Korovia - Free License Fantasy World

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Sylvania - City of Elves Above and Below

Population: 20,000 (+15,000 dark elves & 35,000 sea elves)
Terrain: Hills and forests.
Economy: Trade port.
Military: City Guard 600.
Leadership: A council of 2 Princes & 1 Princess

Above ground, Sylvania is a large city built into colossal trees with large vine covered bridges going between the trees. The vines help to support the bridges, making them even stronger. The trees are huge monoliths, ranging in size from 500 to 700 feet tall. Below ground and beneath the waves however, it is a Metropolis of elves, all races of elves together in relative harmony. It is an ancient city with ancient trees, and sometimes very archaic ways.

Above ground the population is about half-and-half High elves and Grey Elves (with a smattering of Wild Elves who sometimes travel within the city). Above ground Sylvania is ruled by a Grey elf Prince.

Below ground dark elves control the mines and live in a city of stalactite columns & spires in great caverns beneath the ground. The city of Zodaran is its name and it has a Dark elf Princess who rules over it. Much of the city is actually carved out of limestone by the elves, and it is very easy for non-drow to get lost in the city. The caverns connect to sea caves, which is the entrance to the Sea Elf City of Wysteria.

Wysteria is governed by a Sea elf Prince. While larger than Sylvania, Wysteria considers itself to be a hidden force beneath the city. It prefers to be secretive. So secretive that many people in Korovia think that it is a myth. Most elves deny it exists. Its crystal city beneath the waves prefers to remain hidden to outsiders and few people beyond the elves of Sylvania & Zodaran have ever visited Wysteria.

Above ground Sylvania maintains a well-trained City Guard of 600, but its militia is much more powerful. Almost every elf worth his salt is in the militia, which is to say that almost every adult elf is a member. Sylvania arguably has the largest standing army, although the dwarves in Roknar would dispute that claim, saying that the vast majority of elves in their militia aren’t even proper warriors. While this is true, Sylvania nevertheless maintains that it has never been completely defeated by a foe, even during the Demon Wars the city never fell (although this is more due to its ability to retreat below ground or under the sea).

A peace loving city, Sylvania requires all foreigners visiting to tie their weapons with a peace-knot. There is no taxes on trade in Sylvania, which makes it a popular trading port, and its harbour is incredibly safe from pirates thanks to secretive sea elves maintaining a guard outside of the city harbour and preventing entrance to all known pirates. The city has a zero tolerance policy for pirates and has confiscated whole ships (including any cargo, legitimate or not) in the past. The city benefits from powerful elvish magic that shields it from winter. It is always summer in Sylvania, although it does have a rainy season.

Sylvania is known for its druids and clergy. It is a center for healers and herbalists. Many of its healing temples are built high up in some of the biggest trees. The dark elves below these trees worship a benevolent cave goddess (whose symbol is the bat), which is worshipped by drow druids.

Sylvania’s central marketplace is on the ground level in moss and fern covered grottos. It feels as if a person is wandering around in a jungle of plants with hordes of merchants filling in the gaps, with their shops built into alcoves of grottos and into (or under) the roots of the colossal trees. The grottos on the ground level should be quite dark due to the dense foliage above, but the leaves on the monolithic trees are shiny like green silver and reflect light like tiny mirrors. Thus the grottos and marketplaces are bathed in beautiful green light.

Some of the sea caves have small markets, but these are kept hidden from non-elves. It is rumoured that the best marketplaces are within Wysteria and that the city trades with other sea elf cities.

Sylvania has a wizard school called the Eldritch Academy, which is well known for its very ancient library which dates back before the last demon war. Many of its books are written in Ancient Korovian or draconic.