Saturday, 5 April 2014

E is for Elftown

Where Marienburg was once built, there used to stand a great Elven port before the rise of Mankind, that itself fell during the terrible Elf-Dwarf War known as the War of Vengeance, or War of the Beard. This port was called Sith Rionnasc'namishathir by the Elves, which translates loosely to 'Star-Gem-by-the-Sea' in Eltharin.

After the War, and the Elves fled the Old World, the great Elven port fell into obscurity, up until it was found by Marbad of the Endals, and resettled as the early Marienburg. For hundreds of years, the people of Marienburg believed that the ruins that they built atop of were left by various figures - spirits, Gods, or someone else. Then, in 2150 IC, the High Elf ship known as Lughsoll-Siaisullainn ('Jewel-gleam of Sunlight on Wavefoam') glided into the harbour, and revealed to the Old World once more the presence of High Elves.

These Sea Elves brought with them knowledge and history, but most importantly trade. They brought the wonders of Ulthuan, the Elven Kingdom, and of Lustria, Ind, Cathay and Nippon. Silks and spices and ivory and everything unheard of in the Empire was suddenly laid off on the shores of Marienburg.

Needless to say, the Baron of Marienburg at the time was generous in his offerings. He gifted back to the Elves their ancestral holdings - giving them a large section of the city as their own Enclave, or Exarchate. They restored the buildings and the canals to their original glory. They summoned water-spirits to clean the streams and built lithe boats to float through the shallow waves. And they flooded the Old World with their exotic goods.

The Ward was officially designated Elfsgemeente, but the commoners came to call it Elftown. The Enclave stands as a true anomaly in the Old World - the only High Elf holding which they have 100% jurisdiction over. Whilst the majority of the space is open to Human visitation, it is strictly inhabited by Elves (and some favoured Halflings). Giant Mansions house the eight Great Clans which govern the holding, and their own watchmen patrol the canals.

For the most part, the presence of the Sea Elves has a beneficial effect on the city - luxurious goods that they have the sole right to trade in are brought to the city. This means more wealth and prosperity for all. However, when monopoly, longevity and unimaginable grace are all held by one people, all others not benefiting from those boons are quick to temper.

And tempers are starting to run high.