How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Eberron
Most cultures on Eberron revere their ancestors. People erect shrines, bards write epic sagas, and the names of these ancestors enters our lexicon. But there is one nation that trust their ancestors so much that they allow them to lead; Aerenal. This tropical island is home to the majority of elves in the world, and its ruling class is made up of the undead elders of their race.History
- Thousands of years ago, elves were the slaves of the giants of Xen’drik. They are descendants of the eladrin the giants kidnapped from the feyspire Shae Tirias Tolai, deep in the Xen’drik jungle. The giants were second in power only to the dragons, and they shaped the elven race to their purposes, giving them enough arcane knowledge to do the tasks they deigned beneath them. But this was enough for the elves to start collecting power of their own. One elf in particular, Aeren Kriaddal, watched over his giant master’s arcane experiments, and one ritual in particular emboldened him. A young female elf was brought before the giant, and after other servants removed her bindings, she was brought into the master’s laboratory. The giant gestured to an open door, and then to the table on which he had sacrificed countless other living beings. The girl nodded, and lay herself on the table. With a swift blow, the giant decapitated the elf, and a mass of mystical energy was released, more than Aeren had ever seen from one experiment.
- It was that day that the elven race was shown its two strongest weapons: blood and free will. The willing subject increased the power of the magical ceremony manyfold by giving herself of her own free will. Aeren raced to his secret brethren, and the cabal began planning a blood sacrifice throughout the continent. Phiarlan elves travelled the land singing (in code) the instructions to a powerful ritual that would free the elves. After the Quori Giant War, the giants were sufficiently weakened for Aeren’s plan. The day came, and thousands of magically-able elves began the ritual, coming in close proximity with the giants, in their homes, and their cities. Suddenly, Xen’drik was set ablaze with explosions from coast to coast. In the ensuing chaos, the elves raced to the coast, and a grand fleet of rafts and rickety boats sailed east, eventually finding their way to an island they named Aerenal, or in the elven tongue, “Aeren’s Rest,” after Aeren died on its shores (natives called themselves “Aereni”).
- The mages of this new elven society quickly realized that the island they had found was almost completely covered with a series of strange manifest zones of Irian. In some places, plants grew stronger and lasted for decades, animals rarely died of disease, and spells with positive effects were more powerful. In others, death was more powerful, rot lasted much longer than normal conditions would allow, and negative energy was prevalent, all stemming from manifest zones of Mabar. Following the blood magic teachings they had received from the giants, they began experimenting with necromancy, and found they could keep their older heroes and leaders with them indefinitely. Thus was born the Undying Court. This legion of elven legends rules over Aerenal.
- The Undying Court is the spiritual anchor of the land, but has no explicit political duties. Their influence, however, is felt far and wide, and no major decision is made without their counsel.
- The Sibling Kings hold the administrative power on the island.
- Tairnadal: While the Undying Court is supreme authority in most of Aerenal, the tradition of the Tairnadal elves holds significant power in the east and south of the continent. They are broken up into three clans:
- Draelus Tairn: This clan focuses on combat with and the destruction of dragons, particularly from Argonnessen.
- Silaes Tairn: While most are content to live on their new island home, this clan hopes to reclaim Xen’drik for the elves.
- Valaes Tairn: These elves, the largest of the three clans, are the majority of those who colonized Valenar.
- Most power is organized around the bloodlines of the island, which are usually a collection of families centered in a city-state that carries the name of the one of the original Xen’drik tribes. The royal leaders of the line marry members of the line’s other families, who then become royal, constantly refreshing the gene pools of the royalty. Members of the Undying Court are almost always drawn from these royal circles.
Besides merchants and ambassadors, many adventurers encounter the Aereni through the Deathguard, an elite squad bent on destroying any evil undead presence in the world, all those linked to Mabar. They are lead by High Warden Cial Jhaelian, who was present at the fall of House Vol. He oversees four wardens, who each oversee one of the four other civilized continents.Geography
- Aerenal lies between the eastern tips of Khorvaire and Xen’drik with the Thunder Sea to its west, the Lhazaar Sea to its northeast, and the Dark Sea to its southeast. The nation is shaped like a cross with jungles at three cardinal points: the Madwood in the south, Dajar Orioth (“Jungle of Daggers”) in the north, and the Blackwood Jungle in the west. The eastern point is covered in the plains of the Tairnadal.
- Notable Locations
- Shae Cairdal is the political capital of the country, the home of the Sibling Kings.
- Shae Mordai is the spiritual capital of Aerenal, the stronghold of the Undying Court.
- Shae Thoridor (population 10,600) is a shipping port in the north of Aerenal, controlled by the Sibling Kings, but with little undead presence in the city. Governess Syraen Melideth is more cordial with foriegners than other Aereni, and all the dragonmarked houses have enclaves here.
- Pylas Talaear is a port in the south of Aerenal, controlled by the Tairnadal, with no undead presence.
- 2.65 million
- 77% elf
- 19% undying
- 3% half elf
- 1% other