The fire in which we burn
Population: Sainadar is populated almost exclusively by elves, both high and wood. A few humans and halflings also live within the kingdom’s borders, but it is quite rare to see a dwarf. The high elves mostly reside in and around one of three large cities in Sainadar (Falgailan, Semvinilar, and Korsakomel). The wood elves of Sainadar keep mostly to the thick forests that can be found further inland.
Government: Sainadar is ruled by King Valdorian Windwhisper. The Windwhisper dynasty has ruled Sainadar for almost millennia, but the king has no heirs. While there are laws to determine the successor upon his death, most experts of elven law and custom foresee a long and bloody war of succession as soon as the king dies.
Resources: Sainadar is a coastal kingdom, and so with access to the sea has flourished thanks to trade and fishing. Although slightly xenophobic, the elves of Sainadar welcome the gold of other races, and humans and dwarves, when encountered in Sainadar, are almost always seen in the great port city of Falgailan.
The Graywall Mountains to the north provide a natural barrier against the Kolchlalk tribes that live on the other side. Although the mountains were mined out of any precious metals ago, the elves of Sainadar still quarry them for stone which they use to construct amazing architectural wonders. Although there are vast forests, the elves to not construct buildings of wood. Everything is made of stone, at least in the three big cities, and most of them are centuries old. The population has been stable for ages, and so there is little need for new construction. They do however harvest timber to construct ships to serve in their mighty navy, or as trade or fishing vessels.
The elves of Sainadar farm no grain, but they do cultivate massive orchards of fruit trees. Rare is an elf that raises livestock, although there are a few dairy farmers; cheese is a tasty delicacy in Sainadar, and there are perhaps hundreds of varieties of cheese for sale in the markets. Game is plentiful in the thick forests of the kingdom, and the typical diet consists of meat, fish, cheese, and fruits. (Elves do not drink milk; they consider the practice repulsive.)
Cities and Other Places: The city of Semvinilar is well-known as a center of learning and the arts, and many teachers, professors, musicians, sculptors, artists, and wizards reside here. The University in Semvinilar is often regarded as the best in the world. Any human who can boast attending the school often earns the admiration of his colleagues. The University is expensive to attend and the curriculum demanding; few humans have the wealth or intellect to meet the challenge, and halflings are almost unheard of there. A dwarf has never attended the University.
Falgailan on the Coast is a center of trade and military might. The elves have a strong navy, and are skilled sailors. Legend has it that the navy of Sainadar has never lost a naval battle. This is not true, of course, but the elves encourage the myth. The Army of Sainadar is also headquartered in Falgailan; every elf is taught at an early age to hunt with the bow, and fight with the sword, and so their army, although not numerous, is considered formidable by most nations. It doesn’t hurt that many elven wizards choose to serve their kingdom in the military, both army and navy.
Korsakomel, Center of the Sky is where King Valdorian Windwhisper rules from the wondrous Palace of Stars. Korsakomel is small so far as cities go, populated mostly by the king and the hundreds of elves required to serve his every whim. Korsakomel is in reality little more than a huge palace. There are servants, soldiers and guards, government officials and bureaucrats, various merchants and shopkeepers to supply their needs, and scads of nobles of various ranks that want to be close to the seat of power.
The Palace of Stars is constructed entirely of stained glass that has been strengthened with powerful magic. The Palace shines like a beacon in the sun, and the walls depict important events from the history of Sainadar, and also portraits of important historical figures. On certain holidays, a dozen wizards cast a powerful ritual to make the scenes and figures on the walls move. Many elves consider it an important part of their culture to make a pilgrimage to Korsakomel to see this at least once in their lives.
The Graywall Mountains stand tall and mighty along the northern border of Sainadar, extending from the coast to well past the political borders of the kingdom. Elves still quarry the mountains for stone, but any gold or silver they may have once held was mined to exhaustion long ago. To the north of the Graywall are the Kolchlalk Tribes, a loose confederation of orc tribes that often maraud neighboring nations. A few of the tribes reside in the mountains themselves, and often raid into Sainadar. Not long ago, fifty years or so, they mounted an invasion of Sainadar. Led by Warrior King Fekalk the Blood Drinker, the Kolchlalk Tribes army outnumbered the elven defenses ten to one. The elves managed to turn back the invasion thanks to superior tactics and firepower, but the toll was heavy with thousands dead. Sainadar still hasn’t fully recovered from the invasion.
The wood elves of Sainadar shun the cities and other large population centers, preferring to live in loose communities numbering no more than one hundred souls, or more often, living off the land in the vast unnamed forests of the kingdom. There is one wood elf city, though. Tree Garden lies close to the eastern border of Sainadar, and perhaps one thousand wood elves reside there. Tree Garden has a very diverse population thanks to its proximity to the border, and humans, halflings, and even some dwarves have permanent residence there.
There are two large rivers within Sainadar’s borders, and several communities sit along the banks. The Green Maiden bisects Sainadar diagonally, flowing from the Graywall in the northeast and rushing in a straight line to the ocean at the southwest border. Legend has it that monsters lurk beneath the surface of the Green Maiden, and many elves who live by the river swear they’ve seen them. The Drunken Snake also originates from the Graywall, and it winds and wends its way across western Sainadar until finally intersecting with the Green Maiden at the coast. It is said that the waters of the Drunken Snake have healing properties, but this has never been proven.
In the middle of one of Sainadar’s forests is the Star Sword. Millennia ago, the thing fell from the sky, creating a crater a mile wide. In the center of this massive crater is a stone formation shaped like a sword. The sword is buried tip down, with the hilt sticking up to the sky as if awaiting some celestial warrior to take it up for battle. Judging by the proportions, the Star Sword is fifty feet long. Elven scholars and archeologists have attempted to dig it out of its crater, but the earth there resists all attempts. They have also been unable to determine what material it is made of.