Heroes of the New Day
A nation with the potential for racial problems between elves & dwarves, Tethyr maintains order through a strong mageocracy who rains lightning & fireballs down on any rebellious forces. It’s a system that works pretty well. Demographically, it’s about 30% elvish, 30 dwarven, 25% human, and 15% other.
Capital City: Saruun. A large city (maybe 3/4 of a million) with lots of magic used for daily comforts. The Fortress of Saruun floats on an earthmote above the city, assuring citizens that they are being watched (either protectively or Big-Brotherishly, depending on your personal impression).
Politics: The rulers of Tethyr are the Mages of Saruun, a group of powerful spellcasters who keep council in the Fortress of Saruun, a massive floating castle. The mages will be seen walking among the people throughout the nation on occasion, always accompanied by their massive bronze golem bodyguards (which look like huge minotaurs), and are approachable and usually pleasant enough, though often quite busy.
The fate of lawbreakers in Tethyr, though, is often quite spectacular. In the past, thieves guilds have exploded, bandits have been struck by lightning from a clear blue sky, and those who disturb the peace find themselves in the midst of acidic fog that quickly steals their will to do anything but escape.
Religion: The churches of Corellon and Ioun are both pretty big, as is Moradin’s. There are a great many ruined temples to Bane (from the days of the Dragovar Empire), but few to Kord. It seems the Borovians did not want to set up permanent residence in the former lands of Kord’s evil brother.
Places of Note
Saruun. Definitely worth visiting just to see the many magical comforts made available to those who can pay. Running hot & cold water, streetlights, controllable room heat, cross-country messaging… the list goes on. If you can afford it, it’s totally worth the trip.
Ruins of Myth Drannor. An ancient elven & eladrin city, once the high point of elvish magic in the world, this city was a simultaneous presence in the material world and the Feywild. Myth Drannor fell sometime around the Great Cataclysm, and the reverberations of its fall and of the Cataclysm have made the Spelldeath woods around Myth Drannor’s former location very… difficult. Sometimes they are animated mazes. Sometimes they will drop you through 1-way portals into random parts of the Feywild. Sometimes you’ll hit a wild magic or dead magic zone. Sometimes they’re just forests. However, the ruins of Myth Drannor still contain some of the most powerful Elvish artifacts of all time. Some say that the Rod of Seven Parts is stored here, while others say that there is some series of artifacts that can reuinite the separated Elvish races (or give a member of one the powers of all).
The Gnarly Rangers. A band of elven rangers who are seen along the edges of the Spelldeath forest and in other forested areas of Tethyr. No one knows exactly how many of them there are, but they seem to be sort of peace-keepers for matters too small for the Mages of Saruun to deal with. Their chapter houses are always in, near, or around incredibly gnarled trees, and they are known to seek out sources of corruption of the natural world (like demons), which they slay. There are tales of Gnarly Rangers in other nations, but it seems like their headquarters is probably in Tethyr somewhere, with smaller chapters functioning in other forests around the world. They are each fiercely devoted to Corellon, which makes it likely that their home base is somewhere near The House (see below).
Dragovar Remnants. While it’s generally considered a dark point of history, the Dragovar Empire was quite good at making power magical items. In the service of Bane, many Dragovarian items were designed to maximize combat potential. Even though Dragovar has been gone for hundreds of years, many Tethyrans (the humans, at least) still do things in militant fashion.
The Ultimate Anvil. A gigantic temple to both Corellon and Moradin (actually 2 temples, side-by-side, that share a center point) stands in a cliff wall within a wooded mountain. Here is an artifact adamantine Anvil that was crafted by the greatest dwarven clerics of Moradin, then enchanted by the greatest elvish clerics of Corellon, and housed within Myth Drannor. The anvil cracked just prior to the fall of Myth Drannor, and it was only through a great sacrifice of many fleeing elves that the anvil was able to make it out of the city. It remained hidden in the days of the Dragovar Empire, a secret place where dwarves & elves could go to worship their non-Bane gods. When Dragovar fell, this temple was one of the first things to be built, a shining example of the idea that together dwarves and elves could accomplish anything, even outlasting the empire of an evil battle god.
The House of Corellon and Sehanine. Known simply as “The House” to any fan of high performance. A massive opera house and multiple-stage performance venue, the House visually resembles the Sydney Opera House, but was almost entirely grown with plant-growth and stone-shaping magics. The entire structure is an architectural impossibility, acoustically perfect in every way, so that every seat is the best seat in the house, and everything on stage seems to always be heard (or not) in the way the performers intend (so a stage whisper is clearly understood, but a dropped prop backstage makes no noise). The Mages of Saruun are all said to enjoy performances here, though reportedly they have been unable to understand the magical properties of the House. Even more curious is where this site came from. It simple sprouted up in the woods one day, with enough of a layer of dust that it appeared to have been an existing structure for decades, and it was staffed by elves, half-elves, and eladrin from around the nation who had no memory of how they got there. Rumors of its origin are hugely wide-spread… everything from leftover magic from Myth Drannor to the hands of Corellon and Sehanine themselves. Some say it’s an elaborate trick played by the Mages of Saruun. But no one, even the Mages themselves, seem to know the truth. The House appeared about 25 years ago, but it is perhaps much older than that.