By Rand Sharpsword
By Ed Greenwood and Jason Carl
Rand Sharpsword, collector of bits of travel and geographical information, brings you further details about the Silver Marches area. Rand provides these to supplement the information found in the Silver Marches.
For years the elven refuge of Evereska was a lush garden paradise and the largest moon and sun elven city left on Faerûn. None but the elves were allowed into the Last City, although a lucky few half-elven and human "elf-friends" caught tiny glimpses of its beauty through the entrance most used by the elves. Mighty elven warriors clad in enchanted armor that allowed them to fly kept guard over the area, and they did not hesitate to use the wands, rods, and blades of mighty magic that they possessed to protect their valley.
Evereska was a verdant valley encircled by twelve high hills. The elves sculpted the entire valley into a terraced garden. Homes worked into the landscape so as to blend in with the growing plants and form a series of beautiful bowers, dells, and vistas. Evereska itself had no streets, but only winding paths. Large items floated through the city by magic, not on wagons, and no inch of the inner slopes of the encircling hills was wasted. Blueleaf trees sculpted alive by Evereskan-perfected elven magic wreathed much of the valley in royal blue foliage. A powerful mythal that governed weather and physical conditions within the valley inhibited certain sorts of magic and worked against blights and diseases.
Here moon and sun elves dwelt in harmony. While personal rivalries and feuds arose in plenty, no widespread antipathies threatened the city's peace. Instead, Evereskans devoted themselves to becoming individuals of learning, craft, and deep reason. Many Evereskan elves never left the valley, or desired to, since they loved to dedicate their time to creating beautiful paintings and sculptures or mastering the music of voice and instruments. A very few crafted new spells in deep caverns, where they worked in careful concert with the ruling Hill Elders so as to create no unforeseen danger to the city or weakness in its defenses by their work. (By common agreement, existing portals were either destroyed or girt about with protective magic to prevent their use by invaders.)
Since metal ore was scarce in the hills and the rock beneath the city, the Evereskans traded their wines, paintings, carved coffers and boxes, and statuettes for what outside goods they needed and thought little of the world. Unfortunately, the world did remember them -- and just a few months ago, the freed phaerimms of Anauroch attacked Evereska with gleeful savagery.
Exulting in destruction, the ancient workers-of-evil shattered the city and toppled or blasted open many of its mansions. The mythal was left in tatters of wild magic, and it now flickers and fades into sporadic, strange bursts of power. The slaughter of the elves was widespread and terrible, and the phaerimms raged through the bowers and beautiful chambers, destroying everything within reach, as the bewildered Evereskans fought -- too few and too late -- to defend their refuge.
Unleashing every magic at their command, the elves of Evereska eventually broke the phaerimm attack. In the end most of the phaerimms fled from Evereska, perished, or were left much weakened and wounded in their wits and capable of only feeble magic. Some few of these still wander the valley today.
Only the youngest and least powerful elves survived the fighting, for their elders spent their own lives protecting their heirs. Many of these elves also wander the valley wounded and dazed in their wits. The dying mythal now cloaks Evereska in a mist or fine rain most of the time, and the untended gardens are beginning to overgrow the mansions, terraced lawns, and sweeping paths. Many of the beautiful arched bridges are broken and lie fallen, but the valley is so beautiful that it can still awe humans who see it.
Ambitious human adventurers and plunderers, hearing tales of unguarded elven treasuries, now seek the unguarded gates of the valley. Hungry monsters long barred from the elven realm by its protective magic also skulk about its edges, growing bolder with each day. However, forlorn and beautiful Evereska is still decidedly dangerous. The mythal erupts in unpredictable magical effects from time to time, elves and phaerimms still stalk each other and skirmish with dreadful magic, and menacing mansion guardians such as helmed horrors and shield guardians armed with a variety of deadly magic items rise up to strike at intruders.
Riches and treasures lie everywhere in the shattered mansions, but spells that do strange things to intruders protect some areas. Constructs of various sorts and the occasional group of hardened young elves also meet intruders with their own brands of destruction. The angry young elves view all strangers as looters and thieves that deserve nothing but a swift death, while the constructs simply carry out their last command to destroy all who enter the area they guard.
Elves from other lands now head for Evereska to join the remaining Evereskan elves. A few of these think to remove what things of beauty and value still remain in the valley and return to safer retreats; most plan to stay, and rebuild Evereska's greatness. Evereska has been sorely wounded, but it may in time return to something approaching its former glory.
Plots and Rumors
To Guard Unknowingly: A group of elves have met with some terrible foes on their journey. The PCs stumble across these elves in time to assist them. Due to their weakened condition, they request that the PCs accompany them for a little way on their current journey. However, they request this assistance for only one day and one night, and they do not tell the PCs where they are headed. In return, the PCs will gain an item (DM's choice). Will the PCs accept these conditions and aid the elves? What other dangers can befall the group during that span of time?
Nature's Prerogative: An elf druid has taken control of a small portion of the city. She believes that nature should make the city its own and is willing to defend that notion with an assortment of natural assistants, other druids of like mind, and traps. She has had several months to build up her forces (and her traps). Unfortunately, she has also taken steps to expand her area of influence. Will she continue to grow in power? Can she take over the whole city if given enough time?