The Llowar'ah Magaal, meaning The Shores of Magic in high elven, is a scattered archapelago near the southwest shores of the continent. They are so named because of the Thorwan' Magoon, or The Mountain of Magic, an old volcano that is center of a powerful magical radiation and located at one of the major nodes of the Godspike. The Lleur'y Llowaal, or People of the Shore, are a high elven people that adapted to theu living at sea in order to be able to use the powers of this volcano.
Llowar'ah Magaal contains about seven main isles and more than fifty smaller islands that are often uninhabited, or only inhabited by a single elven mage or family. The main island is called Inoo'la Thorwaal, the Island of the Mountain, where the magical volcano is located and a significant community of Elves dwell. It is strictly forbidden for any non-elf to enter this island.
The main trading port is located on Inoo'la Hadaal, the Island of the Trade, where a carefully watched community of 5,000 foreign traders trade their wares.
Long ago existed a great elven mage who was known by the name of Uranos. He became a great leader of his people. However, there was a rival to the mage, a powerful warrior named Titanus who challenged his right to the throne. Their armies clashed and the forces of Uranos were defeated. Uranos gathered the survivors and fled to where the winds led him. The great magical power of the Llowar'ah Magaal called his people across the waves.
In time the refugees established a great civilization on the island chain and Uranos continued to lead them into his old age. In time though he grew weary of the throne and wanted peace and solitude. In a quiet ceremony he departed from his people, leaving them with his final command never to seek him out. They were to create a ruling council of elves so that no one of the people must carry the burden of command alone. Uranos sailed forth on his small ship, aided by the powers of his magic.
After many days, the elves of this land witnessed great explosions of magic taking place at a great distance. Many ached to follow the path of their leader and view what had occured. However, none dared disobey his final words. It has since become common folklore that Uranos had created a tower in the water that cut straight into the Veins of Magic jutting out from the Godspike. Those who found this mysterious tower would gain vast magical power not seen elsewhere in the world.
Llowar'ah Sadaal is a magocracy and ruled by the Council of Five. The five council members are also Y'en Chro'xora, the most powerful wizards of the isles. They rule upon diplomatic deals, trade negotiations and other important issues. The leader of the council is Torbin Tigereye, a dark-skinned elf that has served as the chair for about 500 years and is known as one of the most powerful elven mages in recorded history.
Each island has a council of three magi, known as Magisters, and four prominent but mundane local citizens. The head of each council, called the High Magister, reports to one of the members of the Council of Five. The island Magisters are elected for three years by the sanctioned magic practitioners on the island. The other four mundanes are then selected by the magi to represent the locals. These mundanes have six year, overlapping terms. Thus no single group of council magi is able to replace the entire group of mundanes during one term, but the council remains dominated by pro-magocracy candidates.
Located on an archipelago the Lleury Llowaal realized that they needed a strong navy to survive. So there are about 300 trading ships and 150 warships that keep pirates away from the islands and make for a steady flow of goods between Llowar'ah Sadaal and the rest of the known world.
Although they are loath to employ such means, they have been known to employ foreign Bucaneers in an attempt to hinder the merchant fleet of their chief rivals. These piratical methods are only used under conditions of war, however, and their activities are carefully monitored to prevent excesses.
There is little in the way of a standing army to protect this island, although the Council of Five does possess a small honor guard of fifty elves. Most of the warriors join the T'ra Kieir, an elite company of marines who are numbered among the crew of the elven warships. These are stationed in barracks among the islands during peacetime.
The Lleury Llowaal realize that they are feared because of their magical power. They also know that many greedy mages want to use the power of the Thorwan' Magoon. Hence they try to maintain peaceful relations with the other nations and to match the power of their nearest rivals without drawing attention to their might.
As natural sea rivals, this elven nation has had frequent conflicts with the nation of Carmun. The final outcome of this conflict remains unresolved, and is likely to remain so as the two powers are well balanced.
The main export products are magical items, especially potions, scrolls and magical instruments. The elves do not want the more powerful magical implements being used against themselves. Hence they often install magical inhibitors to prevent any such exported items from being employed within the isles.
Imports include many items that can not be grown, mined, or built in the confines of these warm islands, such as precious metals, various herbs and spices, certain northern woods, cloth, and fine ale.
During the time of the first flowering of the great civilization in these islands reached their peak, the powers of their magi became so powerful that the common people no longer heard the calling of the gods. Fewer and fewer young elves heard the calling of the faith and the churches slowly became abandoned.
The gods grew angered at this disregard by their creation, so they sent a series of trials to punish the elves. With each misfortune, however, the elves merely turned to their magi for the answers, and the gods grew ever more furious and vengeful.
Finally, the goddess of beauty and peace called upon the other gods to give the elves one final opportunity for redemption. To this end, seven special children were born to elven parents - each infant was blind and their hair was the color of spun gold.
The parents were distressed by the birth of these flawed offspring and turned to the wizards to correct this mistake. Unfortunately the magi could do nothing for the sightless children - their spells of seeing did not seem to work on these infants. Still the children were much loved by their parents in the elven manner, and were raised to cope with their limitations as best they could.
Fortunately for elven civilization, these children were each gifted by one of the gods. They all gained a deep wisdom brought on in part by their limitations and in time were called the wise seers, despite their blindness. One by one these children rediscovered the gods, and they called upon the elven people of faith to rebuild the churches. Their wisdom eventually reached the hearts of the common folk, and the cataclysms that had befallen the nation ceased.
Today these seven Kiora'dn Cholar, or Children of the Gods, are elder priests who serve as the oracles and statespeople of their respective faiths. Their words still carry much wisdom, and they are frequently called upon by the Council of Five in both times of trouble and peace.
Today the elves of Llowar'ah Sadaal primarily worship the gods of the Sea, Magic, Nature, and the Goddess of Beauty and Peace.
Unlike in most societies where the magi are outsiders to the normal community, the magi of Llowar'ah Sadaal are simply as much a part of everyday life in this land as the farmer or bartender. Magic is so pervasive throughout this elven society that only a few notable magi are suitable for advanced magical research. The local rulers are either teachers or common practitioners of magic, and rarely have the time required to investigate new spells.
Among the magocracy is the Ma'alkar, a board of twenty distinguished magi who approve new magic research, and fund the magical schools and libraries on the isles. A significant portion of the tithes are used to fund these centers of magical knowledge.
The magocracy has a mundane bureaucracy who provide the necessary planning and scribing. While some of these administrators are also magi, the large majority rely on mundane skills and magical devices to perform their work.
There are two broad categories magical practice known to the elven scholars:
- Ei'shalir, the circles of the five elements.
- Yen'nar, the thaumaturgies.
These are better known as "Low" and "High" magic, respectively. Low magic is the weaker of the two on the whole, but it is fairly consistent throughout the realms and does not depend on the location of the nodes and ley lines. High magic is very powerful near these sources, but in magic weak areas it is all but unuseable.
The most common form of magery taught to elven wizards on the isles is High magic, as it is much easier to perform near a node of the Godspike. However, there are a few outer isles where the Low magic is still studied. These practitioners are often sought out when missions to weak magic areas are required.
Among the magi is a sect of elves known as the Eilyeen Cor'ah, or Shaven-Headed Ones. These eccentric elves maintain a clean shaven pate - a preposterous and irrational notion among normal elven society - and seek lives of relative solitude among the smaller, uninhabited islands.
While most of these 'crazy' elven magi dwell among the remote islands, the more powerful have sought out the ultimate source of magical power. Their towers are built in the middle of the ocean where they can directly tap the mysterious Veins of Magic which are linked to the Godspike. Such towers are magical bastions that can draw upon the powers of wind, wave and water for their defense.
Treen Shalar, the Land of Secrets
Among this archapelago is an island that is completely concealed by the magical arts of illusion and elementalism. So well hidden is this island that no maps remain that tell of its existance. The magic that cloaks this land was so finely crafted that sailors will not even be aware that they are being magically steered around the island, and it is completely hidden from sight and the other senses. The only means to reach the isle, without a gem of true seeing, is via teleportation.
This island is a sacred site to the elves, carrying as it does a sylvan forest and a multitide of enchanted ponds and other locations. At the isolated, northern end of this island is the Tower of Treen, a secret laboratory where the most sensitive magics are studied by gifted students.
Most of the elven military and commercial vessels are shaped like a bireme that has been fitted with two outriggers for greater stability in the open seas. These magical outriggers provide the primary propulsion for the ship, although the vessel also is fitted with a single mast. The ship mage can create wind, eliminating the need for oar stations.
As elven crew are usually small, the ships are fitted with all manner of magical labor-saving devices for safety and efficiency. For this reason, Elven vessels need to follow the nodes and ley lines that span the oceans. This limits significant travel to certain ports and coastlines, and elven ships are rarely seen at other locations.
Outside their magical realm, the elven vessels are somewhat poor handlers and are no competition to their Carmun rivals. Indeed, the elves must hire ships from other nations to trade in these magic poor sites. Thus the two major naval powers have natural strengths and weaknesses that balance each other.
The ships are commanded from a magical helm chair that allows the mage to control the speed and direction of the ship, even allowing reverse thrust. Merchant ships normally have a crew consisting of the Captain, Mate, Bosun, Cook, two Marines, and six able sea elves. This allows a regular watch of three elves on the deck at any time, plus enough extra hands to man the single sail or oars. At least one of the officers is also a magi capable of summoning wind.
On the war vessels, the ships have an additional four Marines to man the ballista, a Chiurgeon/Priest, and an optional Griffon handler. An additional sea mage is included among the officers in case the first should fall. During times of war, elven war ships are also known to carry a single Griffon mount to serve as a long range scout, and to attack enemy merchant ships.
The primary armament of the war vessels is a lightning ballista atop the foc'sle. This is supplemented by the underwater metal ram at the bow, and two elven fire belchers. The deck and hull of the ship is specially constructed to resist fire and enemy missiles, although it is not impervious.
The lightly crewed elven warships are too poorly manned for boarding actions. Hence they use magical means to subdue their foes, such as magic spells, wood golems, animated armor, and well-trained attack beasts that they can fit with Collars of Enlargement.
As the Merchant ships have a relatively small crew in proportion to their size, they can carry a larger cargo in their hold. They are equipped with magical lifters to load and unload the cargo. A tiny shard of elemental ice is contained in the storage area to cool the food, allowing longer sea voyages.
The most advanced ideas of the elven maritime sages have been employed in the construction and running of these vessels. They are equipped to allow long voyages across the deep ocean, allowing visits to locations the other nations dare not travel.
High magic uses the "classic" magical principals of sympathy and contagion, so it is very dependent on having the proper components for the particular spell or ritual. On the other hand, low magic requires the intervention of a supernatural spirit, so special totems are needed to channel the magical energies required. Low magic is the more free form art of the two, and requires less mastery of the complex rituals known as spells.
Among the elven circles of wizardry, the adepts of the four primary elements can be identified by the hue of their robes. They are ranked in ascending order of their place in the world as follows:
- Ei'aelyien of the winds, wearing gold robes.
- Ei'hydorin of the waves, wearing azure robes.
- Ei'teherth of the stone, wearing dark grey robes.
- Ei'coruth of the flames, wearing crimson robes.
The fifth element is represented by the three circles of spirit:
- Kir Tien of mind, wearing light grey robes.
- Ti'rient of life, wearing black robes.
- Y'stoic of spirits, wearing white robes.
The practitioners of High Magic are distinguished by distinctive sigils tattooed upon their body and worn on their garb and implements. There are four primary orders factions among these practitioners, and they are ranked roughly by the difficulty of their craft:
- Y'en Shalar, practitioners of the magic of being through enchantments and illusion.
- Y'en Nolierth, adepts of the working of space through the craft of conjury.
- Y'en Arshyr, masters of forces and fields through the craft of wizardry.
- Y'en Chro'xora, the grand masters of time that practice the craft of sorcery.
Unlike the circles of Low Magic, the adepts of High Magic are able to progress upward through the four crafts. Thus, most apprentices begin with the study of Y'en Shalar, then move up through the orders until they master Y'en Chro'xora. Needless to say, the highest order has the least number of members, and they tend to be the eldest and most powerful of the Elven magi.