The Singing Mercenaries
Narlasil is the Elven forest located north of Nerath, on the western side of Lyria. It is the home of the elves and Eladrin. Narlasil also housed a sizeable gnome population until the gnomes were all but wiped out by the Fomorians several years ago, who appeared from the Feywild to take vengeance on their formers slaves. The gnomes referred to Narlasil as the “Elderwild Forest”, which is the Common translation of Narlasil.
The forest streches from the northern borders of Nerath all the way up into the highlands inhabited by the Orcs in the far north, with the Dawnforge mountains running parallel on Narlasil’s eastern border. The forest’s northeastern region is still wild and untamed, reflecting the fickle and callous nature of some Fey. It is a dangerous region that has never been tamed by the elves and Eladrin; the heart of the northeastern forest is a dense swamp, overrun with living trees and all manner of wild creatures. The elves and Eladrin tread lightly in this region, and only the most skilled trackers of other races would be able to penetrate it. The corruption has receded due to the heroics of the Singing Mercenaries and Elrias. The northeastern part of the forest also hides the ancient ruins of the Jinrai’s forgotten keep.
Narlasil is the oldest forest in Rantalia. It is especially old and strong because the barriers between the Feywild and Rantalia are very weak where its seeds were planted, and its continued growth has only strengthened this connection. Some time in the distant past, the Eladrin stepped through the shimmering portals of their Fey homes into Rantalia, and there they found a fledgling humanoid race. The Eladrin taught these beings the ways of the forest, and in time, these beings would come to resemble their mentors, and called themselves Elves.
At the same time the Elves fully acheived their own identity, however, the great Orc hordes were driven from their homes in the northern highlands by an unnamed evil. Forced to find new lands, the Orcs began to encroach upon the forest, using the ancient trees to fuel their war machine in order to take back their ancestral lands from the evil, as well as simply settling in the forest and the eastern mountain caves, killing any who were in their way. In response, the elves and dwarves, also newly awakened, formed an alliance to secure their northern border. The greatest of these elves was Gylan, a powerful elf warrior who lead his people time and again against the threat against their homeland. Although Gylan was eventually killed, the elves and dwarves managed to subdue the orcs. Violence on the borders has slowly decreased over time from allout warfare to small skirmishes between hunting and tracking parties.
Council of Narlasil
Narlasil has been ruled by the Council of Eladrin for time immemoriam. It consists of the three Eladrin tasked with guiding the elves to a brighter future amidst the woods. Historically, the Eladrin serve on the Council for 1,000 years before turning their duties over to another council. The current Council, consisting of Rinael, Selvin and Ysriel, has been in place for 543 years. Rinael is a powerful practicioner of magic, Selvin is a peerless swordmage, and Ysriel is renowned as a seer. They guide the elves in tending to the woods and managing the flow of magic from the Feywild. The Council is responsible to the Summer Court of the Feywild, the Summer Queen having declared long ago that the elves would always be the responsibility of the Fey. The Council resides in a giant, ancient rowan tree in the heart of the forest, their main hall is called the Court of the Four Leaves.
Eternal Defender of Narlasil
The Eternal Defender, or “Nayar” in Elvish, is considered the strongest of the Elven warriors, being well versed in both martial combat and magic. The title was first granted to Gylan after he lead his fellow elves after all of their Eladrin commanders had been slain in a battle against the orcs. His successors have been extremely powerful warriors, the current Eternal Defender being Nayar Elrias, who has held the title for 2000 years.
The Eternal Defender is responsible for the military of Narlasil. Although the Defender, along with all the military, are beholden to the Council, typically the Council bows to the Defender in military matters unless they feel it will damage Narlasil’s ancient magicks and connection to the Feywild. There have only been three times in all the Elves’ history where the Council has forbade a Defender from acting, and there are no known instances where a Defender has ever defied the Council.
Elves and Eladrin
The Eladrin nurtured the Elves at the behest of the Fey, and despite the deep kinship between the two races, many Elves feel slightly inferior to the graceful Eladrin, who are allowed to cross into the Feywild at will. Eladrin are powerful wizards and typically teach aspiriing Elf mages their craft. Eladrin are also considered the spiritual and cultural leaders within the forest. Elves are generally considered to have higher martial progress: this is attributed to their growth in Rantalia, and not the Feywild. Pairings between Elves and Eladrin are rare, although they do happen, and they can produce children, as in the case of Kaleera.
The Elves are on excellent terms with the Dwarves, their neighbors to the east and allies against the Orcs. The Elves were prepared to go to war against Nerath with the Dwarven confederacy when Nerath’s Mad King, Dannic, threatened war on the two nations.
Prior to Dannic’s rule, the Elves enjoyed fair relations with the human nation, especially through trade via Fallcrest and its Lord Wardens. Dannic’s military overtures towards the elven forest soured relations between them, although Fallcrest still retains unofficial ties to the sylvan nation.
Elves tell of the Drow as being early Elves who were spirited away from Narlasil by the same ancient evil that drove the Orcs from the northern highlands. They pity the Drow and make all attempts to avoid fighting them, as they consider them long-lost brothers who had no chance to make their own way in the world as they should have been.