The Age of Exploration
As the elves begin to itch for adventure and discover more about the new surroundings they have found themselves in for over five decades, the time has finally come. The Age of Exploration is upon us.
Some may have suspected it would be House Marindur who would be the first to set sail and push for discovery, they are a legendary house of explorers after all! But still others were surprised to hear that the naval house of the Aeran Kinship set sail south-east of Lorawin. They passed the mouth of what looks to be a river, naming it the Villance River Delta. Several large cliffs were spotted and two potentially inhabitable harbors. There are some rumors about what was found out at sea, but no clear information seems to be circulating about that. What is established though is that House Marindur has named one of the harbor's Elexia's Repose. While no construction has begun yet, it looks like a very good spot to begin a settlement!
The Thalerith wasted no time pulling together their resources for a kinship-wide exploration effort. Under Sylindra's rule several scouting parties were sent in to the depths of the cavern mazes found under the Scorching Expanse. One, under the command of Moyanet Aynarr, came back with a promising lead. When they followed the path the Thalerith discovered an underground oasis a few days journey from Nasherat. Water falling from the ceiling of the cave creates a beautiful cascade that was later named Moya Falls. The Thalerith's quest for finding a sustainable water source has been complete, earning them a rather hefty raise in economic resource production. Such a valuable resource will surely be reinvested in Thalerith efforts to come.
Whispers turn to rumors and rumors turn to tales and in no time at all, the Heroic Seven are being praised from Isalspire to Thelos and back. House Naevon set out to explore the northern reach of the Syreian split, and the story goes that they wound up face to face with a hoard of tree-beasts! Tree-like carnivorous beast-things! Surrounded on all sides! But the Heroic Seven (Elstrin, Claria, Diagones, Tharnor, Archarnor, Sarian and Sciath) defeated them without losing a single soul from their adventuring party. Victorious they sailed back in to Isalspire. Elstrin's new ship design became the envy of Isalspire over night and the celebrity status of the Heroic Seven soared.
Truly, House Naevon and their friends have made a mark on Aarandor and and the social waves of their expedition will be remembered for it.
The sea at winter is never a kind thing. One suspects Aereth gets more moody when the days go short. But nonetheless, House Reymar decides to seize the opportunity and sail north. Well known for their expert sailing ability, the challenge of a winter sea is no hindrance to them. They prey to Aereth for a safe journey and somehow, they just know, she is laughing at them. The rain dumps on their vessels, the Reymar Reaver and the Moontouched Marauder, bashing them around at sea. But when the storm parts they discover something they didn't even know they were looking for.
A pod of playful eelhounds was an unexpected gift from the sea. The strange creatures certainly seem eager enough to follow the boat along. And when invited on board the vessels, their amphibious nature was soon apparent. These mythical creatures might indeed make good pets! But alas, no land was found on the journey.
An adventuring party lead by Lady Kaelyn Serannar, funded by King Arminel Serannar, headed south of Torendaar on what was being called a spiritual journey. The group committed to keep a prayerful mind on their adventure and specifically to lean in to Garwen for guidance. The route was easy, tall wheat gave way to their horses and the whole journey seemed to be blessed as they made their way into the steeper southern hills. Unfortunately, the journey would not be so easy the entire way.
A very large pack of Hill Wolves attacked the encampment. Duke Rollant Tenlindil, Prince Aurri Serannar and Lord Druthean Serannar were quick with their blades, defending the encampment gracefully. A few burned trees and new wolf fur coats later, and the adventure was back on course. Lady Oriana Tenlindil and Lady Primrose Monstald kept close watch on the surroundings, documenting and observing the whole journey. High Priest Rawlin was on hand to tend to any wounds, which didn't quite go as planned. But, his presence was calming one nonetheless.
When they got to the highest point in the hilly terrain, Lady Kaelyn took a moment to look over the valley they had found, touch its soil and proclaim, "This rich soil and sunny hills will be the most prolific vineyard we have ever seen. It shall be named The Gilded Vale." And so, a new beautiful site for a settlement was discovered to the south of Torendaar.
The expedition mounts in the early hours of the morning, with the sun rising just over the golden wheat fields that surround Torendaar. King Arminel is awake just in time to send this expedition off in style. Lord Zedmir has packed some healthy and hearty things for the adventurers to eat on their journey. His cooking always has an extra touch of something else that really makes the warmth and comfort of home stick with you on a long journey. Marquis Galeren does his best to keep the adventuring party on track, reminding them to look for good land to settle in.
Lead by Lady Saga Brixtien, the group ventured north into the great grass sea. Lady Oriana, Marchioness Yvette, Lady Ayala and Duke Rollant rounded out the notable members of the adventuring party, all five working in tandem to see the success of the exploration come to fruition. Eventually they came upon a stone building out in the field. A very trapped and rather uninviting stone building that appears as though it used to be a forge many centuries ago. Back in Torendaar rumors begin to fly about what was found there. Something shiny and something painful are about all the details that seem to surface with any certainty. Everyone eventually made it back and more or less unharmed at that. A successful mission all around.
In the very early hours of the night, just as the sun settles in over the horizon, Rivek Devrien, Belstrom Devrien, Zymandi Devrien, Azariah Devrien and Melindra Filinnar begin their journey in to the North-Western reaches of the Scorching Expanse. Bags packed, supplies tucked away, not knowing what awaits them. But the eagerness to discover the unknown is high.
The first leg of the journey was met with vicious, ravenous coyotes. But House Devrien's warriors spared no time ending them. A new skull now mounts Azariah's hip from the encounter. The second leg of the trip found the group surrounded by a strange, salty smelling fog. It didn't take long until they saw it? a long stretch of beach that juts right up against the tall ever waving dunes like an extension of the sandy sea right into the water. This oceanfront desert has never been touched by civilization by the looks of it. Pristine and pure. The clouds part way for a moment and the moon shines brightly on the endless sea.
Abbasah Harbor was discovered and plans for a settlement immediately began. The body of water they encountered has been named The Lorenil Sea after the late sister of the current House Devrien Matriarch, Deanna Devrien. The harbor settlement began construction immediately and has the claim to fame of being the very first family-held settlement in Aarador.
Quietly, a group of explorers gather together to head north of Thelos, along the backside of the mountain the city sits on. They make their descent through the mountains in the cold of winter, which may not have been the best planned time to go exploring, but they are indeed rewarded for their efforts.
Though no mention of what was found in the mountains makes its way to the public sphere, there are reports that Alexandria Laenorin, Thorin Aenor, Ember and Talyn Palinnar and Alethia Reid are seeking the council of the Priesthood of Garwen shortly after their covert operation.
Stories spread through Lorawin about a group of Alcaldia explorers who made their way south of the Aeran capital, across coastal plains and marshes to find the mouth of a river that proves to be suitable for settlement. Darinel Alcaldia, Senior Scholar Mihris Alcaldia and Captain Elleth Alcaldia return with a few scrapes here and there, but looking as healthy as ever. Word spreads that the newly discovered area has been named Bidal Falls, but there is no word about what the group might have found there, if anything.
The Lorandi are quickly becoming known for their cooperative nature when it comes to exploration. That is no different for the Ducal Branch of House Tenlindil and their vassals, House Monstald and House Nalduine. The three houses set out south-east in search of new land to settle in the Torendaar region. Two days ride and they have found themselves a beautiful valley, ripe to be settled. Duke Rollant claimed the land and named it Pride Valley, though no settlements have begun construction.
It is also rumored that Lady Saga had a run in with some large feline beasts and was seen proudly marching back to Torendaar with them in tow. Plains lions, beautiful beasts with thick manes. Though most have kept their attention on the lions, rumors that something else was seen on the horizon to the north are being muttered about between the explorers.
A Faenor search party unveiled this frost-touched valley, situated just past the mountain southwest of Khelgar. At first teeming with an army of conjured, walking ice-creatures, that army has now been routed. The valley sits empty, open for development. Notable features in the area include a subterranean network of ice caves, and preliminary exploration showed tantalizing hints of high-grade metal ores. It is perhaps not the most hospitable of climes due to the cold of its elevation, but that has never before stopped the people of Faenor. A mountain pass and subterranean tunnel both connect this area back to the vicinity of Khelgar proper. This new land has been dubbed Frostmarch by the one who led the search party, Dalarin Ingith, to commemorate the battle, and remember always the first war of the elves' new land.
Golden Hallow was settled in June of 52PA in Pride Valley by House Tenlindil. The settlement itself sits at a strategic overlook, gazing down in to the valley. Banners of golden lions hang from the sides of the keep in recognition of the magnificent beasts that were found here earlier in the year.
House Keir wastes no time after the Ice Watchers have been dealt with to begin heading out and exploring once more. They gather up their supplies, sharpen their swords and begin the trek due north from Khelgar. High Lord Gariss takes the lead, masterfully guiding the family on a two days journey down the mountains. Aegon, Asa, Kenyon, Talrin and Lathia are all with him on the journey. The further north they go, the more the elevation of the peaks seems to lower. Eventually, the snow begins to melt and give way to a mossy field of rolling hills at the base of the jagged snow capped mountains.
While House Keir no doubt set out expecting an unruly and untamed wilderness in front of them, what they got was one of the most gorgeous and beautiful places they had ever witnessed. Snow capped mountains behind them, a beautiful crystal blue lake in front of them, and enough spacious land to eventually build a settlement that will no doubt become a vacation destination to all Faenor.
It was the incredible beauty of this place that inspired its name, Sarin Hills. The late Lady Sarin Keir was once the wife of High Lord Gariss Keir and the mother of both Kenyon and Talrin Keir.
Word makes its way out to the elves of Thelos that the Faenor have once again struck out into the wilderness, in a party drawn from several Houses led by one Dalarin Ingith. Proceeding directly south from the mountain valley of Frostmarch, they discovered undeveloped wilderness, a forested lowland. Luckily, despite the presence of three stalwart warriors, the region was peaceful, bereft of Watchers and monsters alike. One of the base camps they established along the way seems a likely site for further development--according to the study of the soil by one Freyvidr, the place would likely make for fertile cultivation. For now, this potential settlement and the nearby woodland has been dubbed Greenmantle.
Of greater interest is a different discovery, first spotted by Alethia Reid: A vast lake has been discovered in the region. So sweeping are its tranquil waters that it will take another expedition, at the very least, to chart the full sweep of its shores. Named for the birds that broke from its banks upon its discovery, the site has been christened Lake Heledir, or the Lake of Kingfishers.
Rumors begin to spread through Khelgar and then in to Thelos. High Lord Gariss Keir has made the order to start construction on a new settlement north of Khelgar. The Salin Hills, as they were named on the recent expedition north, are being seated with a Keep just as picturesque as their natural surroundings.
Though it has been some time since Elexia's Repose, the site where the Flagship of Ithiriel Elexia Marindur, was found, House Marindur has not forgotten their plans to settle in that historic site. On the contrary, they have been saving and planning something befitting the Ithiril herself this whole time. Rumor has it that stone from the area has been mined and shaped to begin intricate construction on a stone keep.
Kinlessa Selandriel and her new husband Wave Speaker Vindal travel down to help oversee construction. Providing instruction that will place the keep in the most sensible spot. Loralyndra arrives to the site not long after, providing charm and wit for the workers and generally helping to keep morale up as they work through this heavy labor. And of course, Volith Marindur, Widow of the late Ithiriel Elexia, arrived before the keep's first stone was laid in to place and stayed until it was finished. He provides not only the moral support but the physical labor here and there as he can. His gaze drifts to the spot of the ship wreck and his wife's final resting place as the settlement finalizes construction, knowing full well how proud she would have been for their family and for their people.
Deep within the caverns of the Scorching Expanse is an underground oasis. Discovered in 51 PA, Moya Falls is a beautiful underground waterfall. In August of 52 PA, Warlord Sylindra broke grown and established a stone keep that reaches both below desert sands and above ground keeping the precious water source safe. It is being called the Jewel of the Expanse by those who visit the newly founded settlement.
Lord Heir Garett Ingith and Dalarin Ingith make quick work of starting a settlement on the newly discovered lake-front lands called Greenmantle. The wooden keep itself was built in September of 25 PA. Constructed high up on a cliff face that overlooks the settlement lands, it keeps a watchful eye over the waters of Lake Heledir and the surrounding hills.
Under the leadership of Lady Saga Brixtien, House Brixtien makes its move to build a settlement in Diamond Hold. Construction has begun on the keep right in front of the Armory of Torth, positioned to help keep it safe and protected. The plaza that connects the two will be named after Rella Brixtien, former High Priestess of Torth.
Lord Gureylain Rylanth was seen assisting the settlement by scouting and searching out good hunting grounds and water sources. Lord Myrill Brixten was in the party as well, serving as a surveyor and documenter for the expedition with his notebook always on hand. Lady Caelia Rylanth joined as well to help set the area up for crop growing, she takes particular interest in making sure the land is not harmed by the construction. Duke Darchir has stepped out of the estate and joined the expedition as well. His logistical prowess is being put to work very well in making sure funding and supplies go where they need to go. The project comes in a little over budget by the end, but it is established nonetheless.
Under the direction of Marquis Galeren Nalduine, Elder of the Priesthood of Torth, a Shrine of Torth is also being constructed in the newly established Diamond Hold. Several priests from Thelos has joined them on their journey and will stay behind to make sure that all who settle in the area are well aware of Torth and his teachings and generosity in this place in particular.
With the mountain range between Khelgar and Thelos fully mapped and traversed, there has been no shortage of discussion on who will claim the land. After a few months of negotiations between the Faenor Conclave and the Thelos High Council, the decision has been made to allow Faenor to build a settlement in the northern portion of the region in question.
Construction begins not long after the decision is made official. Beautiful white-grey stones are being hewn from the mountain side and brought to the location where a stone keep will be built. The Faenor have called the newly constructed settlement Winter's Gate and it will feature a rather extravagant Faenorian style gate at its entrance.
The expedition south of Greenmantle uncovered a great thick forest that connects the Faenor Lands to the Lorandi Lands. But near the southern border, they have come to an impasse, and no construction has started. Rumors begin to spread about a golden forest with great Oak trees, but the contents of that forest is yet unknown. Dalarin Ingith has taken point on the exploration mission and will no doubt have questions coming his way not only about what was found, but about the potential border of territories.
House Sedriel, under the direction of Flame Speaked Jaralen, set out south east of Nasherat to scout out the area for a settlement. While on their adventure, rumor has it that they ran in to a particularly large Krilkar on their journey. Belstrom tracked it, Karagoth and Kalagos killed it, and the whole family hoisted its skull onto a cart to bring back with them when all was said and done. Not a scrap of meat wasted or a bone gone unused!
House Serannar has begun its build to the south! Rumor has it than an ornate wooden keep is being erected in the Gilded Vale under the direction of Lady Nyssa Serannar. Princess Leda and Lord Leofric have been helping to gather and manage supplies. Lord Escanor has been using his evocation talents to lend a helping hand around the construction. Marchioness Yvette gives wonderful advice about the strategic uses of this important southern settlement. And King Arminel himself joins in the expedition to watch the settlement come together. He was shocked to hear they had named the two hills that mark the entrance into the settlement 'Arminel's Pass' as a commemoration of their admiration of his leadership.
Word spreads throughout Torendaar of a Rylanth led expedition northwest of the Lorandi capital. Led by Lord Gureylain Rylanth, the group sets forth following the trails previously scouted by both Lord Gureylain and his daughter, Lady Elonai Rylanth. Lady Naxalia Rylanth sees the group off, with prayers offered to both Estril and Loran to keep the adventures safe. The rest party consisting of Lady Priestess Seren Rylanth, Lord High Priest Rawlin Rylanth, Lady Caelia Rylanth along with their leader returns to the capital with tales of a land full of majestic ancient forests, open and inviting plains and impressive canyons. The group seems content with their discovery of a land that offers much promise if settled.