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ELMS (Barony of the)

Location: Continent of Brun, north of Leeha, west of Panteria. NW

Area: Approx. 997 sq. mi. (2,580 sq. km.).

Population: 1,000 elves.

Languages: Elvish (Shiye-Lawr and Alfheim dialects).

Coinage: Barter only.

Taxes: None. Each elf wilfully helps the rest of the community as needed.

Government Type: Barony (elven dominion, the baron is advised by the clanmasters). Member of the elven Kingdom of Nordalfheim.

Industries: Hunting and gathering.

Important Figures: Quillan Elm-Grower (Baron and Clanmaster), Lidial Almashiye (Almashiye Clanmaster).

Flora and Fauna: Well-tended elms and evergreen trees abound in this area. Deer, bears, elk, wolves, and various small northern forest animals can be found here.

Coats of Arms: Baron Quillan Elm-Grower: Three green elms on white background; Barony of the Elms: Green elm on white background.

Further Reading: CM1 Test of the Warlords, previous almanacs.

Description by Synthala of Aasla.

Among the Shiye clans that live in Lothbarth Forest, the Almashiye are special because they are neither part of White Oak nor are they one of the independent foresthomes.

The Land

Unlike most of Lothbarth, the land of the Almashiye is not covered in various evergreen trees, though it has them too; instead, sturdy elms grow here. Oh, sure, there are some hardwood groves in several spots, around which where most Shiye clans have settled in fact, but these are generally maples, and most specially oaks. This is, as far as I can tell [and I've spent a lot of time in that forest, as well as everywhere in Norwold. Synthala.], the only spot in Lothbarth that has elms.

The Barony of the Elms lies in the western part of Lothbarth, where the forest is less dense. Oh, don't get me wrong here-this is a forest all right, with hardly any beings for hundreds of miles around, except for the Almashiye themselves. But you do not travel the White Forest of Norwold for the social encounters-you go there to commune with nature, the vast expanses of untamed forest, and the many animals that call it home.

The People

Still, if you long for a conversation a bit more consequential than the flimsy chatter of the birds or the slow, ponderous speech of the old trees [for, surely, you can speak with animals or speak with plants. Synthala.], know ye that the Almashiye are the most open of the Shiye clans of Norwold.

Baron Quillan is not an Almashiye, though, but an elf hailing from former Alfheim. An adventurer at heart, he travelled the known world with human companions, until he settled in Norwold among his northern cousins, his lust for adventure satiated at last-or so he thought, anyway. Some Alfheim elves from Quillan's clan settled in the Barony of the Elms, and more after the destruction of Alfheim by the Shadow Elves. The Almashiye being open-for Shiye, anyway-accepted their brethren among them, so that the barony still comprises only one elven clan. Though they each tend to worship their own Immortal (either Eiryndul or Ilsundal), they are open-minded about it and it is not unheard of that an Almashiye starts to pay homage to Ilsundal (possibly in addition to Eiryndul), especially if she marries into the Alfheim community (or vice-versa). The Elms is, indeed, an open ground for the budding Faith of the Ancestors.

Baron Quillan has always been very close, in a strange way, to High Priest Zoltan. It is not, however, a relationship of equality, as Quillan views the human treekeeper as a religious figure, while Zoltan sees the elven baron as a faithful follower and, I think, tool. For Quillan and Zoltan are, truly, complete opposites, both of which certainly wishing they were born in the other race-not that Quillan really would have enjoyed being human, but sometimes he likes to think so. Oh, don't get me wrong, Quillan Elm-Grower is an elf all right, and he would not actually have it otherwise, but he likes the company of humans as well, and sometimes convinces himself that he prefers it to that of his brethren. And indeed he spends a lot of time around humans, including at the court of Ericall in the crowded city of Alpha, where he is more than happy to be the voice of Zoltan and the elven clans of Lothbarth-and Zoltan is more than happy to let him deal with the human politics, too [a feeling I understand very well. Synthala.]. Because I don't spend much time in Alpha myself I can't say for sure, but I think Quillan played a role in the rapprochement of Zoltan the Treekeeper and Elarianthas Blackblade, that resulted in the creation of the elven Kingdom of Nordalfheim, of which the barony is a component; none of those involved would confirm my suspicions, though, as they prefer to keep the dealings that created Nordalfheim secret.

Quillan, being an endearing elf, maintains cordial relations with most of the other lords of Norwold. His barony is notably on good terms with its immediate neighbours-Leeha, Chitine, and Panteria. The Free Foresthomes are not so enamoured with Quillan, though, but this is more based on political, and ultimately religious-even though Quillan himself is not, deep down, a religious person-grounds.

Recent History

Quillan came to Norwold in answer to King Ericall's call to heroes of the known world to come to his young nation and carve out dominions loyal to him and to the Alphatian Empire. As he adventured in the wilderness of Norwold in search for a suitable dominion, he came across this one place in Lothbarth Forest that reminded him of home, with its elves living among sturdy elms. He immediately fell in love with the place.

Baron Quillan could not stay in place for long, though, and he soon was spending as much time visiting Alpha, or other lords' estates, as in his barony. It was not much of a problem, though, as the Almashiye could run themselves fine, thank you, but I believe this brash young elf would need to find himself a nice Almashiye mate to settle down a bit. Anyway, the baron's friendships with human lords coupled with the Almashiye's openness allowed the barony to conduct trade and maintain good relations with the neighbouring human dominions.

During the Great War there was some disturbance in the Elms as there was throughout the Shiye foresthomes, as the followers of Eiryndul agitated against the infiltration of the following of Ilsundal and the encroaching presence of the Alphatians, but the barony was probably the less hit elven domain-much less than Zoltan's lands, at any rate.

More recently, the Barony of the Elms joined the newly-founded elven Kingdom of Nordalfheim.

Don't Miss

Though the forest outside the Almashiye clanhold is composed mainly of evergreens, there is, several miles to the south of the elven stronghold, a grove of maple, birch, and aspen that flash vivid reds, yellows, and pale oranges flickering among the greens, that are a marvel to behold. Though I saw no one in the vicinity-despite my attempts to reach out for a presence-I remain persuaded that there must be a druid to watch over that grove, although he or she visibly does not want to meet anyone [I was on my way south from the Almashiye, and decided not to retrace my steps just for the sake of satiating my curiosity. Synthala.]. As a consequence, I advise you do not attempt any of the stupid things that city-dwellers typically do in a forest-especially using those trees as firewood-as I'm sure the druid would do something unpleasant to you at the slightest misconduct.

Do Miss

A few miles to the northwest of the Almashiye clan lies a large pool of freshwater. Such lakes are a very common sighting throughout Norwold, but this one is peculiar in that it is inhabited by a community of nixies. Each young Almashiye, on his or her hundredth birthday, travels to the nixie pool, where he or she lets down the elven immunity to charms and becomes the (almost) willing servant of the nixies for a full year. Then the young elf is free to come back to the clan, and after this rite of passage he or she is considered an adult. The reason I indicate this pool as a place to avoid, rather than visit-despite its beauty-, is due to the fact that the nixies try to charm into servitude everyone who comes close to their pond, not just the Almashiye. Unless you plan on spending one year in thralldom at the bottom of a lake, I advise you make yourself invisible, or just avoid this otherwise pleasant pool.