Volare (3.5e Environment)

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AshalorienEmblem.jpg
Capital
Ashalorien
Government
Limited Theocracy
Leaders
1 Archdruid
Associated Deities
Alcyone, Bestia
State Languages
Elven, Sylvan
Diversity
The majority race of the region are Fey, though Elves also flourish, here. Specifically, High Elves, Wood Elves, and Wild Elves make up the other dominant races. Aquatic Elves sometimes live along or beyond the coast, with Merfolk, but are uncommon. Most other races are minorities.

Halimeda, the great eastern continent in the world of Tirr, takes its name from the old sylvan phrase, The given world. It is in its very name that it reflects the region and people of Volare, the nation which takes up its equatorial region. While Halimeda used to be a land free of Man and Kin, populated solely by the Fey and the Elves, it has since seen many wars and much expansion. As such, those who populate Volare typically see themselves as the rightful people of Halimeda, and bemoan the scarring of their once beautiful land by the other races.

Climate, Geography, and Wildlife[edit]

The Volare Region.

Like most Halimedan regions, Volare also enjoys a largely normal set of weather patterns, outside of the intervention of some powerful force. This leads to a rather peaceful environment, most days, offset by the temperate thunderstorm or even the occasional tornado or hurricane some months, especially in the warmer seasons. The forests of the region seem to be rather impervious to the weather, however, always seeming to spring up whenever they are destroyed, though this is likely owed to the energies from the Yggdrasil that reside nearby, in Ashalorien.

While forests dot the landscape, and cover a large portion of the region, especially in the northern and southern Faelorn forests, hilly plains are the most common scenery. It is also worth noting that everything in Volare that has been constructed, at least under the eye of the [{SRD:Elf|elves]], has been constructed with great care to the world around them. Roads are not paved with stone, but rather take the form of worn dirt paths made by centuries of moving creatures back and forth across the plains.

Wildlife, while not as rampant as the variety found in Tirasus, is prolific in Volare, though when any species grows too large, or is too frequent a danger to travelers, the elves usually attempt to hunt them down to a more manageable level. It is also worth noting that all kinds of Fey are present in the wooded regions of Volare, mostly due to the relation of the region and one of its central benefactors, the goddess of Fey: Alcyone. There are more Fey in the region of Volare than there are in the rest of the world.

History[edit]

The region of Volare came to exist long before the settlement of other races on the Halimedan continent, but only after Alcyone had settled there, back when almost the entire region was covered by the Faelorn Forest. She gave form to the spirits of the wood, and called them Fey, and called them her chosen people. With their goddess, the Fey danced merrily in the woods of the region, and for a few centuries, they were the only known race on the continent. Elves, native to woods on nearby islands, eventually came across the region. At this time, they were still a mostly pure-blooded people, nomadic hunters that revered and took joy in the natural beauty of the earth.

At first, the Fey seemed hesitant to accept the elven tribes, and even Alcyone considered them suspect, despite the fact that they were largely druidic in culture, and worshiped Bestia, a deity with whom she shared kinship with. Over time, the two peoples came to reconcile with each other, although the goddess of the Fey remained suspect of the new people, straining relationships with their new cohabitants.

The turning point of their relations came when new creatures eventually reached the shores of Halimeda: The first of the humans had arrived from distant Loupe. Although meetings were sparse, particularly because most Fey and Elves avoided the newcomers, at first, but also due to lack of a common language. Ultimately, however, the two races eventually began to have small skirmishes around the newly created human settlements that began to appear in the southern plains. Conflict began as the expansion of the newcomer races began to erode the forests around their settlements, which threatened the lives of Fey and the other creatures that lived there. Even as Alcyone readied to retaliate, however, the elves fought back the humans, first, in the stead of the goddess and her chosen people.

While this eventually led to the Halimedan Campaign, a terrible and bloody war that ultimately led to the current boundaries that Volarean citizens constantly protest, it also kept the other races at bay, keeping the center of the continent, and therefore the source of the Faelorn Forest and the bastions of its native people out of reach from the invaders. When it came time for Alcyone to finally slumber, she looked upon the elves and smiled, declaring them to be her people, as well as the Fey. She then fell into her sleep within the Yggdrasil, which empowers the wildlands and forests around her with her divinity, safeguarding those within her lands.

The holy city of Ashalorien sprang up around the Yggdrasil, over time, as the many reverent elves and fey began to congregate in the area surrounding the mighty tree. The grove immediately surrounding the tree became sacred, with only the fey and the most holiest of elves allowed to enter, while the rest of the city surrounds it in the shape of the landscape.

Government[edit]

Volare is largely governed by the powerful theocracy dedicated to Alcyone, based out of Ashalorien, the nation's capital, but only on the national level. While the theocracy is considered the representative power of the region as a whole, and the Archdruid who leads it, often elven, is the sole negotiator and minister to foreign powers, the vast majority of settlements throughout the wildlands are tribal and self-governing, though not in opposition to the national rule.

Most tribes are brought together by local or racial matters, and typically work towards their own self-preservation under the direction of an elder or representative that has the admiration or confidence of the group as a whole. Whole cities can be founded on the leadership of a single tribal elder. While this can, and often does, lead to disputes and quarrels, the national power is often quick to step in and stifle any skirmish that might arise, and rarely do confrontations ever truly get that far; Most tribes recognize the outsiders beyond their borders as their true enemies, and reconcile on that shared viewpoint, if nothing else.

The government of Volare is typically rather intolerant of other races, especially those of the Human, Dragonkin, and Orc persuasion, who are traditionally the original invaders of Halimeda. Restrictions are commonly placed on caravans that attempt to pass through the nation, citizenship is extremely rarely given, and acceptance even less so, to these particular races.

Foreign Relations and Military[edit]

Traditionally, Volare employs isolationism, less concerned with what occurs outside than within its borders, and the tribes that populate the various settlements across the region have a very callous attitude towards outsiders, though they are not always wholly intolerant. While sympathizers can exist in some towns and villages, most have already left for the outside world, if not having been shunned into keeping quiet by their peers and elders.

In terms of military units, the standard Volari unit is comprised mostly of lightly armored spellswords, often supported by rangers. Clerics and Druids are rather common, but most are dispatched directly from Ashalorien rather than being garrisoned as part of any particular guard unit.

The Theocracy maintains an elite guard of paladins, clerics and heavily armored divine spellcasters dedicated to the defense of the Theocracy and the nation as a whole. Typically, most of these units are devoted to the goddess of the fey, Alcyone, and are trained and garrisoned in Ashalorien, specifically and directly dispatched by the Theocracy itself whenever the need arises. They are feared and respected as great warriors by many, even those from foreign nations.


Language, Religion, and Culture[edit]

The Volari, as they are wont to be called, primarily speak Sylvan and Elven, often in a unique dialect that combines both languages, commonly called Volari. Typically, these languages are spoken and endorsed at the state level, while individual tribes often speak it naturally and universally. While some might be versed in Common, it is not often spoken, sometimes intentionally as a matter of pride.

Almost all of the Volari worship Alcyone, the goddess of the fey and magical creatures; This comes as no surprise, as she is both the creator-goddess of the fey (a significant majority race in the nation) and the nation has deep history with her, especially to the elves, her adopted race. Most still respect and revere Bestia, especially when it comes to the Wood Elves, whose society closely resembles her philosophy, and the minority of Aquatic Elves and Merfolk worship Undine.

Cultures are often split among the Volari beyond these two common factors. Most tribes are separated and group together based on their race. Specifically, High Elves tend to make up the significant population of the eastern coast and the plains between the northern and southern Faelorn Forest, along with the Holy City of Ashalorien, while the Wood Elves populate the two forests with the majority of the Fey. The Wild Elves and Gray Elves populate the eastern plains of the region, often making up the major populations of most cities and villages that travelers might pass through. All but the latter tend to be immediately guarded when dealing with other races or foreigners, although even the Gray Elves are distrustful of humans. This sentiment is so widely held that those who associate with other races are often discouraged from doing so, and Half-Elves are especially looked upon as being of tainted blood.

Cities[edit]

Ashalorien, Capital of the Volare Region[edit]

A grand city built around the base of, and around the trunk of the great tree, Yggdrasil, the city is a testament to the Elves' pledge to never let the tree come to harm, as well as their devotion to the being within it. The tree, itself, is actually surrounded by a rather peaceful, unsettled grove ranging around a mile in radius from the center of the tree, while the actual city begins beyond this point, and has a number of wooden and stone buildings, usually marble, that follow the natural slopes of the landscape. The grove surrounding the tree is considered sacred, and only the Archdruid's entourage, as well as the numerous fey who live there are allowed to enter the area.

Erudëmna[edit]

Located in the plains near the western sea, this town has some semblance of outside influence, a small dirt road having been created over time, with wooden buildings lining either side. Residents of this town are slightly more accepting of outsiders, though they are far from jovial about it. The town has a small port, though it goes mostly unused; Small canoes are usually the only vessels around, and are used to briefly skirt the waters over to islands off the coast.

Galeddothassë[edit]

A town near the southwestern edge of the region, between both the Faelorn Forest and the ocean toward the west. This town serves as a entry point into the region, as well as a garrison of hunters and messengers, which, whilst going about their daily lives, often recite drills of running towards the forest, and through, towards Ashalorien to warn of any attacks that might occur. Any approaching group of outsiders are met with extreme caution, and will often be stopped, searched, and questioned before allowed to proceed, or thrown out.

Agota[edit]

A small island city found in the northwestern part of the region, Agota is not aligned with Volare, nor its neighbor, Lionel. It is a chaotic city that is anarchic, with no governing force. Citizens of Agota are of many different races, and generally worship whatever god they wish, though the two most common are Serberus, and Era, which tend to find many amicable crowds among the city's lawlessness.

Other Notable Sites[edit]

  • Mersidhcath - A small island located southeast of Ashalorien. It is considered sacred ground, and is guarded at all times. Elders are rumored to train their apprentices here.



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