Alerar

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Capital Ettermire
Form of Government Aristocratic Monarchy
Ruler(s) King Edar'axa, High Graf Schynius
Legal System Private Law
Official Language(s) Alerian
Population Approximately 13,000,000
Religious Type None official
Literacy 74%
Technology level Early Industrial
Major Imports Food, Wool, Lumber; Slaves
Major Exports Rare Metal, Salt, Manufactured Goods
Natural Resources Rare Mineral/Ore, Coal
Alerar is a wealthy, powerful country occupying the middle western reaches of the mainland. Originally populated by dwarven strongholds and roving human tribes, the land was settled by an entire faction of elves who left Raiaera with hopes to abandon magic and pursue technological progress instead. These elves, who eventually became the Dark Elves of today, named the land Alerar and gradually established dominance over the region, driving out the humans and bringing the Dwarves into the fold, willingly or otherwise. Alerar is now one of the known world's major powers, known for its gunpowder, industry, and massive cities. It maintains possibly the most powerful land army in the world and a rapidly-growing navy, supported by its powerful magitech airships.

Alerar is a land of mineral rich mountains and endless plains, harsh stormy weather and wondrous (if not dirty) cities. There isn’t a place in the region where one cannot see an airship on the horizon. The Dwarves, Dark Elves, and even some Humans are toiling every day over new technologies, and debating over new and radical theories. It is no wonder why some call this the Land of Discovery, with its brass, gears, and flying machines. What they left behind in high sorcery when they left Raiaera, they seek to replace with science and arcane arts based in artifice and alchemy.

Throughout history, Alerar has experienced many hardships and many triumphs, beginning with their exodus from the land of Raiaera, to the challenges of colonization in an inhospitable landscape, conquest over the land’s indigenous people, and (most importantly) their battles with themselves. The country has trudged through isolationism, insurrection, civil war, attempted invasion, and even the assassination of their most recent ruler. But they emerged as the most militarily dominant and most technologically advanced nation in the known world. With much of the world in turmoil, Alerar remains a bastion of order and strength. It now looks beyond its borders, both toward its neighbors and to more distant lands.


[top]Geography

Alerar occupies a substantial area of the Althanas mainland, sharing land borders with Raiaera in the east, Salvar to the north, and the Tular Plains to the south. Though little over half the size of its neighbor and ally Salvar in terms of territory, it still features considerable geographic diversity.

It has the wide, cold Kachuck mountains to the north and the jagged and nearly impassible Mountains of Dawn to the east. The latter marks the border with Raiaera and prevented a state of constant warfare between the two rival nations. Kachuck is home to two-thirds of Alerar's dwarf population, with underground cities and strongholds dotting the area. The two mountain ranges both give way to a stretch of grassy steppes. The capital city of Ettermire was build in this area, sitting by a wide, deep river that leads all the way to the southeastern port city of Etheria.

Windswept deserts cover much of the western reaches, gradually transitioning from gleaming black to salty white as it nears the coast. Despite the unpleasant heat and other hazards, these deserts feed the production of glass and salt, both vital to Alerar's Alchemist's Guild. To the south, huge plumes of volcanic ash drift up from the Tular Plains and blanket the landscape. Where this ashen land meets the flooded river valleys, one finds Khu’Fein, a fertile stretch of territory with green grass, groves of hardy trees, and some of the country's only good farmland.


[top]Demographics

Alerar's two dominant races are the Dark Elves and Dwarves. They both often call themselves “Alerian” as their national identity, which they consider equally important as their racial identity. All citizens of the country, whether Dark Elf, Dwarf or even Human are encouraged to use this term as a show of loyalty

[top]The Dark Elves

The Dark Elves sometimes refer to themselves as “Sel Darthirii” or the “New Elves” in an effort to separate themselves from the Raiaerans. In Tradespeak, they will refer to themselves as Alerian Elves or Dark Elves. They also refuse to call Raiaeran Elves “High Elves” just as the Raiaeran Elves refuse to call them “New Elves” -- the Raiaerans call the dark elves "fallen elves" and the Alerians often call the high elves "old elves". Dark Elves make up about 75% of Alerar’s population.

The Dark Elves are similar yet strangely alien to their Raiaeran cousins. They share the pointed ears, lithe frames, and slanted eyes of the High Elves, but they have diverged considerably in the last thousand years. Their skin has darkened, with pigments ranging from charcoal to muddy shades of blue or green. Scholars debate whether this gradual evolution occurred because of Alerar's hot, ashen environment or was instead a result of the Dark Elves severing themselves from Raiaera's ancestral magic.

Beyond that, they are hardier and somewhat bulkier than the Raiaeran elves, with slightly broader shoulders and more muscle mass on average. Their faces are also rounder rather than sharp and angular. Their eye colors tend toward more florescent shades of green, red, and yellow -- many noble bloodlines pride themselves on specific eye colors.

The Dark Elves’ life expectancy is also significantly shorter than that of the Raiaerans’, ranging from 300 to around 500 years. Alerian Alchemists posit that a combination of Raiaera's natural magic extending the high elves' lives and the harsher climate and pollution in Alerar causes this. On the flip side, the Dark Elves reproduce more rapidly, which has allowed their population to boom.

[top]The Dwarves

Dwarves, although present in small numbers around all of the known world are most present and acknowledged here in Alerar. They refer to themselves as the “Khazad” which translates directly to their namesake in Tradespeak. They compose about 15% of the population.

Short, gruff, stocky, unkempt; the dwarves are the butt of almost every racial joke. Simply take a Human, stretch its width an extra shoulder length, compact its height two to three feet, and add a stone of muscle or fat, and you have a Dwarf. Their voices are just as gruff as their appearance.

Known for their skills in artifice and their hardiness against both physical and magical punishment, the dwarves were seen as valuable by the original elf settlers and eventually subjugated under Alerar's rule. Some came more willingly than others.

[top]Humans

Man and other sentient species compose the rest of Alerar's population.


[top]Places Of Interest

[top]Ettermire

Population: about 850,000.

Located along the Glaith River in central Alerar, the capital city of Ettermire is the largest city in all of Althanas. Advanced technology spurred the city's growth, allowing the Alerias to build towering spires and a massive, intricate sewer system. Known as the "City of Industry", massive foundries and workshops and steam-driven factories compromise over a third of the city and produce the majority of the known world's manufactured goods, including guns and artillery and machines. Guild towers dot the urban sprawl, with the wealthy and powerful residing in sleek black spires that rise above the smog. The poor live in slums tucked away in dirty alleys that rarely see the sun. A common quip among Alerians claims that Ettermire is brighter at night than during the day, when thousands of alchemical lamps wash the city in a sickly blue-green glow.

The massive city has numerous interesting areas.

The Spires - This district houses the richest and most powerful of Ettermire, whether nobility, guild masters, or the very wealthiest of merchants. As its name suggests, the district is entirely made up of sleek spires towering above the smog, masterfully constructed from granite, black marble, and obsidian. Vast networks of bridges high above connect different spires, symbolizing alliances. The height of a family's spire typically signifies its wealth and power.

Dra'khaitan - The Dark Palace, the Seat of the King, rises from the center of the Spires district, towering even higher. A true architectural marvel with towers reaching as high as 400 feet, no structure in the known world rivals the genius of its engineering. Lined with fortified walls and cannons, besieging it would prove a fool's errand. The colossal mass of burnished steel and black marble casts an imposing shadow over Ettermire, a stark testament to Alerar's might and determination. The ruling family resides in the Dark Palace, along with the royal court. The Grafs and other nobles attend everything from secret strategic counsels to lavish balls here. In fact, one's social status and favor is often signified by the number of days one visits Dra'khaitan each year.

The Stone Quarter - Known for its short, stout buildings, much of the stone quarter's space hides underground. Here, the city's dwarves live and work. Much of them maintain the Boilerworks and associated machinery, and it is not uncommon to see a dwarf half-inside a manhole cover, cursing at a chowdered gear he is replacing.

The Boilerworks - The Boilerworks is the name given to any one of six massive facilities located along the river that cuts through Ettermire. The Boilerworks draws water from the river, stoking it into massive steam engines which drive nearly all the sources of mechanical power in Ettermire. The steam engines link to a network of chains and gears that run under the streets of the city, which provides municipal mechanical power by means of a drive train that transfers the mechanical power from under the streets to in the home, which can provide power for anything from dough-kneading to a smith's bellows.

Ankhas - With the destruction of the Bardic libraries of Eluriand, Ankhas has no rival for the known world's largest library. While not as imposing as the vast foundries, soaring spires, or massive palace, its intricate architectural design make it a gilded flower in a field of dull urban gray. The main reading room of the library has a massive free-standing dome, with an immensely ornate carved desk in the center of the room. There are entrances at the four cardinal directions, and bookshelves radiate outwards in spokes from the central desk, with spaces here and there for tables and study rooms. The library descends into the ground, with many more pieces of its collection held in underground reading rooms, vaults, and special preservation chambers. Many wonder why Alerar is not more selfish with its knowledge, for the tomes and scrolls hold many secrets that should be jealously guarded. However once one realizes the grand scale the library is on, it is easy to see that Alerar enjoys flaunting its knowledge to the rest of the world. Indeed, removing stereotypes of savagery and barbarism is simple enough with such a house of learning.

El'inssring - The “Great Tavern” is the largest inn and gambling hall in Alerar, occupying a six-story building that covers an entire city block. Almost anyone who comes to Ettermire can’t help but visit the famed El’inssring for it’s entertainment and alluring spectacles. Caution is advised however, for like most places in Alerar an outsider can quickly find himself in trouble with the locals.

The Bottomless Pit - Often referred to as the shady little brother of El’inssring, The Bottomless Pit is everything the Great Tavern is not. It is small and dark, the hub of much of Ettermire’s criminal activity. Despite its dangers to outsiders many are drawn to the underground battle arena for which the bar derives its name.

The Under - Beneath the city lies a vast network of tunnels and sewers. This endless maze is said to contain secret passageways to every part of the city and as such, Ettermire's criminal element makes great use of it to move about secretly. The thieves guild in particular maintains several hideouts in the Under.

The Market - Called simply "The Market", the central bazaar of Ettermire bustles daily with the exchange of money and coin. The major guilds of Ettermire own multi-story spires, with ownership of the guild passed from father to son. Smaller, ancillary shops line the streets, where aspiring artisans of all kinds ply their lesser skill for lesser coin. Similarly, if one shows exceptional skill, he may be adopted as an apprentice by a guild, and rise in accordance with his ability. Due to this, the top floor of any guild is very exclusive in terms of clientele. The most skilled artisans in each guild are commonly called "toppers", and usually carry a medallion with the guild seal. The large influx of people to the Market makes it difficult to receive bulk shipments and materials, so many guilds employ one of two dirigibles to transport their needed materials.

[top]Kachuck

Named after the mountain range it lies within, the Dwarven city of Kachuck is the most renowned mine in Althanas. The dwarves here are very suspicious of outsiders, but if you can get in their good graces you might land some of the best weaponry on Althanas...for a price. Some areas of interest in Kachuk are listed below.

The Mine Shaft - The Mines of Kachuck are filled with some of the finest metals in the whole world. However, they are also home to dark and deadly creatures...and dwarves do not take kindly to those that would steal their ore.

The Armory - The Armory is where the dwarves and dark elves sell their wares to those who make the long journey to Kachuck -- and who earn their trust. Excellent armor and weaponry of all sorts can be purchased here, but only if the dwarves decide they like you.

[top]Other Cities

Nauplez - Located just south of the Kachuck, the small city of Nauplez sits on the main trade route that passes through the mountains. A large amount of trade both from the Dwarves and Salvar comes through here. In addition, many members of the Three Guilds (Alchemists, Engineers, and Artificers) reside here, performing their experiments far from the prying eyes of Ettermire.

Etheria - The southern port city, Etheria is Alerar's primary foothold in the Raiaeran sea and the staging point for two-thirds of its navy. Allowing Alerar to sail to Corone and Scara Brae without going all the way around Tular, it serves as the main hub for trade with those nations. It lacks the huge towers or sprawling industry of Ettermire, but its vast series of docks and row upon row of brick warehouses make it a true urban center. Population: about 310,000

Courva - The western port city, Courva services almost all maritime trade with Salvar, Alerar's closest ally.

[top]Dragon's Folly

Dragon’s Folly is a valley set within the Mountains of Dawn between Alerar and Raiaera. The valley is the final site of a battle between the Alerar airforce and mercenary forces on one side and a dragon on the other. The dragon's body is slowly rotting within the valley, and has become a source for poision for anyone fool hardy enough to venture there.


[top]Economy

Alerar's economy focuses mostly on advanced weapons and manufactured goods in general, as well as rare metals and alchemical agents.

The Kachuck mines produce a large percentage of the continent's metal ores, and with two-thirds of the area under Alerian rule (the rest owned by Salvar), Alerar enjoys a surplus of such materials. Such is their industry's appetite for metal, they still import large quantities from Salvar. The Dwarves of Kachuck maintain their wealth and reputation by selling ore and also forging some the most durable weapons and armor in the known world.

Slavery remains legal in Alerar, with captured Raiaerans and the descendants of enemies of the state being the most common amongst the slave population.

[top]The Three Guilds

The Alchemists', Artificers', and Engineers' Guilds, collectively known as the 'Three Guilds', control a large portion of Alerar's economy. Though the three rivals of each other, actual squabbles are rare. The Three Guilds serve such different functions that they rarely feel threatened in their positions. Furthermore, the dawn of the airships required all three guilds to band together, as those mighty feats of Alerian progress need elements from alchemy, artifice, and engineering to function.

Alchemists' Guild - Responsible for crafting everything from simple salves to the sorcerous power sources of the airships, the Alchemists Guild is the only one that still practices magic, albeit in a way much more bound to the material world. Everything from potions to rune-forged steel comes from the Alchemists. They maintain vast elaborate laboratories with all the beakers and tubes one might expect. Many even venture into more traditional scientific research, such as rudimentary physics and geology. A common slang for an Alchemist is "Blue Hood", referencing their standard uniforms.

Artificers' Guild - The largest guild, the Artificers alone hold the secret recipe for Alerian gunpowder. They maintain both vast foundries where weapons of all sorts are mass-produced and countless smaller workshops where artificers turn the creation of firearms into an art form. More than half of the Guild's income comes from equipping the Alerian army. Slang term: "Red Hood."

Engineers' Guild - The newest but fastest-growing guild, the Engineers construct the great machines and modern factories in Alerar. If it runs with steam and gears, the Engineers probably built it. Slang term: "White Hood."

[top]The Fourth Guild

The Thieves' Guild is not officially a guild. In fact, the name originated as a jab at the Three. Lurking in alleys and sewers, in taverns and lavish parties, the Thieves' Guild is everywhere. At least, that is what they like folks to believe. Its influence and wealth cannot be denied, as even prominent nobles and members of the real Guilds secretly pay 'protection' rather than go up against the Thieves. As a play on the Guild slang, many refer to themselves as the "Black Hoods", though they wear no uniforms.


[top]Government

Alerar is ruled by an aristocratic monarchy, in which the monarch (Edari’axa with his top advisor, High Graf Schynius) hold absolute power over the land and consult a panel of high ranking nobles. These nobles are called Grafs, who trace their lineage back to the land owners, entrepreneurs, and generals of Alerar’s early days. The legal system of Alerar is a peculiar combination of common law and private law, in which citizens are able to wager everything including their personal rights so long as it doesn’t contradict one of the common laws – which are mostly meant to maintain order.

Here is a list of the noble titles in Alerar, from highest to lowest.

[top]The Sovereign

(King or Queen) - This is the highest rank in all of Alerar; and it is only obtainable by birthright or conquest. The Sovereign has final say in all matters, but being only one person has its limits. A King or Queen could spell prosperity or ruin for the realm; depending upon their abilities to rule.

People of Note:

  • The Late Queen Vorathi -- Assassinated
  • King Edar'axa

[top]The Freigraf

(Or High Graf) - The top adviser to the Sovereign, this title is obtainable from the rank of Graf. It is a level of high importance and only the cleverest and resourceful Graf can hope to achieve it.

People of Note:

  • High Graf Schynius

[top]The Prince/Princess

The title of prince or princess does not always denote a direct line of parent to offspring connected to the reigning monarch. Many who have this title owe it to the reigning sovereign being an uncle or granduncle, and most are charged with the task of enforcing common law handed down from the Sovereign to all of the land. Even siblings and cousins to the current ruler are considered prince(sses), although they can hold dual titles (like Graf, high Graf, etc.) if earned.

People of Note:

  • Formerly Edar'axa

  • Other various distant cousins, though few are in the public eye.

[top]Graf

The highest title of nobility below the sovereign or their family, and of course below the High Graf, the Grafs of Alerar are a small elite who make up the ruling councils to debate and put forth issues for the High Graf, who then directs these issues to the King. Grafs are most often equated to company owners, land owners, and generals in other countries. Once earned this title is hereditary, but passed down to only one child to encourage healthy competition. Grafs are given titles that are indicative of their businesses or military achievements. For example Graf Martel Tilmora was the chief financier of Alerar’s rail system (aside from Schynius), and thus is called ‘Graf of the Rail’.

[top]Burgraf

These are lesser Grafs, who deal more intimately with the land and soldiers (as officers) of the Grafs above them. Just another link on the chain downward, the Burgrafs are always second to those higher ups. Most Grafs have a conglomerate of properties and businesses under their control and thus one Graf often has multiple Burgrafs under his command. These are often sons and daughters of a Graf who have seek to create their own legacy in this world, and most prefer to work under someone other than their parents for the same reason you would.

[top]Freiherr

A step down from Burgrafs are the Freiherr. However, these nobles seem to have more freedom, as they are not so directly controlled by their superiors. The chain around their neck is loosened when compared to how much control the Grafs have over their Burgrafs. They are the advisors, assistants, and the mid level officers who work for Burgrafs. Ambitious commoners and foreigners often occupy this rank.

[top]The Ritters

This rank can only be earned through military achievement, and one must be a registered soldier with Alerar to earn it. Simple, subtle, with little in the way of sway or power, this title is purely aesthetic. It's an honor, a badge, and one that goes from father to son/mother to daughter. The Ritters are knights of Alerar, non-birthright captains who lead their soldiers by example, and not by coin purse.

[top]The Autar

Special agents to the realm, the Autars are bureaucrats with considerable executive and judicial power. Appointed by and beholden to only the king, they wield the monarch's power throughout the country, solving disputes and keeping order. Almost always chosen from the best and brightest -outside- of the nobility, the Autars proved indispensable after the assassination of the queen. They made sure the cogs of commerce continued to move and kept anarchy at bay during the transition and rise of the new king. They have the power to remove many local-level officials from power and, in extreme cases, carry out arrests.


[top]National Culture and Philosophy

Alerian culture began long before the exodus from Raiaera. Throughout Elven history, even prior to the War of the Tap, some elves warned against their race's increasing dependance on magic. Following the shattering of the Eternal Tap and the devastation wrought by the war, the sect gained a much larger following. How could the elves continue to rely on magic for their greatness, they argued, when it proved so destructive? Especially since the Tap, magic's ancient source of power, had been broken and greatly diminished. This growing movement saw more earthly progress as the only salvation. Technology over magic. Naturally, this sect's dogma was not well-received by the Raiaerans, who saw them as godless and unnatural. This eventually caused the schism and the exodus of nearly half of elven population to what is now Alerar.

Alerian culture today resembles the original founding sect, but molded to fit the harsh land. The Dark Elves also adopted some Dwarven influences, namely the importance of productivity and stoicism. Like their northern Salvic neighbor, Alerians distrust magic greatly, though unlike Salvar, it isn't officially outlawed. Also, Dark Elves typically dislike magic not for religious reasons, but because they simply see it as elitist and exclusive, promoting reckless behavior and 'dangerous individualism', as well as hazardous and unstable. While Alchemy relies on arcane arts, they see it as much more grounded in 'the material world', and thus much safer and more stable. More importantly, anyone can excel at it with enough effort, rather than just those with considerable natural arcane talents.

Despite the criticism of magic as elitist and exclusive, Alerian society inadvertently encourages and rewards scheming, greed, and other self-serving behaviors. Government propaganda often speaks of self-sacrifice for the growth of the nation, but guild members and nobles constantly squabble and back stab each other, grabbing as much wealth and power as they can at the expense of others. Such tendencies, while not universally true, have been prevalent enough to inspire such derogatory phrases as "slippery as a Dark Elf" and the general stereotype that Alerians, especially the Dark Elves, are not to be trusted.

Furthermore, the prominence of slavery within the country is often looked down upon by more "enlightened" nations. Of course, most Alerians will point out that most other countries have slaves with different names, such as the serfs of Salvar or the indentured servants found often in Corone and Scara Brae.

Alerian society in general tends to celebrate innovation and progress even more than wealth or status, which is a two-edged sword. On one hand, inventors and the Guilds in general toil daily to produce new wonders for Alerar to enjoy. On the other hand, espionage and the theft of secrets runs rampant in the shadows.

[top]Religion

The line of Sovereigns in Alerar’s history took differing views on religion, but have never attempted to establish an official religion. In general, Alerian society values logic and scientific advancement over faith, though these things are not always mutually exclusive. The religiously-inclined in Alerar often worship at the alters of Khal'jaren, the Elder Thayne of Wisdom and Knowledge. In fact, Alerar’s current King, Edari’axa openly and devoutly worships Khal’jaren, and plans to restore the Elder Thayne’s place of worship in Alerar's Black Desert. Most other religions are apathetically passed over by Alerians. Missionaries from Salvar's Church of the Ethereal Sway regularly travel the country, but are usually politely disregarded.

[top]Education

Education in Alerar is advanced and surprisingly accessible, with even the lower middle class able to afford basic education if desired. The Three Guilds also serve as a bastion for learning, offering apprenticeships to even the poor, assuming they are bright and motivated enough. Even slaves of the rich and powerful receive education and training in useful skills in order to increase their value. A common Alerian insult, most often directed at foreigners, touches on this – “My slave is smarter than you!”

[top]Art, Architecture, and Style


The Alerian architectural style places emphasis on symmetry, proportion, and sturdiness over the intricately detailed decorative styles of Raiaera. Orderly arrangements of columns, pilasters and lintels, as well as the use of semicircular arches, hemispherical domes, niches and aedicula replace more complex proportional systems and irregular profiles seen in Radasanth and other Coronian cities. Prominent features of modern Alerian architecture combine the aforementioned style with brass, clockworks, and several other technological features that support their lifestyle. Their architecture is designed, especially in Ettermire, to be imposing more than 'pretty'.

The visual art of Alerar is considered the most realistic in Althanas. Portraits and murals are often mistaken for reality from afar. Busts and statues are accurate to the minutest detail no matter how unflattering. Artists are now exploring a brand new frontier, photography in its infancy.

The current fashion trends among the nobility pay more notice to the quality of fabric and intricate threading rather than elaborate, inefficient designs. Jewelry is minimalist, favoring extremely fine and detailed metalwork and smaller, immaculately crafted stones over big gaudy pieces. Fine silks and platinum are especially popular.


[top]History

Alerar's history begins after the War of the Tap. See Ancient History [Link] for information predating that time.


The "Rise Against Ignorance" -- CP 1 to CP 150

With Raiaera still recovering from the War of the Tap, a faction rises within the empire that opposed and distrusted both the Thayne and the Eternal Tap. Though such views had existed for a millennium, the Tap's shattering and the war's unprecedented destruction breaths new life into the movement, which calls itself "Rise Against Ignorance". It gains increasing support among the population, but fails to strongly influence Raiaera's entrenched, traditionalist-dominated political structure.

The Time of Persecution -- CP 150 to CP 350

As this new movement grows in influence, the traditionalists increase their efforts to suppress it. Viewed as apostates for their vocal distrust of Thayne worship and as threats to Raiaera, many members are arrested and 're-educated'. This persecution only increases the faction's influence. Members of Rise Against Ignorance begin calling themselves the New Elves.

Elven Schism -- CP 350 to 470

Growing tensions reach a breaking point and civil war erupts between the New Elves movement and Raiaera's traditionalist government. It begins with riots, periods of martial law, and countless arrests. Eventually, the New Elves movement gains enough resources to arm themselves and fight back in earnest. They use assassins to eliminate powerful Bards who would have otherwise used their magic in battle.

In the end, the New Elves, unable to continue a protracted war against Raiaera, flee west in a mass exodus. They take a full third of the elven population with them as well as large portions of the empire's remaining wealth. They cross the Mountains of Twilight and settle the land they would later name Alerar.

Wars of Possession -- CP 470 to CP 538

Embittered and hardened from decades of war, the exiled elves sweep across the western half of the continent, exterminating or subjugating several human tribes. The New Elves' incursion eventually rouses the dwarves from their strongholds resulting in several battles spread across the region over the course of thirty years. In CP 548, the dwarf leaders, seeing no profit in an all-out war against the militant elven intruders, make peace. The two sides sign the Treaty of Congruity, which preserves the dwarves' mountain cities but surrenders the flatlands. Perhaps more importantly, it also establishes trade and security relations between the two powers that laid the foundation for the state Alerar a half century later.

The First City -- CP 538 to CP 582

Upon the banks of the Glaith River, the greatest visionaries among the new elves conceive of a great city that, they claimed, would someday rival Eluriand. New elf architects enlisted master dwarf artisans and, with the labor of thousands of human slaves, the great city of Ettermire was built.

Founding of Alerar -- CP 582 to CP 624

The dark elves and dwarves ratify the Alerar Pact, cementing the two groups into a single country. Alerar quickly expands across the western reaches of the continent. They also engage in a number of minor conflicts with their hated Raiaeran kin, each bloodier than the last. Only the demons' emergence would prevent all-out war between the two countries.

Demon Wars -- CP 624 to CP 837

The Alerians perhaps suffered worse but persevered better than Salvar, Corone, or Raiaera. With their military focused almost exclusively on the east, toward their hated Raiaeran rivals, the demons' attack from the south caught the young country off-guard. Most of Alerar was swiftly washed away in a tide of fire and blood. Fortunately, harsh life in Alerar had hardened the dark elves and dwarves, who retreated to fortified cities and ancient mountain holds to wait out the storm and gather their strength.

These were the darkest times in Alerian history. For two centuries, the populace could scarcely venture outside their walls and untold dark elves and dwarves starved. Though they launched many attacks against strategic demon targets, they could not meet the numerically superior invaders in open battle. In the final years of the war, as the demons suffered major defeats in Salvar and Corone, the Alerians finally marched from their strongholds in force and drove the remaining demons from their lands, but at great cost.

Consolidation Period -- CP 837 to CP 1230

With the demons driven out, the Alerian elves emerge from their cities, though the ordeal changed them into the dark elves known today. Dark of skin, hardier, and more resistant to magic than their Raiaeran kin, the cause of this change is still not fully understood. Many scholars suspect a combination of being disconnected from the Tap, experimenting with Dwarf blood, and exposure to demonic magic. The full significance of the change would not become realized for many years.

During this period, Alerar rebuilds like the rest of the known world. A soldier named Elrohir Fararil, who had led the Alerian forces during the final years of the Demon Wars eventually takes full control of the country's government, establishing a dynasty. During his reign, he builds new harbors and cities. He also oversees the construction of the Spires in Ettermire, where he housed the aristocracy made up of hand-picked families. He gained a reputation for inciting squabbles amongst his nobles, both to weed out weakness and keep them too busy to threaten his rule.

The New Elves -- CP 1230 to CP 1400

King Elrohir Fararil dies of old age, at the approximate age of 500, the first prominent dark elf to die that way since the schism (all others had died in battle or of other causes up until this point). Some despair the decline of their elven longevity, but this only serves to foster a more "now" oriented (by elf standards) cultural shift in Alerar.

As a consolation of sorts, the same changes that decreased the dark elves' longevity made them somewhat physically tougher than the Raiaeran elves, more resistant to magic, and able to reproduce more quickly. Many Alerians begin calling themselves New Elves, seeing themselves as the next step in Alerian evolution. A new fascination with machinery, artifice, and alchemy takes hold.

Elrohir Fararil II assumes his father's throne.

Succession Period -- CP 1400 to CP 1500

Elrohir II dies in a border skirmish with a Raiaeran patrol. His daughter, Vorathi Fararil assumes the throne after her siblings all suffer various misfortunes or public embarrassments that render them too discredited or dead to challenge her ascension.

Aggression Period -- CP 1500 to CP 1801

As a queen, Vorathi proves both ruthless and devastatingly charismatic. She rules Alerar with an iron fist, but the people love her for it, much to the chagrin of many nobles. Under her rule, the Alerian technological revolution steadily continues.

To gain further political sway among the populace, she turns attention toward Raiaera, setting dark elf passions ablaze with desire for revenge. She leads Alerar into several wars, some small and some large. While Alerar makes no lasting gains in Raiaera, they succeed in destroying all high elf outposts in Alerar and severely strain Raiaera's resources, thus diminishing its power and influence.

Assassination of Vorathi -- CP 1801 to CP 1808

Queen Vorathi Fararil dies in CP 1800, her assassin allegedly her own eldest son. The Grafs band together to remove him. The dead queen's remaining two children, a son and daughter, are considered still too young to rule. Thus, High Graf Edar'axa is named Regent. During his first year, he oversees the expansion of Alerar's navy and becomes the first Alerian ruler to make foreign recruits high ranking military officers -- one notable example was the renowned commander called Thoracis.

The next year, Edar'axa leads Alerar in another war against Raiaera. This time, the Alerian forces push all the way to the Raiaeran capital of Eluriand before their advance ground to a halt. However, during peace negotiations, he secures several concessions from his enemies, most notably exclusive shipping lanes in the Raiaeran Sea.

By 1808, it becomes clear that Edar'axa has no intention of vacating the throne. Despite only divisive support from the nobility, he declares himself king.

Age of Expansion -- CP 1808 to Present

As much of the rest of the known world tore itself apart in wars, Alerar expanded its power and now sets its sights on distant, exotic lands as well as their ancestral enemies.


[top]Features

[top]Alerian Alchemy


Alchemy was originally introduced to the Dark Elves by the Dwarves soon after they made their exodus from Raiaera. While for many the discipline is merely mixing potions and esoteric symbolism, the Dark Elves took the protoscience and turned it into their main tool for technological advancement. Alchemy is everywhere in Alerian society. It has expanded into chemistry, biology, astronomy, and physics, and it is the most essential component to their steam engines and their airships. However, its most underated use its tactical value. Warriors from all over Althanas come to Alerar to gain an Alchemic Glyph that can be either a permanent enchantment or a deadly ability.

[top]Alerian Gunpowder


Alerar is the only nation on Althanas to have mastered flintlock gun technology, as well as mastered gunpowder and steam to their whims. As such, their armies have a major advantage over other nations when it comes to warfare. What it lacks in discipline and training, it makes up for in manpower and machinery. Every foot soldier of Alerar's proud army is armed with mass-produced (and slightly inferior quality) steel short sword, chest plate, and armor. Their weapon of choice, despite its shortcomings, is a flintlock rifle.

[top]Alerian Aviation


The Dark Elves have achieved the power of flight, and that power can be seen all over their nation. Although the critical aspects of their technology are kept a secret, no longer are they exclusive to the military and science communities. Hot air balloons and simple dirigibles are popular forms of national transportation, lending a lift to whoever can afford it. There are many types of airships in the nation of the Dark Elves, and they use a combination of different types of lift, propulsion, navigation, and structure. There is a theme amongst most of them however, steam and alchemy, staples of the Dark Elf identity.



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