Morah’Silvanath
“When Colothoria died, the old way of the elves died, by the most ironical way… that abomination, that… ‘tree’…” - Molgorian Spruceye, Colothor advisor-wizard

Capital: None
Settlements: Heartroost (7,000), Pestilence (2,000)
Ruler: Silvanath tribal leaders; King Rezarian the Black rules the remnant Colothorians
Government: Tribalism, Monarchy
Races: Elf, Kech
Faiths: Enor Ashlord, Kurofu the Shadow, Lord Grunzol Firestorm, Lyvalia, Rolterra, Saren, S’sluun the Naga Empress
Resources: Herbalism, woodcraft
Languages: Auran, Elven, Sylvan
Border Conditions: Restricted (a double-strength porphyrite border surrounds Morah’Silvanath)

History
When the elves helped summon the New Gods to Porphyra they were not immune to the devastation that they caused. The scrublands elves of Theriar suffered in particular when a piece of the god Saren’s old world manifested directly on top of the city of Colothoria, their greatest settlement and the seat of the elemental sorcerers who ruled their empire. The city was shattered, the lands around it displaced into a ring of jagged hills and mountains that time has done little to soften, shot through with the ancient ruins – and treasures - of lost Colothoria. The piece of Saren’s world that He brought to Porphyra is Morah’Silvanath, the World Tree, a tree of such colossal size and aspect that it staggers comprehension. Miles across at the base, it spears into the sky to the height of a mountain - so high that among its upper branches the air gets thin, and special magic or natural adaptation is needed to reach the very top.

The gigantic tree is ringed around by the Canta’Silvanath mountains- the remains of Colothoria - and beyond them a circle of porphyrite fields where the purple crystal stands low and thick, a formidable godswall. Between the porphyrite ring and the trunk of the Tree itself lie many miles of Shadelands: areas where the shadow of the great tree never lifts. Touched by the divine power of Saren, the Shadelands are home to every kind of fungus known to scholars, and grown to surprising size. Intelligent fungal creatures prowl amid the mushrooms, as do the inheritors of Colothoria - vengeful, embittered elves who have grown pale and thin in the shade of Morah’silvanath and would do anything to topple the great tree if they could.

The ‘Inheritors’ are not the only elves in the district… When the World Tree arrived in Porphyra it came with its own compliment of inhabitants, including the primal Silvanath elves who live on, in and around the Tree and worship Saren exclusively. The Silvanath at the base are the most ‘civilized’ to external perceptions, tolerant of outsiders but hardly welcoming. As an explorer ascends the Tree the Silvanath become progressively more barbaric and aggressive. Only elves may traverse the height of the Tree with something approaching safety, and even they are not guaranteed passage among the highest branches.

The Tree does have other, friendlier inhabitants. The kech, for example. Kech can be found everywhere, and will help those visitors who respect the Tree, and pay them off. If they don’t, they will happily eat them. Aid may also be gained from the harpies and the harpidites, their half-breed offspring; everyone knows they are not to be trusted, but the harpies always seem to have exactly what the traveler is looking for when they open the bargaining.

Current Events
The World Tree is notable for its local gravity – wherever one stands, ‘down’ is towards the nearest branch, with larger branches exerting a greater pull than smaller ones, and the trunk exerting the greatest pull of all. This strange effect allows those who live on the Tree to construct settlements around the places where branches split off and make good use of all the available space. It also creates surprising pockets of distorted gravity out where the branches are thin and close together- which the kech and harpies are adept at using to perform dramatic maneuvers in combat.

The elves of Silvanath are an isolationist lot, content to live in harmony with the World Tree and never interact with the other inhabitants of the world. They have, however, the greatest selection of natural products derived from bark, wood, and leaves of the great Tree, which makes them a key destination of merchants. They have a pressing problem with the inheritors of Colothoria at the base of the Tree and under the roots, which draws occasional mercenaries and other heroes. Previously known as equestrians and craftsmen, the Colothorians have changed greatly over the centuries since the arrival of the New Gods. They are stalkers and murderers, poison-coated knives in the darkness, adept at refining the fungi of the Shadelands into all sorts of compounds both beneficial and baneful. They wage a constant war against the Silvanath and, while the Silvanath outnumber the Colothorians many times over, they are divided by clan loyalties and other concerns - the Colothorians have little to distract them from their single-minded pursuit of vengeance.

The other two prominent races of the World Tree, the kech and the harpies, have their own approaches to the conflict. The kech are servile and subservient, hiding their true minds, but are known by the less gullible to be fawning parasites who will take advantage of any slight weakness to the ‘leaf-monkeys” benefit. The harpies are more honest in their manipulation, playing both sides against the middle, selling their services as spies and mercenaries to all factions.

Settlements
The major settlements in Morah’Silvanath are:

  • Heartroost is the only settlement of notable size constructed on the World Tree, a tangled and confusing city of wood and leaves, grown from the tree itself to make best use of its selective gravity. It is theoretically controlled by a council of elder harpies, but their hands-off approach to rulership, their ever-shifting intrigues, and their extended families make it a lawless place. The fact of Heartroost’s unique permanency does, however, make it the center of trade and politics on Morah’Silvanath - a position the harpies would do much to hold onto.
  • Pestilence is the only large settlement in the Shadelands, resembling a fortified camp that stayed in one place long enough to put down roots. This is the home of the inheritors of Colothoria, where Rezarian the Black lays his schemes and nurses his hate, where the displaced Porphyran elves who still venerate the Elemental Lords are raised to loathe the tree that blocks out the sun. This is where they learn the arts of swordplay and poisoncraft from elders with centuries of experience on both. No kech or Silvanath are permitted in Pestilence, and the occasional visiting harpidite is only tolerated for the intelligence they bring. Other races are allowed but not encouraged.

Intrigues

  • The Canta’Silvanath mountains are rich with treasure- filled ruins from the golden age of Colothoria, just waiting to be claimed from ancient traps, magical guardians, and bitter inheritor elves. If ruins aren’t attractive, the Tree itself has interbranch wildernesses with wonders to stumble on, as well.
  • A group of foreign sword-blade diplomats could be just what the two factions of elves need for peace. Unifying the Silvanath and the Colothorians would be a monumental task, especially with the opportunistic harpies to deal with, but if successful, bards would sing their names for milennia.
  • A less-than-savory employer the harpies might be, but they are rather wealthy, and if their whims and tasks are fulfilled, who knows where an agent of the Daughters of Ithreia might end up? Outside of the kettle, that is…

See Also