptive family, receives knowledge of the location of the powerful blood of the once sacrificed Maengolth, who died from the sword of his own son. The blood had 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 Caelereth.

Wegerrand leaves his tribe to retrieve the chalice, and returns to humans.
819 b.S. The Coronation of Gorm
Quaelhoirhim desperatly petition Gorm to return the blood. Messengers are excuted. Elving and Saloh are heavily fortified.
811 b.S. The Assassination of Gorm
The Quaelhoirhim send an assassin, who manages 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 Forests
Five 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 human leaders.

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.
804 b.S. Beginning of the First Great Flood
From 806 to 804 b.S. extensive deforestation of large tracts of the Zeiphyrian Forests 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 come. Heavy rainfall saturate the forest floors. Where trees once would have intercepted the water, rain flows straight into the Thaehelvil River. On the third day the river bursts 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 Thaehelvil 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 declared
A centralized government is created. Settlements are still to some extent self governing.
302 a.S. Costal erosion causes a landslip. Much of the Western wall, and some of the western end of the cave network are destroyed, but are quickly rebuilt.

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