Evashir

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Evashir is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.

The Principality of Evashir: A History of the Dark Elves

During the Age of Darkness circa -60,000, a faction of elves left to study the mana foci abundant in the area known now as Rhoska-Tor. In Dark Elven, Rhoska-Tor translates to the "Desolate Knowledge," so named by the elves as they witnessed their and their progeny's numerous changes, including the knowledge of this heretofore unknown language. Within five thousand years, these dark elves gathered what knowledge they had learned from these harshest and most mana-swept climes and migrated to the eastern coast where more fertile lands were protected from the worst of Rhoska-Tor's desolation by a small mountain range known as the Toskathyr Mountains. There, they formed the Dominion of Evashir.

It is believed these former denizens of what later became House Faendryl, now known as dark elves, documented their changes, learnings, and experiences extensively and shared this information with their former House. While many Dhe'nar vehemently deny this (as it would, perhaps, detract from their divine guidance mythologies), most modern scholars have come to this conclusion as well. Extant documentation is difficult to find and even more difficult to validate and verify, and if the dark elves of Evashir have the means to support this research, they are remarkably tight-lipped about it.

The Dominion of Evashir

Founded circa -55,000, the Dominion of Evashir was a small, coastal independency of dark elves. The magical arts and all its many branches were a primary area of focus for many of this new race, but, like all countries, there was need for the essentials and creative arts. Thus, the Dominion consisted of dark elves with all manner of skills and talents, but those seeking knowledge and magical dominance were often seen as, if not superior, at least worthy of admiration bordering on reverence.

The Dominion was led by a Tainach (roughly translated as 'Archduke' in Common). The first Tainach was appointed based on magical knowledge and prowess, and for the next several thousand years, it was a hereditary title passing to the eldest child when the current Tainach died or elected to step down. All decisions of import to the Dominion were made by the Tainach and their council of advisors, including whether or not to accept rogue Dhe'nar (and later disillusioned Faendryl).

The Dominion did welcome these Faendryl and Dhe'nar dark elves (though many opted to leave the Southron Wastes entirely and take their chances across the rest of the world). The periodic influx of new dark elves from vastly different backgrounds, yet all forged in the harshness of Rhoska-Tor, caused several upheavals in the Dominion's ruling structure, as the newcomers did not like being cut off from pathways to leadership.

Indeed, mere centuries after their arrival in Rhoska-Tor, House Faendryl attempted to lay claim to Evashir. A few pitched and bitter battles were fought, and the Evashirans exhibited magical prowess the Faendryl found unexpected. The mountain range became nigh impassible with magical shields and traps and a devout, if small, Evashir military defending any weak point.

The message from Evashir to the Faendryl was clear -- we are not to be trifled with. Once the Faendryl realized this, and that the Evashirans were amenable to exchanges of knowledge, a truce was struck and accords signed.

The unexpected turn from isolated and almost forgotten independency to coveted land shook the very core of the Evashirans, and the current Tainach was blamed. It was his lack of foresight that caused the war, many felt, and the focus on the dominion of one line's progeny chafed at the more egalitarian citizens.

After much debate, almost 50,000 years after its founding, the Dominion of Evashir became the Principality of Evashir and its leadership structure was revamped to fit the modern era.

The Principality of Evashir

The modern-day Principality of Evashir is a small, independent principality on the southeastern coast of the Southron Wastes, still isolated from the worst of Rhoska-Tor's influence by the Toskathyr Mountains. They maintain self-sufficiency but will trade for delicacies and rarities from other areas. While dark elves comprise the overwhelming majority of the principality's citizenry, there are smatterings of other races living and visiting in Evashir at any given time.

The principality is still led by a Tainach, but it is now an elected rather than hereditary position. The Tainach serves a 25-year term and may only serve two consecutive terms. Additional non-consecutive terms may be served provided 200 years has passed since their final term. The Tainach heads the Khyditic Quorum.

The Khyditic Quorum is considered the ruling council of Evashir, with thirteen elected members plus the Tainach at its head. Each of the five provinces of Evashir send a representative to serve on the Quorum, and the capital city of Ata'Lysel elects four members, one from each quarter. The head of the merchant's guild and the head of the military both sit on the Quorum, and finally, a priest or priestess of Liabo and one of Lornon are elected by their orders to serve as well.

The Tainach and the Khyditic Quorum work together to ensure self-sufficiency in the principality, review policies and procedures surrounding the importation and exportation merits for exotic goods, and maintain military readiness should the Faendryl ever attempt again to subsume the principality.

Geography and Climate

Given its mountainous surroundings, one finds relative verdancy in several areas, especially along the northern border's Pelacva River. The southernmost tip of Evashir, however, is more arid and reminiscent of the rest of the Southron Wastes; the people here are often herders, merchants, and traders; growing is left to the northern area.

There is only one city in Evashir, the capital of Ata'Lysel. Nestled in foothills of the mountains, Ata'Lysel is equidistant from the northern and southern borders. It is separated into four quarters, each housing various Orders of the Evashiran people. The port enclave of Vta'Samic is the next largest town in Evashir, and all oceanic trade comes through here. Beyond that, the principality has numerous small towns, villages, and farming communities, all split into five provinces.

Provinces & People of Evashir

Each province is ruled by a talinesh (the equivalent of a duke or duchess) who appoints a vistix (similar to a lord or lady) to govern the smaller counties within the province. While the principality is quite small, these divisions are meant to bring government close to home and allow all to feel an integral part of the independency's success. Despite these titles being equivalent to other noble titles across Elanith, these leaders are rarely ones to revel in wealth on the backs, and at the expense, of their people. The principality would not exist without merchants, tradespeople, and farmers, and they are respected for their roles. The job of the vistix is to settle disputes, help where needed, and ensure their county contributes to the success of Evashir.

The five provinces are: Celvaris to the northwest, Katisk to the northeast, Laikyn to the south, Tireynt along the coast (including a few minor coastal islands with tiny fishing settlements), and Thyrvalt inland. Ata'Lysel holds itself apart and is not considered within any province.

The county of Laskt is in the province of Celvaris and has had some fame as the setting of one of the most well-known dark elven fairy tales, The Last Wedding of Vistix Akrath.

Magic and the Evashirans

Magical knowledge and skill are also integral to Evashiran life. Their very roots are with those elves who sought out Rhoska-Tor for its magical knowledge, and they have not strayed very far from those inquisitive roots. Indeed, magical experimentation is lauded, especially any which provides assistance to the self-sustainability of the principality. Thus, you will find magical experimentation with crops and domesticated wildlife.

The province of Thyrvalt houses a magical academy where many dark elven mages and sorcerers receive training, and the Glym'vesth Library in Katisk's Amyras county is renowned as a repository for esoteric and occult lore.

The Evashiran Orders

Citizens of Evashir are bound closely together, and never is that more evident than in their propensity for forming and joining orders. There are several known orders in Evashiran society, and being a part of one or more groups is quite common. Each order is typically set up to have three sub-orders, or factions, with each faction having a leader addressed with the faction's name. Adherents join an order, choose a faction, and are addressed that way during all order business. Since they may belong to more than one order, an Evashiran will make known what, if any, honorific they wish used outside official order business.

For example, in the Order of the Winds, the three factions are Zephyr, Tempest, and Mistral. The leaders are addressed then as Zephyr, Tempest, and Mistral. Adherents are known then as "Adherent of the Zephyr," "Adherent of the Tempest," and "Adherent of the Mistral."

Orders typically serve some sort of research, study, or education purpose, but others are more akin to guilds. Indeed, the term "lysxatl" is more appropriately translated to guild rather than order, but the nuanced use of the truncated version "lyx" is apropos to both standard guilds as well as these learning orders.

A Sampling of Evashiran Orders
Lyx'Misana: Order of the Winds
Factions: Zephyr, Tempest, and Mistral
Purpose: Unknown, but alleged to be spycraft
Symbol: a swirl of iridescent misty grey

Lyx'Ralev: Order of the Corvid
Factions: Raven, Crow, and Magpie
Purpose: The art of information gathering
Symbol: a violet-sheened black raven feather

Lyx'Alyrat: Order of the Ineffable
Factions: Spiral, Labyrinth, and Ouroboros
Purpose: The gathering of, and improvement upon, necromancy
Symbol: a crimson-stippled ebon arabesque

Lyx'Emin: Order of the Clandestine
Factions: Veil, Mask, and Shroud
Purpose: The study of demonology and veil magics
Symbol: an empty-eyed silver mask

Lyx'Nijost: Order of the Stones
Factions: Agate, Onyx, and Jade
Purpose: The study of precious materials
Symbol: Adherents have myriad tiny stones reflective of their faction inset into their face, sometimes in intricate and elaborate patterns, but a simple trio beneath the left eye is most common

Flora, Fauna, and Precious Materials

Contained herein are but a few of the Evashiran exports that draw the attention of the rest of Elanthia.

Mana Irises: These hardy flowers, known as meviriel in Dark Elven, grow wild in areas where the mana foci is strong in Evashir, and they are found dotted across the mountains surrounding the principality. While they come in a variety of colors, all mana irises have a faint luminescence emanating from translucent markings that swirl across each petal's surface. When cut, mana irises stay fresh for weeks, if not months, making them a perfect export. Cultivating the irises, however, takes more doing, and they have not been successfully grown outside Evashir.

Magical scholars have hypothesized that the irises absorb slight amounts of magical energy from their surroundings, hence their unusual markings and difficult cultivation. Some superstitious sorts believe wearing a mana iris will ward off spells, but there is no evidence to support this (and much evidence to the contrary).

Iriswood or evirissia: Found in the wild wherever mana irises grow, the evirissia is a type of evergreen tree similar to a hemlock. Its fragrant, flat needle-like leaves are a vibrant green on the topside and a silver-green beneath, and the tree has tiny reddish brown cones. Boughs of evirissia are a popular indoor decoration in winter months, their scent a refreshing pine-meets-citrus aroma. The purplish bark is a shade reminiscent of mana irises, and the wood itself is lustrous red-blonde with a fine iridescent grain that creates intricate patterns when cut and polished by Evashiran woodworkers.

Iriswood staves are popular among magic users in Evashir, especially when cut to highlight the arabesque pattern of the iridescent grain. While no known additional benefits appear to exist with using the wood, its iridescent grain and its natural proximity to mana irises ensure rumors and superstitions will abound.

Sakaii: Native to the Toskathyr Mountains, these medium-sized rodents are incredibly friendly, and due to their jaw structure and musculature, appear almost perpetually ecstatic. Their fur is a soft, lustrous dark brown with ebon markings, and their eyes are typically dark black, but shades of blue have been found. They have tufted, rounded ears and a long, thick tail. When startled or curious, sakaii may use the tail to balance themselves on their hind legs as they gaze about their surroundings. Their vocalizations are mostly chitterings and squeaks.

Sakaii are found in abundance, so it is no surprise that the pragmatic dark elves have found myriad uses for the creatures. Their fur is exported and serves as a soft and cozy lining for gloves and other small objects, for example, and when needed, sakaii meat can be eaten to add protein to one's diet; indeed, many say that sakaii meat is quite delicious. Others have used them in magical and alchemical research.

Today, however, the predominant use of sakaii is as a pet. Despite it being a natural phenomenon of bone structure, their happy look (and their generally pleasant disposition) make them an ideal companion for small children and adults alike.

OOC Notes

  • Written by GM Xynwen, November 2023
  • Material Availability:
    • Iriswood/evirissia as a wood would be considered common and not need to be supplied. However, no living trees (including in foraging props). Perfumes using the scent are fine, as are things removed from trees (needles, boughs, bark)
    • Mana Irises/Meviriel: Cut blossoms would be allowable. Living plants would not (including foraging props)
    • Sakaii: Duskruin rats cannot be altered into sakaii at this time (the rats are too belligerent for these cheerful creatures)