War of Winds
Hidden away on a southwestern peninsula of Pardeux is the glittering high elf city known as A’alenora. Though they are renowned for their magnificent art and innate magical skill, the elves are naturally reclusive. So much so, that if it weren’t for regular trade coming from A’alenora, along with stories of exquisite architecture and impressive magical feats, one might believe the city to be a myth.
According to the city’s historians, A’alenora was founded exactly 1,324 years ago as a colony under Emperor Jhaeros Messerli, making it the oldest city in Pardeux. They claim that no one else was living on the continent at that time, that it was a newly discovered frontier, but most believe the colonial scouts only searched so far for other civilizations in the vast wilderness before deciding to build their own. After several decades of answering to King Jhaeros, the people of A’alenora decided to claim independence, and successfully defended their civilization from retaliating soldiers. Today the city has bloomed into a paragon of artistry and grace.
The site of A’alenora was chosen for its coastal beauty and close connection to the Feywild, having many fey crossings that the elves keep as closely guarded secrets. The territory of A’alenora extends for most of the peninsula, sharing a northern border with The Kingdom of Feldrath. The rapid expansion of the human kingdom was cause for concern, having consumed all possible on-land trade routes for A’alenora, but a treaty was quickly put into effect. The close island south of the peninsula was left undisturbed and uninhabited as a sort of nature preserve. The coasts around A’alenora have an abundance of pure white sand, while some of the green hills have been found to contain marble quarries. The white rose native to the area is considered to be so beautiful it’s featured on the city crest.
The war against King Jhaeros and his invading soldiers was conducted by his daughter, Duchess Shayaera Messerli. The conflict started when she, ruling in his stead on Pardeux, started disregarding his commands and laws in favor of her own. After the war was won, Shayaera declared herself the new queen of A’alenora. Resulting dissent, though there was little, was quickly stomped out. Traitors were made examples of, proving that the new rule was quite different from the previous monarchy. In A’alenora, the Queen’s word is law.
Of the 12,792 people living in A’alenora, almost all of them are Sunrise High Elves; having bronze skin and relatively dark hair. The small percentage that do not fit this description are usually of another elven subrace, or are short term visitors from other cities. The elves take a certain pride in themselves that borders on superiority, and the great lengths of their lifespans tend to isolate them even further from other cultures that change more rapidly.
The elves of A’alenora absolutely adore the ocean that surrounds them, many having collections of seashells or pearls that they find on one of the countless beaches of the peninsula. The fine white sands are especially utilized in making glass art, be it sculptures or stained glass windows. The best examples of both can be found at the Palace of Iridescence; its white marble walls are stunningly pearlescent, and every window contains stained glass of such small yet innumerable pieces it seems as if the glass was a painting. As the sun moves across the sky, the palace assumes a new color every hour.
A’alenora maintains a working relationship with the Kingdom of Feldrath out of necessity for open trade routes, but is otherwise indifferent to the mostly human domain. Queen Shayaera has stated she has great respect for the Feldrath Kings’ tenacity in dealing with a perpetual war against the creatures of the Whispering Forest, but has no inclination on providing aid for it, feeling it was a war that could have been avoided. Similarly, the wood elves of Fekadi are seen as little more than savages to the sun elves of A’alenora. There is virtually no trade between the two cities as Fekadi is resolute in its self reliance and does not produce beautiful commodities that A’alenora would be interested in.