Shimera


GOVERNMENT:  Egalitarian Society with Nine Benevelant Keepers, one of which is High King

RULER:  High King Penerell Underwood (30p - )

CAPITAL: City of Oakheart

VALUES:  Nature, Pleasure, Art, Poetry, Tradition

LANGUAGES: Elvan (Low)

RELIGION: The Brothers and Sisters of the Wood

POPULATION:  20,000

COINAGE:
  Barter, Trade, and Good Will

IMPORTANT PEOPLE: Penerell Underwood, Grand Druid Mother Myriani,

FIRM ALLIANCES:  None, except for trade deals specifically with the Western Willows (see below)

HOSTILITIES: Swaldune, Norlund

INTRIGUES:  Internally, there is very little intrigue, politically, financially, or otherwise.  As of late, there is controversy regarding Keeper Efendril's efforts to bring human influence to the Western Willows, and the Island of Shimera generally.  This controversy brings into existance some level of conflict between Efendril, and the other Keepers including the High King.  The Druids, who are charged with maintaining tradition are also wrapped up in this situation, with Mother Myriani living amongst Efendil's family and court in an attempt to influence him in a positive way.  And some whisper, that the legendary True Path will have its day against what is happening in the Western Willows. 



DETAILS:  The low elvan culture of Shimera is apolitical, peaceful, artistic, and heavily nature oriented. It is mostly a classless society, with very little structure, or power struggles, or ambition for power or riches.  Most elves dedicate themselves to nature, and beauty, and all the various forms of art expressed on Shimera.  Unlike High Elves, which live centuries on end, a low elf of 180 years of age would be considered very elderly.

The Island is divided into 9 Vales or territories, eight of which are lead by a Keeper of the Vale, with the nineth being led by a High King of the Island.  These positions are positions of responsibility, and less positions of power.  These positions are hereditary, passed down through nine families of Shimera.  The High King has his own Vale, but he also has responsibility over the entire Island of Shimera, including the other eight Vales.  The High King makes his home on Oakheart Island, where the capital city the same name is located.  His "palace" is in the largest tree of Shimera, magically shaped to house his court.

Penarell Underwood became High King in 30p at the age of 50 years old.  His father Paulorin Underwood was very old (201) for a Low Elf when his death passed power naturally to Penerell.  This transfer of power maintained the Underwood family's long-standing hereditary ruling power as High Kings of Shimera.

Shimera has a small but effective navy of defensive ships.  They are low and fast, and manned by 20 to 25 elves that serve as the row-team, skilled archers, and boarding warriors, should that prove necessary.  Deployed around the island, this defensive force has been fairly successful to keeping raids from Norlund and Swaldune to a minimum.  Shimera does not have a standing army, but has banded together into volunteer militias when the need has arisen.  The High King does have his King's Protectors, the most highly trained elvan warriors among the low elves.

The homes and structures of the elves take two different forms, both having to do with trees.  The first type involves building up in the limbs of trees.  Whole towns, with homes, artisans, and community buildings built amongst the limbs of a grove of large old trees.  The second type involves homes built within the trunks and large limbs of magically shaped trees.  The trees are not carved or damaged.  Merely shaped with magic to provide living space within them.  Most elvan enclaves on Shimera are a combination of this "tree house" and "shaped tress" method of building.

The elves of Shimera care about their traditional ways, and while they are not hostile to outsiders, they reject attempts by outsiders to influence their culture.  A mysterious group of Druids live in the deep forest shared by the Western Willows, Silverdale, Wyndeleu, and Lhombarth.  These Druids perserve the traditional elvan ways and are said to maintain the strong connection between the elves and the nature around them.  The leader of these Druids is Mother Myriani, who holds the title of Grand Druid.  The Druids serve as informal advisors to the Keepers of all of the Shimera Vales, but especially the four Vales they live within.  Mother Myriani maintains a special temple on a small island off the western coast of Shimera.  It exists off the coast, near the border of the Western Willows and Silvervale.

Some details about each of the Vales:

OAKHEART & THE KING'S WOOD

High King Penerell Underwood (son of Paulorin) has served in his position since 30p, and is 207 years old (in 127e).  This is enormously old for a low elf, and while his family is known to be long-lived for his race, it is assumed his son Respen Underwood (born in 20p)  will soon be High King.  Penerell lives and rules from his palace within the largest tree on Shimera, at the center of the city of Oakheart on the island of the same name.  Besides serving as High King, Penerell is also the Keeper of his own Vale, called King's Wood. 

Penerell takes very seriously the egalitarian nature of the elven culture, and his rule is marked by a careful balance between providing guidance and allowing the other Keepers their own way in leading their Vales.  Penerell is a traditionalist, and has very close ties with the Druids that work to maintain elven tradition.  Penerell is a beloved leader of his people, and his wisdom and generosity is legendary.

The inland sea round the island of Oakheart is deep and calm.  It produces amazing fishing yields. All along the coast, one can catch a small boat transport to and from the island.  On a busy day, the bay is dotted with boats coming and going from the busy Capital of Shimera.  Penerell's generosity ensures that Oakheart is one of the most artistically creative places in the World of Kempin, as Penerell serves as patron to almost a 1,000 artists of various artistic traditions.

The martial prowess of the King's Protectors is well known around the globe.  Over Penerell's rule, on five occassions he has dispatched his Protectors to other parts of the world to end a threat to the Island of Shimera.  Each mission was an enormously bloody success, and this has ensured a certain amount of security for Shimera from foreign threats.  It is for this reason, that Swaldune and Norlund will only risk occasional raids on Shimera, and  

WESTERN WILLOWS

Keeper Efendril  Lúinwë (son of  Thamior, nephew to Luvon) has spent his time as Keeper attempting to "modernize" the Western Willows, and the island of Shimera in general.  The leaders of the other Vales have rejected these attempts, and limited Efendril's influence to his own Vale through their efforts.  This "modernization" includes trading with human lands, including Crunal, the Empire, and various Imperial holdings.  Efendril has drastically changed the largest city in the Western Willows, having human buildings (warehouses, homes, and stores) built upon the ground beneath the trees.  The small port built to support the defensive navy has been expanded and enlarged to handle up to 20 merchant ships at a time.  Humans live among the elves of the Western Willows, brought their to manage the trade operation and to support Efendril's efforts.

The elves of the Western Willows were generally opposed to Efendril's vision for their Vale when he took power after his father's death.  Many stood against him.  Efendril's younger brother was caught up in scandel, and fled Shimera.  Efendril's Uncle moved from the Western Willows and went into seclusion among the Druids.  Over time, the elves accepted Efendril's changes, partially due to respect for his family and position as Keeper...and partially because they became tempted by what human trade would bring to their island.   


SILVERVALE

Details coming...

LHOMBARTH

Details coming...

WYNDELEU

Details coming...

SYLVAN GROVES

Details coming...

EASTERN ELMS

Details coming...

WESTLAND

Details coming...

NORTHERN FIELDS

Details coming...


OTHER IMPORTANT PEOPLE:

Faelyn Heletris grew up as a protector of the forest and part of an ancient family that helped manage and develop the outskirt forests of Shimera’s western coast. The Heletris were a good family that supplied quality lumber to the craftsman of Shimera and were known to be very meticulous in their process, culling only trees that had succumbed to disease or natural damage.  Faelyn however is an odd one in his family. Faelyn cared for the forests and saw other nations as agents of destruction, while he himself was a great craftsman life living close to other elves would not suit him. Faelyn was a loner, and made it apparent that he was fine away from elven society.



BIT OF HISTORY:
  Shimera was settled at some point in the forgotten mists of history by the High Elves of Aranonri, at a time before they had withdrawn from contact with the rest of the world.  Most scholars put the date sometime around 1400p.  At about the same time, the Island of Bantroth was also settled by High Elves.  Over generations, the elves seemed to lose some of their magic and magesty.  In around 1100p, the High Elves withdrew from the world and Shimera and the Island of Bantroth were cut off from their High Elf cousins.  The race of elves on Shimera and the Island of Bantroth changed and declined over time, and the race that is sometimes referred to as the "Elves of Shimera" or the "Low Elves" came to be.  Eventually, in about the year 300p, orks and other fallen non-human races drove the elves from the Island of Bantroth, leaving Shimera as the sole home of the Low Elves.