Synnoria

Overview

Synnoria is the homeland of the llewyrr; the Sunrise elves, on the Moonshae Isles. Once Synnoria was a collection of settlements and estates spread across all the islands, but gradually they were weakened by war or by the magic of the Earthmother, today all other elfhomes lie abandoned except for the mountain vale that is home to the settlement of Chysalis.

Timeline

  • c. -9800 DR: Illefarni elves from the Llewyrr Wood escape the ghettos of Aryvandaar, steal a flotilla of ships (known later as the Lost Fleet of Illefarn) and sail west searching for the fabled Green Isle of the Fair Folk.
  • Aryvandaar High Mages call forth a great storm in the Trackless Sea filled with monsters of the deep to sink the fleeing Illefarni fleet.
  • More than half the Lost Fleet of Illefarn is wrecked in the storm (mostly the ships held by the sunrise elves), and the remnants are scattered for hundreds of miles across the Trackless Sea. Surviving sunrise elves clinging to debris wash up on the shores of the Isle of Gwynneth.
  • c. -2000 DR: The War of Raging Leaves: Kazgoroth the Ravager appears on the Moonshae Isles, corrupting many firbolg into monstrous ffomoreans. The Ravager and his slaves wage war against the LeShay and their allies (the dwarves, firbolg, halfling, llewyrr, and norl), until the LeShay imprison Kazgoroth in a web of leylines enhanced by enchanted Moonwells.
  • 154 DR: Year of the Jealous Hag: Laran Kaminas of Synnoria and Chief Deric of the Shyffolk establish a peace agreement at the capital of Chysalis.
  • 161 DR: Year of the Hangman’s Noose: Laran Kaminas closes Synnoria using powerful magic.
  • 201 DR: Year of the Student: The War of Moon and Shadow: Kazgoroth the Devourer returns with hordes of drathak and savage firbolg which he uses to assault all the lands of dwarves, ffolk, and llewyrr.
  • Kazgoroth is defeated, slain by King Cymrych Hugh. The High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles is declared and Cymrych Hugh is declared High King.
  • Krystofir Koart of the MacRyker is declared Chief of the Shyffolk by the clans.
  • High Queen Allisynn dies from wounds inflicted by Kazgoroth, she is interred in an elven tower on the floating island that now bears her name.
  • 475 DR: Year of the Maiden’s Tears: Herene, princess of Synnoria is forced to marry Ridinlahr.
  • 548 DR: Year of the Eloene Bridge: Laranla Herene of Synnoria vanishes in the Myrloch Vale and is finally pronounced dead after a decade of searching and scrying.
  • 561 DR: Year of the Three Setting Suns: Laran Kaminas of Synnoria departs for Evermeet. Ridinlahr is pronounced lord of Synnoria.
  • 964 DR: Year of the Pickled Privateer: Belshareen; a maiden of the ffolk, marries Ridinlahr; a lord of the llewyrr. Lord Ridinlahr crafts a harp for his new bride, which in time becomes known as the Lost Harp of Belshareen.
  • 986 DR: Year of the Dusken Ride: Belshareen, lady of Synnoria dies of a wasting disease. Lord Ridinlahr of Synnoria journeys to Evermeet. Rule of Synnoria passes to the high priest of Corellon Larethian.

Life and Society

Nobility

Synnoria was founded by a few hundred survivors of llewyrr from the noble houses of the Llewyrrwood and wild elves and moon elves from the clans of Illefarn. Those few elves not of noble birth were soon married into the noble houses until everyone in Synnoria could claim to be of noble descent.

After 10,000 years of cultural evolution, the society of Synnoria is one of idle luxury. The bounty of resources provided by the Moonshae Isles ensures that the llewyrr need do little more than forage for their daily needs, the enduring magic of the elves has ensured that their more permanent works (buildings, armour, crafts etc) will last for millennia. The llewyrr spend most of their time devoting themselves to a particular craft or skill until it is mastered, before moving onto the next.

For much of its history, Synnoria was ruled by a monarch from Royal House of Reredine, then passing briefly to a stewardship under Laransuor (meaning blessed lord) Ridinlahr, until for the last 3 centuries it has been a theocracy governed by the last vestiges of religion in Synnoria.

The priests of the Church of xxxx are the only true nobility in Synnoria, able to live in quiet meditation and contemplation, while the llewyrr forage for them.

Population

Synnoria is cursed with incredibly low birthrates, low even for elves, there is less than one child born every 50 years and of those elves born, fewer than one in a hundred is male. This low birth rate and female dominated society has been true since Synnoria was established but the most ancient among the llewyrr do not believe such a phenomenon occurred during their habitation of the Llewyrrwood.

There are those who blame the peculiar birthrates upon the magic of the Myrloch Vale, for it is true that the birthrate (especially of male children) has declined further since the Vale of Synnoria was sealed and Kamerynn the Unicorn came to dwell among the llewyrr. However, sages from Evermeet believe there is more at work here, for House Raerdrimne suffers from low birthrates and most of its members have never set foot upon the Moonshae Isles. There are some that whisper the Vyshaan never forgave their cousins in the Llewyrwood for aiding the escape of the Illefarni elves, and that a curse was placed upon the once great elven House of Raerdrimne.

Economy

The elves of Synnoria have everything they could possibly need, inherited from a hundred generations of relatives or provided by the natural resources of the bountiful vale in which they live.

The llewyrr have few long-term needs, their heirlooms providing all the tools, shelter, clothing, etc that they might require (there are a substantial number of empty buildings in the vale from times when Synnoria’s population was much greater). Food and water are the only immediate needs of the llewyrr, and it is difficult to wander the vale of Synnoria and not stumble upon all manner of fruits, berries, roots, herbs, and vegetables to eat (the llewyrr are all vegetarian).

Due to the lack of demand for anything, Synnoria’s economy is almost non-existent. If something is required and not available, it is often borrowed from neighbours, family, or friends, or alternatively can be bartered for possessions of equal value. Prized heirlooms have been traded between families of the vale so often that their true history and parentage have often been forgotten by the owners.

Synnoria was sealed in a veil of mist and illusion in 161 DR on the orders of Laranlor Kaminas, since that time the llewyrr have had no contact with the outside world unless they wished to (except for during the War of Moon and Shadow – Kazgoroth was unaffected by the magic and Allisynn Reredine led the ffolk to Synnoria). This lack of contact means that Synnoria has no trade contacts with any other civilisation and so imports and exports nothing. This has not always been the case however, during the early years of the High Kingdom of the Moonshae Isles, llewyrr traders could often be found trading with ffolk settlements on Gwynneth or Alaron.

Government

Synnoria is ruled by a monarch of the Royal House of Reredine (descended from House Raerdrimne of Illefarn – now only surviving on Evermeet). The line of House Reredine died out over a prolonged period of low birth rates and even fewer male children.

There was much celebration when Laranlor Kaminas and his wife were blessed with twins (their mother was a twin), but both elven maids died childless; one at the hands of Kazgoroth the other of a broken heart. Laranlor Kaminas was grief-stricken and abdicated his rule in favour of Laransuor Ridinlahr, the former consort of Herene Reredine, before he passed on to Evermeet.

Lord Ridinlahr was equally tragic in affairs of the heart. He fell in love with a ffolk maiden, but their courtship was childless and cut short when she died of a wasting disease. Laransuor Ridinlahr travelled to Evermeet and left the rule of Synnoria in the hands of the high priests of the Seldarine.

Since the late 10th century Dale Reckoning, Synnoria has been ruled by a council of churches of Synnoria, which have gradually merged into a single church ruled by the Serene Matriarch Ate’Niah.

From the Argen-Tellirynd (Palace of the Ages) the Serene Matriarch contemplates the current and future problems of the llewyrr, which mostly involves extended periods of meditation until the problem solves itself or the solution becomes apparent. Ate’Niah’s proclamations are obeyed unquestioningly, and enforced by the population as a whole, who recognise that conforming to the law is of the utmost importance to preserve their way of life.

Defence

The nation of Synnoria is defended by the magic worked a millennia ago by the priests of the Seldarine. Weaving together the magic of a powerful ritual, the priests cloaked the Vale of Synnoria in a veil of mist and illusion that prevented any that did not already know the way from gaining entry to the Vale of Synnoria. The magic also had numerous other effects, such as a soothing music that reduced angry thoughts (and prevented those who heard it from wanting to leave the Vale), and reduced mortality and age related effects among the inhabitants.

Not everyone however believes that the Veil of Synnoria can defend the Vale from all assaults. Kazgoroth was able to pierce the Vale with his minions (having been there before the veil was raised, and thus knew the way), and so an elite band of warriors was formed to defend the llewyrr in times of great need.

Sisters of Synnoria The Sisters of Synnoria are treated like royalty by the llewyrr, allowing them time to devote their lives to the honing of their martial arts. The Sister’s skill with blade and spear on horseback is unparalleled by any in the Moonshae Isles, and their equipment is the best that all the generations of llewyrr can provide.

The Sisters ride on the back of Avalorne horses; strong, fast, and fearless white chargers that are intelligent enough to recognise a range of voice commands, but soon lose their majestic nature if removed from the Myrloch Vale. These horses are descended from Kamerynn the Unicorn, carefully bred by the llewyrr with native horses brought from Illefarn.

Those training to be admitted to the Sisters are given scouting jobs and wear mottled green tunics to camouflage and identify them.

The Sisters of Synnoria were formed during the War of Moon and Shadow from the remnants of Synnoria’s former defence forces (before the Veil of Synnoria was raised), there numbers were in excess of 500 at the time but were quickly culled to less than a hundred. Today little more than 20 Sisters are active at any one time.

Religion

The llewyrr once worshipped the elven gods of the Seldarine (part of the pact of the Seldarine Council), but since their arrival on the Moonshae Isles they have been exposed to the idea of worshipping the islands themselves in the form of a powerful being known as the Earthmother.

The power of the Earthmother is more obvious than that of the Seldarine (especially since Kamerynn the unicorn came to dwell in Synnoria), and so as the millennia passed the llewyrr have forgotten the worship of the Seldarine and now only venerate the Earthmother.

The presence of the ancient worship of the Seldarine is still present in the form of carvings, figurines, and other forms of artwork that remains in the eldest parts of the city (such as the Argen-Tellirynd, which has several levels full of Seldarine themed artefacts).

Geography

Alamtine Gate: The western entrance to Synnoria is marked by an opening known as the Valley of Clouds (for the swirls of mist that constantly blow through the pass), here two cliffs face each other across the mile wide entrance to the Vale of Synnoria. One of the cliff faces is of black obsidian rock that has been polished at the base to a mirror shine, here is the Alamtine Gate that is the penultimate gate on the Alamtine Trail and leads only to Sunset Isle.

The Alamtine Gate has been used by many thousands of elves in the past, but has seen a lot more usage since the Elven Court announced The Retreat. The Alamtine Gate (also known as the Black Gate) has another function, and that is to serve as an emergency escape route for those elven settlements in the most dire of circumstances.

After the Fifth Crown War, each settlement that swore allegiance to the Seldarine Council of the Elven Court was given the instructions to forge an Alamtine Triangle (a small mithril triangle with 3 moonstones embedded inside), which when activated opened a one-way portal to the Alamtine Gate for a short period of time. From there the imperilled elves could escape to Evermeet with the aid of the elves of Synnoria.

Misty Pathway: Under normal circumstances, access to the Vale of Synnoria would be perilously difficult, the mountain passes are many and winding, with dead ends and skilfully hidden passages to trick even seasoned mountaineers. However, access is made even more difficult thanks to a thick fog  that cloaks all the mountain paths (hence its name), and there are many trips and deadfalls to injure and slay the unwary.

The llewyrr have made entrance into the Vale of Synnoria all but impossible, by enchanting the Misty Pathway so that any who enter the pathways become hopelessly lost and disorientated, unable to ever find entry to Synnoria unless they have already seen the way through (either having been to Synnoria before, or being shown the way by someone who has been to Synnoria).

Vale of Synnoria: Synnoria sits in a mountain valley at the point where the Highland and Cambro Mountains meet, surrounded on all sides by these rocky peaks. It is shaped like a many pointed star and the only route into the vale is through a maze of twisting mountain passes.

The Vale itself is a veritable paradise, filled with all manner of vegetation and wildlife. Rivers and streams flow down from the mountains into the valley and then out to the Myrloch Vale, bringing cool fresh water to the llewyrr. The centre of the Vale is filled with a large body of water known as the Crystalloch, whose waters are perfectly clear and cool, at the centre of the Crystalloch is an island upon which sits the city of Chysalis.

Copses of birch and aspen trees are dotted around the Vale, the llewyrr have long bred these trees selectively so that they are now evergreen varieties.

All across the valley are the stone buildings of the llewyrr (often made out of petrified wood), that are shaped and preserved by magic to resemble great trees or icons of significance. At the end of each point of the vale is a portal that leads to one of the other islands of the Moonshae Isles (linked to the beginning of each road of the Alamtine Trail on that island).

Crystalloch: This perfectly clear lake dominates the centre Vale of Synnoria, its waters are cool and pleasantly sweet, and home to schools of trout. The llewyrr have enchanted the waters of the Crystalloch so that in the event of an invasion they can be called upon to defend the city by rising up and swamping the invaders.

Chysalis: The city of Chysalis sits on an island surrounded by a marble wall in the centre of the Crystalloch, white marble bridges cross the lake to reach the island, each of which is blocked by a silvered gate of purest mithril that is always open (the llewyrr believe their city is safe thanks to the other defences of Synnoria).

Argen-Tellirynd: The Argen-Tellirynd, known as the Palace of Ages is the ceremonial capital of Synnoria, that has functioned as the actual capital of Synnoria since 986 DR when Lord Ridinlahr departed for Evermeet and Palace of Kaminas has remained empty ever since.

The Argen-Tellirynd is a perfect, three sided, steep sloping pyramid constructed of a crystalline metal as hard as steel, and as clear as glass, but the reflective and refractive properties mean that the interior can only be viewed from outside when standing in certain positions.

The Palace of Ages is surrounded by an opaque crystal wall, with crystalline gates, all magical hardened so as to resist damage of any kind, these walls enclose a carefully tended garden with pools and walkways. The Palace itself sits in the very centre of an island in the middle of the Crystalloch, with the deserted Palace of Kaminas next to it.

The base of the Palace of Ages is made of a polished black stone, and supporting the walls of the pyramid are pillars made of marble, quartz, and silver. There is a hall of mirrors in the Argen-Tellirynd that the elders user scry upon the outside world and keep track of events in the wider world.

Important NPCs

Serene Matriarch Ate’Niah (Neutral, Elf – Sunrise, Magic User 11): Ate’Niah is the last of the Blessed Council introduced by Laransuor Ridinlahr before his departure to Evermeet. She is at least 1,000 years old, but her face is unlined and she appears as youthful as an elf of 50 years (something she says is down to her connection to the Veil of Synnoria that she helped to create).

Ate’Niah wears a diamond studded platinum tiara that is her link to the Veil of Synnoria.

Brigitha Cu’Lyrran (Good, Elf – Wood, Warrior 5): Brigit is the leader of the Sisters of Synnoria; the mounted warriors dedicated to defending the elven realm. Brigit has led the Sisters for close to 400 years, and is an expert warrior and veteran of 20 campaigns against marauding firbolgs in the Myrloch Vale.

Elder Erashanoor (Neutral, Elf – Wood, Expert 8): Erashanoor, the Keeper of the Elven Gate, is one of the oldest elves in Synnoria, older even than Ate’Niah. He has served on the Elder Council for many centuries, and is viewed as an eccentric oddity, but brilliant sage, and a wise advisor. He is the only elf in Synnoria to smoke a pipe, a habit he acquired from some unknown individual in the long distant past.

Elder Erashanoor is the chronicler of the history of Synnoria and is constantly revising the work in his quarters at the topmost level of the Argen-Tellirynd

Ingereetha (Good, Elf – Sunrise, Warrior 2): One of the Sisters of Synnoria.

Kamerynn: Kamerynn the Unicorn is a known elf-friend, having lived among the elves on every island of the Moonshae Isles, and now resides in the Vale of the Synnoria with the llewyrr. Kamerynn is a foil to the LeShay, and spends his time among their closest relatives – the elves – who are equally vulnerable to his powers. Kamerynn’s magic enchants those nearby, isolating them from the rest of the world, making them vulnerable to sudden pressures.

Lledaoine (Neutral, Elf – Sunrise, Magic User 12): A wizardess from Loresstlar who lived over a thousand years ago and enchanted many of the magical legacies still used in Synnoria today. Lledaoine crafted the Loresstael (Winter’s Blade), and helped enchant the Sword of Cymrych Hugh (and the Sister Sword) as a gift to the elves of Synnoria for the marriage alliance between Synnoria and Winter’s Glen. It is rumoured that Lledaoine also helped work the magics that created the Veil of Synnoria.

Lledaoine’s last creation was the Ghost Lantern, and attempt by the wood elves to make their own kiira to preserve the knowledge of Loresstlar. Upon completion of her work Lledaoine’s tower was attacked by the forces of Kazgoroth and she was slain, drawing her soul into the lantern.

Seren Nailo (Good, Elf – Sunrise, Warrior 2): Seren is one of the Sisters of Synnoria, acting as a scout and outrider for that unit. Seren is stern and disciplined, but sincere and loyal to her friends and surprisingly sensitive to their needs. Seren desires more than anything to have children and is even considering travelling to the human lands to find a mate (something expressly forbidden by elders of Synnoria), she joined the Sisters of Synnoria because of the possibility (however remote) of leaving the Vale of Synnoria and meeting a fertile human male.

Silmarien Silverleaf (Neutral, Elf – Sunrise, Expert 4, Magic-User 4): Silmarien Silverleaf is a beautiful elven maid of exceptional skill and determination. She has chosen to join the Seekers of Sunrise to try and save her people from decline and extinction.

Silmarien Silverleaf has journeyed across Faerun looking for worthy, fertile, elven males to return to Synnoria with her. She uses her looks and intelligence to win their hearts before persuading them to return home with her (where she then leaves them to continue her mission), when that doesn’t work, Silmarien used her skill with enchantment magic to make them love her or plant suggestions in their head that they want to travel to see Synnoria.

Silmarien has a fairly good success rate (when compared with other Seekers), and has thus far persuaded two males to journey to Synnoria in the past century.

Zahailleen (Good, Elf – Moon, Warrior 3): Known as Aileen for short, she is one of the newest and most promising members of the Sisters of Synnoria, acting as scout and outrider. 

Important Organisations

Seekers of Sunrise: The Sunrise elves, otherwise known as the llewyrr, are a dying subrace, afflicted by low birthrates and an unusual lack of male births caused by twin curses (one from the High Mages of Aryvandaar, and the other by Kamerynn the Unicorn).

The llewyrr have tried many times to stabilise their dwindling birth rates, using magical means to boost their fertility, marriage to clans outside of Synnoria, even welcoming refugees from fallen elven nations across Faerun, all these measures have failed and Synnoria is now at a crisis point with less than 20 males in the entire population (4 of whom are over 800 years old, and two of whom are royal emissaries from Evermeet).

In desperation the llewyrr have formed the Seekers of Sunrise, a group of female agents able to go out into the wider Faerun and persuade other elves to return with them to Synnoria. Many of the more unscrupulous members of this group will use any means available to them to get elves back to Synnoria, this includes blackmail, bribery, kidnap, charm magic.

Sisters of Synnoria: The Sisters of Synnoria are the only defence force for the peaceful elven realm of Synnoria. It was originally formed as a royal guard for Princess Cyrisyne of Winter’s Glen as part of her marriage to Laran Kaminas of Synnoria, captained by the soon-to-be Queen’s sister Anhaern Rhyllgallohyr. Synnoria had not been attacked in two millennia and the need for armed forces was not felt necessary.

To mark the formation of the Sisters, a special blade was forged, the Winter’s Blade (Loresstael), which was to be borne by the captain of the guard (although Anhaern Rhyllgallohyr had already been given the Sister Sword by the dwarves of Highome).

The Sisters first tasted battle when the minions of Kazgoroth attacked and slew Queen Cyrisyne and at least one of the Sisters during one of her rides in the Myrloch Vale. Over the coming years Synnoria would come under near constant attack by Kazgoroth and his hordes of drathak and firbolg, with many in Synnoria joining the Sisters to protect the realm, seeing their ranks swell to several hundred.

When Synnoria joined with the ffolk and the dwarves to fight Kazgoroth, the Sisters were the vital cavalry and scouting forces for the forces of good. After the war their numbers dwindled as their captain Anhaern led a genocidal crusade against the surviving allies of Kazgoroth until her death.

Today the llewyrr feel that the need for defence has once again passed, and the ranks of the Sisters of Synnoria has dwindled along with the population of the llewyrr to less than a hundred individuals, only twenty of whom are on duty at any one time. The Sisters of Synnoria are led today by the capable Brigitha Cu-Lyrran.

Important Items

Ghost Lantern: The Ghost Lantern is the last construction of the legendary wizardess Lledaoine (Starfallen) of Loresstlar, designed to preserve the soul of those slain in its proximity (a variant of the kiira). Unfortunately Lledaoine was slain by a fomorian during the War of Moon and Shadow just as she completed this item and her own soul came to inhabit the ghost lantern.

Those holding the lantern can request Lledaoine to emerge and provide some measure of assistance. She can manifest any spell that she knew in life (as a 12th level magic user the list is substantial), however, what she chooses to do is up to her. Lledaoine has been known to cast light upon the lantern, move objects with her magic, and even heal those she favours, but she can be moody and uncooperative. Lledaoine can whisper to whoever is holding the lantern, she does not desire to be freed from her new home, as she is terrified about what will happen to her soul.

The Ghost Lantern was kept at Winter’s Glen for a time, then brought to Synnoria some time before that realm failed. It was believe to have been taken to Evermeet by Lord Ridinlahr, but there has never been any mention of it arriving. It is possible that the Ghost Lantern was stolen, and may have changed hands between pirates, merchants, and adventurers because there are rumours of a similar lantern inhabited by the soul of wizardess in the jungles of Chult

Loresstael: Winter’s Blade was crafted over a thousand years ago to mark the marriage of the elven princess Cyrisyne of Winter’s Glen to Laran Kaminas of Synnoria, and presented to the newly formed Sisters of Synnoria.

:Loresstael is made of a specially treated steel that transforms the metal into a crystalline structure, giving it a razor sharp and hardened edge. The blade is immune to cold and rusting effects, which it provides to its wielder, while at the same time being capable of piercing the toughest armour.

Loresstael has been borne by the captain of the Sisters of Synnoria since Anhaern Rhyllgallohyr was slain and the Sister Sword was lost with her.

The Veil of Synnoria: When Laranlor Kaminas ordered the Vale of Synnoria to be sealed from the humans (to keep his daughter from her love; Chief Deric of the Shyffolk), the priests of the llewyrr set about working a great magic to cloak the vale in illusion that would prevent anyone else from reaching it.

The Veil was created by enchanting a Moonwell on the eastern shore of the Myrloch to power the Veil. The Sacred Grove of the Earthmother, as it is now called, grew in size and power, and bestowed a number of benefits upon the inhabitants of the Vale of Synnoria.

The Veil prevents any who have not already seen the way to the Vale of Synnoria from ever finding the true path. This means that a person must have already travelled through the Misty Pathway or be shown the way by someone who has already travelled through the Misty Pathway (a weakness that Kazgoroth exploited during the War of Moon and Shadow).

Those within the Vale are bathed in a soothing music linked directly to the magic of the Moonwells, this music reduces any aggressive or base urges they might experience, making those within the vale law-abiding citizens, and inexplicably vegetarian in diet (it also reduces the birthrate of male children who are more influenced by their base urges).

The Veil also increases the longevity of any dwelling within the vale, almost doubling the normal lifespan (and much more for those attuned to the Veil – such as Ate’Niah).

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