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Tuar Annwn
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[top]Introduction

Status: Usable only in a special campaign that focuses on Tuar Annwn. Otherwise, not available.
The heart of Grovnekevic Forest lies somewhere in Tuar Annwn, and it is a dark heart indeed. More than any other elf realm, Tuar Annwn remains at war with the world. In other lands the elves may have forgotten or banned gheallie Sidhe. Even in southern Vosgaard, in Cwmb Bheinn, the war between the elves and humans seems to have ended. But not in Tuar Annwn. Never in Tuar Annwn.
According to elven lore, Tuar Annwn was the least - and the last - born of the elf realms. Settled in the harsh northlands to watch over the humanoids of the region, Tuar Annwn was barely settled before the beginning of the elf-humanoid wars. It benefited only little from the dwarf-elf accords. Even when other humanoids hid themselves from the powerful elf lords, the ice goblins, orogs, trolls, and others of northern Cerilia continued to fight against the smallest elven realm. Tuar Annwn never knew the long peace of other elf realms. Just when it felt it had driven back the humanoids once and for all, the humans arrived and the gheallie Sidhe later began.
A small realm far removed from Aduria, Tuar Annwn was influenced little by Azrai and the War of Shadow. It maintained contact with Cwmb Bheinn at that time, and many elves from Grovnekevic Forest marched to Deismaar under the Aelvenking's banner. Few returned. Those who survived found the southern lands more hospitable and the remainder made their way home bitter at their realm's tremendous loss.
Wars between the Vos and the elves started almost immediately. The most powerful Vos realms hewed and burned their way north, fighting the elves of Tuar Annwn with ever-renewing vigor. The elves lost heart quickly - their most noted warriors had gone to Deismaar and not returned. Tuar Annwn gained its name then - it became "the land of silence" and has remained so ever since.
Elsewhere, the story is told how the elves of Tuar Annwn, apparently defeated by Velenoye, faced extinction but somehow repelled and destroyed their enemies. Here, the great secret of Tuar Annwn is revealed.
Tuar Annwn, alone of Cerilian realms, exists in two worlds - both on Aebrynis and on the Shadow World. Somehow, in their desperation to survive, the wizards of Tuar Annwn called upon and harnessed the power of the Shadow World. During the battle with the Vos, however, they lost control of their spells and the heart of Grovnekevic Forest lies somewhere between two planes.

[top]Modern Tuar Annwn

This situation has had a devastating effect on Tuar Annwn. While making the realm virtually impervious to attack (only characters with the ability to see into the Shadow World can even cross Tuar Annwn's borders without being turned back or becoming hopelessly lost), the shadowed nature of Tuar Annwn has closed the realm from the rest of Cerilia. Those who leave there may never be able to return home again.
The elves of Tuar Annwn have been changed by this experience as well. Still immortal (with regard to age and disease), they appear somewhat wasted and gaunt - almost as if their energies were being leached out of them. Possibly, the elves can feed vampirically on the energies of others, but that is merely an unsubstantial legend known to a very few.
In truth, probably only a handful of people alive on Cerilia have any idea what has happened to Tuar Annwn. Even halflings who venture near there cannot fully perceive the shadowy effect on the land. Only those intimately familiar with the Shadow World can hope to understand the devastation.

[top]Provinces/Holdings

Since only a few elves of Tuar Annwn ever leave their shadowed realm and fewer still will talk about their homeland, little is known of the provinces and holdings of the elf realm. A court of wizards is believed to rule and maintain Tuar Annwn through a series of high-powered source holdings. No trade goes on within the realm, and it is thought that the depleted energies of the elves leaves little interest in law or government. Still, an elf king could exist within Tuar Annwn (and one probably does). He simply does not affect the lands outside of his own.

[top]Sites

Entering Tuar Annwn is the most dangerous thing a hero of Cerilia could conceivably do (with the exception of wakening the Gorgon from a good night's sleep). Still, a few hardy souls have entered Tuar Annwn and have brought back tales of their adventures.

[top]The Annwnalach

The Annwnalach (The Lake of Silence) was once a clear, blue-green waterway used by the elves when traveling north to the sea. The elves once ruled the forests of the Gnoll Fells and the Icemarch in addition to their current lands and used the river from Annwnalach as a major thoroughfare through that larger realm. Now, the lake and the river are brackish and still, and as foreboding as the woods that grow against the shore.
Some say the waters of the Annwnalach have magical powers. Legends tell that drinking from or bathing in the Annwnalach will drain a person of strength and energy but an elf who does the same will find himself rejuvenated and fresh. The legends further tell that the elves of Tuar Annwn must bathe in and drink from the Annwnalach often or waste away to nothing, becoming unmoving husks barely alive but unable to die. The only basis for this legend is Vos superstition.

[top]DM's tips and secrets

For centuries, Cerilian adventurers have avoided Tuar Annwn or paid the ultimate price. In recent years, the dark heart of Grovnekevic seems to be growing - tendrils of magic and shadow are reaching out beyond the elven realm. Before long, someone will need to stop them.

[top]The Growing Shadow

Centuries have passed since the elves of Tuar Annwn interacted with the outside world, but that watchful peace is at an end. Observers report that whatever shadow possessed Tuar Annwn in the past is growing beyond the realm's borders.
According to the humanoids of the Gnoll Fells, Tuar Annwn's wizards have begun corrupting the southeastern province in the Gnoll Fells, and the humanoids have found no way to fight back. The orogs of the Sword Rust Tribes have had trouble with Firosk Slecktra and many believe she comes from Tuar Annwn. Add this to this the general corruption of the unsettled Battle Fens to the northeast, and the Land of the Dead becomes an expanding problem. Some say this is only the beginning and that the Shadow World may be growing into Cerilia in other places - but no one knows what to do about it.

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