The Forests of Alderlain
Forests of Alderain (Ald-er-ain)
The Forests of Alderain are home to the majority population of elves in Khalathor. The rivers on either side of the forests clearly delimit the territory of the elves. Patrols and old magiks guard the river boundaries. Within the forests the elves live in great peace and security; this lifestyle has been maintained for centuries, with the elves resisting the expansion of both the Cantonite and Galdarin empires. Elf and half-elves of good intent are welcome to cross the boundaries, but they will be stopped and questioned by patrols almost immediately after crossing. It is said that not even the birds freely cross the rivers without notice by the elves. Those seeking the wisdom of the elves may also be welcomed into the forests if they truly seek a life of contemplation and artistry. A number of Bwollowland artists have explored the forests, returning with great tales of elven hospitality and fantastic cities in the trees.
Some thousands of years ago the elves and dwarves came into conflict over the direction that Khalathor should take: the elves wanted it to be maintained as a pristine forestland, while the dwarves supported the fledgling human communities in their attempts to clear additional farmland and carve out their empires. The dwarves ultimately won the conflict by arming the humans, and this is something the elves have not forgotten. Of course the dwarves’ motivation was not altruism: they know that increased human agriculture would be beneficial to the dwarven realms, and would also provide greater markets for the metal and gems from the mountains. Since the elves were checked by the dwarves they have remained largely outside (they say ‘above’) the geopolitical affairs of Khalathor. Intricate carvings, paintings, poetry, and song are the main exports of the forests, while the main imports are gems and jewellery (the elves do have a soft spot for beauty, even if it originally comes from the dwarves), news from abroad, and old magical goods, particularly from the fallen Cantonite Empire.