Category Archives: Hejira

History of Lake Elizerain

Lake Elizerain sat quietly upon Faydwer for ages. Until the elves’ departure from the distant eastern shores of Tunaria, few if any folk visited the Lake, and it has no recorded name before that time. Wild beasts and creatures from the mountains roamed the area until the Koada’Dal came and the wilderness retreated to some extent. The creatures of the area still maintained a presence, though, and even after the Fier’Dal and Koada’Dal sent rangers, paladins, warriors, and scouts to colonize and secure the area, most of it remained untamed. Because of the persistent wildness of the region (and since the elves soon settled in other, more hospitable parts of the Faydark), the small elven communities near the Lake soon shrank. However, the settlements by the lake were never entirely abandoned, simply because the pristine waters were one of the few delights held precious by Princess Elizerain, who became queen of the elves around this time.

Throughout the nearly three centuries after the Hejira, Elizerain proved a very potent and capable queen. She was much beloved by her people and oversaw great innovations and improvements among their culture. Much of her success was attributed in later years to her legendary divinatory
ability, which guided the elves on a course that kept them generally safe and content in their new home. Legend claims that when it came time for Queen Elizerain to pass onto the next life, she bade her people bury her in the favored place of her youth when her time for passing came.
Thus, the Koada’Dal put her to rest in the waters of the newly named Lake Elizerain.

In the many years after her death, while the lakeside settlements faded away almost entirely, pilgrims and mystics came to the lake in droves to try to tap into the divinatory ability that Queen Elizerain’s burial purportedly granted the waters. A few posts were maintained by the lake
to accommodate these wanderers. The years passed relatively peacefully by the lake, although the local minotaurs and kobolds continued to harass the elves, as they always had.

In recent years, however, events have taken a darker turn. For many centuries, the dutifully maintained elven watch towers on the eastern shores of Faydwer peered out over the Sea of Dawn. Only in the last two centuries have the elves abandoned the majority of these towers, as the
ancient fear of danger from the east has gradually given way to apathy in the face of other dangers all around the elves.

Only a decade or so ago, the southernmost of these towers, which rests against an eastern spur of the Steamfonts, opened its doors to a young adventurer. This gifted youth bore with him several artifacts he had won while delving deep into the mountains nearby. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to either the adventurer or the tower’s handful of warriors, these objects were dark artifacts of Innoruuk, and their corruption spread rapidly through the tower. Now, dark forces control of the former Koada’Dal holding.

The Koada’Dal have attempted reconnoiters against the tower, and the defenses of the darkened tower have proved strong. At present, there are simply too few of the Clerics of Tunare to undertake a dangerous quest to secure such a distant outlying enemy holding, as they are busy defending Felwithe from more immediate threats.

The coming of the Elves

Nothing else after the dwarf-sagas is known to have been written about the Hills of Shade until the time of the elven Hejira, the sea journey that brought them from Tunaria to Faydwer. As newcomers to a vast and unknown continent, the elves wanted to explore their new home and its resources. Most of their efforts focused on the areas around the vicinity of current-day Felwithe and Kelethin, but smaller groups of elves set up communities anywhere there wasn’t already a local population. The very fact that the Hills of Shade were abandoned made it perfect for individuals seeking a new home, and relations between the elven newcomers and the indigenous dwarves were strong.

Thus, the small community of Durathin arose in the hills; though small and never prosperous, the town was kept safe by combined forces of high elf and dwarven guards. This cooperation was purely pragmatic — neither Felwithe nor Kaladim had an outpost near the center of the continent, and Durathin provided a useful place for scouts from both kingdoms to resupply.

The inhabitants of Durathin learned much about the dangers of the Hills of Shade and recorded their findings thoroughly. The deceptive shadows and changing landscape made maps useless within weeks of being drawn, but it was possible for explorers with a strong sense of direction to find their way around cautiously. One could navigate by using the coastline as a guide, and notorious or unusual regions within the hills kept the same identifying properties even when their appearance changed: Durathin citizens identified Bertoxxulous’ Cauldron, the Black Tombs, the Crawling Ruins, and the Grave Mounds. They also erected dozens of trail-markers to establish (relatively) safe paths through the hills. Slowly, a trickle of trade began between Kaladim and Kelethin, using Durathin guides to find the shortest route from the Butcherblock Mountains to the Greater Faydark. Durathin was poised to blossom into a large and prosperous trade community.