Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Heroes of Might and Magic V - Faction - Sylvan - Town

Fantasy game art from Heroes of Might and Magic V.

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The way to Aglan goes via a long and narrow hollow, when an enemy passes through it the wrath of the forest fills their minds and weighs their steps. All but the most stouthearted are affected by the spell, and at journey's end they are easier prey for Aglan's defenders.

In the middle of the Elven forests rises Altyr - the eternal mountain. At its foot lies a town whose main function is to supply ore to make weapons. Despite the town's importance, Elves tacitly agree that making that sort of a living is, in effect, an exile.

There's a boulder standing in Anfail's town square, in fact, the town was re-built around it after the War of the Blood Moon. The boulder fell from the sky during a siege, crushing a Demon general and his bodyguard and sending the invaders back in disarray. Every Anfail defender touches the stone before battle, as everyone knows it brings luck.

During the War of the Blood Moon between the Demons and all the people of Ashan, Damlad was the site of a heroic stand against a larger, well-equipped Demon horde. The defenders put a spell on the town's defensive towers, transferring to them the battle rage of the besieged. Thanks to the towers the Elves held the town, ultimately forcing the Demons to look for slaugher elsewhere.

Diraen is a town that happens to have numerous camps and military depots. Various troops of the armies of Ygg-Chall are always passing through or training there, and finding an extra swordsman under these conditions does not present a problem.

Connoisseurs and collectors are willing to pay well for the unique and beautiful Elven crafts in wood, leather, and crystal that come from the talented craftsmen of the city of Erewel. The town also profits from the trade, levying a hefty tax from those who would purchase.

The simplicity of the Elven lifestyle is often at odds with the rich beauty of the things they craft. Pieces considered too ostentatious have always found a welcome market in Falltyl, a large market town with reasonably priced items has grown there as a result.

Even a close look doesn't always reveal the motionless figures of Elf archers guarding Firios. This town guards a holy Elfin relic - a sapling of Brythigga, the World Tree. It is deeply sacred to the Elves, so they've allocated additional forces to protect it.

For many years Irollan was allied with the Griffin Empire, and this town was the site of the treaty that formed the Gray Alliance. As a token of friendship Griffin Empire engineers taught the Giladan smiths the secrets of the ballista, the town remains one of the few sources of these weapons in all of Irollan.

This city's name is synonymous with 'hero' in the mind of the Elves, a heavily outnumbered and under-supplied group of warriors held off an army of Dark Elves for three days during the storms of winter. All it takes is for the horns to blow the melody of the Lay of the Steadfast that retells the story of the battle, and the defenders' hearts are filled with confidence.

The site of the first Druid Circle in all of Irollan, the trees that form the walls of Mensyl are unique. They go deep into the earth, and their ancient druidic magics link them inseparably with the world of Ashan itself. If an enemy manages to break the wall, the trees react and rebuild the broken section.
After emerging victorious in the War of the Blood Moon, Elves came back to the ashes of this once-mighty town that had been destroyed by the Demons. The town was rebuilt and given a new name and with it a new function: to mine sulfur, which the Elves needed to restore their devastated kingdom.

For many years the Elves hoarded their sources of crystals, with which they created marvelous jewelry and items of power. During the War of the Blood Moon the secret was revealed, and the Elves aided their allies in exploiting this resource. Since that time the miners of Rael openly produce crystals, which the Elves require for their magical rites and artifacts.

Though there is a minority of the Elves that is deeply in love with the ocean, most of their lore and study is saved for the forests and mountains. The kings, appreciating the importance of shipping for defense and trade, ensure that ships can be had inexpensively in Shalaya in the hopes of encouraging more Elves to take to the seas.

Lost in the thickets of Irollan, Sylina is a Druid town. Here they talk to the Forest, absorbing its power and wisdom. Some of them become hermits and are allowed by the Forest to settle down nearby. Generous and kindly, they are always ready to help in case of emergency.

Syris Thalla
Founded after the Day of the Tears of Fire and the destruction of their old capital city, the Elves have worked diligently to recapture some of the beauty of that lost capital in their new one, Syris Thalla.

Thalirn is surrounded by vast trees of ancient growth, yet by law and by tradition it is forbidden to cut them. Instead, the townspeople plant huge fields of young saplings, raising and harvesting them as farmers would their crops.

Vinlad is the site of the annual Eye of the Hunter archery competition, which draws the greatest marksmen from across Irollan. As a result the town has become the source of the finest arrows, atypically, the town smithy works exclusively on these arms.

During the war that erupted following the Day of the Tears of Fire, Vintyl survived a brutal siege. Earol, who selflessly subsisted on half rations during two months of heavy fighting, headed the defense. In memory of their great predecessor, all heroes who find themselves in Vintyl charge less for their services less than they do elsewhere.

The flower glades surrounding Wenlan are the site of the Three Moons festival. Because of this the Pixies and Sprites creatures who cannot imagine life without festivities - proclaimed Wenlan their capital. The Elves didn't mind, realizing that the huge numbers of these creatures living there would only make the town more secure.

Ynthil is an Elven town that had been historically sympathetic to its Dark Elven brethren. The reason for this becomes clear once a traveler digs a bit deeper, like the Dark Elves, Ynthil has a thriving Thieves' Guild and does a great trade in goods, mysteries and secrets.