The Zeiphyrian Forests (also
simply "Zeiphyr") consist of two large ‘twinned’ forests in close proximity to each other, south
of New-Santhala and home to the
Quaelhoirhim elven tribe. One of
the tallest forest it is populated predominantly by evergreen species.
Zeiphyr consists of two large lush, and predominantly evergreen forests. They
are notable for the the average height of the canopy, which is a good 30 peds
higher than most other forests in Sarvonia. The
forests in fact have several names. The word Zeiphyr (zéi'phýr
or zéi'phýr) means "breathing
(living) woods" in Styrásh, for
the elves 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
"Lón’pardá" (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 bordering the Vale of
Brownies. Much of this extensive forest was destroyed during the First
Sarvonian War and after by large scale
flooding (in the 9th and the 8th century a.S.). 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 bordered to the east by the
Auturian Woods, and to the west by the waters
of the Thaehelvil river and human settlements
of Brinsley and Vezash. To the North of the forest is the huge area of land
known as the Elverground.
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 Elverground. 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 its 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 Salóh
(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 northwest of Salóh 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, Salóh, 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 lookout 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.
Coat of Arms/Sign.
The Quaelhoirhim 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 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 (symbolized 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.
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.
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
doch nut bush is commonly found in the
forest, the urban tree can be found
especially in the eastern forest, but is rarely seen in the western part.
Perhaps this is because in the thinner soils of the western forest, the
urban tree is simply out-competed by
the common adlemir and its vigourous
upward growth. The forest also is home to the peace pine and two species of tree
related to the cloewen tree: The
in’ilá (Styrásh: "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 bejón’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 species 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 Zeiphyrian
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 the Southern continent.
It is not a scientific fact; no one has actually gone out with the sole purpose
of counting lesser drakes
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 note the frequency of wyvern sightings, for example in chapter 7 of
the Avaesthoría, the narrator
watching as the elf Serveran 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
Quaelhoirhim elves have to be very careful where they tread! Perhaps this
would explain the existence of the Zeiphyrian hunting hound, the
Quaelhoirhim elves 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 (see the Eophyrhim
elves). It is believed that the
Quaelhoirhim elves 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 Eophyrhim
Hunting Hound's 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.
from such a vast area are relatively small. There is no end of wood of 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
beautifully 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.
Myth/Lore. 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 consists of the
descendants of light elves that were trapped in physical form after the burning
of Eú'reóll, the Tree of Life, and chose not to return to the
Thaelon to reclaim their
wind forms, but to stay in the forests.
ca. 13000 b.S.
First confirmed settlements
in the Zeiphyrian Forests
First buildings on the site of Elving
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 is 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 Salóh.
ca. 6000 b.S.
The Settling of the
In 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.
- 3638 b.S.
Brownie Migration to the Zeiphyr
The Brownie LLaoihrr tribe
migrates westward, soon reaching the Zeiphyrian Forests. 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
Thaehelvil river northward, they eventually reach the
Colonisation and cultivation
of the Elverground
Gorm is found
A human child is found by a
Quaelhoirhim merchant family abadoned on the Elvenground. It is raised
as part of the family and named Wegerrand (later Gorm).
Wegerrand leaves the
Wegerrand, when in the Bolder with his
adoptive family, receives knowledge of the location of the powerful blood of
the once sacrificed Erpheronian
sovereign 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 the
The Coronation of Gorm
petition Gorm to return the blood. Messengers are excuted. Elving and Salóh
are heavily fortified.
The Assassination of Gorm
A Quaelhoirhim assassin
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.
Battle of Annihilation at the
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 join 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. 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 bring no
victory to any of the fighting races.
- 804 b.S.
Beginning of the
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
is 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 is 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
saturates 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
The Second Great Flood
The 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 widens the delta and deposits alluvial soils along its
banks, making the whole area incredibly fertile.
The Ylfferhim declare their
independence from the
and pull out of the war.