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Evereska: An Overview
Fortress Home, The Last City, Greyhome
The Vale of Evereska is located high amidst the Shaeradim, a small mountain range on the western edge of Anauroch, due north of the Battle of Bones. Humans sometimes employ the nomenclature Graycloak Hills for the mountains surrounding Evereska , but that is more properly applied to the next set of hills to the north, also known as the Tomb Hills. This verdant valley and walled city of the elves is the greatest known concentration of moon elven Fair Folk remaining in Faerûn—beautiful, cultured place of beauty where few are welcome.
The history of Evereska is a secret shared with few non-elves, and even most elven residents are uncertain of its origins. Most accounts place its' founding at –8600 DR, making it the most ancient city known in all Faerûn. Why such a remote site was chosen is unknown, but many sages believe Corellon Larethian himself chose the vale as a “last stand” stronghold for the elves during the Sundering of the Drow, if the unthinkable happened and Lloth somehow defeated the Seldarine. It certainly has served as a refuge for the elven people on numerous occasions, including the fall of the Netherese Empire and the Fall of Myth Drannor.
–8600 DR: Evereska founded in secret by surviving clans of the former Shamel Othreier, Miyeritar, Orishaar, and Eiellûr as an elven safehaven in the woods east of Aryvandaa
–7600 DR: Sharrven is founded in the southern reaches of the High Forest, due to overcrowding in Evereska and elitism of Siluvanedenn elves.
244 DR Year of the Elfsands: Evereska 's existence is uncovered by N'Tel'Quess for the first time, though the secret is kept for centuries by the human tribes of the Greycloak Hills.
464 DR Year of the True Names: While wandering across Anauroch, Arun's Son saves a trio of Evereska n elves from a phaerimm ambush nearly at the cost of his life. Retrieved from death by Mystra, he becomes her Chosen, as “he whom magic, duty, and honor defines”. As the Nameless Chosen, he becomes the first human ever to stay among Evereska 's glades.
1335 DR The Year of the Snow Winds: The Evereska Charter claims the Greycloak Hills for the elves.
1371 DR Year of the Unstrung Harp: The Sharn Wall is breached. The phaerimms and their thralls begin the siege of Evereska .
1372 DR Year of the Wild Magic: Shade returns to Faerûn. The Shadovar create the shadowshell and lay it over the phaerimms surrounding Evereska and battle them. Several months later, with the assistance of human allies, the shadowshell falls, Evereska 's Mythal is reestablished, and the phaerimms are driven out of the city.
Flora/Fauna: Birds, cats, and small forest creatures of all sorts are numerous, even in the city itself. There are an incredibly diverse number of rare trees in the Vale. The most common are the oak, boxwood, walnut, shadowtop, duskwood, bluetop, and blueleaf trees. The blueleaf trees are sculpted by Evereska n magics, wreathing much of the valley in royal blue foliage.
The Vale of Evereska : The Vale is a verdant alpine valley about 18 miles long by 4 miles wide. It is encircled by twelve virtually impassible mountains, save for the narrow cleft to the west leading to the Halfway Inn and two well hidden footpaths leading out to the northeast and southeast. The elves sculpted the entire valley into a terraced garden wreathed in tall trees of green and blue foliage. This is only broken by The Singing Waters, the only river of note, which flows through the middle of the vale into the city itself. The most common structures dotting the vale are elegant arched bridges, though many are broken or lie fallen. Unfortunately the phaerimm siege left many of these structures in ruins.
Tower of Dreams: One of the most interesting and least talked about features of the vale is the Tower of Dreams. This impossibly slender crystal spire, is wreathed in mist and clouds, and rises in the mountains at the northernmost end of the vale. It overlooks the Shinning Falls, a waterfall that plummets down a sheer cliff rising at least 1,400 feet. The waters plunge into a large lake that narrows into the Singing Waters rive. No entrance or windows are visible in the structure, though at night strange lights glow within, and occasional music of indescribable beauty often carry for miles through the mountains around it. Who built the tower is a matter much speculation, but persistent rumors suggest that it is the abode of Corellon Larethian himself, built not long after the Sundering of the Drow, when Evereska was but a remote outpost. Those few elves that have journeyed to Arvandor on the outer plane of Arborea say it bears more than a passing resemblance to Corellon's abode there. Whatever the case, all Evereska n elves consider the waterfall and the tower sacrosanct and never attempt to climb or enter it. The waters of the pool, however, are highly valued for their legendary healing qualities. Any who merely bathes in the water during full moon will be healed of ailments, wounds, and even have lost limbs regenerated.
The City of Evereska : Surrounded by the Meadow Wall, the center of the valley has an inner ring of knolls. The three highest hills, known as the Sisters, form a fairly even triangle around the city of Evereska . The knolls are broken by the Singing Waters, which flows through the western edge of the city. When not cloaked in mists or fine rains from the dying mythal, the city itself is a wonder to behold. The city is comprised of a garden-like series of lawns and wooded terraces interlaced with crystal-clear streams that link spill pools and fountains. There are no streets, but sweeping, winding paths, some of which have been overgrown by the local flora. The sounds of music, singing, and small woodland creatures fill the air without being obtrusive. The diversity of plants and animals can make a visitor forget that they walk within a walled city and not deep in the wilderness.
Homes of the City: Many homes are worked into the landscape so as to blend in with the growing plants and form a series of beautiful bowers, dells, and vistas. Others are splendid tall houses with many spires and balconies rise up through the huge trees. Lastly, unattended homes are beginning to be overgrown by their own gardens. Riches and treasures lie everywhere in these shattered mansions, but spells that do strange things to intruders protect some areas and menacing mansion guardians such as helmed horrors and shield guardians rise up to strike at intruders that invade their walls.
Features and Buildings of the City:
Evereska College of Magic and Arms: The Evereska n College is a training academy of the highest standards. The training it provides is one of the reasons that Evereska is so well defended. Harpers are the only N'Tel'Quess who can normally get training at arms or magic in Evereska , although the occasional half-elf, if of sufficiently exalted parentage on the elven side, may be taught.
Fountainheart of Shimmering Gold: Built on the Bellcrest, the highest of the Sisters, is Hanali's temple. It is an enormous structure of white marble and moonstone, surrounded by gardens that bloom year-round with rare flowers and exotic fruit. The Fountainheart of Shimmering Gold is led by the stunningly beautiful moon elf, Hamalitia Everlove, whose beauty has continued to increase over the centuries. The temple has housed countless Evereska n weddings, revels, and dances, and in addition to displaying works of Evereska 's greatest artisans, holds many greatest artistic treasures from Ascalhom, Eaerlann, Illefarn, Myth Drannor, and Sharrven. On a low pedestal at the center of the gardens, accessed through a maze of rose-entwined boxwood, stands a statue of the goddess carved from rare white stone. The sculpture depicts Lady Goldheart with angular, delicate features, exquisite lips curved in a knowing smile, and almond-shaped lips. One long-fingered hand rests over her heart, and the other touches a pointed ear, a traditional portrayal of the goddess showing that she is ever receptive to the prayers of lovers.
Moondark Hill, Solonor's Thendora's
Moonspire: An incredibly beautiful spire of magically conjured marble to Sehahine Moonbow and Corellon Larethian.
Shrine to Lurue the Unicorn
Shrine to Meilikki
Shrine to Silvanus
The Unicorn & Crescent: An inn that welcomes Harpers, the Heralds, and the Chosen of Mystra on the rare occasions when such visitors are in the city
Evereska , the Shaeradim (the mountain range surrounding Evereska ), and the Greycloaks Hills are ruled by the Hill Council. The Council is composed of twelve Hill Elders and the Watcher Over the Hills, Lord Erlan Duirsar, leader of the Hill Council.
Evereska serves as the strongest elven community on the mainland. Here moon and sun elves dwell in harmony. While personal rivalries and feuds arise in plenty, no widespread antipathies threaten the city's peace.
Evereska is also a permanent home for those unwilling or unable to make the journey to Evermeet. Until the phaerimm siege, Evereska was the home to a large number of powerful elven families and elders, surpassed only by the island of Evermeet. The remaining ancient noble families live in grand palatial estates. The cold, sneering pride of these elven families is the greatest weakness of Evereska , and the prime reason most non-elves wouldn't want to enter the vale. The haughtiest of the elves even look down on elves of their own race whose lineage's aren't as exalted as their own. Their contempt for elves of other races is usually open, and their abhorrence of N'Tel'Quess loud and ostentatious. Some haughty elves have gone so far as to move their estates as far away as possible from places most often visited by humans.
The majority of the inhabitants aren't the few remaining elder families, but the youngest and least powerful elves, their elders having spent their own lives in protecting their heirs. Many are still in shock over the recent events and wander the valley, with their wits wounded and dazed. Others have become angry, viewing all strangers as looters and thieves that deserve nothing but swift death.
Elves from other lands now head for Evereska to join the remaining elves there. A few of these think to remove what things of beauty and value still remain in the valley and return to safer retreats; most plan to stay and rebuild Evereska 's greatness. Everska has been sorely wounded, but it may return to something approaching its former glory.
Temples to all elven deities rise within its walls.
Evereska is a cultured city of gardens, music, and elven artisans. Evereska ns devote themselves to becoming individuals of learning, craft, and deep reason. Many Evereska ns have never left the valley, or desire to, since they love to dedicate their time to creating beautiful paintings, sculptures, or mastering music. The most heavily traveled paths are used by artisans, who live and work closely together, sharing the use of a public park rather than enjoying their own private grounds. The goods produced are sold along the pathways to any elves that can afford it. If an item is large, it is floated through the city by magic, not on wagons.
Exports and Imports: Elves of Evereska need little from the outside world. Most of what they want comes under the heading of pursuing hobbies, from collecting coins or weapons from places as far afield as Zakhara; breeding experiments; to collecting magic. In exchange for items or equipment needed for the pursuit of their hobbies, they usually sell baubles: the tinkling blown glass and metal wind sculptures that hang in trees making soft music in the breezes from one end of the vale to the other; tiny ornamented, sapphire-adorned silver-bladed daggers that are much favored as hidden defenders among noble ladies all over Faerûn; vintages considered too poor for Everskan tables; small poems set down in exquisite calligraphy on slabs of ivory or the like in delicate hanging frames; practice or rejected works of art such as paintings, statuettes, and carved boxes. The Halfway Inn in the nearby mountains is constructed for the very purpose of trading with the N'Tel'Quess world.
Magic: Among elves, Everska is the place on Faerûn where the most powerful elven healers and clergy dwell, surpassed in might only by those of Evermeet. Harpers, Heralds, the Chosen of Mystra, and human worshipers of the Solonar Thelandira are the humans normally allowed to benefit from the elven healing available here.
The relatively large population of magic users in Evereska had led to some impressive forays into the nature of magic and it's place in the physical universe. In addition to making magical constructs and enchanted items of Evereska n make that much more potent, this research has led elven mages to an unsurpassed understanding of planar travel and the structure of the Multiverse. A gate to Arvandor almost certainly exists within or near the Tower of Dreams. Other gates link Evereska with Myth Drannor and Lake Sember in the Dalelands, Waterdeep, and Silverymoon, though the location of these gates is unknown to most. It has also been speculated that gates to now-fallen or crumbling elven cities must exist, as Evereska has been in existence concurrently with Illefarn and a number of other lost elven civilizations.
Groups and Organizations:
Fellowship of the Forgotten Flower: This elven knightly order is a loosely structured organization dedicated to the recovery of lost elven relics from long-abandoned elven realms.
Knaves of the Missing Page: This fellowship of elven spell-thieves is based in Evereska , but is active throughout Faerûn. Their numbers are comprised mostly of rogue-arcanists who follow Erevan. Knaves specialize in the recovery of elven magical artifacts, spell scrolls, and spell-tomes that have been acquired by other races, particularly humans.
Individuals of Note:
Cywen of Neverwinter (NG hm R8): The only “official” Harper in Evereska , he serves on the council as the representative of N'Tel'Quess. Though he never speaks of it, he has been to Evermeet twice in his life, a rare and cherished gift from the elves.
Dyllant'ya Nightwing (CG ef [moon] W18): A close friend of Erlan Duirsar, she is the highest-ranking mage in the vale. She is known to possess a staff of the magi and a ring of shooting stars.
Erlan Duirsar (NG em [moon] F9/W11): Lord Duirsar is the Watcher Over the Hills, making him the leader of the Hill Council, Lord of Evereska , the Shaeradim, and the Greycloak Hills.
Garion “Quickhands” (NG em [moon] F4): the proprietor of the Unicorn and Crescent Inn, he is a charming and patient individual. He speaks virtually every civilized language on Faerûn (including Auld Wyrmish and the exotic tongues of Kara-Tur) and has startled many a foreign guest with intricate knowledge of the customs, mannerisms, and dishes of their homeland. His skill is such that the Inn is the domicile of choice when such luminaries as Alustriel or Prince Laumruil Moonflower are in the city. There are persistent rumors that one of the small, cheerful elven ladies who serve as barmaids is not what she seems.
Shanyrria Alenuath (NG ef [moon] F5/W5/Bladesinger 10): The renowned bladesinger master and teacher, Shanyrria is an unusual looking moon elf, with reddish hair and brown eyes. Some claim she has human ancestry, but Shanyrria denies it. She is often found in the dress of the wild elves, and spends what time she can spare in the wilderness. When available, she will teach the revered art of bladesinging to those she finds worthy.
Yeris Greenwing (LN em [moon] R14): Erlan Duirsar's spy captain. There is little that goes on within the city he is not soon aware of. Though cold and emotionless, he is fiercely devoted to his lord.
Numerous watchtowers and small citadels have been constructed in the mountains around the vale; these form the bases for the patrols and the Winged Plumed Kingfishes. Travelers seeking Evereska are usually discovered by the elves before they get within ten miles of the vale. They stop and challenge approaching folk who are not elves, or escorted by elves.
Citadels: Each citadel is staffed at all times with three guard lieutenants and a Feywarden (cleric of Corellon Larethian) who commands potent magical items and an enchantment that allows instant communication with other captains or the Lord of Evereska at will as long as they remain within the vale. The full complement of a Citadel holds 100 elves and 60 eagles.
Magic: By common agreement, existing portals were either destroyed or girt about with protective magic to prevent their use by invaders. Those who seek to enter by magic find all such magical methods foiled by powerful wards, though mages and clerics of proven loyalty possess the ward tokens to bypass them. Some sages believe the vale is defended by the magics of the elven deity Corellon Larethian himself. Its defenses certainly do include bolts of hurled magic that strike from the sky to smash hostile armies.
Mythal: The once powerful mythal that governed weather and physical conditions within the valley inhibited certain sorts of magic and worked against blights and diseases. The mythal was left in tatters of wild magic, and it now flickers and fades into sporadic, strange bursts of power. The dying mythal now cloaks Evereska in a mist or fine rain most of the time.
Patrols: A standard Evereska n patrol is usually 14 chain mail clad archers on foot accompanied by two mages.
Swords of Evereska : This knightly order of Corellon claim to trace their heritage and membership hack to the Time of Flowers. It is composed largely of paladins, fighters, and wizards who are unwavering in their defense of the alpine vale. After the phaerimm siege, only half of the of Swords remained living.
Tomb Guard: Nearly all the Tomb Guards perished during the phaerimm siege. Few things are more sacred to the elves of Evereska than the bodies of their dead. The Evereska n tomb guardians swear a solemn oath to track grave robbers to the ends of Faerûn and beyond, never to rest until the defilers have been slain.
Vale Guard: Nearly all the Vale Guards perished during the phaerimm siege.
Walker in the Mists: Lord Duirsar controls a mist golem (equal in powers to an iron golem, save that its body is “hard air,” like a wall of force, not iron, and can't rust), that he can use to defend his land.
Watchtowers: Each watchtower is staffed at all times with a guard lieutenant, who commands potent magical items and an enchantment that allows instant communication with other captains or the Lord of Evereska at will as long as they remain within the vale. The full complement of a watchtower is 40 elven warriors and 20 eagles.
Winged Plumed Kingfishes: The Wing of Plumed Kingfishes is an aerial military order, the Wing of the Evereska n Eyrie includes a large division of chain-clad Teu'Tel'Quessir mounted on giant eagles and a smaller division mounted on asperii.
Dragons: There are several gold and silver dragons in elven form in the city. The vale is also home to two formidable dragons: Horadyzan, a male great wyrm gold dragon; and Duldrantzarla, a female venerable silver dragon. Horadyzan lairs in the northern mountains, just east of the Shining Falls in a cunningly hidden cave deep in a cleft. Duldrantzarla lairs in a crumbling elven citadel above the pass to the Halfway Inn. Their relationship is cordial but distant; for the most part they stay out of each other's way. Horadyzan is a valuable ally and friend to Erlan Duirsar and the High Magi living in the vale, and they often seek his aid in diplomatic matters or magical research. Duldrantzarla seems content to remain aloof, and the elves are more than happy to leave this hidden, powerful guard sleeping above the only real entrance to the vale. Elven guardsmen and their mounts have stayed in the dragon's crumbling ruins during storms or during the extremely rare humanoid attacks without being challenged, but such elves always leave a small treasure somewhere in the ruins as tribute, usually without seeing the dragon at all.
Harpers: This is the only group of humans (as opposed to individuals) who are welcome.
Seven Sisters: Any of them are considered strong allies, but the most likely to be called are Laeral or Alustriel.
Monsters: Hungry monsters, long barred from the elven realm by its protective magic, also skulk about its edges, growing bolder with each day.
Phaerimms: In the end most of the phaerimms fled from Evereska , perished, or were left much weakened and wounded in their wits and capable of only feeble magic. Some few of these still wander the valley today.
Thieves: Ambitious human adventurers and plunderers, hearing tales of unguarded elven treasuries, now seek the unguarded gates of the valley.
Almost none but the elves were allowed into the city.
The Evereska Charter: The Evereska Charter is more of a unilateral declaration of the moon elves of that nation than a true agreement between nations. The elves declared in 1335 DR that moon elves were claiming the old Tomb Hills (now the Greycloak Hills) for both settlement and to suppress the large number of elven-related undead that were plaguing the region. Evereska agreed in principle in this document that elven undead were the responsibility of the living elves, and that banshees should be put to rest by elves throughout the Heartlands and the North. This token offer of aid (and the fact that no one was about to stop them) allowed the first moon elf caravans to move in. The Charter states that any tomb robbers found within the borders of the Greycloak Hills will be tried by elven judgment. Since the definition of tomb robbing is left to elves, all but the most resilient (and cocky) human raiders have attempted to challenge that claim. Travelers near the Hills sometimes describe rusted iron cages with human skeletons within, giving an idea of elven judgment.
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