The Elven Ascendancy
Capital: Crimson Dusk
Ruler: Unessa Myrnétlarn, Queen of Witches
Government: Hereditary Absolute Monarchy
Primary Race: High Elf
Primary Language: Esish (High Elven)
Regional Bonus: Steeped in Magic - Growing up surrounded by magical lore and power, you gain a +2 racial bonus to Knowledge [Arcana] and Use Magic Device.
Regional Feat:Common Magic
Chief and most powerful of the elven nations, it is the homeland of the high elves built upon the old Orodravian Heartlands. From the crystal city of Crimson Dusk on the Isle of Eons, the Queen of Witches once guided the growth and study of magic across the whole of Faengleis. A great patron of the arts, she gathered painters, craftsmen, architects, and scholars from near and far, constantly enriching her lands. Now, she is but a ruin of her former self and much of the efforts of her vaunted artisans are spent on rebuilding from the disastrous Sunset War whose final battles raged across Ascendancy lands. Even the famed Temple of Azuri was a victim in that war, burning and taking not only irreplaceable magic knowledge but many of the most promising young arcanists of the new generation.
The Ascendancy is broken up into six major administrative areas known as Lordships, each ruled by a Prince or Princess who serves at the pleasure of the Queen.
Most outsiders only ever see the Dusking Lordship, which includes the Radiant Sea and Isle of Eons as well as the capital city. As the world's premiere center for magic, Crimson Dusk sees a great deal of outsiders from all the Shining Races as well as many more exotic visitors, which contrasts with the highly insular interior of the Ascendancy. Entry into the interior of the country is tightly controlled, as is passage from one region to the other within the country, often requiring weeks or months of jumping through administrative hoops. This is primarily to limit access to the Tower of Godsfall at the center of the island, which is surrounded by the Wall Ruins, which were once a series of fantastically intricate fortresses and defenses that were all but annihilated in the Sunset War. They are slowly being rebuilt, the manifold lessons of that war guiding their reconstruction.
The Sunset War has defined the Ascendancy in less obvious ways as well, for it cost the nation many of her citizens; some estimates saying as many as one in every eight elves was slain, including the country's finest soldiers, wizards, and leaders. Just at a time when all their people are needed and the best required to lead them, the nation finds itself short-handed and with the unready heirs to genius left trying to direct those resources.
Following the defeat of the Orodravian and the raising of the High Wall, the three remaining Namitha Ardrua went their separate ways, hoping to find peace in their remaining years. For Syatela Goldenhair, she sought to tend to the shattered Heartlands, a broken wasteland except for the imposing majesty of the Tower of Godsfall. She came to heal the land and to spend her days in contemplation of the inner secrets of magic. With her came thousands of displaced grey elves who had served the Namitha, cut off from their ancestral homelands by the High Wall. They were led by Isiluria Silvarian, a powerful and gifted witch who studied at Syatela's feet. In time, the two women fell in love and it is said that, from their union, a child was miraculously conceived, born as much of magic as of flesh.
It was this child--Manasyfa Avari--that breathed life back into the earth of the Heartlands, that drew forests from rock and caused sand to sprout green grass. From the polluted waters of the Rotmere, she called forth a great stone and it became the Isle of Eons, purifying the black lake and renaming it the Radiant Sea. Under Manasyfa's rule, the grey elves adopted the name 'high elves' to represent the greater heights of understanding they were achieving, losing their warlike ways in favor of meditation and study. Then, Manasyfa took Kalaquen Tharantuor--the famed Griffon Lord of High Scar--as her husband and bore Tylendis Tharantuor to be queen upon her passing and Tylendis wed the scholar Elgorm Myrnétlarn and bore Unessa, the current Witch Queen.
The Ascendancy is closely allied with theEmpire of the Sun, with strong military and economic ties. Indeed, they were so close that some rumors held Queen Myrnétlarn and Empress Sendeyvrian were illicit lovers. She has certainly grown more aloof with Sendeyvrian's passing and on more than one occasion has acted with what some observers called "undo zeal" in protecting Elthan Sendeyvrian--the Empress's crippled son and only living heir--from threats real or perceived. The Ascendancy also keeps a close eye on the happenings inSylat, afraid that tensions between them and Empyrean Darminia could signal the start of a new war with the Academy.
The Queen's mental instability has kept the Ascendancy from responding either quickly or decisively in the modern political climate, any attempt at foreign policy quickly falling into the gnawing gridlock of the Ascendancy Council that does its best to keep the country fuctioning while their ruler holds herself apart from the world.
- Dusking - Including the city of Crimson Dusk, the Isle of Eons, and the Radiant Sea, as well as the forests that surround them.
- High Scar - The mountains of High Scar, renowned for their griffon aeries.
- Waterwood - The extensive wetland forests that cover the southern extreme of the Heartlands.
- Gentle Earth - Being the breadbasket of the elven nation, it is the majority of the prairie covering the island's interior and eastern extremes.
- The Mournlands - A thick slice of Gentle Earth stretching from the Tower of Godsfall east to the coast, it is cursed by the spirits of innumerable dead and tainted by devil's blood.
- Iron Peace - Smallest of the lordships, it includes the Tower of Godsfall as well as the land within twenty miles in all directions of the tower.