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AENGMOR (Colony of)
Location: Continent of Brun, Darokin area. OW
Area: 17,950 sq. mi. (46,490 sq. km.).
Population: 150,000 (90% Shadow Elves, 10% Alfheim elves).
Languages: Elvish (Shadowelf and Alfheim dialects).
Coinage: Shadowelf Standard: bright (gp), shine (sp), glint (cp), kalafi (varnished strips of hard, bark-like fungus, they come in 10 gp, 50 gp and 100 gp denominations).
Taxes: One fourteenth of the yearly earnings goes to the Temple of Rafiel and the king.
Government Type: Semi-autonomous monarchy under the jurisdiction of the Shadow Elves' Kingdom.
Industries: Military, mining (precious metals).
Important Figures: Tanadaleyo (Radiant Princess), Doriath (Former King of Alfheim), Jorodrin Feadiel (Treekeeper), Kanafasti (Court Mage).
Flora and Fauna: Canolbarth Forest is almost completely dead, but a few small animals still live here. Many nasty monsters (gorgons, basilisks, lycanthropes) and evil fairies also settled here recently. The shadow elves brought with them skinwings.
Further Reading: GAZ13 The Shadow Elves, GAZ5 The Elves of Alfheim, previous almanacs.
Description by Balinor "Silverblade" Audriel.
Aengmor, once a forest full of mighty trees and merry game, now a dry and obscure land, where your life is always at stake.
Completely enclosed by the Republic of Darokin, Aengmor lies on a plain bordered by the huge Streel River (to the west), the cursed Cruth Mountains (to the south) and the dangerous Orclands (to the north and east).
Once one of the most peaceful and beautiful areas of the Old World, Canolbarth Forest is now just a pale shadow of what it used to be before the Great War, when it was home of the seven clans of Alfheim Elves.
During the war the shadow elves lost control of their magic and turned Canolbarth's trees into twisted version of their former selves, their gnarly and intertwined branches forming an impenetrable canopy that now shrouds the forest undergrowth in darkness. New fungus of an unknown sort and strange mosses started to grow under the twisted trees, but without water the once-mighty forest is slowly dying, receding a few miles each year, thus giving ground to Darokinian grass.
The most brilliant mages of both elven races [shadow elves, current owners of the forest, and Alfheim elves, former inhabitants of the area. Ed.] are trying to bring Aengmor back to its former glory, but until now they have failed.
Despite a lot of Alfheim exiles, as they like to be called, returning to Aengmor (or Canolbarth, as they prefer to say) in the last few months, Aengmor is currently inhabited mainly by my brethren, the shadow elves. We are a race of fiery warriors and accomplished mages. Centuries of life spent underground caused many changes in our physical appearance: we have a pale skin, light blue or grey eyes, white hair, big ears and squeaky voices.
Sunlight is dangerous to us, because our skin and our eyes are not yet accustomed to a long exposure to the burning sun. That is why we still prefer to live in stone houses or underground caves, instead of above trees like many of our surface cousins. But saying that, like burly dwarves, shadow elves hate nature and have stone hearths would not be fair. Like the surface elves we like to sing, even though our voices are not always appreciated by surface dwellers.
As in all demihuman societies, the clan is very important among shadow elves. There exist four clans of shadow elves: Celebryl, Porador, Felestyr, Gelbalf. While in their native kingdom they live in four different cities, separated by miles of dark tunnels and hard rock, in Aengmor they live side by side, united in the name of Rafiel. Until now this has not proved to be bad, but in the shadowelf history wars of clan vs. clan are not unheard of.
As you may have guessed from the above paragraph, religion is very important among shadow elves. Rafiel is our patron Immortal, He guides us and we strive to follow His will. The shamans, a restricted group of shadow elves born with the mark of Rafiel (a purplish coloration of their forefront) and well taught in the way of Rafiel, are our "priests" and guides, and possess a tremendous influence on our people.
The shadow elves settled in Aengmor in AC 1007, after chasing away the Alfheim elves, who previously lived there. The war, if it can be called with such a name, was quick and almost bloodless. We had waited for the invasion for years, prepared it for months, and won it in a few days!
When our armies popped up from the many tunnels that we had silently prepared under Alfheim, they found a deserted place, a dark forest of twisted trees with no one but a bunch of stubborn elves. I was there, riding my skinwing in the night, and from the sky, high above the trees, I saw a long row of light. It was the surface elves, quietly and sadly abandoning their cursed land.
At first we were happy, finally Canolbarth was ours. Rafiel's promises were coming true. Then some started to realise that the magic we used to turn the forest into a grey and lifeless place had gone out of control, but before we managed to start doing something about it there came the war for the lost city of Aengmor. In Aengmor I was shot down by the dwarves, my skinwing was killed and I barely survived hiding in the darkest corners of that city. When I got back to Rafielton a few months later things had changed: the war with the dwarves had brought us many new enemies in the Old World and even among us there were some who started to stroll away from the way of Rafiel.
Suddenly a civil war spread all along Canolbarth, as the flames spread in a pool of oil when you toss a spark into it. It was shadow elf against shadow elf, brother against sister, father against son, King Telemon against Princess Tanadaleyo, reformers against traditionalists, wanderers against shamans. Those were sad days for the shadowelf race.
Only after Prince Erian was barely killed people realised the foolishness of this war and there came the peace again. But Aengmor is still a place full of reformers, of hot-headed people that do not wish to spend all their life under the strict rules imposed by our patron Rafiel.
In AC 1015, in a desperate attempt to save the forest, Princess Tanadaleyo established diplomatic relationships with our enemies, the surface elves, and even invited many of them in Canolbarth. I hope that they will not cause any trouble in the future, but I hardly believe it.
While shadowelf shamans and wizards and Alfheimer treekeepers and wizards were trying to find a way to restore the Canolbarth Forest, tension continued to rise between the shadowelf settlers and the growing number of returning Alfheimers. The country has been oscillating between peace talks, overtures, cooperation and even friendship, and terrorism, assassinations, repression, and skirmishes. Meanwhile, the first radiant soul crystals have appeared in Aengmor, with shamans at last coming to the surface colony, while the Trees of Life were brought back to their ancestral grounds.
If you happen to visit Aengmor (and to do this you should either be an important man or a stupid brigand looking for trouble) do not forget to take a look at the Sump and Weir, a natural complex of tunnels and rifts not too far from Rafielton.
The main feature of this area is a huge hole that goes down deep into Mystara. The hole is fortified, with a wall going all around it. The Sump and Weir was once the place where all of Alfheim's rivers flowed to, so that the water of Canolbarth's night rain could be drained into the earth.
Alfheim elves built the wall to protect themselves from monsters coming from underground. When the shadow elves conquered Canolbarth, this area, so full of tunnels and caves, immediately drew the attention of the newcomers that settled here en masse. Today these caves host roughly 70,000 shadow elves.
Magic points, may Rafiel guide us away from those evil places.
Rumours say that before we came here Alfheim was rich in magic points. There were two kinds of such points, good ones and bad ones. After our mages cast the spell that disrupted Canolbarth's magic, the good ones disappeared, while the bad ones had their power increased.
Strange occurrences happen around those magic points, magic usually goes wild there and it is not unheard of monster coming out thin air or people disappearing into nothingness.
It seems that these points are somehow connected with the forest's evil magic. The team of elves that is studying how to save Canolbarth certainly knows more about this, but I'm not allowed to access this precious information.