Dark Lantern's Light
The Eldeen Reaches
The Eldeen Reaches cover the northwestern region of Khorvaire to the Shadowcrag Mountains. The eastern Reaches feature fertile plains and rolling hills, but dense forests cover the majority of the nation. These forests house some of the most primeval trees on the continent, ancient growths that have survived the rise and fall of empires and witnessed teh arrival of humans on the shores of Khorvaire. The forces of magic permeate these woods, and strange beasts and mischievous fey roam the land. Many dangers also lurk in the deep woods, and the humanoids who make their home in these forests don’t always take kindly to visitors.
The deep woods of the Eldeen Reaches remain mostly as uncultivated and pure as they were when the world was young. In the Age of Monsters, when the goblinoids forged an empire across Khorvaire, the Eldeen Reaches were the domain of orcs who sought to live in harmony with the wilderness. The orcs were devastated and deimated in the war against the daelkyr. As a result of this terrible conflict, the forest was seeded with aberrations and horrid creatures formed by the sinister shapers of flesh.
The druid society grew and spread thoughout the forest, under the guidance of the Great Druid Oalian, an awakened great pine who has watched over the woods for more than four thousand years. The younger races brought their own customs and perspectives to the Reaches, of course, and Oalian’s teachings had already begun diverge from those of the original Gatekeepers. In time, the druids fragmented into a dozen sects. Meanwhile, the nation of Aundair claimed the fertile plains along the eastern edge of the woods, and farmers and settlers spread across the river. Despite minor conflicts between shifter and settler, settler and druid, and even among the druids themselves, the region prospered.
The Last War proved to be the undoing of the old order. As the conflict intensified, Aundair pulled its forces back to protect its heartland and eastern borders, leaving the Eldeen Reaches to fend for themselves. Bandit lords sponsored by Karrnath and The Lhazaar Principalities harried the farms west of the Wynarn River, using the forest as a base and staging ground. In the south, Brelish troops crossed the Silver Lake to occupy Sylbaran, Greenblade, and Erlaskar. As things went from bad to worse, an army of druids and rangers emerged from the forst. In 956 YK, the Wardens of the Wood rallied the farmers and peasants, crushing the bandit army before it knew what was happening. With order restored in the north, the Wardens turned their attention to the south. In 959 YK, they finally succeeded in driving the Brelish forces back across the lake.
Angry at the Aundairian crown for abandoning them, the people swore allegiance to the Great Druid, breaking all ties with the lords of Aundair and resisting several Aundair attempts to regain control. Since 958 YK, the people of the Eldeen Reaches have considered themselves to be part of an independent nation, and they were finally recognized as such with the signing of the Treaty of Thronehold.
Two distinct cultures occupy the Eldeen Reaches. The Towering Wood that fills most of the region is home to the various Druidic sects, while the agricultural communities dominate the northeastern plains.
The farmers of the northeastern region live simple, rustic lives. They have worked the land for generations and possess a strong sense of pride and ownership. the typical Reacher has little interest in events beyond his village but a fierce loyalty to the people of his community. The region has never been heavily populated, and there is plenty of room for the farmers to expand. A Reacher focuses on caring for the land, producing a good harvest, and leaving his or her children a larger farm. While strangers may be treated with suspicion in some communities, in general the people of the Reaches are generous and friendly, doing what they can to make travelers comfortable.
A dozen distinct Druidic sects inhabit the Towering Wood. The largest of the sects, the Wardens of the Wood, has communities scattered throughout the forest. The other sects are largely nomadic. Most remain within specific regions of the great wood, but the Ashbound and a few others migrate across the length of the forest. Each sect has its own customs and practices, and sometimes these customs conflict with those of another group. The Wardens of the Wood provide a warm welcome to all travelers who show proper respect for the forces of nature, while the Ashbound are often suspicious of travelers and hostile towards those who practice arcane magic.
Notable People and Organizations
High Druid Oalian
Wardens of the Wood
Other Druidic sects
Varna (Enclave of House Vadalis)
The Guardian Trees
The Twilight Demesne