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SHADOW ELVES (Kingdom of the)
Location: Continent of Brun, roughly 6,000 ft. (1,800 m.) below the Broken Lands. OW
Area: Estimated 500,000 sq. mi. (1,295,000 sq. km.), but the underground territories can hardly be accounted for in terms of surface only.
Population: Roughly 400,000 elves.
Languages: Elvish (Shadowelf dialect).
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: Monarchy.
Industries: Agriculture (fungus farming, giant slugs and spiders raising), hunting, mining.
Important Figures: Telemon (Radiant King), Porphyriel (Radiant Shaman).
Flora and Fauna: Many cavern creatures, some of them unique to this environment, like boneless, giant slugs, lava fish and skinwings. Goblinoids from the Broken Lands sometimes wander in the shadow elves' lands too.
Further Reading: GAZ13 The Shadow Elves, previous almanacs.
Description by Balinor "Silverblade" Audriel.
My home: a vast network of caverns and caves interlinked by countless tunnels and canals.
The shadow elves' kingdom extends for countless miles of tunnels and caves, over an area that, if brought to the surface, would stretch from Glantri City in the north, to Darokin City in the south. Some of those caves and caverns are natural, but most of them have been modified by the shadow elves in the last millennia. Some tunnels have been enlarged to make travelling safer and quicker, other have been flooded to allow for sailing between our four main cities (City of the Stars, Alfmyr, Losetrel and New Grunland). Some of the tunnels bring in fresh air from the surface, other are filled with molten magma. There are really thousands of them.
The bigger caverns usually host fungal forests (some natural, some magical), that the shadow elves harvest for food. Lakes and mountains are not uncommon either. Only the sun is missing.
The land is inhabited mostly by shadow elves, though other less intelligent species like goblinoids or geonids can be found in our territories. The shadow elves are a breed of elf that adapted to the life underground millennia ago, when a terrible disaster hit Mystara and our ancestors were forced to flee underground.
Life was not easy underground, but the shadow elves managed to survive and develop new forms of rock magic, that allowed them to modify the landscape and defend themselves from the evil creatures that wandered in those caves. Over the years the population has slowly increased and the four original clans that fled underground (Celebryl, Porador, Felestyr, Gelbalf) moved to four different areas of the kingdom, creating new towns and villages.
Physically speaking the shadow elves have a pale skin, white hair and very clear eyes (usually sparking blue or grey in colour). Shorter and thinner than their surface counterpart, the shadow elves have a squeaky voice and a keen sense of hearing, thanks to their large ears.
In AC 1016 the shadowelf kingdom was invaded by an army of Schattenalfen, a race of elves very similar to us that lives deeper underground, in a fabled place called "Land of the Red Sun."
Their massive invasion caught us by surprise and soon our capital, the City of the Stars, a wonderful city built on the ceiling of the Great Cavern, in an area where gravity works very oddly, was under siege. Those were sad days for our race, for many of our kin lost their lives fighting bravely to defend the city, the king and the temple.
At last the invaders managed to break into the walls that surround the city, but when they launched their final attack, on the so called Day of Dread, our shamans popped out of the temple and wiped out the attackers casting extraordinary magic never seen before.
After they defeated the Schattenalfen assault on the City of the Stars, we started to rebuild our city and the rest of the country. Radiant protectors would now protect the heart of the Temple of Rafiel, while a resurrected Gilfronden became the new spymaster. We opened some level of diplomatic relations with our neighbours. Meanwhile, the shamans have been studying new ways to harness the power of the completed Chamber of the Sphere.
I seriously doubt that you will ever have a chance to enter the shadow elves' territories alive, but if you do then don't forget to stop by Jennafaer, proprietress of Candle's Work in the City of the Stars, and bring her a flower from Balinor.
Do miss the shadow elves' underground territories unless you are not invited, because we distrust foreign people and trying to enter our lands by force or stealth would certainly put you in trouble.