The Firseid Sandbox
Ierani (Yare-ahn-ee) is the last large free-standing settlement of elves on Firseid. Though elvish settlements once dotted Letania, mistrust of magic in the northern lands and nearly constant war with Harrtlunders have forced the elves to retreat to the city that they consider the first home of the elves. The name Ierani means “The Last Stronghold”; the more ancient name for their capital, Tiulira (Tyoo-leer-a), means “Birthplace.” Natural phenomena create the architecture of the city: Trees and the ground have been shaped to form the walls and roofs of buildings. Unusual for elves, they also make their homes partially underground. Smaller villages outside of the main city are constructed in similar ways, but cruder. The surrounding forest’s growth has also been manipulated throughout the centuries to become a kind of maze, making an assault on the city by an army virtually impossible. Of all the cities on Firseid, Ierani is the most impenetrable.
Elves 90%, half-elf 4%, gnomes 2%, other (including Faekin, human, dwarves, etc.) 4%. The presence of non-elves is restricted to the outer city.
Terrain and climate
The climate is coastal and temperate, with moderate rainfall year round, mild winters, and mild summers. The elves also practice weather control regularly. The terrain is heavily forested, and in many places only traversable by druids and rangers except on the roads and paths.
History, Reputation, Politics, and Society
Ierani’s history predates records, stretching back before the first year. The elvish bards and historians are in fact responsible for the count of years, but the count only begins after the elves began keeping written records in the great library. Because they once held sway over a vast empire with settlements throughout the continent, their language and writing became the basis for Common. (Ancient Elvish is in fact mutually intelligible with several modern human and gnomish languages on Firseid, though modern elvish has diverged considerably.)
Though they maintain an alliance with the cities of the cities in the Northern Reaches, because of the closed nature of their society, this means little outside of occasional military aid and trade agreements.
The war against the Harrtlunders has been going on for centuries, but has become something of a cold war. The elves defend their territory vigorously, but they are mindful of ancient defeats by humans and they don’t risk excursions outside of the forest. Meanwhile, the Harrtlunders could never manage a full scale invasion, and the weak central power of the Huusmaster makes true peace impossible because he cannot guarantee the behavior of his citizens.
Historically the elves have had decent relations with the Middle Kingdom, but recent deforestation along the borders has led to disputes as to the extent of elvish territory. Additionally, the Middle Kingdom has expressed distrust of the elves, who insist on communicating with the Faeking only through intermediaries.
The elves of Ierani are masters of ambush tactics and deception, relying on illusion and enchantment magic and the maze-like nature of the forest themselves to confuse their enemies. Outside the forest, their skills as archers and wizards make them valuable allies or feasome opponents.
Inside the forest, they frequently work in small patrols of 10 or fewer, navigating secret paths through the forest to keep watch.
As with all elves, the elves of Firseid see magic as a part of daily life. (Indeed, their love of and affinity for magic has made many speculate that the first elves were once Faekin. The name for their leader reflects this belief.) Arcane magic is often taught in the home and in school; in adult hood, rather than form colleges, talented mages are expected to continue study on their own. Adolescent elves will sometimes form clubs dedicated to mastering a particular spell and its variants.
Elves rarely use fire magic, but other forms of evocation are considered necessary for protection. Enchantment and illusion magic are particularly well-studied.
Elves have little use for technology in such a magic-driven society. Even the gnomes who reside in Ierani rarely dabble.
Though they have trade agreements with the cities in the Northern Reaches and the Middle Kingdom, the elves themselves rarely trade anything with humans. They do, however, have frequent dealings with the Fae, often trading intangibles for magic items or certain gemstones (the elves are fond of sapphires; the fae are fond of rubies). Elvish weapons and magic items are dearly prized in other lands, but often very difficult to get ahold of because humans rarely have anything the elves want in return.