A traveler journeying across the Lost Islands would find that the cities of the Elves are more beautiful and pleasant than any towns of Men or underground settlements of Gnomes. No other people can match the exquisite beauty that exists with the constructions of the children of Ö.
MAP OF THE LOST ISLANDS CITIES
The cities of the Lost Islands
This page includes a description of the cities of the Lost Islands as of 2,708 LC, with information about their history and activities. Click on the link to access directly the city of your choosing.
The cities of Gwa Nyn
. Tios Llyurca
. Ystanalas (Ystanar)
. Ystanoalin (Sianlla)
The cities of Nyn Llyandy
. Tios Frya
. Tios Llevy
. Tios Llysa
. Tios Vron
. Ystanloscin (Cumberalla)
. Ystanwarlin (Arquenlla)
The cities of Nyn Ernaly
. Mentobraglin (Ernalla)
. Mentolewin (Mentoymal)
Gwarystan is the capital city of the kingdom of Gwarystan, the principal realm in the Lost Islands. The white shores of Gwa Nyn's northern headland supports the elegant towers rising into the sky high above the mist. The cliffs bordering the city northern walls are 300 feet high. The port is protected by a wall in the shape of a bird preparing to take flight. The wingtips spread to touch the cliffs on either side. In the centre is the gaping bird's beak, protecting the pass into the inner harbour. 'The great city', as it is referred to in lingua Llewenti, is always clouded by misty fumes emanating from the sea of Llyoriane, as if bathing into a surrounding ethereal protection. Gwarystan is a many-towered city of incomparable splendour and inbounding wonder, filled with beautiful gardens. It is famed for its magnificent spectacles of music and fireworks. Red towers climb up into the clouds overlooking a multitude of small stone houses in the maze of its streets. Each day, the city grows, its towers reaching unparalleled heights thanks to its architects who rediscovered techniques which had not been used since the First Age. Gwarystan is filled with great spires and glittering columns. Most High Elves prefer to live in the upper reaches of these towers. Within the walls of their mansions lies opulence beyond imagination as the High Elves dedicate their life to accumulating riches and artistic creations so that their immediate environment recall the spendour of their days in the Gods' Isle. Amist this luxury, the immortal High Elves enjoy a decadent, idle and ethereal existence, spending their time in the practise of their magical talents and relishing at demonstrating their superiority to their servants and slaves. While the true masters of the capital city, the High Elves, remain in the upper parts of the city, the streets are filled with people as the average High Elf possess dozens of servants Green Elves and Men alike, not to mention slaves. These are of all races but only the most beautiful ones, dressed in the most exquisite, finely crafted clothes can appear before their masters' eyes. Nevertheless, revolts of the lower classes are not frequent for living in the great city of Gwarystan is like a subtle elixir that slowly suborns the will. Drinking the wines and potions prepared by their masters, the servants and slaves of Gwarystan come to think that their existence without freedom is also without concern. Most of them are very proud of their status. The servants and the slaves effectively run the city day to day functions. They supply the food, make the clothing and equipment and keep the city ordered and clean. None of them work very hard as magic is everywhere to facilitate their tasks. In fact, there is a strange languor that fills the city. All its inhabitants move, walk and act with serenity, as if they had no sense of urgency or danger. The lower city of Gwarystan includes boroughs near the harbour where mostly Men dwell. Elves dwell in the richest parts, the upper city, bordered by cliffs as steep as Gwarystan’s walls. The noblest inhabit the highest reaches of the tallest towers and rarely descend into the lower city. When they do, it is for a brief tour to inspect the work performed by their servants and slaves, visit a garden or attend a party. Many Men are toiling for the Elves. Even Giants are enslaved to do the king's bidding. Noble Elves of Gwarystan live amongst their servants and slaves in a permanent atmosphere of feasts and luxury. King Lormelin and his son Norelin built nothing less than the greatest city in Elvin history, the strongest citadel ever created. The city of Gwarystan is fabled not only across the Lost Islands but beyond throughout the Mainland to the shores of the Westerners’ vast maritime realm.
The city of Gwarystan was established by the Islands Deities at the end of the northern peninsula of Gwa Nyn, upon a rocky outcrop that overlooks the inner sea of the Archipelago. The upper city is constructed from the same antique palaces built during the time the Islands Deities walked by Queen Lyoriane's side, when they still dwelt with the Green Elves.
Triumphant after having conquered the Lost Islands, a realm worthy of his royal lineage, Lormelin the Conqueror erected the great city of Gwarystan to the glory of his forefathers, the kings of the High Elves. Gwarystan long prospered in beauty and magnificence during the reign of Lormelin the Conqueror. It grew to gigantic proportions. It lost its harmony and authenticity as it welcomed the chaos brought by the affluence of Men into its heart after King Norelin made alliances with the Westerners from Nellos. Driven by his thirst of power and perhaps by the fear of decline, the young king invited the Westerners and even the barbarian tribes of the Mainland to join with his capital city. Gwarystan now has the greatest population of Men across the Archipelago. Since the Century of War, the influence of the High Elves' realm has been dwindling. Only Gwarystan has not lost its former glory; the capital city still bustles with life, attracting many other Elves and a great number of Men.
The absolute ruler of Gwarystan city is the High Elf King Norelin. His vassals, the Lords of the Dol households, sit in their ornate and splendid towers and weave the Flow of the Islands to develop their ethereal universe into beautiful but trivial achievements. Assisted by the high mages of the Ruby College, the king nevertheless follows the advice of the powerful Human Westerners from Nellos as he relies on their support to demonstrate his authority. No prince, no Dol lord, no guild master will dare oppose him for the traitors end up on the rocks below the Gwarystan cliff where the high mages of the Ruby College gather around the corpse of those sentenced to death to cremate it. To carry out his orders, King Norelin may send the knights of the Golden Hand, a group of six miserable plunderers, he elevated to the rank of knight sorcerers. Such is their influence at the royal court in Gwarystan that they are known as ‘The Fingers that hold the Sceptre’.
As the high towers of Gwarystan rose, the matriarchs of the old cults saw their powers diminish. The high mages of the Ruby College were harvesting the Islands’ Flow for the High Elf King’s benefit. Sixteen High Elves lords and princes rule the Lost Islands from the top of their red towers in Gwarystan. They receive the homage of tens of thousands of Elves. Their influence is so great, that even the Islands Deities fear them. For centuries, the college of the Ruby has exerted its considerable power to undermine the influence of the Islands’ Deities. The high mages of the Crimson Tower have concentrated the power of the Flow in their hands, and with that power they built the city of Gwarystan up to its current state of magnificence. Not content with depriving the Gwarystan Elves of the benefits of the Islands Flow, the high mages found a way to distort and imprison those forces, to greatly limit its circulation, to the extent that the very source is now threatening to run dry. In Gwarystan, King Norelin is abhorred by most of his Llewenti subjects. He has closed their temples and outlawed their ancient faiths. Only the worshipers of Eïwele Llyi, who do not represent a threat to the royal authority are tolerated. The king might despise the old faiths of the Lost Islands and hinder their worship, but he cannot afford to openly attack their followers. Neverteless, King Norelin and his human allies, the Westerners, are responsible for widespread injustice and many Elves are persecuted for their faith or livelihoods. Most fear what the future holds and have abandoned the old cults of the Islands Deities. But the remnants of the old faiths have proven difficult to eradicate.
Production and Trade
The legendary silver dome of the Blacksmiths’ Guild of Gwarystan serves as the landmark to ships and its magnificence demonstrates the influence of Gwarystan harbour as the main centre of trade in the Lost Islands. The capital's stone houses are draped with exquisite tapestries woven in the city's looms. Its inhabitants are dressed in the finest silk. For centuries the realms of the Lost Islands have been bled of their resources and Gwarystan has thrived. Minerals, steel, fruit, wines, indeed every valuable good is absorbed by the grand city, like a giant devouring its own children to feed its hunger. The Great Masons’ Guild of Gwarystan benefited from this inflow of riches and thanks to its precious skills, especially those which required precision and fineness of handiwork, it extended the city to unparalleled proportions. Gwarystan's harbour is filled with vessels of all types. Along its docks are merchants racing to conduct business. There are no High Elves seen in the port's district, only their hirelings; merchants, servants and slaves. The ships of the city's guilds travel the seas of the Lost Islands and establish trade agreements fare and wide. King Norelin pretends to claim all routes to link the cities of his kingdom to each other and rule the unified realm. Only in the kingdom’s capital can the best artists demonstrate their talents for storytelling and poetry. The numerous stages offer opportunities to seduce the nobles, but also the city’s mages and guild masters. The inhabitants of Gwarystan can enjoy varied spectacles where the most accomplished artists, the most incredible wizards and the most talented bards celebrate the glory of the capital city. The elite class of the city, exclusively made of High Elves is very dependent upon the Flow. Most of them are engaged in research of magical nature. It is the High Magic that supports the Gwarystan way of life. The High Elves of Gwarystan whose forefathers were once the companions of the Gods feel it beneath them to do any manual labour. They are attuned to the Flow of magical energy. These High Elves can concentrate it to a greater extent than would be possible to other Elves worshipping the Islands Deities because they skip the influence of these divinities. They can manipulate the energy source of magical fabrics. The secrets of enchantment, summoning and alteration are simple tasks for these magicians and they control the great elemental essences derived from the twenty gemstones. The High Elves are so familiar with the various elemental forces that roam the world that they no longer believe in the Gods' superiority. Being so tied to their magical and ethereal worlds and refusing to get involved in anything physical below their station, the High Elves of Gwarystan rely on servants or even slaves for almost all labour. They will make sure these underlings keep a beautiful appearance though. As designers and artisans, the High Elves are without parallel, as is evidenced in the patterns of the masterpieces they can create with their unsurpassed abilities.
Llacrag is the capital city of the Llyandy, the third clan of the Green Elves. It is located at the mouth of the 'Sian Nisty', the Grey River, about 65 leagues north from Tios Dysir. Before its white walls, strech the broken, irregular fields of ice and snow which form the home of the 'Ice Elves', as they are called by the other Elves of the Lost Islands. Built between the steep cliffs and the river, the city is well protected from the winter storms which comes from the Sea of Isyl. It consists of a fortified inner area surrounded by outer districts of residences and shops. The inner keep is surrounded by a wall of stone and ice particularly thick and high. The wall is breached by four gates forming a semi circle with the cliffs to his back. They are called the Snow Gates. They are made of oaken planks and solid ice and banded with iron. Spirals of crystals are visible around the jagged thrusts of frozen snow. These towers of tinted ice are the marvels of the clan Llyandy architecture. Most of the streets in the city are named after the guilds which works there. The exception to this rule are the four streets that border the keep which were named after the matriarchs who, in order to save the clan Llyandy from a devastating attack of the High Elves, combined all their power to enchant the four Snow Gates of the city. The stronghold of the 'Ice Matriarchs', the undisputed rulers of southern Nyn Llyandy, is a soaring collection of crystal spires braced with flying buttresses and elevated walkways. The interior walls are hung with expensive tapestries and carpeted with fur.
Most of the Ice Elves of Llacrag worship the Deity of hunting and war, Eïwal Vars. The alleged progenitor of their matriarchs is prayed to for luck in hunting and fishing. There are also many shrines to Eïwele Llya, the Deity of fertility. Teachings of her priests determine family life. Due to the high number of deaths among the hunters and fishers, the followers of Eïwele Llya have adopted a form of group mariage usually consisting of five to seven partners; some of the parents remain alternatively at home to ensure children will be taken care of in the event of disaster. Eïwal Ffeyn, the cause of icy winds, is very important to the owlships' sailors, especially in the winter months when the great storms roam the sea of Isyl.
Production and Trade
The population of Llacrag is made of artisans, clerics, learned scholars and clan officials. It also includes in its eastern surroundings fur hunters and merchants, while the Ice Elves inhabiting the Sea of Isyl coast prefer fishing, including whaling and walrus hunting. The inhabitants of Llacrag are almost self sufficient, producing most of their own food and all their clothing and shelter. They are excellent sailors and their 'owlships' are fast and safe, specifically designed to face the dangers of the cold seas. Inspired by the swanships of clan Llyvary, the owlships are the size of galleons and are built on a large ivory structure, supported by the long rib bones of the whales. Wood is too rare and precious to be used for construction. Clan Llyandy trade furs, whale oil and ivory for fruits, grain, vegetables, wood products and forged metals. Fishing adds an important source to their diet.
Llafal is the capital city of the clan Llyvary, the second clan of the Green Elves. It is located by the shores of the Halwyfal basin in the north of Nyn Llyvary. Llafal can be glimpsed fleetingly, like an amorphous mosaic of green and pearl. The city was built among pines and cedars, sheltered by a high hill which protects it from the storms of the Austral Ocean. The Green Elves' elegant white houses are scattered amid the colourful, abundant vegetation. Wide streets are lined with tall wooden houses and slender pines with secluded flower garden. At the top of wide stone steps, in the heights of Llafal, lies Temple Square which looks out over the Halwyfal basin. Here stands the ancient stronghold of the clan Llyvary, the dominating edifice of the esplanade. It is a striking building made of wood, glass and stone, its architecture fine and delicate. Its white lime walls gleam in the golden light of the sun. Thick green vines, intersperse with blue and yellow flowers, paints a floral decoration across its front. One can see the entire city from the esplanade. Layers of terraces were built into the slopes above the shores of the great basin below, and from afar they resemble a crescent moon caressing the vast green water. This vista of symmetrical terraces, walled gardens and natural greenery is perfectly serene when surrounded by the afternoon’s golden mist. Down several different neighbourhoods, there is a vast square. In it, a fountain stands with a statue of a great swan in its centre. Clear water flows from the spring in the middle of the marble pool. Every afternoon, many Elves gather at Daly Nièn, the name of the great fountain square of the city, to exchange goods, services and news. This is the very heart of Llafal where all the guilds are located, and growers and artisans alike run stalls. Every day, food, drink and raw materials, but also furniture, tools, weapons, and all sorts of other goods, are available at Daly Nièn. The guilds conduct their business freely, relying on the council of the matriarchs to find resolutions to disputes. Llafal is filled with many trees and luxurious plants. The numerous fountains and statues are wrought of marble. Its streets are filled with the laughter of Elves. Beyond the high hills encircling Llafal is the forest of Llymar, a green sea of evergreen pines, cedars and spruce trees. It is an area of thick undergrowth and tangled passages. Apart from the occasional game trail, only a few paths lead out of the city.
The shrine to Eïwal Ffeyn situated upon a steep hill overlooking Llafal, has neither wall nor roof, which allows for the powerful winds of the hilltop to flow freely through the sacred place. The temple’s wood is an ethereal garden, full of a multitude of plants and protected by tall pine trees. It is a peaceful sanctuary, dedicated to prayer and worship. It is also a place from which one can hail the powerful energy of the Islands’ Flow. To the Elves of Llafal, Eïwal Ffeyn breath is the very air of the Archipelago and so it has been since the dawn of time. The matriarchs of the city are the custodians of his holy word, as they are for all the Deities of the Islands. The Lady of Llafal, Elder matriarch of the clan Llyvary, has the power to consult the Oracle of the Halwyfal and call upon Eïwele Llyo to make prophecies. The matriarchs of Llafal draw their power from the Deities of the Archipelago; they can influence all of nature even Elves. The shrine dedicated to Eïwele Llyi is in the upper parts of Llafal, on the terraces along the slopes of the surrounding hills. It is part of a greater semi-circular complex of stone buildings known as ‘Temples Square’, built upon an enormous rocky protrusion which overlooked Llafal bay. Ancient myths suggests that, sometime in the first two centuries of the Lost Islands’ history, Eïwal Ffeyn himself, seeking a gift worthy of his beloved Eïwele Llyi, decided that this magnificent location should be the site of her shrine. Indeed, legend has it that the site of the very city of Llafal was established by the Deity of winds. He had set two Storm Eagles off flying; the point where the paths of those two noble birds crossed, Eïwal Ffeyn decided would become Llafal. Using his extraordinary powers, the Deity carved out from that precise point on the Halwyfal’s shores a gorgeous bay and beautiful port. His magnificent gift earned him a passionate kiss from his muse. The future temple of Eïwele Llyi was thought to have been built at the exact place where the two Deities had embraced. Its final structure was later added by the clan Llyvary’s architects upon the remains of the earlier construction. In its antechamber at the end of the majestic passage is a fountain, its water continuously running out from six antique marble vases, each bearing the arms of the six clans of the Lost Islands. As the main Llewenti cities of the Lost Islands stopped up their sacred water springs after the wars against the High Elves, priests of Eïwele Llyi brought the sacred vases of their shrines to the temple in Llafal, for it was one of the only sacred shrines that had not fallen into the grasp of Lormelin the Conqueror. So, Llafal became the preeminent temple dedicated to Eïwele Llyi. It is also set apart from the Deity’s other shrines because it hosts a festival of musical contests which ranks first among the four main fests of the Lost Islands (the three others being Mentodarcyl, Llacrag and Tios Aelie), in terms of its age and importance, the very 'centre of the Lost Islands'.
Three large chairs, made of wood and foliage, are the symbol of the matriarchs of Llafal’s omnipotent power. The clan’s noble males, the 'dyl' sit by their side during ceremonies and clan councils. The influence of these commanders and captains is limited to war and hunting. However, the Council of the Matriarchs is the sovereign power in Llymar Forest and the matriarchs of Llafal have no right to act without consulting the other high priestesses of Llymar. Similarly, Llafal, despite being the capital city of Llymar, has no right to act without the consent of the other cities of the forest. Nevertheless, the Lady of Llafal reigns unchallenged over the council of the Matriarchs where the clan Llyvary’s seven dignitaries clearly outnumbers the two high priestesses from the clan Ernaly. Government is very liberal, as long as no Elf is harmed, for the Elves of Llafal are used to the freedom the Islands Deities granted them. As this gift cannot be taken from them, the matriarchs of the city and the noble dyl try only to influence the relationship with outsiders.
Production and Trade
The port of Llafal is a safe haven for the swanships of the clan Llyvary. It is also the largest harbour on the northern shores of the Archipelago. It can host many vessels, protecting them from the tumult of the Austral Ocean. Thus, Llafal is the main centre of trade of the Llymar Forest. The merchant ships of the Breymounarty Guild from Cumberae sail to Llafal twice a year.
The Halls of Essawylor resembles a large, upturned ship, while from the multiple sides of the building spring what looks like the oars of a powerful rowboat. The great wooden hall is a place of entertainment and leisure, with recreational facilities, decorative plants and flowers and a decidedly jovial atmosphere. It has rapidly become Llafal’s most popular venue, and is the centre of the Llymar Forest cultural life.
Mentodarcyl is a fortress-city, the hidden refuge of the Dark Elves of clan Myortilys. Mentodarcyl was built in the crater of a large extinct volcano of Nyn Avrony. Further up the mountain chain are still active volcanos. Once called 'the crater's fortress' in lingua Llewenti, all that remains today is a frightful empty cone. From a distance Mount Darcyl appears to be a craggy forbidding mountain, devoid of all life except for large black carrion birds that fly around its mountain top. This threatening summit is shrouded in dark clouds, as if a perpetual storm engulfed the impregnable bastion. Behind its iron clad gates is the lair of clan Myortilys.
The gentler slopes of the west and south walls are terraced with wine vinyards, fruit orchards, gardens and grain fields. The slopes of Mount Darcyl are quite steep and unscalable near the top. A single winding road carved out of the mountainside leads upwards to the city entrance. There are places on the road where deep river chasms or ancient volcanic fissures have required the erection of bridges, constructed of ropes and wooden planking. These light bridges can be easily cut loose and thrown into the fissures below to prevent the attack of an army. Large cavernous openings in the side of the mountain lead into a gigantic cave. The mountain is hollow inside and an entire city has been built on an isle located at the centre of the extinct volcano's waters. The dark gates of Mentodarcyl were erected more to prevent prisoners, beasts and slaves from escaping than to keep intruders from entering. The town is made of series of land masses separated by canals. Small boats cruise the dark waters of this volcanic lake. The streets and canals are mostly filed with slaves overloaded with parcels. The city has three main districts: Its west and south parts are slaves slums, built around the docks where incoming supplies are piled up on carts. The bottom floor of Mentodarcyl is almost a mile across and it is there that the animal pens and the slaves quarters are maintained. The offal and sewage from each terrace above flows down to the lowest level where it is consumed by those who dwell there. The central part of town is for the commercial section of the city, full of workshops, inns and taverns. The city of Mentodarcyl is also a place of worship. The gigantic caverns of rock slope up in a series of terraces. On each level, there is a temple. Homes also line each of the terraces, the most prestigious at the top. To the eastern part is the upper class residential and entertainment area with its northeastern corner occupied by the matriarchs' palaces and the great keep of Matriarch Myortilys. Further to the north, the city busts against the unclimbable cliffs of the crater wall. To the south is the source of Lake Darcyl, fed by an underground fresh water spring. Inside the city, the most impressive structure is the great keep of Matriarch Myortilys. The huge tower, built by the Giants, rests against the northern cliff of the crater wall. It is the seat of governement as well as the clan's troops headquarters. The residents of Mentodarcyl are of many races, with clan Myortilys' Elves barely in the majority: the slaves' population is mostly composed of Men and Half-Elves but occasional Gnomes or even Giants can also be encountered among their ranks. Elvin prisoners of the other Llewenti clans generally occupy higher level positions while High Elves are exclusively dedicated to the service of the clan's matriarchs, having settled as teachers, healers or advisors.
Mentodarcyl is located in one of the crevices created when the Greater Gods fought the War of Elements. First built in an active volcano, the stronghold was founded by the Giants as a hiding place. After they were attacked by the Elves, the surviving Giants sought shelter in its fissures and underground caverns. They enlarged the fissure as their population expanded.
The Dark Elves of clan Myortilys exclusevily worship Eïwal Myos. They keep a temple underneath the city dedicated to his strength. The mighty structure was built above the Deity's prison. The shrine is constructed from black basalt. Pale marble, uncommon to the area, has been inset into the trim and highlighted with polished black obsidian to form complex mosaics depicting eerie scenes of exhaltation. On the southern shore of the lake is a shrine to Eïwele Llyi, the Deity of beauty but also of fresh water lakes and streams.
Production and Trade
The Myortilys mostly serve in the ranks of their army. Their duties are key as the whole production and commercial activities of the city rests on the many slaves they keep captive. The main task of the clan Myortilys is to keep an eye on their prisoners who continuously move through town. The clan Myortilys trade silks and other luxury goods, handicraft and art objects, precious metals and gems. In return, the Human barbarians living in Nyn Avrony send fruits, vegetables and all types of food but also linen and cotton. The clan Llyandy are also reliable commercial partners of the clan Myortilys. They trade furs, ivory, whale oil for forged metals, pottery and magic potions prepared by the alchemists of Mentodarcyl. This group of sorcerers, closely tied to the matriarchs, are highly valued by their clan. They can be found in the depths of the volcano where rare substances abound.
Mentogalen is a fortress-city, one of the dominion of the kingdom of Gwarystan. It is the main stronghold of House Dol Ogalen, a noble family of High Elves, vassals to the Prince-Lord of Arystan. Mentogalen is located high in the mountains of the island of Nyn Llorely. Those who are not High Elves are invariably turned away at the gates. Only Hawenti scholars on the way to vist the library or envoys of the king of Gwarystan who can pay with gold are allowed entrance.
The fortress city originaly known as 'Mentomeon' and later as 'Mentogalen' was founded by Giants long before the coming of the Elves to the Lost Islands. It was discovered by the Green Elves of clan Llorely and besieged by them during the wars of Birds and Stones in the first century of Llewenti history. The stronghold finally was broken with the aid of the Deity Eïwal Vars. But when the clan Llorely entered its walls, they found it empty and deserted by the Giants and they discovered no clue where the survivors of the Giants' tribe had gone. The clan Llorely believed the place was haunted and chose not to occupy it despite its strategic position. Gradually, it fell into ruin until even its location was forgotten. It was lost until a group of bold High Elves, searching for a way through the mountains, found the sealed pass and re-opened the fortress-city. During the first war of Ruby and Birds, the High Elves of King Lormelin's army seized the fortress. It was erected as a fief for House Dol Ogalen and renamed 'Mentogalen', which means the 'tower of Ogalen' in lingua Llewenti. Over the next several centuries, the former fortress of the Giants was explored, cleared and rendered habitable once more. The High Elves have repopulated most of the city since that time.
There is a shrine to Gweïwal Zenwon in Mentogalen called the 'Makomsorny', 'Eagles' Nest' in lingua Llewenti. It is the only temple dedicated to the Greater God of the Sky in the Lost Islands. Gweïwal Zenwon is the Patron Deity of the city. It is said Gweïwal Zenwon gives his worshipers among House Dol Ogalen the ability to command flying creatures such as griffons and hippogriffs.
Production and Trade
In the deep, disused passages of Mentogalen, safe from harm, the High Elves designed a great library which they protected with a locked door and magic that would ensure that antique books remaining in its confines would not age. Sages, interested in the study of ancient lore, are allowed inside this shrine of knowledge after paying a fee. The library of Mentogalen contains the history of Oron, from the creation and the first myths until the reign of King Norelin. It also holds the knowledge and art of all the civilizations of the Lost Islands plus scrolls, arcane texts, relics and artifacts found by the wandering knights of House Dol Ogalen. Elvin scholars from all over the Lost Islands come to Mentogalen at a high cost to study the knowledge contained in the ancient books. Explorers also stay, seeking clues to the whereabouts of ancient artefacts and other lost treasures of the Elves. Due to the constant influx of these travelers, Mentogalen became the leading centre of learning for all the kingdom of Gwarystan.
The cities of YSLLA and YSTANARGROND
YSLLA in the valley of Nargrond
The valley of Nargrond is at the centre of Gwa Nyn. It is protected by high mountains and is a dangerous place, difficult to access. The territory has been disputed for centuries by the king of Gwarystan’s armies and the clan Myortilys’ units. It is a land of legend, home to many monstrous beings: Giants living by the fire of its volcano, Gnomes seeking to extract its precious metals. The Nargrond Valley is the heart of the Lost Islands, the place where the Elves buried all their secrets. Many are those who seek them. It is where the Fallen Star hit Gwa Nyn a long time ago, when the Elves were still young. It is a sanctuary of nature and beauty. The Nargrond Valley is mentioned in all the sacred texts of the Gnomes, Giants, Men and Elves. It is the cause of an all-pervading obsession.
The Nargrond Valley is a sun-drenched lowland. The beauty of the place is breath-taking. The valley run from east to west along the Sian Senky for more than sixty leagues. Two mountain ranges border its northern and southern flanks; some of their peaks reaching heights of over six thousand feet. The mightiest mountain of Gwa Nyn, indeed the highest mountain of the Lost Islands, can be seen upon the horizon towards the sunrise. The top of Mount Oryusk, the volcano created by the fall of the meteorite upon Gwa Nyn, towers over the surrounding elevations from its ten thousand feet. Its massive silhouette marks the end of the valley to the west. Mount Oryusk is the most active volcano in the Lost Islands, indeed it appears to be in an almost constant state of eruption. Its three central craters are spewing forth great plumes of different coloured smoke; sometimes white as ice, then dark as shadows, now red as lava. The mountain’s lower slopes spread out across the valley of Nargrond, its fertile soils rich with woods, vineyards and orchards. The Sian Senky meanders at the bottom of a strangely shaped vale that extends westward and then south-westward. The Arob Nargrond is a deep range. Its peaks tower above the mountains that rise in Nyn Llyvary or even in distant Nyn Llyandy. Nargrond Valley is a geological cleft, rarely more than two leagues in width, boarded by steep limestone precipices. Because the valley is so narrow, numerous waterfalls can be seen above the trees. The streams descend from the adjoining mountains spilled downwards in roaring cascades as they reach the verges of the valley’s rocky walls. They fall from such a height that they almost totally disappear into spray before they reach the level of the river, where the land is heavily forested and covered in clusters of trees and large open meadows. The view from the eastern end of the valley contains a great granite monolith on the left and rocks as high as Gwarystan’s towers on the right. Just past this point, the valley widens with spires, then with a pointed obelisk that looks like a sentinel’s tower to the south. On the northern side are ‘the four Greater Gods’, rising one above the other like gables built along the same angle. The highest crest is Zenwon; the one below is Narkon, ‘the Lower Brother’. From these towering heights, melting snow become torrents and pools, which then surge downwards into cataracts and waterfalls. Creeks and forks of the different streams take drainage from the Arob Nargrond’s crest, eventually disappearing into the canyons. Rapids fall from the valley’s rim. They combine at the base of the gorges which contain each stream, and then surge around small isles to meet the Sian Senky at the centre of Nargrond Valley, where it spreads into a majestic lake. The vale that lead to the wider valley of Nargrond starts with a dense wood. In this higher part of Gwa Nyn, the chestnut, walnut, and birch trees replace the pines and cypresses that dominate further down on the plains around Ystanoalin. The Sian Senky meets the Sian Dorg at the lake of Yslla.
The famed city of Yslla, the centre of Elvin lore on the Lost Islands, was built by Rowë Dol Nargrond on the shores of that lake. Yslla meant the ‘Port of Confluence’ in lingua Llewenti. Nowadays the place is in ruins. The city was never rebuilt after the clan Myortilys raided it and committed genocide against its inhabitants.
Rowë and his household used to dwell in the great city of Ystanargrond. It was Nargrond Valley’s once-great fortress. The former capital city of Lord Rowë had been built in the westernmost part of the valley, near the slopes of Mount Oryusk. It stood on a spur formed by a lava flow, facing north to the mouth of the Sian Senky. Its ruins suffered from further seismic events after being devastated during the battles against clan Myorilys. Various layers of sediment now top the lava which lay below the city. These layers have been created over the years by large landslides triggered by extended rainfall. Along with many Elvin settlements in the surrounding area, the ancient city was buried under a dozen feet of volcanic ash, carried from the erupting Mount Oryusk by wind from the Sea of Isyl. This land used to be home to sweet-smelling gardens and bounteous orchards, fair houses and tall towers, suspension bridges and paved streets, all the makings of the High Elves who lived there. All that remains however, is a faint echo of this past magnificence. The Elves have long abandoned this place, and the city had been conquered by ashes. The central square of Ystanargrond lay in front of Lord Rowë’s ancient Halls south to the maze of ruins of Ystanargrond higher districts which had been the greatest edifice in Nargrond Valley’s history. Long since abandoned to dust and wild vegetation, the Halls of Rowë are now nothing but a carcass. The blackened columns topple into the ash. The structure of the great building is damaged beyond repair. The fires lighted by clan Myortilys consumed Lord Dol Nargrond’s palace and all the ancient statues that had long embellished its peristyle. Beyond, the ruins of Ystanargrond are a series of blacked, blasted streets, covered with dust, smoke and the foul stench of building materials reduced to ashes.
The upper valley of the Sian Senky is made up of deep gorges, where cliffs and steep banks border the fast-flowing water. Dams built by the High Elves at the time of Rowë Dol Nargrond constrict its flow at several intervals, forming wide lakes. Below the flanks of Mount Oryusk, the valley then widens to contain, on either side of the river, fertile meadows and orchards. Further east, but before the walls of Ystanargrond, lies a wood. It is called the grove of Llya. Further south and west, the Sian Dorg meanders around the entrance to the mines of Oryusk, which mark the border to the clan Myortilys’ territory. The Mines of Oryusk lay into the wilderness southwest from Ystanargrond upon the volcano’s south-eastern slopes, at the pool of Dorg. This small lake is fed by water cascading from far above. Long ago, the stream flowed down through the mountain caves and out of the mines’ gates. The Elves of House Dol Nargrond had changed its course by creating a fall further up, creating this majestic entrance into the volcano’s insides. A great gate of rock opens into nothing but darkness like the threshold of another life. Runes are engraved on the gateway. They are badly degraded, as if some wicked spirit had desired to corrupt their power. Still, the swords of Nargrond Valley’s symbols can be recognized. The artist had etched their names using gemstones and metal, diamond for Aonya, black iron for Aksinya, ruby for Orsing, amethyst for Moramsing, sapphire for Lynsing and emerald for Rymsing.
Legends say the Oryusk Valley, that would be later known as the valley of Nargrond, was created when the fabled Star fell from heaven and hit Gwa Nyn. Its mighty impact split the earth asunder, its deep, raging fires suddenly clashing with the rivers above. Molten lava and poisonous vapours flooded down across the region from the great mountain of Oryusk, where the meteorite had completed its destructive course. Torrents of fire and gas tore through the landscape, levelling hills and carving caverns into mountainsides. The very heart of the Archipelago’s tallest mountain melted, and stone poured down its western side like liquid fire, out into the Sea of Isyl. The meteorite’s impact was heard and felt across the Mainland. Gweïwal Uleydon, hearing it too, had risen from the ocean’s depths, raging with all the tide’s might to extinguish the great fire that had scorched the very sea. It then took many centuries for Eïwele Llya to haul out the sunken debris and repair the broken landscape. But, thanks to her patient labour over countless twilights, the substances she siphoned from the earth’s core eventually healed the land. What at first had seemed like a hopeless endeavour was, one day, accomplished. The revival of the Nargrond Valley is considered to be her greatest deed; she poured her immortal heart into that annihilated place, reversing all the suffering it had endured. Throughout the millennia, the valley of Nargrond has been the focus of all civilizations. The first Gnomes erected their three columns of knowledge at its entrance. Eïwal Ffeyn brought about the fall of a meteorite which formed the final landform of the Valley. With divine runes, the deities of the Archipelago engraved the fate of the free Elves in the Stone, the heart of the meteorite. Then they devoted their care to making it the most beautiful place of the Lost Islands, a beautiful garden promised to the Elves. Like so many vengeful servants of the Greater Gods, the Giants of Oryusk appeared in the lava of the volcano to drive out the rebellious Deities of the Archipelago. These spirits of fire failed in their work of destruction. Then, for many centuries, the Elves of all nations, houses and clans fought for its control. Rowë was the oldest and wisest of the exiled High Elves in the Lost Islands. More than any other, he was concerned with matters of thought. During what has been called the ‘Wars of Ruby and Birds’, King Lormelin the Conqueror appointed Rowë as emissary of the High Elves. He would therefore meet often with Llewenti ambassadors. He was closest to the clan Myortilys, for their home was the valley of Oryusk, which he cherished above all other places. In a period of peace, before Lormelin and his army set foot on Gwa Nyn, Rowë would often visit the matriarchs of the clan Myortilys in their dwellings near the volcano of Oryusk. And so, he learned much of the lore of the Llewenti clans, and in particular the legends surrounding the descendants of Queen Llyoriane’s first daughter. The Myortilys were in awe of this ancient Elf, for he had known the beginning of the world. Rowë had walked beside the Gods, had been honoured with the High King Melindro’s friendship, and he had survived the great battles of the First Age. Though the Myortilys had been known to keep their great learning secret, they chose to share it with their illustrious friend. They imparted to him their account of the Oryusk Valley’s history. But when the army of the High Elves disembarked from King Lormelin’s ships upon Gwa Nyn’s shores, the war began again, and a shadow fell upon that peculiar friendship between Rowë and the matriarchs of the Myortilys. Their bond had been irremediably broken. The first clan of the Green Elves were defeated by the army of King Lormelin, and the High Elves seized the valley of Oryusk. It remained a dangerous place, threatened by the raids of defeated Myortilys, and further attacks from darker beings. Its custody was therefore entrusted to Rowë and his house. It was known thereafter as the valley of Nargrond. Everyone started to covet the valley of Nargrond for it has been the ultimate object of desire since the Star fell from the sky and the meteorite hit Gwa Nyn, which awakened the volcano of Oryusk. Here were forged the fabled swords of Nargrond Valley by the four legendary Bladesmiths. They made their weapons with the unique metal from the meteorite. After this feat, the Valley developed into a glorious Elvin civilization under Rowë’s rule. Lon the Wise, whose true divine origin is still being discussed, was born in Ystanargrond, the main city of the Valley. There he demonstrated his capacity to work miracles, by controlling the light of the sun itself. The art of the best crafters and artists illuminated that golden era, when Elves of all origins came together in the valley of Nargrond to pursue dreams of shared knowledge and mutual progress. Away from Gwarystan’s influence and free from royal rule, Rowë Dol Nargrond was true master of his fief, where he built a realm for those Elves, whatever their origin, who truly had sought the Lost Islands. Their lives were devoted to realizing the vision of those Deities who forged the Archipelago itself. Rowë was the first Hawenti lord to understand this, and it was he who lay the foundations for the realm of Llyoriane’s seeds. Exiled Elves, from all corners of the world, sought to find peace in the haven that Rowë had designed in the valley of Nargrond. Never in the history of the Lost Islands had there been a place which embodied so perfectly this ideal. It was in the city of Ystanargrond, safe from prying eyes, that Meoryne Dol Valra gave birth to her fabled son, Lon the Wise, losing her life as a consequence of her efforts. She was a refuge, one of the few survivors of House Dol Valra’s quasi destruction by a clan Myortilys raid in Llamyos.
Peace was allowed to prevail until the hills surrounding Mount Oryusk were overwhelmed by the black iron and silvery mail of the Dark Elves’ army. The units of the clan Myortilys marched to war for the first time since the Battle of Ruby and Buzzards. They were driven on by a common thirst to exact vengeance, for the sake of honour, hatred and glory. The clan Myortilys were instigating the War of Shadows. Rowë and the other Bladesmiths were murdered in the mines of Oryusk before their corpses were defiled. Lon the Wise was never seen again after that dark day, and a shadow has been concealing the entrance to the mines ever since. The sack of Yslla which followed was evil unbound, something never before seen in the history of Elves. That day, the fighters of the clan Myortilys chose to become demons, monsters who relished destroying the beautiful city, massacring its inhabitants and plundering its treasures. Myortilys troops caught children by their feet and smashed their heads against walls. Rowë’s wife was raped by the Myortilys high warlord on the temple altar of Eïwele Llyi. The clan Myortilys sank the city beneath the lake and slaughtered all the Night Elves, massacring their children and wives. No mercy was sought nor offered to the ill-fated Night Elves. The genocide of the Night Elves was an ignominy incommensurable enough for the surviving members of the Guild of Sana to swear the Shadows’ Oath.
Even Men have sought to conquer the Nargrond Valley. Barbarian tribes from the vast Mainland, blinded by the obscurantism of their evil cult, did not hesitate to cross the dangerous straits and the perilous seas to confront the great Elvin kingdom of Gwarystan. They considered the slopes of Mount Oryusk as the lair of their accursed Three Dragons.
There are three giant columns posioned at the valley’s eastern entrance, where the southern and northern ranges of the Arob Nargrond join together in what looks like a last attempt to imprison the wild waters of the Sian Senky. The three great pilasters are still hundreds of feet high, though a major disaster caused their ruin. Damaged elements of the gigantic fluted columns lay half-buried besides their ancient foundations. These are the great columns of the Gnomes, the first inhabitants of the Lost Islands who settled in the archipelago long before the coming of the Deities, Giants and Elves. They built three monuments, for that number is associated with the triangle. The triangle is the emblem of Gweïwal Agadeon, the Gnomes’ Protective God that, according to their legends, fathered their race. It is said they received a warning from their divine father of an impending catastrophe. Then, fearing that all knowledge of their arts and crafts would be lost in a gigantic flood, the result of Gweïwal Uleydon’s wrath, they built these three great columns upon a high hill. The pilasters were made of brass and granite to resist water. Writing in their indecipherable hieroglyphics, the Gnomes engraved the fundamentals of their arts and crafts upon the pillars. In the end, however, what threatened their civilization was not the tidal wave they had expected. When the meteorite fell upon Gwa Nyn, the hill of the pillars was destroyed, but ruins of the three great columns endured, though they have lost their initial magnificence. The few surviving Gnomes interpreted this catastrophe as a sign of the coming of the Elves to the Lost Islands.
The ancient site of O'vaha is mentioned in the 'Lonyawelye'. Priests of Eïwal Lon chose to erect a place of worship in the valley of Nargrond after its fall, after the region had been conquered and sacked by the clan Myortilys. The temple of Eïwal Lon was built on top of the ruins of several shrines to the Islands Deities, which were defiled by the Dark Elves.
Penlla, 'the cliff harbour' in lingua Llewenti, is an oceanic port in Llymar Forest. Built fifty leagues east of Llafal, it gives access to the warm waters of the Penlla Bay's far coast. It is protected from the storms of the Austral Ocean though sudden gales are frequent in the bay. Penlla, is the main harbour of the clans of Llymar Forest. The city is perched on an escarpment which is only accessible from the port via a fortified narrow road. It holds a strategic position, its harbour being hidden behind white cliffs. The stone used for its walls, the fluted colonnades, steps and reliefs of its houses comes from its jagged shoreline's quaries. Its wild coast extends towards Nyn Llorely in the east. It is a vast plateau, with rows of ancient elms, twisted and gnawed by the constant sea wind. Penlla is governed by two matriarchs of clan Llyvary, assisted by the wise but puny warlord, Leyen dyl.
Due to its isolated location upon a cliff top, Penlla was initially chosen to host the arsenal and reserves of the Llymar Forest's fleet. Throughout its history, Penlla never feared danger from sea or forest. The oceanic harbour was never forced to defend its high walls. The sailors of Penlla and their captains were entrusted with a task of the utmost importance by the clans of Llymar Forest. While other Llewenti cities mustered units of archers, scouts and sentinels to join the combined army of the clans, it has always been Penlla, the ‘cliff port’, which provided most marine units. In the eyes of the Penlla sailors, there is no gleam of the warrior. However, the oceanic port has often seen its sons depart to fight in the wars of other Llewenti cities, and there were many who never returned. Their ships were responsible for transporting the troops of the Green Elves' clans to enemy shores. Penlla's units always proved to be a fierce force, equally during the 'Wars of Ruby and Birds' against the High Elves, as when fighting the Human barbarians or the Westerners from Nellos. Their mission was to breach the ennmies' rear guard and cut off its supply line.
Penlla’s inhabitants are sailors, fish hunters and dolphin riders. They worship the Islands Deities and expect peace and prosperity in return. Their representatives, whether the noble dyl or the holy matriarchs, are expected to deliver words of wisdom and prudence at the council of Llymar Forest.
Production and Trade
Penlla is principally known for its shipyards where all that is required to make boats can be found. Shipwrights from Penlla can help to repair the vessels from across the Lost Islands. Yet the swanships of clan Llyvary are their speciality. Most of the Llymar fleet’s swanships come from Penlla. Regattas are organized on a yearly basis and the best Elvin navigators of the Lost Islands come to participate.
Tios Aeyi, 'the city of cedars' in lingua Llewenti, takes its name from its situation in the immense cedar tree forest of Cumberae on the island of Nyn Llyandy at the junction of two important trade roads. It is a small city situated at the point where the major north-south trade route spurrs of towards Ystanloscin crossing the Sian Nin River. There are about a hundred wooden buildings on the ground but the local population mainly dwell in the giant branches of 'Eïwaloni' trees. Above the ground surface, many ramps, ropes walkways, wooden structure make a very tangled maze. All giant trees retain their leaves until the new growth in the spring pushes the old ones out and the canopy of leaves is particularly thick. On the ground level, hidden among the gnarled roots of the trunks, in a state ranging from darkness to a dim twilight are a series of small wooden houses that are used as stalls, shops or taverns and inns. Around the giant cedars is a barren land that isolates the city from the great forest and is used by merchants to establish their encampment. This area is centered around the two wells provided to the trading caravans. There are large undergruond warehouses located near the caravan grounds for the benefits of traders who wish to store goods. Closeby is the sacred grove of Eïwele Llya, guarded by the 'Tree sentries', a sentient form of trees very old and powerful. It is a clearing with a clear spring brook with a number of fruit trees and with very little underbrush around the ancient trees. It holds a rich wildlife and is the hideout for dryads. Unnatural life forces dwell in the grove.
Production and Trade
Tios Aeyi is the cross road of two trading routes across the forest of Cumberae and therfore attracts numbers of merchants from the great southern forest. At Tios Aeyi, they trade for various wood products, as well as foodstuffs, cloth and paper. In return the residents buy forged metal items, leather goods, glassware, furs and other precious goods.
Tios Dysyr, 'the city of Snow' in lingua Llewenti, is a citadel on a tall jagged outcropping which stands alone on the snowy plain of sountern Nyn Llyandy. Tios Dysyr is the meeting place of the Ice Elves' groups that live in the deep south of the island and who come there to trade needed goods. There are only few permanent structures made with stone in Tios Dysyr. The rest are made of ice which does not melt during the summer. The traders set up their temporary tents and wagons around the citadel and are protected by a long wall of stone from the icy winds and the fierce snow storms that often blow in these latitudes.
Production and Trade
Tios Dysyr is first and foremost a trading place where traders from all parts of the clan Llyandy's territories come. Merchants from the North bring metal, goods, woven cloth and many others finished goods not readily accessible to the communities living in the deep South. The Ice Elves groups bring the different furs of the animals of the icy plains, ivory, whale oil and unusual gems found in their mountains.
Tios Halabron, 'the city of giant trees' in lingua Llewenti, is a city of northern Nyn Llyvary, deep into the forest of Llymar, built near the forks of two wild torrents (the 'Sian Llyi' and the 'Sian Llya'). The city is located on the tree tops of several giant trees, known as 'Eïwaloni' in lingua Llewenti, that are magically protected and strengthened by the Deity Eïwele Llya, divinity of nature. Tios Halabron is a grove of sacred essence, a thicket of holly trees with huts and shacks upon platforms high in the branches. The gigantic trees gave their name to their city. Their height can exceed two hundred feet. Their scale is colossal; their roots spread out wide and deep underground, sometimes emerging at the surface like monstrous sea snakes. The giant trees of Tios Halabron guard within their trunks vast excavations which are used as shelters by high ranking members of clan Ernaly. The ability of the Eïwaloni to guard against the elements is an indispensable lifeline in extreme conditions. One central trunck is surrounded by the other giant trees. Its branchings run horizontally to the nearest truncks. They grow into the other giant trees and it is on this broad foundation that the main platform of the city is built. Most of the merchants’ trading, however is conducted at ground level. Hidden among the gnarled roots of the tree trunks, are a series of small shops, taverns, inns and artisans’ lodges. In these parts, visibility ranged from near darkness to a dim twilight. Just above the ground, ramps, rope walkways and wooden buildings formed an intricate maze. Out beyond the trunks, but still beneath the broad canopy of leaves, were the weavers’ and spinners’ workshops. It is there that the famous cloth of Tios Halabron are manufactured. The two streams, the Sian Llyi and the Sian Llya provide Tios Halabron's links with the outside world.
The Green Elves of clan Llyvary founded Tios Halabron during the first century of Llewenti history in the Lost Islands. In those times, they were merely attempting to create a sanctuary deep in the forest where they could be free of the warfare with the Giants. Tios Halabron was far from the mountains of 'Arob Nisty' and 'Arob Tiude' where the Giants and the Gnomes dwelled. Built so deep in the Llymar Forest, it could not be easily discovered. Over time, it became the ultimate refuge of clan Llyvary. Its population grew and its boundaries expanded until it became a major trade center for the region. Due to this status and its being the oldest Elvin city in the forest of Llymar, it became the seat of government for the matriarchs of clan Llyvary during the Wars of Stones and Birds and later during the kin-slaying Wars of Ruby and Birds. In 2688 LC, the refugees of the clan Ernaly are entrusted with the government of Tios Halabron in the forest of Llymar. After the barbarian tribes conquered their homeland, the clan Ernaly and its warlord, Mynar dyl, abandonned their territory, across the strait of Tiude to seek refuge in the Llymar forest. A life of wandering through hostile territory had built their fierce character. The clan Ernaly were known throughout the Forest of Llymar as ruthless, unforgiving Elves. Their struggles during the barbarian wars proved crucial for the survival of the Green Elves. As a result, the clan Llyvary handed over command of Tios Halabron to them, where they now dwell and watch over the sacred trees.
The true master of Tios Halabron, Mynar dyl of clan Ernaly is an important figure in the Forest of Llymar. He rules over more than three thousand Elves in the city of trees although he is a refugee, as were all of his kin. Mynar dyl is the warlord of Tios Halabron and of clan Ernaly. The symbol of his authority upon the city of giant trees is a diadem made of Eïwaloni branches and adorned with an emerald.
The giant trees of Tios Halabron are sacred to the Green Elves, who considered them to be servants of Eïwele Llya, ‘the Mother of the Islands’ and divinity of fertility and nature. The giant trees transport the pure air above the canopies down into the depths of the Islands, where Eïwele Llya dwells. They are called ‘Eïwaloni’, or “divine trees” in lingua Llewenti, for the power of the archipelago’s Deities has raised them from the earth a long time ago, before any Elf had ever set foot upon the Lost Islands.
Production and Trade
Tios Halabron is known for the manufacturing of a very prized silk named after the Eïwaloni trees. Weavers and spinners worshops are located beneath the broad canopy of leaves. In the top of the giant trees are great cisterns of water which collect rain water. Mixed by the matriarchs with the leaves of the Eïwaloni, this pure water is the basis for the making of potions of healing and magic philters. Large amounts of cargo are moved between the various levels of the giant trees city by means of winches powered by magical means. Most of the trading of goods with the other cities of Llymar Forest is carried out by caravans of wood horses familiar with the forest. Tios Halabron hosts the festival of the Islands for the clan Ernaly are the masters of music and dancing. Their festivities are legendary. The Elves of clan Ernaly are known to breed falcons and hawks in the hamlets which surrounds the city of sacred trees..
Tios Lluin, 'the city of antique stones' in lingua Llewenti, was built in northern Nyn Llyvary, deep into the forest of Llymar, fifteen leagues south of Llafal. The enchanting vestige of Tios Lluin’s Temple of Stones lay at the heart of the ruined city. The site of the Temple is vast; it occupies a circular area of land that spread out for more than five square miles of forest. Thousands of gigantic stone blocks have been erected throughout the forest, amongst which there are various monuments, graves, wells and great pits. These blocks create a complex series of paths that, together, makes up a symbolic network which mirrors astrological constellations. This map corresponds with the positions of the sun, moon, stars and planets in the canopy of heaven and thus imbues this collection of monuments with complex liturgical significance. It is a place where earth, sun and stars converge. The genius architect of Tios Lluin demanded that the huge slabs of blue rhyolite be hauled from the Arob Nisty Mountains across a hundred leagues of steep terrain. The circle forming the Temple of Stones is a vast, hexagonal crater, very deep and wide, and surrounded by eight gigantic blue stones. Steps were carved into its sides, and the sacred area can host thousands. Nature escaped the wild gardens of the city and encroached upon the structure. Trees, plants and roots cover the ancient stones, cobbles and slabs. Within the antique pit, each of the six sides lead to a separate underground temple, the doors to which are surrounded by beautiful mural architecture, as if they were gateways to the domains of the Islands’ Deities. Their creation is more recent; the stone used for their fluted colonnades, steps and reliefs come from the white cliffs of Penlla. The six strong doors were whittled from the wood of the Eïwaloni, and they were all intricately carved with powerful glyphs and runes. Almost six thousand Elves live in Tios Lluin, although it could host ten times as many. The city has been gradually constructed within the perimeter of the Temple of Stones. Large buildings and small wooden constructions complete the map of streets within the gigantic stones.